Photo by Satdeep Gill, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Photo by Satdeep Gill, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Wikipedia editor Arminé Aghayan, from Vedi in the Ararat Valley, Armenia, was at Wikimania 2015 in Mexico City when she first heard about the #100wikidays challenge.

Aghayan had already created over 2,700 articles on Wikipedia, but this idea gripped her. She created her first challenge article a few days after returning home. “I love challenges in general because they inspire you to collaborate with other Wikipedians. You get to know them and their interests, and they learn about what drives you,” Aghayan explains.

Aghayan was the first Armenian to complete the challenge. She was proud when she received a message from an Armenian WikiCamp alumni to inquire about #100wikidays. Surprisingly, many of the alum’s fellows had learned about the challenge and followed his lead. It quickly  went viral in the Armenian Wikipedia community.

This is just one inspirational example of over 180 Wikipedians who took on the #100wikidays challenge within the past year and half. Forty-seven 100wikidayers have met the challenge’s target and at least 7,700 articles have been created as a result.

“Everybody is free to adapt the challenge according to their lifestyle,” says Vassia Atanassova, a Bulgarian Wikipedian who came up with the #100wikidays challenge. “There is no such thing as failure in the challenge. It is all about fun and creating good content.”

Some participants in the challenge found it entertaining enough that they did not stop contributing articles on a daily basis after the 100-day period concluded. Nat Tymkiv, a Wikipedian from Ukraine and a member of the Wikimedia Foundation’s Board of Trustees, had completed the full course of the challenge on the Ukrainian Wikipedia, then started and completed another 100-day challenge on Wikiquote. Nat wanted to accomplish a third challenge on Wikivoyage, but that proved difficult.

“My life is really busy, so editing Wikipedia can’t always be a priority,” says Tymkiv. “But I still wanted to try to make this happen. It was a real challenge for me, and I enjoyed it very much. It involved a lot more time management, or what felt like pulling off miracles, in some cases.”

But having fun isn’t always easy. “100wikidays really requires total devotion, which I sometimes lack,” Atanassova admits. “Some days I ask myself what kind of idiot invented this nonsense.”

The simple but smart idea has inspired Rebecca O’Neill, from Ireland, to both participate in the challenge and use her experience to inform her autoethnographic PhD research. Her research focuses on how terms like “curation” and “curator” have changed over the years.

“I’m interested in how both professional and citizen curators see their own work and how they evaluate the work of others,” explains O’Neill. “My own 100wikidays experience has allowed me to explore the motivations and emotions behind this engaging work.”

The number of people joining this venture expands rapidly every day. It’s difficult but enjoyable for most contributors. If you feel inspired to participate, you can start today—head to this talk page or this group on Facebook if you would like to engage with others about joining the challenge.

Samir Elsharbaty, Digital Content Intern
Wikimedia Foundation