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CEE Newsletter
Volume 2 • Issue 10 • November 2018
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Bulgaria report: Eastern European Editation in Goethe Institut Sofia[edit]

By Vassia Atanassova and Justine Toms

On November 10, 2018, in the cosy building of the Goethe Institut Sofia, a massive international wiki training and editathon took place in the frames of the Erbstuecke initiative in this European Year of Cultural Heritage. The Eastern European Editathon was organized, hosted and funded by Goethe Institut, with the support of the local wiki community and the "Global Libraries Bulgaria" Foundation. Invited by Goethe Institut Sofia were Wikimedians from Germany, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine came, as well as Wikimedians, librarians and other interested newbies from Sofia and the Bulgarian towns Dupnitsa, Hisarya, Tryavna, Lovech and Silistra.

The day started with two parallel sessions - "Introduction to Wikipedia for newbies" by Vassia Atanassova and Justine Toms, and "Wikidata for advanced Wikimedians" by Matti Blume. Then the lecturers swapped halls and Matti introduced the newbies to the brave new world of Wikidata, and Vassia presented to the experienced Wikimedians the lessons learnt from the 2018 trainings of librarians in Wikipedia and Media Literacy (see our June report). Samira Zahra from Goethe Institut Sofia also had the floor to present the Erbstuecke initiative.

The afternoon was dedicated to the editathon and creation of articles related to libraries and cultural heritate. In the end of the day, the editathon resulted in 18 new articles in Bulgarian, 2 in English, 3 in German, 8 in Greek, 6 in Macedonian, 9 in Romanian, 7 in Serbian and 5 in Ukrainian, or 58 new articles all together. Since we had some paper sources and two portable scanners in the room, we used the opportuniity to train the librarians in the audience how to use the devices, and digitized more than 15 public domain photos from the sources, which illustrated several existing articles.

Thus, the rooms of Goethe Institute Sofia were filled with a vibrant atmosphere, feeling of friendliness and strong Wikipedian spirit! Following a long-term tradition in the wikiverse, everyone brought and shared delicacies from their home countries, thus supporting the creativity and good work.

In the days before the editathon on 10 November, two more accompanying events took place, involving our foreign Wikimedian guests. On November 8 an 9, the "Global Libraries Bulgaria" Foundation had its annual national conference of librarians, and the foreign Wikimedians were invited to attend. On November 9, in New Bulgarian University there was a public lecture for Justine's students in mass communication in New Bulgarian University, and the Wikimedians from Ukraine and Greece were invited to present their local experience and projects. For ice breaker in the beginning, we played the Line Up game with different questions related to students' and editors' experience of the Free Encyclopedia.

With this wiki training and editathon, Goethe Institut Sofia proved again as a reliable partner of the Bulgarian wiki community, and Wikimedia in general. The Eastern European Editation is the second event they are hosting for us, after the "Notable Women" editathon on 11 March 2017, in collaboration with the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee. In addition, Goethe Institut Sofia declared insterest to continue the partnership with the Bulgarian Wikipedians, and to offer us a place for regular meetups and editathons. We also hope that the collaboration formed in Bulgaria, will serve as a good example and will propagate to other CEE wiki communities.

Cyprus report: Online Mini Wiki Editathon[edit]

By Anna Prodromou

During the last week of November, the first online mini wiki editathon took place in Cyprus. The editathon started with a short introduction, from the initiator of this event Anna Prodromou, to the basic principles of Wikimedia editing, as well as the creation of user identities.

The editathon was followed by a discussion, where members shared their views on the main goals and characteristics of this group. First unanimous decision was to maintain a multicultural character that reflects the islands society and history.

Participants were people from the community that expressed their interest in being actively involved in the creation of a Wikimedia community; Cypriots residing on the southern and northern part of the island as well as abroad.  Articles were edited in Greek and English language and soon we will have edits in Turkish language as well.

Esperanto report: 250 000 articles on Esperanto Wikipedia[edit]

By KuboF Hromoslav
Special 250 000 articles logo

It was a nice day, 18th of September 2018, the Sun was shining, the birds was singing and the Esperanto Wikipedia has reached 250 000 articles.

The article is about French municipality Livaie, written by user Dominik.

