See also: Wikimedians of Bulgaria/2017/Calendar

Grants, funding, bank account issues


The last funded project of the User Group is from December 2016, and by the end of 2017 final report of its activities have to be completed and submitted, with the financial report being submitted and approved in April 2017, as well as a second interim one, in August 2017.

In April, after 4 months of advance notice, the user group's bank account was officially closed due to interpresonal tension between the two account holders, Лорд Бъмбъри and Spiritia. Since then, no particular discussion have been held about renewing it, and all the projects, activities and events during the year happened as zero- or almost-zero-cost projects.

In several cases, Wikip/media souvenirs (bags, calendars, notebooks, brochures, pencils, stickers and pins) were kindly donated to us by Wikimedia UK, Wikimedia Deutschland, Wikimedia Poland, Wikimedia Ukraine and the Wikimedia Foundation, so that we could use them as gifts for Wiki Loves Earth, Wiki Loves Monuments, Wiki Science Photo Competition (forthcoming), as well as a presents for attendants of editathons and public lectures.

Contests organization


CEE Spring 2017


Wiki Loves Earth 2017 Bulgaria


In 2017, Wiki Loves Earth was organized for the third time in Bulgaria by Spasimir, Vodnokon4e and Spiritia. This year we did not use any funding for the organization of this contest, because we had closed our user group's bank account in April. We had however an awards ceremony on 29 September, again in the National Museum of Natural History, who are our GLAM partners as of 2016.

Preliminary promotion
  • Mass message sent to the participants in WLE 2015/2016 and WLM 2015/2016.
  • 25 May: WLE 2017 Presentation @ Travellers' Club, Sofia
  • 31 May: WLE 2017 Presentation @ Biological Faculty, Sofia
  • 8 June: WLE 2017 Presentation @ Faculty of Geology and Geography, Sofia
Committments of the organizers
  • Vodnokon4e did most of the online work of preliminary review, categorization, tagging and describing the uploads.
  • Spasimir did most of the work of setting the contest pages and templates.
  • The live presentations of WLE were made in Sofia by Vassia and Spasimir, since Vodnokon4e is based in Brno, Czech Rep.
WLE statistics (Link)
  • Total (undeleted) files: 1042
  • Number of uploaders: 77
  • Total image usages: 125
  • Distinct images used: 101 (9.69% of all images of category)
  • Most of the images are used on: Slovak Wikipedia (74), Bulgarian WP (17) and Wikidata (12)
  • NUmber of written articles: at least 5 (recorded)
Prizes and awards ceremony (Link)
  • 10 selected photos by 6 different photographers (none of them made it to the international winners)
  • 4 of the winners were successfully contacted in time and attended the awards ceremony in person.
  • The other 2 winners contacted us back afterwards, and also obtained their prizes by post.
  • The arranged prizes were mainly Wikipedia / Wikimedia souvenirs donated during the year from Wikimedia Ukraine (calendars), Wikimedia Deutschland (bags, pens, stickers), Wikimedia Poland (stickers, pins). The big prize which we managed to prepare with our own funding were sets of professionally printed postcards with the 10 winning photos, with indication of photographed places and the names of the authors (and license, source) on the back.
Lessons learnt

In general, our performance was weaker than last year, when we had a WMF funded project for prizes and official ceremony, and we were more motivated to do intensive media promotion and networking. This year, we did not have enough time and self-motivation to invest so much effort in the contest, so we id almost no promotion, except for the regular outreach in the Facebook group.

However, the reason for the weaker performance is also quite probably in the fact that we're organizing the contest for the third year in a row, and there is some exhaustion and repetition in the covered natural places (and some photographers reported that after taking part in three subsequent WLEs they have run out of encyclopedic photos). This is so, even though we opened an extra category this year for Bulgarian plant endemites, seeking to get more photos on this specific topic and illustrate more articles with missing images.

