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Editorial: Celebrating Community, Achievements, and Collaboration in the CEE Region
As we dive into the first issue of 2024, the CEE Newsletter is thrilled to bring you a vibrant tapestry of updates and accomplishments from the diverse communities across Central and Eastern Europe. Let's embark on a journey through the enriching stories that showcase the spirit of collaboration, resilience, and progress within the Wikimedia movement.

CEE Newsletter
Volume 4 • Issue 1 • January 2024
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CEE Hub Updates and Wikimania 2024 Highlights

Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska provides a snapshot of recent activities from the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), highlighting the Talking 2024 series and an independent assessment focusing on the impact of Wikimedia projects on children. Additionally, learn about the scholarship applications for Wikimania 2024 and get a sneak peek at the captivating Wikimania logotypes on Wikimedia Commons.

CEE in the News

Toni Ristovski curates articles from external newsletters, giving us a glimpse of how the CEE region is making waves in global education and GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) sectors. Discover what others are saying about our community's achievements.

Highlights from CEE Communities

Hynek Kaplan takes us back in time to celebrate the anniversary of Miroslav Malovec, the founder of Czech Wikipedia. We also get an insight into the resilience of Ukrainian Wikipedia editors during challenging times in 2023. Plus, explore the outcomes of Wiki Loves Earth 2023 and Wikimedia Czech Republic's impactful presence at the Archives, Libraries, Museums in the Digital World 2023 conference.

From Wikimedia Serbia's 18th-anniversary celebration to the offline community meetup organized by Wikimedia Armenia, the newsletter unfolds a myriad of activities. Dive into the Georgian Wikipedia's 20th birthday celebration, explore the outcomes of Wiki Loves EuroPride in Albania, and join the celebration of Wikidata's 11th birthday in Elbasan, Albania.

Community Initiatives and Beyond

Explore stories of resilience and dedication, from the experiences shared by Nikos Likomitros about the CEE Youth Group Meeting in Prague to the unique efforts of North-West Wiki-Histories. Learn about the unification of GLAM Macedonia and Shared Knowledge into Wikimedia MKD, signaling a strong sense of unity within the Macedonian Wiki-community.

Looking Ahead

As we anticipate the 2024 Wikimedia Hackathon in Tallinn, Estonia, and reflect on the Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2023, presented by Marija Mihajlova, the enthusiasm for collaboration and knowledge-sharing shines brightly.

Happy reading and here's to another year of Wikimedia excellence in the CEE region!

Best regards,

Jan Beránek
editor of the CEE Newsleter


CEE Hub updates
CEE Hub activities in 2024 per approved grant for one year
By: Toni Ristovski and Barbara Klen

In the second half of December 2023, we received an approval from the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) for our grant proposal named Stronger CEE Hub. This grant proposal and our plan for 2024 were presented to the CEE communities on various occasions: during the CEE Meeting 2023 in Tbilisi, during the two conversation hours that took place prior to the CEEM and also during many online meetings that the CEE Hub staff held with the CEE communities and interested Wikimedians.

We are happy that our work on the implementation of the previous CEE Hub grant was recognised by the WMF. We received almost 90% of the requested funding which will enable us the continuation of the work, as well as implementation of some new activities. The goal of this article is to present activities which the CEE Hub will be focusing on during 2024.

full article...

CEE Hub will continue its work with the same staff members, Barbara Klen and Toni Ristovski. In addition to this, in 2024 the CEE Hub has funds to employ a third full-time employee whose role will be closely connected to community building of a small community in the Central and Eastern Europe. The activates that need to take place prior to selection and recruitment have already started. The estimated time of the new employment is March/April 2024.

As during the Year 1 of the CEE Hub, staff members will continue working on easing administrative burden of the CEE communities, by implementing the following separate activities:

  • reviewing and commenting their grant proposals and providing suggestions;
  • offering information about grant opportunities and discussing with the WMF the possible issues that grantees have; and
  • supporting the implementation of local activities.

Also, the same as during the Year 1 of the CEE Hub, staff members will continue programmatic support in these areas:

  • offering support to the CEE communities related to the implementation of the International Roma Day initiative, in close cooperation with the Wikimedia Serbia;
  • providing support and training related to Wiki Loves Monuments;
  • continuation in supporting the International team in organising of the Wikimedia CEE Spring;
  • supporting the running of regional meetings, foremost continuing supporting the organisation of the annual CEE Meeting (CEEM);
  • mapping and facilitation of the adoption of technical tools/innovations and features (volunteer tools and those developed by WMF);
  • supporting region-wide efforts on topics that are of interest to volunteers that might not or cannot tackle these topics locally for various reasons; and
  • cooperation with other hubs.

Under communication we will continue doing the following:

  • supporting and curating publication of the CEE Newsletter;
  • organising monthly open office hours;
  • co-organising bi-monthly Catch Up sessions;
  • curating CEE social networks (CEE mailing list, Telegram announcement list, Facebook group, etc.);
  • informing communities about global initiatives;
  • organising and facilitation of onboarding and leadership training for volunteers, board members and staff within the CEE region; and
  • facilitation of communication and conflict management when problems in a community arise.

Additionally, CEE HUB will continue working on defining and developing CEE Hub governance model and organisation format. Based on the feedback gathered from communities and during the 2023 CEE meeting, we will continue working on creating a fair, inclusive and equitable CEE Hub governance and voting system.

We will support the work and development of the CEE Youth group. During the first year of the grant, the CEE Hub initiated the creation of the CEE Youth group, which proved to be a right step, as the group currently has 27 registered users on Meta. We had one in-person meeting in Prague (November 2023), where we discussed the goals of the group and direction for 2024. You can report about this gathering here.

Also, this year the CEE Hub will introduce its own micro grants programme (MG). MG programme is based on our experience of working with smaller communities, especially those where affiliates do not exist. We expect that the first call for MG applications will take place in two months. These micro grants will have a lower barrier than Rapid Funds provided by the WMF: a minimum 50 USD can be requested, and applications will not be done through Fluxx but in a less demanding manner.

