Basque Wikimedians User Group/Reports/2016
The Basque Wikimedians User Group, took shape in a meeting held at the Durango Fair, Basque Country of Spain, in December 2015. The participant editors concluded a necessity to strengthen ties within the community beyond individual editing and articulate actions to encourage participation in Basque-language Wikipedia, enhance the profile and relevance held by the resource and its affiliate projects in Basque culture, as well as fostering outreach activity in different domains.
The foundations of the new organization were set out in January at the San Telmo Museoa against the background of the Wikipedia's 15th Anniversary and the incipient Donostia-San Sebastián Capital of Culture 2016, with its Donostiapedia section. The new User Group numbered initially 10 members, with only slight modifications thereafter, but no female members, noted as a matter subject to improvement. The contribution to the group's finances was settled on an annual fee of 30 €. Detailed information on goals and by-laws were set down on paper and uploaded to our Group's main page. Eventually, the society was signed before the registrar in spring, followed by an official presentation in the multi-purpose Peace Treaties in Art 30 x 30 Edit-a-thon event on 9 July 2016.
Basque children literature, wikified
Ahead of the group's official presentation, in October 2015 the Children's Book Documentation Centre in Donostia, the 2016 Capital of Culture Bureau, the Teacher Training College of Donostia and the Basque WUG concluded a collaboration agreement providing for the launch of a project. It pivoted on three axes and consisted of the edition of 45 articles about illustrators, writers and books to be composed on the Basque Wikipedia by undergraduates from the Teacher Training College (University of the Basque Country UPV-EHU). The students visited the Documentation Centre at the city centre to get the references for editing.
A wikimedian in residence was assigned, Lorea Agirrezabal, who worked in this project during a 5-month period. Many book covers, illustrations, photographs and texts were released for use in related articles. A book was designed and published including 45 articles made by using PediaPress, and was followed up by an exhibition showcasing the illustrations, which moved around throughout the city's public library network. Besides, we made two videos summarizing this experience in order to explain in Basque a self-made experience.
- WikiProject's main page (in Basque): Wikiproiektu:Haur eta Gazte Literatura
- Residence report (in Basque):Memoria txostena wikilari egoiliarra HGW
Peace Treaties in Art 30 x 30 Challenge
Synergies with DSS Capital of Culture 2016 led to the appointment of a Wikipedian in Residence at the San Telmo Museoa on the person of Iñaki Lopez de Luzuriaga as of 23 May, who paved the ground for the launch of the Peace Treaties in Art 30 x 30 Challenge in step with the art exhibition taking place in the museum and the peace culture fostered by the DSS Capital of Culture 2016. Besides featuring dynamic views of peace through art and fostering a culture of peace throughout the Wikipedia, it has contributed to heightening the profile of the Basque Wikipedia, as well as highlighting the Basque inclusive culture.
The challenge extending for a month, counted on the contribution of 22 participants from 12 different languages, both domestic and international, and a special emphasis on minority languages. 24 topic specific articles were created in Basque, adding to the overall account of 144 articles during a month considering all languages. It also provided an excellent occasion for a meet-up in the form of a major event, the Peace Treaties in Art 30 x 30 Edit-a-thon on 9 July, attended by a myriad of participants and guest editors from different local and European backgrounds, and a special presence of minority language speakers, with Codefest participants also turning out. The different activities, including presentations revolving around different outreach experiences and synergies, wore on in a laid-back atmosphere combining editing and in-sight interaction. Both the challenge and the edit-a-thon laid out avenues for further collaboration with European wiki peers.
Day of Libraries
Late October was the turn for the Day of Libraries, with a special program in which Donostiapedia, a specific program to wikify the city including a book linked to the Wikipedia relying on grass-roots participation, saw its last act on 22 October with a workshop arranged in the Koldo Mitxelena Library intended to finalize the jobs. Different guests, both local and Spanish, were invited in to contribute with their Wiki-GLAM experiences all day long on 24 October. The multi-presentation conference took place in the city's former town hall, and provided good inspiration and valuable insight into the horizons and prospects opening by free licensing and Wiki-GLAM collaboration.
