Volume 1 • Issue 1 • October 2017
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From the team
It all started with a casual observation...
The observation of the gradually increasing interest of CEE communities to publish news and success stories in the monthly newsletters "This Month in GLAM" and "This Month in Education". In the last year, more CEE countries more often have prepared materials for the two newsletters and got visibility in front of the Wiki Education and GLAM audiences. Probably this is an indicator that we, as a region, have even more stories to share – between us and with the world – in all other areas of our Wikimedian work.
Thus, one of the outcomes of the Wikimedia CEE Meeting in Warsaw this September was the idea of establishment of this CEE Newsletter. Partners in this crime are (alphabetically) Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska (Poland), Nat Tymkiv (Ukraine), Tomasz Ganicz (Poland), Kaarel Vaidla (Estonia) and Vassia Atanassova (Bulgaria), with the moral support of the attending WMF staffers Christel Steigenberger, Kalliope Tsouroupidou and Vahid Masrour, and of course, the members of the Wikimedia Cuteness Association, Wozzy and Cancunchyk.
The CEE Newsletter can help us collect in a more consistent, reachable, reusable way stories and good practices developed in the region. It can keep us informed of our ongoing initiatives and be a valuable venue for publicity and reporting purposes, not only in the areas of GLAM and education, but also other institutional collaborations, contests and challenges, wiki expeditions, editathons and other live events, important milestones and anniversaries, notable media appearances, gender gap activities, trainings, software tools developed in the CEE region, tips for useful and reusable Wikidata queries, and many more.
To make the maintenance a bit easier, the CEE Newsletter can feature all the materials submitted to both the GLAM and Educational newsletter, thus serving yet another target group on a minimal additional cost of effort and time. :)
It also aims to contain the stories that the local CEE volunteers and media relations staffers can provided as materials for publication by the 20th of the month. This makes the newsletter a place for practicing storytelling and reporting skills, i.e. a tool valuable in its own way.
The editorial team (currently of 5 and welcoming new members) will be responsible for maintaining the overall consistent look and feel of the newsletter and reaching out to potential authors from the region. Among the ideas discussed so far are the "Featured country / language", as well as translation of the the newsletter articles to other languages.
Feel welcome to contribute to the CEE Newsletter! Make sure we cover what matters to you! :)
The CEE Newsletter uses adapted templates from the "This Month in GLAM" newsletter hosted in Outreach Wiki. Due to certain differences in the approach, some of the templates here may not work in the same way. Manual support may be needed and the templates may not work automagically (yet). If your written material in the Newsroom does not appear in the contents (or if it appears messy), leave us a note on the talk page Talk:CEE/Newsletter, on the editors' talk pages, via email or in social media.
If you are good in programming templates, in proofreading, translating, or in writing or finding interesting stories from CEE, do not hesitate to join us in improving the editorial process in both the technical and the content issues. :)
CEE Meeting 2017
On 22-25th September 104 members of the CEE Community took part in the 6th annual conference of the Wikimedians from Central and Eastern Europe - CEE Meeting. This year the event was hosted by Wikimedia Polska and held in Warsaw.
The conference truly represented the diversity of the CEE. It was attended by representatives of 31 regional user groups and chapters from 25 countries and speakers from Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Deutschland, Wikimedia Netherlands, Wikimedia UK and Wikidonne. And their presence contributed to the interesting and intensive program prepared by the international program committee.
The programme was organised in 3 parallel sessions which covered a wide scope of topics - from GLAM collaborations and editing contests to community health and Wikidata.
The conference atmosphere of international collaboration was strengthen by the very special venue - the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, a modern historical museum founded on the ideas of inclusion and collaboration between cultures. Conference participants were invited to see the museum exhibition. Also they could take part in the GLAM activities consisting of a visit to the State Ethnographic Museum (our long-time GLAM partner) and the Wikivacations Photo Walk in the historic Jewish district of Warsaw guided by the POLIN Museum specialist.
For the very first time in CEE Meetings history - vast majority of lectures and discussion panels were video-recorded (see: commons:Category:Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2017 video recordings. There are also a detailed summaries of most of activities collected in Etherpads. See: master Etherpad.
The end of the meeting wasn't the end of the work of organizing committee as we are now collecting feedback from participants and calculate the final budget in order to submit the Report.
The event was also an important moment for the Wikimedia Cuteness Association who received their brand new passports which will serve them in all their future travels.
CEE Spring 2017 final report completed
- Vassia Atanassova, on behalf of the international organizing team
Mid October was the deadline for the preparation of the CEE Spring 2017 final report, and thanks to the input of the local organizers this was done in time and with the expected level of concreteness and precision. While writing (and reading!) long and detailed reports is generally not considered fun, a project with the size, complexity and diversity of CEE Spring requires a lot of attention, teamworking and shared responsibility.
The face-to-face meeting between international organizers, local organizers and contest participants, which took place during the Wikimedia CEE Meeting in Warsaw, helped a lot in the mutual understanding and acknowledging the differences in the local organizational approaches and community needs and attitudes, and how the generic contest rules are being customized and implemented locally. Feedback received from the organizers in Bulgarian, Croatian, Hungarian, Latvian, Macedonian, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, Turkish and Ukrainian Wikipedia helped with the particular details about the use of different communication channels in announcing the contest, efforts in recruiting new editors, approach to delivery of prizes to contest winners.
One of the important discussions in the project's post-mortem analysis concerned the contest duration: some communities reported that the 10-week period is too long for them, and this was visible in the numbers of articles by date, which does show a certain decline in the second part of the period. Next year’s CEE Spring organizing team may want to launch a preliminary discussion about the desired duration of the contest.
