Centre for Internet & Society

A Wikipedia introductory session was organised at Bharati Vidyapeeth Engineering College in Delhi early this year and a follow up session was organised by CIS on November 19, 2012. About 12 to 15 participants attended the follow up session. Although most of the participants had attended the introductory session there were a few who were coming over for the first time.

Many participants had already tried some wiki editing (such as correcting grammar, spellings, punctuations, etc.) after the introductory session but had several queries with respect to advance editing such as wiki markup, adding references, adding wiki interlinks and so on.

The main aim to conduct a follow up session was to clear these editing doubts, provide editing support and more importantly make these new editors feel a part of the wider Wikipedia community. This session gave us a brilliant opportunity to inform and encourage the participants to be part of Wikipedia mailing lists, talk page discussions, Facebook pages, current Wikipedia projects and Wiki meet ups. Participants were taught difference between article and user talk pages, leaving messages on various talk pages, how to add wiki markups, add references, add inter wiki links, send private mails to other users, page view stats, etc. The good part of organizing a session with second time participants was that they were already familiar with the workings of Wikipedia from the introductory session. They had more intelligent queries especially around editing. In addition, another big advantage was the surety that only those participants will return who are genuinely interested in wiki editing and are not just attracted towards Wikipedia brand or swags.

Albeit being a short two-hour session, the workshop provided a good platform for getting in touch with participants, helping them to gain confidence and edit Wikipedia articles, informing them of different ways in which they could be more involved.

Hopefully, next year we could revisit each of the institutions where we'd organised an introductory Wikipedia session in 2012. Though the number of participants for a follow up session might be small but it definitely guarantees more interested and more involved participants.

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