We just concluded the first annual chapter report for wikimedia brasil!
It's a little late into 2009 so we also dropped some information on
more current events.
It can be read on Meta on the following URL, which is now linked in
the Reports page:
But to keep with this list's tradition, the full source follows below.
the WikiBrasil volunteers
'''Wikimedia Brasil, the Brazilian non-Chapter of the Wikimedia
Foundation presents you its... 2008 Annual Report!'''
== Why a non-Chapter, and what do we mean by that ==
As many might know, a request for the creation of a Brazilian Chapter
of the Wikimedia Foundation was approved last year.
The volunteers behind that request, after careful - and heated -
deliberation, chose not to establish themselves as a formal chapter at
We have, instead, "established" ourselves as a ''Mutirão for Freedom
of Knowledge'' and will use the name WikiBrasil or, in short form, WB.
<blockquote>Mutirão is the Portuguese language word for any
"self-assigned task force of socially motivated volunteers". Yes we
have a word for it, how cool is that?</blockquote>
There are four main reasons for this.
# '''Advocates of informality'''
#:A significative part of our group argues that, regardless of the
points below, we can better advance the foundation's vision by acting
as a group of autonomous volunteers and devoting ourselves to
activities we can take on without funding or legal structure behind
# '''Threats regarding Brazil's legal context'''
#:We cannot yet rely on our legal system to grant a Brazilian Chapter
of Wikimedia independence over the content and legal responsibility
for the platform.
#:It is likely that a Brazilian Chapter would be under constant
harassment from defamation lawsuits, and it is unlikely that we could
get a court decision waving us of responsibility for content like
other chapters did.
# '''Threats regarding the misuse of NGO's in Brazil'''
#:NGO's in Brazil are widely used for indirect and direct corruption
in many and creative ways. This is so that many aren't even aware
they're a part of some corruption scheme.
#:We don't want to be a part of that, and tough we have a good idea of
how to keep ourselves clean, it could cost an amount of energy we
might not have at our disposal.
# '''Lack of process and mutual trust'''
#:Our group has not fully developed the mutual trust and familiarity,
nor the coherence and processes, required to establish a legitimate
hierarchy. Hierarchy is required by institutionalization, and
legitimacy to avoid being hijacked by interest groups in the context
of item 2.
#:However, since such qualities are desirable no matter the status of
our community, we have drafted a Statement of Principles. Adherence to
this statement shall be the only requirement to be a volunteer in our
So, given the points above, in this report "we" means the group of
volunteers who, after receiving the authorization to begin a Wikimedia
Chapter in Brazil, decided to remain in informality, establishing
ourselves as a social movement instead of an NGO.
=== References ===
All discussion is available (in portuguese) in our mailing list's archive:
And here's our Statement of Principles (translated to english!):
== Our activities in 2008 ==
=== Jimbo in Brasil ===
Our first activity as a group was organizing Jimbo's visit to Brasil,
which was done without any financial resources or the use of
trademarks, was a no-logo event, and inspired our decision not to
become an NGO.
His visit included a debate with brazilians activists, scholars and
entrepeneurs engaged with free knowledge and free culture, held at
"Centro Cultural São Paulo", one of São Paulo's main centers for
culture. He was also interviewed in "Roda Viva", the most reputable
interview program on brazilian television.
All activity was registered (in portuguese) in our page at the
MetaWiki and the debate event blog:
=== Idea List ===
We have also compiled an initial list of ideas for ''mutirões'', and
contacted people and partners for each of them. Those include people
in the university, cultural, political and educational realms.
To that brainstormed list followed another compilation, of those
efforts, and some new ones, which developed into actual mutirões.
The first list: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Brasil/Projetos
The new list: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Brasil/Mutirões
=== Reverberações ===
One of these ''mutirões'' which has already materialized was
introducing the wiki software and reinforcing the free collaboration
logic during the organization of one of the main meetings of
independent artists who work with collaborative processes in Brasil.
For more information (in portuguese):
== So far in 2009... ==
=== Campus Party ===
We took part in an event called Campus Party Brasil, which had over
five thousand participants,
There, a group of six volunteers gave talks about the Wikimedia
Platform, held workshops on Wikipedia and Wikicommons editing, and
collected images for Wikicommons.
They also participated in two debates held by the internet branch of
Sao Paulo's public television channel, "IPTV Cultura", and performed
live Wikipedia editing during other debates and interviews.
A full report is available at MetaWiki (in portuguese):
Our organization for the event can be seen part in Meta and part in
our mailing list archives (both in portuguese):
=== Adopt a representative ===
One of our main objectives is to give conceptual and technical support
for other wiki-based ''mutirões'' using free content licences, which
can benfit from and contribute back to the Wikimedia Projects.
One such initiative started this year within our community is devoted
to assist citizens in monitoring their political representatives, and
is called "Adote um Vereador".
This mutirão is receiving a lot of media attention because it started
as an invitation from a well known radio anchor for people to write
blogs about a politician of their choice. The proposal achieved a much
larger scale when two of our volunteers started a wiki to organize the
blogs and help them share information.
Here's the URL (in portuguese):
=== Forensepédia ===
The other mutirão nurtured in our community is a collaborative online
encilopedia of legal terms and jurisprudence.
Providing the mutirão's mentor with assistance during the initial
stages of building the wiki, as well as a lot thought put into the
choice of license (CC-BY-SA), were some of the activities that brought
together both communities.
This collaboration has proven rich beyond the production of content,
with some insightful messages in our mailing list and Meta wiki ending
with the acronym "TNLA" (for those unfamiliar: This is Not Legal
Advice) and the later development of the acronym NRLA (Not a Request
for Legal Advice). This was most valuable given the nature of some of
our discussions, hinted by the beginning of this report.
Here's the URL (in portuguese):
== Plans for 2009 ==
=== Chapters Meeting ===
Wikimedia Chapters Meeting in Berlim will be our first chance to meet
representatives from all chapters. We plan to present them the
highlights of this report and discuss with the broader community some
issues raised here, including our understanding that a Chapter need
not be an NGO.
Our preparation (being translated to english):
Our organization page (in portuguese):
=== Wikimania ===
Yes, we're going to pay our neighbors a visit!
=== Wiki baptism ===
We're connecting with government agents in digital inclusion programs
to promote the Wikimedia Projects through workshops on wiki
collaboration, freedom of knowledge, and related subjects.
=== Wart ===
Some of our volunteers are joining "photograpic walks", open groups
who regularly get together and walk around town to take pictures and
share knowledge of photography. Our intent is to talk about Wikimedia
Commons and free licences with these communities.
=== The future of information ===
Those more academic-minded in our group are preparing, for the second
semester, a cicle of lecture-debates on commons based peer-production.
It will be held simultaneously at two of Sao Paulo's main centers for
culture and on the web, allowing for remote participation. The course
will follow material to be developed at the Wikiversity.
Here's the link (in portuguese):
=== Press and big media ===
We've been in touch with the brazilian press, building material to
help them understand and use the right terms when reporting on the
In addition, through talks with Sao Paulo's public television, "TV
Cultura", we've been invited to cast a Wikimedia Project's contributor
on each interview of the program "Roda Viva", to bridge the show and
the internet, promoting collaboration on articles related to each
More on that (in portuguese):
== Fim (end) ==
Well, I hope this was an interesting read.
We wish all the best for our brothers and sisters in 2009.
-- Wikibrasil, mutirão de conhecimentos livres