Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Deutschland/May 2011

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Dear friends of free knowledge,

this report about the projects and activities of Wikimedia Germany in May is somewhat late. We hope you enjoy reading it – comments and feedback are always welcome.

Wikipedia must become World Heritage![edit]

In May, Catrin was busy with the planning and coordination of the video message from Jimmy concerning the topic of world cultural heritage. On May 18th, Jimmy Wales was in Berlin for the recording and press interviews (AP, NYT). The creation of texts, organization and the filming were supported by Michael. This included the collecting and processing of information in advance and the preparation of the film location.

In May, Sebastian Sooth prepared the start of the petition and the expert meeting on May 31st. On May 23rd, the website with the petition in English and German went online. By the end of May, more than 10,000 people had signed it. It has now been translated by volunteers into over 25 languages and also the video message from Jimmy Wales has now got Greek and Chinese subtitles. In the German Museum of Technology, the expert meeting "Must Wikipedia world heritage site?" took place. The recording of the panel discussion can be found on We had an in intensive professional exchange with representatives of the German UNESCO Commission, and Sebastian has already met with their representatives. Leo Burnett continues to support the initiative pro bono and Sebastian assisted with the activities. Among other things, the first postcard was created for the initiative. Wikimedia chapters from various countries offered or requested assistance. For the second half of the year, there is a free knowledge bar camp being prepared. Interested parties can now register here. Also the competition "Wiki Loves Monuments" will support the initiative. In a lengthy blog post, Sebastian presented the idea and the objectives of the campaign and published them in English at the same time.

Book Project[edit]

In May, the manuscript of the Wikipedia book was officially passed along to our publisher partners and is currently being edited. In addition to the solicitation of author statements, the month was characterized by the preparation and development of the marketing concept by Catrin. Catrin took care of the missing introductory texts as well as the foreword by Jimmy Wales. Except for the occasional need for coordination with our editor and public relations work, the remaining work for this project is currently in the hands of our publishing partner.

OpenData / OpenData Day[edit]

On May 18th in the Berlin Senate Administration for Economy and with the Berlin Senator for Economics, the first Berlin Open Data Day took place. Sebastian Sooth supported the preparation and organization of work there and presented the connection between Open Street Map and Wikipedia. The Berliner Open Data Agenda was cosigned by Pavel Richter. Michael and Sebastian wrote a press release.

Sebastian is in charge of supporting the OKcon 2011, which will take place with our help between June 30th and July 1st. Wikimedia Germany is a partner there and will also present interesting ideas itself.


Also in May, Sebastian had a look at many different offers for property. Unfortunately, we still have not found the right place for us. The blog post on the search is more up to date. Sebastian had a talk with partners in far off cities for local CommunitySpace satellites.

Community Project Budget[edit]

Sebastian Sooth is the contact person for the community project budget at our office. In May, he helped with announcing the invitation for the first round of applications. Among other things, a site notice for registered users of all German language Wikimedia projects was turned on. The application deadline for the first round was May 31st. The community project budget committee including Sebastian assisted with its Start telephone conference after the election of the members and with the establishment of a CPB wiki.

4th Collaboratory on “Private and Public Spheres”[edit]

The second workshop of the collaboratory initiative Internet and Society took place on the premises of the Neue Verantwortung Foundation. Sebastian participated in this event.

Berlin Hackathon 2011[edit]

From May 13th-15th, Wikimedia Germany was host for 65 MediaWiki hackers, the project team of the European competition "Wiki Loves Monuments" and the Language Committee. At the Berlin Hackathon in the betahaus, people were practically working around the clock on bugs, new features, improved processing facilities and other project issues. Daniel took over the role of program coordinator and Nicole took care of - with the help of Cornelius - the logistical and organizational tasks. A detailed report on the event can be found in the blog.

Perhaps the most important topic at this year's Hackathon was the development of an improved means of editing for Wiki texts, allowing people to edit pages as they appear and even to change them directly, without having to switch to a special processing page.

Wiki Loves Monuments[edit]

The organizers of the competition "Wiki Loves Monuments" came to the Hackathon in Berlin for their first European meeting. Kilian has written a nice report about it in the Wikimedia blog.

For the German competition, Elya created a unique website as a focal point for external users, potential sponsors and partners. Currently, work is continuing on the lists and partners and sponsors are being looked for. The current state of discussion can be best followed directly on Wikipedia.

