POLITICS AND SOCIETY
ACTA and its consequences
The nation-wide demonstrations on February 11th brought the international anti-piracy agreement ACTA permanently into the public consciousness. It was found that, in particular, the secret negotiations and the consequent exclusion of a consumer protection perspective have offended many people. As previously reported in the blog, we also participated with a speech at the central rally in Berlin. In another statement for the online presence of the Tagesschau, we criticized ACTA, especially the related chilling effect: "We are concerned about the social and cultural impact of interventions on the short official channels. Because laws do have charisma, they influence the actions of users only when they find in their own mailbox the first warning. "
Given the broad public debate, the EU Commission submitted the text of the treaty to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for peer review. Since this process - the first of its kind since the Lisbon Treaty - can possibly take a long time, the original, notified timetable for the ratification is therefore invalid. An interesting point might be in the opinion of observers that a term such as "freedom of the Internet" needs to first be defined by the ECJ in its content and its scope so as to be able to give a measure of the possible restriction of fundamental rights by ACTA .
Fees and freedom of use
The discussion group on copyright issues in the context of Berlin’s Co:llaboratory held its meeting on February 21st and dealt with the topic of “The under-utilization of publicly funded works." This is especially perceived as a problem because it systematically undermines the self-chosen demand of finally being in the 21st century a “knowledge society” or a “Federal Republic of Education.” As Jan Engelmann explained in a short input talk, it often has something to do with ignorance (about the existence and the copyright status of works), inability (lack of resources to collect and possibly to share) and unwillingness (due to inertia or institutional egotism) .
There is something in the air: DLR publishes images under a Creative Commons license
Not always are content relief measures so breathtakingly fast as with the Israeli armed forces last year. At the end of February, the communications department of the German Center for Aerospace announced that after consultations with the Legal Department, whenever possible, they will always use Creative Commons licenses (those that are suitable for use in Wikipedia). This is always possible, especially if they hold exclusive rights to use images. Between the first request from Wikimedia Germany and this announcement there is a period spanning almost two and a half years. The blog post and press release from us can be found here.
PUBLIC RELATIONS AND PUBLICITY
The editorial content was determined and the products are already available for the most part. The new project page at Wikipedia has still not received the hoped-for attention but some authors have registered and have provided ideas for posts. Release date is mid / late March.
Activity report 2011
In April, our annual report for 2011 will be published. In recent weeks, the 40-page brochure was designed, editorially prepared and coordinated with text and data. Like the activity reports of recent years the current report will also be available in print and online. An English summary is also planned. An overview of the 2004-2010 reports is available on our website.
On March 16th at 6 pm there will be a reading from the book "Everything about Wikipedia" at the Leipzig Book Fair in the German National Library for the Blind. The authors Schlesinger, MarcusCyron, Wisewoman, Daniel Mietchen and Poetrist Kheshrau have confirmed that they will be present. For any requests for additional readings, book copies, etc., please send an email to Catrin Schoneville.
EDUCATION AND KNOWLEDGE
The month of February was very eventful in the field of education and knowledge not only at the personnel level (due to the expansion of our team) but also in regard to content.
In the summer semester, the university program will have six events at five universities (Munich, Marburg, Stuttgart, Potsdam, Halle-Wittenberg) to begin with. The emphasis is on history, science, all the way from archeology to the history of sports. In the meantime, the university teachers will be trained by our staff of experienced Wikipedia authors so that they can instruct their students in how to write articles for Wikipedia.
“Wikipedia for Schools” focused on teacher training courses this month with 5 teachers being trained. In addition to the workshops, we are now beginning to design pilot projects, which will shed light on the feasibility of the practicability of work in the classroom for teachers.
In the Silver Knowledge program, introductory lectures were held in the Anna Seghers Library in Berlin and at the headquarters of the Geographical Society in Berlin. During both events, there were lively discussions. On 26 February, Elvira Schmidt participated together with the chroniclers of the district of Potsdam-Mittelmark, at a history event in Potsdam. During the national meeting of history and heritage societies, we were able to convince many historians to attend our upcoming workshops in Berlin and Brandenburg. We received requests for giving lectures and workshops from senior universities and other senior educational institutions. In particular, there were multiple requests from the Stuttgart region. Here the first dates have been agreed upon. We also have set the first dates and times of the initiative “Sharing Experience” in Hannover. We also prepared and submitted the reports on the state of the EU project TAO.
We are pleased to welcome three new candidates for the speaker network at the speaker meeting of the educational programs from March 2nd - March 4th. At this meeting we will first work together across programs in order to create synergies. This reflects also the thematic development of the field.
COMMUNITY RELATIONS / PROMOTING VOLUNTEERISM
"Becoming an Admin is easy but being one is quite difficult" - This lecture held by Alice Wiegand at WikiCon 2011 in Nuremberg was not without consequences. The idea of having a meeting of Wikipedia admins originated there and it is being organized by the community with the support of Wikimedia Germany and Austria. The result is “AdminCon”. On June 1st -3rd, AdminCon will be held in the conference center Monastery of St. Gertrude in the Harz mountains region that will deal with the role, self-image and tasks of administrators in the German version of Wikipedia. Admins are invited as well as non-admins who are interested in the topic. All the details on planning, program and registration can be found on the project pages in Wikipedia project pages in Wikipedia.