We have noticed that certain places which are more "touristic" and easily accessible get very big coverage in WLE, while those which are more off-road or require special equipment still lack photos. This observation will probably lead to formulation of a different and more specific goal of WLE in Bulgaria in the next year(s): to reach some more hardly accessible places in the natural reserves of Bulgaria, and stimulate people to submit photos for articles that have never been illustrated so far.

Wiki Loves Monuments 2017 Bulgaria


In 2017, Wiki Loves Monuments was organized for the third time in Bulgaria by Spasimir, Vodnokon4e and Spiritia. This year we did not use any funding for the organization of this contest, because we had closed our user group's bank account in April.

Preliminary promotion
  • Mass message sent to the participants in WLE 2015/2016/2017 and WLM 2015/2016.
Committments of the organizers
  • Spasimir did most of the work of setting the contest pages and templates.
  • Vodnokon4e did most of the online work of preliminary review, categorization, tagging and describing the uploads.
  • The three of them were in charge of the jurying of the photos.
WLM statistics (Link)
  • Total (undeleted) files: 1029
  • Number of uploaders: 52
  • Total image usages: 76
  • Distinct images used: 60 (5.83% of all images of category)
  • Most of the images are used on: Bulgarian Wikipedia (65), English WP (4) and Wikidata (4)
  • Number of written articles: at least 12 (recorded)
Prizes (Link)
  • 10 selected photos by 7 different photographers (none of them made it to the international winners)
  • 4 of the winners were contacted us and also obtained their prizes by post.
  • 2 of the winners did not answer, and 1 would receive the presents later.
  • The arranged prizes were mainly Wikipedia / Wikimedia souvenirs donated during the year from Wikimedia UK, Wikimedia Deutschland and Wikimedia Poland. They were not available in advance, and were not advertised in the beginning of the contest, but were only delivered as surprise in the end.
Lessons learnt

Here, again, we did not have enough time to invest in the contest, because it overlapped with other activities: jurying of the WLE, work on the other large project, the wikitown. From our three-year experience with the organization of WLM, we can observe that more efforts are traditionally spent on WLE, and we are already not so inspired to organize WLM with the same enthusiasm and persistance.

Practically, the main reason for the more passive attitude towards WLM in comparison with WLE, is the fact that there is no Freedom of Panorama in Bulgaria (only for non-commercial use), and we are very cautious in promoting a contest that has the word "monuments" in the name. Although we have done our best to accurately and strictly define the scope of WLM to monuments of the cultural heritage with expired or inapplicable copyrights, the ambiguity of the concept is risky and may compromise the aim and good intention of the contest.

Also, we have noticed that, here again, the fact that we're organizing the contest for the third year in a row, is the reason for the exhaustion and relatively weaker performance. We have observed here too, that certain monuments which are more located in more communicative and easily accessible places get more coverage in WLM, while those located in more distant parts of the country are still lacking coverage.

For the next year, we will either decide to define a list of places / monuments which have not been photographed so far, and/or decide to skip next year, in order to return in 2019 with fresher ideas and more enthusiasm, thus also giving our target photographers more time to produce new, shareable encyclopedic photos.

On the bright side, given the complete lack of promotion and the fact that prizes were collected during the summer from our friends from Wikimedia UK, Germany and Poland, and were not advertised, we had the opportunity to monitor the performance and capacity of our WLM target audience without these additional factors: prizes and promotion. Hence the numbers in the statistics above give us a relatively exact estimate of the absolute minimum which our community / country is able to produce without additionally invested efforts and money.

Wiki Science Photo Competition


In 2017, for the first time Bulgaria officially entered the Wiki Science Photo Competition, originally organized by Wikimedia Estonia (in the previous edition in 2015, we did not have the capacity, but there were about 50 contributions from Bulgarian photographers). This year we entered the contest by creating / translating the relevant pages

  • Vodnokon4e helped with the creation of pages and templates
  • Spiritia did the review, categorization of the files and contacted potential jury members
Statistics (Link)
  • Number of (undeleted) files: 100
  • Number of uploaders: 21
  • Prizes were not announced in advance, but were assembled in the meanwhile: three books from Wikimedia Poland, and Wikipedia / Wikimedia souvenirs from Wikimedia Deutschland.
  • As of 15 December, the jury is set up, and it comprises 5 people: 3 scientists with experience in photography jurying, 1 museum worker from the National Museum of Natural History, 1 Wikipedian.
  • The process of jurying will start as soon as we get an installed copy of the Jury Tool of Wikimedia Ukraine.

