Wikimedians of Colorado User Group/wmcon-2017/candidates

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Results[edit]

Congratulations to Abhay Natu अभय नातू. Go and represent! Nealmcb (talk) 17:59, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

Candidates for Colorado User Group representative to Wikimedia Conference 2017[edit]

FWIW, this might be helpful, from Wikimedia Conference 2017/Program Design Process. But since it was added here so late, please don't penalize candidates who don't fill it out...:

How to select the delegates The Wikimedia Conference is all about participation. To make the conference a success it will be essential for the invited affiliates to deliberately select their delegates. Participants should come to Berlin to learn and to share, but also to bring the information and learnings back home. We are seeking delegates who will be actively engaged before, during and after the conference and can represent their affiliates. Ideal delegates are those who are

  • involved in the decision making processes of the organization,
  • striving to help shape the future of the movement,
  • or partnerships specialists,
  • or program leaders.

To increase diversity and have more diverse points of view present at the Wikimedia Conference, we advise affiliates to send at least one non-male participant per organization/group.

Participants should be eager to shape movement conversations; people with passion for partnerships with institutions, funders and like-minded organizations as well as people striving to improve their affiliates’ impact. Please don’t overthink it, consider this food for thought while making your choices.


We will ask the following questions within the registration form; these questions can also help you to select the delegates. Our intention is to create awareness for the conference themes and for the “seriousness of the business”. The answers will then help to create and shape the program. They will help us to get a better understanding of everyone’s initial thinking.

Movement Strategy

  • In 20 years, how do you want our movement to be known?
  • Who is not yet part of our movement?
  • What are some of our movement’s biggest challenges today?

Partnerships

  • If you think about the partnerships your organization/group has initiated over the last years, what were the best, most impactful or most inspiring ones?
  • What would you need to have more good, impactful or inspiring partnerships? What would you need to learn or acquire to have such partnerships?
  • Is there an insight, idea, method or something else around partnerships you can imagine to share during the Wikimedia Conference?

Capacity Building

  • Please name one or two skills, tools, or resources, that you want to be able to bring back home to your local organization/group.
  • How can you contribute to the Wikimedia Conference? What skills, knowledge or insights can you bring to share that others can learn/benefit from?


Isarra[edit]

Mostly just putting this here as an example, or whatever.

  • Who I am: MediaWiki developer/designer. Occasional editor on wikis.
  • Involvement in Wikimedians of Colorado User Group: Have previously organised a couple of meetups etc. Nothing recent. Mostly just try to make sure nothing gets lost with the mailing list on the off chance Gaurav (co-owner) isn't paying attention. Usually he is more than I am, though.
  • Goals for the conference: We don't do much, as a user group, but while some of it is just logistical problems, a lot of it seems to be based on a lack of inspiration/motivation. There are a lot of things we could be doing that don't necessarily occur to us, and the like, or nobody has the time to organise. So there's a lot to potentially be learned off the more experienced groups. And there's also issues of going out and getting our voice heard - we're a bit odd in that we do cover such a large area (there are plenty of other groups like this, but like us they're all small), and thus may present a point of view that could be useful to the concerns of the conference in general. The more of us actually do so, the more our problems will also be considered, too.
Anyway, whatever winds up happening should be useful for actually doing more down the road, or whatever.

Personally I'd be much more interested to go as a technical contributor, but that's not what this is about for us. So someone please put in a more specific statement (you you you! Why are you awesome?) so we can send you. -— Isarra 04:12, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

Support[edit]

  • Isarra was the first candidate to start putting content on this page and has kept this conversation going on the mailing list; I like that organizational drive and hope they'll use it to organize local events -- the backbone of WM-US-CO -- both before and especially after wmcon2017. -- Gaurav (talk) 17:34, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Isharra has broad experience and adds valuable perspective. Nealmcb (talk) 18:51, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

Neal McBurnett[edit]

I'm User:Nealmcb. As explained on that user page, I got involved with Wikipedia back in the dark ages (2002). I mostly edit the English Wikipedia, but have done a bit on the Esperanto Wikipedia. I have always loved being involved with technology in service to humanity.

