Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia France/2011-01

Wikipedia 10


The Ten years anniversary at Lisbon, with the keynote by Benoît Evellin.

On January 15, the chapter took part in the celebration of the English-language Wikipedia Ten year anniversary.

Anniversary day
At Toulouse, a dozen Wikipedians gathered in the hall of the multimedia library José-Cabanis. Many visitors stopped to ask questions, take a leaflet, seek advice, etc. Three meet-ups took place in Paris, Chambéry and Rennes. Benoît Evellin presented Wikimédia France activities in Lisbon, invited by Wikimedia Portugal.
Adrienne Alix, president of the chapter, interviewed some of the first editors of the French-language Wikipedia, who started between 2001 and 2003. they who are nicknamed the "dinosaurs" shared their memories of these first steps and retold the project evolution. These thoughts were summarized in a blog post and are available in full length on Wikipedia.
Media interventions
With the Ten year anniversary many media outlets featured stories about Wikipedia with chapter members interviews, including radio channel Europe 1, newspapers 20 minutes and Ouest-France and website OWNI.


For the tenth anniversary of the French Wikipedia (which was exactly March 23, 2011), events were organized in three cities: Rennes, Nanterre and Toulouse. A mini-website coordinated the various events.


The French Wikipedia's article about the Rennes Cathedral in front of its subject

In Rennes (Brittany), during one week, from Monday, May 23 to Monday, May 30, twenty Wikipedia articles went out of the encyclopedia: they were displayed on ten panels in the city. The chosen articles (mobile version) had a link with the city of Rennes: either it was a building, either an historical person, or an historical fact. The point is that these panels didn’t display the usual picture at the beginning of the article, but an hole was made to see directly the real monument or subject behind the panel.

Some of the subjects include the palace of the Parliament of Brittany, the old University of Rennes, the well-known music festival "Les Transmusicales", or the Dreyfus affair whose second judgment took place at Rennes. During this week, many interviews and recordings were given, with a coverage in the local press, a special live program about Wikipedia in an emission about digital technologies on the radio, and a report on Wikipedia was broadcast in the regional television.

It was also a week of meetings: after the inauguration on Monday with some personalities, a conference was held on Wednesday about Wikipedia, enterprise wikis and local wikis, and finally Saturday a workshop was opened during the whole day, as well as conferences on Vikidia (an encyclopedia for children), how to write a good article, OpenStreetMap, a photo party, Wiki-Rennes (local wiki for local stories) and the Palace of Versailles experience.

The preparation took about four months for the local group, the NCO (Non-Cabale de l’Ouest, or Un-Cabal of the West) which is composed of about 7-8 Wikimedians who meet every Tuesday evening for the last two years. The map of the panels in the city, and a set of posters summing-up the history of Wikipedia are available on Wikimedia Commons. An interesting fact: the panels have been vandalized, as real virtual Wikipedia articles.


The conference debate, animated by Benjamin.

On April 29−30 the anniversary was celebrated in Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine), coordinated by Benjamin. On 29th was held a conference/debate with interventions from the academic, juridic, cultural and collaborative worlds. Excerpts from Truth in Numbers were screened, and a "WikiSong" written for the event was played by a band. The evening ended with a cocktail.

Before the main event was held a workshop introductory to Wikipedia. The day after was organised a photo rush, in which ten people, most of them non-Wikimedians, shot buildings and places in Nanterre and Rueil-Malmaison − some of the photographs are available on Wikimedia Commons.


On May 13, Adrienne Alix gave a conference about "Wikipedia, 10 years after, a new approach to culture?" at the José Cabanis library. The day after, all afternoon long, several wikimedians held an event in the library main hall, showing and explaining how Wikipedia works and helping newcomers to contribute.


Palace of Versailles

In February, Wikimédia France signed a partnership with the Palace of Versailles. As part of this, the Palace hosts chapter member Benoît Evellin as the "Wikimedian-in-Residence" for six months, to be "the interface between the scientific staff of the Palace and the editor communities".

