- Applicant or grantee: Wikimedia Eesti
- Amount granted: 54,000 EUR (61,450 USD)
- Funding period: 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020
- Midpoint report due: 15 July 2020
- Final report due: 30 January 2021
Link to these documents, for the upcoming funding period, only if you have them.
- Link to your organization's staffing plan, for the upcoming funding period. Google Drive
- Link to your annual plan, for the upcoming funding period.
- Link to your strategic plan, which includes the upcoming funding period. On our blog (in Estonian)
Please describe any changes to your programs for the upcoming funding period, including the addition of new programs or any programs you are no longer doing. Include your rationale for any major changes to your programs here.
- We want this year to be one of consolidation as a chapter and of consolidation of our programs.
As a chapter, the main problem we found last year was that with our current structure, there's a lot of pressure placed on the board to actually be an active part of everything the chapter does day to day. This limits the ability of the board to act as a strategic / supervisory board, making it into more of a many-headed Executive Director. Our main objective for this year (apart from the per-program objectives described below) is to move more of our ED and outreach day-to-day tasks onto funded employee positions, freeing the board to concentrate on activities more appropriate for a board of volunteers while creating a clearer, more consistent day to day working structure for the employees. In order to avoid reverting to the old situation where the board and employees became disconnected from each other, we will continue our weekly Slack-based meetings and will keep documenting our tasks and progress in Phabricator.
With regards to our programs, we want to keep working in the same direction (so most programs haven't changed that much). The main change is that we will aspire to go up a level in the hierarchy, so to speak: now that we've gotten our foot in the door, rather than dealing only with specific partners directly, we will attempt to involve GLAM consortiums and the Ministry of Education in our plans (using the successful results from previous projects to show that the system works and it deserves expanding).
Please use the templates provided to add information about each program you are planning for the upcoming funding period.
Our vision for the future of the Estonian society is that as big as possible a part of it should be involved in the sharing of free knowledge, and that Wikimedia-related projects should become the place where most of this sharing takes place. All of our programs are designed to lead to this vision, be it by introducing open culture, free knowledge and the Wikimedia projects to more people, by improving the content available, or by working to make the Estonian legal and institutional environment more welcoming to the ideas of free open culture.
Our goal with this program is to ensure that Wikimedia projects are useful for Estonian educational institutions and students, and that they also work to improve the projects in return, creating a loop that leads to ever-improving benefits to both the Estonian education system and Wikimedia. In following our central vision, we aspire to reach every level of the system, to ensure the involvement with Wikimedia and free knowledge is not limited to a one-off exercise or course for the students, but becomes a natural part of their education.
|As part of our strategy, we want to work towards a future where every scientific article, research project and even university thesis written in Estonia leaves a trace in the Estonian Wikipedia, even if it’s only one sentence. The Estonian Wikipedia is especially important in this regard because the danger of English becoming the main language of academia remains strong in Estonia, and a lack of quality scientific content in the Estonian Wikipedia and in Estonian in general means students get used to defaulting to English content for most of their searches already before they start higher education. In this way, a good coverage of academic content on the Estonian Wikipedia would play its part in helping Estonian not to disappear as a language of science.
Additionally, we want to make sure Estonians understand the collaborative system behind Wikimedia projects; reaching them through educational institutions is the easiest way to ensure all sorts of people are aware of the projects and the system, including those who wouldn’t necessarily think about contributing without these tasks but might still enjoy it.
|By collaborating with educational institutions, we can ensure students are introduced to the Wikimedia projects in a deeper way than just “searching for something on Wikipedia”, that they understand they too can help improve the content for others, and that they learn how exactly to do it. Our past efforts have already led to many courses in Estonian universities including at least one exercise where students write or improve an article in the Estonian Wikipedia that is connected with their area of expertise, and we have a strong partnership with the University of Tartu. Maintaining our presence in higher education and expanding to other levels of education (ideally through work with the Ministry of Education) are our main plans for this program.
|Objectives for 2020
Wikipedia work in higher education
As mentioned above, higher education is the area of education where WMEE and Wikipedia are already present and reasonably well-known, with our cooperation with the University of Tartu (the Miljon+ project) meaning there is more trust in Wikipedia than before and other universities have also started introducing Wikipedia-related work as part of the students' tasks. There's only a few universities that haven't yet started doing any Wikipedia-based work, and we'll keep trying to change that in the future. That said, given the Miljon+ project is now officially finishing, we'll concentrate on maintaining the support on existing universities this year. Our goal is to maintain the same level of usage even without Miljon+: that is, to see at least 500 pages created or improved through university work during 2020.
