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Submissions/Pirates at work

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This is an Open submission for Wikimania 2017 that has not yet been reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

Submission no. 7021 Subject - MP
Title of the submission
Pirates at work
Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, poster, birds of a feather discussion)
Special format: Breakaway session
Author of the submission
Peter Gallert (w:User:Pgallert)
Language of presentation
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
w:Namibia University of Science and Technology
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)

Every conference produces wear among the participants. Independent of individual attention span, almost every Wikipedian experiences the feeling of 'Let's have a break and write some stuff'. This breakaway session is dedicated to such individuals. While it may appear like endangering the success of the conference, the 'pirates' snubbing the official program for a while can actually do good work and teach each other a few tricks.

Many Wikipedians have bunked conference presentations to go about their normal editing, and that's nothing to be ashamed about. This is what Wikipedians are doing! But instead of weeding through endless watchlists and checking email---activities that don't offer much to the host community and the local Wikipedia coverage---let's channel this energy to develop local content, make red links blue, remove {{stub}} templates, expand articles significant for Montreal and surroundings. Specifically, the article on the conference venue is a stub, several surrounding streets are redlinked. Local bands and bars, celebrities, legislation relevant to our activities, might not yet be sufficiently covered or may not exist in both English and French. And who knows what else we may find.

I believe I piloted this format at WikiIndaba 2017 in Accra. Originally the conference organisers were not happy, but when we created cuties like this, quite a few people agreed that the exercise was worthwhile. Moreover, the session in Accra attracted participants that rarely had created an article from scratch, and that never had written an article outside of their own comfort zone and area of expertise. Having a few people around who do this on a regular basis expanded their confidence and skills. For instance, being able to apply a purely mechanical approach to article improvement like:

  • Are there more or better sources?
  • Can the content be expanded?
  • Does it conform to formatting best practices?
  • Can a picture be taken and linked?
  • Is the categorisation okay?
  • Which other articles could link to it?

...improves writing abilities for editors' core areas of interest, too. This session is not intended to torpedo the conference program. Rather, it offers a productive way of taking a break.

What will attendees take away from this session?

Writing content is not difficult, and doing it regularly is the best practice.

Theme of presentation

WikiCulture & Community

For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?

All levels. The exciting part is that experienced content developers meet editors that still need help.

Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)

Half day. Can be longer, even ongoing over several days, if more experienced editors jump in to 'man the stand' for a few hours. However, if I come to Montreal I surely want to attend some official sessions, too.

Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?

Depends on my scholarship application.

Slides or further information (optional)

There will be no slides.

As you might guess, I'll conduct this session whether it is accepted or not ;-) However, if the organisers support this submission I can bring a banner to advertise what's going on, and I could make it a bit more professional if I received some logistical support.

Special requests
  • Not during keynotes, and not on the first morning when everybody is still fresh.
  • I'll need a handful of extension cords and power adaptors.
  • Local conditions permitting, a projector can be helpful (I can bring one) and a canvas to project on (I don't have one).
Is this Submission a Draft or Final?

This is a Completed submission for Wikimania 2017 ready to be reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with a hash and four tildes. (# ~~~~).

  1. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 15:50, 28 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Smallbones (talk) 20:05, 31 March 2017 (UTC) of course![reply]
  3. GastelEtzwane (talk) 12:26, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Mr. Gallert is saying the truth. We need more space of this kind! Amir É. Aharoni (talk) 15:00, 12 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]