The aim of this report (2nd in row) is to describe the state of things in the Wikimedia Czech Republic's Mediagrant (MG), as of November 2011. Since the last report, we have gotten over the initial phase of starting many new projects at the same time. 6 topics, as well as 3 other substantial projects have already been approved and are ready to be realized, although only some of them are fully in operation.
Overview of MG media collection topics
Approved topics (see below for details):
- Jewish Monuments
- Current events
- Protected Natural Areas and Memorable Trees in the Czech Republic
- Czech Municipalities
- Czech Vernacular Clothes and Customs
- Vernacular architecture
Topics in the state of evaluation:
- Water bodies of the Czech Republic
Topics (in the state of development)
- Glassmaking documentation
- Documentation of observation towers in the Czech Republic
- Scientific Photography
- Landmarks commemorating famous people
These requests mostly handles stuff which is not intended to be continuous, such as acquiring of new equipment to enable Wikimedia volunteers to get more useful media for our projects, or cover useful activities which do not fit into any of the approved topics.
- New photographic equipment (approved another entry-level DSLR body, as well as a wide-angle lens and polarizer, for estimated amount of 33465 CZK)
- GPS devices (handheld GPS and GPS logger, for estimated 7918 CZK)
- Batteries for flash (new rechargeable batteries for our photographic flash, for 383 CZK)
- 2011 photo workshop (12172 CZK)
- Czech Republic/Mediagrant/Železniční_trať Documenting a unique railway track (640 CZK)
- Documenting a pottery fair in Beroun (164 CZK)
Results (as of 3. 11. 2011)
- Project page (in Czech)
- 24 trips so far
- Number of new objects: 238
- Number of images: 1845
- Cost: 5624 CZK (~ $310)
- Project page (in Czech)
- 12 trips so far
- Number of new objects: 53
- Number of images: 886
- Cost: 2489 CZK (~ $137)
There were twelve individual trips totally, made by six participants. Three of them were active users participating in other grants too, however three of them were new users of Mediagrant (or its precursor). Two of them were motivated by advertising of this grant on the Facebook page which is run by Chmee2. The grant was also offered to students from Charles University, faculty of Natural Science who are about to write articles about the Czech protected areas as a part of their seminar work. None of them have joined the grant so far.
- no trips yet
Czech Vernacular Clothes and Customs
Currently there is one recorded photo trip to folk festival, estimated costs are 2000 CZK. There are 190 photos uploaded so far, 400 more are yet to be processed.
There is one logged photo trip to "Czech Bus" exhibition, with listed costs of 50 CZK.
In the beginning of November, WMCZ Board has changed the membership of 'Eye' to: Che, Packa, Chmee2 and Vojtech.dostal in hope of reducing internal tension and get things moving forward. The Eye subsequently decided to open its Basecamp collaboration platform to members of WMCZ board and possibly other interested people.
We are still getting new requests for funding projects, however, they are mainly proposed by same people from Czech chapter. Connection of new people to the operating grants or motivation of other people from outside of the Chapter to request own grant are low or non-existent. People willing to devote their time to administration of their 'own' project and its preparation are not numerous.
There are still delays in approving of submissions. Hopefully in the upcoming time, these delays will be removed and process will be quicker and more smooth. Current time necessary to authorize or denied application is ranging between 2-6 weeks with regard to the difficulty of the application. On the other hand, some requests are authorized relatively quickly (e.g. "new batteries for external flash" took two days to approve).
More pressing matter is the actual operation of media grant itself, mainly its accounting and payment parts. This area has seen significant development in the past month, namely:
- Our tracking application is now able to provide overviews and per-user sums of expenses that are set as "accepted" (e.g. for which we have already received the necessary receipts), and track them against what has been paid to the volunteers. Although quite a few rough edges still remain, this means we have set up the basic framework for all parts of the workflow.
- After our discussions about paid employee, we have decided to use volunteer work for collecting the receipts. Two members of the Eye have volunteered to do this work initially.
The next steps for the coming weeks will be collecting and reimbursing the receipts for trips already done and resolving any workflow issues that might turn up. From that point onward, we will be able to say that the Mediagrant is finally fully operational, and focus on finishing the above mentioned backlog of incoming project applications and oversight and reporting.
What to do better?
Another area that needs improvements (besides the operations and delays in processing some of the applications mentioned above) is certainly PR between chapter and cs.wiki community and motivation of more people so that they join MG.