Due to a long absence of staff and some board members in the context of Wikimania, the first part of August was fairly quiet for the office. However, after our return from Hong Kong we started to prepare our FDC proposal for the next round. Although the process will be easier the second time around, it is still a quite time-consuming endeavor. However, We also think the time is invested well and that conducting the process thoroughly will prove to be very helpful for our work next year, therefore this task has a high priority for us during the next couple of weeks.
With the help of our volunteer Manuel Schneider we were also able to further improve our technical infrastructure (server update, active directory domain). The Windows 2012 server was a donation of the Stifter-helfen initiative (www.stifter-helfen.at), where NGOs obtain software donations against payment of a small administration fee.
As in the past years Wikimedia Österreich supported interested Wikimedians from Austria to participate in the Wikimania 2013 in Hong Kong. The goal of WMAT's support was to enable the Austrian Wikimedians to get in contact with the international community, get a feeling for which topics rank internationally on a high level of attention and to gather ideas and input for current and future projects. Therefore, Wikimedia Österreich supported seven scholarship holders by covering for their travel costs, accomodation and the attendance fees. In addition, we had our own wiki page with practical information on traveling in Hong Kong. Two staff-members and two representatives of our board were also on-site in order to coordinate and organize joint activities of the Austrian community, serve as a facilitator when needed and network with the global community. All attendees from Austria got a "Wikipedia"-cap branded with our WMAT-sign and stating the word "Jänner!" (specifically Austrian word for January and an insider joke in the German speaking community) on the backside.
Although it was a long travel time to Hong Kong all Austrian participants were absolutely overwhelmed by the location and the conference itself. As we want the wider movement to profit from our investment into our scholarship holders, the scholarship required to write a report in oder to share insights and relevant information with the community at home. For detailed information about the different experiences the Austrians at the Wikimania 2013 made, please have a look at their reports in our members-wiki (only in German).
Wikipedia Get-together of the Biology Editorial TeamEdit
At the weekend August 2 - 5 a part of the Biologists of the german-language Wikipedia met each other in an almost traditional way for their regular get-together. They usually pick a part of Europe, where there are interesting or rare plants and/or animals in order to document them for Wikipedia. This time they travelled together just across the German border to the Czech Republic to the Bohemian Forest, where they where looking fore rare animals and plants, which still lacked a picture on Commons.
They did some hikes to climb mountians of more than 1000 meters height, walked several kilometers through forests and marshes and even did tours at night to capture nocturnal Insects in nature protection areas. All in all the participants were heavily satisfied by the experiences of this trip, which was supported by Wikimedia Österreich by covering hotel and travel expenses.
For a more detailled and funnier report please have a look at the report of Toter Alter Mann in our members Wiki (in German only).
On August 25, a rainy sunday in Austria, seven Austrian Wikipedians came together in Grieskirchen, a small town in Upper Austria, to participate in the Upper Austrian Ortsbildmesse. What started last year as an initiative of a local Wikipedian, supported by Wikimedia Österreich, developed to an annual outreach-event for WMAT. It is also a good occassion to stay in touch with community members from outside Vienna (where many of our other offline projects usually take place). The Ortsbildmesse is a fair that takes place every year in a different place in Upper Austria and gives the municipalities the opportunity to present themselves. WMAT has organised an own booth were our volunteers were able to inform some interested attendants about their work in the Wikimedia-projects, especially about the developement of Wikipedia-articles about Upper Austrian municipalities. We prepared a special leaflet for them with the most important information on how to contribute to the articels on their municipality in Wikipedia and contact information for further questions. Like last year the volunteers were also honoured by the visit of major local politicians, Landesrat Michael Strugl and Maria Pachner, the mayoress of Grieskirchen.
Wiki(medians) Love Food - Cooking ProjectEdit
At the last weekend of August some members of the WikiProject "Essen und Trinken" (food and drinks) met in Vienna for a cooking project, an idea of one of our volunteers. The focus of this project was, to bring German and Austrian editors together, cook especially typical Austrian meals, learn about about different approaches to and ways of preparation of similar meals in different cultures and take photos of them for Wikimedia Commons. In addition the team produced little WikiTV films that document crucial workflows.
The discussions on articles about Austrian meals and Austrian descriptions for certain meals tend to be quite rude in Wikipedia. Therefore a meetup with a collaborative cooking-session seemed to be a perfect idea to bring some of the discussants together in a relaxed ambience in order to learn from each other and to get to know each other better.
Wikimedia Austria supported this meetup by comming up for the rental fee for the school-kitchen in which the project took place as well as for the travel costs of the German participants, the groceries and transportation costs and by allocating parts of the photographic equipment. On Friday evening the participants met for the first time at Wikimedia Austrias office, where they held a general discussion about current topics and the project itself. The next day started with a shopping spree to get all the ingredients which were necessary for cooking the planned meals. Afterwards the remaining two days were spent cooking, photographing and discussing about the results. On Saturday evening a wine tasting was organised for the participants by two Austrian Wikipedians, who are also experienced wine-experts and donated some good wines for the tasting. Sunday afternoon the project-team was visited by the deputy mayor of the fourteenth municipal district of Vienna who enabled us to use the kitchen for the project at cost price and therefore was invited to eat some of the cooked meals together with the participants.
Find detailed information about this Cooking Project at the German language project site. We think this project might be worth to be repeated next year and might be an interesting concept for other communities. Therefore we are currently evaluating the outcomes and collecting lessons learned.