Grants:APG/Proposals/2015-2016 round1/Wikimedia Deutschland e.V./Progress report form

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Global metrics overview[edit]

Global metrics across all programs[edit]

Metric Achieved outcome
(01-06 2016)
1. # of active editors involved 616 Data from all volunteer activities directly supported by WMDE in Q1/Q2 and some data from the activities conducted at the local hubs.
2. # of new editors 760
3. # of individuals involved 4,545
4. # of new images/media added to Wikimedia articles/pages Total added: 45,683

Used in Wikis: 18,672 (~40%)
5. # of articles added or improved on Wikimedia projects 7,766 Data from all volunteer activities directly supported by WMDE in Q1/Q2 and some data from the activities conducted at the local hubs.

Note: Does not include the increase of > 84 Million times data from Wikidata is used to complete articles in other wikis (since January 1st).

Wikidata KPIs[edit]

Wikidata Map October 2015 (map shows a single pixel dot for every Wikidata item with a coordinate location) Note: Significant increase of Wikidata items with a coordinate location in Mexico after Wikimania 2015 in Mexico City.
Wikidata Map October 2015 Note: Significant increase of Wikidata items with a coordinate location in Mexico after Wikimania 2015 in Mexico City.
Wikidata Map April 2016 (map shows a single pixel dot for every Wikidata item with a coordinate location)
Wikidata Map April 2016 (map shows a single pixel dot for every Wikidata item with a coordinate location)
Additional Metrics: Wikidata Overview
Metric 12/2015
editors (1+/ 30 days) 16,530 16,820 +2%
active editors (5+/ 30 days) 6,650 6,840 +3%
very active editors (100+/ 30 days) 1,080 1,210 +12%
new active editors (passing 10th edit threshold) 719

(average per month,



(average per month,


Metric 12/2015
pages 20.32M 23.33M +15%
items 19.31M 22.12M +15%
items with referenced statements 11.64M

(~60% of total items)


(~63% of total items,

data by June 13)

edits (total) 287.42M 352.10M +23%
statements (total) 80.91M 103.04M +27%
statements referenced to Wikipedia 23.02M

(~28% of total)


(~23% of total,

data by June 13)

statements referenced to other sources 16.86M

(~21% of total)


(~23% of total,

data by June 13)

Metric 12/2015
# of entity usages from Wikidata in Wikimedia projects 162.70M 245.60M +51%

Telling your program stories - all programs[edit]


Wikimedia Deutschland has continued with a number of organizational improvement processes in the first half of 2016. This was focused particularly on streamlining the development, monitoring and reporting of our current annual plan, as well as on preparing a further improved participatory and strategic planning process for the 2017 annual plan. As a membership-based organization we are accountable to our stakeholders: communities, members and the member-elected board. Our priorities and goals are now better informed by our stakeholders’ interests and legitimized by participatory processes. The latter are not perfect, but continuously improving.

Receiving ‘restricted funding’ through the APG process has been a new and exceptional situation for WMDE. As a result, software development for the movement has been a major focus, as well as a top level priority in the annual plan. A €300K reduction of the requested APG funds slowed down the work of the WMDE Software Development Department. We managed to compensate some of the loss through investing funds from the increase in membership revenues. As planned and as listed in the original budget, WMDE was successful in acquiring a substantial external donation to support the SWE budget.

As of the writing of this report, the core financing of Wikidata through WMF for 2017 has not yet been secured.

APG-funded program: software development for the Wikimedia movement[edit]


In the first half of 2016, Wikidata has caused much excitement and notice both within and outside of the Wikimedia movement. Great strides were made in terms of use of the data base within the movement. The Wikidata development plan provides an overview of all projects that the team is currently working on.

 Wikimania 2016: Wikipedians put on nail polish in the colors of Wikidata logo.
Wikimania 2016: Wikipedians apply nail polish featuring the colors of the Wikidata logo.

Likewise, our technical wishes approach and community-centered software development in general have become a movement wide trend. In the first half of 2016, these concepts have been implemented by the WMDE Software Development department, as well as WMF’s Community Tech Team.

Increasingly, the WDME Software Development teams have been cooperating routinely with the WMF teams, providing quarterly metrics on Wikidata and, together with WMF Community Tech team, joint status reports on community wishes. The teams’ development work on MediaWiki and on Wikidata is well connected and coordinated, and increasingly also covers joint work on the MediaWiki core.

A smaller than requested APG grant has resulted in slowing down the work through limiting staff and program resources. For example, we have not filled the crucial position of community communications manager for Wikidata yet, but are aiming to do so during the second half of the year.


Powered by Wikidata Logo
Powered by Wikidata Logo

Wikidata has definitely and notably arrived in the movement in 2016. This is evidenced not only by the use in Wikimedia projects, but also by the fact that increasingly, movement developments and projects involve some aspect of Wikidata. An example is the Europeana280 Art History Challenge on Wikipedia and Wikidata.

At Wikimania 2016, in addition to WMDE staff presentations, there were several talks on Wikidata given by community members, also evidence of further adoption and excitement among movement leaders.

Diagram: Wikidata entity usage in all Wikimedia projects
Diagram: Wikidata entity usage in all Wikimedia projects

Emerging developments

Arbitrary Access: Before 2015, there was a limitation in place that hinders some use cases when using data from Wikidata on most Wikipedias and other sister projects: data could only be accessed from the corresponding item. So, for example, the English Wikipedia article about Berlin could only get data from the Wikidata item about Berlin but not from the item about Germany. This had technical reasons, and the Wikidata team in early 2015 had already begun to investigate possible solutions. Technical changes addressing this were rolled out to projects step-by-step in 2015. Arbitrary Access assures that users on the client are able to include data from any Wikidata item they chose by specifying its ID. This expands on their ability to access data of the item currently associated with the page via a sitelink. This access is possible via both the parser function and Lua. We believe that this feature will significantly increase the reach of Wikidata into the Wikimedia projects.

Roll out in most language Wikipedias occurred across 2015. In order to enable this for Wikimedia Commons, in Q1, the development team asked for testing of the arbitrary access feature on the Commons test system. No major issues were identified and it was announced and enabled for Commons on the 26th of April. Commons editors have begun to use the feature and usage of Wikidata in Commons increased significantly.

Diagram: Wikidata Entity Usage in Commons
Diagram: Wikidata Entity Usage in Commons

Objective 1: By end of 2016, encourage and support new article creation in minimum five (smaller) Wikipedias through providing an article placeholder extension (AP) based on Wikidata.

The ArticlePlaceholder, a mediawiki extension, has been designed to serve as a tool to provide more readers of smaller language Wikipedias with instant access to information, and encourage them to write articles. Ultimately, with this easy way to add data-based articles in small Wikipedias, we hope to affect an increase in the number of editors in emerging communities.

ArticlePlaceholder causes the automatic generation of temporary content pages in Wikipedia or other Wikimedia projects displaying data from Wikidata. They are not actual articles but collections of data on topics which do not have an article yet.

The ArticlePlaceholder was deployed on May 11, and a first version was rolled out on the first four small Wikipedias: Esperanto, Haitian Creole, Neapolitan and Odia. Based on the feedback from those four Wikipedias we plan to expand and improve it, as well as to add the option to translate an article from another language if it exists using the Content Translation tool. A list of known bugs was addressed, and as feedback rolled in, additional issues were fixed. In order for the feature to work well, it was recognized that the lack of labels for items in the respective languages in Wikidata needs to be addressed. Currently, ArticlePlaceholder generated pages still include a lot of fallbacks by displaying only a property number instead of a label. In Q3, we hope to implement language fallbacks for a majority of the data.

Recruitment for a second roll-out round began May 18. It took place June 10 and involved three further small wikipedias (Gujarati, Latvian, Nynorsk). The feedback on these first rollouts has been very positive and constructive for the continued development of the extension.

A few examples of pages generated with the ArticlePlaceholder: Odia, Neapolitan, Esperanto, Haitian Creole, Gujarati, Latvian and Nynorsk.

ArticlePlaceholder in Esperanto Wikipedia
ArticlePlaceholder in Esperanto Wikipedia
Presentation on ArticlePlaceholder
Presentation on ArticlePlaceholder
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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
Refinement and further roll-out of the ArticlePlaceholder extension until end of Q3. N/a The ArticlePlaceholder went live on the first Wikipedias on May 11, 2016 (Esperanto, Haitian Creole, Neapoletan, and Odia Wikipedias) and in the second round (NN, VI, GU) on June 10.
Continuous improvement, roll-out in additional wikis, further work on article creation and translation button (currently under review)
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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
At least five Wikimedia projects actively use ArticlePlaceholder extension by end of 2016. n/a Article placeholder used in 7 Wikipedias
Above target, further Wikipedias expected to join until end of year Requested participation of Russian Wikipedia in 2nd round of roll-out had to be postponed due to additional preparations needed to include larger wikis.
Important Indicators / Metrics
Growth icon
Increase of page views in (smaller) Wikipedias (if AP is used) Data not sufficient yet for a valid analysis, as first roll-outs just happened in May and June. However, Wikis participating in the first round of roll outs all show positive trends in pageviews in May (Esperanto: +52%, Haitian: +99%, Odia: +32%, Neapolitan: +31%), but this could also be attributed to our public announcements following the roll-out.
Number of articles created or translated after ArticlePlaceholder was displayed (in WM projects using ArticlePlaceholder extension) Article creation and translation feature still under rework. Once these features are fully refined and established, corresponding metrics will be included in the ArticlePlaceholder dashboard.
Decrease in stubs in bigger Wikipedias (if AP is used) No roll out in major wikis yet. Currently working on the technical requirements to track number of stubs

(Phabricator task T119976).

Increase in # of new editors in (smaller) Wikipedias (if AP is used) Data not sufficient yet for a valid analysis as first roll outs just happened in May and June and ‘create’ button is not yet improved.

Objective 2: By end of 2016, facilitate easy editing in minimum five Wikipedias through providing an automated list generation feature based on Wikidata.

A large number of lists on Wikipedia are generated and maintained by hand. The automated list generation will support editors through automated list creation based on data from Wikidata. Users will be able to create complex queries on-wiki using Lua (a programming language). Automated lists will reduce editor workload and keep lists up-to-date across all projects. In Q1 and Q2 the development of the automated list generation feature was prepared. This required some research into the needs and practices of editors who are actively maintaining lists - we asked them what works and what doesn’t work for them currently. This research now informs the drawing up of the basic concept. The current status can be viewed on Phabricator.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
Provision of an automated list generation feature until Q4/2016 at the latest n/a On track: research and prep work
This objective is slightly behind due to lack of staff.
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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
Automated list generation feature is used in at least five Wikimedia projects. n/a Not rolled out yet. See above
Development and roll out until Q4 at the latest Feature is not yet rolled out.
Important Indicators / Metrics
Growth icon
Number of Wikidata generated lists in Wikimedia projects n/a, feature is not yet rolled out


Wikidata has been used in a number of different, creative ways to visualize data and enable easy access of information on different platforms. Through the improvement and increased external use of the query service, for example, Wikidata has received much and continued publicity in 2016. In addition, our systems and strategy for data partnerships have been further developed in order to be able to welcome diverse communities and institutions, and work with them on long-term opportunities and partnerships.

Wikidata Query Service Output (Bubble Chart): Most popular surnames of fictional characters.
Wikidata Query Service Output (Bubble Chart): Most popular surnames of fictional characters.

