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Wikipedia Review: A summary on Wikimedian communities in Asia Pacific Region (Part II) 四月 30, 2016

Posted by springrollconan in 維基部, wiki.
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Part I cont.)

South Korea
A (South) Korean user group is established in 2014, their representative participated in the Wikimedia Conference for the first time this year. I met with the group’s key figure in Wikimania 2013, but forgot what we’ve talked about. The South Korean representative in WMCON16 said that the group has tried to hold meet-ups, but only a few people join these events. I do not know what’s happening in the Korean Wikipedia.

There was a chapter in Macau, but since the Chinese Wikimedia Conference 2009 was held in Macau, it is disorganised and stagnated, facing threats from the WMF to revoke its recognition regarding the chapter. There was three outstanding Wikipedians from Macau, but among them only one is still there, as well as another Macanese Wikipedian who is interested in ACG and with fewer experiences. The user was the judge of the Campaign (動員令, or directly transliterated as dongyuanling as Addis did), an annual writing contest in the Chinese Wikipedia. Unfortunately there’re also some “playgroundists" (Taiwan is plagued by the same problem), they only do what they want to do without taking responsibility, without considerations of if it’s feasible and if we need it. When something is done against them they may act badly. I consider them as users lacking commitment, thus I think there’ll be no bad consequences even if the regional conference exclude them.

Wikipedians’ population in Malaysia is sparse, and is seen in Chinese and English Wikipedia. In English Wikipedia I often saw users writing good articles about towns in Malaysia. Wikipedia meet-ups is hardly seen in Malaysia, due to internal security laws. Malay Wikipedia is not developed well, sometimes we may jeered at their FA and said that they are poorer than articles appeared on the DYK column in the Chinese Wikipedia (though our mentor has warned us not to do so).

New Zealand
According to Andrew there’re only two proactive Wikipedians in New Zealand.

The Philippines
Both a chapter and a user group is found in the Philippines, the reason of this is the user group is a splinter group – the leader was a member of the chapter but expelled later, then he set up a user group. Both groups have their contributions: What the chapter concerned are the Asian Month, regional co-operation, improvement of Net service and the Wikipedia Zero project. The user group focused on building of Wikipedia communities for regional languages and photo contests. English is one of the main languages in the Philippines, Filipino users in English Wikipedia maintained a noticeboard (Tambayan Philippines) there. The population is forgotten, I seldom saw that they nominate good article candidates about their country.

Singapore share a same situation as Malaysia. Sparse Wikipedian population, hard to organise meet-ups, not to mention a user group and a chapter. In the English Wikipedia there’re less than ten active contributors from S’pore (excl. those came from overseas), who maintain a noticeboard as what’s being done by their Filipino counterparts (but at last I’ve to do what they ‘ld have done). They have the passion to edit and improve articles about their homeland, at best making them good articles. There was a Singaporean editor in the Chinese Wikipedia, he has the virtue of being straightforward to remonstrate, but he left last year for maybe exams or National Service. What a pity. Due to the ISA some fear the trouble to hold a meet-up in S’pore, that’s the reason why Wikipedia meet-ups are not frequently seen; the last one is held last year and I attended, the first one after several seven or eight years. No cops encountered. Minutes is recorded, in this meet-up we proposed a regional strategy of Wikimedia in Southeast Asia, set up a user group and push forward outreach activities of Wikipedia (which is already undergoing.)

There’s a user group in Thailand. A co-sponsor of the Asian Month, it also engaged in Educational Outreach Programme. In Thai Wikipedia a writing contest similar to the Campaign is hold every year, the featured articles there is also but than their Malay counterparts. I don’t know much about it beyond what’s written above.

Neither user groups nor chapter are found in Vietnam, maybe this is due to the political system there. Vietnamese Wikipedia is an active site though – to Chinese Wikipedians we know that they celebrated the achievement for having a million articles with the help of a a bot, they can write articles well, like those on Vietnamese Catholic priests. Once I even saw that a good article written by me long ago is translated into Vietnamese. No regular meet-ups. PS. I met with Asaf, the WMF staff who looked after Global South in Wikimania 2013, he said that Vietnam has its potential, but due to socio-political reasons photographs are the priority. I didn’t follow up this later.

Laos is yet to develop a Wikipedia community, that’s more an economic problem than a political problem. A Lao user advocated for the overthrow of the Lao PDR and the revival of the monarchy signed on the ESEA meet-up page on meta. No censorships should be done there, but I think we should be careful on this as the socialists ruling Laos can just learn from Peking and block Wikipedia at worst. North Koreans, except those with privileges, can only use the intranet system even if they can use a computer, so we can assume that there’re no Wikipedians there. No informations is given for Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Brunei and East Timor.

Due to insufficient data and assistance, this essay is probably messy, it’s happy if mistakes can be pointed out.


