Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Deutschland/September 2011


Elections in BerlinEdit

The feedback concerning our key election issues for the House of Representatives election in Berlin was very pleasant: all the parties previously represented in parliament as well as the Pirate Party, Socialist Equality Party (PSG) and the Animal Protection Party responded and were thus not deterred by the 30 highly complicated questions. Jan and Mathias presented the replies of the parties at WikiCon in Nuremberg before a discussion-friendly audience. We are gladly paying heed to a suggestion made by Seewolf: we thus want to open up even more so the editorial creation process next time (probably on the occasion of the state elections in Schleswig-Holstein in 2012) and to do so earlier with respect to the elections. In the election itself, the Pirate Party made an impressive final push, scoring with just under 9%, a result that in one fell swoop sent the 15-man list of candidates into Berlin’s House of Representatives. The narrow election victory of the Social Democrats and the wafer-thin majority for Red-Green provided, besides the pirate result, for a higher visibility of this Berlin event. Due to the high expectations, which are linked in particular to the political newcomer, in the future we expect an increased response to both net political as well as Berlin-specific issues in the national reporting.

Content Liberation per TweetEdit

We are familiar with the process of transferring content through negotiations from a non-free status in a legally license-free status as being lengthy, complicated and sometimes frustrating. A counter-example of how this can proceed is offered by the fast medium Twitter and a tight military chain of command. For some time, the Israeli army (IDF) has been publishing on its Flickr account images but until now they were not available under a free license. From our colleagues at Wikimedia Israel, there were individual attempts to get works from public institutions either into the public domain (analogous to the public domain in the U.S. copyright law) or at least to achieve a licensing policy compatible with a free license. Unexpectedly, there was a quick and positive response from the IDF spokesman on Twitter concerning a request from Mathias to place the pictures under a free license. Wikimedia Israel explained the details in direct talks. The footage of the IDF is now fully released under cc-by and in parts already uploaded onto Wikimedia Commons.

Orphan WorksEdit

The Legal Committee of the German Bundestag on September 19th dealt with three petitions of the opposition factions of the Social Democrats, Greens and Left Party concerning orphan works (i.e. works protected by copyright without any identifiable owners) and listened to half a dozen experts. Jan and Mathias took part as observers in the public committee meeting. From the perspective of Wikimedia Germany, it is clear that none of the current drafts would settle the situation of orphan works for use on Wikimedia projects. Indeed, there are significant differences in the evaluation of the methods of resolution proposed by the different experts. The expert Rainer Kuhlen explicitly advocated the free use of orphan works by proposing that the extension of the very narrow circle of potential rights holder (public libraries and archives) should be extended to search engines, network aggregators and Wikipedia. There was disagreement among the experts, especially on the question of whether the digitization and the "making available online" of works for non-commercial purposes should in principle be free or not. Also debatable is the minimum depth of research required in determining the status of orphan works. It will still remain uncertain whether there will be a real initiative by the federal government to address this important issue until the announced third basket of copyright reform takes place. In any event, Wikimedia Germany will continue to monitor the progress of the parliamentary and legislative activity on this case.

Open GLAM Camp in WarsawEdit

Ahead of the Creative Commons Global Summit, the Open Knowledge Foundation was invited to the Polish capital in order to spur on the international exchange of activists and professionals in the field of GLAM. In the rooms of CC-Polska, Lucy Chambers (OKF) and Melanie Dulong (Creative Commons France) led an all-day workshop. It especially was exciting when discussing the possible incentives for mediators to release metadata and digital copies. Apart from the increased visibility of holdings, an increased use can also have a positive impact on the funding practices of the relevant funding bodies as well as the commercial demand for higher quality versions of works (such as prints). Likewise, the amount of bureaucracy associated with the legal clarification decreases when there is free licensing. It is precisely these patterns of economic reasoning, which are unanimous findings, which many structurally under-funded cultural institutions cannot ignore. In attendance at the meeting and representing Germany was, for instance, Daniel Mietchen, the current Wikipedian in Residence on Open Science.

4. Collaboratory Initiative on “Private and Public Spheres”Edit

The final workshop of the 4th Collaboratory Initiative Internet and Society was held on September 16th. Sebastian Sooth participated in it. Now the final work is being turned into texts, which will appear in the fall as a report.

