Meeting:2012 AGM/Candidates/Steven Zhang

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Hi. I'm Steven Zhang. I live in Melbourne, Victoria where I work full time and am studying part time towards a mediation qualification.

I've been a Wikimedian since 2008, and a member of Wikimedia Australia since last year. Most of my activities on Wikimedia projects have involved me resolving the content disputes of other editors. Since May, I have been a Community Fellow with the Wikimedia Foundation, and as part of my work, I have worked with the community to reform the English Wikipedia's dispute resolution procedures.

In Wikimedia Australia, I helped organise community meetups in Melbourne monthly for part of 2012, which had some good attendance and gained WMAU a few members. I also attended the RecentChangesCamp in Canberra in January, and Wikimania in Washington D.C in July.

WMAU has undergone a lot of change over the last year, part of this due to the restructure in how funding is allocated to chapters. With the establishment of the Funds Dissemination Committee, there is a greater need to have strong relations with the Wikimedia Foundation, and with fellow chapters. Being responsive to requests for info from the WMF, providing up-to-date reports on how funds were used and how GLAM/meetups went is important.

I also acknowledge that there has been some division within the membership as of late. I hope that going forward, we can come back together as a group and work towards moving the Wikimedia movement forward in Australia.

If elected, I would work towards having monthly meetups in most capital cities, on the same day as the monthly IRC meeting, giving the membership an opportunity to come together and working on interpersonal relationships, hopefully building a sense of camaraderie between members, and lead us down the path to create a larger, more engaged membership. A writeup of the details can be found on this page. I would also work to improve the relations of Wikimedia Australia with the Wikimedia Foundation. Working with the WMF has created a good working relationship between myself and the Foundation, and I think this would benefit the future of the Chapter. A largely centralised funding model means that if we cannot meet deadlines and have our proposals meet standards, we may not get the funding we need to move our projects forward, so we need to ensure that we have a good relationship with the WMF and other chapters to ensure this does not happen.

Wikimedia Australia has plenty of opportunities for projects like HOPAU, state libraries and GLAM in general, as well as developing partnerships with Australian organisations (which is important as this will also be a major source of funding for the chapter). I would work with the committee and the membership to work on existing relationships with organisations, and to build ones with new partners.

But most of all, I think it's important to have our own affairs in order before we focus on other tasks. One item of criticism in our FDC submission was that there were no clear metrics to measure the success of WMAU projects, and this may lead to a lack of confidence in our ability to deliver. If we create processes to measure success, I think this will address any ongoing concerns with the FDC. With the projects I've been doing as a fellow, where measurement of success is a key factor, I think I could contribute to this effort to make us a more organised and accountable entity. I also think my experience in resolving disputes could help settle any disputes that arise within the chapter.

I appreciate the nomination for ordinary member. I hope that the membership will consider supporting my nomination.