Welcome back from Wikimania 2016!
- 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.
- A few days after returning home, I was approached by Andrew McMillen to discuss Wikitherapy over Skype; WMF staff member Jake Orlowitz had referred him to me on account of Grants:IEG/Wikitherapy. We chatted for over an hour and I in turn referred him to User:Kritzolina whose presentation about Wikipedia addiction and its comorbidities I had attended at the Hall venue on Sunday 26 June. Andrew has written a piece related to Wikipedia and mental health and we are all eagerly awaiting its publication on Conde Nast's Backchannel (link to be provided soon as it is made available)
- My flatmate at the B&B Andrea from Argentina is a psychologist; when we met I talked to her about Wikitherapy and she really liked the idea. She mentioned in her report that she is interested in replicating the project in a hospital in Buenos Aires and she has invited me to present Wikitherapy at a conference in her city next year.
- Apart from discussing future collaborations in Wikipedia medical content, User:Taketa suggested that we run a double writing week related to Cultural Heritage on Greek Wikipedia in the model he created on Meta. The writing week will be open from 27 July to 10 August and there is already satisfactory participation from the first few days.
- My Wikitherapy presentation led to interesting ideas about how to take the concept further; e.g. User:Tobias1984 offered an inspiring idea about getting Wikitherapy participants to edit Wikidata Medicine
Wikipedia Education Program
- Discussed for long hours with my flatmate and new friend Bojana from the Education Program in the Republic of Srpska
- I attended presentations and discussions related to the Wikipedia Education Program. My favorite moment was at this presentation by Esther Solé of Amical Wikimedia (at which I arrived late due to "Walkamania" circumstances: see below:). Esther had obviously read the June 2016 Education newsletter and I was thrilled to see that she had included my work in her Good Practices slide. I felt very proud while she was describing my projects to the audience in the Gym Palace and very happy when they applauded my intervention:)
IdeaLab and IEG
- Marti extended an e-mail invitation to former IEG Grant recipients to join her in the IdeaLab session at Esino Lario Museum. I accepted the invitation and talked about how fascinating the process is: from a vague thought in my mind in Spring 2015, to the IdeaLab Session in Mexico City with Marti and Siku and how exciting it was to get my idea formulated and posted on the site, to full development of the idea into a grant proposal funded by the WMF. In the group we discussed ideas that could potentially develop into grant proposals.
- Marti also invited us to join her for an IEG lunch in the Tent. I met other IEG recipients and learned about their work: Marco and his StrepHit project, discussed with Carl Fredrik Sjoland from Wikiproject Med Foundation that I would be willing to contribute brain CAT / MRI scans, ERCP imaging and other useful material from my family's medical records for his Health images project and offered my island's local candies (sugar or honey-coated almonds called "mandoles")
- Was very happy to finally meet Alex in person after having exchanged so many e-mails! And John... both were a big help in discussing solutions for an ambitious local GLAM project - with inherent social impact - that I want to set up in my community.
From the first minute I arrived at the Piazza Italia reception space I felt totally at home: an old-fashioned cafe with a jukebox and old posters on the walls, just like the traditional cafes in the villages on my home island in Greece. Also, the setting was very familiar: a small village nestled in the mountains, and a magnificent lake some kilometers away. I kept telling everyone "this is like Kefalonia, only on a grander scale". See photo and tell me if you agree!
So this amazing, friendly setting was the perfect backdrop for:
- plenty of exercise (who needs a gym when we had to walk to venues from one end of the village to the other at 7 - if I remember correctly - different altitudes:)
- plenty of casual intercourse among Wikimedians (I was late for most sessions and here's the reason: in my home town when I go out for errands I always allow time for running into people in the streets and squares and having casual chats with them. Sometimes we even "do business" right there in the middle of the road! So, in Esino Lario I was functioning in "conference mode" but in a Hometown setting: exactly the same thing happened! On the way from one venue to another I would run into Wikimedians and our casual chats would often lead to insipring ideas for collaboration, and then we would remember: oh no! what time is it? we're going to miss the session!)
- plenty of casual intercourse with the locals (I met the mayor's lovely daughters, ran into volunteers I had met on the first day over and over again, ran into the woman volunteer who accompanied the shuttle into Esino Lario from Malpensa in a different setting with her lovely family, talked with shop-owners and bought lovely hand-made souvenirs from the stalls on the last day: everyone LOVES my new crocheted earrings! And plenty of selfies as well:)
- plenty of delicious home-cooked breakfast treats (Senora Paola was the typical Mediterranean mother: eat eat eat!!!)
- last but not least, plenty of FUN:) Here is a gallery from the Wikimania 2016 "Fun Department" (feel free to add your own fun moments!)
Danny B from Czech Republic brought his favorite chocolate bars to Wikimania 2016 for everyone to try. Not only did we try them but after two taste-tests at Hotel Centrale and Piazza Italia terrace we can say with certainty: "Yes, Danny, your chocolates are delicious. You had a normal, happy childhood:-)"
Serendipity again: three New Yorkers meet at Wikimania 2016... Lane you should have been in this one!!!
Last impression: not good
Monday 27 June was the day of departure from Malpensa Airport in Milan. The four Greek participants would be boarding the same AegeanAir flight to Athens and we had around two hours to spare. Being an airport fan I initially decided to wander through Malpensa but then changed my mind when I saw my Greek counterparts sitting at the Briciole Cafe: I had some issues to sort out with Geraki and I was not going to risk being accused by him online again for not confronting him with these issues in person. After what happened in Milan I am very happy I didn't confront him in Mexico City.
The confrontation soon escalated into a heated debate, with arguments going both ways in a civil tone. When Geraki ran out of arguments on the matters we were discussing - namely, the Wikipedia Education Program, Senior Citizens editing Wikipedia and a misleading accusation of canvassing in a Global Renamer vote - he stood up and started YELLING at me at the top of his voice on a totally irrelevant issue that he had left without a reply for over a month in a discussion thread on Outreach. In front of at least 20 people, who were naturally staring at us. I apologized to him for insinuating online what he so adamantly denied with his shouting (even though I still have my doubts). Two months have passed and I have yet to see an apology from Geraki for his unbelievable outlash. If this isn't what harassment is about I don't know what is... (unless Wikipedia community harassment only counts when it's done online). But don't take my word for it: ask User:Magioladitis and User:Kalliope (WMF) who were there if he made a scene or not. Note: the reason it took me so long to report the incident is because I have been trying to put it behind me and move on without bitterness. Unfortunately, it has been two months and the unpleasant incident - first time in my life have I ever been treated this way in public - keeps coming back. If again, for the Wikimedia Community, this is an incident to be merely brushed off, I will have to seriously question whether I belong in the movement or not. --Saintfevrier (talk) 17:10, 26 August 2016 (UTC)