Grants:Simple/Applications/Wikimedia Ukraine/2017/Program story

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Program story[edit]

All-out Wikimarathon[edit]

A big overlapping activity between GLAM, Education and Community support programmes.

Map of meetups and workshops organised during Wikimarathon 2017

Event briefing[edit]

From January, 28 until January 30, Wikimedia Ukraine and volunteers were running Wikimarathon in Ukrainian Wikipedia, dedicated to its 13th anniversary. The aim was to attract as many people as possible to enrich the free encyclopedia and to set a record number of the number of new articles written in three days. To make it easier for all interested and existing editors to take part in the marathon and collaborate face to face, Wikimedia Ukraine made a call to volunteers throughout the Wikimedia community and organised and supported meetups during these days. Everyone could apply to be a local coordinator or host a wikiworkshop, as we wanted to have as wide coverage as possible and to engage as many new users as possible. More than 35 locations were on the Wikimarathon's meetups map and nearly 20 of them were hosted by public or university libraries. The events brought together a diverse group of Wikipedians, students, schoolchildren, libraries patrons, and librarians to add and improve Wikipedia content.

It was not the first time Wikimedia Ukraine tried to inspirit each and every to contribute to Wikipedia in defined days. The first All-Ukrainian edit-a-thon (Wikiflashmob) was held on April 27, 2014 and was dedicated to Ihor Kostenko, Wikipedia author, killed at Maidan on February 20, 2014. Initially scheduled for 10th anniversary of Ukrainian Wikipedia in January 2014, it was rescheduled for April 2014 and held only after the death of Ihor Kostenko, who was the early promoter of the idea of this project.

From the following year we moved it to the Wikipedia birthday in January: in 2015 it ran from January, 30 until February, 1 and in 2016 on January 29—31.

In 2017, the event replicated aspects of the previous events. On the announced days, Internet users were called up to enrich Ukrainian Wikipedia by adding new articles. To participate in the campaign one just needed to write a new article on any topic. Beginners could apply to specially designed Wikimarathon webpage explaining basic principles of the encyclopedia and making it easier to create an article with Article Wizard. We underlined in our communication that the material must have reliable sources and references, must not violate copyright, keep neutral point of view and cannot contain original research.

Team & Roles[edit]

Wikimarathon Poster
Poster for adding name of the location
Wikimarathon cookies
Wikipedia birthday cake
  • 2 Project Managers
    • Contacting volunteers
    • Promotion
    • Press materials
    • Social networks
    • Сommunicating with wikimeetups hosts and coordinators
  • Office-Manager
    • ordering souvenirs
    • mailing packages with souvenirs for wiki meetups
    • organising food and drinks in Kyiv
    • mailing packages with souvenirs for online Wikimarathon participants
    • reimbursing costs to coordinators after treasure's approval
  • Wikimedians&Wikipedians
    • 2 volunteers designed posters and images for web
    • 2 volunteers helped with statistics
    • 1 volunteer set up editable map of wikimeetups
    • 1 volunteer sent invitation messages
    • 1 volunteer created template for articles discussion pages
    • 30 volunteers conducted trainings during wikimeetups
  • Crowd
    • updating landing page
    • creating Facebook events
    • taking photographs of the event to document it
    • media monitoring and gathering links on Wikimarathon page


Major expenses were the following:

  • Souvenirs for participants. We offered a souvenir to each participant who created an article and registered on a special page. Souvenirs were small (pens, badges, stickers...), but we needed hundreds of them.
  • Postal expenses for souvenirs. A part of them were sent to event coordinators for distribution among participants, while the majority were sent to each participant individually.
  • Venue rental. In most cities these were in-kind donations from venues such as libraries or universities.
  • Coffee breaks / snacks. We usually provided local organisers with a budget for coffee breaks or snacks. In Kyiv we had a bigger event with a birthday cake to celebrate the Wikimedia birthday.
  • Transportation costs for trainers from other cities if needed. In most cases we found trainers living in the same city or town as the venue, but on a few occasions a trainer had to travel.