Zedler Medal 2011[edit]

In early May, Nicole, published the question “What will happen to the Zedler Medal?” here in the blog and, on the Wikipedia project page, she appealed to have a discussion of new concepts and ideas for the competition in 2011. The discussion she led was quite lively and constructive.

A "Zedler Medal for Freedom of Knowledge" is a proposal from our community. It is a a kind of Grimme or Grammy Award for outstanding achievements, articles, editorials, portals, collections within and also outside of Wikipedia. In various categories, projects or persons would be awarded that have worked within the last twelve months, particularly for the promotion of free knowledge or which have filled in certain gaps. For some of the categories, outside partners should be found that could take on a sponsorship, increase the range of competition and make a jury. An important innovation would be that participants would not create articles especially for the competition but rather someone or some organization would be honored for their great achievements retroactively.

Now we are looking for a date for a meeting with our community in order to jointly cast the proposals into a finished concept, to gather suggestions for new and old partners and to define the categories. Those interested are cordially invited to participate in the vote. Nicole is our contact person.

Wikipedia meets Antiquity[edit]

In May, the three organizers Marcus Cyron, Martin and Jonathan Rulsch United focused more on working on the program and the logistical preparations for their conference Wikipedia meets Antiquity.

Nicole supports the team in terms of accommodation, tips for organizing the on-site catering and technology. She is also available for questions about budget and cost control.

The program can be seen: (1.5 days with each one having lectures in two thematic areas) and there have been nearly 100 registered participants so far.

WissensWert (Worth Knowing)[edit]

Current reports from the projects can be found in the regular report on the Wikimedia blog. Nicole Ebber is the contact person.

Wikipedia Academy[edit]

In May, Nicole, Angelica and Denis began thinking about this year's Wikipedia Academy. The original concept of the event, which was to motivate external scientists to collaborate with Wikipedia, has so far not been very successful. That is why we want to focus this year more clearly on "research and science about, on and with Wikipedia.” Thus we will address people who already are dealing anyway with Wikipedia and bring these people into contact with each other. The goal is also to improve the reputation of Wikipedia and Wikimedia in the field of science and to establish ourselves as a competent partner in matters of research dealing with Wikipedia.

Our idea is to present to the Academy a broad overview of current Wikipedia research. Here research will be addressed that investigates Wikipedia as the subject matter as well as research that involves Wikipedia as the source of data. It will provide the framework within which to present scientific results from different disciplines that make relevant contributions to this research field.

The conference should then be held annually in order to create the basis for further scientific work and collaboration. We will update in the next few days the project page on Wikipedia and there we will present our initial ideas and ask those who are interested to talk about formats and content.

Literature Stipend[edit]

In our literature stipend can be seen a trend that characterizes this year so far: everything is going great. We are just shortly before the half-way point of the year and we have received almost as many inquiries for the literature stipend as all of last year and have awarded as many stipends as all of last year as well. Two new subjects are also being represented, on the one hand, the portal "eating and drinking" and the other is the "Regional Project Mittelhessen."The people from central Hesse also requested two literary fellowships to assist the photographers with writing in their region for the next several months who are going to be a part of the project "Wiki Loves Monuments." This is an excellent idea and we hope numerous additional authors will participate in this!

Wikipedia Author Survey 2011[edit]

Planned for a long time, it is now in the home stretch: the Wikipedia author survey 2011. At the end of June, Wikimedia Germany with the support of the Wikimedia Foundation will start a detailed investigation of the satisfaction of Wikipedia authors. Manuel Merz, who is administratively supported by Denis Barthel and who is implementing the survey, is thus continuing his preliminary study from 2009. To allow for a good comparison, it is going to take place at the same time on both the German and the English version of Wikipedia. The study aims to learn more about what motivates our authors and what their roles and backgrounds are. Only in this way is a precise way of supporting our Wikipedia authors possible. This study should also bring interesting and discussion-worthy results to our community. The initial results will be presented at Wikimania in Haifa and a final report will be presented at the Wikipedia Academy in November.

Editorial Meetings[edit]

The editorial meeting, which is part of a support program which was first introduced in March of this year, has obviously firmly established itself in the repertoire of editorial support measures of Wikimedia Germany despite being so new. In early June, four “virtual departments,” which were sponsored by the program, took place, namely; the physics editor, the chemistry editor, the biology editor and the editor of the Wiki project Roman Limes. Further meetings are planned. Particularly gratifying is the fact that some of the participating subjects will meet for the first time and they found the impetus for their “premiere” in the sponsorship program.

