Grants talk:Project/Rapid/Kasey Baker/Western North Carolina's Holocaust History Expansion Edit-a-thon

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Hello Kayz911 thank you for submitting this grant request. You have a great plan in place for attendance and participation. I was also glad to see that you'll be having additional experienced wikimedians on hand for the editathon as it could be hard to work with 50 new editors all at once. Here are a few follow up questions for you:

  1. Could you let us know the user names of the people who will be joining? I understand you said 1 - 2 members of your user group so you might not know exactly but if you can mention some of the potential members who can attend it will give us an idea of who will be training the participants.
  2. I don't know if I understood this correctly but it sounds like you're based in North Carolina and the members who will be using transportation and accommodation are also based there from The North Carolina Triangle Wikipedians group. If that's the case, $300 seems a bit steep for transportation and would like to ask about the necessity of accommodation. Would you mind clarifying this expense further please?
  3. As I mentioned earlier having all 50 participants creating user names and editing at the same editathon can be a bit overwhelming. Given that you mentioned you would be having some of your students attend the event, would you be able to do a basic training with them in your class before the event?

Please let me know your answers to these questions and we can proceed to next steps. Best regards, WJifar (WMF) (talk) 01:39, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

Sure thing and thanks for the fast response WJifar!

1. I have been working closely with Frankcjones (talk) to plan this event, he is a co-founder and he has already committed to come and assist me if this is approved. We have worked on a few edit-a-thons together and they have been a great success. Another member of our group Sodapoinski7 (talk), a librarian and group co-founder has also shown interest in attending, but I cannot confirm anything beyond that at the moment. Sodapoinski7 assistance with helping provide resources for articles to edit from a Librarian prospective has been very useful on previous events and Sodapoinski7 has had some great work with graduate students on GLAM projects and edit-a-thons.

2. That is correct, one of the things about North Carolina is that between Raleigh is about 250 miles from Asheville and about 4+ hr drive depending on traffic. I am the only Triangle Wikipedian in Western North Carolina, and I have been trying to host more events here to increase the participation on this side of the state. Obviously, I do not need any funding as I live here, but using the US gov multiplier of 54.4 cents a mile to about $136 each way or $272 total depending on what part of Raleigh they are traveling from. If there is another form of approved milage calculations other than the government's that Wiki uses, I'm happy to use that instead. I looked at flights and rental/taxi and this was by far the cheapest way to come under budget for this event. As for accommodation, it is quite expensive in Asheville as we are a tourist destination. When we had Frank come into the area to host a edit-a-thon (I believe it was last year?), he was approved for a hotel that cost just under $150 a night. I used a similar estimate as the hotel he stayed at was modest, but not anywhere close to the $300 a night which most other hotels in Asheville run. I 100% will need one editor to attend, but I really want a second person to also attend. Honestly, with the size of the event, I've already booked two entire computer labs in case this is above the expected number exceeds 50 and will need multiple hands on deck as you rightly mentioned, this will be overwhelming and we are on a tight time frame and I cannot organize both rooms myself. I'm actually really concerned about the size of this event as I will discuss in the next section.

3. Yes! Obviously, from my previous experiences, we are lucky to have half or less create a user name and edit something on Wikipedia after the initial training at an Edit-a-thon from events. That being said, as I've made this a required assignment and part of a regular class time for my morning classes. I cannot guarantee that my 35 students show up (+ plus a few more from online segments), but I've made it a huge part of their grade and/or extra credit for my online classes and expect a strong turnout just with them. Also yes, I will be taking the next few weeks to prep them heavily for a small wiki assignment including how to properly edit Wikipedia and providing them with more than basic training previously to the event (should this be approved of course). As for attendance, I'm honestly really concerned that this could be a huge number far beyond what I expect here. I know this is unusual to say this, but this will follow a lecture the night before by a Holocaust Survivor (whom will attend our Wikipedia event with his family), and has stressed the importance of expanding knowledge on the Holocaust on Wikipedia. Dr. Ziffer has said he will promote this at this lecture and ask all of us in the audience to attend as a call to action to preserve Jewish history. I've had him speak a few times before, and it is standing room only at every event. This event is actually what Dr. Ziffer and I came up with after people kept asking us what could they do prevent this from happening again...

I've already been called by our campus PR manager today preparing me that they are going to have to expand the venue for him the night before because we are expecting to exceed the capacity of 400 people. She also advised me to be prepared to expect a large turnout to the Edit-a-thon and they will be offering our event as Professional Development for our faculty and staff on top of their normal community promotion. Although I have prepared for this with two computer labs to seat about 70+ people who might attend without a computer (probably another 15 per room for those with computers), I do not know what I will do if I even have 80 people attend let alone more. It is really important that I have skilled editors that I have worked with to manage a huge turn out should this occur.

Thank you for your response and if you need anything else, I am happy to answer any question you might have! Kayz911 (talk) 03:15, 23 October 2018 (UTC)


Hello Kayz911, thank you for providing such a thorough response to my questions. I do agree you need two additional people to help you with this event. I also appreciated you explaining how you arrived at the cost for the two additional people. This makes total sense to me. One piece of advice I would offer is even though I appreciate the enthusiasm of people attending Dr. Ziffer's talk wanting to attend the editathon and the call to action piece, I would suggest that you limit the number to those you think you can comfortably cater to. If there are too many people and participants don't feel like they are getting the attention they need to learn how to edit, you might not get the desired effect. So it might be worth your while to consider having 50 participants as you had initially proposed here and working well with them to really expand the content as you have intended. Hope that is helpful. I am approving your grant request and wishing you all the best. WJifar (WMF) (talk) 03:40, 23 October 2018 (UTC)