I was an early organizer of Wikimedia events in Colorado, with the 10th Anniversary event at Wikipedia 10, Boulder Colorado, since I loved the idea of getting a free t-shirt so much. I helped with some other gatherings, including the Wikipedia 15th Anniversary, where we decided to form a user group and managed to get the Boulder CoderDojo group to learn to edit some pages. I've also generated some media exposure for Wikipedia locally, and given some talks about it to interested groups.

I certainly would love to go to the conference. But really, if our master organizer User:Gaurav continues to demonstrate interest in being "involved in the decision making processes of the organization", he deserves to go in my book. And I'll note that either Isarra or Abhay would directly lend more diversity to our representation and the movement than I would.

Here are some thoughts on the questions for the conference theme:

Movement Strategy

  • In 20 years, how do you want our movement to be known?
    • I see our movement recognized as the essential stepping stone between the wisdom of human beings and the empowerment of humanity.
Via the contributions of Wikipedians around the globe, melded with the organizing infrastructure of Wikidata and applied with the power of Artificial Intelligence, I see opportunities for people of all kinds to learn, work, play and transcend themselves in the languages of their choice.
  • Who is not yet part of our movement?
    • People who don't yet have a thriving Wikipedia in their language and who are daunted by the scale of the task of bringing it to life. People who don't have the luck of having enough spare time to really dive in, or who for some reason don't yet see themselves as valuable contributors.
  • What are some of our movement’s biggest challenges today?
    • Increasing participation, especially among underrepresented populations (women, most language communities, most ethnic communities), is a need that is urgent, and is well-suited as a task for a User Group. Improving article quality and dealing with bias in articles are also critical, and of great interest to me.

Partnerships

  • If you think about the partnerships your organization/group has initiated over the last years, what were the best, most impactful or most inspiring ones?
    • I think the partnerships Gaurav has helped establish with local institutions like the University of Colorado, or museums have been great.
  • What would you need to have more good, impactful or inspiring partnerships? What would you need to learn or acquire to have such partnerships?
    • My experience with the Boulder Community Network suggests that a key is having person-to-person engagement: someone from the user group, and someone from the partner organization, who enjoy working together.
  • Is there an insight, idea, method or something else around partnerships you can imagine to share during the Wikimedia Conference?
    • I wonder if it would make sense for a user group like ours to partner with a "sister" user group elsewhere, to our mutual benefit. Are there models of this sort of partnership, akin to Sister Cities?

Capacity Building

  • Please name one or two skills, tools, or resources, that you want to be able to bring back home to your local organization/group.
    • Models of effective User Group initiatives
    • The inspiration that can only come from experiencing people from diverse backgrounds gathering together to invigorate the future of the Wikimedia movement.
  • How can you contribute to the Wikimedia Conference? What skills, knowledge or insights can you bring to share that others can learn/benefit from?
    • I'd like to apply my AI and machine learning experience for the benefit of Wikipedia.

Nealmcb (talk) 02:52, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

Support[edit]

  • I'm proud of my own contributions and would perhaps be amiss to not support my own candidacy, but of course I'm biased :) Nealmcb (talk) 18:51, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Has done stuff, shows up a lot, would be a decent face. -— Isarra 19:35, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

Abhay Natu (w:en:User:अभय नातू, w:mr:User:अभय नातू)[edit]

Hello,

I have been involved with Wikipedia/media movement since mid-2005. I started as a reader of w:en, then discovered there was a w:mr (Marathi, my mothertongue) and started editing since November 5th, 2005. Since then, I have contributed both online and offline. I have been primarily involved with Marathi Wikipedia and have accumulated 101,901 edits (as of this evening :-]) there. I have also helped set up Marathi Wikisource and Wikiquotes. My contribution to the English Wikipedia is not as prolific. I have interacted with scores of users and potential users both in the US and India. I have helped organized User meetups, editathons and strategy sessions for Marathi wiki projects. I have worked with Maharashtra State government to facilitate the release of Govt-owned Encyclopedia into the public realm (work-in-progress) and met with many scholars to encourage them to contribute to w:mr. As an administrator and 'crat on w:mr, I have provided guidance to new editors, facilitated rule-making for the community and resolved numerous (some very cantankerous) disputes. I have contributed to content as well as curation and formatting of content on Marathi Wikipedia. I have also attended several cross-community meet-ups including the community consultation in Bengaluru, India in 2014.

