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Wikimedia contributors organize meetups to socialize and collaborate around the common goal of sharing information. Anyone can organize a Wikimedia meetup. Although it helps to plan a bit and have some awareness of how Wikipedia works, no one needs permission to have a meetup and there is no requirement for anyone to have a meetup in a certain way.
Some meetups are in person but online programs and events are great too. Some meetups are for discussing Wikimedia projects, while others have the goal of convening people to edit. Many meetups have at least one experienced Wikipedia editor present, but lots of meetups have organized and accomplished their goals without an experienced editor attending.
This page is used as a starting point for Wikipedians organising meetups, and subpages are used for finalising the details once a meetup has been agreed. For meetings in other languages/places please use the interlanguage links from this page.
Basics for beginners
There are lots of ways to organize a Wikipedia meetup. There is no need to request anyone's permission. Feel free to publicly advertise that you are hosting a Wikipedia meetup for anyone who wants to edit the wiki with the community of volunteer editors.
Although there are not particular requirements, for anyone who wants orientation, here is a proven model that works. As you plan your event, start here and modify this plan as appropriate for your situation.
- Get commitments from a few people, each of whom will serve one role and not be responsible for the other roles:
- Wikipedia editor - it is very useful to have at least one person who has edited Wikipedia before. At the very least, consider having someone take an online tutorial, make a few edits, and know how to ask questions in Wikipedia's help forums.
- Venue host - there has to be a place to meet. If the meeting is in a coffeehouse then someone should reserve a table. If the meeting is in a community center, like a library, museum, college, or similar, then confirm with a host that everyone has a space to meet.
- Subject matter expert - Wikipedia is a summary of information from reliable sources. To edit Wikipedia, someone has to curate and suggest reliable sources to summarize and cite. For example, if a Wikipedia event is in a library, then get a subject matter expert to select some books in advance - perhaps around a common theme for the meetup - and make them available to the event participants
- Community organizer - this is the person who invites people to the event. Since the event is for the benefit and enjoyment of the participants, then the person who can recruit participants to the event is typically also the person who sets the theme of the event. Common themes are local history, biographies of a certain group of people, or some set of social topics.
- Consider whether you want a record of outcomes
- If anyone involved in presenting the event is part of an organization, then typically they will want "outcome metrics" or "proof of impact".
- Organizations which support wiki events like getting evidence that participants actually accomplished something useful
- In general, a useful outcome is a list of what Wikipedia articles everyone edited and perhaps a record of how many people read those articles
- While there are many ways to get outcomes, the most popular way is to have participants sign up to the "Programs and Events Dashboard"
- Hopefully a new user can set up a program page in the dashboard in 10 minutes
- To use the dashboard, share the weblink with all attendees. If they register Wiki accounts, then they can join the dashboard participant list with a click
- Consider whether you want to connect with the broader Wikimedia community
- If you want a referral, then perhaps ask at Wikipedia:Pump
- If you collaborate with others then you can join discussions about what you are doing
- If you are doing something similar to others then everyone shares in the outcomes toward a common goal
- Some people want to get started immediately without planning in advance
- Everyone is a volunteer, so probably to collaborate you have to join a global campaign like Wiki Loves Monuments, Art+Feminism, or some other project which rallies around a particular theme. If the themes match what you want, then great. If not, then those communities may not be available.
Projects and events
Art and Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon, Chicago, February 1, 2014
Video narrated by Jimbo Wales
that can be used to promote meetups
Projects, initiatives, user groups
- WikiCon (WikiConference/WikiConvention)
Procedure and advice
2016 Art+Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon
- Create the page
- Use or create a sub page of Wikipedia:Meetup to organize the meeting.
- Make it easy to sign up, with simple subsections like Likely attendees, Possible attendees and Regrets for signup lists, as at Meetup/NYC.
- See Wikipedia Meetups - A design pattern catalogue for advice about Locations, Timing, People, and Topics.
- Attract attendees
- Solicit invitations of geographically local Wikipedia users.
- Create a geonotice request.
- Create a list of Wikipedians interested in future and regular meetups for a given location where they can sign up (alternatively, userboxes with corresponding categories can be used).
- Use other media outside of Wikipedia to advertise to non-Wikipedia users
- Don't be afraid to spam people: Make a big list like Meetup/NYC/Invite list from all people who have ever expressed interest in attending a meetup, as well as all people in categories like Category:Wikipedians in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia userbox and other regional categories.
- Don't manually post notices to all the editors who are listed in a geographical category. Simply post a request at WP:BOTREQ, asking for a bot owner to have a bot deliver the (specified) message to everyone in the category.
- Place notices at talk pages like Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Philadelphia and even Talk:Philadelphia.
- Contact your local chapter - if you have one - who will be able to contact people in the local area, or help you in other ways.
- Organize event
- Organize location
- Organize eating arrangements
- Settle on a definite time and place, and don't change it. If someone is just bold, people will know about the date a few weeks in advance (instead of a couple of days), which will make planning easier for individuals. Getting input from everyone is good, but you don't need a formal vote on everything, which can delay the process.
- Consider whether you want any sort of agenda for the meetup (like a discussion on a specific topic, or forming a local chapter).
A gallery from many different cities can be found at: