Goodbye, 2020!

As I wrote my year-in-review in Japanese, I came to the conclusion that I was “surprisingly content” with the year. Not because it was easy or went as planned, but despite it – as you can imagine.

Yellow Fall Leaves

This year I:

  • experienced the first cancellation of WordCamp of the year due to the pandemic as an organizer
  • co-organized do_action Japan
  • spent more time with kids while their daycare was entirely/partially closed between April and July
  • didn’t get to see my parents and relatives at all 😢
  • picked up Spanish again, made 180+ days streak on Duolingo 💪
  • enjoyed learning about positive psychology through a Coursera course & podcast, and as a result:
  • reduced the usage of Facebook & Instagram by 90% or so
  • started learning about video editing and subtitling technologies

Thanks to some of the things I ended up doing and of course those who supported and inspired me, 2020 turned out to be a year for good reflection. I also feel more grounded than before, shedding some things I thought were important before but actually aren’t.

I’m especially grateful to my work and team/colleagues – seeing remote/distributed work become more mainstream this year made me realize that the (fortunate) situation I’m in isn’t easily replaceable by just having the freedom to decide where I work. They truly care about our well-being and I was saved by that while I struggled to balance between taking care of kids and getting things done at work.

And now, I’m really ready to leave all those behind and say goodbye to 2020. I hope to see you around in the Polyglots community and WordCamp Japan (online) in 2021!

The Scots Wikipedia Story Reflection

You may have read the story about the bulk of Scots Wikipedia being written by an American teenager who doesn’t speak the language.

I felt the cringe. I’m involved in a volunteer-based translation project with hundreds of languages with a varying maintenance level. Who knows, something like this could happen to us too.

The Guardian article had this part, and I have been curious to know the Wikipedia editors’ next steps:

We are exploring ways of supporting the existing Scots Wikipedia editor community, by offering help with editing training for newcomers, facilitating partnerships with authoritative language organisations and organising editing events to harness current interest and energy.

Then I came across this thread of tweets:

According to Mike Dickison, nearly 100 volunteers gathered on a Facebook group. They’ve held online Zoom training, organized edit-a-thon events, and collectively made over 3,000 edits to Scots Wikipedia in less than a week.

What do you make of this story?

The difficulties of quality control in crowd-sourced content creation. Power of training and helping others learn. What a group of driven individuals can accomplish when they have a common goal for good.

While I saw all the above, I thought the most interesting thing in this was the individual responses as a reflection of where you stand.

Some laughed at the person who made a mistake. Others objectively reported the issue to raise the awareness, gave a helping hand, or organized to make the situation better. You can point out a flaw of an existing system, do nothing, or work with the system and make a difference. You have a choice.

In this particular situation, I was just a bystander reading articles and tweets. But because of those who took positive actions, I have a renewed faith in working as a team. I’m more excited to explore what I can do to take part in the projects I’m involved in. I wanted to share that in a blog post to show appreciation and encouragement.

I also learned about some resources they used for discussion and training:

Kudos to the Scots volunteers for transparency and providing a learning opportunity for others too.

Photo credit: Hellinterface at English Wikipedia / CC BY-SA

WordCamp Asia 2020 “Recap”

WordCamp Asia 2020 is over — before it started.

We as the organizing team have a lot more to do before we can close the books for this year, but the anticipation for the actual event has now ended.

First, I want everyone to know that the cancellation decision was not made lightly. I want to make sure to emphasize this part of the announcement.

[…] there are too many unknowns around the health issues unfolding right now in the region to explicitly encourage a large public gathering bringing together over 1,300 people from around the world.

While I’m comforted to know my fellow local organizers are safe in Bangkok, that’s a completly different story from holding a large international gathering at this point of time.

chao-phraya
Chao Phraya River, August 2019

 

For me, I can truthfully say I have no regret in putting my past 9 months organizing WordCamp Asia 2020 as a global lead. It has been a pleasure to be working closely with Nok, our awesome local lead, and the whole team of very resourceful and smart organizers. We learned from each other, made mistakes and solved difficult issues together. I knew it was going to be great, but the actual experience exceeded what I expected.

Still, it’s super bittersweet. Reading all the caring and thoughtful messages from the global WordPress community make me happy and sad at the same time. And they remind me of the reasons why I started this adventure in the first place: I wanted to help connect more people through this event.

So my wish is that this event that never happened can still somehow trigger you to “meet” (online or offline) someone new, get to know them, help them out, and build a trusting relationship. We always have Twitter, Slack, and blog to help us do that! You can even just leave a comment here to share your story 🙂

Thank you for all those who supported us through the way to WordCamp Asia. It looks like we need a little more time to get there, but I’m sure we are just taking it slow to make it a real good one.