Grants:Project/UG BG/Wikimedia CEE Spring 2017/Final

Welcome to this project's final report! This report shares the outcomes, impact and learnings from the grantee's project.

Part 1: The ProjectEdit


In a few short sentences, give the main highlights of what happened with your project. Please include a few key outcomes or learnings from your project in bullet points, for readers who may not make it all the way through your report.

  • CEE Spring 2017 was conducted between March 21st and May 31st - the main focus was on writing articles about the countries and regions of CEE, which took place in 29 languages, writing about 31 countries or regions.
  • Additionally to the main contest, we (and in this case especially User:Spiritia) created a side challenge for articles about notable women in the CEE region, that helped create additional 314 articles in mostly non-CEE-languages.
  • During the contest, every week was dedicated to 2-4 other countries/regions, which were highlighted on the CEE Spring blog each week. The blog posts were then also spread on social media, mostly Twitter and Facebook.

Project GoalsEdit

Please copy and paste the project goals from your proposal page. Under each goal, write at least three sentences about how you met that goal over the course of the project. Alternatively, if your goals changed, you may describe the change, list your new goals and explain how you met them, instead.



These goals have been set based on expectations based on quantitative data analysis from the international organising team and last year's results and used as a measure of success.

Measure Result
at least one article with 300 words on average per active editor (>5 edits per month) per participating country (ca. 10.000 in total) on average
  • articles with 300+ words: 6629
    • number of editors: 445
      • Average: 15 articles with 300+ words per editor

  • Total bytes added: 52,409,221
  • Total words added: 6,300,454
Total number of participants from CEE: 450 445 registered editors (98.89% of envisaged)
48 IP addresses

(Source: Masti)

Total number of participants worldwide: 550 484 = 445 CEE + 39 non-CEE (88% of envisaged)
Total number of female participants from CEE: 20% (90) 28 female editors (only data retrieved from user settings)
Total number of female participants worldwide: 20% (110) 28 female editors (only data retrieved from user settings) + 10 non-CEE female editors (manual count)
35% of all newly created and significantly edited biographies are about women

Based on MatiBot articles count:

  • 8497 total number of articles
    • 1782 biographies of women (21%)

Based on Wikidata statistics:

  • 8269 counted articles (article with WD items)
    • 3418 biographies (41.3% of all counted articles)
      • 1165 biographies of women (34,1% of all biographies)
      • 2253 biographies of men



These goals have been set based on qualitative estimations by the international organising team.

Measure Result
10% of the participants in all countries are new users 10.34%

46 newly registered editors (registered from January to May 2017)
out of 445 registered editors

(Source: MastiBot: Authors list and New editors)


  • Closing the content gender gap (correlates with the quantitative goal about biographies about women)
  • Further development of the regional partnership Wikimedia Central and Eastern Europe
    • The 2017 edition of CEE Spring saw four new additions to the international organisers team, broadening the knowledge of the international aspects of the contest
    • Compared to 2016, the number of involved communities stayed the same. We were able to welcome newcomers from Crimea and and Tatar, while missing some obvious communities like the Czech Republic or Slovenia, which ideally should be part of this contest next year. Next to that, one focus for 2018 will also be on minority languages within the CEE region, which might also need structural help in motivating volunteers to write articles (for example Sorbic)
    • This year also saw communities from outside the CEE region taking part in article translation for the first time, namely Farsi, Hebrew and Italian, which we would like to expand in the years to come.


  • Higher quality of the created and significantly edited articles.
  • At least 150 newly created and significantly edited articles about every participating country and region
  • At least 250 newly created and significantly edited articles about every topic


The two tables below are based on the count by User:Masti from pl:Wikipedysta:Masti/CEE Spring 2017, and manual check of the categories per countries/regions. Some data per languages are missing though.

WP Ranking Language code New articles Edited articles New + Edited
53 az 351 0 351
91 ba 410 1 411
46 be 311 2 313
75 be-tarask 280 29 309
33 bg 499 2 501
168 crh 26 1 27
4 de 74 8 82
48 el 248 4 252
32 eo 167 2 169
44 et 154 5 159
42 hr 32 0 32
23 hu 333 24 357
34 hy 1064 13 1077
58 ka 146 0 146
41 lt 87 1 88
67 lv 281 3 284
62 mk 98 3 101
181 myv 160 2 162
11 pl 638 128 766
27 ro 139 93 232
7 ru 438 4 442
71 sq 26 6 32
28 sr 583 97 680
30 tr 121 0 121
69 tt 12 0 12
16 uk 1191 199 1390
Total 26 languages 7869 627 8496

Source: pl:Wikipedysta:Masti/CEE Spring 2017/Article list

Total number of articles by date
Total number of articles by date - Cumulative Total
Number of contributions (new + edited articles) vs ranking of the CEE Wikipedia language version
Number of new articles vs. number of edited articles