Emerging Developments

One of the most interesting new initiatives using Wikidata outside of our movement comes from the Finnish public broadcasting company Yle. Wikimedia projects and Yle share a joint mission: providing information to the public, free of charge. Since April 1, 2016, Yle has been tagging their online news and feature articles with concepts from Wikidata in order to link their journalistic content to the Wikimedia projects in a machine-readable format.

By way of linking the journalistic content to Wikidata first, before it is integrated in other projects, big events, such as the fall of the Berlin wall, can be tagged with a Wikidata ID. Going from here, such event topics can be tracked in different articles and media across all platforms, no matter how the specific event is named in different articles. Yle has started to create such IDs on Wikidata for their content and link them to Finnish, Swedish, English and other articles.

The Wikidata query service (aka SPARQL endpoint), developed in late 2015, enables users to generate answers to multi-part questions. It has improved in terms of accessibility for people who do not know the query language SPARQL, growing in user friendliness. Use has skyrocketed, and there is now a growing number of exciting use cases. Examples in media outlets include the visualization of data on the individuals implicated in the Panama Papers, of the Academy Award winners over time, and of the children of Genghis Khan.

The team is working on enabling a number of different types of visualizations directly accessible from the user interface. These include bubbles, maps, grids, treemaps and timelines. Additionally, in order to ease understanding, the query in SPARQL is now also displayed in a version closer to natural language. This has led to increased publicity, excitement about the tool, and visibility of the myriad ways that Wikidata can be used outside of the Wikimedia projects. Usage and performance data of the query service can be viewed on the Wikidata dashboards as well as the WMF dashboards. In June, for example, the Wikidata query service experienced an average of over 30 queries per second.

Objective 1: Publish a transparent process and dedicated key contact persons for establishing data partnerships between Wikidata and external partners.

Jens Ohlig on data partnerships
Jens Ohlig on data partnerships

This objective is fully on track: the Wikidata page for data donations was published in March. A dedicated key contact was appointed with Jens Ohlig. He has since done extensive outreach at events, providing presentations on the topic of data donations at WMCON16, re:publica, CSVCon, subscribe, and OPENDachLi conferences. Both the page and the presentations open with an introduction to Wikidata and how it works, and then provide compelling reasons to add data: Help more people to see your information, improve open knowledge, increase traffic to your website, and make your data more useful for yourself and others. Our outreach communication, more than anything, emphasizes the importance of working with the Wikidata community on data donations, from contacting the community, describing what data is available to be included in Wikidata, to deciding with the community what data is suitable to import, and finally working with the community to import the data. The importance of high-quality data is stressed, as well as the fact that data donations are a process requiring planning and sustainability, not a one-time dump.

Finally, tools and methods for importing data are presented: Manual data entry as well as online tools, incl. mix'n'match, primary sources tool, the Wikidata API, and the use of bots, incl. bot requests, creating your own bot, and requesting bot permissions.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
Process and key contacts for data partnerships published by end of Q1 N/a Completed
Further outreach and development of partnerships, please see below for more detail Data Donation Main page


Objective 2: Establish at least two new data partnerships of high quality/ relevance between external partners and Wikidata and document them for the movement.

In terms of moving through a practical data partnership, staff is currently working with John Cummings, Wikimedian in Residence at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), on data donations from this large, global, data-rich entity. With sustainability, relevance and quality in mind, these collaborations take time and care. Therefore, results are likely to be reportable for Q4. Another carefully selected data partnership might be forged with a GLAM institution. As described in the proposal, we are focusing on quality and learning, and deliberately not on quantity here. Over the course of 2016, we will continue to build our knowledge around what makes data donations successful, and to further improve guidelines and tools. At the end of the year, we will better understand and be able to analyze quality and relevance in this context, based on a set of refined criteria.

At the end of the year, one of the products we envision to publish as success stories is a short film about Wikidata partnerships, showing the people behind the data, and inspiring additional high quality institutions to contribute.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
Publish two success stories about successful data partnerships in 2016 N/a Not yet addressed
Success stories, materials and film planned to be published in Q3/Q4.
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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
At least two new data partnerships of high quality/relevance are established in 2016 N/a Ongoing, see above
UNESCO collaboration plus one additional data partnership Results reportable in Q4
Important Indicators / Metrics*
Growth icon
Quality/relevance of a data partnership (qualitative analysis) Analysis not yet started (UNESCO cooperation still in progress)

Quality of a data partnership is defined by ongoing involvement of partner with Wikidata, absence of negative side effects for Wikidata's data quality, and a meaningful cooperation with the Wikidata community. Relevance can be determined, for example, by the general importance of the data (or work) contributed by a potential data partner.
Data quality strategies
Data quality strategies


As described in previous reports and in the proposal, the quality of data in Wikidata is of utmost importance to maintaining editor engagement and user trust. This premise is reflected in everything we do. The Wikidata dashboards are, as expected, an increasingly important tool for monitoring, analysis and strategic community communication. In addition, we are working on refining and further developing the definition of data quality, applying an increasingly scientific approach.

Emerging developments

Presentation about ORES from Wikimania 2016
Presentation about ORES from Wikimania 2016

The Objective Revision Evaluation Service (ORES) is an artificial intelligence web service that will help Wikidata editors perform basic quality control work more efficiently. ORES predicts which edits will need to be reverted. This service is used on other wikis to support quality control work. Now, Wikidata editors will benefit as well. WMDE has been working together with WMF to deploy ORES as a beta feature in Wikidata. A highlight has been the effective and positive collaboration between the WMDE Software Engineering department, Aaron Halfaker (WMF) and Amir Sarabadani (User:Ladsgroup) who was contracted by WMDE as an engineer for this project.

ORES will be used to speedily recognize vandalism, as it will be able to classify edits according to the chances of their content being considered as vandalism. According to this classification, lists will be generated for editors, so they can prioritize which edits to respond to first. But this is hard work: for every language edition, a separate ORES model has to be trained with the help of editors to develop its capacity of recognizing vandalism. So far, ORES has been actively in use on the Farsi, Swedish and a few other Wikipedias.

Objective 1: Establish a dashboard of different markers/metrics for data quality in Wikidata and make it broadly accessible for the WM editing communities.

Screenshot of Wikidata dashboards

As planned, a basic version of Wikidata dashboards has been available to the community since Q1. As of the writing of this report, the dashboards still need work in some aspects, but are basically functional and useful. Quality indicators included here are, for example, 'average statements per item', or 'references to other sources than Wikimedia', and ‘number of labels per language’. Some metrics were deliberately not included, particularly those related to users and user behaviour. We want to make sure that our editors know that their privacy is protected and at the same time they have access to useful, actionable data.

We are learning to utilize the information in the dashboards for careful communication of selected dashboard data towards selected groups of contributors. We are still refining our communication strategy here. Currently, we promote the dashboards through the Wikidata weekly summaries, by pointing towards interesting developments and successes as well as challenges and questions that arise. We reflect specific developments to the community and ask users to make sense of the information. Data and related community feedback then inform decisions and adjustments.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
A basic version of a data quality dashboard is available by end of Q2, further refinement until end of Q4 N/a Basic version available
Ongoing refinement Wikidata dashboards
Promoting the dashboard with the editing communities N/a Targeted communication started
Further refinement of communication strategy See above for further details

Objective 2: In 2016, further increase the proportion of Wikidata statements with a non-Wikimedia reference in order to ensure high data quality.

This objective has been fulfilled, as we increased the proportion of Wikidata statements with a non-Wikimedia reference to over 23%. We are observing, as predicted, that this proportion is now approximating its natural limit, and it appears to be increasing more slowly. There will always be a proportion of statements that do not have possible references, or do not need them. In addition, we are beginning to think about how to measure the quality of external references themselves. Details can be viewed on the Wikidata dashboards.

Diagram showing % of Wikidata statements with a non-Wikimedia reference
Diagram showing % of Wikidata statements with a non-Wikimedia reference
Important Indicators / Metrics
Growth icon
% of Wikidata statements with a non-Wikimedia reference as of a given month June 2016: 23.34% (23.48M statements with a non-Wikimedia reference)

Baseline December 2015: 20.83% (16.86M statements with a non-Wikimedia reference)

Statements with a non-Wikimedia reference are an important data quality marker by now. Their current and future increase is based on various groundwork measures carried out in 2015 and 2016. Nevertheless, by end of 2016 we expect this metric to reach a ceiling. Instead, other quality markers will become increasingly important and will be included in the dashboards.

Objective 3: Implement new/ improved data types in Wikidata to increase the number of options to create statements in Wikidata (leads to a broader variety of potential statements).

One of the quality markers monitored by the dashboard is the average rate for number of statements per item. Complex items (for example, Q183, Germany) require a large amount of statements to be described well. While this is not true for all items, the average rate does indicate quality, because it points at how rich the data for the average item is at any given time. In Q1 and Q2 we added two new data types: we established ‘external identifier’ as a data type, which opens up for better possibilities to, for example, link to other data bases (usable for 954 properties). Second, we also created a data type for mathematical expressions. Furthermore, usability improvements were made to two additional data types: ‘time’ and ‘globe coordinate’.

Based on community input, we plan to work on a new data type for Wikimedia Commons next: Smart URL. It has the ability to include a variety of links as values for properties in commons, such as authors, photographers and other sources of pictures. This would greatly enhance the possible incorporation of Wikidata content into Commons, and the other way around.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
In Q1/Q2, implement new data types/ improve existing ones N/a Completed: 2 new data types (‘external identifier’ & ‘mathematical expression’) 2 data types with improved usability (‘time’ & ‘globe coordinate’)
Further new data types depending on amount of work (e.g. Smart URL)
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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
The 'statements per item’ rate rises above four statements per item (average) until Q2/2016 3.8 statements per item (09/ 2015) Target exceeded: 4.64 statements per item (by 2016-6-30)
Expected for Q3: ~ 4.85 statements per item Dashboard


Our mentoring program has already been a big success: We have worked with nine mentees to date, many of them working on bachelor theses and on crucial movement projects. Now we are focusing on making sure that all mentees receive the support and connections they need, and that they are highly motivated to remain active in the movement. In terms of outreach to FOSS developers, we have shifted our strategy from conducting our own events to assuring a strong presence at established events, thus increasing outreach and visibility.

Members of the Software Engineering department of WMDE
Members of the Software Engineering department of WMDE

Objective 1: Engage new junior developers to contribute to Wikimedia projects.

In order to increase exposure and outreach, we have created a new portal that describes how developers can get involved in WMDE’s engineering activities. A subpage is exclusively devoted to interns and students. Our mentoring program has been very active in the first six months, engaging nine junior developers. They worked on UX design, the ArticlePlaceholder and other crucial developments and features.

During the second half of the year, we will focus on assuring the quality of our mentorships, gathering feedback from mentees, and making adjustments based on the feedback. We will not actively recruit any additional mentees, since we need to make sure they have a good experience and stay involved in the movement.

Two mentee use cases have been completed in Q2. Below, Charlie Kritschmar describes how she worked on her bachelor thesis at WMDE, and then became an intern to complete her work on developing a concept which makes editing Wikidata’s data possible from a client such as Wikipedia through user-centered design:

Story box: Writing a bachelor’s thesis at Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.

Q920285 – how I found my place in the Wikimedia universe

It’s April 2015 and it’s about time for me to organise a topic for my bachelor’s thesis. I study Internationale Medieninformatik at the HTW Berlin. I was always fascinated by the intersection of humans and computers. Especially the psychological component of this subject and so I started specialising in this direction towards the end of my studies. Thus it was pretty clear to me that my thesis should fit within this scope. But the initial question remained and I still had no topic.

