First Regional Conference of Wikimedia Serbia
Unfortunately, due to the not-so-good weather conditions, flights with which Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Chapters representatives were supposed to come with have been cancelled, so meeting had to be held without Florence Nibart-Devouard, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation and Delphine Ménard, Chair of the Committee for Chapter coordination. We would like to use this opportunity to thank our guests from Germany and the Netherlands who, with great personal effort waiting on the airports in Milan, Frankfurt, Vienna, Amsterdam some even for two days, eventually did arrive in Belgrade.
Day one, December 16th
The meeting began on December 16th, after introductions between Wikimedia members. Introduction speech was held by Nikola Smolenski, one of the vice-presidents of Wikimedia Serbia. Instead of Florence, speech about the Foundation and its Board was held by Oscar van Dillen, member of the Board of Trustees of Wikimedia Foundation and chair of Wikimedia Netherlands. He stated he was honored to be invited as our guest and expressed his interest in Serbian culture. Next were Nikola Smolenski and Goran Obradović, who spoke about Wikimedia Serbia and Wikimedia projects in Serbian language (among others, about Wikipedia). Afterwards, professor van Dillen held two more presentations: one was about wiki software, free knowledge and further implications of its use, other about Wikimedia and communication in the community.
In recesses, journalists that were present held interviews with guests from abroad.
Day two, December 17th
On the second day of the meeting, December 17th, Wikimedia representatives from Germany and the Netherlands nevertheless arrived. At the start, Mathias Schindler talked about German language Wikipedia and their results and about what they are doing now and what they want in future. Darko and Roberta from Croatia talked about Croatian language Wikipedia, and they presented, among other things, their plans for the future. On this day, Oscar van Dillen spoke about his views on the phenomena of Wikipedia and encyclopedia in general. His interesting presentation was an attempt to dive deeper into the issues of working on Wikimedia. Slobodan Jakoski from Macedonia presented the history of Macedonian language Wikipedia as well as the current state and hopes and expectations in times to come. Roman Maurer from Slovenia talked about Slovenian language Wikipedia and their goings about (see slides), but especially interesting were the statistical comparisons of Serbian and Slovenian language Wikipedias. Gerard Meijssen in short described the project he is working on, the OmegaWiki.
Conference was closed by Miloš Rančić, Chairman of Wikimedia Serbia, who thanked all the guests for coming and attending this conference.
All of us from Wikimedia Serbia are glad that we can conclude that this conference was successful, despite the weather difficulties that accompanied it.
We also inform you that in the second half of April of 2007, there will be a meeting of all Wikimedia Chapters in Belgrade which will be the first of its kind ever. We will have Wikimedians from all over the world, from USA and Europe to Russia, Thailand and Australia.
Report was originally written in Serbian by Nevena Tarlanović, vice-president in charge of public relations, and Filip Maljković, vice-president of Wikimedia Serbia. Translated to English by Branislav Jovanović, with some help (proofreading) from Filip.