Microgrants/Stub Contest (prizes)

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  • An amount of money for vouchers as prizes for a two week contest in sometime between late November and January outlined here. The idea is that there would be (say) a £75 voucher for first prize, £50 for second, and £25 for a number of "honorable mentions". Vouchers could be for some worldwide digital organisation, such as Amazon, I-tunes or something similar. Amazon is probably the easiest.
  • See above - I guess it depends - £250 would give me a first, second and five "honourable mentions" as outlined above. The rationale for using vouchers is to distance the idea from paid editing.
  • Three weeks for the contest, all wound up after its completion and judging.
Expected outcomes
  • To chip away at the huge number of stubs, and assist in recategorising some stubs which have since been expanded without labels being removed...and have some fun in doing so. I have also run the Core Contest, but think that the presence of some high calibre editors there might have driven away some folks - maybe a comeptition like this is less threatening and will attract a wider range of competitors.
Who I am
  • I am Casliber on english wiki, and admin, ex-arb and content editor, and very familiar with content in mainspace, which is why I am thinking this is a good idea.
  • Supporting member: KTC

Discussion[edit | edit source]

First application (2013)[edit source]

  • This sounds like a great idea to me. It's probably something that would appeal to a much larger fraction of editors than the core contest competition, and also potentially new editors, so it's probably worth advertising it much more as well, both on- and off-wiki (mention in members newsletter, blog, etc.?). It might be worth thinking about having it last a bit longer (a month perhaps?) to encourage more contributions and give less active editors more of an opportunity to enter it. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 08:25, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
That was my original thought - other folks thought shorter, but I think longer gives more bang for one's buck so to speak. I dont' think feelings are too strong any which way. Casliber (talk) 11:22, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Cas, just so you know: Katie Chan will be handling this contest this time round, rather than me - I'm too busy :-( Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 19:20, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Great! Ummm...is it greenlit yet? Happy to run over four weeks. If all good, will get to work on promoting it. Cheers, Casliber (talk) 09:29, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Approved as per the Core Contest (4th) grant. Running it over four weeks sounds good to me. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 14:09, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Right, have notified the Signpost, placed it on the centralised template, and signalled for it to run over Dec 1 to 31. Any other ideas where to advertise/circulate welcome. 13:23, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Report for first running (December 2013)

The Stub Contest was run from 1 to 31 December 2013. Forty people entered (although of these three did not submit any entries). 676 stubs were expanded and 11,074 articles that had been labelled as stubs were rerated as start class or higher (one contestant reported he had another 30,000 stub rerates but ultimately declined to go through and provide diffs).

The oldest stub expanded was William Alston, which had been created on 16 January 2001 (the day after Wikipedia was founded!). Yvo de Boer was the expanded stub that had the most page views on 1 December 2013.

My initial intention with the stub re-rating was a supplementary way to earn points in the contest that also served to help the wikipedia community gain a more accurate picture of exactly how many stubs there are. However it became clear it was an easier way to earn points in the competition and rerate submissions vastly outnumbered expansions. Were this avenue removed from a subsequent re-running (which I think is very likely as re-rating is if negligible benefit to readers), I think the number of expansion submissions would be higher. Scrolling down the Entries list gave some idea of the diversity of articles submitted, and it was fascinating reading. There was some discussion on how large an article would be to still be classified as a stub, and I intend defining this more sharply before running the contest again. Other than that, I thought the contest ran pretty smoothly, and would love the opportunity to run it again in May 2014. Casliber (talk) 03:56, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Second application (2014)[edit source]

I'd like to run this again - limiting the contest this time on stub expansions. Rerates will be part of a different contest - am thinking of a 3-day "template blitz" as looking over 100,000 rerates over a month would do my head in....Casliber (talk) 23:16, 7 July 2014 (BST)

Hi Casliber, am happy for this to go ahead. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 13:28, 21 July 2014 (BST)

(belatedly) great! thanks! will keep you posted. Casliber (talk) 14:43, 9 August 2014 (BST)

Report for second running (September 2014)

The constest was run again from September 1 to 30 2014. 51 editors signed up for the contest, of which 28 successfully submitted de-stubbed articles. 362 stubs were expanded. Of these, 2 had been created in 2001, 14 in 2002, 2 in 2003, 43 in 2004, 27 in 2005, 32 in 2006, 128 in 2007, 31 in 2008, 16 in 2009, 16 in 2010, 19 in 2011, 12 in 2012, 16 in 2013, and 17 in 2014. A variety of articles were expanded. 73 were rated as high- or top-importance in a wikiproject. 22 were expanded significantly - to over 4500 b prose size.

Results[edit source]

Dr. Blofeld also wins a prize for de-stubbing the oldest stub (£25), and for expanded stub with highest page views on September 1 2014 (£25).

For full score chart go here.

