A highlight this month was the visit from Anasuya, Garfield and Katy from the Wikimedia Foundation in Vienna. They toured Europe and visited Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria in the beginning of July. These visits are intended as a series over the next few years to learn from the experiences of different chapters and grantee partners around the world, share these learnings across the movement. For us as a chapter it was a very good opportunity to discuss our (especially FDC related) questions and concerns and to gain a better understanding of the requirements and expectations. While Garfield was mainly concerned with financial review questions (as a part of a routine due dillingence review) Anasuya and Katy discussed programmatic matters and were interested in our organisational development, especially the relations between board and staff. They also took time to meet members of our community during an informal get-together and visited our Wikipedian in residence in the Federal Monuments Office. It was a labour-intensive visit, but very constructive and enriching and hence worth every minute. Their feedback was not only helpful for creating the Q2 report, but is also valuable for our programmatic work and further organisational development.
Apart from that, we also started a call for projects, in order to gather ideas for the design of next year's budet and redesigned our members wiki in order to make it more user friendly, colorful and fun to browse.
QR Codes Botanical Garden
Good things come to those who wait: A cooperation that was started as early as last year finally fruited this month. The botanical garden of the university in Graz introduced signs with QR-Codes linked to the Wikipedia articles of the respective plants. Beforehand, the required 300 articles were compiled in a list and created or revised by the biology community. The QR Codes are designed by WMAT staff, the signs by the team of the botanical garden. The launch of the project was accompanied by a press release of the University of Graz and WMAT, that resulted in coverage by Austrian TV and press.
Preparation Wiki Loves Monuments
With this year's edition of Wiki Loves Monuments just around the corner, we entered the crunch mode of preparation: Together with our GLAM partner, the Federal Monuments Office we are preparing the two photo contests (Wiki Loves Monuments and a special sub-categorgy for the Federal Monuments Day on September 29, which focuses on special exhibits of the Federal Monuments Office across Austria). There is also a new flyer which emphasizes the new focus of this year's contest: There will be a special category for photo series. As many monuments are already well documented by last editions of WLM, there is still room for improvement when it comes to details, e.g. the single statues of a fountain ensemble. We also looked into the lessons learned from previous contests and tried to improve our processes (especially on the interfaces of community, chapter and partner institution). We also learned, that we are good in attracting newbies to contribute to Wiki contests, but perhaps we could be better in making this contribution even more durable and sustainable. We came up with the idea, that the prices can be one tool to achieve this goal. The idea is instead of just giving camera euqipment or books, to award the best newcomer with a travel grants to visit the next Wikimania in order to bond him or her closer to the community.
In addition, we tried to support the international WLM network by setting up a meeting in South Tyrol, with Wikipedians from Italy, South Tyrol and Austria, as they all share the cultural heritage of the region and Austria was adressed already last year by South Tyrol for cooperation. Unfortunaly, no one from South Tyrol signed up, so the meeting didn't take place. We also try to support the participation of Antarctica, so community members translated the list of momuments into German and we wrote to the Austrian Polar Research Institute APRI in order to get researchers to contribute their pictures.