LocalWiki

By Jason Hibbets

Triangle Wiki Day a Huge Success for Open Source in Raleigh

25 February 2012

This blog post originally appeared on southwestraleigh.com, by Jason Hibbets

Almost 50 people collaborated today at Red Hat headquarters, currently located on Centennial Campus in Raleigh, NC, to participate in Triangle Wiki Day. The event was a soft launch of trianglewiki.org, an effort to document the Triangle region and increase collaboration and knowledge sharing across the area. The wiki uses open source software, local wiki, as a content management platform that includes wiki pages, images, and mapping.

The day started off with a brief presentation [PDF] by Jason Hibbets on how the Triangle Wiki project fits in with the CityCamp Raleigh movement, as well as the larger open government picture and civic innovation week, Code Across America, by Code for America.

Raleigh At-large City Councilor Mary Ann Baldwin keynoted at the event. She spoke briefly on the importance of collaborating on a project like Triangle Wiki. She also mentioned that she was wearing multiple hats: City Councilor, a marketer, and a member of the Innovate Raleigh steering committee. Part of Triangle Wiki Day is to start mapping the assets for the #InnovateRal initiative and to be an authentic part of Raleigh’s open source philosophy and open-minded communities.

At-large City Councilor Russ Stephenson and Raleigh Planning Director, Mitchell Silver, were also in attendance.

Reid Serozi, Triangle Wiki project lead, provided the background on local wiki, showing a video from Philip Neustrom, one of the project co-founders of local wiki and daviswiki.org. Then he walked the attendees through wiki 101. We learned how to register an account, create new pages, and edit existing pages. After that, the edit party began.

Right away, people started creating pages, collaborating with each other, and helping one another with wiki best practices, formatting, mapping, and more. By 10:30am ET, #triwiki was trending on Twitter in Raleigh.

The group made a lot of progress. Fueled by Klausie’s Pizza for lunch and a bunch of snacks and soda provided by organizers, here are the results of Triangle Wiki Day:

  • 633 page edits
  • 100 maps
  • 138 new photos added

The event wrapped up around 2:00 pm and contributors continued to add pages after the in-person collaboration with a goal of 1,000 pages by March 14.

While I haven’t been as-involved with Triangle Wiki as I was with CityCamp Raleigh, the event was very fulfilling for me. I believe in the power of open source and collaboration and Triangle Wiki Day was another example of this success. It’s also building upon the momentum of the Innovate Raleigh Summit held on January 18.

The Triangle Wiki is about creating something anyone with local knowledge can contribute to. It brings together people with different skillsets—ranging from tech-saavy know-how to photography, local history to hackers, and much more. Triangle Wiki is basically community knowledge done the open source way.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Pictures

Media coverage (pre-event)

Our story

In 2004 we started the Davis Wiki, an experimental project to collect and share interesting information about the town of Davis, California, editable by anyone, that soon became the world's largest and most vibrant community wiki.

Today the residents of Davis use it for everything from learning about local news and local history to helping return lost pets to their owners — and it's become the largest, most used media source in the city. In a week, nearly half of residents use the Davis Wiki; in a month, nearly everyone uses it. And 1 in 7 residents contribute material to the Davis Wiki.

We want to help as many communities as possible realize the full potential of such an amazing, collaborative information resource.