Picture Libraries[edit]

Among picture libraries, there is still a lot of interest in having an exchange of ideas with Wikimedia concerning the question of how content is made available under free license. To that end, Mathias took part in a conference in Bremen on May 6th and talked about our cooperation with the German Federal Archives and presented the project Wikimedia Commons.


Under French leadership, a meeting of the G8 was held in May to address internet issues. The focus here was on the Internet, which, from the French perspective, is seen as a boundless and uncultivated field, which it is essential to fence in and to cultivate.

Wikipedia and Facebook and Youtube may be quite nice but now what is needed is a guiding hand from the state for their coming development. In advance of the actual G8 meeting, the visible heads of the internet were invited so that they could present their desires and ideas about the internet, almost as a kind of lecture for the G8 summit. Jimmy Wales was also invited. In Berlin on May 17th, there was an internet colloquium at the French Embassy, where one of the organizers of the summit presented the topics. Mathias took part in the colloquium as a representative of Wikimedia Germany, pointing to the "unintended" consequences of blocking laws (the Access Impediment Act), and initiatives to change existing privacy laws (Google Street View), mentioning projects such as OpenStreetMap and Wikipedia.

Konrad Adenauer Foundation[edit]

In Berlin, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation organized a two-day workshop for young people to write in Wikipedia. Denis was there on May 26th as a speaker.

Silver Knowledge / TAO[edit]

On the 3rd and 4th of May, Evira Schmidt participated in the joint workshop of community and research partners as part of the TAO project in Bern. During the two days, the following topics were discussed:

  • Initial results from the preliminary study 60plus
  • Elaboration of the basic concept of the manual
  • Introduction and overview of past activities and accompanying research (Seniorweb Switzerland, Seniorweb NL, Silver Knowledge)

The next joint meeting of the partners will be in the autumn.

In preparation for seminars and workshops to be held in the fall semester 2011 and in the spring semester 2012, there were on-site consultations with representatives of the Adult Education Center (VHS) Erftstadt, Senior Adult Education Center VHS Bonn, the Catholic Education Institute in Mainz, the Senior Academy Worms and Caritas Worms. The response to our project Silver Knowledge has been completely positive and many questions about Wikipedia and the organization of courses and workshops have been asked. The dates for lectures and workshops in September at both adult education centers are already set. The cooperation with the religious educational institutions from Mainz and Worms will start in spring 2012.

In a first meeting with a representative of the non-profit organization Medien+ (Rhineland-Palatinate,) possibilities of working together in the project Silver Knowledge were discussed.


In the current work packages for defining and evaluating metrics within the case study, we are now working closely with the KIT. The focus is even more on diversity than quality features. In the beginning of May, Angelica was in Karlsruhe to clarify open-ended questions and project details. During the week-long stay of Denny Vrandecic (KIT, in Berlin for the hackathon, an article entitled "Representing knowledge diversity in Wikipedia" was written and submitted to the WikiSym 2011 (, to be held in October in Mountain View / CA.

Moreover, in numerous conversations new ideas and concepts could be found for RENDER and the details of the current work packages were able to be made more concrete.

School Project[edit]

We started in May with the reconstruction of the project page. There you can now read more about the project. Contacting the school via mail is still going very well. The information actually got to the teachers in question this way or was passed on to them, which naturally makes us very happy. Also, communication with our cooperation partners and the representation of our project at conferences indicate to us that our project is gaining importance.

Once again in this month, our events can be divided up into workshops and meta-events (meetings, conferences, ...). Five workshops were completed and four meta-events informed people about the Wikipedia school project. The workshops were fortunately very wide-ranging. From a lecture at the University of Mainz given to education students, a student workshop held at a high school as part of a project day all the way to a workshop for teachers - everything was there. An important event was at the beginning of this month, the presentation of the school project in front of the KMK in Hamburg. As a result of this, we gained some contacts and several events have been planned. The presentation of the project at the iMedia,, a training course for teachers, provided us with further opportunities for dialogue and networking.

