Metadata Conference

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Sponsors and speakers dinner in Korean Soul, Canberra

Metadata Conference 2011 is a conference held by the community of The Institute of Metadata Management from practitioners that work with the creation, management, use, promote, development, innovation and the articulation of an information about the information itself in order to govern a better management system.

This conference is a 4th conference held in Canberra, Australia with the topic "Business realities and its impact" with a 3 days duration and cover topics such as business intelligence and analysis, technology solutions, data integration, management, administration, custody data, and others. Wikimedia Australia supports this conference because of it similar goal which is to support the development and use of an open and free metadata standards. President of IMM Melanie Taylor said in its press release that the participation of the Wikimedia community in the conference is a good opportunity to explore potential research management of information. Wiki is often considered to be too "free" and without structure, but at the same time providing a wealth of information. Therefore the wikimedia community participation enables metadata communities to explore what happens behind the communities with that particular sharing paradigm. [1]

John Vandenberg, President of Wikimedia Australia, invited Wikimedia Indonesia Executive Director Siska Doviana to attend the conference based on his email dated May 22 to the Chapter's list he explained that Siska attendance also to elaborate in detail on what projects has been running in Indonesia.

Conference Day 2

View from 7th floor Hotel Rydges Canberra
Australian National University, Canberra

Due to limited time, Siska arrived on the second day of the conference on 14:00 hours, Canberra is so much colder in contrast to Sidney while one can escape wearing T-shirts to sleep on the plane (night flight). The ticket cost almost USD 1,000 for a direct return flight to Jakarta-Sydney-Canberra borne by Wikimedia Australia. Siska stays in the Rydges Hotel, and Wow: the view from the 7th floor is just beautiful.

It is hard to concentrate on sessions happening on the second day since it felt confusing. The day felt more worthwhile enjoying the walk around Australian National University, number one university in Australia (out of 39 universities total).

The evening continued with dinner at Korean restaurant along with the speakers and sponsors. Interesting people, a random seating arrangement put me close to Tim Hart, Museum of Victoria, whose cellphone wrapped in Wikipedia stickers, Chris Winter from ABC, and Tom Scott, BBC - who told me that in his youth he had been hitchiking around Indonesia, riding a silver bus in Sumatera and dodge pinches from Indonesian children who think he is so white and weird.

Where wikipedian go to have fun

Conference Day 3

Third day, and the conference started to kick. With theme of " Bringing Diversity Together "

  • Tim Turner, ADFA Tim Turner present how the Australian government see the treatment of information by "One Size Does Not Fit All". It takes knowledge and design to manage diversity in providing service for the citizen since diversity is about identifying the difference, not trying to assimilate one another. This is interesting, according to this believe articles in wikipedia also meant that it is not for everyone, some articles will generally have a different audience than some others. The contributors been seeing the articles as general or focused or good or bad, but never really put into account what is the reader's perception about it.
  • Kathryn Moyle, brought up "Creating capabilities - learning with technologies", how the education system in Australia measured using the performance standard of... (forget!) shows that although Australian reading literacy is high, but its performance is stagnant while the United States actually fell slightly compared to countries like China, Korea, and New Zealand. Basically it meant: too many theories, slow to react. Kathryn also explained that writing computer programs actually helping students learn to create. Students who "create" are children who learn to hack computers.
As a listener I felt it is interesting, because it is always been a debate whether wikipedia codes makes it difficult for contributors to contribute - but then I realized that on Wikipedia I do not just create the text, but also a small template codes and colors to create the site - which is an initial seed - of writing programs. Therefore I did not stop as a consumer, but also the creator. For school children, this means studying the wikis helped them become producers which allows them to contribute further to the open source development. (More of a reason why Wiki need more pushed to be used inside a classroom). Yes the codes in wiki is hard and also difficult, but without knowing the codes that allowing people to learn - to tamper with the device in media wiki - it actually increase one's status from being a writer to also a coder.
Kathryn also continued that the model of learning in the 21st century is more likely focused on seven areas: problem solving (problem solving skills), creativity, moving and sorting information, innovation, teamwork, technology, and engaging.
Data provided by Kathryn also surprising, according to research at the University of California, only 1.1 percent of all internet content is pornographic. The study proves that if someone put the filter to their internet, more often it will filter a good site, therefore it is actually a loss.
Enjoying hacking becomes really important for early creator.
So this may explain why so many writers program "ends" on Wikipedia or Crowd sourcing sites (from volunteers), the other, because it's the way it is. So if the process is reversed, the writer should also be taught to take part of writing code, so that will create more of other things - not just their writing (perhaps project? Hehehe). Hacking here does not mean they can break into the bank's security, but simple codes that helps a person's logical thinking.
Kathryn also revealed that the Australian government, through their minister of education, (just like Indonesian government) has signed an agreement with Microsoft to allows schools to use a version of the Microsoft discount. The effect is the students are taught to be users, not creators. In addition the amount of loss for Australian are 20-25 million AUD dollars per year because of this agreement where the school falls into "dependency" scheme using microsoft, although now, there are alternative of using open software. What disturbing for Kathryn are many big problems in Australia do not get that big funding to address, yet, microsoft gets it.
  • Tim Hart, Museum of Victoria comes up as the last speaker. His presentation theme is "Collaboration and Capability: The Museum Collections Online". Tim address that although loss using microsoft is about 20-25 million per year, it pales compare to loss from copyright, which is 70 million AUD per per year. He emphasized the importance of travel, meetings and serious investment in training because it allows two things: to tell others what we are doing and find out what others are doing - so that learning occurs when traveling.
So conclusion: use a Creative Commons license to your work to be useful to someone else, and if traveling to a foreign place means ONE MUST DO PRESENTATION to what we've done in this country / city / school - and find out what was done in country / city / school - because otherwise it would be a wasted trip or a.k.a a vacation.

