In September, Team Communities was completely restructured with new members and a new department head.
Alongside the Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM) photography competition, which we help to finance and organize, the literary scholarship Litstip Loves Monuments will be available once again this year. The project is aimed at authors who would like to take part in the competition but do not see photography as their strong point or who would simply prefer to write the articles to accompany the photos.
The Nuremberg photo workshop took place for the 13th time in September. We reimbursed the participants’ travel expenses and provided the necessary photography equipment.
Volunteers had a stand at the Munich Streetlife Festival in mid-September. The stand offered general information about Wikipedia, examples of minor editing jobs, and details of local meetings. The volunteers had productive conversations with the general public and distributed a large number of WLM leaflets. We provided organizational, financial, and staffing support.
On the evening of the German general election, around a dozen volunteers from all over Germany took some 500 photographs of the various parties’ events in Berlin and the ZDF Berlin studio. Some of the photographs were posted on Wikimedia Commons during a gathering at our office on the evening of the election. Over 100 of the photos have been used in articles on 27 different language versions of Wikipedia. We gave our full support to this activity.
Projects supported by the community project budget continued their activities in September. The festival summer (Festival Sommer) project has provided access to 10,000 photos under a free license so far; the State Parliament (Landtag) project is organizing its next stop at North Rhine-Westphalia’s parliament; and the last events for the time being were held to discuss the project on the acceptable limits of professional writing. The working group to develop the budget for community projects also met, and the results of a qualitative survey of relevant actors on the approach of the program so far were published. Applications for new projects are still welcome.
A meeting on organizing WikiCon took place in Karlsruhe on September 21 and 22. More information is available in Wikipedia:Kurier.
Following an encouraging first open editing session last month, another session took place at our office on September 26. This session was aimed at experienced Wikipedians and advanced Wikipedia beginners with questions on all kinds of aspects of Wikipedia.
A WMDE blog entry provides information about the many ways how friends and partners of Wikipedia have used the meeting facilities available at our office and how you can use them too.
Politics and Society
ZDFcheck is Complete
The German general election took place on September 22. This meant that ZDFcheck, which assessed statements by 25 politicians for their credibility from May to September, came to an end. Each check involved an average of 20 contributions from the online community. Many of these came from Wikipedians, who were able to work with the ZDF journalists to point out sources that showed that politicians’ statements were false in almost 20 percent of cases. We will present an evaluation of the project in the fourth quarter. You can read the initial results on the project page.
Cultural Initiative Outreach Campaign
The project GLAM on Tour seeks to promote long-lasting relationships between Wikipedians (WP)/Wikimedians (WM) and their local GLAMs, and to encourage collaboration between GLAM staff and volunteers. We held the first event this June in Braunschweig. Over the course of the year, it has become clear that we have still not been able to find enough WPs/WMs who can actively help to improve our access to GLAMs. At present, there are not enough WPs/WMs actively engaged in the cultural sector to provide the necessary advice and information about the promotion of free knowledge. For this reason, we have decided to ask almost 7,000 of our members for support. We wrote to these members with a leaflet explaining the various forms of collaboration between Wikimedia projects and GLAMs, and a questionnaire to gather information on each member’s links to a local cultural institution.
The aim of this outreach campaign, which has an expected response rate of one percent, is to develop personal contact through our members with 25 cultural institutions in Germany by the end of the year. Two weeks after contacting the members, the response rate was at 0.84 percent. So far, 22 specific GLAMs have been named. We set up a webpage on Wikipedia to accompany the campaign, but this was flagged for deletion. A week-long discussion on the wrong placement of the page, which could have been avoided (the page should have been identified immediately as a WMDE subpage and now is), may have deterred some visitors from completing the online questionnaire. The strongest response, as is to be expected, was by fax. All respondents received an individual thank-you message and were sent information material relating to the interests they had expressed. The evaluation will follow this quarter.
We issued ten travel grants to support a Berlin event in early September for 60 young hackers from 12 German states. The aim of the Hackathon was to introduce young people to the concept of Open Data in a fun and playful way. This blog post gives an overview of the results. We have also been asking the young hackers what they want the museum of the future to be like. We will present their responses to a specialist audience from the German GLAM sector at the conference Zugang gestalten (Shaping Access) in Berlin on November 28. For the third time, the conference will bring together cultural, civil society, and political experts to debate the most pressing issues relating to access to cultural heritage in the digital age. The conference is receiving support from the Jewish Museum Berlin, the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, the Internet and Society Co:llaboratory, Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, iRights Lab, Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland and WMDE.
