Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Österreich/May 2011

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Wikimania Scholarships[edit]

The Wikimania team sent us discount codes which we have disctributed to our scholarship recipients. They should all be booked now.

There was some confusion as we have announced to pay scholarships only for the dorms and those are full, according to the Wikimania website. They are available for scholarship recipents - the Wikimania team has reserved them for the scholarship attendees and closed them for the regular bookings.

As people still wanted to book a hotel and also stay together with other people from Austria not travelling on scholarships we have made a change to our rules by board resolution: Wikimedia Österreich covers up to 70 USD per night. The rest has to be paid by the participant. So they can book whatever accommodation they want.

Fundraising Summit[edit]

In April the Vienna Convention Bureau has contacted us and we have decided to test them with the Fundraising Summit.

They gave us some contacts to hotels (too expensive) and venues for conferences (too big, much too expensive). We got a contact to Austrian Airlines (not needed right now but good to have) and they gave us a special link where we could by a "Congress Ticket" for the public transport. These tickets are valid ranging from one to several days in the whole city centre of Vienna and may also include the airport shuttle train which normally costs extra.

While the information we received was very interesting we were still a bit disappointed as it was not exactly what we have asked for. The hotels where too luxurious and not suitable for us, the venues too big and too expensive. Instead of regular tickets we rather wanted a good contact person to negotiate the whole batch of public transport tickets.

In the end we were looking for a venue and hotel on our own. Kurt did that whenever he was in Vienna and had some spare time. In the end trying to work with the convention company actually stole us two weeks which we could've used for organising the event already.

Kurt found a venue at "Arbeiterkammer", right near the city centre. There is also a hotel just across the street which offered us a special discount.

We also decided to buy the Congress Tickets for all participants at the summit. They can be bought online and will be provided as PDF files, so we can jut forward them to the participants. They can print them at home and bring them to Vienna. Then they don't need to buy any tickets or care for the shuttle train as we can include that in the ticket as well.

Still missing is funding for the chapters that have not yet participated in a fundraiser, so they do not have the money to particpate in the summit. Chapters argued that the Wikimedia Foundation has in the past received the donations from the countries of those chapters which don't have the money today. So the money is with the Foundation, so they should sponsor them. Unfortunately the WMF does not have a budget for that.

We tried to integrate our local community into this international event. Partly we assume that some critics on what we do is because many people in the community still think that Wikimedia Österreich is a Wikipedia fanclub and don't understand what is going on behind the scenes. So we have invited people to participate by helping as notetakers, photographers or tour guides. We didn't find notetakers and tour guides yet, but the regular Wikipedia meetup in Vienna has reserved their restaurant and is organising a meeting on Saturday evening where we will participate with the participants of the Summit.

Open Access Panel at University of Graz[edit]

Christoph Breitler has participated at the panel discussion of the University of Graz concerning Open Access.

Keynote by Prof. Dr. Rainer Kuhlen UNESCO Chair in Communications:

openZIM at LinuxTag[edit]

openZIM is the technology behind the efforts to streamline Wikipedia Offline production. ZIM is a file format that has been developed to store Wikipedia content in an efficient way, it has been documented and published and is available for free so everyone can use it. openZIM is the project that has developed ZIM and that also provides an open source implementation of tools to read and right ZIM files and also a library that can be used in other applications to make them able to read or write ZIM files.

Manuel is the project lead of openZIM, so he has been together with developers at LinuxTag, the annual open source convention in Berlin. While several new people learned about the project two meetings were interesting:

  • the Sugar Labs community - the project that is developing the graphical user interface for the One Laptop Per Chield (OLPC) project and is developing educational games and programs - remembered openZIM from last year and told us that they had a meeting in Uruguay recently where they talked about Wikipedia and suggested openZIM to be used on the OLPCs.
  • the sales director of a finnish software development company came by the openZIM booth and discussed with us for a while. In the end we found out that his company was involved with the development of the "WikiReader" by openmoko. We stay in touch, we are interested in why they didn't use openZIM (well, it was brand new back then) and if they plan to do so in the future. We are also interested to hear if there have ever been any updates to the WikiReader as they have promised before.

Wikimedia Developers Meeting / Wiki Loves Monuments Meeting in Berlin[edit]

On May 13th to 15th there were several meetings in Berlin, organised by Wikimedia Deutschland. Unfortunately only Manuel could go and as he was involved at LinuxTag he could only participate on Saturday evening and during Sunday.

At the Wiki Loves Monuments meeting Lodewijk Gelauff informed that there are already ready website packages to be used with Wordpress which provides a neat Google Maps interface and a direct link to a special upload form.

The swiss website which is also used by Wikimedia Österreich now (while not being adopted yet) was criticised to require an additional log in for participants, adding an additional barrier to potential participants. It is also a self-made system which is not a CMS and not a blog, making it hard to maintain. The idea is that with a blogging system like Wordpress the blogs can be integrated into a planet and many people within a WLM team can get access and update the website to show the activities which are going on.