Wikipedia work in elementary and high schools
If we want to make sure everyone understands the true meaning of “collaborative” in collaborative projects like Wikipedia (that is, “collaborative means you can help too”) it is important that exposure to Wikimedia projects starts already before university - otherwise we risk creating the idea that Wikimedia projects are only for “very smart people with degrees” and missing on a lot of useful, interesting content. During the last year we started a cooperation with a high school (Kadrioru Saksa Gümnaasium), which will continue this year and which involves writing and improving articles, similarly to the university-level projects. We expect to see at least 50 pages created or improved through this work during 2020. We will also continue looking for new possible projects in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, with the goal of having rural schools write about their respective regions for 2021.
Expansion into vocational education
We want to continue working in vocational education, both with the technical professions (mechanics, builders, cooks) and with the arts.
We will try to find partners to do the same with students of the technical professions as we currently do with university students, introducing tasks related with writing and improving Wikipedia articles connected to their field. We're hoping the contacts we've had during 2019 will lead to a at least one course in a vocational school introducing such a task for their students in 2020.
Our open culture plan hit several snags, so our plans for the art school program for 2019 have been postponed to 2020. We will also try to start projects with art schools, centering initially around works that entered the public domain in 2019 and 2020 or will enter it in 2021. This not only serves our education goals mentioned above, but also the goals of the open culture program. Our target for the year is to cooperate with at least one fine arts school to create at least 25 illustrations related to the new public domain works (be it illustrations of tales, songs or even “remixes” of existing visual art pieces), and with at least one music school to create at least 5 music recordings related to the new public domain works (be it straight new recordings of newly free pieces, or remixes of one or more specific freely licensed recordings).
Our goal with this program is to take advantage of the wealth of quality content and data owned or maintained by Estonian GLAM institutions, and make it available to the public through Wikimedia projects. In return, we will do our best to give back to the GLAM institutions both by making their collections more visible and by figuring out ways our systems can be used to help more directly.
|There’s obviously a huge amount of knowledge available through GLAM institutions, produced and curated by experts in their relevant fields. By making as much of this content as possible available under free licenses in Wikimedia projects, we expect to see an increase in both the amount and the quality of the coverage of Estonian-related topics not only in Estonian projects, but also globally, as such making Estonian culture and the efforts of our GLAM institutions more visible to the world and even to our own Estonian users. Additionally, GLAM institutions can be very important allies in our efforts to improve open and free knowledge in Estonia, and forging strong partnerships is definitely in our interest.
|We have had contacts with GLAM institutions for a long time, and in 2018 we started two large scale cooperation programs with museums. One of them, with the Estonian Museum of Natural History, was completed in 2019. While we have already seen other museums show interest in cooperating after seeing this project, these cooperation projects might start in either 2020 or 2021 and are as yet not fully agreed. The other, documenting the painting collections of Estonian museums in Wikidata and (when possible) Wikimedia Commons, will come to a close in 2020. We will continue to look into projects, and we expect to start at least two additional cooperation projects in 2020 (probably expanding into 2021) that will become clear during the year.
|Objectives for 2020
Estonian painting collections
During 2020 we hope to complete the main part of our project about paintings in Estonian collections by putting as many images up as possible (when possible via direct agreement with museums, when not via upload from the Estonian museum database MuIS). Our goal for the year are to add at least 1000 more images to Commons.
Additionally, we plan to improve the data for the paintings in Wikidata (our goal is to add copyright statements and descriptions in both Estonian and English to all the paintings in the project). If the Wikidata Art Depiction Explorer is made translatable during the year (as the developers suggested is in the plans) we will also translate it into Estonian in 2020 and aim to add information to at least 500 paintings stating what is depicted on them.
Estonian GLAM info into Wikidata (Sum of all GLAM)
In 2019 we added basic data about all Estonian libraries into Wikidata (name, location, coordinates). In 2020 we plan to do the same for other GLAMs (museums, archives and galleries). Outside of GLAM directly, we plan to do the same for schools and kindergartens. Our goal is to get at least 500 institutions added or improved in Wikidata during 2020.
Documenting Estonian books in Wikidata
Since our work with publishers didn't take off as hoped, we've changed our focus here to start by importing data from the Estonian National Bibliography and other sources. Some of it will already imported during late 2019, but we're expecting to add or improve at least 500 Estonian book entries in Wikidata in 2020.
Wiki Science Competition exhibition
The traveling exhibition of images from our Wiki Science Competition contest we put together in 2018 has been traveling around Estonia in 2019. During 2020 it will keep traveling around the country, bringing science images closer to the people. This helps expand our reach and shows people who otherwise might not have come in touch with Wikimedia projects that there’s more to free culture and Wikimedia than the Wikipedia articles they might already have interacted with. At the same time, it serves as a tool to popularize and promote Estonian science and the Wiki Science Competition, which can lead to more Estonian contributions to the competition in the future. Our goal is to showcase the exhibition at least 6 months during 2020 in at least 3 different locations in Estonia.
Our goal with this program is to promote open culture in Estonia in the form of public events, meetings, opinion pieces, and active policy formation. This encompasses awareness building and collaboration with organisations and institutions that relate to the culture and information society.
|There are two separate but connected sub-goals in our promotion of open culture.
