(See previous email for context.)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Pavel Richter <pavel.richter(a)wikimedia.de>
Subject: [Wikimedia Chapters Reports] Chapter Report WMDE April 2010
Dear friends of free knowledge,
== Wikimedia Conference ==
The Wikimedia Conference, which took place in Berlin from the 14th until the
18th of April, dominated the activities of this month. As host of the event,
in which more than 120 people from over 30 countries took part, Wikimedia
Germany was responsible for all of the organisation. Again Nicole focused in
April on the planning, execution and debriefing of the Wikimedia Conference.
For example in the first week of April information materials for the
participants were composed, technical and culinary supplies were secured and
the planning of the program of the event was concreted. After multiple phone
calls and countless emails with the Ministry of foreign affairs and the
German Embassy almost all required visas were acquired and delivered by the
weekend. Also hotels and flights were booked for the chapter
representatives. Then on Tuesday night the start signal was given and the
first developers were welcomed on the hotel boat, which for the next five
days was repeatedly a meeting point for gatherings in the evening and
communal activities. About 80 developers from all over the world met and
besides the planned presentations numerous spontaneous work- and discussion
groups formed. The two most important topics were “Our Experience” and
In the Area “Our Experience”, the user-friendliness or rather its
improvements, new developments of “Usability Initiative” were presented and
a preview of developments, which are expected in the near future, were
given. The medium term targets are the introduction of a Rich-text Editor
for Wiki-Contents, as well as an improvement of the accessibility especially
for the visually impaired. Further the project for the integration of
interactive maps of OpenStreetMap was revived.
In “Structured Data”, which focuses on integration, maintenance, and export
of automatically readable information, the presentation and maintenance of
such data in Wiki-sites via connection of external “Data-Wikis” was
discussed, for example for bibliographic data, such as Open Knowledge
Foundation is currently creating.
The Colleagues of Wikimedia Foundation also used the workshop, to discuss
organisational topics. Amongst others, the focus was on how contributions
from volunteers could be used in a better fashion but at the same time the
quality of the Media Wiki-Software could be guaranteed.
On Thursday we received first information about delayed and later cancelled
flights. A few participants were able to take the train for the last
distance, however unfortunately a few participants were unable to come to
Berlin due to the Ash cloud. When during the course of the weekend it became
clear that all flights were cancelled until further notice, restlessness and
uncertainty occurred. Fortunately the social solidarity of the “castaways”
was great from the beginning. Accommodation and lifts were offered, and our
travel agency's emergency service supplied the latest news about the flight
situation and organised train ticked for the participants from Moscow, Kiev
Unfortunately some Chapter- and Foundation representatives were unable to
partake in the Chapter Conference from Friday due to flight cancellations;
but obviously this did not stop the remaining attendants to fulfil the
schedule of the Conference . The topics were manifold: The main focus of
the first day were the first results of the strategic planning process 
of the Wikimedia Foundation. Sue Gardner, CEO of the Trust, presented the
corner stones, which were met with interest by the chapter representatives.
The rest of the meeting focused on the development of local Chapters and
their role in creating and distributing free contents. Work groups occupied
themselves with the following topics "professionalisation",
recruitment of voluntary employees, as well as cooperation of the Chapters
with other Organisations, mainly with cultural institutions. Who wants more
in depth information about the discussions and results, can find the
provisional documentation of the topics here .
However on Sunday the work was not yet over, because about 20 in Berlin
stranded Wikimedians needed to be attended to: Fortunately the extension of
the visa was uncomplicated  and quick and on Monday all “castaways” were
accommodated together in a hotel near the branch office. There we were able
to give them the daily updates, help with the orientation within the city
and deal with questions and worries. A positive side effect was, that during
the week the branch office became a meeting point for many international
guests and the opportunity for an exchange of knowledge occurred. When in
the middle of the week new flight dates were established, the delight about
the forthcoming return was great. Since one week all participants have
returned to their home country, and the days in Berlin will surely
remembered as a special event.
With a week's delay the final bill was calculated, the documentation further
completed and a satisfaction survey analysed. A final report is due to come.
