Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Österreich/December 2016
Wikivoyage workshop and celebration
Wikivoyage celebrated its 10th birthday on December 10th. There are hardly any Wikivoyage editors in Austria, however some Austrian Wikimedians were interested in how Wikivoyage works in order to tell others, e.g. at outreach events. Roland Unger, the chairman of Wikivoyage e.V. from Germany, came to Austria for three days. He conducted an intensive Wikivoyage workshop for Austrian Wikimedians. Part of the workshop was improving the article Wien/Simmering where the Wikimedia Hackathon 2017 will take place. According to the participants, it was not only useful for Wikivoyage editing but also for getting inspired by innovative technical solutions like the Wikivoyagian way of data implementation from Wikidata.
Individuals involved: 7 (active editors: 6, WMAT staff: 1). - WMAT support: venue, catering, infrastructure.
Since end of 2016 Wikimedia Austria is facing a conflict of interest (CoI) debate in the wider community: The issue has its roots in a problem we tried to solve approximately two years back. There are regular conflicts within the wider German-speaking language community when it comes to volunteers enforcing their rights in case of copyright violations of their works, i.e. single volunteers claiming compensation for non-attributed use of their works (photos) by third parties via their lawyers. In order to offer an alternative to such practices we introduced the service to send out friendly information letters in such cases, trying to educate people about the proper use of freely licensed pictures. This would only be escalated in cases were people refused to correct their mistakes or were not responsive at all. This process and the content of the letters was desigend by the chair of our board, who is also a lawyer by profession. The process was approved by our Good Governance Committee, as the focus was to avoid legal conflict, so there was not much concern that our board member would profit from these activities.
During the last years however, this led to more volunteers also seeking legal assistance from our chair for their own affairs, involving cases of pictures not being supported by WMAT and hence beyond our control when it comes to how to handle violations. Today, our chair is hired by a fair number of volunteers for their legal affairs. To him it is more important that those volunteers turn to somebody like him who handles such cases with the background knowledge of our movement culture and values rather than by some lawyers who are specialized in making maximum profit from such issues, and hence wants to keep up his consultation services. Although there is nothing illegal about the whole process and generally governance and CoI have a different culture in Austria than in the anglophone world (for many or even most other Austrian charities the connection between being on the board and being involved with your own business would not even be frowned upon), WMAT is aware of the fact that this is an issue of compliance perception - more of a moral question whether this is compatible with the image and spirit of Wikipedia. But WMAT takes that very seriously nevertheless, as the positive perception of Wikipedia by potential donors and partners is a very valuable asset for us and the whole movement, especially as some more public cases have been critically discussed by the community.
Hence, the main point on the agenda of the last strategy meeting in 2016 was to find and agree on a way to handle this situation in the best interest of the chapter. Our chair already planned to step down after 10 years in his role after his current term, but given the current situation we decided to speed up the process and prepare his retreat for the next general assembly in June 2017. This was identified as the best line of action, as it gives us time to manage his succession properly despite additional challenges like the organizing the Wikimedia Hackathon next spring. There was a broad consensus that an orderly succession and leadership transition is more important than doing things too hastily just for the sake of doing things.
Individuals involved: 12 (active editors: 7, WMAT staff: 3, external facilitator: 1). - WMAT support: venue, catering, infrastructure, costs for external facilitator.
The WikiDienstag (“WikiTuesday“) is a weekly meet-up in the WMAT office. Volunteers share their knowledge and work together on improving the content of Wikimedia projects.
- Topics in December 2016:
- December 13th: Natural monuments in Austria needing check on Wikimedia Commons (editing sessions resulting in 35 improved pages)
- December 20th: Christmas party
Individuals involved: 13 (active editors: 10, WMAT staff: 3). - WMAT support: venue, infrastructure.
WMAT supports the WikiCup in the German-language Wikipedia with prizes. 53 editors participated in this year's competition, two more than last year. The WikiCup 2016 resulted in 3480 new or revised articles.
The following articles were recognised as featured articles, good articles or featured lists (articles in brackets were written within the context of the 24th or 25th Wikipedia Writing Competition):
- Atlashörnchen) – Bogen von Orange – Chilenisches Mausohr – Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables – (Metropolitan Railway) – Südliche Berliner Vorortbahn – Westmöwe
- Alexander Drummond – Amerikanischer Bison – Autogenes Brennschneiden – Bahnhof Anklam – Harnröhre – Petermannchen – Der rote Christus – Sesostris-I.-Pyramide – U-Bahn Zürich – (Zerspanen)
Individuals involved: 54 (active editors: 53, WMAT staff: 1). - WMAT support: main prize.
Gallery: Equipment/accreditation support
We support Wikimedia Commons photographers with equipment from our tech pool and with accreditations for events. This gallery highlights some of the activities in December 2016.
Individuals involved: 22 (active editors: 20, WMAT staff: 2). - WMAT support: equipment and/or accreditation.
Reach / Free Knowledge Awareness
WMAT Advent Calender
We created a Wikimedia advent calendar on Facebook. From December 1st to December 24th we presented a new fun fact about the Wikiverse every day. Our intent was to enhance the binding of our social media followers and to create a positive and curiosity-provoking atmosphere towards the Wikimedia projects. We highlighted Wikipedia fun facts rarely known even by long-time Wikipedians and included stories about the sister projects.
Individuals involved: 50 (Facebook follower: 48, WMAT staff: 2). - WMAT support: research and implementation.
EU Advocacy FKAGEU Final Report 2016
A focus of 2016 was to try to get new communities to participate in the EU policy process. FKAGEU received a visiting Wikimedian from WMES, a chapter that had until then not really participated in public policy work on the EU level. Furthermore, the Wikimedians of Latvia User-Group localised a position paper on EU copyright reform and contacted their national government on this. The same can be said of Wikimedia Denmark.
The European Commission finally presented its copyright reform proposal in September. The proposal is umambitious and does not tackle most issues Wikimedia believes are important. Hence, the final months of the year were all about preliminary meetings with EU MEPs and staff that would work on fixing the copyright reform in the European Parliament in 2017, as well as supporting WMAT and other national groups in their efforts to bring the the Wikimedia perspective to their respective, national copyright consultations.
Individuals involved: 50 (active editors: 25) - WMAT support: Financial contribution to European FKAGEU activities.
Netpolitical Evenings 2016
We co-hosted 10 netpolitical evenings over the course of 2016 (9 in Vienna and one in 1 in Linz), with an average of 60 participants, covering topics from EU advocacy, cyber feminism, and net neutrality to state of the art research around online discourse and hate speech. The event also has a loyal remote audience via live stream and broadcasting of various free radio stations across Austria. In addition, it became a valuable platform to find partners, participants, or multipliers for WMAT activities (e.g. hackathon, art+feminism). The initiative is 100% volunteer run and cost neutral (apart from a onetime sponsoring by WMAT for a new headset), the venue is an in-kind donation by the local hackspace metalab.
Individuals involved: 600 (active editors: 10) - WMAT support: Co-organistion, sponsoring of a new mic/headset for live stream and broadcasting.