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Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2012/Program

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This is a work under construction. I have used previous discussions as raw material: Notes from CEE meetup in Wikimania 2012, program talk from Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2012, and stuff from Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2012/Brainstorming.



State of the CEE: 13th Oct, morning


It would make sense to start with an overview, so we'll later know where we stand. This could be our own version of "State of the chapters". By Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2012/Attendees, we currently have 8 CEE countries. From what I've seen, we also have hope for Poland. Others, I don't know. This means we might have 10-20 countries giving a short description of what they are doing. If we gave everyone 10 minutes, this would take 1 h 40 min - 3 hours 20 min. That's a manageable amount of time, after which we still have major part of the day left for actual work. (If we gave 20 minutes each, we'd be in trouble. Unless we'll be stuck with current 8 countries, in which case we'll be in another kind of trouble.) --Oop (talk) 06:03, 11 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Excuse me, dont know where to reply. To otheres we may intensivaly promote it, when it is known the programe.--Juandev (talk) 14:25, 20 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

We're currently missing: Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Byelorussia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bosnia&Herzegovina, Albania, Georgia, Azerbaijan. We could also use Finland and possibly Greece, Turkey, and Central Asians. It's not like we're overwhelmed by the amount of participants. --Oop (talk) 06:03, 11 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

What should be the content of each description? The size of local Wikipedia (and maybe other projects, if they're relevant), number of active Wikipedians, chapter (yes/soon/maybe/no, size), main ongoing activities, etc. --Oop (talk) 06:03, 11 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

The purpose of this presentation as we talked about it with Bulgarians was to show success to local community and by this annimate them to participate in their local countries. So definitely success projects, lets say pick up two. Those might be even success projects from within the organisation itself plus general presentation.--Juandev (talk) 14:25, 20 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I feel that filling the entire morning with 20 presentations about chapters might become a bit repetetive and boring. I should think that for the inaugural session you need to have some programmatic highlight, which provides some inspiration and guidance. Who would be a good speaker for an initial keynote?
Of course, there should be an intro round. However, it should be focused. I think that if every chapters gives a full overview of their activities, people might loose interest after the third presentation or so. So we should have some guiding questions, which should be more specific than "Tell us anything you are doing". I think for such a large round, an experienced facilitator would be very good to have! --Johannes Rohr (WMDE) (talk) 10:16, 21 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Speeches: 13th Oct, noon


After that, we could have lunch and then, someone important saying something unimportant, like it usually goes. If we're lucky, it might be interesting, though. --Oop (talk) 06:03, 11 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Something bigger: 13th Oct, afternoon


This might be a good point to insert an event where we could discuss some big and strategic issues, like

  • the abovementioned "two speeds in the movement",
  • organization (should we institutionalize CEE cooperation similarly to Iberocoop?), and
  • general principles of cooperation (would we prefer to arrange our cooperative programs one by one, or would we like a network? do we want to grow fast or take our time?),
  • localization in content (small Wikipedias tend to center on local issues, setting also their own notability levels - is this good, bad, or ugly?).
  • Also, this might be a suitable time to abuse the fact that we have people from WMF participating, so we can drag them on the stage, make them hold speeches and/or answer questions. Anyway, if we want to have someone talking from the stage, this might be a good time for it. Everyone has eaten, everyone is happy, no booing. --Oop (talk) 06:03, 11 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]
And I would recomend to invite for this talk a professional coach or moderator, which may help to push such discussion forward - like it is on Chapters Conference in Berlin.--Juandev (talk) 14:25, 20 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

A small part of the actual work


If we're lucky, we can press a couple of sensible presentations in here. Or, as it has been proposed, lectures from the outsiders. The contents will be discussed below. --Oop (talk) 06:03, 11 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

What such presentations will be about?--Juandev (talk) 14:25, 20 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Something lighter: 13th Oct, evening