We are looking forward to the implementation of all what was mentioned above and we are happy that we will continue our productive cooperation with the CEE affiliates, communities and active individuals. Thank you for your continuous support and feel free to reach out if you need our support.

International updates
Short news from WMF and Wikimania 2024
By: Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska

Here are the short news from the recent activities of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) with the series of conversations Talking 2024 and publishing of the independent assessment to understand the impacts, risks, and opportunities posed to children who access and participate in Wikimedia projects

Additionally, you can find the data for the received scholarships applications for the Wikimania 2024 and you can admire the logotypes for Wikimania, already published on Wikimedia Commons.

full article...
Wikimedia Foundation
  • The groups and individuals from the CEE region can take part in Talking 2024 - a series of conversations in which the Foundation’s Community Affairs Committee, senior leaders, and the Foundation’s CEO Maryana Iskander are available for groups and individuals to discuss different Wikimedia-related matters.  Already many wikimedians and organizations from the region (including of course the CEE Hub) participated in those conversations. If you would like to join them you can  sign up on wiki  (make sure to check your talk page or have the “email this user” feature activated) so someone from the Movement Communications team can get in touch with you. You can participate in the conversation individually or as a group. And don’t worry if you don’t feel comfortable talking in English - there can be a translator assigned!
  • The Wikimedia Foundation has published an independent assessment to understand the impacts, risks, and opportunities posed to children who access and participate in Wikimedia projects. The report also contains recommendations to the Wikimedia Foundation as to how that the Foundation and Wikimedia communities can implement to mitigate those risks, so that children can fully benefit from participating in our projects. You can give your feedback about the report on the Talk page.
Wikimania 2024
  • Some news on the topic in which so many people are interested in: Wikimania 2024 scholarships! The application phase has ended, resulting in an impressive number of 1400 applications, 12,6% of which came from the CEE and CA region. The Scholarship Reviewer Group formed by Wikimedians from different parts of the globe is now working on those applications, aiming to announce their decisions in late February.
  • Last year Wikimania brought beautiful designs and illustrations created by Wasi'ah Naila Rahmah and Adien Gunarta. This year a designer from Poland, Katarzyna Ostrowska is working on creating designs representing the spirit of Wikimania and the CEE region. You can already admire the logotypes. If you would like to learn (and see!) more, look out for the next CEE Catch up!
Wikimedia International Update Corner January 2024
By: Toni Ristovski (CEE Hub)

What will be going on in the international Wikimedia Space for the rest of the year? Let's have a look at the news and events that will close out a very active 2023!

full article...
News and updates
  • The CEE Hub has received an approval of the grant proposal for 2024. You can read more about this in the segment CEE Hub updates, where we specify which separate activities we will support during the 2024.
Upcoming meetings & conferences in 2024
Information and recordings of past meetings & conferences
CEE in the news
News from the CEE Region in other newsletters
By: Toni Ristovski

What do they write about us? A summary of the articles from This month in Education and This month in GLAM.

full article...
This month in Education
This month in GLAM
Reader’s digest
Important topics from the Diff Blog
By: Toni Ristovski (CEE Hub)

What's going on around the globe? Check out those Diff articles to stay in the loop!

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The Wikimedia Foundation updated its Country and Territory Protection List Policy, restricting data publication for privacy reasons. The policy balances transparency and privacy by using differential privacy techniques to quantify and limit privacy risks associated with data releases. The update aims to enhance information sharing while maintaining a secure online environment for the Wikimedia community.

> Read more about this on the blog post.

This is the second financial report for Wikimedia Enterprise. The first, published in February 2023, covered the calendar year 2022 which was the first year of operations for the project.

For the fiscal year 2022-23, both monthly revenue and average monthly expenses increased slightly compared to the previous report. The increase in revenue was due to an increased customer base, notably Yep.com, while the increase in expenses was mainly related to expanding the team.

> Read more about this on the blog post.

Creating an aesthetically pleasing wiki poses challenges, but the WMAU skin for MediaWiki claims to have addressed this issue. While appearing distinct from traditional wikis, it utilizes the same technology as other Wikimedia projects. The WMAU skin incorporates features like a blog section, an events calendar, and the ability to display recent blogs and events on the front page. Users can easily insert images from Wikimedia Commons, and templates offer additional customization options. For a more detailed explanation, a YouTube video by Sam Wilson and the author is recommended.

> Read more about this on the blog post.

Today, the Wikimedia community celebrates a milestone for free knowledge as the first ‘Mickey Mouse’ films from 1928 have entered the Public Domain – along with many other creative works from around the world.

> Read more about this on the blog post.

The 2024 Wikimania Core Organizing Team is delighted to announce that Wikimania will be taking place from the 7th to the 10th of August 2024, at the International Congress Centre (ICC) in Katowice, Poland.

> Read more about this on the blog post.
Open calls and consultations
Open calls and consultations
By: Toni Ristovski

Voice your opinion! These topics are open to discusssion.

full article...
Updates from communities
What was it like back then? Czech Wikipedia celebrates the anniversary of its founder Miroslav Malovec
By: Hynek Kaplan

On December 9, 2023, a meeting of the founders of the Czech Wikipedia was held at the Scout Institute in Prague on the occasion of the anniversary of its founder Miroslav Malovec.

The event was attended by Esperantists, Wikipedians, commemorators and representatives of Wikimedia CZ. In addition to the jubilarian, Chuck Smith, a distinguished guest, and Marek Blahuš, the organizer of the event, gave a talk about beginnings of Czech Wikipidia. Marek Blahuš presented his publication How Czech Wikipedia Was Born (Czech only).
Ukrainian Wikipedia in 2023
By: Perohanych

The year 2023, hopefully the most difficult for modern Ukraine, is over. Given the hybrid nature of modern warfare, and Wikipedia being one of the fronts of the information war, editors of the Ukrainian Wikipedia continued to contribute to it despite power outages, air raids, and the mobilization of many of the active editors to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

full article...
Editors and editing

In 2023, 3,419 thousand edits were made on Ukrainian Wikipedia, which is 249 thousand less than in 2022 (-7%). In 2023, there were an average of 9,367 edits per day, 390 per hour, or 1 edit every 9.2 seconds.

