Welcome back from Wikimania 2014!
Mohammed Sadat Abdulai (User:Masssly)
English Wikipedia, Meta-Wiki, Wikimedia Incubator, Commons Wikimedia, Wikimania,
Wikimania 2014 was my first conference. My presence at the conference whiles volunteering on some of the event days gave me the opportunity to encounter members of the community personally which resulted in the exchange of ideas. I was really inspired by the sessions on GLAM projects particularly that on Best practices for the evaluation of GLAM-Wiki co-operations. As a result I have started a section in This Month in GLAM newsletter to co-ordinate and report on GLAM activities in Ghana.
I also had a meet-up with Lloffiwr of the languages committee who encouraged me to start Dagbani language wikipedia in the incubator. Along with other members of planning Wikimedia Ghana we are presently working with Carl Fredrik Sjöland from Wikiproject Medicine to translate simplified English language Wikipedia articles on Ebola and other health related articles into Dagbani; so far we've chucked a few successes and are recruiting new members who want to be part of the medical translation task force.
Furthermore, I am working on a Wikipedia related thesis with my university supervisor(who initially openly dissuaded his students from visiting the site) towards my MSc Statistics qualification. I had always wondered how much infuence wikipedia had on research given that it is harshly discredited by academics whiles at the same time it is being significanlty used at all levels within academia. Meeting some academics at Free Our Research - reaching out to academics session I got new ideas that spurred me to proceed on this dissertation.
Lastly, I was involved with a Ghanaian community member in the shooting of a video to document our experiences at Wikimania London and on Wikimedia Foundation at large to the local community back in Ghana. In my interview in the video I spoke in the local Ghanaian dialect explaining our involvement and the relevance of Wikimedia projects in education and on our social lives whiles encouraging young people especially to join in our course. Upon edit completion of we hope to be able to have it shown on national TV.
I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people from diverse backgrounds and with different experiences. A few were
- Adele Vrana of Mobile Partnerships - Africa and LatAm. We deliberated the idea of Wikipedia zero and how soon Ghana would join the list of countries to enjoy from it.
- Carolyne Schloeder, Mobile Program & Partnerships. Our discussions revealed that Africa was the biggest target of mobile phone manufacturers and telecommunication operators as such there was a need for Wikimedia to begin to develop their software to take advantage of that emerging market.
- Also, I volunteered alongside Roseni Deardon, International Network of Women Engineers and Scientist. We spoke on some of the reasons why women (including those in STEM) are less interested in editing Wikipedia as compared with males.