Talk:Wikimedia CEE Spring 2017/Participants

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Discussion about the participants[edit]

This year the contest will be global and the participants from Wikimedia CEE (e.g. Hungary) will present their own article lists, while participants outside of CEE (e.g. Sweden) will not. Let us discuss until 8 February how participants should be defined (e.g. based on country borders or on affiliates).

The discussion will go on for three weeks and should result in a definition of participants with article lists (e.g. based on country borders or on affiliates). Take a look at last year's discussion at Talk:Wikimedia CEE Spring 2016#Country vs language vs Wikimedia affiliate organization. --Nikola (talk) 13:33, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Well, there are potential problems in both approaches:
  • If we choose a country approach, how do we define a country? We have potential problems with non-UN members like Kosovo or Nagorno-Karabakh.
  • If we choose an affiliate approach, what do we do with countries without affiliates, such as Romania or Croatia, or with unrecognised affiliates (Slovakia)? We will also have a problem Wikimedians of Albanian Language User Group (Albania and Kosovo).
In our CEE reality I think we can take country-based approach (with UN-recognised countries as a base) and resolve problems on a case by case basis:
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina and Wikimedians of Republic of Srpska. Looking through their 2016 lists I can see three types of articles: those related to both communities (such as Zdravko Čolić or Alija Izetbegović) and those related to only one community (either Predrag Matvejević for Federation or Moja Republika for Republika Srpska). Some articles were on lists for both BiH and Republika Srpska (e.g. Banja Luka Stock Exchange). There is significant linguistic intersection (many articles on Bosnia list are also available in Serbian and vice versa). Perhaps we can make quotas for Bosnian list (e.g. 40 related to both communities + 30 for each of Bosnian Wikipedia community and Wikimedians of Republic of Srpska)?
  • Russia and Wikimedians of Bashkortostan User Group. All articles from 2016 Bashkortostan list are also available in Russian but some are not available in Bashkir, thus language-wise it is not impossible. Perhaps we can make an exception for Russian lists: e.g. 100 articles by Wikimedia RU and 20 extra for Wikimedians of Bashkortostan User Group, for a total of 120 for Russia?
  • Serbia and Kosovo. Realistically speaking, I don't see any workable solution except separate lists for each. They have different languages and little intersection on article lists (Serbia had 180 articles in 2016 with only 41 available in Albanian, Kosovo had 104 with only 30 available in Serbian)
This may look like a complex solution but I think that no generalised (country only or affiliate only) approach will work in our conditions — NickK (talk) 17:49, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
I mostly agree with NickK, except that I believe you should also push for a single list from Serbia and Kosovo, with quotas to ensure fair representation. This sounds like a more fair solution towards the rest of the countries in this situation.--Strainu (talk) 13:21, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
@Strainu: Can you please suggest a workable approach for this? AFAIK, Serbian and Kosovan communities are not really good at working together — NickK (talk) 15:43, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
Considering last year there was some serious name-calling, BIH and Srpska might also find it difficult to work together, I'm not sure why you think it would be more complicated in this case. The simple (and unfriendly) approach would be: people, you need to come up with a common list by the deadline. If you don't, you don't get to participate. I'm not a big fan of this solution, but I suspect it would work. Another solution would be for the international organizers to determine a fair distribution in advance based on some objective criteria (population, surface or other), leaving some places (5?) for common subjects.--Strainu (talk) 16:24, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
I think that BiH approach can work. On one hand, they do have common topics, as there was an intersection between their lists last year. In the end, they live in the same country and there are subjects covering the entire country: geography, politics, economics etc. On the other hand, they have Bosnian and Serbian communities of approximatively equal sizes, each of those communities has subjects that are important to their community only.
On the other hand, I don't see how Serbia and Kosovo can come up with a common list. Their communities never managed to work together, and they have zero common subjects (their disagreement starts from the point that Kosovan community thinks that any topic related to Serbia has nothing to do with Kosovo). I would say that chances are high that both communities will not participate in this case — NickK (talk) 18:52, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
I see no reason why Serbia and Kosovo need to come up with joint list, today they are two different countries. I don't want to compare, but if we start from this point of view, the whole Yugoslavia then let come up with a common list, or let the Soviet Union to come up with a common list. The current status of Kosovo is similar to what many other countries of the CEE region had in the early 90', please respect it and don't compare it with R.Srpska, or in some cases with Crimea.--Liridon (talk) 20:50, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

