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Students editing at a Wikipedia workshop. Photo by Essam Sharaf, CC BY-SA 3.0.

The Wikimedia Egypt Prize is a writing contest that aims at improving Arabic content on Wikimedia projects. This year’s edition has encouraged 30 participants to develop their editing skills and create and improve several hundred articles on the Arabic Wikipedia.

Concentrating its efforts on beginner-level, rather than established editors is a distinguishing characteristic from other writing contests. A ground rule has limited the participation to users with under 1000 Wikipedia edits.

“It is an opportunity for newbies that urges them to contribute and provides them with a tolerably competitive atmosphere,” says Walaa Abdel Manaem, a member of the prize committee. She continues:

“This one is different as it is targeted to beginners in general and student editors in particular. We have a writing contest called the Producer Prize on the Arabic Wikipedia, where usually highly-experienced editors can compete, and we have the WikiWomen contest and Somou Prize, both focus on making significant progress in a short amount of time. The Wikimedia Egypt Prize is a short-term contest as well, but the competition is not as fierce as it is mainly for beginner users.”

Beginner contributions, however, doesn’t mean low-quality content. A new article “must be written in clear language, well-formatted, categorized and referenced,” the project page reads. “Any article that doesn’t meet these requirements will not be considered.” More points are given to participants who add an infobox, more links and references to their articles.

Opening the contest for experienced users may have resulted in greater results, but Mohamed Ouda, who had the first idea for the contest, thought that “beginners need more support in order to keep editing.” Ahmed Hamdi Mohi, a member of the prize committee, agrees that the contest “helps both retain entry-level editors and attract many new editors and get them integrated into the Wikipedia community to gain experience in editing.”

The contest started on 1 January 2017 and lasted through 15 April. By the end, the participants had created 493 new articles and improved 220 existing articles. Many participants went above and beyond with their contributions, but ultimately 3 prizes went to:

  1. First Place: Reem Mahmoud
  2. Second Place: Sarah Nabih
  3. Third Place: Entesar Shaaban and Ghada Muhammad Tohamy

In brief

Photo by Xabier Cañas, CC BY-SA 4.0.

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Wikidata milestone: Wikidata, the free knowledge base that hosts structured data from Wikipedia and its sister Wikimedia projects has reached 500,000,000 edits. The half-billionth edit was to the Olfr343-ps1 item page, pseudogene in the species Mus musculus (house mouse).

Kenyan Wikipedian named one of Mozilla’s Network50: Wikipedia editor and Wikimedia Kenya board member Alex Wafula was named to Mozilla’s 50 people who made the internet a better place in 2016.

WikidataCon 2017: WikidataCon is the conference dedicated to the Wikidata community that will be held on 28 and 29 October 2017 in the Tagesspiegel venue, in Berlin. Scholarship applications to attend the conference are open through 16 July and program submissions are being accepted through 31 July.

FDC election results: The Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) is a diverse body of people reflecting different aspects of the Wikimedia movement, including its geographic, linguistic, and cultural diversity. The committee’s role is to help make decisions about how to effectively allocate movement funds to achieve Wikimedia’s mission, vision, and strategy. This year’s election results have been announced, and Michał Buczyński, Lorenzo Losa, Liam Wyatt, Osmar Valdebenito, and Katherine Bavage have all been elected to the committee. Kirill Lokshin was re-elected as the FDC’s Ombudsperson.

Wiki Loves Earth Biosphere Reserves competition concludes: Biosphere Reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal/marine ecosystems or a combination thereof, which are internationally recognized within the framework of UNESCO’s Programme on Man and the Biopshere (MAB). Wiki Loves Earth has partnered with UNESCO to create Wiki Loves Earth Biosphere Reserves, a photography competition to create free to use images of Biosphere Reserves around the world on Wikimedia Commons, the media site for Wikipedia. The contest was open from 1 May and concludes on 30 June 2017.

Samir Elsharbaty, Digital Content Intern
Wikimedia Foundation

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