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A camera (Nion D300S), a panorama lens (Sigma 12-24 EX DG HSM), a fast telephoto lens for the near-ramge (Nikon AF-S 70-200mm F/2.8G ED VR II) and a tripod were purchased. Until now the equipment was used to take pictures at two Bundesliga association football games - including the championship match in Graz - and an excursion in Podgorje (Slovenia). Several thousand images were taken shot some of which made it to Commons as valuable and unique contributions. Future potography acitivties at the Austrian federal parliaments and futher Bundesliga games are planned. The scope of activities is however virtually unlimited and new ideas are being expected and explicitly encouraged. The equipment has already been insured. Everybody who shows interest can sign up to and use the camera and its complimentary tools, we however ask first-timers to contact us in time, since the insurace coverage needs to be extended by their name. Another fast telephoto lens for greated distances and a professional flash unit will be added to our technology pool.
Further Photography Projects
In July this year a photo appointment was arranged where two young officers (a woman and a man) of the federal police department in Vorarlberg volunteered to have their pictures taken in uniform and "action" in order to improve the picturing of the articles regarding the Austrian Federal Police. The two officers also agreed to release the photographs, that were taken in different settings common to routine police work, under a free license to they could then be uploaded to Commons.
A photography project that was part of Wiki Loves Monuments (Lower Austria's Marterl in Hollabrunn district an neighbouring communities) was granted additional funding due to the high gasoline costs (see NÖN report). Similar projects wer budgeted for other parts of the country but couldn't generate enough interest. For 2012 financing a rental vehicle and overnight stay expenses in remote regions has been planned.
Admont Monastery and the Prospect of Scanning the Library Catalogue
Since a joint presentation of Kurt Kulac and Dr. Johann Tomaschek, the director of the monastery library in Admont, at the University of Applied Sciences in Eisenstadt we are in keeping in touch with the Benedictine house in Upper Styria. There have been several meeting at which possible cooperations were discussed, since we share common goals - the perserving and gathering knowledge. Together with the Wikisource authors we thought about what Wikimedia can offer and what we would expect from Admon in return. A while ago the idea was born to digitalise the unique library catlogue, containing century old handwritten index cards. In return we would be allowed to scan and publish library books on Coomons. So far the library catalogue hadn't been digitalised due to the lack of funding. A decision was made not to cancel the project but rather postpone it, since both sides recognised the unforseen potential of working together.
As part of the literature scholarship project by Heinz Egger three request were granted in 2011 according to the Wikipedia documentation page. A few more cases are still open. More informaiton can be obtained by contacting Heinz Egger directly. For the first time Wikimedia Austria, represented by Beppo Stuhl, meditated an online resource over its literature scholarship. A one year access to the "Biographical Lexicon 1815-1985" was acquired. This made it possible to extend the project to a new field. Similarly the giving away of yearly tickets to the Austrian National Library allowed editors to access 44 online literature data bases. Originally it had been planned to allow a large number of people to use the system, this however could not be done due to legal limitations. At the general meeting we were able to hand out three one-year tickets. This offering is intended to be kept permanently and should be accessible to all chapter members upon the presentation of a receipt.
GLAM and WP meet Antiquity
There are contacts to other monasteries and cultural institutions on many levels. As part of the GLAM projects supported by Wikimedia Austria such cooperation activities can be propelled forward. Wikimedians attended manifold events in the GLAM context, e.g. MUSIS (of the Styrian museum association) in Graz and the Europeana meeting in Vienna.
The symposium "Wikipedia meets Antiquity" in Göttingen was one of the highlights in which two Wikimedians - Bernhard Wallisch (Portal:Egyptology) and Beppo Stuhl (Portal: Pre- and Early History) took part. Austria was also represented by two speakers of the ÖAI, the Austrian archeology institute. Many prominent archeologists, antiquity scientists, classical philologists, archivers, nuismatics, building historians etc. from Germany, Switzerland and Great Britain were attending and presenting their fields in two parrael lecture rooms. Simultaneously these scientists also analysed and constructively critisised Wikipeda.
Wiki Loves Monuments
From the 1st until the 30th of September 11,999 photos of listed monuments, statues and building wer taken as part of the "Wiki Loves Monuments 2011" campaign. They were uploaded to Commons and marked as with a "Images from Wiki Loves Monuments 2011 in Austria" category tag. The 50 awardees can be seen at the German Wikipedia page "Wiki Loves Monuments Österreich/Preisträger".
At the beginning we were confronted with a list of 36,000 portected monuments in Austria including palaces, Chritian wayside shrines, art nouveau and industrial buildings. It took Wikipedians more than a year to arrange these in about 2,400 municipality lists. The participation using these lists was as simplified as possible. One had to click the icon of a photo camera in order to be forwarded to an online form on Commons which already included the respective monument's ID. At the especially created web site http://wikilovesmonuments.at one could access provincial maps, monument informaitons, links to Google maps and see live which monuments had already been photographed. The message was enthusiastically understood by the contest participants: "Illustrate Wikipedia! Take pictures of monuments that are not pictured in their article!". The coordinator Ruben Demus was asked many times why the pictures didn't appear automatically on the lists on Wikipedia. The automatisation would however not have guaranteed that the best possible shot appeared on the list and therefore the selection had to be handled by 220 volunteers manually.
