Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Deutschland/July 2013
Wikimedia Deutschland was able to financially support musketeer meetings in Duisburg and Berlin, where Wikipedians monitor and improve articles. Over 50 individuals active in Wikimedia projects met at the meetings to work together on improving Wikipedia articles and exchange information and views on the various projects.
WMDE also supported and financed the Wikipedia arbitration committee in Limburg an der Lahn in early July, as well as the first meeting of the Wikiversity project group, which invited guests to come to Limburg in order to talk about the development and future of Wikiversity. At the meeting, participants compiled a list of desired improvements.
The first independently created meeting of the community experts’ network took place at the same venue. This too was financed by WMDE. Topics under discussion at the meeting were the establishment of the group and the appropriate parameters, as well as what form the group’s future cooperation with WMDE should take.
WMDE also co-organized and financially supported two workshops on visual media: the Wiki project on the Braunschweig Private Fahrzeugsammlung (private vehicle collection), which is available on Wikimedia Commons and features many photos of vintage vehicles and a list of recommendations for taking photographs of cars; and the WikiTV Videoschnittworkshop (video editing workshop) in Berlin, which uses the open-source editing software Kdenlive.
WikiProjekt Sauerland collaborated with other volunteer photography enthusiasts on Fotoflug Sauerland. With the financial support of WMDE, the group was able to document objects from the air along a carefully planned route and upload the pictures to Wikimedia Commons so that they could be used in Wikipedia articles.
Naturally, summer is peak season in the Festival Summer project funded through the community project budget. In July, therefore, numerous volunteers were out and about taking photographs at the festivals. Over 4,200 of those photographs are already available under a free license on Wikimedia Commons. The State Parliament (Landtag) project was committed to preparing the next phases in July. In late August after the summer recess, the project team will continue its work at the state parliament of Schleswig-Holstein and provide photos of all the members of parliament under a free license. The project on the acceptable limits of professional writing held four discussion events in July and more are currently being planned.
Community Communication Concerning VisualEditor
In July, the Wikimedia Foundation developer team improved many features of the VisualEditor and ironed out the bugs that users had found while testing the first version. Lydia Pintscher assisted the German-speaking community with the testing of VisualEditor by recording and fleshing out bug reports and passing them on to the developers. By the end of the month, we made VisualEditor available to all registered users of German-language Wikipedia, which resulted in lots of new testers and bug reports. Lydia helped to quickly compile this information and relay it to the developer team.
If you have any questions regarding VisualEditor, please contact Lydia Pintscher.
Politics and Society
From Brussels to Hong Kong
Our man in Brussels, Dimitar Dimitrov, came into the WMDE office for a few days in July to coordinate the next steps of the European-level initiatives. Prior to this he had already attended numerous meetings with civil society contacts from Brussels and various EU institutions, including OpenForum Europe, EDRi, FSFE, April and the OHIM/IP Observatory.
The EU project’s meta page continues to expand, with particular emphasis on creating an introduction for Wikim/pedians and making it easier to get involved. In the run-up to Wikimania, a text on the Foundation blog and an article in the WCA journal will help draw more attention to the project. Even before the action meeting in Hong Kong, directors from six EU chapters have already signed up for the project.
After Wikimania our attention will turn to developing long-term goals, both organizational (targeting the Wikipedia world) and strategic (targeting the EU’s policies). These goals will form the basis of our Advocacy Action Plan. We are currently focusing in particular on the legislative decision regarding guidelines for collective rights management that will be made at the end of the year. From a free knowledge perspective, the preferred outcome would be that collecting societies will give musicians the choice to publish some of their works under a free license.
GLAM Networking Event in Hanover and Berlin
Planning is underway for the second GLAM networking event, which will take place in Hanover on August 31 and Berlin on September 1 (see also the Wikipedia:Kurier post from July 7). Like the first GLAM event that took place in Kaufbeuren in March, dedicated Wikipedians from the cultural sector will come together to exchange their experiences of working in GLAMs. As well as evaluating past events, such as the GLAM on Tour in Braunschweig, participants will jointly identify key points for the 2014 GLAM annual plan.