Participants shouldn't be defined on country borders. --Artificial123 (talk) 13:50, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

We (International organizers) are considering separating article lists from participants. The proposal is that lists should be only about countries and not regions (ok, Esperanto does not fit here), but there can be contest in any Wikipedia (grant proposal will include support only for CEE region languages). Any Wikipedia means we can have contest un Swedish Wikipedia (they bring their own prizes), Bashkir Wikipedia (they can get support from grant). However, this is still just one of proposals and we can do it in ways that involve more people rather than exclude them. --Papuass (talk) 14:18, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
Different format
My opinion about all of this is that we should go with concept about languages that is spoken in CEE-Region, and as we all know Wikipedia is separated per language versions, not per countries. As many of our countries does not fit in previous borders and we have so many wars about that, so many lives were given to draw border lines in CEE Region, I propose to have a article lists for that language version of Wikipedia. So, on example Wikimedia Serbia will include all articles about objects or people from Kosovo, User Group for Albanian Language can include also same people and object from Kosovo and also some notable Albanians from Macedonia. So, my proposal is to have a different format from last year and to proceed lists per language versions, not per countries. --Ehrlich91 (talk) 18:22, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
I am very much afraid that will cause even more conflicts. Language boundaries are very badly defined, and while culture and people can be split by languages, economy, politics or transport cannot. In addition, we can also have wars over a definion of a language (Should we have a separate list for Moldovan language? Does Serbo-Croatian language deserve a separate list? Is Macedonian a language or a dialect of Bulgarian? etc.) — NickK (talk) 19:12, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
@NickK: What a statement... This is completely insulting for me, for my people, and I do not want be part of any discussion where is stated such thing, such questioning if exist my native tongue. --Ehrlich91 (talk) 20:13, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
@Ehrlich91: I am sorry if you consider this insulting. In no way my goal was to insult you, and I did not mean to offend you or any Macedonian speaker personally, nor I do question existence of Macedonian language myself. I wanted to show that the question of linguistic borders is not less heated than the question of state borders, and I wanted to cite the fact that there are people who think Macedonian is a dialect of Bulgarian as an example of language wars. It might sound personally offending even though I did not want to, so please accept my excuses — NickK (talk) 20:24, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
P.S. After reading my previous comment once again I agree that the wording I initially could be insulting, thus I reworded it to avoid this. Sorry once again for poor choice of wording — NickK (talk) 20:28, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
This kind of discussion does not help a better cooperation in community of the CEE region. Same as @Ehrlich91, I think that organizing CEE Spring by language would be a better format.--Liridon (talk) 21:00, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
@NickK: You should be very precise when you write something, especially on sensitive topics. As you already note yourself and you are aware about your comment, we can move on with further discussion about productive topics. I agree with @Liridon:, that if we start this kind of discussion we will not improve mutual cooperation. I wait on another productive comments about this kind of idea. --Ehrlich91 (talk) 21:30, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
The fact that Albanian language community likes this makes me think it might work. I think it would be interesting to have opinions of @Gikü:, @Artificial123:, @Raviaka Ruslan:, @Ранко Николић: and @Xaris333:: what do you think of CEE with lists per language version? Thanks — NickK (talk) 23:19, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't think that's good idea because some subjects refer to different languages. --Artificial123 (talk) 06:57, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