The first of them is to make as large a part of our culture as possible available to everyone, both through the Wikimedia projects specifically and by ensuring that the legal and social environment in Estonia is favorable to the growth of open culture (and open data, open technologies, open source, open government and other similar concerns). This comes straight from our strategic vision (“Everyone in Estonia should be aware of the nature of the Wikimedia projects and the principles of free culture”). It requires making people aware of the concept of open and shared culture and knowledge itself: often, even people who already collaborate on Wikipedia and other projects don’t really know (or at least understand) the principles it’s based on!
The second is to make sure that Wikimedia Eesti is recognised as an expert in these topics, so that we are invited to be part of discussions, working groups, conferences and other fora where we can work on improving the situation (or, given the current European-level discussions, at least keep it from getting worse). For this we have to active in the relevant communities and institutions and constantly work to express our stances about the different facets of open culture in our society.
|We need to work on two levels for this goal. On one side, we need to help the wider Estonian community understand what open culture is, what they can do with it and why it matters. In this area we have made heavy use of media appearances (for example with appearances on state TV and multiple radio channels and newspapers explaining both how Wikipedia itself works). We plan to continue doing this and also to work on more direct actions, like making the work of authors entering the public domain more available to the community. On the other side, we need to use our experience in the field to get into the public discourse at a higher level, trying to have an influence on political and legal decisions that might either strengthen or endanger open culture. This we have done through the media, but also in collaboration with cultural institutions and information society organisations like Open Knowledge, Internet Society, the Free Software Foundation, UNESCO, the Open Government Partnership and their relevant local branches, and sometimes by directly getting in touch with politicians and parties and presenting our concerns or suggestions to them.
|Objectives for 2020
Work on Estonian public domain
While working on promoting an environment that is more friendly to open culture, it’s also important to make people realize what they already can do. By showing people content in the public domain and all the different options in which they can interact with it, we can both promote Estonian culture and increase their interest on the sort of possibilities a more open approach to culture can facilitate even for works that are not yet on the public domain. We plan to celebrate Public Domain Day on January 1st 2020 by uploading some scores and recordings of music by Raimond Valgre (which will be entering the public domain) to Wikimedia Commons.
Given the European Union moved ahead with the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market in 2019, most of the time we planned to dedicate to public domain promotion had to be used instead to mobilize public opinion and organize to defend open culture. As such, the plan we had to cooperate with the National Library of Estonia to create a website introducing the concept of public domain to the general public, including promoting a collection of Estonian works in the public domain that can be downloaded and used by anyone, had to be pushed back to 2020.
While Estonian libraries have for example worked on creating e-books of Estonian works in the public domain in the past, a clear hub for free Estonian culture could be a very useful resource for both the public and our work in free culture popularization. The files should still be stored and served from Wikimedia projects, so the website would serve as a user-friendly introduction to what is available for them to use (while also serving as a way to introduce them to Wikimedia projects other than Wikipedia).
One thing we discovered during 2019 is that even for very popular artists (like Raimond Valgre, whose work was supposed to be our main goal for the year) a lot of the work is not digitized nor widely available. As such, a secondary goal of the site would be to expose gaps in the availability of public domain material (work that should be free but isn't accessible to everyone at the moment because it hasn't been digitized or made widely available in any way). Once we know what is and is not available, we will work to ensure more and more of the Estonian public domain becomes available to all Estonians (for example by looking for volunteers willing to digitize it).
Our goal here is for the website to be published during 2020, and for at least 40 pieces of not-yet-available content by Estonian creators in the public domain to be made available on Wikimedia projects during the year. Additionally, we expect at least 20 pieces of already digitized Estonian content in the public domain will be uploaded during 2020 (without counting the artworks already mentioned in the GLAM section).
Meetings with stakeholders
Wikimedia Eesti was very active in the policymaking field during 2019, especially in connection with the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market; during the first half of the year we worked to try and change the positions of Estonian MEPs who supported the directive (where we were at least partially successful, although sadly as a small country this didn't make enough of a difference to the final result) and during the second half we were involved in discussions with stakeholders at the state level regarding the implementation at the Estonian level of said directive.
Like last year, our goals are to increase the understanding of the importance of the public domain and free licenses among the people withpower to take decisions affecting them, and to defend the rights enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which have been weakened by the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. To do this, we will continue cooperating with a variety of stakeholders and policymakers to promote open culture in Estonia and beyond, and will participate in further meetings about the implementation of the Directive and have our say about the final result. Our goal for the year is to have our position heard in at least 5 meetings or consultations with representatives of stakeholders or policymakers at the Estonian level, and at least 1 international policymaking meeting. While in politics and policy it is hard to guarantee being heard will lead to a more concrete achievement, we need to ensure our position is at least on the table and being considered if we want to have any chance of making a difference.
