Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Deutschland/December 2013

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Shared knowledge at the public consultation on EU copyright rules[edit]

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the EU’s copyright rules. Open until February 5, 2014, the consultation will involve associations, civil society organizations and individuals. The aim of the consultation is to pave the way for a comprehensive reform of the EU's copyright rules in 2014. As part of our European activities (see below) and in close collaboration with the Wikimedia Foundation, we have started to produce “answering guidelines” that can also be used by other organizations. These are scheduled to be published on the Open Knowledge Foundation platform in the third calendar week of 2014.

Eight chapters lend their support to the European policy agenda[edit]

Back in November, representatives of the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU in London produced a statement of intent for a common agenda for lobbying at the EU level. To date, eight Wikimedia associations (WMNL, WMSE, WMAT, WMFR, WMCZ, WMIT, WMDE, WMUK) have signed the statement. We will keep up our efforts to gather more support in the run-up to the Wikimedia conference in Berlin.

Outcome of the Culture Initiative outreach campaign[edit]

The Culture Initiative outreach campaign, in which letters were sent to all WMDE members in September, has been a success. More people than expected responded to the questionnaires, which asked and encouraged them to act as “ambassadors for free knowledge” in the cultural sector. We replied personally to the over 100 responses we received from all over Germany. People either expressed an interest in editing Wikipedia or taking photos for Wikimedia Commons. Employees and volunteers at cultural institutions also showed an interest in further collaboration. The campaign thus produced interesting new contacts, some of which are likely to provide further starting points for the GLAM on Tour project.


Open Educational Resources[edit]

In December, the Berlin House of Representatives’ Committee on Digital Administration, Data Protection and Freedom of Information discussed two provisional proposals on introducing open educational resources (OER) in Berlin. One proposal was put forward by the opposition Pirate Party, and the other by the governing SPD and CDU parties. Both proposals called on the Berlin Senate to assess the practicalities of introducing OERs.

Alliance 90/The Greens and the Pirate Party invited us to send an expert to the committee hearing. Sebastian Horndasch from the Education and Knowledge Department attended on our behalf. In our statement, we welcomed the proposals and emphasized the importance of having completely free licenses (in other words, licenses that meet the criteria of the Open Definition). We also outlined how OER could improve the quality of educational resources, while at the same time opening up education to all.

Diversity in Wikipedia[edit]

The first phase of the Wikipedia Diversity project (involving Wikimedia Deutschland e. V. and the Gender and Technology Center at Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin) came to an end in December. The aim of the project was to work with the Wikipedia community to improve gender diversity within Wikipedia. The first results were published in September in a paper called Gender – Diversity – Wikipedia. Shaping Diversity Together. This paper brought together information from research and practice, summarized the current state of English-language and German-language research, and presented results from interviews with female and male Wikipedia editors.

The final report will be presented in January, and will expand on the first paper to include specific concepts for promoting diversity measures and feedback from the Wikipedia community on these measures – particularly those due to start in 2014. We look forward to a constructive dialogue and to further ideas for increasing diversity within Wikipedia in the future!


Support programs[edit]

On the first Sunday in December, with the smell of paint and varnish still lingering in the air, we held an open day to publically inaugurate our new premises. During the course of the day, 13 sessions were held on a variety of subjects.

A week later, the three organizers of the AdminConvention, which is entirely financed by our association, visited the office to assess it as a conference venue.

