Calling all futurists, professional and amateur alike. Beginning 12:01 am October 31st and ending at 12:01 am November 1st we, the futurists of the world, are embarking on the great wikipedia raid. Our goal is to infuse wikipedia with as much factual and relevant content about professional futuring and futures studies as possible in just 24 hours. An open letter written by Andrew Hines of the University of Houston details the mission in the extended post found below. I think the Association of Professional Futurists and the World Future Society are good resources for those interested in learning more about work in futuring.
World Futures Studies Federation invites you to join the Wikipedia Raid
Starting at 00:01, 31 October 2005
and continuing to 00:01, 1 November 2005
What is the Wikipedia Raid?
We would like to organize a global, 24-hour effort to add as much information regarding futures studies as we possibly can – and in as many languages as we can – to the Wikipedia on-line encyclopedia. We are asking for individuals to volunteer to describe or explain some specific aspect or sub-topic in futures studies, and then input that (or find an input buddy to add it) to Wikipedia.
Why bother to raid Wikipedia?
Because whether we like it or not, it is widely used as a reference source, and its current entry regarding futures studies is meager. We can fix that. Second, fixing it by organizing a 24-hour global fix-it party will not only be fun, it will be newsworthy: we will send out press releases on the day to writers we know at Salon.com and WIRED (anybody know anyone else who’d give it airtime? A popular blogger, maybe?).
So the effort has two benefits: one, ensuring publicly accessible information regarding futures studies is at least more comprehensive, if not more accurate; and two, generating more public awareness.
What are the rules of play?
Please bear in mind, if you choose to join us, that in this exercise we would like to exemplify the best of the global futures community – especially its spirit of good-humored inclusiveness. Futures studies is a marvellously diverse and multidisciplinary endeavour, and its practitioners pursue the future in many ways. Let’s focus on “yes, and…” not on arguing with each other – or with the folks already at work on Wikipedia. Do please add your comments to the discussion board for the Futures Studies pages (click on the “discussion” button on the top of the page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Future_studies) upon completing your addition to those pages, but do please do so politely and patiently.
How do I help?
- Go to the Wikipedia website: http://en.wikipedia.org/ .
- Review the entry on future studies: Type “future studies” into the search box you will find halfway down the left-hand column, and click on “go.” Read the page on “future studies”. Follow links to the page on “futurology”. Ask yourself if what is there adequately describes futures studies. What is missing? What would you add?
- Consider volunteering to write one or two paragraphs on a specific topic in futures studies, e.g., “history of fs in Europe,” or “description of the graduate program in fs at Tamkang University.” Choose the topic(s) on which you are willing to contribute a paragraph or two.
- Do you
simply want to write a contribution, and have someone else input it?
- If yes, please email me (email@example.com) and tell me what you want to write about; I will find you an “input buddy” to add your content.
- To ensure your article fits into Wikipedia’s editorial guidelines, go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:How_to_write_a_great_article
you like to write AND edit, that is, input what you write into Wikipedia?
- If so, go back to the Wikipedia main page, and click on “create new account” in the upper right hand corner. Follow the instructions to create your login identity (it is free, and secure).
- Practice editing in the Wikipedia “Sandbox”: go to the main page, click on the phrase “anyone can edit” in the introductory sentence “Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.” That will take you to an explanatory page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Introduction). If you read through the introduction, you will see the final phrase “You can test your edits as much as you want in the Sandbox.” Click on that link to go the Sandbox, which features editing tutorials: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WP:SB. Practice until you feel comfortable.
- Then learn how to write a great Wikipedia article by going here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:How_to_write_a_great_article
- Write your entry, and upload, or give it to an entry buddy to upload, and then post a comment to the discussion board for the Futures Studies pages introducing yourself and explaining why you added what you did!
Yes, three other priorities:
- as the bottom of Wikipedia’s main page attests, they have entries in dozens of languages. We need native speakers in those languages to doublecheck for futures studies, futurology, prospectiva, etc., and organise sub-groups to polish those entries as well; and
- each educational program should have an entry, as we are trying to make the point that this is a formal academic field and educational resources are available – so we need volunteers to write short descriptions of the educational programs at Corvinus, Turku, Regent University, University of Houston, University of Hawaii, Tamkang University, and Swinburne, to name a few – who else should we ask for a description?
- And we need volunteers to draft short descriptions of the futures studies / foresight associations and societies.