Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Deutschland/November 2013
As at the start of every month, the following is a summary of our activities at Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE). The monthly reports are drawn up by the various departments. The 13th Wikimedia Deutschland general assembly took place in Berlin last Saturday (November 30, 2013). The agenda included the scheduled election of a new Supervisory Board. A review of the event will follow in the next few days, as will details of the election and various other issues. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all those on the newly elected board: Nikolas Becker was elected chairperson of the Supervisory Board, and Anja Ebersbach and Tim Moritz Hector are his deputies. Steffen Prößdorf has been confirmed as treasurer, and Olaf Kosinsky, Daniel Baur, Holger Motzkau and Thomas Goldammer were elected as auditors. Jürgen Friedrich, Markus Glaser, Sebastian Wallroth, Ralf Bösch, Robin Tech and Jens Best are the six new Supervisory Board members. Congratulations! The results and additional information will follow shortly.
We provided financial and organizational support to WikiCon, the largest volunteer event in November. Around 200 people involved with Wikimedia projects and other free knowledge projects, most notably Wikipedia, met at the event in Karlsruhe. Nine of the 46 organized workshops, which were followed by a BarCamp, were conducted with the involvement of our employees and community members.
Team Communities is sending book prizes to a total of 14 winners of the Motivation Project 2013 – a project organized and run by volunteers as part of WikiCon to honor all Wikipedians who have made outstanding contributions to developing a culture of motivation and mutual recognition.
The State parliament (Landtag) project in North-Rhine Westphalia took place directly after WikiCon. The results of the long-term photography project can be found on Wikimedia Commons, and will shortly also be available on the Wikipedia results lists.
As part of the Wiki Loves Monuments project, the world’s biggest photography competition organized entirely by volunteers in Germany, we awarded prizes to 100 competition winners. Wiki Loves Monuments, Saxony was awarded the three top prizes.
Prior to that, the jury for the 19th writing contest met with our support. A prize was also awarded – this time, a Portuguese language course.
At the start of November, the Upper Lusatian Library of Sciences hosted a photography excursion and a writing workshop.
On November 28, the open editing session was the first event to be held on our new Berlin premises at Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24.
POLITICS AND SOCIETY
GLAM on Tour in Görlitz
At the start of the month, 20 people met in the Upper Lusatian Library of Sciences, which dates back almost 250 years. In hindsight, the exciting thing about the event was the variety of participants: Wikipedians, Wikisourcers, Wikimedians and Sorbian Wikipedia contributors worked together using the scanner in the lobby of the library and at the desks in the reading room, and took numerous photos for Wikimedia Commons during a guided tour of Görlitz, a city rich in interesting architecture.
Over 20 articles were created or edited within German-language Wikipedia alone; some 200 files were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, and many new ideas for further activities in the region in partnership with the Upper Lusatian Library were developed.
Shaping Access – More Responsibility for Cultural Heritage
In November, the Shaping Access conference took place in the Jewish Museum Berlin. We organized the event in collaboration with iRights.lab, the Open Knowledge Foundation, the Internet and Society Collaboratory, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek. More than 250 people joined us over the two conference days, which included over 20 lectures focusing on access to cultural heritage. Speakers included Lizzy Jongma from the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, blogger and writer Sascha Lobo, science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar and Google copyright counsel Cédric Manara. All lectures can be viewed online. Mathias Schindler wrote a live-blog during the conference. Photos of the events will follow on Wikimedia Commons. A blog entry was also posted before the start of the conference.
Reaction to the coalition agreement draft
At the end of November, the CDU/CSU and the SPD published a draft of their coalition agreement. In his WMDE blog, Mathias Schindler analyzes the areas that refer to Internet policy issues and points of overlap with our work, such as copyright law, state-owned works, Open Data and access to cultural heritage. It is encouraging that the draft contains more or less detailed answers to all the questions we had included in our catalogues of key questions before the general election.
