Millions of people travel around the world to attend conferences, workshops and even for travel but I have never been to abroad before this Wikimania 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden. If I talk about the other Wikipedians, one thing I must say, last few years I have seen many of them attending many Wikipedia conferences, which happened in different parts of the globe. But I have never got a chance to participate or meet other Wikipedians from different countries in person. It was my wish to attend Wikimania but every year I came up with a broken dream. But this year it was almost broken until July 9th. All the pieces of my shattered dream have been gathered and showed me the hope to attend the biggest International Wikipedia’s conference called Wikimania 2019 by CIS-A2K. Earlier, CIS-A2K helped me in many ways to carry on my Wikipedia projects but this time they made my dream into reality. The Wikimania’s news reached to me just 3 days before my birthday. When I received the e-mail from CIS on 9th of July and I got to know that my Wikimania dream is more a dream, it’s now a reality and that was a wonderful birthday gift for me from CIS-A2K team. I want to thank every one of the CIS-A2K team from core of my heart.
Those who are now reading my blog, the majority among them are not aware of what Wikimania is, so few words for them. Wikimania is an annual conference that celebrates free knowledge projects from around the world and many Wikimedians from different countries take part in this annual conference call Wikimania. This year Wikimania was held in Stockholm, Sweden from August 14-18, 2019. This year’s theme for the conference was, “Stronger together: Wikimedia, Free Knowledge, and the Sustainable Development Goals” and it consists of many discussions, meetups, training, and workshops.
In initial days I was seriously nervous, especially about the visa. Almost everyone told me that it could be possible that I had to face visa rejection. But finally, on the 2nd of August, I received my first visa ever. Here, I must say, Bodhisattwa was a real help and he helped me in every respect. His help and guidance throughout the trip and during conference days helped me a lot. This would be an absolute sin If I don’t mention her name here. She is Ananya and she has also guided me throughout the conference days. I also learnt so much technical things from her and also from Prachatos. A lady, who always been my source of sustenance, she always gives me mental support, even, throughout this Wikimania journey, she is our loving Didi La Kritzolina. It’s impossible to repay her debts.
I was so nervous and felt extremely cold from inside when I first stepped on Arlanda airport, Stockholm on 13th of August 2019 at night. But afterwards, all nervousness was gone as time grows and I lived the Wikimania as a sweet dream. It’s tough to pen-down my experience and it would be better to take help from pictures to show all of you what Wikimania is.
As a part of the huge Wiki community, I was there as a representative and now some words for Wikimedians that I have brought for them. At present, Wikimedia is concentrating on building a huge database from the huge collection of data that have already been present and also pulling data to enrich the same. Yes, I am talking about Wikidata and also talking about Structured Data on Commons. As all, we know that huge collections of images or files in Wiki Commons are described with a lot of information, what we have technically called Metadata. But we are not yet able to query this database to search desired images or files in specific. By the help of Structured Data on Wikimedia Commons, this data will be structured more and will be made machine-readable. To understand, It is like Wikidata-style structured record for each image or files. This project has been initiated from 2017 but I was not aware of it like many other. There is ample scope of work for the Wiki Commons contributor. As we have already noticed that Commons Upload Wizard has been integrated with Structured data very recently. Frustratingly, no mass uploader tool for Commons is available that integrated with Structured data and I have reported the same during a session in Wikimania. So, seriously waiting for a tool that could reduce the overhead of Commons’s volunteers. In the present scenario to bring old images or files into Structured data, there is no other way to conduct regular Edit-a-thon. Although, it is really good news that the Wikimedia Foundation dedicated a project to transform Wikimedia Commons.
There are a lot more to share and eagerly waiting to meet all of you in person.
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