User:Deryck Chan/Scholarship application

From Wikimania
Comment This is a successful application for a Wikimania 2017 WMF full scholarship. The main part of the application is reproduced here by the scholarship recipient for future Wikimania attendees' interest.
  • Username: Deryck Chan
  • Primary language: Cantonese
  • Primary Wikimedia project: Wikipedia
  • Secondary Wikimedia project: Wikidata
  • sulinfo:Deryck Chan
Tell us about your 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?

I began editing in 2004 and attending Wikimedia meetups in 2006. I am currently a sysop on the Cantonese and English Wikipedias, and a member of Wikimedia UK. Wikipedia and the Wikimedia movement has changed a lot since I joined, and so did my roles.

In the last year or so, on the Cantonese Wikipedia I tend to perform general admin chores, write about places in England and Germany, and serve as a link between the local community and the wider Wikimedia movement through people I know from Wikimania. On the English Wikipedia, my main activity is closing deletion discussions of redirects and articles. As a member of Cambridge University, I also have more than my fair share of meeting notable people and thus have contributed a number of celebrity portraits to Commons. I have also picked up Wikidata in recent years, having been attracted to this project since I learned about it at Wikimania some years ago. I see myself as a generalist Wikimedian and edit whatever I find interesting, particularly on the Cantonese and English Wikipedias where I am sysop.

Since this is a Wikimania scholarship form, I'll write about the three best things I've done off the back of attending Wikimanias in the last few years:

  • Module:RfD close - This Lua module is called by a template which is used to close a redirect deletion discussion on the English Wikipedia. It represented a significant optimisation in software performance compared to its predecessor because it replaced clumsy parser functions with Lua functionality.
  • I contributed the complete translation of the VisualEditor interface into Cantonese during and after Wikimania 2014 to prepare for its global launch, and continued to maintain the Cantonese and Chinese translations.
  • Template:英格蘭郡明細 - This Cantonese infobox for counties of England is the first template on the Cantonese Wikipedia that pulls its data primarily from Wikidata. I learned how to do it in Wikimania 2016.
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.

Perhaps my biggest achievement in the Wikimedia movement will forever be the fact that I was one of the lead organisers of Wikimania 2013. The thrill and frenzy of that Wikimania will follow me for life, as are the mistakes and the media attention.

In the meantime I try to achieve more modest things for the movement, and below are a few nice things that happened:

  • Translating VisualEditor gave me much familiarity with its interface. This became useful in an editathon in late 2015, where I helped about ten editors learn how to edit very quickly. We created biographies about four contemporary visual artists in Hong Kong and improved about a dozen others.
  • On the "Redirects for discussion" forum on the English Wikipedia, I am able to inform editorial policy with my updated knowledge about developments in Wikipedia software, for example how CirrusSearch affected which redirects we should keep and which to delete. I can also call on Wikimedian friends from other cultures to get their advice on redirects about a topic in their language.
  • It's nice to see what other people create from photographs I've uploaded to Commons: [1] [2] [3]
What collaborations with other Wikimedians or Wikimedia organizations are you most proud of?

Again, it is difficult to be more proud of anything else than producing a Wikimania when one applies for a Wikimania scholarship! It gave me great pride to working in a bid team and organising committee of ten people over two years and in charge of 30 volunteers, serving 1000 attendees from around the world. But with each success comes its fair share of bitter failures: I spent a few years trying to help Wikimedia Hong Kong get up to speed. This was ultimately unsuccessful and the recent derecognition of that chapter was the final nail in the coffin. Fortunately, the breadth of the Wikimedia movement allows my presence to achieve smaller things through friends I've met in Wikimedia events in recent years:

  • I founded Cambridge University Wikipedia Society with several other users: Charles Matthews, MatthewIreland, and Snow Blizzard.
  • I enjoy being part of the UK Wikimedia community. One highlight was the general election editathon in 2015, in which we brought articles about constituencies and candidates up to speed, translated some of them to other languages, and updated the articles with election results as they were announced.
  • I wouldn't have much impact in MediaWiki i18n if not for people I've met at Wikimania. One time a MediaWiki i18n rollout destroyed the "Wikipedia talk:" namespace on the Cantonese Wikipedia. I was able to act quickly by tweeting Catrope to get him to revert the rollout while we figured out a long-term solution. A few other times I was able to contact James Forrester or Amir Aharoni directly when I get confused by a message I want to translate, knowing that their answer would be authoritative.
  • Most recently, I helped a Wikimedian I met at Wikimania to recover his account. Again this was made possible by the fact that I know many Wikimedians, including several stewards, in person through Wikimania.
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 create a user-page on each wiki where I have contributed substantially and showcase my work there. Beyond the wiki, I've also shared my Wikimedia work to the wider community, mostly through Wikimedia movement organisations:

  • An admin's guide to voting and consensus, talk at WMUK AGM 2016: [4]
  • WMUK blog post to celebrate Commons' 15 millionth file: [5]
  • WMF donation "thank you" message with my face and biography on it: [6]
  • I've also been a regular attendee of the Cambridge Wikimedia Meetup for 6 years.
Scholarship reports

The only time I received a WMF Wikimania scholarship was in 2012. That year, scholarship reports were submitted via an online form to the organisers and I did not keep a copy of my report.

Reports on my participation in 2013 (as organiser), 2014 (on scholarship from WMUK) and 2016 (on scholarship from Cambridge University) are on the following pages: