Internet Transmitted Infections – I’ve got the SPLOTS

After noodling about on my own domain a while ago with various formats, I created a real live SPLOT using the Splotpoint theme to support a participatory session that I ran recently, and it’s worth picking into what about it worked for me, because I think it worked on a few levels:

  1. It was a resource I could point to in advance of the event.
  2. It was my presentation slides.
  3. It was the workbook for the session.
  4. It’s the resource for participants to return to after the session.

I ran the session with Alice White. We had never met until that morning, and never run a session together before. Sharing the slides in advance with her was a way of helping us both and because all the instructions for participants were baked in, it was hopefully really clear what was going to happen.

The sequenced slides element is obviously important for me. It kept me right on the day. Plus having instructions written out clearly and simply was my aide-memoir for demoing things.

Being a resource on the open web it was loaded up by participants there and then and used to support the activity in real time. I was expecting non-native English speakers in the audience so having instructions written down was going to be important. I have a funny accent after all. It was the alternative format to me talking at people, and it’s more accessible than a printed workbook as it can be resized etc.

What’s missing? Maybe the ability for participants to make their own notes as they go along. So maybe adding annotation would be the next place to go?

I got a lot of positive and generous feedback on it, not least from various Wikimedians via my colleague Ewan McAndrew. It sparked a really good conversation about simple and clear resources to support getting started with Wikipedia. What exists now in terms of Wikipedia guidance online is comprehensive to the extent that it’s overwhelming to the novice (we feel).

Editathons have also gotten pretty popular – so much so that we’re double booked on 24 November*. So now we’ve built a second Splotpoint site and are prepping some “Wikipedia Basics” content to support us both.

[Edit: Wiki Basics lives!!]

* Ewan will be leading Scottish Living Artists 2017 – A Wikipedia edit-a-thon’ in a nutshell at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh

I will be co-leading Lost Literary Edinburgh – a Wikipedia editathon as part of the Being Human Festival with Sara Thomas, Wikimedian in Residence at Scottish Library and Information Council.

(By Patho (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

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