WikiProject remote event participation

WikiProject remote event participation (formerly CROW) is set to help remote participation and videoconferencing for either hybrid physical+online or completely online alternatives to in-real-life Wikimedia events.

Telegram group


The most active aspect of this effort is the chat discussion. You can consider joining the CROW group (Conference Remote Options for Wikimedians) on Telegram.



Inaugurated at Wikimania 2019, this Wikimedia project was established in a meetup with remote participants (see notes). The development was intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, as remote meetings, collaboration and virtual-only events became common in the Wikimedia community. As of 2022 efforts are made in establishing practice of hybrid-events.



Under the /Documentation page, you can find out of past virtual/remote-only and hybrid events organized in the Wikimedia community. If you've been involved in organizing such event, please share your experience with the Wikimedia movement by filling in a documentation page!



Remote-first meetups


A "remote first" meetup is one designed for virtual participation, as compared to prioritizing the in-person experience. Modern software options support this by audio, videoconferencing, and collaborative text editing using a variety of platforms - desktop, browser-based and mobile options.

Examples in Wikimedia


Examples from other domains


Suggested best practices

  • When possible have more than 1 person managing the session. One can manage the presentation, share screen and slide flow, while other can assist recording and monitor chat comments, newcomers to the waiting room, and coordinate break out rooms, if needed.
  • Good internet connection with ability to at least update your conference and sign up pages.
  • For scheduled livestreams, check beforehand if there is a place you can ask questions in real time (and if it has automatic or manual monitoring).
  • DM speakers for links to slides, background work, etc. Try to make screenshots of the presentations with points that strike you - you can share on social media, but also upload to Commons if the speakers have released their rights (generally done by the event coordinators)

Announcing events


Although announcing events has not yet become a well-defined routine process, if the event has global or regional significance it is considered good practice to:

  • Add event to the Meta's Events calendar and if exceptionally relevant also add to listing on Main_Page#Current_events.
  • Add event to the DIFF Calendar and also consider to have Blog post accompanying it.
  • Announce on Wikimedia-l mailing list.
  • Announce on Telegram channel @WikimediaAnnouncements.
  • Announce on WM Chat channel #announcements or thematic IRC/Channels.
  • Publish on Twitter, Mastodon, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and other popular social media.

Overview of Engagement models


Engagement models are important for remote events because they help to create a more interactive and participatory experience for the attendees. Different engagement models have different benefits and challenges, depending on the goals, resources and audience of the event.

For small to medium-sized groups, workshops, meetups and hackathons/editatons are some of the possibilities, as they allow for more interaction and collaboration among participants. For big groups, conferences and webinars are more fitting because they make the dissemination and exchange of information and ideas among a large number of participants easier.

There are other ways to consider engagement, such as if the event is:

  • Synchronous or asynchronous
  • Within or across time zones
  • Entirely remote or with in-person elements
  • One-off or regular
  • Distributed over one or more relevant units of time (e.g., days)
  • Monolingual or multilingual
  • Recorded or not
  • Fixed or flexible in terms of who is presenting

Overview of Group social interaction


Good remote icebreakers and social interaction activities should consider the amount of people participating, virtual meeting limitations and how to engage everyone (especially for hybrid events, where integration between on-local and remote attendees can be hard).

Check this table for group social interaction suggestions at remote events.

Common usage

  • For basic small to medium-sized groups, popular options in the movement were Google Meet, Jitsi, BigBlueButton, and Zoom, while Microsoft Teams, Skype, and WebEx (free for up to 100 people) have been less so. WMF and many affiliates purchased subscriptions to Zoom licenses (longer, featureful, and bigger meeting options).
  • For large conference-type settings, Telegram tends to be the Wikimedia chat space of choice, with Wikimedia mailing lists for announcements, combined with a video streaming platform like YouTube Live (StreamYard and Hopin have been used also by a few).



This section documents some technical platforms to aid in remote participation or staging an online conference.