Dear all, after noticing that this discussion has evolved into tense debate involving history and politics, my proposal would be to avoid compiling separate lists that may result in discontent and compile a unified list for the CEE region that will only sort articles by topics (e.g. geography, history, sport, science, women etc.). We have to show that the Wikimedia CEE exists to unite us and not to further divide. We really need to start working together as a Wikimedia CEE instead of the sum of our countries, languages and affiliates (Wikimedia CEE is greater than the sum of its constituent parts whatsoever they are). At the end, the contest will be beneficial for Wikipedia in many languages, regardless of how many lists of articles were compiled.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 21:58, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

Well, from the outside (aka sv.wp), we already have a single list, it's just inside the region that we're havingissues :) But, if you have concrete suggestions on how this unique list should be built, it might be a step forward in the discussion.--Strainu (talk) 18:53, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
Hi Strainu. My proposal can be implemented in the following steps:
Step 1: Forget about countries, languages and affiliates; instead, focus on communities. Wikipedia has editions in languages, dialects and language varieties collectively labelled as "languages", but the use of this term has underlying historical and political disputes involving many countries from the region, so the most appropriate solution is to replace it with "communities". In fact, communities are groups of people running the Wikipedia editions. The existence of countries or languages can be denied, but the existence of the people behind Wikipedia cannot.
Step 2: Allow each community to make a list of articles for the contest on topics related to the CEE region. Communities consist of people scattered across different countries and they should not be limited on including articles pertaining to specific countries or regions in their lists. For example, the communities on the active editors on the Russian Wikipedia does not live only in Russia and it would be not appropriate to request this community to make a list of topics about Russia only. The first thought about this may be a concern that some parts of the CEE region may be underrepresented in the lists, but keep in mind that the majority of the communities is still concentrated in one country and it is unlikely that they are going to omit the region where their language is spoken the most.
Step 3: Unify all the lists of articles compiled by the communities. After each community is going to make their own list of articles, all lists will be unified into one about the whole CEE region and articles will have to be sorted by specific topics (e.g. geography, history, sport, science, women etc.). When participants from communities outsode of the CEE region would like to see the list of articles, they would see just the unified one instead of the lists for specific countries as before. Of course, they will be allowed just to participate by editing articles on topics related to the CEE region and not present their own lists of articles on unrelated topics to our region.
Step 4: Make a weekly schedule of topics instead of countries. That said, we will have week focusing on geography instead of focusing on a specific country as it used to be before.
Your thoughts on my proposal are welcome.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 02:57, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
Hi Kiril - that's an interesting proposal, which is sound but does have a few setbacks:
1) The categories for the contest would be the same across the whole region. While this would make it more uniform, it would also severly hamper creativity when trying to come up with interesting topics. And we'd probably have a big fight about if we should include a category for notable women, for example.
2) The focus would be different, but you'd still have countries supplying 10 entries for each category. This would mean that we'd have 200+ articles on geography, a rather convoluted list.
3) The easiest and least conflict-laden approach would be to have every WMF-affiliate submit a list and allow regions of affiliates if the affiliate in question agrees to it. It is also the easiest approach when it comes to doling out the prices, because every affiliate would be held accountable for distributing the prices properly instead of having to rely on private individuals.
Hope my arguments make sense! Best, Braveheart (talk) 15:01, 1 February 2017 (UTC)
We have to consider that a lot of Wikipedians and people from outside who will be introduced to CEE Spring are not aware what Wikimedia Affiliates are. In this context countries or languages would work way better. The problem with one common list might be that smaller countries would be even less covered if they do not have their own week.[citation needed] --Papuass (talk) 13:44, 2 February 2017 (UTC)
I agree that the concept of Wikimedia affiliates is to specialist to be easily understood by anyone. There are also CEE countries with no Wikimedia affiliates, while the local organisers are community members. The country-based and language-based models will never meet everyone's needs, so that's why I think focusing on communities will be the most appropriate solution. Communities are those who run the projects and their representatives appear as local organisers. Regarding the concern on the underrepresentation of smaller "countries", once again the problem is that we introduce the concept of countries. We should focus on the CEE region as a whole rather than as a sum of countries. It's not likely that we are going to force participants write about smaller "countries" if we simply promote them weekly and the first two contests showed that many users don't pay attention to the promoted countries.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 23:48, 2 February 2017 (UTC)