A fellow student and friend, Lucie (who coincidentally works at Wikimedia) pointed me to Lydia, Wikidata’s product manager. So far I have only been a consumer of the Wikimedia projects and had never contributed to any of them, let alone know what Wikidata was and what it does. It was about time to change that. It turns out that Lydia has loads of topics with many different focuses for students writing their thesis and we quickly decided on a topic that would benefit both of us.

So there I was. It’s June. I had an awesome topic in an amazing project and it felt like I didn’t know anything about anything.

Q5454174 – first impressions

I had a hard time trying to remember any expectations I might have had regarding my upcoming time at Wikimedia. I just remember that it was really important to me to do a good job and not to mess up too bad because I wanted to produce something that is actually usable and will improve the user experience of the editors as well as the benefits for Wikipedia and Wikidata itself (which I will get to later).

Everyone was very welcoming and friendly and people were genuinely interested in what I was going to do. They were keen on discussing the specifics and implications of my upcoming work and seemed excited that I was there to tackle the problem. This passion and enthusiasm that everyone has was reflected in their own work too. Even minor details seem to get discussed extensively because everyone cares and is trying to find the best solution. I found this behavior really inspiring and it makes work so much more fun and rewarding and keeps the communication open.

Q1318295 – the meat

Now we finally come to the reason you’re actually reading this. The work I did at Wikimedia.

My topic was “Facilitating the use of Wikidata in Wikimedia projects with a user-centered design approach”. My task was to develop a concept which makes editing and integrating Wikidata possible from a client such as Wikipedia using UCD. This is a good idea for several reasons.

Firstly, it would make the life of Wikipedia editors across all languages easier since they would have easy access to data that they would otherwise have to manually find themselves. Using data that is collected locally helps create coherence and accuracy throughout the different Wikipedias.

It will also make the creation and maintenance of infoboxes much easier since it will be possible to import the data from Wikidata with one click instead of having to type everything manually. Furthermore, it will bring editors to Wikidata, which will in return increase the amount of data as well as data quality at Wikidata which in return will benefit the Wikipedias and so on. So far so good. But where do you start? It’s October and I have 4 months left.

Iterative process for wikimedia thesis.png

I first have to familiarise myself with Wikidata and the editing of it. After feeling fairly comfortable the next step was to reach out to the community and ask what it is they want, since ultimately the goal was to increase their user experience.

It became apparent fairly quickly that what the community wanted was a way to integrate and edit data from Wikidata into the infoboxes in Wikipedia. So Lydia and I decided to concentrate mainly on this issue in my thesis.

After the user input was evaluated I made personas and scenarios for these personas, as well as deciding on the functional and non-functional requirements. Based on this I came up with some paper prototypes.

It’s December and only 2 months left. The holidays are around the corner and I constantly think that I must have adapted time-accelerating super powers which are beyond my control. Since the scope of my thesis didn’t allow for multiple iterations due to time constraints (which would usually be necessary in UCD) we had to proceed fairly quickly since I needed a clickable prototype in time for the user test.

At this point I was in the office 4-5 days a week since my uni courses were coming to an end and I still had so much to do for the thesis. Since the office had become like my second home at this point, this was not a problem at all.

Before I know it, it’s January with only a bit over a month to go. My prototype is finally finished and I can begin testing its functionality with the amazing editors attending the open editing session at the Wikimedia office. It was a great experience. The community was very welcoming and lovely. If you live in Berlin and are even remotely interested in contributing to Wikipedia, I cannot recommend enough to go to an open editing session and check it out. They also have a mentoring program (for all ages) where an an experienced editor will take you under their wings when first getting started.

I then evaluated the input I got and made my suggestions for improving the prototype. This was where I had to end my thesis. Nonetheless, the actual work isn’t done here. The suggestions need to be implemented into the prototype and tested again in order to properly design user-centered. Which leads me to my current whereabouts.

Q1771692 – not all good things have to come to an end

It’s the end of February. I’m handing in my thesis and decide to see if I can find a way to stay at Wikimedia for a little longer. The reason I decided to pursue this was that I wanted to finish the project which still needed at least one more iteration. Another one was simply that I didn’t want to leave Wikimedia and the team yet.

There are many things I learned from my time writing the thesis. I got to take a closer look at UI processes, how Wikimedia works internally, how community communication works and did my first own user test. As a result I also became involved with two amazing Wikimedia projects (Wikidata and Wikipedia) and got to know amazing people and what a supportive, encouraging and genuinely friendly working environment looks like.

It’s April now, and I’m sitting at my desk typing this out as an official Wikimedia intern for UX design. Apart from continuing the work that I started with my thesis I will be working on several points, improving the understandability and usability of Wikidata as well as other areas at Wikimedia. So far I’ve created a new diagram of the data models in Wikidata and next I will concern myself with the layout of the ArticlePlaceholder and creating infographics of the “Wikidata ecosystem” to help improve the understanding of the project and it’s place in the Wikimedia universe.

I’m very excited for the next 6 months at Wikimedia and all the things I will learn and contribute to. Overall: 12/10 can recommend.

Charlie published her bachelor’s thesis on Wikimedia Commons.

One of our other mentees, Lucie Kaffee, was instrumental in developing the ArticlePlaceholder, and conducting outreach on the feature, all while writing her bachelor thesis on the topic. As part of her work on the feature, she gave presentations on learning the programming language Lua at the Wikimania hackathon, on the ArticlePlaceholder at the Wikimedia hackathon Jerusalem and at the FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Developers’ European Meeting. We will, as closely as possible, track how our mentees stay engaged with the movement after their time with us. These will be evolving stories, shining a light on how mentees’ roles change and evolve over time, from graduate students, to interns, working students, to support in research and completion their studies, to employees.

BA thesis by Lucie
BA thesis by Lucie
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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
One ’mentee case’ is published per quarter which shows our mentees’ ongoing involvement with Wikimedia projects N/a On track: 5 publications about mentoring activities

Continue publishing examples of our mentees’ work & experiences Blogpost 1 (English): Writing a bachelor thesis at WMDE

Blogpost 2(German): Three scholarship holders at the Wikimedia Hackathon in Jerusalem
Blogpost 3 (German)
Blogpost 4 (German)
Blogpost 5 (German): ArticlePlaceholder for smaller Wikipedias
Blogpost 6 (English): From Damascus to Berlin: A very special internship at Wikimedia Deutschland

BA thesis by Charlie
BA thesis by Charlie
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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
Until end of 2016, six new mentees participate in our mentoring program 4 mentees in 2015 Target exceeded: Currently mentoring 9 mentees in Q1/Q2
In Q3/Q4: Some new mentees but no extensive recruitment Mentoring reaches a peak in Q2/Q3. Due to our limited capacities, in Q3/Q4 we will focus on taking care of the existing mentees instead of recruiting new ones.
Mentees work on bachelor or master thesis about Wikidata or similar WM-related topic N/a On track: 2 bachelor’s thesis finished/ published
One further Bachelor’s thesis in preparation BA thesis 1: Generating ArticlePlaceholders from Wikidata for Wikipedia - Increasing Access to Free and Open Knowledge

BA thesis 2: Facilitating the use of Wikidata in Wikimedia projects with a user-centered design approach

High level of satisfaction of mentees with WMDE mentoring program: All key aspects of the mentoring program are rated as 'good' or better in the feedback survey N/a Extended our approach: We additionally conducted qualitative interviews with 7 mentees so far in order to get detailed input for the improvement of our mentoring activities
Continue qualitative interviews

Supplementary: Quantitative mentee satisfaction survey in Q4
As our main focus is on improving the mentoring experience for our mentees, we mostly rely on their rich feedback, best obtained by qualitative interviews.
Important Indicators / Metrics
Growth icon
Mentees who continue to be involved with developing software for the Wikimedia movement after finishing their menteeship After being mentored with a Bachelor’s thesis, two mentees continued with an internship at WMDE or became working students.

Among the Mediawiki and Wikibase code contributors you can find many of our current or past mentees.

Objective 2: Engage new individuals from the FOSS scene (e.g. developers, multipliers, volunteers) with Wikimedia and the Wikimedia projects.

Through this objective we reach out to new developer groups in order to engage them with Wikidata and MediaWiki development. To this end, our developers, project managers and product managers visited around 30 different events. Instead of hosting events at WMDE, which is resource and time intensive, and ultimately reaches small numbers of people, we assured presence, participation and presentations at these established events and conferences, reaching out to a high number of people from diverse sub-communities. The engineering portal has a page with a list of all events, where people can meet Wikidata staff.

Events in the first half of 2016 included DigiKult, FOSDEM, FOSSCOM, csvcon, re:publica, and the OpenTech Summit. As a result of this strengthened presence, we are experiencing an increase in invitations and requests to speak at conferences. We used these events mainly for outreach about our projects and networking with potential new contributors, developers and partners. At FOSDEM in Brussels, the largest FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) Conference in Europe, we shared a booth with Wikimedia Belgium and provided presentations about the ArticlePlaceholder and Game Jam.

WikiCite wordmark.svg
Interview with Lydia Pintscher and Dario Taraborelli about WikiCite

In May, we worked with volunteers to jointly organize WikiCite, an event bringing together publishers, editors and developers to work on improving the coverage, quality, standards compliance and machine readability of citations and source metadata in Wikipedia, Wikidata and other Wikimedia projects. At the OpenTech Summit we provided a lightning talk and a booth with information on the Wikidata Query Service.

In addition to these activities, meetups such as Node.Js MeetUp and OKLab take place on a regular basis at WMDE headquarters. OKLab is a regional, weekly meeting of Open Knowledge Germany where volunteer developers re-use data from public, governmental sources such as the Berlin city government. These projects utilize the Wikidata API and Wikidata Query Service, and our developers consult with them. Another project we support this year is called ‘Refugees Welcome’. We hosted a ‘digital refugee camp’, during which software for refugee support was built. As a result, WMDE recently accepted a Syrian developer as a mentee.

We are continuing our successful sourcecode Berlin podcast series through the end of the year. The podcast contributes to the dissemination of our topics and issues such as open culture, open knowledge, and open data. In addition we are focusing more on stories from the Wikiverse, in order to engage the audience with our topics, and reaching out to developers who are already somewhat familiar and interested in working with Wikimedia projects. Podcast contributors come from all different backgrounds, providing a good diversity of topics. In addition our developers share follow up blog posts of developer conferences and we upload videos of talks, such as the one by WMDE software architect Jeroen De Dauw, on the WMDE youtube channel.

‘Ladies that FOSS’ logo
‘Ladies that FOSS’ logo

As a result of this strengthened presence, we are experiencing an increase in invitations and requests to speak at conferences. We use these events mainly for outreach about our projects and networking with potential new contributors, developers and partners.

We are also noticing a slight increase in the number of applications we receive for job openings, internships, and research work on Wikidata - a sign that increasing our visibility through face-to-face events may be bearing fruit already.

