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User:Papuass/Scholarship application

From Wikimania

This is a successful application for a Wikimania 2018 WMF full scholarship. The main part of the application is reproduced here by the scholarship recipient for future Wikimania attendees' interest.

  • Username: Papuass
  • Primary language: Latvian
  • Primary Wikimedia project: Wikipedia
  • Secondary Wikimedia project: Wikidata
  • sulinfo:Papuass

Tell us about your recent involvement in your home wiki or the broader Wikimedia movement. What have you built or contributed to in order to improve your wiki or community? Have you led or organized any of these activities? Please indicate which of these activities took place in the last 12 months.

While I am rather active editor (among top 10 in Latvian Wikipedia), my recent activities are more about engaging our existing community in more diverse and impactful activities, as well as attracting new users. In past year I have been involved in these activities:

  • Organizing CEE Spring article contest as local coordinator (while being also on international team);
  • Helping to organize Wiki Loves Earth photo contest in Latvia together with two other people (I was responsible for grant proposal and reporting, social media);
  • Organizing Wiki Loves Monuments with another person (I was responsible for working with jury, promoting contest in social media);
  • Managed "microgrants" program for community members, which was used to fund some photo-expeditions;
  • Helping university professor with group of students who wrote articles on Wikipedia as assignment.
  • Translating Mediawiki and its extensions. This year I hit 10 000 translations milestone.
  • I am also a Tech ambassador for my community, helping to integrate new features like Citoid support.

What’s something great that happened as a result of these activities? This could be described either quantitatively or qualitatively, and could impact either online or offline. Here are some examples that might help.

My offline activities started after attending CEE Meeting in Kiev (December 2014). For two years I had been working on these things with very little help from others. This year I felt that there is willingness from others to become involved in these activities. Also, as many of our activities now include double digit participants, these feel more rewarding.

This year I also took #100wikidays challenge (creating 1 article/day on Wikipedia for 100 days without a break). This prompted another user to follow me. I used my challenge to promote Wikidata usage by adapting "automatic infobox" for artworks. In the end we got 100 new articles about paintings and about the same number of articles about mushrooms from the other user. None of these topics had 50 articles before our challenge.

What collaborations with other Wikimedians or Wikimedia organizations are you most proud of?

I was part of international team that organized CEE Spring article contest (writing articles about Central and Eastern Europe in multiple languages). Despite having some setbacks like very active member leaving the team, we managed to run a successful contest with measurable impact, encouraging participants to create more than 7000 new articles.

How do you usually share your experiences (or things you’ve learned) with your community? Examples of on-wiki summaries/reports, blog posts, meetup talks, etc. are welcome here.

I am managing community Facebook and Twitter accounts with a goal to communicate with existing and potential readers and future contributors. While there are only few hundred followers, it has been a way to get feedback about our content and promote our contests.

Most popular ways of communicating in community have been Wikipedia discussion pages, Skype group chat and mailing list (although there are mostly announcements). For Wikimedia conferences we have an established practice to require a written report and (if possible) presence in closest meetup from our attendees. Live discussions often are very different from what is shared in online reports.

Wikimania 2018's theme is focusing on supporting underrepresented voices and filling knowledge gaps in our movement. What are some communities, forms of knowledge, or subjects that are important to you and still missing from Wikimedia? How would you like to participate at Wikimania to help address this?

So far my interests in this topic has been covering content gaps in my home wiki and Working with my community to become more tolerant and welcoming to others. I see content gap filling activities like article contests and editathons as a rather straightforward way of achieving these goals. This is also one of aims in CEE Spring: cover gaps about topics of smaller countries, women, science and education.

Until meeting people like Felix Nartey I was not aware of how much more important access to information is in countries where technology is less available an this has changed my views of how important is investing in this audience. However, most of my contributions remain in areas linked with my country and language (about 2 million population/speakers). However I am always willing to help out people like Viktor Semeniuk (u:visem, who works with small language communities) with technical assistance if that can make a real difference.