Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Österreich/June 2016

June 2016

Community Support edit

Wikimania 2016 edit

Wikipedia fire basket at Wikimania

WMAT sent 12 scholarship recipients (over 50% of which were first-time Wikimaniacs), two board members and two staff members to Wikimania 2016 in Esino Lario. The costs to send attendees this year were comparably low and Italy is also an attractive destination for some of our volunteers who are not fond of long distance travels. Hence, WMAT decided to increase the number of scholarships while at the same time aiming at coordinating cost effective travel arrangements (shared cars and accommodation).

What went well?

  • Projects: Wikimania is always a great opportunity to share ideas about projects and activities. WMAT shared experiences and ideas (e.g. by contributing to the "Coolest Projects" and "Future of WLM" sessions, with the Pre-Conference workshop for explainer videos or with the Pre-Conference international volunteer supporters meet-up) but also got inspired by presentations of other participants while networking at the edges of the event.
  • Hackathon 2017 planning: We took advantage of the fact that the WMF hackathon team would be present in Esino Lario and prepared a draft budget, timeline and design/logo for the hackathon in order to discuss the details with Quim and Rachel and the colleagues from the WMF communications departement. Being able to have these discussions in person helped a lot to make a lot of progress in a short amount of time and to get know each other better across the organizing team (WMF and WMAT representatives). As Wikimania was so close we were also able to invite the freelancer who will support us in the Hackathon preparation for the two Pre-Conference Hackathon days, so she could get to know the colleagues from WMF and get a first hand impression of how our hackathons and tech communitiy work. We also had the highest number of Austrian scholarship holders attending the hackathon ever, usually numbering between one or max. two people, this year we had five people there. This not only shows an increased interest and awareness in our exisiting community for tech issues, but is also a nice preparation for our volunteers who will be helping out at the Vienna hackathon next year.
  • Teambuilding: WMAT - presumably just as most other affiliates - does not invest a lot of money in teambuilding activities. Nevertheless, it is important for every organization to build trust, a feeling of belonging, strong inter-personal relationships and motivation in order to be effective and sustainable. In our experience Wikimania is a great bonding experience between volunteers, staff and volunteers with the Austrian team and in relation to the wider movement. Many participants report that meeting all these like-minded people at Wikimania provides them with motivation for the rest of year and that they draw on it in times of conflict and trouble.


  • Unforseen costs: In contrast to previous years, this year's Wikimania externalized a big chunk of their costs to participants, i.e. for the conference tickets which included food the organizers charged 200 EUR instead of 35-50 EUR. Unfortunately, this was only announced fairly late in the process, after the budgeting and scholarship selection was finished. As a result we had to increase our budget for the scholarships considerably. In addition, our efforts to cut costs by providing cost effective travel and accommodation also had some caveats: The car rental company provided a different type of car than expected, which required us to rent an additional car on short notice in order to fit all the passengers and their luggage, which added to the list of unforseen costs.
  • Last minute cancellations: A big downside of shared travel in a bus or car is, that the threshold of dropping out last minute (because of other obligations, too much work at uni etc.) is lower for volunteers than when we book train or plane tickets. This year we had an all time high of five cancellations, that's a third of our overall number of scholarship holders. Of course the flexibility also enables us to include other people last minute, but it increases the amount of coordination and logistics and staff time. For the very last minute drop-outs we decided to provide transportation from Vienna to Esino and vice versa for volunteers without scholarships from neighbouring countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia).

Individuals involved: 21 (active editors: 12 [engaging 1 editor who has formerly not been or very rarely been an active WMAT volunteer into the planning and/or executing], representatives from partner orgs: 2, WMAT staff: 2, WMAT contractor: 1, family members: 3). - WMAT support: Travel costs and support, accommodation, registration fee, travel organization and planning, coordination.