Wikipedians of the Preservation of Monuments project provided coordinates, browsed cadastral registers and edited monument descriptions. The Federal Monuments Agency made its data available. At Monuments Day 2011 on the 25th of September extra "wooden" objects could be accessed. They were also included in the Wikipedia lists, where one can upload photos for the special price of the federal agency.
After exhausting work by the federal provinces jury made up of 20 Wikipedians who went over all of the 12,000 images finally 500 were chosen and forwarded to the main jury on a specially set up wiki. The selection committee selected 50 winners who received their prices on the 17th of November in the Viennese Hofburg. Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco attended the ceremony and handed out the certificates and prices together with the president of the Federal Monuments Agency - Dr. Barbara Neubauer. The main price was photo equipment by Canon and was awarded to a photographer who had to operate low quality technology until that point.
2 photos selected by the Austrian jury made it to the top 10 of the European contest where almost 167,000 images were entered.
Temporary Employee for Wiki Loves Monuments
In order to organise the Wiki Loves Monuments project and to take care of the coordination with the Federal Monuments Agency a temporary project coordinator position was announced in July:
"Wikimedia Austria - Society for the Promotion of Free Knowledge is looking to contract a project coordinator who can consult an international project for a period of 4 months. Fluency in English and project management experience are required."
We received multiple enquires and one application by Ruben Demus, who as an art student had experience with similar projects and organising contests. He was finally selected for the position. The appointment was from July to September 2011. During his epmloyment Ruben acquired prices for the award ceremony, built up the wikilovesmonuments.at web site, wrote press releases, took part in Federal Monuments Agency proceedings and helped out with the organisation and image selection.
We are really satisfied with work. Ruben did not only independently and proactively take care of all prerequired taks but additionally assisted the board in its work.
Wikimedia Austria contributed 2,000 Euro to the coverage of the operation costs of the Toolserver in 2011. The amount was trasferred to Wikimedia Deutschland who pay the bills and personnel of the project.
The future of the Toolsever is questionable. Wikimedia Deutschland is forseeing a budget for 2012 of 55,000 Euro and covering 20,000 Euro of it. The remining 35,000 Euro are to be provided by other Wikimedia chapters.
Most chapters don't have an independend budget anymore and, just like Wikimedia Austria, have to submit a program plan to the Wikimedia Foundation which in turn provides their financing. This makes chipping in money across several chapters pointless. Instead a foundation sponsored grant covering the full amount could be applied for. Such financing wouldn't however be granted, since the Wikimedia Foundation is in the process of establishing a competing project "WikiLabs". Wikimedia Deutschland has announced it will maintain the Toolserver at least until the new platform reaches its full functionality.
We would like to help this undertaking for as long as the "WikiLabs" is still in the making, but would have to withdraw the money from another category - for instance infrastructure for which we have projected 6,500 Euro for web sites, CiviCRM and similar projects.
Photography Workshop Nuremberg
We received a request for a travel scholarship to the Photography Workshop in Nuremberg.
The chapter then decided to officially offer scholarships for the workshop and published this informaiton on the mainling list and MemberWiki. Ultimately there was no interest and the original applicant whose idea we had picked up became ill in the meawhile and couldn't attend.
In the year to come scholarships for the Photography Workshop will be handled as part of the photo project. Wikimedia Austria now owns photgraphy equipment which is being made available free of charge. We cover travel costs for special photo projects and in the case of the Photography Workshop also the attendence fee and accomodation. This project is budgeted with 13.000 Euro for the 2012 period.
This year the Wikimania took place in Haifa, Israel. In order to convince more wikimedians from Austria to participate in this valuable conference Wikimedia Austria established its "Chapter Scholarships". This idea was picked up by multiple other chapters.
The Wikimedia Foundation offers Wikimania Scholarships. Their number is limited and they are preferentially awarded to community members from underrepresented countries and chapters. Therefore Wikimedia Austria made the decision to award 10 local scholarships budgeted at 10,000 Euro to Austrian wikipedians or members of Wikimedia Austria.
In order to to this we collaborated with the Wikimania organisers in Israel to overhaul the online application platform, add a German language interface and work out an unified application evaluation process. Since all the applications were handled centrally over the platform it was guaranteed that each scholarship-team would be able to oversee the evaluations of every other team. Approved scholarships were removed from the common pool, while denied ones were returned to it.
Wikimedia CH quickly picked up our idea and copied the process translating the platform into French and Italian. Wikimedia Deutschland later offered an additional 16 scholarships with fixed expenses.
At Heinz Egger's initiative Wikimedia Austria offered two of its scholarships to slovak participants, one of which was acutally used.