P.S. Another problem with the the country lists might be the inclusion of geography and history topics relating multiple countries as well as people whose nationality is subject to open dispute. Which list should we include the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in (Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Romania or Moldova)? Or which list should we include the Carpathian Mountains in (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine or Serbia)? Or which list should we include Tadeusz Kościuszko in (Poland, Lithuania or Belarus)? Or shall we omit such important topics that every Wikipedia must have just because listing them may trigger another dispute?!--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 08:29, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
I think that including some subject on several lists is not that big issue. If, say, Tadeusz Kościuszko will be included by Poland, Lithuania and Belarus (or respective language communities, or respective affiliates) at the same time, this topic will just get more visibility as all three will promote it. I have not seen any significant disputes about this — NickK (talk) 14:25, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
Of course where there are no affiliates (e.g. Romanian Wikipedia) communities can organise the local contest. Moreover it is a good thing if the communities get sensitised about the structure of the affiliates in the Wikimedia Movement. Would there be a reason against defining participants as affiliates and where there are no affiliates language communities? This is what I, based on the whole discussion by now, consider the best option. --Nikola (talk) 14:45, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
Considering that we have user groups representing language communities rather than countries, it might be a reasonable solution that should avoid any further country or language-related disputes. However, we need to pay careful attention to the differences scope of certain affiliates. For example, local chapters are country-defined entities that will have to organise the contest for a certain language community.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 15:43, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
Nikola, I believe this discussion started from my observation that I was having difficulties explaining to competitors who is participating in the contest. Your proposal is equivalent to keeping the status quo, with the exception of one participant from last year. It is concerning that we went around the bush so much to just return to last year's solution. I think making it harder for organizers and easy for participants is preferable in any and all circumstances.--Strainu (talk) 16:10, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
I don't think that talking about all the options just to decide on keeping the status quo (for now, for this year) is necessarily a bad thing. In my opinion we should be as supportive as possible of all the language communities out there, without shutting out people by drawing up rules that only cause rifts within the CEE community.
This could or should also be a topic for this year's CEE meeting, where it's probably easier to come up with a better solution in person instead of discussing it online? Braveheart (talk) 11:39, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
Braveheart, this discussion is already 1 year old. We've been through live talks at Wikimania 2016 and CEE Meeting 2016. I personally don't think yet another live discussion would bring much value. I strongly believe that the people who really need support and clarity are not the organizers, but the participants. Thus I support any kind of solution that can be explained without "if...else": countries, languages, single list. The important thing is uniformity. --Strainu (talk) 20:27, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, we've discussed it before - there just doesn't seem to be a magic bullet that enables this contest to be as inclusive as possible and at the same time have uniform rules for the countries and regions participating. The best solution in my opinion would be to let every country and region create a list and have one contest per wiki. Is that definition precise enough? Of course there are reasonable limits to what counts as a region, which will be decided on a case-by-case basis (as long as it's in the widest scope of "Europe" ;-) ). Braveheart (talk) 22:18, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
What divides us is what gets us together
Disclaimer: I am not a local contest organizer this year, so you may decide to skip what follows. I just propose an alternative 5 cents, but I am not going to defend / promote it further in any way whatsoever. Just food for thought.
I noticed Kiril mentioning above several topics featuring shared history, shared geography, shared (self-)identification like Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Carpathian Mountains, Tadeusz Kościuszko. And I thank him for this insight, because it occurred to me that this year, for a change, there may be just one single CEE list, to which any interested contributor/organizer could add *only* topics of proven and referenced cross-border, cross-cultural, multi-language, multi-ethnic, cross-multi-whatever-you-like-it nature. Instead of trying to discriminate between the Country-X-specific and the Country-Y-specific topics, look purposefully and exclusively for X-Y topics. Don't slide easily down the slope of mutual exclusion, CEE Spring was *designed* to give the world an example of cooperation and mutual respect. It is challenging, I know. It requires maturity. But what divides us is exactly what gets us together.
(And do not forget that in the end of the day, the contest participants are volunteers and they still have freedom of choice and many will write on CEE topics they have chosen alone, beyond any lists that have been collected for *facilitating* (i.e. *restricting*) them. :) )
Spiritia 15:52, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

