On 17 January 2024, Code for Africa’s Wikipedian-in-Residence (WiR), hosted the first of the WiR bi-weekly webinar series in 2024, titled “Joining Wikipedia,” the webinar was facilitated by Miracle James, the Publicity and Social Media Coordinator for the Unilorin Wikimedia Fan Club, and moderated by Bukola James, the Community Coordinator CFA-WIR. This session had in attendance 14 participants which consisted of project leads and volunteer Wikipedians from Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. It offered a comprehensive exploration of different ways of creating an account on Wikipedia, joining an outreach dashboard, searching for articles on Wikipedia and configuring the preferences.
The webinar commenced with an introduction of Wikipedia’s history and its evolution into a vast, multilingual knowledge repository, emphasising its status as a dynamic, collaborative platform. In this session understanding the broad scope and impact of Wikipedia were discussed. Other areas covered during this webinar include; the process of joining the Wikipedia community, where the importance of comprehending Wikipedia’s core content policies and the expectations for new contributors was underscored. This was an essential part of the session as it instilled an understanding of the responsibilities and norms associated with being a Wikipedia contributor.
The webinar included a practical session guiding participants through the technical aspects of creating a Wikipedia account, and a fundamental step which is understanding the various types of accounts and their respective functionalities. There was also a guide on the mechanics of a Wikipedia account setup. but also about understanding the various types of accounts and their respective functionalities, which is a fundamental step for anyone aiming to contribute to Wikipedia.
An outreach dashboard
A user profile on a typical Wikipedia page
Furthermore, the webinar provided an in-depth look at the Wikimedia outreach dashboard and skill development for efficient article search on Wikipedia. The Wikipedia Outread Dashboard was identified as a pivotal tool for organising and tracking contributions, especially during edit-a-thons and campaigns. The session demonstrated how to navigate and make the best use of this dashboard, highlighting its role in coordinating collaborative efforts and monitoring project progress.
Developing the skill to efficiently search for articles on Wikipedia was addressed as an essential capability for new article identification and content editing. Participants were taught how to use some content editing tools such as the VisualEditor and the source editor, and how to leverage these tools and customise them according to their personal editing preferences.
The session was concluded with a word of encouragement from the facilitator, Miracle who encouraged participants to actively engage in Wikimedia community discussions, enhance their skills in searching and researching articles to address content gaps, strictly adhere to Wikipedia’s core content policies like neutrality and verifiability, and effectively utilise the outreach dashboard to keep track of their contributions.
For those interested in revisiting the session or those who might have missed it, the recorded version is available on the community programmes page and does well to test your knowledge on our academy Africa. Ensure you are registered for the upcoming CfA WiR Bi-weekly webinar and immerse in our vibrant community. To stay abreast of our initiatives, complete this form, and let’s shape the future together!
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