Grants:IEG/Ongoing Editathon Meetups in San Diego and SoCal

Building on the momentum of our first grant (Wiki_Edit-a-thon_Work_Parties), we are ready to work intensely on scaling up to weekly wiki editathons in the San Diego and Southern California region, making it easier for all interested and existing editors to continue editing and collaborating face to face.

Establishing Regular Editathon Meetups in San Diego and SoCal
summaryBuilding on the momentum and success of our first editathon grant, we are ready to work intensely on scaling up to weekly wiki editathons in the San Diego and Southern California region, making it easier for all interested and existing editors to continue editing and collaborating face to face.
targetEnglish, Simple English & Spanish
strategic priorityincreasing participation
amount30000 USD
contact• melissaganus(_AT_)
this project needs...
created on16:57, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
round 1 2016

Project idea


What is the problem you're trying to solve?


While many Editathon events happen around the world from time to time, and we have learned extensively from their experiences, SoCal and San Diego have not had consistent meetups for encouraging ongoing editing. Without organized ongoing meetups, many new editors are lost to other activities, especially when they miss out on face to face contact with like-minded Wikipedians. Efforts to make it easier for people to get started editing and to connect with others in an inclusive and fun setting are needed to maintain editing momentum and retain active editors.

Another problem that needs to be resolved is the gender gap and an atmosphere of exclusivity online. Online-related activities tend to use buzzwords and terminology that are unfamiliar to the uninitiated and can signal arrogance and disregard for social relations. This notion is intimidating and should be thwarted.

What is your solution?


By hosting regularly scheduled wiki editing events, first in San Diego and later in other locations around Southern California, the number of new and retained editors can be significantly increased in the region. Wikipedia has fun activities, such as the monthly photo challenge, that would attract greater participation if organizers arrange and implement the activities as Editathons. By arranging Editathons that offer the opportunity to socialize and have fun parallel to contributing to the Wikipedia body of knowledge will especially attract women participants, retirees, and newcomers to the United States who are computer literate but do not have English as a native tongue. In creating a face-to-face, non-hierarchical, democratic setting in which we all support each other is one way to combat exclusivity and make Wiki first timers, women, youth, retirees, non-cisgender, and non-normative participants feel welcome to contribute their knowledge to Wikipedia.The goal is to establish regularity in editing events to achieve a high percentage of both ongoing editing and community participation. We are two experienced community organizers who can dedicate 20 hours per week to organizing and recruiting participants to regular Wiki editing meetups. All Editathon participants are to follow the guidelines as set out in Friendly space policies. <o:p></o:p>

Project goals


The primary goal is to significantly increase the number of editors in Southern California, especially the number of returning editors. The secondary goal is to attract participants that reflect the vast diversity of the SoCal region. The focus will be on engaging women, non-cisgender users, and retirees, while making all events free, easily accessible, and open to the public. We would also like to engage individuals and groups who can help improve Wikipedia beyond English, and will outreach to the Spanish speaking communities within SoCal. The third goal is to establish a strategy for recruiting volunteer facilitators who can staff weekly Editathons after the expiration of the grant period. <o:p></o:p>

Project plan




Continuing with the work we've already done to establish monthly Editathon meetups in San Diego (Editathons in February, March, April, and May), we will be coordinating monthly meetups in the San Diego Central Library in June, July, and August. These will become weekly Editathons at the Central Library beginning in September, 2016. Each Editathon will be three hours long, and each Editathon will include social interaction. By moving from monthly events to weekly events, we will maintain the momentum of the movement and make it convenient for many more people to participate. For this purpose we will recruit volunteer facilitators to manage ongoing events.

This is the link to the San Diego Public Library Events Calendar. Go to June 25 to find the specific link to activity for Wiki Editors of San Diego.;jsessionid=1E59BA4D4D0679850F88366C69D864DF

Volunteer facilitators will be recruited in the form of Service Learning internships at the universities UCSD, SDSU, and USD, and at the community colleges Mesa College and City College. The volunteers will be trained in civility according to Friendly space policies, in Wikipedia copyrights, and in the use of copyright tags. One of our goals is to establish a strategy that can be repeated to recruit volunteers who can staff Editathons. This particular activity is estimated to be time-consuming since it will involve meetings with the appropriate staff from each school in addition to meetings with students.

Friendly space policies will be explained and implemented at our Wiki events.

Wikipedia copyrights will be discussed at our events. The use of copyright tags for uploads to Wikimedia Commons will also be discussed and used appropriately. The latter issue will be an organic element of our Photo Safari Editathons.

Photo Safari Editathons will make use of established photo challenges on Wikimedia and will also explore gathering images for Wikimedia with the point of departure in a specific topic to be determined from time to time.

During the grant period, we will hold an Editathon that implements the Human Library approach. The concept "Don't judge a book by its cover" provides a framework that can "challenge stereotypes and prejudices" in our ongoing effort to encourage diversity at our Editathons. This is a unique way to gather information for Wiki articles.

In our aim for inclusion and diversity, we will collaborate with Baja California. Tijuana and San Diego are sister cities, and the San Diego Central Library will aid us in reaching out to potential collaborators, including those in the City of San Diego who have been involved with building cross-border SD-Baja relations.

