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Welcome back from Wikimania 2015!



Bulgarian Wikipedia


Option 1: Shared Experience: What is one way you shared something from your experience with your community (either locally or globally), after the event?
Wiki meetup on 11 August was organized, when the two Bulgarians who attended Wikimania, me and User:Dimi z, and the two Bulgarians who attended the WikiCamp Macedonia gathered in Sofia other Wikimedia volunteers and presented important details, lessons, news and personal impressions. Organizing one local meeting for transferring knowledge from two international events was decided considering the vacation period, and for the possibility to put in the same context and compare the regional and global insights, as well as to motivate more people to start proactively apply for and take part in meetings (offline activity in our community is insufficient compared to similar communities).
In addition to sharing experience, I can mention that I took part in protocolling in Etherpad of many sessions during the preconference days mainly, which contained very useful for me and insightful new tools, practices. I tried to benefit not only with the lectured content, but also gain ideas about techniques in presenting the content and interacting between a session facilitator and the audience, as well as analyse the good and bad sides of the conference programme scheduling and conference organization.
Option 2: Learning Pattern: What is one useful learning pattern you can share with the Wikimedia movement?
I was mind-blown with the idea for the Wiki BINGO! and I will definitely apply this approach in my lectures with students, after the appropriate adaptation. It seems to take a lot of preparation in advance, but may work well for gripping the uninterested students' attention, making them sensitive to what they hear, and of course having an untraditional form of fun while teaching :) I will try to conceptualize a little bit more on this, and will transform it into a learning pattern in education, if User:Percy Plush doesn't mind, of course... :)


As in all cases before ('2011, '2014), Wikimania'2015 brought to me invaluable moments with old real-life and virtual friends and new friends.

#100wikiday-ers at Wikimanina: Satdeep, Antanana, Rebecca, me, Asaf and Vira

In addition, this year I was "on a quest" for recruiting new editors to undertake the #100wikidays challenge, which I invented early this year. The challenge, which I presented in a lecture on 17 July (File:Wikimania-2015-100wikidays.pdf, File:Wikimania-2015-100wikidays-2015-07-17.webm), had had 66 "victims" during the 6 months before Wikimania, and just couple of weeks later now their number has risen up to 77. In addition, the challenge has already produced more than 2940 articles in 34 different language versions of Wikipedia, as well as later expanded to Wikiquote, as well.

It was great to meet several people who started and developed the challenge, whom I knew from before: User:Ijon, User:Antanana, User:Ата, User:Msannakoval, User:Kiril Simeonovski. I met also chalengees whom by then I only knew virtually from our interactions on the Metapage and in Facebook: User:Satdeep Gill, User:Smirkybec. Some old friends also got inspired to join the challenge as a result: User:Netha Hussain, User:Masti, User:Geraki. New people followed it, too: User:Armineaghayan, User:Sadads, User:FloNight, User:Steven Zhang, User:Sanahirviö. Sanna is especially notable with the fact that she is a GLAM expert, and though a great Wikimedia supporter, she had not edited by now, when she got inspired to start with an abrdiged version of the challenge of #10wikidays. I am happy to note that some of the people got recruited not by me, but by other #100wikiday-ers who were present at Wikimania, giving me the feeling that we have already formed a community. Exactly while I'm writing these lines, User:Selsharbaty (WMF) has requested to join the FB group on #100wikidays.

In addition, at least two people decided not to stop the challenge after the 100th day, and continue to contribute to Wikipedia and Wikiquote. I myself as a result re-started the challenge, after finishing it first on 26 April. My next run of 100wikidays started on 13 August (and, please, wish me luck). As I mentioned in my presentation (17 July), it is not necessary to be crazy to start the #100wikidays. But it helps. :D

Apart of this little madness, meeting people on Wikimania was helpful in many other ways.

Educational Initiative

I met my wonderful old and new friends from the Educational Program and the Learning&Evaluation teams: Floor Koudjis, Anna Koval, Leigh Thelmadatter, whom I knew from Wikimania'2014, and Samir Elsharbaty, Melina Masnatta, Rosemary Rein, Kacie Harold, Edward Galvez. I was invited to apply for the Wikipedia Education Collaborative, and I was approved, Grants:Evaluation/Community. I contributed with the Bulgarian expertise in designing a brand new WEP course and I volunteered with the particular task to translate the "Education program" extension's system messages in Bulgarian.

Anna Koval asked me in advance to prepare a talk on "The WikiEducator's Survival Kit: Some Tried and Tested Teaching Experiences from Bulgaria", as an extended version of my talk at the Wikimedia Central and Easter Europe Meeting in December 2014 in Kiev. Unfortunately, due to bad teaming of the previous speakers in this session, we dynamically re-planned our session, leaving this speach out, however it is available in Commons ( File:Wikimania-2015-Vassia-WEP-removed-fairuse.pdf).

Regional collaborations
Wikimedia CEE Meetup at Wikimania 2015

Wikimania was again a wonderful chance to strengthen the regional connections and collaborations.

It was really useful meeting people from the region, especially in the light of the forthcoming Wikimedia Central and Easter Europe Meeting in Estonia in September. The Wikimania CEE Meetup gathered more than 40 people from the region, and came in the right moment for us setting deadlines, distributing responsibilities and talking about important aspects of the forthcoming "regional mini-Wikimania", as I like to call it. I myself got involved in the International Programme Committee, and am currently engaged with drafting the conference programme.

With User:Geraki from Greece, we talked about their project Thesswiki, where my Bulgarian community have registered the highest level of collaboration.

With User:Strainu from Romania, we discussed the Bulgarian experience with collaboration with the National Archives. In attempt to transfer some of our know-how, I have committed to translate the text of the Agreement which every Wikimedian, willing to collaborate, signs with the Archives, and showed the structure of our progress reports, and the resultant media coverage.

Probably the main outcome of my regional cooperation efforts at Wikimania, came from User:Dungodung from Wikimedia Serbia, who proposed that by the end of the year our two neighbouring wiki communities organize a joint wikiexpedition in the border region of Dimitrovgrad/Kalotina. Since we have still only a user group, we don't have the budget the cover our part of the expenses, but Wikimedia Serbia has allocated some ammount for the organization of the event, in which we will most probably be able to fit. In the last 10 days we have been discussing with the Serbian project manager Ivana Madzarevic particularities like the expedition timing, number of participants, accommodation, places to visit, tentative budget. The idea has been put for discussion on BG WP Village Pump, as well as discussed during the Wiki meetup in Sofia on 11 August, and has so far lead to the serious committment of several people, as well as multiple wonderful ideas for the travel itinerary.

Anything else[edit]

Apologies for the delay in submitting of the report. I had wonderful time on my third Wikimania, and I am grateful for being given the chance to attend it and give a presentation. Spiritia 23:55, 15 August 2015 (UTC)