Since Wikimedia Deutschland received way more applications than it had scholarships to offer and the situation with Wikimedia Austria and CH was the exact opposite, we opted to accept German applicant on our list. Thereby we were able to provide more overall participation.
Sichs wikimedians did finally use a scholarhip:
- five member of Wikimedia Austria, four from Austria and one from Germany
- One wikimedian from Slovakia, living in Germany
Two more shcolarships were applied for and awarded, but remained unused. One scholarship was denied.
Due to the success of the chapter scholarships for Wikimania we will offer this programme again next year. The Wikimania organising team in Washington D.C. already picked up and impelmented the process in its chapter. In 2012 we have planned 15,000 Euro for Wikimania scholarships.
Having sponsored the Skillshare 2010, a German language Wikipedia volunteer conference, by providing travel scholarphis we extended this policy to the following event, the WikiConvention in Nuremberg.
We provided 3,000 Euro financial aid for the organisation. This covered the rent for the venue and the catering. It also ensured that attendence fees and accomodations would remain as low as 30 Euro.
Another 2,000 Euro were provided for travel scholarships. Bernhard Wallisch and an Austrian from Linz as well as two board members - Beppo Stuhl and Manuel Schneider - participated. Beppo Stuhl was promoting the Wiki Loves Monuments project and settled some issues between the German and Swiss communities. Manuel Schneider took care of the video recordings of several presentations and the heavliy debated discussion about image filters with Ting Chen. He also cooperated with the ORF to produce a WikiTV-broadcast.
Since the event was hailed as very helpful by all participants Wikimedia Austria wil budget 3,500 Euro for next year's conference. In the meantime there have been plans to not only sponsor the event but even organise it in Austria. More on that later.
Wikimedia-Booth at the LinuxDay Dornbirn
For the 13th year in a row the Linux Usergroup Vorarlberg is organising a LinuxDay, a small conference and fair. Being invited Wikimedia Austria decided to take part and present itself with a booth. We offered travel cost reimbursements for volunteers to make that possible.
Thomas Planinger and Manuel Schneider were on the spot and met wikimedians from Austria and Switzerland. Many visitors recognised Wikipedia but not Wikimedia. Therefore we decided that we need to become proactive and present ourselved at more events that are not part of the Wikimedia universe next year.
Wikipedia Biology Editors Meeting
Supported by covering their travel costs many Austria Wikipedia authors were able to attend the Biology editors meeting in neighbouring Hungary. A vehicle was rented which provided to opportunity to udertake expeditions in natural reserves of the Hungarian Danube Bend. Multiple photos of the unique (endemic) flora and fauna were taken and articles about the culture of the local, German speaking people were edited. There were tours guided by local rangers and ecologists. A microscope provided by Wikimedia Deutschland made it possible not only to have a closer look but also take pictures with the additonal digital camera.
Press Work for Wikipedia's 10th birthday
The media interest regarding the 10-year anniversary of Wikipedia in January was huge. There was such a big rush toward us that we weren't able to handle all the telephone calls and interview requests. We arranged interviews of Wikimedians and Wikipedians with press, radio and TV outlets, many of which with nation-wide (e.g. Oe1 and FM4 of the Austrian public broadcaster ORF). The results were overwhelming. The "Kleine Zeitung" (the biggest regional daily tabloid in Austria) dedicated its first five pages to Wikipedia including the Wikipedia logo on the title page. Birthday celebrations were organised in Viena, Linz and Graz. Together with the ORF, who provided the hardware, we were able to provide a live link not only between the Austrian party locations but also to several German events. The result was an approximately half-hour long montage including an interview that was aired on Bayern Alpha (Bavarian public broadcasting) a few days later. Another video of the celebration in Graz was shot by the Kleinen Zeitung for their online edition. In March for the anniversary of the German-language Wikipedia the media interest was unfortunately, but understandably not as strong. An additional circumstance was that despite having given a number of interviews and expecting several publicaitons the earthquake disaster in Japan ousted us from many newscasts. At least the ORF showed interest in our party in the renouned Café Landtmann and dedicated a half hour episode of the prominent science series Newton to Wikipedia, which was aired Saturday evening.
TV broadcasts produced by the ORF in cooperation with Wikimedia Austria released under a free license:
News Items (selection)
- 19. September 2011: APA - OTS (Austrian press agency) - Final Round of Wikipedia Photo Contest
- 13. September 2011: DiePresse.com - (online-portal of a national newspaper) Photo Contest "Wiki Loves Monuments" in Austria
- 02. September 2011: APA - OTS - Wiki loves Monuments - IMAGE - Take a picture of your town and win prices.
- 11. April 2011: Universität Innsbruck - Biology students as science writers for Wikipedia.