Elly and Denis are the contact people for the school project. Nicole has withdrawn from the school project and is working on several other projects. The school project is currently focusing on finding speakers in Bavaria! Anyone interested or anyone who knows someone should have a look at our invitation . For suggestions and workshop inquiries, please send an email to

Press Inquiries[edit]

There were several requests for portraits of Wikipedians and the anniversary of the German Wikipedia was again discussed. Catrin had interviews with various radio stations (BR, MDR-info) and background discussions with the daily press. The focus was on the topic of why Wikipedia should become world heritage but key subjects such as the importance of free knowledge, support and participation were also discussed. The topic generated much interest and not only at the national level. For Deutsche Welle radio Catrin gave interviews for the Serbian edition. A special highlight was the collaboration with the New York Times. Other international inquiries and the coordination of interviews with other chapters followed. In addition, the FAQ on the subject, “world heritage” was expanded and translated into English. The exchanges in the context of the international press began on the international anniversary page and associated mailing list. Catrin supports other chapters with press inquiries. Here are the initial results in the media. Currently, we are working with ZDF/3sat for a planned portrait of Wikipedians as part of “Volunteer Day.”

Press Releases[edit]

Wikimedia Germany supported the first Berlin Open Day Data. Michael created and sent out a press release in this context and also one for the third hackathon of Wikimedia Germany. As part of the launch of the petition for the initiative "Wikipedia must become World Heritage!" Catrin and Michael created a press release, which was translated into English for the international Wikimedia chapters to be used as a template for their own purposes. For the experts talk, "Why should Wikipedia become World Heritage!" on May 31st in the German Museum of Technology, a press invitation was prepared and sent out.


Also in May there was again strong growth in subscribers to our association’s magazine. Catrin also could acquire the German Museum of Technology as a new partner, which will display the paper in the future.

The next edition will be published in June. In May, Michael and Catrin did preliminary editorial work and collected contributions from the community. Any ideas, images or texts you may have can always be submitted to us:

Informational Material[edit]

The Wikipedia does School project is evolving and now has a great need for informational material. The development of a logo for this and other projects is being undertaken by Catrin and Michael. They are also creation additional material.

For the event, Wikipedia meets Antiquity, Catrin created in invitational flyer in collaboration with the organizers Martin Rulsch and Marcus Cyron. Michael sent it out to a list of scientific institutions.

The informational brochure for Wikimedia Commons is freshly printed and can be obtained from our office. Currently, the information brochure for Wikisource is being designed and is expected to be completed in late June. At this point, we would like to thank all community members who have given Catrin and Michael useful advice and support with the preparation of this material.

Internet Presence[edit]

The web presence of Wikimedia Germany in May was also further developed. In addition to the integration of OSM maps onto the project pages (e.g. Silver Knowledge) the navigation of the blog was adapted to the main page. The blog also represented the main focus of work in this area in recent weeks. Among other things, it now has a better search function, a renewed page navigation at the bottom ("pagination") and new category navigation capabilities on the right of the page. In the process of carrying out these measures, all existing content has been categorized consistently, new categories have been created and subcategories have been added.

In addition, the Wikimedia page in the Wikipedia- namespace, which was created a few years ago, was redesigned and updated thanks to a tip from the community.


Again good news from Henriette from the membership administration: in May 2011 we added 44 members with active membership and 9 members with associate membership. It is regrettable, however, that two current members have terminated their membership and will no longer be with us as of December 31st, 2011. Our association currently has 901 active (= voting at the general meeting, only natural persons) and 255 associate members (= financial support of the Association), a total of 1156 members, along with the honorary member (Jimbo Wales).


May was characterized by a variety of campaigns. First, a mailing together with the activity report and the current issue of Wikimedium was sent out to 1100 donors. Together with Tobias, we also created a donor survey, which will be sent out next month. To this end, several thousand donors will be addressed. The goal of the survey is to get to know our donors better. What drives people to commit themselves financially to Wikipedia? What are their fears and how should donations be spent? These are some of the approximately 25 questions from whose answers we hope to gain meaningful insights. By the way, Wikimedia Foundation also conducted last year an international donor survey with very interesting insights . Furthermore, in May I began the first preparations for the next fundraiser. In addition, I created a project page and started to inspire Wikipedians to write their own personal appeals. I would be very happy if other people who are enthusiastic about Wikipedia would participate in the preparation and implementation of the next fundraising campaign. An important part of the preparation was the video shoot with Jimmy Wales, which also took place in May. I would like to put a greater emphasis on trying out videos in our next fundraising campaign. Do you have any questions, comments or criticism? Bring it on to: till.mletzko [at]