Community meet-ups[edit]

Christina Burger traveled to Cologne to attend the regular Wikimedia get-together on December 7, 2013. The meeting took place in Cafe Goldmund, where the participants once again discussed details about the community space there and other general topics. Preparations also continued for an event for Berlin-based community members in the new community space. Click here to see the results. More events are being planned and as such we had a visit from Ralf Liebau, a dedicated Wikipedia author and former Supervisory Board member, who has been involved in setting up a “space team” for the Berlin community space at our premises in January 2014. The program will kick off with a Wiki loves Food event, where community members will document, photograph and write articles about a range of foods, before enjoying them together. Dates to follow soon. Events:

  • Thursday, January 16, from 7:30 p.m.: the first Wikipedian Salon hosted by users Schlesinger and Andreas Paul
  • Thursday, January 30, from 7 to 10 p.m.: Open editing continues

WikiCon 2013 evaluation[edit]

WikiCon 2013 took place in November, and the following month saw the community begin to evaluate the event’s success. Here at Wikimedia Deutschland, our activities focused on winding down the Wiki Loves Monuments project, which involved sending out the prizes and refunding expenses. We will evaluate the expenditure in greater detail in mid-January 2014. The community organizational team will meet in Fulda on 24 and 25 January to evaluate the processes and begin planning WikiCon 2014. The seven volunteer members of the organizational team will attend this meeting, along with WMDE staff members Michael Jahn (Communications), Alice Forstner (Events) and Christina Burger (Communities Team).


Several new features were added to Wikidata in December. Users can now change how statements are ranked by marking them as “deprecated”, that is, outdated or incorrect (e.g. the incorrect measurement length of the Rhine). Data objects now also have a contents page that allows users to gain a better overview of large pages and jump quickly to a particular section of the page. The team also worked on reducing the time it takes to load large data objects.


Chapters Dialogue[edit]

The Chapters Dialogue project team ([ Nicole Ebber] and [ Kira Krämer]) traveled to the U.S. in December to conduct several interviews. The first stop on their itinerary was the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco, where they conducted comprehensive interviews with six staff members (including Sue Gardner, Erik Möller, Asaf Bartov and Anasuya Sengupta). These meetings also provided excellent opportunities to discuss Wikimedia Deutschland’s work in general, as well as the Chapters Dialogue project and design thinking methods. The brown bag lunch session organized in Nicole and Kira’s honor was well attended and participants asked lots of questions, showing a keen interest in the issues at hand (how the Wikimedia organizations perceive their roles, how the different entities relate to one another and how Wikimedia’s organizational structure will develop in the future.) They also attended a meeting with a smaller group of staff members where they presented their work and discussed potential areas for collaboration. After visiting San Francisco, Nicole and Kira travelled to New York and Washington D.C. where they met with two representatives of both the WMNY and the WMDC chapters. In New York, they were invited to one of the chapter's meetings, which gave them an opportunity to present the project to a wider audience. In Washington, they were able to conduct their interviews in the historical buildings of the National Archives, thanks to the Wikipedian in Residence there.


Public Relations[edit]

At the turn of the year, a press release was issued and other activities were carried out to support the Fundraising Team’s campaign, thus bringing the campaign to a successful close. For more details, please see below.

In December, the application process for the advertised position of a Text and Production Specialist in the Communications Team was closed. Tjane Hartenstein has been working full time for the Communications Unit since January 8, 2014. Her responsibilities include writing, coming up with ideas for and providing guidance on reports, printed and online materials, and texts. Tjane’s first few days were dedicated to learning about her new role. A personal blog article about starting in the unit, along with her official name and photograph, will be published on the website. In the future, Tjane will also be in charge of the format of the monthly report for the Communications Unit. A series of suggestions for improvements were made about the last few editions of the report (readability, structure, sections such as personnel, etc.) and these can now be implemented.


Success! On January 1, 2014, we ended our fundraising campaign with a thank you message from Pavel Richter. We achieved our fundraising target of €6.1 million and our number of members rose above the 10,000 mark – a complete success, made possible by the support of over 300,000 people in Germany. We would like to publish a detailed blog entry on the subject in the next few days. Unfortunately, we have not yet got round to this due to numerous tasks that had to be put aside during the campaign.

Job Postings[edit]

You can find all current job postings at WMDE listed here. Tags: News, December, Monthly report, Wikimedia Deutschland