2017-2018 Annual Report
The year 2017 marks the beginning of the Wikimedia Community User Group Hong Kong. Since the former chapter - Wikimedia Hong Kong - collapsed, Wikimedians in Hong Kong have taken steps to rebuild a body to represent and advocate for the Wikimedia Movement in Hong Kong by holding outreach activities and finishing procedures necessary to attain recognition from the Affiliations Committee. The works continued in 2018 - further events are upcoming and the recognition process went smoothly. Here is a report on the activities of the Wikimedia Community User Group Hong Kong from its beginning until 31st August 2018.
Initiation of the User Group
Plans to build a Wikimedia user group are proposed from 2015 when Wikimedia Hong Kong (WMHK) started to face organizational problems. It was suggested to follow the Brazilian model to transform the chapter into a user group but to no fruit. In February 2017 WMHK is de-recognized by the Affiliations Committee and liquidated not long after. It was the time when talks between (mainly Chinese-language) Wikimedians in Hong Kong started to rebuild a Wikimedia User Group. Members of Wikimedia Taiwan and Wikimedia User Group China offered advice on how to revive the local Wikimedia community. The group's page on Meta have created on the same day of the de-recognition of the WMHK, and a Telegram channel is set up on that year to facilitate communications between prospective members of the group.
Based on successful and failed attempts to establish Wikimedia user groups, we decided to take steps necessary to attain recognition from the AffCom. A community meet-up between early prospective members has held in July 2017, and there were discussions on ways to put forward the user group plan, as well as the user group's visual identity. Based on these discussions a vote has concluded in November that year to confirm the user group's logo and name. We adopted the name "Wikimedia User Group Hong Kong," which later amended as "Wikimedia Community User Group Hong Kong" due to a request from the AffCom in August 2018, and the logo based on that of the former chapter. Further details, like entry requirements and the mission, have been discussed.
Shortly after another edit-a-thon on March 2018, a motion to amend the mission of the user group, which initially drafted in March 2018, is put forward to suit our operation and Hong Kong's social reality. The motion received unanimous support, but there was a problem in quorum. The quorum is "two-thirds of those who signed up in the user group's page on Meta," but it had not specified whether participation rate, number of votes or consensus should count. In June we decided to pass the motion since by counting consensus (abstentions not treated as objections) and participation rate (when the discussions began there were 18 members in our group, and 12 of them took part in it) the outcome is favorable, and by counting the number of votes it failed only with a small margin (1/9). Soon after, 1233, Billytanghh and WhisperToMe are elected as liaisons to the AffCom to follow up the recognition process.
The user group has held five events from July 2017 to June 2018. Of which one of them is a community meet-up aimed at community matters, three are tutorial sessions, and one is a hybrid event.
Our first event is a community meetup in July 2017. There were five attendees, of them are initiators of the user group. Topics discussed included the user group's structure, entry requirements, mission and visual identity. (See above.) Also, they exchanged opinions on on-site matters (like notability - a long-term problem for local grassroot editors, identification of reliable sources and the 15th Campaign.)
The second one, held in November 2017, is called an edit-a-thon for the Wikipedia Asian Month. Of the attendees, half of them are veteran editors or community facilitators, and others are newbies. For the first two hours, the veterans introduced Wikipedia to the newbies: its principles, the basic editing skills and ways to contact the editors. Then veteran editors guided newbies to write articles they chose. At last, we find that the event has little correlation to the Asian Month, as well as a low editor retention rate. Nevertheless, this is the first editing tutorial that we organized.
We teamed up with the Asia Art Archive and the M+ Museum for two subsequent tutorials. As we do not have our Facebook page set up, we rely on AAA and M+'s social network to promote our gathering. The first one was in February 2018, and 1233 is responsible for the tutorial part. After learning from the experience in November, we have a smoother tutorial this time. As same as in November, veterans taught newbies the way to write good articles, though we observe some efficiency problems for the teach-and-learn matter. The second one was in March and was held simultaneously with Art Basel Hong Kong 2018. This time people from AAA and M+ took over the tutorial part, leaving us to help the newbies. We didn't saw any problems in it, and AAA and M+ will change the format for tutorials later on. Both events attracted about 27 people (which included veterans and women artists interested in Wikimedia).
Our last event during the term of this report was in June 2018. After resolving the motion to amend our mission (see above), 春卷柯南 and ネイ shared what they learned in the Special:MyLanguage/ESEAP Conference 2018 (see below). Then we discussed the revival of the grassroots community here. We agreed that WT:HK has to revive (like updating the red link list and introduce an assessment table) and we should put more efforts to reach potential editors, like those dwelling in the public libraries. WhisperToMe brought some students from Shenzhen, so he and 1233 were on the other side of the room to teach them the basics of Wikipedia editing.
- 春卷柯南 and ネイ represented WUGHK to participate in the ESEAP Conference 2018 in Bali, Indonesia. After returning to Hong Kong, they shared their experience at our meet-up in June 2018. The sharing consists of four parts:
- the conference's metrics,
- conversations they had with WMF staffs on community matters,
- best practices from regional peers and what the group can learn, and
- an outlook of the next conference.
- We sent nine postcards as our souvenir for the Wikipedia Asian Month 2017 in April 2018. We used a photo by Steven Wu on the front and design by 1233 on the back. We coordinated with Mr. Wu, SuperHamster and Fantasticfears about issues like licensing and financing, with assistance from Kris Cheng.