Finally, our team has begun preparation for one event we will host at WMDE: ‘Ladies that FOSS’, an initiative spearheaded by our developers Lucy, Julia und Charlie, designed to be an event for women to discover open source development together with women who are already active in the FOSS scene. For WMDE this event could serve as another way to reach out to new developers. Currently our female staff is working on the website and presentation of the program. The idea was generated when our team attended FOSDEM in Brussels and realized that our women developer ratio at WMDE was much higher than that of the conference attendees, and felt they could share some of their experiences and successes with the larger FOSS community. Often, women face barriers to gain access to FOSS projects. The goal of the event is to facilitate access, establish mentoring relationships and generally contribute to a culture in which women are comfortable participating. We are looking for around six projects for the hackathon, and will try to assign mentors beforehand.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
Publish 12 Sourcecode Berlin podcast episodes until mid of 2016 N/a Slowed down publishing rate: 8 podcasts in Q1/Q2
Podcast will be continued at least until end of 2016 Please see above for further detail
Stage FOSS outreach events / WMDE participation at important FOSS events N/a Team members were present at more than 28 FOSS events as speakers or participants
Please see above for further detail Examples:

FOSDEM: Presentation ArticlePlaceholder, Talk about Free Knowledge Game Jam

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
Increase Sourcecode Berlin podcast ‘listeners per month’ by 10 % until mid of 2016 Average 1253 listeners per month (01-12/2015) Behind target: 1319 listeners per month (+5.3%, average 01-06/ 2016)
In Q3/Q4 the publishing frequency will return to approx. two podcast per month. We therefore expect the number of listeners to rise again respectively. Slower than expected increase in listeners per month mainly due to the lower amount of podcasts published in Q1/Q2.
Important Indicators / Metrics
Growth icon
Number of participants from the FOSS scene at WMDE FOSS outreach events n/a due to shift in strategy towards presence at external events. Please see above for more details.


The community-centered approach to software development, is explained at length in the 2015 impact report, as well as summarized in our Community Communications Manager’s presentation at this year’s Wikimedia Conference.

Presentation at WMCON16
Presentation at WMCON16

The concepts and practices of community-centered software development initially developed by WMDE have spread quickly and are now relevant in terms of advancing the movement’s technical foundations. Not only is WMF’s Community Tech Team actively applying the approach, but coordination between both teams is becoming increasingly smooth and routine. Joint communication through reports has recently been implemented.

Objective 1: Provide a variety of opportunities for meaningful community participation in software development and assure that they are utilized.

At the Wikimedia Hackathon in Jerusalem our team was hacking on technical wishes of the international communities together with volunteer developers and the WMF Community Tech Team. This was the first time a hackathon was focused on community wishes. A detailed list of community wishes and other tasks addressed at the hackathon is found here.

WMDE staff at the closing session of the Wikimedia hackathon 2016
WMDE staff at the closing session of the Wikimedia hackathon 2016

The main focus at Wikimania was the work on wish #1 of the German-speaking communities: Improve edit conflict handling. In a session at the Wikimania Hackathon we discussed the feasibility of the proposed solution with WMF and volunteer developers. With an “edit conflict and cookies corner” in the community village we tested the prototype of our proposed solution with interested volunteers.

Edit conflict and cookies corner at WMDE booth at Wikimania 2016
Edit conflict and cookies corner at WMDE booth at Wikimania 2016

Apart from Wikimedia events, the community can also contribute feedback to wishes on-wiki. Often, wishes and their underlying needs are not clear enough to start programming immediately. Community feedback at this point, to clarify wishes, is therefore crucial for the team to understand what the task entails in detail. For this reason, feedback iterations at an early stage are an integral part of our feature development process. For example, to fulfill the request to improve edit conflict handling, two community feedback rounds were facilitated. A third and last round is planned before the actual development work can start.

Our planning process for user-specific workshops in Q3 and Q4 has begun. In the second half of the year we will continue working on technical requests represented on both the German-speaking community wishlist and the international community wishlist. This includes feedback iterations on various technical wishes with both the German-speaking and international communities. We will continue to foster our collaboration and enhance our networks and relations with volunteer developers and other development teams. We are also interested in figuring out how to include the top technical wishes of smaller communities.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
Minimum 20 participants at user-specific workshops (offline) N/a In preparation
Workshops planned for Q3/Q4
Important Indicators / Metrics
Growth icon
# of page views of online resources ~ 2,650 pageviews on German Wikipedia
(Central information page for coordinating the German commnity's technical wishlist (in German), incl. subpages)

~ 470 pageviews on Meta
(English website about the German-speaking community’s wishlist, incl. subpages, pages just recently set up)

Baseline 2015: ~ 3,800 page views in Q1/Q2. Pls. note: there was no voting or survey for the German-speaking community’s wishlist in 2016 so far, which usually boosts page views.

Objective 2: Throughout 2016, implement features and tools based on technical wishes submitted by the German-speaking WM project communities and monitor their use.

Following are examples of technical wishes the TCB team worked on or is preparing to work on as of the writing of this report:

Watchlist code refactoring

The team, despite the lack of a product manager for the first 1.5 quarters, worked on several features. From January through April, we did a general overhaul and refactoring of the watchlist code - work that helps the entire Wikipedia community. This was one of the oldest codes in the Wikiverse. The watchlist expiry feature request appeared on both the German-speaking community’s wishlist from 2014 and the WMF Community Tech team’s international community wishlist position #12 for 2015. Soon it became clear that to fix the expiry feature without creating too many patches and future coding debt, it would make sense to refactor the entire code first. The code is now completely restructured, testable and the improvements were well received. This work has laid the foundation to enable Community Tech’s work on the cross-wiki watchlist, a technical wish from the international community wishlist.

The watchlist work illustrates well how software development has to address the challenges that come with an aging, ever increasing code base. At times, it is comparable to renovating an old house: As one strips layers of old construction and patches away, the project becomes larger, and the work takes longer. As a result, the teams can not brag about a shiny new feature every month, but at the same time, much important background and fundamental work is being done.

A blogpost describes the watchlist work in detail.


Catwatch is a new MediaWiki gadget that tracks category membership changes. It is possible to view these changes in the recent changes and watchlists. This is important for editors who work on topical areas and need to see when pages have been added to categories. CatWatch was a request from the first German-speaking community’s wishlist. It was deployed by WMDE’s TCB team in January, first in the German Wikipedia, then in all Wikipedias and on Commons. Currently, Catwatch is used in 224 Wikis.

Diagram 1: Usage of Catwatch
Diagram 2: Users of Catwatch


Screenshot Revision Slider

Another feature the TCB team worked on is the RevisionSlider. This had been a request on the German-speaking community’s wishlist. The revision jumper gadget developed by User:DerHexer that inspired the RevisionSlider had also placed 5th in the "all your ideas" survey be the WMF. The RevisionSlider is a feature that allows to see and slide through editor comments in diff mode. An earlier prototype had not been further developed by the WMF team. We continued to work on this during the Wikimedia Hackathon in Jerusalem with WMF and User:DerHexer. When turning the RevisionSlider prototype into a proper extension, we assured to make it work for both directions of languages. As a result, community members from both the Arabic and the Hebrew Wikipedia are eager to deploy the RevisionSlider on their wikis. Towards the end of Q2, the feature was in security review to be released as a beta feature on the test Wikipedias in July, so that a high number of users are able to test it and provide feedback, and on the German Wikipedia by the end of July. The presentation at the Wikimedia Hackathon in Jerusalem was enthusiastically received. The team reported about their work on the RevisionSlider at the WMF metrics and activities meeting in June.

Revision Slider Presentation at WMF Metrics and Activities Meeting June 2016 (from timecode 17:56 on)

Mention Notifications

Sending mentions can be tricky: It is often unclear what the requirements are to send a notification and if a mention has been sent out or not. For example, if a user forgets to add a signature when mentioning somebody, the mention is not sent out. Therefore, a wish on the wishlist requested to be informed whenever a user sends out a mention. In June, the TCB team started taking on that wish. Realizing that it was not possible to add the mention information to the “page was saved” notice, they decided to implement this as an opt-in feature for notifications, keeping the collaboration team in the loop. The team also decided to help the community further to work with mentions by adding information whenever a mention failed to send. Also, the manual explaining the details of mention sending is going to be updated by the team. As of beginning of July 2016, implementation of the mention notifications is still ongoing.

Tables in PDFs

Another wish on the German-speaking community’s wishlist is the integration of tables in PDFs. Currently, tables are omitted whenever a pdf is printed, no matter if it is a single article or a book. At Wikimania 2016 the team discussed options how to include tables in PDFs with various stakeholders from the WMF and tested the feasibility during the Wikimania Hackathon. The next steps are now to present the suggestion to the community and get feedback to then implement it.

Handling of edit conflicts

Finally, the team is preparing to work on a top-ranking wishlist request around a feature that will enable easier handling of edit conflicts. Currently, there are two solution scenarios under community review. Solution A is closer to the current status, and solution B points towards a new user interface. Based on the feedback, a third version was implemented and presented, tested and discussed at Wikimania 2016.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
Roll-out of software release versions for technical wishes as planned in the quarterly planning cycles N/a On track: Catwatch shipped to all Wikis, Watchlist Code Refactoring (basis for Watchlist Expiry and Cross-wiki Watchlist), RevisionSlider on beta wikipedias, license Attribution Generator
Upcoming work: Better solution for edit conflicts, mention notifications, tables in PDFs, roll-out of RevisionSlider Work in Q1/Q2 suffered a bit of the search (and finally: finding) of a new product manager for TCB. Nevertheless, some great features and improvements were made by the team.

In Q3 we will also publish a standard rollout process to illustrate which steps are required to get from a wish to a shippable product.
Status of community requests, development milestones and progress information are publicly accessible on-wiki N/a Completed: Accessible in dewp, on meta and on phabricator
We will further refine this approach in Q3 by setting up a dedicated Phabricator board for community wishes including status information for each wish.
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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
At least 75% positive evaluations of communication & development process around ‘technical wishes’ by the respective communities involved (via feedback survey, end of 2016) N/a Not due yet
Upcoming, end of 2016
Minimum one feedback-loop with communities per software release version N/a Implemented
Ongoing Gathering feedback on RevisionSlider, mention notifications and edit conflict handling continues into Q3.
Important Indicators / Metrics
Growth icon
Percentage of products / release versions which are completed as estimated in the quarterly planning cycles (e.g. based on forecast of the # of sprints, story points, iterations, products per quarter) Due to the special conditions when working on community wishes we changed our approach here: Before a wish in the wishlist is turned into a proper task to be realized by the development team, lots of pre-work is needed, such as understanding what the need behind the wish is, coordinating with the WMF and other stakeholders, iterating with the community to understand if the current plan is what is expected and testing the technical feasibility of an idea. Not till then a proper estimation can be made.

Reflecting on these preconditions, we regard the following solution as more appropriate and feasible: Tracking the wishes' progress in a dedicated phabricator board that contains all the wishes of the German community including their current status, constantly updated. We plan to publish such a board in Q3.
Usages and/ or impact of implemented products on the Wikimedia projects Tracking of Catwatch feature: Used in 224 Wikis, enabled by 2,345 users in their watchlist and by 1,843 users in recent changes (data by June 30th)
# of complaints around WMDE response time to technical requests from the communities No complaints received by TCB product management or communications staff.

Objective 3: Support German and international community and staff collaboration on addressing internationally and locally relevant technical requests.

We have made great positive strides in this area. The collaboration with WMF Community Tech team is becoming a regular and integrated part of the TCB team. Bi-weekly standing meetings, close coordination before larger events, process integration and division of labor are working more and more smoothly. We now maintain a meta-page with the German-speaking community’s wishlist and the status of each project in English. We have also begun a joint reporting process in June. Three joint reports are planned for 2016 and can be found here. Teams got together face to face during the Jerusalem Hackathon, conducted work meetings and joint workshops at and around Wikimedia Conference and at Wikimania. As stated in the joint presentation on the community wishlists at the Wikimedia Conference by WMF and WMDE, the goal is “building better networks between volunteers, chapters and WMF staff by learning about other perspectives and taking them into account”.

