Triangle Wiki Day a Huge Success for Open Source in Raleigh

Image credits: Laura Barnes Hamlyn

Image credits: Laura Barnes Hamlyn

Almost 50 people collaborated on February 25 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.

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Pictures

Media coverage (pre-event)

About Shibby

Jason Hibbets is a senior community architect at Red Hat which means he is a mash-up of a community manager and project manager for Opensource.com--a publication and story-telling platform for open source communities. At night, he wears a cape, and is a captain for the Open Raleigh brigade, as well as a co-chair for NC Open Pass. Jason is the author of a book called The foundation for an open source city--a resource for cities and citizens interested in improving their government through civic hacking. While writing the book, he discovered his unknown super power of building communities of passionate people. Jason graduated from North Carolina State University and resides in Raleigh, NC with his wife, two kids, two border collies, chickens, lots of tomato plants, and a lazy raccoon somewhere in an oak tree. In his copious spare time, he enjoys surfing, running, gardening, traveling, watching football, sampling craft beer, and participating in local government--not necessarily in that order, but close to it. You can follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets
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