== Topics of the Media ==
Some press inquiries in April were about the Court decision  of the
County Court of Hamburg, which concluded that, Wikimedia Germany is not
responsible for contents of Wikipedia. But only few online-media picked the
topic up and the inquiries focused almost exclusively on the Foundation. We
as branch office dealt with the inquiries. One Billion edits and the
development of the article about the Vulcano eruption was worth a press
release, which were picked up by a few media or were copied completely.
== Press Conference ==
In the context of the Wikimedia-Conference a press conference for the 16. of
April was organised. The content were aligned and prepared by participants
of the Foundation, the Board of Trustees and Jimmy Wales. Editorial
departments were invited via telephone and email. Additional interviews with
Pavel Richter were conducted beforehand. Jimmy Wales and members of the
board of trustees were unfortunately unable to partake the press conference
due to the Vulcan eruption- interviews had to be cancelled, topics and order
of the conference had to be changed or aligned. The following people took
part in the press conference: Sue Gardner, CEO of Wikimedia Foundation,
Jan-Bart de Vreede, Vice President of the Board of Trustees, and Sebastian
Moleski. Among others the ddp, rbb Abendschau, Heise Online and
Deutschlandfunk took part in the press conference. A compilation of the
resonance from the press and topics of the on which Catrin focused in April
can be found in the press review of Wikipedia  and the Union .
== Wikimedium & Co. ==
The creation of Wikimedium, including the topic selection, research, text
creation and editing, Layout development and production consumed a fair
amount of time in April. The new issue will be published in the next couple
of days. Due to this, the information leaflets for Wikimedia Commons,
Wikisource and Wikiversity were unfortunately not further edited. The
advancement of the layouts and contents will be continued in May.
== Knowledge in Clip format ==
A few appointments with media partners and tv productions took place, to
discuss ideas to integrate Wikipedia-content in newspapers-, radio- and tv-
formats and to develop further. The production company of Galileo and other
knowledge magazines (e.g. Spiegel) indicated interest to start a pilot
project and to develop Wikipedia knowledge in Clipformat. Further
discussions will take place in May.
In April a three day pilot phase of Wikipedia took place,
“Did-you-know-Clips” were shown in the Underground tv  in Berlin. The
positive reaction showed, that we are on the right path and the project will
be able to start in May after final clearance of sources and licensing.
== Members ==
During the course of April we received 11 applications and only one notice
of termination. Thus the number of member in Wikimedia Germany increased to
The preparations for the member conference  (it is taking place on the 8.
and 9. of May 2010 in Berlin) are running as planned: We send the voting by
mail documents on the 22nd of April. By now everyone, who asked for the
documents within the deadline, should have received them. If the documents
have not yet arrived please send us a mail as soon as possible to
mv2010(at)wikimedia.de, so that we can send them immediately.
As announced, we offer various workshops on Sunday the 9. of May from 10:30
am until 15:00 pm about executive resorts. Additionally there will be a
workshop about “Fundraising” and one about “Events 2010 (Academy & Zedler)”.
The aim is, with other members together, to discuss the plan for the year,
develop new ideas and to start a continuous exchange between Branch office
and members. We are hoping for numerous participation of the workshop, for
which you can register here .
An important appeal: You would be helping us a lot with the planning if you,
even provisionally, informed us with a short mail to mv2010(a)wikimedia.de
about your attendance, because planning of this is needed: For example the
number of drinks, Tables, chairs or supplies for voting need to be
considered. And we don't want you to be empty handed, hungry or thirsty.
== Wikisource ==
As already mention last month, we ordered a digital version of the
Schwäbisch Gmünder Passionsspiel, which not only arrived, but also completed
the second editing. It is now available for the interested reader in
After a waiting time of almost three quarters of a year, the digitalisation
of a series of chronicles about villages in the Zittau area have now
arrived, which was composed in the 30s of the 18. Century by Gotthelf
Traugott Eckarth . The work on these texts will begin shortly.
With orders from the Berlin State Library we were finally able to close a
gap: the digitalisation of the until now missing volumes of the 2nd and 3rd
edition of the issue of the "Kinder- und Hausmärchen"  of the Grimm
Brothers from the year 1837 was ordered by us.
== Community ==
In April we supported the following events and workshops of community
members with travel and conference expenses: The, by Ralp and Prolineserver
coordinated, photoworkshop, which took place from the 2. to the 5. of April
2010 in Nyköping/Sweden and the from Martin Bahmann organised meeting of the
Judges of the 12. Writing contest, which took place on the 30th of April/1st
of May in Geisenheim near Mainz.