German General Election Election Questionnaire and Hesse Analysis
On September 3, we published an analysis of responses to our key questions for the state parliament election in Hesse. A week later, we published the responses to our key questions for the German general election. We had an all-time high in the number of responses, with eleven parties (plus one latecomer) taking part. In hindsight, we can state that all of the parties that have now been voted into parliament responded to our key questions, some of them in great detail. Sometimes their answers are worlds apart, which is why we have published a commentary.
- Polish OpenGLAM Conference; October 11 and 12, 2013, in Warsaw (WMDE speaker)
- Was darf ich nutzen? Der Umgang mit Urheberrecht und freien Lizenzen im Internet [What am I allowed to use? Working with copyright and free licenses on the Internet]; panel discussion at the Museum für Kommunikation on October 22, 2013, in Berlin (WMDE speaker)
- GLAM on Tour Die Oberlausitzische Bibliothek; November 1 and 2, 2013, Görlitz (organized by WMDE)
- Zugang gestalten (Shaping Access); November 28 and 29, 2013, in Berlin (organized by WMDE)
- KNK open access conference; December 12 and 13, in Dessau (WMDE speaker)
Education and Knowledge
OER Conference 2013
The first OER (Open Educational Resources) conference for German-speaking countries took place in Berlin. Over two days, 300 participants exchanged views on the current and future state of OER in Germany. Discussions focused on international input and on how governments and institutions can promote OER in the future. A short video clip of the conference is available online.
Working Paper: Gender – Diversity – Wikipedia
The first phase of the “Diversity for Wikipedia” project has been completed. The aim of the project is to work with the Wikipedia community to look for ways to improve gender diversity in Wikipedia; to develop measures together; and to help to increase diversity in Wikipedia. The first results have now been published in a working paper called “Gender – Diversity – Wikipedia. Shaping diversity together.” The paper brings together information from research and practice, summarizes the current state of English-language and German-language research, and presents results from interviews with female and male Wikipedia editors. The working paper focuses on what could be causing the low level of female participation in Wikipedia, in what ways this impacts the encyclopedia and its content, and how this can be counteracted.
Wikimedia Diversity Conference
On November 9 and 10, 2013, we are holding a conference on diversity in Wikimedia projects, with the support of Wikimedia Nederland, Wikimedia UK, and the Wikimedia Foundation. By the end of September, 93 (international) participants had already signed up. So far, there have also been 32 submissions for workshops and presentations. The official registration form can be accessed here. Please send any questions you may have on the subject to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conclusion of the Third Age Online/Silberwissen (Silver Knowledge) Project
On September 11 and 12, Elvira Schmidt shared the results of the Silberwissen (Silver Knowledge) program at the final presentation of the collaborative EU project, Third Age Online, in Berne. The final report was also completed as required. In addition to this, measures have been introduced in collaboration with the Wikipedia community to improve accessibility for the disabled.
Research and Development
On September 16 and 17, all project partners met in Innsbruck to discuss the results and to prepare for the final presentation to representatives of the European Commission. At this review meeting, which will take place at the end of November, the results of the overall project will be presented and the review committee’s questions answered.
In the next few days, we will publish both a report summarizing the project and the results of the evaluation on this page, and present the plan for further developing the RENDER tools. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the RENDER-Team.
This month, Wikidata has focused on its sister projects Wikimedia Commons and Wiktionary. Wikimedia Commons can now store interwiki links centrally in Wikidata (together with those of Wikipedia and Wikivoyage), and an analysis has been published of all the proposals for Wiktionary’s integration with Wikidata made to date. The new URL data type has been introduced on Wikidata itself. This means that it is now possible to cite URLs, for example, as a source for a statement. Denny Vrandečić has published two more blog posts on the fundamental principle behind Wikidata – “Wikidata - Quality and Quantity” und “A categorical imperative?”. He also blogged some final thoughts before he left the project at the end of the month.