Language TOTAL counted Summed* Albania Armenia Austria Azerbaidjan Bashkortostan Belarus Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Crimean Tatar (crh) Croatia Cyprus Czech Erzya (myv) Esperanto Estonia Greece Georgia Hungary Kazakhstan Kosovo Latvia Lithuania Macedonia Moldova Mordovia Montenegro Poland Republic Srpska Romania Russia Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Turkey Ukraine
az 353 351 34 23 15 0 15 5 18 6 2 13 0 0 3 11 10 16 9 19 14 9 6 16 1 3 0 9 17 6 15 10 23 1 17 5
ba 412 402 20 28 12 4 0 4 3 16 4 12 0 4 0 13 15 23 29 18 14 21 3 10 10 0 0 8 4 19 21 34 8 0 33 12
be 315 282 3 112 13 0 0 0 0 11 0 0 0 0 12 11 11 9 0 0 0 0 7 5 0 0 0 22 0 12 7 20 15 0 4 8
bg 501 541 8 11 8 9 8 12 0 0 10 10 0 8 6 11 121 14 13 0 7 13 9 10 8 0 1 22 7 30 102 15 10 2 42 14
crh 27 0
de 82 96 14 1 4 0 0 1 0 25 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 10 0 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 19 0 1 0 2 5 0 3 3
el 252 0
eo 169 0
hy 1089 0
hu 361 30 3 18 4 3 5 3 4 3 25 0 13 0 3 11 8 4 0 4 0 2 1 0 0 3 0 11 0 133 0 20 11 2 22 15
ka 146 125 15 0 9 25 0 3 0 1 0 4 0 0 0 0 9 0 0 3 0 6 2 0 0 1 0 0 7 5 0 3 0 2 0 27 3
lt 91 0
lv 284 301 20 8 9 13 5 10 1 7 4 11 0 1 5 3 23 9 10 12 3 4 0 16 6 6 0 0 11 7 7 29 10 20 0 7 24
mk 101 0
myv 163 0
pl 776 652 13 20 61 40 5 0 0 13 1 25 0 0 3 0 34 0 1 45 16 1 12 24 13 22 0 0 55 2 0 73 21 31 0 19 102
ro - Romania / Moldova 234 232 4 3 6 3 2 2 2 11 2 6 0 0 1 1 11 6 3 9 5 1 4 2 3 29 0 0 9 3 60 7 16 7 0 10 4
ru 443 447 19 7 10 0 0 5 20 24 14 10 0 0 5 0 44 13 9 40 40 0 6 7 38 0 0 0 11 65 14 0 14 14 0 15 3
sq 32 33 3 2 1 4 3 2 1 7 6 1 1 1 1
sr 680 0
tr 121 120 12 2 4 17 4 2 2 1 2 3 0 0 2 1 6 3 2 2 5 4 3 3 11 1 0 0 1 0 2 22 2 1 0 0 0
tt 12 0
uk 1393 1458 18 17 65 25 48 35 24 78 14 46 1 23 21 13 52 24 34 77 50 15 30 34 12 43 0 2 253 8 31 180 95 68 4 18 0
Language TOTAL counted Summed* Albania Armenia Austria Azerbaidjan Bashkortostan Belarus Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Crimean Tatar (crh) Croatia Cyprus Czech Erzya (myv) Esperanto Estonia Greece Georgia Hungary Kazakhstan Kosovo Latvia Lithuania Macedonia Moldova Mordovia Montenegro Poland Republic Srpska Romania Russia Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Turkey Ukraine


  • * "Summed" numbers per line may not always be equal to "Total", because of articles that were categorized in two countries/regions simultaneously, or which are missing categorization per country/region.
  • Numbers in red are for countries who wrote articles about themselves.

Unused metricsEdit

See Grants:Evaluation/Program_resources/Writing_competitions#Metrics Metrics from the Program resources.

We would compute these global metrics but will not define goals for them

  • % increase in contribution rate per participating user as compared to user's contribution rate outside the competition timeframe
  • # of participants editing X months after the event: 400
  • # of participants who are active editors (5 edits/month) X months after an event: 400

Project ImpactEdit

Important: The Wikimedia Foundation is no longer collecting Global Metrics for Project Grants. We are currently updating our pages to remove legacy references, but please ignore any that you encounter until we finish.


  1. In the first column of the table below, please copy and paste the measures you selected to help you evaluate your project's success (see the Project Impact section of your proposal). Please use one row for each measure. If you set a numeric target for the measure, please include the number.
  2. In the second column, describe your project's actual results. If you set a numeric target for the measure, please report numerically in this column. Otherwise, write a brief sentence summarizing your output or outcome for this measure.
  3. In the third column, you have the option to provide further explanation as needed. You may also add additional explanation below this table.
Planned measure of success
(include numeric target, if applicable)
Actual result Explanation


Looking back over your whole project, what did you achieve? Tell us the story of your achievements, your results, your outcomes. Focus on inspiring moments, tough challenges, interesting antecdotes or anything that highlights the outcomes of your project. Imagine that you are sharing with a friend about the achievements that matter most to you in your project.

