Taking a hint from the list of ten things you may not know about Wikipedia, here’s a smaller selection of tidbits about WikiProject Oregon, targeted at newcomers to our endeavor.
1. You’ve probably already read something we created …perhaps without even realizing it. WikiProject Oregon articles received more than 15 million hits through May 31st, as you can see in this handy readership chart generated by WP:ORE member EncMstr. You’d naturally expect Oregon State Capitol and Oregon wine to be under our purview. But did you know that the entries on the first U.S. bioterror attack and exploding whales were too? WikiProject Oregon covers a wide swath of ground in its quest to present knowledge related to our state.
2. We have a big to-do list. It is inherent in the nature of Wikipedia that the encyclopedia is an indefinite work in progress. Not only do pre-existing articles need all sorts of updates, expansion, cleanup, assessment, and maybe even deletion, but we are adding new articles every day. A few of the more notable examples of new articles, ones that made it on Wikipedia’s main page in the Did You Know? section, can give you some idea of the volume we are working with in terms of article creation.
3. We have a Collaboration of the Week. Every week, WikiProject Oregon members choose an article or two to focus on in the spirit of collaboration. See future nominations and past collaborations here. As the saying goes, many hands make light work. Feel free to test the waters of editing, even anonymously, through this feature. Working on a Collaboration of the Week can be a great way to see how more experienced Wikipedians roll out an article, and get a helping hand as you edit.
4. We believe in free content. Free as in speech, and free as in beer. All the content produced by WikiProject Oregon is completely free under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. Even The Oregonian recently used a photo of ours.
5. We’re not just online. WikiProject Oregon members are involved in all kinds of real-world events related to the work we do. We have a strong presence at the monthly WikiWednesday meet-ups in Portland (see Peteforsyth’s previous post on the June one). We have also participated individually or together in the larger forums of Recent Changes Camp and Portland BarCamp. Not long ago, Peteforsyth, Cacophony and I gave a presentation to the board of the Oregon Encyclopedia project on how Wikipedia works and the possibilities for aiding their endeavor. Offline outreach and collaboration is a small but important part of what we do.