Learning patterns/Writing Contest Topic Selection

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Writing Contest Topic Selection
Noun 76041 - Different Ways.svg
problemI want to pick a writing contest topic that will be popular with new or existing editors.
solutionThere are several ways to choose a contest topic or theme.
creatorKHarold (WMF)
endorse
status:in progress


What problem does this solve?[edit]

You are hosting a writing or editing contest and you want to choose a topic that will attract contest participants.


What is the solution?[edit]

  • Make sure you choose a topic that has sources!
  • Pick a topic or theme that people will want to write about. Current events can be popular because people know that the articles they write will probably be seen by a lot of people.
  • Translation contests are popular across many Wikipedias, possibly because translating articles does not require searching for sources and may be easier for newer editors.
  • Choosing a topic that fills content gaps can energize the community.

How to promote it:

  • Work with partners like GLAMs or universities who focus on this subject. They can help you create work lists, find sources and possibly experts who can act as judges and comment on articles.
  • Promote the contest on social media by posting details to

Ways to measure:

  • Measure how many articles existed prior to the contest and after it has ended. Using categories might be an easy way to count this.

Current Events[edit]

Why this works:

How to promote it:

Ways to generate a topic list:


Based on Contest Partner[edit]

Why this works:

How to promote it:

Things to be cautious about:


Translation Contests[edit]

Translation contests seem to be popular across many Wiki projects.

Ways to generate a topic list:

  • If no other theme, choose Featured Articles for translation.

How to promote it:

Things to be cautious about:

  • Be careful about setting rules around machine translation.


Regional Collaboration:[edit]

Why this works:

How to promote it:

Ways to generate a topic list:



No Specific Topic
[edit]

  • “Our contest allows participants to set their own topics with some restrictions. We give them period of preparation in advance where we give them a template they can use to define the goals that they want to accomplish during the contest. We review their goals and make suggestions to help them be competitive. Our goal is to give people a working structure to finish a goal within a certain amount of time, then evaluate that goal.” - Producer Prize

Add YOUR topic selection tips!

General considerations[edit]

  • Do a quick search to make sure that there are sources available on the topic you have chosen. You do not have to provide links to sources (though new users tend to appreciate this) but it is important to make sure that participants CAN actually find reliable sources.
  • Be prepared for no one to be interested in the topic.


When to use[edit]

See also[edit]

Examples[edit]

  • "Now we are having a comic conference in Barcelona and we do a very small contest on writing comic related articles. You get attention from media and all of these things." "People are motivated because they know that their articles are going to have a lot of attention on Wikipedia [during the event] so it is best to have the contest a few weeks before the event." - Amical
  • "Content gaps are identified naturally, when people search for something and notice a gap. For example, the recent GermanWings accident spurred a contest on air disasters.” - Norway
  • "Sometimes the topics are hard to find sources for. eg, women musicians from the 1800s.  It was a really good topic, but we couldnt find sources in a Google search so too difficult to motivate people to contribute." - Amical


Related patterns[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]