This project spawned a wikiproject on the French language Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikisource.

Since February, 290 articles have been created on the French language Wikipedia. Many of them, including the 70 existing at the beginning are dramatically improved, for example the Hameau de la Reine, which is a Featured article nominee on the French-language Wikipedia. Over 1800 pictures, all taken by wikimedians, were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons (including many labelled pictures). Due to an exclusive licensing contract with the Réunion des Musées Nationaux, the château is not able to share photos or pictures digitised by its services, but we are working to change it. On French Wikisource, 50 books are available for proofreading.

We also had the opportunity to test a new form of participation in Wikipedia, with 24 hours for an article. The first article was about the Grand Trianon on French Wikipedia, on which twenty editors have worked, tripling the content offered by the addition of sources and illustrations. The curator responsible of Trianon had given the Resident the best resources available on-line and in books. After a teasing of one week, the Resident revealed the subject and gave these sources on June 30. A few hours after (time to read a little the sources), the article was like a battlefield : moving, changing, some pieces deleted, reshaped. After 36 hours of work, the information available was really increased, and the article was three times bigger than a few hours before.

See the joint press release, Signpost coverage and Wikimedia Foundation blogpost
The Latona Fountain in the Gardens. Featured picture, taken by a Wikimedian during the partnership.

Guide intended for Cultural heritage institutions

The chapter realised a guide intended to the cultural institutions, so they can have an overview of Wikimédia France, our actions, the partnerships built with the Wikimedia movement in France and abroad, and invite them to work together.

Education and research

In April was kicked off a workgroup to coordinate the chapter actions on the subject. Since June, new staff member Carol Ann oversees its activities and is active in developing its reach.

Kropotkine 113 is overseeing a project with the Centre d'études des mondes africains, a CNRS research center, one of the most important about Africa. In November 2010, he gave a two hours talk about Wikimedia projects in front of sixty researchers and PhD students. He started in March a cycle of weekly Wikipedia workshops with thirty researchers and students. In April, he and Baptiste (Bapti) gave three training sessions to the researchers.

