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Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Deutschland/July 2012

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Politics and Society[edit]

Getting connected at Wikimania[edit]

The department Politics and Society was represented by Jan Engelmann and Barbara Fischer at Wikimania in Washington D.C. While Barbara used the opportunity to strengthen the collaboration with cultural institutions and exchanged ideas about previous experiences, Jan discussed the possibilities for the Wikimedia community's better representation of interests after his talk about lobbying strategies. Comparable to the motives for setting up the Wikimedia Chapters Association, in political work there is a strong wish for better coordination and mutual information, especially from the European chapters.

License needed: Springer Images[edit]

Some weeks ago, a couple of bloggers and Wikimedians noticed that a number of images from Wikimedia Commons was used without proper attribution in the images archive of the scientific branch of publisher Springer. Wikimedia Deutschland very early offered Springer help (via Twitter) and together with Daniel Mietchen and upon consultation with the Wikimedia Foundation contacted executives of the publishing house who were eager to find a fast and license-compliant solution to the problem. This case is very important to Wikimedia Deutschland because it revolves around something that we promote: reusing content outside of Wikimedia projects but in compliance with the conditions of the applied licenses.

Copyright panel at the Bavarian Landtag (state parliament)[edit]

Thanks to some Wikipedians who participated in the Bayerisches Landtagsprojekt which aimed at taking photos of all members of the state parliament, Wikimedia Deutschland received an invitation to the final meeting of the copyright panel held by the Green Party in Bavaria. Even though copyright is mostly an issue for federal legislation, the panel served as a great model to bring together diverse agents and to talk about the need for changing the current system.

Wikipedian in Residence at Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin[edit]

With the cooperation agreement between Wikimedia Deutschland and Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin, the project will probably aim even more at sustainability than the cooperation with the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (German Archaeological Institute). The Wikipedian in Residence is supposed to bring about an intensified collaboration between a cultural institution and the different Wikimedia projects. At the Berliner Stadtmuseum, we plan to set up a permanent place where Wikipedians needing material from the institution can go to. In addition, the GLAM program (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) is connected to the department Bildung und Wissen via two school workshops at the Stadtmuseum.

Education and Knowledge[edit]

For the colleagues of the Education and Knowledge department, education was the golden thread during Wikimania in Washington. Many acquaintances were made, international ideas and discussions were initiated during small education meetings and big meetups. More about that in Elly Köpfs blog entry. Gaining more authors was also an important topic. Many tools were introduced that could make editing easier for new Wikipedians. More details were collected in the respective report. It was the desire of many attendees to build a better international network around the issue of Wikipedia and education. In order to do so, a group immediately formed in order to build an educational portal for Wikimedia organizations all over the world.

Editorial workshops[edit]

We are receiving more and more inquiries about editing workshops, which makes us very happy! This month, the second workshop with the FrauenComputerZentrumBerlin was conducted. A training course for three new speakers of our speaker's pool took place at the end of the month in Berlin and gave them an introduction into working with Wikipedia and the communication within the project. More editing workshops about film, technology and art are planned.

Silberwissen (senior citizen program)[edit]

The project Silberwissen is happy about the rising demand for courses in the fall in order to win more authors. In addition, new partners could be acquired for a longterm cooperation: The collaboration with the supporting association of the Museumsdorf Düppel e.V. (museum village) and the Unperfekthaus in Essen promise to be two interesting approaches. The first collaboration will begin in October/November. This association can support its longterm experience with experimental archeology with a number of publications. The Unperfekthaus wants to win "image donators" in order to intensify work on the free media archive Wikimedia Commons.

Wikipedia macht Schule (school program)[edit]

Especially the project Wikipedia macht Schule notices the effects of the summer holiday break. We used the time to continue working on the materials for teachers which we offer in collaboration with our partner Klicksafe. The "Wikipedia-AG" (Wikipedia workgroup) is one part of this endeavor and was initiated by the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs of Lower Saxony and Wikimedia Deutschland. It is the goal of the project to encourage teachers at five schools in Lower Saxony to actively deal with Wikipedia in the classroom. More about that in the blog posting about the "Wikipedia-AG."

Also in Lower Saxony, Wikimedia Deutschland was able to support a nice project at a middle school where a teacher conducted a "Wikipedia week." During this week, the students were working on the article about their town and added content to it.