The fun part. Sightseeing, party, etc. On a two-day event, we have to reserve time for it in the evening of the first day, or maany of us will miss it. Also, a lot of the actual work on any conference is done while people are just talking to each other, having glasses, cups, or tankards in their hands. --Oop (talk) 06:03, 11 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Talking to each other is good during feeding.--Juandev (talk) 14:25, 20 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Work, work, work: 14th Oct, morning to afternoon


The actual work. Presentations, discussions, workshops. Most likely, our hardest problem is that we have many issues to discuss but very few people to discuss them. I suspect we're going to have so few people it wouldn't make sense to break our schedule up into parallel sessions. I would be happy if I was wrong, though, so we could have two sessions. --Oop (talk) 06:03, 11 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Anyway, if we have an hour for each theme, and maybe two or three presentations in that hour, we can take three of these from 9 to 12, eat, and take another three from 13 to 16. If we truly want it, we might even sit until 17, but we have to remember some people will most likely be already leaving by that time. --Oop (talk) 06:03, 11 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

What should be the content, is an entirely different matter and will be discussed in another subsection below. --Oop (talk) 06:03, 11 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Summary: 14th Oct, late afternoon


Someone will say somee nice words about how nice it was to see everyone, how nice it is to cooperate, how nice it has been in Beograd, and how nice it has been to say "nice" so many times. Niiiice. After this, everybody flees, er, flies home. --Oop (talk) 06:03, 11 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]



The only thing our program team can do in this time is to offer a list of themes and see if anyone wants to speak on these, which form would they choose (presentation, discussion, workshop), and if anyone wants to listen to the speaker. By the current looks, it seems we'll have a rather high speaker/listener ratio, probably close to or even greater than 1. On some themes, we might also want to ask some knowledgeable outsider to hold a short lecture.

In general, I think we should keep in mind that we are not going to solve every issue this time, but the best possible outcome would be establishing our cooperation. We can pretty much congatulate ourselves if we can create some framework to organize further discussion, maybe arranging some future workshops or creating wikipages for cooperative projects in CEE.

As many themes have been proposed, I try to collect and group them here.


  • What are the breakthrough factors to achieve recognition?
  • Impact of general economic development on community work and recognition
  • Impact of Internet access/cost
  • Impact of Google/Yandex/Seznam positioning on project's popularity
  • Easy access to some other language resources (e.g. Russian, German or English) instead
  • Role of institutional support (government, sponsors, Wikimedia Foundation, chapters ... etc.)
  • Recruitment and outreach. In small Wikipedias, some things are hard to do because of the lack of people, both in the organizational side and in the terms of wikicontent. How can we engage more people as editors and as community organizers?
  • This issue might be seen like a small version of a Global South problem and possibly CEE region could serve as a good testbed for various activities in this area undertaken for example by the Wikimedia Foundation. This itself would be an interesting problem to talk about. - Maybe Asaf would like to comment on this?
  • An excellent take way would be to have some recommendations for projects and chapter activists. Wonderful. Who wants to make a presentation? --Oop (talk) 06:38, 11 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Best outreach practices. What are the best ways to attain readers? How do you let people know what you have done? What does it take to convince a Wikipedian to talk in front of thousands or millions?
  • GLAM activities. How do you convince a museum to publish their content online under a CC license? An archive? A library? A gallery? What can they gain by working with us? How can they justify this to their superiors?

Wikimedia Foundation has launched a Legal and Community Advocacy initiative today. What role may chapters and project communities play in the process?

  • Issues with representing a diverse community - are chapters willing to take a role?
  • How to deal with decision making without getting involved in politics
  • Different countries - different possibilities for advocacy on the political level
  • Legal affairs: How should chapters support members of community during litigations:
    • defensive, i.e. against community members
    • offensive, i.e. requesting access for public information and re-use of public material
  • similar legal environment (many EU members or striving to be EU members)
  • common copyright problems related to communist era (e. g. orphan images from dissolved organizations)
  • Legal issues. CEE countries have greatly varying laws concerning copyright, open data initiatives and protection of personal data. What problems are we facing, how have we solved them, and what are the best legal practices we could recommend for our countries to adopt?