Esperanto Wikipedia was founded as the 11th language version, as early as in 2001 - the same year as the entire Wikipedia project was born. For brief period of about 2 weeks it had more articles than the German one, but lately the German community get bigger and overrun it. Now, Esperanto Wikipedia serves its users about 1,5 million times per month (new page view every 2 seconds) by its online version alone. Additionally, more users are served by offline versions, like on the computer donated by World Esperanto Youth Organization to the local Esperanto community in Burundi in 2015 on recommendation of Esperanto and Free Knowledge.

In early times (2005-2006), when the community was defining itself and the Wikipedia, robots was used for mass article creation for the only one time. With about 35 000 robot-created articles, they consist only somewhat less than 15% of all articles. Now, the community is hand-writing about 30 new articles per day. By number of articles and effective usage, Esperanto Wikipedia belongs to Wikipedias of small-to-medium European languages. To put it into context - before 135 years, there was no Esperanto speakers at all and the language have gained its speakers without using army or similar force methods, now spreading thru the world with its message of universal understanding and peace.

About this important milestone informed even the Universal Esperanto Association by its 757th Press release (available also on Esperanto Wikisource, CC BY 4.0).

Estonia report: Networking with the GLAMs[edit]

By Reosarevok
Nelijärve, only without the gloomy November weather.

On the 21st and 22nd of November a digital preservation seminar took place in Nelijärve, northern Estonia, organized by the National Library of Estonia and with the presence of preservation experts from the Ministry of Culture, the National Archives and several large GLAM institutions. Wikimedia Eesti was represented by Reosarevok and Puik. During the seminar we briefly showcased our Wikidata projects based on GLAM data, held discussions with representatives from different institutions about future cooperation which should see more GLAM content arrive to both Wikidata and Commons, and brought up the possibility of Estonian institutions using an editing-restricted Wikibase instance for their own shared termbase.

Additionally, Puik represented us at the GLAM Meeting in Tel Aviv - for some info about that, check the next Estonia GLAM newsletter!

Greece report: WLE awards and exhibition, outreach and education[edit]

Wiki Loves Earth 2018 Award Ceremony[edit]

Geraki speaking in Wiki Loves Earth 2018 Award Ceremony

On November 16, 2018, Wikimedia Community User Group Greece honoured the winners of the Wiki Loves Earth 2018 contest. The contest was held this year for the third consecutive time in Greece by the Wikimedia Community User Group Greece. This year, for the first time, the award ceremony took place in Thessaloniki and more precisely at Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki. The ceremony was attended not only by many of the winners, whose images were promoted in the international competition, but by their relatives, friends and others.

The ceremony began with a presentation by Konstantinos Stampoulis, who presented the Wikimedia Community User Group Greece and its actions. Then the awards were given to the winners by MARKELLOS, the WLE 2018 coordinator. The first three winners received gift cards worthing € 400, € 300 and € 200 respectively. All ten winners received a big size poster of their photos as well as certificates.

The winners who attended the event presented their photographs, shared information, with the attendees, on their inspiration and conditions under which their photographs were taken and the techniques they used. The images the winners who couldn't attend the event were also presented to the public.

Afterwards, Konstantinos Stampoulis, being the only attending member of the contest jury referred to the difficulties the jury faces in choosing the best ten images between a plethora of photos. A mini workshop about Wikimedia Commons and uploading free content was also conducted.

WLX exhibition[edit]

After the aforementioned ceremony, the winning images from WLE 2018, as well as pictures from previous photo competitions held in Greece, Wiki Loves Earth and Monuments but also Science Photo Competition, were exhibited in Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki until November 21st, 2018.

Voxxed Days Thessaloniki 2018[edit]

By Marios Magioladitis
Wikimedia Community User Group Greece banner at Voxxed Days Thessaloniki 2018

Voxxed is a technical news website for developers, which covers a wide range of technologies. Voxxed Days is an international series of conferences that take place in many different cities of the world and are organised for, but not limited to, the Voxxed community.

