Wikimedia World 3

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In the “Wikimedia World” series, I curate various archives of the Wikimedia Movement. I hope it will encourage Wikimedians to know more about the movement around the world, to compare other Wikimedians’ activities to their own, and to create archives of their experiences.

Uraniwa, CC0

Preserving Balinese culture by Wikimedia projects

Wikimedia projects are great tools for preserving indigenous languages and culture. Carma Citrawati is one of the enthusiastic Wikimedian who digitize and translate ancient Balinese manuscripts written on palm leaves.

Q: What is important about this project to your community and beyond?

“Many manuscript owners in Bali don’t have a catalog for their manuscript collections. I assist the Balinese people in preserving their manuscript data on a digital platform, and I have a chance to learn and create manuscript metadata, to retype and to proofread manuscripts. The benefits are intended for Balinese people in general; meanwhile, researchers can access the data collected into one digital platform. In the future, Wikipedia can be an important resource for storing and understanding manuscripts.”

Wikimedia Foundation (15 August 2021) “Meet Carma Citrawati: Wikimedian of the Year 2021 Newcomer of the Year winner” Diff.
Carma Citrawati (Carma Citrawati, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Carma also guides how to pronounce letters of Balinese language on Wikimedia Commons. See [[Category:Lingua Libre pronunciation by Carma citrawati]]!

Wikimedia Commons [[File:LL-Q33070 (ban)-Carma citrawati-aab.wav]] (Carma citrawati, CC BY-SA 4.0)

For the great achivements, Carma was selected as one of the Wikimedian of Year 2021 winners; Newcomer of the Year!

Wikimedian of the Year ceremony at Wikimania 2023 (Mike Peel, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Wikimedians interview Wikimedians

When I was interviewed by journalists or researchers, I sometimes felt a little frustrated because they don’t know much about Wikimedia Movement. Of course, I understand that it is one of my duties to explain the movement for beginners again and again, but I also think “Hey, if you are professional interviewer, please check basic information in advance!”

Me after the tiring interviews (Free Clip Art, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Such a case doesn’t happen when the interviewers are Wikimedians, too. Luckily, there are several good examples.

The article titled “A Glimpse into Wikimedia Estonia’s Journey: An interview with the face of Wikimedia Estonia, Ivo Kruusamägi” is a role model. In this article, Asmah Federico, a Malaysian Wikimedian interviewed Ivo Kruusamägi, a member of Wikimedia Estonia.

Question: How does Wikimedia Estonia engage with its local community and Wikimedia contributors? What strategies or initiatives have proven effective in fostering a sense of community and encouraging participation?

Answer: Engaging the predominantly introverted Wikimedians in Estonia was one of their biggest challenges. However, Wikimedia Estonia has devised ingenious strategies to nurture a sense of community through celebrations like the Wikimedia Estonia and global Wikimedia birthdays, Christmas meetups, and photography expeditions and it has provided opportunities for  Wikimedians to come together. The flagship event, Wikimedia Summer Days meetup since 2009, plays a pivotal role in fostering teamwork and camaraderie of their annual gathering. Physical gatherings aim to transcend the digital realm, allowing contributors to know each other beyond the virtual edit and allows everyone to understand the personalities of their fellow co-volunteers off screen.

AssFeder (18 January 2024) “A Glimpse into Wikimedia Estonia’s Journey: An interview with the face of Wikimedia Estonia, Ivo Kruusamägi” Diff.
Asmah Federico, a member of Wikimedia Community User Group Malaysia visiting Wikimedia EESTI (Wikimedia Estonia) office
Ivo Kruusamägi in Wikimedia EESTI office (AssFeder, CC BY 4.0)

Staff members of Wikimedia Foundation also interview volunteer Wikimedians. Especially, Chris Koerner, a Senior Movement Communications Specialist created fabulous works on Diff. An article titled “From the Depths of Wikipedia: an interview with Wikimedian and influencer Annie Rauwerda” is undoubtedly one of the best Wikimedia-related essays I have read. This shows the wisdom of both users. I strongly recommend you to read entire article.

