Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Oesterreich/October2014

October 2014

Community Support


WikiCon in Cologne

Three chapters working together in community support at the WikiCon

The WikiCon is the annual meeting of the communities of the German-language Wikipedia and its sister projects. Together with WMDE and WMCH, WMAT supported the organization team financially and also offered travel grants for Austrian community members. This year's WikiCon took place in Cologne, Germany. The three chapters WMAT, WMCH and WMDE shared a booth in the venue and presented their different volunteer support programs together. The program consisted of lectures, panel discussions and workshops on topics the German-language communities have to deal with right now – Wikipedia-wise and beyond. The impact of a volunteer meeting like the WikiCon should not be underestimated, neither for short-term nor for long-term results. Small examples for the momentum that could be created this year: An Austrian presenter wanted to make a point by stating that not a single Turkmenian woman had a Wikipedia article – just a few days later quite a few articles on Turkmenian women popped up. A GLAM edit-a-thon for next year became possible only as a result of the face-to-face feedback at the WikiCon. The feedback from the participants was very affirmative, especially concerning the overall organization of the WikiCon.

WMAT staff involved: 1 – WMAT support: financial support for the WikiCon as a whole, travel grants for 5 volunteers, information material.

Images on Wikimedia Commons
WikiCon 2014 in the German-language Wikipedia


Exterior of WMAT's office

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 October:
  • October 7th: WikiCon participants report to the stay-at-homes
  • October 14th: Screening of a 1970s documentary film about Mikis Theodorakis, produced by an Austrian Wikipedian
  • October 21st: Presentation of the free childrens' encyclopedia by its founder
  • October 28th: Adobe Lightroom workshop for beginners

WMAT staff involved: 1. - Active volunteers involved: 5–11. - WMAT support: infrastructure, co-organisation, promotion.

WikiDienstag in the German-language Wikipedia


Wikipedians visiting a museum in Pinkafeld

Austria's Wikipedia meetups have a long tradition. The oldest meetups were established in Upper Austria and Graz in 2004, followed by Vienna in 2006 and – more recently – Innsbruck in 2012. Now the Wikipedians in the Austrian state of Burgenland joined in. With some help of Vienna's experienced meetup organizers they founded the Burgenland Wikipedia meetup in the small city of Pinkafeld on October 12th. Half the town was involved: including representatives of the clothiers museum, the president of the museum association of Pinkafeld, local music historians etc. The Burgenland meetup served not only as a social gathering for long-time Wikipedians in the region but also as a forum for future GLAM partners.

Active volunteers involved: 17 (including 2 WMAT board members). – WMAT support: travel grants for ride sharing from Vienna, information material.

Wikipedia:Burgenland in the German-language Wikipedia
Images from Wiki Takes Pinkafeld on Wikimedia Commons

Free Content Generation



A cultural heritage monument in Austria still missing its article

Wiki Loves Monuments as a photo competition has been very successful in Austria – except for some remote mountain valleys in the Tyrol, most of the 37.000 Austrian cultural heritage monuments have their image on Wikipedia. These images are included in lists; and as Austrian Wikipedians became more and more interested in the monuments they made pictures of, they also wanted to create the so far missing articles on these objects. At the WMAT Community IdeaLab in April, a volunteer asked for support for a WLM writing competition: the Denkmal-Cup (“Monuments' Cup“). This competition started immediately after the WLM photo competition and is going to last until the end of the year. The Denkmal-Cup covers all articles (new or improved) on cultural heritage monuments in the German-language Wikipedia and is open for all Wikipedians, not only for Austrians.

Volunteers involved: 29 (of which 3 WMAT board members). - WMAT staff involved: 1. - WMAT support: donating prizes, co-organization, promotion.

