Spanish Wikipedia celebrates its 20th anniversary

On May 20, 2001, Spanish Wikipedia was born and, in line with the celebrations that have taken place in other linguistic communities, on the occasion of these 20 years of free knowledge, several Spanish-speaking chapters and user groups planned a set of activities and actions to celebrate it.

These activities lasted for almost a month of celebration, with the involvement of Wikimedia Argentina, Wikimedistas de Bolivia, Wikimedia Chile, Wikimedia Colombia, Wikimedistas de Ecuador, Wikimedia Colombia, Wikimedia España, Wikimedia México, Wikimedia El Salvador, Wikimedistas de Uruguay, Wikimedia Venezuela, Wikimujeres and Art+Feminism. The organization was managed through two committees created for this purpose, one for communication and the other for activities.

Engaging the community, inside and outside Wikipedia

In order to spread the celebration and encourage and involve the community that makes Wikimedia projects possible, several actions were carried out, all of them were reflected in a landing page, hosted by Wikimedia Argentina, which presented the various communication actions and activities associated with this anniversary organized by the different groups, including campaigns, editing days and training sessions.

A video was made in which people from different countries shared what Wikipedia means to them, their wishes for the future and congratulations for Wikipedia on the occasion of these 20 years, while at the same time some of the people behind the encyclopedia were introduced.

Wikipedia 20 años

Each of the people recorded their intervention and it was later edited by Wikimedia Mexico. In addition, a series of messages were planned for the social networks that, as a suggestion, people could use to congratulate the 20th anniversary, and for Instagram, a filter was offered that allowed adding a nice and endearing touch to the stories of each person.

Improvement of essential articles

Among the activities that were proposed during those days, one of them was the improvement of essential articles. Since 2004, the proposal of the 1000 articles that every Wikipedia should have has existed in Meta. Based on the size of those essential articles, a classification has been created that determines which linguistic version of Wikipedia covers those topics more extensively.

Our proposal was, therefore, to improve those articles, setting as a deadline the next birthday of Spanish Wikipedia with the objective of progressing in the development of the quality of the project. Since the beginning, the initiative has been well received and to date more than 50 articles have been improved, so we hope to achieve the goal in the coming months.

Global Editathon

Together with all Spanish-speaking countries, a Global Editathon was organized on Saturday, May 22 with the aim of meeting with the community that is part of the day-to-day construction of the encyclopedia, and celebrate the 20th anniversary doing what we do best: editing Wikipedia. It was a ten-hour event, with two hours of activity for each time zone (in total five different time zones); thus, the day began with the participation of Spain and ended with the Central American countries.

Prior to the event, people were asked via social media to send in their proposals for essential articles that should not be missing from Spanish Wikipedia. A total of 196 responses were received. Based on the public’s responses, we put together a list of articles to create and improve to work on during the global editathon. In addition, thinking of those new to Wikipedia, we made a selection of articles that could be improved in aspects such as wikifying or adding references, which would serve to introduce them to editing with simple tasks. All these articles were uploaded to the editathon dashboard.

The event took place at Zoom, in a room provided by Wikimedia Argentina, and for security reasons, we required a previous registration, which also indicated the validity of the Friendly Space Policy.

In each time zone there were several people responsible for ensuring the security and smooth running of the session. In addition to the Dashboard, it was suggested that the editions be accompanied by the hashtag #Wikipedia20 as another way to follow the contributions of the day.

At the same time, and spontaneously, a proposal arose in the Spanish Wikipedia Village Pump to organize, also on the occasion of the anniversary, a series of wikimarathons during May. Since the objective was the same, to celebrate these 20 years as we like most, editing, we proposed to those responsible to merge all the proposals in the same page in order to centralize the information.

Results

Overall, we consider the event to have been a great success. For the global editathon, 322 people registered, of which 154 had a user account, and of these, 45 indicated that they were new, although in the end approximately 70 participated online.

At the editing level, 93 people participated and 552 articles were edited, 40 of which were new; 113 files were uploaded, and 251 Wikidata items were edited. At the social media level, between May 18 and May 25, 2021, the #Wikipedia20 campaign on Twitter had 394 different nodes, with 523 interactions.

At the press level, around 30 mentions, reports or interviews were generated between all countries, including appearances in the written press, radio and television. These collaborations with the media have allowed us to bring to the general public information about how Wikipedia works, why it is important to defend it as a digital commons and to give visibility to the community of volunteers who make it possible in Spain and Latin America.

However, beyond these important figures, we want to highlight the success at the community level; in difficult times like the ones we are facing, without being able to see each other in person, creating this space was necessary as a way to share time together, chat, edit, enjoy, and in general, have a good time in the company of people from the community whom we do not usually see. This festive and relaxed atmosphere was helped, for example, by the trivia games that were prepared and contributed to the relaxed atmosphere of the day.

It is also worth mentioning the joint work of the Spanish-speaking groups to organize it, something that was not usual until now, so this celebration and its success may mean the beginning of a more regular joint collaboration.

Future

After the event, and the feeling shared by all the groups of the success of the event, we have talked about organizing sessions or celebrations of this type more regularly, as they help to generate and strengthen the feeling of community, we receive support and we have a good time editing. It has been several weeks of hard work, but it was worth it and no doubt all this work will facilitate the organization of future initiatives of this type.