It is my great pleasure to introduce and welcome two Community Fellows to the Wikimedia Fellows Program: Tanvir Rahman and Steven Zhang.
Tanvir Rahman is a Wikimedian who serves the movement locally and globally, both on- and off-wiki. Tanvir has been an active editor of Bengali Wikipedia since 2009, he holds administrator rights on multiple projects and he was elected a steward in 2011. He also volunteers on the Small Wiki Monitoring Team, the Countervandalism Network, as an OTRS agent, and is a translator for translatewiki. Tanvir helped found Wikimedia Bangladesh and is a tireless organizer of local outreach activities to raise awareness for Wikimedia and bring new editors to the projects.
In his fellowship project, Tanvir will be experimenting with on-wiki strategies to encourage and grow the editing community on small language versions of Wikipedia, with specific focus on the Bengali Wikipedia. Smaller projects have different needs and challenges than the large language communities and may require different approaches to engage with editors. By focusing on a community like Bengali Wikipedia, which has about 50 active editors per month and sees 10 new editors per month, Tanvir hopes to learn more about the basic editing infrastructure needed to encourage new editors in new or small-scale projects. We look forward to the new insights that Tanvir’s project will bring to the Wikimedia movement. Because he understands the outreach and on-wiki needs of the editing community, cares as deeply about local community as he does about the global needs of the movement, and can’t wait to share his knowledge about smaller wiki communities, we believe those insights will be great.
Steven Zhang is a Wikipedian with a passion for resolving on-wiki disputes and helping others do the same. He has been contributing to the English Wikipedia since 2008 and has been particularly active in dispute resolution forums, including the Wikipedia Mediation Cabal. Steven is studying a Certificate IV in Mediation at Open Colleges, and over the past year he has made it his mission as a volunteer to recruit more editors to join dispute resolution efforts. In 2011, he helped create the dispute resolution notice board, an entry point for mediating disputes on the English Wikipedia. Steven has noted that there aren’t enough active participants to resolve all of the disputes that arise on Wikipedian each day, and he believes that dispute resolution processes could be streamlined to make them more accessible and efficient to all editors who need them.
We admire Steven’s enthusiasm for resolving conflict and his commitment to raising awareness in the community about the issue, and we look forward to partnering with him as he embarks on his fellowship project. He will be analyzing community feedback and dispute resolution activity in order to build a deeper understanding of what is effective and what needs improvement in the current systems. He will also be developing a guide for new editors who want to get involved in resolving on-wiki disputes.
Steven and Tanvir will be documenting their work on-wiki and here on the Foundation blog. You can learn more about their projects by visiting the Fellows page. All of the Wikimedia Foundation Fellows look forward to meeting you at Wikimania, too!
Siko Bouterse, Head of Community Fellowships