A small but enthusiastic group attended an 'Introduction to Wikidata: How the world of Wikimedia links together' at the Darling Square Library on 13 August. It was the first in-person edit-a-thon hosted by the City of Sydney since May 2021.
Participants ranged in age from early 20s to late 70s, all keen to understand the power of Wikidata. There were the usual challenges when getting the participants signed up for Wikipedia accounts, including one whose IP had been blocked.
After the introductory training presented by Toby Hudson, during which the new editors watched then practised adding a reference to a statement, we enjoyed a twenty-minute break on site for tea, coffee and Portuguese tarts or popped out for a breath of fresh air and something more like lunch.
Next, participants created new items for people with entries in the Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB), adding alternative names, descriptions and as much information as they could from the ADB, using it as a reference.
Nearing the end of the session, Toby demonstrated some visualisations of SPARQL queries, then chose one query suggested by the group to create live – Who was the first librarian?
For Sydneysiders who remain curious to learn about what Wikidata is and how it works, a repeat session will be held on 22 October 2022.