The monthly average number of registered editors who made at least one edit is close to 3,500.

At the end of the year, 51 editors had administrator status. Their tasks include monitoring the positive atmosphere in the project, preventing and blocking vandals and ethics violators, removing articles that are not notable for encyclopedia, and hiding offensive language in discussions.

Patrollers (there are 567 of them in the Ukrainian Wikipedia, they mark individual edits and entire articles as verified) made 155 thousand patrol actions during the year, which is 4% more than in the previous year.

Size

In 2023, 84,431 new articles were started compared to 88,809 in 2022 (-5%). On average, 231 articles were created daily. The total number of articles at the end of the year exceeded 1.3 million.

By the number of articles, Ukrainian Wikipedia ranks 14th in the world among all language versions of Wikipedia.

Popularity

In 2023, the Ukrainian Wikipedia had 1188 million page views compared to 1060 million in 2022 (+12%, see the graph at the beginning of the article). The absolute annual growth is 128 million views. In seven years, the popularity of Ukrainian Wikipedia has increased by 124%, i.e. more than doubled!

Visits to articles on Ukrainian Wikipedia decrease in summer and increase during school and university exams. The peaks of views were recorded in March (116 million) and May (114 million).

83 million or 80% of the total number of views of Ukrainian Wikipedia were made in December from the territory of Ukraine.

In December 2023, the number of unique devices used to view the Ukrainian Wikipedia amounted to 16.5 million, which is 6% more than in December 2022.

You can read more about the Ukrainian Wikipedia indicators in the January issue of WikiHerald.

In the Ukrainian Wikipedia, or, to be more precise, the Ukrainian language version of the universal free encyclopedia Wikipedia, the greatest demand is for content related to Ukrainian geography, history, culture and art, architecture, museums, military, politics... According to an analysis of the list of the 2000 most popular articles of the past year, 80 of the 150 most popular articles relate to Ukraine, that is more than half.

Wikipedia is a field of information warfare, one of the important fronts of hybrid warfare. Therefore, we need a kind of mobilization of Ukrainian patriots into a community of volunteer editors of Wikipedia. Otherwise, to paraphrase Ivan Franko, "Pharisees who use international ideals to hide their struggle for the domination of one nation over another, or sick fantasists who use broad "universal" phrases to hide their spiritual alienation from their native nation", will win the war and promote narratives hostile to Ukrainians.

Yuri Perohanych, has been a Wikipedia editor since 2006, initiator and co-founder of the Wikimedia Ukraine.

The final results of the Wiki Loves Earth 2023 — CEE community
By: Olesia Lukaniuk

On the 6th of December, the international organizing team of the largest photo contest devoted to natural heritage, Wiki Loves Earth, announced the final winners of the 2023 edition!

Last year, the contest was held for the 10th time, lasting from May 1st to August 31st, and involved a record number of participating countries — 50.

full article...

Many countries that started WLE last or a few years ago continued organizing the contest in 2023. And 11 of them joined the contest for the first time this year.

Among them, 10 countries represented the CEE region in 2023:


Overall, WLE received more than 61,700 submissions from over 3,300 uploaders. 42 countries submitted their local winners and moved to the international level (with 492 local winning images).

As usual, each country has chosen up to 15 local winners in two categories — not more than ten from each of the two categories:

  • Landscapes (including individual trees if it's a nature monument);
  • Macro/close-up (animals, plants, fungi).


The international jury team, which consisted of 13 experienced photographers, experts, and Wikimedians from all around the world, worked on selecting the top 20 international winners.


In the final, the two images from Ukraine, which represent the CEE region, took the 1st winning place in the macro category and the 9th winning place in the landscapes category. Also, the two images from Turkey took the 3rd and 7th winning places in the landscapes category.

Check the full list of the winners in the blog post.


In addition, WLE 2023 had a special nomination “Human Rights and Environment” aiming at raising awareness of nature protection and human impacts on nature. Starting from the last year, participants worldwide could participate in this nomination, and 8,500+ images were received in the end.


The team of 6 jurors helped to choose the best top 10 images, which are announced here.


An image from Serbia took 3rd place in the nomination, and two images from Ukraine took 2nd and 4th places.


If you want to know more about the winners of WLE 2023 and the contest overall, wait for the full jury report, which will be available on Wikimedia Commons soon.

You can also follow the project on social media to keep up with updates (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

Wikimedia Czech Republic at the Archives, Libraries, Museums in the Digital World 2023 conference
By: Hynek Kaplan

Klára Joklová, the executive Director of Wikimedia Czech Republic, spoke at the conference Archives, Libraries, Museums in the Digital World 2023 on the topic of Wikimedia.

Klára presented the current active cooperation of Wikimedia Czech Republic with cultural and educational institutions to make their data available under a free license in Wikimedia projects. Using several successful examples from the international GLAM project, she then showed further possibilities of cooperation and what the wiki world can offer institutions in their journey towards a common goal. The presentation is available on Wikimedia Commons under a CC BY 4.0 license.
Celebrating 20 years of Georgian Wikipedia!
By: Mehman (WMGE), MIKHEIL (WMGE), Jaba1977 (WMGE)

Georgian Wikipedia was launched 20 years ago, at the end of 2003. On December 24, 2023, the Wikimedia UG Georgia, together with editors and volunteers of Georgian Wikipedia, celebrated the 20th birthday of Georgian Wikipedia with a traditional anniversary cake and a pleasant atmosphere.

The traditional year's summary conference was also held on the same day. The organization's staff presented the report of the activities carried out throughout the year to those present and introduced the plan for the next year.

full article...

Georgian Wikipedia was launched 20 years ago, at the end of 2003. However, the first article in Georgian Wikipedia was created on February 25, 2004, and it was about Eduard Shevardnadze, who at that time was removed from the post of President of Georgia. This is how the long way of Georgian Wikipedia began, which led to today.

