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Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Deutschland/May 2012

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Politics and Society[edit]

Election in Northrhine-Westphalia[edit]

Even though the result of the election in Germany’s most-populous state was pretty much expected, it also caused a pleasant surprise for Wikimedia Deutschland: The questionnaire we initially published as a beta version for the community generated an even better response than the one we sent out before the election in Berlin in September 2011. This is astonishing in so far as the short campaigning period probably used up most of the ressources of the involved parties. In addition to the parties that are already represented in the state parliament of Northrhine-Westphalia, the Pirate Party (which can by now be considered an established party), the Animal Protection Party, the Partei der Vernunft (Party of Reason) as well as the satirical party Die PARTEI answered the questionnaire. Mathias Schindler gave a short evaluation of the topics and responses in our blog.

Copyright Wars are Sparked Anew[edit]

May was a very eventful month when it comes to the debate about copyright that is more and more irreconcilable. It was framed by widely recognized pieces in Handelsblatt and DIE ZEIT. This is why Wikimedia Deutschland took part in discussions about “Kreatives Schaffen in der digitalen Welt” (hosted by the parliamentary party DIE LINKE) and “Urheberrecht - Freiheit, Eigentum, Vielfalt” (hosted by Medientreffpunkt Mitteldeutschland) and attended the first dialogue between originators and users which was hosted by iRights.info. On May 21st, 2012 the SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) and the German Pirate Party published individual position papers regarding copyright, which Jan Engelmann commented on in the WMDE blog. On May 29th, DIE LINKE (The Left) followed with their ten-point paper.

New Copyright Booklet Published[edit]

In the course of getting ready for the re:publica conference in Berlin, Wikimedia Deutschland, iRights.info and Creative Commons published a brochure called “Freies Wissen dank Creative-Commons-Lizenzen. Folgen, Risiken und Nebenwirkungen der Bedingung nicht-kommerziell – NC" (Free Knowledge by Way of Creative Commons Licenses. Implications, Risks and Side Effects of the Condition Noncommercial). In this booklet, author Paul Klimpel, administrative lawyer at the Deutsche Kinemathek from 2006 until 2011, tries to outline the consequences of using restrictive licenses, which mostly happens unintentionally. The target group of this brochure are mostly individuals and institutions who are not very familiar with copyright and are still looking for some orientation. The printed German version of the brochure can be ordered from Wikimedia Deutschland. Just send a short e-mail to politik@wikimedia.de.

Wikipedian in Residence[edit]

Marcus Cyron will be the first Wikipedian in Residence at the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (German Archeological Institute) (DAI). The DAI is located in Berlin and is one of the oldest scientific institutions of its kind, which to this very day conducts and scientifically evaluates excavations all around the world (more to come in the blog soon). At the same time, the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin and Wikimedia Deutschland have advertised a second so-called residency. The closing date will be June 15th. The Wikipedian in Residence will take up their work in the context of the exhibition “BERLINmacher”. More about that can be found in the next Wikimedium.

Public Relations[edit]

Press Releases/Press Work[edit]

The first of three Wikimedia press releases in May was concerned with the publication of the questionnaire regarding the state election in Northrhine-Westphalia. Towards the middle of the month the joint presence of Wikimedia Deutschland, Wikimedia Österreich and Wikimedia CH at the LinuxTag 2012 was communicated to the public. The official announcement of the first German Wikipedian in Residence was made in cooperation with the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut at the end of the month. All press releases can be found on the website of Wikimedia Deutschland. A short overview of feedback can also be found there.

Two major events, re:publica 2012 and the aforementioned LinuxTag, have also been the focus of public relations during the past month. What we tried to achieve with Wikimedia Deutschland’s presence at re:publica (here and here) and LinuxTag has been documented on our blog. Especially Wikimedia Deutschland's efforts at diversifying the authorship of Wikipedia has been on the agenda at re:publica. The discussion has also been captured on video.


The second edition in 2012 of our association’s free newspaper will be published in June. We gathered topics, reviewed them and edited them in May. Many thanks to the guest authors who made use of the offer and wrote their own pieces about the Wikimedia projects in order to place them in the newspaper. Not only subscribers are informed about the self-chosen topics by means of the newspaper but also readers who might not be that familiar with the work in Wikipedia or free knowledge in general. By now, the Wikimedium is available in libraries and cultural institutions and is thus accessible to a whole new audience. The Wikimedium team is always thankful for new ideas for the next edition! Suggestions can be made via the Wikipedia project page or redaktion@wikimedium.de.

