December 2021

Inaugural Wiki Club Gathering Oct 5, 2021: Roberta’s Sum-Up about How to Get Started

In the weeks in between our sessions, we will all be putting this knowledge to use by editing the encyclopedia. I recommend that you gain proficiency by improving existing articles, before attempting to create a new one. 

A re-cap of the basics is at the bottom of this document.

Our Wiki Club will teach you how best to collaborate with other editors (i.e. anyone who makes a positive change, however small, to Wikipedia – that means you). Much of this mutual support will be on-wiki, on the talk pages attached to each article, and to each editor’s own space. You are also welcome to record the ups and downs of your journey on the Symposium website, where there is this page for us to share our wiki-edit thoughts, questions, and findings.

What we covered in October

Wikipedia editors collaborate in various ways. One is by WikiProjects, which group together articles with a similar focus, so that interested editors can find them, and each other. WikiProject Military history is huge and dynamic. WikiProject Food and drink, despite its enormous scope, has very few active editors. We intend to change that. 

I showed you the areas within the project: home, talk page, members, and so on.  Showcase lists articles of outstanding quality, making them good models for future writing. Assessment allows you to decide the quality and importance of existing articles. Note that the project’s most recent newsletter dates from 2016. The infrastructure is there, preserved in aspic, which means that there is plenty of room to get involved, at whatever level and to whatever extent you wish.

Another project that overlaps with our interests is the vibrant, lively, busy, active WikiProject: Women in Red. Their many editors are addressing one of the systemic biases of Wikipedia, namely the under-representation of women in biographies. Links within web pages are normally blue; a redlink indicates a page that has not yet been created. WikiProject Women in Red seeks to change these named but unheralded women from red to blue, by writing them into the encyclopedia and making them findable to the world. 

What’s the relevance to the Symposium? Women involved in food are less likely to be written about than their male counterparts. Food preparation in general is coded female, and so is taken less seriously. And finally,  WikiProject Women in Red  has tools and resources that we can borrow to improve all sorts of food and drink articles, not only biographies. 

The intersection between the two is 

https:/WikiProject Women in Red/Missing articles by occupation/Food and drink

In other words, those women (chefs, cookbook writers, campaigners, etc.) who ought to have biographies, but don’t yet. Over the years, the Symposium-sponsored wiki workshops  have generated lists of women who deserve biographies (and some men too, and non-biographical subjects as well). We are working on finding a way to fold the egg whites of these lists into the yolks of the existing system, and come up with a souffle somehow. (Or of course I might end up with egg on my face. It wouldn’t be the first time.)

The place to go for 24/7 help is 


As in, a calm environment to relax and learn. “A friendly place where you can ask questions to get help with using and editing Wikipedia.”

If you can’t remember the link you need, use a search engine. Wikipedia’s behind-the-scenes pages are often difficult to find. Its internal terminology can be obscure.

Things to do

● Step zero: create an account. If you are indeed new, then add to your talkpage the template (including the curly brackets):  {{this is a new user}}
● Go to WikiProject Food and drink and read around it.
● Add yourself to the list of members of the WikiProject. Among other things, this enables us to find each other more easily.
● Find a food or drink article that interests you, and improve it, perhaps by adding citations. Remember to preview your contribution before saving/publishing it, and add a brief explanation in the edit summary (e.g. “added citation”).
● Ensure that its talk page links it to the project. If it doesn’t already display the banner, then add this template: {{WikiProject Food and drink}}
● Go to WikiProject: Women in Red and read around it. 
● Are there any names at https:/WikiProject Women in Red/Missing articles by occupation/Food and drink who you know about? You can search by categories such as country and date of birth.
● Keep editing! Try to make improvements to a few different articles. If you have a query about the way forward with a particular article, explain your position on its talkpage, and if no one responds within a day or two, reformulate your question for the Teahouse.
● Remember your successes; we’ll be asking for examples to share at our next session.

What next for Wiki Club?
The dates are fixed; the subjects are not (yet).

Tuesday 2 November – resources & citations
Tuesday 7 December – translations
What would you like to see? 

And a re-cap of the basics:
If you are a complete newbie, start with the hour-long video I made for the 2020 Symposium. Some people then like to dive straight in; others prefer to learn more first. Here is a list of short how-to videos; most are 3-5 minutes long.

Beginner Training (from Art + Feminism, a group created to combat systemic inequalities ) 
Userpages and the Sandbox
Basic Rules of Wikipedia editing
Adding Citations
Anatomy of a Page
Creating New Articles
Wikipedia Training Video Part 1 – followed by parts 2 & 3

Produced by the Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikipedia Adventure – long but light-hearted

Various sources
Editing Basics (Visual Editor) – this is the option that looks like a regular word processor
How to Create a Wikipedia Account – Tutorial
How to Edit a Wikipedia Article
These are all videos, of course. If you prefer your training in writing, use the titles above to search for an equivalent written how-to.