Edit-a-thons are outreach events that bring together Wikipedians, and those interested in editing Wikipedia, to do just that: edit Wikipedia in a collaborative setting. These events, which last generally between 3–5 hours, provide a social environment for new and experienced editors to edit together, often about a specific subject matter. Many events take place in educational and cultural facilities, such as libraries, museums, and universities, when others might take place in offices buildings, homes, and public venues such as cafes and restaurants. Sometimes edit-a-thons are combined with training lessons, where experienced Wikipedians educate participants about the basic "how-to's" on editing, followed by an editing session. Other events might include backstage tours of cultural institutions that are hosting the event, followed by editing, or just a simple edit-a-thon where participants start editing upon arrival at the venue.
On-wiki writing contests are ways for experienced Wikipedians to work together to improve the quality and quantity of Wikipedia articles. Contests usually run for an extended set period of time, from a month to a year, and take place entirely on a Wikipedia. Contests are generally planned and managed by long-term Wikipedians, who develop the concept, subject focus (if any), rules, rating system, and prizes.
The main aim of writing contests is to take existing content, or write new content, and in some cases to develop it into quality or featured articles, producing articles that are among the finest available on Wikipedia. Point systems are often used to gauge the contributions by the participants. Points can be given for the size or quality of an article, or perhaps the addition of a photograph. At the end of the contest period, program leaders review the points and award the winners with online or offline prizes. Sometimes, a jury is brought in to review the submitted articles.
Photo upload initiatives focus on improving the quality and amount of photographs about specific subjects. They can last from a single day to an entire year. Most initiatives start with online organization and planning, and then move offline quickly, with participants going out in the world to document specific subjects and uploading their images to Wikimedia Commons. The subject matter the participants photograph usually lacks coverage on Wikipedia and Commons. Subjects can vary, ranging from historic places to protected areas, plants, animals, art inside of museums, or music festivals. Some of these initiatives are organized as contests, where participants are eligible to win prizes. Others simply aim at documenting important things in the world while having fun with other Wikimedians and exploring the environment, such as WikiExpeditions, where participants might go camping or stay in hotels while visiting new places and sites for a weekend. After the images are uploaded to Commons, and volunteers often categorize and distribute the images accordingly through Wikimedia projects.
Wiki Loves Monuments is the world's largest photo competition. The goal of the contest is to document the entirety of historic buildings and places around the world through photographs, which are then uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. The competition uses government generated lists of historic monuments and places to create on-wiki lists that guide participants to monuments and places needing photographs. Participantsupload the photos under free licenses to Wikimedia Commons.
Each country that takes part in Wiki Loves Monuments has a jury, comprise of professional photographers, cultural heritage academics, and Wikimedians. The images are reviewed base on quality and value of the image. Generally, the jury selects the 10 best photographs submitted within their country. Prizes are often awarded to the top three, and sometimes, exhibitions are held for the winning photos. Each country submits their top ten images to the international Wiki Loves Monuments jury, who then reviews the images and awards prizes for the winners.