Information Material[edit]

Particularly with regard to Wikimedia Deutschland’s presence at the LinuxTag in Berlin we updated the portfolio of our information material. In order to be distributed at the conference we produced a special flyer for the RENDER project which is, of course, also available for general usage. For a stronger presence at other events giveaways like pencils and tote bags have also been re-ordered.

Education and Knowledge[edit]

The month started out with a session at re:publica called “cc:Education - Free Content in the Area of Education”. The team of Education and Knowledge talked with Guido Brombach and Daniel Seitz about free licenses, their chances for open educational work and the problems of their usage.

The slogan “Join in!” is central to Education and Knowledge. It explicitly also means involving those people who do not feel included in our programs for schools, universities or senior citizens. We were able to realize the first workshop with a target group that has not been the center of our attention before: During the so-called Wirk-Camp, a three-day event at the Technical University Darmstadt, Wikipedia authors were able to work intensely on the articles of some NGOs. The conclusion of the organizer: “There has been a great and productive atmosphere and since the weekend I have not been talking about much else.” Whoever is interested in taking part in a workshop for inexperienced editors of Wikipedia, can write an e-mail to bildung@wikimedia.de.

Silberwissen (senior citizen program)[edit]

The project partners of the TAO project met in Ulm from May 22nd until May 25th. The main goals for the project Silberwissen were reconfirmed: the acquisition of new partners, stabilization and expansion of workshops for potential authors. Thanks to our presence at the 5th Europatag (Europe Day) in Bonn we were able to attract participants for a follow-up workshop. Additionally, four other events were held within the context of the Silberwissen project. Moreover, Wikimedia Deutschland happily received a couple of inquiries about workshops that will be held in the fall of 2012.

Wikipedia macht Schule (school program)[edit]

On our blog we have published an extensive review of our participation in symposiums that all had the training of teachers as their focus. We are especially excited about two pilot events that took place at the same time and were concerned with the development of teaching materials: Three computer science classes from Hamburg and Bremen have edited Wikipedia articles together with consultants of our school project in order to find out whether students were able to work on Wikipedia with their teachers. The result was clear: In all classes the students were eager at work and had much fun in editing the articles. The close collaboration with teachers was once again a pivotal part of the project.

Hochschulprogramm (academic program)[edit]

The editing of Wikipedia articles within the context of the university program will continue to be closely supported by university teachers and Wikipedia speakers. The range of the articles is especially interesting at this point: Different focuses are represented here, from history to historical buildings in Marburg or archeology in Halle-Wittenberg.

We are already planning and preparing the next semester. Whoever is interested in participating can contact the Bildung und Wissen team at hochschule@wikimedia.de or download information about the program from our Wikipedia page.

Volunteer Support[edit]

Zedler Prize 2012[edit]

We have our nominees! The jury has evaluated all suggestions and agreed on five candidates in each of the three categories “Best Wikipedia Article,” “Best Community Project” and “Best External Project.” Nicole Ebber and Phillip Wilke have contacted the nominees and announced their nomination on our blog and the respective project page. The awarding ceremony for the “Zedler Prize for Free Knowledge” will take place during the Wikipedia Academy on July 1st at the Supermarkt in Brunnenstraße 64 in Berlin.

WikiWomenCamp 2012[edit]

The WikiWomenCamp 2012 took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina from May 23rd until May 26th. Two participants from Wikimedia Deutschland also attended. The event was planned by volunteers, realized in an Open Space format and mostly dealt with the gender gap issue in Wikipedia. Right after the event on May 27th, the conference WikiGénero took place and once again addressed the same topic. Here, women who are associated with Wikipedia and academic women talked about causes of and solutions for this issue. Detailed reports of the events can be found on our blog.