CEE as Babel

  • Language solutions. CEE languages have several issues that complicate work on Wikimedia projects technically, e.g. multiple diacritic, languages with more than a single alphabet, etc.
  • There are many (mostly?) regional language Wikipedias in CEE, which means we are in a somewhat different situation than those Wikipedias which cover many countries and possibly even different cultures (English, French, Spanish...). If a Wikipedia community is geographically close, it means they also have the responsibility to cover local culture in a different way than "international" Wikipedias would. It is quite natural that Czech Wikipedia, e.g., would have articles on those Czech philosophers English Wikipedia might hesitate to mention.
  • CEE is a geographically and linguistically complex area, having many small nations, cultures and languages mixing and overlapping. It is often hard to even identify the same person in different languages, no to talk about the need for a correct transciption of personal and geographical names. To cover a single subject, it is usually necessary to use sources in several languages.

Many communities are interested in using automatic switch between various writing systems (mostly latin, cyrillic and arabic). Some wikis in the region (Serbian, Kazakh) have this implemented already, some would like to have this (Bashkir, Tatar and others).

This workshop could be used to

  • define common goals, identify issues, requirements
  • identify resources (i.e. volunteers) that are able to work on development of the software

We should gather representatives of 5-6 communities (especially from the former Soviet Union) interested in this we might end up setting up a proper project to push things further.

Organizatory issues

  • NGO sphere underdeveloped, little willingness for donations many languages used only in a single country
  • Chapter creation and development. Some communities don't have an urge to create a Wikimedia chapter, but some do. What are the benefits and problems? How can we help those who want to establish a chapter? Okay, you have registered a chapter; now what?
  • Securing additional financing. Small chapters tend to depend financially on WMF. What other potential sources are there, how could we exploit them, and how could we cooperate on these matters?
  • Good governance practices. What should be avoided and what should be done to have as little trouble as possible? How to keep your finances in order with minimal costs? How to resolve organizational issues?

Cooperation on content

  • Historical controversies. In CEE, almost every country has had some troubles with almost every neighbour. How can we describe our history objectively, if our understanding of the "objective description of our history" can be quite different from our neighbours' "objective descriptions"?
  • Joint biography projects. CEE countries have very much intertwining histories. One person can be easily relevant for several countries, having slightly different aspects for each. Could we benefit from exchanging material on historical biographies?
  • Joint Wikiexpeditions. We have many historical regions and local cultures that are currently split between different countries. It would only make sense if we cooperated in covering our common culture.
    • Yes, lets talk about it.--Juandev (talk) 15:07, 20 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    • I would like to give a short presentation about the Polish Wikiexpeditions (short summary in English: [1]). We had started this photo scavenger hunts in 2009 and we've had 4 large Wikiexpeditions and a couple of smaller ones so far. I was organisating trips in 2011 and 2012 and I would like to share the know-how. There's one more thing - I will arrive in Belgrade on Wendesday 10. October, so there's a nice chance to make some small Wikiexpedition with Serbian Wikipedians before the Conference. I checked that renting a midsize car for 3 days is quite affordable and costs below 100 Euro. Anyone interested in this kind of photo scavenger hunt? ;) -- CLI (talk) 21:35, 3 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • shared cultural heritage from the communist era (and in many cases also from way earlier)
  • There is also the issue of our history. CEE history is very complex, our national histories are intertwined and for every single event, there are many viewpoints, which are often hardly compatible and sometimes oppose each other. Due to our common past, our history has also a lot of emotional and political issues that need to be considered. If almost every pair of neighbours has a grudge against each other, how do you achieve objective and neutral articles on historical subjects?

Do we have any good examples of content cooperation between CEE wikis?


