Repte Monuments Challenge
The Repte Monuments is a writing challenge about monuments organized by Amical Wikimedia during September 2014, in parallel with the photo contest Wiki Loves Monuments, and focused on lists of monuments available in the Catalan Wikipedia.
Amical Wikimedia has collaborated in the organization of three editions of Wiki Loves Monuments, from 2011 to 2013, and also in Wiki Loves Earth 2014. There was the potential risk that participants, partners and organizers felt saturated of photographic contests. Amical decided to do not participate in the 2014 edition of Wiki Loves Monuments, but September has become the month of monuments, so we decided to switch to a writing challenge.
Some areas are fully covered with photographs and the project about monuments has reached a point of maturity that can make a leap forward. There are a lot of pics which can be used in new articles in Wikipedia and it is time to take the experience of participants and photographers to make their's mind to edit articles. Photographers can continue taking photos of the hard-to-get-to sights, but also we wanted to encourage them to participate with the experience gained from field work to review and complete the relevant articles.
This challenge is organized as a competition. The rules are simple: you get points while improving articles... as many points as possible for each participant. Basically, for each 1 000 octets completed creating, expanding, or translating articles you get 1 point. This includes any wikitext, in good faith, as recorded in the page history. Participants only have to claim their points in a project page with scores.
There were also extra points for special cases: new photos for articles which were requested, and copyedit of articles created by bot from free sources.
Prizes consisted of six lots of books provided by Amical. We felt is was better several small prizes for several winners than a jackpot.
The scope is any article linked in lists of monuments available in the Catalan Wikipedia. Currently most are from Catalonia, with an exhaustive inventory of 30 000 monuments, but also Andorra, three more regions of Spain and two of France. For practical reasons, the relation of lists includes also public art of Barcelona and Girona prepared for Wiki Loves Public Art 2013. This is a total of more than 41 000 potential articles with only 6 500 created before the challenge. A great challenge!
One of the objectives was to promote translations into different languages. Scores include editions made in Catalan but also in any other language about these same monuments listed.
In compliance with the wishes of a group of editors in Northern Catalonia, a special award was established for monuments historiques in the French department of Pyrénées-Orientales.
In total there were 41 registered participants who reported 2 598 articles edited. Probably there were more participants and more articles edited that were not reported. Some newbies did not realize the registration process and others not bothered to claim points. Three of the registered participants were actually newbies who have found an opportunity to be bold editing. Occasional editions not reported show that the real scope was higher.
Most of the editions reported were new articles. Some of them were translations from Spanish, French, and Italian to Catalan, but there were more translations from Catalan to Spanish. Editions reported include 159 articles in Spanish and 10 in French.
The winner of the challenge reached a total of 911 points.
An analysis of the editions shows different motivations of participants. Some photographers had participated in Wiki Loves Monuments and they were interested in developing articles of monuments they know and apreciate most. Some users uploaded new photos while creating a new article. Other participants were interested in their local heritage while others in a group of thematic monuments.
A key has been the previous work preparing lists. Many reference sources had been identified on the fly, some of them as free sources. In most cases, participants only had to check the links provided to sources. Also, it has been helpful to have a unique infobox based on en:Template:Infobox historic site. All necessary parameters could be filled from lists and a bot could do it on demand.
Before starting the challenge there were some concerns about gaming the rules adding irrelevant content to get more points. The organization had no intention of analysing the quality of edits but to assume good faith. The dynamics of Wikipedia fix these situations, reverting, refactoring or merging. Finally, it was not detected any point not claimed in good faith. We also did not consider that an article may be promoted to featured or good article. One month may not be enough for creating a featured article and complete the reviewing process.
For the special award of the Pyrénées-Orientales, 41 articles were reported. This award was added in the last minute and we failed to promote it properly, specially in French. There is a potential collaboration between Catalan and French, and it was intended as a test for future projects in this area.
Outcome according to strategic priorities of Wikimedia movement.
With large lists of monuments covering any protected building, almost everyone can find a monument near home and discover their local heritage. Some owners of private buildings less known as monuments show their surprise and helped to fix their article. This project helps to expand public awareness and to understand our values and practices.
We try that previously involved photographs become editors in Wikipedia. Proposing articles to create, explaining which sources can be used and appealing to local pride for heritage helps to engage new editors.
Repte Monuments (Monuments Challenge) is a continuation of Wiki Loves Monuments and the partnerships established with heritage institutions. These institutions have learned about needs of information in Wikipedia and they have improved the inventories with fixes from Wikipedians. In turn, Wikipedia has learned about architectural and historic values of heritage sites and articles include these values with sources provided by heritage institutions.
Heritage is a universal concept that arouses interest through local pride. A project simple in concept and organized with low cost can be easily exported to other geographic areas. From our experience, it is better to organize first Wiki Loves Monuments engaging users, photographs and heritage institutions, with consistent lists including basic information and identifying reference sources. Natural next step is to engage editors explaining them what they can do more easily. If it is organized internationally or multilingually it becomes more appealing increasing reach.
Two tools were developed to facilitate the editing process.
Lists include basic information about each item and this should be easily transferable to a infobox. A bot can generate it but it is beyond the control of editors. It has been suggested a tool for editors that can generate it for copy and pasting according to their needs. An alternative would be to transfer the information from these structured lists to Wikidata.
Wikifying a text from a free source can be a tedious task. Catalan users typically use spell and syntax checking tools, but adding the relevant links in a large amount of imported articles is a task too repetitive. An experimental bot was developed to help add relevant links in the context of architecture. Avoiding to link to disambiguation pages is a concern. A gadget that marks links to disambiguation pages is much appreciated for experimented editors.
This challenge has been organized on the basis of experience gained with the Catalan culture challenge organized in March-April 2014. In May 2014, Umepedia Challenge organized by Wikimedia Sweden reached also a good outcome.
The same concept has been adopted by Wikimedia Spain to extend the challenge to monuments of Spain during October 2014. Also, Wikimedia Austria has organized Denkmal-Cup, a challenge about monuments in German language, during October-December 2014.