A new GLAM flyer entitled “Den Zugang öffnen” (Opening Up Access) was created in July to recruit potential volunteers. This six-page informational flyer illustrates Wikipedia’s activities in the cultural sector (GLAM) and encourages personal involvement in the GLAM sector by providing ideas and information on how to participate and collaborate with cultural institutions.
Education and Knowledge
Tour of Free Knowledge
The German UNESCO Commission has assumed the patronage of the OER Conference, thereby helping to increase international awareness of the event. For more details, read our blog post. In addition, the first version of the conference program has been published this week. We are particularly delighted to have as keynote speakers Neil Butcher and Philipp Schmidt, who will provide a broader international perspective. Conference topics range from free content distribution to digital licensing to exciting questions about the role educational institutions could play. A preliminary meeting of the German-language Wikiversity also took place this month, during which we discussed what role Wikiversity can play as an OER platform. The partners of the conference are also working to promote OER in Germany, a task which involves developing materials, establishing research projects and strengthening the existing networks. Preliminary results will be announced at the conference.
Diversity for Wikipedia
Plans are progressing for the international Wikimedia Diversity Conference. We have the pleasure of welcoming our partners Wikimedia Nederland, Wikimedia UK and the Wikimedia Foundation, who will help us with the planning and implementation of this English-language conference.
The Women Edit project is now getting off the ground properly in Germany with the planned establishment of more networks. The format that was piloted in Berlin will now be transferred to at least three other German cities in order to build up local networks at these locations.
An event is planned in Görlitz with the collaboration of the Politics and Society Department (GLAM) and the Oberlausitzischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften e.V. (Oberlausitz Scientific Society). The following goals are of particular importance:
- Gaining new material for Wikipedia – such as photos and articles – from the collection of the Oberlausitzischen Bibliothek der Wissenschaften (Oberlausitz Library of Sciences), one of the oldest scientific libraries in Germany
- Generating interest in Wikipedia involvement through experienced Wikipedians publishing informative articles on how Wikipedia works and how members collaborate and assure quality
The format is geared towards the positive experience we had at the Braunschweig State Museum in May of this year. Key topics will be adjusted to suit local requirements and to strengthen Wikipedia’s presence.
Research and Development
Our efforts in the research project RENDER in July focused particularly on evaluating the support tools – the Article Monitor and the Article List Generator. To this end, we developed two different questionnaires for rating the tools. The team has decided to extend the survey period until after Wikimania. This means more users will have the chance to test and rate the tools. Besides, we require a representative sample of participants to draw any conclusions. We would be very grateful if you would support us with these surveys. For more information, please visit the RENDER site.
We are also still busy with the Limes map, which visualizes the boundaries of the Roman Empire over history. The next challenge here is to integrate the map into the relevant Wikipedia articles so as to increase its visibility and usability. The visualization software can equally be used with other data. We also plan to visualize abandoned villages on the Lausitz coal fields on a dynamic map. Johannes Kroll is working with Wikipedians to implement this.
If you have any further questions, please contact the RENDER team.
Since June Wikidata has been supporting another sister project alongside Wikipedia: Wikivoyage. This means the interlanguage links to different Wikivoyage versions within the Wikitext of the article no longer have to link to every other article on the same topic in another language. Instead, just like Wikipedia, they can now do this via Wikidata. It is not yet possible to access other data, such as time zones and airport codes, but this will soon be implemented. Wikidata has also recently started updating the link to an article when it is renamed on Wikipedia or Wikivoyage. In addition, the team has been working on improving the search function to list more appropriate results higher up the list.
Naturally, we were very pleased when the Watson team won the Feigenbaum Prize and donated the prize money to the Wikimedia Foundation for Wikidata.
If you have any questions regarding Wikidata, please contact Lydia Pintscher.
Wikimania in Hong Kong
In July, Nicole Ebber continued to work with Kasia Odrozek, Wenke Storn and the Communication Unit on WMDE’s presence at Wikimania in Hong Kong. As well as making the final decisions on information materials about WMDE projects and activities at the event, they had the important task of preparing staff and the Supervisory Board for Wikimania in terms of content and organization.