Berlin’s OpenData PortalEdit

Sebastian Sooth accompanied the start of Berlin’s OpenData-Portal and integrated OpenStreetMap and Wikipedia data. Berlin is thus the first German state to have its own OpenData Portal. The making available of public data under open licenses is an important basis for the continued use and combination of information from different sources for the dissemination of free knowledge. We are pleased that Berlin is setting a good example here.



The third edition of our association’s magazine was published in mid-September in time for the WikiConvention in Nuremberg. At the beginning of the month, Catrin and Michael did the final editing, the finalizing of the layout and the production in addition to shipping out our association’s magazine to subscribers, partners, institutions, etc. In comparison to the previous issue, the number of subscribers has now risen from 2,000 copies to just under 2,500. Details on the topics of the issue and the growing number of guest authors can also be found in Wikimedia-Blog. Through numerous events and activities, the current issue (with a circulation of 5,000 copies) is already sold out. We are working on a next (fourth) edition, which will appear at the time of the General Assembly on November 19th. The plan is to increase circulation to 10,000. Something to remember: up to now the printing of Wikimedium has been financed by sponsor money.

Press ReleasesEdit

In September, we supported the media reporting on WikiConvention, Loves Monuments and book release of “Everything about Wikipedia” with press releases. The regional and national response can be read in the press review of Wikimedia Germany. Furthermore, press invitations to the local Wiki Loves Monument event “'Wikipedia for Berlin – Berlin for Wikipedia” were created and sent out.

Press ConferencesEdit

In preparation for the WikiConvention and during the event itself, Catrin led numerous press conferences (on site were Bayerischer Rundfunk, dpa, and Süddeutsche Nachrichten and Nürnberger Nachrichten, heise-online), and prepared interviews with Wikipedians. General inquiries about the (still) ten-year anniversary of Wikipedia and even Silver Knowledge project reached the press office in September. As part of Wiki loves monuments, there were numerous inquiries (see press review).

Informational MaterialEdit

Also for the Silver Knowledge project there is a general information flyer now available, which among other places can be seen here. The distribution is done primarily for the announcement of senior workshops and for gaining partners for them. Along with the German Senior Citizens League, we are planning to send out informational material to members of their association.

On the basis of the frequently expressed desire of club members, we have developed a concept for a weekly newsletter with news from the Wikimedia universe. The newsletter summarizes the most important decisions and announcements of the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia chapters briefly in German and provides references to the sources.

Wikipedia BookEdit

All of September was spent preparing the publication of the book “Everything about Wikipedia.” Boris looked forward in nervous anticipation to September 14th, the day when the book was going to appear on the market and the preparations were in full swing. While Catrin prepared invitation cards and press mailings, Boris organized the book launch at the literature workshop in Berlin. On September 24th, the event took place with around 100 guests. Besides a small discussion session, which shed light on the creation process and the special features of the Wikipedia book, Gereon Kalkuhl and Michael Schlesinger read excerpts from the book. Finally, our intern Khesrau Behroz presented his text "Nothing to Edit" in the poetry-slam style, which provoked a great deal of enthusiasm from the audience. A blog post provides more details on this. The initial press reports can be found here. But even beyond the book presentation in Berlin, there was still work to be done in regard to the Wikipedia book. In the meantime, almost all 100 authors have received their own copy of the book. The preparations for our presence at the Frankfurt Book Fair were worked on quite a bit so that Wikipedia and the book will now be represented by six outstanding authors at the stand of Hoffmann und Campe. Finally, we had to answer numerous questions about the book and to do an extensive amount of press work.

“Wikipedia must become World Heritage” InitiativeEdit

At the beginning of September in Berlin’s Radialsystem, the event “Free Knowledge for Berlin” took place. The event in Cologne is currently being prepared. In October in Berlin thanks to the support of Leo Burnett, there will be Wikipedia posters various places.

Leonardo Award 2011 in CologneEdit

Wikipedia received an award from an unexpected source Wikipedia heard on September 21st and 22nd at the presentation of the "Leonardo Award for European Corporate Learning" in Cologne. Representing Jimmy Wales at the ceremony were three Wikipedians with a background in education and knowledge, Nando Stöcklin (Switzerland) and Ziko van Dijk (The Netherlands) and Denis Barthel. The award was justified by the fact that Wales has inspired many people to be creative and thus he has inspired firms as well to change their learning processes accordingly.

