Wikimedia Armenia/Western Armenian program/Reports 2019/July-December
Western Armenian Program Report
Western Armenian editors’ gathering in Armenia
A week-long advanced training event was organized in Tsaghkadzor on July 20-27, 2019 to gather the most active and experienced editors from Diaspora communities and to further improve their skills in Wikipedia editing, to help them put theories into practice, as well as to improve the quality of already existing articles. Eleven experienced editors from Aleppo, Athens, Beirut and Istanbul - school principals, teachers, and students - participated in the training.
Throughout the week, the participants were introduced to various new ways to edit articles in Western Armenian Wikipedia - those editors who were using visual editor learned to edit via wikicode and those editing via wikicode got acquainted with visual editor. During the event the participants practiced creating and changing interwiki links, inserting notes, inserting sources, creating new articles based on other sources, creation of a list of literature and external links.
They also learned how to rename, redirect and nominate articles for deletion, upload files and use them in the articles, username policies and how to change the username, as well as gained knowledge and skills in working at the Wikimedia Commons.
Throughout the week 34 new articles were created, 109 pages were improved, 376 edits were accomplished, and around 155 pages were proofread and validated in Armenian Wikisource. The following sections were translated from English into Western Armenian in Translatewiki: Notifications, watchlist and change filters, preferences, visual editor, etc.
Participation in Wikimania 2019 and CEE Meeting 2019
On 16-18 August 2019, the Western Armenian project team (Coordinator Azniv Stepanian and assistant Betty Panossian) took part in Wikimania 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden.
The annual gathering brought together about 1,000 of Wikipedians from around the globe and offered a unique platform for learning, experience sharing, training, discussion and brainstorming on future development and projects within Wikimedia.
Throughout the three days of the conference, both Azniv Stepanian and Betty Panossian took part in the welcome session and keynote address titled “Share your story about the SDGs”. They also together attended the sessions dedicated to “Growth”, specifically the ones titled: “Challenges and approaches to community growth”, “What we know about newcomers and how to nurture them”, “Campaigning for growth: Women in Red; WikiChallenge Ecoles d'Afrique; and Caucasian collaboration”, “Onboarding and Retention: Hungarian and French Wikipedias”, Lightning Talks: growth ideas to take home”, “Encouraging the spirit of new editors - A structured approach to mapping onboarding efforts”. From the sessions titled “Quality” they attended “Reforming the featured article process in the Indonesian Wikipedia”, “Quality issues in the Northern Saami language”, Lightning Talks dedicated to quality issues, as well as took part in a workshop on documentation and quality process. They also together attended from the sessions titled “Education” the keynote address titled “EDUWiki and Researchers: engaging researchers to contribute to Wikipedia”, and the panel discussion titled “Enhancing students’ learning through EDUWiki initiatives”. Then Azniv Stepanian attended the session titled “Linking OpenStreetMap and Wikidata”, while Betty Panossian attended the session titled “Advancing minority languages through Wikimedia projects in educational settings”.
Overall, Wikimania 2019 resulted in broadening the scope of thought and ideation of the project team, who have garnered several ideas that could be implemented in the future within the project Western Armenian Wikipedia. For example, the preparation of tutorial videos on how to edit in Wikipedia in Western Armenian will become a useful tool especially for new editors and will encourage them to increase the quantity and quality of their contributions. Another key takeaway from Wikimania was that human relations are essential in editor retention, therefore organizing workshops and onboarding sessions for them, as well as providing a more active support throughout the first few months will increase their sense of belonging to the Western Armenian community and therefore positively impact the scopes of their involvement in the development of Western Armenian Wikipedia.
On 10-13 October 2019, the Western Armenian editors (Haigan Minasian from Athens and Aram Terterian from Beirut) took part in the Wikimedia annual CEE meeting of 2019, which took place in the capital city of Serbia, Belgrad.
The program for this meeting was very useful for conference participants. Through the different types of sessions, workshops that took place during the conference and especially in fruitful discussions many interesting and practical ideas, tools crossed the participant’s minds.
The attendance at both conferences is a great experience for participants, all kinds of people from different cultures and different countries attended these meetings. They learned a lot of new ways to help out their wiki communities, had discussions on further cooperation with other communities, introduced the Western Armenian Wikipedia and the wiki community to other communities and returned with new skills that would be helpful in the future.
Implementing the project “New Community, New Talents”: Training in Athens
In 2018 Wikimedia Armenia announced a call for proposals for the project “New Communities, New Talents”, however, due to time limitations no community applied and the project was postponed to the following year. In the early 2019 Armenian community in Athens expressed interest in the implementation of the project and in creating the local Armenian community of Wikimedians. Therefore, a week-long training was organized in Athens to present Western Armenian Wikipedia to various groups of the local Armenian community, as well as provide them the knowledge and skills to edit Wikipedia articles and contribute to the Western Armenian Wikisource.
The main group that we worked with during the workshop consisted of 12 participants of different ages and with different professions were. Training sessions were also conducted for the 7th and 8th-grade students of Levon and Sofi Hakobyan Armenian School in Athens (approximately 25 students), and for the 6th-grade and the graduate students (approximately 10 students) the Armenian Zavarian School in Athens who are already active in editing and contributing to Wikisource.
It is worth mentioning that during the training week in Athens, project coordinator Azniv Stepanian had an interview on the development and goals of Western Armenian Wikipedia with the local Armenian newspaper “Azad Or”.
Training in Beirut
The Beirut gathering, which was scheduled from 16-22 October, started as planned.
On October 17, 5 experienced editors got acquainted with Visual Editor, and each one of them created an article by using the tool.
Unfortunately, due to the mass demonstrations in Lebanon shortly after our initial gathering on October 17, our planned work in Beirut became impossible to continue.
As a result of the protests, almost all major roads and streets of the city were closed and the participants could not attend the workshop.
Western Armenian edit-a-thons
Edit-a-thon July 25-27
On July 25-27, Western Armenian Wikipedia edit-a-thon was organized. The edit-a-thon focused on creating new articles on tennis and touristic sites throughout Armenia, as well as on improving a series of already existing articles.
Overall, 27 articles were created and 7 articles were improved.
Edit-a-thon September 20-22
On September 20-22, Western Armenian Wikipedia edit-a-thon was organized. This editathon focused on creating new articles on music and the political life in Armenia, as well as on improving a series of already existing articles.
Overall, 22 articles were created and 3 articles were improved.
Edit-a-thon Nov 29-Dec 1
On November 29-December 1, the third Western Armenian Wikipedia edit-a-thon was organized. There was no specific topic planned for the edit-a-thon and the participants had the chance to edit articles according to their preference.
Overall, 14 articles were created.