Thursday, May 24, 2018

#BRAVEedit - Lessons learned at the Amsterdam editathon

The Amsterdam editathon for female civil rights activists was a success. This Listeria list shows it well. All the articles not cursive now have an article in Dutch. It may be that some Dutch articles were written in Brussels. The request to those who joined was to write or translate articles in English or Dutch. This is the same Listeria list for English..

Editathons happened in twenty countries concurrently. Organising such an event is a mammoth task, it is easy for things to go wrong, not to be clear. With 20 countries many languages are involved producing sufficient information for all of them is not easy. The question is how to do this optimally.

Information is to be available for all the languages a particular person or organisation is targetted for. Care needs to be taken that people are uniquely identified; this to prevent the creation of duplicate articles (this happened for Fartuun Abdisalaan Adan aka Fartuun Adan). Now you can make lists in a spreadsheet, you can write texts with the sources but the challenge is to maintain this for twenty languages!

Enter a Wikidata property: "on focus list of Wikimedia project". As you research a person that is to be on the focus list for the "Amnesty International Editathon", you either append it to an existing item or a new item. You can add the location as a "qualifier", this has been done for Amsterdam enabling a list specific for this editathon.

Articles that are to be written will be in italic on a Wikipedia and, this helps prevent duplicate articles. Sources can be added as qualifiers as well and with a small change they show in a list. Images and all kinds of other information can be added and this shows really well in Reasonator.. The family of Fartuun Adan for instance was already known and, she did win the International Women of Courage Award in 2013.

So the editathons happened and, for all the people and organisations the "on focus list" property can still be added. This will make it easier to analyse the impact of all the work; queries can be made to learn how many articles exist and, it makes it easy to learn how many of these articles are actually read.

One of the things these list also show is that for many people we do not have an illustration. I think that when Amnesty makes images available for all of them, the articles become more attractive and are likely to gain more attention.

For me the Amsterdam was wonderful. I enjoyed seeing people grapple with the idiosyncrasies of Wikipedia editing. I had it confirmed again that I am not a Wikipedian.. I do not edit really but being there had me experiment and think about organising multi lingual projects and find confirmation for my understanding how this could be done efficiently.

PS I do think that the people at the English chapter and the people at Amnesty did a great job.

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