In conversations about the ceremony it became clear how difficult it is for companies to understand the phenomena of Wikipedia and free knowledge. Explaining and providing information about the basics of these subjects are no less necessary in the business world than elsewhere. For companies it means, above all, summoning the courage to share and to engage in participatory processes. Determining the possible intersections of Wikipedia and companies and addressing them in discussions, forums and discussions - this is a task that is not being addressed enough. The awarding of this prize, not least, represents an invitation to a constructive but inevitable and important dialogue that will pose a challenge for both sides.


Wikipedia School ProjectEdit

The school project was represented at three fairs in September. This month was thus focused on coming into personal contact with education experts and educators to come into contact. To this end, we used the KnowledgeCamp in Potsdam, the BildungsMesse at the University of Frankfurt and the Medienkompetenztag in Kiel. At each of the fairs, there speakers present from our speakers network to answer questions directly. At WikiCon Elly and Kilian then had the opportunity to talk about Wikipedia in the field of education with committed Wikipedia authors. They spoke about national and international projects in the field of education as well as issues of structure and target groups. There were 13 workshops this month in the school project, including 9 training courses for teachers and educators and four training courses for pupils. The increasing demand for teacher workshops shows that word has gotten out about the project and the demand in this area is increasing. To meet this need, Wikimedia Germany has begun to develop educational materials, which should support teachers who actively engage with Wikipedia in the classroom. Together with the speakers of the school project and external experts, materials for teaching will be developed and placed, of course, under a free license. Wikimedia Germany will support this year for the first time EduCamp in Bielefeld, which brings together educational experts from across Germany to collaboratively discuss trends and developments in the field of education. In October, the school project will now be located next to the Wikipedia book at the Frankfurt Book Fair at the educational conference “Learning Moves.” If you happen to be in the area, please do come on over!


Three themes dominated the fundraising in September. First, we began setting up the new donation software VEWA. The new system will replace our current database and add many features. So that we will have properly running software when the fundraiser starts at the beginning of November, we are currently testing all possible procedures. In mid-October, our system will undergo an extensive performance test. Second, we are increasingly preparing for the upcoming fundraiser. After the establishment of the new server infrastructure for the donation page in late September, now the first tests are beginning in regards to appeals and donations page. In this context, Tobias held a presentation on fundraising and in particular about author appeals for the upcoming fundraiser at WikiCon. The presentation and all other necessary information about the fundraiser and the next tests can be read and discussed on our fundraising portal page. The third topic last month was the donor survey that we carried out. On account of the complexity and the amount of information, we are still busy evaluating the results. In October, the most striking findings and conclusions will be published in a detailed blog post.

Finally, in late September the third Wikimedium of the year was sent out to 1,500 addresses.


Community Project BudgetEdit

The second application round has begun and you have until October 14th to register your idea. Applications must be submitted by October 28th. Sebastian Sooth will gladly assist you. All information about the current round can be found on the Community Project Budget page. The first round of the project "Wiki Loves Monuments Mittelhessen” has now successfully been completed and the photo taking will continue in October and the other funded projects are actively being prepared. So quickly apply with a good idea to support and enhance free knowledge!


From September 9th to 11th there met in Nuremberg about 180 people under the slogan "Knowledge begins with W” at the WikiConvention in order to learn about and to discuss Wikipedia and its sister projects. The event was organized by the community for the community. As the main sponsor, Wikimedia Germany provided financial support and took care of all logistics matters. Nicole and Simon were contact partners in regard to budgetary issues and logistics (equipment, catering and accommodation), John took care of all inquiries regarding reimbursement through the community budget. The event was a huge success: in more than 60 workshops, the most various issues that lie at the heart of the community were presented and lively discussed, and plans for the future were forged. Many employees of the office seized the chance to offer their own workshops and lectures in Nuremberg and to interact with the community. A detailed report of the organizers can be found in our blog WikiConvention 2011: Insight and in Retrospect.”

