Submissions/Best practices for meetup pages

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After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2015 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this July.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
Best practices for meetup pages
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
User:Another Believer
E-mail address
Another Believer
Country of origin
United States
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Not necessarily presenting on behalf of any affiliation, but I am a founding board member and officer for the Cascadia Wikimedians User Group and a co-organizer for the Wikimedia LGBT+ User Group
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
Main: meta:User:Another Believer/Meetups

During September 2012 – January 2013, I spent a significant amount of time categorizing meetup pages at English Wikipedia by year and geographic location. Category:Wikipedia meetups contained far too many pages (hundreds!) and provided no trend indicators, such as the number of meetups per year or the number of meetups in any particular jurisdiction. Curious about the historical number of meetups, I created Category:Wikipedia meetups by year, along with subcategories for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Similarly, I created Category:Wikipedia meetups by country to separate meetup pages based on geographic location. Meetup pages were then sorted into nation subcategories; as of the time of this writing there exist subcategories for Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Uganda, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam. I did not create all of these categories, but I created most of them. I submitted requests for some categories to be renamed for the sake of consistency (see one request here for several previously-created categories that began with the location rather than the "Wikipedia meetups in [X]" format). I also made sure nation categories were associated with corresponding WikiProjects, categorizing Category:Wikipedia meetups in Canada as part of WikiProject Canada, for instance.

Furthermore, I created subcategories within nation categories for cities. For example, see Category:Wikipedia meetups in Australia to access meetup pages for Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Category:Wikipedia meetups in the United States contains subcategories organized by city and by state. (Of course, you can find meetup pages for Seattle through either Category:Wikipedia meetups in the United States by city or Category:Wikipedia meetups in Washington.) You might also notice on the Seattle page that, in addition to being associated with WikiProject Seattle, the page also links to Category:Wikimedia meetups in Seattle at Wikimedia Commons. How convenient!

Data for meetup pages at English Wikipedia between 2004 and 2012. If I present at Wikimania, I will update this chart so that it includes information through 2014. I will also supply data for individual campaigns such as Wiki Loves Libraries, Art+Feminism, etc.

Others have adopted this restructure. Why does organizing meetup pages matter? Because they serve as indicators of activity and provide insight about when and where meetups are taking place, and which campaigns are successful. I concede that this data is not perfect. The statistics I will present quantify the number of categorized meetup pages at English Wikipedia, not the actual number of meetups. Created pages can be blanked and recycled for subsequent events, may represent multiple events (see examples here and here), have yet to be identified and categorized, etc. Categories may also contain non-event pages, such as templates, quiz questions, minutes and other pages related to meetups. Also, some contributors organize meetups at Meta-Wiki or at Wikimedia chapter wikis, most notably members of Wikimedia UK ( Keep in mind, this data represents only the English Wikipedia community—many meetup pages are created at encyclopedias for other languages (see Vikipediya:Görüş, Wikipedia:Sastanci, or Wikipedia:Treffen der Wikipedianer for just a few examples). So, the information is not perfect, but I think it could spark a larger conversation about metrics, meetup organization, success rates for major campaigns, and hopefully inspire other Wikimedia projects to organize meetup/campaign pages in a similar manner.

My presentation will cover trends I've observed and a few interesting findings, then conclude with best practices for meetup pages. Ideally, individual pages would exist for every meetup. Each event in every city. That way, people would have access to those discussions, the number and usernames of participants, the activity leading up to, and the results of the event. Ideally, we would know the number of Wiknics in 2012, the number of Wiki Loves Libraries events in 2011, the number of Wiki Loves Monuments photo hunts in 2012, etc., creating metrics which show when and where wiki activity is taking place. Some contributors might see this as overkill, but this is the best way for people to identify a wiki community and its history within a geographic location. I can identify two simple solutions to allow the construction of individual meetup pages: 1.) Improved organization for main pages of major campaigns. 2.) Highly visible and easily accessible templates or wizards. If the Upload Wizard at Wikimedia Commons can offer a visual representation of how to upload files, followed by mechanisms to describe and categorize files, the same concept should be used for meetup pages.

I will outline some best practices for meetup page, suggest it might be helpful to have guidelines or even possible a manual of style for meetup pages, and solicit attendees for feedback and invite them to the IdeaLab page. My intention is not to dictate what communities should do, but merely to suggest best practices and give reasons why this work is important. Perhaps attendees will be inspired to replicate this work on their home wiki, or change the way they use meetup pages, or even assist with developing a tool for easily creating new meetup pages.

WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Sure, though attendance is scholarship-dependent
Slides or further information (optional)

I did a lightning talk at the inaugural WikiConference USA on this topic, and I got a lot of positive feedback so I thought I might share with a larger audience. I should also point out this related IdeaLab page: meta:Grants:IdeaLab/Meetup Page Creation Tool. The goal is to develop a tool that makes it very easy to not only create new meetup pages, but to have them easily or automatically categorized by date, geographic location, and even campaign or type of event (Wiki Loves Libraries, Art+Feminism, etc.).

Interested attendees

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  1. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 02:49, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
  2. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 12:43, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
  3. CT Cooper · talk 17:30, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
  4. Ocaasi (talk) 16:41, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
  5. Add your username here.