  • This should not be a list of what you did. You will be asked to provide that later in the Methods and Activities section.
  • Consider your original goals as you write your project's story, but don't let them limit you. Your project may have important outcomes you weren't expecting. Please focus on the impact that you believe matters most.

Feedback from BulgariaEdit

The main challenge was to involve new editors in the process of creating new articles and expanding existing articles in Wikipedia. In Bulgaria, this was a variable success - although there were new editors involved, the number of new entrants/ new articles was smaller than previous year (-197 articles). On the other hand, almost all articles were of good quality and they didn't need much additional help. The mistake we made compared to last year was the dilatory prior announcement of the contest and the ineffective coverage in social networks and online newspapers, blogs and more - thus reflected in smaller number of reached people. It is desirable for the next year to have more local organizers to cover these preliminary tasks.

There was a lot of interest for the competition from older editors. Even people who did not jump into the competition helped with advices and help on talk pages, in adding templates, sources, etc. The competition was quite interesting for them. The new editors (without one) are writing in Wikipedia now, which is a positive event for us. Other positive point is that we had covered all the participating countries and topics.

There are ideas to expand the contest in the form of a quiz game of questions and answers, which also will include some form of writing/ expanding articles or another form. It can be done as one big contest or can be separated as small, short and interesting cross country collaboration without much effort or resources. The proposal is still under consideration - we will have a presentation about it in Warsaw together with User:Giku - please see Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2017/Detailed Programme.

In my opinion, the project is stable and positive, but it is desirable to think of a kind of diversification and how to make it more interesting for new editors. It will be good also to prepare early in advance a wide online coverage and advertising during the contest itself.--Vodnokon4e (talk) 00:04, 25 August 2017 (UTC)

Feedback from CroatiaEdit

Croatia has announced the CEE Spring contest on the local Wikipedia board and on Facebook page of Wikipedia Croatia. They have a similar project of writing articles which includes countries inside and outside CEE. CEE Spring encouraged Croatian Wikipedia to join "Wiki Loves Earth" and "Wiki Loves Monuments" for the first time this year. No prizes were given, since the winners didn't want to share their data and adresses as they wanted to stay anonymous.

As the local organizer Hrvoje wrote: "Croatia is looking forward for the next CEE Spring!"

Feedback submitted by Hrvoje in email correspondence.

Feedback from HungaryEdit

We had two main organizers (same as last year, but different editors), and they solved the task very well.

Some statistics compared with the last year (2016 vs 2017):

  • Number of articles in the competition: 212 vs 357
  • Number of new articles created in the competition: 204 vs 334
  • Number of improved articles in the competition: 8 vs 23
  • Number of votes (new articles - improved articles): 16-10 vs 16-15

Positive experience: participation significantly increased compared last year, quality of the articles was excellent.

Negative experience: Only one prize winner came to the prize giving ceremony. Many editors live far from the capital (countryside or even abroad), and some of them live in the capital but they don't want to show up personally. Therefore we sent out the prizes by post.

Difficulty: we asked the volunteer community to evaluate the new and improved articles, but we cannot expect from the editors that they will read and analyse several hundred articles. We have to find an other way next time.

We would like to highlight the Russian editor's work: They created 95 percent of our recommended articles. Amazing job!

Feedback submitted by Samat in email correspondence.

Feedback from LatviaEdit

The local CEE Spring organizer announced the competition via the local community mailing list, on the local Village Pump, on the local Wikipedia sitenotice bar and the local social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc). There were regular updates during the contest duration and the CEE Spring blog posts were re-shared via the social media.

While no specific outreach to new editors has been performed, there were new editors who joined the contest this year (where, "new editors" are considered those who have been on Wikipedia for less than 2 months before the start of CEE Spring. There was no official awarding ceremony for the winners, but prizes were given in person.

Some long term wikipedians joined the contest which they had ignored in last 2 years. Challenge to "collect all the flags" by writing articles about each country was a good motivator.

Feedback submitted by Papuass in email correspondence.

Feedback from MacedoniaEdit

The local CEE Spring organizers in Macedonia used the following communication channels to announce and advertise the CEE Spring contest: the local community mailing list, the local Wikipedia sitenotice bar (for whole period during the contest) and the mass message option that has proven more useful in the local context. Local social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc) were only used once, which was considered useful to change for the next year.

While there was specific outreach to new editors, though unsuccessfully, the core local community showed bigger interest in the contest this year, and more editors contributed this year with articles about a larger number of different countries.​

CEE Spring 2017 did not explicitly lead to a new collaboration with an external institution, but an idea was generated for the next year. The local community started the idea about the "Photographic collaborations" which they presented in the frames of the Wikimedia CEE Meeting in Warsaw.

Feedback submitted by Ehrlich91 in email correspondence.