Wiki Botevgrad


"WikiBotevgrad" is an institutional collaboration with Botevgrad Municipality, Botevgrad History Museum and Botevgrad Town Library "Ivan Vazov". It is the first wikitown initiative that takes place in Bulgaria.

The official start of the collaboration was 11 October 2017, when a public lecture was given by Spasimir in front of the citizens of Botevgrad with the idea of the first wikitown in Bulgaria. A list of articles related to Botevgrad and the nearby villages from the Municipality was prepared in advance and shown to the local community.

A week later, on 18 October 2017, two trainings took place in the computer room of the Town Library: one dedicated to staff members of the museum, the municipal administration and the libraries from Burgas and the nearby vilalges. The second one targeted at school students and citizens. Both trainings covered the topics of editing and upload of images to Wikimedia Commons. They were given by Spasimir and Spiritia.

On 25 November, two more events were organized in the frames of the WikiBotevgrad campaign: a morning articles writing editathon in the library and an afternoon phothon in the History Museum.

The WikiBotevgrad project has been planned for implementation in three subsequent stages: the first one until 30 November 2017, the second one until 28 February 2018 and the third on until 15 May 2018. On 22 December 2017 there will be an interim ceremony for awarding the participants in the first stage of the project. During the first stage, 30 articles in Bulgarian, English and French were written by 14 volunteers from Botevgrad, and 12 people contributed with photographs and audio-files, which total number is 348.

As a side activity in the frames of the WikiBotevgrad initiative, there are ongoing efforts for digitization and publishing in the Bulgarian Wikisource of the written heritage of the Botevgrad's most famous poet Stamen Panchev (1879-1913), which is already in the public domain. As of mid December, we have digitized (with the scanner purchased in the frames of the WMF funded project) the whole poetic collection "With a Quill and a Sword" (74 poems) and published it in Wikisource: bg:s:Автор:Стамен Панчев.

Wikipedia Asian Month 2017


The Asian Month was organized in Bulgarian Wikipedia for the third time. This year, 8 people took part in the competition, and the total number of written articles was 78, most of them dedicated to Japanese topics. Despite the promotion of the contest with a banner in the site notice, this year the number of participants and the number of contirbuted articles was smaller.

Co-organization of editathons


During 2017, we started our first thematic editathons and in two of the cases, the editathons were initiated by other organizations and user group members were only requested to offer training, mentorship and sysop support, weihile the logistics, promotion and expenses were covered from their own funding or WMF funded projects which they had worked on.

Editathon "Notable Bulgarian Women", 11 March


In February, two of the user group members, Justine and Dimi were contacted by the Bulgarian Helzinki Committee with the invitation to co-organize editathon in Wikipedia on the topic "Notable Bulgarian Women", commemorating the International Women's Day on 8 March and linking it with their campaign for more monuments of notable Bulgarian women in Sofia.

Logistics, targeting of interested audience and expenses for light refreshments during the editathon were their commitment, we were asked only to organize several Wikipedians to come as wiki mentors and helpers during the event, which took place in the afternoon of 11 March. Justine and Spiritia gave a one hour presentation for a starter. During the article writing, four other Wikipedians, Dimi, Laveol, Спасимир and ShockD supported the volunteers, about 30 young people. The event took place in the library of the German Goethe Institute in Sofia.

It is noteworthy that it was the BHC's committment to collect related sources for use during the editathon, and their solution was to prepare a list of topics and a collection of scanned and/or electronic books, uploaded in a private Google Drive folder, and had asked in advance the people to select topics and read the respective sources. This reduced to minimum the collisions in the choice of articles, and given that we the venue was a German language library, ensured the presence of sources in Bulgarian. Also, BHC had communicated properly with the attendants the need to make prelimiary account registrations, in order to avoid the 6-accounts-per-IP-address problem (we still had it, but not massively, and the number of administrators, 3/6, were ready to help). We had certain issues with the internet connections, but at leat two of the wikipedians ran hotspots from their smartphones, which saved the day.

