This post is a guest column by Jason Hibbets, chair of Raleigh’s South West Citizen Advisory Council (SWCAC). A version of this post first appeared on southwestraleigh.com.

Almost 50 people collaborated on Saturday at Red Hat headquarters, currently located on Centennial Campus in Raleigh, N.C., 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 LocalWiki as a content management platform that includes wiki pages, images and mapping.

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Let the edit party begin at Triangle Wiki Day. Image courtesy of Laura Barnes Hamlyn.

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 City Councilor Mary Ann Baldwin gave a keynote speech 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, marketer, and 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.

City Councilor Russ Stephenson and Raleigh Planning Director Mitchell Silver were also in attendance.

Reid Serozi, Triangle Wiki project lead, provided the background on LocalWiki, showing a video from Philip Neustrom, one of the project co-founders of LocalWiki 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 10:30 a.m. 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 p.m., 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 skill sets — ranging from photographers to local historians to hackers, and much more. Triangle Wiki is basically community knowledge done the open-source way.