Feedback from PolandEdit

While designing Polish contest rules we had 2 main goals in mind:

  • closing the content gender gap
  • having more Good and Featured articles about CEE related topics

So - in addition to a weekly prize for the person who created the most articles - we had prizes for the person who will create the most articles about women and for the person who will create the most Good and Featured articles. Those prizes were higher than the weekly prizes. This worked well:

  • 134 articles about CEE women were created or improved by the contest participants (36 of them by the prize winner)
  • 2 articles reached the Featured Article status and 14 became Good Articles

Additionaly 47 articles were shown in the "Did you know" column in Polish Wikipedia (which is treated as a kind of good quality mark in plwiki).

Another problem was that in all the previous editions of CEE Spring in Poland we noticed that during the last weeks of the contest the community interest was very much decreased and the results of those weeks were significally worse (for example in 2016 there were only 33 new articles created during the last week of the contest while 95 were created in the first week and 155 in the second week). We tried to address that by adding a special prize for very active users. This prize - some Wikipedia swag and a diploma - went to every user who created at least 10 articles in every 5 different contest weeks. This did not go as well as we wanted - only three users received the prizes (but we know that at least 2 of them intentionally increased their activity to win the prize) and we again saw the decrease of participation in the last week (16 new articles and 4 participants in the last week compared to 69 articles and 15 artricipants in the first week).

Overall 769 articles were created or improved (it is worth noting that 102 of them were the work of a single, very motivated editor, who was the winner of 4 weekly prizes). The result was worse than last year (912 new or improved articles) but slightly better than two years ago (741 new or improved articles). Magalia (talk) 20:26, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

Feedback from Romanian Wikipedia (Moldova and Romania)Edit

Information about the contest was announced on the local Village Pump, the local Wikipedia sitenotice bar and the local social media channels, where there were regular posts with updates about the contest, and the blog posts from the social media were shared.

There were extra efforts to recruit new editors of Romanian Wikipedia, but no newbies joined the contest this year. No visible increase in this year's recruitment and/or statistics could be be recorded.

There was no official awarding ceremony for the contest winners, but the prizes were delivered by an online store.

Feedback submitted by Gikü in email correspondence.

Feedback from SerbiaEdit

The CEE Spring was announced in a variety of communication channels: the local community mailing list, the local community blog, on the local Village Pump, on the local Wikipedia sitenotice bar, on local wikimedian social media channels and during face-to-face meetings. Some of the blog posts from the CEE Spring official blog were shared and translated.

This year, Serbia reports an increased number of participants (19, all of them being already active on Wikipedia), and an exceptional increase of articles, so far unmatched in previous competitions. In these dissemination efforts, the main focus was inviting the experienced editors, who were reached personally on their talkpages or via e-mail. Also, with the help of our wiki education ambassadors, information about the CEE Spring was spread in many university faculties.

The prizes were delivered to the winners by post, without any ceremony.

The statistics from the competition, as provided by the local organizers, are the following:

  • Number of participants: 19
  • Number of articles: 660
  • New articles: 592
  • Improved articles: 68
  • Number of bytes: 8063640

Communication channels:

Feedback submitted by Mickey Mystique in email correspondence.

Feedback from TurkeyEdit

The local organizers is Turkey announced the CEE Spring contest via the local community mailing list, on the local Village Pump and in face-to-face meetings. Apart of the announcement, there was regular update with new information about the contest on the Village Pump.

No explicit efforts to outreach to new editors, and the number of participants remained the same as last year. Due to the governmental ban on Turkish Wikipedia that started as of 29 April, soon after the middle of the CEE Spring period, the community was deprived from the opportunity to fully participate in the contest, and the community focus was shifted away from the contest.

Feedback submitted by Basak in email correspondence.

Feedback from UkraineEdit

In Ukrainian Wikipedia the CEE Spring contest was announced via the local community blog, on the local Village Pump, on the local Wikipedia sitenotice bar, the local social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc), and in face-to-face meetings. New information and updates about the contest were regularly posted and the CEE Spring blog posts were shared via the social media.

No specific outreach to new editors was made but there were newly registered editors who joined the contest this year. Currently, there are certain problems regarding the evaluation of the contributions, which hopefully can be resolved soon.

Feedback submitted by Ата in email correspondence.

Methods and activitiesEdit

Please provide a list of the main methods and activities through which you completed your project.

  • The setup is similar to last year - every participating language/country/region has a local organiser who makes sure that the tasks were completed on time.
  • The timeline for the project was defined to illustrate the different stages of the project. Every week of the contest was reserved for 2-4 participants to highlight their treasure trove of articles and focus on interesting aspects of their cultures.
  • Similar to last year, the statistics helped participants judge how well or how badly they were doing or which participating community wasn't doing that well in order to write more articles about the community in question.
  • In order to work towards specific goals we set for this year, we created a few side challenges mentioned above to help out with those metrics.

Project resourcesEdit

All resources on stats in detail, participants, results, and organisational information can be found at Wikimedia CEE Spring 2017.


The best thing about trying something new is that you learn from it. We want to follow in your footsteps and learn along with you, and we want to know that you took enough risks in your project to have learned something really interesting! Think about what recommendations you have for others who may follow in your footsteps, and use the below sections to describe what worked and what didn’t.

