Critical issues presentations/How to plan Wikiexpeditions? Case study: Macedonian Wikiexpeditions

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Submission no. 49
Title of the submission

How to plan Wikiexpeditions? Case study: Macedonian Wikiexpeditions

Author of the submission
  • Toni Ristovski
Country of origin



Outreach, Projects

  • idea
  • project
  • success

The story about the Wikiexpeditions in Macedonia has developed from idea that was first proposed by a group of two Wikipedians in the spring of 2014, who have previously heard about the project and its implementation in other countries in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. The process of converting this idea into values involved two phases: 1) conversion from idea into project and 2) conversion from project into values. The first phase or the 'preparatory phase' covered the rest of 2014 and the beginning of 2015, while the second phase or the 'operational phase' immediately followed the previous one.

The preparatory phase started with sharing the idea to the community and once approved, the group defined the size and the scope of the project with its objectives and it was added to Shared Knowledge's programme plan with a starting implementation period scheduled for the spring of 2015. The group expanded with two other Wikipedians who gathered at another meeting to discuss the regions that should be visited, the duration of each expedition, the size of the expedition, the travel arrangements, the preliminary information and materials needed about the regions in question, the communication with local persons and the overall documentation.

The operational phase practically covered the conduct of the expeditions but, in fact, it also included a step-by-step analytical review of the things that went good and those that went bad in providing feedback for making improvements and supporting the conceiving of new ideas. For example, the first two expeditions were split into two one-day visits each because of the difficulties in finding suitable accommodation but the problem was resolved before the third and the fourth expedition; the third expedition organised to one of the most remote regions in the country was done on bicycles, which eventually lead to developing the concept of ‘Veloexpeditions’; the savings from the planned expeditions allowed us to organise an additional one and visit the prehistoric megalithic observatory Kokino, the fourth oldest observatory in the world according to NASA, and thereby develop the concept of ‘Astroexpeditions’.

Completing the preparatory and the operational phase meant also completing the conversion from the provisionary idea into values manifested in the following three forms: 1) positive outcome, 2) good practices and 3) lessons learned. The first year of implementing the project in Macedonia concluded with six Wikiexpeditions (one of them Veloexpedition) and one Astroexpedition, eight community members involved, more than 1,200 photographs taken from the visited places with overall usage of over 60% across articles, and more than 100 articles created or improved. The different nature of each expedition resulted in developing a concept of having different types of expeditions. That said, our programme plan for 2016 includes Wikiexpeditions, Archaeoexpeditions, Veloexpeditions, Geoexpeditions, Astroexpeditions and Agroexpeditions.

In sum, the main goal of this presentation is to give an overview of how an idea can be converted into values from the other communities and the Wikimedia movement in general through the story of the Macedonian Wikiexpeditions. Therefore, it aims at answering the following questions:

  • What do you need in order to conduct a successful expedition?
  • How to select the regions that should be visited?
  • What roles should the people in the expedition have?
  • How to measure the success of an expedition?
  • How the positive outcome, good practices and lessons learned help in the planning of future expeditions?

Not accepted