WMF session at WMCON16
WMF session at WMCON16

One of the highlights this year was the hackathon in Jerusalem and surrounding events. The main theme was working on items from the community wishlists. We did this for the first time with the participation of an international team, and deepened the working relationships with volunteer hackers. Our team contributed to a workshop on data imports in Wikidata, and worked on many of our current projects, including the ArticlePlaceholder. Our developers also contributed to the WMF organized WikiArabia in Jordan and the WikiArabia tech meetup in Ramallah.

WMDE Software development team at the Jerusalem Hackathon 2016
WMDE Software development team at the Jerusalem Hackathon 2016

More detail on the 2016 hackathon in Jerusalem:

Video: The 2016 Wikimedia Hackathon in Jerusalem
Blogposts: In German and English

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
Documentation and follow-up of the output of two hackathons/ tech community events (Wikimedia Hackathon, Wikimania) e.g. requests jointly worked on by WMDE and international tech community N/a Hackathon outputs documented and tracked on MediaWiki and Phabricator (for overview about tasks at Wikimedia Hackathon pls. also see here)
Main events for 2016 already done, but subsequent work will be constantly documented on the wishlist pages and on Phabricator.
Important Indicators / Metrics
Growth icon
Number of participants at WMDE sessions at hackathons/ tech community events (WM Hackathon, Wikimania) Great success: This year’s Wikimedia Hackathon in Jerusalem was especially dedicated to technical community wishes (118 participants).

25 participants joined the community wishlist session at WMCON16.
Wikimania Hackathon saw joint work on the RevisionSlider task and the “include tables in PDF” wish. 15-20 participants joined WMDE’s ‘edit conflict handling’ session and 12 editors have tested the prototype for a better solution of edit conflicts at the “edit conflict and cookies corner”.

Objective 4: Throughout 2016, contribute to the shared learning on community-centered software development in the movement.

Our staff has been busy in spreading the gospel of community-centered software development throughout the movement. We gave presentations and actively took part at several movement events such as Wikimedia Conference, the Jerusalem Hackathon, and Wikimania, as well as at WMF Metrics and Activities meeting. A full list of presentations and contributions can be found below.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) End of year (projected or actual) Comments
Six software development success (or failure) stories published until end of 2016 N/a On track: 3 success stories shared

More to come Success story about ‘Watchlist code refactoring’

Presentation about our work on the ‘Revision Slider’ at the WMF Metrics & Activities Meeting June (Video, from timecode 17:56 on)

Presentation at WMCON16 about ‘The Technical Wishes Project: Stories from the heart of community centered software development’

Important Indicators / Metrics
Growth icon
# of announcements on WM project pages and international movement platforms One major feature announcement: Catwatch, spread via Tech News (mailing list, project chat and individual subscribers of several wikis) and German Wikipeda.

Joint status report with WMF Community Tech team (via mailing lists, village pumps)

Regular updates on meta: WMDE Technical Wishes
# of talks and workshops at movement events (e.g. Wikimania, WM Hackathon, WMCON) 4

Shared Learnings from WMDE Software Development[edit]

For further shared learnings from WMDE pls. see Shared Learnings section below



Learning Patterns


Non-APG funded programs as per WMDE 2016 compass priorities[edit]

This section provides information on the other components of the WMDE Annual Plan, organized along the lines of the 2016 Annual Compass. The document is organized along 10 focal points on three priority levels (rather than programs). It serves as a strategic guide for 2016, and allows WMDE to flexibly develop and implement activities that will directly contribute to the goals and objectives under each focal point.

Each of the three focal points at priority level one - volunteer recruitment, software development and political work -  has a cross-departmental work group assigned to the completion of the objectives. Lower priority level focal points are addressed by respective departmental staff. Progress on the focal points, goals and objectives is reported to the board on a quarterly basis.

Attract and retain new volunteers for the Wikimedia movement[edit]

In 2016 WMDE places a strong focus on identifying strategies to increase the number of volunteers contributing to the German Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects in 2016.

Documentation of community workshop 2016
Documentation of community workshop 2016

New editors are essential for the movement to assure openness and diversity, and to sustain the long-term viability and quality of Wikimedia projects. In the first six months of 2016, the working group and teams entrusted with this focal point laid the groundwork for a better understanding of the social mechanisms that cause new volunteers to join the movement, and then either to stay or to leave. We conducted a workshop with community members and engaged in other forms of dialogue, and interviewed internal and external experts on volunteer engagement.

To inform our upcoming activities, we conducted a survey among existing active editors with questions that aim at better understanding the ‘welcome culture’ of the German Wikipedia and at exploring potential support strategies for newcomers.

Highlight Box: WMDE Editor Survey

Key finding from WMDE Editor Survey

In January 2016, the Volunteer Support department conducted a Wikipedia editor survey in order to better understand the attitude among existing editors towards newbies. Key findings included:

  • High number of participants (n = 686) despite short survey time: Topic seems very relevant
  • High number of comments provides many and diverse suggestions and remarks
  • Results confirm the necessity to improve the communication culture and the support offered to new editors within the German Wikipedia
  • Potential: 42% of the participants are willing to commit to support new editors, another 32% have not decided yet - this hints at a great potential for offering special support to new editors. The 42% *are those who are very active, communicative editors that also meet other editors personally

More information on Meta.

Subsequently, the team began to develop concepts for a campaign to attract new authors and ran a few preliminary tests. With volunteers we planned and implemented the media outreach around the 15th Wikipedia birthday. In Q2, following some staff turnover affecting this priority, the working group recommended a more deliberate and thoughtful approach to the emerging plans for the campaign, and will come up with an improved concept in Q3.

Goal 1

Increase the number of Volunteers active in the Wikimedia projects: Motivate a significant number of the thousands of daily Wikipedia users to become active contributors to the projects.


Objective Progress at end of Q2 Comments
By the end of 2016, # of additional new German Wikipedia user accounts: 20.000 Ongoing:
Accounts de.wp: 2,277,002 +119,747 vs. baseline end of 2015 (+62,902 vs. Q1)
Note: Only a small amount of new user accounts can be attributed to particular WMDE activities.
By the end of 2016, # of additional users that have made the 10th edit: 1,000 on top of 2015 baseline of 8,706. Ongoing:
de.wp Accounts with 10 Edits: 171,854 (end of May 2016) +4,616 vs. baseline (+3,463 vs. Q1)
By the 4th Quarter 2016, # of additional users who make 5+ edits/month: 150 (on top of the baseline Q4 2015: average 5,832 active editors) Not due yet These numbers will be reported in Q4.

Goal 2

Create the conditions for volunteers to contribute towards a larger body of knowledge (in terms of depth and breadth) of consistent quality and diversity in Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.


Objective Progress at end of Q2 Comments
By the end of Q2, compile a report representing the current status of knowledge on content and authors of the German Wikipedia. Delayed: The completion of this objective has been postponed to Q4.

Software Development[edit]

See above “2.2 APG-funded program: Software Development for the Wikimedia Movement” for details.

Strengthen political and legal work aimed at promoting free knowledge[edit]


Our Wikimedian in Brussels at Wikimania in Esino Lario
Our Wikimedian in Brussels at Wikimania in Esino Lario

In Q1 the respective WMDE working group was formed and laid the groundwork for deepening and strengthening WMDE’s political activities in 2016. They identified and prioritized the relevant policy issues, reviewed internal decision making processes, and completed the recruitment process for the legal and policy advisor in a timely manner. John Weitzmann joined WMDE in April of 2016, and has now taken over the leadership of the cross-departmental working group, which meets monthly and reviews all requests for cooperation that have a legal or political dimension.

Working closely with the OTRS support team, they responded to a variety of legal and political inquiries. WMDE was invited and gave a statement to the Parliament of the State of Nordrhein-Westfalen on the topic of digitalization in public memorial institutions. In Q2, many political activities were conducted, conferences attended and political statements issued (see objective below). The routine coordination with the Brussels Wikimedia office as well as with the Open Education Alliance was established. At the WMDE General Member Assembly in May, we hosted world café tables for the major WMDE focal points, including political work, to gather input for 2017 from our stakeholders.

Goal 1

To establish WMDE as a competent and relevant contact point with mass media on policy issues relevant to free knowledge. Specific national and EU issues will be identified, prioritized, and responded to as they arise.


Objective Progress at end of Q2 Comments
Within four months of hiring the policy advisor, identify relevant policy issues, and develop as well as document WMDE positions on each issue. Ongoing:
The policy advisor joined us in April. The major policy issues have been identified. The WMDE position documentation is still ongoing.
2016 issues are: Public works, EU data base directive, freedom of panorama, protect PD status from digitization rights, orphan works, interoperability, refugees.
Increase the number of Wikipedia/Wikimedia related articles in the German press that directly mention WMDE (through quotes, mentioning WMDE staff/board, or covering policy positions; clearly resulting from WMDE communication efforts) to 150 in the first half and 190 in the second half of 2016 (100-150% increase, Baseline 1st half of 2015: 74). Almost on track:
Total articles: 543
With direct mentions: 146
By the end of 2016, three op-eds and six interviews involving WMDE staff or board have been published/aired. Ongoing:
Op-Eds: 0
Articles: 3
Interviews: 1
These numbers will be reported in Q4.

Goal 2

To work directly with political decision makers and actively shape policy.


Objective Progress at end of Q2 Comments
Within two months of hiring the policy advisor, all requests for assistance from the volunteer response (OTRS) team have been responded to in a timely manner. Each request is analyzed for its significance, and if needed, follow-up in terms of legal action and/or public awareness is initiated. All requests received timely responses and follow up. Two major topics have been identified and will be addressed at an OTRS Team workshop in Q3:
  • Legal dimensions of requests for deletion
  • Stalking protection for volunteers (editors, OTRS, sysops)
By the end of the year, four political statements, position papers or public input into consultations have been published. On track:
3 statements: NRW parliament and 2 EU consultations; Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science;

Input on WMF-Brief regarding IPRED

By the end of 2016, three op-eds and six interviews involving WMDE staff or board have been published/aired. Ongoing:
Op-Eds: 0
Articles: 3
Interviews: 1
These numbers will be reported in Q4.

Highlight Box: Attribution Generator Tool

Screenshot of the Attribution Generator English landing page

The Attribution Generator was developed by WMDE’s software development team in close collaboration with the WMDE Education, Science and Culture Department and the WMDE Legal and Policy Advisor. The tool assists people who want to re-use media files from Commons or from a Wikipedia article which are published under an open license. The tool leads the user through a short dialogue and compiles all the information relevant for generating a correct license notice for the individual use case. Users can then quickly and easily copy the license notice in various formats and paste it into their publication. Currently, the tool covers the most frequent re-use cases in digital and printed works.

After a period of user feedback and fixes, the tool went online in March of 2016. We promoted it in May and June at various events, including Wikimania. To date, there have been almost 7,000 page views, and 5,000 license attributions were generated.

The English demo version was created to serve as a template for other affiliates to translate the tool for their language contexts. However, legal conditions have to be reviewed for each country and the tool will have to be adjusted accordingly if needed. The complete code of the tool is available on GitHub.

A detailed explanation how to translate the tool is available on Commons. Further information and WMDE contact details are found on this English language flyer. WMDE will continue to monitor use of the tool, collect user feedback and make needed adjustments. We welcome requests for assistance from movement members to apply the tool to their language and legal context.

Improve relationships between WMDE and volunteers[edit]


Preparation workshop for WikiCon16
Preparation workshop for WikiCon16

Under this focal point the volunteer support team continues to improve the process of applying for and receiving appropriate and effective monetary and technical supports. A total 184 volunteer applications were processed in Q1/Q2 2016, resulting in funding for diverse volunteer activities. This included individual travel stipends, volunteer meetups and workshops, as well as special events such as the German iteration of the Print Wikipedia project.

