Impressions of the first WikiDojo @ WMCEE Voore'2015


Per request of Nikola in the FB group.
What did you like the most? What didn't you like at all? Did you learn something from it? Do you think that others learned something from you?



For me, it was kind of an "out of body experience", like watching myself from the distance of both space and time.

Wikidojo is different from the usual way I write articles, different in SIX diverse ways, simultaneously:

  • In a team, esp. team of people I haven't interacted with for editing. (The closest analogy to the group tasks I have given to my students. It can really by scary!!!!! :D )
  • Publicly, in front of a watching audience. (Moreover, a non-passive audience :) We really have to work on having the audience keep silent and self-controlled! But even though, editing with other people watching you can be stressful for the more sensitive people. I felt so enormous urge to leave after me a qualitative piece of information, that I even missed to research whether EN WP has already info about the subject, which partially proved to be the case soon after I left the pilot's place. I think some of the other people after me didn't suffer that much the stage fear, but for me it was really a factor in my experience.)
  • In foreign language (I rarely edit in EN WP, and for 9 years I must have less than 9 new articles written there. Besides the language barrier which many of the pairs pilot/copilot might felt, and the pairwise different levels in their wiki experience, for me there was a strong feeling of uneasiness, as I don't know all technical tools available in EN WP like the citing tools, as well as all EN WP-specific rules related to notability and eligible sources.)
  • On an externally assigned (rather than a self-chosen) topic. (This is also one thing which I have assigned to my students, but no one had so directly assigned to __me__ so far. It was a really strange experience. I think that my choice on topics to write about is strongly influenced by the personal relationship I have built with the subjects (like affection, curiosity, feeling of duty, personal attendance or experience, etc...). It might be worth considering next time to have some orally presented information or at least several pictures shown and some inspirational speech about the importance of the subject (which in our case was important of course) that would serve as additional fuel. :) )
  • For a __limited__ period of time. (Being the first pilot, I felt the urge to have something written which others can build upon. However, in normal setting, I always take time to research the available sources first, and pick which to use, and which not. This usually means more time spent reading in the beginning. Since during the wikidojo I felt the urge to "leave a trace", for the short time this is only thing I could do, properly, was the definition. I think that not everybody felt this urge of time, but for me that was decisive.)
  • Without available paper sources. (Which I quite prefer, actually. That is why I made sure to buy a book about the museums in Tartu, and I can help now improving the result of our joint Wikidojo efforts by using and referencing it. :) )

Because of these six completely different circumstances, running in parallel, it is hard for me to say that the whole experience informed me of how me or other people approach to writing our articles in the general case. There was no "Ceteris paribus" here.

It was however a very, very interesting experience and I'll definitely repeat it.

Spiritia 09:04, 26 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Firstly, it is a great experience to refresh your memories how FUN wikieditting can be. What is more, as beating or playing with your friend sitting next to you in some Mortal Kombat, HoMM or Doom was a so much greater experience than playing with a computer or someone on the other continent, the same obviously applies to coding or wikis.

The game itself reminded me an old Polish game called ** ***** (in a softened translation - You Prick!) which is a noble chess play done in pairs, where team members make 1 or 3 moves and then rotate and they cannot communicate. The surprising name comes from the fact that the "you f.." call is, supposedly, the prevalent catchphrase addressed to the partner. 8-) Tl;dr: Wikidojo brings good entertaining and social building value. We need to do it in Poland.

Secondly, it makes it obvious how unsocial actually editting is - even comparing to Wikimedia - Real Life(TM) activities. Writing like programming is a largely solo activity, with agile steps, masterplan in your head, sudden adjustments to sources, facts, thoughts and whatnots. The problem is that the open source / verifiability models require tweaks and stress testing from many people - and in Wikidojo, without a common, formal methodology and training, you can see all the turbulences of the Bazaar.

Plus now you can see who are these people who revert you and how frustrations are born.

Thirdly, I realized how task-focused, less people-focused during editting I am (maybe not to the level of keyboard rage :D but still) - so once again many thanks for my co-pilot Greta for taming me with polite assertiveness. I see what you did there. :)

As I am a quite people person, now I can guess where some tentions between editors are made. This is actually an old problem of neopositivist vs. coherent definition of truth and a decision if we should pursuit The Truth more, or create The Nice Environment. Our readers require the first thing, but many editors need the second one.

