Talk:Wikimedia Girl Geek Dinner/Manchester October 2013

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  • Hi. I'd love to be involved with this but I'm doing a different science-festival event in the evening of 27th. I'll need to prepare for that in the afternoon but can help with this in the morning if necessary. Yaris678 (talk) 09:53, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
    • The above was a calendar mix up. I should be free on the 27th! Yaris678 (talk) 15:46, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I may be available for this, but I can't say for sure until we're closer to the time. Shoot me an email if you're looking for people a bit nearer the time. --Deskana (talk) (email) 11:54, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Yep, I should be able to do this. --Deskana (talk) 15:30, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
      • Sorry, will be busy. --Deskana (talk) 10:46, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Happy to help. Bazonka (talk) 20:43, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm happy to travel up and help with this if I'm needed. Harry Mitchell (talk) 10:50, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Let me know if you need any more help with this event - I'm available that day if need be. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 12:08, 22 October 2013 (UTC)


An idea that came up at the recent Manchester wikimeet was to have a wikilounge during the Manchester Science Festival. i.e. a place where people can drop in if they have any questions about Wikimedia or want to be shown something. I think this would compliment the training well. We could do it on the weekend after so that if people who have been on the training have any questions when they come round to editing they can drop in. But it wouldn't be limited to people who went to the training.

It's too late to get a mention in the MSF brochure but we could probably get the event mentioned on their website. If it's a success and we want to repeat it, we should be able to get it in the brochure next year.

A suggested location for the Wikilounge was Nexus Art Cafe. The idea would be that the cafe is open as usual but there would be a few Wikimedians in the corner with appropriate atire or something to identify them / attract attention.

Yaris678 (talk) 09:18, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Vague plan

11:00 People turn up, get a cup of tea, get the laptop booted up and connected to the WiFi.
11:15 Introduction from Katie
  • Including video from Suw
11:30 Notes on today
  • Two streams with some plenary sessions
  • Describe the different activities that the two groups will do
  • It’s interactive!
  • Ask if you need help – a trainer or a fellow participant
  • Help each other
11:40 What do we want from today?

Everyone says their name, what their experience is of Wikipedia and what they want to get out of the day. Hopefully this will draw out of some of the participants why they think Wikipedia is so good so we won’t need to do any "selling" – the other participants do it for us. This may lead to a change of plan. e.g. an extra/alternative activity for the established editors.

  • Good opportunity to confirm things for people and spread that knowledge to others present
  • Good opportunity to dispel myths
11:50 Newbies

In area set up with a "demonstration computer" attached to a projector with an experience Wikipedian (but not the one doing the talking) in the driving seat.

1. Get everyone who doesn't have one a user name – Go to the English Wikipedia and click on create account. There is good guidance there on user names.

2. Try some wikicode in the sandbox. Link to the sandbox is in the top right.

  • Ask people to write a sentence about their first pet.
  • Hand out some cheatsheets or get people to go Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Cheatsheet.
  • Ask people to put the name of the pet in bold.
  • When demonstrator demonstrates this, they also demonstrate edit summary and preview edit.

3. Write about yourself on your user page.

  • If you want to remain anonymous, be careful how much you give away.
  • You can mention where you live. Make a wikilink to the article about where you live.

4. Random article!

  • Click on the random article button
  • Gives people an idea of the breadth of Wikipedia and that it is a work in progress
  • Ask people to highlight any issues they come across.
  • Ask what they think should be done about it.
  • We'll need some judgement here. Somethings may end up being too complicated to get into but hopefully it will be a good opportunity to get people editing the encyclopedia. e.g.
    • Fixing typos.
    • Correcting errors
    • Finding references (Google!)
    • Clean-up tagging
  • Typo fixing etc. can be explained to people on a one-to-one basis, though others may be interested to watch.
  • If something big comes up, like adding references, gather people round. Consider demonstrating how to do it on the demonstration machine.
Established editors

1. Discuss women biogs listed for event. Back up ideas at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:WikiProject Women scientists/Worklist.

2. Who wants to do what?

3. Possibly split into pairs as per Wikipedia:Pair programming

4. Once everyone is introduced to the activity, trainers on hand to answer questions.

12:35 Lunch
13:20 Newbies

1. The History tab and diffs. Would anyone like to show off their edit? Gather round that person’s laptop. Click on history tab. Now we can all see why the edit summary was important. But what if we want to know the details of the edit? I wonder what the previous edit looked like...

2. Talk pages.

  • Ask people how they think disagreements are resolved.
  • Highlight the talk page
  • Signature
  • If an issue appropriate for discussion has already come up, suggest that someone leaves a message about it.

3. Watchlist

  • Very useful if you are waiting for a response to a talk page comment!
  • Also useful if you want to see what changes happen to an article.
Experienced editors

Carry on with biogs

14:10 Verification and citation

Plenary session. But if some of the established editors want to carry on with women scientists that is fine.

1. If verification has already come naturally in the previous exercise, great. Follow on from that. Otherwise, ask participants:

  • What do you of the reliability of Wikipedia?
  • How can you know if a "fact" in Wikipedia is reliable? – Reliable sources

2. Introduce verification policy. Policy in a nutshell: Other people have to be able to check that you didn't just make things up. This means that all quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation.

  • Quotations
  • Challenged or likely to be challenged
  • Extraordinary claims

Explain that you can always check the policy by going to WP:V. There is also Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard

3. Citation tool

14:40 Add information to Wikipedia!

Plenary session. But if some of the established editors want to carry on with women scientists that is fine. Consider dropping this activity if overrunning significantly. People will have already edited to a certain extent and the next bits will help to round of the day.