- 18. Jänner 2011: Bayern alpha - Österreich Fenster um 21:00 Uhr (Bavarian public broadcaster) - "10 Years Join-in Lexicon - Hey hey Wiki!" (with recordings of parties in A, D und CH (repeat: 19. January, 1:00 CET)
- 17. January 2011: ORF - fm4 connected (nation-wide radio network) - Kurt Kulac, Wikipedia-Author
- 15. January 2011: Kleine Zeitung - (biggest reagional daily) Wikipedia's 10th: The Party in Graz
- 15. January 2011: ORF - Ö1-Mittagsjournal (News at noon by ORF) - Ten Years Wikipedia - Encyclopedia Gathers Human Knowledge (cast of the radio interview with Christoph Breitler)
- 15. January 2011: Kurier (national newspaper) - "Communicating, Spreading and Improving Knowledge"
- 15. January 2011: Kurier - "Wikipedia Deemed Better Than Traditional Encyclopediae."
- 15. January 2011: Wiener Zeitung (national newspaper) - The End of Secret Knowledge of Domination
- 15. Jnauary 2011: Wiener Zeitung (national newspaper) - The Crowd Intelligence is Alive
- 14. January 2011: Servus TV - Servus Journal (nation-wide TV news) - Then Internet Lexicon Celebrates 10th Birthday (The report starts at minute 8:00 and lasts 2:28 minutes.)
- 14. January 2011: ORF - Radio Wien (Vienna regional radio) - Viennese Regulars' table for Wikipedia's Birthday (cast of the interview with Kurt Kulac)
- 14. January 2011: Die Presse (national newspaper) - Wikipedia: The Largest Commercial-Free Zone on the Internet
- 14. January 2011: Kleine Zeitung - An Afternoon with Austria's Prime-Wikipedian
- 12. January 2011: Der Standard (national newspaper) - Austrians donate 80.000 Euro to Wikipedia
- 12. January 2011: OÖ Nachrichten (overregional newspaper) - 10 Years Wikipedia and The Wikipedia Founders
- 11. January 2011: WirtschaftsBlatt (national business newspaper) - Free Knowledge for Everyone: 10 Years Wikipedia
- 10. January 2011: Kleine Zeitung - The Unexpected Triumph
- 9. January 2011: ORF - 10 Years Free Encyclopedia - Between Quality and Quantity
- 7. January 2011: HORIZONT - Wikipedia is ten
- 5. January 2011: Der Standard - Ten Years Wikipedia - The Unexpected Triumph
Appearance at the LinuxDay Fair in Dornbirn
Since years the LInux Usergroup Vorarlberg is organising a LinuxDay in Dornbirn. They invited us to participate this year. The LinuxDay would like to show more than just free software, so the netculture Lab was present as well. Since we had known it as a quality event and we wanted to popularise Wikimedia in the field we decided to participate with an own booth. The costs were as low as one train ticket and we invitet Wikimedians from the region to participate - refunding their travel costs if necessary (see below).
We were able to attract a few new members (five application forms were taken - one came back on the spot) and meet some users. The interest in our booth was considerable even among Non-Wikimedians: Everyone recognised the Wikipedia banner but almost nobody had heard of Wikimedia. Many attendees were visiting from Switzerland and Germany and we came up with the plan to organise a common presence with Wikimedia CH and Wikimedia Deutschland at the LinuxDay in Berlin - the largest open-source event in Europe. Wikimedia Offline had been present in past years and could be well integrated into a joint booth. An appropriate request was sent to the official addresses of Wikimedia CH and Wikimedia Deutschland.
Attending the Chapters Meeting in Berlin
There is a yearly meeting of all Wikimedia Chapters. Each organisation sends one or two board members to attend the proceedings and cover a vast amount of topics: fundraising, public relations, professionalisation, building up a staffed office, international activities, cooperation between the chapters and the foundation, and so on.
The 2011 meeting took place, just as in the previous years, in Berlin organised by Wikimedia Deutschland between the 25th and the 27th of March.
Wikimedia Austria was represented by chairmen Kurt Kulac and Christoph Breitler. Advisory board member Manuel Schneider took part on behalf of Wikimedia CH.
We briefly presented the state of our society, signed the chapter agreement and applied to organise the Fundraising Summint. Our engangement ot promote and help Wikimedia Spain was set in motion at this meeting.
A detailed report on the Chapters Meeting can be accessed at our MemberWiki:
Hosting the Fundraising Summit in June
In preparation of the yearly fundraising campaign - where some Wikimedia chapters individually collect, book and transfer the donations - there is a Fundraising Summit taking place since 2010. One of the chapters invites representatives of all other organisations that would like to participate in the planned fundraising drive.
At the Chapters Meeting a new host was to be chosen. After initial consultation with Wikimedia Deutschland, who organise multiple similar events, and Wikimedia UK, who hosted last year's meeting, we decided to assume that responsibility. With that step Wikimedia Austria joined the small circle of chapter that have organised an international wikimedia event.
The Fundraising Summing 2011 took place from the 16th to the 19th of June. The venue was the "Akzent Theater" of the Viennese Chamber of Labour. 20 people from eleven Wikimedia chapters and the foundation itself participated.
- Meta-Wiki event site: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_2011/Fundraising_Summit
Discussion topcis were the fundraising agreements, usage of the CiviCRM and other systems for donation surveying and especially testing - which landing sites and appeals generate the highest funds. Exchanging experience from last year's fundraising activities was another major issue.
