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Wikipedia’s leisure opportunity during the COVID19 crisis

It is currently a civic duty to stay at home for one’s own protection and that of others. But not everyone can cope with this isolation. Wikimedia CH, the association behind Wikipedia, reminds that the online encyclopaedia is not just a treasure of freely accessible knowledge and invites to browse and study. It also offers numerous opportunities to participate and to share and expand knowledge. Editing events are offered online until further notice.

“Yes, everyone can contribute to Wikipedia. You can get active here”, emphasizes Diego Hättenschwiler, an experienced Wikipedian who used to be engaged as a trainer at writing workshops, editathons or hackathons throughout Switzerland and who is also a consultant for the Wikimedia CH association. This worldwide platform of free knowledge thrives on “the fact that people write, update, correct or supplement content”, said Hättenschwiler.

Expert tip: Be courageous!

New active committed people are always very welcome. Getting started may seem a bit complicated at first glance. “But if you look at tutorials, exchange ideas with other Wikipedians and get to grips with the page structure, you will quickly get results. Be brave and just try it”, Hättenschwiler tells the newcomers. “It’s important that the changes are backed up with a well-founded reference – there’s a special button on the page for this”, explains the expert. If the source is not given, the content could be deleted by other users within a short time. Those who work well will find confirmation and recognition in the fact that their content is preserved in the long term. An important criterion for new Wikipedia articles is their relevance. Here, too, the articles undergo an internal review by other community members.

Changes can be tracked at any time

“Experienced Wikipedians like to devote themselves to new contributions, so there is less time for updates,” says the expert. From his point of view, updating articles is a suitable introduction to the world of Wikipedia. Especially the Swiss linguistic diversity and the fact that many articles in several other languages already exist or have not yet been transferred, open up a huge terrain for authors. Either way, the motto is: “Have courage! Changes can be tracked or reversed at any time thanks to the ‘View History” function.

An own platform also for photographers

For all those who prefer photography and would like to share their pictures with the general public, there is another interesting platform in the Wiki world: Wikimedia Commons. It is advisable to upload only your own, self-recorded pictures or videos there at the beginning. For images of other origins, the copyright must be correct. “Unfortunately, this is quite complex,” Diego Hättenschwiler points out.

Magnificent images

Wikimedia Commons is also a nice platform for everyone who watch good pictures. At the moment the votes around the “Picture of the year 2019” are running worldwide. But there are also photo competitions like Wiki Loves Monuments, Wiki Science Competition or Wiki Loves Folklore. “It is unbelievable how many wonderful photos can be found there. I’m amazed again and aigain,” says the Wikipedia expert.

Community managers help with networking

If you need support or have questions, please contact Wikimedia CH. The Community Managers will then be happy to put you in touch with other committed people in German-speaking Switzerland, French-speaking Switzerland and Ticino.

Training material for editing is available under the following links:

Further Projects to contribute

Event calendar