The other major learning from this year's contest was related to the problem of statistics generation. The over-reliance on the bots from last year resulted in no backup plan in place this year. Although the international organizers were lucky to receive a helping hand from the Polish volunteer User:Masti, one of the conclusions in the report is that next year's edition requires redefinition of the measures of project success, and remodeling the talk page templates to be analysable by reliable and non-human-dependent platform, possibly PetScan.
Interested readers can view the rest of the report from the Meta page and consider joining the international organizational team. CEE Spring 2017 may have finished months ago, but CEE Spring 2018 is approaching! :)
"Wiki Loves Monuments" photocontest winners in CEE
End of October many national organizers of "Wiki Loves Monuments" have already finished with the selection of their local winning photos, and some are almost ready with this pleasant obligation. See below a short report of the nominated CEE photos who will take part in the international phase of the photo competition (The list is updated as of 12:48, 1 November 2017 (UTC)).
Armenia: Akhtala, Lori
Austria: Church Saint Leonhard, state Salzburg
Azerbaijan : Prehistoric cliff drawings
Bulgaria: Sunset over Park-museum "Shipka-Buzludzha"
Croatia: Roof of St, Mark's Church, Zagreb
Finland: Border marker of Täyssinnä peace treaty
Georgia: Sno Fortress
Germany: The Casino of the Kurhaus Wiesbaden
Slovakia: Strečno Castle
Strategy discussions in CEE
By: Kaarel Vaidla
During Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2017 in Warsaw, Poland various strategic discussions were held as part of the conference main program, as well as off-program. These discussions included feedback on Wikimedia Strategic Direction, conversations around possible endorsement by Wikimedia affiliates, as well as brainstorming around Phase 2 of the strategy process.
Although CEE collaborative has proven to be an active and notable part of Wikimedia movement in general, CEE communities had been somewhat underrepresented in global discussions during Phase 1 of the strategy process. This lead to the decision to use CEE Meeting as a platform to collect further input from CEE region, which may prove to be of high value in shaping strategy process and its outputs in the future. The importance of CEE input was highlighted by the presence of Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation Katherine Maher, as well as Board of Trustees members María Sefidari and Natalia Tymkiv and Track A lead Nicole Ebber in the strategy discussions.
Generally participants of the meeting were open to speak their mind when discussing the strategic process so far, direction and future process. Although there was significant amount of criticism, there was generally good faith and willingness to continue with the process.
In more concrete terms, the process of Phase 1 was commented as following:
- There has been a lot of information available, which is positive, but on the other hand it is hard for smaller communities to stay up-to-date with the strategy process, as well as translating and mediating tasks have been somewhat exhausting;
- When the direction was published, the first reaction in some communities was disappointment, because there were feelings that the direction does not reflect what they were writing in their comments and sharing during Phase 1;
- Many community members are more interested in their day-to-day work on the Wikimedia projects and their interaction with other individual contributors. *Abstract, high level topics are often seen as less important, and language and translation issues make this even more challenging. This is why a lot of them wished for concrete technical improvements;
- There was a gap between cycle2 and cycle3 which broke the logic of the process and caused disengagement. Although “new voices” tracks provided essential input, this info may have been introduced earlier in the process, and with more context to build upon.
The main points that were brought out regarding the direction itself included:
- Generally the produced document is rather easy to agree with, but this also means that it is rather abstract and not really giving a concrete direction;
- There is not sufficient emphasis on the communities that form the backbone of our movement and WIkimedia as it is;
- Some people said that the direction text seems to be too Wikipedia centered and overlooks other projects that may have a much bigger impact in future perspective, others claimed that other Wikimedia projects are sufficiently included;
- The direction does not seem to apply to community members who are not really into strategic thinking and declaring this direction as movement direction, which should also speak to them is somewhat alienating.
About the endorsement process it was stated that:
- Timeline is quite tight to get a good community support and board decision for the document and because of that it may be difficult for the affiliates to endorse the direction on the Endorsement Day;
- Generally participants of the CEE Meeting were, however, willing to endorse the direction as a step forward in the movement strategy process.
During brainstorming for Phase 2 it was said that:
- Input from Phase 1, especially 5 themes could be used in phase 2 discussions. This would be also important to show participants that their phase 1 input is well appreciated and valued;
- It seems that although people are exhausted by phase 1, we have to continue to be participatory. We have to find ways how to proceed in engaging way, but a participatory process will actually give the mandate to implement what we come up with;
- Let’s take the direction as a mountain and discuss what the 10 steps towards the mountain top are. Also affiliates are asked to think about how they want to work on these, and how they want to be involved. Phase 2 should clarify the stairs and should have commitments on what organisations, groups, and individuals want to contribute to;
- Many of the questions around roles, resources and responsibilities will most likely be addressed to the organizations, and only some to the communities;
- Reaching out to communities with specific questions and prioritization exercises seems like a good idea which reduces time we use on translations and maybe reduce people wearing themselves out.
As there has been interest of CEE community members in concrete technical improvements on projects and that has caused understanding that their comments have not been really taken into account during the strategy process, it is important to point out that on the 16th of October 2017 a cycle 1 report on product and program recommendations was published, which gives a better overview of how community input has been integrated and heard.
October 26th marked the Endorsement Day and end of Phase 1. All affiliates and individual contributors are invited to are invited to express their support and commitment to the direction. Signatories commit to participating in the next phase of this discussion in good faith. So far already around a dozen of CEE related affiliates have endorsed the strategic direction. An initial draft for the setup of Phase 2 is currently being developed on Meta.