Acknowleding our differencesEdit

CEE region is all about the differences: in both our languages, writing systems, demographics, religious and historical background, as well in our local Wikip/media performance and community specifics. In the region we have both language versions with more than a million articles (Russian with 1.4 M and Polish with 1.2 M) and versions with less than 10 thousands articles, like Crimean Tatar and Erzya Wikipedia. The differences in the size of the local encyclopedia and the internal dynamics of the respective wiki community determine to a great extent the differences in the localization and the stricter or looser implementation of the CEE Spring contest rules.

During the discussion dedicated to CEE Spring in the frames of the Wikimedia CEE Meeting in Warsaw in September, we received quite diverse feedback regarding organizational aspects like:

  • inclusion of topics and coverage of the proposed article lists,
  • proposed changes in the length and intensity of the contest,
  • weekly thematic scope (per country, per topic, or mix),
  • prizes distribution, and others.

The differences in the local approaches are important to analyse, as they will repeat as a pattern in next years' editions, and require different approaches on the international organization level of planning.

One of the lessons learnt concerns how different wiki communities regard the proposed article lists.

  • In some Wikipedias, like Russian, the article lists proposed by the rest of the communities were almost covered. Rules required writing only articles from the proposed lists, and no other articles were counted for the sake of the contest.
  • In Turkey, for instance, users prefer lists, although they are also allowed to choose their own topics as long as they are related to CEE. It was summarized that users would create with higher priority the basic "must-have" articles for countires with low article count about them.
  • In the other extreme, in Bulgaria, the proposed article lists serve only for inspiration and reference, but contributors mainly create articles on topics of their own choice.

These different attitudes and approaches, however, raise the challenge to the local organizers, who volunteer in the article lists creation: Shall they concentrate on the fundamental articles about their countries / regions / languages (thus serving the needs of the rest smaller Wikipedias), or shall they give preference to more elaborate and specialised topics that reflect the needs of the large Wikipedia (where basic topics have already been covered). A comment was made that some flexibility is needed, as different lists are of different quality, and the inclusion of "more important" topics should be encouraged. The proposal was made to count all CEE-related contributions as valid contributions in the contest, and although there was general acceptance of this idea, the decision was left up to the local organizers.

Another topic of discussion was, of course, references. It was noted that references are especially necessary when writing articles about smaller languages, as it is very often the case that these topics only exist locally and have no English version, or English references.

Article size, in order to qualify as a valid contribution to the contest, was set to 300 words, but it was reported from Romania that this requirement could be easily bypassed by just copying item lists, infoboxes, etc. We can therefore explore the solution a Swedish Wikipedian proposed to use a tool to count real text of articles, which was employed in the past for other purposes. Closely related to this topic, the subject of automatic translation and its accuracy was discussed.

The local acceptance and implementation of the thematic weeks also revealed differences across the CEE region. Larger Wikipedias tend to follow more strictly the thematic weeks, and in some cases (like Poland) the CEE thematic weeks interfere with other locally accepted weekly distribution of other, non-CEE themes, which leads to certain frustration in editors. In the other extreme, in Azerbaijan and Bulgaria for instance, editors do not follow the thematic weeks but contirbute per their own preference. In this relation, a comment was made that in some communities the CEE Spring contest (10 weeks) is already considered a way too lenghty, and shortening was proposed (but generally accepted). Some solutions that were generated during the discussion were

  • promotion of "smaller" countries / languages when they are underrepresented;
  • possible introduction of daily statistics to give readers a better overview of what has been done and what is further needed;
  • encouraging coutries to promote themselves both on- and offwiki, e.g. thru delivery of sweets, postcards, etc. to editors in other languages who tend to contribute more intensively on these countries. The postal expenses in these cases can be included in grant proposal for funding.

Of course, for one more time the intensive discussion on CEE Spring brought up the question of where are we drawing the borderlines, in order to determine which countries should be included in the competition as participants, as some countries geographically are located in Asia or using Arabic script? This however was considered a decision that should be discussed on Meta, involoving more and diverse participants.

Among the other ideas that appeared was the idea of personalised prizes (Polish experience) e.g. a book of articles that the winner has contributed to, personalized mugs, etc. The idea of giving the winners things that cannot be replicated bears the feeling of exclusivity and of the high promotional value of such gifts, as recipients often publish photos of them on Facebook and other social media, and feel genuinely recognized and special.

In the end, the international team appealed to the discussion attendants for a more intensive local contribution to organising and reporting the contest, as well as welcomed new members to join for the next year's CEE Spring international organization.

What worked wellEdit

What did you try that was successful and you'd recommend others do?

Changing the fiscal sponsorEdit

In 2017, Wikimedia Austria became fiscal sponsor for the CEE Spring grant instead of Wikimedia Poland. One of the reasons for this change was the differences in the legislation and the easier procedures of processing fiscal documentation, as reported by different local organizers from the region. It is noteworthy that Wikimedia Austria has declared readiness to continue servicing the project in the future.

