by Norah Dooley and Carolyn Stearns
This link to a Wikipedia description of storytelling festivals for those who don’t know about them and to create conversation about them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storytelling_festival
How can we have more storytelling festivals added to the Wikipedia listing? It is as easy as 1,2,3. Wikipedia is only as good as the people who contribute to it. An extraordinary resource and the source of free, widely consulted, constantly used information, Wikipedia also has worldwide reach. If the National Storytelling Network or any of the storytelling festivals who care to participate had to pay for this kind of publicity it would be very expensive.
What steps are needed to make better listings for storytelling a reality? We first imagined and then researched some steps to make Wikipedia listings for storytelling festivals robust and attractive. It did not take long:
Storytelling festival PR committees need to study how to add to a Wikipedia listing. This is in the help section at Wikipedia. I just spent one-hot-minute looking and found this link; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Editing to the following information:
“Wikipedia is a wiki, meaning that anyone can edit any unprotected page and improve articles immediately for all readers. You do not need to register to do this. Anyone who has edited is known as a “Wikipedian” and, no matter how trivial the edit may seem, can be proud that he or she has helped make Wikipedia what it is. All of these edits add up! Wikipedia uses two methods of editing: the new VisualEditor (VE), and classic editing through wiki markup (wikitext). The explanations on this page deal with wikitext editing (the method most used). For instructions on using VisualEditor see the VisualEditor user guide.
Some pages are protected from editing. These pages are denoted by a lock icon on the top right of the page and have a View source tab instead of an Edit tab. You can still edit these pages indirectly, by submitting an “edit request” – an editor with the ability to edit the protected page will respond to your request. You can submit a request by clicking on the View source tab on that page and using the “Submit an edit request” link at the bottom right.”
Here is a challenge! Make it happen sooner not later! Let’s aim for 12 festival listings in 12 weeks! Come on all you spring festivals, YOU need to be first! Then 50 festival in 50 weeks. Use keywords in the postings to help the page come up in searches, words like; kids, education, museum, performance, oral history, slam, festival etc.
The next really big part is getting the word out, so please share this NSN blog post. We will be watching for your updates to Wikipedia Storytelling Festivals!
Here is a link to help you get started editing on Wikipedia http://youtu.be/C7yXx3YbcNI
This link teaches you how to add photos to an article http://youtu.be/pAy_kBBqs0U
About Norah Dooley
Norah Dooley, storyteller, author, performer, and educator, is a co-founder of massmouth,inc.(NSN, Oracle Award 2012). As project director/ lead teacher of StoriesLive®, she’s introduced 6,000+ Greater Boston high school students to storytelling. Norah is adjunct faculty at Tufts and Lesley universities and has lectured throughout the US and in Japan.
About Carolyn Stearns
Carolyn Stearns is a storyteller from Eastern Connecticut. She is storyteller in residence for an educational non-profit and books her own performances outside of that position. Carolyn serves on the board of directors for www.connstorycenter.org and is the producer of Campus Slammer for them. She has served on a committee for LANES and is the liaison to NSN from CT. She was the recipient of the 2014 Barbara Reed award at the CT. Storytelling Festival and the National Storytelling Network Oracle Award from the Northeast. Her CD “George Henry Story – The Man Who Painted Lincoln” recently garnered the Parents’ Choice Silver Award and the NAPPA Publishers Honors. Carolyn Stearns: makes a simple story, one you never forget”.