Highlight Box: Print Wikipedia

Michael Mandiberg, well known for his Print Wikipedia project exhibit displayed in New York in 2015, took the concept to Germany in June of 2016. A visualization of 3,406 volumes of the printed German Wikipedia was displayed at a gallery in Berlin. A five volume contributor appendix includes all named contributors to the German Wikipedia. The 80-ish ‘printed’ volumes only include text of the articles. Images and references are not included. WMDE supported the project by inviting Wikipedians to the opening reception, covering travel cost, and by funding the print cost for the contributor appendix.

Exhibition "From Aachen to Zylinderdruckpresse" by Michael Mandiberg

The annual Wikipedia volunteer conference WikiCon will take place near Stuttgart this fall, in the south of Germany. Q1/Q2 was busy with the local volunteer team planning the program and fundraising for the event. WMDE volunteer support, event and ZEN teams helped with the fundraising and event planning logistics.


Active volunteers have easy access to support, and are thus enabled to engage in the further development of WMDE and free knowledge activities.


Objective Progress at end of Q2 Comments
100% of complete project proposals receive a final response within three weeks after submission. On track:
Q1: 95%
Q2: 100 %
Average: 2.8 days
Maximum: 16 days
At least 1000 active volunteers are involved with or directly benefit from projects supported by WMDE Volunteer Support. On track:
Q1: 572
Q2: 635
Increase by 100% in the number of contributors and contributions to consultations regarding the planning of activities and development of WMDE strategy (baseline from the annual planning process for 2016: 16 ideas, 30 contributors, 200 contributions). Just started:
Q2: World Cafè at the WMDE Membership Assembly in May (81 participants)
Kick-off of the annual planning process

Recruit educational, scientific, and cultural institutions for flagship projects[edit]

Fellow Program Free Knowledge Header

Flagship projects with educational, scientific, and cultural institutions create attention for WMDE’s work to promote free knowledge in the arenas of science, culture and education. They are designed to kindle interest in similar collaborative work with additional institutions. These projects also serve as outreach to highly qualified authors and to motivate them to participate in Wikimedia projects.

The Fellow Program Free Knowledge is a pilot program we are testing with one large institutional partner in 2016. Ten fellows will be selected from a variety of disciplines and will be supported as they learn about and apply principles of open science to their research projects. The program is now in full swing: in Q2 we drafted and published the call for applications with a deadline in July. The program is presented on a website and is promoted through digital communication channels as well as through printed materials in both English and German. The team of mentors has been growing to include people from the Wikimedia communities. An evaluation plan has been drafted and evaluation instruments are being developed. We developed a concept for the kick-off event in September, which will involve open science experts as well as Wikimedia communities.


Establish free knowledge as an issue in education and science through the initiation of a Wikimedia Fellow Program.


Objective Progress at end of Q2 Comments
15 Fellows initiate research projects as part of the program. Ongoing:
The call for applications is open until mid of July.
Funding will allow for only 10 fellows in 2016
Three highlights or success stories from the program are published. Not due yet as program just starts, planned for Q4 or after

Improve the conditions for free knowledge through OER practice and policy[edit]


In June WMDE participated in consultations and hearings about the ‘strategy for digitalization of education’ of the ‘Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany’ (Kultusministerkonferenz, KMK). This is the most important national coordination and decision making body for education in our highly federalized education system. The meetings were co-hosted by KMK and the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (German: BMBF) to explore with stakeholders how to develop the future of teaching and learning in a digital world. WMDE is also preparing a statement for the written part of the consultation. We are making a strong case for open licenses, open educational resources and for incorporating a culture of sharing and collaborative creation of learning materials. We are integrating the learnings from Mapping OER into these types of statements, providing concrete suggestions around the structuring of legal and funding environments for open education, as well as around professional development for teachers and capacity building for educational institutions.

The OER Practice Framework itself (the main product of the 2015-2016 Mapping OER project) has been further distributed and promoted - for example, it was sent to political decision makers in all 16 German states.

We continue to support and collaborate within the Open Education Alliance, by analyzing political programs of coalition governments and parties in states with recent and upcoming elections, and issuing thematic checks on open education to parties and candidates about to go into an election.

Goal 1

Within 2016, build the capacity and secure the funding to implement the results of the OER Practice Framework.


Objective Progress at end of Q2 Comments
OER Practice Framework has been finalized and published. This has been completed and the work is being carried forward into Q3.
A proposal for funding the OER hub has been approved. Two proposal sketches were submitted and did not receive funding. Our strategy for open education activities is currently being revisited as part of the 2017 annual planning process.

Goal 2

WMDE contributes to and intensifies the policy debate regarding OER.

Objective Progress at end of Q2 Comments
Two statements (in response to consultations, etc) and two WMDE/BFB policy position papers have been published by the end of the year (in addition to the objectives under 1.3.). No position papers have been published yet. One position paper to KMK/BMBF is in the final stages as of the writing of this report.

Define and consolidate WMDE’s position within the international movement[edit]

Group photo WMCON16
Group photo WMCON16

WMDE continues to work systematically and cross-departmentally to ensure that we act as a strong learning partner in the movement. We think it is crucial that our own organization and our communities benefit from the knowledge of other movement entities, that movement partners may learn from our experience, and that we are in a position to have a greater impact by collaborating with international partners. Again in 2016, we hosted a successful Wikimedia Conference. At WMCON we proactively provided space and time for a respectful dialogue around the leadership crisis at WMF and thus contributed to restorative and productive proceedings towards emerging from that crisis. We also provided much input, as well as learning and collaboration opportunities at the Jerusalem Hackathon and at Wikimania. 32 volunteers from Germany traveled to Wikimania and more than two-thirds of them provided presentations and workshops.

Goal 1

Share as many possible learnings, successes and failures with the movement, WMF and other Wikimedia organizations.


Objective Progress at end of Q2 Comments
At least 20 learning patterns, learning materials, policies and procedures, statements, reports, documentations, resources etc. have been translated and shared. Q1: 5
Q2: 39
Total outputs shared: 44

Goal 2

WMDE is viewed as a respected and competent player within the movement, and actively participates in relevant decision-making processes.


Objective Progress at end of Q2 Comments
Our funding-related interactions with movement entities (PEG/APG proposals, reports, shared learnings) are aligned with movement priorities, demonstrate high quality, are well received, appreciated and result in the requested funding awards. On track. The 2015 impact report was received well.
The 2016 WMCON, according to survey results, was perceived as the best WMCON to date.
WMDE measurably participates in and influences three movement processes and decisions. On track.

‘How to move forward’ track at WMCON16 was provided.
WMDE public recommendations re affiliate selected board seats were endorsed by some chapters. Our preferred candidates were elected.

We are consulting on the re-design of the global metrics. We plan to be actively involved in and positively contributing to the movement strategy process recently announced by the new WMF leadership.

Regionalization of volunteer structures: continue and analyze[edit]

During the past two years, WMDE has increasingly supported local groups as they built hubs that strengthen and build the basis for local work on Wikimedia projects. In 2016, we set out to better understand the mechanisms of local empowerment. To this effect, our volunteer support team conducted a study on local spaces, which was published in Q1 (a summary in English can be found on page 17). Staff presented and discussed the findings with movement members at Wikimania. More interaction with our volunteers on this topic is planned for the German volunteer conference WikiCon in the fall.

Highlight Box: Taking local support to the global level

At a well-attended workshop during the Wikimania pre-conference more than 35 participants learned about various approaches to activate and support local volunteer structures. In addition to the local hubs in Germany, presentations were shared on the suburbian support in France, the ambassador concept in Italy, the support of local committees in Bangladesh, the Kumushu Bus in Ethiopia and Ghana, and several other activities. Inspired by the diverse views and approaches, a lively discussion about local support concepts ensued. The suggestion of creating sister city partnerships allowing Wikimedians to exchange ideas and experiences online was received with much enthusiasm. This project idea will now be further pursued on Meta.

Workshop at Wikimania in Esino Lario
WikiMUC - local hub in Munich
WikiMUC - local hub in Munich

In April we were able to secure an additional local space, this time for the community in Munich. The volunteers in this region are hard at work setting up the space with the financial and logistical support of WMDE. The new space, the first in the Southern part of Germany, has created much attention, including with local media, even before it opened. The space is in a historically preserved building owned by the city, offered at a reduced rental rate by the City of Munich. The space is now open to local activists three times per week, and already has been used for several events of the local community. WMDE developed a new contract format to cover the detail of the relationship with the local group running the space, which is now our standard contractual instrument for these situations.

Goal 1

Working closely with local communities to analyze local hubs/activities based on an jointly developed evaluation plan.


Objective Progress at end of Q2 Comments
Three local hubs have been evaluated. Completed:
5 regional hubs have been analysed jointly with volunteers and are reflected in a study.
A report with recommendations on scaling regionalization has been published on Meta and has been accessed by at least 100 groups and individuals. Completed:

The study has been published on Commons (incl. an English summary) and received 126 pageviews by users so far.

Goal 2

Continue the support for the existing eight local hubs, as well as test and share additional ways to directly support local groups.


Objective Progress at end of Q2 Comments
Eight local groups have implemented 200 local activities with WMDE support. On track:

10 groups, 171 local activities

Learnings from regional work have been processed and shared with volunteers in local groups. Learnings were shared at Wikimania. A local workshop is not realistic this year due to staff constraints but a side-event workshop at WikiCon is planned.
At least five additional groups apply shared learnings in their own local contexts. Five additional regional groups have begun planning for local spaces. We are still working on establishing cooperative agreements with some of the groups.
Volunteer and Groups (by June, 30th 2016) June 30th 2015
Program leaders / organizers of activities* 97 135
Active Wikimedians involved in activities supported by WMDE* 593 326
Participants at volunteer activities directly supported by WMDE** 4,545 1,944
Local groups cooperating in their respective region 59 42
Of that, local hubs (locations with formalized Wikimedia meeting space) 10 8
* Data from all volunteer projects directly supported by WMDE in Q1/Q2
** Figure does not include additional participants of activities at local hubs (indirectly supported by WMDE)

Involvement of volunteers[edit]


For many years, WMDE has been working closely with volunteers in a variety of areas: Programs, activities, support structures, and most recent, annual planning. WMDE plans to continue, and to systematically expand upon collaborative and participatory practices. Community engagement methods and principles will be applied in a variety of settings, including the planning of activities, and the setting of organizational strategy. WMDE will document and share practices and tools, and analyze how community engagement affects the organization’s ability to reach its goals.


Systematically and jointly plan and develop the collaboration between WMDE staff and community volunteers.


Objective Progress at end of Q2 Comments
Volunteers have been meaningfully included or involved in the implementation of 100% of annual plan goals. Q1: Volunteers involved in 6 of 10 focal points.

Q2: Volunteers involved in 7 of 10 focal points.

Develop a toolkit with volunteers that includes principles and practices of volunteer- staff collaboration. Cancelled, due to changes in staff allocation Staff resources shifted to focal point ‘Attract and retain new volunteers for the Wikimedia movement’.
For each activity, the respective department reviews how communities can be involved. Checked and reviewed for Q1 / Q2

Clarification of WMDE identity and strategy[edit]


World Cafe at WMDE membership assembly regarding 2017 Annual Plan
World Cafe at WMDE membership assembly regarding 2017 Annual Plan

In 2015 we started with an improved process for the annual strategy (compass) and the subsequent annual operating planning process. This process has been further fine tuned for the 2017 Annual Plan, including streamlined focal points and targeted stakeholder participation for each area of focus. A multi-year strategy will help clarify some of the more basic questions and tie our multiyear focal points (such as volunteer recruitment and software development) together.

