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Wikimedia Philippines at Y4iT 2010

9:46 pm PHT

Before today, Wikimedia Philippines has not had a public event since it was founded back in April. Well, today was the first day of the Philippine Youth Congress in Information Technology 2010 (aka Y4iT 2010) and Wikimedia Philippines decided to become a Silver Sponsor of the said event. Y4iT is running from September 14 to 17 and is being held at the University of the Philippines Diliman at four venues: University Theater, UP Film Institute, Ang Bahay ng Alumni, and CSWCD.

Wikimedia Philippines’ aim is to promote the Wikimedia Foundation projects, like Wikipedia, and open and free content in general. Well, college students are some of the biggest contributors to Wikipedia and Y4iT targets college students who are into IT. This yearly event is perfect for Wikimedia Philippines and so here we are!

Thanks to an approved grant from the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Philippines was able to receive the funds needed for the event sponsorship. Thus, WMPH now has an exhibit booth at Ang Bahay ng Alumni on all days of the event, a speaker slot at the UP Film Institute on Wednesday (to be filled in by our Vice-President, Jojit), and a presentation at Ang Bahay ng Alumni on Thursday (to be conducted by our President, Josh). I just manned the booth today and we distributed WMPH pamphlets and Wikipedia-branded ballpens. Hopefully we can get more enthusiastic Wikipedia contributors from the attendees.  :-) The local-language Wikipedias are certainly in need of more native speakers to expand the content in those wiki encyclopedias.

On a personal note, Y4iT 2010 is a sort of homecoming for me. I was a student organizer for the very first Y4iT in 2003 during my last semester in college. Back then, it was called the National IT Student Congress and it was held from September 5 to 6 and had the University Theater as its only venue. My task then was to supervise the student volunteers from the various UP student orgs that were asked to help. That congress had around 5,000 student attendees from all over the Philippines.

Now, Y4iT has grown into such a huge event attracting more than 19,000 students and having five parallel tracks at the same time! Now, my task is as a member of a sponsoring organization and one of the project heads. I think that my task now is quite harder since I have to juggle my time between work and this event.

The biggest problem we had was we were quite pressed for time. Our participation is not as polished as I would have liked, but we’re coming along pretty nicely and the main goal is to inform the students that Wikimedia Philippines exists and to get more contributors to the local-language Wikipedias. Well, we’re definitely making our presence felt and we hope that we get even only 1% of the attendees to start contributing.  :-)

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