Well, so it's both entertaining and educating, I guess. 8-)

aegis maelstrom δ 09:08, 26 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

I loved watching Wikipedians I have known for years -- but not from collaborating with them on articles on the same wiki -- approach editing. I loved having access to (some of) their internal discourse, as they were discussing it with their [co-]pilot. I enjoyed the whole thing tremendously.

I'm not sure I learned some new skill, but I certainly learned about my colleagues, and also shared a really wonderful experience with them.

One thing to improve: as Halibutt noted, the rules were confusing to some, pretty far into the session. It's worth explaining them more slowly and more clearly, remembering that the model we're borrowing -- that of the coding dojo -- is not very widely known. Ijon (talk) 15:44, 26 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

It was especially helpful for me, as a new editor, because it focused on the reasoning behind rather than the mechanics of editing, and we saw so many different perspectives collaborating in a relatively short period of time. I would love to see this implemented more broadly in workshops or edit-a-thons with a good mix of experienced and inexperienced editors.

Also, I wouldn't have start an article myself, but asking myself what I wanted to know about the Old Tartu Observatory made me realize I want to help out with WikiProject Architecture.

So thank you both for the knowledge and inspiration!

It was certainly very fun and also very interesting. I learned how very different peoples approaches to editing can be. I observed some amazingly healthy collaboration under pressure and some moments that were rather exciting. I think it might be good to have more clear rules and have them posted for any who enter the room late. Since it is quite a fun activity, it may often be more popular than one group size, perhaps develop a plan for how a larger audience might also input to the work, perhaps dropping resource leads onto the talk page, or, how to have multiple groups at a larger happenings perhaps.

Thank you, Nikola, for bringing the model forward JAnstee (WMF) (talk) 18:30, 29 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Participant feedback from CEEM15

  • More clear instructions / rules monitoring
  • More time noted
  • More time for open sharing via edit-a-thon

Impressions of the Wikidojo at WMCON16


It was a very cool experience, and shortening each stint to five minutes made it somewhat like speed dating. I could see it work in more contexts. --Palnatoke (talk) 20:35, 25 April 2016 (UTC)Reply

First time actually to write something more on English Wikipedia, it was intense, funny, especially in separated roles of pilot and co-pilot, and audience. Great idea, this has to be a more often included in the conferences/meetings, nice way of interaction and fun, and also laughing :) --Ehrlich91 (talk) 13:08, 26 April 2016 (UTC)Reply
"Take your time" ;). This was a great experience. I actually learned a few tips and tricks, notably about the visual editor. I find it interesting to be able to see how people edit, what's important to them. For some it was adding links (or red links for that matter) for others getting the language right, for others again, just adding content. Of course the whole Polish-keyboard/frozen mouse/translation into another language added some fun to the mix that may be deterring for some ;). Loved it! notafish }<';> 13:44, 26 April 2016 (UTC)Reply
In short: Fantastic! Also very nice topic! Those 7 minutes might not be enough for wiki-beginners, but for experienced users just a challenge. I would love to do it again. --EPO (talk) 15:37, 26 April 2016 (UTC)Reply
Surely it is not the fastest or most optimal way to write an article, but it was fun anyways. Not sure how exactly room and group size makes the difference, but it was noisy at times. Also the experience changes if "driver" is allowed to speak with "co-pilot", not sure which way is better. From real life programming practices I can say that working in pairs (with active discussions and role switching) can be excellent way to solve hard problems, but Dojo/Mob programming is more fun related activity if company management has allowed it. On the downside - it took a quite lot of time, so it may be sub-optimal for shorter events. The problem can be mitigated by doing it in native language and perfectly working equipment. --Papuass (talk) 15:48, 26 April 2016 (UTC)Reply

I enjoy it very much in general - great fun. Had never received so many endorsements in English Wikipedia, as my account was used for editing. For the future - I would opt for smaller and more active group of editors. I think it is optimal to have maximum 10 people per each article and more computers with projectors (so we could write 2 or 3 articles in parallel) , so there won't be anyone having time to be bored waiting or driving scooter in corridors :-) ALthough driving scooter in spacey WMDE office was also great fun :-) Polimerek (talk) 16:19, 26 April 2016 (UTC)Reply

