Learning patterns/Filling content gaps

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A learning pattern foronline engagement
Filling content gaps
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problemThe pattern presents several ways filling content gaps on Wikipedia.
solutionCommunities should start holding on-wiki editing challenges that might engage active contributors to edit content on underrepresented topics.
endorse
created on13:12, 15 February 2017 (UTC)


What problem does this solve?[edit]

Content gaps in many topics exist on all Wikipedias. The reasons why some topics are underrepresented may be due to the lack of interest of the active contributors or the lack of reliable sources to reference the content. On the other hand, some users face periods when they have no idea on what to edit, which in some cases results in their temporary inactivity.

This pattern presents various editing challenges that might engage active editors in editing content on underrepresented topics with a twofold goal of filling content gaps and getting ideas for editing.

What is the solution?[edit]

Editing challenges held by the community with positive outcome on filling content gaps may include personal challenges or collective challenges. Personal challenges are those involving only one user whose goal is to contribute to a specific topic or several topics in a specified period of time. Collective challenges engage many users from a community or sometimes more communities who edit articles on pre-defined topics in a pre-determined period of time.

Personal challenges[edit]

Personal challenges encompass individual editing by users who aim at the creation of content in successive time periods. Examples include 100wikidays and 10 Wikiweeks.

100wikidays[edit]

  • Definition: 100wikidays is a personal challenge in which a user aims at the creation of at least one article for 100 days in a row.
  • Topic: The participants have freedom in selecting the topic, which gives them flexibility in interchanging topics from day to day. However, many instances have shown that participants usually stick to few topics they are contributing to.
  • Article size: The challenge usually ends up in the creation of short to medium articles given that the amount of time available for editing is only a day.
  • Thing to consider (optional): thematic 100wikidays (e.g. 100sportdays, 100physicsdays).

10 Wikiweeks[edit]

  • Definition: 10 Wikiweeks is a personal challenge in which a user aims at the creation of at least one article for 10 weeks in a row.
  • Topic: The participants have freedom in selecting the topic, which gives them flexibility in interchanging topics from week to week.
  • Article size: The challenge may end up in the creation of large articles given that the amount of time available for editing is a whole week.
  • Thing to consider (optional): thematic 10 Wikiweeks (e.g. 10 Wikiweeks in geography, 10 Wikiweeks in mathematics).
Personal challenges
100wikidays 10 Wikiweeks
Duration 100 days 10 weeks
Number of participants 1 1
Topic self-defined self-defined
Article size small-medium medium-large

Collective challenges[edit]

Collective challenges consist of editing by many users on pre-defined topics in a pre-determined period of time. Examples include editing days, editing weekends, collaborative editing and editing contests.

Editing days[edit]

  • Definition: Editing days engage community members in editing articles on a pre-defined topic during a 24-hour period of a calendar day.
  • Topic: The topic for editing is defined by the community itself and it is usually an underrepresented one defined very precisely with limited choice (e.g. Medal tables at the Olympics, Countries at the Eurovision Song Contest, Churches in Paris).
  • Article size: The challenge usually ends up in the editing of short to medium articles given that the amount of time available for editing is only a day.
  • Thing to consider (optional): lists of articles as a tool to control content coverage and article size; commemorating public and religious holidays or birthdays of famous people with editing days.

Editing weekends[edit]

  • Definition: Editing weekends engage community members in editing articles on a pre-defined topic during a 48-hour period of a calendar weekend.
  • Topic: The topic for editing is defined by the community itself and it is usually an underrepresented one defined more generally (e.g. Football, Astronomy, Economics).
  • Article size: The challenge may result in the editing of large articles given that the amount of time available for editing is a whole weekend.
  • Thing to consider (optional): lists of articles as a tool to control content coverage and article size; promoting the challenge to make more communities get involved.

Cross-wiki collaboration[edit]

  • Definition: Cross-wiki collaboration involves several communities in editing articles on topics related to their countries, languages and cultures in a pre-determined period of time.
  • Topic: The topics are usually related to the countries, languages and cultures of the participating communities.
  • Article size: The challenge may result in the editing of large articles given that the amount of time available for editing is at least a week.
  • Thing to consider (optional): lists of necessary articles that users from the other communities are going to edit.

Editing contests[edit]

  • Definition: Editing contests engage community members to edit articles on a pre-defined topic in a pre-determined period of time in a competitive manner. Usually, the duration of the contests is one month, although it may be sometimes longer. More recently, editing contests involving participants from different communities have been taken place, which combine the concept of the editing contests with the cross-wiki collaboration (e.g. Wikimedia CEE Spring).
  • Topic: The topic for editing is defined by the organisers of the contest and it is usually an underrepresented one with broad choice for the contestants.
  • Article size: The contests most often result in high quantity and quality so that editing of large articles is very common.
  • Thing to consider (optional): prize categories as a tool to control content coverage and article size.
  • Attention! Unlike the other editing challenges which can be organised without any financial needs, editing contests require some budget to cover for the prizes.
Collective challenges
Editing days Editing weekends Cross-wiki collaboration Editing contests
Duration 1 day 1 weekend can be any can be any
Number of participants more than 1 more than 1 more than 1 more than 1
Topic pre-defined pre-defined pre-defined pre-defined
Article size small-medium medium-large medium-large medium-large

When to use[edit]

  • ... when willing to reduce content gaps on Wikipedia.
  • ... when willing to increase productive editing.
  • ... when willing to support community growth.
  • ... when willing to integrate with other communities.

Endorsements[edit]

See also[edit]

Editing challenges[edit]

Related patterns[edit]