The developer team is looking to recruit and welcomes applications for the role of front end developer.
Following preparations and the warm-up session in Hong Kong, the Chapters Dialogue Tour to individual chapters began in September. Nicole Ebber, together with Kira Krämer, improved the guidelines for interviewing chapters and stakeholders. These guidelines are continually being adapted and improved based on feedback from the first interviews and conversations with stakeholders. Nicole and Kira have both also worked on additional project planning and travel arrangements.
In September, Kira visited Wikimedia Nederland in Utrecht, Wikimedia CH in Lausanne, Wikimedia Österreich in Vienna, and Wikimedia Italia in Monza. She conducted interviews with two representatives from each chapter, as well as with members of the Affiliations Committee and the Board of Trustees. The new Facebook page is updated frequently with new photos and anecdotes from the tour.
The feedback on the interviews is very interesting. For many interviewees it was not simply a case of answering questions: The process helped them to reflect on their own situations. The first answers to the questions “What would you like to learn from other chapters?” and “What could you teach other chapters?” will be published in the coming weeks, helping to kick-start a dialogue between chapters.
In September, Nicole Ebber took part in discussions on the future of the Wikimedia Conference, including the application process for hosting the event. In August, the Wikimedia Foundation announced that it would cover the cost of hosting the conference. In collaboration with international partners, Nicole has drafted a simplified application process to determine the venue in the first instance, allowing the organizations that are participating to focus efficiently on the goals, content, and outcomes of the event. We would like to bring the conference – the key international Wikimedia policy event of the year – back to Berlin and have submitted our own application.
In addition to this, the International Affairs Unit also evaluated feedback on the Chapters Village on Wikimania. The unit is now also responsible for compiling and sending out the weekly newsletter Wikimedia:Woche. Cornelia Trefflich has taken over this activity, which was previously a task of the Communications Unit. Nicole arranged for an article by Lukas Mezger to be published on our blog. In his report, Lukas, who did an internship at the Wikimedia Foundation’s Legal Department, writes about the process of introducing a new trade mark directive. In addition to this, Nicole has been very actively involved in planning and publicizing the Diversity Conference, in which a great number of international guests is expected to take part. The expertise of the International Affairs Unit was also used in the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU and in drafting the 2014 Annual Plan.
Several press reports on the OER conference (open educational resources) have been published in cooperation with us. Some have already been released on sites including heise.de, NTV.de and heute.de. Others can be accessed on our press review page. In the coming months, some longer articles about OER and the conference will be published in two teachers’ magazines.
The third Zugang gestalten (Shaping Access) conference is being held in November with our cooperation. We have already coordinated initial interviews and background discussions with the German media and developed a communications concept for this event, all in close cooperation with the conference partners.
Draft 2014 Annual Plan
At the end of November, our general assembly will vote on the 2014 Annual Plan. In September, the Communications Unit oversaw the editing and publication of the draft, which can now be accessed online. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any comments, suggestions, or queries!
In September, we had more giveaways, including polo shirts with the Wikipedia logo, Wikidata T-shirts and pens, manufactured. These are ordered with other European chapters. The work was done in agreement with the International Affairs Unit.
On our fundraising campaign portal, you can see how we conducted tests lasting several days on our German Wikipedia pages every week throughout September. These tests are only ever displayed to a very small number of non-registered readers (about five percent), which allows us to run the tests for several days. Thanks to such a defined testing period, we are able to reach a more diverse group of readers than is possible, for example, in a two-hour test. This month, we tested the way readers are addressed in the facts banner, the importance of personal stories, the size of the donate button, and the appearance of the banner. The last point had the greatest impact: by making the banner move downwards like a roller blind, we achieved as much as a 22-percent increase in donations. All test results to date can be accessed here. Anyone interested in the current Wikimedia Foundation tests is advised to visit the fundraising portal. Currently, the Foundation is focusing on incorporating a donation form into the banner.
We also carried out an online donor survey in September, inviting just under 3,400 randomly selected donors from the previous two years by e-mail to take part.We are delighted to have received a response from 942 participants, giving us a solid 29-percent response rate. In the coming weeks, we will be assessing the results in detail and reporting the findings here on our blog.
You can find all current job postings at WMDE listed here.