By the end of 2005, Georgian Wikipedia already has 4,000 articles. Wikipedia slowly began to develop and establish a place among other languages Wikipedias. The peak of 10 thousand articles reached on August 11, 2006.

In the beginning, adding articles to Wikipedia without sources was chaotic, and the experienced editors were focused on quantity rather than quality. However, after the source was made mandatory, the source was indicated for all articles. At the same time, work continued to increase the number of articles.

On October 13, 2015, the number of articles in Georgian Wikipedia exceeded 100,000. Currently, the number of articles is more than 170,000, and with this number, it ranks 58th among the 326 different languages Wikipedias in the world. Editors of Georgian Wikipedia are currently focused on the quality of articles, and many domestic and international contests are held for this purpose. During the contests, criteria were established to encourage the submission of perfect articles or the expansion and editing of already existing articles.

Wikimedia UG Georgia, which was created in 2015, makes the greatest contribution to the development of Georgian Wikipedia.

Since then, the organization has held many events to develop the Georgian Wikipedia. Among them are article contests, edit-a-thons, marathons, WikiCamps, and Wikipedia workshops for interested communities. WikiClubs were opened at schools in different regions of Georgia, where interested people learn how to contribute to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.

On December 24, 2023, the Wikimedia UG Georgia, together with editors and volunteers of Georgian Wikipedia, celebrated the 20th birthday of Georgian Wikipedia with a traditional anniversary cake and a pleasant atmosphere. The traditional year's summary conference was also held on the same day. The organization's staff presented the report of the activities carried out throughout the year to those present and introduced the plan for the next year.

Our many years of experience show that article contests, workshops, WikiCamps, and WikiClubs are strategically important in developing Georgian Wikipedia. This way, we recruit more and more volunteers to Wikimedia projects every year. At the same time, Wikimedia UG Georgia continues to work on other innovative projects for the Georgian Community, which we will try to implement in the coming years.

We wish Georgian Wikipedia and its editors more articles and volunteers in the project and successful development in the future!

Offline Community Meetup - the Best Way of Engaging Community Members
By: Mari Avetisyan

On December 7-10 2023, Wikimedia Armenia organized an offline community meetup with 30 participants. The purpose was to summarize the activities of the passing year and to receive new suggestions and ideas through brainstorming and discussion for the next year.

full article...

During 2023, Wikimedia Armenia organized several online meetups which were aimed at presenting the current activities of Wikimedia Armenia, as well as discussing possible suggestions and new ideas with the community. However, the online format has its limitations. Instead, the offline format of community meetups provides an opportunity for face-to-face interactions, allowing community members to build stronger personal connections. Moreover, participants can work together on projects, share ideas on a or engage in hands-on training sessions more effectively than in an online environment. Most importantly, in-person meetups allow for focused and in-depth discussions and practical workshop and training sessions.

Always taking the above-mentioned advantages of an offline community meetup into account, Wikimedia Armenia organized an offline community meetup on December 7-10. Being at the end of the year, the meetup aimed at summarizing the works that Wikimedia Armenia has been doing during 2023. Meanwhile, it was also a good opportunity to receive feedback for the previous activities, as well as suggestions about the projects and initiatives for the next year. There were 30 offline and 8 online participants to the meetup. Wikimedia Armenia prepared an engaging agenda for the two days of the meetup ranging from presentation of the CEE Meeting 2023 outcomes to brainstorming on new ideas.

The president of the organization shared the developments within the Armenian wiki community, what was done during the whole year, which projects were especially successful, what are the challenges that Wikimedia Armenia is facing and how the community can help with that and so on. There was also a special session for new tools and most common mistakes during translations.

Two sessions were dedicated to the CEE region, the latest news and the meeting with the CEE Hub Coordinator Barbara Klen. The president talked about the CEE Meeting 2023 which was held in Tbilisi presenting the outcomes, the new ideas and decisions on collaborations that were reached there. Considering the fact that half of the participants were young individuals, a special discussion and presentation was prepared on the CEE Youth Group, how it came about, what was the purpose of the group, its recent meeting in Prague, the set goals and the ways of joining the group. The meeting with Barbara Klen was organized using the office hours provided by the CEE Hub without a set agenda which allows Wikimedia community members to get to know about the CEE news and raise questions and express opinions.

The last two sessions of the meetup were designated for brainstorming. The participants formed five groups, questions were prepared for everyone and each group’s task was to brainstorm and present their ideas on each question. The questions were about the methods of increasing community engagement, especially targeting new members, collaborations ideas, etc. All five groups had very interesting ideas which will be considered for the next year’s plan.

During the whole meetup, community members also had the opportunity to raise questions about the topics of their interest and receive answers from Wikimedia Armenia. Overall, the meetup had its anticipated outcome and once again proved to be the most efficient method of actively engaging community members.

October - December 2023
By: Ivana Madžarević

Wikimedia Serbia celebrated 18 years in December 2023, when it organized the thirtieth General Assembly. Two new members of the Board were voted in, and Miroslav Loci was re-appointed as president. As part of the Education Program, cooperation was established with Wikimedia Mexico, and joint edit-a-thon on education was organized.

In addition, two new collaborations were established and five accredited seminars were held. GLAM brought the completion of two Wikipedian in residence programs, as well as the campaign Wiki Loves Living Heritage. As part of Diversity Program, the focus was placed on content about women, which is why a Wikipedia competition on the topic of notable women was organized, as well as the #SheSaid campaign. Also, Nikolina Šepić won the first prize in the competition Wikipedia Pages Wanting Photos at the global level with 5051 edit.

full article...