Yes, this was an interesting challenge! It was surprisingly hard to get much done in five minutes while talking and typing and researching. I also wonder if smaller groups would work better than the larger group, so that you'd take turns more quickly. I generally support the idea of experimenting with different models for events rather than just one workshop model, so this was cool to try. Dreamyshade (talk) 04:29, 28 April 2016 (UTC)Reply

WikiDojo at Wikimedia Polska Conference 2016

Impressions from main organizer
We were working on article: w:pl:Wikipedysta:Polimerek/Pałac w Nieborowie - just because I visited it recently and found that there is no article about it, although it is very important monument. The number of participants: 16 active - mainly wikipedians with long experience, but also 4 people from GLAM institutions + around 10 observers - mainly non-wikipedians and newbies. We were working from 6 till 9 pm. with an 1 hr break for supper. Although the title of article was kept secret before WikiDojo 2 participants had paper sources with them (GLAM people) - I guess seems there was some leak made by our GLAM coordination, but it appeared to be good idea to have some paper sources ready for the topic :-). GLAM people added most of the text to the article, when "regular" Wikipedians were rather focusing on technical details. There was some competition between source-code editor lovers and visual editor fans - but anyway good occasion to learn some advantages and disadvantages of both. At the begining - people were rather shy, so I had to show and set people directly, as there was not enough volunteers, but later on, people found the idea funny and became more relaxed. In comparision with WkiDojo in Berlin - participants were more focused on creating the article - so the result is almost acceptable article for the main space of Polish Wikipedia - although a bit short. Polimerek (talk) 15:01, 6 June 2016 (UTC)Reply

Editing from the same account


Actually editing from the same IP anonymously would be bad enough, but having several people editing from someone's personal account if likely to make that account get blocked if you actually apply the rules. Logging in/out takes time but not that much. --Base (talk) 16:06, 25 June 2016 (UTC)Reply

See Wikipedia:Username_policy#Sharing accounts for English Wikipedia. --Base (talk) 16:21, 25 June 2016 (UTC)Reply

Wikidojo Esino Lario


Thanks for the dojo, I thinks it's a great format. After the event we discussed different ideas about how to engage the participants that are watching. That made me remember a special kind of editathon we held in Berlin for Wikipedia 15. It was actually part of the birthday party. We had many tables with random groups of people, including experienced editors and newbies. Every group was free to pick a topic for an article they wanted to write. They had 60 minutes to create their article. Group size was around 8 to 10 people, if I recall correctly. We also had a host who introduced all groups to a points system, because the whole event was a competition. Points (like 1 or 2) were awarded for every interwiki link added to your article. Then there were points for every reference included, or for categories, or images. I believe there were more points for images, like 5 or so. You get the idea. We had a number of possible point awards. Anyway, the groups started to edit. Firstly, they would discuss about which article to write. Then, some people would search for material, others would look for information to translate from other language versions, or people would begin editing sections. The more time passed, the more active and loud the groups got. It was really funny. And the experienced editors would explain things to newbies, while editing. When time was up, the host went from table to table and introduced the other groups to the topic. The total number of points was counted and double-checked, then put on flipchart. Well, and then we had a winner. So, I'm mentioning this here on the Wikidojo talkpage, because this birthday ideas was about groups and engaging participants in different tasks. --Michael Jahn WMDE (talk) 10:23, 26 June 2016 (UTC)Reply

Invitation to the Bay Area WikiSalon series, Wednesday, June 29 at 6 p.m.

Please join us in downtown San Francisco!

The last Wednesday evening of every month, wiki enthusiasts gather at Bay Area WikiSalon to collaborate, mingle, and learn about new projects and ideas.