CEE Meeting 2018 host announced
By: Philip Kopetzky
In the last month, a committee consisting of previous CEE Meeting organisers and volunteers from Armenia, Estonia, Poland, Iran and Germany evaluated the two bids submitted by Wikimedia Serbia and Wikimedia Ukraine. After deliberating on the matter, the committee came to the decision to have Lviv host the CEE Meeting 2018. The full reasoning behind this decision can be found at Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2018/Bids#Committee decision. We all would like to thank Wikimedia Serbia und Wikimedia Ukraine for their efforts in making this an interesting and challenging process. Please don't forget to support the grant application as soon as it is ready! :-)
CEE in the news
- Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2017
- Highlights of Education at the CEE Meeting of 2017, Vahid Masrour, "This Month in Education" Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 9, 27 October 2017
- Going regional – Wikimedia Deutschland at the CEE Meeting, Anne Kierkegaard, Wikimedia Deutschland Blog, 19 October 2017
- Romania and Austria
- Announcing the Winners of the Wikimedia 1914-18 Europeana Challenge, Liam Wyatt, Europeana Pro Blog, 10 October 2017
- Winners announced in Europeana’s First World War portfolio contest, Ed Erhart, Wikimedia Blog, 10 October 2017
- Bashkir becomes the first language collated inside MediaWiki, Amir E. Aharoni, Wikimedia Blog, 20 September 2017
Albania report: Impressions from the Wikimedia CEE Meeting in Warsaw
- By Margott
Last week of September in Warsaw was organized the 6th meeting of Wikimedians from Central and Eastern Europe. This year, representatives from Albania were three: Jona, the winner of CEE Spring, Redoni as part of the Open Labs community, and me. In general, this year there were many participants from countries not part of South East Europe. The thing I think took a bi the attention to the small communities. I also noticed that this event was more conference oriented, rather than a big Wikimedia meeting. In Kiev, which was the first time when I got involved with CEE meeting, it was more oriented towards open discussions and the community. This year the conference was a bit more technical, the presentations were mostly technical. According to my perception, a very good job has been done with the coordination part of the Wikimedia Media Strategy Plan, and it was one of the most informative sessions in this event.
I think that this kind of meeting should have more orientation for what is expected by international representatives. For example, a good orientation from the organizers of each year was that from 2 representatives one should definitely have been someone who knew the community and a contributor for some time, because the nature of the event was such, seeking feedback on it what is happening in the local community. Also, maybe it would be better if communities would collaborate more to present their work. Common events with same results and challenges can do a mutual presentation.
I liked this year's way of choosing the representatives, the fact that there was no scholarship commission and every community elected the representative they would send was far more practical and easy. I think that this should be practiced at much more events. The overall, it was very good organized, I learned a lot, and the quality of presentations was good.
That being said, I wanted to underline some of the presentations I attended and which I think are very good to share with others.
- "Facilitation Skills for Humans" by Asaf Bartov
- "The Wikimedia Movement's strategic direction and what it means for CEE" by Nicole and Kaarel
- "Public domain, Freedom of Panorama and Upload Filtering - What is happening in EU copyright?" by Dimi
- "A Gentle Introduction to Wikidata for Complete Beginners" by Asaf Bartov
- "All your monuments list are belong to Wikidata" by Paweł Marynowski
Armenia report: First artificial wiki-reef is in the Lake Sevan, Armenia
September 29, 2017. Wikimedia Armenia office is full of excited Wikipedians discussing current projects, work being and to be done and, another excitement, Wikipedia logo, sculptured one year ago and opened during Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2016 in Dilijan, will find its place as an artificial reef at the bottom of Lake Sevan.
Another 1.5 hours of talks and discussions in the bus heading to Lake Sevan. As the door of the bus was open, the breeze of Sevan welcomed wikipedians. We walked some 200 meters to the shore of Sevan where the Wikipedia Logo with 2 meter height and 2 meter width was standing covered with Arm Diving poster. The idea of creating this logo and diving it into Sevan belongs to a member of the Board of Wikimedia Armenia, Tigran Azizbekyan, who is also President of the ArmDiving club.
The lake and the waves were impatient to meet Wiki Logo Monument. We were lucky enough to see and talk to the sculptor – Ashot who created Wiki Logo Monument and divers who helped logo go deep into Sevan.
Susanna Mkrtchyan said that the initiative is of symbolic meaning. She joked with colleagues before the logo was submerged, “We developed Wikipedia, now we’re taking it deeper”, noting that not only the number of Wikipedia articles matters, but also the depth of information they provide.
I was bit more excited as I was accompanied by Fluffy (a hedgehog plushie) who will help me during different Wiki projects and events and Wiki Logo diving was his first event.
Austria report: WikiDaheim
WikiDaheim concluded on October 7th - the premise of this event was to document Austrian villages in ways not encountered on Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons so far, since many villages only had pictures of heritage buildings and hardly anything else, leaving many readers asking the question "So what does this village actually look like?".
Over the course of slightly more than two months, 110 users uploaded 7200 media files (yes, media files: WikiDaheim also gave users the option to upload recordings of church bells), many of which are used on various wikis, including some CEE languages.
A first-round-jury also selected the 500 best images which a jury will use to select the 10 best images of WikiDaheim 2017. You can find the selection of images here. The 10 best images from the first round that depicted heritage buildings were also nominated for Wiki Loves Monuments 2017. P.K.
Bashkortostan report: News Feed for October
Bashkortostan 100 Competition Gains Momentum
The Bashkortostan 100 article write-up competition was conceived to mark the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Bashkortostan; it launched in 2016 and consists of 5 stages. Its third stage is running now, dated September 1 - December 9. As of today, 31 Wiki-volunteers are participating in it, representing the Azeri, Bashkir, Erzya, Georgian, Russian, Tuva and Ukrainian Wikipedias.
