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ESEAP Conference 2022/Report/RXerself

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ESEAP Conference 2022 was my first ever international Wikimedia conference. I am glad to have been provided the scholarship and also to be able to present about my experience. It was very delightful to meet a lot of new people, appreciate and learn to one another.

Things learned at the conference


There were a lot of talks and insights presented at the conference. While the at the combined/plenary sessions there was only one session, at other times sessions were divided into two different rooms so we could only pick either one. I use the session code here like on the program page.

Saturday, 19 November


The conference was opened with table discussion on what our experiences were so far in the Wikimedia movement and how we see it is going to be in the future. I shared some of my difficulties occurred in the Indonesian community and my hope that in the future we can harbor more languages in the projects. It was Rachel Judhistari (WMF) presenting her insight from the Wikimedia Policy team and I learned that the problem for Indonesians like the PSE is also happening in several countries like Singapore, not to mention the political instability currently happening in Myanmar. In session B1, an idea I had never thought before was that they use other projects than Wikipedia for smaller languages in the Phillipines as making an encyclopedic character may require a certain knowledge threshold of the subject instead of like, creating a Wiktionary entry for example. An interesting experience was put up by Jimmyjrg at C1 where Australian label were collaborated with to put their name into Wikidata.

I gathered at D1 and was really happy to see the proud Paiwan people, speaking only in their language while I am here typing this in English. I have never heard a Taiwan aboriginal language spoken in person before. From our Myanmar editor, the political challenge was described further and a concern was raised at how it made long-time editors to be inactive. The New Zealand participant reminded us that how menial it seemed, administration and organizing capacity is important, to which I agree as editors only cannot hold a complicated Wiki conference. Pretty clever idea from Korean Wikimedians to hold a competition/edit-a-thon for university students and count them as volunteering hours credits.

At E2, I was really interested that WMF is developing the event namespace which might be useful as we have a lot of competitions in Indonesia while at F1, I learned that the autotransliteration (perhaps an OCR tool?) was already aiding the Balinese community with their scanned manuscripts. Finally at F3 plenary, I was presented with the ongoing sound logo competition which as of this December is on the voting phase.

Sunday, 20 November


I attended G2, where Giantflightlessbirds gave a presentation on structured data on Commons which I had already knew beforehand but he also presented on OpenRefine tool for Commons which I never tried before, and raised the topic on PattyPan tool (this one I have used it before) with some problems on how it stopped being supported by Java 8 in late 2021 but is now working again. Too bad was that I missed the opportunity to talk about Imker which is currently still not working!! I presented at H2 (further explained below) and then went back to see I1. I asked 99of9 and MargaretRDonald on what motivates them to do their work on Wikidata, as professional scientists and their answer was well, scientists can volunteer and it is important to link a database through Wikidata so that it doesn't stand alone, and that blew my mind :O, despite of course the data is going to be useful for articles and users in general who can download it freely.

I was then at J2 to learn how the organisation for Wikimania 2023 had came up so far. They were seeking opinions for the motto and the participants discussed it and some came up with their original ideas or a combined version of the offered motto options. I went for a washroom break mid-session but when I got back they were voting and I couldn't come in while the J1 session was done already. Now at ESEAP Hub (3), we were deciding on the interim committee members.

Things the participant contributed or participated in or since the conference


I presented the H2 session on Diversity, Safety & Awareness to share my experience as a Southeast Asian woman in contributing different aspects of the movement in Indonesia, whether it is with the Indonesian affiliate (WMID) or the online and offline community in general. I was glad to meet Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight and to receive a warm feedback from her. In every break or chance I got I talked with participants from different countries. Some do research on Wikimedia (the Vietnamese participant and the UTS student), share about their communities like in Malaysia and Thailand while also discussing about how Wikimedia projects was talked on other platforms such as Twitter. I was so intrigued with Wikidata works WMAU has done and finally able to ask them directly. It was also surprising the the Pacific region experienced what we in SE Asia experienced, the time zone difficulties with a lot of Wikimedia open office hours and online events where it is usually held when it's midnight (and of course, afternoon in Europe). My business cards were selling like hotcakes and I received a lot too.

Plans after the conference (from what was learned or contributed in the conference)


I am trying to implement some strategy on partnerships and Wikidata tips in meeting with the local institutions in Indonesia. There were some genuine tips like for exposure, not a standalone database, open knowledge, and perhaps targetting local languages which I will definitely bring up in discussions. I hope we will be able to conduct similar works like what the other chapters are doing in their own respective countries.

Comments/ suggestions about the conference


Wikimedia Australia has been a great host and the ESEAP community organising team was tremendously doing their best at this event. I had such a friendly and welcoming atmosphere throughout the days, beautiful pick of the venue. It was also really nice to have me arrived like 1+ day before 19 November because jetlag was no joke and my SIM card wasn't working.