Presentations - Conferences - Workshops

Free software days − January, Toulon
During the Journées de l'informatique libre (Free software days), esby gave a talk presenting Wikipedia and its history to the Regional center of popular education. About 50 people were present and the talk has been recorded by Postpro, the organizing association, who plans to make the video available under a free license.
Workshop − January, Rennes
On January 22 in Rennes, Wikimédia France and the association "Bug" organized a workshop about the "Wiki spirit" in the Cantine numérique, which dealt with the Wiki-world, Wikipédia as a collective intelligence maker, the Wikimedia Foundation projects and the territorials wiki like Wiki-Rennes, with about 50 attendees. Pierre-Yves (Pymouss) presented the Wikimédia projects and Régis (Reg2bug) talked about Wiki-Rennes, after a presentation of Anders Sandberg works (A. Sandberg in a "computational neurosciences" researcher, who says Wikipedia methods generate collective intelligence), concluding that "We should maybe try to use the Wikipédia methods in the real world, and especially in the institutions". In any case, we can find this spirit of shared participation and collective-making, the "wiki-spirit", which says we are clever collectively.
INRIA − January, Rennes
David Monniaux gave a talk on January 28 in the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) - Rennes about "Wikipédia - myths and reality", with about 80 attendees. He first presented Wikipédia and Wikimédia, the free-to-contribute principle, the difference between editor and host, the legal reasons why no editorial committee will be created. Then the arguments against Wikipédia have been recalled : its use without discernment for school work, the lack of hierarchy between knowledge fields, and its relativism. David answered that even university libraries index assume that their users are able to think.
National meeting "Culture and Innovation" − January, Paris
On January 28, Thierry (TCY) has been invited on the behalf of Wikimedia France to the 2nd French national meeting Culture and Innovation, which was organised by the Innovation and Culture Association (CLIC) at the Cité de l'Architecture in Paris and which gathered 51 museums and cultural institutions and 32 companies, to present GLAM and Wikimedia. From the audience reactions, it seems that Wikimedia Commons is hardly known by museums ("Commons" is "Flickr Commons"). During this meeting, he has initiated some discussions with people from the Musée de La Poste who could publish some photographs from the museum under a free license.
University of Angers − February, Angers
On February 9, Benjamin (Benjism89) talked at the University of Angers to students in "Arts of France" and "New technologies" masters, about "Culture dissemination at the era of Wikimedia projects".
Workshops − February, Nanterre
On February 5 and 19, Benjamin held workshops at Nanterre (as part of a cycle on digital photography), about "Understanding the stakes of personality rights and use rights (free licenses)" and "Freely publishing one’s pictures on Wikimedia Commons and Flickr".
NetExplorateur − February, Paris
On February 4, Florence (Anthere) took part in NetExplorateur 2011, where she was part of a panel on "Wikipedia, 10 years later: women views on this knowledge revolution", besides Isabelle Juppé, Catherine Morin-Desailly, Natacha Quester-Séméon and Agnès Touraine. The panel began with a video interview of Jimmy Wales. Before that, Florence was video-interviewed by and was part of a private panel organised by Unesco.
Workshop − March, Nanterre
On March 5 Benjamin (Benjism89) held another workshop at Nanterre about "Freely publishing one’s pictures on Wikimedia Commons and Flickr".
Libre en Fête − March, Derval (Loire-Atlantique)
Justine (Pom445) held a stand at « Libre en Fête », a festival organised by the association of free advocates Gulliver.
Fête du libre − March, Vire (Calvados)
On March 21, David Crochet took part in th "fête du libre" at Vire (Calvados), in partnership with association Calvix.
Festival "Libre en Fête" − March, Joinville-le-Pont (Val-de-Marne)
On March 25 and 26, Benjamin and Julien (:Julien:) held a stand and a workshop and gave a conference at Joinville-le-Pont (Val-de-Marne), as part of festival "Libre en Fête".
Premier samedi − April, Paris
On April 2, four chapter members took part in "Premier samedi" ("first Saturday") at the Cité des Sciences de la Villette, where each month free software advocates help newcomers to install free operating systems or help our with problems.
Conference − April, Boulogne-Billancourt
On April 6, Thierry (TCY) talekd at a conference about "The revolution on online contents", organised by the Benchmark Group.
Training − April, Paris
(:Julien:) gave two training sessions about Wikipedia to the librarians of "specialised libraries" of Paris.
Talk − April, Toulouse
On April 16, Adrienne (Serein) gave a conference on Wikipedia at the "foyer de Cornebarrieu".
Presentation − May, Viroise (Calvados)
On May 3rd, David Crochet presented Wikipedia to members of « Linux à Vire » local antenna of association Calvix.
High-school − May, Mantes-la-Jolie
On May 10, Aude talked at the Rostand High-school in Mantes-la-Jolie, as part of a teaching « Literature and society » and to the in-residence of a writer. The students were meant to understand encyclopedic style and to write the article for the writer, supervised by the teacher. The debate, prepared with the teacher/librarian, aimed to explain Wikipedia, its philosophy and mechanics, and the structure of a biography article. The event was partly filmed, released under a free license, and published on the Academy WebTV.
Various − May, Switzerland
From May 16 to 20, Florence (Anthere) spent a week in Switzerland, presenting Wikipedia/Wikimedia to various organisations. She held seven presentations in five days ot various audiences: schools (HEIG-VD, Eracom, UNIGE, HEG-VE + Caritas), the FRC Vaud (Fédération des consommateurs suisses), the Pirate Party and the Teaching Hospital of Geneva. Most of the talks were opened to the general public.
JIREC-MIEC − May, Orsay
On May 25, David Bérardan presented Wikimedia Commons, Wikisource and Wikipedia as part of the JIREC-MIEC (Journées de l'Innovation et de la Recherche pour l'Enseignement de la Chimie - Multimédia et Informatique pour l'Enseignement de la Chimie) in the Science University of Orsay, to fifty researchers and high-school teachers ; and held a workshop "First steps in Wikipedia" for a dozen professors.
Conference to librarians − May, Toulouse
On May 23, Adrienne gave a full day conference and debate to 80 librarians from Midi-Pyrénées, at the Library José-Cabanis.
Joint conference − May, Toulouse
On May 24, Adrienne gave a conference at the international conference centre of Météo-France, to 200 people, about "Together, are we really stronger?". It was a joint conference with Raphaël Jeanson, biologist specialised in the behaviour of social insects (ants, bees, etc.). The idea was to compare and explain how collective intelligence works, from the ants to Wikipedia.