Reports by the scholarship holders, board representatives and staff members in our members wiki (in German)

Community Survey 2016 edit

Highlights I
Highlights II

In 2015 WMAT introduced annual community surveys in order to get a better understanding about the needs of our community, their thoughts on our work, and the impact of our activities. We refined the concept of last year by introducing new questions, especially about skill transfer, capacity building, and general motivation among volunteers, which are of interest to us and helps us assess the success of our acitivities. We also re-designed the questions (introducing more concrete follow-up questions, especially for cases were participants were less satisfied in a certain area, in order to get a better understanding which aspects could/should be improved and how). As last year, we are also sharing our survey design and results with the other DACH chapters, in order to get a good comparability between our organizations and communities.

We also made an effort to get more people participating in the survey, as having banners for chapter activities on DE:WP is quite controversial, we decided to refrain from that and rather use the discussion pages of Wikipedia meet-ups in Austria and send bot invites to our volunteers (in addition to members wiki and mailing list announcements and personal e-mail invitations to our members). The result is pretty impressive, the number of participants has more than doubled compared to 2015. We were happy to see that this increase also led to a even more positive overall outcome across the survey, with satisfaction rates up to 100% among WMAT members (see info graphics with survey highlights). The results concerning impact of our events and activities (skill transfer and motivation for online work) are also above target and quite satisfying.

As last year, we specifically included the wider community too, i.e. volunteers who are not members or don't even regularly participate in our activities. As in every language community, there is a certain percentage of people, who are generally hostile towards chapters, money distrubution and/or paid staff, as they have a different philosophy and perspective on the movement. It was nice to see that even those volunteers appreciated that they were heard - as one participant stated "you probably won't like some of the things I said, but thanks for asking me".

Individuals involved: 88 (active editors: 78, WMAT staff: 2). - WMAT support: Survey design, infrastructure, evaluation, analysis, and translation.

Results of the Community Survey 2016 in our members wiki (in English)

General assembly edit

Group photo

WMAT's annual general assembly took place in Breitenbrunn, Burgenland on June 4, 2016. This year, the bi-annual elections for the board, the auditors, and the good governance committee were held. All board members except for one stood for re-election and were confirmed in office. Philip Kopetzky joined as a new board member to replace Andrea Kareth who instead decided to run as an internal auditor for the next two years and was elected into this position. The good governance committee also stood for re-election and was also confirmed in office.

The last year proved once more the significance and advantages of the good governance committee: difficult and unforseen situations like the unexpected death of our internal auditor were resolved in an responsible and transparent way by consulting the committee and one of the members even volunteered to serve as an interim auditor on short notice for 2015. In addition, governance crises in the wikiverse (e.g. the WMF) showed the value of a neutral body, which is elected by all relevant stakeholders and can step in as a trusted entity in diffcult times. In context of the assembly we also made amendments to our bylaws and good governance codex which define more clearly possible future transitions of board members to staff and vice versa, as we realized in other organizations that this can lead to difficulties when not being governed properly. WMAT members and staff also agreed unanimously that employees can be members of the association but should not be able to vote while they are employed by the chapter.

After the assembly some of our passionate photographers took the opportunity to cover some of the monuments and protected nature landmarks in the area.

Individuals involved: 20 (active editors: 17 [engaging 2 editors who have formerly not been or very rarely been active WMAT volunteers into the planning and/or executing], WMAT staff: 3). - WMAT support: organization, venue, catering, travel support for staff and board.

Minutes of the general assembly in our members wiki (in German)
Images on Wikimedia Commons

WikiDienstag edit

The WikiDienstag (“WikiTuesday“) is a weekly meet-up in the WMAT office. Volunteers share their knowledge and work together on improving the content of Wikimedia projects.

Topics in June 2016:
  • June 1st: Follow-up Wiki Loves Earth and Wikimedia CEE Spring
  • June 7th: Writing about nature in Austria
  • June 14th: Spoken language diversity project
  • June 21st: Free editing
  • June 28th: Update of cultural monuments lists

Individuals involved: 34 (active editors: 31, WMAT staff: 3). - WMAT support: infrastructure, co-organisation, promotion.

