Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Deutschland/February 2014

As at the start of every month, the following is a summary of our activities at Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE).


Support programsEdit

At the beginning of the month, the results of the Support Guideline Workshop were presented. The community developed the new guidelines in a transparent process. These do not serve as precisely detailed rules, but constitute a framework within which ideas can flourish as freely and productively as possible.

The first week of February saw the photographer and author project Wiki Loves Parliaments take place with 50 participants. Wikimedia Deutschland supported participants from Germany by lending equipment, assuming the costs for German-speaking community members and providing community insurance. Photographers took pictures of 319 Members of the European Parliament as well as Commission Members. From Monday through Thursday, three photo stations and several author stations were manned for 13-hour sessions every day.

Free photos and videos of politicians were taken on February 19 and 20 for the State Parliament Project sponsored by Wikimedia Deutschland, this time in the Rhineland-Palatinate parliament. The photos were then made available under the Commons license.

On February 22 and 23, photographers for the Festival Summer Project got together for a workshop in Essen. Wikimedia Deutschland assumed room and board costs and compensated participants’ travel expenses on request.

An absolute “must see”: A volunteer was provided with a special camera for a slow motion film of the demolition of the AfE Tower in Frankfurt.

Along with six literature grants and three eLitstip extensions, six active Commons photographers received software grants for image processing software.

Free Knowledge Advocacy ProgramEdit

In February the first version of the Free Knowledge Advocacy Program portal went online. In addition, the first open working meeting about the support program was held on February 22 at the Wikimedia Deutschland office. Main topics included how to get interested community members to implement the FFW modules Ideenportal (Ideas Portal), Servicepaket (Service Pack), Entscheidungsportal (Decisions Portal), and the inclusive program accompaniment, the Programmportal (Program Portal).

Community space and community meetingsEdit

In Oer-Erkenschwick, North Rhine-Westphalia, 35 volunteers met from February 7 to 9 for AdminCon. The event was targeted especially at “admins, ex-admins, soon-to-be admins and anyone interested in the admin responsibilities” and was held with backing from Wikimedia Deutschland in terms of travel expense compensation and organizational support. The complete event report can be found in the Wikipedia-Kurier (German equivalent to Signpost).

Wikimedia Deutschland invited representatives of the Wikimedia Foundation on the occasion of their visit to a relaxed get-to-know-you meeting between WMDE, WMF and the community over coffee and cake. Exciting discussions went on late into the evening about the role of volunteers, chapters, and the foundation.

On February 13, Wikimedia Deutschland held a meeting on the future arrangement of the community space, to which interested community members were invited. Interior designers agreed to release their draft proposals for the new community space under a free license. Sebastian Wallroth wrote a short report about it on Wikipedia. The Berlin community space now has its own Wikipedia page.

On February 15, the new Potsdam editors’ gathering met up for a group tour of the Potsdam Museum and a discussion in a café afterward. The admission fee was paid by Wikimedia Deutschland. The Communities Team was represented at the event because initiatives from Potsdam will receive support in the future. A second meeting is scheduled in May, most likely a visit to the Einstein Forum.

Wikipedians gathered in the community space for an Open Editing on February 27, a monthly community editing session. In parallel to open editing, an editing workshop for new authors took place at the same time.

Zedler PrizeEdit

February 24 was the last day for public nominations for the 2014 Zedler Prize, which is awarded to articles and projects that make an exceptional contribution to free knowledge. The jury is comprised of community members and external experts. The jury elections by the community took place between January 31 and February 16. The external experts were chosen by Wikimedia Deutschland. In total, 29 articles, 30 community projects, and 13 external projects were nominated.


Wikimania 2014 is taking place in London in August. Wikimedia Deutschland will be offering 35 grants to participants from Germany. The grants amount to lump sums of 700 euros; they are promoted through various Wikipedia channels and social networks. Many applications were sent in by the February 17 deadline. News about the event will be covered from now in an extra page of the Wikipedia-Kurier.

Watchlist PortalEdit

An open Watchlist Portal has been set up within Wikipedia. Its aim is to enable a better overview of discussions and changes to “watched” pages and pages with a connection to WMDE; this way we can better react to requests, critique, and support from the community.

Changes to the terms of useEdit

On February 19, the Wikimedia Foundation’s Legal Department recommended a change to the Terms of Use for Wikimedia projects. A new passage is to be added to the Terms of Use that stipulates transparency for paid editing. Wikimedia Deutschland is trying through active involvement in Wikipedia to enable the greatest possible community participation in discussing this proposal.


