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Small wiki toolkits/Summaries

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Summaries from Small Wiki Toolkits related sessions, workshops, and informal meetings conducted at various Wikimedia events (local, regional, and international).

Participants at a "Small Wiki Toolkits" workshop at WikiArabia 2019

Celtic Knot Conference 2020, Online event


Dates: July 9-10, 2020

Participants: 13

Session: Starter kit for smaller wikis feedback session

Summary: In this session, ~13 folks interested in or contributing to smaller language wikis participated, some of them are active in larger Wikimedia projects as well (e.g., Wikidata). This session intended to gather feedback on the Starter kit's current state and ideas for the next steps for Small Wiki Toolkits. A few concrete ideas that came out from this session:

  • Start requesting for translating the Starter Kit pages even if they are still work in progress as it will help draw more feedback from folks.
  • Build partnerships with Wikimedia affiliates and chapters who have expertise in producing training materials.
  • Small Wiki Toolkits landing page currently links to existing resources on wikis or newly developed content. Clarify if the initiative is only collecting existing or producing new materials as well.
  • Add more docs on Wikidata such as How to use Wikidata from the other Wikimedia projects and Wikidata:Training
  • To promote SWT:
    • Seek help from a) Wikimedia Affiliates and chapters who could help reach smaller language entities b) Regional conferences and their channels and c) Wikimedia Language Diversity groups that are active on meta-wiki and Telegram.
    • Translations in languages such as Russian, French, Spanish, Arabic, etc. can help amplify the efforts.

Complete notes: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T257994

SWT Indic Workshop Series 2020, Online event


Date: June, 2020

Participants: 26

Summary: This workshop series was designed for Indic Wikimedia community members, as part of the Small wiki toolkits initiative to help small Indic wikis develop their capacities in various technical areas. As part of this series, four workshops around the topics of Wikidata, Phabricator, Gadgets, and brainstorming on needs and challenges faced by small wikis were offered online in June 2020. Each workshop was 1-3 hrs long, fully hands-on, and encouraged participation from attendees in the discussions and the practice! See session and workshop notes.

Blog post: View a summary of planning that went into designing the technical workshop series, key outcomes, success stories, lessons learned, and some next steps: https://techblog.wikimedia.org/2020/08/07/designing-technical-workshops-for-the-indic-community/. It targets potential organizers who might be interested in conducting similar training in their wiki community.

Detailed report: SWT Indic Workshop Series 2020/Report

Wikimedia Hackathon 2020, Online event


Date: May 9-11, 2020

Participants: 13

Session: Tools for smaller wikis, your favorite cup of tea, and the weather!

Summary: In this session, the main topics of discussion were: alternatives for recommendations to importing templates or gadgets from other wikis, such as via a starter pack, lack of bug reporting/ Phabricator skills, ideas for creating step by step and fun guides like Wikipedia:The Wikipedia Adventureand using QuickStatements for improved workflows.

Complete notes: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T251874

WikiConference North America 2019, Cambridge, Massachusetts


Date: November 8-11, 2019

Participants: 9

Session: Understanding the technical challenges of small wikis in North America

Summary: In this session, a few attendees who were present were aware of the challenges small wikis face mostly in the North America regions: Canada and the Caribbean. One of the attendees who were present, a member of Wikimedia Canada, actively contributes to the indigenous language wikis of Canada (e.g., Atikamekw, Otitikowin). The problems discussed in this session were mostly related to the wiki creation process via Wikimedia Incubator. Some of the challenges highlighted were the process of creating a new wiki, translating core interface messages into a small wiki language, and keeping the small wiki active. The proposed solution was to lower the barriers for creating small wikis by changing the policies, standards, and processes around it and investigating if the creation process can be automated via Artificial Intelligence. Other areas pointed were supporting small wikis for languages with less than a thousand speakers and bridging the gap via technology between people who speak more minor languages and only contribute to larger language wikis. People from Wikimedia Mexico, Caribbean, and Canada shared that their communities are a lot focused on content development for both their small and large wikis. Wikimedia Canada will be focusing a lot on the development of small language/ indigenous wikis in the upcoming years. These communities lack technical contributors, and that is also the reason why it is hard to asses what their technical needs might be. As a first step, they might benefit from initiatives that would help them gain technical contributors (e.g., via Wikimedia's participation in Outreach Programs: Google Summer of Code and Outreachy).

Complete notes: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T235581

Wikimania 2019, Stockholm, Sweden


A series of workshops and sessions were conducted under the Small Wiki Toolkits focus area.

Date: August 14-18, 2019

Participants: 147 (3 hands-on workshops + 4 informational sessions + 1 roundtable discussion)

Session: Building Technical Capacity in Smaller Wikis

Summary: In this session, ~25 contributors from many small wikis, including Fon, Breton, Mazdeonion, Basque, etc. joined. One of the challenges the participants shared was the lack of active editors and technical contributors in their small wiki community. They highlighted the lack of awareness of the possibilities of tools and technologies and skills to leverage them, such as connecting infoboxes to Wikidata, using templates, Lua modules, and anti-vandalism tools and bots for content moderation, etc. Besides, the small wiki communities often struggle with new changes made to tools on and off wiki that breaks their wiki, and it isn't easy for them to keep up with these changes. Lastly, they mentioned the issues with translating user interface strings into the small language wiki that are not available in translatewiki.net.

On the solutions side, participants proposed that there could be a central repository or starter pack of a recommended set of templates, Gadgets, tools, and bots that the big wikis use and might benefit smalls wikis as well. They also shared the idea of a central forum for smaller wikis to receive technical support. Generally, they suggested better tools, processes, and support for translations, for example - translating interface message strings in Wikimedia Incubator, tools, and templates, etc. Good documentation, training, and tutorials on specific topics such as enabling ORES, Gadgets, and Templates were some of the other approaches shared.

Complete notes: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Building_Technical_Capacity_in_Smaller_Wikis.pdf

Workshops and sessions: Seven workshops and informational sessions on a wide variety of technical topics were conducted; corresponding toolkits are available here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Small_wiki_toolkits

Blog post: https://discuss-space.wmflabs.org/t/round-up-of-small-wiki-toolkits-at-wikimania-2019/1447