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Learning patterns/Organising a Wiki-a-thon the Amnesty way

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A learning pattern foroutreach
Organising a Wiki-a-thon the Amnesty way
problemCreating an article on Wikipedia as a newbie
solutionPrepare and concur
created on09:45, 4 April 2019 (UTC)

What problem does this solve?


Participants have a hard time creating an article in one afternoon. With good preparations and focussing on the writing-part, they'll have a successful afternoon.

What is the solution?

Scrumm wall at the wiki-a-thon in Utrecht

Working together with Amnesty Netherlands, we developed a way to organise a edit-a-thon in such a way, participants will have their first article created that same afternoon.

  • Amnesty International provides the notable subjects and the right sources.
  • Wikimedia volunteers go round and help/explain.
  • One Wikimedia volunteer does the Wikidata-part (but this can also be done before or after the event).
  • One Wikimedia/Amnesty volunteer takes care of the papers with the sources.

With this set up, instead of needing one Wikimedia volunteer every 3 or 4 participants, you'll manage with one Wikimedia volunteer for 6 to 8 participants. Wikimedia volunteers need to know how to work with Visual Editor. At least one Wikimedia volunteers needs to know how to work with Wikidata.

On the afternoon

  1. A Wikimedian does the short Wikipedia introduction of 15 minutes on how to turn on Visual Editor if still needed and how to use their Sandbox
  2. Amnesty writes the names of the human rights defenders on post-its and puts them up on a wall, with little info on the language the sources are in and the languages in which articles already exist.
  3. The participant chooses a post-it from the wall and goes to the Amnesty volunteers
  4. The Amnesty volunteer gives them a sheet with the sources
  5. The participant sits down and starts writing in the Sandbox, with support of the Wikimedia volunteers
  6. When the participant is done, the volunteer checks the Sandbox-page and moves it to Draft-space or main space
  7. If the page is moved to the mainspace, the participant visits the Wikidata volunteer and hand over the post-it
  8. The Wikidata volunteer takes care of the right property and connections on Wikidata

For the participants, the emphasis of this afternoon is getting to the writing part of Wikipedia and don't have to worry about the more difficult things like Wikidata or mark-up. Some participants write one article, others two or even three in one afternoon.

Things to consider

A printed Wikipedia manual
  • Amnesty created a short Wikipedia manual together with one of the Wikimedia volunteers. Small pointers on what to do and what not to do to make your first steps. We offered a printed version to our participants, to have within reach for quick answers.
  • For the same reason we had printed versions of the Wikipedia Visual Editor Cheatsheet developed by WMNL. People like to have things on just one page, that they can then copy.
  • Amnesty offered a range of vegetarian snacks and food: you don't want your participants to go hungry!

When to use




See also