External video
Wikimarathon in Khmelnytsky with User:Alina Vozna as coordinator
External video
Introductory lecture and workshop in Sumy with User:LomakaVictory as coordinator
  • Setting landing page of Wikimarathon on Ukrainian Wikipedia, releasing announcement on blog and social networks.
  • Inviting volunteers who would like to organise workshop in their localities to register via Google Form which brought us contacts and information on the support volunteers wanted to get (souvenirs, posters, coffee break sponsorship).
  • Sending invitations to Wikipedia talk pages of Wikipedians who were inactive for at least a month but have written a significant number of articles before, inviting them to the event.
  • Promoting the event through mailing lists and through social media like Twitter and Facebook.
  • Spreading printed poster in localities
  • Compiling to-do-list and a short guide on running wikimeetups and spreading it among volunteers
  • Granting Wikimarathon organisers (if identified) accountcreator flags
Wikimarathon days[edit]
  • Wikimarathon organisers were granted accountcreator flags if it was not done earlier
  • Staff and volunteers were in touch (online and by phone) with local organisers if they needed support. The worst case that happened: finding an alternative venue because of Internet failure on the planned site in Lviv.
  • Making presentations about Wikipedia rules and run marathon on creating new articles
Post event[edit]
Wikicups for Wikimarathon coordinators and Certificates of Appreciation for institutions hosting wikimeetups
Souvenirs for Wikimarathon participants prepared to be sent by post mail
  • Photographs of the event were uploaded to Commons.
  • Outcomes section on the event page was updated.
  • Lead volunteers shared feedback about the event in the follow-up survey.
  • Promoting results with airing press-release next day after the event.
  • Sending souvenirs and Certificates of Appreciation

Key results[edit]

Wikimarathon 2017 resulted in 2031 articles (including 428 were created by bots). Thus the average daily number was 4 times bigger than the average number of articles created in Ukrainian Wikipedia along the year. 554 users reacted to Wikimedia Ukraine's appeal by contributing at least one new article, 165 of them registered during Wikimarathon days. Part of these articles were created during workshops and outreach events, while the majority of articles are coming from the online campaign. In total, 200 participants were recorded as attending wikimeetups but not all of them created articles after tutorials and presentations.


Lack of data on the number of wikimeetups participants. Coordinators informed on the total number of participants in follow-up survey, numbers can be partially confirmed by photos. But thorough documentation of nicknames would allow us to learn more about the impact of local events and gain a broader sense of contribution made on wikimeetups compared to the contribution of online participants.


Out of 544 participants:

  • 165 registered immediately during the event
    • 15 of them (9%) were still active 3 months after the event
  • 20 more registered a few days before the event (either because of our announcements or independently)
    • 7 of them (35%) were still active 3 months after the event, including a very active user who made over 1000 edits.
  • 11 participants already had accounts but never edited before
    • 2 of them (11%) were still active 3 months after the event
  • 36 previously inactive users joined the Wikimarathon after receiving invitations (a total of 643 users received invitations)
    • 32 of them (89%) were still active 6 months after the event. As an example, one of the "oldest" returning users was Zagorulya who was inactive since 2013 and made over 50 edits since receiving the invitation.
  • All other participants were not a part of any specific category.

To sum up, the trends in retention are the following:

  • Overall retention of users who can be considered new was around 12% which is generally better than most outreach events. A possible reason is that Wikimarathon participants all have successfully created a Wikipedia article which should favour retention.
  • While only around 6% of previously inactive users joined Wikimarathon after receiving an invitation, an overwhelming majority (89%) of these users continued editing at least six months later. Wikimarathon was thus efficient at retaining returning users.

25 coordinators completed the survey (from about 40 registered). The majority were satisfied with the event.

Wikimeetup could be better if... (selected representative answers)
  • weather wasn't an obstacle
  • more time was dedicated to prepare meetup
  • more Wikipedians were in the room
  • wasn't holiday week for students
  • meetup was divided into two days
  • I had more experience in teaching editing
  • people were more passionate about Wikipedia
  • if not some unpredictable obstacles
Wikimarathon session on Wikiconference. Title slide: "Wikimarathon: How to Make Race in 2018 Better"
What didn't work well or what questions were difficult to answer while teaching? (selected answers)
  • what nickname to choose
  • slow internet connection
  • lack of knowledge to add and edit infobox templates
  • troubles with accounts creating
  • sources credibility differentiation
  • lack of lists of subjects needing articles created
  • lack of skills to create accounts even with accountcreator flag
Follow-up Discussion[edit]

Ukrainian Wikiconference program included session on Wikimarathon. Three coordinators and participants shared experience and reflected on the event.