Media interventions

(Aside from Versailes coverage)

  • February 11 : members of the Brittany regional group Benoit (Trizek), Léa (Auregann), Sylvain (Ash Crow), and Pierre-Yves (Pymouss) talked on local radio Canal B, from 7 to 9 AM, to talk about Wikipedia and the actions undertaken in Rennes.
  • March 4 : L'Éco, newspapers for teenagers, dedicated two pages to Wikipedia with bits from president Adrienne Alix.
  • March 24 : Le Nouvel Économiste published a three-pages article "Wikipedia: the free collaborative production nobody believed in", with input from Adrienne Alix and Florence Devouard (Anthere).
  • March 24 : Le Figaro published an article "In the backstage of Wikipedia", with input from Julien Fayolle for Wikimédia France.
  • April 24 : France Culture : Christophe (schiste) talked on the show "Place de la toile" on radio channel France Culture.
  • WP10 : The event in Rennes gathered much local and regional coverage.
    • May 18 : Ouest-France, with sound-bytes from board member Pierre-Yves
    • May 20 : 20 minutes , with sound-bytes from member Léa ;
    • May 26 : Canal B, associative radio, interviewed Rémi Mathis and Léa
    • May 27 : France 3 Britanny the Britanny edition of the TV eight o'clock news on featured the anniversary, with a report with Nicolas, Léa and Rémi, followed by an on-stage interview of Benoît.
  • May 24 : France 3 TV channel broadcast a long report about Wikipedia in show Soir 3, with Thierry.
  • May 25 : Télérama published an article about the DSK case on Wikipedia, with sound-bytes from Adrienne.
  • May 29 : France Culture hosted Rémi Mathis in the radio show Masse critique

Chapter life

General assemblies


On March 12 was held in Paris the chapter general assembly. On Saturday morning, the new auditor introduced himself, exposed the accounts certification and answered the members questions. Treasurer Thierry Coudray exposed the financial situation of the chapter, and vice-president Julien Fayolle the moral report of the year. The members approved both the financial and moral reports, and elected or reelected five members of the board, which now consists of:

  • Adrienne Alix (president)
  • Rémi Bachelet
  • Florence Devouard
  • Pierre-Yves Mevel
  • Willie Robert (secretary)
  • Sébastien Beyou (vice-treasurer)
  • Thierry Coudray (treasurer)
  • Rémi Mathis (vice-president)
  • Christophe Henner

On Saturday afternoon and Sunday were held various workshops: Wiki Loves Monuments, partnership with the Palace of Versailles, debate on a split-up between active and supportive members, organisation of a Wikimania in France, photography workgroup, Wikisource development, and adoption of a workgroup model for undertaking the chapter projects.


On June 18 was held the chapter general assembly, in the Palace of Versailles.


Bastien Guerry, hired in February 2010, left the chapter in March 2011.

The chapter opened in April two positions : "director of programs", and "community/technology manager". A recruitment committee constituted of chapter members was set up to process the applications.

In June, the chapter announced the recruitment of two new employees.

