User:Kiril Simeonovski/Scholarship application

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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.
Metadata
  • Username: Kiril Simeonovski
  • Primary language: Macedonian
  • Primary Wikimedia project: Wikipedia
  • Secondary Wikimedia project: Wikimedia Commons
  • Global account information, SUL Info
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 lead or organized any of these activities?
Wikimedia projects

I have started contributing to the Macedonian Wikipedia in January 2008 (in March 2008 with a registered account) and have made over 60,000 edits with 5,400 articles created in the main namespace so far. My main activities on this wiki include: creation of quality content, project maintenance, scheduling and documenting meetups, organising editing challenges for filling content gaps, promoting content on the social networks, reporting on the chapters' work to the community, creation and maintenance of thematic portals for better content navigation, creation of WikiProjects for better coordination of the community's work, introducing a process for promoting and revisiting GAs and FAs and introducing voting criteria to prevent disputes.

I also regularly contribute to the English Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Meta, and occasionally on the German Wikipedia, Serbian Wikipedia, Bulgarian Wikipedia and Wikimedia Outreach. On the English Wikipedia, I am mostly active in promoting content pertaining to recent events published in the ITN section on the main page; on Wikimedia Commons, I work on improving image descriptions, correcting file names, adding geographic coordinates and categories, but have also helped promote 24 images to FPs; and on Meta, my contributions include writing grant applications and reports, reviewing grant applications, participating in community discussions and processes, sharing experience and learning practices, and promoting new projects and initiatives. The total number of my contributions is almost 80,000 edits.

Projects and initiatives

I have introduced the editing days in January 2016 and the editing weekends in January 2017 towards filling content gaps on Wikipedia, which aim at engaging the Macedonian Wikipedia community in editing content on pre-defined underrepresented topics during a period of one day or one weekend. In April 2016, I co-organised an architecture edit-a-thon with the goal of improving the coverage of architecture topics and narrowing the gender gap (namely 19 out of the 23 participants were female contributors). In January 2017, I have also started the Wiki Speaks Your Language initiative, which aims at enriching the Wikimedia projects with freely licensed audio and video files documenting spoken examples of every language, language variety and dialect in the world.

Wikimedia affiliates

I am one of the founding members of Wikimedia Macedonia and served as its board member from 2009 to 2013. My involvement in Wikimedia Macedonia resulted in successfully completing wide range of activities such like: strategic planning and development of annual plans, giving lectures and running activities in various educational institutions, co-authoring the first Wiki instruction manual in Macedonian (later translated in Albanian), running workshops about the Wiki software to assist its implementation on a non-Wikimedian project and participation in Wikimedian and non-Wikimedian conferences both as speaker and attendee.

I led a group of disappointed members of Wikimedia Macedonia in successfully organising the photographic competition Wiki Loves Cultural Heritage 2013 in Macedonia, a spin-off of Wiki Loves Monuments. In January 2014, I was one of the founding members of Shared Knowledge, an NGO replacing the work done by Wikimedia Macedonia. I served as member of the Executive Board of Shared Knowledge from January 2014 to August 2014, President of Shared Knowledge from September 2014 to September 2016 and Chair of the Executive Board of Shared Knowledge since September 2016 (following the abolishing of the presidential position). My main responsibilities as Chair of the Executive Board include: coordinating the board, strategic planning, budgeting, financial management, external communication, programme coordination, project development, ideation, headhunting of volunteers and volunteer management.

Global community engagement

I am one of the founding members of the Wikimedia Central and Eastern Europe, who participated as representative of Wikimedia Macedonia at the founding meeting at Wikimania 2011. I have been member of the Grant Advisory Committee (2011-present), member of the Simple Annual Plan Grants Committee (2015-2016), member of the Programme Committee for Wikimania (2012-2015), flow funder (2012-2013), member of the Wikimania 2013 jury, programme manager and one of the organisers of Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2012.

Relations with other Wikimedians

I was closely collaborating with my friends from Wikimedia Serbia on organising the Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2012. I am also closely collaborating with the Albanian Wikipedia community, having been invited to share experience at events organised in Albania several times.

