Welcome back from Wikimania 2014!
- Option 1: Shared Experience: What is one way you shared something from your experience with your community (either locally or globally), after the event?
- Add a link here to a blog post or newsletter you wrote about your participation afterwards, or to a meet-up you organized to share your experience with your local community.
- [Wikisource-l] Some recent bugzilla additions from enWS, first tranche of improvements that were identified individually, or by the community as requiring progress.
- Progressing the cross-wiki cooperation in the establishment of Wikisource:WikiProject Open Access (permission fixes, formatting fixes, plans for operational bots, requests for bot operations)
- Stewardy: the ability to exchange ideas and have in depth face-to-face conversations
The WM2014 experience was exactly for what I had been hoping. This being an opportunity to have face-to-face experiences with people with whom I had been acquainted; people with whom I had cooperated though didn't know; those who were entering into an area of my expertise where I was finding it hard to give them sufficient attention; and finally, those who had knowledge that I wished to access.
The online wiki experience can be both valuable and rewarding, though sometimes lacking in the more human dimensions, and this is especially in the dimensions of verbal and physical communication when discussing more complex matters where understanding is requisite, and the desire to hear from those who can be the 'watchers in the room'. The simple ability to more casually sit and exchange ideas in a dedicated and encouraging space, with less time pressures and distractions was rewarding. This is especially the case where one is normally operating cross-culturally, across languages, and across time zones, and while you think that you have some shared experiences, and some shared understanding of the issues faced; sometimes there are moments of doubt about one's base assumptions.
In my application for a scholarship I expressed a desire to extend collaborative efforts, and to look to better understand those with whom I was interacting, primarily in both the Wikisource environment, and the stewardry workspace, plus to participate in the experience of the celebration that they call Wikimania. From my personal perspective, the expressed desires were met, if not exceeded; my understanding of the people in my areas of focus has increased, and has seemingly increased trust and understanding, and opened better channels of communication; and some mutually beneficial connections with 'unknown knowns' have sprung up that and have the potential for improving cross-sister collaboration, utilising each others strengths and experiences. I feel that the scholarship has been a success already, and there is streets of opportunity ahead.
- Dictionary of National Biography
Prior to conference, a day was spent talking about future steps and potential uses of the transcribed Dictionary of National Biography, about management and integration of data components, and the work that we had to do, and some discussion around priorities. Face-to-face over coffee, then lunch and then dinner. Tick!
During the hackathon, the ability to listen to people's projects, and look to understand their potential, and some opportunity to express one's knowledge, one's experiences, and often one's edge cases. Then to frame and to extend one's mental model of how their tools or projects fit within the overarching schema, and how that expands the potential for one's passions to grow and prosper; how the people who talk about their passions have shared their thoughts, and are (somewhat) able to see alignments in goals, and new possibilities.
An example of a specific experience was the ability to concentrate on a new project that was looking to integrate citations, source material and metadata at the sites Wikipedia, Wikisource, and Wikidata. I thank Daniel Mietchen for hunting me down and introducing me to his colleagues in the Open Access data project, and seeking input from the Wikisource perspective. One conversation of an hour was able to achieve significantly more understanding and cooperation than days of wiki time. This was more than just helping, it was a discussion about possibilities, it was about a previous casual crossing of paths turning into an understanding of a broader goal, and the joining of what previously seemed random puzzle pieces. It was also about being able to explore their ideas, and motivations, and their steps to success.
As can be the case, the association of people can both build, and furnish a bond. An idea properly presented can generate an outcome that can have shared ownership, eliminate perceived complexity, reshape your thoughts, positively change your feelings and therefore encourage action.
Hearing the casual observers thoughts about Wikisource, hearing their questions of what does Wikisource do, and had it considered ...? Then to hear various presentations and to think about how our Wikisource community could fill a gap; could provide an alternate experience; could differently present its aims; how it could participate in gamification; how it might develop in light of trends that others are seeing in wikis, in communities, in editing. Much food for thought. Then to have the opportunity to raise these in a meet-up, and one that cannot be easily with the geographic diversity of the broader international and multi-lingual community. To better understand the smaller language Wikisources need the more populous WSes (eg. enWS) to take on some of the significant heavy lifting of generating help pages and allowing the smaller communities to translate these for local communities, similarly with our tools, and importantly to inform these communities of their availability, rather than letting discovery happen by chance, or by their having to ask/dig/find.
I got up the courage to get some bots operational after sitting through talks about Labs, and Pywikibot, so we in the WSes can get some of those minor maintenance tasks better attended to, and maybe a little 'skilling-up'. It will be the community's bot, and we should be able to share its operation throughout the wikisource sisters as required and requested.