Zedler prize 2012
The jury for the Zedler prize has now been determined. After the selection of the jury members from among Wikipedians in February, we contacted a lot of external experts and some of them have now joined the jury. A detailed overview of the jury members can be found on our blog. Now the jury has until mid-April to sift through the proposals and then to determine the nominees and winners. The contact person for the Zedler prize is Nicole Ebber.
Wiki Loves Monuments 2012
The preparations for Wiki Loves monument in 2012 are running at full speed, both in Germany and worldwide. For the German part of the competition, Brücke-Osteuropa has organized a kick-off-seminar which will be held in Dresden on March 30th – 31st with the support of Wikimedia Germany. Wikimedia has reserved a block of rooms for foreign participants. Travel expenses will be reimbursed in the usual way. The contact person is Johannes Rohr.
Wikimedia Germany is planning to award scholarships for the WikiWomenCamp in Buenos Aires, Argentina (May 23rd – 25th). The camp would like to offer an international forum to the women of the international Wikimedia movement to discuss issues dealing with the gender gap debate. February was marked by an exchange with the organizers on issues such as estimating costs, logistics and selection procedures. More information about the process of awarding scholarships will be announced in the upcoming days. For questions, suggestions or ideas, please feel to contact Julia Kloppenburg.
Community Project budget 2nd round
The results of the second round of the Community Project budget were published in February. From 62 ideas, there were 30 applications submitted. From these, the Community Project budget committee selected for funding after a thorough examination and discussion six projects with a total budget of € 123, 420. Sebastian Sooth from our office is supporting the committee's work and has informed all applicants.
At the Amsterdam data center of the toolserver, the toolserver admins Daniel Baur and Marlen Caemmerer in February carried out additional, necessary maintenance directly on site and installed the rest of the hardware for memory expansion. The toolserver team is being supported in this work by Sebastian Sooth.
The negotiations with landlords and potential partners for the premises of the CommunitySpace and the Wikimedia Germany office in Berlin continued in February. Sebastian Sooth would enjoy hearing from people who have the desire to help shape and support this space - whether in Berlin or in other places.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
In the context of our research project RENDER, we worked on a toolkit, which contains a collection of Wikipedia analysis tools. These tools have been developed by us respectively by our project partners. By providing this central access point, we invite interested users to try out, test and comment the current and future tools. We will announce the first version of this toolkit on the Wikimedia Toolserver during the next days. Additionally, we worked on a submission for the WebScience 2012 together with our colleagues from the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) and the Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI). Within this document we introduce our toolkit and its functionality in detail.
Wikipedia Academy 2012
In mid-February, there was held the second preparatory workshop for the Wikipedia Academy. The organization comitee - along with Nicole, Angelika and Denis – gathered the first ideas for program items and formats, identified potential speakers and discussed further logistical and substantive conditions. The academic program comittee is also now complete: we have now got 50 scientists for the review process of submitted papers. The call for papers is open until the end of March and we look forward to having many participate! Currently we are revising the website and are having a logo designed. All questions and suggestions can be sent to Nicole Ebber or email@example.com.
Wikimedia Conference 2012
In February, Nicole Ebber was mainly concerned with the preparation of the Wikimedia Conference. To assist in all logistical tasks, we were assisted by Danny B. (username) from Wikimedia Czech Republic. Harel Cain (Wikimedia Israel), meanwhile, has been taking care to ensure that all invited Chapters send two representatives to Berlin and has been also putting together the program. In addition to airline reservations, room reservations, catering and equipment requests, it is also particularly important to answer the many questions and concerns of the participants. All questions and ideas concerning the Wikimedia Conference should be sent to Nicole firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the course of February, Wikimedia received 56 new members, including 30 active and 26 associate members. So Wikimedia Germany now has 1328 members, of whom 371 are associate members and 957 active members. In the wake of the 2012 fundraiser, Wikimedia has also received a large number of membership applications which are currently being processed. We are currently working on creating a new, more efficient system for member management.
The autumn campaign indeed already feels like it was years ago. However, when it comes to fundraising it is still very present. Because in February we prepared, as always, the shipping of the gift certificates. Not only during the campaign were there records: We have about 70,000 recipients, more than twice as many as last year! Only when the delivery is completed in early March will our campaign for the 2011/12 be over. In recent weeks, we have converted all the data and designed focus groups. Just like last year, we want to gain many new members with the donation receipts.
Furthermore, the international discussionabout fundraising is keeping us going. After the development of our position paper “Wikimedia’s culture of sharing”, at the end of January we brought together arguments and facts for the finance meeting in Paris in mid-February in order to clarify our position on this very important meeting. We remain firmly convinced that local fundraising can most effectively meet the needs of donors.
Since the two tasks were very time consuming, unfortunately the completion of the comprehensive report of the campaign was delayed. This will follow shortly. As an appetizer, we can recommend at this point the report of Wikimedia France.
DATES IN MARCH
- March 16th, Leipzig: 'Leipzig reads', authors will be reading from the book 'Everything about Wikipedia'
- March 16th – 18th, Nuremberg, 10th photo workshop
- March 30th – 31st, Dresden: kick-off meeting of Wiki Loves Monuments Germany 2012
- March 29th - April 1 st, Berlin. Wikimedia Conference