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Submissions/Fairfaxpedia and the Community Wiki

From Wikimania 2012 • Washington, D.C., USA

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.


Title of the submission
Fairfaxpedia and the Community Wiki
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Frank Muraca
E-mail address
Frank Muraca
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Community wikis can be powerful tools for local knowledge and civic engagement. They document information on a community’s government, elections, infrastructure projects, non-profits, parks, and anything else that helps contribute to community life. With enough content, they can be a resource for anyone from first time voters and students to local journalists and historians.

Local wikis can be organized to provide information on issues that aren’t easily accessible to the average citizen who doesn’t have time to research them in-depth. Local issues are often overshadowed by large national and state concerns that receive a majority of the focus from major news outlets and think tanks. Local wikis help organize scattered information to show a clear picture of what’s happening in towns, counties, and cities across the country.

In this presentation, I will focus primarily on my own wiki, Fairfaxpedia, which I started in October of 2011. It documents information about Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax, located in Northern Virginia. I will talk about how Fairfaxpedia can be used specifically as an election resource and an open government resource, and how it can help residents become more involved in what’s happening in the Fairfax community. Since Fairfaxpedia is a young project, I’ll talk about other wikis that follow similar models. For example, I’ll show how Cvillepedia (the wiki for Charlottesville, Va) set up a comprehensive campaign guide for the local elections held in 2011.

Finally, I’ll explain how local wikis can form partnerships with various civic organizations to help build its content. Currently, Fairfaxpedia is working with students at George Mason University to document the school’s history and current affairs. Each community is rich with non-profit organizations and other civic resources that are always looking for new ways of making their information more accessible.

Working with local wikis is a great way to have a one-stop location for citizens to learn and engage with their community.

Wikis and the Public Sector
Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Powerpoint presentation

See also

Interested attendees

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  1. AutoGyro (talk) 20:31, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Harej (talk) 06:00, 2 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Joshdoe (talk) 12:13, 3 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]