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2023:Wikimedian of the Year

From Wikimania



Get ready, get excited. It will be a celebration like no other.[edit | edit source]

The beloved Wikimedian of the Year awards are coming to you live from Wikimania and streamed around the world on Wednesday August 16.

After a four-year break from the last in-person Wikimania, and going virtual for the previous two years, we are exhilarated to reconvene and celebrate once more–both in-person and online. The Wikimedian of the Year awards, which happen every year at Wikimania, have grown considerably over the past two years (see the 2020, 2021, and 2022 winners). We have celebrated the achievements of incredible newcomers, applauded unique contributions to media and technology, appreciated the work of affiliate staff, honored long-time community members and some celebrities in our movement, and welcomed into the great “hall of fame,” exceptional volunteers considered role models by their peers.

Who will join them this year? There’s only one way to find out!!!

Excerpts from the opening address - Mehrdad Pourzaki[edit | edit source]

Everyone here, online everywhere, all at once … or streaming later at 1.5 times speed, welcome to the Wikimedian of the Year awards 2023.

Thank you for being here.

[...]

We’ve been called the last best place on the internet, we are positively nostalgic. Some academics and our own community members predicted various ways we would have perished by now, and yet here we are, stronger than ever, an unparalleled collaboration in human history.

In a world grappling with conflicting truths on social media and exponential AI advances, we work as a reality check when facts are constantly distorted and debated. And if there was any doubt, the search for truth during the pandemic reclaimed our spot as the go-to source for knowledge.


The values of the wikimedian community - What are we doing ?

We are the humble warriors of the web.

  • We talk, We don’t tweet
  • We thank, We don’t like
  • We revert, We don't misinform
  • We attribute, We don’t tag
  • We cite, We don’t conform
  • And we share, We don’t charge.

We’ve been experimenting with machine learning since 2017. And guess what, we came up with Meta first.

Wikimedia projects are the factual netting that holds the digital world together. And the netting that keeps us together is the people of this movement.

As a former Wikimedian of the Year coined it, it’s about ordinary people doing extraordinary work for the world. Exceptional Wikimedians from around the world who navigate through conflicting truths, who run to update a deceased celebrity’s biography, discuss notability, fight for open content, find citations, categorize, protect pages, check users, and make lists, and lists of lists, and list of lists of lists.

And tonight, we celebrate them, we celebrate you.

Excerpts from the opening address - written for Jimmy Wales[edit | edit source]

The Wikimedia projects are one of the most trusted sources of knowledge in the world. In a world where misinformation is on the rise and chatGPT is best known for hallucinations, we continue to gain people’s trust. And that is because of all of you, because of your contributions, because of the time that you spend painstakingly editing, adding citations, uploading documents in languages that have never been digitized before, taking pictures, and adding more knowledge for the world.

So today, I would like to celebrate trust, and celebrate the individuals behind the Wikimedia projects that make all this possible.

Before we get to the awards, let’s take a moment and review what’s happened since we were last together in person. I was last on this stage in Stockholm in 2019 - four years ago! Since then …

  • Our movement connected virtually like never before
  • We gave Wikipedia a refreshing facelift
  • We have welcomed new members and new affiliates from around the world
  • In a world where so many platforms are struggling with netiquette, we have a universal code of conduct in place,
  • And hey, after 20 something years of organic growth, we are talking about supporting structures like hubs and setting up a global council - whether it’ll be the Galactic Senate or the Jedi High Council
  • And yet, we cannot seem to figure out “reply all” on email lists!

Wikimania is not just a conference; it's a global celebration of human connections and volunteer contributions. It’s a chance to recognize the people that make up this movement. So, let's give all of you a well-deserved round of applause!