Given the experience of fiscal sponsorship provided by two different chapters, and thus having a better basis for comparison, we can safely make the conclusion that even with a relatively more relaxed procedure, considerable time and efforts are needed for processing the fiscal documentation of such a large-scale and documentally diverse project as CEE Spring.

This led us to the realization that the organization of the 2018 CEE Spring will definitely benefit if the budget contains a respective amount for administrative servicing the project as compensation for the additional workload of the paid staff (accountant). During the discussion at the Wikimedia CEE Meeting in Warsaw, all participants (about 20) agreed with this conclusion, and this consideration will be proposed for inclusion in the next year's grant proposal.

The CEESpring Blog and Facebook pageEdit

We consider that running the blog (this year predominantly in English) went well, and during the discussion in the frames of the Wikimedia CEE Meeting in Warsaw was considered a necessary and good practice for the future, as a media giving the opportunity for a more detailed and argumented presentation of topics.

We were regularly producing "Weekly Focus" posts, outlining some of the most prominent and interesting topics from the lists of articles for each featured country of the week. We tried to present all languages / countries / regions in CEE in both balanced and catchy manner, finishing all blog posts with a call to action (editing). In some of the weeks, we created as illustrations special collages of the featured countries' flags.

CEE Spring + #100wikidays =

Apart of the "Weekly Focus" on the three or four featured languages / countries / regions, we presented in several additional blog posts ideas for bridging the CEE Spring with other wiki projects and initiatives like the 100wikidays, Ethno Carpathia, Europeana 1914–1918, and the photo contest Wiki Loves Earth that took place concurrently. We considered promoting synergy between all these initiatives as a good practice, hoping in this way to recruit new editors to CEE Spring among those who already are interested in doing the 100wikidays challenge or contributing with photography to WLE.

As a good practice for the blog posts, we can outline the rotation of the 3-4 authors, and the strict publication flow (a post in the beginning of each week). The links to the blog posts were then shared via the Facebook CEE group, the Facebook CEESpring page, and reshared by the organizers on our personal pages. Very often, other, unrelated, Wikimedians from the featured countries / regions would reshare the links to the respective blog posts, increasing the effect of our publication efforts.

We can provide some statistics about the Facebook page performance; all of them being fully "organic". 26 FB posts from March to August (including) were written, with a total reach of 5627 readers, 278 clicks, 252 reactions (likes, shares, comments). Best performing posts were from the beginning, middle (week #6) and the end of the contest with, respectively, 460–38–7, 433–7–18 and 383–16–14.

CEE showing support for Turkey after the banEdit

One of the major events that happened chronologically during CEE Spring 2017 was the banned access to Wikipedia and its sister projects imposed by the government of Turkey onto its citizens.

The international organizers of CEE Spring reacted immediately by using the opportunity the blog provided, to make a timely campaign in support of our fellow Wikipedians from Turkey, and appeal to the Wikimedians from all over the CEE region to show support to our Turkish colleagues by writing more articles about Turkey in the frames of the CEE Spring and raising awareness of the issue. We stated:

"In every language, there are many missing articles about Turkish geography, history, folklore, literature, art, sports or cuisine. With or without a particular occasion, sooner or later, these articles are to be created in each of Wikipedia’s language versions, because they are part of the sum of all human knowledge. And this is what we, the Wikimedians, believe that every single person on the planet should have free access to."

With or without this blog post, the resonance of this event in our region was strong and it became a significant topic of discussion. In some versions of Wikipedia, like the Bulgarian, the topic of Turkey was included in all the four thematic weeks until the end of the contest, and editors were encouraged via the Village Pump and the Sitenotice bar to consider writing about Turkey as a form of moral support to our fellow Wikipedians.

An analysis was made a part of the participating language versions (those who had per-country subcategorization of the articles): Albanian, Azeri, Bashkir, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Georgian, German, Hungarian, Latvian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian (13) with 218 articles about Turkey written for the whole term of the contest. Of them 40 articles were written in 40 days and 158 articles were written in 32 days, i.e. almost 5 times more intensive contributions with new articles on Turkish topics, as compared with before the ban.

Articles on Turkey-related topics in CEE Spting 2017 (based on 13 analysed languages)

CEE WomenEdit

One of the metrics of success of the project was defined as the number of articles and editors in non-CEE languages writing about CEE. One of the well working ideas this year was the launch of a campaign mainly (but not exclusively) oriented to non-CEE editors, in which we promoted writing about notable CEE women.

As (external) motivation, we offered to the participants to receive for at least 10 written articles a postcard from Bulgaria with a personal thank-you message and the first Bulgarian (and second globally) wikipedian postage stamp. The choice of female biographies as a proposed topic for the contributions of the non-CEE editors was further considered with respect of bridging of the gender gap, one of the metrics we considered important and set in the project proposal.

In promoting this article writing challenge, we mainly addressed the 100wikidays community and the female biography projects "Women in Red" and "Wiki Donne", where we found editors who eagerly responded to our challenge.

