Politics and Society
Wikidata trifft Archäologie (Wikidata Meets Archeology) - Intercultural Dialog about the Limes
On March 16, 2013, Wikipedians, archeologists and computer scientists met at the symposium "Wikidata trifft Archäologie" at the library of Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. This symposium developed into an intercultural dialog about the Roman limes. All 50 participants share the issue of how archeological knowledge, georeferenced data and the chronological development of the Roman Empire can be meaningfully accumulated. At the same time, they examine how this knowledge can be made available in its entirety. Different models for databases and visualizations were presented. RENDER, Wikipedians from the limes project, Wikidata, and the German Archeological Institute had developed a map of the limes collaboratively. With this map it is possible to visualize the development of the Roman border through time. At the same time, the coordinates of the virtual limes link to information in Wikipedia articles about the border installations at a certain point in time. Of course, the map is expandable and free.
During the discussions of the projects all participants realized how fruitful the collaboration between institutionally bound science and citizen science can be. In the future, information from the archeological databases can be easier transferred to Wikidata. A review of the event can be found on the blog of WMDE.
From March 8-10, 2013, almost 20 Wikipedians and Wikimedians from all over the country and Austria sat in front of their computers and worked through a packed agenda of the first German-speaking GLAM-meetup 2013. This meeting was mostly about exchanging experiences, networking, concrete planning and discussing a common communication strategy. Apart from the entrance page on Wikipedia, a separate blog and a thematic mailinglist will be set up. With the new format "GLAM on Tour" local Wikipedians will be systematically supported by Wikimedia Deutschland in the future when they want to cooperate with cultural and memory institutions. The most important insight of the day was, however, "We need to give Wikipedia a face!" This means it is mostly much harder finding active Wikipedians in real life than finding GLAM institutions that want to cooperate with them.
Miniature Copyright Reform Bill Draft
On March 6, 2013, the department Politics and Society sent a short written statement to the Federal Ministry of Justice about the "draft of a bill on the usage of orphan works and other revisions of the copyright law and German Copyright Administration Act". In this statement we criticized the proposed way for implementing the EU guideline 2012/28/EU about the lawful usage of orphan works from last year.
WMDE Received Status as Observer at EDRi
As reported on the blog of WMDE, the association is now part of the international network of NGOs called "European Digital Rights." This network has taken up the cause of privacy, censorship and issues of copyright. The professional monitoring of EU legislation and an international exchange with internet activists is an important component of the annual project "Roadmap to Brussels."
Education and Knowledge
Open Educational Resources
For the first time ever, Wikimedia Deutschland participated in the Gautinger Internettage (internet days of Gauting) in March. Elly Köpf from the department Education and Knowledge at WMDE pointed out that changes in the learning situation are crucial when it comes to the collaborative platforms used in educational work. Also, two workshops took place in WMDE's office: On March 6, 2013, Wikimedia Deutschland met with the initiative "School of Open" of the P2PU University and Creative Commons. During this meeting, German courses about Open Educational Resources (free teaching and learning material) were developed on the platform. On March 22, the creators of the free schoolbook "Schulbuch-O-Mat" (schoolbook machine) met on the same spot.
Moreover, at the state parliament of Northrhine-Westphalia a hearing about "Open Educational Resources" took place. We published a summary of this hearing on WMDE's blog.
Diversity Concept for Wikipedia
The first project meeting for the project "Diversity for Wikipedia" took place at the Gender- und Technik-Zentrum (gender and technology center) of the Beuth University in Berlin on March 19. The project partners of the Beuth University are Prof. Dr. Ilona Buchem, Prof. Dr. Antje Ducki and the student assistant Sarah Khayati. Wikimedia Deutschland sent Nils Weichert, Julia Kloppenburg and Denis Barthel. Even though the latter is not a project member, everybody present could benefit from his many years as an active Wikipedian. He also talked about the future plans of Team Communities with reference to projects about diversity. Team Communities is also working on the diversity of knowledge (e.g. in the project "Entrée"). At this meeting, problem areas were tackled and goals for the project were specified. It is mostly about developing target-group-specific ideas and courses of action that can increase the gender diversity on Wikipedia. These will be developed together with the communities.
On March 19, 2013, three Wikipedians went to the state parliament of Lower Saxony in order to take pictures and do interviews. They were financially supported by Wikimedia Deutschland. They wanted to document the building before its demolition. The state administration showed an interest in re-using the pictures on their website and future documents. They are already using them. All results can be accessed on Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Deutschland also supported Manuel Schneider and WikiTV who did an interview with the 92-year-old honorary chairman of the Lower Saxon press conference, Rolf Zick.
