Wikimania 2019 Report[ред.]
This year was my third time attending Wikimania. It’s that time of the year when you get to see friends that you haven’t seen for a year, meet new people and make connections and discover new things from the big variety of sessions. Sometimes a cancelled flight can mean something good, in my case, I had to arrive in Stockholm two days before the main conference. It was not a problem as I was sure I will fill my days with activities. As so, I have decided to start my 14th of August day with a Wikimania edit-a-thon. It was not quite what I was expecting but not bad either. A short presentation by Mark Grahms from National Library, San Francisco made us aware of the impressive number of citations that are added each day on English wiki and made us also aware of the number of articles that need citations. I have discovered Zotero, a software that you download on your browser and that manages bibliographies for example. Just by clicking a simple icon, you can save the full referenced information in a Zotero library. What is more interesting is that after that you can easily import it to Wikipedia’s citation template. Another cool tool I discovered was Citoid on VisualEditor. It’s an autofilled citation generator which creates a citation template from online sources like academic ones including ISBN numbers. Mark Grahms also told us about the implementation of a bot that makes the connection between the ISBN book and inserts automatically the book and pages. I ended the day with two tours: one at The Swedish Museum of Natural History and the second one at the Swedish Parliament where our guide was Per Lodenius, member of the Committee on Culture.
Day 1 - 16//08//2019[ред.]
This first day I attended sessions from Growth and GLAM spaces. The panel discussion in Growth space was quite catching, focusing on challenges and approaches on how to retain new editors. I found the two projects regarding editor retention (for the Czech and Korean community) interesting. The first was a welcome survey trying to discern the “intentions and interests” of newcomers, with the goal of personalizing the experience. Answer rate was 60%+ on the two projects shown. A high amount of editors on both wikis replied that they would like help with editing from another human. The second project was EditorJourney investigating what newcomers do on their first day. One particular interest is the fact that the amount of editors that complete an edit (45%–40%) is lower than the amount of people opening the editing window to begin with (64%–56%). Also the growth team presented some tools for editor retention, one of this being the “help panel” which gives “in-context” and “human-to-human” help. It shows up when editing and in certain “help-related” namespaces. A window in the help panel sends questions directly to the relevant wiki’s help desk, and users are pinged when their question is answered (this is done by the editors on wikitext, notifications are sent out on wikis using structured discussion). Users who use the question feature and read the answers are more likely to continue editing. Overall, I was left with some tips to have in mind for the future wiki newcomers like: there’s not a recipe, each country has a different approach and each community has to find out how and what will work the best to have a better retention then before; what seems to work is using social media promoting events (people from most countries seems to work with that); new comers to get human to human help; to connect with each person, in person; trying to make the community more transparent; the more robust the chapter is, the more support gives to volunteers. The other half of the day I spend it on GLAM space at Wiki Loves Monuments session. This year I have chosen to be the organizer of this project for Romania, having no idea from where to start with, as I have never been a coordinator for other wiki projects before (only just helping). I found in this, an opportunity to discover new things that I knew I was not aware of. Some of the things discussed were familiar, some no, like it was useful to remind me that I should add Romania to the list of participating countries. I have found out about the three new features available for this year’s event: standardized banners, standardized landing pages, new map tool (hopefully). I found the landing page very attractive as design and information, but unfortunately, I wouldn’t have been able to translate and update it on time for Romania this year. Hope next year. There has been also a presentation of 4 case studies of Germany, Uganda, Italy and Bangladesh. Things that caught my attentions were: number of uploaders that dropped, assess how the existing data can be represented better, edit articles by those who only like to edit articles, not only by photographers, ... The phrase that caught my attention was “We don’t need more images, we need more content!”...more content from monument data, more content from access to monuments as most of them are scattered all of the country, more content from freedom of panorama which sometimes makes the people confused and find it too complicated to contribute and more content from creating articles about the monuments. At the end I took part in a discussion on how WLM should be more than just a photo contest.
Day 2 - 17//08//2019[ред.]