Third application (2015)[edit source]

I am preparing in advance this time! Currently I am busy running the core contest, but note that by April/May it will have been over six months since the last running of the stub contest (which is when I am thinking of running this one again). I was pleased at the material that got improved and wonder what the interest would be this time round. See my report above for previous running. I would run it with the same or very similar format to the previous running. cheers, Casliber (talk) 05:15, 13 March 2015 (GMT)

Update?[edit source]

Hi Casliber, is this grant application still live, or could it be closed? You will see from the Grants page that grants can be paid only to members of the charity, so you'd either need to join or include in the grant proposal a member who would receive the funds. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 14:27, 28 May 2015 (BST)

@MichaelMaggs: I have never handled funds at any point - In the past, I've alerted Katie Chan and/or Richard Symonds about prizewinners and they've done it (some other folks have helped as well IIRC), so if they are happy to do again is that ok? (sorry re delay - been busy) Casliber (talk) 15:49, 29 May 2015 (BST)
Aaah KTC has offered this very thing here (yippee!) Casliber (talk) 16:06, 29 May 2015 (BST)
I'm happy to give my support to running this contest a third time, with KTC acting as sponsor. What, if any, format changes are being proposed? CT Cooper · talk 16:29, 4 June 2015 (BST)
I like the idea of focussed contests like this and think there's a lot of mileage in the format, but £250 is quite a lot. I have this vague memory of comment on a similar grant some time ago where I think I (a) suggested lower prizes might be just as motivational (because clearly people don't do it just for the money), and (b) wondering about other elements to point scoring. I think that time it was something around whether points could be given to editors mentoring new editors. So on this one, I wonder if there's any way this could be structured specifically to encourage new editors to engage on stubs (often easier to engage with than existing lengthy articles) or maybe if there might be ways to tie this in with existing WMUK projects, e.g. by focusing on stubs related to the GLAMs we're working with (or whatever). So I guess, how do you feel about experimenting with the format, and do you have any sense of what prize range might work? Thanks! Sjgknight (talk) 20:12, 4 June 2015 (BST)
The £250 gets divided up, the last time we ran it the calculation was 100 first place, 50 for 2nd place, 25 for 3rd and 4th place, with 25 for special prizes - the editor who de-stubs the oldest stub (dated from first day of creation) and 25 special prize for the editor who de-stubs the stub that received the highest number of page views on September 1st 2014 (i.e. the first day of the competition). 28 people improved stubs last run. I did have an idea to do it more like a 'lucky dip' - say, top editor gets £50, editor who does oldest stub gets £25, while the remaining 7 x £25 are determined randomly from the number of entries. Each valid entry as assigned a number and from the total 7 winning numbers result from this. Hence the more stubs you expand the better chance of winning but it's by no means a certainty. As far as size of prize, £50 doesn't get you a huge amount if it's something you really want and factual. Also, we've run it with a £250 total each of the previous times. I thought it was actually a pretty good number, big enough to be substantial but not big enough to make it really serious.
The only other format change I have flagged is on the talk page, in expanding the size of article slightly, particularly ones lacking inline references, to promote getting some of these (often broad, often old) articles tidied up. Otherwise I was pretty happy with it really...Casliber (talk) 15:03, 6 June 2015 (BST)
Thanks @Casliber: happy to support this, perhaps it's something we could advertise (open to suggestions) to get people involved (including maybe people in institutions or/and new editors we've worked with), but regardless of that the outputs from previous competitions have been very worthwhile. Cheers! Sjgknight (talk) 14:19, 9 June 2015 (BST)
Thanks for the vote of confidence :) Have discussed promoting with KTC before. There are several places I can flag it to the general editorship, so we have that in hand. Would aim for July if this is greenlit in the next few days, otherwise run it over August. Casliber (talk) 11:25, 10 June 2015 (BST)

I give this application my support Theresa knott (talk) 09:18, 24 June 2015 (BST)

Approval[edit source]

Based on the recommendation from the Grants Committee, the budget holder has approved this grant.

Approved with an agreed target for reporting on the outcome by 30 September 2015. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:13, 30 June 2015 (BST)

Update[edit source]

Right, I have had quite a few RL issues and come to the realisation that I don't think I want to mark over 1000 stubs again...but here we are. I have announced two winners (Sturmvogel 66 for overall score and Thine Antique Pen for oldest stub) and if someone could contact them for a 50 and 25 pound voucher that'd be great.

Now for the Lucky Dip section. I need two people from WMUK to watch each other come up with seven random numbers generated between 1 and 1371 (one for each stub legitimately expanded), go down the list and figure which contestants expanded the lucky seven stubs. I don't care how it is done. If folks want to push me to do it I might find some random number generator online but no-one can watch me do it here. There are no limits so someone might win more than one voucher in the lucky dip. Casliber (talk) 13:11, 30 October 2015 (GMT)


  • 36 participants
  • 2,936 articles submitted
  • 8,440,292 bytes added or removed (absolute value)