The Wikipedia community’s annual conference recently returned after skipping a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Originally set for Bangkok, Thailand, Wikimania 2021 became a virtual event in light of the unrelenting virus — a move that had an effect similar to that famous Woodstock stage announcement, “It’s a free concert from now on.”
Anyone who registered, at no cost, could view sessions live or on demand.
The first of five days was devoted to Hackathon, a yearly event that allows techies to work on improving software that powers Wikimedia websites.
Days 2 through 5 offered such topics as “Wikimedia Legal History: Past Practice and Future Trends”; “Transposing the EU Copyright Reform in 28-Plus Countries”; and “Making Feedback Loops Work for Wikidata.”
Riding the Wayback Machine
Among other, perhaps less exotic, offerings were:
Internet Archive and Wikimedia: A Virtuous Collaboration, a session underscoring the value of the Wayback Machine, an Internet Archive feature that preserves webpages that have disappeared after websites move or companies go bankrupt. Wayback Machine director Mark Graham shared progress in the endeavor to repair dead links in Wikipedia articles to point to content at web.archive.org.
Editing the Wiki Way: Software and the Future of Editing, a panel discussion about how software can help editors locate Wikipedia policies, which “are stored far away from the editing experience, hidden in a web of long pages.”
Editing With Machine Learning: A Case Study on Link Recommendations, presented by members of Wikipedia’s growth and research teams, who discussed the Link Recommendation Service — a structured task that automatically suggests places in Wikipedia articles to add hyperlinks to other Wikipedia articles.
RedWarn and Improving Wiki Counter-Vandalism Into the 2020s, in which two members of Wikipedia’s RedWarn team, which has developed “one of the newest and most popular counter-vandalism tools on the English Wikipedia,” explain the history of patrolling tools and what the future holds.
For organizations seeking to understand the importance of having or updating a Wikipedia presence, the above sessions — as well as many others — can be found on the Wikimedia Foundation’s YouTube channel. To learn how to create a new article or edit an existing Wikipedia article, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free assessment call.