We will maintain the Facebook group Wiki Editors of San Diego. This is only one place where recruitment to Editathons will take place. After each Editathon, which we will document digitally, we will post the usernames of the participants and the topics to which they contributed. We will also respond to questions from participants and prospective participants.<o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p>

In the same manner, we will maintain invitations to and reports from Editathon Parties on We will also respond to questions from participants and prospective participants.<o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p>

The Wiki community in the San Diego and SoCal region is fragmented. We have initiated contact and will actively network with the following groups in the Southern California Wiki community to create a cohesive body of regular participants and a source for recruiting volunteer facilitators:  American Society of Cell Biology: reference Christina Szalinski [[1]] ;  Arts+Feminism at UCSD: references Friedman, Lia, Singh, Gayatri [[2]] ; the Asian Pacific Americans in San Diego: reference Friedman, Lia; and the Wikipedia community in Los Angeles.<o:p></o:p>

To facilitate communication with participants and prospective participants we will be available at the email address: [[3]].<o:p></o:p>

We will also participate in a knowledge-themed festival to be held at the San Diego Central Library in the fall of 2016. WikiCon 2016 will also be held at the San Diego Central Library, and Wiki Editors of San Diego will be participating.<o:p></o:p>

We will organize 15 Editathons during the 6-month grant period. Editathons are to continue weekly even after the grant is complete.


  • Project managers: 10 hrs/week x 26 weeks x 2 project co-organizers x $25/hour = $25,000
  • Food expense for meetups: An average of $100/meetup x ~15 meetups = $1,500
  • Travel expenses for meetups and wikipedia meetings = $1,500
  • Other expenses, including online services, print materials, and one Chromebook = $2,000 (to include costs for; handouts, flyers, posters, and one Chromebook to bring to Editathons for those who do not have a laptop or for whom transporting a device is difficult; other material for co-facilitators and participants to use for recruiting additional participants); and contingency for unforeseen expenses.
  • Total Budget: $30,000 USD

Community engagement


We have several organizational partners and individuals we are already beginning to work with, in the existing Wikipedia community and others around Southern California.

  • The San Diego Central Library has asked us to host monthly Wiki Editathon meetups starting in June, and is featuring us in their monthly calendars online and in the library’s marketing materials.
  • The San Diego Mission Valley Public Library has given us free use of their meeting room for the past 2 months and is happy to continue letting us use a meeting space there once a month.
  • Given our nonprofit status, all other libraries in the San Diego region are also available for once a month meetups at no expense to us. Based on previous experiences, we believe this would also be true in other library systems across the Southern California region. We are also looking for other venues and organizational partners who can provide meeting spaces at no charge, for instance museums.
  • IEG grant funding would enable us to reach out to and invite participants from other community groups, including other local groups on (especially those with women and non-cisgender members), communities of retirees, service learning groups at local universities and schools, volunteer groups, and other organizations as we discover them.



We are deeply committed to seeing regular Wiki Editathon meetups continue in SoCal past the grant funding. We will strive to recruit and train volunteer facilitators to support ongoing Wiki Editathon meetups based on the ideology of a non-hierarchic structure in which no individual is a leader but that we all help each other. With our experience in community organizing, we want to identify at least two committed individuals per site to increase the sustainability of each regular meetup.

We will also seek funding and in-kind donations from alternate sources to help cover ongoing costs.

Beyond our work, we believe that our programs and lessons learned along the way will be useful to the broader Wikipedia communities, making it easier for others to develop similar projects worldwide. We will document our experiences, planning methods, strategies, and resources with the purpose of sharing these with other Wiki organizers.

Measures of success

  • Total # of meetups, per site
  • # of participants per meetup
  • # of participants identifying as female, retiree, non-cis
  • # of new users
  • # of return participants
  • # of participants have continued editing outside of the events
  • # of sites
  • # and list of articles created or improved (English, Spanish, Simple English & other)
  • Qualitative feedback (via SurveyMonkey), collected during and after event

Need target-setting tips? Note: in addition to your project-specific measures of success, you will also be asked to report on some Global Metrics at the end of your final report. Please keep this in mind as you plan, and we'll support you as you begin your project.

Get involved



  • Swedam - (Co-organizer & grantee) - with experience as a participant in Swedish Wiki Editathon meetups, completely dedicated to establishing regularly scheduled Editathons in San Diego and beyond. Female, bilingual, educator, copy editor and translator. Ongoing contributor to Wikipedia.


  • Rocky92591 - Active ongoing wiki editor, with many years experience in editing and computer administration. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and solve technical problems as they come up.
  • DrZasm - female retiree with extensive expertise in psychology, new and continuing user as of February 2016 meetup
  • Gelaine2222 - new female user as of March 2016 meetup, with extensive background in technical writing
  • Other new users and community partners when confirmed

Community Notification


Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?



Do you think this project should be selected for an Individual Engagement Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the talk page of this proposal).

  • Rocky92591: This project is great. Endorse. This project has been and will continue to be aimed at helping bring people together to create a better environment on Wikipedia, which aligns well with what Wikipedia does for its community.
  • "DrZasm: As a retired academic researcher, I find this project extremely important in sharing knowledge with a wider audience."
  • SLWsandiego: It is a joy to see a group of like minded people make an organized effort to better the quality of the WikiPedia experience.
  • The ongoing events proposed in this project will help us build on the momentum of a few scattered events. Bringing people together to edit will help us learn from each other and become more competent editors. Guy 713 (talk) 01:40, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
  • liafriedman: I endorse this project wholeheartedly. There are a number of Wikipedia projects in San Diego that need a more cohesive umbrella to help us do more work, in a more collective way. At UC San Diego, we are active in the APA edit-a-thons as well as the Art+Feminism edit-a-thons
  • I just talked with Melissa Ganus, the contact for this project. There has been regular wiki-activity in San Diego for some time and it is appropriate to plan for some investment in the community there to encourage its development. Blue Rasberry (talk) 22:30, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
  • This editathon project has many things that speaks for it: dedicated Wikipedians, several established partners and a well-thought-out plan, that covers many of the under-represented groups. As one of the founders of the weekly editathons in Sweden (2 years and counting), I support this wholeheartedly.//Hannibal (talk) 10:37, 9 May 2016 (UTC)