Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Deutschland/August 2012
Politics and Society
Neighboring Rights issue resolved in cabinet
The silly season in political Berlin was characterized by the continuing arguments about the neighboring rights debate for press publishers. After the second proposal was supposed to introduce fees to the commercial use of text snippets via search engines, the third proposal, which was adopted in August, now includes news aggregators too. There is no immediate threat for Wikipedia anymore except for a potential shortage of sources that can be used for journalistic purposes. As can be read in the explanatory part of the draft "services that use publishing performances in different ways will not be recorded, e.g. by showing internet users an assortment of press material that is based on their own ranking." Nevertheless, the whole enterprise is still very questionable and might lead to a long lasting legal insecurity once it becomes a law.
Orphan works: statement and FAQ
Orphan works are works whose author and rights holder cannot be asked whether they agree to the publication of their work because they are either untraceable or not ascertainable. Works that have a multitude of authors, films for example, are expecially complicated cases. Therefore, a new proposal arose on a European level a couple of months ago which deals with a "guideline about the legal usage of orphan works". In July 2012, the German Ministry of Justice sent a request to their mailing list and asked everyone interested in copyright issues to take a stance on four questions dealing with the implementation of such a proposal into national law. We published the complete answers of Wikimedia Deutschland online. In addition, we worked out a position paper and an FAQ regarding this topic. Both will be online soon.
Education and Knowledge
The department Education and Knowledge expanded in August. We very much welcome the new Head of Department Nils Weichert. Due to the holidays few workshops were conducted. Nonetheless, time was not wasted: The conceptual development of our seminars was important in August. We also continued planning a camp for WMDE's speakers in Bad Marienburg (Sep. 21-23, 2012). In addition, colleagues from the department took part in the Wikipedia conference WikiCon in Dornbirn/Austria and the Edu Wiki Conference in Leicester/England.
Silberwissen (senior citizen program)
We are very happy about a number of inquiries about our workshops for senior citizens that will take place in the fall. In collaboration with our partner in Hanover, Education and Knowledge is also busy preparing an evaluation meeting (Nov. 8, 2012) about the acquisition of senior citizens as authors for Wikipedia.
Wikipedia macht Schule (school program)
In August two trainings for teachers were conducted. The staff of the FrauenComputerZentrumBerlin (FCZB - women computer center Berlin) participated in a workshop that is usually meant for participants of FCZB workshops. Moreover, the collaboration with the internet plattform for media literacy Klicksafe has been intensified.
Wikimedia Deutschland supported the meeting of the German equivalent of the Portal:Fascism for the first time. This meeting was supposed to improve the appearance of the portal and to create literature pools that can be used by those active in the portal. Twelve Wikipedians participated, were very enthusiastic and would like to repeat the meeting next year. For the second workshop at the Museum for Hamburg History WMDE also supported the participants by means of travel expenses and housing costs. The workshop focused on the liberation of content from the museum and on QRpedia.
In August, thirteen books sponsored by WMDE in the context of the literature scholarship have found new owners. The focus of most inquiries was good literature about weapons and monuments. Our cameras were heavily used at sporting events and festivals. Within our program Bilderschatz (picture treasure) high-quality, public domain pictures of historical architects and their families were digitized and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons for further use.
Women and Wikipedia
At the end of the month we dealt with the issue of sexism in Wikipedia in two blogpostings. The postings and the respective comments can be found here: debate about sexism in Wikipedia and guest posting by the female IT-bloggers of femgeeks: "Taking a closer look at the German Wikipedia". We also opened a new mailing list which is open for everyone who is interested in the Gender Gap.
Community Projects Budget
The deadline for the current round of the Community Projects Budget has been extended until September 17, 2012 so that new ideas, which might have come up during WikiCon, can still be submitted. Sebastian Sooth is happy to answer all questions concerning the procedure and supports the work of the committee. The finished proposals have to be submitted until October 1, 2012. For current information regarding ongoing projects please visit the project page.