The second day I started with a session in Growth and GLAM, ending the day with a session again from Growth and two from GLAM space. At Campaigning for growth: Women in Red; WikiChallenge Ecoles d’Afrique; and Caucasian collaboration session I have participated only at the two presentation from Women in Red and WikiChallenge Ecoles d’Afrique. The two of them presented the steps they have taken to achieve what they had accomplished till today. Campaigns are an important part for the growth of our communities as well as our Wikimedia projects: recruit editors through invitations - mail invitations with the program for next week; retention: with barn stars and a lovely space that is harassment free; invitation sent each month, constantly to keep people engaged; interviews; branding: templates, logos, visual elements that help people remember events; engaging partners: make an event and even if they don’t edit, but they leave happy it’s important. They have to be enthusiasts and to have a great experience. The key is to stay happy and say something positive because maybe that person talks with other one and that person becomes an wikipedian. WikiChallenge Ecoles d’Afrique, at the 3rd version of the project, is focusing on projects involving kids and school projects (8-15 years old - Vikidia) having the support from Orange Foundation. As I was interested to find out Why do museums decide to open up their collections?, I have changed the space moving to GLAM for 45 minutes. The discussion was more like a panel with two representatives from National Museum of Stockholm and National Museum of the Netherlands (Rijksmuseum) - Lizzy Jongma. Both museums have decided to go open access and they don’t regret it, and even more, didn’t lose any money from open access. Actually, they earned more: for example the Rijksmuseum’ images are widely distributed online, which makes people want to come to the Rijksmuseum and see the original paintings in person. Why aren’t all museums open access? How can we change it? I guess the main obstacle for many institutions is the technical aspect of opening your collection, because of few technicians in a museum. And here comes the help from Wikimedia chapters and wikimedians, which in both cases above have done a great job. Another issue is copyright barriers to their digitized collections, still present in different countries. We can change this by showing examples and following them, as Sweden and the Netherlands did, following the US museums. So, why museums go open? Those who decide to do this have a mission, a duty to share its collection, based on quality education and partnership (SDGs goals) in order to educate the public worldwide. There are people who will never have the chance to see some of these collections. Sharing, according to the Rijksmuseum, means making available the highest quality image possible. Next session I attended was Onboarding and Retention: Hungarian and French Wikipedias. The first presentation was focusing on retention (Hungarian) and was showing some tips to motivate the editors (new or old) e.g. to have a page for new editors to see what they do, created, who they are; make a statistic with the most actives editors; to improve the communication also online and in person (community health); offline events, more formal workshops, more formal training times workshops, wikicamps, visit museums, etc. ; introduce Wikimedia Space for a socializing platform for the community etc. The second one was facing the problem on how to keep a community ready for newcomers, to welcome them and help. It is known that less and less people are joining and at a first view, newcomers can see some bad things that can scare them, like impersonal Welcome message, plenty of outdated help pages, a dying mentorship program, aggressive templates for patrolling, etc. Some improvements were made in this scope, with a new image for welcome page, a help desk like a page dedicated to add questions for newcomers (wikitext pages vs flow were tested and flow won because it’s easier and more interactive); help content: a dedicated header that includes search and structuration; new patrol templates; a printed booklet and a WikiMOOC about editing Wikipedia. But there’s no success without challenges. There has to be everything up to date, the design has to be efficient (which is still too dense) and there are not enough people to take part in doing this. I switched from Growth to GLAM again: Public Domain Awareness Project: enhancing use of CC’s Public Domain tools to serve the needs of GLAM institutions and reusers. The main topic of this session was to highlight the value of the public domain and to make it easier for institution, like marking and tagging the public domain. Known as the Public Domain Awareness Project (PDA Project) has the goal to identify and coordinate existing projects and resources, and identify and build missing tools, technologies and resources in support of a sustainable, comprehensive, connected, end-to-end solution stretching from the moment of digitization to the end-user. Main challenge is that the use of the domain works is jurisdiction based. There is no tool. Each country has his own rules which makes it difficult. There is a work plan with three phases proposal: understanding the ecosystem and it’s needs, publish final Design and Work Plan and build tools and connections linking projects and resources. What I found interesting was the creative works on Wikidata of the property for indicating copyright of creative works (P6216) - copyright status used as qualifier for jurisdictions. It is already used for more than 550,000 creative works on Wikidata and each work can have either a public domain value or a copyright one, or both values combined. I ended this second day by attending a session that caught my attention since I read the program: Serbian Ministry of Culture supporting GLAM. It caught my attention because we tried two times to make a partnership with National Institute of Heritage in Romania, but things didn’t work as desired, actually didn’t work at all. So, I wanted to find out what was the key of their success. They also had previous attempts but nothing until an email from Ministry of Culture in Serbian was sent. The Ministry wanted to digitalize as much content as possible. They wanted to expand the visibility of national heritage, so wanted Wikimedia Serbia. So, they were the best allies. Representatives from GLAM institutions (some of them that didn’t approve on a collaboration before) were invited to take part to seminaries to see how GLAM works (3 days, each day for all of them): presentation of Wikipedia and Wiki Commons(one day), GLAM presentation (second day), edit-a-thon (third day). The results were quite good: 3 collaborations and 1 edit-a-thon that lead to two Wikimedian in Residence program (one at Museum of Yugoslavia) and another two requests for the WIR program.
