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2023:Program/Entertainment/ABBZ3A-Rebranding Wikimedia: Wikimedia for Cosplay and ACG World

From Wikimania

Title: Rebranding Wikimedia: Wikimedia for Cosplay and ACG World


Dody Ismoyo

I started to edit Wikimedia projects since 2009. Currently, I have made more than 2,300 new articles in English Wikipedia, uploaded more than 2,500 photos to Wikimedia Commons & made more than 500 page entries in English-language Wikiquote. Overall, I have made more than 500,000 edits throughout the entire Wikimedia projects, with the majority being in the English Wikipedia with 290,000 edits. I founded the Wikimedia Community User Group Malaysia in 2016 & has been the president since then. I have organized a total of 35 Wikimedia meetups around Malaysia (and some internationally) with various institutions, part of conferences and seminars. I presented and published a technical paper in an electrical engineering conference in Japan in 2017 about power engineering education with Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. I represented the Malaysia user group for Wikimedia Conference 2017 in Germany and ESEAP Strategy Summit 2019 in Thailand. My full time job is an electrical engineer with almost 13 years working experience in manufacturing, coal mining, construction & mountain resort environment in Malaysia & Indonesia. I obtained my master’s & bachelor’s degree in power engineering from Australia & Malaysia respectively. I am a senior member of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers Power & Energy Society (IEEE PES) & member of the Institution of Engineers Australia (IEAust). I have published 3 technical papers published as the main (or sole) author & presented them in IEEE conferences in Singapore, Hong Kong & Japan, with various topics of power engineering. I am an external examiner for my alma mater university bachelor’s degree final year projects, as well as reviewer for IEEE conference papers submission. I’ve also participated in some of IEEE standards development work groups & featured twice in IEEE Spectrum periodical. I am also a cosplayer who have dressed up as in more than 40 cosplay characters from mostly the 80s & 90s movies, tokusatsu or gothic (from Kamen Rider, Phantom of the Opera, Bart Simpson, Minions, Saint Seiya etc). I’ve been invited as guest cosplayer, speaker (about cosplay & integrating Wikimedia projects with cosplay world), performer & cosplay competition judge in various events in Malaysia & Indonesia. I’ve won several competition, planned cosplay events, making basic props design, video shooting/editing and maintaining social media presence.

Pretalx link

Etherpad link

Room: Plenary Hall

Start time: Sat, 19 Aug 2023 13:55:00 +0800

End time: Sat, 19 Aug 2023 14:10:00 +0800

Type: Entertainment session

Track: No (pretalx) track id specified

Submission state: confirmed

Duration: 15 minutes

Do not record: true

Presentation language: en

Abstract & description[edit source]

Abstract[edit source]

Wikimedia users have remained more or less the same in the past few years, while at the same time we can see so many youngsters are into YouTube, Instagram, TikTok etc in making contents. If Wikimedia doesn’t change its rigidness, we are losing out to these platforms in the near future. Thus, Wikimedia needs to change its image from academic-centric platform to also include these segment of society.

Description[edit source]

Wikimedia outreach movement have been restricted to only academic-related theme in which most people have been studying at school (e.g. history, languages, anthropology etc). While it is good to indulge around such topic, many of the youngsters find those similar like school tasks/assignments, in which they really need to allocate their time for the sake of completing the task. This phenomena is what I’ve drawn after making more than 30 meetups around Malaysia with many institutions, which many of them are from the academic institutions. While the participants showed high enthusiasm during the session, there were very few of them who continue to become active and loyal editors to Wikimedia. This is indeed a very sad reality. And don’t forget on how rude Wikipedia admins can be to newbie editors (e.g. giving them non-stop warnings for the very small mistake the editors did, reverting & deleting their edits etc).

While at the same time, we see the growing popularity of people focusing on creating contents for social media platform (e.g. TikTok, Instagram, YouTube etc). They did actually spend time to learn such skills (e.g. video editing, streaming etc) and they remain loyal content creators (weekly or even daily). For cosplayers, they spend months in creating their suits and practicing their stage performance before joining the main competition. So, in short, people are willing to spend time and energy to things that they really love to do. It is not about language barrier or less-of-instruction barriers.