Already for the 12th time the picture workshop took place in Nuremberg from March 15-17. More than thirty photographers learned how to use photo equipment and during the rich program talked about questions concerning free content. At the same time, content was created right on the spot. Wikimedia Deutschland supported this meeting financially. The association also supported the first meeting of the German Wiktionary community with manpower. The meeting took place between March 22 and 24 in Leipzig. At this meeting, possible adaptations to the support programs were of importance as well as requirements for Wikidata.
Funding for two Wikipedians travelling to the Grimme award show was covered by WMDE. Together they improve the Wikipedia article about the Grimme award 2013 and want to complete it with pictures after the award ceremony.
Research and Development
In the research project RENDER three additional events took place together with Team Communities in March. In the context of the so called Wikimedia forums tour in Dresden, Cologne and Essen, the RENDER team introduced the supporting tools and discussed possible extensions and plans for further developments after the regular end of the project phase. Also, more tests with users were conducted in order to adapt the tools according to their feedback. The final evaluation of the EU funded project will take place in summer.
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Denny Vrandečić and Lydia Pintscher held an office hour on IRC and gave a short update to the status of Wikidata during the Metrics and Activities Meeting of the Wikimedia Foundation. In a blog post the team gives a detailed analysis. In addition, the first phase (interlanguage links) was launched in the remaining 282 Wikipedias. All Wikipedias receive their language links from Wikidata now. Shortly after, the second phase of Wikidata (infoboxes) was launched in the first eleven Wikipedias. These language versions can now use the structured data of Wikidata in their articles. On Wikidata, the development team introduced a new data type (string), added sources to items and improved the search function.
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From Chapter to Chapter: Tutoría in Buenos Aires
Jaan-Cornelius Kibelka had been invited by Wikimedia Argentina to visit the chapter for three weeks in order to give some insight into the work of Wikimedia Deutschland and to stir an exchange of experiences. Together with Oscar Valdebenito, the executive officer of WMAR, and Nicole Ebber, Cornelius identified some topics that were appropriate for such a transfer of knowledge. As preparation for his trip Cornelius spent a week at the office of WMDE and used the opportunity to talk to the respective colleagues, prepare the topics and define recommendations for action. An extensive report and outlook on the next steps can be found on the blog.
In order to find out how the other chapters work, which challenges they have to master in their everyday business and what their needs and desires are, Wikimedia Deutschland will initiate a project called Chapters Dialogue. We will analyze chapters' challenges and how the cooperation between volunteers, staff, communities, society, politics as well as other NGOs works. This analysis also includes a close cooperation with the Wikimedia Foundation and the Affiliations Committee. Based on the results of this analysis the next steps will be defined which will help the chapters to better support the shared mission. A broad outline of this project can be found on Meta. This concept is being optimized at the moment. Questions and ideas are welcome. Just write an e-mail to Nicole Ebber.
International Events and Collaboration
Together with board members Ralf Liebau and Delphine Ménard, Nicole Ebber visited Wikimedia UK. They talked about fundraising, strategy, Wikimania 2014, the administration of members, event planning and other things. In addition, Nicole Ebber was involved in the preparations of the Wikimedia Conference (May 18-21, 2013 in Milan) and the Wikimedia Hackathon Amsterdam (May 24-26, 2013). She shared her experience and material from the past years and supported Wikimedia Italia and Wikimedia Nederland. Wikimedia Deutschland also offers travel scholarships for the Hackathon.
In March, WMDE received a number of interview requests and background talks about the association and the Wikimedia projects. Most interviewers were looking for Wikipedians to talk to. A selection of these reports are listed on our press review.
Fundraiser and Information Material
New give aways were planned and produced this month which are supposed to make the Wikimedia projects more widely known, this time especially Wikidata. Wikidata writing pads, pins and pencils were realized.
Wikidata Meets Archeology
The communications department was also present at the event at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Many pictures were taken during the event which can now be reused for the documentation of the event. The pictures and presentations of the speakers can be downloaded from Wikimedia Commons. The material has been published under the license CC-BY-SA 3.0 and can be freely used.
Before the event, WMDE sent out a press invitation. An overview of our press releases can also be accessed on our website.
Annual Report 2012
In March, team communications worked on finalizing the texts and layout of the annual report for the year 2012. The report will be published shortly. A blog post for its publication will also follow. WMDE will publish a printed and an online version. The past annual report can be found here.
Due to our preannouncement of the OER conference that will take place in the fall of 2013, we expanded the department's presence on our website in order to inform about future events and dates during the coming year.
The fundraiser 2012 is now also over for team fundraising. The phase of data preparation and administration that lasted a couple of weeks ended with sending out more than 82,000 donation receipts at the end of March. Together with the service provider for mailing out the receipts and the service provider of our database, team fundraising optimzed the address data in order to guarantee an unproblematic dispatch. In April, preparations for the fundraiser 2013 will begin.
You can find all job postings at Wikimedia Deutschland on the website.