Invite people to use hard-copy sources provided and sources on the internet. Find something you want to write about. See if its already there. Start a new article or expand the existing one.

This can develop into a general editing session with people asking the trainers for help as they require it. If they someone needs new inspiration, suggest:

  • More from the women biogs list (especially if a newbie who hasn’t seen it before)
  • Pick another hard-copy source
  • Click random article until you see something needing attention
  • Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Pages needing attention
15:30 Tea break
15:40 Getting help

Plenary session. But if some of the established editors want to carry on with women scientists that is fine.

Describe the different sources of help

Get people to look at Wikipedia:Help:Contents – good summary of options

Describe some in more detail:

  • Helpdesk
  • Teahouse
  • Reference desk
  • Community portal
16:20 Summary discussion

1. What did we learn today? Get one thing from each participant and write it on the flip chart.

2. Will people use what they have learnt?

3. Will they continue editing Wikipedia?

4. Is there anything else people want to know?

The intro and editathon is great - I don't think it needs more detail. In the end, we want to give people freedom to do what they want.
I would hope, though, that the newcomers would get to edit too. At the recent women in science events, we would manage to introduce people to editing in 1-2 hours, and then give them the pleasure to actually create content during the event. Parts of the teaching can be done once people create their short articles. The event was pitched as 'come, learn, and create articles about women in science', so it would be good to give people the opportunity I think. Would it be possible to compress the teaching session? What do others think?
I agree they'll leave with a greater sense of satisfaction if we get them writing something on their own initiative. It depends how many people we have and how many of them are new to Wikipedia. In previous years, we had around a dozen, almost all of whom had no previous experience. Daria, are we expecting about the same this year or is something different? Anyway, I'll come up to support you guys (you might need an admin on-hand if you're creating accounts on the day). I'll probably be there shortly before 12:00. Harry Mitchell (talk) 17:02, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Trainer reflections

This was my second training event. I think it went very well. Everyone will have gone away with a good feeling about Wikipedia and I’m pretty sure some of them will continue to edit. I’ve put some more specific points below.

-What went well-

  • We were ahead of schedule. This meant we were able to cover everything and have plenty of time to make some (very impressive) contributions to the encyclopedia. This contrasts to last time where we had to drop bits of the plan. I think the main reasons for that are:
    • I had a better idea of how to get some of the things across. Especially in terms of how specific you have to be on occasion. e.g. "Ask people to write a sentence about their first pet."
    • Last time we did veer off plan quite a lot. We talked about images and language versions loads and we got people using Wikipedia:Template:new user bar. Interesting stuff but time consuming in total.
  • We established a clear path. When we asked everyone what they wanted from today, it became clear that most people had little or no experience. We asked everyone to put their hand up if they were happy to start from the beginning.
  • The random article task. Arguably it was taking a risk because we didn't know what articles people would get. But I think that actually helped engage people. They could see it wasn’t just an exercise. They were editing the world’s favourite encyclopedia! And only an hour into the training. This got across the joy of contributing to Wikipedia very quickly.
  • Demonstrating an edit and then letting the trainee do it. In the random article task, a user found a typo in a userbox. Bazonka went to the demonstration computer, found the article, pressed edit, described infoboxes and highlighted the bit that needed changing. This was useful for everyone there. We then got the user who found the error to make the correction (as opposed to Bazonka doing it himself). We then reloaded the article on the demonstration computer so that everyone could see it was changed. We then got everyone to give the trainee a round of applause.
  • Talk pages. We led into talk pages by asking the group what they thought might happen if people disagree over edits. We mentioned edit wars and how Wikipedia prefers discussion and consensus. We then showed the talk page of the Palestine article to illustrate how this works. Finally we got people to leave a message on their neighbours user talk page.
  • Room layout was better than last time. Everyone could see the projection screen easily without turning round or leaning round a pillar.
  • Phone chat between the main trainers (me and Bazonka) on the day before. This helped us get on the same page and iron out a few details.
  • Spreading out for the editing session. Once we got to "Add information to Wikipedia!" We spread out slightly. Different trainers helped different trainees and that all seemed to work quite naturally.

-What didn't go so well-

I should qualify the below by saying that I felt the event was a massive success and these are relatively minor points. We would probably iron them out next time anyway but it's better to write them down to be sure.

  • Talking and demonstrating (on the computer attached to the projector) at the same time. You have to do this occasionally, when something comes to you and it is easier to show it than explain it to the other trainee. But I think we could have probably done more of one trainer demonstrating while the other talks.
  • Talk pages. It would probably have been a good idea to mention that new threads go at the bottom.

-Random thought-

  • I have done two of these events and for both of them we planned for the possibility of two streams and then ended up doing one. It makes me wonder if it is worth planning two streams... but I think it is probably best to have a fall back position for if there are a number of experienced editors there. The important thing is to work out what the situation is when the trainees are in the room and then respond accordingly. Being able to respond accordingly requires that we have a plan that we can modify, as we did.

Yaris678 (talk) 16:28, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

I largely agree with Yaris678's observations. We were lucky that the students were (mostly) so receptive and willing to learn - I guess they wouldn't have been there otherwise. (Actually there were a couple of people that didn't hang around too long, but that's their loss.)
I think it would have been better if Daria and Harry had been able to be there right from the start so that they could be properly introduced, but since they both had to travel then it's understandable that they were late.
In terms of planning two streams, the second "experienced editors" stream wasn't really properly planned anyway. I think it's important to have a contingency in place if people want to start editing earlier than others, but as long as there's somewhere for them to sit so there out of everyone's way, then that's probably all the planning you need.
I'm looking forward to the next one! Bazonka (talk) 21:33, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
Me too! Yaris678 (talk) 13:03, 6 November 2013 (UTC)