Copyright4Creativity in Brussels
Conservative, Liberal and Green Party members of the European Parliament held a discussion as part of the Copyright4Creativity (C4C) event in Brussels. Mathias Schindler spoke on our behalf at this discussion event about the need to reform European copyright policies. The main purpose of C4C was to round off the Licences for Europe dialogue brokered by the European Commission, which focused largely on the industry measures that are possible under existing regulations (spoiler alert: not much is possible).
PSI hearing in Luxembourg
After the directive on the re-use of public sector information (PSI directive) is adopted and published, EU member states will have less than 20 months to transpose these guidelines into national law. During a one-day hearing in Luxembourg, the European Commission sought to clarify a number of points within the directive that were open to interpretation in order to provide the member states with assistance in implementing the directive, such as, for example, using standard licenses for the release of state-owned works, or calculating the costs of making such works available. There is still reason to hope that with the implementation of the PSI Directive, a large number of state-owned works will become freely accessible for re-use in projects such as Wikipedia.
- December 4: Hearing on open access in paid work opportunities programs (tbc)
- Open Access conference of the Conference of National Cultural Institutions: December 12 and 13 in Dessau
EDUCATION AND KNOWLEDGE
Wikimedia Diversity Conference
This year’s Wikimedia Diversity Conference took place on November 8 and 9 at the GLS campus Berlin (see the blog entry on the event). Over 80 participants from 15 different countries took part in discussions on the topics of gender and geographic diversity. Under the headings of “best practices” and “ideas and action”, projects and new ideas were presented on how to encourage underrepresented groups to get involved in Wikipedia, and what steps must be undertaken to achieve this. For all those who were not able to participate in the conference, the minutes from individual sessions as well as interviews with the speakers explaining their projects and initiatives are available online. We also documented the results of the round-up sessions. During the conference, a Meta-Wiki page on diversity was set up to address the topic of what diversity means for the Wikimedia movement.
The Women Edit pilot project is aimed at getting women to take part actively in Wikimedia projects. Thanks to the initiative, many dedicated women and men have been identified. In the coming year, the focus will be on the concrete and, above all, joint implementation of further projects. The following Women Edit events took place in November:
- November 27: Women Edit Hamburg
- November 24: Women Edit at WikiCon
- November 19: Women Edit and Digital Media Women
- November 13: One Year of Women Edit Berlin (see the blog entry)
There are many ideas and suggestions for the project’s continuation into 2014, with a kick-off event scheduled for January 18 and 19, 2014.
Tour of Free Knowledge
On 22 November, the Open Education Booksprint took place in collaboration with the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF). During the event, some 25 participants from various countries came together to develop a handbook on open education. This booksprint was one of various such events taking place across several months, the outcome of which will be a complete and collaborative handbook.
Discussions also took place on how to develop closer collaboration with OKF and Creative Commons (CC) in the field of open educational resources (OER) in 2014. Ideas include participating in the Open Knowledge Festival 2014, as well as establishing joint OER Awards and producing joint position papers.
The Education and Knowledge Department also worked intensively to develop local OER events for 2014 (currently planned for Munich, Cologne and Berlin). So far, the focus is on universities and schools, as well as on the overall conference. There is also a proposal to hold a series of events in-house, the nature of which still needs to be defined more clearly.
- December 9: Hearing on open educational resources by the Berlin House of Representatives’ Committee on Digital Administration, Data Protection and Freedom of Information (Sebastian)
Wikidata organized a well-attended debate at November’s WikiCon, during which Lydia Pintscher explained the current status of the project and answered questions. In addition, she and Adam Shorland held an IRC office hour, the transcript of which is now available. Meanwhile, the developers have been working on ranks, ordering and data sets. The purpose of ranks is to categorize certain statements in Wikidata as “deprecated” (that is, outdated or incorrect) or “preferred”. This is useful, for example, with information such as “former German presidents” or “the number of inhabitants in 1900.” Data sets are needed when recording the number of inhabitants of a city or the length of a river, for instance. A preliminary version can now be tested on test.wikidata.org.
Magnus Manske has enhanced the Reasonator tool so that, in addition to people and species, cities can now be better presented. He also wrote a gadget on a code he has developed to include Wikidata pages in Wikipedia search results.
