WikiProject remote event participation/Documentation/Wikipedia 20th Birthday Global Celebration

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Format of the event[edit]

Main format[edit]

This virtual event was set up as a series of short remarks from people throughout the movement, interspersed with interactive or celebratory elements such as trivia, live music and videos.


We wanted the event to be an hour total. We initially planned for a 45 minute event, and that flexibility allowed us to add more elements and speakers in response to feedback, and still keep it at the hour mark.

Main goal[edit]

  • Create visibility and excitement for Wikipedia’s 20th birthday with a live event that will be promoted through Foundation press and social media
  • Carve out a moment for celebration and recognition together
  • Highlight all of the people behind Wikipedia and our projects, aligning with the birthday theme “20 years human”

Main target audience[edit]

Our main audience was our global communities. This event was also livestreamed and open to the general public (we anticipated this would mainly be fans of our movement, such as GLAM and other partner organizations).

Total number of participants[edit]

We continue to collect metrics about this event. During the livestream, we had over 800 people attend across Youtube and Facebook, with the majority of participants on Youtube.
After the event, we've had 5,437 views of the Youtube video so far.

Number of organizers[edit]

Three organizers from the Wikimedia Foundation
it was a collaboration between the Wikimedia Foundation Community Events team, the Advancement Department, and Communications Department.

Language(s) spoken during the event[edit]

English for the main content, happy birthday messages in many more languages.

Tools used[edit]

Zoom streaming live to YouTube and Facebook.
Tribute to collect video birthday wishes from community members.
YouTube and Facebook chat for community socializing and interactive pieces of the event.
Telegram and Slack for behind the scene speaker and organizer coordination.

Methods used[edit]


Run of show for the event[edit]

  • 00:00-04:00 Welcome
  • 04:00-09:00 remarks from Jimmy Wales
  • 09:00-12:00 Wikipedia trivia from Phoebe Ayers
  • 13:00-20:00 remarks from Katherine Maher
  • 20:00-23:00 20th birthday video
  • 23:00-30:00 2 community speakers: Florence Devouard and Tim Starling
  • 30:00-33:00 Music break with Amir Aharoni
  • 33:00-43:00 3 community speakers: Netha Hussain, Sandister Tei and Ayokanmi Oyeyemi
  • 43:00-46:00 Slide deck sharing fun facts and highlights from the communities
  • 47:00-49:00 Short video clip of birthday wishes
  • 49:00-51:00 Cake!
  • 51:00-53:00 Closing
  • 53:00-1:00 Full video clip of birthday wishes to close

Lessons learned[edit]


  • Speaker preparation
  • Tribute video - letting community members participate in their own way and language
  • Ability to have so many different elements in one event
  • Managed to make an emotional connection and a feeling of being together through a virtual event
  • Prepared on very short notice (5 weeks)
  • Events team worked well together
  • Community members felt confident and excited to participate
  • Tech worked well w/o any glitches
  • Emcee felt very invested in the program and gave very actionable, specific and tangible feedback
  • Team was able to pivot and accommodate all of the community members' feedback and requests
  • We had a ton of pieces to the event, but it didn't feel tedious. The program flowed very well.


  • Because we have such a large movement, it's hard to have 100% representation of the community
  • A shorter 60 minute event, means we can't include everything and everyone
  • It was the first time using a video platform like Tribute, so we weren't 100% sure how it would work out, but we felt it was a great addition!
  • Community engagement - we didn't hear feedback re community highlights until later in the process. It was unclear what the right channel is to use to engage and hear from the community.
  • Timelines that the community uses vs. timelines that the foundation expects

Possible improvements[edit]


  • If you have videos in multiple languages, have the ability to review the content and maybe even offer translations if possible
  • Take time to brainstorm ways to have community be more collaborative in real-time
  • A list of community members who are interested in participating in events like these would be very helpful
  • Dedicated tech support who is able to attend all prep meetings
  • If you can get a determined and devoted small team together, even with a small amount of time, you can successfully pull of a remote event!
  • Make sure that your software do not put a trademark on your frontend video

Other comments[edit]


Questions & discussions[edit]

If you want to talk to the the organizers, ask further questions, feel free to use the talk page.

How to help in tech freedom?
I mean, WMF has skilled technical staff and skilled technical volunteers all around the world that can do magic in 5 weeks and it seemed strange to me that Zoom was adopted (which is proprietary software bla bla) and moreover while it puts a trademark on the video (that does not simplify uploading to Wikimedia Commons). In short, is there any way to help in ensuring freedom? Anyway this can be done adopting a BigBlueButton provider or a Jitsi provider etc. with professionalism and without much technical skills. There are already written documents like working and convening remotely and the Open Broadcaster Software streaming guide ecc.
In short. How to help in this process? --Valerio Bozzolan (talk) 08:12, 2 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]