☆ Download this toolkit’s planning timeline and planning checklist!
☆ Work with your library’s or institution’s events coordinator or head of communications to select the date and time for your edit-a-thon.
☆ Choose a space for your edit-a-thon. Computer labs are great, or you can encourage attendees to bring their own laptops or tablets and have the edit-a-thon in your usual event space.
☆ Consider how your edit-a-thon space will be laid out. Some designated areas you might consider are:
☆ If you’ll be working with caterers, ask for their catering menus and confirm their catering policies. Many require a catering order to be placed a set number of days before an event or require a minimum order for delivery. Check with them to see if they’ll be able to provide plates, napkins, cups, utensils, etc.
☆ Draft your colleagues or interested volunteers to help with staffing during the edit-a-thon. You may need people to:
☆ Create a Wikipedia meet-up page for your edit-a-thon!
☆ Consider designating an event-specific hashtag that your attendees can use on social media during the edit-a-thon. Include it in your edit-a-thon publicity.
☆ Note available technological resources in your publicity. Will computers or laptops be provided or should attendees try to bring their own laptops or tablets (if they have them)?
☆ Consider asking local or student groups organized around topics related to the edit-a-thon to co-sponsor. Make clear requests for assistance (funding, help with publicity, help with Wikipedia editing questions during event, etc.) as part of your outreach to them.
☆ As part of your publicity, ask potential attendees to create a Wikipedia editor account before the edit-a-thon. Wikipedia allows only six new editors to create new accounts from the same location (based on IP address) during a 24-hour period (i.e., if you have more than six people trying to register at your edit-a-thon, their registration attempts may be denied.)
☆ Reach out to WikiProject NC or a local Wikipedia user group like the North Carolina Triangle Wikipedians for advice and for help in spreading the word about your event.
☆ Read over this tool-kit’s “Editing Wikipedia: A Primer" webpage for editing how-tos and guidelines.
☆ Starting the edit-a-thon with a quick tutorial presentation on how to edit Wikipedia is a good idea. GLAM’s detailed tutorial provides a careful grounding in the concepts you’ll want to cover in your own presentation.
☆ You may also want to have some how-to handouts on hand for editors to continue to refer to.
☆ If you have the capacity, ask colleagues or volunteers who are already familiar with Wikipedia editing to serve as resource people during the edit-a-thon.
☆ Develop a list of potential article topics that editors might work on during the edit-a-thon. These can be brand-new article topics or pre-existing Wikipedia articles that need expansion.
☆ Come up with a game plan for editors who aren’t able to complete their article during the edit-a-thon. A takeaway handout might include:
☆ Nametags are a key item for your welcome table. Consider including colored dot stickers, which attendees can use to indicate their level of experience with Wikipedia editing (i.e., red dots = an experienced editor, green dots = a new editor, yellow dots = library staff, etc.). This will make it easy for attendees to locate the help they need!
☆ A whiteboard or a large flip-pad on an easel can be a fun way to list possible article topics. Attendees can write their names next to the article they’re working on, and cross it off when finished.
☆ Take photos (with attendees’ permission)! A write-up about your edit-a-thon could be good for your library or institution’s newsletter, blog, or social media. You can also use the photos in publicizing your next edit-a-thon.
☆ Share your edit-a-thon’s hashtag (see publicity section) and encourage attendees to tweet or share event photos on Instagram.
☆ If you create edit-a-thon recaps, Storify stories, or more, please let SNCA know. (Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org). We can share these on our edit-a-thon case studies page!