User:Sonkiki/Handbook Project


This is my working page for a 3-week project as a contractor for WMF, with the goal of creating a hackathon/ event handbook.

Further ToDos after project is finished[edit]

Create a better navigation[edit]

For each chapter in the handbook, show a menu like in Help:Flow for all the other chapters,so that you can nagivate to the other chapters easily. The Template is called "TNT|Flow Navigation". Who could create something like this?

Illustrate handbook with pictures[edit]

Conceptual work: Defining our audience: Types of users for the handbook[edit]

Potential future hosts: Think about hosting, still unsure if they should do it[edit]

chapters and people thinking about organising an event. they want to inform themselves about how this could even be done. they probably have already a little bit of experience with hosting a smaller event, and maybe they know someone in the WMF team, but they are unsure what would be coming their way if they applied for a hackathon.

e.g.: a local community expresses interest in being hosts for a hackathon. the executive director of that chapter thinks: could this be even possible? what would be coming our way? let's check; she visits this page to gather info.

They need[edit]
  • an overview of what's coming for them
  • comparisons to how others did it
  • a list of minimum requirements/ list to check themselves against ("you can hold an event if...")

Current Hosts: have won bid, will do event[edit]

chapters who have just applied for a bid, or have won the bid.

they may be up to 18 months away from their event.

They need[edit]
  • a resource to check wether they are still on track
  • a recipe
  • templates

Event participants / Interested readers[edit]

people who just want to read up on documentation. They may be organizers from other events (outside of the Wikimedia world) and/ or participants of hackathons/ events who are interested in getting meta-information about the event they'll be attending.

They need[edit]

Conceptual work: Structure for new Hackathon Page[edit]

this is my proposed structure for a new /Hackathon page. 

I will include the handbook for organizers, but also improve the structure for participants. 

#meta: Documentation of my documentation work[edit]

Etherpads / Meeting Notes / Phabricator Task[edit]

Etherpads: Rachel Meeting Notes:

Phabricator task for this project:

Now an archive: Collection of first thoughts/ ressources here:


disclaimer: this journal may not be complete

Week 1[edit]

Mon, 12 June: First day, trying to get into it, clicking my way through various wiki pages, made a timeline, currently collecting everything here: Kick-off call with Rachel Farrand in the evening.

Tue, 13 June: encountering some issues with creating wiki pages, troubleshooting by Raimund Liebert (WMAT). Found out that Jean-Frédéric has started a handbook in 2014: User:Jean-Frédéric/Hackathon handbook and that Wenke from WMDE is working on an event guidebook in German as well.

Wed 14 June: got a lot of good suggestions for what it should look like, and what not, from WMF, Quim Gil, as well as community engagement team (Sherry Synyder, Chris Koerner, Nick Wilson, Benoit Evellin, ...).

Tips I got / what everyone wants:

Thu 15 June: trying to incorporate everyone's suggestions into a structure. Will have to prioritize today, because it's a lot :). defined target audiences. testing to work with timeline templates. sorting through content-resources for handbook and giving them a score according to relevance.

Fri 16 June: wrote project description for phabricator task. felt a little under the weather after getting a flu shot in the morning, so had a slower day.

Major milestone reached today!

Sat 17 June: Rachel and I consulted Nick for the final location of the handbook and merging questions. Here's the outcome:

we will: 1. publish the handbook on because this page is already well linked and has many views, i.e. people use it already. 2. add a top banner to it, telling people about the talk page, how it works, and to use it if they have questions for Wikimedia Foundation technical event organizers. {{Notice|Your text goes here}} 3. follow Merging etiquette (as Nick described it to us):

  • Mediawiki: = be bold. But leave either link-pointers (if just extracting part of the page) or redirects (if merging the entire page).
  • Meta: Consult Nick for specific examples. General rule; merging pages *within metawiki* is okay, but do not move pages over to mediawiki. 
  • Outreach wiki: do neither merge nor move. just add links to them. 

I plan to not merge pages, but use content for the handbook and remix it. of course I want to credit the original source. Asked Nick on his expertise of how to handle that, giving specific examples. (User:Sonkiki/Handbook#Content Resources: Existing pages with handbook-relevant content)

Yippie! I have a draft for a structure: User:Sonkiki/Handbook/Structure

Hump Day! Wed 21 June we're midway through the project.

Week 2[edit]

Mon, 19 June: Worked on my draft for a brand new Hackathons page including numerous sub-pages. At WMAT office, showing my work to the team (Annemarie and Raimund).