New Landmark: 40,000th article in Bashkir Wikipedia
On October 6, 2017, the 40,000th article was created in the Bashkir Wikipedia — Baikonur. What makes this small stub article special is that it was written in Bashkir by a Russian-speaking volunteer Yufereff. Here is his own commentary on his contribution:
«Hello! I am an ethnic Russian, however my paternal ancestor was born to a Bashkir family that was later affected during the 1735 —1740 Bashkir Uprising. As a child, he was resigned to the care of a Russian landlord, and baptized. I mostly contribute to the Russian Wikipedia. For some time, I didn't approach the Bashkir Wikipedia, as it is fairly well-developed, and has quite a number of active contributors. I have put some effort into developing the Finno-Ugric projects. However, recently I decided to pay tribute to my ancestry and make some contribution to the Bashkir Wikipedia as well. It was a pleasant surprise to see a very friendly attitude in the Bashkir Wiki-community even toward someone who doesn't have much knowledge of Bashkir: I see that every new article I create gets acknowledged and appreciated. Nowhere else have I encountered such a warm attitude. This is very rewarding.
Bashkir Wiki-Babushkas Take Center Stage at 2017 Wiki Conference in Moscow
October 14—15, 2017, the 11th Wiki-Conference of Russia took place at Nekrasov Library, Moscow. The Wikimedians of Bashkortostan User Group was represented by Wiki volunteers coming from multiple locations across Bashkortostan, as well as from Moscow and the Moscow region. The audience' attention was captivated by the presentation made by the Bashkir Wiki-Babushkas - they conducted their own round table and each told their personal stories of their motivation to contribute. A long-term Wikipedian Pavel Bogomolov was there too, and gave this comment:
«The Bashkir Wiki-Babushkas have debunked the existing popular opinion that Wikipedia is a young male domain. They have demonstrated that literally everybody, with no exemptions, can contribute to Wikipedia.».
Stanislav Kozlovsky, Executive Director of Wikimedia RU, highly appreciated the Bashkir volunteers' role in the movement:
«Wiki-Babushkas are perhaps the best project across the entire movement».
Wiki Goes on Prime Time at Bashkir Television
On 25 October, a popular TV show Telecentr was aired during prime time on BST, the largest Bashkortostan TV station, which featured a group of Bashkir Wiki volunteers - Zaytuna Nigmatyanova, Minibanat Valeeva-Yawbasarova, Minsilu Abdullina, and Zufar Salikhov. For 45 minutes, the Wikipedians talked to the host Zulfiya Rakhmatullina and gave answers to questions coming from the host and from the TV audience. Professor of Linguistics Firdaus Khisametdinova was in the pundit role; she gave a high opinion of the volunteers' work, and expressed her hope that Bashkortostan's Academy of Sciences would assist in developing the Bashkir Wikipedia. During the TV show, a call-in poll was taken - the watchers asked "Do you use Bashkir Wikipedia?". 71% of watchers answered "yes", which is a testimony of the Bashkir online encyclopedia's popularity.
In October, active volunteers from the Wikimedians of Bashkortostan User Group conducted traditional public meetings. Rashida Gizzatullina met the teachers of Gymnasium no. 3 in Sterlitamak, named after Jalil Kiekbaev, and Zaytuna Nigamatyanova conducted a meeting with the students of the Department of Bashkir Philology and Journalism at the Bashkir State University in Ufa. The volunteers told about their Wiki activities, demonstrated how to register in the project and edit Wikipedia articles.
The Wiki meeting in Sterlitamak. Oct 4
The Wiki meeting in Ufa. Oct 10
Bulgaria report: Botevgrad became the first wikitown in Bulgaria
The small Bulgarian town and municipal centre Botevgrad accepted the challenge and responsibility to become the first wikitown in Bulgaria. The innovative project is a result of a collaboration between the Botevgrad Municipality and a group of Bulgarian Wikimedians, and it aims at the improvement of the Wikipedia articles about the town and the region for the benefit of both its citizens and guests. More and well written and referenced information will appear onwiki for the notable cultural and natural sites, historical places and renowned people related to Botevgrad and the nearby villages.
Although "WikiBotevgrad" is the first project of its kind in Bulgaria, the practice of estabilishing wikitowns is not so new in the wiki world. The first wikitown was Monmouth in Wales in May 2012, and since then other towns like Gibraltar, Johannesburg, and Thessaloniki in CEE have implemented similar projects together with the local wiki communities. While it is an almost zero-cost project, volunteering unites the local communities, creates new relations and helps people build stronger connections between themselves and with their homeplaces. The newly created and improved articles in Wikipedia as a result turn into a reliable and curated source of information.
"I hope that we will serve as a positive example to other progressive municipalities in Bulgaria. The wikitown initiative requires the collaborative work of citizens and instituions, young and elder ones, professionals and enthusiasts. What unites us is the love to our home town, and I hope that as a result of this project we will have a stronger feeling of a healthier community," said Botevgrad's mayor, Mr. Ivan Gavalyugov.
The project of the first Bulgarian wikitown involves creation or improvement of about 150 articles, as well as adding freely licensed photos for illustration. Information plates with QR codes will be placed in relevant places, to forward the readers to the respective articles in Wikipedia in Bulgarian or English. Deeply involved in the organization are not only several Wikimedians, but also the staff of Botevgrad's GLAM institutions: the library and the museum, as well as librarians from the nearby villages in Botevgrad Municipality.
A series of events has been planned in the frames of the project "Botevgrad - the First Wikitown in Bulgaria". Two of them already took place on 11 and 18 October in the "Ivan Vazov" Town Library: a presentation of the project, and a practical training and editathon. One of the first created articles within the project was the article about the Historical Museum in Botevgrad, immediately illustrated with a photo that had existed in Wikimedia Commons for more than 4 years before that. The planned duration of the project is at least until May 2018.