The results from the CEE Women are summarized in the table below.

CEE / Non-CEE Language Number of articles per language Number of editors per language Source
Non-CEE Arabic 65 6 Meta
Non-CEE Catalan 2 1 Meta
Non-CEE Chinese 10 1 Meta
Non-CEE English 46 5 Meta
Non-CEE English 40 10 English WP (in addition to those listed in Meta)
Non-CEE Finnish 10 1 Meta
Non-CEE French 20 1 Meta
Non-CEE German 3 1 Meta - Nature
Non-CEE Hebrew 1 1 Meta
Non-CEE Italian 12 3 Italian WP
Non-CEE Ladino 4 1 Meta
Non-CEE Malayalam 29 2 Meta - Women (28), Meta - Nature (1)
Non-CEE Norwegian (nb) 6 1 Meta
Non-CEE Norwegian (nn) 4 1 Meta
Non-CEE Panjabi 30 1 Meta
Non-CEE Spanish 28 4 Meta
CEE Belarussian 17 1 Meta
CEE Bulgarian 24 2 Meta
CEE Georgian 9 1 Meta
CEE Macedonian 10 1 Meta
Total 19 languages (15 non-CEE + 4 CEE) 370 articles (310 non-CEE + 60 CEE) 43 editors (39 non-CEE + 4 CEE) -

Although far from the originally set measures of success (100+ recruited non-CEE editors and 1000+ written articles), we consider this effort successful as it became the basis of a fruitful cooperation with these three communities of passionate like-minded editors, who showed readiness to support our regional CEE cooperation by writing about notable subjects from our part of the world.

Sending prizes and reimbursementsEdit

  • Most local organisers reacted very quickly and in an uncomplicated fashion to our inquiries about prizes and reimbursements
  • Western Union works very well when transferring money and the costs for the transfers are within acceptable limits
    • It is important to have a copy of the recipients passport on record to ensure that the transfer doesn't mix up the recipients name
  • Some organisers sent information on how to conduct the transfer to their respective bank accounts, which was very helpful

What can we do differently in the future (or didn’t work well this time)Edit

What did you try that you learned didn't work? What would you think about doing differently in the future? Please list these as short bullet points.


  • The over-reliance on the bots from last year meant that there was no backup plan in place to extract the results for this year - the worst case scenario of BaseBot not functioning was not taken into account properly
    • Part of the problem was the amount of work and knowledge necessary to adapt BaseBot to this year's contest.
    • The proposed measures of success of the project for this year insinuated a level of confidence in the statistics working, which was in hindsight not a good idea.
    • We were lucky to receive a "last-minute" support from User:Masti who developed new tools for generations of statistics, using the current infrastructure (templates, categories, lists). This explains the difference between the midpoint report (that reported the findings with BaseBot and Botik), and the present, final one (that reports the statistics generated by Masti).
  • Another part of the problem was opting out of the templates.
    • Next year, all local organizers should create and request the local use of (uniform) templates and categories, because currently some of the participating communities did not use, or even create the templates, that allow for generation of statistics. The coordination page on Meta should contain all links to categories per countries and per topics, because what is currently interlinked via Wikidata is not the full list.
    • The solution is a) to simplify the stats for next year and b) move the statistics reports to a more reliable and non-human-dependent platform, possibly PetScan.

Sending prizes and reimbursementsEdit

  • Buying prizes in webshops rarely worked right away
    • Often the local webshops don't accept foreign credit cards
    • Local webshops are often only displayed in the local language, but Google Translate helps bridging that gap
    • Webshops with an option to Paypal are easier to handle, this should become mandatory in the future
  • When receiving emails it would be easier if the subject contained a preset wording, to make sorting out those emails easier (or create an email address just for CEE at WMAT)
  • Bank transfers were easy, but posed problems when transferring money to countries outside of SEPA
    • Transferring money to Russia in Rubles didn't work, had do transfer the money in Euros

International reachEdit

While including communities outside of CEE was one of the goals for this year, the number of participating communities stayed relatively small, with some communities like Sweden not participating despite our best efforts.

For next year, this means that we should change the approach and contact other communities well ahead of time to enable them to adapt to the system and come up with a format that they want to participate in. Also including funding for prizes/personalised rewards outside of CEE might make this more appealing to those communities, as the Asian month has shown. The budget for this would be fairly small.

Communication within the teamEdit

Certain improvements can be considered in terms of communication between the international and local organizers, in order to ensure better organization (e.g. uniformization of templates/categories) and feedback for both ongoing issues and final reporting. While preparing reports is generally considered tedious and unpleasant job, with such a large and linguistically diverse project, the responsible international team heavily relies on collecting accurate, complete and timely feedback from local organizers.

