Wikimedia User Group of Aotearoa New Zealand/Annual Report 2020
Wikimedia User Group of Aotearoa New Zealand Annual Report 2020
During 2020 the User Group has focused on growing, connecting, and establishing support mechanisms for existing and new editors of Wikipedia, Wikidata and Commons. The COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand encouraged the widely geographically distributed editors in the user group to engage online, resulting in a more cohesive, better organised and increasingly engaged group.
Those members active in the administration of the User Group are increasing their knowledge of the workings of the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki and what is administratively required of the User Group by the Wikimedia Foundation.
In 2020 regular fortnightly meetups were run by editors in Wellington, regular monthly meetups occurred in Christchurch and additional meetups and edit-a-thons happened sporadically in other cities around the New Zealand.
During New Zealand's COVID-19 lockdown (25 March to 8 June 2020) the Wellington fortnightly meetups switched to online meetings, and participation expanded to include Wikipedians from other areas around New Zealand and also Australia. Once the lockdown measures were eased, the group decided to establish a monthly Online Aotearoa New Zealand Meetup, starting 19 July 2020. Once the New Zealand Ministry of Health COVID-19 Alert level dropped to Alert Level 1 the Wellington Meetup reverted to meeting in person, and changed the frequency of those meetings to monthly so participants could continue to attend the Aotearoa New Zealand online meetup. When a second wave of the virus saw alert levels rise, the Wellington Meetup group once again went online, and from 29 September 2020 became in-person meetings once more. The online Aotearoa Meetup continued to be held regularly.
In Christchurch, a group of editors met in-person eleven times during the year for meetups and editathons, including an editathon at the media company Stuff and another at the Christchurch Art Gallery. During the COVID-19 lockdown these editors joined the online Wellington meetings and continue to participate in the monthly Aotearoa New Zealand Online meetups.
As a result of an edit-a-thon held in February 2020 focusing on the Stuff companies, people and publications, Stuff profiled New Zealand Wikipedians in a feature story: "Meet the Kiwis educating the world one Wikipedia page at a time". This publicity helped raise awareness in the community of Wikipedia projects and activities, and led to the librarians at Ara Institute of Canterbury initiating a monthly Wiki meetup on campus. This group has 6–8 participants and is enthusiastically exploring Wikipedia, Wikidata and WikiCommons, and looks forward to learning about Wiki in Education in 2021.
The User Group members have built on the New Zealand Wikipedia Facebook group to regularly share news and events. This communication channel is growing and has over 160 members from 145 a year ago. In November 2020 the Wikimedia Aotearoa twitter account was revived to coincide with the mass DYK on new New Zealand MPs (see below), and began tweeting New Zealand articles completed, Wikipedia news coverage, and upcoming events; it currently has 80 followers.
Other support and activities
- en:Wikipedia:New_Zealand_Wikipedians'_notice_board The New Zealand Wikipedians' Noticeboard activity
- Wikiproject New Zealand activity
- Wikidata WikiProject New Zealand was set up in October 2020 to coordinate Wikidata work by project members and assist maintenance activities
- A trial series of Aotearoa New Zealand Online Editor Support sessions was set up in October 2020.
Planning three "in person" conferences for 2021
A subgroup was established to plan three weekend Wiki-Con events, each to be held in different areas of New Zealand in 2021. The locations being worked on are Hokitika, Wellington, and Auckland. Hokitika was selected to support the new editors recruited as a result of the West Coast Wikipedian at Large project. Wellington was selected as there is a committed user group meeting regularly and the University of Victoria, Wellington expressed an interest in supporting the event. Auckland was selected because Auckland Museum is interested in supporting the event as the staff of the museum are interested in developing an ongoing relationship with Auckland Wikipedians.
Macrons in Wikipedia
For some time there had been a debate over the use of macrons in New Zealand English articles in Wikipedia. Te Reo (Māori language) distinguishes between short and long vowels, and marks the latter with a macron. This matters: short or long vowels change the meanings of words. The special-effects house Weta Workshop is named after wētā, an insect; their name as written means "Excrement Workshop". Since about 2015, macrons have become commonly used on words of Māori origin in reliable sources (media, education, and government). The Wikipedia New Zealand naming conventions did not reflect this change, however, and macrons were discouraged in place names in particular. The matter was debated for nearly two years, and a request for comment written by Schwede66 and Giantflightlessbirds was finally closed on 21 March 2020. The debate attracted some positive media coverage, and led to the formation of Task Force Tohutō to begin the correcting of NZ place names in articles.
FindingGLAM Edit-A-Thon in Christchurch 20 February 2020
Stuff Edit-A-Thon in Christchurch 29 February 2020
Godwits Edit-A-Thon, Palmerston North, 19 March 2020
As part of Giantflightlessbirds's contract as a Research Advisor at Massey University, he ran a drop-in edit-a-thon on the Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica), which attracted library staff and Phil Battley, a Massey godwit researcher. Battley was able to supply publications and a thesis that significantly improved the Wikipedia article.
Bloodhound Tracker (Now Bionomia Tracker) Twitter takeover, 4–8 May 2020
One of the Wellington Wikidata editors Ambrosia10 was invited to take over the @BionomiaTrack twitter account in early May. While doing so she raised the profile of Wikidata, and modelled how Wikidata can be used in conjunction with the Bionomia Tracker website to improve linked open data for natural history institution specimen collectors and collections.