Free/libre/open source to commercial and proprietary spectrum 


The Wikimedia community largely favors free/libre/open source solutions with various privacy-friendly options; though a number of proprietary platforms are regularly used in the movement (e.g. Zoom and Google).[1]

  • Free/libre/open source solutions can be adopted in various ways. They can be self-hosted (so no data is provided to third parties); or somebody else can administer your hardware ("on-premise"); or somebody can offers their hardware ("as a service"); all of these can be for-free, or with commercial support and assistance, with varying levels of support and quality. For features, they tend to address specific communities or offer generalized service, require less updates, less end-user computing resources, and work well with older hardware and non-mainstream software. They often focus on delivering particular technical solution and then establish interoperability with other services and follow open standards.
  • Proprietary platforms Usually massively popular platforms. They can be gratis (freeware) or under a subscription, but they are not open. Usually only available "as a service". They cater to personal consumption and workplace productivity and support mainstream platforms, with integrations for popular corporate software. They assume modern hardware, frequent upgrades, and access to stable bandwidth. However, they tend to not follow open standards and have limited interoperability with competing products.

Table overview


The table overview provides information on free/libre/open source and proprietary platforms, along with their descriptions, features, advantages, and disadvantages, as well as pricing information. Please note that while efforts have been made to comprehensively analyze each platform, some may require further investigation.

Miscellaneous platforms and tools


Proprietary solutions

Video streaming
  • Youtube
  • Facebook Live
  • LinkedIn Live
  • Twitch (limited time VODs)
Large vendors
Online summits
  • HeySummit
  • Remo
  • Run The World - from China, Andreessen-Horowitz funded
Online conversing
  • ManyCam - Virtual camera and streaming software
  • Mural - Virtual sticky notes & text for visual collaboration
  • LUMA Workplace - Digital platform for workplace improvement
  • Media assets
  • Wudele - To plan meetings and create pools
  • Template {{online}}, to spread sessions and other meetings in the User namespace.
  • js script to show local times on schedule pages.

Grants and funding for remote events


Funding is available for remote events through the Wikimedia Foundation's grant programs. Specific to remote events, here are eligible expenses that can be covered through the Rapid Grants program:

Eligible for funding Not eligible for funding
Subscription services for video conferencing, webinars, or other online communication platforms during the grant period (see Working and convening remotely for examples of platforms) Subscription services for video conferencing, webinars, or other online communication platforms that extend beyond the grant period
Expenses for temporary wired or wireless data plans needed for organizers to host online event Expenses for wired or wireless data plans that extend beyond the grant period.
Subscription services supporting communications, marketing, and promotion for online event via e-mail, social media, or other domains during the grant period. Subscription services supporting communications, marketing, and promotion for online event beyond the grant period.

This is not an exhaustive list, and may be updated. Please contact rapidgrants if you have suggestions or questions around funding for remote events.

Connectivity and Accessibility


End user minimum tech requirements (overview)


Jitsi and BigBlueButton are Open Source conferencing platforms that provide integrated text, audio and video conferencing capabilities that are secure and easy to use even on older hardware and software. Their end user minimum tech requirements and possibility to customize and localize are likely the most attractive features.

Preventing trolls from ruining your session


Please note that, when publicising links to your events on social media, there is the threat of people disrupting the conversation or presentation. This is now a known practice. There are several ways to prevent this, as detailed in these links (the links relate specifically to the Zoom platform, but the tips could be relevant to other platforms):

Users interested in project


If you place {{User WikiProject Remote}} on your user page, this template will display the userbox shown above and will add your user page to: Category:WikiProject Remote participants

  1. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 18:59, 17 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Hogü-456 (talk) 19:01, 17 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Jane023 (talk) 19:01, 17 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
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  56. #𝕾𝖆𝖋𝖚𝖆𝖓(𝖙𝖆𝖑𝖐) 04:22, 10 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  57. Musa Vacho77 (talk) 18:34, 23 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
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  61. Zend2020 (talk) 07:31, 11 October 2022 (UTC)[reply]
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  67. Wil540 art (talk) 12:37, 2 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  68. 787IYO (talk) 06:17, 19 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
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Further reading




See also