Day 3 - 18//08//2019[ред.]
I started the last day with the session Increasing Wikimedia’s Readership: Advocating the change with SDG Goals. There was a nice question asked: Why do readers matter? and one of the answers was “If you stop reading, then content will stop”. The session was focusing on speaking about readers and what can we do to increase readership. Some interesting examples were showcasts like: a promotional |video about Wikipedia from Mexico; a cricket website made especially for the world cup championship cricketinfo.io and all the content was based on articles from Wikipedia; a video from Nigeria introducing Wikipedia to new people - WikiTakesSteet (going on the streets and ask questions e.g. if they know Wikipedia or if they heard about it). Surprisingly, there were people that didn’t know how to pronounce Wikipedia; promote Wikisource and Wikipedia through Instagram stories, Instagram short videos and campaigns (Nigeria). Things to learn from this session were: hosting events, producing videos and social media as much as possible. But to have a better reading and more contributors, the reading experience on phone should be better and the interface of Wikipedia, on phone, has to be more user-friendly because people look first on their phone and they want to see something that makes them feel welcoming and comfortable, so that they don’t run away. Next I joined some Lightning talks: Using Radio to Attract New Readers - |Find it on Wikipedia! - project in Nigeria using the powerful media influence of the radio, showcasing interesting facts to make readers read the articles; Introducing Wikipedia to new readers in Nepal - WACN ( Wiki Awareness Campaign in Nepal) - by adding banners (on billboards) about Wikipedia articles and facts in the city center in Janakpur; Context presentation matters - increasing Wikipedia through local content - Wikipedia Cultural Diversity Observatory: We have many Wikipedias with an underdeveloped CCC (Cultural Context Content)...maybe because they are copying the other Wikipedias? We don’t quite really know why. For example: in Uganda there are less articles related to local content. There is a feature: Missing CCC articles, to find the articles that are popular in Uganda for example but are not translated or doesn’t exist in Uganda Wikipedia. The idea is that each country should create their own content first. Before the Closing Ceremony, I joined a last session focusing on portrait photography - Portrait photography photo booth. I found out about the Wiki Loves Parliaments project: Wikipedians have been photographing the members of the German and Austrian state parliaments, citizens and the Berlin House of Representatives since 2009, and are making the images available to Wikimedia Commons under a free license. The photos can be used in Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, but also outside of the Wikipedia - in compliance with the license conditions - for example, by the deputies themselves. I’m just an amateur photographer (mostly photographing landscapes and buildings) and had no clue about portraits. I have noted some settings tips to have in mind for this kind of shooting: 150ms, f 7.1--11, ISO 100/200, RAW format and a grey background for the subject. This was the end of another Wikimania. My third one as I already said, but my second one being the only one from Romania (kind of sad). Gladly that I was not the only one speaking Romanian (Viktor, Marc and Camelia were by my side). So, it was nice seeing familiar faces and catching up from last time, but also getting to know new wikipedians from France, from Ukraine, India, Germany, Italy and changed connections.
Till Wikimania 2020...[ред.]
Thank you Wikimedia Ukraine for this year’s opportunity to join the event and hope to see each other again next year... more powerful to build knowledge and share information all over the world!