Wikipedia Review: A summary on Wikimedian communities in Asia Pacific Region (Part I) 四月 30, 2016

Posted by springrollconan in 維基部, wiki.
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(This is translated from the Chinese version on the same blog which are published earlier. Sorry for grammatical mistakes. Feel free to point out mistakes, I’ll fix it.)

Recently Addis, a mainland Chinese Wikimedian resided in the USA, as well as Taiwanese Wikimedians Liang and Reke attended the Wikimedia Conference 2016 in Berlin, held talks with Asian Wikimedians from Indonesia, Korea, Thailand etc., and talked about WAM, Seasonal Newsletter and ESEA Conference with them. I’m particularly interested in Regional Conference (not for covert form of travel), as it is helpful for Wikimedians from the Asia Pacific region to share experience on community affairs, to complement each other and to plan for regional projects (due to time difference and differences in working hours there may be difficulties for Wikimedians from every country/region to discuss it online.) With the Wikimania reform, it may become an event to hold between two Wikimanias.

From what they discussed it should be a conference with 30-50 attendees with a scope as follow:

  • WMTW, WMID and WMPH (WMHK & WMMO is stagnated, so is excluded)
  • Usergroups in mainland China, South Korea, Thailand, Japan and the Philippines
  • Grassroot editors from Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore

Later they discussed with Ellie, the event manager of WMF. She suggested to extend the scope to Oceania.

People are essential for a conference. So please let me to introduce what’s going on about Wikimedians across the Asia Pacific region (except Hong Kong, which I’ll explain in another post later).

Pacific Islands
The representative of WMAU, Andrew, said to Liang and Reke that he can’t see any Wikipedian communities taking root in island nations of Oceania due to poor network services there.

Australia is the only Oceanian state with a Wikimedia chapter by Apr 2016. There’s a vital community, meetups are held quite frequently. From Andrew I know that Australia Wikimedians can be divided geographically as those from the East (like Melbourne) and those from WA (Perth). Perth community once bid for Wikimania 2017, but the WMF gifted the holding rights to Montreal. There’s a possibility that the chapter will be divided as two local usergroups (though from experiences abroad local chapters can co-exist with national chapters).

I once met with Vantharith, a Khmer Wikipedian in Wikimania 2013. We talked about what happened in the Cambodian community. What I wrote on FB was:

Here is Vantharith Oum, the Cambodian Wikipedian I met after the Wikimedia Asia meeting on Aug. 10th. He is also the man-in-charge of the Khmer Wikipedia Official Blog. On the meetup day, we walked together and talked about the situation of Khmer Wikipedia: The Cambodian Wiki-community is comparatively small, as there are not too many people in Cambodia (I think the geographic-economic situation in Cambodia can be another cause of the situation). We exchanged our Facebook a day after, and the picture is taken at that day.

Later developments is unknown to me due to language barriers, but I once called for importation of the Khmer version of the book The Customs of Cambodia (though I don’t know how it went on). They participated in discussions on ESEA meetup last year.

I met with Burmese Wikipedian Mg Sun on the same occasion and talked with him about what’s happening in the Burmese community. What I wrote on FB was:

Most of the Wikipedians in Myanmar are from Yangon or Mandalay. Some are from Naypyitaw, which is having the best Net service in the state. The most controversial articles in Burmese Wikipedia are about the former military junta, but they will not argue with this. Instead, they will set down the controversy by discussion – they have connections with each other.

By then the USDP was still the ruling party. Since then there are Wikimedia meetups in Myanmar, but what happened later is also unknown due to language barriers.

Taiwan has a Wikimedia chapter which is the only functioning chapter in East Asia. It once faced crisis after Wikimania 2007, but revived later and launched a project named Wikiseeds of Taiwan Knowledge. With the project the chapter imported a Taiwanese Hokkien dictionary, held several Wikipedia meetups for women and took photos of new legislators in Taiwan. There’re media coverages on it – once I read an interview with Reke on a Taiwanese newspaper in a community library. So we can say that this is useful in promotion and building of Wikimedia projects. There’re also Wikimedia communities in some counties/cities of Taiwan, like Kaohsiung, Taichung, and more recently Hsinchu. Taichung Wikipedians’ attempt to hold collaborative meetups (different from editathon), and attempts to push forward projects on hydroelectricity and spoken articles by their Hsinchu counterparts are interesting. At present Taiwanese Wikipedians maintained a Facebook group (I thought that it is comprised of the good, bad and ugly), some others are on IRC chatrooms.

mainland China
There’s a user group in mainland China, which Addis proposed to set up in Wikimania 2013. Before that Addis already secured funds from the WMF to make use of social networking sites for promotion of Wikipedia in mainland China. (Though the Weibo account is now stagnated, and the twitter account is flooded with main page contents.) The user group also organised activities like a photography contest called “Run Run Shaw Hall besides you", “Wiki Love Monuments" campaign, “Youdao Babel Translation Project" and the Asian Month. Some still require fundings from the WMF, though in a far smaller amount, if compared with their Far East counterparts (check it in Meta). But it still trigger controversies in the Teahouse of the Chinese Wikipedia, even if those complaints are groundless.