Czech Republic report: 2017 Edit-a-thon in the Research Library in Olomouc
The 2017 Edit-a-thon in the Research Library in Olomouc, the Czech Republic, was held on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 September 2017 on the occasion of the European Heritage Days. Its aim was to write or expand Wikipedia articles on the topics recommended by the library. The event, supported by the association Wikimedia Czech Republic, took place in the library for the second time (see the 2016 report) and it seems it could become a traditional annual event.
- Work and excursions
Thirteen Wikipedians from various regions of the Czech Republic took part in the event. Ten of them arrived in person and three more contributed on-line. The work on the recommended topics was interspersed with several excursions in the library. On Friday the participants were shown round the main library building, where they were informed about the principles of acquiring books and other items and about the way of archiving periodicals. Then they visited the Digitalization Department, where they could see how old books and periodicals are scanned and preserved in the electronic form using various types of scanners, including the robotic scanner DL-mini. On Saturday they visited the Study Room of Historical Collections where they admired some of the rare manuscripts and prints preserved in the library. Another interesting experience was the visit of the so called Red Church, which is a Gothic-Revival building, a former evangelic church, nowadays used as a library store completely filled with piles of books.
When working on the recommended topics, the Wikipedians could use the library sources. As a result 30 new articles were written and many others expanded, adding 140 thousand bytes (about 16 thousand words) to the Czech Wikipedia. The new articles included for example Vila Františky Lipčíkové (about a cubistic building in Olomouc), Turnerská tělocvična v Olomouci (about a former gymnasium of the German Turner movement), Lili Gödlová-Brandhuberová (about an Olomouc artist), Židovský hřbitov v Olomouci (about the Jewish cemetery in the city) and others. One participant, who is active on Czech and also Serbian Wikipedia, wrote an article about the Czechoslovak soldier František Dastich both in Czech and in Serbian. Besides that 121 files (including one video) were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and 45 thousand bytes (including 17 new items) were added to Wikidata in connection with the edit-a-thon.
The edit-a-thon was valued as very useful by the Olomouc librarians again and Wikimedia Czech Republic was offered to continue with this event every year. Librarian Lukáš Sochor informed about it very positively at the conference Knihovny současnosti 2017 (Libraries of Today 2017), where it was presented as one of good ways of cooperation of a library with Wikimedia projects. As a result Wikimedia Czech Republic was contacted by the Moravian-Silesian Research Library in Ostrava, which expressed a wish of cooperation. One of the edit-a-thon participants was inspired by the event and plans to organize a similar event in his city (Zlín) soon.
On October 11, 2017 Erzyan Wikipedia reached 4000 articles. Participants of Wikimedians of Bashkortostan User Group congratulated their first wiki-colleagues with Zaituna Nigamatyanova (User З. Әйле) writing on her Facebook page:
«Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!!! In the Erzyan Wikipedia (Andrju Petränj) appeared 4000-th article: Semenon oshon district, written by a member of EliasMelteme !!! Congratulations !!! Interestingly, Erzyan Wiki is the second user-group in Russia, created with the support of mentors - editors and administrators of BashWiki, in which the 40,000 frontier was recently surpassed. Another effort of 10 times more ... and they will also have 40000, Alla Boyor! Erzians, we are with you!!!»
As noted by the coordinator of the user group Wikimedians of Erzya language User Group (UG EZY) Andrei Petrov:
«Our user-group is quite young, we have not got a year yet, but it's good to see new editors appear. User EliasMelteme actively participates in the filling of Erzyan Wikipedia. A week before the WikiConference 2017 in Moscow we stated that we will pass the line of 4000 articles. And it happened! Thank you all for your contribution.»
Ilya Vsyavrnov (user EliasMelteme), who wrote the 4000th article explained his motivation in contributing to Erzyan Wikipedia:
«There is a shortage of human resources. The Erzyan language project literally rests on the constant work of limited number of people people. While, for example, Wikipedia in Veppsian language, in the absence of native speakers at the moment, exceeds the Erzyan section by the number of articles by almost two times. It's hard to judge the reasons for this, but it seems that the Erzians today lack cohesion, even in supporting Internet projects.»
And the user-group takes a new commitment - to write a 5 000th article in Erzyan Wikipedia on the anniversary of the Wikimedians of Erzya language User Group (UG EZY) on February 16, 2018.
Estonia report: In search for scientific images and people who would help to bring them into Wikipedia
To build a great encyclopedia we need both text and media. So far we have collected images mainly on cultural and natural monuments, but not so much about anything else. One of the fields that have gone unnoticed is science. But not for long: we'll change that in this November.
Wiki Science Competition (WSC) aims to bring scientists closer to Wikipedia and to encourage the creation and, especially, the free sharing of all sorts of imagery about the sciences. It will be opened for participation in as many countries possible, but naturally, it would have better results in countries where there is someone locally promoting it. So make sure if your country is listed as an active participant. The main tasks for local organizers are promotion and assembling a jury, so there really isn't anything difficult.
WSC has five categories: People in Science, Microscopy images, Non-photographic media, Image sets, and General category. It isn't limited only to photographs as videos, computer-generated images etc also fit under it. And there are plenty of outstanding images to crave after; for instance, in the last Picture of the Year final, there were 5 images from science photo competition out of 58 total.
When the last installment of this competition took place in November 2015, it involved 10.000 images from 2200 participants from 40 countries. Then it was just Europe, but now we are looking for other continents as well. We are aiming for 50.000 images and 10.000 participants and there are even greater plans for the next round, that will be held in November 2019. Come and jump on board!
CEE region is the birthplace of science photo competition and the future growth of it depends greatly on the activity of CEE countries. Let's bring scientists into Wikipedia! It's about a time. You are welcome to join the ranks of organizers and participants of this competition.
See more: http://www.wikisciencecompetition.org/
Latvia report: From Wikimedia CEE Meeting to science fiction
- By Papuass
Impressions from Wikimedia CEE Meeting in Warsaw are still strong and while these are here, on-wiki reports have been prepared. While Papuass is a CEE veteran, for Treisijs it was a new experience in many ways. Community was informed about the experiences via on-wiki reports and discussions and real life meetup is planned.