WikiDienstag in the German-language Wikipedia

Free Content edit

Spoken language diversity project edit

Wikipedia [ˌvikiˈpeːdiːaː] in Austrian German. Female voice. Speaker from Vienna, Austria.

This project aimed at the production of audio files of authentic pronunciations of names, e.g. of geographical entities and people. Authenticity in this context means that the speakers were selected because of their place of residence, gender and social background. The “proper“ pronunciation of names was considered a key factor of spoken language as a medium of identity and diversity. The focus on names (instead of verbs, adjectives etc.) also allowed a wide use and usability of the audio files in different Wikipedia language versions and not only in Wiktionary or Wikidata. 260 audio files were uploaded. They are being used (as of 2016-06-18) in 808 main namespace pages of 23 different Wikimedia projects – usually also including IPA notations on the pronunciation. The project was carried out over a period of about half a year. Its results were presented during a WikiDienstag in June 2016 (see above in section “Community Support“).

Topic # of files Language and speaker Example
Actresses and actors from Austria 37 Austrian German. Female voice. Speaker from Vienna, Austria.
Christoph Waltz
[ˈkrɪstɔf ˈvalts]
Districts of Vienna 23 Austrian German. Male voice. Speaker from Vienna, Austria.
Provinces of Armenia 11 Eastern Armenian. Female voice. Speaker from Armenia.
Popular Austrian given names 119 Austrian German. Female voice. Speaker from Vienna, Austria.
Geography of the St. Pölten area 14 Austrian German. Male voice. Speaker from St. Pölten, Austria.
Geography of the St. Pölten area (dialect) 4 Austrian German, dialect of the St. Pölten area. Male voice. Speaker from St. Pölten, Austria.
Presidents of Austria 10 Austrian German. Female voice. Speaker from Vienna, Austria.
Karl Renner
[kaʁl ˈʀɛnɐ]
Agronomists of Austria 5 Austrian German. Male voice. Speaker from Vienna, Austria.
Erich von Tschermak-Seysenegg
[ˈeːɐ̯ʀɪç fɔn ˈʧɛʁmak ˈzaɪ̯zəˌnɛk]
Mountains of Austria 17 Austrian German. Female voice. Speaker from Vienna, Austria.
Culture of the city of Linz 12 Austrian German. Male voice. Speaker from Linz, Austria.
Austrian brands and companies 8 Austrian German. Female voice. Speaker from Vienna, Austria.

Individuals involved: 7 (active editors: 5). - WMAT support: equipment, venue.

open4data competition edit

open4data award ceremony in the Federal Chancellery

In order to promote open data in general and the Open Data Portal (ODP) Austria in particular, WMAT co-organized the second national competition around open data solutions together with the Federal Chancellors Office, the Cooperation Open Government Data Austria and the Vienna Business School (WU). Apart from contributing to the overall organization with staff time, we also sponsored a special award for solutions and contributions to our Open Data Portal, called „ODP-Connect“. The award did not bring as many new data sets as we would have liked to see, but some interesting solutions and apps. The winning project („Mountains of Tyrol“) was especially interesting, because it inlcuded ODP data and government data, as well as Wikidata. The price, the participation at the Vienna Hackathon next year, therefore seems to be in best hands, and we have a great opportunity to grow our tech community in Austria.

Individuals involved: 250, WMAT staff: 2. - WMAT support: Sponsoring of the ODP Connect special award.

GLAM: Images from the Vorarlberger Landesrepositorium edit

Construction site of the parliament building of Vorarlberg in 1979, released through Volare under CC-BY

The Vorarlberger Landesrepositorium (Volare) is the photography collection of the Austrian state of Vorarlberg. In 2015, the state of Vorarlberg digitalized 17,000 photographies by Helmut Klapper. This photographer had documented the economic and political life of Vorarlberg in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s on behalf of the state. Volare released Klapper’s valuable images under a CC-BY-NC-SA licence which made them unusable on Wikimedia projects. A committed Wikimedian from Vorarlberg contacted a goverment employee at first. Finally he managed to convince the rightholders to change their licencing to CC-BY within a small amount of time.

