As part of the task force I got the job to look into the technical side of
distributed events that have been happening around the world and report by
Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to do deep digging and exploration but
fortunately Richard was really helpful with tips and contacts, so I can
report on a couple of ideas.
There are a couple of examples of distributed events (One Web Day,
Software Freedom Day, etc.). One thing that is surely common in them is
that they have websites and their own domain names (and a Facebook fan-page
nowadays seems a must...).
It seems that most of them are using a wiki to do the team and events
registrations: you create a page with your planned event/organising team and
that's it. (There might be some extra steps involved where you have to
additionally register your team page you created to receive swag or the site
administrator might add your event to a nicer front-end site and put it on a
I think we can easily replicate or even improve this part of the organising
on the technical side. In terms of sophistication and usability I think we
should look to Creative Commons' grant application page as an example - I
think it uses the Semantic Forms MediaWiki extension. The Mozilla Drumbeat
project also has a very nice website and possibly an event registration form
but I didn't have time to pursue it fully as it requires registration, etc.
It is less technical but it is important to note that these events had nice
"getting started" guides and event kits. One Web Day has morphed into
Mozilla's Drumbeat, which has a nice event kit down to promotional flyer
templates on their wiki [unfortunately it is still under construction, 4].
Similarly, Software Freedom Day had event guidelines and even a competition
between the events.
A nice idea that we could replicate from One Web Day is that they had
"ambassadors", prominent people supporting the event and a local group who
would in the 60 days leading up to the day (one ambassador a day) would post
on their blog or publish a video in support of the events.
If the WMF has the resources we could expand the "Jimmy video" idea to a
number of prominent people talking [in a 1-2 minute video clip or a short
blog post] about Wikipedia and how it has changed their lives in the last 10
years and reminiscing about the past (e.g. we could have the first editors;
the tech people telling anecdotes about WP running out of a dorm room and
becoming what it is today, current and past WMF board members, people from
the advisory board, etc.) and the Jimmy video could crown it on the 15
Having a "blog planet"/Twitter wall kind of page to showcase these videos
and other people's stories (possibly some from the stories collected for
fundraising purposes) would be a plus.
The basic concept for this, which we discussed during the working
group in Berlin, is that Jan 15, 2011 will be Wikipedia's 10th
anniversary, and that a good way to mark this might be to hold events
around the world tied together by a special anniversary simulcast,
possibly with Jimmy Wales.
This type of thing would be particularly advantageous as an "easy in"
for people with limited resources organizing events for that day.
This aspect could be closely modeled on the recent Lawrence Lessig
"Wireside Chat", which was simulcast in about 40 live venues, and was
even done in OGG format:
I have talked to Ben Moskowitz of the Open Video Alliance and George
Chriss of OpenMeetings.org (cc'ed here), who organized the Lessig
"Wireside Chat", and they are both enthusiastic about doing something
similar for Wikipedia Day 2011.
Everything is still in the works, but we decided Wikipedia Day weekend
would be a good time for a regional event. (Bonus: it's a 3 day
weekend in the U.S., Monday is a holiday). :)
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