Education Program

  • Wikimedia Serbia in cooperation with Wikimedia Mexico and the National Autonomous University of Mexico held an edit-a-thon about education. This edit-a-thon is important example of the global networking in the Wikimedia movement because it was initiated with the idea of bringing together two cultures in a field that connects us all. The #WikiUNAM edit-a-thon has been organized every year since 2020 and this is its fourth edition.
  • New collaborations were established within the Education Program. The first cooperation was achieved with the Faculty of Chemistry in Belgrade. It involved a Wikipedia editing workshop on the Biotechnology in the Environment subject. The whole project is supported by the Science Fund. The second cooperation was made with "Vuk Karadžić" Primary School in Lebane. For the first time, the students of this school had the opportunity to participate in a Wikipedia editing workshop.
  • Five accredited seminars for teachers were held. Three of them were realized in Vranje, in "Branko Radičević", "Radoje Domanović" and "Vuk Karadžić" elementary schools, one in the Medical School in Čačak and the last one in the "Bora Radić" elementary school in Bavanište.
  • A meeting with Wiki ambassadors was held during which upcoming activities, plans and delegation of responsibilities in the first semester of the current school year were discussed.
  • The promotion of the Wikidata about old Serbian novels project and Wikidata workshop (input, visualization and analysis) was organized by the Society for Language Resources and Technologies JeRTeh and Wikimedia Serbia at the Faculty of Mining and Geology in Belgrade.

GLAM Program

  • Regarding the global campaign Wiki Loves Living Heritage, a thematic activity of writing articles was held on Serbian Wikipedia. During this activity, 9 editors wrote 99 new articles, and the most diligent editors of the campaign, Gzanag, Nikolina Šepić and Sadko, were awarded with vouchers for books.
  • The three-month long Wikipedian in residence project at the National Museum of Kraljevo has come to an end. During this project, 87 new articles were written, 73 articles were improved, and 43 were illustrated. A total of 519 files containing numerous documents, historical photos, photos of exhibitions and current events of the Kraljevo were uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons.
  • The Wikipedian in residence project at the Association of Fine Artists of Serbia was also realised for three months. As many as 338 new articles were written during this project, making it the WiR project with by far the most written articles. A total of 189 catalogs of the Association with over 2,500 pages of digitized content have been uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons.

Diversity Program

  • The results of the Wikipedia Pages Wanting Photos competition at the global level have been published. Serbian Wikipedia community achieved great results: 7 editors improved 6151 page with multimedia content, winning the first place. Nikolina Šepić won the first prize in the competition at the global level with 5051 edit.
  • The competition on Wikipedia in writing articles on the topic of song selection has also ended, and during the contest, 132 articles were written and improved.
  • The fourth edit-a-thon was organized on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which lasted from December 3 to 10. During this event, 4 editors wrote 14 new articles.
  • Wikimedia Serbia supported the initiative of Wikipedia editors to organize a competition on notable women, which was organized from November 5 to December 5. During this period, eight editors participated in the competition and 159 new articles were written and 55 articles were improved. In addition, six editors participated in the review part of the competition and wrote 38 new articles.
  • Wikimedia Serbia joined the global #SheSaid campaign for the third time, which lasted from November 20 to December 20 on Wikiquote. During the campaign, 6 editors created or improved 89 pages, and added as many as 780 citations.

Organizational

  • Wikimedia Serbia celebrated 18 years of work. The event was organized in the premises of the organization, and was attended by volunteers and collaborators. Within the agenda, the best projects were announced in the following categories: best project, best photo project and best newcomer project.
  • In addition to the strategy, a strategic plan for the next three years was developed and adopted in this period. The strategic plan follows the strategy that will be implemented from the beginning of 2024.
  • In December, the thirtieth General Assembly was held, during which decisions were adopted regarding the change of membership status, the extension of mandates for two members of the Board, the decision regarding two new members of the Board, as well as the appointment of Miroslav Loti as the President of chapter for a new two-year term. On our website official notes are available, reduced in accordance with the Rulebook on Personal Data Protection.
Wikipedia Day Editathon in Tirana, 2024
By: Vyolltsa

On the Wikipedia Day Editathon, we gathered on January 13th, to celebrate knowledge and community engagement. Wikimedians of Albanian Language User Group had a fantastic meeting, engaging 10 people to contribute to improving articles, discussing free knowledge, and increasing the quality of information available on Wikipedia.

full article...

The editathon also provided the opportunity for networking and collaboration within our community. By sharing ideas, we aim to improve articles and strengthen our connections as a collective force for positive change.

People improved 14 articles and added 4 pictures on Wikimedia Commons.

Here are some pictures from the event.

Social media

  • We have a public Telegram channel (language used mostly Albanian) if you want to join and discuss Wikimedia projects.

If you want to see more about our activities, you canː

Wiki Loves EuroPride in Albania 2023
By: Vyolltsa

In celebrating the diversity and sharing information knowledge of Wiki Loves EuroPride in Albania, Wikimedians of Albanian Language User Group organized an event about the LGBT community with the support of the Pro LGBT organization in Tirana, Albania.

full article...

In the span of 4 hours, the event focused on the translation and improvement of articles regarding the LGBTQ+ community in Albania by bringing together a passionate group of activists and volunteers. In the event, we tried to create a comprehensive representation of the LGBTQ+ community on Wikipedia. Activists played an important role in sharing their insights to enrich the content with their narratives.

The collaboration with the Pro LGBT Tirana organization added a crucial dimension as it brought insightful ideas and resources discussing the importance of the purpose in contributing to Wikimedia projects.

At the event, some participants were new to Wikipedia, and they learned editing skills and practices for creating LGBTQ+-related content. At the peak of the event, we discussed the terminology of LGBTQ+, showing our commitment to translating terms in order to make the content relatable to the audience in Albanian language.

With the support of the Pro LGBT organization, we are meeting several times with the community in December to increase and improve the articles for positive change, education, and inclusion.

For now, we are sharing some statistics of articles from the first event. More articles are on the way.

  • Participants: 7
  • Wikipedia: Articles created 14 and articles edited 29
  • Wikidata: 52 total revisions

Here are some pictures from the editathon:

Social media

  • We have a public Telegram channel (language used mostly Albanian) if you want to join and discuss Wikimedia projects.

If you want to see more about our activities, you canː

My experiences from CEE Youth Group Meeting in Prague
By: Nikos Likomitros

CEE Youth Group is a pioneering initiative of the CEE Hub. It's target is to bring young people under 26 from the CEE region together, in order to consolidate, improve their capacity (in e.g., organising events, experience sharing, etc.). It began to operate in August, when our first meeting took place. In May 16th, CEE Catch up featured a talk with young people from CEE region (User:Kurmanbek, User:Մարի Ավետիսյան, User:Renvoy and User:Deni) which is regarded by me, but also from the community, as the forestep to the creation of the CEE Youth Group.

