The Wikimedia Foundation All Hands took place in January in San Francisco, California. I often learn through making something, so I did a lot of drawings on my iPad to help me process talks, keynotes and workshops.
I got to hear lots of people speak who I have never talked to before, including Amanda Keton, our amazing General Counsel.
Katherine Maher our Executive Director, gave a talk on the future of knowledge. Her talk focused on how Wikipedia can be the essential infrastructure of the Web.
I attended a workshop on the Wikimedia branding and how our staff are approaching this challenging task. You can learn more about our efforts at Branding Wikipedia.
I decided to go to another workshop that had nothing to do with my day to day work, as a self-imposed challenge to learn something new. The one I chose was answering the question “how do we assess risk as an organization?” and was led by our security and legal folks. I learned that there’s actually a process for doing this kind of assessment and that this could probably be applied to product work.
Because I was given the honor of hosting our guest speaker, Jess Wade, I had the opportunity to talk more than usual to Janeen Uzzell. Janeen is our new Chief Operating Officer. I think the world of her. Every time that she speaks, she has such passion and enthusiasm for the work that we do that it’s truly contagious. I want to be a better Wikipedia advocate and an ally for underrepresented communities on and off wiki. She has been saying things like we need to “do the work” or “a goal without a plan is just a dream.” While these sound like aspirational quotes that you might see on a calendar to motivate you, it works for me.
I ran a workshop on data drawing with my colleague Daisy Chen. I was a little nervous because I had never run anything on this topic, but it went well and I met a lot of colleagues. We made zines about the data of our day. I will write about that work separately some day because it would be worth it to document and self-retro. I made this drawing as an example of the data of every day things — my mom guilt.
Dr. Jess Wade was our surprise key note speaker. I can not emphasize how wonderful it was to hear from an active and outspoken community member. Full confession: Due to Janeen’s matchmaking me as her host, Jess and I have extended our friendship post All Hands. I admire her for being a prolific contributor to Wikipedia. Even more than that, I admire that she is clear and critical about the problems facing Editors. As a designer on the Editing team in Product, having this first hand account of struggles, pain points and joys of editing as a woman on Wikipedia is beyond valuable — it’s crucial, inspiring and has kicked me into action.
Thanks to Ed Sanders for proofreading and low-key encouragement.