Although the final result of written articles was about 10 (some people promised to finish their articles at home and publish them later, but this never happened), it could be considered a success, as first we got a new institutional partner for joint future activities, and one which maintains its ownw wide network of collborators and volunteers, we made a good contact with the Goethe Institute as a venue for editathons.

Wiki4MediaFreedom Editathon, 27 November


Another editathon, which was originally concieved by another organization and where the user group only joined in the end, was the Wiki4MediaFreedom Editathon in Sofia, organized by Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (Italy) in cooperation with the Association of European Journalists Bulgaria (Bulgaria), mySociety (United Kingdom). The formulated topic of the editathon was media freedom and pluralism, access to information and media transparency in Bulgaria and South-Eastern Europe.

Funding for the event was obtained thanks to an grant approved by WMF. The event consisted of Wikipedia editathon in the morning and a Wikidata editathon in the afternoon. The participants were targeted by the Bulgarian partner "Association of European Journalists Bulgaria". In addition to the two local Wikipedians who managed to come Justine and Spiritia (although it was Monday, and very problematic for volunteers to make it), the organizers from OBC Transeuropa covered the trip for two German wikidatians, one Serbian and one Italian wikipedians, so the wiki mentoring and support was very well covered after all.

Again, the organizers had the commitment to prepare a list of possible topics for writing and/or translating from English, as well as a list of sources. They also had communicated the need for the attendants to register their accounts in advance, and the number of people who hadn't done so was pretty low. We had some problem, however, with the wifi connection, and there was again need to run a hotspot from a smartphone. The number of participants was about 25, and they all had to register in advance. The number of contributions was about 10, and some people left after the lunch time and did not benefit from the Wikidata part, but there was a lot of personal contacts and talk about Wikipedia, its principles, its influence and place in the the media ecosystem and market. This time, the main presentation was given by the Italian Wikimedian, but with some clarifications / additions from the local Wikimedians, who explained local specifics about the rules and the community, whenever needed.

In the end, we had a list of contacts with about 25 media experts / journalists / PR specialists / freelancers, who are interested in Wikipedia, and will surely attend another such editathon, if we organize one in the future. Full report of the event was given in the CEE Newsletter, November 2017 issue.

Wiki Education


Invited participation in Wiki Education Collab'2017


On 22 April, Spiritia got an invitation from Vahid Marour from the WMF team on wiki education to participate in the annual Education Collaborative Meeting. The meeting, which was organized in Yerevan, Armenia in the beginning of June, aimed at synchronizing the efforts of the wiki education activists worldwide and helping them prepare their input to the Wikimedia strategy process from the educational perspective. The second goal of the meeting was discussing and taking the decision and making the first steps towards constituting the informal Educational Collab as a formally WMF recognized user group, Wikipedia & Education User Group.

The efforts in this direction were a continuation of the discussions that started during the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin and in online discussions, and continued later on in Montreal during Wikimania, when there was a meeting between the Affiliations Committee and attending members of the Collab. In this meeting with AffComm, Spiritia was one of the five representatives and contributed with the point of view from the persepective of user group consisting of volunteers, without staffers responsible for the wiki education activities.

New Bulgarian University


In 2018, we had again two courses of students in New Bulgarian University, a class of bachelor students in communication ("Online Media and PR") and a class of master students in Marketing. Their teacher and wikipedian, Justine had prepared a list of topics (concepts from the field of online communication, and biographic articles) for creation by the end of the semester by the bachelor students, and set up a one day editathon on 1 December with the master students for articles writing in situ. There were introductory lectures for the students, given by Spiritia one of which (on 23 October) was announced as a public lecture for the whole university.