I have not been very active in Wikimedia Colorado events but have kept up-to-date with the happenings.

I would love to go to the conference and share my experiences and knowledge which I accumulated over the last 11+ years and also bring back the same from others that I will meet there, should I be elected to go. Even so, I am confident that any of the candidates here will do a perfectly fine job of that.

Movement Strategy

  • In 20 years, how do you want our movement to be known?
  • In 2037, I'd like Wikimedia movement to be a cornerstone of Human Knowledge that is reliable, current, impartial and easily/freely available across the earth (and beyond, should we venture out to space by then.) I want the movement to be first stop for anyone that wants information as well as anyone that has information. An enormous exchange/clearinghouse of data, information, knowledge that will inspire wisdom in humans across the Universe.
  • Who is not yet part of our movement?
  • We have only scratched the surface of collective human knowledge. There are several cross-sections of population that's not yet part of the movement -
  1. Those lacking in access and time to contribute
  2. Those lacking motivation to contribute
  3. Those lacking expertise to contribute
  4. The Old and the Wise who have carried unrecorded knowledge from generations past. We risk losing this knowledge forever if not captured soon
  • What are some of our movement’s biggest challenges today?
  • Credibility (or perception of lack thereof) - Even as we pride ourselves as being more accurate than any other encyclopedia on Earth, we're still fighting against the "who guarantees this is true?" question in many forms.
  • Spread of editorship - We need diversity in editors: regional, gender, age
  • Leveraging the information into knowledge - I am not sure how to do this but the wealth of information on our projects can/should be transformed from being mere collection to something more/better. (To be fair, there's already some progress towards this.)

Partnerships

  • If you think about the partnerships your organization/group has initiated over the last years, what were the best, most impactful or most inspiring ones?
  • Apart from the ones mentioned above by Neal and Isarra, the trip out to Mumbai to meet with Secretary of Language Directorate to discuss the release of Marathi Vishvakosh (Marathi World Encyclopedia) into public domain was probably the most impactful one. While this is still a work in progress, it has generated a few offshoots, resulting in visibility of Wikmedia movement into the "official" circles.
  • What would you need to have more good, impactful or inspiring partnerships? What would you need to learn or acquire to have such partnerships?
  • In agreement with Neal, personal engagement, either online or offline, will build bridges into organizations with resources
  • I think a show of solidarity or legitimacy from WMF will lend credibility to any and all efforts in building partnerships. While there already is some of this, I'm imagining a person with "official-looking/sounding" title getting involved in conversations with potential partners.
  • Is there an insight, idea, method or something else around partnerships you can imagine to share during the Wikimedia Conference?
  • I would like to share my experience with my IEG project. It is not a success story in that the project didn't succeed but I did learn some very valuable lessons from it. I'd like to lay them out so others can benefit from it.
  • I would also like to explore the possibility of a confederacy of "global south" User groups located within "global north". I believe that this could diversify contributions even more and possibly amplify them.

Capacity Building

  • Please name one or two skills, tools, or resources, that you want to be able to bring back home to your local organization/group.
  • How to inspire people who lack motivation to contribute
  • Listen to others' experiences, both good and otherwise, and apply them
  • How can you contribute to the Wikimedia Conference? What skills, knowledge or insights can you bring to share that others can learn/benefit from?
    • I'd like to share my experiences as an admin, 'crat and editor to an Indic language and the challenges that come with it.

In closing I'd like to reiterate my initial assertion that a Colorado representative on such a global scale will only increase our visibility both within Colorado and in the outside world. I'd like to wish good luck to the candidate(s) that's chosen to represent us. Cheers!

अभय नातू (talk) 05:13, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

Support[edit]

  • Abhay has an amazing Wikimedia story of widespread and important contributions, and is very deserving of this. If this is the way to get him engaged in our Colorado activities, and spread the word in Colorado Springs, it would be fabulous for our group! Nealmcb (talk) 18:51, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Good experience we could definitely put to use here. -— Isarra 19:35, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Abhay has been a contributor to Marathi Wikipedia and has administrative knowledge which would be very useful for the long term strategy of Wikipedia as it expands more into the developing worlds. ---- Nikhil.Joshi1010 (talk) 20:13, 8 January 2017 (UTC)