Community and outreach
Our goal with this program is to improve the experience of existing users (both technically and socially), and to attract new users and make it easier for them to start contributing.
|While the Estonian Wiki community is one of the most active in the world per capita, the size of the country still makes it fairly small. As such, we need to ensure that the contributors we already have are happy and that we can attract new contributors who understand the system, want to be part of it and will help us improve the content.
|We have been organizing competitions and other semi-directed activities, so that users who want to contribute can get ideas on what to do and get additional motivation from small prizes; in a similar way, we also reward our best contributors. We plan to continue doing these things, since they have been helpful. We also plan to continue working with our partners in education and GLAM to solve the problems of their less experienced users and ensure their work is as simple as possible (so we'll for example help record videos and write guides if they request them).
In addition to the education and GLAM programs, other efforts are needed to introduce new people to the Wikimedia ecosystem, both as contributors and as volunteers. For more on that, see below.
|Objectives for 2020
Expanding the chapter
While the Estonian chapter has grown, it has done so fairly slowly. In 2020, as part of our consolidation efforts and with the help of our outreach/communication manager, we plan to expand more aggressively. Our goal is to get at least a 20% increase in the number of members of the chapter (going from 40 to at least 48).
During 2019 we put together the framework for wikiclubs (small groups of people from a smaller area or with similar interests who cooperate on making more information available on Wikimedia projects) and how we expect them to work. In 2020 we will finally put this framework to the test by trying to get the first wikiclubs started. Our goal is to get at least 2 wikiclubs started and support them during the year, to test whether this is a better method to keep people coming together than our previous monthly writing meetings.
EV102 article writing project
We've run the EV100/EV101 project twice in its current two-month closed period form, getting over 300 people involved, including a large amount of notable public figures and scientists. We feel that this form is a bit too time-limited for a lot of the people we contact and too resource-intensive for us during the time it runs though, so we are planning to change it so that the writing won't be limited to two specific months of the year anymore.
For EV102 (February 2020) we will have a small transition event, and just run promotion and banners without specifically involving notable figures. We expect to have at least 50 participants in this smaller event.
After that, we are considering contacting notable public figures and scientists in smaller groups throughout the whole of 2020 asking them to write articles as a gift for the 103rd birthday of Estonia (in February 2021), which we expect would culminate in a call to action to the whole community to join the gift once the birthday date is approaching. Whether we go ahead with this will depend on the results of EV102 (which will show how much our community is on board with continuing the project) and with the reception we get for the idea during 2020.
Competitions are a good way to direct the efforts of existing contributors towards important knowledge that is missing, while also serving as a good entry point for new users. In 2019 we consolidated most of our national-level article-writing competitions under the “Digihariduse konkurss” umbrella. This biannual competition is organized in cooperation with the University of Tartu and the private sector, with different companies and organizations offering prizes for the best articles in their area of expertise.
We will also take part in the international CEE Spring writing competition, and will still hold smaller writing competitions when appropriate, making sure not to overload the calendar.
We also expect the University of Tartu to continue organizing their already traditional competition to improve the writing and style in existing Wikipedia articles.
Our goal for this year is to get at least 70 participants in writing competitions to create or improve at least 250 articles.
We will also organize a rephotography competition of cultural monuments (in cooperation with Ajapaik and the National Heritage Board of Estonia) which is planned to involve participants from other Nordic countries and will include some public walks (“expeditions”) in different cities in Estonia to talk about local history and take (re)photos, trying to involve the locals who are interested in the history of their cities so that they will collaborate with Wikimedia projects. This was originally planned for 2018, and then for 2019, but delays in both the development of the Ajapaik application and our own plans led to another postponement. For 2020, Wikimedia Suomi has offered to help not only Ajapaik but also us directly, since they already have experience with rephotography activities in Helsinki. Our goal is to organize at least 3 public walks in different cities and get at least 500 new images out of the project.
We will organize photo expeditions to help the community discover National Heritage objects (and make sure they're well documented in Commons). We have a long-term goal to document all our heritage locations in both Wikidata and Commons (as much the lack of freedom of panorama allows), and these photo expeditions are a good opportunity to get community members interested in the project while they also interact with each other. We will also look into organizing nature hikes / photo expeditions to increase the amount of Estonian nature photography images in Commons (and possibly also promote the use of the iNaturalist project in Estonia, which is getting more and more connected to Wikimedia projects recently). Our goal for the year is to organize at least 2 of each type of expedition (4 in total), with at least 3 attendees on each, leading to 500 new images.
Staff and contractors
Please describe any changes to your staffing plan for the upcoming funding period. These should include increases in staff or contractor hours, new staff positions, or staff positions you are removing. Include your rationale for any staffing changes here.
- We want to move from 1 full position (0.75 project manager + 0.25 volunteer coordinator) to 2 (0.5 executive director, 0.5 GLAM manager, 0.5 education manager, 0.5 communication/outreach manager). Additionally, given that the average salary in Estonia rose above 7% in 2019 alone and we haven't raised employee salaries in a few years, we're asking for funding for a 6.6% raise on the previous salaries for 2020.