The highlight of the Fundraising Summit took place on Saturday evening when we invited the participants in the meeting to join Viennese Wikipedians at their regulars' table at a local pub. The locals had thereby the opporunity to meet like-minded Wikipedians from around the world, while Wikimedia Foundation emloyees were able to meet the local community.
Our MemberWiki has a project site, where the event was planned and the expenses are listed, as well as a final report for the participants.
- Report: http://mitglieder.wikimedia.at/Archiv/2011-06-26_Fundraising_Summit_2011
- project site: http://mitglieder.wikimedia.at/Projekte/Fundraising_Summit_2011
Wikimania Attendance with Numerous Scholarships
Every year there is a internaitonal Wikimedia conference called "Wikimania" that takes place in different countries. Wikimania is a community conference organised by volunteers in a city that was previously chosen in a bidding procedure. It lasts for four days, offers five topics streams and attracts 800 attendees worldwide.
Wikimedia Austria sponsored six scholarships open to Wikipedians from Austria and Slovakia or chapter members. Also participating were board members Kult Kulac and Christoph Breitler as well as Wikimedia Deutschland advisory board Daneis Barthel and Manuel Schneider, Wikimedia CH advisory board and Wikimedia Offline Project representative.
Presentations by Wikimedia Austria
The MediaWiki extension "collaborative watchlist" was presented a while ago, can't however be implemented in the Wikimedia projects yet, since that would require a Wikimedia employees code review. Additionally a vote would be necessary for the community to express its majority wish to aktivate the new feature.
In order to facilitate this process we sent Florian Hackenberger, developer of the extension, to Haifa. He took part in the MediaWiki devlopers meet-up ahead of the actual conference and spoke to key personalities in person. Several software improvements resulted from his participation.
During the Wikimania conference Kurt Kulac and Christoph Breitler made a presentation about the collaborative watchlist in order to interest and convince more users for the project.
- Video (2nd half starting at 0:37): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zlGo-hrnt8
We are still gathering signatures in a petition that advocates the launching of the software on the Wikimedia servers:
openZIM / Wikimedia Offline
Advisory board Manuel Schneider organsied a openZIM (the Wikimedia Offline Project) meet-up in Haifa ahead of Wikimania. By scheduling the event just before the conference we were able to attract more international developers and foundation employees to participate.
The two-day meeting - taking part simultaneously with the MediaWiki devlopers' meeting - generated new ideas for the next year. The Wikimedia Foundation will increase its financial and staff support for the project. Two people will work on further developing the Kwix reader, which was already ported to MacOS X and X0 (One Laptop per Child project). openZIM shall receive the support of a developer in order to implement the final missing library functions.
The Global South Meeting, that also took part ahead of the conference in Haifa, had an additional joint informaiton sharing session.
During Wikimania a presentaiton was held which informed the community about the project and the current state of its development.
- Video (2nd half starting at 0:33): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFlpIBL4tes
Founding Member of the CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) - Group
Spontenously several chapters from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) gathered at Wikimania. We were invited ourselves.
The result of the rather pleasant lunch-time discussion was the intent to organise a regional "Wikimedia CEE Conference" and yet another mailing, which is being monitored by advisory board Manuel Schneider on our behalf. At first the event was to be hosted by Wikmedia Czech Republic, the current plans are for Wikimedia Serbia to take over. Persumably the conference will take place in May in Belgrade. We will send out more further informaiton to our memebers and encourage them to participate as soon as we receive a confirmation.
- mailing list: http://tools.wikimedia.pl/mailman/listinfo/wmcee-l
Support for WikiCon 2011
As mentioned above our support for the WikiConvention in Nuremberg was not limited to encourage participation from Austria, we also sponsored the event with an amount of 3,000 Euro.
The WikiConvention 2011 was organised by volunteers in the Nuremberg area, supported by the three German language speaking chapters. Wikimedia Deutschland provided the workforce and took care of the accounting with suppliers and sponsors. By supporting the event together with Wikimedia CH we were able to make it a truly international happening.
Wikimedia Spain (Grant)
We supported the Spanish chapter that was founded in February 2011 by providing a startup grant of 1,000 Euro. At the chapter meetings in Berlin we got in touch with the Spanish respresentatives who shared their problems with us. Their difficulties reminded us of our own initial financial difficulties in Austria. We were able to start our actual activity almost one year after the founding of our chapter due to the lack of financing. By providing Wikimedia Spain with money they were able to acquire their first office supplies, promotional material and Wikipedia brochures. Further they were able to support a free software contest. Wikimedia Spain has already informed us about their future plans and we are intending to provide additional financial support in the same amount.
The financial support was defined as a credit, but have so far abstained from asking for its repayment. After having received the report of Wikimedia Spain we would like to keep things that way. We are currently contemplating an alternative possiblity - to commit Wikimedia Spain to help another starting chapter in return.