Now the WikiProject Vorarlberg in the German-language Wikipedia is free to pick useful images from Volare and to transfer them to Wikimedia Commons. This process - instead of just uploading all of Volare’s CC-BY images to Commons at once - ensures quality and usability, e.g. concerning file descriptions. As of 2016-07-27, 78 distinct images are used in the main namespace of Wikimedia projects, with 108 total image usages in the main namespace of Wikimedia projects.

Individuals involved: 2 (active editors: 1).

Images on Wikimedia Commons

Gallery: Equipment/accreditation support edit

We support Wikimedia Commons photographers with equipment from our tech pool and with accreditations for events. This gallery highlights some of the activities in June 2016.

Individuals involved: 10 (active editors: 8 [engaging 1 editor who has formerly not been or very rarely been an active WMAT volunteer into the planning and/or executing], WMAT staff: 2). - WMAT support: equipment and/or accreditation.

Reach / Free Knowledge Awareness edit

Progress report: Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU edit

School of Rock(ing) EU Copyright

One of the main strategic goals of 2016 is to broaden our network to cover more organisations beyond our traditional civil society partners. This has lead to first results, as the EDiMA (the association of online platforms such as Facebook, Google, Yelp!, Yahoo) and the largest Czech search and portal site ( have supported Freedom of Panorama. We are also in the process of establishing close ties with various European library organisations (EBLIDA, LIBER, IFLA).

As the copyright file during the fist half of 2016 was dealt with by the European Commission units, and this part of the process is largely in camera, a lot of the effort instead was focused on supporting regional communities build up structures, skills and achieving legislative change. A WMUK public policy working group was set up, a School of Rock(ing) EU Copyright was organised in Prague and the French and Belgian communities were supported in their drive to achieve Freedom of Panorama in their countries. Both achieved legislative change, but while in France only a small step was taken, in Belgium the reform went all the way and we are able to add new images to our projects.

A major sign that one of our priorities – Freedom of Panorama – has reached the EU policy mainstream was the fact that the European Commission organised a seperate consultation on it and a so-called „publishers right“ (instead of borader topics like „copyright“ or „IP rights“). We dedicated a lot of effort in creating answering guides and in motivating individuals and organisations to participate.

The numbers for 2016 will be lower than for 2015 for three separate reasons. We ran a very visible and public campaign in 2015 (#saveFoP) involving mainstream media and thousands of volunteers. This sensibly boosted our results. Additionally, after having achieved general prominence in Brussels, we're making an effort to stay on message and focus on our main targets instead of diffusing our efforts. Thirdly, the majority of the public events in Brussels take place in the European Parliament. Our relevant dossiers being in the Commission for more than half the year and the ongoing preoccupation with #Brexit means that there is less attention for copyright/free knowledge issues.

Individuals involved: 42 (active editors: 25). - WMAT support: Financial support.

Netpolitical Evening edit

We decided that it is crucial for our advocacy work to strengthen our network with relevant players in this regard on a national level. The challenge was to find a way to build such a network with our given resources, i.e. little staff time that can be allocated to advocacy work and few volunteers engaged in the topic. We decided that the best way forward would be to partner up with like-minded organizations and individuals in the field of Austrian net politics and find a way for regular and systematic exchange on important topics. The idea was to adopt the concept of regular "net political evenings" – a successful event and exchange platform from Digitale Gesellschaft in Berlin.

The Viennese edition of the event has been taking place every first Thursday evening since December 2015 and is organized by an informal network of net political players in Austria, including WMAT. The ratio of men and women in the organizing group is exactly 50:50 and gender equality is also incorporated in the program planning: at least one of the three main speakers at every event has to be female. After seven months we are happy to see that the event is well established with a regular crowd of 60+ participants each month and another regular 30+ on the live stream of the event. Three free radio stations across Austria also broadcast the event every month. Apart from the open scene in Vienna and Austria and like-minded advocacy organizations Austria, politicians and public administration representatives have also become aware of the event and even participated in some of them.