Burgas University


In the end of October, Spiritia was invited to give a public lecture on Wikipedia to students and staff of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Burgas University "Prof. Dr. Asen Zlatarov". As a result, the faculty staff made an invitation, tentatively scheduled for April 2018, for a second lecture on public speaking and presenting.

"I Can Now and Here" Summer IT Academy


In the end of August, Justine and User:Spiritia were invited to give talks to 40 students from all parts of Bulgaria, who gathered in the small mountain town Devin for the Summer IT Academy "I Can Now and Here". The 40-minute talk on Wikipedia was given extra time due eto the high interest of the students and the rest of the co-lecturers, and gave rise to many discussions later on. This is the first time when the topic of Wikipedia is presented during the IT Academy in its 7 years of history.

GLAM and institutional partnerships


Bulgarian Archives State Agency


The biggest news from this year's collaboration came on June 9, when Bulgarian Wikipedia obtained the "Friend of the Archives 2016" Plaquet for the collaboration with the Bulgarian Archives State Agency that has been maintained for already six years. On behalf of the Wikimedian community, the award was received by two of the longterm editors and contributors within the collaboration, Spasimir Pilev and Vassia Atanassova. This institutional recognition in the form of a plaquet and a diplom, were awarded for "contribution to the popularization of archival documents of individuals and events from Bulgarian history, and for the fruitful cooperation with the Archives Agency". Journalists, historians and university professors who attended the ceremony, expressed vivid interest in this collaboration. Photo of the plaquet stays on the home page of the Bulgarian Wikipedia.

In November 2017, the 10 000th digitized document was uploaded. As of December 2017, more than 10 300 digitized documents are uploaded, which are illustrating 3319 articles in 82 language version of Wikipedia and sister projects.

The successful GLAM project with the Archives was the reason Vassia and Spasimir to receive invitation to attend Wikimedia Serbia's national conference on 8-9 April, but due to health reasons, they only made the presentation online via Hangouts.

In the frames of the collaboration with the Bulgarian Archives State Agency, one microfilm scanner was bought in the last 2016 and one portable scanner for digitization of documents was bought in early 2017, both from a WMF funded project, the last project we had before we closed our user group's bank account. This portable document scanner has proved useful not only for digitization of content in the Archives, but also in the frames of the "Wiki Botevgrad" initiative. Report for this grant is due by the end of December.

National Polytechnical Museum


Our contacts with the National Polytechnical Museum this year gave the first real fruits. In the beginning of 2017, ShockD and Spiritia negotiated with the Museum's PR, Ms. Madlen Yaneva, the organization of the first museum photographic marathon (photothon) in Bulgaria. We aimed at the creation of a large number of diverse photos of the museum exhibitions, which represent historical technological devices and equipment and some of the Bulgarian technological inventions. The museum staff could offer also chemical and physical experiments to be videotaped, but due to lack of time and proper video equipment on our side, we could not fulfil this part of the plan. In addition to ShockD and Spiritia, four more people from the wikipedian community / the user group took part in the photothon: Ket, Сале, Ilikeliljon and Спасимир.

Per Museum's request, this was a publicly announced event, and not a photothon for Wikimedians only. In our turn, we demanded that it is pay-free for all guests of the museum (despite that the ticket price is low enough). Thus, the photothon got a particularly good media coverage (including a TV crew, who took a live interview from participants for the noon-time news emission) and brought a large number of interested people with their kids. Part of them also took pictures for Wikipedia and contributed them.

One of the collocated events was a public lecture about Wikipedia in one of the museum corners, given by Spiritia. In another corner, some of the volunteers had set up a Wikpedia booth, offering help with the upload of the images, as well as Wikipedia souvenirs like pins and stickers. There were volunteers who were all the time in the exposition areas, advising the guests what is useful for photographying and upload to serve the purposes of Wikipedia. In addition, Spiritia created a short manual titled "Advice for Museum Photography", which is available online at bg:Уикипедия:Фотомаратони/Съвети за музейна фотография and was printed on paper for the museum guests to take and use for reference. The manual covers specific topics as shooting under low light, techniques for compentation of exposure, avoiding blicks from showcases, and framing of the objects. It is general enough to be used for reference in other museums in the future, if we are going to organize other photo marathons again.

