Wikimedia Blog/Drafts/Three years of weekly editathons

Three years of weekly editathonsEdit

SummaryEdit

On March 11, 2017, Swedish Wikipedia celebrates three years of weekly editathons at Litteraturhuset in Gothenburg. This is perhaps unique in the Wikipedia universe.

BodyEdit

 
One of almost 150 editathons at Litteraturhuset. Image by Hannibal, CC-BY-SA 4.0.

In 2014, a small group of Swedish Wikipedians started holding weekly editathons in Gothenburg, Sweden. There are many other wiki meetups and regular editathons around the world, but this particular group has been at it each week for over three years. This is their story.

The place is Litteraturhuset [The House of Literature] in Gothenburg. Another Tuesday, another editathon. The recipe is simple and fun: each week Wikipedians meet, edit Wikipedia articles, and get coffee together.

All together we have met almost 150 times, editing several hundred articles about female authors and literary figures, and improving almost 20 of these articles to higher quality levels (including two featured articles [English equivalent]). During these years we've had almost an equal number of women and men attend, which has helped inspire male Wikipedians to write about female writers and other similar articles.

Here are some quotes from participants from these three years:

 
Writing Wikipedia articles about literature is serious - and fun. Image by Hannibal, CC0.
  • ”Thanks to the editathons, I've become bolder in writing more and longer and even publishing my first own articles! They have also been a good opportunity to keep editing Wikipedia during my normal day together with other nice and interesting people.”
  • ”I've always had a good time when I've been there. Everyone is helpful and pleasant and I've learned so much more than I did before.”
  • ”I got into contact with the Wikimedia group during the Gothenburg Book Fair in 2016. I got help writing an article about my father, Viktor Tesser [an artist]. Since that time, I've written about a science fiction trilogy, expanded the definition section of the article about families and now I'm writing an article about a female scientist who's researching girls with autism. The topics of conversation are very varied. We've talked about symbols, female warriors, the early photographs, manga artists, ghost nets, famous female TV people, manors in the Bohuslän area, and much more.”

You can read more about the project, insluding a full list of articles edited, in Swedish here.

During these three years, we've since seen several other regular editathons crop up in Sweden, including in Stockholm, Jönköping, and most recently another in Gothenburg. We have become interviewed by the media several times, and is a known entity on the Gothenburg cultural scene.

And we're not done yet.

 
The participants at the 2016 Wikipedia camp.

During the summer of 2016, two of the founders of the weekly editathons were also hosts to a Wikipedia camp. Inspired by the Armenian Wiki camp, this camp was also a way to increase female participation. All the newcomers were women, who were given a free week at a folk high school from Wikimedia Sweden (Sverige). These ten new Wikipedians have since kept on meeting and editing Wikipedia, and have even participated in external events. The success of the first Wikipedia camp meant that we are doing a new camp in 2017. The application period for the second generation of Wikipedia camp participants is currently underway. More information about the Wikipedia camp (in Swedish) is available on the Swedish Wikipedia, and a gallery of photos from the camp is on Commons.

Meanwhile, the weekly editathons are still going and have become a place to meet regularly. As another participant has written:

"For me, the editathons have become a fixed point each week, with nice people, interesting discoveries and much to learn. What started with the goal of '20 recommended articles' has grown to so much more. We see new faces almost every week. We've had annual meetings with the Swedish Wikimedia chapter and celebrated Wikipedia's 15th anniversary, planned for the Gothenburg Book Fair and wiki camps, prepared for the International Day of Women and received visits from Svenshögen [quite a long way away for weekly trips] as well as British Columbia. We aren't only females and we don't just write about females, but a clear focus has its own value. ... Our Tuesdays at Litteraturhuset are probably like Wikipedia—not perfect, but fantastic."

More photos from the weekly editathons can be found here.

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Lennart Guldbrandsson, Swedish Wikipedian