On Friday December 2nd 2022, Wiki Labs Kultur – the main Wikimedia-based GLAM initiative in Denmark – and the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) hosted an edit-a-thon with the theme of contemporary Danish artists from the former Yugoslavia. The edit-a-thon coincided with the SMK exhibition Connections – Danish artists from Ex-Yugoslavia with the same theme. The event was organized by the curator of the exhibition, Tijana Mišković, and Merete Sanderhoff, curator and senior advisor in the field of digital museum practice at SMK, who is also the main point of contact for Wiki Labs Kultur.
The event was held in a thematic setting – one of SMK’s art workshops – and was attended by roughly twenty people, including Wikimedians, interested laypeople, art professionals and some of the artists featured in the exhibition (though of course the latter could not edit articles about themselves). The goal of the edit-a-thon was to create articles on the Danish Wikipedia about the exhibited artists, but other content creation also took place such as taking portraits of some of the artists to be released under a Creative Commons license. Generally, two people would sit together and work on an article or something else, with experienced Wikipedians moving around the room to help with any issues. According to the Event Metrics tool, roughly half of the contributing accounts were new editors.
In total, seven new articles were created, spanning six of the seven exhibited artists and the exhibition designer. However, an article on one of the artists had already been created prior to the event and was improved during the edit-a-thon along with two other articles. As a result, all of the artists featured in the exhibit are now covered on the Danish Wikipedia.
The programme of the edit-a-thon was designed with the intent of giving only a very short introduction to the general principles of Wikipedia – such as editing from a neutral point of view, making sure statements are verifiable and the requirement of notability – as well as the very basics of editing – i.e. how to edit existing articles, create new ones, and insert a reference. This was based on prior experience that getting into the minutiae of policies, guidelines and editing from the beginning often slows things down and make things more confusing than neccessary. Instead, questions about things such as inserting pictures or more advanced formatting were answered ad hoc by the experienced Wikipedians throughout the workshop. This seemed to work well, especially since the Visual Editor is so similar to WYSIWYG-editors like WordPad or TextEdit that most people can intuitively begin work on an article.