This year, Voxxed Days Thessaloniki took place in Ioannis Velidis Congress Center on 19-20 November, hosted more than 20 speakers, and was attended by more than 500 people. Wikimedia Community User Group Greece kept the tradition to support the conference, and was represented by a member of our usergroup plus our own banner. Besides our member, there were two more attendees representing the community who won the 2nd Edit contest of creating and developing articles in Wikimedia for computers and technology, organised by Wikimedia Community User Group Greece.

Congratulations to the organizers and we hope to get the chance next year to attend the conference again.

School of Medicine @ AUTH[edit]

By Geraki

Following a series of educational activities since 2012 in the School of Medicine at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, with dozens of medicine articles created or translated in Greek Wikipedia, once more a lecture about was given to medicine students by Konstantinos Stampoulis. The lecture presented data on how Wikipedia is the most popular health content resource and why students should help make it more complete and reliable. A workshop followed on Wikipedia content policies, Visual Editor, and Content Translation tool. It is expected that the project will continue next month with the creation of articles by the students themselves.

Macedonia report: Librarians training and teachers conference[edit]

Wiki Training at National and University Library "St. Clement of Ohrid[edit]

By Македонец

After several preparing negotiations with our (GLAM) partner institution, the National and University Library "St. Clement of Ohrid", on 1st of November we have held the first one hour long training for editing and working on Wikipedia. The event was coordinated and announced by the program coordinator of the library, Jovica Tasevski, who have informed all the employees and post an announcement in front of the electronic reading room visible also for every other visitor and user, which had largely helped and contributed for the increased interest for attendance of the workshop. The workshop for the training lasted for one hour and 8 participants have been instructed to the translation tool on Wikipedia by which they have contributed by creating 10 new articles. After the event a meeting with the general manager, Senka Naumovska was held where several projects of joint organization have been discussed including next Wiki Training workshops specialized for the library employees in the next months and a national GLAM conference in the next year. On 20th of November the second round of the training has been conducted with 5 new users, one of whom was employed in the library as an informer and librarian, to whom we also presented the translation tool, visual and coded editor, Commons Wikimedia and Wikidata, and was really interested in organizing training for the employees which will be held in the next month. The second training outcome was 6 newly created and 1 improved article.

Wiki conference for teachers[edit]

By Виолетова
The booklet used for the teachers

On 16 November 2018 we organized Wiki conference for teachers in Ohrid, in front of 67 teachers coming from that area of the Republic of Macedonia. The interest in participation was significant, as we expected. Three speakers, all members of GLAM Macedonia, two of them teachers in the real life, gave introductory talks about Wikipedia and the teaching process. Speakers in the conference were:

A survey of the meeting participants was held after the event, and the results were surprising: 42% of participants said that they are ready to use in the classroom what they learned about, 25 participants want to join the GLAM Macedonia activities, and 72% of participants found the booklet "How instructors are teaching with Wikipedia" useful.

The link of project page on mk.wiki with the program and whole results from the survey.

This was the third Wiki conference for teachers organized by GLAM Macedonia, with around 210 teachers trained so far.

Russia report[edit]

Tatar Wikimedians created Russia's 4th Wikimedia User Group[edit]

Wikimedia Community of Tatar language UserGroup (UG TAT)
Timerkhan Shaykhutdinov with some Selet WikiSchool participants @ Bolghar, 17th of June 2018
Farkhad Fatkullin @ Montreal, 13th of August 2017
We are very glad to have another group of fellow volunteer friends and colleagues in our movement. Your team of Tatar Wikimedians is quite professional, very much noted not only inside Russia, but also internationally, extending an helping hand to other communities developing projects in the languages of Russia. Thank you very much for this experience. And certainly our best wishes in successful sailing the world of promoting free knowledge in Tatar language.

— Andrej Petrov, UG EZY coordinator, Wikimedia Russia member

By Frhdkazan

Translated from the Russian Wikinews article Татарские викимедийцы создали четвёртую в России юзер-группу Викимедиа

Wikimedia Foundation's Affiliations Committee recognized «Wikimedia Community of Tatar language User Group» (UG TAT) — an entity tasked with developing Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects in Tatar. User groups are a form of an organized collaboration within Wikimedia movement that allows groups representing various communities of Wikimedia projects to promote and run collective activities without establishing a legal entity.