Papuass did an introductory session for students of our tiny Education program, showing how editing works in University of Latvia. Instead of writing a report, 15-20 students will each write two Wikipedia articles. As they are studying to become teachers, their topics will be chosen from subjects they will be teaching in the future. We have been working with this course for the third year.
For the whole month there is a Science fiction and fantasy themed contest running in Latvian Wikipedia. Idea was sparked by Papuass who somehow got hold of a Doctor Who themed t-shirt while not being a fan of the franchise. So this is the prize for the contest which has generated more content than many of our previous thematic writing contests. The fact that the prize is available in a certain size has not stopped wikipedians from participating. Another side effect from it is that Zuiks has got his first experience in organizing a contest.
Three months WiR at the City Library in Skopje accomplished successfully
- By Violetova
On September 9, 2017 Gordana Jovik Stojkovska finished her three months tasks as Wikipedian in Residence of GLAM Macedonia at the City Library "Braḱa Miladinovci" in Skopje. This period was very productive and she accomplished all tasks that were planned in the project. We can proudly state that the agreement of collaboration with the City Library will continue in the 2018.
During the period of three months, the WiR at the City Library "Braḱa Miladinovci" accomplished the following:
- The total number of added new references in the articles on the Macedonian Wikipedia is 301.
- A successful Wiki-tour was held in June. A group of students was introduced with the Library Departments and were introduced with the information of how to use the City Library for their needs. Moreover, the students were introduced to the employees and were informed on how to use the Library for their future engagements.
- A workshop was held with the group of students that took part in the Wiki-tour. This was the first edit-a-thon organised by the Wikipedian in Residence. The students had the chance to prepare and add text to articles on the Macedonian Wikipedia. They used the books available in the Library. In addition, the students were trained how to add references in the articles on Wikipedia.
- At the end of the period a successful, second, edit-a-thon was held. The number of participants that took part in the edit-a-thon was 9, of which 3 were trained by the WiR at the City Library. The total number of new articles created at this event was 12.
- The WiR trained 5 new users to edit on Wikipedia and they have created 22 new articles, and 6 existing articles were edited with text.
Wiki Tour at the City Library.
Workshop for editing on Wikipedia.
Training new users on Wikipedia.
Macedonia-Brazil photographic collaboration
- By Македонец
On 13th of October 2017, on the occasion of marking the establishment of diplomatic relations between Macedonia and Brazil, as a result of the cooperation between "Shared Knowledge" - Wikimedia Macedonia and "Wiki Education" from Brazil, was opened the exhibition of photographs titled "Brazil through photos - in front of the eyes of the Macedonian public ". Over 40 visitors were briefly introduced about the Wikipedia its significance and meaning, the collaboration between Wikimedia Macedonia and Wikimedia Brazil and there was a presentation of a geopolitical analysis of the development of relations and cooperation between Macedonia and Brazil, after which the audience had the opportunity to see 20 images of nature and buildings in Brazil, which have been chosen as the best qualified pictures on the contest "Wiki Loves Earth" and "Wiki Loves Monument" held in Brazil. All of the images have been printed with QR-codes of links of the articles on Macedonian Wikipedia, which have previously created on the editing weekend dedicated to Brazilian topics. The next day, on 14th of October 2017, in the morning, an edit-a-thon was held on the topic: Brazil. Exhibition of the images lasted for 2 weeks.
Audience of the exhbition
The opening address
Visitor tests the QR-codes
Kiril Simeonovski explains an image to the visitors of the exibition
Hundred teachers trained in the Republic of Macedonia
- By Violetova
During 2017, GLAM Macedonia held two Wiki conferences for teachers, in April and October, where 130 teachers from secondary and high schools in the Republic of Macedonia were trained for the proper use of Wikipedia in the teaching process and in the classroom.
One hundred and thirty teachers were trained on how to use Wikipedia in the classroom in the two Wiki conferences for teachers held in Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia, by user group GLAM Macedonia, in April and October 2017. The interest in participation was significant, and the conference room turned out to be too small to accommodate all interested teachers. Four speakers, all members of GLAM Macedonia, all of them teachers in the real life, gave introductory talks about Wikipedia and the teaching process. Speakers in the conference were:
- Matilda Bajkova - teacher in three secondary schools in Skopje, and also Coordinator of education program at GLAM Macedonia user group
- Виолетова - High school teacher
- MB - teacher in an international high school in Skopje
- Wikimk - University professor in Skopje
A survey of the meeting participants was held after the event, and the results were surprising: 58% of participants said that they are ready to use in the classroom what they learned about, and 72% of participants found the booklet "How to use Wikipedia as a teaching tool" useful.
Poland report: Conferences, contests and collaborations - from CEE Meeting 2017 to Digital Cultures
Wikipedian in Residence in Museum of The City of Łódź
This month we welcomed a new GLAM partnership in Poland - this time with the Museum of The City of Łódź. During the project experienced Wikimedians and students will work hand in hand to create and improve Wikipedia articles around the city history and the every day life, the streets, monuments and buildings and the biographies of notable Łódź residents. The Museum will upload more than 500 unique old photos of the city and it's residents. And during the project there will be a number of Wiki-events organised in the institution - workshops and meetups built around the topic of free culture and Wikipedia.
The work will be curated by museum staff and the newly selected Wikipedian in Residence. The resident position is held by Gytha, who has already worked with The National Museum in Warsaw. The Wikipedia in Faras project she curated there was shortlisted for the Sybilla 2017 prize for the best museum event.