One of the lessons learnt during the event gave rise to a new learning pattern, namely: How to avoid duplicated items during a museum based photography event.

National Museum of Natural History


The good partnership which we have with the National Museum of Natural History fr mlast year, when they hosted the Wiki Loves Earth awards ceremony and the first Bulgarian postage stamp validation ceremony, continued in 2017. The museum again hosted our WLE awards ceremony, on 29 September, and this was an event in the frames of the national Scientists' Night 2017. The 10 winning photos from WLE'2017 were printed on A3 glossy paper and hanged in the entrance exhibition hall for one full month in October.

There are certain ideas how to deepen this collaboration by a public lecture to the staff of the museum and the collocated Institute of Zoology of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. These plans will remain for 2018 and onwards.

Trainings of librarians


The idea for training Bulgarian librarians in Wikipedia and its specifics as a source of information is not new, but only in this year we managed to do actual trainings and set up contacts with librarians that will surely benefit us mutually in the future. The first contact made with "Global Libraries" Foundation on a meeting on 6 January initiated by Justine, who have supported a large network of libraries in Bulgaria with donated computer equipment and scanners, making libraries more welcoming and relevant places for the kids of 21st century.

Three trainings sessions were organized, with four people from the User Group being engaged with them:

In December 2017, an interview was published with one of the trainees from Stara Zagora, Ms. Kalina Madzharova in the community blog (in Bulgarian).

Balkani Wildlife Society


We have already several years of collaboration with the Balkani Wildlife Society which in the end of this year intensified with respect to a project which they had with 51st "Elisaveta Bagryana" Secondary School in Sofia. The aim of their project "Hi-tech explorers of nature and wildlife" included activities related to setting up photo traps in Vitosha mountain, exploration trips in Vitosha and Dragoman Marsh nature reserve, and taking pictures there with smartphones and a drone. On the other hand, as one of the outcomes of the project, the students were expected to contribute the created content to Wikipedia.

In two subsequent lectures in November, Spiritia gave a one-hour talk and demonstration how to upload photos to Wikimedia Commons via the Android app (analogical iPhone app was demanded by the kids, too!) and how to make use of these uploads in relevant articles.

See also: CEE Newsletter, November issue.

Bulgarian Foundation "Biodiversity"


The contacts with Bulgarian Foundation "Biodiversity" date back to June 2016, when we gave a promotional talk about the Wiki Loves Earth 2016 contest in the frames of their regular weekly seminar in the Faculty of Biology, Sofia University.

This year, they requested support for a project of theirs together with several schools in Bulgaria in towns Silistra, Troyan, Malko Tarnovo and village Cherni Osam, which are located close to biosphere reserves. One of the aims of the project was training and encouraging the school students contribute to Wikipedia on topics related to the respective nearby reserves and endemic species, where the wiki trainings were to be delivered in the form of webinars. Due to various time-related and organizational constraints on both sides, the original supporters from the user group, Spasimir and Spiritia were not always available to deliver the trainings: Spasimir was able to take part in the first training, and for the other two training sessions Justine offered support and gave them on 1 and 2 December.

One of the lessons learnt from this project was that Wikipedia training is not always effective when delivered in the form of webinar. Depending on the available equipment, quality of connection and how it has been set up on the receiving side, it may be either highly interactive and interesting, or very mundane and passive experience for the trainees. Unfortunately, in our case it was more of the second kind, and the main beneficiary from the training was the organizer, a staff member of the Biodiversity Foundation, rather than the students. Katrin created four articles about four biosphere reserves in Bulgaria, but at least they are long, referenced, well illustrated and useful for the readers.

