This year’s Ada Lovelace Day is just five months away, which means that it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to get involved this year. As usual, we are planning a live event in London on the evening of 15 October, but you can organise your own event, big or small, wherever you are. Last year we had over twenty grassroots events — everything from talks to art exhibitions, from pub meet-ups to conferences — held around the world, and this year we want to at least double that.
We would also like to leave a permanent legacy so, inspired by the huge success of last year’s Wikipedia Edit-A-Thons held by The Royal Society, Wikipedia Sweden and Harvard Law School, we would like to suggest that you organise your own Wikipedia editing event. Of course, if you’d prefer to do something else, that’s absolutely fine too!
Wikpedia is a key resource for millions of people, but women are sadly underrepresented, both as entry subjects and as participants. Wikipedia is easy to edit, so we would like to encourage both men and women to get together during October to add biographical information about notable women to the online encyclopaedia.
If you belong to a STEM-related group, why not ask the organisers to devote one meeting during the autumn to editing Wikipedia? Or offer to help put on a special Ada Lovelace Day meet-up for your edit-a-thon? If you don’t belong to any official groups, why not gather your friends together at a pub with wifi and help each other research and create new entries, or expand existing stub articles on notable women?
Five months may seem like a long way away, but now is the time to get organising. To help you, Wikipedia has a guide to running your own edit-a-thon, but if you have questions please leave them in the comments to this blog post so that we can answer them for everyone. We are also talking with Wikimedia UK to run a super-user training session so that groups that organise their own session can have one of their own trained up to help others learn how to edit.
We’ll have more information about possible training sessions in due course, but in the mean time, if you’re interested in running an edit-a-thon, now’s the time to get started with finding a venue and date. And remember, your event doesn’t have to be on Ada Lovelace Day itself but can be any convenient date around 15 October.
We’ll also provide a way for you to let us know when and where your event is, and will publicise it on the Finding Ada website, in our newsletters and on Twitter for you. Don’t forget to find someone to help you record the event, either with video it or photos, so that your work can inspire others around the world!