One of the learnings this year was that asking for feedback in the form of a small number of open questions, guarantees fewer answers than surveys with larger number of yes/no options (probably: or any closed questions with predefined answers or Likert scales). When initially asked in the form of open questions, only two local organizers provided responses. In comparison with that, when approach again with almost the same questions – but this time in the form of Yes/No questions – eight other organizers submitted their feedback. This leads to the conclusion that this is a more appropriate form of collecting feedback and it will be a good outcome from this experience, if we create a learning pattern with a very detailed list of Yes/No (or other closed) questions that cover every major aspect of the organization of CEE Spring. The list can be made relevant to other contests, too, where the organization is shared among a geographically / linguistically disperse community like CEE.

The organization would have benefited from better communication and stronger team cohesion, especially when it comes to:

  • promotion of the contest via the local channels (not all local organizers used all the possible communicaion channels, even the simplest re-sharing of posts in Facebook).
  • following a standardized, uniform convention across all wikis about the templates and categories.
  • notification of problems that are within the international team's or the fiscal sponsor's capacity to solve;
  • sharing within the team information about our language competencies, in order to avoid / reduce language barriers, especially important for Russian-speaking volunteers who do not speak English.

Broadening financial supportEdit

Most of the grant's money is currently used to support smaller communities with funding for their local contests. While this does work for most communities, it is still difficult to judge from a distance which communities need funding at all and which ones don't. In order to solve this problem, the next grant proposal should conduct a survey of the communities to get a better grasp of the necessary funding.

Generic press materialsEdit

An idea was proposed (on this talk page) to create generic press materials that would be easy for translation and reuse in the different countries, by the volunteers and/or staffers who are engaged with the communication of their community / user group / chapter. While the blog posts in the beginning of each year CEE Spring can be used and reused in this direction, the so formulated recommendation comes to say that more effort needs to be invested in a coherent, diverse set of promotional materials in different formats, sizes, and/or oriented to different relevant audiences. Three years of organization of CEE Spring should have given us the background to implement this idea in a rather professional way.

Next steps and opportunitiesEdit

Are there opportunities for future growth of this project, or new areas you have uncovered in the course of this grant that could be fruitful for more exploration (either by yourself, or others)? What ideas or suggestions do you have for future projects based on the work you’ve completed? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • The project is now in its fourth year - we expect some new input and some institutionalisation of this project within the CEE community at this year's CEE meeting.

Part 2: The GrantEdit


Actual spendingEdit

Local usergroup Amount in EUR Amount in USD Transfer charge/

Western Union charge in EUR

in USD Total EUR Total USD
Reimbursements Wikimedians of Republika Srpska 180.69 192 9.58 10 190.27 202
Wikimedians of Romania/ Moldova 262.03 278 0 0 262.03 278
Wikimedia Community User Group Turkey 375.28 398 8.98 9 384.26 407
Wikimedians of Albanian Language User Group 20 21 6 6 26 27
Wikimedians of Bulgaria User Group 335.95 356 43.23 46 379.18 402
Wikimedia Russia, Russian language 400 424 31.45 33 431.45 457
Wikimedians of Bashkortostan User Group 400 424 31.45 33 431.45 457
Wikimedia Community User Group Greece 215.61 229 0 0 215.61 229
Wikimedians of Erzya language User Group 228.96 243 20 21 248.96 264
Wikimedia Community User Group Belarus 300 318 30 32 330 350
Prizes bought by Wikimedia Austria Wikimedians of Romania/ Moldova 99.11 105 0 0 99.11 105
Wikimedia Community User Group Georgia 371.56 394 0 0 371.56 394
Azerbaijani Wikimedians User Group 400.18 424 0 0 400.18 424
Wikimedians of Latvia User Group 284.2 301 0 0 284.2 301
Macedonia,Shared Knowledge 255.09 270 0 0 255.09 270
Wikimedia Community User Group Belarus 92.64 98 0 0 92.64 98
Esperanto kaj Libera Scio 155.39 165 0 0 155.39 165
Total expenditures 4,386.27 4649 171.11 181 4,557.38 4830

The prizes for some winners in Belarus are being bought at the moment by the Wikimedia Community User Group Belarus. Wikimedia Austria is still waiting for email addresses of the Esperanto winners.

Remaining fundsEdit

Expense Approved amount Actual funds spent Difference
Prizes on international level 500 0 500
Prizes on local level 10,000.00 4,386.27 5,613.73
Bank transfer costs and risk 750 171.11 578.89
Total 11,250.00 EUR 4,557.38 EUR 6,692.62 EUR

If you have unspent funds, they must be returned to WMF. Please see the instructions for returning unspent funds and indicate here if this is still in progress, or if this is already completed:


Did you send documentation of all expenses paid with grant funds to grantsadmin, according to the guidelines here?

Please answer yes or no. If no, include an explanation.

Confirmation of project statusEdit

Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?

Please answer yes or no.

  • Yes

Is your project completed?

Please answer yes or no.

  • Yes

Grantee reflectionEdit

We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on what this project has meant to you, or how the experience of being a grantee has gone overall. Is there something that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed, or that you’ll do differently going forward as a result of the Project Grant experience? Please share it here!