Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Deutschland/April 2014

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Community rooms: finally more than one![edit]

“Lokal K” opened its doors on April 15. Thanks to the dedication of volunteers and the support of Wikimedia Deutschland, this means that, in addition to the community room in Berlin, there is another local community base in Cologne. WMDE congratulates the Cologne community! The community has spoken: The Berlin community room is to be decorated in the “salon style”.

Photo projects[edit]

In April, volunteer photographers from the communities once again created high quality images for Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. They photographed music events as part of the Festival Summer. Other pictures were taken at events such as the 50th Grimme Award Ceremony and theEaster Photo Contest.

Community meeting[edit]

Wikipedians from southern Germany and visitors from places ranging from Hamburg to Vienna and from Aachen to Berlin came together from April 11–13 for the inter-regional meeting in Regensburg. Once again, free content was created at the Open Editing in Berlin.


Cologne – here we come! On April 22, the contract was signed between WMDE and Komed at the Cologne Media Park, where this year’s WikiCon is to be held.

Zedler Prize[edit]

The winners for the Zedler Prize ceremony have been decided. A total of 16 articles and projects have been nominated. A little patience is still required until the award ceremony on May 24…

And there’s more[edit]

Because of the many activities supported by the Community in April, only a selection has made it into the monthly report. A more complete and detailed selection can be found in the monthly overview of supported activities.

Women’s Edit[edit]

Since the beginning of this month, “Women Edit” will take place in the rooms of WMDE. The event series, which is put on in cooperation with the Frauen Computer Zentrum Berlin (FCZB) is aimed at women who are interested in Wikipedia and who are taking their first, second, and third steps into the online encyclopedia. In addition, a Berlin Wikipedia planning group was established to organize an edit-a-thon on “Women in Science” on May 31.

Chapters Dialogue[edit]

In April, Nicole Ebber and Kira Krämer continued to devote themselves to the analysis and synthesis of the nearly 100 interviews from the Chapters Dialogue. At the Wikimedia Conference the two presented the finished project and accompanied the discussion on possible next steps. In May, Nicole will continue to work on the final report; Kira left Wikimedia Deutschland on April 30, as planned. In the 60-minute presentation on the first day of the conference, Nicole first gave a review of the target position and the implementation of the project: to approach a common understanding of roles and responsibilities within the movement, to figure out how the organizations within the movement relate to each other, and to find out more about their goals. To this end, we decided to adopt a professional and structured approach, and to employ user-centric and qualitative research. In the main section of the presentation, Kira went into the many topics, discussions, and conflicts in the Wikimedia construct. One after the other, she presented the overall picture, the challenges that chapters have to face in their path, and the misconceptions and different perspectives of Affiliates and the Wikimedia Foundation. The presentation concluded with an appeal to use these principles now in order to devote ourselves to the continued exploration of the movement model and the optimization of work on common goals. Rather than falling into the trap of doing things for the sake of doing them and continuing to look only at particular symptoms, an investment should be made in the correction of causes. During the conference, parts of the presentation were taken up time and again to illustrate complex issues without getting bogged down in details. More detailed information will be included in the final report.

Wikimedia Conference[edit]

The fifth Wikimedia Conference was held from April 10–13 in Berlin. 150 representatives of the Wikimedia organizations came to Berlin at WMDE’s invitation to discuss cooperation, structures, and organizational development in the movement. The program, which Nicole Ebber had developed together with the volunteer program team and the two moderators, comprised 30 sessions and reflected current Wikimedia discussions. Wikimedia Deutschland was represented with its own reports on experiences from large-scale software development projects (“Wikidata”), on the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group, on evaluation (“How can blood, sweat, and tears actually be measured?”), on error culture (“Experience from our support programs”), as well as on the Chapters Dialogue and discussion on the future of the event itself. Our event team did a fine job managing the whole logistical side of the event and the entire costs will be borne by the Wikimedia Foundation. The transcripts of the program reports have already been published on Meta by a volunteer documentation team. The Tagesspiegel, in whose rooms the conference took place, reported on the event in the run up to the conference (Is Germany a role model?); an interview with Nicole was also broadcast on Deutschlandradio Kultur. The event was overshadowed by a bereavement: Cynthia Ashley-Nelson, WMCON participant and vice-chair of the Affiliations Committee, died during her stay in Berlin. Condolences can be paid on Cynthia’s Wikipedia user page.


Digital Society[edit]

WMDE is an official partner of the German Science Promotion Year (Wissenschaftsjahr) 2014 on the subject “Digital Society”. In this framework, we will be putting on numerous events over the coming months to promote enthusiasm among government bodies and the public for insights, developments and practical projects within the subject areas free knowledge, online collaboration and digital literacy. In cooperation with the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society and Science in Dialogue, we will be hosting the barcamp “Society 2.0” on June 13 and 14 in order to root the topic of free knowledge more firmly in the field of science as well. We will also be enriching the conference “Brave New World? Digital educational materials in schools” put on by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation with our perspective on free education materials on June 30.

Coding da Vinci: the culture hackathon[edit]

The first German culture hackathon “Coding da Vinci” took place on the Wikimedia Deutschland premises on April 26 and 27. Around 150 participants from the fields of software development, design, front-end development, and culture came together to develop applications or apps from 17 data sets from 11 cultural institutions. Along with the Open Knowledge Foundation, digiS – Service Centre Digitization Berlin, and the German Digital Library, WMDE is one of four partners that organize this hackathon. All participating teams will now work on their projects over the next ten weeks in order to present them at the awards ceremony on July 6. More information: blog report and press review.

