Wikimedians of Bulgaria/2015/Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2015 Report

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Talks and workshops[edit]

At the Wikimedia Central and Eastern Europe Meeting 2015 in Voore, Estonia, Bulgaria was represented by a total number of three people. There was an advance announcement in the Village Pump of BG Wikipedia, linking to the questionnaire for application. Two applications have been submitted as a result.

Two of the representatives, Vassia and Nikola are administrators of BG Wikipedia, and coorganizers of the "Wiki Loves Earth" and "Wiki Loves Monuments" photo contests, which took place in Bulgaria for the first time in 2015 (inspired by the WLE/WLM showcase in WMCEE'2014 in Kiev). Apart from being speakers, both of them also undertook certain responsibilities to the organization of the meeting: Vassia being member of the programme committee, and Nikola being in charge of the conference logistics and evaluation of the post-conference feedback from the participants.

As speakers, Vassia presented three talks. There was a sightly customized version of her Wikimania talk about the 100wikidays challenge, after which all (about 7-8) attending 100wikidays participants were given the floor to share their experience with the challenge. In the panel of wiki education, Vassia talked about her experience aimed at developing a Roadmap to designing a wiki education course). Her last talk was about experience gained from her long-term interactions with media journalists, titled "Are you talkin' to me(dia)?"

Nikola was invited to be a co-presenter together with Amanda Bittaker in the workshop called "The ABC-D of Storytelling".

One of the topical accents in the programme of the meeting in 2015 was the coordination of the joint efforts for creation of a common European law of the Freedom of Panorama. This topic was mainly covered by the third Bulgarian representative Dimitar in his talk "FoP Legislation in Europe: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". His second talk, "50 First Dates" was devoted to contacting policy makers for promoting Wikimedia-related issues, free software, free culture, etc. Dimitar was especially invited lecturer, beyond the quota of country representatives.

There were demonstrations of several technical instruments for successful facilitation of the work of volunteers, and one of these instruments was presented by Nikola. The tool "Category Master" developed by the Bulgarian bureaucrat Borislav is already activated and used in the Wikipedia's language versions in Armenian, Estonian, Macedonian and Ukrainian.

Nikola was also facilitator of one of the evening panels, devoted to the collaborative article writing practiced, Wikidojo, an idea originally proposed by him at WMCEE'2014 in Kiev. After the end of the meeting, several people cared to leave their feedback about the Wikidojo.

Bulgarian support to the Estonian organizers[edit]

As a result of the 2014 Wikimedia CEE Meeting in Kiev, the participants Vassia and Nikola volunteered to take part in the organization of the 2015 Meeting in support of the Estonian organizers.

Lord Bumbury
Lord Bumbury offered his assistance for the logistics, and was teamed with Teele Vaalma. His task was researching the best options for people all over the CEE region to travel to Tartu, Estonia, taking into consideration not only the price of the tickets and people's preferences, but also east possible number of connections, and avoiding long and overnight connections and night flights.
He was also part of the welcoming committee, and accepted visitors at Wikimedia Estonia's office.
Bumbury was also in Tartu in the days before the conference began and helped with part of the logistics.
Drafting the WMCEE 2015 programme
Vassia was invited to take part in the Programme committee, and proactively undertook the responsibility to propose an initial version of the 3-day programme, which has later been improved several times per feedback from the speakers, and the other members of the programme committee.
The initial organization was set up by the Ukrainian team (Antanana) who had requested that representatives of all CEE countries fill in the so-called Questions&Needs questionnaire, aiming to detect the strengths, weaknesses, questions, needs and inputs to the 2015 meeting, which countries could share in their lectures. The results of this questionnaire were analyzed and this helped for getting a clearer picture which country / person could contribute, and to which aspect of the programme. Generally, the slots followed both the last year thematic distribution, as well as the themes, which were reported by the country representatives in their answers to the Questions&Needs. Several guiding principles were proposed for public discussion and approved. Several unexpected problems occurred in the course of the programme preparation, but were adequately handled. All lessons learnt were described in a learning pattern.

Resulting learning patterns[edit]

As a direct outcome of the WMCEE'2015, two learning patterns were generated, covering the gathered organizational experience.

Future commitments[edit]

One of the outcomes of the WMCEE meetings was the regionally approved decision that in 2016 the countries in CEE region will repeat the hugely successful CEE Spring article writing contest. We will rely on our experience, gathered in 2015, and we would like to take a leading role in organising CEE Spring in 2016.