Denkmal-Cup in the German language Wikipedia

Reach / Free Knowledge Awareness


Volunteer Fair in Vienna

Expecting volunteers
From volunteer to volunteer at the WMAT booth

This year's Volunteer Fair in Vienna (October 25-26) attracted more than 7.000 visitors, looking for suitable organizations and projects to volunteer in. WMAT volunteers and staff talked to 500 people during the two days, handing out general information material on Wikimedia organizations and projects as well as volunteer profiles on different activities in the movement (e.g. editor, photographer, coder) specifically designed for this event. Three new volunteers got in touch with us immediately in the week after the event, two of which got involved in WMAT activities since then (one general project manager to support bigger WMAT projects and an education project manager specialised on senior citizens). 10 other very interested contacts subscribed to our communication channels. Based on the conversations we had, we expect that some will also get directly involved on Commons and Wikipedia and hence can't be directly tracked down for evaluation. This outcome and also the positive feedback of the volunteers and staff who hosted the WMAT booth show that the time and financial resources (approx 600 EUR) where well invested and that we might participate again in 2015. In our opinion, the major strengths of the event is the highly targeted audience (people who want to invest their spare time in volunteering), as opposed to other outreach events with a more heterogenous general public. The major strength of our presentation concept was that volunteers reached out to volunteers, which is the best way to spread the energy and passion. Staff was mainly involved in the preparation and kept to a minimum during the event itself (only 1 per day to ensure that everything runs smoothly etc.).

WMAT staff involved: 2 - Volunteers involved: 10 (of which 3 WMAT board members) - Participants: 7.000 in total / 500 at the booth. - WMAT support: communication, organization, food for booth hosts, information material and give-aways, contribution for the booth.

Images on Wikimedia Commons
Project page in members wiki (in German)
Volunteer Fair website (in German)

Semantic MediaWiki Conference Vienna


WMAT faces a lack of technophiles in its community, who like to engage in the technical infrastructure of our various projects (WLM/WLE tools etc.). During the last months we started several activities in order to change the situation for the better: the establishment of a Tech Committee for improved exchange and more systematic planning and action in this field as well as several outreach activities to expand our network to like-minded, more technophilic communities in Austria. Becoming a co-host of the European Semantic MediaWiki Conference which was held in Vienna for the first time this fall, was one of those activities.

WMAT sponsored the participation of three Wikimedians and two Austrian Non-Wikimedians, contributed three sessions (two hands-on sessions on photography and one on community sourcing) and supported the event with give-aways. As a first outcome, the sponsored Non-Wikimedians attended a WMAT community gathering and expressed interest in further cooperation.

WMAT staff involved: 1 - Volunteers involved: 5 - Participants: 66. - WMAT support: travel support, give-aways, information, communication.

Video of the presentation on community sourcing
Report in members wiki (in German)
Conference website

ELEVATE, Graz and ViennaOpen Festivals


Fall is festival time in Austria, among others there are several open culture events in which WMAT could establish itself as a key player and integral part of the open community in Austria. These events are the best way to present our work and mission, network, exchange with like-minded individuals and organizations, find partners for projects and gain inspiration, new input and ideas. As a result from last year's ELEVATE festival for example, WMAT could involve two prominent open culture volunteers into Wikimedia activities (on open science and EU advocacy) and who additionally served as a link and door opener for other potent partners (e.g. Austrian Science Fund). Our ED was invited to panel discussion at the two major open culture festivals in Austria in the two major cities Vienna and Graz. These not only were great possibilities to raise awareness for Wikimedia and Wikimedia projects but also resulted in the founding of an Austrian open culture network - a group of like-minded individuals and organizations who agreed to cooperate and exchange on a more regular basis in order to assess possible synergies in their work, share resources and support each other in terms of communication and public relations.

WMAT staff involved: 1 - Audience reached: approx. 150 participants.

Video of the Panel discussion at ELEVATE, Graz
Vienna Open Panel

Organisational Development


ED meeting in Paris

ED group with Anasuya and Garfield from the WMF

The chapter EDs met for a strategy meeting in Paris at the WMFR office - the main focus was to develop a common "business plan" for chapters and to get a more systematic understanding of their role within the broader movement. Although the EDs also meet regularly on the edges of international Wikimedia events, a working session like this is usually not possible in such a context because of multiple other obligations on all sides.
With the help of an external facilitator the common stakeholders, activities, strengths, weaknesses and our unique selling propositions were analyzed. The results will be further developed by small task forces within the ED group over the next months and presented i.a. at the Wikimedia Conference 2015. The EDs also met with Anasuya and Garfield from the WMF in order to discuss the challenges of measuring chapter effectiveness and to address FDC related issues. Last but not least, Dimitar presented the status quo of his EU related activities and his plans for 2015. The support of Dimitar and the EU advocacy group is a joint venture of several European chapters, hence programmatic as well as administrative issues where discussed in this context.