Outside the group there’re plenty of Wikipedians stationed in QQ, a popular instant chat software in mainland China. Members in QQ chatrooms bear the word “Wikipedia" are not necessarily Wikipedians, Wikipedia users inside are not completely in a loose relationship, some can be grouped by their clear and staunch stand and belief. Those chatrooms are also comprised of the good, bad and ugly, but besides the bad, there’re still outstanding editors and sysops rising from this poor environment.

Peking now has Wikipedia blocked, though Wikipedians in mainland China can still work there with their own way of access. Both the user group and Wikipedians using QQ hold community events, but not on a regular basis. Both groups are said having a bitter moment, which I’m sorry that no investigation reporting can be provided.

There’s a Wikimedia chapter in Indonesia, in recent years they focused on cultural preservation (like book digitalization), development of small-scale communities for Wikipedia in Indonesian regional languages and interactions with Wikidata developers’ community. They are pioneers in co-operation between regional Wikimedia communities, once invited Liang to visit Indonesia and their chapter, and initiated proposal for a regional conference. (For this part I’m not confident on what I’ve written.) Wikimedians’ activities in Indonesia is vital, in Indonesian Wikipedia they have a good practice by putting informations on meet-ups and current theme of weekly collaboration project to the main page. Unlike Hong Kong, this may prevent a rift between grassroot editors and outreach team to come into being. But some complained the edition review process there is keep delaying, stopping newcomers from having amendments done to articles.

There’s a user group in Kansai area (Osaka, Kyoto, etc.) of Japan. Wikipedians in Japan are proactive, they held activities like a meeting with Lila Tretikov and WP15 celebrations. They co-sponsored the Asian Month too (I once received a postcard from them!) Japanese Wikipedia just passed the milestone of having a million articles. One of my colleagues said that they have better articles focused on Western history, geography and academic theories than Chinese Wikipedia. Even that’s being said almost a decade ago, now I still consider this claim valid .

(To be continued…)

維基評論:亞太地區維基社群的現況(下) 四月 28, 2016

Posted by springrollconan in 維基部, wiki.
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政治體制所限,目前越南維基百科尚未建立用戶組或分會,不過在線上他們有一個很活躍的社群——雖然在中文版我們都知道他們的條目是靠刷出來的,不過其實他們編寫過很多出色的內容,比如越南歷史人物,越南天主教等等,甚至我還看過那兒有維基人翻譯自己編寫的優良條目。然而他們的聚會並不頻繁。此外在2013年香港年會的時候我曾經見過在基金會負責Global South事務的Asaf演講,他說越南是他們有意開拓的市場,不過由於政治因素他們會先從圖片下手,不過事情最後如何我就沒繼續看下去了。



維基評論:亞太地區維基社群的現況(上) 四月 26, 2016

Posted by springrollconan in 維基部, wiki.
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  • 台灣、印尼、菲律賓分會(香港和澳門分會業務停滯,故作罷)
  • 中國大陸、韓國、泰國、日本、菲律賓的用戶組
  • 香港、澳門、越南、柬埔寨、緬甸、馬來西亞、新加坡的基層編輯






我在8月10日亞洲維基人聚會之後認識的柬埔寨維基人 Vantharith Oum。他同時是高棉文維基百科官方網誌的主理人。當日我們一路走一路聊,談及高棉文維基百科的現況:由於柬埔寨人口不算多,柬埔寨的維基人社群規模小,高棉文維基百科的活躍編者人數只有10人左右(個人推測,柬埔寨的地域經濟狀況也是這個現象的成因)。我們在一天後交換了Facebook,我為他拍下這幅照片。


我也在2013年維基年會上見過緬甸維基人Mg Sun,我跟他討論了當時緬甸社群的狀況。當時我在面書寫過:








在線上日文社群相當活躍,DYK天天換畫,不久之前他們還突破了條目數百萬大關,不過據國外維基人所言,由於日本網絡界生態所限,日文社群的線下活動好像並不熱熾——至少那裏有沒有足夠的人力物力舉辦一場維基年會是個問題。然而日本的關西地方設有用戶組。近年日本社群舉行過「與Lila Tretikov(前基金會執行總監)對話」、WP15紀念會等活動,關西用戶組也是亞洲月協辦單位之一(我還收到他們寄來的明信片)。香港維基人Clithering君很久之前已經講過:中文版的關於歐美史地、學理的條目比日文版遜色。我認為他的言論到現在仍然適用。