2017 Wikimania Scholar Report
My participation to Wikimania 2017 started at the Learning Days (part of the pre-conference). Here I was able to grasp the tools and techniques in organizing Wikimedia events, and how to report and measure its success or challenges. Now that I am doing this in my personal capacity, this will allow me to extend my outreach to the peripheries of the movement, reaching out to the unrepresented communities of Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines outside Manila.
My presence in the Montreal Wikimania incidentally became a representation of the whole Southeast Asia. The Asia meetup on Day 1 of the conference became more diverse with representation from the Middle East (Jordan, Iran) and Russia. The meetup have representatives from South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia and Australia. The meetup strengthens the support for the Wikipedia Asia Month in November and the need to have a Pan-Asian Wikimedia Regional Conference (this will start first with the East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Wikimedia Conference, abbreviated as the ESEAP conference).
The Wikidata breakout session were well attended and the lessons learned and this will help me to work better in contributing and developing useful data gathered.
I finally able to make my mark in the Wikimedia 2030 strategy session after missing the 2017 Wikmedia Conference in Berlin. I gave my suggestion to make automation and AI as a priority, not to replace the volunteers who contribute, but to better equip them and interact better through effective communication. I also voice out to the strategy session the needs and suggestions of the unrepresented communities I interacted with before the conference. One of which was the use of Central Notices in Wikipedia to locations that have not or less frequently made any offline activities (such as editathons or contests)
Finally, the Wikimedia Video Sessions is one of the most important part of the conference as this is the future of Wikipedia. Clear set of standards must be ironed out as future volunteers will eventually start adding videos to the articles as better network connectivity allows people to go beyond images, documents and text. Webm extensions are is still unfamiliar to prospective video contributors I met. Many still prefer MP4.
Wikimania 2017 further extend my outreach of contacts. New acquaintances include Farhad Fatkullin (Kazan, Russia), Tanweer Morshed (Bangladesh), Deryck Chan (Hong Kong/ UK), Lukas Mezger (Germany). Atendees to the Asia meetup, Education group, video group helped me gather useful feedbacks. These encounters also allowed these people to get connected with someone in Singapore and Philippines for their personal and professional visits (such as non-Wikimedia international conferences hosted by Singapore) .
Suggestions: Please encourage future event organizers and wikimedians to live stream breakout sessions (Youtube and Facebook). This will allow to connect to those people outside the conference who are eager to know what was going on there. I also suggest a live screencast (with audio from the mic) of the presentation and less of a direct camera shot of the presenter/ audience.
I also suggest a conference booklet for souvenir. It can be given if requested (to save paper).
How I rate this event: 4 of 5 stars. The Montreal conference is great! Though there are minor setbacks such as the group photo on Day 2 due to sudden rainfall, the event is well organized and there are rooms for improvement for the next host.
Asia Meetup video : facebook link. You may request to be a member of the group if interested.