CEE/Newsletter/April 2018/Contents/Serbia report

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Serbia report: WikiLive 2018: A factory of ideas and positive energy[edit]

By Ivana Guslarević, Mickey Mystique
Group photo of the participants of WikiLive 2018 conference in Serbia

Wikipedians from around Serbia and the neighboring countries gathered for the fourth annual local conference in Belgrade to discuss all the important aspects of creating the largest encyclopedia in human history and other wiki projects. During the two days of the conference, more than a hundred participants actively shared knowledge, made suggestions for improving Wikipedia and other wiki projects, but first of all enjoyed meeting their colleagues, as well as a friendly atmosphere that is inevitable when it comes to working together to achieve the same goals.

The fourth WikiLve conference was officially opened on Saturday, April 14, by Filip Maljković, the President of Wikimedia Serbia and a longtime member of the Wikipedian Community. He was thrilled by the presence of new members, but also happy to see many veteran editors. He emphasized the importance of the wiki-meetups as a good way to exchange new ideas and discussions.

Katy Love and Sati Houston greet the participants of WikiLive 2018

Katy Love and Sati Houston of the Wikimedia Foundation greeted the participants in a video message. They congratulated the Serbian wiki community on a significant jubilee - 15 years since the creation of Serbian Wikipedia, as well as 257 million visits it had in 2017, and the fact that over 300 events were organized in order to bring the community together.

Nebojša Ratković, Education Program Manager of Wikimedia Serbia, spoke about Seminar papers on Wikipedia and previous results of high-school and university students. The distinctiveness of these works is evident through the articles themselves, but the problem of literacy and the lack of encyclopedic style of writing is still a problem, which led to the deletion of some articles.

Attendees of the WikiLive 2018 conference in Serbia

One of the most important things in 2017 was certainly the strategy of the Wikimedia Movement, in parallel with the strategy of Wikimedia Foundation. Ivana Madžarević and Filip Maljković presented the three main focuses of Wikimedia Serbia for the next three years - Educational program, Free content and Community support.

The way the community can be encouraged is the allocation of micro-grants for small-scale projects. This program has been implemented for four years now, and at WikiLive, project leaders shared with the audience the successes and challenges they encountered and thus encouraged those who have some idea to apply and launch an initiative that will contribute to human knowledge.

In addition to the micro-grants, Wikimedia Serbia also awards annual grants, and Ivana Madžarević explained how to apply for them at the Project writing workshop. The crucial things that need to be explored before applying with a project were discussed, and the participants had a mini workshop through which they were in the role of the Applicant and the Committee that decides which projects are going to be selected.

User:Drazetad, the winner of Branislav Jovanović award for contribution to Wikipedia and free knowledge
Goran Milovanović presenting Wikidata

A presentation on the Wikidata was held by Goran Milovanović, a data scientist working for Wikimedia Deutschland, who presented the basics of Wikidata to the participants in a very simple way, which motivated many of them to get involved in this wiki project. Goran has announced plans to start such workshops in the upcoming period, which should be a stepping stone for a wider community working on the Wikidata.

Recalling that Wikimedia Serbia has established the Branislav Jovanović award, in memory of the late Vice President of Wikimedia Serbia, Filip emphasized that although the decision was not easy, the Board tried to choose a Wikipedian who has been devotedly editing Serbian Wikipedia since its very beginning. Since this year has been anniversary of 15 years since the creation of Serbian Wikipedia, it has been decided that the Branislav Jovanović award for 2018 belongs to Mr. Dražen Dražeta, who has made more than 147,000 changes under the username Drazetad and wrote as many as 16,189 articles.

With the announcement of the winner, WikiLive 2018 conference has officially ended. Unofficially, the conference was continued at cafes and walks on Belgrade streets, where the ideas for new activities in the wiki world have come up, which we will talk about next year, with new topics in the new edition of the conference.

If you speak Serbian, you can read more about the conference here.