We make sure to allow time for informal conversation and working on articles. Newcomers and experienced wiki users are encouraged to attend. Free Wi-Fi is available so bring your editing devices. We will have beverages and light snacks. We will also have:

  • A brief report on Pride edit-a-thon recently held at the San Francisco Public Library, coordinated by Merrilee:
    What topics might we cover in a follow up?
    Find out more about resources your public library provides to help with editing (hint, it's more than just books!)
    Special announcement (secret for now but come and find out more!)
  • Join in on a brief in person Wikidojo!
    Are you curious how your peers approach writing a Wikipedia article? This exercise, pioneered by Wikipedians Nikola Kalchev and Vassia Atanassova in 2015 and conducted in many places around the world, will help us all - from first-time wiki users to veteran Wikipedians - share ideas, while building an article together. If you have ideas (relating to Bay Area history, ideally) about a new article we could build (stubs and short existing articles are fine), please submit them ahead of time to coordinator Pete Forsyth. (User talk page or email is fine.)
    Announcements and impromptu topics are welcome, too!

Please note: You must register here, and bring a photo ID that matches your registration name. The building policy is strict.

For further details, see: Wikipedia:Bay Area WikiSalon, June 2016

If you cannot attend in person, consider:

See you soon! Pete F, Ben, Stephen and Checkingfax (talk) 07:01, 29 June 2016 (UTC) | (Subscribe or Unsubscribe to this talk page notice here)Reply

WikiDojo at the Wikipedia for Peace Camp in Austria 2016


The first ever WikiDojo in Austria took place during the second Wikipedia for Peace 2016 Camp 2016. An international group of 15 people from all over the world (from Sweden to Vietnam) gathered in Tyrol for 10 days to learn how to contribute to Wikimedia projects, particularly around the topic of environmental justice. We spontaneously decided to try WikiDojo one evening and collaboratively edited the English article of the home village of the Austrian camp host Thomas, called Terfens. The Dojonians added information about the heraldry, architecture, and customs of the village.

It was a lot of fun and as most of the participants were newbies, it was also interesting for them to see an article growing and developing in some kind of time lapse. We did not stick to all the rules though - instead of continuous silence, everybody commented and threw in ideas - a bit like on those karaoke evenings, when everybody joins in singing at some point. But it was a lot of fun for everybody that way, and people were actively involved most of the time. --CDG (WMAT staff) (talk) 09:07, 13 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

WikiDojo at the Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2016 in Dilijan, Armenia


Unfortunately this one did not go as well as possible. I see as main reasons the complexity of the topic (Historiography of Armenia) and the tiredness (we started at 10 p.m. after a whole conference day, including travel and little sleep for some of the participants). Topics about cities, buildings, people, etc. seem to me a better choice now. --Lord Bumbury (talk) 12:37, 30 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

+1 Ijon (talk) 15:06, 4 September 2016 (UTC)Reply

Wikidojo at WikiConference 2016 Kyiv, Ukraine


(this was held in Ukrainian, on Ukrainian Wikipedia, so people were writing in their native language, on a familiar keyboard. We used 5-minute segments. this is the article we wrote.)

  • Some first-evers(?):
    • first-ever pilot who never got to click the Edit button by the time the clock ran out. :)
    • first-ever pilot who contributed facts to Wikidata from the article. :)
    • first-ever pilot who added {{#if}} logic to an article (inside an infobox)
  • very little hilarity was produced. :-/ Everybody was quiet and polite. Some people didn't understand why it was called a game/fun.

--Ijon (talk) 07:13, 5 September 2016 (UTC)Reply

  • First time I tried to play this game. It was interesting to be co-pilot and pilot. I found it very useful. As for me, interesting moment was when User:DonSimon took part in this game as he is not very good in Ukrainian language to write articles, but he noticed something to improve from his point of view (I think this experience can be used in other Wikidojo games). One more thing, I advice for everybody not to be quiet when you editing during this game, because if you edit something without voice it becames borring. --Visem (talk) 12:20, 6 September 2016 (UTC)Reply

Wikidojo at Wikiletnik - 2017 (Kapyl, Belarus)


Article Касцёл зняцця з крыжа Збавіцеля, Грозава

First time made in be-wiki. We used 5-minute time segment. Ukrainians also took part (so don't afraid to participate in foreign language Wikipedia). Good impresions in general. Bad thing - we made it at the evening, many people were tired. --Visem (talk) 20:09, 15 July 2017 (UTC)Reply

It was unusual experience for all participators. Thanks to Visem for interesting event. --KarlKori (talk) 20:41, 15 July 2017 (UTC)Reply

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