This is the planning page for Oakland Wiki History Editathons which take place every Sunday from 1-5PM at the Oakland History Room beginning on Jan. 13, 2012. This is a reference document for anyone who is interested in how to plan an event like this.


Tasks for getting history editathons going and tasks for your first history editathon

  • Pick a regular day of the week/month, a start date, and a venue (most likely your local library).

  • Meet with librarians to ensure friendly relations in the space you will be working in and find out if there will be any challenges or necessary resources (librarians may be concerned about staffing with large numbers of new patrons needing assistance all at the same time)
    • Librarians are also great resources for introducing participants to the library's historic resources and archives, and some may even be willing to give a short presentation on your community's history (ex: Temescal Branch lead librarian Steve B. has a famous Oakland history lecture that he gives to many new librarians).
    • Prepare research guides for participants. (Ex: Oakland History Research Guide). Librarians can help you do this.

  • Prepare a paper editing guide (good place to start:
  • Find out what local community groups might be interested in your event (either attending or co-hosting). Great groups include local history organizations/societies, historic preservation organizations, local museums and libraries, etc.
  • Prepare schedule of event
    • Sample schedule:
      • Meet and greet at cafe nearby (optional)
      • Introductions (good sample question: "What interests you about Oakland history?")
      • Short presentation on the wiki and how to edit
      • If possible, it's a great idea to have a librarian give an introduction to the library's resources and archives
      • Have people discuss what topics they want to work on and if there is any overlap, let folks team up
      • Get to work!
        • It's very helpful for wiki volunteers to "float" around the room and help any participants who may be stuck on technical issues or who may be unsure what to work on. Volunteers should help people shape ideas and envision use cases for the wiki.
        • Take pictures of the event!
      • At the end, meet back up in a big group, thank everyone for attending, and congratulate ourselves on all the work done.
      • Afterwards, add "entries worked on" to the event announcement page, email participants and your wiki community to let them know how the event went, and do a short write up on how the event went (pictures help) (ex: Featured Stories)


Tasks for regular history editathons

  • Pick a theme, if you like.
    • Themes are a great way to collaborate with local community groups. For example, if the topic is "architectural history," local history preservation organizations would be a great group to partner with and invite.
  • Create an announcement page on the wiki (all the announcement pages can be found at the Local History Editathons entry) - done
    • If there is a theme for the editathon, prepare a list of possible topics to work on. An easy way to do this is to tag entries with the name of the topic. So for example, if the topic is black history, tag pages to work on with "black history" and insert a list of pages tagged "black history" on the announcement page. Here's a good example: list of topics in Oakland history that need work and additions. You may want to consider printing paper flyers of your list of entries to work on.
  • Add a link to the announcement page to the front page
  • Spam invites :)
    • Aim to start inviting people a minimum of a week ahead of time (the more lead time the better). It's up to you whether you want to have people RSVP on something like an eventbrite or meetup page, or on the entry itself.
    • Don't forget to send a reminder the day before or a few days before the event.


Sample Invitation/Announcement

Subject: [Oakland Wiki] Sunday History Edit-a-thons

Did you know that West Oakland was once considered the “Harlem of the West”? After WWII, this bustling music scene attracted performances from such artists as Billie Holiday, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Big Mama Thornton and T-Bone Walker.

[Oakland Wiki] Sunday History Edit-a-thons

Sundays, starting January 13th, 2013!

Bring a computer or note-taking materials to the Oakland History Room and hang with your fellow local history nuts as we research and add historical content to the Oakland Wiki. The Oakland Wiki, based on the wildly popular Davis Wiki, is a community-created effort that aims to compile into one place everything and anything about our unique and fascinating city. Come be a part of this historic event and help write the story of Oakland!

12-1p: Brown Couch Cafe meet-n-greet and intro to editing (340 14th St.)

1-5p: Oakland History Room (Oakland Public Library, 14th and Oak)

Updates can be found in the Oakland Wiki on the project page here.

Questions? Contact [person]: [person's email address]