Here you'll find a top line description for three main goals identified across programs.
The Dutch Wikipedia was host to the first onwiki writing contest in 2004. The "Schrijfwedstrijd" focused on boosting the number of quality articles on Wikipedia, a goal that would define the entire concept of future onwiki writing contests. Inspired by the Dutch contest, later that year the German Wikipedia held their own writing contest, the "Schreibwettbewerb", which hasbeen held for nine years. Other types of contests have followed over the years, including the WikiCup (which takes place both on the English and German Wikipedia), and attempts at cross-language contests and contests that have been sponsored by chapters or cultural institutions.
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.
↑Wikimedia Argentina has sponsored the Iberoamericanas contest, which inspired participants from around the world to improve content on Spanish Wikipedia about Latin American women.
↑E.g. the British Museum's featured article prize, which encouraged participants to improve content about British Museum holdings for a chance to win publications from the British Museum bookstore.
On content production and quality improvement
On average, contest participants create or improve 131 pages, costing an average of $1.67 USD each.
Image uploads are not an intended outcome for on-wiki writing contests, but half of the contests in this report did upload images, with 33 on average per contest.
On new editors and retention
The majority of on-wiki editing contest participants are existing editors who continue to be active three and six months after the event. However, retention numbers slightly decline by six months, and additional research needs to be done to discover why.
On-wiki Writing Contests are unique in that they target experienced editors. With this in mind, recruitment and retention data for writing contests combines both new and existing editors, and likely illustrates fact that Wikipedia editing is higher in the winter than it is in the summer, as well as the potential importance of writing contests to continuously engage experienced editors in the long-term. We wanted to discover retention and active editor data after contests end, three and six months after (see Graph 8).
Replication and shared learning
The majority of program leaders who implement on-wiki writing contests are experienced enough to help others implement their own contests. Only a minority of on-wiki writing contests produce blogs or other online information about their implementations. (See Graph 9)