Polish Wiktionary and Wikisource conference - Źródłosłów 2017
On the last weekend of October the editors from Polish Wikisource and Wiktionary will meet in Poznań on Źródłosłów 2017 conference. It will be the first time after many years that Polish sister projects will have a separate conference. Last time it was the Sabat meetup in 2010 also in Poznań. This year 18 people (11 Wikisource editors, 4 Wiktionary creators and 3 people who are engaged in both projects) will work together for 2 days. During that time they will work on such issues as working with Wikidata, categorization, word and text recordings etc.
WikiVacations 2017 comes to an end
Wikimedia Polska photo contest - WikiVacations 2017 - came to an end. The aim of the contest was to gather photographs of Polish monuments, nature and art exhibited in public spaces. Overall 5213 photos were uploaded (which is a slightly better result of 4216 files). The contestants were mostly interested of monuments (more than 4000 files).
The contest was held together with the National Heritage Institute of Poland.
Now the jury consisting of Polish photographers, journalists and Wikimedians starts their work. They will select the 3 best pictures of the whole contest and up to 3 best photos in every category (Monuments, Art and Nature). The winners will receive photographic equipment and acessories of their choice. The jury will also choose 10 best pictures of monuments wich will take part in the international finale of the Wiki Loves Monuments contest.
The results will be known in November
Digital Cultures Conference
Wikimedia were one of the principal guests of the Digital Cultures conference that took place in Warsaw between 25th and 27th September. Hosted by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, a state-sponsored institution is tasked with promoting Polish language and culture abroad, the conference offered a rare insight into the digital landscape of Poland and Europe. Most importantly, the panels, presentations and workshops revolved around computer games, digitisation of cultural heritage, modern museums and all things interactive.
During the conference Wikimedia Poland had a chance to present our GLAM projects to representatives of museums, art galleries and archives from all around the world. A team of Wikimedians and WMPL employees organised two lengthy workshops teaching how to start a GLAM cooperation project (complete, with info on how to edit Wikipedia). We also presented one of our most dashing initiatives: the Carpathian Ethnography Project, run jointly by Wikimedia Polska and the State Ethnographic Museum of Warsaw.
Community archives on Wikipedia
Wikimedia and their GLAM projects were one of the main topics of the 2nd Congress of Community Archives organised in Warsaw on 9 September by KARTA Centre (Ośrodek KARTA). It is one of the oldest NGOs in Poland, one of its principal activities is documentation and preservation of documents related to the struggle against dictatorships in Central and Eastern Europe. It’s also one of the largest community archives and as such has took on itself the role of leader of such organisations in Poland and in neighbouring countries. The 2nd Congress of Community Archives hosted hundreds of representatives of community archives, often run by NGOs, local public libraries, factories or private persons.
During the event we presented our existing GLAM projects and tried to encourage forming new ones. We also formed a permanent wikiproject devoted to social archives on Polish Wikipedia, and held a series of webinars for those archivists, who could not attend the congress. Our cooperation with KARTA has gained much publicity and was covered by a number of national radio stations, the public television and a couple of journals.
Polish Wikipedia Birthday
On September 26th Polish Wikipedia had it’s 16th birthday. And because this special day happened during CEE Meeting 2017 we had an opportunity to celebrate this date with the international community of Wikimedians. A birthday party was held on September 22th. It was an open event for which we invited the CEE delegates, local Wikipedians and anyone else who would be interested in singing Happy Birthday for Polish Wikipedia. There were speeches and wishes and a traditional wiki-cake. And all who wanted to pass their wishes to the future generations of Polish Wikipedians could write them in a special wiki-birthday album. And as expected - it’s page was quickly filled with many touching words.
Another celebration took place in Poznań on October 22th where 16 local wikipedians met to have a wiki-cake and some wiki-conversations. The Poznań community has long been the most active local community in Poland, meeting regularly 3 times a year (for Wikipedia Day, Polish Wikipedia birthday and a summer wiki-barbecue).
Russian report: Wikimedia RU issued a manual for librarians
The publication contains recommendations on the use of open licenses and the publication of works as to be openly accessible.
The manual was prepared within the framework of the project of Resource Center named "Open Library", the main purpose of which is to organize the legal and methodological support for libraries to open access to the public domain. At present, many works of science and culture can not be found on the Internet, but publications that have already expired copyright protection can and should be digitized, and libraries can play a leading role in this process.
The manual provides details about the project "Open Library" and the specifics of the work of libraries with electronic content, including various technical and legal issues. The first section of the manual - "Overview of Practices" - tells about the experience of the largest libraries in the world and in Russia. Among other things, the manual describes the process of creating digital collections in the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries. Further, the authors of the manual analyze the development of international projects such as Europeana, which cooperates with 3000 European archives, libraries and museums, and provides access to more than 50 million works; Gutenberg, the world's first distributor of free e-books and documents; Google Books, which had to be frozen after the interference of copyright holders; HathiTrust Digital Library, which has become the world's largest digital repository of research libraries, digitized books of Google Books, independent online archives and local cultural institutions; as well as Open eBooks and Archive.org.
Also an overview of the current situation of open access to electronic resources in Russia is provid, detailing on the experience of the Russian State Library and National Electronic Library, Presidential Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian National Library, CyberLeninka, Maxim Moshkov's Libraries, Chronos Library.
The second chapter of the manual - "Legal Basis" - is devoted to the problems connected with the transfer of library funds into a new form. The manual analyzes in detail the norms of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation and advises libraries on the use of open licenses and the publication of works in open access, examines the rules of the Law on Library Activity and conflicts of copyright and technological issues. Briefly the Law on objects of cultural heritage and other standard regulations is presented in "Fundamentals of the legislation of the Russian Federation on culture". Special attention is paid to the algorithm for determining the timing of the transition of works to the legal regime of public domain in Russia.