Relations with the Wikimedia Foundation

I regularly participate in the community consultation initiated by the Wikimedia Foundation staff (mostly through surveys and video conversations).

Plans for future

My plans for the future include the following:

  • ensuring a proper functioning of Shared Knowledge’s all programmatic fields in a cost-efficient manner with large potential for impact;
  • introducing the creation of learning patterns for good practices and improving the documentation of our activities;
  • increasing the reach of our storytelling to other communities that really need it through mutual collaboration and participation in events;
  • performing research and processing statistical data for the sake of improving the content quality;
  • introducing projects and initiatives aimed at improving content quality, filling content gaps and narrowing the gender gap.

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. I usually tend to attribute the outcome and impact from my efforts to our community or organisation because of the permanent support that I get from the other colleagues. Here is a summary of positive results expressed both qualitatively and quantitatively from the aforementioned activities:

Qualitative results
  • increased awareness and improved perception of the Wikimedia projects, especially Wikipedia, through lecturing in education, partnering with GLAM institutions, participating in public events, using the social networks, participating in TV shows and giving interviews to journalists;
  • increased activity on the Macedonian Wikipedia as a result of the lectures and workshops;
  • increased awareness of the wiki as a useful collaborative software through running workshops and publishing a Wiki instruction manual;
  • improved skills of users on the Macedonian Wikipedia and members of our organisation through mentoring them and including in our projects and activities;
  • improved quality of articles and illustration through the Education, Community, GLAM, Science and Research programmes;
  • increased awareness about QRpedia and the QR codes in general through their installment in the Skopje ZOO;
  • increased open access to books and materials available at the State Archive of the Republic of Macedonia (DARM) and the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MANU) through the introduction of Wikipedians in residence in each of them;
  • increased awareness of the Wikimedia CEE through the Wikimedia CEE Meeting and communicating with people from communities that are relatively new to our movement;
  • increased awareness of the WMF grantmaking through my membership in the Grant Advisory Committee and the Simple Annual Plan Grants Committee, communicating with interested applicants, running workshops and lecturing on it in different occasions.
Quantitative results
  • at least 5,400 articles created on Wikipedia;
  • about 20 lectures given at various educational institutions with outreach to about 700 students and resulting in about 300 quality articles created on the Macedonian Wikipedia by about 250 new users;
  • collaboration with at least 15 institutions and organisations (including educational institutions, GLAM institutions and other parties);
  • at least 10 persons headhunted or recruited in Shared Knowledge;
  • at least 40,000 images uploaded by more than 200 participants from more than 1,000 different objects photographed in the photographic competitions;
  • at least 2,000 articles created or improved through the editing competitions and the edit-a-thons;
  • more than 600 articles created or improved with more than 4,000 images uploaded from the expeditionary projects and the photohunts with image use of more than 60% across articles;
  • about 100 QRpedia codes installed as part of the collaboration with the Skopje ZOO;
  • about 20 videos documenting experiments in physics uploaded to Wikimedia Commons;
  • more than 150 grant applications evaluated with a total amount of more than $2,200,000 requested;
  • at least 100 images of cultural monuments and natural sites uploaded on Wikimedia Commons from individual photohunts.
What collaborations with other Wikimedians or Wikimedia organizations are you most proud of?

I am proud of all collaborations with other Wikimedians or affiliated organisation which resulted in a positive outcome such like those with: the colleagues from Wikimedia Macedonia and Shared Knowledge in carrying out our all activities, the other users on the Macedonian Wikipedia in improving the project, the colleagues from Wikimedia Serbia in organising the Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2012, the colleagues from Albania who invited me to participate at OSCAL from 2015-2017 and the Wikipedia Weekend in Tirana 2015 and share some good practices and ideas, the colleagues from Wikimedia Ukraine in implementing a cross-wiki project of editing articles about both countries on the Macedonian and Ukrainian Wikipedia in February 2013, the other members of the Grant Advisory Committee and the Simple Annual Plan Grants Committee in the evaluation of grant requests, the other members of the Programme Committee for Wikimania in the review of submissions and preparing the schedule, the other flow funders while identifying interested projects and others.