For each new staff or contractor position, please use the template provided to add information about each new staff or contractor you are planning for the upcoming funding period (or to describe significant increases in hours or changes in job descriptions for existing staff). You are not required to provide this information for existing staff where no changes are required.
See staffing plan.
Budget and resource plan
Link to a detailed budget for the upcoming funding period. This budget should include all of your organizations expenses. Please specify which expenses will be covered from your APG.
This is a brief report on the grantee's progress during the midpoint reporting period: 1 January - 30 June 2020.
Estonia is a small country with a population of 1.3 M (out of whom 0.9 M are Estonians). The native tongue is Estonian; English and Russian are also both widely spoken. South Estonian dialects could be considered separate languages (Võru also has its own Wikipedia). Therefore, the Wikimedia Chapter in Estonia is a small organization in a small and agile country, renowned as e-Stonia for its digital endeavors. With our rather small staff (on average 1,25 FTE on the 1st half of 2020) we need to be inventive to achieve results similar to those of bigger Wikimedia Chapters, and we very often rely on personal contacts in state institutions or elsewhere. Although it is harder to gather enough volunteers to organize really big events or projects, scaling our impact to the whole country and reaching state-wide media is easier. Because of all of this, our achievements might sometimes not look very substantial in absolute numbers, but the ease with which we can try new ideas with a leaner organisation means that often ideas can be piloted in Estonia to see if they might be worth scaling up to other larger countries or regions.
- et.wikipedia is among the very top of Wikipedias per capita (number of articles, number of active editors), but other Wikipedias (mainly English and Russian) also have plenty of editors from Estonia.
- Estonian-related content makes up 2% of featured images in Wikimedia Commons (Picture of the Year 2019 was the first year since 2012 we didn't have at least one Estonian file in the POTY final).
- There is widespread support for Wikipedia in Estonian society and Wikimedia Eesti is well known in many relevant fields. For example, we have had personal commitments to Wikipedia from both the President of the Republic of Estonia and the president of the Academy of Sciences of Estonia.
- We cooperate with numerous state institutions, universities, museums, and other organizations in Estonia.
- We are fairly active in the Wikimedia universe (hosting international events, organizing international competitions, etc.).
- Contributing to Wikipedia is highly interwoven with higher education in our country (thousands of university students have written at least one Wikipedia article and this is considered standard practice).
General program goals
Since the funding wasn’t enough to get both an executive director and a communication specialist this year, we prioritised communication and managed to take the edge off the issues caused by the lack of an ED by convincing more members to join the board and take joint leadership responsibility. This is of course not a proper long-term replacement for an actual ED, but we’re confident it will see us through to 2021 at least by giving us a bigger buffer in case of burnout and widening the expertise of the board. The general assembly of the chapter, initially planned for February or March, had to be postponed until June because of the COVID-19 outbreak, and for the first time ever we had to have it digitally (thankfully, a recent change in the chapter’s bylaws allowed for digital assemblies and we didn’t have any legal issues because of it). We managed to come up with procedures for a remote digital general assembly and a way to conduct a proper secret vote for board members, which resulted in a new 6 member board (a big improvement on the previous size of 4 members). As another step to compensate for the lack of an ED position, we decided to rotate the HR management among the board members monthly to avoid burnout, since it requires a fairly large time investment from the board member in charge of it. The board has also initiated a review and update of the formal procedures of chapter management (that hadn’t been updated for years), producing missing guides to formalize the processes, from a Phabricator guide and a Slack guide (both of which weren’t even in the picture last time the procedure documents were updated) for current and new members as well as employees, updating the job descriptions to be more precise, and clearly stating what is expected of board members and what are the responsibilities of the board. During H1 of 2020 we have been working on a section for our updated website that will include automatically generated volunteer task suggestions by looking at our Phabricator tasks that have been marked as volunteer-friendly. We also have drafted updated content for policy, friendly space, etc. - we’re expecting to put all of this up in the fall as part of our drive to recruit more volunteers and chapter members.
During the COVID-19 outbreak the board decided to hire a communications officer and temporarily increase the workload of the current GLAM/education project manager, hoping the cooperation between the two employees would help us quickly adapt to remote-only events and improve the running of our communication channels (both external social media channels and chapter-facing mailing lists), which has proved successful. Besides significantly improving our communication in social media and our blog, we are also reviewing our internal communication methods with our communications manager to better reach our members and keep everyone updated. The board has also used some of the resources freed by the cancellation of physical events and obtained via non-WMF cooperation agreements to finance temporary contracts for Wikidata and GLAM projects that help prepare the chapter structure for a bigger team of employees and volunteers. Even with the more limited resources and the global disruption, we are still working in the direction indicated in our 2020 application and hope it will be a year of consolidation as we originally planned.