Tuesday, 20 June: creating all the sub-pages and filling them with copy+paste content (sorting the correct content to the correct pages). Meeting with Rachel in the evening, collected feedback on my structure. (positive :))

Wed, 21 June: Hump day - now officially in the second half of the project. Shifted my focus from creating structure to managing content.

Thu, 22 + Fri, 23 June: Worked on improving content and working out a plan for what to move where when we actually publish the new documentation.

Week 3[edit]

Mon 26 June: Added content, improved chapters of handbook. Took half day off.

Tue 27 June: Added content, improved chapters of handbook, prepared meeting notes next meeting with Rachel (Thursday) in the Etherpad as usual: and edited some meta info in this project / organizational tasks in the structure.

Wed 28: More content. Took half-day off.

Thu 29 June: Moved a few pages. In the evening, call with Nick. Learned about tools to check pages with prefixes and redirects and "what links here", and got media wiki structure questions answered. Call with Rachel after, final call in the project! Last tasks and how we proceed after project is finished, to spread the word and promote. (For all of this see etherpad).

Fri 30 June: Moved all the pages from my user sub-pages to actual wiki. Marathon day, but oh-so-satisfying!

Monday July 3: Additional day in project to compensate for two half-days off. Mayor work day: Created pages Timeline, Event week, Newcomers and Mentoring program. Fixed errors. Wrote phabricator description and wrap-up of project.

Inserted info boxes to spread word of new documentation on mediawiki and meta wiki on related pages:

Wiki Page what did Sonja do?
mediawiki updated link in the section "Hackathons"
meta updated link in see also section
meta no comment / done nothing
meta left comment on talk page
mediawiki User:Jean-Frédéric/Hackathon handbook left info box and comment on talk page
meta leave comment / info box pointing to handbook
meta leave comment / info box pointing to handbook
meta leave comment / info box pointing to handbook

FINISHED ALL TO-DOs! Wohooo! It's a wrap, the project is finished. *celebrates*

Moving Plans: Moving, creating and edition pages on mediawiki[edit]

All pages transferred on Friday, 30 June 2017.

Best practice to cite sources[edit]

You only need to link the original location, in either the edit-summary or the talkpage. Whichever you prefer is fine.

 Best practice for naming pages[edit]

* Caps: Sentence case for capitalization. (Just the first word capitalized)

* Wording: Both types are used, so whichever you prefer, and whichever is easiest to (potentially) translate


  • create page
  • transfer content
  • add little notice box to the top (optional)
  • leave message on talk page
  • fix all links
  • place redirect on old user page

Text to use on talk page[edit]

Page created as part of a project to improve hackathon documentation

I created this page as part of a project to improve the documentation for hackathon organizers.

If you're interested in details, find the official project description on Phabricator:

or check out my working page/ construction site that I used to document my work for this project: User:Sonkiki/Handbook Project

Sources I used to create the content of this page:

  • new content I created by myself, drawn from experiences of organizing previous hackathons, especially the Wikimedia Hackathon 2017 Vienna

I hope that the new structure created in this project not only proves to be helpful, but that it will be built upon, edited, improved and extended over time – like any good wiki page should be!

Notice Text[edit]

This page needs a little help still. Please help update and improve its content. Thank you!

Text for edit summary[edit]

if page edited:

Content edited significantly as part of a project to improve hackathon documentation for organizers. Please see the talk page for more information on this project and sources I used to create this content.

if new page created:

Page created as part of a project to improve hackathon documentation for organizers. Please see the talk page for more information on this project and sources I used to create this content.

Content Resources: Existing pages with handbook-relevant content[edit]

main pages to draw from in this project:

>> This list was, in a reduced way that made sense, transferred to Hackathons/Handbook

Relevance Score Wiki Page already included in Strucure? how it will be changed within project what's on it at start of project Target audience at start of project
3 mediawiki Hackathons yes edit significantly main page for all hackathon stuff on mediawiki Future Hosts,




3 mediawiki Hackathons/Proposing a hackathon yes keep url, edit medium to significantly for people who are thinking about creating a hackathon Future Hosts
3 mediawiki yes redirect to /handbook, which will be a new page that will look significantly different main page until now Current Hosts
3 mediawiki yes leave page as is but make a note in the talk page that it should be redone


leave comment / info box pointing to handbook

tips for all kinds of events, like meetups, developer summit, IRC office hours, etc.

