More online content on Kosovo through Wiki Academy II

Wiki Academy II – City Marathon is the latest event coming up this year from IPKO Foundation which aims to improve the quality and quantity of online content on Kosovo to better represent the country to the world. New, English-language, accessible content will contribute to creating a better image for Kosovo globally and make it easier for Internet users around the world to find information on Kosovo.

The Wiki Academy II – City Marathon will bring together active online citizens and content experts from across Kosovo and help them develop into skilled editors able to write high quality articles and source high quality photos regarding Kosovo in categories such as culture, heritage, social issues, geography, institutions, economy and tourism.During Wiki Academy II – City Marathon participants will meet wiki mentors and research experts from abroad and Kosovo, learn valuable research and drafting skills and meet others interested in expanding Kosovo’s reputation abroad.

We took some time to talk with Rineta Hoxha, Program Associate at IPKO Foundation, to see how things have rolled out so far and what we expect from this years edition of Wikiacademy.

1. What is different this year compared to Wikiacademy last year?

the mission is exactly the same: we aim to add online content for Kosovo in the internet to make it more visible to the world, to tell the world how Kosovo really is. However, differently from the last year where topics where about Kosovo in general, this year the focus is more narrow meaning that the participants from nine municipalities will write about their own towns. Nine municipalities in the competition are Prishtina, Prizren, Gjakova, Peja, Mitrovica, Ferizaj, Gjilan, Shterpca, and Gracanica.

2. On what themes is the event focused this year?

Everything that is a characteristic of these nine municipalities that would be interesting to be told to the readers of Wikipedia around the world, can be a theme of this event.

3. Why those specific municipalities?

We would like to have all the municipalities in the competition; however, such a project would have last for too long. Therefore, we have come to decision to select the biggest ones. Still, that does not mean that citizens from other municipalities cannot be part of the Wiki Academy II; they can but they will have to be part of one of the groups.

4. How many applications/articles so far?

For four weeks of the application period, 176 applications were received from about 490 people only for the article competition; while up to this date 860 photos were submitted in the Wikimedia Commons for Wiki Academy II. The application for photo competition is still open so it is expected that this number will change.

5. How is IPKO Foundation managing to move away from Prishtina and being present around Kosovo?

In only seven days, IPKO Foundation staff has traveled 1200 km and has given 40 presentations in these nine municipalities. The great people we met during these presentations, were a source of energy that kept us moving. It was not an easy undertaking but truly an amazing one.

6. What will participants win, and how does the event close up? Is there like a presentation day finals?

There will be prizes for the three best articles and photos for each municipality in the competition; some of these prizes are given by Municipality of Gjakova, Peja, Mitrovica and Shterpca. Also, we will award the best participants of Wiki Academy II. These awards will be given in an award ceremony which will take place on 9th of March. While each camp will be closed with the presentation of the articles by finalists.

WikiAcademy II – City Marathon offers rewards for the most well written and researched articles and submitted photographs. Team contributors of best articles or photos that fulfill professional and qualitative criteria and remain as integrated part of Wikipedia will be awarded prizes. In the end it is also worth mentioning that participants who registered for Wiki Academy II – City Marathon will be assisted with research and in forming teams before the event.