Wikimedia movement interests are traditionally represented by independent regional organizations (legal entities), also known as chapters. In the Russian Federation such a chapter is «Wikimedia RU» non-profit partnership, founded in 2008. The purpose of its activities is promoting distribution of free knowledge in the territory of Russia, also through supporting implementation within Russia of various projects that match its objectives (for example, lobbying for free licenses and the freedom of panorama in the Russian parliament).

In the process of Wiki-projects' development, it was discovered that User Groups that are groupings of physical individuals are much simpler form of organizational entity to be created and supported, whilst they are an optimal tool for dealing with majority of tasks at hand. Thus, they are a better way for coordination and cooperation of the like-minded Wikimedians.

User Groups ended up being useful format for smaller communities of Wikimedia projects — in particular to Wikipedias and other Wikimedia projects in the languages of Russia.

Russia's first User Group «Wikimedians of Bashkortostan» (UG BAK), whose primary objective is to develop Wikipedia ad other Wikimedia projects in Bashkir, was formed in 2015. Second similar affiliate in Russia was «Wikimedians of Erzya language User Group» (UG EZY), recognized in February 2017. Thanks to participants of these groups, Russian Wikinews launched an innovative experiment in multilingualism with sections in Bashkir and in Erzya being first. UG BAK and UG EZY cooperate with «Wikimedia Russia», other regional organizations and affiliates of the Wikimedia movement. Bashkir Wikimedians managed to engage in their efforts significant number of senior citizens, lovingly calling them «Wiki-grandmas». Russia's third was Don Wikimedians User Group (UG RU-Don), approved in February 2018 — territorial thematic grouping of Wikimedia movement participants, interested in Rostov Oblast, historic and geographic region around the river Don in the Southern Russia, as well as the culture of Don Cossacks.

The idea of establishing Tatar language User Group came about in 2016 in Selet WikiSchool and started developing under the guidance of Farkhad Fatkullin. A year later the leadership in the project was passed to its ex-student Timerkhan Shaykhutdinov, who participated in 2017 Wikimedia Conference Russia and 2017 Volga Regional Wiki-seminar with presentations about the initiative. In parallel, Tatar-language Wikinews section was established in the framework of Russian Wikinews' project on indigenous «Multilingualism».

Community's evolution into new quality happened due to the 15th anniversary of Tatar Wikipedia (founded in September 2003), as well as Farkhad's being named by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales at the 2018 Wikimania closing ceremony in Capetown as Wikimedian of the Year.

Application to register Tatar Wikimedians UG was filed in October 2018, when all necessary requirements were met: minimum number of edits, number of active participants, as well as objectives and goals aligned with development of Wikimedia projects in Tatar language: transforming Tatar Wikipedia into most popular content portal of Tatar Internet, raising new generation of Wikimedians writing in Tatar, developing their skills through exchange of experience, promotion of all knowledge in Tatar to be passed under free licenses.

UG's main activities are around continual implementation of "Selet WikiSchool" initiative, cooperation with Tatarstan Government entities & publicly funded institutions in implementing "Smart region" project in the Republic, as well as providing ongoing development of existing and creation of new Wikimedia projects in Tatar language.

Russia also has communities of other language Wikipedias, such as Udmurt (udm:, see also Udmurt Wikinews), Meadow Mari (mhr:), Sakha (sah:, Sakha Wikinews) and many others.

Regional and thematic Wikimedia organizations help Wikimedians to interact, exchange experiences, engage and train new participants — Wikipedia helps preserving and widening linguistic culture, which is particularly important for speakers of various languages of Russia.

Selet WikiSchool continues to teach young Tatar language Wikipedians[edit]

By Тимерхан
Some moments of 2nd master-class

10th November became the first day of educational programme for participants of autumn session of Selet WikiSchool. They are 10 young students from 5 districts of the Republic of Tatarstan. As last year pupils living not in Kazan participate online. They watch broadcasting in Facebook. Also recordings of lessons are available here.

During November 3 lessons were organized. One of them – practical lesson. It’s a new format for project’s activity. During practical lesson participants write their articles with advanced Wikipedians.

Timerkhan & Farkhad were first two speakers of the session. Their master-classes were devoted to introduction to Wiki world.

4 lessons will be organized else in December. The final event will be the conference.