This was my first time at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and also my first time at an edit-a-thon. Probably the most striking thing about having the edit-a-thon in the museum was how cool it was to be around the subjects (sort of) that I was writing about. It was also a very interesting environment with all of the Wikipedians there, as well as other people interested in the subjects and the museum’s resources on the subjects.
During the edit-a-thon, I chose to work on the Wikipedia page for Arline Fisch, who is an American artist, working in metal and jewelry. The first thing I did was add an info box. Most of the other pages had an info box, and I really wanted to get some practice making an info box so that I could use it in the future. I also added citations, of which there were very few when I first started work on the article. Here, it did help to be in the library, because I picked up a tip from one of the Wikipedians present in the room. He mentioned that when looking for citations for facts in an article, rather than starting a search for scratch, use references already present in the article, as they quite possibly could contain the information you were looking for. The tip, I realize, is sort of a no-brainer, but it hadn’t occurred to me and it made sense that someone experienced with these things would have figured out an efficient way to do them.
I also added a redirect page for Arline Fisch (Arline M. Fisch), which I noticed a number of other articles were linking to (red links). This is probably a relatively insignificant page in the grand scheme of Wikipedia, but it was really cool to create my own page for the first time, and also good to get practice with redirects. Overall, redirects and info boxes were definitely two new skills I added during the edit-a-thon.
It made sense to me why edit-a-thons are organized when I saw how the group of people can facilitate better editing endeavors. That being said, one thing that I thought could be added is a demonstration of some skills involved with editing a page. For each event, maybe a few skills (like making redirects or info boxes) could be highlighted. Obviously not every event is going to be half made up of students relatively new to Wikipedia, but even then, maybe some resources a particularly relevant reference to the subject could be focused on to help facilitate editing even more.