Wiki loves MonumentsEdit

That the community which stands behind Wikipedia and its sister projects is able to do exceptional things is not really a secret anymore. Nevertheless, at the office we were amazed every day with the news about the numerous image contributions for the photo competition Wiki Loves Monuments. Within the first 24 hours there were already over 2000 uploads and in mid-September, with the 100,000th photo, the "magic barrier" broken. The German community with its circa 25,000 photos was particularly diligent. At the local level, there were a number of city cooperation programs and events. Thus, for instance, Cologne, Potsdam and the entire region of Central Hesse, where - funded through the community projects budget and under the direction of Kilian Kluge – were in the focus of photographers for a whole week long. While Nicole and Simon continued to take care of advertising, prizes and judges, Catrin and Michael were engaged in coordinating the numerous press inquiries and in documenting coverage in our press review.

Literature StipendEdit

Two years ago, it was the first time that a group of Wikipedians accessed electronic literature to support their work on Wikipedia. In autumn 2009, all biology authors biology gained access to the BioOne database. And thus the Litstip emerged as a special kind of literary scholarship. Just in time for its birthday, we were able to extend our cooperation with BioOne, which was originally set for two years, by another a period of two years. At the same time, biologists are presenting something new: thanks to their initiative, 8 ornithologists could gain access to "Birds of North America Online" a reference work on North American birds. Even the "traditional" literary scholarship (thick books) continues to develop in a remarkable manner: 8 titles were accepted in September, which was more than ever in a period of a month. So far this year almost 50 titles have been shipped, which is more than double the whole of 2010.

Promoting VolunteerismEdit

At the WikiConvention, the foundations were laid for additional activities related to promoting volunteerism. Thus, the rules and procedures for assigning e-mail addresses (e.g. for project staff were discussed with a broad level of participation and agreement so that this service offering will launch in early October. Together with the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Germany is currently developing a new funding program called Participation Grants, From this pot, Wikimedia project staff will obtain in a non-bureaucratic way support to participate in relevant meetings and conferences. Funding decisions will be made by a joint committee of the Wikimedia Foundation and the participating chapters. Other chapters are invited to participate.

Creative Commons Global SummitEdit

In September, Nicole was at the Creative Commons Global Summit, and has written a detailed blog post about her experiences there.

Zedler Prize and WissensWert (Worth Knowing)Edit

Both events are yet to start this year. With the support of Catrin, Sebastian and Johannes, Nicole refined the concepts and ideas and will be able to report back to us about it in early October.

Treasure of ImagesEdit

Treasure of Images? Under this name, a new Wikipedia-support program is poised to go online. It will help to support short-term achievable and manageable projects for obtaining images, videos and sounds for Wikimedia projects. More details about this in the upcoming days!


From different cities, there have been inquiries for CommunitySpace partnerships which Sebastian Sooth is handling. In Berlin, we are still in the process of looking and negotiating.



In September, the main focus of our research project RENDER was on finishing up the reports about the work packages that were due (e.g. definition of metrics, measures for dissemination and the participation of interested parties) and the extensive review process. The project has been going on for a year now. At the end of this first year of the project, there will thus be also many organizational challenges to deal with such as the preparation of the annual financial report.

All RENDER project partners gather quarterly at a technical working meeting. After the last meeting in April in Ljubljana at our project partner the Jožef Stefan Instituteand in July in Sofia at Ontotext, it was now time for Wikimedia Germany to be the host of the meeting. This took place in late September in Berlin and was kindly funded by ClubOffice. In particular, the meeting was about the specific requirements for our technical partners for the development of appropriate tools for displaying a diversity of information as a quality criterion for Wikipedia. The main focus is on covering the facts, topicality and objectivity in Wikipedia articles. In the upcoming months, we will also develop the first prototypes together with our technical partners and test their usefulness.

Wikipedia AcademyEdit

As announced in the blog post from the Academy," we are going to have the Wikipedia Academy more clearly focus its attention on "research and science about, in and with Wikipedia." It will bring together Wikipedia researchers, stimulate an intensive exchange and create opportunities for new collaborations and interactions. The actual conference will be held in 2012. We will be laying the foundation for this event at the end of this year: we would like to invite organizers, the "program committee" and certain Wikipedia researchers to a small workshop in which the event will be jointly conceptualized and presented. More on that in the near future.