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Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Deutschland/May 2010

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Dear friends of free knowledge,

General Meeting


The annual general meeting of Wikimedia Germany took place in Berlin on May 8, 2010. Because we are organized as an association, the general meeting is the highest committee of ruling. The current board gives an account for the past year and is released, the executive reports about the main activities of the past year, a new board is elected, and important petitions are discussed and decided. The preparation and the work after the meeting was our main focus in April and May. You can already find some information here [1] and here [2], applications as well as the minutes of the meeting are on our homepage [3].

Berlin School of Economics and Law


Our fundraiser Till Mletzko and I were invited by Professor Bettina Hohn from the Berlin School of Economics and Law. She occupies the Chair of Public Management specialized on Business Management in the field of Public and Non-profit Management. We had the opportunity to introduce and discuss the work of Wikimedia Germany, the concept of fundraising and the focus on our work to the students in two hours. Maybe we motivated a few students to apply for an internship or as a working student, or even for a job at Wikimedia Germany.

School Project


We made a lot of progress on the school project. The opportunity to organize two events in Brandenburg and one in Rhineland-Palatinate made it possible again to inform teachers as well as students about Wikipedia and the use of it for school purposes. With this in mind, we supported another training in Brandenburg with the help of a spin doctor. The experiences we made are particularly important for the forthcoming realization of the school project. Furthermore, we established contacts with all federal states for future purposes.

As we experienced the content of the school events being strongly requested, we are convinced to predict a seminal development for the project. At the moment, we are looking for potential referees from the Community (as it could be read here [4]) to meet at a summer camp in order to organize and expand the school project on a higher and wider level. More referees and more events – that means we draw more attention to our concern within the scope of secondary education. In the meantime, the respective description of the project [5] was updated.

Literature Scholarship


It was time to celebrate the literature scholarship this month: the genesis of the thousandth article of the literature scholarship. Consistent with the first article on literature scholarship, the last article was written by the user Griensteidl, who - as a scholarship holder himself - was also responsible for writing the very first article on the topic of literature scholarship. The article on serenoa is one part of his project on palm trees, which was made possible by his second literature scholarship. Wikimedia Germany and all its authors who contributed to this great success want to say thank you. We are looking forward to the next projects (“The Art of the Ancient World” and “British Nobility”), and there are present applications on the topics “Großpilze (German for fungi with a macroscopic fruiting body) and “Bavarian Monuments of Art”. To the next thousand articles, may they be written even faster!

Renewable Resources


After a successful three years, the project “Renewable Resources in Wikipedia” has come to an end at due date on April 30, 2010. This is the one and only project financially supported by the public to establish a new content-related subject on Wikipedia. The goal was to systematically prepare and fix the current knowledge on the subject of renewable resources in the German Wikipedia. The result of the cooperation of Wikimedia Germany, the nova-Institute and the FNR (Agency for Renewable Resources) is satisfactory: the aim was achieved, 557 tags were edited by either creating 434 new articles or fundamentally updating them.

However, there was a bitter pill to swallow: there was no chance to involve external experts. Then again we are glad for the participation and commitment of the Wikipedia-Community. The project team is confident that active community members on this topic will push the further construction and development in the field of “Renewable Resources”. In our opinion the results of this projects will lay a great foundation.

“Mitteldeutsche Medientage”


Matthias Schindler participated in the panel discussion of copyright issues in the “Mitteldeutsche Medientage” (Event of Media Discussion in Mid-Germany) in Leipzig on May 4, 2010. The event was well attended and triggered a lively discussion.

Lex Wikipedia


You should memorize P/2273/18. In terms of this printed matter, the Israeli Knesset is discussing the changes on national copyright issues, which should make governmental and administrative documents available and appropriable to the general public. Unfortunately the original concept has some unuseful restrictions for Wikimedia - however, the Israeli press calls it “Lex Wikipedia”. If they are successful, Israel will be a role model for other countries including Germany.

Standard Data


There is not that much progress at the German National Library after the great release of bibliographical data by the hbz (the center for academic libraries). After all, the German National Library has published a copy of the standard data here [6], but it is not really clear what you are allowed to do with this data. Further queries brought some clarity: you are not allowed to do anything. However, there is some movement outside of the old library scene, Open Knowledge Foundation has a new project called “Bibliographica”[7].