Wikipedia work in higher education
The Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre is the newest addition in the list of higher education institutions that lets their students write Wikipedia articles.
Wikipedia work in elementary and high schools
Kadrioru Saksa Gümnaasium (KSG), our main pilot partner in this field, won a prize and endorsement by Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, and is taking the status as a role model seriously, inspiring other schools to follow their example with videos and media coverage of their regular Wikipedia commitments.
We have taken up work on getting the Estonian version of Wikiquote into shape so it can be presented as an alternative way to commit to the Wikipedia ecosystem to situations where writing a full article might be too resource demanding for teachers or students (especially for younger students). We’ve been working on cleaning it up from some messy editing in the past and improving it in general (see stats) and we are also pushing the project in schools to recruit new editors and promote its use. Although our pilot project "Kross 100" together with KSG was put on pause because of COVID-19, the Estonian version of Wikiquote is already growing fast: there are 85 times more edits per day in 2020 than there were in 2017. At the end of June it went past the Swedish Wikiquote and there is even a Twitter bot to popularize Wikiquote outside of the Wikipedia ecosystem now.
Expansion into vocational education
Our plan of getting into vocational education institutions in Estonia has seen a somewhat innovative approach: we now have a large set of high quality 360° panoramas about 30 vocational schools in Estonia in Wikimedia Commons. That helps us to gain more knowledge about vocational schools and present to the schools ways in which Wikiprojects can be beneficial to them and make them more visible. And of course we’re always happy to get the chance of bringing high-quality media materials into Wikimedia Commons! We managed to extend this to some other institutions as well (for example the Estonian Aviation Academy, the Estonian University of Life Sciences, the Tallinn University of Technology, Stenbock House, and the House of the Blackheads among others).
We have also had some discussions with the Estonian Art and Music Schools Union on how they might contribute to Wikimedia and how that might be useful for them. The Kose Art School could become a pilot partner here.
The Year of Digital Culture project, initiated by the Estonian Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the National Library and other institutions, has become a partner for our GLAM and Open Culture goals. We have undersigned a cooperation agreement with this project through which we will help them to expand the concept of digital residency with a Wikipedia residency in GLAM institutions, as well as helping the non-experts understand the promise of Open Data by producing guides and examples for the educational use of Wikidata. We also closely cooperate with their media team to support them when working with the open culture aspects of digital culture, which haven’t been always understood as essential by the ministry and their partners. In the beginning of July some of the contracts for these projects are already in force, and the rest are in the last phase of contract talks.
We are still working with our previous partners from GLAM institutions and using our success stories to promote the publishing of free content on Wikipedia and sister projects among all the other Estonian institutions. The Estonian Museum of Natural History has been our partner in the field of natural sciences and has hosted our talks about Wikipedian in Residency projects. They also openly asked people to write geology-related Wikipedia articles connected to their big image donation in 2019. We have also added some high-quality art repros with our partner the Tartu Art Museum, but most of that work is scheduled for the 2nd half of the year. Additionally, we have also started to look into new cooperation projects with the Estonian National Museum, that was our partner in organizing the international Digital Humanities Conference in 2017 but hadn’t been actively cooperating with us in the meantime.
As an interesting example of mixing education and GLAM internationally, a team of University of Tartu students assembled an Estonian-Polish virtual exhibition. Wikimedia Polska helped us find some Polish volunteers and will promote it in Poland. It is a great example of showing how wikiprojects can truly be used to share free knowledge in a multitude of ways and we wish to keep on expanding this idea. We also hope to use the same approach in Nordic cooperation to get people from different countries working together.
We consider Wikidata as an important support layer to our GLAM objectives, and have planned imports of data about GLAM infrastructure in Estonia into Wikidata to help the institutions with their efforts. We’ll focus on that in the 2nd part of the year, and look into whether either we or our partners can find the resources to work on importing data from library catalogues and related sources into Wikidata. Since basic Wikidata guides will also be updated and worked on while creating Wikidata educational resources, we think it will become easier to convince our partners to take on Wikidata imports either by themselves or with our support, rather than depending entirely on WMEE doing all the work.
Wiki Science Competition exhibition
Showcasing the exhibition has been somewhat problematic due to the COVID-19 lockdown, as for several months the public spaces were closed down. During the pandemic it remained in the same location, visible at least to users of the library located in the same building (the only service in the whole building that still operated). Hopefully the second half of the year will be less problematic and we will be able to go back to our original plans.
In the Estonian Students' Society XX album there was a story about the importance of Estonian Wikipedia (written by Ivo Kruusamägi)
Meetings with stakeholders
Although as a result of joint efforts of free license proponents the Minister of Education had already agreed back in 2018 that as part of its lifelong education program Estonian schools should adapt to the concept of open educational resources, the actual implementation of the decision only started in January 2020. We were already consulting with teachers’ unions about the decision to accept only CC BY-SA resources in the government-endorsed “electronic school bag” of educational materials, but nobody could have anticipated the attention remote learning got because of COVID-19 pandemic. With help of arguments based on our experience with CC BY-SA licenses, the government stuck to its decision even during the pandemic and now learning materials digitally published in the ministry-endorsed repository must have a fully Wikipedia-compatible license, which makes the transfer of knowledge between the education system and the Wikipedia ecosystem finally legally straightforward.
