I’m writing (and posting — thank you Chiltern Railways’ free Wi-Fi!) this on the train home from High Wycombe. I’ve spent a fun day there with Louise Brown, her husband Simon, and three of their friends, teaching them to edit OpenStreetMap and, after a fab lunch cooked by Simon, how to edit Wikipedia.
This came about after I mentioned on Twitter some other Wikipedia training I’d delivered, and Louise said she wished I lived closer, so she could have attended. I said I’d be wiling to travel to her home to do so if she could get a few like-minded friends together, to justify me giving up a day of my time and making the journey. This she quickly did.
Though we didn’t add much to OpenStreetMap to start with, I’m confident that the attendees will soon fill in the gaps around their homes and work-places in High Wycombe, West Wycombe and Marlow. We certainly improved some Wikipedia articles though, and created some new articles, including:
St Lawrence, West Wycombe
Photo by amandabhslater, on Flickr, CC-BY-SA
- Microsoft HailStorm
- St Lawrence’s Church, West Wycombe (pictured, thanks to an open licence)
- St Paul’s Church, West Wycombe (we had the vicar among us!)
- Guy McCrone
- William Barribal
I’ve previously taught Wikipedia and OpenStreetMap editing, separately, in a variety of situations including universities, council offices, at Social Media Surgeries, at hackdays, and elsewhere, but this is the first time I’ve done so in someone’s home, in an informal and social setting.
A bit like a Tupperware party in fact, but without the plastic kitchenware.
If you have skills in editing Wikipedia or OpenStreetMap, or using social media, or indeed anything else that can be done around a domestic dining table, why don’t you see if you can share them in a similar way. If you’ve not delivered training before, it’s a good way to get experience.
It’s also a great way to sign up new contributors to these worthwhile crowd-sourced projects, in a fun, friendly and supportive environment. There are no venue costs to worry about. And you’ll meet some lovely people!
So what are you waiting for?