They also reached the final agreements with organizers and other chapters regarding the Chapters Village, which this year will offer a central hub for the national organizations for the first time. Information for the German-speaking community will be kept up to date at the coordination page on Wikipedia. The contact for scholarship holders is Denis Barthel; for international coordination, please contact Nicole Ebber.
WMDE is part of a network of international Wikimedia organizations – our work does not end at the point where another language is being spoken. We cooperate with international partners (Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia chapters and groups, international project communities), build networks and learn from one another so that we can all support the global mission for free knowledge even more effectively. For this reason, projects and programs that we carry out in Germany always have an international dimension as well.
In the monthly report for March we wrote that WMDE is starting a project called Chapters Dialogue. As part of this project we will analyze what the goals, needs and desires of the chapters are and what daily challenges they currently face. This involves surveying not only the chapters themselves, but also other key stakeholders from the Wikimedia world (Wikimedia Foundation, Affiliations Committee, FDC, WCA, communities, etc.). Based on these results, we intend to define the next steps to a) help the chapters work toward the common mission more effectively and b) strengthen cooperation with the stakeholders.
Since the start of June we have had a Project Manager at the International Unit, Kira Krämer, who is devoting six months to the implementation of this project. In July, Kira and Nicole drew up the project plan, sorted through the numerous sources of information and developed a broad understanding of the challenge. Kira has spoken with various people from the Wikimedia world and developed interview guidelines, which she has tested in a preliminary interview. Arrangements were made with representatives of the chapters and stakeholders to conduct the first interviews at Wikimania. The contacts for this project are Nicole Ebber and Kira Krämer.
In July, we received a number of press and interview requests, including from the broadcaster WDR and the TV show “Elektrischer Reporter,” and various inquiries about the international launch of VisualEditor. There were also press inquiries about Wikipedia content related to the Bundestag elections, including from the broadcaster RBB. A selection of press reports compiled in July can be found, as always, on the Press Review page of the WMDE website.
Reporting on WMDE
The second quarterly report of the WMDE office has been published. This summarizes and evaluates the work carried out by paid employees in the second quarter of 2013. As with the compilation of the first quarterly report (which was the very first one published by our office), the Communication Unit provided editorial support. The team also coordinated the publication of the German-language quarterly report and the English-language FDC Report on the same period.
For the upcoming Wikimania in Hong Kong we are designing and producing information materials, including program flyers for the Chapters Village, instructions on documenting the event using a small handheld camera, a WMDE informational flyer, a program flyer all about Wikidata and an announcement of the upcoming conference on Diversity in Wikipedia, due to take place in November.
We have also produced and prepared the first materials for the conference on open educational resources in September, including an announcement postcard. Since the annual photography competition Wiki Loves Monuments is approaching, we have produced new T-shirts for the volunteers working on this event and revised the relevant flyers. We are also currently preparing an informational flyer on the topic of GLAM, which will clearly present the various ways that people can get involved. This should go to print in August and will then be sent out to members.
To give our donors a transparent account of how we use our funds, the Fundraising Team sent out the 2012 Annual Report via a mass e-mail in July. This allowed around 50,000 supporters from 2012 to see what their donations were used for last year and what goals were attained. Since we also took this opportunity to canvas for more support, we are now pleased to welcome 270 new members to WMDE!
When sending out this e-mail we once more asked ourselves the question: What do donors want us to inform them about, and how? Fortunately we will be carrying out a new donor survey this year, which will examine precisely this question, among others. We also spent time in July preparing this survey. Aside from repeating certain interesting aspects of the 2011 survey for comparative purposes, the focus this time will be on insights that will aid us in the practical work of fundraising, such as the way that donors tend to obtain information and how they assess our donor services. You can currently view and comment on a draft of the questionnaire on the new portal for the 2013 fall campaign. We look forward to receiving your feedback!
You can find all current job postings at WMDE on the website.