Donostiapedia, the book
With regards to the 22 October Saturday morning Donostiapedia workshop, it was but the last chapter of a program kicking off on 4 June aiming at putting together a city specific compilation of articles with a special focus on some lesser-known aspects of the city, like the development of Basque language schools ("ikastolak") and women with little recognition for their achievements, among others. In order to advance wiki literacy, instruct and help with queries, a number of workshops were staged on a monthly basis conducted by Basque wikimedians in the first Saturday morning of each month extending up to October. The workshops, held at the state-of-the-art Ubik creative library in Tabakalera, engaged librarians, anonymous female and male individuals, as well as well-known personalities of the city's inner history.
Donostiapedia's hard copy was eventually presented in the evening of 15 December 2016 in a waited for, original event including a presentation, surprises, e.g. the unexpected virtual attendance of Jimmy Whales, a photo-call, and a modest cold buffet that attracted a turnout of 100 including guests, participants, librarians and the city's high-ranking culture division officials. (For galleries of these workshops see here, here eta here).
In mid-September, a compromise was reached between the Basque Wikimedians User Group and DSS 2016 European Capital of Culture, followed by an agreement between the University of the Basque Country and DSS 2016 European Capital of Culture, to provide a framework whereby the Basque Wikimedians User Group engaged in a program on a voluntary basis to bring undergraduates and the Basque Wikipedia together.
Wikipedia meets the academy
In late September/early October, two workshops were staged at the campus of Donostia-San Sebastián addressed to the students of Chemistry, Physics, Computing Sciences, Psychology, Law, Engineering, Business School, Philosophy, etc. Over 85 students enrolled in the program and attended the workshops conducted by Basque Wikipedians on a voluntary basis. The students working in small groups focused on a topic agreed with the instructor, and made themselves operative at the Basque Wikipedia in an academic environment by creating topic relevant articles under the guidance of their instructors and the Basque wikimedian tutors. On successful achievement, the autumn term gets the student 1 academic credit. Beyond academic results, Basque Wikimedians hope to initiate and make students comfortable at the Basque Wikipedia.
The program reached its climax on 1st December 2016, when Basque wikimedians launched an edit-a-thon, both a motivational and hands-on event, with volunteering members assisting young editors with their technical queries during a 4-hour span. The event, taking place at the computer room of the flagship Carlos Santamaria Centre in the city of Donostia, was also attended by the corresponding instructors and librarian technicians. The attending students along with tutors and wiki assistants, nearing 100, could enjoy a break and departed while helping themselves to bites and warm drinks provided next to the working area.
The assignments were finalized and delivered by 23 December 2016, when they were subject to assessment by Basque wikimedians then handed over to the relevant instructors for their consideration ahead of the final grades. On completion of the autumn term/quarter, University officials showed their satisfaction with the progress and results of this collaborative formula. This auspicious news has paved the ground to renew the cooperation between the Basque Wikimedians User Group and the University of the Basque Country, so the program is set for a follow-up in the spring term.
Other outreach activities
Open line between QR and WP at the Uliako Lore Baratzak
A community initiative based in the 14.500 m² Ulia Botanic Park in Donostia-San Sebastián, facing a risk of closure and demolition. The program started off in November 2015 within the framework of Donostiapedia, based on the specialized input provided by the non-profit Aranzadi Science Society and consisting of a series of activities undertaken in cooperation with the Ulia Community Association (in Basque/Spanish). It was directed at raising awareness on the park's community and botanical value, and enhancing its profile. The volunteers came up with the idea of creating an interactive inventory linked to the Wikipedia including all bird breeds inhabiting the park, as well as the tree species held in it.
QR technology was found to fit perfectly the idea, with wooden badges attached to the trees in question, so that any mobile/cell phone scanning the QR code on the label could refer the visitor back to a related Wikipedia article, showing up on the device's display in the preferred language. The most technological aspects were addressed by computing science PhD and Basque wikimedian Kepa Sarasola. By April 2016, all tree Wikipedia articles in Basque had been completed, with no extra work involved for the birds since the vast majority of them were already in existence, amounting to 32. Most of the articles were also available in main languages, like Spanish, French and English. 28 May was a special day featuring an edit-a-thon devoted to elaborating English and French language articles, crafting code badges and strapping them to the relevant trees. The tasks counted on the active participation of a number of Basque Wikipedians (Aitzol Astigarraga, Xabier Cañas, etc.) and many more volunteers.
The figure of tree species existing in the park and linked to the Wikipedia is now 40. 78 pictures were uploaded to Commons. Altogether 30 new articles were created. This will not only be beneficial locally but also globally, ensuring the availability of the data added to anyone on the Internet. The main Basque language article related to the program has recorded 1,961 hits during an 18-month period.
