Grants:Project/Rapid/Airplaneman/Sulzer Regional Library Edit-a-thon in Chicago March 2017/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Rapid Grant approved in FY 2016-17 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.


Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went?

The edit-a-thon went very smoothly, and the goals outlined in the grant request were met. Specifically:

  1. Recruit new editors
    There were more experienced editors than new editors at the event; 3 editors had fewer than 200 contributions.
  2. Increase skills for existing editors
    There was skill-sharing between editors both new and seasoned. These included sharing various beta features, such as the content translation tool. Extended conversation was also fruitful in advancing the knowledge of all editors regarding editing tips, tools, and tricks.
  3. Add or improve content
    This edit-a-thon saw a wide range of articles improved through tasks such as adding content, disambiguating links, copyediting, and translating. Discussions regarding article-building centered around topics such as:


Please report on your original project targets.

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
15 participants; ingaugural event for Wikimedians of Chicago User Group 10 participants We are very happy with the turnout for this event. Since it was the first event for our nascent Wikimedians of Chicago User Group, we were a little unsure of how large the response to our online outreach (conducted on the English Wikipedia) would be. 10 editors attending is within the range of people we anticipated, given the response to the outreach. Airplaneman has a final list of attendees if this would be helpful for the report.
5 new editors 3 "new" editors (less than 200 contributions) Though no new accounts were created, editors both familiar and unfamiliar with Wikipedia editing came and sought editing help. This included 3 users with fewer than 200 contributions, whom gained significant ground in editing experience during the event. I believe that this was a very acceptable outcome for this event and hope that future events can foster the same atmosphere of positive collaborative learning as this one.
10 articles created or improved 12 articles created or improved Wikimetrics reports 150 edits made in the 4.5-hour timespan of the editathon for the cohort of 10 users who attended. A manual count indicates that 12 articles were improved. In this case, improvement encompasses edits such as content additions and copyedits, but not more administrative tasks such as the creation of redirects, disambiguation, or page protection. For future events, I hope to use the Programs & Events Dashboard in order to track metrics such as "articles improved", which was not possible using Wikimetrics. Indirect contributions to articles include: 1 redirect, 1 split proposal, 2 sandbox drafts.


Projects do not always go according to plan. Sharing what you learned can help you and others plan similar projects in the future. Help the movement learn from your experience by answering the following questions:

  • What worked well?
    As the inaugural event for the Wikimedians of Chicago User Group, this event was successful in connecting editors in Chicago and generating a positive sense of community. There were two facilitators (Airplaneman and I JethroBT), which worked out well with the size of the event. For a good number of editors, this was their first in-person Wikipedia event. It was important for this event to not have a specific scope, but rather for it to be a meetup for all things (English) Wikipedia. Editors at this event were very happy to have the opportunity to meet other Wikipedians and learn from and appreciate each others' work. This was effective in attracting a variety of users from different backgrounds and interests around the uniting institution of Wikipedia. We now have a solid contact base from which to organize future meetups and from which to build this user group.
  • What did not work so well?
    As I mentioned in the "outcome" section directly above, data gathering practices to measure the impact of the event can be improved, such as through using the Programs & Events dashboard. On a smaller note, the rainy weather may have discouraged some possible attendees.
  • What would you do differently next time?
    For future events, we will consider focusing on certain subject areas (such as Art + Feminism). This is important for focusing attention on improving a certain set of articles. In this way, it is easier to generate concrete gains in article improvement. This "general" event at the Sulzer Library saw very successful discussion, connection, and learning, but did not significantly improve any articles during the event.


Grant funds spent[edit]

Please describe how much grant money you spent for approved expenses, and tell us what you spent it on.

  • Potbelly catering: $141.92 food + $19.36 delivery tip = $161.28 total
    • Our estimates for our catering order were based off the response to our outreach on the English Wikipedia. We had minimal leftovers (half of a sandwich and three sodas) after the event.
    • Receipts will be sent via email when this grant report is ready.

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any remaining grant funds?

  • Yes. $210 - $161.28 = $48.72
The Wikimedians of Chicago User Group is planning to organize additional Wikipedia events. This includes an additional edit-a-thon in Summer 2017 and a Wikipedia Day event at the new Ace Hotel (opening Fall 2017) in Chicago on January 14, 2018. I (Airplaneman) have already been assessed a $15 transfer fee upon receiving the $210 funds; would it be possible to keep the $48.72 remaining funds to use towards the next Wikimedians of Chicago User Group event?
Remaining funds from this grant have been returned to WMF in the amount of $48.72.