Other public lectures


National Geography Festival, 22 April


For this year's edition of the National Geography Festival, Спасимир arranged a Wikipedia booth and two lectures about Wikipedia, for students and teachers in geography. Due to health reasons, he was not available to attend the event, so Ket and Spiritia stepped up and helped for the implementation of this arrangement. On 22 April, in the Municipal Concert Hall of Pazardzhik there was a full day of Wikipedia booth along the booths of several universities, several publishing houses specialized in textbooks and geography-related literature, the municipality and touristic companies. Visitors of all ages visited the booth, and we had several especially long and interesting talks with school and university teachers, and with a municipal staffer, who even made several edits about one of the old churches in Pazardzhik. In the afternoon, the scheduled 30-minute lecture about Wikipedia was given by Spiritia, with a subsequent questions-and-answers session. In addition, we used the opportunity of the exhibition place of the Concert Hall to arrange an exhibition with the panes with winning photos from Wiki Loves Earth 2016 (printed on approx. A0 size), which remained from the October 2016 award ceremony and exhibition in the National Museum of Natural History.

Photo-Forum Lectures on Copyrights, 30 May


Spiritia got an invitation in May to give a talk about contributing freely licensed photography to Wikipedia, in a series of three lectures, the other two covering the legal aspects of online photography sharing and use. Her presentation, titled "Wikipedia doesn't bite" aimed at presenting rationales to share one's work under a free license, and how one can benefit from doing so. There were also success stories resulting from sharing under a free license, as well as advise how to choose a free license, and how to demand specific attribution or meeting certain requirements.

Wikipedia for Stara Zagora, ZaraLab, 14 June


After the 8-hour training of librarians in Stara Zagora (see the #Trainings of librarians section), there was a second event, again hosted in the open hacking space of ZaraLab. It was a 2-hour public lecture and Questions-and-Answers session open for public, which was attended by about 12 people: students and teachers from the Thracian University, as well as journalist. The presentation was given by Спасимир and Spiritia.

OpenFest, 4 November


In this year's OpenFest, a Bulgarian festival dedicated to free licensed and open source software and culture, there was a 4-hour workshop dedicated to Wikipedia and free licenses, which was realized thanks to Ana, Сале and Spiritia.

In addition, Ana had her own separate talk on how to choose a FOSS licenze (Video) and Сале also gave a talk, dedicated to MariaDB.

Regional cooperation


CEE Spring 2017


For a second year, as in 2016, the regional article writing contest CEE Spring 2017 was formally set up as a WMF funded project of the Wikimedians of Bulgaria User Group, with fiscal sponsorship this year provided by Wikimedia Austria. The initial conceptualization and development of the CEE Spring 2017 project proposal was done by an international team, lead by our colelague Лорд Бъмбъри. After his withdrawal from the contest on 1 April, the documentation of the already granted project had to be signed by Алиса Селезньова and Spiritia during the Wikimedia Conference 2017 in Berlin, with them undertaking a more active role on behalf of the User Group. Their committment was to sign the contract for 11,250 EUR, support the international and local organization teams, and prepare the interim and final project reports. The final report, as of 15 December 2017, has been prepared and Grants:Project/UG BG/Wikimedia CEE Spring 2017/Final approved.

Organizing team
  • On the local level, the organization was mainly maintained by Vodnokon4e (templates, article review)
  • Spiritia helped only in the last part with the supply and delivery of the prizes to the winners.
  • Алиса Селезньова and Spiritia were part of the international organizational team and contributed with content to the CEE Spring official blog and the Facebook page, by serving as interface between the local organizers and the fiscal sponsor, and troubleshooting whenever needed.
  • 16 participating editors, of whom:
    • 2 new editors (defined as: with less than 400 edits in the main namespace)
    • 3 female editors
  • 499 new + 2 edited articles
  • 5th place in CEE in number of contributions
  • 6 first and 6 second prizes in the following categories:
    • Best new article
    • Largest number of articles
    • Editor who wrote about the largest number of different CEE countries / regions
    • Best new editor
    • Largest number of contributions about women
    • Largest number of bytes added
  • The prizes were books per winners' choice, all of them delivered by posts.
Lessons learnt

Given in details in the Final report.