Project Meetings[edit]

With the help of Wikimedia Deutschland, the German-speaking support team for Wikipedia met on November 5th and 6th in Nuremberg. The support team consists of those volunteer Wikipedians who reply to e-mails that are sent to info-de@wikimedia.org. These e-mails may deal with issues such as spelling mistakes, picture licenses, lawsuit threats or notifications about the passing of editors. The corresponding workload was big: many special cases concerning the licensing of pictures, international developments of the Wikimedia Movement, legal matters or internal processes of the team.

One week later, from May 12th until 13th, the second meeting to fight vandalism in Wikipedia took place in Frankfurt. During this workshop the participants not only talked about theoretical and technical matters but also about how intentional vandalism in articles could be handled without scaring away new authors who only accidentally make incorrect edits. Details about the meeting can be found on the blog.

Much planning was done by the community team concerning a number of events in May, e.g. the AdminConvention and regional Wikipedia forums regarding Wikidata and other topics.


The international scholarship program which was offered by Wikimedia Deutschland and the Wikimedia Foundation up until now was called “Participation Grants.” For legal reasons it has now been renamed “Participation Support.” It moved from the “Grants Sphere” to an own namespace in Meta-Wiki. The program offers participants access to external events (not related to Wikimedia) where supporters and new authors can be acquired.

Research and Development[edit]


In May, the quarterly meeting of the RENDER project was held in Madrid. The current status of the project and the upcoming tasks were discussed there. The team of Wikimedia Deutschland is continually working on the RENDER toolkit which can be tried out on the Wikimedia toolserver. Suggestions are welcome at render@wikimedia.de or contact Angelika Adam directly. Whoever wants to learn more about the project can find information on the website of RENDER.

In the following months the prototypes of the supporting tools will be provided in order to be tested and extended. Moreover, extensive conceptional planning took place concerning functionality, the necessary infrastructure and the options for accessing the results of the analysis. These basic details were discussed prior to the Berlin Hackathon.

Wikipedia Academy 2012[edit]

The reviewing process of the 30 submitted papers has been finished thanks to the terrific support of the Academic Program Committee. Wikimedia Deutschland published the list of submissions and contacted all authors. The preliminary program is now online and the registration has started: everybody who is scientifically interested can sign up now. More information in the respective blog posting. Questions will be answered by the Academy team: Nicole Ebber, Angelika Adam, Denis Barthel and Maria Rößler.


The Wikidata team has made good progress in May regarding the work in interwiki links. A demo version has been published which shows the current state of development. On Meta-Wiki a suggestion for how interlanguage links could look in the future was published. Yet another draft shows how the syntax for embedding data from Wikidata should look and has been fundamentally reworked thanks to feedback from the community.

Members of the Wikidata team presented the project on a number of occasions in May, e.g. the LinuxTag, re:publica and the second ESWC Summer School. Some office hours were arranged in an IRC channel in order to answer questions from the community. At the end of the month, a meeting with representatives from the Wikimedia Foundation was also on the agenda in order to present the results of the previous work and to discuss important decisions.

Berlin Hackathon 2012[edit]

Nicole Ebber and Maria Rößler prepared the Berlin Hackathon 2012 together with colleagues from the Wikimedia Foundation. On this occasion, volunteer MediaWiki developers come together with employees of the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland in order to collaboratively work on the technology that is behind the Wikimedia projects. Part of the event is a two-day meeting for a discussion about RENDER.

For the first time, the Berlin Hackathon 2012 was not only organized by Wikimedia Deutschland: We were working hand in hand with the Wikimedia Foundation and both associations provided financial means for the event.


It’s done! More than 800 new members have been welcomed to the association and included in our databank in May. It has once again been proven that the mailing of our donation receipts is a great opportunity to lead donors to becoming a member of our association.

All new members will be welcomed at the beginning of June. At the same time, a second big mailing to our donors will be initialized. Wikimedia Deutschland’s activity reports and the latest edition of the Wikimedium will be the content of this mailing. As usual, these postal and e-mail mailings will be examined for their impact in order to draw conclusions for the future.
In May, the fundraising team also conducted interviews with a Wikipedia donor for the next fundraiser and prepared a group interview which will take place at the beginning of June. Together with the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Deutschland will invite approximately ten donors to Berlin in order to ask them about their motivation to donate. The interview will be done by a market research institution. It is our goal to gain valuable insight into fundraising in general, but most of all regarding our donors.