Wikimedia Slovakia (Consulting)
We agreed to support the foundation of Wikimedia Slovakia, together with Wikimedia Deutschland, in a similar way we helped Wikimedia Spain. So far there have beent wo meetings, one of them with a legal adviser to help draw up the bylaws. We will finance the lawyer fees and the travel costs at a rate of 50%.
Wikimedia Portugal (travel costs Fundraising Summit)
For Wikimedia Portugal we covered the travel costs for one participant at the Fundraising Summint organised by us in Vienna.
Web Site Relauch and CiviCRM Rollout
The exsisting web site was updated an order to supplement it with the software extensions. This gave us the opportunity to have the content and design remodelled by experts.
After an offer of 3,000 Euro for the devlopment of a new and modern website including corporate design the board commissioned the order. The graphic design drafts and the concept were presented and discussed via mailing list and MemberWiki.
The new web site was launched in October. Simultaneously the CiviCRM, an addition to Drupal, was installed in order to be able to centrally manage contacts, members, donations, memeberhip fees and the like. CiviCRM is free software developed with the needs of NPOs in mind. It is being used by the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikmedia Sweden. At the Fundraising Summit Holger of Wikimedia Sweden demonstrated the CiviCRM extensions intended to simplify the administration of donations and memebership applications. Furthermore Holger takes care of the entire accounting using this software.
Further Development of CiviCRM
Impressed by the abilities of the software the board made the decision to support Holger with the devlopment of his modules, in order to made them usable for every Wikimedia chapter and to ensure compatibility with the next generations of Drupal and CiviCRM. We were able to obtain access to the Wikimedia software repository for Holger. Since then his modules are available to everybody in the Wikimedia SVN:
With the turn of the chapter year in August/September 2011 CiviCRM is being officially used by us. Not all funcitons are ready yet and we need more training to be able to make use of the possibilities provided by CiviCRM. There are, however, already appreciable improvements and simplifications in the administration.
There were two development meetings at Manuel's:
- in July with Holger from Schweden - http://mitglieder.wikimedia.at/Archiv/2011-07-12_Bericht_CiviCRM-Arbeitstreffen
- in October with Florian from Austria and Holger from Sweden - http://mitglieder.wikimedia.at/Projekte/Einf%C3%BChrung_CiviCRM#Arbeitsplan_Hackfest_7._-_10._Oktober
Wikimedia CH joined the project in October and covered half of the expenses of the second meeting.
Assuming Control of Wikipedia.at
The internet domain "wikipedia.at" had been the property of a Wikimedia Deutschland member for a few years now. With the assistance of the German chapter we were able to to transfer it to Wikimedia Austria. This process took almost two months to complete.
Subsequently we commissioned the programming of a search portal for Wikipedia (costs: 170 Euro). At wikimedia.at one can now search in all languages spoken in Austria. An additional advantage is that this web site is being used in Austria as a starting point for Wikipedia searches and thus provides us with the opporunity to contact Austrian users and promote our organisation and donation calls.
The search portal went live together with the donation drive and is being hosted free of charge, just like the other web platforms, by the company mastersystems in Germany.
Membership Campaign instead of Fundraiser
After the very successful fundraising campaign from Novermber 2011 to January 2012 new contracts were negotiated by the Wikimedia Foundation for the upcoming fundraising drive. We shared the draft agreement with our members and initiated a discussion:
In preparation of the funraising campaign a Fundraising Summit in Vienna was organised. Wikimedia Austria signed the fundraising agreement.
A big surprise was announced at the Wikimania in Haifa: The board of the Wikimedia Foundation had decided that the foundation did not have enough influence over the chapters when it comes to the donations (booking, reports, accounting, spending) while carrying all the responsiblity towards the donors by itself. Therefore the board immideately stopped the fundraising drive by the chapters. The already singed agreements would have to be declared null and void. Instead the Wikimedia Foundation was to collect all the donations and fund its chapters in the form of grants.
On the spot in Haifa the board started negotiations with Barry Newstead, employee of the Wikimedia Foundation and responsible fo the fundraising agreements. Our compromise was as follows: We will without difficulties receive a grant at the conditions we asked for and in return we shall abstain from excersising the already signed fundraising agreement.
The grant agreement was not an easy task. The Wikimedia Foundation was pushing to increase its influence over the chapters and to impose US american rules on them. On internal-l the dissatisfaction was reaching new heights for weeks. We then made the decision to hire our own lawyer to draft a counter-proposal - as close as possible to the original document but legally acceptable to us. This step tunred out to be successful and the document proposed by us was accepted as the final draft with just a few changes. After the Wiki Loves Monuments award ceremony our chairman and tresurer signed the agreement with executive director Sue Gardner and in-house counsel Geoff Brigham present. The latter two received the documentation to hand it to Barry Newstead for signing.
Since we are no longer involved with the fundraising drive, we now gather donation directly over wikimedia.at or wikipedia.at. Furthermore we have begun to actively attract more members. CiviCRM is going to help us with that, the appearance in Dornbirn was another step in this direction. As soon as the online form is released we will contact all donors from 2010 and invite them to become members. A mass of members - even the ones who are no part of the Wikimedia universe - will be important for our future political activity, plus we also still need more help.