CEE Meetings


Members of the Wikimedians of Bulgaria User Group took part in:

In the frames of the Wikimedia CEE Meeting, Spiritia was invited as a member of the Programme Committee, and was engaged with selection of the conference thematics, review of the conference submissions and selection for presenting, as well as preparing the programme schedule.

The presentations of the user group members in the Wikimedia CEE Meeting were:

  • Grants reporting for volunteers and user groups - Spiritia (Slides)
  • CEE contests – Giku, Vodnokon4e (Slides)
  • Insights from the WikiWomenCamp 2017 – Spiritia, Antanana and Maire (discussion)
  • CEE Spring 2017 – Magalia, Spiritia, Papuass, Braveheart (discussion)

CEE Newsletter


One of the outcomes of the CEE Meeting in Warsaw in 2017, was the establishment of the proposed CEE Newsletter, an idea of Spiritia from the User Group, which was adopted by other volunteers from the CEE region like Magalia (PL), Polimerek (PL), Misosoof (EE) and Antanana (UA). The newsletter already has two issues published, for October and November, featuring in each 18 and 17 stories, respectively.

The idea for launching a regional CEE Newsletter came as a result of the observation of the gradually increasing interest of CEE communities to publish news and success stories in the monthly newsletters "This Month in GLAM" and "This Month in Education". In the last year, more CEE countries more often have prepared materials for the two newsletters and got visibility in front of the Wiki Education and GLAM audiences. It was suggested that this has been an indicator that we, as a region, have even more stories to share – between us and with the world – in all other areas of our Wikimedian work.

The work on the newsletter requires both creative and routine tasks. The creative part is related to writing the national report, the regional report and the "From the Team" editorial. For the first time (to the best of our knowledge) a wikimedian newsletter has a cover photo, which is a derivative version of one of the images illustrating the local reports, as selected by our colleagues news writers from the region. The routine tasks include regular reminders in the usual communication channels (Facebook group), personally contacting authors from countries/languages where there have been recent news worth covering, proofreading and typesetting the texts, as well as maintenance of the newsletter templates (adapted from the GLAM newsletter), and triggering the mass message bot. For the latter purpose, Spiritia asked for, and was granted, mass message sender flag on Meta.

Media presence


Media coverage


Social media activities

  • Bulgarian Wikipedia Facebook channel - up to 6230 followers
  • Bulgarian Wikimedian Blog - 11 publications

Wozzy's report

Wozzy and Friends, 2017
Major attended events / places
  • Wikipedia For Peace Kick-off Meeting, Vienna, Austria (Human assistant: Spiritia)
  • Wikimedia Conference 2017, Berlin (Spiritia)
  • Wiki Education Collab Meeting, Yerevan, Armenia (Spiritia)
  • WikiWomenCamp, Mexico City, Mexico (Spiritia)
  • Wikimania 2017, Montreal, Canada (Spiritia; start of exchange with Cancunchyk)
  • Wikimedia Ukraine conference, Kherson, Ukraine (Antanana)
  • Wikiworkshop: Art in Lviv, Ukraine (Antanana)
  • Wikimedia CEE Meeting, Warsaw, Poland (Antanana; end of exchange with Cancunchyk)
  • Wikimedia Diversity Conference, Stockholm (Justine)
Learning pattern
Wozzy got featured in a Learning pattern

Plans for 2018

  • 15 January, New Bulgarian University: Francophonie Editathon for students and teachers - Justine
  • Tentatively February: Balkan LGBT Week editathon (with Wikimedia Serbia) - Justine
  • February - March: UNSS and Sofia University Wikimedia intro lectures with future journalists - Justine, Vassia
  • March: "Women in Red" project launch in Bulgaria - Justine
  • Early May, Sofia: "Bulgarian Women in Science" editathon during the Sofia Festival of Science - Justine, Vassia
  • First half of 2018: Training / Editathon of librarians in Vratsa Library (for the second time after the training in October) - Justine, Spasimir, Vassia
  • Second half of 2018: Balkan Food Week Editathon (with Wikimedia Serbia) - Justine