The Wikimedia Conference 2018 took place in Berlin from 20 to 22 April, 2018. It is the annual meeting of all Wikimedia organizations, as well as other committees to discuss the future of the Wikimedia movement in terms of strategy, collaboration, and organizational development. This conference was hosted and organized by Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE), funded by the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF). From April 20 to April 22, on behalf of the Wikimedia Community User Group Georgia, I (Mehman Ibragimov) and my colleague David Asriashvili participated in the conference.
Why this conference?
The Wikimedia Conference is an annual meeting of representatives of Wikimedia Chapters and Affiliates, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees and other movement groups like the Affiliations Committee or the Funds Dissemination Committee. For me and for UG-GE, it is important to participate in such international meetings where important issues are addressed about the development of a WIKI-movement and where you can set important goals for the future. Also, here you can meet with members of other Wiki-organizations (Wikimedia chapters, thematic organizations, user groups, and the Wikimedia Foundation) and plan joint projects with them that are aimed at developing Wiki-movement.
How the conference helps us and how we help It
Wikimedia Community User Group Georgia — the organization I represent and work for its development, as part of the Wiki-movement, is very small but also active for its size. Our main problem is that we have a serious shortage of human resources, for this reason we are faced with big problems, such as a lack of people in carrying out large projects. We also have the problem of relations with GOV structures, which unfortunately do not really cooperate with us, but at the same time declare readiness to help, but this does not happen in practice. But despite the difficulties, we have minimal opportunities and a minimum number of interested persons to carry out successful projects and popularize Wikimedia projects in Georgia, since Wikimedia Community User Group Georgia is the only organization that operates on the territory of Georgia on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), and this is very important. Such conferences could help us by providing ideas for the development of small organizations in difficult countries such as Georgia, which provides the former USSR countries with them. We, in our turn, could provide our experience, as a small organization gets along in difficult countries, with minimal opportunities.
What I've done
Our main goal at the conference was to find maximum benefits for the development of our wiki-community, so we tried to make rational use of our time in order to have time to participate in important events.
At the opening of the conference, we met with many representatives of other wiki posts, as well as representatives of the Wikimedia Foundation. At the opening of the conference, the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), Katherine Maher, and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, Christophe Henner, delivered a speech. In their speeches, everyone noted the importance of the activities of Wikimedia projects, and also noted the further development and strategy of the Wikimedia Movement.
In the evening of the same day (Friday, April 20, from 19:30), a meeting of the representatives of the Wiki-community from central and eastern Europe was held. During the meeting, representatives of the Wikimedia, countries of this region, presented projects that they have implemented over the past year. Here were both, innovative projects and also old projects. During the meeting, representatives of the Wikimedia Ukraine provided us with information about the regional meeting of the Central and Eastern Europe Wikimedians. The meeting was very important and useful for Us, during which we learned what projects are implemented by Wikimedians in our region, as well as which projects we can implement using our colleagues example.
If you want to learn more about the topics of conversation at the meeting, read them on Etherpad: https://etherpad.wikimedia.org/p/wmcon2018-cee
TR & KA & AZ
We agreed with representatives of Turkey and Azerbaijan that in the near future we will conduct a joint project, which will include not only Wikipedia, but also other Wikimedia projects. Our project will help bring our communities closer together and will serve our common goals. Our joint project will be larger in scale than when we all carried out.
Online training program for Wikipedia
During the conference, a representative of the Wikimedia Algeria, Reda Kerbush agreed on a joint project, through which the Georgian Wikipedia will be able to increase its contingent of editors. Details of this project and future plans at the stage of approval, the most likely time to start the project is the second half of 2019.
As above, I pointed out such meetings as the Wikimedia conference in Berlin is very important for the development of both the Wikimedia itself and the entire Wikimedia movement. Wikimedia projects give the entire world community access to free knowledge without any obstacles, free of charge. As representatives of Wikimedia Community User Group Georgia we had a mission to represent our organization at a conference. At the conference we had to find the necessary steps that would help our organization in development, also find potential partners for our future projects. We were partially able to achieve our goals, but for further development we need more work on this part.