User:Exec8/Introduction of Exec8
I am User:Exec8, or Butch Bustria in real life. As a Filipino migrant worker based in Singapore, I use my spare time in doing Wikimedia projects. My first edit was in December 2005 with a series of edits about the Philippines' hosting of the Southeast Asian Games.
Involvement in the In-person Engagement
In 2006, many of our contributions about the Philippines were either deleted citing copyright. Some wikipedians also complain that their hard work had been used by various outfits, some with the mainstream media without due credit. This prompted me to call for the 1st Manila meetup in May 2007. To ensure that this meetup will push through, after failed attempts before, I sent private messages to key Filipino wikipedians and on our village pump, Tambayan Philippines. The meetup is uncomfortable from the start, having an in-person meeting with wikipedians, unmasking their identities, talk on common concerns and opened channels for better communication.
I am pessimistic at first when it comes to have an association of Filipino wikipedians. However, to ensure that we have a unified voice and raise our common concerns and have due representation, I joined in the series of meetups that centered on forming a chapter. Indonesia's recognition as a chapter after Taiwan and Hong Kong sped up the pace. The non-profit organization was formed on 2010 and I as one of the incorporators of Wikimedia Philippines Incorporated.
The first year had been a challenge for the chapter, first with introduction to general public and to bring the active editors involved. It is my first time doing outreach work to teach wikipedia in the general public. We had successful network of some sort with other non-profit groups such as Mozilla Philippines, Creative Commons and Computer Professionals Union. It also allowed me to appear at a congressional hearing and have an audience with the Malacanang Palace on how to deal the government websites to make use of its resources as a public domain.
Going Beyond the Borders
Getting involved in the chapter opened the door of opportunity to engage with wikimedians across the globe. Wikimedia Conference 2012 was my first engagement and allowed me to network with peers by learning from each other and how to collaborate on key projects. Wikimania 2013, 2015 and 2017 allowed me from a observer to an active player in discussions within these conferences.
With Iberocoop becoming a standard for socio-cultural exchange, it motivated many Asians to form on their own. Many discussions had been brewing in every international wikimedia conferences to make the grouping formal. I am one of its supporters and with the emergence of social media, utilize all possible channels of communication.
Going as an Individual
With all honesty, being in a chapter, consumed lot of my time, and resources. I got less involved in my core competency as wikipedia editor. Being out of the board of trustees in 2013 released me with administrative commitments. This allowed me to increase my involvement in online projects to three folds. Being out of the country also allowed me to remove distrations and to refocus and finish my dormant works left dusting in years.
Helping another country
Looking at the map, Malaysia and Singapore had been left in the dark in terms of getting engaged in the global movement. Little by little, I was able to impart my experience with a chapter and transfer knowledge to an emerging affiliate. Thus, Wikimedia Community User Group Malaysia was born.
Cross border exchange and movement of wikimedians in Singapore
Though there is no chapter in Singapore and it has not hosted any international conferences, many wikimedians go to Singapore to attend conferences either as a representative of their company or on the advocacies they support. This allowed me to host in person or one on one meetup and understand what they are up to either on their country or on the global movement. Having involved in the movement allowed me to other stable affiliates. The visit to the office of Wikimedia Indonesia in 2012 and 2016 gave me an idea on how I would be better involved once I return as a key player of an affiliate or possibly form a new one.
ESEAP of May 2018
I was not a full believer at first of having a small conference as it shuts the door for other countries who had experience in projects we never utilize such as Wikidata and Mediawiki. However my perspective changed when the host of the inaugural conference, was able to invite wikimedians across the region who are under-represented such as East Timor, East Malaysia, and Brunei. The conference also increased participants in each country, leading to deeper cooperation among nations. Having at typical 1 person representation at the entire participants pool may not able to make regional collaboration consistent and sustainable. I gave my hats off to Wikimedia Indonesia. I hope the hosting duties among nations will be consistent and topics discussed is getting more relevant and timely. ESEAP allowed countries to be cohesive to each other.
Why on Earth you are spending your time, contributing to Wikipedia?
Lack of information on Wikipedia and that information stored somewhere like archives, 3rd party websites motivates me to contribute. If someone else did it, then I am satisfied. However, lack of people to have courage of doing it gave me determination to continue working.
Why do you think it's worth your time?
We have limited time in our lifetime and the best way to be productive in your idle time is make a contribution to society. It can be financial or anything else but for me filling the information gap is the most satisfying way to use your time.
Looking at the road ahead
Wikipedia Asia Month during November allowed better cooperation among nations and it has been consistent as years goes by. Opening line of communication through social media (Facebook, whatsapp, telegram and many others) keep the pace going. This also allowed top open the door to new generation of editors who will keep the flame of open knowledge to many years to come. I am certainly believe an Asian conference will still be up to the table in the next decade (2020s). But for now, in person Asia meetup in Wikimedia Conference during spring and Wikimania during summer, and social media fills he gap. I also keep the Wikimedia Asia Oceania Facebook group afloat so this will allow people get a journal of events in each affiliate or individual.
It will come soon. Wikipedia is not me but is within me. There would be a time that new generation of advocates will work on the projects we started and I may impart my story "for keeps".