The content you create spans topics, but as you have mentioned, resonates with people. In your opinion, what is the value of trivia?

Like many of life’s delights, trivia is impractical. But that doesn’t mean it’s unimportant! I find endless joy in fun facts, and I hate the whole idea of ‘useless knowledge’ because even the most obscure facts inform your worldview. Why must learning have an end goal beyond quenching curiosity? I imagine that learning feels joyless when it’s part of the slog toward a series of acronyms (CEO, VP, etc). Plus, ‘trivial’ topics can have not-so-trivial implications. Open-ended research yields earth-shattering discoveries all the time!

So, sure, reading a Wikipedia page may not make you an expert— a researcher who has dedicated her life to studying an enzyme will know infinitely more than someone who simply read the enzyme’s Wikipedia page. But it’s preposterous to expect everyone to have a “deep understanding” of everything, and I don’t know why that would ever be an encyclopedia’s goal. 

Chris Koerner (7 December 2021) “From the Depths of Wikipedia: an interview with Wikimedian and influencer Annie Rauwerda” Diff.
Annie Rauwerda, who hosts Depth of Wikipedia. She was selected as Media Contributor of the Year 2022. (Annie Rauwerda, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Chris Koerner (Myleen Hollero, CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED)

Editors of Signpost, a community-written and -edited online newspaper covering various Wikimedia Movement, also interview Wikimedians and staff members of Wikimedia Foundation. Each article is interesting and I think some of them come to have historical value (Signpost was launched in January 2005) . Let’s read an interview article with Domas Mituzas, who became a member of the board of trustees of Wikimedia Foundation in 2008.

As a board member, how will you ensure a balance between openness and necessary privacy in board matters?

Since the last board meeting I was elected to Executive Secretary position – so it will be my role to make information public. We have been radically open in our operations – and I’d like to keep the threshold there. This is a community organization, and the board has representatives of community, so I firmly believe there are no ways for issues to stay hidden too long.

English Wikipedia [[Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-03-03/Domas Mituzas interview]] 00:50, 6 January 2024 (UTC)‎ 
Domas Mituzas (Lane Hartwell,, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Wikimedia Cuteness Association

Have you ever heard about Wikimedia Cuteness Association? It is a club consisting of cute toys to promote cuteness in Wikimedia Movement.

Cuties @WikidataCon 2017 (Rama, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Wikimedians taking photos of cuties @Wikimania2018 (Subhashish Panigrahi, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Jimmy Wales also loves cuties @Wikimania 2017 (Katie Chan, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Quokka, the official mascot of ESEAP @ESEAP Strategy Summit (Vanjpadilla, CC BY-SA 4.0)
The logo of Wikimedia Cuteness Association (Petit Tigre, CC0)

As you can see above, cuties sometimes gather at offline meetings. Needless to say, staff members of Wikimedia Foundation welcome them! Let’s take a look at a comment for Wikimania 2023 participants by Mehrdad Pourzaki.

Attention cuteness enthusiasts

Wikimania Singapore needs all the cuteness it can receive. If you’re coming in person, bring some plushies. If you’re not coming, send some plushies. For the opening event of Wikimania 2023, including the Wikimedian of the Year Awards, happening in the evening of Wednesday August 16, we want to fill the giant stage with as many plushies as possible. Imagine cuteness overload of only Wikimedian proportions. Will you take up this call? Rise to the challenge? Only softness will tell. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk16:22, 4 July 2023 (UTC)

MetaWiki [[Talk:Wikimedia Cuteness Association]] 16:22, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
With cuties @Wikimania 2023 opening ceremony (Gnangarra, CC BY 2.5 AU DEED)
With a cutie @Wikimania 2023 opening ceremony (Pedro J Pacheco, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Wikimedians with cuties @Wikimania 2023 opening ceremony (Jeromi Mikhael, CC0)

When you will join next offline meeting, why don’t you travel with cuties?

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