3 chapters: general event suggestions, promotion and specific events (incl. hackathons)

Rachel: I went through that and updates a bunch of stuff and got rid of almost any info besides re-directs related to the hackathon. It is in need of being re-done eventually. The part that is most important there is the scheduleing tech-talk details. 

3 mediawiki Hackathons/LessonsLearned yes


remove "things that all hackathon organizers should know" and merge it in the handbook.

keep this page as a list of all other lessons learned from previous hackathons PLUS a description of why lessons learned are important

Pending question: Where does it fit in the new documentation? check back with Rachel.

(created 29 May 2015 by Rachel Farrand, probably after Lyon?)

>> Things that all Hackathon organizers should know

Rachel: I think this entire page can be deleted and re-directed to the lessons learned section of the new documentation 

Current Hosts
2 meta OPEN TASK leave comment / info box pointing to handbook Big Handbook for all wikimania organizers!

Rachel: Once our documetnation is done we could add a link to our handbook on this page. Otherwise we should not mess with the page. 

2 meta OPEN TASK leave comment / info box pointing to handbook

and vice versa

additon to Wikimania handbook. more brief and a bit easier to navigate (because shorter)

Rachel: As long as we review this to make sure the hackathon documentation is not missing anything important that this has then all it needs is a link in our documentation pointing to this. 

Current Hosts
2 meta OPEN TASK leave comment / info box pointing to handbook like a lessons learned, or participant feedback.

>> inform Phoebe on her talk page about this project?

Rachel: I had not read through this before! There are some good tips in there. 

Current Hosts
2 mediawiki User:Jean-Frédéric/Hackathon handbook leave comment / info box pointing to handbook Jean-Frédéric has started a handbook in 2014, presumably after London Wikimania Hackathon. a few tips there, incorporate it into handbook

left comment for Jean-Fred about my project on his talking page (and IRL)

Current Hosts
2 meta do nothing all very specific patterns. Link them in the relevant sections of handbook, but only after guidebook is done
2 meta do nothing all very specific patterns. Link them in the relevant sections of handbook, but only after guidebook is done
1 meta leave comment / info box pointing to handbook a small list of things to have during the event, not maintained, not complete

Rachel: noting we have not already covered elsewhere in this. Maybe we can redirect this page? It was pretty much all done between 2005 - 2008 so nobody will care. 

Current Hosts
1 meta leave comment / info box pointing to handbook a small selection of resources, not maintained, not complete

Rachel: not  helpful page, but it has been edited recently so should not be merged / redirected

Current Hosts
1 meta

plus the Learning Pattern that breaks this down:

yes leave comment / info box pointing to handbook Outreach Wiki. Didn't know this exists!

"This template is a guide to the planning process. Working through the process will generate plans that can be used to manage, monitor and report on your unique event. Smaller, less complicated events will produce smaller, simpler plans than bigger or more complex events will produce. Whatever the size or focus of the event, the process is the same."

>> more "metaphysical" questions you should ask yourself than a step-by-step handbook. more conceptual (?)

Rachel: has some good information. Especially helpful for those deciding if they should run an event at all. Its good to try and talk people out of running events in advance. Maybe we can reuse or point to this page. 

Future Hosts and Current Hosts
0 meta leave comment / info box pointing to handbook >> very brief, concerns stands and exhibitions booths. *not* targeted at event organizers by our definition

I think this could maybe be renamed or moved, or at least given some context/ disclaimer box?

Rachel: this is also very old / not really relevant. I think you are right about moving or renaming or maybe even just removing all together. 

0 outside not necessary Personal experience + Tipps from Wikimedia hackathon organizer Sumana current hosts, future hosts
0 outside not necessary current hosts, future hosts

Research on Hackathons:[edit]

Nothing there yet about hackathons, but the current reseach going on from Carnegie Mellon (contact Anna Filippova, via rachel Farrand) could be included here: Paper (PDF) on hackathon research: workshop on hackathon organization:

plus also research going on atm from Cooperative State University Baden-Württemberg Germany to write an analysis of the current state of hackathons, contacts Alexander Finkbeiner, Sebastian Kezic und Ricco Schwarz who contacted hackathon Vienna mailingliste. The results of this survey are being collected in a IEEE whitepaper. they are currently not planning on publishing the results, but it is possible that they do so later on. Contact via Rachel Farrand, has put them in touch with Carnegie Mellon.

Testing to work with a graphic timeline template[edit]