Individuals involved (from Jan-Jun 2016): 400 (WMAT staff: 1). - WMAT support: Staff support for coordination and communication.

Wikiversity: New Media in History and History Education II edit

From March to June, 19 students (12 female, 7 male) of a course at the University of Vienna prepared two Wikipedia articles in Wikiversity. These texts were transferred to the German-language Wikipedia afterwards. The two new articles are not only comprehensive, they also reflect the high expertise of the contributors:

The students attended a course by Professor Prof. Andrea Brait and Prof. Christian Wagner on new media in history and history education. They are future teachers. Four experienced Wikimedians introduced them to wiki editing at an edit-a-thon in March and helped them with technical questions throughout the semester. This project was a follow-up to last semester, where we had already supported a course on the same topic by professors Brait and Wagner.

Bytes and edits of 19 students
Metric start date Metric end date Metric namespaces Bytes absolute sum Bytes positive only sum Bytes negative only sum Bytes net sum Edits
2016-03-01 2016-06-30 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10,
11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 106, 107
234298 209306 -24992 184314 786

Individuals involved: 25 (active editors: 3, new editors: 19 (15 that edit a Wikimedia project after four weeks after their registration), WMAT staff: 1). - WMAT support: workshops, consultation, information material.

Course pages in German-language Wikiversity

Wikiversity: HistoCat edit

"HistoCat" was a university course on the history of Christianity at the Papal College of Philosophy and Theology Benedict XVI. in the Lower-Austrian village of Heiligenkreuz. The course was held by the church historian Alkuin Volker Schachenmayr, who is also a Wikipedian. With the support of two other experienced Wikimedians, professor Schachermayr introduced his 10 students (4 female, 6 male) to Wikiversity - especially for publishing their term papers. The course started with an edit-a-thon in March. "HistoCat" was the first university course at the Papal College of Philosophy and Theology Benedict XVI. which was supported by WMAT and one of the first outside the framework of the University of Vienna, the country's largest university.

Bytes and edits of 10 students
Metric start date Metric end date Metric namespaces Bytes absolute sum Bytes positive only sum Bytes negative only sum Bytes net sum Edits
2016-03-01 2016-06-30 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10,
11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 106, 107
700009 641123 -58886 582237 1101

Individuals involved: 13 (active editors: 2 [engaging 1 editor who has formerly not been or very rarely been an active WMAT volunteer into the planning and/or executing], new editors: 10 (9 that edit a Wikimedia project after four weeks after their registration), WMAT staff: 1). - WMAT support: workshops, consultation, information material.

Course pages in German-language Wikiversity

Wikiversity: Basic Concepts of History Education edit

After two of her courses at the University of Vienna involving the support of long-time Wikimedians (New Media in History and History Education I and Wikiversity: New Media in History and History Education II), Prof. Andrea Brait decided to use Wikiversity in a largely independent way. This was the case with her course about "Basic Concepts of History Education" at the University of Innsbruck which involved 13 female and 6 male students. The course was about the planned new school curriculum for history teachers which is based upon "basic concepts" of learning. Her students described these concepts on Wikiversity not only in order to get familiar with them for themselves but also in order to instruct other teachers about the new concept - with open educational resources on Wikiversity. WMAT supported this project by setting up the basic Wikiversity pages and by serving as occasional advisor.

Bytes and edits of 19 students
Metric start date Metric end date Metric namespaces Bytes absolute sum Bytes positive only sum Bytes negative only sum Bytes net sum Edits
2016-03-12 2016-06-04 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10,
11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 106, 107
133262 113861 -19401 94460 688

Individuals involved: 21 (new editors: 19 (16 that edit a Wikimedia project after four weeks after their registration), WMAT staff: 1). - WMAT support: consultation.

Project pages in German-language Wikiversity

Learning Pattern edit