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In CEE Meeting 2023, the above four members, plus User:Janbery presented the CEE Youth Group, and the youth specific outreach programs in their countries. It was complemented with a brief introduction from me through video as I couldn't attend the meeting, due to some university obligations. The presentation was pretty successful, and in our hybrid meeting it was announced that CEE Youth Group will hold it's first physical meeting in Prague of Czechia (24-26 November 2023).

In the next weeks, CEE Hub informed us that we will be granted scholarships for the event and Barbara and Toni (CEE Hub staff) together with Klara, Lucie and Jan contributed in the organisation of the event with their own way. In November 10 we conducted our online meeting to introduce our many new members into the group and plan the last things for Prague meeting. 15 young people from 8 countries were present.

We arrived in 24 November in Prague. The rest of the participants played a game, where they had to find the location of the restaurant in groups while filling the missing information using the app Actionbound. Then, they had a very good time in the restaurant. I couldn't attend the game as my flight came late in Vienna, and reached Prague by 11 pm. I reached the hostel in almost midnight, where Jan welcomed me.

We woke up in Saturday morning, in 8 am. There, I met all the rest of the participants. We departed in 9 am for the Wikimedia CZ headquarters for our meeting. There, we sat in the chairs, and began the meeting with CEE Hub staff and people introducing us on the plans for 2024. Then, we played the game Icebreaker, where if we responded positively to the question our partner asked us, we were eliminated. Then, we discussed our plans for 2024, and Toni with Barbara showed us the slides with the key targets for 2024 such as Wikimania involvemenet, joint article in Diff, meetings in person and online, Youth Camp (a plan for 2025). Then, we had to chose to attend for working groups: Lucie (internships for youth editors), Toni (editathons and partnerships), Barbara and Klára (future of CEE Youth Group and planning for 2024). I chose the latter one, which was by the way the most successful, but all featured very interesting discussions. We discussed the idea of Youth Wikimedian of the Year, work with schools in our countries, joint work, outreach in universities, use of social media to promote the group and others. I also brang the idea of incorporating youth from various social minorities as well. Everyone gave very interesting insights.

Then, we had a vote on which of the ideas discussed should be among the 2024 targets and how realistic are they. After that, we had a break for lunch, while we had also abundant socialising inbetween. Then, Jan interviewed each one of us on what we have done in Wikimedia, our work, advices for communities who want to create a Hub and an introduction in our native language.

The next part was Wikimania. What we would like to see, what are our thoughts for this, ideas to improve Wikimania 2024, which takes place in Katowice, Poland. This was a very interesting part of the discussion. Then, we were split in 5 groups of three and discussed ideas that could be incorporated as a part of the CEE slot in Wikimania (4 to 6 pm), where among others we came with the ideas of brainstorming for the movement's future and a tour of the city (in my own group). It was a very interesting sessions with good insights from all. Then, we discussed which communications channels we should have (we chose to make an Instagram page) to promote us in the youth of CEE countries. Also, we discussed in groups of 2, not only the above issue, but also the roles of each one in the group and which should be the the timeframe of our meetings. Then, we made a wrap-up of what we did this day. But, fortunately, the organisers had a great and positive surprise for us: Edwin from Peru, which happened to be in Prague this day, came and spoke to us about his work in Quechua Wikipedia and the indigenous languages of Peru, as well the challenges that he, Quechua Wikipedia and indigenous Wikimedian communities in the country face. It was a great gift. Then, we went to the restaurant, and after the dinner, we went for sightseeing in groups, visiting a lot of monuments. In the next day we had breakfast, and a more comprehensive sightseeing of the city, including the Castle, Charles bridge and many other places in Prague. Then, we bidded a warm farewell to each of us, and promised to meet again.

Everyone had a great time. It was a great meeting, which showed that youth has pioneering ideas that can improve Wikimedia movement in all aspects. I made many new friends there, and my first international Wikimedia meeting was a great, unforgettable experience. It is also a precedent, for greater youth cooperation between the communities, that will in the end increase youth participation in Wikimedia. We plan to make a physical meeting in 2024 too apart from conference meetings like Wikimania and CEE Meeting. Thank you Barbara, Toni, Klára, Lucie for the organising work, and also, thank you Jan, for being our guides in Prague and for your contribution in organising!

Here are some pictures from the meeting:

Social media: CEE Youth Group telegram chat, if you want to be in touch with CEE Youth Group and participate in its programs. There is an CEE Youth Group Instagram page where you can follow our work. We are also going to include videos and interviews with members as well showcasing their work and promoting Wikimedia among young people in many CEE languages in the future.

Celebrating Wikidata’s Birthday in Elbasan, Albania
By: Vyolltsa, Wikimedians of Albanian Language User Group

Wikimedians of Albanian Language User Group organized a 2-day workshop about Wikidata project in Elbasan, Albania. With the collaboration of the Linguistic Department at the Aleksandër Xhuvani University and the support of the Switch Technologies Start-up, 24 participants gathered to explore and celebrate Wikidata’s 11th birthday.

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The Linguistic Department provided expertise in language, lexemes, and authors aligning with Wikidata’s goal of creating a multilingual knowledge database. At the workshop, we intended to empower people with the knowledge and skills to contribute to Wikidata’s repository of structured data.

Over the course of these days, we tried to highlight some points:

Wikidata fundamentals

We went over the overview of Wikidata’s principles, ensuring that all the participants had a general glimpse to build upon. Training on queries and lexeme: Participants were guided through practical exercises, creating and editing Wikidata items, and ran queries. They learned how to add references, labels, descriptions, add lexemes and more.

Collaborative editing

Everyone in the workshop engaged in the editing sessions, working together to improve the existing items and lexeme, create new ones. Participants worked on different topics. For example, students from the department of Linguistics, worked on linguists, academics on Wikidata.