Unfortunately, preparing a toolserver-friendly environment on the servers of Wikilabs at the Wikimedia Foundation is not progressing as fast as planned. Sebastian Sooth is currently preparing collaborations with those Wikimedia organizations that support the toolserver, the toolserver users and toolserver admins, in order to find out how the increasing workload of the toolserver can be absorbed.
Funds Dissemination Committee
During the search for a potential candidate for the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) WMDE translated the most important facts and created a project page in the German Wikipedia. We will inform you about the goals and tasks of the committee as well as latest deadlines and dates there.
Research and Development
The team of the research project RENDER concentrated on preparing WikiCon 2012 by developing prototypes of the two supporting tools for Wikipedia. The first tool, the statistics-and-quality-monitor offers a fast overview of a Wikipedia article's state. By means of the second tool, the task list generator, one can generate article lists from certain categories in order to examine those articles that have a particular insufficiency. This tool is supposed to be especially helpful for established Wikipedia authors.
Both tools are still being developed but whoever is interested can look up the current state of development on the information page of the toolserver and try out the tools. We would be very happy about suggestions, feedback and hints on our discussion page. You can also write the RENDER team directly.
Angelika Adam also participated in WikiSym 2012 - 8th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration. This symposium took place in Linz from August 27-29, 2012. An extensive report about this event and its focus on Wikipedia will follow soon.
Questions and suggestions can be sent to Angelika Adam.
The development of Wikidata progresses quickly. The current state can, as always, be seen on the demo system. In the meantime, we also developed a demo system in Hebrew. For all fans of the semantic web we also published a first specification for an export to RDF. In addition, the team is gathering ideas how unwanted changes in Wikidata can be reduced or easily corrected.
The Wikidata team is very happy that Joan Creus published pywikidata, a Python library that allows working with Wikidata. This will make it easier to let bots write for Wikidata in the future.
Whoever wants to always be up to date and receive news about Wikidata on their discussion page is welcome to register here.
In August, Wikimedia Deutschland sent our two press releases. The first one announced the Wikipedia conference WikiCon in Dornbirn/Austria. The press release also included information for journalists on how to re-use the photopraphs that will be taken throughout the conference and the WikiCon logo.
The second press release was all about the international photo contest Wiki Loves Monuments. This time it was again very important to emphasize how the pictures that will be taken during the course of the competition can be re-used appropriately. We also published a blog post about the biggest photo contest of the year.
The third issue of WMDE's free newspaper Wikimedium will be out in mid-September. We gathered ideas, wrote articles, and edited the newspaper in August. Many members of the organization and the community helped put the Wikimedium together. Many thanks for that! Focus of this quarter's issue will be on diversity in Wikipedia.
The organization produced new information material in August. Just in time for WikiCon we finished the new brochure for our team community support and updated the Wikidata mock-up flyer. Both were presented at WikiCon. A new brochure for our department Education and Knowledge is also in the pipeline and will be available soon.
Two highlights need to be stressed here: The first one is the new portal for the upcoming fundraiser which has been created by the team during the past weeks. In contrast to the portal from the last fundraiser the new one focuses on personal stories by those people who are involved with Wikipedia or Wikimedia. We would like personal appeals to take on a bigger role this year and the fundraising team invites more volunteers to help with the campaign this way. It will be the biggest public campaign for Wikipedia! In addition, the portal will offer the latest news about the campaign. So check out the page, it is worth it!
The so far biggest mailing of the department was the second highlight this month. At the end of July we sent out 4.000 copies of WMDE's newspaper Wikimedium to our donors. At the same time we also sent e-mails including a link to the online version of the newspaper to the same number of donors. We wanted to find out what was more successful: a postal mailing or an e-mailing. The result was really insightful. We were able to attract 100 new members to our organization and could convince 150 people to donate money to Wikimedia. One month after the mailing we are now able to evaluate the results of both mailings. The good news is that e-mailings also work well. Even though we were not able to acquire the same number of new members we were, however, able to collect more donations from those who received the e-mail. The biggest difference between the two mailings was the type of consequence: More people who received a postal mailing became members of WMDE. Our evaluations are proof that it is necessary to differentiate the communication channels with our supporters.