On 22 September 2018, the Goethe Institut in Brussels and Wikimedia Belgium organised a Wikipedia writing session (edit-a-thon) in Brussels in the offices of the Goethe Institut. The edit-a-thon includes an introduction in how to edit and was open to anyone willing to learn and edit Wikipedia. The writing session was part of the Erbstuecke project and organised in multiple countries in Europe. (website)
“Erbstuecke” is a digital project designed by the Goethe-Institut and organised and realised in cooperation with Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. and in consultation with the German Cultural Heritage Committee (Deutsches Nationalkomitee für Denkmalschutz, DNK) in different European cities and towns. The DNK itself is responsible for all activities of the European Year of Cultural Heritage within Germany.
The aim of “Erbstuecke” is to tell the story of our common roots, of how much of Europe can be found in the cultural heritage of Estonia, Portugal and Serbia for instance. We want to encourage to participate as many people and as many European countries as possible with a variety of their “heirlooms”. Cultural cooperations and influences have constituted the European cultural agenda long before the European Union was founded. Our common European heritage keeps on influencing our lives. “Sharing heritage: where the past meets the future” is this year’s slogan.
Wikipedia is the 5th most visited website in the world, but only 17% of Wikipedia’s biographies are about women. This includes the women in the tech industry. The computer programmers category lists 180 profiles, of whom fewer than 10 are women. But history hasn’t been documented well: a lot of women have contributed to shaping the internet as we know it today.
On 13 October 2018, BeCentral and Wikimedia Belgium organised a full day edit-a-thon to document Wikipedia with Women in Technology.
After the Women in Tech edit-a-thon we were thinking, only organising an edit-a-thon once does not have much effect. Therefore we decided to start with the Wiki Club Brussels. Also over the years we have learned that people who (newly) edit Wikipedia often like to meet other editors so that they can help each other. Editing Wikipedia together often leads to better results and more fun. Also this gives the opportunity to ask questions to more experienced editors. For that reason we started to organise biweekly Wikipedia writing sessions in BeCentral. At these meetups participants can work on articles in Wikipedia, ask questions and learn how others are editing Wikipedia. The subject participants often focus on are women in the tech industry, but participants are not required to write about this topic.
Since 23 October we plan every two weeks a Wiki Club meeting.
On 29 October 2018, the 6th birthday of Wikidata, Wikimedia Belgium organised together with Packed (expert centre for digital heritage) and the Royal Library of Belgium a Wikidata workshop in Brussels at the site of this national library. The target audience of the Wikidata workshop was the cultural sector, more specifically organisations with a collection they would like to open up through Wikidata and the other Wikimedia platforms. The Wikidata workshop was very successful, fully booked and not everyone could participate. We likely organise another Wikidata workshop in Spring 2019.
After the Wikidata workshop for cultural institutions, we organised an open celebration of the 6th birthday of Wikidata with some food, drinks, balloons and a Wikidata cake!