2023:Program/Community Initiatives/EE37NK-From State Censorship to State Sponsorship: How We Organized a Seven-Month Edit-a-Thon with a State Agency

From Wikimania

Title: From State Censorship to State Sponsorship: How We Organized a Seven-Month Edit-a-Thon with a State Agency


Nodir Ataev

I have been a Wikimedian for nearly fourteen years. I am primarily active on the English, Russian, Turkish, and Uzbek Wikipedias, as well as on Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons. In 2020, I founded the Wikimedians of the Uzbek Language User Group, which has implemented several projects so far. I also run Uzbek Wikipedia’s YouTube channel, for which I have recorded a series of 13 professionally edited video lessons on contributing to Wikipedia and its sister projects. (www.youtube.com/uzwiki). Finally, am one of the main organizers of the WikiStipendiya, a project that has been launched in cooperation with the Youth Affairs Agency of Uzbekistan to improve Uzbek Wikipedia’s coverage. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nodir_Ataev_at_WikiStipendiya_press_conference.jpg

Zarnigora Ataeva

I have been a Wikimedian for over ten years. In 2022, I became the third female administrator on the Uzbek Wikipedia and am currently one of the only two remaining female administrators. I mostly contribute to articles on mathematics, history, and literature. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wikidata_2022_Istanbul_Day2_159.jpg

Pretalx link

Etherpad link

Room: Room 307

Start time: Fri, 18 Aug 2023 10:40:00 +0800

End time: Fri, 18 Aug 2023 11:00:00 +0800

Type: Lecture

Track: Community Initiatives

Submission state: confirmed

Duration: 20 minutes

Do not record: false

Presentation language: en

Abstract & description[edit source]

Abstract[edit source]

In 2022, Wikimedians of the Uzbek Language User Group ran a seven-month edit-a-thon in partnership with the Youth Affairs Agency of Uzbekistan. Results were outstanding: over the course of the project more than 77,000 new articles were created on the Uzbek Wikipedia, and the number of active users increased by nearly 400 percent. Despite the impressive results, we faced several major challenges ranging from difficulties training a large inflow of new contributors to sysop burnout. On behalf of the organizing team, I would like to share our results and lessons learned.

Description[edit source]

Ten years ago, the Uzbek Wikipedia was partially blocked within the territory of Uzbekistan. A decade later, the Youth Affairs Agency of the Republic of Uzbekistan reached out to members of the Wikimedians of the Uzbek Language User Group to organize a mammoth initiative to create quality content on the Uzbek Wikipedia. We christened the project WikiStipendiya and launched it with much fanfare in May 2022. The edit-a-thon, which is unprecedented in the region in terms of both its scale and duration, generated significant interest among students and media in Uzbekistan, with dozens of publications running stories about it.

A number of sub-projects such as wiki camps and collaborations with universities have been initiated within the framework of the larger WikiStipendiya project. In particular, some of the noteworthy subprojects include ErkinLitsenziyalar: promotion of open content licenses; WikiAudio: creating audio articles in Uzbek; WikiAyollar: closing the gender gap on the Uzbek Wikipedia by creating content on women; WikiOromgoh: three rounds of camps which brought together close to 600 participants and Wikipedia administrators; and WikiTaʼlim: introducing Wiki Education to Uzbekistan.

During the session, I would like to share our results and some of the major challenges we have faced, such as difficulties we encountered training an army of new contributors, balancing quantity and quality, and admin burnout. As a founding member of the Wikimedians of the Uzbek Language User Group and one of the main organizers of the project, I have gained valuable experience and insights over course of the past year. I believe our experience might come in handy for those considering organizing large-scale edit-a-thons and other types of activities mentioned above.

Further details[edit source]

Qn. How does your session relate to the event themes: Diversity, Collaboration Future?

Some wiki projects are often criticized for having a systemic racial bias in their coverage. This stems in part due to under-representation of various groups, especially those living in the Global South. Central Asia is part of this region and is usually underrepresented in wiki events. My session will help spread the word about our community. At the same time, I am also looking forward to learning from other communities and sharing my experiences not only during the session, but also during the entire conference.

Qn. What is the experience level needed for the audience for your session?

Everyone can participate in this session

Qn. What is the most appropriate format for this session?

  • Tick Onsite in Singapore
  • Empty Remote online participation, livestreamed
  • Empty Remote from a satellite event
  • Empty Hybrid with some participants in Singapore and others dialing in remotely
  • Empty Pre-recorded and available on demand