In the course of the past year we established and acquired a basic set of promotional products for Wikimedia and its various projects. Next year we plan to complement the current stock by printing brochures and flyers. Wikimedia Austria currently orders and stores:
- Wikipedia logo stickers
- Wiki Loves Monuments stickers
- Austria-Design lanyards with Wikipedia logo and name
- Roll-up displays
- Wiki Loves Monuments
Additionally we have also received promotional products from other chapters (e.g. t-shirts, candles and swag pins) which were mostly given out already.
All our products can be requested by members at all times and used for promotional purposes.
Internal: Board Activity
Our board's activity has icnreased together with the financial possibilites and activities of the chapter. In order to achieve that we had to build up new infrastructure and create work flows. Therefore we weill dedicate a part of the report to these issues.
Documenting Decisions and Procedures
Decisions are usually taken at board meetings and documented in the Board-Wiki.
The Board-Wiki serves as a place to conduct business and as a documentation platform. Discussion points for the board meetings and necessary decisions to be made are gathered there to be taken care of during the board meetings. Each meeting has its own subpage containing a brief protocol.
Originally it was planned to create subpages for every decision and then vote on them on the Wiki, like they do in Wikimedia CH. However it tunrs out that we have a large amount of small decisions for which such a process would be too time-consuming. It is more effective to vote quickly during the teleconferences and to note the result in the protocol. Wikimedia CH usually takes a small amount of board decisions each year regarding larger projects while almost never having board meetings. That is why the on-wiki method works there.
The decision-making process is usually kicked off by an announcement on the board's mailing list. Afterward it is briefly discussed during the meeting and a consensual decision is made. There hasn't been a single case last year of needing a majority decision.
In case that a board meeeting didn't have a quorum (i.e. less than four members present) preliminary decisions were taken and the absent members were asked to add their support in the protocol. This process was seldomly necessary but worked in the few cases we tried it.
At the end of 2010 and with the implementation of the Board-Wiki the general meeting was temporarily conducted as a Wiki chart. This allowed every board member to maintain an overview over the members, necessary changes could be handled in an uncomplicated manner (division of labour) and there were no problems comparing and distributing the data.
Meanwhile we were on the lookout for programs to handle the member adminstration. Since we do not have an office and the board's work is decentralised common porgrams are not usable, since we would again suffer a data synchronisation problem.
By implementing CiviCRM we now have a web based, centralised solution that can do a lot more than just administer members. It is a complete contact management tool, offers functionalities to send out circulars to members or to handle to booking of donations and membership fees. We have been using this new system since September but we still need some practice. The more powerful a software is, the more complicated it becomes.
Holger of Wikimedia Sweden coded a few extra modules for us enabling us to provide online membership applications on our homepage. In future we will also be able draw in the membership fees online. This functionality is presently still being tested.
Until now accounting has been done in a manual and decentralised fashion. The funraising campaing at the turn of the year 2010/2011 caused great difficulties: Thousands of bookings had to be handled manually. Hundreds of donations were being processed by the bank a single transaction. Erroneous transfers were being back posted. A major portion of the workload was the search of the erroneous transfer in order to book it coorectly. The handling of all donations and the writing of a report therefore lasted up to several months after the actual fundraising drive.
We found a rather simple solution with Wikimedia Sweden: Modified by a few extensions their CiviCRM version was being used for all their bookkeeping. Donations are being registered online and allocated to a certain bookkeeping or bank account (a source). Later the state of the donation can be modified either automatically or manually. When using the Paypal system a confirmation is being sent automatically. Bank transfers can be handled quickly by compiling a list of open payments. With the available data a monthly donations report can be created automatically by the click of a mouse. Floraian Hackenberger integrated his tool for drawing in donations over the electronic banking system in Austria with the Drupal module of Wikimedia Sweden, so we won't use this functionality by using the new software.
Hanlding the entire accountancy with CiviCRM is momentarily an important task. We have already created the technological precondition but need more practice and experience. Since the audit of last year's bookkeeping has now been completed with the general meeting we can focus our attention on this goal.
There have been staff changes as well. After three years Tilman Keskinöz withdrew from the treasurer position in June. We would like to thank him for his commitment at this point.
At the 1st of July we were able to coopt Reiner Strubert as new treasurer. He has not been a chapter member so far, but boosts broad experience as IT-director and controller in a public law company.
At the general meeting on the 10th of December 2011 the long-term board member Dr. Hubert Isopp withdrew from his positon. He had until this point filled the position of deputy treasurer. We would like to to express our gratitude to him as well. He has been comitted to Wikimedia Austria since its founding.
A candidate for the vacant position is Michael Kranewitter, who had previsously retired from this board position as board secretary at the general meeting in 2010.