An important note was that there was little to know feedback on the wikilovesmonuments-l mailinglist from Austria. Manuel has reminded the board to find a project manager and subscribe him there. Feedback was that a project manager is in mind but there must first be a meeting with the community, also because of the complicated situation with all the different projects that need to be coordinated first (see

At the Developers Meeting Manuel and Emmanuel which are both working on openZIM (see above) got an OLPC to port the zimlib and Kiwix to it.

Wiki Loves Monuments[edit]

Photographic equipment has been reviewed any bought. It can be borrowed by any member to take professional pictures of monuments but also for other projects as well.

There was a meeting with the community on May 13th regarding Wiki Loves Monuments in Austria. About 25 persons participated in the meeting.

  • We learned that already all lists of monuments (2.400 municipalities) have been created but some details are still missing (geo coordinates etc.). The federal authority "Bundesdenkmalamt" already benefits from this project as they are getting feedback on mistakes in their lists.
  • The photo competition was not really interesting. After a long discussion there was a vote and there was no majority. In the end we will do it but most people are not interested in it. At least there was no opposition to do it.
  • We are thinking about hiring someone to organise the photo competition and to work on our 12-item plan. This person will get a service contract for especially this project, so this is not a regular job opening. We will work on a profile and advertise this job in the Wikimedia community.

We plan to also get some communication equipment to make it easy to work on the wikis and upload pictures while abroad. This equipment should be used at events or meetings but also for people who rent the photographic equipment.

Wikimedia España Start-up Help[edit]

Following up on talks we had at the Chapters Meeting we received a request from Wikimedia Spain for financial start-up help.

After discussion the board have decided to provide a budget of 2000 EUR for this and offer WMES a first grant of 1000 EUR. The grant should be paid back after their first fundraiser with no interest. If needed we would also give a second grant of another 1000 EUR - if we see appropriate results from our first grant. Website[edit]

Following up on the discussion of sharing information with the community and other chapters Manuel is planning to enhance the Wikimedia Österreich website a bit. It is currently made of Drupal, a blogging system which is very extensible.


  • RSS feeds
  • integrate the blog into Wikimedia planets
  • forwards new blog posts to, Twitter and Facebook (create WMAT accounts there)
  • replace the "News" section at the members wiki (which is currently most updated) with a RSS aggregator which shows the blog posts from the Drupal website

Manuel got an account in Drupal to work on that but there no results yet.

Economic Science papers of University for applied sciences of Dornbirn[edit]

The project which we have silently supported (see has been approved by the university.

Now the Wikipedians in the economics project at Wikipedia are starting to implement this.

User Generated Content Workshop in Vienna[edit]

As already described in the last report (see we have been participating at a GLAM workshop by the Austrian Institute of Technology.

Unfortunately Christoph had to cancel on short notice but Beppo was there and could use Christoph's talk.

Wikipedia for UNESCO World Heritage[edit]

We support the initiative and distributed the news with the link for the petition to our members.

Fundraising Agreement[edit]

We received the current version of the Fundraising Agreement and forwarded it to our members, inviting them to participate in the discussions on Meta.

Wikimedia Österreich will participate in the Fundraiser this year but we will wait with any signature until the Fundraising Summit as there are still discussions ongoing on the fundraising mailinglist.


Already beginning this year we have heard about a new conference which is organised by the community and which will take place in Nuremberg, analog to Skillshare last year.

The board has decided to provide a sponsorship of 10% of what Wikimedia Deutschland is sponsoring, up to 3000 EUR. Additionally, we provide a scholarship budget of 2000 EUR for participants from Austria, to be handled by the organisers.

Manuel is in touch with the organisers which have us by the end of May as they want to officially announce the event soon. Manuel got access to their planning wiki, so we can also help in organising where needed and stay up-to-date as co-organiser of this event.

At the general assembly there was a request for a "Wikipedia Conference" to be organized in Austria, by the community. The board has immediately expressed its support for this idea. A working group was defined then which got a workspace in the members wiki. Unfortunately there are no results, the group never started to work. With the WikiConvention the board decided to take over the workspace for 2011 and announce our participation in this event as our community conference for 2011. So far their was not reaction from the working group.

For the next year it is still open how we handle this, an option is to make exactly this conference happen in Austria.

Administrative Challenges[edit]

A discussion about the correct definition of the "business year" of Wikimedia Österreich started. Some (two) members think that we need to have a general assembly in May, because the association has been established in May. The bylaws don't define a business year. The law only says that the board can define one and it defines the deadlines for financial reporting etc. As we have split the last reports to end at the end of August - so we could have a period to do all the bookings and close the bookd plus a review period - and had the GA in November we have decided at the board that we won't again have a short business year to change the period again. It would make the reports much more intransparent - which has already been critised the last time. We will stick with the August, so all subsequent reporting periods will be and stay 12 months. In the arguments the laws defining this have been requested - which we provided - so we hope the topic is set now.

We received one new membership application.

We are looking to buy lanyards and think about an Austrian design (red-white-red).