Chemistry student Kamarniso Vrandečić started editing Wikipedia with some simple tasks, such as translating articles from Russian to Uzbek. Since 2007, she has made over 7,000 edits to the Uzbek Wikipedia, becoming a major contributor to this growing project. Photo by Karen Sayre, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Kamarniso’s Wikipedia editing adventures began when she discovered the Uzbek Wikipedia in 2007. Realizing the vast potential of what was a small project at the time, she tried her hand at creating and editing articles with no specific interest in mind. “General science and music, history, everything,” Kamarniso says. She took inspiration from the impact she could provide across a wide range of topics. “It just became a part of my life, my daily routine.”
Raised in Uzbekistan, Kamarniso completed her master’s degree in Applied Measurement Science in Chemistry in Estonia. As part of her studies, she worked with chemical compounds, measuring precise quantities — or as she likes to call it, “calculating uncertainties.”
Kamarniso started to edit Wikipedia with some simple tasks. She began by translating articles from Russian Wikipedia to the Uzbek Wikipedia, and making minor edits to existing pages. Soon after, she began translating articles from English Wikipedia as well, improving her Russian and English language skills in the process. Now, Kamarniso has made an estimated 7,000 edits on Uzbek Wikipedia. With these edits, Kamarniso has made a substantial contribution to a growing project, while also learning more about subjects that fascinate her. As she edited articles, she often became more intrigued by their subjects.
Besides editing Wikipedia, Kamarniso expanded her participation offline as well. She has attended several Wikimedia conferences, which put her in contact with many other contributors from around the world. Along with other Wikipedians, she was profiled by the BBC at Wikimania 2012 in Washington D.C. “It’s a really nice experience to meet people all over the world, sharing your ideas. It’s really great,” said Kamarniso. She even met her husband, also a Wikipedian, at Wikimania 2011 in Haifa, Israel.
Kamarniso and her husband moved to Northern California in 2013 and had their first child, Leyla, in 2014. Their “Wiki-family” of three plans to attend Wikimania 2015 in Mexico City. Kamarniso looks forward to reconnecting with community members and discussing solutions to global problems affecting Wikipedia, particularly those involving languages and scripts. She thinks her time and effort are best spent making the Uzbek Wikipedia as rich as English or Russian Wikipedia. There are now over 127,000 articles on Uzbek Wikipedia, many of which Kamarniso helped to create and improve. While she enjoys travel, music and being with Leyla, she says that editing Wikipedia is still her favorite hobby.
Shaila Nathuformer legal internWikimedia Foundation