To expand the Wikipedia-artciles by another Multimedia component, was the
aim of another supported project: On the 11. April in context of the 65.
anniversary of the liberation of the Concentrationcamp Buchenwald, one day
was documented with videos and photos under the direction of JCS; Movie and
pictures are planned to be places in the Wiki Commons.
== Collaboratory ==
Due to initiative of Google Germany there is now a "Collaboratory" , a
round table discussion of internet-politics interested people, on which from
our side Mathias and me took part (the other particiapnts can be found here
) The first big initiative is a currently still running survey to
inovationsculture in Germany, in which you can take part here .
== Generation 50+ ==
Here are some good news: In April we received the results of a
preexamination in March. Content editing is not necessary. However some
formal points need to be added. They are easy to solve. To answer the
question of all involved project partners we require the help of the Swiss
How will it continue? We will complete our task in the short term. The begin
of the Project depends mainly on the Swiss partners, and is still not fully
resolved. Because of this we decided to apply for funding in parallel. This
will be different in the key points from the aims of the international joint
team aims. The work on this has already started.
== Schoolproject ==
As reported last months, the workshops of the last months of the initiative
D21 resulted in some follow up events, the first dates of this took place
this month in Brandenburg. In Cooperation with the Ministry of Education of
Brandenburg 30 teachers from schools of the whole county were introduced to
interactive blackboards and the basics of Wikipedia as well as quality
guaranteeing structures. This took place in Gransee or rather Eberswalde.
The event series will continue in May with four additional dates in
Brandenburg as well as one event in Reihnland-Pfalz. We'll start
immediately, but a bit delayed, with the planning for the, in last month's
report mentioned, extension of the school-project. At the end of July
Wikimedia Germany will hold a workshop lasting several days, in which we
want to train volunteers from Wikipedia as consultants and develop content
for future events. Additionally in the middle of May further information
will follow, so who is interested in becoming a consultant, should keep an
eye on the date.
== Literature Scholarship ==
In the Wikipedia literature scholarship we were able to consider some new
applications and even fulfil some. The continuous updating of the
Statistics, i.e. the question of how many articles received a literature
scholarship indicates that in May or June the 1000th article, which received
a scholarship, will be written. A great success for the program, for which
we want to thank all authors.
== On duty for free Knowledge ==
From the 13. to the 17. of April the “Museum and the
web”  Conference
took place in Denver, Colorado, the conference administration
allowed a big
space for Wikipedia and funded a whole day of workshop about Wikipedia in
the context of museums, in which numerous Wikipedians (such as Phoebe Ayers,
Samuel Klein, Erik Möller, Liam Whyatt und Mathias Schindler) took part.
Fortunately the workshop itself was well visited, an in-depth report will be
published in Wikipedia Signpost as well as other sources. Due to a certain
Vulcano, the journey home was a small adventure in its own right, analogue
to the stranded Wikimedians in Berlin, Germany.
On the 26. to the 29. of April, organised by the University of Sao Paulo und
the Brasillian Ministry of Education, the “International Symposium of Public
Policies for Digital collections” took place to which Mathias was invited to
report in the panel “Great Digitization Projects” about Cooperation with
German State Archives. The participant selection is much in favour of free
contents, for example Larry Lessig (Creative Commons, Brewster Kahle
(Internet Archive), Beatriz Busaniche (Wikimedia Argentinien).
== Wahlprüfsteine ==
"Wahlprüfsteine" (election touch-stones) are questions regarding the
advancment of free knowledge, which we send out to the political parties
prior the state-election in North Rhine-Westphalia . The responses
will be published consolidated and collected before the date of elections.
== Softwareprojects ==
For April we have to announce results for two long term software-projects:
First the extension for displaying TIFF-images , which was developed by
the Hallo Welt Medienwerkstadt, is finished. The extension only needs to be
examined by the Server-Admins before it can be activated. Secondly WikiPics,
a multilingual search engine for commons: here  the (still a bit slow)
alpha-version can be tested. Shortly a revised version is planned to go
online, which can be used for the daily use in the commons.
The next office report will be published on the 31th of May 2010.
Kind regards / Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
Eisenacher Straße 2
Telefon 030 - 219 158 26-0
Chapters-reports mailing list
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
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