Извините, что пишу на русском языке. Нужен один, единый список для СЕЕ по аналогии 1000 важных статей. Не разделяя на страны, регионы, границы, филиалы или юзер-группы и другие условности. Критерий должен быть один - языковой раздел Википедии, или родственного проекта Викимедиа. Все равны - и миллионеры, и чуть живые малые разделы. Только так сможем реализовать идею равенства, и не будем проповедовать верховенство сильных мира сего. Представители каждого языкового раздела (сообщества) предлагают 10 (20, 30) своих статей в общий список. По мере написания статей всеми участниками конкурса дополняют новыми статьями. Примерно так. Успехов. --Рөстәм Нурыев (talk) 05:12, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

First of all, I don't understand how can you @Liridon: state "I see no reason why Serbia and Kosovo need to come up with joint list, today they are two different countries." when you know how complicated this issue is. From WMRS point of view, there're several things important to be mentioned. Last year, Wikimedians from Republic of Srpska did have their own list, but we had one competition on srwiki and we organized it together. As far as Kosovo problem concerns we do understand that this is quite problematic and there's no easy way to find an elegant solution but we can not accept separate list of articles for Kosovo and Serbia. There're two reasons for that. First, if we accept list for Kosovo, it means we accept Kosovo as an independent state, and that's something we can't do because our Constitution. In this case we go against our country, which is completely unacceptable. Second, our community is not so happy about this either. I've put link to this discussion on srwiki village pump if some of them want to express their opinion. Last year Kosovo flag was the problem. We don't want to give up from CEE Spring, but we can't include Kosovo as a separate country. So, I think that acceptable solutions would be either to have one unified list for the CEE region which @Kiril Simeonovski: suggested or both countries and regions can have their own list. Sure, it should be visibly specified that the lists are for countries and regions.--IvanaMadzarevic (talk) 13:17, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Since when Wikipedia projects are based on the constitution of the countries, I don't know, but I know that this project is more for bringing together our communities, and not going back to political problems. @IvanaMadzarevic: If we follow your logic, then Republika Srpska should be in list of Bosnia, which is also unacceptable to you. You are saying that is OK that Republic of Srpska to have a list, but not Kosovo? It is Ok that Sakha Republic and Bashkortostan (which are just federal subjects of Russia) or Esperanto, but not Kosovo? Does Serbian government recognize them, how, as countries, as regions?--Liridon (talk) 14:11, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
The proposed solution is to clearly state that article lists are about countries, regions and communities of CEE region, thus allowing Kosovo, Republic of Srpska, Bashkortostan and Esperanto to have their own lists. New list additions would be vetted by International organizers, to avoid communities outside CEE or those without enough cultural differences (like different language) joining. It is also suggested to remove all flags (at least from international contest pages) because they are confusing when countries are listed together with regions. --Papuass (talk) 15:25, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Agree with flag removing. --Artificial123 (talk) 11:29, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
@Liridon: Wiki projects are not based on the constitution of the countries, but the work of our organisation is. I agree that we should not go back to the political problems and we should find a compromise solution. We didn't have any influence on Republic Srpska issue, since that's internal thing within Bosnia and Hercegovina. They've came to us and suggested to organize CEE Spring together and we accepted it since the organizers didn't have anything against that idea. So I think that list should be about countries, regions and communities of CEE region.--IvanaMadzarevic (talk) 14:31, 10 February 2017 (UTC)