Breaking Boundaries: Digital HumanitiesEdit

A workshop entitled Breaking Boundaries – Digital Humanities Today and Tomorrow took place at the Free University of Berlin on February 24, 2014. As part of activities for the German Science Promotion Year (Wissenschaftsjahr), the theme of which this year is “Digital Society,” Wikimedia Deutschland participated by presenting the research and development project Wikimedia Diversity. It is a cooperative project undertaken with the Gender and Technology Center at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin. The project aims are to create a diversity concept for the German Wikipedia and to come up with innovative measures to foster diversity.

The workshop brought together leading Berlin-based academic institutions to pose the question of how methods, infrastructures, and organizations in Berlin can be networked via the cross-disciplinary field of digital humanities. The focus was on dialogue, on networking and cooperation with decision-makers from select institutions in order to discuss expert, technical, and institutional interests. The project has the support of the Einstein Foundation Berlin and is being carried out in cooperation with the interdisciplinary research association Digital Humanities (interdisziplinäre Forschungsverbund Digital Humanities in Berlin [iF|DH|b]).

Event series: free Thinkers' Hour - Space for Open EducationEdit

The Education and Knowledge Department have started an event series entitled Free Thinkers’ Hour – Space for Open Education. The goal here is to generate greater visibility for Wikimedia Deutschland in the area of education and knowledge, as well as to promote the perception that it is a strong voice for open education in digital society. The series serves as a platform for current education theory, education practice, and education policy questions. Five event evenings are planned for 2014, at which experts and guests will discuss the conditions for education in the digital age. The kick off in April will be with the presentation of the OER white paper, which Jöran Muuß-Merholz wrote for the Co:llaboratory. He deals with the state of open educational resources in German schools. Another guest will share an outlook on the international discussion.

The German chapter's cMOOC initiativeEdit

In February, project participants met at the Wikimedia Deutschland office in Berlin. Together with Wikimedia Austria and Wikimedia Switzerland, we exchanged thoughts on our joint project to create massive open online courses (cMOOCs) with the goal of improving social processes in Wikipedia. Over the next weeks, we will be working on the concept for these open courses.


Monsters of Law event series launchedEdit

About 30 visitors experienced the brilliant start of the event series Monsters of Law in the Mosaik event space on February 20. The first evening’s topic was an introduction to general barriers to scholarship in the German Copyright Law – as proposed in the coalition agreement between the governing parties SDP and CDU. Katharina de la Durantaye, a professor at the Humboldt University Berlin, gave the introduction. She recently presented a study that recommends “clearing out” the existing legal situation in the field of scholarship, with a further suggestion for a practice-oriented general clause for libraries, archives, and museums. We have received numerous requests that the next event be videoed and/or streamed online.

Legal audit regarding the use of logos on WikipediaEdit

A federal court ruling on applied arts has caused intense discussions on Wikipedia since the end of last year. The debate is currently questioning whether or not all logos found on the online encyclopedia and Wikimedia Commons should be erased as a consequence of the verdict. A legal audit by the law firm JBB, commissioned by the community, came to this critical find: The blanket negation of copyright protection from logos was already risky earlier on. With the new legal situation, the ice has become much thinner. This is why JBB recommends that the community wait to see how the decision of the Federal Court of Justice is applied as a guideline in legal practice. In the meantime, for example, the non-free logo template could be provided with a notice for interested users that, when in doubt, they should always ask the copyright holder.

OTRS workshop in HamburgEdit

The above-mentioned legal audit was also a topic for the OTRS workshop in Hamburg (February 21–23). A dozen support people met there to discuss the technical processes of the OTRS system and reoccurring problems with responses to client tickets. Two external guests made for a relatively copious serving of legal training: John Hendrik Weitzmann, lawyer and project leader at Creative Commons Deutschland, explained the important new features of license suite 4.0, the official German translation of which is expected to come out this summer. Ansgar Koreng from JBB talked about recent verdicts on personal right and copyright (here especially the freedom of panorama). A harbor foot tour and two meetings with the Hamburg editors’ gathering rounded off the event. A big thank you goes to Reinhard Kraasch, who offered his services as host and guide.

Preparations for the Coding Da Vinci culture hackathonEdit

Preparations for the two-part hackathon competition with GLAM content (GLAM = galleries, libraries, archives, museums) is in high gear. The competition is held in partnership with the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz and the Open Knowledge Foundation, and the aim is for cultural institutions and programmers to demonstrate what exciting, innovating potential can be uncovered in digital cultural goods. Coding Da Vinci targets active members of Wikimedia projects as well as programmers (from the open-source field and cultural businesses) and cultural institutions equally. The datasets of the hackathon will be a direct gain for Wikimedia projects as they will have open license status. In the first part, Face the Quest, the culture datasets will be presented and coding groups will be formed; this is scheduled for April 26 & 27 at the WMDE office. The website will be launched at the beginning of March.

