Wikimedia Conference/Program and Engagement Coordination/Wikimania 2016 report/International contests

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Comparison of large international article writing and photographic contests[edit]

Cookbook of a large contest[edit]

  • Defining who is entitled to participate
  • Creating a set of rules that could help avoid confusion (start from the most important decisions: is it an article based contest or a photo based? what kind of articles/photos? etc.)
  • Good communication between local organizers and international ones
  • Local organizers should be on the same page with the international consensus and be able to explain in a simple way the rules to their community
  • International rules should be flexible enough so that local organizers can adapt them to local circumstances; e.g. allow new articles AND expanding articles
  • Aside rules, think about strategy. E.g. would be nice to close the gender gap while running an article-based contest
  • Large contests also have social impact (organizers etc.)
  • Do you want prizes? Do you plan international or local prizes, or both?
  • It is important to have intricate evaluation. It is not possible to evaluate only based on statistics like word count or article count
  • You have to have targets
  • You need to be prepared beforehand to collect statistics, and know how to analyze them and compare to targets
  • Statistics are also good for a better planning of following editions


  • Large prizes or small ones

You dont have to pay people for articles. e.g if the conpetition was not a big succes and you have a winner with small and not that much artiles than you are not suppose to give a big prize for that.

You dont have to start with huge prizes. You can use prizes to make people to write about the articles that your wikipedia need, like if you want good articles you give more prizes for these articles. After contest ends, you can use statistics to see which approach worked best, 15 small prizes (what wiki did that?) or 5 big prizes like 200 for the first place, and the rest for other 4 (e.g. rowiki).

Before defining the goals and rules you have to apply for the grant(orgaize the money) -2 possible models:

   single grant with budget divided per countries
   multiple grants, each country writes their own grant request

Why we have multiple grants for photographic cometitions and a single one for article competitions?! Perhaps because in image competitions we reach for people outside wiki, who would be attracted by big prizes rather than by the passion of volunteering


We expect experienced editors for article-based contests and newbies for the photo contests How to reach?

   *Banner on wiki pages (Central Notice)
   *Write on mailing lists
   *Write on village pumps
   *Use social networks (e.g. Facebook) - good to engage people using small pieces of information
   *Send press releases to media and give interviews if possible
   *Give lectures in local universities if possible
   *Reach out to specific groups (e.g. photographers groups)

Promotion is the job of local organizers. International ones offer assistance and ideas. Think about small communities. Can be tough to reach for contributors there.