OpenGLAM Twitter takeover, 11–17 May 2020
One of the Wellington Wikipedia/Wikidata/WikiCommons editors Ambrosia10 was invited to take over the OpenGLAM twitter account in May. While doing so she discussed the reuse of GLAM content in Wiki projects and highlighted the benefits of GLAM engagement with Wikipedia, Wikidata and WikiCommons.
Open Refine workshop 25 July 2020
One of the Wellington Wikidata editors, Einebillion, approached Internet New Zealand and received $NZ500 sponsorship funding to fly a data carpentries trainer to Wellington to conduct a one day Open Refine workshop. Four members of the Wellington Wiki Meetup group attended the workshop and were joined by another two Wikidata editors from outside Wellington. The day was successful as it provided significant up-skilling for the Wikidata editors in how to use Open Refine to power faster editing and updating of data into Wikidata. It had the added benefit of also attracting people from a variety of institutions that the Wellington Wiki Meetup group are interested in developing relationships with. Staff attended from the New Zealand National Library, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and the Victoria University of Wellington. Internet NZ provided the venue and also had staff attending. The trainer provided a very useful training session but had limited knowledge of how Open Refine worked with Wikidata. At the end of the day there was time for the Wikidata editors to demonstrate their individual projects to the room. The trainer has subsequently begun editing in Wikidata.
Playmarket Edit-A-Thon, Wellington, 15 August 2020
Six editors worked on a Saturday for several hours at an edit-a-thon led by Pakoire. The starting point was a list of playwrights selected by Playmarket. Because of New Zealand’s COVID-19 Alert Levels the event was changed to an online one, with the director of Playmarket and Pakoire at the Playmarket office sharing resources with those online. The editors and organisers touched base three times over zoom at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the event.
The following articles were expanded: Stuart Hoar, Oscar Kightley, Joseph Musaphia, Robert Lord (playwright), Robert Lord (playwright), Bruce Mason Playwriting Award. The following Wikidata items were expanded: Nonita Rees, Mervyn Thompson, Playmarket, Alison Quigan, Jean Betts, Lynda Chanwai-Earle, Pip Hall, Albert Belz, Carl Nixon, Dean Parker, Gary Henderson (playwright), Hone Kouka and Joseph Musaphia.
West Coast Wikipedian at Large, 5 September – 26 October 2020
Giantflightlessbirds led a Wikipedian-at-large project on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island, financially supported by Development West Coast and various cultural and natural heritage organisations. The goal was to improve the breadth and depth of the Coast's coverage in English Wikipedia, Wikivoyage, Wikidata, and Commons. Seventeen volunteers signed up from all over Australasia, and the six most productive won prizes of donated books on West Coast history and landscapes. Progress was tracked through a daily update, and participants received a weekly "postcard" with suggestions and requests for help. The project attracted significant coverage in newspapers, radio, and TV. Over 1000 photos, most professional tourism images, were added to Commons, and dozens of articles and Wikidata items were created or improved – see the final report for more details. Eleven workshops or presentations were given to heritage organisations, tourism operators, or the community, and the Wikipedia workshop in Greymouth have started a regular editing meetup. As a consequence of the project, Giantflightlessbirds was offered an 18 month position at Westland District Library as a Digital Discovery Librarian, and continue to organise events as part of the West Coast task force.
2020 New Zealand general election (October 2020)
Schwede66 led a project collaborating with other New Zealand editors including DrThneed around the 2020 general election. He approached registered parties seeking photographs of candidates for use on the party list candidates page, and together with a team of editors created drafts for all candidates deemed likely to become new MPs, ready to go live when the election results came in. DrThneed put every election candidate on Wikidata (including inventing a schema and guidance on how to model list candidacy in New Zealand) and included the vote counts for electorate candidates. A mass DYK with 19 hooks was submitted, and featured on the English Wikipedia front page on the first day of the new Parliament.
Kohacon 2020 (October 2020)
In October one of the Wellington Wikidata editors David Nind presented at Kohacon20. Koha is free and open source library management software originally developed in Levin, New Zealand but now used by libraries all over the world. Kohacon is the annual worldwide Koha Community conference. David Nind gave an introduction to Wikidata and then live edited and queried Wikidata to the conference participants. His presentation at Kohacon20 was live streamed and recorded.
Wikidata training for librarians (30 October 2020)
A Dunedin User Group member DrThneed ran a three hour introductory workshop on Wikidata for the humanities librarians from the Research Support Unit at the University of Otago. The workshop was requested by the librarians as they understood Wikidata might be useful to them but didn't know how to use it. The group went from creating a log in, to editing items, adding publications and understanding how to disambiguate authors. Further engagement is likely but will depend on institutional resources. A small pilot project focussing on a particular research centre is a possible outcome in the New Year, to enable better understanding of workflows and time required.
Wikidata for Bat Collectors (1 December 2020)
A Wellington User Group member Ambrosia10 gave a one hour tutorial on Wikidata over Zoom as part of the Bionomia Tracker workshop "The "Who" in Collections: Revealing the Network of Collectors and Determiners of Bat Specimens". This presentation can be seen on Youtube.
Wikimedia User Group of Aotearoa New Zealand received no financial support from the Wikimedia Foundation in 2020. The Open Refine Workshop received sponsorship from Internet NZ. The West Coast Wikipedian at Large project was funded by Development West Coast, Glacier Country Tourism, and the Westland and Grey District Libraries.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:WPNZmeetups Accessed 10 October 2020
- https://web.archive.org/save/https://internetnz.nz/blog/hosting-and-joining-the-openrefine-software-workshop/ Accessed 10 October 2020