An edittathon is a small event that is organized by a group of editors who come together in a common course to do some collaborative editing, for this case they shall be editing the largest online encyclopedia, Wikipedia. This event is being hosted at the Strathmore University which is populous for its unique dress code. After travelling for two hours I finally get to the place on time and we start waiting for the rest of the team prior to the editing goes live. The first glitch I discern after powering on my laptop is that there is no decent Wi-Fi connectivity which would, if truth be told render our mission here useless. After deliberations with the host and some other members we come to a decision to raise some money so that we can buy our own internet that shall be shared using the connectify software. Not again, the safaricom service that we ought to use to buy airtime, M-Pesa is experiencing delays! We decide to buy scratch cards then later withdraw the money from M-Pesa and reimburse the volunteers who give their cash. All the anticipated attendants finally arrive and we start out edittathon. Some are newbies and they do not even have user accounts, so first step is to create user accounts then the rest follows. Something worth noting is, while they were creating user accounts there were some notifications about the usernames, For instance, “Username closely resembles another on the Wikipedia, please choose another”…..and so on and so forth. I think that the Media-wiki system should offer some suggestions like other mail clients do every time you choose a username that is already taken. This way the newbie will be saved the trouble of thinking of new names and making the process easier and enjoyable. Some newbies might even decide to quit and not give it a second look let alone the try.
Our internet is not that good as we are depending on
one of the volunteer’s laptops as the server, or is it someone who has not paused their torrent downloads?
We work on some articles that had been put on the agenda as we learn from each other good editing practices. My lesson, Wikipedia is so huge that only those passionate about it go the extra mile to dig more. But in a few words, No original writing, Information on Wikipedia should be verifiable, Articles should be of notable topics and they should be written from a neutral point of view.
You can view the photos HERE.