In the Chapters Dialogue, [[email@example.com Nicole Ebber] and [firstname.lastname@example.org Kira Krämer] ask Wikimedia chapters and their stakeholders (the Wikimedia Foundation, the Funds Dissemination Committee and the Affiliations Committee) about their wishes, goals, concerns and suggestions for the joint future of the international Wikimedia world.
In November, Kira interviewed chapters from Central and Eastern Europe. From November 14 to 16, the Wikimedia Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) Meeting 2013 was held in Modra, Slovakia. This event provided a good opportunity for us to meet with and interview representatives from many of the region’s chapters and to speak with many participants over the course of the conference. These talks enabled us to learn a great deal about the chapters' work, cultural backgrounds and individual contexts. In addition, we visited Wikimedia Poland and Wikimedia Serbia to gain insight into the work of these associations and conduct interviews with their representatives.
As well as documenting and compiling the initial findings drawn from the many interviews, Nicole and Kira made preparations for the visit to the Wikimedia Foundation and the two U.S. chapters that is scheduled for December.
Communications and international collaboration
At WikiCon, Nicole Ebber and Tim Moritz Hector held a session on the topic of metadata and participation in the Wikimedia world, at which they presented Wikiverse’s countless communication channels and committees, sounded out the current state of knowledge and interest in international topics, and identified the need for international participation and contribution. The goal was also to trigger future dialogue among interested parties from the German-speaking community – both among themselves and with the target groups. Alongside a loose alliance of dedicated and internationally connected Wikimedians, we are also planning to set up a Wikipedia page that can serve as an entrance into the international Wikiverse, much like Wikimedia:Woche. Nicole also introduced the “coolest projects in the international Wikimedia world” in the session “Inspiration!”
We are hosting the next Wikimedia Conference, which will take place from April 10 to 13, 2014 in Berlin. As a member of the international program team, Nicole is already busy gathering ideas from all Wikimedia organizations on the “hot topics and burning questions” in the Wikimedia world that should be addressed at the conference. In December, all these suggestions will be collated and prioritized, so that in January a preliminary program can be put together and the registration process can begin.
In early November, our Communications Team and our project partner klicksafe began working together on the publication of a booklet. A press release was put together and sent out. As part of our press and public relations work, we undertook various activities for two events in November. With the help of the community, we issued a press release on WikiCon that we sent to around 100 journalists through a targeted press mailing list. The response was very positive, resulting in many background discussions as well as interviews with community members and WMDE representatives. We have posted a selection of media reports on WikiCon on our press page. Popular topics included (as before) gaining authors, the decline in the number of authors and quality assurance. The closing of over 250 accounts by the Wikimedia Foundation was also discussed in this context.
The second event, Shaping Access – More Responsibility for Cultural Heritage, took place from November 28 to 29 at the Jewish Museum Berlin After having organized and conducted a press briefing with dpa, FAZ, SZ and Deutschlandradio in early November in the run-up to this event, we issued another press release a few days before the conference and sent invitations to selected cultural journalists from online media, print media, TV and radio. At the conference itself, the first day’s discussion was recorded in full and broadcast on DRadio Wissen at 11:05 a.m. on November 30. You can find this broadcast and more on our press page.
This year’s fundraising campaign was launched in mid-November. Now, as every year, non-registered visitors to German Wikipedia will see a donation banner at the top of the page asking for support. The campaign got off to a very good start – so far around 130,000 people in Germany have donated to the free knowledge cause, already raising a total of over €2,500,000. We have also received an amazing response via e-mail, with just under 3,800 people getting in touch in the first two weeks alone to ask questions and give praise. However, what pleases us most of all is the fact that over the last few weeks we have already gained over 1,300 new WMDE members.
We are continually developing the elements of our campaign while it is up and running, and have experimented with various different banners and donation pages. We publish many of the results and analyses at http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Fundraiser_2013/Tests, so anyone who wants to know why the current donation banner looks the way it does can find the answer there. Unfortunately, however, we have fallen slightly behind with our publications. Please bear with us!