Contracts, Reports and Protocols
All official document of Wikimedia Austria are archived in our MemberWiki:
There one can access the contracts with the Wikimedia Foundation (chapter, fundraising and grant agreement) or insurance documents (photography equipment). Reports or presentations from our participation in events and projects are being stored there as well.
In case some documents is not to be found be sure that the reason is not malice but simply forgetfulness. Please let us know by writing on our mailing list or asking the board (email@example.com).
Additionally we prepare a brief report in English each month and publish it on Meta-Wiki
In the past, due to lack of appropriate technology, it was oftentimes problematic to draw up documents on time and hare even among board members. Therefore we acquired three multifunctional appliances - scanner, copy- and fax-machine in one. This enables us to print, digitalise and share documents, promotional material, blanks and contracts any time from Austria and Germany.
Due to the geographic spread of the board members across Austria and in Germany the teamwork is entirely digital. A board meeting in Austria had been planned for March 2011 but had to be cancelled duo to schedules packed by the numerous Wikimedia events and commitments. Furthermore during the planning of our MemberWiki and on the mailing list considerable rejections of this idea were formulated.
Board members therefore met (although never in full numbers) at the following occasions:
- Chapters Meeting
- Fundraising Summit
- Wiki Loves Monuments awards ceremony, meeting with Sue Gardner
- general meeting
The workflow over the internet have already smoothened. Supportive measures like acquiring a notebook with an UMTS card and multifunctional printers/scanners were very helpful.
The daily communication is handled over the board mailing list. On average five messages daily are exchanged there. E-mails addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org (i.e. ~ email@example.com) are being forwarded to this mailing list too and can be handled by any board member.
The documentation of decisions and other records takes place at the Board-Wiki or in the CiviCRM when it comes to individual/personal information.
In order to process requests, questions and ideas there is a weekly teleconference on Skype. It normally takes place each Wednesday from 20 to 22 o'clock CET and the agenda accumulated in the Board-Wiki is being worked off.
Future: Outlook and Ideas
Based on the preceding year's activities, experiences and ideas the board worked out a preliminary estimate for the coming calendar year. This proposal was submitted in due time on the 31st of August as a "Program Plan" to the Wikimedia Foundation. On the 11th of October we received an e-mail that Barry Newstead (Wikimedia Foundation) would accept it. The signed Grant Agreement together with the proposal confirmation were delivered by mail on the 9.12.2011, in time ahead of the general members' meeting.
We tried to devise the budget positions in a flexible yet precise manner. The goal was to be able to realise spontaneous ideas while still having a solid plan for the upcoming year.
For the coming year we would prefer to draw the plan up together. For this to happen we would need an effective process that keeps the negotiations from getting out of hand.
Wikimania 2012 in Washington D.C.
Wikimania 2012 will be organised in Washigton D.C. from the 12th to the 14th of july by the newly founded local chapter. Advisor Manuel Schneider is in close contact with the organising team.
Wikimedia Austria has already announced its intention to carry out the Chapter Scholarships idea. We would like to see as much participation from Austria as possible and are therefore planning to once gain grant ten scholarships. We shall promote the information through our mailing list, our MemberWiki and our home page.
WikiCon 2012 in the Four-Country Area
After having supported two events in the German-speaking Wikimedia community - the Skillshare in Lüneburg adn the WikiConvention in Nuremberg - and having expressed the wish to organise a meeting, the board of Wikimedia Austria decided to initiate the process. The organisation and concept remain a community responsibility.
There were volunteers from Austria, Switzerland and Germany and the idea was born to set the "WikiCon 2012" in the Four-Country area of the German speaking community - the place where Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Liechtenstein meet. Dornbirn is currently being evaluated as a possible venue. Due to the exsisting contacts between the Wikimedia Austria and the local Linux Usergroup as well as professors at the technical college the conditions for organising such an event are very good. On the 21st of December the recotrate of the University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg will discuss whether it will officially host the WikiCon 2012 and thereby support us.
Wiki Loves Monuments 2012
At the GLAM and DISH conferences that took place between the 1st and the 5th of December 2011 in Amsterdam and the 6th and 9th of December in Rotterdam respectively the development for a worldwide Wiki Loves Monuments 2012 photo contest was initiated. The European Parliament should be invovled in the process in order to solve the Freedom of Panorama complications at the European level (photographs made in Italy, or instance, cannot be published without being released by the structure's owner).
Wikimedia Austria has raised its WLM 2012 budget in order to promote and sponsor foto activities in Austrian regions lacking numerous free license images (similar to the funding fo the Central Hesse fotographing acitivies by the German community budget in September 2011). One of the goals is to involve the local communities and municipalities.
The chapter's success depends on the people taking part in the projects. That in mind, it is irrelevant whether someone is a member or not - the results count. Our vison "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's our goal." is the top priority. Wikimedia Austria is a supporting organisation, mouthpiece, financier and ressources provider for that vision. Your ideas and projects are our main focus.
In order to stay up to date about Wikimedia and to be able to take part in projects we welcome you to join our public mailing list and MemberWiki (open to everyone after e-mail verification):