The full impact of these decisions remains to be seen, and we as experts in CC BY-SA licensing continue to pay attention to what means the government provides to help teachers and how teachers are adapting to the decision.
Our cooperation with the Year of Digital Culture project by the Ministry of Culture has so far seen promising results in bringing the ideas and practises of open culture into the ministry’s agenda and that of its partners. We will make an effort to make the most of this opportunity during the rest of 2020.
Public domain promotion
Eva Lepik has assembled thorough teaching materials on the topic of copyright aimed at university students for the University of Tartu, and we have prepared them for publishing on our soon to be updated website. We intend to keep promoting them in schools and educating the general public on copyright matters. We’re also finishing a translation of the relevant WMF policy goals that will be given a dedicated section in our website.
We have been looking into getting better coverage of Kalevipoeg, the Estonian national epic. Among other things we have gotten an audiobook of the shortened version of the epic and numerous new high quality media files. Getting more books into Wikisource is part of our goal to promote different Wikiprojects and show that a contemporary encyclopedia is much more than just articles about key words.
To make it easier to contribute to Wikisource we have been updating our guides, and initiated discussions about how to enable more participation by volunteers.
Community and outreach
Expanding the chapter
Ivo Kruusamägi explains to the online general assembly of Wikimedia Eesti that they can now use pseudonyms sent to their e-mails to cast votes on Etherpad.
On 13th June we had our chapter’s annual general assembly. This time it took place in a virtual form, which was somewhat of a new experience, especially since a board election requiring secret voting was in the agenda. We did successfully run the secret voting though, and 6 people sit on the new board: Eva Lepik, Märt Põder, and Nicolás Tamargo de Eguren (who were all re-elected), Uku Kangur (elected last year, and as such in the middle of his two-year term), Ursula Erik (new to the board), and Teele Vaalma (who returned to the board after some years as a regular member).
We have moved forward with the creation of a “supporting member” status for the chapter. What this means is that both individuals and organizations can get a "supporting member" status by supporting our activities financially. This allows people and companies who don’t want to join the chapter (and as such be required to attend meetings and keep up to date with all the activities) to still show their support for Wikimedia Eesti. Within the first half of the year we got our first two supporting members.
We have also kept on improving our homepage to make it more modern and informative. We have prepared extra content for it, as already mentioned in previous sections, in order to start a new campaign for recruiting volunteers and members in the fall. Together with the efforts made by the board in clearing up the official procedures, updating or creating guides and task lists as well as coming up with improved event concepts for volunteers, we aim to engage new members and enlarge our pool of volunteers.
Our most generic outreach tool planned for 2020 is a ”to become digitally big/grow digitally up” campaign in Wikipedia to show that a contemporary encyclopedia is much more than just text and there are many ways to contribute: things like adding images and quotations, improving Wikidata, and adding source materials to Wikisource are also a necessary part of providing free knowledge. We started it as a common starting point for other campaigns and have been promoting it jointly with the University of Tartu’s Miljon+ project as part of Year of Digital Culture initiatives.
Board member Märt Põder explains the principles of Wikipedia to a blue exercise ball (covered in several media channels)
In relation to the pandemic, we ran WikiProject Quarantine in the Estonian Wikipedia and tried to help make information related to COVID-19 more widely available to everyone in their native language. This helped us to stay relevant and react to changes in life caused by pandemic, it was covered in the Year of Digital Culture channels and the national broadcasting agency news portal. We also posted a longer blog post about our experience during the time of lockdown in our own blog.
The EV102 project is the 3rd installment in the series that started on the 100th anniversary of the Estonian Republic. It gives people the possibility to show that they are making a gift to Estonia by writing a Wikipedia article (or a few!). This time we did not invite well-known participants one by one, since that’s a labor-intensive process which would have taken time off our other projects that needed it at the time and a lot of the well-known people most willing to participate already did on EV100 and/or EV101. We have acquired the source code of the campaign from our partners at Tartu University and after reviewing the results of EV102, we will decide whether there’s a need to allocate resources for a bigger EV103 and how to focus it.
To encourage women and other underrepresented groups to contribute to Wikiprojects we held a WikiGap campaign (in cooperation with the Swedish embassy in Estonia) that ran from June 15th to 26th. It was well covered in relevant circles as well as introduced with a dedicated show in the community radio IDA Raadio. The start of the campaign coincided with the Black Lives Matter protests, a coincidence that put the topics of WikiGap in focus even more clearly.
