Wikipedia:Editing Weekend

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On wikipedia-l, Jimbo proposed editing weekends be held as a part of the drive towards 1.0. This involves groups of Wikipedians meeting in libraries to finalise articles.

We could get permission from a library or libraries in some densely populated centers around the world to gain admission during a holiday or weekend that they would normally be closed. We'd set up a wireless broadband network and bring together as many people as possible to work together day and night in a fun atmosphere to fact check articles and process them for final publication in a CD-ROM, with an eye towards print as well of course.
Since we'd be talking about en for this first round, logical cities for this would be New York and London, with L.A. and Chicago and Sydney also possible, if there are enough people interested to make that happen.
We'd strive to have as many people as possible in one location, and to attract maximum media attention to what we're doing. So the selection of a location would involve deliberations about keeping the cost low, both travel costs and hotel costs for participants travelling some distance.
For example, although this is too soon, the New York Public Library will be closed September 4 through September 6, for "Labor Day Weekend". There are many other holidays like that one which would provide a similar opportunity.
Imagine (go with me on this fantasy here) 1000 people working around the clock with timeouts just to sleep and eat, for 3 full days, to fact check, copyedit, and approve as many articles as possible.

Whilst Jimbo's plan was to hold this event in the summer of 2005, just before publication of the print edition, there could be a number of earlier sessions held before this.

These will allow people to improve and check articles to get as many up to printable standard as possible before they are selected for the print version. This could also be a good place to start advertising the drive to 1.0 and get people motivated to work on it.

Ideally sessions would be held simultaneously around the world in order to maximise media interest, allowing us to start advertising the print version early.

First meeting, September 2004[edit]

I suggest that the first trial of these editing weekends could be a single day event to see how well it works before people commit themselves to an entire weekend. These could be held in September, which leaves over a month to arrange it, and is before students go back to university, so there might be more people available to attend. Please create a section below if you are interested in arranging this in your country. Angela. 18:14, Jul 27, 2004 (UTC)


  • Location: Birmingham Central Library are interested in hosting this as shown from this email:
Sounds fascinating, and I'd like us to be involved. I'm sure we can come to some arrangement with you, precisely what might depend on how many people, how much space, what you want, time of year etc. For example we have large meeting rooms, which could be used, or we could close off an area of the library rather than going for a closed day (since these are only Sundays); the cost would depend on the solution, but we wouldn't be expensive! Catering can be arranged too, depending on how we structure the sessions. Do you want to give me a call, but you can take it as a yes in principle?

Depending on how many people can attend would affect what sort of room we need to book, and whether we need to look at obtaining any money to hire the room.

Please list your name below against the Saturdays that you could attend.

  • ?? - David Gerard (not sure when, but will be sure to make at least one)
  • ?? - Pcb21| Pete (The dates listed are Sundays, but says Saturdays). I like the idea a lot, unfortunately my annual holiday is from 6th-20th September and I am already booked 26th. If it happened to turned out to be Sat 4th Sep I would be keen to attend.
  • ?? - [[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod ......TALKQuietly)]] 07:38, Jul 28, 2004 (UTC) I'd like to help out. I doubt I'd be able to get to Birmingham but if someone organises a London venue I can help. I suppose I should point out that I am not always the way I was at Wagamama... and let's leave that assertion tacit. I'd quite happily be a gopher, foraging around the shelves or whatever.
I hope we are not seeing some Londo-centrism here Bod ;) The library Angela has fantasically got permission from is pretty get-to-able and is a fine location, especially considering the June meet was in London. Pcb21| Pete 08:33, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
No, I have absolutely no objection to the event being elsewhere. But I'm fairly London-bound for budgetary reasons, I can't afford to go spend £30 to get to a place with food and... well, let's not say drink, cough, costs on top. I am a man of slender means. So, I'm certainly not canvassing for a change of venue, I'm merely letting it be known that I can't really travel too far. In particular, in September there is a possibility that the temperature will be much lower which has a profound effect on my health. --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod ......TALKQuietly)]] 00:11, Jul 29, 2004 (UTC)
  • ?? - Sunday 5th is possible for me. On the other hand, it looks as if there may be free facilities on public days, if we could get them reserved for exclusive usage! Noisy 13:42, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  • I'm pretty new around here, but this sounds like a cool idea and I'd love to come along. --AlexG 20:31, 1 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I did mean Saturday, despite putting Sunday dates up considering they're closed on Sundays. Angela. 03:29, Jul 29, 2004 (UTC)

