On Saturday, September 27th, Wikimedia España co-organized in Madrid the first editathon focused on improving content about the Spanish language and literature in the Spanish Wikipedia. This editathon was fostered by three relevant institutions strongly committed to the promotion and dissemination of the Spanish language and culture around the world: the Cervantes Institute, the Royal Spanish Academy and the National Library of Spain. The meeting was hosted in the Board’s Hall (Salón del Patronato), an emblematic room inside the museum of the National Library of Spain, and it was primarily aimed at participants without prior experience editing in Wikipedia. The directors from the three institutions were present at the start of the event to welcome all attendees and thank them for their participation. Progress of the meeting could be tracked through Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms by following the hashtag #WikiEditatonMadrid. This facilitated the participation of other virtual editors who could not attend this meeting.
The registration was quite successful, with 114 enrolled participants from which approximately 61% were women. This was an outstanding achievement, especially considering the still low participation of women editors in Wikipedia. Ten volunteers, experienced Wikipedians from Wikimedia España, offered guidance to all editors and resolved their questions and doubts. The meeting took place from 10.00 to 18.00 (local time) and started with a short introduction to effective participation in Wikipedia. Lunch, beverages and cupcakes were served to all participants to keep up the editing enthusiasm.
The meeting was a great success and its main accomplishments can be summarized as follows:
- More than 400 edits were made on 45 different articles pertaining to Spanish language and literature.
- Four new articles were created on the influence of Nauhatl and influence of Latin in the Spanish language, the economy around the Spanish language and collections of the National Library of Spain.
- We had 40 new user accounts created by participants in the editathon. Most of them registered over the previous days, following the preparation instructions for the meeting.
- Several articles experimented a substantial growth in content, most notably articles on the Biblioteca Digital Hispánica (+161.78%), or about the authors Carme Riera (+75.87%) and Sergio Pitol (+93,86%).
- 23 new images were uploaded by the National Library of Spain, originating from a featured initative to digitize their vast collection of cultural works.
- 53 images illustrating this editathon were uploaded to Commons.
- The National Library kindly offered physical access to more than 130 books to help all attendees in inserting appropriate references to back up their contributions. Even so, several editors asked for additional references on specific topics that were promptly provided by personnel from their Bibliographic Information Service.
All editors received special surprise gifts: books from the Royal Spanish Academy, image products from Cervantes Institute, the National Library of Spain and WMF. On top of that, the National Library invited all attendees (editors and volunteering Wikipedians) to participate in an exclusive guided tour through the National Library museum, including visits to special areas and rooms. Overall, we were quite satisfied with the development of this editathon. We also hope that it can be the first step in a new series of similar initiatives in Spain to engage these and other renowned organizations and institutions on improving access to free knowledge in Wikipedia.
Felipe Ortega, co-organizer and member of Wikimedia España.