For the first time since it was established 16 years ago, it was announced that Wikimania virtual event uses multilingual content on this year. This virtual conference event is seen as the opportunity for the Wikipedia and Wikimedia operators to provide free projects and expand their audience reach despite of language barriers and time zone difference.
Wikimania Online Event Conference
Supposedly this year, assuming the world is free from the pandemic outbreak, hundreds of Wikimedians who create Wikipedia and various free projects are planned to gather in Thailand on the month of August 2020, during the 16th conference that held annually by Wikimania. The participants were going to meet in person without worry about social distancing and going through the exciting journey while discussing about the future of Wikimedia and share their common passion for providing free knowledge.
However, the in-person plan has been booted and instead it was announced that Wikimedians from countries across the world were going to be gathered in virtual event that held from August 13th to 17th, which is the first time ever that this online conference platform type of event is going to concure. In this space, the diverse and global community of Wikimedians is going to be connected and rejoice the goals and achievement of this global organization.
The virtual events threw this year are also special because it is concurred with the 20th anniversary of Wikipedia. The participants would be able to join various sessions that reflect on the journey of the organization while celebrating the present and looking forward for the upcoming future.
Highlights of Wikimania 2021
Here are several important highlights from Wikimania virtual event uses multilingual content:
- A presented award by Jimmy Wales of Wikimedian of the Year winner. This is the tradition which can be traced back to the 2011, and this year it makes its round again to acknowledge seven outstanding volunteers.
- A panel discussion for the volunteer community of Wikipedia that’s moderated by Dr. Sanjay Gupta (CNN correspondent) to explore collaborative actions by global health sectors, the Wikimedians, and news media to prevent pandemic related misinformation.
- Discussions that concentrated on narrowing gap between genders, which include different session led by the VisibleWikiWomen, Art+Feminism, Women in Red, and many more communities.
- Opportunities to explore various entertainments such as using virtual event app to create video tours on Kenya’s National Museums and Australia’s Toodyay.
The Benefits of Virtual Events for the Organization
Despite the event being held for the first time by using online event platform, turned out it has several benefits for the Wikimedians. In total, there are more than 4,000 participants that joined this year celebration. The use of virtual format by utilizing virtual event companies service provides a chance as well to reach broader audience and create a more inclusive program compared to the previous years, where passport and travel visa can be limitations.
Majority of sessions provided by the conference platform are available in seven different languages and accessible from various time zones across the world. During the sessions, the organization also offers English live translation into German, Spanish, Mandarin, French, Arabic, and Russian. There are also English closed captions for the whole pre-recorded sessions.