Welcome back from Wikimania 2017!
- Option 1: Shared Experience: What is one way you shared something from your experience with your community (either locally or globally), after the event?
I documented my learnings from Wikimania with specific applications for the Ukrainian community at Wikimedia Ukraine wiki: wmua:Вікіманія 2017 (page jointly prepared with other Ukrainian Wikimedians).
The three most useful things I learned at Wikimania were:
- German experience for campaigns targeting new editors. In brief, Wikimedia Deutschland found out that if newbies see too detailed and too complex landing pages of various campaigns, they end up not participating at all; on the other hand, pages with one specific message were the most efficient. We had a pretty similar issue with Wiki Loves Monuments: we used a site with fancy blog posts and detailed rules, but for the first two days we had no new users at all. Then we switched to a simple landing page at c:Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments 2017 in Ukraine/uk and we got a normal participation of newbies as expected. Now I try to look at landing pages of our campaigns from the point of view of usefulness for newbies.
- Session of volunteer leaders. It highlighted a typical problem of volunteer projects that I was also facing as a volunteer: a project might fail if you put a bad person in charge of it, but a project will fail if there is no one in charge of it. Now I try to make sure that we do not have any projects that we hope will advance but no one is working on in our community.
- Tools for mass editing of Wikidata. The Ukrainian community often complained that, on one hand, many items lack Ukrainian labels or descriptions on Wikidata, on the other hand, too many items lack them to have it fixed manually. I learned from a presentation by Harmonia Amanda which tools can be used for such editing and already used them for Ukrainian cities (all of them now have descriptions in Ukrainian on Wikidata!) and Ukrainian first names.
The three most useful things I shared at Wikimania were:
- Project grants discussion with Marti and project grants committee members present in Montréal, notably Ravi and Lluís. We all agreed that the current system needs to be changed as it was good for neither committee members and staff (too heavy burden of reviewing many proposals during a very short period of time) nor applicants (not timely feedback, too long time between application and funding, some decisions can be not clear enough). We discussed ways to change this, notably by switching back to quarterly system if feasible, giving feedback to applicants earlier so that they have time to update their proposal or clarify something if needed and modifying the decision-making process.
- Participated in discussions on Community Health, including being on the panel of the Community Health: Tips & Tools session during learning days. I shared the experience of Wikizghushchivka (Wiki Condensed Milk) project we do in Ukraine which most people first found strange (well, we use a pictures of condensed milk instead of barnstars on Ukrainian Wikipedia because barnstars do not mean anything in Ukraine, and each month we send cans of real condensed milk to the most active newbie and the most active experienced user) but than found useful (as a good way to motivate users). I also led a discussion on one of the sub-topics.
- Made a presentation of Wikimedia Ukraine's experience on onboarding board members during Learning Days: File:WMUA Onboarding board members Wikimania 2017.pdf. I think it was useful for the audience which mostly consisted of affiliate members. I might develop it into a learning pattern at some point.
I obviously had to omit a lot of things, such as discussing the possibility of hosting the Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2018 in Ukraine, WLE and WLM, freedom of panorama and other public policy issues, volunteer support and trainings for board members, sister project and minority languages and so on...
I met a lot of people (over a hundred), and it's hard to mention everyone. Some of them were people I already knew and I worked with (including many fellow chapter board members or simply Wikimedian friends), it was nice to meet them again and discuss news and ideas. Some of them were people I already came across somewhere but had an occasion to meet and talk to (this notably includes Katherine). Finally, I also got many new connections with people with whom we have some projects or initiatives in common, and it is a great occasion to learn something and share my experience. As above, my to three most useful connections (from cooperation point of view):
- Strategy team. As someone who was a part of the steering committee that designed Tracks A and B, it was a pleasure to meet all people involved in this strategy discussion. It was a long journey (it started as my Friday routine in winter and we ended with a discussion on the final direction in Montréal), thus it was very inspiring to meet other people who helped make it happen. That was a nice opportunity to meet people with whom I worked online, those who organised discussions in local communities as well as those who brought their external expertise (like Esra'a who has many interesting stories to tell).
- Achim and German festival accreditations. We are trying to set up a photography accreditation project in Ukraine (that would allow people to attend events involving notable people happening near them, such as music festivals, sports events and public lectures) but it is quite hard to get it off the ground. It was a pleasure to discuss German experience with Achim and I hope it would help make our Ukrainian project fully operational.
- Galder and Basque education progamme. Basque UG has an active education programme with schools supported by their Ministry of Education, and they have a very cool initiative of working on core Wikipdia articles of the school curriculum involving students, teachers and Wikipedians. As we are also actively working with schools in Ukraine, Basque experience can be a good idea for development of our education programme. (Well, I am not really 'the education person' of my chapter but I will work with our education programme leaders on this).
I added my slides above, one more link here: File:WMUA Onboarding board members Wikimania 2017.pdf.
I didn't take a lot of photos during the conference (other people can probably do it better them me) but I did quite a few photos of Québec. I am yet to upload them, however, sorry.
Thank you for the scholarship!