A pre-condition of clarifying the identity of our organization is a better understanding of our membership base. For this purpose, we developed a white paper on the topic ‘membership-based organization’, which documents the development of the membership base, the membership assemblies and the member participation to date. The paper outlines reveals a few developmental scenarios and will be utilized as a knowledge base for strategy development.


Plan the process to develop a multi-year organizational strategy, and assure a common understanding among all stakeholders (board, executive director, staff, membership) about process and community participation.


Objective Progress at end of Q2 Comments
Concept, tools and timeline for creating a multi-year strategy that is data-based, participatory, adaptive, real-time, applicable and relevant. The board working group on strategy and planning met in May and created a draft plan for the multi-year strategy.

Shared Learnings[edit]

Learning Patterns



Financial Information[edit]

WMDE Expenses 2016 by Quarter[edit]

Table 1: WMDE Expenses 2016 by Quarter

Wikimedia Deutschland: Expenses 2016 by Quarter

APG Program Expenses Q1 Expenses Q2 Expenses Q3 Expenses Q4 Expenses
Activity Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel cost Cumulative Cumulative in USD
Focal Point 1.2: Software Development for the Movement
Program Expenses
ArticlePlaceholder 1,622 € 17,083 € 953 € 12,733 € 32,392 € $ 36,337
Automated list generation 2,880 € - 4,646 € - 7,526 € $ 8,442
Structured data support for Wikimedia sister projects 8,761 € 44,777 € 2,979 € 62,249 € 118,766 € $ 133,231
Unit conversion - - 414 € - 414 € $ 464
Partnerships for Wikidata and foster collaboration in Open Data - 16,196 € 156 € 14,716 € 31,068 € $ 34,852
Continued mentoring program volunteers 1,006 € 2,612 € 6,566 € 8,580 € 18,765 € $ 21,050
New datatypes and improvements to existing ones 2,596 € 42,318 € 883 € 18,423 € 64,219 € $ 72,040
Continue to evolve the user interface 3,245 € 25,235 € 1,103 € 23,026 € 52,609 € $ 59,016
Agile development of community requests from the technical wishlist - 34,757 € 791 € 59,854 € 95,401 € $ 107,020
Cooperation with the Community Tech Team (WMF) - 6,309 € 248 € 6,367 € 12,924 € $ 14,497
Hacking on international technical requests 3,088 € 2,097 € 192 € 7,451 € 12,828 € $ 14,390
Events SD & E 2,988 € 730 € 3,307 € 1,867 € 8,891 € $ 9,974
User specific workshops SD&E communites - 39 € - 287 € 326 € $ 366
Subtotal 26,186 € 192,151 € 22,238 € 215,553 € 456,129 € $ 511,680
Management, Coordination and Developer Capacity - 30,048 € - 30,091 € 60,139 € $ 67,464
Subtotal 26,186 € 222,200 € 22,238 € 245,644 € 516,268 € $ 579,144
Administrative Overhead (1) 7,332 € 62,216 € 6,227 € 68,780 € 144,555 € $ 162,160
Total APG Expenses 33,518 € 284,416 € 28,464 € 314,425 € 660,823 € $ 741,304
Non-APG Program Expenses

(Other Focal Points)

Q1 Expenses Q2 Expenses Q3 Expenses Q4 Expenses
Focal Point Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Cumulative Cumulative in USD
Priority Level 1
1.1: Attract and retain new volunteers for Wikimedia projects 42,516 € 56,738 € 39,230 € 57,892 € 196,376 € $ 220,293
1.3: Strengthen political and legal work aimed at promoting free knowledge 11,187 € 27,806 € 13,098 € 37,794 € 89,885 € $ 100,832
Subtotal 53,703 € 84,544 € 52,328 € 95,686 € 286,261 € $ 321,125
Priority Level 2
2.1: Improve relationship between WMDE and volunteers 36,320 € 39,055 € 58,627 € 43,449 € 177,451 € $ 199,063
2.2: Recruit educational, scientific, and cultural institutions for flagship projects - 20,374 € 717 € 25,677 € 46,768 € $ 52,464
2.3: Improve the conditions for free knowledge through OER practice and policy 112,857 € 49,866 € 5,533 € 15,099 € 183,355 € $ 205,686
2.4: Define and consolidate WMDE’s position within the international movement 29,870 € 38,850 € 68,055 € 45,105 € 181,880 € $ 204,031
Subtotal 179,047 € 148,145 € 132,932 € 129,330 € 589,454 € $ 661,244
Priority Level 3
3.1: Regionalization of volunteer structures: continue and analyze 7,536 € 3,096 € 27,538 € 1,005 € 39,175 € $ 43,946
3.2: Involvement of volunteers - 1,570 € 292 € 32 € 1,894 € $ 2,125
3.3: Clarification of WMDE identity and strategy - 18,850 € 395 € 14,717 € 33,962 € $ 38,098
Subtotal 7,536 € 23,516 € 28,225 € 15,754 € 75,031 € $ 84,169
Total Non-APG Expenses 240,286 € 256,205 € 213,485 € 240,770 € 950,746 € $ 1,066,537
Other Program and Program Support Expenses

(Remaining Expenses not included in Focal Points)

Q1 Expenses Q2 Expenses Q3 Expenses Q4 Expenses
Department Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Cumulative Cumulative in USD
Education, Science and Culture 339 € 7,817 € 521 € - 8,677 € $ 9,734
Volunteer Support 11 € 1,927 € 1,346 € - 3,283 € $ 3,683
Software Development 4,524 € 69,693 € 1,346 € 37,988 € 113,551 € $ 127,381
Communication 295 € 13,914 € 11,640 € 8,448 € 34,298 € $ 38,475
Event Management 2,419 € 29,827 € 2,469 € 29,917 € 64,633 € $ 72,504
Partnerships und Development - 12,973 € - 17,622 € 30,596 € $ 34,322
Total Other Program and Program Support Expenses 7,588 € 136,152 € 17,322 € 93,975 € 255,038 € $ 286,099
Administrative Expenses (including Indirect Program Expenses) Q1 Expenses Q2 Expenses Q3 Expenses Q4 Expenses
Item Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Cumulative Cumulative in USD
Office of the ED, Supervisory Board 14,675 € 34,293 € 12,969 € 33,075 € 95,012 € $ 106,584
Finance 7,466 € 12,706 € 9,535 € 11,905 € 41,612 € $ 46,680
IT 27,735 € 13,947 € 45,536 € 13,403 € 100,621 € $ 112,876
Operations (incl. Works Council, HR) 120,937 € 29,750 € 107,099 € 29,270 € 287,056 € $ 322,016
Total Administrative Expenses 170,813 € 90,697 € 175,138 € 87,653 € 524,302 € $ 588,156
Total Expenses Q1 Expenses Q2 Expenses Q3 Expenses Q4 Expenses
Total Program and Associated Expenses 452,205 € 767,470 € 434,409 € 736,824 € 2,390,908 € $ 2,682,097
Operating reserves - - - -
Total Expenses including Operating Reserves 452,205 € 767,470 € 434,409 € 736,824 € 2,390,908 € $ 2,682,097


(1) Administrative overhead: Our administrative overhead rate for 2016 is 28 %. These numbers reflect the share of administrative costs for our APG-funded software activities in our total administrative costs.

WMDE Expenses 2016, Budgeted vs. Actual[edit]

