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Deryck Chan is the Global Engagement Coordinator for Wikimania 2013.
The first Wikimania I attended was 2010 Gdańsk and I've been to all four Wikimanias since then.
The idea of Wikimania 2013 Hong Kong first came about during Wikimania 2011 Haifa. We thought it was a crazy idea; but on the plane from Tel Aviv back to Hong Kong, Yuyu and I started thinking about how it would work out if we Wikimania did come to Hong Kong. Before then I thought London wouldn't go for 2013, so it was a shock when London entered the race for the 2013 bid. Anyway, the Hong Kong team had the advantage of two London gurus on the team, and we won the bid. And congratulations to London for taking 2014!
I was appointed "global engagement coordinator", a lovely job title invented by the team to fit the fact that I worked remotely from Cambridge while most of the team worked in Hong Kong. Until my physical arrival in Hong Kong in July, my job description was basically "communicate to the wider Wikimedia community about Wikimania 2013". And that meant taking care of this wiki, coordinating the submissions and scholarships processes, and speaking on behalf of the local team on mail:wikimania-l. It was a great job and thank you for reading everything I wrote!
In July I finally arrived in Hong Kong after my university graduation, and tried to fill in the gaps where the team needed the most help. The needs were soon obvious: I took over the visa application assistance work and made an effort to try to get everybody into Hong Kong. Unfortunately we still had three applicants who were unable to obtain a visa (our target was zero - HK is the most visa-friendly place that Wikimania has ever been to), though every success felt like a lost sheep rescued!
From our moving into PolyU on 2 August to moving out of PolyU on 12 August, we worked round the clock, with the help of all the volunteers we could get. In addition to the last-ditch effort with visas, last-minute programme rearrangements, and more emails on wikimania-l, I also took up my two conference-time roles of dormitory team leader and facilitator coordinator.
For those of you who're still reading this, the dormitory team was the group of young enthusiastic students who actually put up a five-star accommodation service out of a university dormitory building (HKBU) which is half an hour's ride away from the main conference venue at PolyU. Many of them didn't ever have the time to attend any part of Wikimania, and they were the true heroes of making sure our scholarship recipients and other budget guests' daily needs were met.
And the facilitators (sometimes lacklustrely called "timekeepers") were the well-spoken and sharp-minded volunteers who presided over each presentation session to make sure the session would finish on time and to keep the Q&A on track. I wish there was a wikipage which I could point to for the job description of a Wikimania facilitator! Perhaps I'll link back to this page in the future.
I was lucky to be able to attend the welcome party at Sky100, day 1 (including my presentation with Andrew and Emily), and day 3 (including the closing party) amidst all the frantic work to keep the conference together, so I still get to catch up with Wikimedian friends I've met in previous events. It was certainly the busiest time of my life - at times so hard that I broke down in rage and tears - but there's certainly no regret about it.
(Known her on-wiki for a long time, absolutely amazed to meet her and find she's younger and prettier than me)
(The English man who runs the show in Thailand's Wikimedia community)
Ravan (visa miracle, massive legend) and Netha (also massive legend)
(We successfully confused the hell out of everyone by our Welsh greetings followed by Cantonese conversation)
(My personal dev helpline. We have one face to face conversation every year at Wikimania during which I learn everything about Wikimedia engineering)
Cherry and Trixy
(BU dorm team's "cheerleaders"), with several other members of the dorm team in the background
After Wikimania had finished in August, I soon embarked on a new job which was again outside Hong Kong, so I was unable to handle much of the aftermath of the conference except for uploading the Wikimania videos during my winter holiday in Hong Kong.
I hesitate to use the word "legacy". The idea of Wikimania 2013 Hong Kong was founded upon the hope that the conference would give Hong Kong's Wikimedia community a strong push to achieve bigger things in the future, but the envisaged expansion of WMHK was met with the increasing centralization of the WMF. The funding negotiations between WMF and WMHK saw a dead end a few months before Wikimania so there was nobody to finish up the aftermath of the conference, and nobody to capture the legacy of it.
So Wikimania 2013 was, just like all the Wikimanias I've attended, a humongous party where I made friends with enthusiasts around the world, turning friends on-wiki into friends in real life, and reconnecting long-lasting friendships. Nothing more, nothing less.
Since I had the privilege of deciding the date of closure of this wiki, I thought I'd take the chance to have my last word on this wiki and leave a thought for myself in the future, and everybody who happens to stumble upon this piece of writing. This is perhaps the aptest way for me to commemorate the unspeakable events which happened this night 25 years ago.
Deryck Chan (talk) 16:28, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
- I have an alternative account, User:deryckchan, for testing how things would be like for a non-admin.