Networking and knowledge exchange

This workshop was a fantastic opportunity for people to connect with other Wikidata enthusiasts, share their experience and networks.

Statistics from this successful workshop are as below:

  • 24 participants
  • 771 contributions
  • 21 items were created
  • 214 items were edited
  • 11 lexemes were created
  • 39 uploads on Commons

Here are some pictures from the event:

Pocket-sized North-West Wiki-Histories
By: Lvova Anastasiya

The group can not receive grants for its activity but participants regularly visit different locations with local history studies.

The NWHist usergroup recently celebrated 4 years since the founding. During it we made a walk to the house of Abamelek-Lazarev to illustrate interiors and took detailed illustration of some buildings from the list of cultural heritage sites about which there are no articles yet.

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Fourth celebration of the user group North-West Russia Wiki-Historians

A trip was undertaken to photograph the cultural heritage of Ivangorod in more detail; based on it, the lists of the city’s cultural heritage were significantly improved. It looks like we were lucky to find an original wall decorations in the crumbling Stieglitz estate.

With the help of a usergroup guest, user Darafsh, representatives of the user group photographed the interiors of the prayer hall of the Cathedral St. Petersburg Mosque. The lunch part of wikimeetup was held in the cultural heritage building. During the visit, many buildings and interior details were photographed, which the usergroup members helped to categorize. Also all exhibits of the Sassanid silver collection from the Hermitage collection were photographed and sorted on Wikimedia Commons. This work became possible thanks to a meeting of participants in Tbilisi at the WMCEE Conference.

Ruins in the crumbling Stieglitz estate in Ivangorod

We did small meetups in Moscow, in the General Treasury building of Saint-Petersburg (than was also affected some heritage nearby, like the Revenue house of the Commercial School), visited Dushanbe and held our 4th traditional gathering.

The latest, but not the last our tale is related to Wiki Loves Monuments: the group has its own nomination in Russian part of WikiLovesMonuments, Estates of the North-West. 4 of 10 best photos of the local contest are already from our region (also 2 of 8 photos of Cultural heritage under threat, so our work of writing articles about architectural monuments and photographing them is urgently relevant). The members of usergroup chose the image of the Neklyudov estate (Valuyev estate) in the Pskov region (the author is Ted.ns, CC-BY-SA-4.0) as a winner; this is not a too famous object, it is also under threat, has a good composition and well corresponds to the essence of our nomination.

And that's how the tale concludes for today and kudos to those who listened.

GLAM Macedonia and Shared Knowledge together found Wikimedia MKD

2023 proved to be very successful for the Macedonian Wiki-community and its, at that time, two organizations. The end of the year, besides the holidays and the magic that the holidays bring in, the Macedonian Wiki-community had one more reason for joy and celebration - formation of the unified organization.

Within the territory of Macedonia until the end of 2023 two organizations were operating: GLAM Macedonia and Shared Knowledge. However, both organizations came up with a mutual agreement in 2023 to merge into one organization that will be the sole unifying cap for all Wikimedians in Macedonia - Wikimedia MKD.

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2023 proved to be very successful for the Macedonian Wiki-community and its, at that time, two organizations. The end of the year, besides the holidays and the magic that the holidays bring in, the Macedonian Wiki-community had one more reason for joy and celebration - formation of the unified organization. Within the territory of Macedonia until the end of 2023 two organizations were operating: GLAM Macedonia and Shared Knowledge. However, both organizations came up with a mutual agreement in 2023 to merge into one organization that will be the sole unifying cap for all Wikimedians in Macedonia - Wikimedia MKD.

The beginning of 2024 proved to be quite busy for Wikimedia MKD. The year started with activities regarding consolidating projects and programmes, combining different energies and activities and focusing them toward cooperation as a single functioning team. Moreover, the rebranding of the social network sites occurred as well. Social media pages were launched under the new name, the webpages were also rebranded and a new structural organization was established. At the same time, Wikimedia MKD is in process of legal formalization of the merging process within the Macedonian legal framework.  

Even though the organization's main focus in this period is the merging process, the activities and programmes' execution were of utmost importance. Therefore, editing days and editing weekends continued to be implemented with quite good success. In addition to that, Wikipedia's birthday celebration was also organized. The birthday event took place on 15 January 2024 in Skopje, where the Macedonian Wiki-community celebrated the birthday with a delicious Wiki-cake.

Wikimedia MKD's main goal in 2024 is to continue and improve even more the success of both previous organizations as a single user group that represents the Macedonian community. Now united and with a bigger volunteers' community, Wikimedia MKD is ready for bigger challenges and accomplishments.

From Dushanbe to Everywhere: Tajik Wikimedia on the Rise
By: Darafsh (talk)

In Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe, something special happened on December 20, 2023. During the event organised by Tajik Wikimedians User Group, people who love Tajik Wikipedia got together for the first time in Tajikistan. ¨

They have exciting ideas for the future, like monthly workshops and events for new people. They also teamed up with the Tajik National Encyclopedia to share information. The story includes a radio talk and a visit to a school to tell kids about Wikipedia. It's all about strengthening Tajik Wikipedia and helping more people know about it.

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The main conference

The meeting happened on December 20, 2023, at Tajik National University. The aim was to tell more people about Wikipedia and encourage its use in schools and cultural places. The Tajik Wikimedians User Group members discussed how Wikipedia can help Tajikistan with education and culture. It's a big step for Tajikistan to be more connected with Wikipedia.

Mohammad Heidarzadeh discussed why and how Tajik people edit and improve Wikipedia. Mohsen Salek, discussed what should be on Tajik Wikipedia. Anastasia Lvova talked about the challenges for women on Wikipedia, and Dustmurod Said talked about the problems Tajik Wikipedia has and how to fix them.

After the meeting, Tajik Wikimedians have exciting plans. They want monthly online meetings to help people learn more about Wikipedia. They're also planning events to teach new people how to use Wikipedia and even workshops to train people to be good teachers of Wikipedia. It's all about making Tajik Wikipedia stronger and getting more people involved.