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 mostly share my experience and ideas on the meetups of our community or by using our mailing list. To document my participation in conferences and other events, I usually prepare reports with a summary of the important things that happened. To share experience and learning practices, I work on creating learning patterns. Namely, I have created learning patterns titled “Conducting expeditions” and “Filling content gaps”.

In April 2014, my friend Igor Sazdovski and I wrote a blog post on our presentations at the Faculty of Economics in Skopje, which was later published in the educational newsletter for July 2014. In November 2016, I have recorded a podcast in German hosted by my colleague Sebastian Wallroth with the goal of giving the German speakers insight on our projects.

If so, please use the space below to tell us about something great that happened as a result of attending Wikimania previously? What are your goals for attending Wikimania again?

I attended Wikimania in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Each of these conferences was a great experience of me because they all offer the chance to meet with new people, maintain the old friendships, share many experiences, collaborate on future initiatives and projects, get informed about the things that are ongoing within our movement and also get in touch with people from external organisations and institutions who support our activities. Most of the ideas and proposals that I bring to our community and organisation are inspired from my participation at Wikimania in the past. Also, the quality of some presentations and their speakers has greatly impacted the preparation of my lectures and workshops.

In 2011, my participation was marked by having a presentation titled “The line of sufficiency” which was followed with a discussion on the topic, meeting with my friends from the CEE countries and working together on the revival of Wikimedia CEE and communicating with the people interested to apply for WMF grants.

In 2013, my fellow colleague from the flow funding project Andrew West and I had a presentation titled “Flow Funding - power to the movement” (submitted by Thomas Souza Backup who was unable to attend). I was also sitting at the grantmaking booth in order to explain and give information regarding the grantmaking process.

In 2014, the main goal of my participation was to meet with the important people from the global community and the Wikimedia Foundation in order to conclude our efforts on reviving the activity of the Macedonian community. In that way, I met with members of the Affiliations Committee to discuss the current status of the inactive Wikimedia Macedonia as local chapter and its possible transfer to the current Shared Knowledge and with people from the Grantmaking Department of the Wikimedia Foundation to discuss the feasibility of our annual plan and its budget. I was also inspired by the sessions covering topics in experimental and information economics in relation to Wikipedia and the broader goals of our movement.

In 2015, my participation was marked by numerous activities, discussions and meetups. The pre-conference days helped me get a better understanding of the SMART goals, the difference between measures and metrics and the importance of the learning patterns. The conference programme was also very rich of topics relevant for improving Shared Knowledge’s work and conceiving of new ideas for projects. My presentation titled “Headhunting of volunteers”, focusing on the dimensions of recruiting vs headhunting and volunteers vs employees as well as the potential ways of finding volunteers to coordinate activities and the tips for matching them with the paid staff, was followed by interesting discussion with relevant questions covering different aspects on the topic.

In 2016, my organisation participated for the first time in the Community Village with own stand and I was highly involved in the preparation of the materials presented. I have also had important meetings with the chairpersons of the other Wikimedia affiliates, with the members of the Affiliations Committee, with the colleagues from the CEE communities and with the colleagues participating in the 100wikidays personal challenge. The knowledge acquired at this conference helped me propose abolishing of the presidential position in our organisation in order to align it with the Wikimedia chapters. The proposal was accepted at the general assembly, which took place in August 2016, and the roles and responsibilities of the President of Shared Knowledge were handed over to the Chair of the Executive Board.

My goals for Wikimania 2017 will focus on broadening my knowledge about the strategic priorities for the next couple of years; storytelling about our good practices and lessons learned in the attempt of spreading our projects and initiatives more globally; examining the needs of the other communities and the challenges they are currently facing; discussing the ways of processing statistical data for the sake of improving content quality and connecting with people engaged in research activities in order to extend a future collaboration.

If you have submitted or will submit a presentation, please provide a link to your presentation or proposal title

I might submit a presentation for Wikimania 2017, but the title and the scope are not defined at this stage.