Rampak Mekar: Insights from WikiNusantara 2024

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Wikimedia Indonesia organised WikiNusantara 2024 in Bogor from 2 to 5 May 2024. This gathering marks the fourth annual conference where volunteers from Wikimedia projects across Indonesia come together to share their experiences and stories of contributing to knowledge dissemination.

Under the theme “Rampak Mekar,” which translates to “blooming together” in Sundanese, WikiNusantara 2024 is dedicated to the growth of Wikimedia communities in Indonesia. This growth includes expanding outreach activities and successfully releasing new Wikimedia projects. We also aim to celebrate the efforts of volunteers who have contributed to various indigenous languages, striving not only for their preservation but also for their development.

More than 100 participants attended the event and collaborated on various projects, including newly launched ones, namely the Gorontalo Wiktionary, Mandailing Wiktionary, Sundanese Wikisource, Batak Toba Wikipedia, and Banjarese Wikiquote. Existing projects, like Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons, were also actively engaged.

Wikimedia contributors fostered knowledge exchange and collaboration during the four-day event by editing projects on diverse topics. These included food photography for Wikibooks, accessibility considerations on Wikimedia projects, and data visualisation using Wikidata. The pre-conference programme, WikiCendekia, also provided capacity-building workshops on becoming a Wikimedia trainer, social media management for promoting regional languages within communities, and grant proposal writing.

WikiNusantara 2024 invited three partners to enrich the event: Google Asia Pacific, which discussed Google optimisation to help volunteers effectively and critically evaluate information on the internet in the era of artificial intelligence (AI); UNFPA Indonesia, which highlighted the importance of providing accurate information on reproductive health on the internet, especially on Wikipedia, to disseminate knowledge about the reproductive system and assist policymakers in making informed decisions about sexual and reproductive health; and UNESCO Jakarta Office, which shared a guide for preserving regional languages ​​in the digital world.

WikiNusantara 2024 is a learning platform for new contributors, while senior contributors share their experiences gained from involvement in Wikimedia projects. “Wikimedia Indonesia is committed to maintaining inter-community relationships and supporting any interesting initiatives undertaken by Wikimedia communities in Indonesia,” shared Rachmat, Chair of Wikimedia Indonesia.

Pratyusha Mukherjee, from Google Asia Pacific, shared best practices on online information literacy with the Wikipedia contributor community, including how to use tools such as About this Result on Search to help evaluate information online. She also recognised the contributions of participants in the WikiNusantara 2024 edit-a-thon, particularly their efforts to expand Wikipedia Indonesia’s articles on reproductive health and the biographies of notable women. The edit-a-thon resulted in over 150 new Wikipedia articles, including 81 articles in Indonesian and the rest in the local languages.

On another note, Giasinta Livia from UNFPA Indonesia emphasised the importance of providing accurate information on reproductive health on the internet, especially on Wikipedia, to disseminate knowledge on the reproductive system and assist policymakers in making informed decisions about sexual and reproductive health.

Representing the UNESCO Jakarta Office, Ester Dina Sihombing confirmed their alignment with Wikimedia on regional language preservation. Their “Digital Initiatives for Regional Languages” guide, collaborating with Global Voices, empowers advocates with digital tools. It showcases global success stories, including Indonesian examples.

Our recent gathering was not just about knowledge sharing, it was also about celebrating outstanding volunteers. We presented awards to recognise the dedication and passion of individuals and communities who are actively preserving and promoting knowledge through Wikimedia projects.

Riesalda Darmawan received the Newcomer of the Year for pioneering efforts in establishing the KlubWiki Unsri and for active involvement in training sessions and meetups.

Fandy Aprianto Rohman was presented with the Multimedia Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the Wikimedia Commons.

Marwan Mohamad was awarded the Senior Award for his unwavering commitment to building Wikipedia and Wiktionary in the Gorontalo language. Over the past eleven years, he has tirelessly encouraged public participation in these projects.

Agus Damanik was honoured with the Most Active Contributor Award for his outstanding involvement in numerous large-scale and international events, including Wikimania 2023. His commitment to Wikimedia projects has been instrumental in advancing global connections and his community’s mission.

The Wikimedia community of Nias received the Most Active Social Media Community Award for their tireless efforts in disseminating information about the Nias language and Wikimedia projects through social media platforms. Their dedication to online outreach has been instrumental in raising awareness and promoting regional engagement.

The Wikimedia community in Medan was awarded the Most Active Community Award for their commitment to organising and executing a wide range of activities. These include documenting Indonesia and Malay cultures, conducting online outreach, and facilitating Wikipedia training sessions. Their passion and dedication have a significant impact on the community.

Reflecting on the enriching discussions, impactful sessions, and meaningful partnerships formed during this gathering, we are reminded of the collective effort to preserve, promote, and expand access to knowledge in the digital age. We thank the esteemed volunteers and communities who have made significant contributions. Their dedication and expertise are fundamental in ensuring that knowledge remains accessible and free. With renewed inspiration and commitment, we look forward to continuing this discovery, learning, and empowerment journey within the Wikimedia movement.

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