A look back at the Opening Up Access conferenceEdit

In November 2013, the conference Opening Up Access took place in the Jewish Museum Berlin; Wikimedia Deutschland was once again a partner. During the conference a video was created with the aim of motivating cultural institutions to open access to their digital treasures for the public. This video now includes adjustable subtitles and is online.



In February the sister project Wikisource gained access to the data in Wikidata, such as ISBNs and authors’ dates of birth. Thus, after Wikipedia and Wikivoyage, this is the third project to have complete access to Wikidata (Wikimedia Commons has only had access to the Interwikilinks until now). The loading times for sites on Wikidata were improved significantly. The Developer Team has also asked for opinions on the current user interface. Feedback will inform revisions to the user interface, which are planned for the coming weeks.


Chapters DialogueEdit

The last interview phase for the Chapters Dialogue (Nicole Ebber and Kira Krämer) began in February. Kira Krämer has conducted interviews with representatives of Wikimedia Philippines, Indonesia, and Hong Kong, to name a few. Thanks to the FDC Review held at the Wikimedia Deutschland office, employees of the Wikimedia Foundation and members of the Funds Dissemination Committee could be interviewed on our own premises for the first time.

Furthermore, we have been asked at the meeting of the chapter executives to present an initial summary of findings from the interviews conducted so far. Thus, we firstly offered a view into the working approach of design thinking; and secondly, the presentation offered a basis for continuing discussion for the executive directors.

The last 15 interviews (approximately) will take place in the first two weeks of March. Preparations for the final presentation of the Wikimedia Conference have also begun.

Wikimedia internationalEdit

In February, the newsletter Wikimedia:Woche awoke from hibernation. With support from Wikipedians like Dirk Franke from the Communities Team, [ Nicole Ebber] was able to start sending out the weekly newsletter with current and exciting updates. The newsletter is written in an open editing process in Wikipedia and interesting contributions from interesting contributors are always welcome!

Nicole Ebber is a member of the International Program Team, which had spent February dedicating itself to content creation for the Wikimedia Conference (April 10–13 in Berlin). The team has now published a program overview, is still looking for speakers regarding some topics, and will present a schedule in March. In 30 program contributions currently in place, topics such as international strategy process, the organizational structure of the Wiki universe, evaluation, error culture, professionalization, conflicts of interest, and overall the interaction of the Wikimedia organizations and bodies are treated. Our Event Team has all the logistics in hand: Wenke Storn and Daniela Gentner will attend to the participants, negotiate with the event venues and hotels, and ensure smooth sailing for the event.

It is well known that after Wikimania is before Wikimania, and so the first preparations for this year’s event already started in February. Nicole coordinates the cross-department participation of the office and came up with a concept for Wikimedia Deutschland’s presence in London. Our focus this year is on our own program submissions and meetings, which support our work towards our annual goals and strengthen our international contacts and partnerships.


Searching and findingEdit

The Public Relations Team will grow this April. Numerous media and public relations specialists sent in applications. So in February the focus was on preparations and keeping up with the application process. This important topic will keep us busy in March as well.

Story tellingEdit

Furthermore, February stood under a favorable star in terms of reports for the Public Relations Team: The annual report 2013 (aka activity report) was conceived, planned and handed over to our external designer. The finished product will be available in print at the beginning of April. At the same time, our Evaluation and Public Relations Teams have developed a new process for establishing an impact report for the FDC – the kick-off meeting was on February 19 and the content generation is going full speed ahead. For the first time, there was an editorial conference with representatives from the departments, in which the recognition part of the report was compiled into an outline. On March 31, the impact report will be published on Meta-Wiki.


While the fundraising campaign was several weeks ago, it is still very present for the Fundraising Team. As with every year, the fundraising campaign ends with us sending out the donation certificates. For that, the total payments across each of the donation channels have been imported and the addresses prepared and validated over the last weeks. On top of that, the materials that are sent were given a partially new design. The happy ending to this story is that the number of donation certificates, 115,000, has nearly doubled in comparison to last year. The donation certificates should also attract as many new members as possible, so we have sent a membership application with each one. We will know if it has worked after they are sent off in mid-March.

Job PostingsEdit

You can find all current job postings at WMDE listed here. Tags: Current affairs, monthly report