  • Adrienne Alix – previously a PhD student in the history of religion, a high-school teacher, editor-in-chief at an e-commerce website, and outgoing president of the chapter – is now Director of Programs. Her work will include managing partnerships and projects with institutions (governments and GLAMs).
  • Carol Ann O'Hare holds a master's degree in integrative and cognitive neuroscience, and another in political science. She is the director of the popular science association Plume, which already partners with the chapter for the Wikipeplum project to help PhD students edit Wikipedia. As the Research and Education Manager, she will be in charge of developing the relationships with the academic world.

Participation to international Wikimedia events

Wiki Loves Monuments summit − May, Berlin
The chapter sent a representative to the Wiki Loves Monuments meeting in Berlin, from May 13 to 15.

Workgroups actions

New workgroups

Early February was set up a taskforce to manage the proofreading and publishing on the chapter blog.
Promotion & communication
In March, members created a taskforce to work on documents.
Microfunding committee
After several months of work was set up a four people committee which can provide funding for small projects without the need of a formal board approval.
Research and university
In May was started a workgroup to coordinate the outreach to students, researchers and academics.
Wiki Loves Monuments
Following the general assembly, the chapter will take part to the European chapters joint initiative Wiki Loves Monuments.

Photographs & accreditations

British writer Ian McEwan at the 2011 Paris book festival (valued image).

The chapter helped with getting accreditations for members for many events.

  • Salon Rétromobile − February, Paris − 331 pictures (4 QIs), by thesupermat.
    • Exhibition at Grand Palais − 475 pictures (3 QIs), by thesupermat.
    • Exhibition and auction at the Invalides − 301 pictures (2 QIs), by thesupermat.
  • Paris-Manga − February, Paris − Photos in post-processing, by thesupermat.
  • Paris International Agricultural Show − February, Paris − 60 pictures, by thesupermat.
  • Salon du Livre − March, Paris − 55 pictures (1 VI), by thesupermat − chapter helped renting a professional lens.
  • Collège des Bernardins − April, Paris − 61 pictures, by thesupermat, Lionel and MOSSOT − private visit organised by the institution.
  • Exhibition « L'épée. Usages, mythes et symboles » at the Middle-Age Museum − April, Paris − 15 pictures, by thesupermat.

Promotion & communication

« Bienvenue sur Wikipédia », translation of the "Welcome to Wikipedia" from the Foundation Bookshelf project.

In May was finished the translation and adaptation of the booklet "Welcome to Wikipedia" from the Foundation Bookshelf project. It is downloadable on the chapter website and several thousand copies were printed.

Wikimania in France

Following the general assembly, a workgroup worked on a bid for hosting Wikimania in France in 2013. After three months of work and thought, they decided in June to propose the city of Toulouse.

See the bid page on Meta

Rencontres Wikimédia

The Rencontres Wikimédia « Cultural heritage and collaborative web » took place in Paris on December 3−4 (see previous chapter report).

In February, half of the attendees answered a satisfaction survey. Main points are:

  • The conference subjects were overwhelmingly deemed interesting. The sessions "Wikimedia/GLAM partnerships around the world" and "Partnership between Wikimédia France and the City of Toulouse" come first in the survey results.
  • Interventions were overwhelmingly assessed as of good quality.
  • Room for improvement (directions for restaurants for lunch time, website improvements)
  • Overall, 98,7% of attendees would like to be invited to a follow-up.

In March, the audio and video recordings were made available on the Rencontres website.


Fundraising 2010 report
The annual Wikimedia Fundraising lasted for 50 days, between November 12 to January 6. Wikimédia France raised half a million euros, mainly through the web-based platform. Half of the income will be sent to the Wikimedia Foundation.
Fundraising meeting
On January 19, a meeting took place in Clermont-Ferrand to assess the Fundraising and think of improvement in our process, especially through the deployment of A CRM.


Press releases




  • Contributors to the monthly newsletter in French (from which this report is derived) in January, February, March, April, May, June: Anthere, Bapti, Crochet.david, David Berardan, Jean-Frédéric, O2, Serein, Thesupermat, Trizek, Zetud
  • Contributors to this chapter report : Jean-Frédéric, Bapti, Seb35, Pierre-Selim