Japanese Wikimedian participated in the “Talking: 2024”

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In order to “understand the challenges and needs facing the Wikimedia movement,” the Wikimedia Foundation has been holding a project called “Talking” since 2021. I had the opportunity to participate in “Talking: 2024” and would like to record a summary of the event.

Maryana Iskander meeting with French-speaking community (ELappen (WMF), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

In November 2023, I was approached by the foundation to participate in this talking, and since this kind of opportunity is rare, I expressed my participation. The date was subsequently arranged and it was decided that the talking would take place on December 19, from 10:00 to 10:45 (Japanese time).

On the day of the talking, five people, four from the foundation and myself, participated in an online discussion. We each introduced ourselves and then had a frank talking. I introduced my book, “A 70-Year-Old Wikipedian talks about the charm of libraries,” which was just published in November, and talked about what motivated me to write the book and why I became interested in Wikipedia in the first place.

One of the participants, Ms. Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight, is a member of the Wikimedia Foundation Community Affairs Committee and is about my age. She gave an interesting talk about the relationship between the elderly people and Wikipedia, and her involvement as a woman. One of her activities is “Women in Red“, which is also connected to WikiGap. Rosie was named Wikimedian of the Year in 2016, and I found out after the talking that she had an article on Wikipedia, so I wished I had read beforehand.

Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight and members of Wikimedia Taiwan (Don Wong for Tiny Big Picture, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The topic of whether there are other books like mine was discussed and the Indian Wikipedian’s book, “Choice in Chaos: A Wikipedian’s Autobiography,” was introduced. The author is an Indian bank officer Gangadhar Bhadani, and it was published in 2017. I would like to read it somewhere.

Gangadhar Bhadani with Jimmy Wales during Wikicamp, Chennai, 2007 (Cruisemaniac, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

We also talked about what kind of topics I wrote in Wikipedia, my interest in open data such as OpenStreetMap other than Wikipedia, and many other topics in a short time. I told them that I wanted to try writing in English for Diff because there are not much information dissemination from Japan. Although my English was not good enough, Ms. Junko Nakayama of the Wikimedia Foundation helped me out as needed. It was exciting to be able to talk directly with the people who are at the core of the Wikimedia movement. I think I got a lot of hints for my future involvement in the Wikimedia movement. I would like to thank Ms. Junko Nakayama for all her help in participating in this “Talking”.

Note that this event is scheduled to run through next February, and anyone can sign up to participate here. All interested persons are welcome to attend.

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