Tirabirak exhibition workshop
Tirabirak was an exhibition on how the Basque conflict has been reflected through press cartoons. Alongside the 2016 Capital of Culture Bureau and the University of the Basque Country, we organized a workshop to wikify Basque cartoonists, some newspapers, as well as portraying some personalities by caricatures. During the activity, 8 students participated and they made 33 new articles.
Workshop to wikify Literaktum
Literaktum is a festival organized on a yearly basis by Donostia Kultura, the city's Culture Division. The 2016 11th edition featured a workshop, held on 5 May 2016 at 5 pm in the city's Children Library, aimed at wikikifying authors and artists by making them present on the Wikipedia. Several new articles were created. It was attended by writers, as well as readers.
On 5 October 2016, members of the Digital Language Diversity Project (DLDP) reunited at Elhuyar's headquarters in Usurbil. The Basque language resources firma kindly invited in the Basque Wikimedians, so that we could get a grasp of DLDP's activity and could also contribute to their effort by outlining the goals and operation of our group and the Basque Wikipedia altogether in both a social and Internet environment.
While the purpose of our intervention was to introduce our group and our Wikipedia to agents of other minority languages, there was some time to personal interaction with the members attending the meeting. Rémy Gerbet presented an interesting didactic resource called WikiMooc aimed at getting users to understand how Wikipedia works at an operative level. The platform was devised by Wikimedia France, but it is all the same targeting minority languages in order to help their agents educate users on the ways to contribute to the Wikipedia.
The 20-minute presentation delivered by our member Iñaki Lopez de Luzuriaga was met with a very positive reception, with the attendees finding the outline inspirational. Elhuyar also showed an interest, and we will be updated on further news related to their events and activities, opening prospects for new collaborations.
Wikidata and Commons at the Durango Fair
Durangoko Azoka is a major annual Basque book, music and culture fair held in Durango, giving the largest overview of Basque Culture every year. As an extension of the fair, the area Kabi@ holds a selective slot in the event. It provides a convenient setting for presentations, workshops and discussions about technology and Open Culture. On 2 December, we organized a double activity. Firstly, a hands-on Wikimedia Commons workshop preceded by a photography rally aimed at improving coverage of the cultural event, showcasing writers and musicians in pictures. Secondly, a presentation on the latest innovations taking place in Wikidata.
Esino Lareo Wikimania 2016
Our member Xabier Cañas received a grant to attend the Esino Lareo Wikimania 2016. The attendance was instrumental to get in touch with wikipedians and share experiences. It also contributed to warm up for the Peace Treaties in Art Challenge and the edit-a-thon held on 9 July.
For more details on this topic, see [GLAM October 2016].
Following Lore Agirrezabal's residence in early 2016, she was invited to the 4h Wikimedia España Conference in Zaragoza from 16 to 18 September. In the presentation, she went through the details regarding her experience and faced up to the queries posed by the audience.
Basque Wikipedia presentation at the 2016 Francophonie Wikiconvention
WikiFranca is the union of all the chapters and user groups operating in French, who for the first time organized a WikiConvention in Paris. They have provided for a slot in their project to accommodate the languages speaking in France, for which Basque Wikimedians were invited in to deliver a presentation on Basque and the Basque Wikipedia.
The WikiConvention took place from 19 to 21 August, with our member Xabier Cañas representing us, and providing an outline of Basque and Basque Wikipedia, followed with great interest. Besides presenting theses topics, the event afforded an excellent opportunity to get to know each other, as well as an insight into a number of programs and applications, e.g. the user Vigneron from Brittany provided our representative with the necessary skills to insert text images in Wikisource, or the means to read scores.
In addition, the voice recording program Lingua libre was presented, with its first test carried out on Basque. 469 words were recorded using Wikhiztegia, and words from the category 'animated' names in Basque were used for the purpose. The outlook is to add and have all those voices available on Wikimedia Commons in autumn.
Didactic handbook released
There exist a number of handbooks outlining ways to operate the Wikipedia. We chose the most interesting one, and translated it. Thanks to the DSS European Capital of Culture 2016 Foundation, 2.900 copies were printed. The initiative also earned funding from Donostia's City Library Network and the Culture Department of the regional Gipuzkoa Council, followed by a distribution across all the libraries of Gipuzkoa during December 2016 in the hope that it will entice new Wikipedia contributors and possibly fresh members for the group.