A fair point :) I just wanted to keep open the possibility that you were one of those extremist library rights protestors threatening to occupy buildings on Sundays. (or was that animal rights?) Pcb21| Pete 10:33, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Well, that would be one way of gaining some media attention. :) Angela. 15:24, Jul 29, 2004 (UTC)


Please add other locations here if you are willing to arrange an editing day at a library this September.

What about an open library?[edit]

The New York Public Library (the main research library) is a big place. To open it just for us on Labor Day, I'm sure they'd have to bring in quite a few staffers. Are you ruling out having such an event when the library is open? I'd envision the NYPL contingent breaking up, with different people in different rooms, and some across the street at the Mid-Manhattan Library (the circulating library but still with many reference facilities). Other participants might be at specialized branch libraries -- for example, some articles would be assigned to the team at the Performing Arts library near Lincoln Center. In this fashion, quite a few people could be working without disrupting normal library operations, beyond the occasional muttered cell phone conversation in a corridor or rest room. Frankly, my inclination would be to just show up and do it, without negotiating with the library in advance. I'd be available in NYC for Saturday 9/18 or 9/25. JamesMLane 10:08, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

& possibly on the West Coast as well? We have a very nice new library here in Seattle, wi-fi, almost always plenty of space. -- Jmabel 06:32, Jul 29, 2004 (UTC)
Jmabel, I'd be open to that (as a resident of Washington :-) -- I know there are several of us close enough to attend, though probably not enough to convince them to open the library specially. I haven't been to the new library in Seattle -- does it have a room we could potentially reserve to work in? Jwrosenzweig 17:29, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Yes, also any number of open spaces easily staked out for this sort of thing. Full support for wi-fi, plus anyone with a Seattle library card has access to one free hour a day on the library's system; there might be a way to negotiate more for this purpose, I know they have some conference rooms equipped with computers. -- Jmabel 02:51, Aug 3, 2004 (UTC)
James, as for the unannounced visits to the library, I think that would ruin the whole "media attention" aspect. BTW, I also live in NYC and would be interested in helping out one weekend or two. - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 19:11, Aug 2, 2004 (UTC)
Yes, an unannounced visit would ruin any hope of media attention. For the first venture, I definitely would not want media attention. Let's have our unforeseen problems in private.
There isn't much discussion above about choosing the articles to be targeted for this editing marathon. Would any of the pending WikiReader projects provide appropriate selections? An advantage (if a project really is within hailing distance of releasing a finished product) would be a more immediate sense of completion, which might help build momentum for doing such a thing for the grander and more distant 1.0. A disadvantage would be that would-be participants who didn't feel at home with that particular subject area (cryptography, Shakespeare, or whatever) might be deterred from participating if that subject area were the only one with official approval for the editing weekend. JamesMLane 11:32, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Maybe pick 2 or 3 quite diverse areas? One in the sciences, one in the humanities, one in popular culture? -- Jmabel 17:19, Aug 20, 2004 (UTC)
The WikiReader projects on cryptography, Shakespeare and Hollywood would fit that scheme. I just don't know which of those projects (if any) is in the ideal state for an editing weekend -- that being, I think, fairly far along but not about to ship. A project that could actually be finished by a weekend blitz would be best. JamesMLane 05:01, 21 Aug 2004 (UTC)