Wikimania 2021: Wikimania in Action

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Missed out on the first few days of Wikimania 2021? Here’s a quick recap on the buzz of what has been happening. If you were there, then you were one of over 4,000 registered attendees, yes over 4,000! 

Which makes this not only the first digital Wikimania but also the biggest in terms of attendees over the course of Wikimania’s 16 year history. It was great to watch volunteers and community members say hi to each other from all over the world, from Botswana, to Cape Town, to Indonesia and the Philippines as well as the US, Australia and Europe. There really was representation from all corners of the globe. 

The opening session reflected on how far both Wikimania and the movement had come over the past 20 years. By the end of the first session we already had many of you tuning in live together and enjoying the Thai cook-along in an ode to Wikimania Bangkok 2020 that didn’t happen, which featured delicious food that got everyone hungry. 

Throughout the day we heard stories from across the movement about the diverse range of work going on, from capturing endangered languages, to addressing the gender gap on Wikipedia, to funding and knowledge equity. There were discussions on decolonization, how we connect with and build new communities and talks on education and GLAM

This year even more people were able to connect in their own languages, with translations in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish during the event. People were able to meet up with new friends and old, and outside the plenary and building sessions there was plenty of social interaction and discussion in the community village and Unconference track. 

There were also some great sessions around how to make sure we look after ourselves from Wikimedia Poland, where they used tools to help track volunteer engagement and wellbeing – a great reminder for us to recognise all our volunteers and the hard work they put in to keeping our community going. 

The pandemic and Covid-19 related information understandably featured in discussions – since the last Wikimania we saw record setting stats during April 2020 when we hit 700 million page views, the highest we’d seen since we started using the current metrics. We have more editors now than we have ever had and this is such a credit to the community. 

So on that note, here’s to all the panel members and volunteers who have attended so far. We wanted to say a big thank you to the volunteers and Wikimedia Foundation staff who made it all happen and to everyone that has joined in, new and old, to our open knowledge community.

But there is more to come, day three kicks off at 13.30 UTC time on Sunday the 15th with the announcement of this year’s Wikimedians of the Year. Join us if you can. If not, there will be recordings of all the sessions up on Wikimedia Commons at a later date. See you at Wikimania! 

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