Sequel Events

Collaboration with Tajik National Encyclopedia

The Tajik Wikimedians also met to work together with the Tajik National Encyclopedia. They agreed that the encyclopedia would share some of its information with Wikipedia. They also planned workshops to teach Wikipedia editors how to write better articles.

National Radio Appearance

Two Tajik Wikimedians user group members, Mohammad Heidarzadeh and Mohsen Salek, went on Tajikistan's National Radio on December 21, 2023. They discussed why Wikipedia is important for Tajik people and shared information about Wiki Loves Monuments.

School Visit in Hisar

Some members of the Tajik Wikimedians visited a school in the city of Hisar to tell young students about Wikipedia. Anastasia Lvova spoke with the students, asking them questions and encouraging them to be curious about learning through Wikipedia.

Impact and Awareness

These efforts aim to improve Tajik Wikipedia and help more people know about it. The Wikimedians want to inspire young students to explore and learn through platforms like Wikipedia.

In short, the events in Tajikistan were a big step for Tajik Wikipedia, bringing people together to make it stronger and more accessible for everyone.

After completing these activities together, we continued our efforts by convening an online meeting to strategize and outline our plans for the year 2024.

Wikimedia Hackathon 2024 takes place in Tallinn
By: Pille Priks, Wikimedia Estonia

The 2024 Wikimedia Hackathon will take place from May 3rd – 5th, 2024 in Tallinn, Estonia.

Wikimedia Hackathon is an annual event focused on collaboration and innovation that brings together the global Wikimedia technology community. Wikimedia’s contributors gather from all over the world with one common mission: to develop and improve the software that enables Wikimedia projects to function. It is a spectacular IT event where joint programming and brainstorming take place to find revolutionary ideas. New connections between people are created and new cooperation patterns are found.

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Hackathon takes place in Hilton Tallinn Park Hotel

People who have experience with IT contributions to Wikimedia projects, who feel at home in technological ecosystems and are able to work independently on projects are expected to take part in the hackathon. All information and necessary details for registration can be found on the event's wiki page.

Wikimedia Hackathon has previously been organized in places like Zurich (2014), Lyon (2015), Jerusalem (2016), Vienna (2017), Barcelona (2018) and Prague (2019). The last hackathon took place in Athens, and in May 2024 it will be held in Tallinn for the first time.

Some facts about Tallinn: the capital of Estonia is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tallinn has the highest number of startup companies per person among all capitals and larger cities in Europe and is the birthplace of many international high-technology companies, including Skype and Wise. The city is home to the headquarters of the European Union's IT agency.

See you in Tallinn!

Report on Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2023
By: Marija Mihajlova

Marija Mihailova was part of the Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2023 for the first time as a representative of the Aromanian community. She wrote that:

This was my first time being part of the Wikimedia CEE Meeting and I had a great time there, because I met a lot of wonderful people, who helped me understand more about the meeting there, I learnt new things from various countries and I can’t wait to see all of the new goals from Wikimedia being realized and to be a part of the success.
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The Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2023 (#WMCEE) stands as a yearly gathering dedicated to fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange within the Wikimedia community. It revolves around Wikimedia projects, which encompass Wikipedia and related initiatives, and primarily focuses on the Central and Eastern European regions, with recent expansions into Central Asia. This event showcases informative sessions on various aspects of Wikimedia projects, other wikis, free/open source software, free knowledge, free content, as well as the social and technical facets of these subjects.

The meeting of 2023 took place in the vibrant city of Tbilisi, Georgia, from September 15th to 17th and was organized by Wikimedia UG Georgia in close collaboration with the Wikimedia CEE Hub and Wikimedia Foundation (WMF).

The CEE Hub is governed by the Steering Committee that mainly consists of the members of the CEE Hub Group from countries like Ukraine, Hungary, Turkey, Serbia, North Macedonia, Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Malta and Poland.

Over those 3 days, that we passed in Georgia, I can safely say that although we had a lot of fun, we also had the chance to learn more about other country’s cultures and traditions through various projects that were presented to us. One of the main things that happened on this meeting in Georgia is that the CEE Youth Group, which was formed in May 2023, established some goals like having the first in-person meeting which is scheduled to be held during 24th and 25th of November 2023 in Prague, Czech Republic.

In the closing session in Tbilisi, a new Steering Committee was found for the upcoming event called “Wikimania 2024” (the 19th Wikimedia conference) which is planned to happen in Kraków, Poland in 2024.

This was my first time being part of the Wikimedia CEE Meeting and I had a great time there, because I met a lot of wonderful people, who helped me understand more about the meeting there, I learnt new things from various countries and I can’t wait to see all of the new goals from Wikimedia being realized and to be a part of the success.

Fall Strategic Meeting in Slovakia
By: Jetam2

Wikimedians of Slovakia held a strategic meeting in November 2023 after a four-year hiatus. The meeting, attended by five members in person and one online, focused on strengthening personal relationships, discussing organisational plans, and setting strategic directions. Key points include discussions on future activities, a proposal to employ a coordinator, and members expressing their commitment to volunteering.

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After a four years’ break we were able to meet in person in November 2023. The goal of the meeting was to strengthen personal relationships, discuss plans and upcoming activities but also to talk about the strategic direction of our organization.

Five members took part on site and one online.

We discussed ideas for future activities (a request for work/activities with the public to know not only the basis of editing on Wikipedia but also an understanding of Wikimedia Slovakia). The first day finished with a common dinner.

During the second day we talked about personal capacities for joining the organization’s activities. All those present expressed their willingness to continue working as volunteers but also agreed to employ one person to coordinate most of the future activities and to communicate with existing and potential, domestic and international partners, with other affiliates and with the Wikimedia Foundation.

In the evening we exchanged experiences with editing on wiki projects. Wikidata received the most attention, some of the members edited it for the first time. We even learned the beginnings of bot editing.

Sunday morning was dedicated to the Asian Month preparations as well as to the upcoming campaign for income tax donations.

The planning of activities, directions and capacities will form the base of the upcoming AGM which will be held at the beginning of 2024.

We wish to thank the Wikimedia Foundation and the CEE Hub for their support.

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