Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Oesterreich/January2014
As in previous years, WMAT will sponsor ten Wikimedians from Austria to travel to London to attend this year's Wikimania. However, this year two sponsorships were given to the winners of competitions (the writing competition and WLM), which leaves eight scholarships for the usual procedure. As last year, a requirement for the participants will be to share their experiences with our local community (with short reports, blog posts and the like).
More information in German: https://mitglieder.wikimedia.at/Projekte/Wikimania_2014
For the Hackathon in Zurich WMAT also offers travel scholarships. However, the programmer community in Austria is very small. Last year, nobody applied for the scholarship. Hence, WMAT is currently putting effort into widening its focus on like-minded communities like Regio-Wikis and OKFN in order to foster more technical expertise on MediaWiki in Austria.
More information in German: https://mitglieder.wikimedia.at/Nachrichten/2014-01-24
Free Content Generation
International WLM Meet-up at the MONUMENTO Fair in Salzburg
Every two years the Austrian Federal Monuments Office presents its work at the MONUMENTO Fair in Salzburg. MONUMENTO is an international platform for monument preservation, restoration and conservation and an occasion to meet all relevant stakeholders from Austria and neighbouring countries. Hence, we suggested to host a round table with our GLAM partner, the Federal Monuments Office, in order to invite conservationists and Wikimedians from Germany, South Tyrol, Slovakia and the Czech Republic in order to share our learnings of the past three years and encourage similar cooperation in their countries. WMAT provided support for the organization of the event and sponsored participants from Austria and the Czech Republic, as the local chapter doesn't dispose of major funding for such endeavors.
Eight Wikimedians from Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic followed our invitation, as well as seven conservationists from monument offices in Germany, South Tyrol, Slovakia and the Czech Republic as well as a journalist from a German specialist periodical. The feedback after the round table was very positive, almost all stakeholders thanked us for this initiative and found the discussions very helpful. The Wikimedians all reported that the event helped them to strengthen their relationships to the local monuments offices and that getting positive first-hand information from the Austrian conservationist colleagues will be a door-opener in many regards. Of course the challenges due to different legal and organisational context in the various countries won't vanish, but it was considered helpful to discuss them in the group and look into different ways to address and handle them.
Find the press release in German here: https://mitglieder.wikimedia.at/Nachrichten/2014-01-15
Wiki meets Austrian Academy of Sciences
On January 30st, 2014 some very interested Austrian Wikipedians attended an excursion to the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) in Vienna. This excursion was organised by Wikimedia Österreich in cooperation with the Academy in order to show some of the most magnificent rooms in Vienna's Inner city to the interested audience. The building in which the Academy is situated at the moment was built in the 18th century for the University of Vienna, which resided there until 1848. Therefore the rooms of the building, especially the ballroom and some of the other conference rooms are very beautifully decorated.
One of the most requested topics at the excursion was therefore the question of the right angle to photograph this beauty. Officials of the ÖAW offered a possibility to get in touch with a professional architecture-photographer, who is going to photograph the interior of the buildings in the near future. It would be possible to accompany this photographer and learn some special techniques for photographing inside buildings from him. Additionally the Academy holds a large library with hundreds of thousands of books and old maps, which are widely public accessible but not yet appropriately digitized – a chance for us, to set up a new GLAM-project and to get in a deeper cooperation with the Academy of Sciences. We are looking forward for the next steps of this promising cooperation.
But not only the Wikipedians had lots and lots of questions for the people of the Academy, they were also very interested in how Wikipedia works and how articles are being created and monitored. So we were happy to share our thoughts and experiences with them and help them improving their knowledge about Wikipedia and its mechanisms.
Reach Free Knowledge Awareness
Annual report and WLM calendars
The beginning of the year is a good occasion to reach out to our donors and partners and thank them for their support during the last year and give an update on our activities. We sent out calendars in the previous years, this year we added our annual report which was professionally designed for the first time and presents all relevant information on WMAT's current affairs in a neat and transparent fashion. We also expanded the circle of recipients by including our contact persons of successful photo accreditations in the last year. We received a lot of positive feedback from all our different stakeholders.
Annual report in German: https://mitglieder.wikimedia.at/images/3/31/Jahresbericht_2013.pdf
Press Release on EU copyright consultation
We admire the work our community member Dimitar does in Brussels and want to support his initiatives wherever possible. In January published a press release in order to get more attention in Austria for EU consultation on copyright for which Dimitrar together with an international group of Wikimedians created a support site. The idea was to give the global, online community a chance to come up with answers that, if coherent enough, can then be officially given to the Commission. In order to increase the impact and participation in Austria, we partnered with the Open Knowledge Foundation and drafted and published the press release together.
Presentation at the ACUNS Annual Conference
At invitation at one of our regional partners Miroslav Poltzer, we were invited to speak at the IAAI & UNEP Vienna Panel at ACUNS UN Vienna Conference 2014 on the topic of "UN Interactions with Local Actors in the Provision of Global Public Goods". We presented WMAT at the various Wikimedia projects. The presentation was a first step to explore common goals and possible future collaboration with UN stakeholders in Vienna.
Search for a new community manager
Our community manager Thomas Planinger decided to continue his studies full time from March on. WMAT supports Thomas in his plans to finish his degree, but we are very sorry to lose him as a capable community manager who contributed a lot to our successful year 2013. Fortunately, Thomas will continue a lot of his great work as a volunteer and also agreed to continue in his role as one of three elected members of our good governance committee.
We are currently putting a lot of time and effort into finding a suitable successor. We still believe that having a mixed team of professionals from inside at outside the movement is key to our success. Hence, we are happy to see promising applicants from inside and outside the Austrian community. We aim at announcing the new staff member by the end of February.