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This Twitter Account Puts a Face to the Unsung Volunteer Editors Behind Wikipedia
Written by Subhashish Panigrahi On 18 June 2014 @ 14:21 pm | No Comments
In Citizen Media, Digital Activism, English, India, South Asia, Technology, Weblog, WORLD
Subhashish Panigrahi  is a volunteer contributor for Wikipedia and in past worked as a community and program support consultant for Wikimedia Foundation.
The life of a Wikipedia  editor is an interesting one. Globally, about 100,000 editors edit  the collaborative online encyclopedia's 30 million articles in 287 languages, including over 4.5 million  in the English Wikipedia . They dedicate a tremendous amount of their time to contribute and edit articles, but for no pay (editors work as volunteers) and for little public recognition – their work is credited via their usernames tucked away in the entry's edit history.
Now, one initiative is trying to shine the spotlight on these hard-working “Wikipedians.” WeAreWikipedia  is an unofficial project that brings on a different editor each week to curate information regarding their favorite Wikipedia pages and tweet them using the handle @WeAreWikipedia . So far, 19 people representing 17 different language Wikipedias have curated the account.
WeAreWikipedia explains on its blog that it was inspired by a weekly rotation curation  handle @WeAreBangalore  created by social media strategists from the Indian city of Bangalore in October 2013 to create a space for Bangaloreans to tell their stories, give their opinions or simple connect with other active social media users in the area.
— Bangalore/Rajeev (@WeAreBangalore) June 17, 2014 
@WeAreBangalore in turn took its cue from the highly successful @sweden , which turns over the Twitter handle to a different Swede every week as a sort of citizen ambassador program.
The WeAreWikipedia curators  also tell personal stories and explain the technicalities of publishing and editing Wikipedia to any readers who ask.
Wherever I go, local Wikipedians are so welcoming and so open to collaboration. I have made friends all around the globe.
— WeAreWikipedia (@WeAreWikipedia) junio 17, 2014 
Curators often focus tweets on their Wikipedia language community and country. Two women editors from India, Noopur Raval and Netha Hussain, dedicated many of their publications to facts about women’s rights, issues and development in India while curating the handle during Women’s History Month  in March. They also drew attention to an edit-a-thon  held in Bangalore that brought 90 women to write about 77 articles  related to women in India.
Mariona Aragay, an editor for the Catalan Wikipedia, made a related call for more women editors while she was at the helm of @WeAreWikipedia:
— WeAreWikipedia (@WeAreWikipedia) June 4, 2014 
Curators also highlight community events, such as Odisha Dibasa 2014,  a gathering at the end of March 2014 of the Odia-language Wikipedia community in the capital of the Indian state of Odisha, where the language is predominantly spoken.
Diptiman Panigrahi, an Odia editor who curated @WeAreWikipedia during the event, talked about his week in a blog post  for The Centre for Internet and Society in India:
It was a wonderful experience curating WeAreWikipedia without even much time. Meeting the entire Wikimedia global community was even more fun when I was telling happenings of my own community. I hope to take part in more of such collaborative global issues like this.
Article printed from Global Voices: https://globalvoices.org
URL to article: https://globalvoices.org/2014/06/18/this-twitter-account-puts-a-face-to-the-unsung-volunteer-editors-behind-wikipedia/
URLs in this post:
 Image: https://www.facebook.com/WeAreWikipediaProject/photos_stream
 Subhashish Panigrahi: http://www.linkedin.com/in/psubhashish
 Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
 100,000 editors edit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia
 4.5 million: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Size_of_Wikipedia
 English Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Wikipedia
 WeAreWikipedia: http://wearewikipedia.wordpress.com/author/wearewikipedia/
 @WeAreWikipedia: https://twitter.com/WeAreWikipedia
 rotation curation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotation_Curation
 @WeAreBangalore: https://twitter.com/WeAreBangalore
 @psubhashish: https://twitter.com/psubhashish
 #RoCur: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RoCur&src=hash
 June 17, 2014: https://twitter.com/WeAreBangalore/statuses/478910646260465665
 @sweden: https://twitter.com/sweden
 curators: http://wearewikipedia.wordpress.com/curators/
 junio 17, 2014: https://twitter.com/WeAreWikipedia/statuses/478904734758490113
 Women’s History Month: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_History_Month
 edit-a-thon: http://wikiwomen.in/
 90 women to write about 77 articles: http://cis-india.org/openness/blog/indian-wiki-women-history-month
 #woman: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23woman&src=hash
 #gendergap: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23gendergap&src=hash
 @wikiwomen: https://twitter.com/WikiWomen
 June 4, 2014: https://twitter.com/WeAreWikipedia/statuses/474257031621533696
 Odisha Dibasa 2014,: https://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/04/08/odisha-dibasa-2014-14-books-released-under-cc-license/
 blog post: http://cis-india.org/openness/blog/twitter-weekly-curation-wearewikipedia-brings-one-wikipedian-every-week
 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WeAreWikipediaProject
 blog: http://wearewikipedia.wordpress.com/
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