At night John and Siska did an intensive discussion at the hotel to elaborate what possible collaboration between Wikimedia Australia (WMAU) and Wikimedia Indonesia (WMID). John were thinking to possibly sponsored International Conference of small languages in Bali. In this meeting workshops and training were held so that the individuals who were invited only individuals who are concerned with language, train them to use wikipedia incubator/ wikisource / wiktionary and and finalized it into an independent online wiki. And perhaps right there - the wishful thinking was - all the languages delegation pledge to continue whatever they trained to do with the initial site, they won't let it die.

As interesting as the offer is, Siska doubt that the project class currently run now in WMID able to hold two large projects at once, especially an international scale one, since John was mentioning that he wanted to invite the Hawaiian language speakers, Aboriginal, small European languages (makes anyone listen to it squirm). Siska explains WMID current priority is the Indonesian language with a short target goal to hold "Free Knowledge 2012" writing competition with to 300 participants (this time) and laser focus on that goal alone. John's offer for other project, regardless the financial back up, potentially distort the initial focus, and even though this conference will be beneficial for regional languages ​​in Indonesia and other part of Asia, this conference will not be beneficial for the Indonesian language (WMID) or English (WMAU).

Another obstacle is the individual consist in a group prepared in classes project, are trained individuals located in Jakarta project (to reduce costs), and these individuals either doesn't speak other language than Indonesian or simply not interested in local languages.

However, The Free Your Knowledge Project 2012 also threatened, considering the laser focus goal actually is a high cost one due to expansion to 30 universities in four cities compared to the year 2010 where only 10 universities and was conducted in Jakarta and surrounding areas. Like 2010 competition, 2012 winner will go to Washington DC, USA for an international conference Wikimania 2012. John suggested that bringing the winner to Australia is easier and also beneficial to Australia, so Wikimedia Australia may be able to help the program by providing funding for this.

WMAU itself now considering a classical music project using for music school students to upload to Wikimedia Commons, to illustrate articles about music - to have music that the reader can enjoy. The best students will then be awarded a scholarship and while the best music in commons will be reviewed by their own professor.

During the conference Siska noticed no Wikipedians / Australian Wikimedia member attended other than John. When asked, John simply said that the average Wikipedian/ busy Wikimedians had no time. Wikimedia Australia already lowered barrier of entry to the conference down to AUD 50 (the actual conference entrance fee is AUD 850). WMAU did not want to make attendance free of cost because the conference was attended by directors and professionals, so it would be inappropriate for people to come just because it is free or simply because they can come.

Waga waga day

Wikipedian in Australia: Bingy, Laura, Siska dan John

Today is bush day, no, unfortunately ex President Bush is not here. We went to to town/ village - Waga Waga in the state of New South Wales, about 2-3 hours from Canberra. Early morning at 7:30sh picking up Laura, a U.S. Wikipedians who pursue her PhD in Australia. Her battery seems to be in constant charge she was joking and make fun of everything that can be make fun of all the way during the drive. Beautiful warm day, the sky looked so much closer in here, reminds me of the sky in Papua, and the landscape has brownish colors with Australian trees :D

At Waga-Waga we met Bingy and went to various places including the book exhibition, pay respect to the river that once caused flood in Australia, and a visit the zoo so Siska could meet Mr. Kangaroo. The zoo entrance fee is free since the operational cost were supported by the Australian government (and surprisingly well taken care of! I'm Indonesian, all government funded places are sketchy here! All except this new building for the house of representative)

Return to jakarta

Before flying back to Jakarta, during breakfast Siska and John did a brainstorm on cost and possible numbers for projects. Siska promised to think over WMAU offering and will be asking the opinion of the Board and the Supervisory Board Wikimedia Indonesia before committing to anything. John said any agreement should be wrapped with a memorandum of understanding signed by both parties and Siska agreed.


  1. IMM Press Release 2011 Sponsored by Wikimedia Australia