Wikipedia à Grenoble

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Wikipedia à Grenoble was an outreach project by Wikimédia France members in Grenoble and Vercors, coinciding with the January 2009 Autrans Internet conference.


In Spring 2008, we noticed through the Wikimedia France chapter the organization of the operation Wikipedia Takes Manhattan by New York City Wikimedians.

We had first the idea to duplicate the operation in Grenoble. But after some thinking we (in fact only one person, myself, Papy Frog) decided to do something slightly different. Rather than concentrate on taking pictures, we looked for a broader project.

To help, my research lab agreed to open practice wikis.

We planned to do the following :

  • Wikipedia training on a real wiki (wiki-grenoble) to learn and post on a wiki articles. In fact this was a mistake; we should have worked directly on Wikipedia "sandox" (or in French "bac à sable") training pages.
  • uploading pictures on Wikimedia Commons.
  • upgrade the Vercors and the Grenoble fr.wikipedia pages.

The use of the wikis for training prompted the idea of opening two wiki sites: one for Grenoble, one for Vercors.

Wiki Vercors on January 8th 2009[edit]

We started on the January 8th for Vercors. Six persons from the various villages staff showed up. They received first wikipedia training by posting text on wiki-vercors site. No problem. At the end of the day, they decided to transfer those pages to fr.wikipedia. Here we had a problems.

Without waiting to open a Wikipedia account a participant did a copy of her village site for which she was the editor to the Villard-de-Lans page and pasted it on Villard-de-Lans fr.wikipedia page.

Within five minutes a Wikipedia administrator suppressed her addition because of suspicion of a copyright violation. Our training staff immediately reacted. Luckily one of them was himself an administrator of fr.wikipedia. The administrators started to discuss using IRC. At last after obtaining an e-mail from the Villard-de-Lans Mayor the Wiki administrator accepted to reinstall the page, which is in fact a copy of a text of the official Villard-de-Lans site.

This long story to say that if you want to modify within a day a en.wikipedia page on Manhattan one has fist to inform the Wikipedia administrators, to add on the discussion page a warning saying you are updating during a specific training-contribution operation...

Wiki Grenoble on January 10th 2009[edit]

On the 10th we changed our approach, concentrating on uploading images on Commons. This worked without difficulties. Through a call on the French Wikipedia Bistro I was able to find two young trainers: a young Wikipedia engineer in Grenoble and a young engineer looking for a job in Lyon. They help us a lot. Without them we would have failed.

In the end, our Vercors-Grenoble Wikipedia operation proved half successful. But we had an unexpected very strong press coverage which helped a lot to make Wikipedia better known in Grenoble. We also benefited from a small Wikipedia book that was just published by the Grenoble University Press.

See also[edit]