The Wikipedia Asian Month: how we collaborated our way to one of the biggest online Wikipedia edit-a-thons ever

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Excerpt

In November 2015, Wikimedia communities across Asia and the world set off on what would become one of the biggest online Wikipedia edit-a-thons ever: the Wikipedia Asian Month (WAM). Managing such a huge project though, especially with people from all over the world participating, is a big challenge. This presentation looks at how we did it, what we're doing now, and how your collaboration, online project or community can benefit from our experiences.

Description

Last year, Wikimedians from Asia agreed to a new regional collaboration, building on previous efforts to have region-wide projects of our own. Called the Wikipedia Asian Month (WAM), this project began simply as a way to build understanding between Asian Wikimedia communities by having different countries write about one another, all at the same time, and with a very simple reward: postcards.

Little would we know that not only would it become the first successful collaboration between Asian Wikimedia communities, but that it would also become one of the biggest projects the Wikimedia community has ever seen, with several countries in Asia and elsewhere participating. With thousands of articles made, hundreds of participants joining in and millions of bytes shared, the Wikipedia Asian Month was a resounding success, and we’d like to share how we did it with all of you.

This presentation will look back at the triumphs, failures and lessons learned from the Wikipedia Asian Month: what things went right, where things went wrong and how the project can be improved. We’ll look especially at the logistical challenges of managing a very diverse, spread out organizing team (and, in turn, hundreds of editors!) spanning across three continents, how we overcame time and distance to make the project work as well as it did, and, more importantly, how your community can implement similar projects and strategies to make diverse teams, diffused projects and global collaboration work well for you.

(This presentation will be given more or less in parallel with a panel discussion on the project, “The Wikipedia Asian Month panel: how we did it, and how you can do it too”, which will be delivered during Wikimania 2016 in Esino Lario, Italy.)

Tags

Wikipedia, collaboration, spread-out teams, community management, scaling

Speaking experience

I have delivered presentations at Open Source Bridge three times now:

* "Sharing Beyond 'Sharing': Fostering an Open Sharing Culture in the Philippines" (http://opensourcebridge.org/sessions/939) in 2013
* "The Promise of Collaborative Magic" (http://opensourcebridge.org/sessions/1224) in 2014
* "Why Relationships Matter in Community Building: Experiences from the Philippine Cultural Heritage Mapping Project" (http://www.opensourcebridge.org/sessions/1654) in 2015

I have also previously presented at Wikimania 2011, 2013 and 2015, and I was likewise part of a panel discussion during Wikimania 2010. I was also a competitive debater in my spare time, having participated in various debating competitions, public speaking contests and the like throughout high school and college.

Speaker

  • Wikimedia conference 2013 portrait 092

    Josh Lim

    Wikimedia Philippines

    Biography

    Josh Lim is currently a community manager at Happy Team Check, a Polish HR startup. He is also a longtime Wikipedia editor, having edited since April 2005, and is currently the President of Wikimedia Philippines, the Philippine local chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation.

    Since 2011, he has taken interest in analyzing social relations on the Wikimedia projects (and, since then, with online communities and Internet research in general), and hopes that he can contribute something meaningful to the discipline somehow.

    Sessions

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