Volunteer Support[edit]

The support and assistance of new Wikipedia authors was another focus of WMDE's representatives at Wikimania 2012. Topics like "article feedback tool," communication with new editors and the Gender Gap on Wikipedia were discussed on an international level.

Zedler Prize for Free Knowledge[edit]

On July 1st, Wikimedia Deutschland awarded the Zedler Prize for Free Knowledge for the first time. The prize was created to honor voluntary work for free knowledge and to give this commitment good publicity. The winners were the German article about the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, the Austrian Portal Denkmallisten (list of monuments in Austria) and VroniPlag Wiki, the collaborative platform for documenting plagiarism. Special prizes were awarded to the article Pizzakarton (pizza box) and Blume der Woche (flower of the week). The festive ceremony at the SUPERMARKT in Berlin was attended by more than 150 guests. More about the ceremony on the blog and in this video. Contact is Nicole Ebber.

WikiProject Meetings[edit]

Already, for the second time this year, the voluntary authors of the WikiProject:Physics met, this time at the Physikzentrum in Bad Honnef (physics center). With only eight participants, the portal meeting of Portal:Ancient Egypt, which took place during the Ständige Ägyptologenkonferenz (conference of egyptologists), was not as well-attended as hoped because it was not part of the official program. Wikimedia Deutschland supported these meetings and sees them as a good starting point for more meetings.


In July, six literature scholarships were awarded and two eLitstip accounts to allafrica.com were extended for another year.

After months of preparation all members of the Bavarian Landtag (state parliament of Bavaria) were photographed by a dozen Wikipedians. The politicians passed through four photo stations, which were financially supported by Wikimedia Deutschland, and chose a portrait at the end of the session. Additionally, the photographers were granted access to meetings of the parliamentary parties, the Prinz-Carl-Palais, the Bavarian state library and the office of the prime minister. A selection of the results can be accessed on Wikipedia.

The volunteers User:Gnu1742 and User:Peter Weis were invited by Scottish Wikipedians and Open Street Map activists to conduct a photo workshop in Edinburgh and to support them during the planning of projects. The collaboration with Wikimedia UK brought many new active editors to the projects and triggered some technical aha moments. The project was described on the English Wikipedia.

Women and Wikipedia[edit]

At the beginning of July, Sarah Stierch, community fellow at the Wikimedia Foundation, visited the office of Wikimedia Deutschland. She was here on occasion of the Wikipedia Academy and delivered the introductory speech about the Teahouse project, a portal that welcomes new authors of the English Wikipedia and answers questions concerning editing the encyclopedia. Together with Sarah Stierch, community members and staff from Wikimedia Deutschland gathered ideas to increase female participation in Wikipedia. First results can be found in a review report.

Wikimania was also all about winning more women for Wikipedia. Different sessions dealt with the gender gap. Many participants repeatedly stressed the importance of the topic and indicated their interest in tackling this issue. The importance of the topic also became clear during the keynote by Mary Gardiner who talked about diversity in Wikipedia. Mary Gardiner is a founding member of the Ada Initiative which hosted the so-called Ada Camp prior to Wikimania and aimed at supporting women in open technology and open culture.

At Wikimania, participants of WikiWomenCamp were also attending. Nathalie Köpff, Wikimedia Deutschland's scholar who went to WikiWomenCamp, published some interviews with attendees this month. The female Wikipedians talked about their individual Wikipedia history as well as the chances and threats for Wikipedia. For questions concerning the gender gap and attracting new authors please contact Julia Kloppenburg.

Community Projects Budget[edit]

On July 18th, the current round of submitting a proposal for the Community Projects Budget started. Until August 24th, whoever is interested can submit their ideas, the complete application has to be submitted until September 7th. In the office of Wikimedia Deutschland, Sebastian Sooth is in charge. During WikiCon in Dornbirn, a workshop for interested applicants will also be hosted.

Research and Development[edit]


In the research project RENDER, the team worked on the prototypes for the support tools, especially in preparation for Wikimania. The current state of the project was presented there. Additionally, the participants discussed possible extensions, technical practicability and opportunities for the individual portals and subject areas.

Until the end of September - which is the end of the second project year - we plan to have presentable condition in order to make it accessible for testing groups.

Please send your questions and ideas to render@wikimedia.de.

