Grants:Project/Rapid/Rachel Wexelbaum/Wikipedia As Social Activism/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? Yes, the edit-a-thon that we hosted met the following broad goals as stated in the grant application: 1. Recruit new editors: Five new people became Wikipedia editors at this event! 2. Increase skills for existing editors: Returning/veteran editors learned about category and list pages, as well as the importance of assigning entries to appropriate categories. 3. Add or improve content: We worked on two lists (one new and one existing), created two new articles, and improved seven more. Participants enjoyed the experience and want to have another edit-a-thon in the fall, so I am happy.


Please report on your original project targets.

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
Number of events: If this event leads to the creation of another event on campus or in the St Cloud area, that is success. New and existing editors, as well as those who were unable to attend, wanted to have another edit-a-thon in the fall to continue their work and to learn more. I will plan an edit-a-thon in late October, at the end of Open Access Week.
Number of participants: 10 or more participants. 9 participants (8 in person and 1 remote) participated in the edit-a-thon. A few months prior to the event, several faculty expressed interest in participating in the event from St. Cloud State University and St. Cloud Community Technical College. If they had showed up to the event we would have had 13 people in attendance. Our remote participant has multiple disabilities and actually participated in the edit-a-thon prior to the event, creating an article for the first time on a Palestinian disability activist. She would like to do more in this area but from home. Two people got sick, and the rest did not come due to the event being scheduled on the day before Easter. I will make sure that the next edit-a-thon does not conflict with a holiday weekend or a campus event.
Number of new editors: 5 or more new editors. 6 new editors! The new editors: two students, one library staff member, one faculty member (remote participant), one community patron, and the father of an experienced editor (he and the editor forgot to include him on the list of participants).
Number of of articles created or improved: 10 or more articles improved or started as stub-class/start-class articles. 3 new articles, 1 new list, 1 improved list, and 7 improved articles. (That is 12!) Click on the link to our event page to see our work.
Number of repeat participants (for projects that include a series of events): If our "regular" Wikipedans from campus and the Cities sign up, show up, and edit or create new entries, that is success. 2 veteran Wikipedans from the Twin Cities participated in our edit-a-thon. This is the first time that we had participation from fellow Wikipedans in the Cities. They enjoyed the experience and the location, and look forward to another event in St. Cloud. It is possible that more will come next time.


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? We have an excellent workspace in the library for edit-a-thons--well-lit, with loaner laptops, and tables designed for collaborative work and discussion. Free parking was also available in a lot close to the library for out of town participants. Our Twin Cities guests liked the location very much. The new editors appreciated learning how to edit Wikipedia entries in a group, and got over their fear of working on Wikipedia. The theme of the edit-a-thon led to a discussion of how to define notability and who is an activist. We also had a great promotion plan for the event, using social media, flyers around campus, individual emails to potentially interested faculty, and word of mouth to students through faculty. Support provided by library staff, campus foodservice, and the Academic Technologies Team was excellent.

What did not work so well? The date of the event was the day before Easter, which no one realized until a few days before the event. This impacted our attendance. Our new editors also said that the topic might have been a little too narrow for new people, and that it would be better to provide a general "how to" session with an edit-a-thon open to all topics. They also recommended that we promote the edit-a-thon to all student groups the next time we plan an edit-a-thon.

*What would you do differently next time? Next time we will make sure that the edit-a-thon does not conflict with a holiday or a major campus event. We would like to have our next edit-a-thon during the Saturday ending Open Access Week (Saturday October 29, 2017) which should be a safe date. As the theme of that week will be Open Access, we will follow the new editors' recommendations and facilitate an edit-a-thon that will have a more structured tutorial in the beginning and encourage people to edit or create articles on any topic. In addition to all of our other advertising, we will also reach out to all of the student organizations to inform them of the event and invite all interested students.


Grant funds spent[edit]

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

Of the $215.16 that we received, we spent $131.17 for food.

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any remaining grant funds?

We have $83.99 left--we did not have time to have Campus Printing make signs.

Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project? We are thankful to the Wikimedia Foundation for the funds that they provided for this event.