Table 2: WMDE Expenses 2016, Budgeted vs. Actual

Wikimedia Deutschland: Expenses 2016, Budgeted vs. Actual

Total in EUR Total in USD
Budgeted Actual Budgeted Actual
APG Expenses Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Total Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Total Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Total Nonpersonnel Cost Personnel Cost Total Percentage of Budget Spent Explanation of Variances from Plan
Focal Point 1.2: Software Development for the Movement
Program Costs
ArticlePlaceholder 5,500 € 57,034 € 62,534 € 2,576 € 29,816 € 32,392 € $ 6,170 $ 63,980 $ 70,150 $ 2,890 $ 33,448 $ 36,337 52%
Automated list generation 14,000 € 112,674 € 126,674 € 7,526 € - 7,526 € $ 15,705 $ 126,397 $ 142,102 $ 8,442 - $ 8,442 6% In preparation. Activity has not started yet.
Structured data support for Wikimedia sister projects 58,000 € 324,334 € 382,334 € 11,741 € 107,026 € 118,766 € $ 65,064 $ 363,835 $ 428,898 $ 13,170 $ 120,060 $ 133,231 31%
Unit convertion 12,000 € 78,507 € 90,507 € 414 € - 414 € $ 13,461 $ 88,068 $ 101,530 $ 464 - $ 464 0% In preparation. Activity has not started yet.
Partnerships for Wikidata and foster collaboration in Open Data 12,000 € 62,596 € 74,596 € 156 € 30,912 € 31,068 € $ 13,461 $ 70,220 $ 83,681 $ 175 $ 34,677 $ 34,852 42%
Continued Mentoring Program Volunteers 26,000 € 43,370 € 69,370 € 7,572 € 11,193 € 18,765 € $ 29,167 $ 48,652 $ 77,819 $ 8,494 $ 12,556 $ 21,050 27%
New datatypes and improvements to existing ones 5,000 € 78,298 € 83,298 € 3,479 € 60,740 € 64,219 € $ 5,609 $ 87,834 $ 93,443 $ 3,902 $ 68,138 $ 72,040 77%
Continue to evolve the user interface 10,000 € 79,633 € 89,633 € 4,348 € 48,261 € 52,609 € $ 11,218 $ 89,332 $ 100,549 $ 4,878 $ 54,138 $ 59,016 59%
Agile development of community requests from the technical wishlist 9,500 € 263,176 € 272,676 € 791 € 94,610 € 95,401 € $ 10,657 $ 295,228 $ 305,885 $ 887 $ 106,133 $ 107,020 35%
Cooperation with the Community Tech Team (WMF) 3,500 € 42,942 € 46,442 € 248 € 12,676 € 12,924 € $ 3,926 $ 48,172 $ 52,098 $ 278 $ 14,219 $ 14,497 28%
Hacking on international technical requests 13,500 € 81,001 € 94,501 € 3,280 € 9,548 € 12,828 € $ 15,144 $ 90,866 $ 106,010 $ 3,679 $ 10,711 $ 14,390 14%
Events SD & E 10,000 € 45,919 € 55,919 € 6,294 € 2,597 € 8,891 € $ 11,218 $ 51,511 $ 62,729 $ 7,061 $ 2,913 $ 9,974 16%
User specific workshops SD&E communites 5,000 € 17,012 € 22,012 € - 326 € 326 € $ 5,609 $ 19,084 $ 24,693 - $ 366 $ 366 1% In preparation. Activity has not started yet.
Subtotal 184,000 € 1,286,496 € 1,470,496 € 48,424 € 407,705 € 456,129 € $ 206,409 $ 1,443,178 $ 1,649,588 $ 54,321 $ 457,359 $ 511,680 31% Low personnel and non-personnel expenses due to postponed hiring of staff and cancelling of contractors for positions which were initially planned. Some of these vacant positions have already been filled by the end of Q2.
Management, Coordination and Developer Capacity 7,000 € 112,778 € 119,778 € - 60,139 € 60,139 € - $ 126,513 $ 134,366 - $ 67,464 $ 67,464 50%
Subtotal 191,000 € 1,399,274 € 1,590,274 € 48,424 € 467,844 € 516,268 € $ 206,409 $ 1,569,692 $ 1,783,953 $ 54,321 $ 524,823 $ 579,144 32%
Administrative Overhead - - 448,370 € 13,559 € 130,996 € 144,555 € - - $ 502,977 $ 15,210 $ 146,950 $ 162,160 32%
Total APG Expenses 191,000 € 1,399,274 € 2,038,644 € 61,982 € 598,841 € 660,823 € $ 206,409 $ 1,569,692 $ 2,286,930 $ 69,531 $ 671,773 $ 741,304 32%
Non-APG Expenses
Priority Level 1
1.1: Attract and retain new volunteers for Wikimedia projects 186,000 € 266,767 € 452,767 € 81,746 € 114,630 € 196,376 € $ 208,653 $ 299,257 $ 507,909 $ 91,702 $ 128,591 $ 220,293 43%
1.3: Strengthen political and legal work aimed at promoting free knowledge 144,500 € 252,467 € 396,967 € 24,286 € 65,599 € 89,885 € $ 162,099 $ 283,215 $ 445,314 $ 27,244 $ 73,588 $ 100,832 23%
Subtotal 330,500 € 519,234 € 849,734 € 106,032 € 180,229 € 286,261 € $ 370,752 $ 582,472 $ 953,223 $ 118,946 $ 202,179 $ 321,125 34%
Priority Level 2
2.1: Improve relationship between WMDE and volunteers 320,000 € 100,000 € 420,000 € 94,947 € 82,505 € 177,452 € $ 358,973 $ 112,179 $ 471,152 $ 106,511 $ 92,553 $ 199,064 42%
2.2: Recruit educational, scientific, and cultural institutions for flagship projects 40,000 € 73,000 € 113,000 € 717 € 46,051 € 46,768 € $ 44,872 $ 81,891 $ 126,762 $ 804 $ 51,660 $ 52,464 41%
2.3: Improve the conditions for free knowledge through OER practice and policy 48,000 € 132,000 € 180,000 € 118,390 € 64,965 € 183,355 € $ 53,846 $ 148,076 $ 201,922 $ 132,809 $ 72,877 $ 205,686 102% Nonpersonnel expenses for Mapping OER were much higher than planned, partly due to expenses planned for 2015 but realised in 2016. All of these expenses have been fully reimbursed through the grantmaker.
2.4: Define and consolidate WMDE’s position within the international movement 172,896 € 157,482 € 330,378 € 97,925 € 83,955 € 181,880 € $ 193,953 $ 176,662 $ 370,615 $ 109,851 $ 94,180 $ 204,031 55%
Subtotal 580,896 € 462,482 € 1,043,378 € 311,979 € 277,476 € 589,455 € $ 651,643 $ 518,808 $ 1,170,451 $ 349,975 $ 311,270 $ 661,245 56%
Priority Level 3
3.1: Regionalization of volunteer structures: continue and analyze 65,000 € 10,000 € 75,000 € 35,073 € 4,101 € 39,174 € $ 72,916 $ 11,218 $ 84,134 $ 39,345 $ 4,600 $ 43,945 52%
3.2: Involvement of volunteers - 62,000 € 62,000 € 292 € 1,602 € 1,894 € - $ 69,551 $ 69,551 $ 328 $ 1,797 $ 2,125 3% Staff resources shifted to focal point 1.1: Attract and retain new volunteers for the Wikimedia movement. Some activities were cancelled.
3.3: Clarification of WMDE identity and strategy 5,403 € 108,933 € 114,336 € 395 € 33,567 € 33,962 € $ 6,061 $ 122,200 $ 153,685 $ 443 $ 37,655 $ 38,098 30%
Subtotal 70,403 € 180,933 € 251,336 € 35,760 € 39,270 € 75,030 € $ 78,977 $ 202,969 $ 281,946 $ 40,115 $ 44,053 $ 84,168 30%
Total Non-APG Expenses 981,799 € 1,162,649 € 2,144,448 € 453,771 € 496,975 € 950,746 € $ 1,101,372 $ 1,304,248 $ 2,405,620 $ 509,036 $ 557,502 $ 1,066,537 44%
Other Program/Program Support Expenses

(Remaining Expenses not included in Focal Points)

Education, Science and Culture 20,000 € 17,815 € 37,815 € 860 € 7,817 € 8,677 € $ 22,436 $ 19,985 $ 42,420 $ 964 $ 8,769 $ 9,734 23%
Volunteer Support 65,000 € 35,219 € 100,219 € 1,356 € 1,927 € 3,283 € $ 72,916 $ 39,508 $ 112,425 $ 1,522 $ 2,162 $ 3,683 3% Program costs were shifted to focal point 2.1: Improve relationship between WMDE and volunteers.
Software Development 16,624 € 125,284 € 141,908 € 5,869 € 107,682 € 113,551 € $ 18,649 $ 140,542 $ 159,191 $ 6,584 $ 120,796 $ 127,381 80% Additional personnel expenses due to increased support for the Fundraising department.
Communications 54,469 € 76,405 € 130,874 € 11,936 € 22,362 € 34,298 € $ 61,103 $ 85,710 $ 146,813 $ 13,389 $ 25,085 $ 38,475 26%
Event Management 10,000 € 121,590 € 131,590 € 4,889 € 59,744 € 64,633 € $ 11,218 $ 136,398 $ 147,616 $ 5,484 $ 67,020 $ 72,504 49%
Partnerships and Development 58,500 € 1,801 € 60,301 € - 30,596 € 30,596 € $ 65,625 $ 2,020 $ 67,645 - $ 34,322 $ 34,322 51%
Total Other Program/Program Support Expenses 224,593 € 378,114 € 602,707 € 24,910 € 230,128 € 255,038 € $ 251,946 $ 424,165 $ 676,111 $ 27,944 $ 258,155 $ 286,099 42%
Administration Expenses

(incl. Indirect Program Expenses)

Office of the ED, Supervisory Board 171,500 € 328,567 € 500,067 € 27,644 € 67,369 € 95,012 € $ 192,387 $ 368,583 $ 560,970 $ 31,010 $ 75,573 $ 106,584 19%
Finance 29,095 € 89,147 € 118,242 € 17,001 € 24,611 € 41,612 € $ 32,638 $ 100,004 $ 132,643 $ 19,072 $ 27,609 $ 46,680 35%
IT 180,000 € 117,176 € 297,176 € 73,271 € 27,350 € 100,621 € $ 201,922 $ 131,447 $ 333,369 $ 82,195 $ 30,681 $ 112,876 34%
Operations (Office, HR, Works Council) 561,382 € 271,359 € 832,741 € 228,036 € 59,020 € 287,056 € $ 629,753 $ 304,408 $ 934,161 $ 255,808 $ 66,208 $ 322,016 34%
Total Administration Expenses 941,977 € 806,249 € 1,748,226 € 345,951 € 178,350 € 524,302 € $ 1,056,700 $ 904,442 $ 1,961,142 $ 388,085 $ 200,072 $ 588,156 30%
Total Expenses

(Program and Associated Expenses)

2,339,369 € 3,746,286 € 6,085,655 € 886,614 € 1,504,294 € 2,390,908 € $ 2,616,428 $ 4,202,546 $ 6,818,974 $ 994,595 $ 1,687,502 $ 2,682,097 39%
Operating reserves - - 114,940 € - - - - - $ 128,939 - - - 0%
Total Expenses including Operating Reserves 2,339,369 € 3,746,286 € 6,200,595 € 886,614 € 1,504,294 € 2,390,908 € $ 2,616,428 $ 4,202,546 $ 6,947,913 $ 994,595 $ 1,687,502 $ 2,682,097 39%

WMDE Revenues 2016[edit]

Table 3: WMDE Revenues 2016

Wikimedia Deutschland: Revenue 2016

Revenues Q1 Revenue Q2 Revenue Q3 Revenue Q4 Revenue
Anticipated Cumulative Anticipated in USD Cumulative in USD Percentage Received Explanation of Variances from Plan
Donations 2,489,528 € 2,410,905 € 95,776 € 2,506,681 € $ 2,792,728 $ 2,811,969 101%
APG grant 1,500,000 € 1,200,000 € - 1,200,000 € $ 1,682,685 $ 1,346,148 80%
Membership fees 1,260,000 € 746,554 € 713,369 € 1,459,923 € $ 1,413,455 $ 1,637,726 116%
Grants 566,600 € - 543,608 € 543,608 € $ 635,606 $ 609,814 96%
Carry-over 0 € - - - - - 0%
Other revenue 15,000 € 5,983 € 11,167 € 17,150 € $ 16,827 $ 19,239 114%
Fundraising management overhead 217,274 € 50,000 € - 50,000 € $ 243,736 $ 56,090 23%
Wikimedia Conference 152,193 € - - - $ 170,729 - 0%
Total 6,200,595 € 4,413,442 € 1,363,920 € 5,777,362 € $ 6,955,765 $ 6,480,986 93%

WMFG Expenses and Revenues 2016[edit]

Table 4: WMFG Expenses and Revenues 2016

Wikimedia Fördergesellschaft: Expenses and Revenues 2016

Revenues Q1 Revenue Q2 Revenue Q3 Revenue Q4 Revenue
Anticipated Cumulative Anticipated in USD Cumulative in USD Percentage Received Explanation of Variances from Plan
Donations within the Fundraising Agreement (carry-over 2015) 9,441,647 € 9,347,624 € - 9,347,624 € $ 10,591,545 $ 10,486,071 99% Fluctuations due to across-FY payments to WMF
Donations within the Fundraising Agreement (first term 2016) 2,014,993 € 701,455 € 316,928 € 1,018,383 € $ 2,260,399 $ 1,142,412 51% Fluctuations due to across-FY payments to WMF
Donations within the Fundraising Agreement (second term 2016) 9,441,647 € - - - $ 10,591,545 - 0%
Interest 8,000 € 575 € 67 € 642 € $ 8,974 $ 721 8% Lower revenue due to interest rate reduction
Total 20,906,287 € 10,049,654 € 316,995 € 10,366,649 € $ 23,452,464 $ 11,629,204 50%

Expenses Q1 Expenses Q2 Expenses Q3 Expenses Q4 Expenses
Budgeted Cumulative Budgeted in USD Cumulative in USD Percentage Spent Explanation of Variances from Plan
Transfer of Donations to WMF (July 15 - June 16) 6,353,035 € 5,394,474 € 221,152 € 5,615,626 € $ 7,126,771 $ 6,299,553 88%
Transfer of Donations to WMDE (July 15 - June 16) 2,489,528 € 2,410,905 € 95,776 € 2,506,681 € $ 2,792,728 $ 2,811,969 101%
Transfer of FDC funds to WMDE 1,200,000 € 1,200,000 € - 1,200,000 € $ 1,346,148 $ 1,346,148 100%
Fundraising Management Overhead WMDE 217,274 € 50,000 € - 50,000 € $ 243,736 $ 56,090 23%
Personnel Cost 192,849 € 51,164 € 37,255 € 88,419 € $ 216,336 $ 99,187 46%
Nonpersonnel Cost 711,954 € 74,303 € 182,837 € 257,140 € $ 798,663 $ 288,457 36%
Total 11,164,640 € 9,180,846 € 537,020 € 9,717,866 € $ 12,524,382 $ 10,901,405 87%


(Table 4) The difference between total revenue and total expenses results from the different fiscal requirements of WMF/WMFG/WMDE: WMF's fiscal year runs from July 01 to June 30, while WMFG's/WMDE's fiscal year is the calendar year. This results in across-financial year payments.


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Christian Rickerts (WMDE) (talk) 12:43, 25 July 2016 (UTC)