Wikipedia Academy[edit]

From June 29th until July 1st, Wikimedia Deutschland hosted the Wikipedia Academy. Together with the Freie Universität Berlin and the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society we hosted the international conference for Wikipedia researchers called "Research and Free Knowledge" for the first time. The new concept attracted approximately 90 researchers. During the two keynotes by Benjamin Mako Hill and Sarah Stierch, paper sessions, discussion groups, speedgeeking or lightning talks, Wikipedia, free knowledge and free culture were discussed. The program was documented (papers, slides, videos) on the event page in detail.


The development of Wikidata is progressing very fast as can be seen in the demo version. In July, some members of the team were at Wikimania in order to introduce Wikidata by means of talks and a discussion group where many different questions about the project were answered by the Wikidata-team, Pavel Richter and Erik Möller. Wikidata attracted wide interest! All events were well-attended and many useful discussions came about during the conference. The first phase of Wikidata (centralization of InterWiki links) will soon be tested in a first Wikipedia language version. The Hungarian community offered their help with this. Other language versions will follow as soon as the tests are finished successfully. Another highlight during Wikimania was the revelation of the Wikidata logo. During the weeks prior to the conference we had been calling for logo proposals in order to vote for the future Wikidata logo. The winning proposal was made be Arun Ganesh who fortunately was present during the revelation and could say some things about his intention with the logo.

Besides Wikimania, Wikidata was present at further events, e.g. in Munich, Essen, New York City and Bangalore. If you have not yet been able to take part in an introductory event to Wikidata is invited to listen to episode 44 of Pentacast Podcast.

Public Relations[edit]

Press Releases[edit]

In July, Wikimedia Deutschland published two press releases. The first one at the beginning of the month was the review of the Zedler-Preis 2012 (Zedler Prize for Free Knowledge) and its winners. The second press release was sent out at the beginning of the pilot project "Wikipedia-AG" (Wikipedia workgroup) in Lower Saxony. Background information can be found on the blog.

Already in June, we talked to members of the German press and correspondents overseas about covering the Wikimania in Washington D.C. Up until the opening of the biggest Wikipedia conference, Catrin Schoneville coordinated meetings with media members in Berlin and Washington. Our goal was to bring the people behind Wikipedia into view and to attract public attention for the Wikipedia principle. Many reports in national and international newspapers (online, print) and radio programs resulted from this effort. A selection can be found in Wikimedia Deutschland's press review. A nice effect of gaining so much attention: Due to the coverage of Wikimania more German press inquiries, especially about the issue of women in Wikipedia, came about.


The planning of the new issue of our association's free newspaper Wikimedium has come to an end. In order to optimize the production process an editorial meeting with the persons responsible for the individual departments took place. The deadline will be August 15th, 2012 and issue 3/12 will be published in the middle of September. For a better distribution of the newspaper, a number of coworking spaces all over Germany have been contacted. More than fifty collaborative offices will distribute the Wikimedium in the future.

Information Material[edit]

A new edition of the Wikipedia cheat sheet was issued, which lists the most common Wikitext commands. The new version was graphically redone and now includes general tips for working on the free encyclopedia. The Wikipedia-Einmaleins (manual for Wikipedia starters) was also reordered and slightly redone for the occasion. Videos from the Berlin Hackathon, the Wikipedia Academy and the Zedler Prize award show were uploaded to our channels on youtube and vimeo. Have a look, it's worth it!


July was all about November. This means: preparations for the fundraiser have begun. During a one-day meeting at the beginning of July, the fundraising team revisited the last campaign and made a plan that contains two novelties. Especially technical requirements and the question of how we can publish more personal appeals in Germany were of importance. Also, the issue of the campaign's content was discussed. Be curious! We need your support! We are still looking for people who live and breathe free knowledge and are willing to share their story with many readers of Wikipedia. If you are interested, please write to till.mletzko@wikimedia.de.

Also, we sent out a mailing with the latest issue of the Wikimedium to 4.000 donors. This was the biggest mailing we have done so far (excluding the donation receipts). Since the Wikimedium is also available as e-paper, we also sent out 4.000 e-mails to donors. By means of a comparison, we'd like to find out if the e-paper is as much accepted as the printed version of the newspaper. By the way: With the last mailing of donation receipts 850 new members could be attracted. We found interesting facts: 84% of new members are supporting members. There are also differences concerning the gender ratio: With only 7% of active female members and 15% supporting female members our female members tend to opt for a supporting membership.