We have also kept on awarding the Wikipedian of the Month prize, and commissioned the design and production of unique “How Wiki are you?” shirts and bags with a dedicated online “wikiness test” to be used as eye catchers in physical campaigns (or for our members and supporters to wear during summer) and as awards in contests.
- Writing competitions
The Keeletoimetamistalgud took place for the 3rd time: 17 participants edited 716 articles. This competition deals directly with the quality of language used in the articles and it is aimed towards professional copy editors. As such it plays an important role in helping to ensure the quality of the content in the Estonian Wikipedia. Due to the COVID restrictions the awarding ceremony was postponed to autumn.
Back in 2015 we helped to set up the international article competition CEE Spring. Since then we've actively participated there each year and in the 6th installment of that event in 2020 we had 9 participants creating 568 articles.
- Image competitions
WSC 2019 award ceremony in January
We are organizing an international Wiki Science Competition (WSC) to bring more scientists and science-related media files into Wikimedia. The image collecting part of the WSC happened in November and December 2019 but the selection of the winners is taking place in 2020. This is one of the biggest image competitions in Wikimedia and it involves a significant number of countries.
The competition is held once every two years and after the previous installment in 2017, 2 out of the 3 Commons Picture of the Year winners in 2018 were Science Competition images. We hope to see the most recent WSC winners (to be announced this summer in here) achieve a similar level of recognition!
We will continue co-organizing the nature photography competition “Eesti Looduse fotovõistlus”, which will run from August 1st to October 31th.
Media production during COVID-19 restrictions
Due to the springtime quarantine, we postponed our GLAM photo expedition plans to the 2nd half of the year (although since Estonia never went under full lockdown and individuals could still move around, there was a one-man photoexpedition outdoors in March!).
We will split our endeavors between near solo photo expeditions to GLAM institutions and interactive online workshops with video and recordings. For both of these we will use resources that we have reserved for basic multimedia equipment in order to produce studio photographs and video recordings of a good quality.
Visiting GLAM sites involves photographing their collections (which many small museums can’t really afford on their own) as well as their facilities and the atmosphere both inside and outside. We intend to start cooperating with different types of museums and find out more about their interests and needs so we can adapt our offerings to them accordingly. Photography at museums is a good and simple entry level task for volunteers. Online events help to support contributions to Wikiprojects during the COVID-19 restrictions and also give more experienced Wikipedians a channel to share their knowledge. We will produce at least 5 instructional videos during H2 and organize at least 3 interactive online events if there is no way to gather physically.
Finno-Ugric wikiseminar 2020
Participants of Finno-Ugric wikiseminar 2020
The Estonian language is a Finno-Ugric language like Hungarian and Finnish. In addition to those two well-known members of the Finno-Ugric family, plenty of others exist, most of them minority languages spoken in different regions of Russia. For the speakers of these smaller languages, Wikipedia will most likely remain the only encyclopedia ever available in their language, and as such, it plays a significant role in building the web presence of those languages. Estonians are very interested in ensuring those smaller languages (a piece of our shared heritage and culture) remain viable, and as such we have a long history of Finno-Ugric cooperation. Wikimedia Eesti has also worked toward this goal for a long time; we held our first Finno-Ugric wikiseminar already back in 2014.
On 15-21 January 2020 we held the 4th Finno-Ugric wikiseminar. This weeklong event was held in Misso (South-Estonia) and there were 10 participants. It focused on building cultural contacts and involved a lot of practical work in wikiprojects. The languages included were Estonian, Võru, Hungarian, Udmurt, Mari, Komi and Khanty, and the projects involved Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons and Wikisource. At least 15 wiki articles were created, two books uploaded, a lot of media files added, etc. We even identified one bug. And there was some media coverage as well (in Võru language).
Please report your organization's total spending during the reporting period, or link to a financial document showing your total spending.
- 19,067.97 Euros
- Note 1: The grant (54,000 €) covers all year. Keep in mind this is a midpoint report and we did not plan to spend 50% by the middle of the year: as such, the numbers here do not yet indicate any over- or underspending for the full year.
- Note 2: The expenses sum includes only the expenses we have actually paid for ourselves using the WMF funds. In addition to WMF funding, we also gained 10,544.77 euros of income from other sources. At the same time, it is worth pointing out that our financial plans never include expenses made by our partners and do not count the voluntary work that we rely heavily upon. We can often get discounts on many of our expenses (that may occasionally be substantial). So the numbers presented in our financial plan tell only part of the story of what is being done in Estonia.
- Note 3: The amount granted to us for 2020 makes up only 85% of what we originally planned and asked for. Therefore we partly postponed our plan to split our staff responsibilities and increase the number of employees in order to prepare for those changes in next funding rounds. COVID-19 also made us change our plans and caused a situation where we’re actually able to test our capabilities to use more employees by awarding temporary project-based contracts. The changes caused by the COVID-19 outbreak reflect also in our program content, which has been / will be reoriented or partly reduced because of the inability to organize physical events and to physically get volunteers together.