The publication is available on the project's website and on Wikimedia Commons on terms of an open license Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International, i.e. it can be freely used and distributed.
The Resource Center Open Library project is being implemented by Wikimedia RU using the grant from the President of the Russian Federation for the development of civil society provided by the Presidential Fund.
Serbia report: Digitization is coming to Serbia and it’s here to stay
During the three-day workshop in the Serbian Ministry of Culture and Information, Wikimedia Serbia had the opportunity to present the ways of contributing to free content, free licenses, the importance of sharing knowledge and increasing the visibility of cultural heritage on the Internet in front of 60 representatives from 29 cultural institutions.
The workshops were held for the employees of various notable museums, archives and libraries in Serbia, and the importance of organizing this event was proved by the fact that each workshop had larger number of participants than originally planned. The audience was greeted by Dejan Masliković, Assistant Minister of Culture for the development of digital research infrastructure in the field of culture and art, who announced the beginning of successful cooperation and the greater presence of cultural institutions on the Internet and Wikipedia.
Each workshop involved the introduction about Wikimedia Movement, Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Serbia, the differences between Wikipedia and Wikimedia, and finally the main focus was on the presentation of the GLAM program and its results in Serbia and worldwide. Dragan Satarić introduced free licenses and copyrights on wiki projects, and the practical part of the workshop consisted of basic training in Wikipedia editing, as well as editing on Wikimedia Commons, with adequate examples of the material under Creative Commons and public domain. On the third day, the workshop for Serbian libraries was enriched with the presentation of the project called "Wiki Librarian", whose success was presented by Aleksandra Popović, Head of the Scientific Information and Development Department of the University Library "Svetozar Marković", who is also the leader of this project.
Assistant Minister of Culture, Dejan Masliković expressed his belief that it was necessary to have relevant and verified content on the Internet in order to position our culture to be more visible in the world and to be more accessible to the general public, adding that the interest in these workshops was great.
Natalija Vulikić from the Museum of Vojvodina pointed out that the workshops were very significant and added that the Ministry of Culture organized serious seminars and workshops applicable in practice for the first time in recent years, which means a lot for the employees in cultural institutions.
Slađana Bojković from the Historical Museum of Serbia agreed with her colleague and noticed that "digitization is coming to Serbia and it’s here to stay".
"This is a proper step to really do it, to be accepted, understood and implemented in the right way," Bojkovic concluded.
Digitization is the future of heritage preservation, especially bearing in mind that anything can happen like fires or floods. Society does not benefit from the fact that collections are stored in archives and depots. It is a free culture and it should remain such", emphasized Ivana Guslarević, GLAM coordinator of Wikimedia Serbia. She believes that the Wikimedia team succeeded in bringing the world of free knowledge and the importance of sharing free content closer to cultural institutions, as well as encouraging them to work independently on wiki projects.
All the participants received the certificates of attendance at the course. The participants and organizers recorded the workshop atmosphere, and the photos can be seen on Wikimedia Commons.
Turkey report: 300.000 articles in Turkish Wikipedia, despite the ban
- By Başak
Turkish wiki community members are happy to announce that Turkish Wikipedia, the 30th largest Wikipedia edition, has reached 300.000 articles. As most of you might know, the online access to Turkish Wikipedia has been blocked in Turkey since April 29th. However, members of Turkish community have not stop their contributions.
We have community members who are internet-savvy enough to reach the platform by using appropriate methods. At the beginning of the ban, the editors decided to focus on pending changes. We had thousands of articles awaiting review due to inadequate number of active patrollers. Now, since the number of changes were minimized as a result of the ban, the active editors could focus on reviewing the pending changes. In August, seeing "zero pending changes" in the watchlist was the first victory of Turkish community for the last months. Later, editors who would find their way to reach Wikipedia, continued their work as usual without bothering from the drop in the number of readers. Knowing that the ban on the access to Wikipedia will be removed sooner or later, volunteers have continued editing non-stop. By the way, the fierce discussions and quarrels have never stopped as well!
On the night of October 13th, the user group members were aware that Turkish Wikipedia was very close to reach its 300.000-th article. A logo and sitenotice banner were ready. A small group was waiting to place the 300.000-th logo and banner while chatting online. Of course, in the meantime, everybody was also busy creating new articles, hoping that his/her article will be 300.000-th. User:Ugurkent created the article about 2017 Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey and got ready to happily announce that he is the author of the 300.000-th article of Turkish Wikipedia. However, we saw that it was 299.999-th article. The 300.000-th article came from an anonymous user. It is the article about Fokker 100, a jet airliner!
We hope we'll get on the wings of it and reach to next thousandth article very soon...
Ukraine report: Meeting with the National Library of Ukraine
- By Perohanych
On October 11, 2017, Yuri Perohanych, co-founder of Wikimedia Ukraine, held a two hours meeting at the main scientific library of Ukraine — the National Library of Ukraine named after Volodymyr Vernadsky. There were Volodymyr Popyk, General Director of the libryary, his two deputies, and about 40 library staff. The purpose of the meeting was: 1) to get familiar with the mechanism of Wikipedia's work; 2) to express thoughts on how to better capture the library's achievements in Wikipedia in connection with its upcoming 100th anniversary; 3) to outline the ways of further cooperation.
For many participants, a lot of information on the first issue was new. On the second issue, Perohanych advised to submit as much information as possible under the CC BY or CC BY-SA licences at the library's website, as well as in the literature that the library will issue for the anniversary. On the third issue, the library will identify and communicate the contacts of its coordinator.
On October 18, 2017 Yuri Perohanych took part in a round table "What should be the Ukrainian encyclopedia in the modern information society?" where he made a presentation "Use of free licenses when publishing encyclopedic articles". The round table was organised by the State Scientific Institution "Encyclopedic Publishing House".