Zedler Medal and Wikipedia Academy


After the Wikimedia Conference there are two big events coming up: the award of the Zedler Medal [8] which is followed by the Wikipedia Academy [9]. We discussed goals, target groups, and actions at the general meeting in teams, and talked about proposals how to optimize both events. Participants of the Academy should tackle the problem of theory and practice with Wikipedia; it is themed by the Scientific Year “Future of Energy” [10]. The goal of the Academy is to feature energy-related subjects in the encyclopedia Wikipedia to reach a wide audience and to acquire a way to optimize the quality of this area. Most likely the award of the Zedler Medal will take place at the Academy, we are convinced that both events complete each other which will fuse synergy effects.

Meetings with potential supporters and partners were already held, additional meetings will follow the next weeks. In June there will be more tangible results: concepts and drafts of the project, a schedule, and budget projections will be developed and there will be the call for a proposal for the Zedler Medal.

Topics in the Media


In early May, Jimmy Wales deleted pornographic pictures on Commons which triggered a great interest by the press asking for background information and queries. Interviews were mainly requested for the Foundation, they were forwarded and coordinated.



Wikimedium [11] was finished and produced at due date in early May and was released at the general meeting in time. We gained a lot more subscribers by the announcement and application on wikipedia.de.

Knowledge in Form of a Clip


Further meetings with media partners and TV productions took place to develop ideas and to find more partners for integrating Wikipedia contents into newspaper, radio, and television. The executives planned an agreement, a foundation for the cooperation, which is now checked for legal and tax issues.

Grimme Online-Award


This year we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Grimme Online-Award. In 2004, the award went to Wikipedia and because of this we published an article in the anniversary publication of the Alfred-Grimme-Institute (Gesellschaft für Medien, Bildung und Kultur mbH) with a statement and a picture of the first chairman Sebastian Moleski. It will be published at the next presentation of awards on June 30, 2010.



In May we gained four new members as well as we received four cancellations, latter ones unfortunately without any reason. As the data base should be reliable and up to date, we wrote to 17 members who had no valid e-mail address or none at all. We want to use this as an informal call to all members: in case your contact details change (mail or e-mail address, phone number, banking details), please e-mail us to office@wikimedia.de. Thank you!



We ordered a digitalized version at the Berlin State Library of the book: „Lustige Naturgeschichte oder zoologia Comica: das ist eine genaue Beschreibung aller in diesem Buche vorkommenden lebendigen Tiere der Welt mit 86 naturgetreuen Abbildungen” (English: Funny Nature Stories or the Zoologica Comica: A Detailed Description of Every Living Animal on Earth Mentioned in this Book Including 86 Lifelike Images) by Franz Bonn written in 1877. This book will be an excellent supplement to two other books by Franz Bonn, which were already corrected and put on Wikisource [12].



In terms of Community events, the last month was rather quiet: We were able to make it possible for a participant to travel to a meeting of the editorial office of Biology (you can find the impressive enumeration of all detected, observed and specified species here [13]) and we granted a sum of money for the editorial office of Chemistry for their annual meeting [14].



Fundraising achieved some tangible results in May. Four areas are to mention. The first one involves the text message donation, which was eventually established with the help of a stronger communication in the fundraising mix of the WMDE. WMDE is financed by small donations and the text message idea is the perfect way for this, we decided to use it intensively in the weeks to come.

The connection of the donors is mentioned as the second area. At the end of May, e-mails were sent out to about 800 first-time donors with information about Wikimedium and additional material. WMDE hopes, after strengthening the information policy, for a closer connection and identification with our work and projects.

The third sector covers the instrument of monetary conditions. We produced information material for judges and county attorneys. Provincial high courts and courts of appeal were contacted for including us to the “Bußgeldliste” (catalog listing monetary fines). As soon as Wikimedia Germany is registered, we will contact judges and attorneys. This is planned for June.

Finally we like to mention the Fundraising-Summit in Bristol which took place from May 14 to 16. WMF and many representatives from different chapters came together to talk about fundraising in general and the upcoming campaign in fall. Pavel Richter and Till Mletzko attended the meeting representing WMDE. After having constructive dialogs we decided to intensify the support of the campaign.



In the field of technics we focus on the preparation of new projects. We started to plan the design and use of a central data base of bibliography with the Open Knowledge Foundation. In the future, data from bibliographica.org should make it easier for the indicating quotations in Wikimedia projects. More work was also done on data processing from the info-boxes of Wikipedia – that is the place where we and the teams from Semantic MediaWiki and DBpedia exchange information about which software to use to manage the data.

Monthly Report


From this month on, we translated the report into English to keep the other chapters updated about our projects and activities. The next report will be published on June 30, 2010. Switch back to German version here.

Kind regards / Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Pavel Richter Executive Director