I was the only Czech at Wikimania 2023 in Singapore. How was it?

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Jan Beranek and Wojciech Pędzich at volunteer retention workshop

Wikimania is an annual international conference hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. Topics of presentations and discussions include Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia and its sister projects, open-source software, free knowledge, free content, and socio-technical aspects related to these topics. Jan Beránek, long-time Wikipedian and coordinator of Programs for editors represented Wikimedia Czech Republic at the conference.

My journey to attend Wikimania Singapore started in February when I filled out the Wikimedia Foundation’s scholarship application. I was surprised when I found out that I was successful with my application. However, the real surprise was to find out that I was the only person from the Czech Republic to receive the scholarship.

Czech footprint at Wikimania

Wikimedia Czech Repulic brought two sessions to this year’s Wikimania:

The first session, presented by Jan Beránek in person, was warmly received by the audience. The Czech Senior Citizens Write Wikipedia programme has a good reputation in the wiki world, especially thanks to its long history and well-developed methodology. After subsequent discussion, a group was established to bring together leaders and trainers of senior programs around the world – from Europe to Asia to Africa – to share know-how together even further. If you have any questions, feel free to reach Jan using his email.

Wikimania allowed me to get to know other members of the international wiki community in person. Only here does one realise the cultural diversity and the obstacles that editors in other countries have to face. I am looking forward to using this newly gained knowledge and new collaborations in my work.

Which sessionss should you not miss out?

This year’s Wikimania was a hybrid event, most of the talks were broadcasted live. Recordings are available, and the list below presents a selection of three talks that are definitely worth watching.

  • An overview of the research work focusing on Wikipedia was presented in the State of Wikimedia Research 2022-2023 talk. In just one hour, various research papers on artificial intelligence, misinformation, and other topics were shown.
  • Patrollers (editors who monitor the recent changes on Wikipedia and remove vandal edits) will be interested in the lecture and discussion Supporting moderators at the Wikimedia Foundation. In this session, various WMF teams presented their work. In particular, newcomers, automatic moderation of edits using artificial intelligence, and improvements to the mobile app for patrol were discussed.
  • The discussion was also sparked by The Case for NC Commons presentation – what would it be like if we allowed non-commercial images on Wikipedia? Is it only our rules that prevent this, or are there legal constraints as well?

Diversity. Collaboration. Future.

The video below shows the atmosphere of the conference. The organizers managed to create a safe and inspiring environment for all participants. This year’s event was the biggest so far – next time the Wikimedia community will meet in Krakow, are you going to be there?

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