We need to dearly transform Wikimedia into such inclusive, friendly & welcoming platforms. If not, once the senior editors of Wikimedia have retired, Wikimedia will slowly die. As you can see, many WikiProjects in Wikipedia have become inactive or even defunct.

So, as an electrical engineer, cosplayer and Wikimedia editor myself (I have created more than 2,300 new articles and more than 300,000 edits in English Wikipedia, so I know what I’m talking about), we need to fully rebrand Wikimedia to capture those new generation. We should not only focus on writing articles in Wikipedia about culture, history etc. We can start by telling those cosplayers or event goers (e.g. music), please take photo of the events, cosplayers, stage performers etc and upload them to Wikimedia Commons. For each event they attend, you can write the Wikidata page of it (e.g. name, location, date, coordinate, organizer, part of any bigger event). For those movie lovers, you can always create each of the main, supporting and secondary characters inside Wikidata, and link them to any existing fandom website as their identifier in Wikidata.

I once attended a gaming event called Noizu Con in Putrajaya, Malaysia in 2022. Although the topic is a software/website-based company, they can make a convention which are opened to the public and attract many vendors (from computer industries), attract cosplayers, gamers, entertainers etc to make the event more happening. They even have side events such as gaming competition, maid cafes etc.

Wikimedia itself is exactly the same as that website-based organization (I shall put it that way - more or less). Instead of having the same style of conference again & again (even 60-70% of the attendees are the same people again & again from the previous years), we should also need to have an ACG (anime, comics, games) style of Wikimedia Conference. I said ‘should also’ means we need to have a new one, while the existing WMCON etc can be kept running as usual.

So this new ACG-style of Wikimedia Conference, we can always make a convention where we have maid café where the maids are cosplayers dress in Wikipe-tan (the official anime character of WMF). We can make a competition style of Wikipedia in the event (e.g. quiz, trivia, coding competition) in a fun way. We can promote event documentation in Wikimedia Commons for each event, including every single cosplayer who attended, to have their own photo taken and upload to Commons. This needs to be done to capture those new generation into using Wikimedia projects in their day-to-day life.

If you browse, what are the most popular Wikipedia articles people usually visit? Aside from any breaking news or any politicians who have just taken office (or made any worldwide news), most of the most popular pages visited by readers in English Wikipedia are mostly popular culture, which consists mainly movie actors/actresses, singers, bands, movies, music songs, games, etc. These are what our Wikipedia readers are interested into mostly, thus we need to rebrand Wikimedia to be really inclusive of these popular culture to grab our biggest share of readers.

Further details[edit source]

Qn. How does your session relate to the event themes: Diversity, Collaboration Future?

My session is exactly what diversity is about, to show to people that Wikimedia is not only for academic-related topics (e.g. culture, heritage, history etc), but also to the mainstream popular culture which is so often overlooked in any Wikimedia movement. In terms of collaboration, in Malaysia for example, we know here, in average we only have one Wikimedia meetup every month (e.g. with schools, GLAM institutions), while for cosplay/anime event, we have it like literally almost every single weekend, and there are thousand of attendees keep going again and again. With such big pool of people, we can easily collaborate with them. I’ve done several Wikimedia meetups in Malaysia as part of this cosplay and ACG (anime, comics & games) events to show them Wikimedia is not only an encyclopedia where you use it to finish your school homework. But if you want to know about the teaser of any upcoming move, details of any recent passed away actors, list of anime convention events in a particular country or list of cosplayers of a particular nationality, etc.

Qn. What is the experience level needed for the audience for your session?

Everyone can participate in this session

Qn. What is the most appropriate format for this session?

  • Tick Onsite in Singapore
  • Empty Remote online participation, livestreamed
  • Empty Remote from a satellite event
  • Empty Hybrid with some participants in Singapore and others dialing in remotely
  • Empty Pre-recorded and available on demand