  • Importing technical features from larger projects. E.g., some of us might like the feedback tools or version control features. What are pros and cons of these tools and how might we have to adjust them to our own context?
  • Translation: technical solutions and best practices. How can you attract translators and how do you ease their work?
  • Bots. Do we need them? What have we got? Can we borrow them from each other? What can we develop in cooperation?



Wikidata, which is currently being developed by a team at Wikimedia Deutschland will have a profound impact on all Wikipedias, and I believe that given the linguistic diversity of the CEE region, it of relevance and interest to the CEE Wikimedia community. We could talk about

  • What it is, how it will work
  • Chances and opportunities: e.g. how it eases life for small linguistic communities; whether it might be instrumental in bridging lingustistic and social gaps between communities
  • Risks: Will we have edit wars in Wikidata between different linguistic communities over issues such as population figures of ethnic groups or numbers of speakers of languages, disputed borders and the like?
  • What do we expect from Wikidata? What does the developer team need to know from our communities?

The CEE region and devepments in the global Wikimedia movement




I'm not sure where to put this.

  • I also think we should include the idea for "Wiki Exchange" which was already discussed on the meetup in Haifa, and a new project called "Wiki Welcome" that aims to improve the welcoming of newbies on any of the Wikimedia projects by immediate templating their user and discussion page. My impression is that many newbies don't know what to do when they've just registered to the project, and the same worry was mentioned at the Chapters Meeting this year.

Draft program and schedule


In a conversation with Raul we agreed to make a draft program and schedule, and we're pleased to announce it here for discussion.

13 Oct (Day 1)
10:00 - 11:30 State of the CEE (presentations)
11:30 - 11:45 Break
11:45 - 13:00 Organizational management (discussion or panel)
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 15:15 CEE and Wikimedia Chapters Association (discussion or panel)
15:15 - 15:30 Break
15:30 - 16:30 Finances/Fundraising (presentations, analysis)|Chapters professionalization (discussion)
16:30 - 16:45 Break
17:30 - 18:00 Summary of the day
14 Oct (Day 2)
10:00 - 11:30 GLAM in CEE countries (presentations)|Technological issues across CEE countries (presentations and discussion)
11:30 - 11:45 Break
11:45 - 13:00 Educational projects (presentations and discussion)|Wikidata (presentation and discussion)
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 15:00 Workshops (certain topics; number depending on the free rooms on disposal, but still 2 or 3 at the same time)
15:00 - 15:30 Report back
15:30 - 15:45 Break
15:45 - 17:00 Some interesting projects in CEE countries (presentations and discussion)
17:00 - 17:15 Break
17:15 - 18:00 General summary of the conference

The program in the first day should mainly focus on the organizational issues across the CEE countries. It should include themes, such as: creation of new chapters, running an NGO, chapter-community relations, funding sources and fundraising, or the role of the CEE as an umbrella term in WCA.

Second day should be used for the work of the organized groups (individuals, community members, chapters, non-chapter NGOs) in the CEE countries to contribute enriching the Wikimedia Movement. Presentations for this part of the program should include themes related to: GLAM projects and activities, educational programs, localization of content, growth of the smaller projects, or some innovative projects.

If you have any comments or remarks regarding the topics in this draft schedule, please make them as soon as possible, so we will be able to properly include it. Time slots are determined only arbitrary and depend on the interest of the topic. It doesn't have to be a problem to move the starting time of the conference. I'd also like to see some interaction with the people responsible for the logistics about the number of free rooms on disposal in the period from 13:30 to 15:00 on the Day 2 (14 October), and generally about the possibilities to progress the further implementation of this schedule. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 15:20, 21 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I made some changes in the time slots for both days, assuming that it would be better to start at 10:00 each day.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 19:57, 21 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Given the fact that there was interest for having presentation about Wikidata and some technical issues, such as Wikipedias in multiple writing systems, I made some expansion of the program. Since nobody has commented yet and we really don't have much time until the conference, it seems that we have to agree on this draft program and schedule and start implementing it.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 15:16, 26 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]