LocalWiki

By Philip Neustrom

A movement spreads

28 November 2012

We've seen something incredible happen recently: all over the United States, people are getting together — in person, and in huge numbers — to kick off or just to edit their local wiki.

Toledo, Ohio

When Brian Zelip went back home to Toledo for Thanksgiving, he knew the community was missing something — a LocalWiki! So he got to work creating one. But he knew he couldn’t just stop on by, boot up a new LocalWiki instance, and head back. Instead, he worked with friends and organizations in the community, and pulled folks together for a big “learn & launch” event for ToledoWiki.

Around 60 people came out to the event.

Around 60 people came out for the event, and the meetup alone created about a 33% increase in users and a 50% increase in users. Check out this great newspaper article about the event. One of the people who came out for the event was Eddie:

Eddie is an eight year old contributor to ToledoWiki. He asked the first question during the event’s Q&A, then set to work on his iPad creating a wiki page for his school!

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Motu Viget is the motto of the City of Grand Rapids. It means strength in activity in Latin. Viget is also the name of the local wiki project for Grand Rapids. The project was started back in 2007 and re-launched yesterday, in beta, on the LocalWiki platform. To mark the occasion, they had a big edit-a-thon and meetup yesterday evening!

The team behind the project, Friendly Code, has already started doing some great work on the LocalWiki software platform.

Oakland, California

Last week, folks behind the OaklandWiki project organized their first bikeabout!

One of the bike groups.

Participants split up into three groups that rode around Fruitvale, Jingletown, Downtown, Grand Lake, and West Oakland. The ride was roughly geared around recording information about Oakland's vibrant collection of murals.

After biking, folks met back up at the West Oakland Library Branch where they created an amazing collection of pages about the city's murals — like Mural Lane, 514 28th St Murals, Children's Fairyland, and 15th and Webster Murals. (See the huge full list!)

A couple days later, some of the OaklandWiki team organized a brown bag lunch at the Oakland City Hall! About 20 city employees attended, and they had a lively discussion about ways the City could engage with the OaklandWiki project.

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

Folks in Champaign-Urbana just passed the 1,000 page milestone on CUWiki. Congrats!

...and finally, a message from TriangleWiki:

TriangleWiki folks on the R-Line spread the LocalWiki word!

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.