Wikipedia Town is a grass-roots
one-day photo walk and Wikipedia edit-a-thon event blooming in Japan. Inaugurated on the Open Data Day (Mar. 3) in 2013, it has been getting spread across Japan. 250+ events have been held so far, and the number is still growing.
Wikipedia Town project mainly aims to attract new contributors. Collaborating with local guides and librarians, it has been harnessing between veterans and new contributors, by creating new articles from local topics. The number of participants varies 10 to 20 persons, plus veteran Wikipedians as teaching assistants and an instructor to teach new members how to contribute Wikipedia and to follow its rules. People walk sites of interest and shoot photos in the morning, and contribute Wikipedia in the afternoon at venue libraries. One of the keys is librarians. They are usually eager to share knowledge using local history book or past newspapers (that are often less-used materials). With preparation of such materials by librarians, participants get to know how to excerpt facts from books and to change it to non-copyright-infringing form.
In this poster, I will describe keys to success, why do we need such event, as well as common failures, and persisting problems. I would like to share points above with participants who have tried similar edit-a-thons or new contributor recruiting events, and would like to hear from them how they succeeded and how to avoid common pitfalls.
Takashi Ota (Wikimedians in Kansai)