GLAM on Tour: “Outer Space” in the Art and Exhibition Hall, Bonn[edit]

To mark the exhibition “Outer Space”, which will be opening soon in the Art and Exhibition Hall, GLAM on Tour is stopping off in Bonn this month. At GLAM on Tour, the culture vultures in the GLAM community (GLAM = galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) get to meet employees and volunteers from cultural institutions. Together, they organize events such as Wikipedia editing workshops and exclusive tours for Wikipedians. The focus is on writing workshops (edit-a-thons), in which Wikipedia articles are extended or created and photos are uploaded. For a weekend at “Outer Space” they will be exploring the fascinating space between art and science on May 17 and 18. Anyone interested is welcome to sign up. Further GLAM on Tour stops:

Wikipedians in Seifhennersdorf: GLAM on Tour stops off in Lusatia[edit]

On the last weekend in April, a long-planned project finally came to fruition: Nearly 30 Wikipedians from Poland, the Czech Republic, and Germany came together for a meeting in the border triangle, in the town of Seifhennersdorf. In this region there is a very special, little-known type of construction: the Upper Lusatian house (Umgebindehaus). Photos for Wikimedia Commons were taken on bike tours together and guided excursions to the houses, and writing workshops provided an opportunity to use the literature collected for new and updated articles to enrich Wikipedia as regards this almost forgotten architectural chapter. Of course, personal, inter-regional exchange among active participants in Wikimedia projects was in no short supply at events such as the joint barbecue evening.


Ship ahoy![edit]

In a few days, the MS Wissenschaft sets sail, setting a course right across Germany and Austria with the exhibition “Digital unterwegs”. Daniel Mietchen explained in detail in his guest post on the WMDE blog why it is so important that Wikimedia Deutschland is participating in the exhibition together with the Open Knowledge Foundation. The Software Development and Education & Knowledge departments completed the interactive exhibit in April. Anyone who would like to know what exactly will be on show is warmly invited to visit the free exhibition on board!

The OER Conference is growing[edit]

Wikimedia Deutschland is holding the OER Conference 2014 (OER = Open Educational Resources) on September 12 and 13. The conference topics range from specific work scenarios and didactic approaches, from the issue of quality and business models, right through to regulatory conditions. WMDE is planning a significant expansion of the conference: Instead of 270 participants, there are now estimated to be up to 500. The OERde14 is now aimed equally at practitioners and decision-makers. As with the OER Conference 2013, the event itself will consist of a curated conference segment and a BarCamp, at which participants develop the content themselves. The official conference announcement can be found here.

First steps in Brussels[edit]

The Belgian capital was the setting for two different events this month: Firstly, the second meeting of the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU, the work group of the European Wikimedia chapter in Brussels. Fifteen representatives from the European chapters and external supporters were there and for two days they honed a long-term strategy, a stable organizational structure, and new measures resulting from the copyright consultation. For the second event, we organized the expert seminar “Mass digitization and access to cultural heritage” together with the Flemish UNESCO section, at which the practical and legislative barriers for commemorative institutions and Wikimedia projects were discussed. Dimitar Dimitrov wrote a report the blog.

Monsters of Law[edit]

In April, the second event of the series “Monsters of Law” was prepared. This series deals with the legal issues surrounding free knowledge. On May 12, Feldmann from the law firm JBB will speak on the subject “Data protection vs. freedom of speech” and go over what should be kept in mind when statements about personal data are made on websites. Feldmann is a lawyer specializing in copyright and media law.


For software development, April was a month in which several projects of recent months finally come to a successful conclusion. With our major Wikidata project, we have now made the connection to Wikiquote, meaning that all language links come from Wikidata. The geo-coordinates and time data types have been radically reworked and improved.

Fill up![edit]

Software Development has designed the entire interior for the Data Filling Station for open data at WMDE with great care – both the user interface and the background management of data were created and completed as our own software and based on MediaWiki and SemanticMediaWiki. The Data Filling Station is a public work of art that is intended to give a physical form to the abstract concept of open data. In its former life it was a genuine filling station for gas; today it distributes the oil of the 21st century: open data. The Data Filling Station will be presented at the Wikimedia Deutschland stand at re:publica and visitors are invited to fill up with freely licensed image files, geo data, library data, and even music.

WMDE software developers’ April round-up[edit]

After some preliminary work, April was a very successful month indeed. In his poem “The Waste Land”, T.S. Elliot wrote that “April is the cruelest month,” but this was certainly not true for those of us writing code at WMDE. We are exceedingly satisfied and were able to implement several ideas for free knowledge.


WMDE is expanding[edit]

In early April the shipping of the donation receipts and the first evaluation of the recent fundraising campaign were completed. The return rate of membership applications dispatched with the donation receipts as part of this campaign was a complete success: In the first weeks after dispatch, we were able to welcome around 1,400 new members to WMDE. The number of members of Wikimedia Deutschland has thus increased to a total of 11,619 in April.


As of April 30, Kira Krämer (International Office) and Adam Shorland (software Development) have left us.