News and notes
The Wikimedia Conference and Wikimania
Wikimedia Conference 2015
Wikimania 2015 is underway in Mexico City, and one of its sessions—a scheduled follow-up to the annual Wikimedia Conference that was held in Berlin in May—is good reason to provide a retrospective of that Conference.
The Wikimedia Conference gathered together leaders and staff of Wikimedia affiliate organizations, groups of volunteers such as the Affiliations Committee and the Funds Dissemination Committee, and WMF Board and staff members. The conference was held in Berlin, hosted by Wikimedia Germany, and involved 165 participants from 53 nations. Representatives were from 39 chapters, one thematic organization, and 17 user groups.
One of the highlights was the presentation by WMF executive director Lila Tretikov, in which she spoke of WMF collaboration with affiliates through improved partnerships, practices, and tools. In previous years the relationship between WMF and affiliates has been strained by financial disputes; governance issues with Wikimedia Germany and Wikimedia UK; "concern by the Foundation about budget and staffing growth, lack of demonstrable impact on WMF sites, and governance among eligible affiliates"; and the drama around the now-defunct Wikimedia Chapters Association. Many affiliate representatives welcomed the positive tone of Lila's presentation, which noted that "organizations can do what individuals cannot do alone", and acknowledged that Wikimedia affiliates have important roles in building collaborations with institutions around the world.
Other conference highlights included:
- Numerous presentations on programs and program evaluation
- Discussions of administrative workloads and volunteer burnout
- An upcoming "community consultation" regarding WMF Community Resources (formerly known as Grantmaking)
- The desire of user groups to receive more support from the Foundation (ongoing discussion about the extent of WMF support for user groups is on the WMF Annual Plan talk page)
- Discussions among affiliates about how to increase diversity, particularly among affiliate board members.
- Discussions about global metrics and alternative metrics for evaluating the outcomes of programs
- Discussions on how to increase support for volunteers
An extensive report and commentary about the conference, including presentations and photographs, is available at User:Pine/Wikimedia Conference 2015 travelogue. P
- May 13 highlights
Hopes and fears written by participants in the workshop.
Notice that the avalanche of documentation had already started on pre-conference day 1.
Packa from the Czech Republic took this photo of the workshop dinner
A graph showing self-evaluations by pre-conference workshop participants at the end of the workshop
- May 14 highlights
Edward's presentation about Wikimetrics (PDF)
Presentation by Jaime about designing effective survey questions (PDF)
Presentation about the Education Program Extension by Anna Koval
Take-aways from the Thursday pre-conference sessions
- May 15 highlights
Flipchart from the Board Governance session
Lightning talks were popular. See a list of them here.
East and Southeast Asia meetup
Central and eastern Europeans
- May 16 highlights
Community Capacity Development Framework presentation (PDF)
Lila's presentation (PDF)
We discussed photo campaigns. This photo of Holy Mountains Monastery in Ukraine won the 2014 Wiki Loves Monuments competition
- May 17 highlights
Communications presentation by Katherine and Juliet
Who's going to Wikimania?
Wikimedia Germany executive director Christian Rickerts with WMF Board chair Jan-Bart de Vreede
- Wikimania 2015 is happening: Wikimania 2015 is now in progress—for 15-19 July Mexico City will host the biggest annual gathering of Wikimedians anywhere in the world. Unfortunately the Signpost will not have a presence at the conference; are you an attendee interested in helping compile coverage? Drop a line for us on the talk page. Presaging the conference, activity has lit up on the previously quiet wikimania-l mailing list. R
- Board of Trustees: Wikimania will once again this year serve its role as the traditional re-seating point for the Board of Trustees, at which time this year's newly community-elected Board members will replace their respective outgoing trustees. This Wikimania in particular will also see through the election of a new chair and vice-chair to the Board. The annual Board of Trustees forum will take place: questions from the community directed at the Board are being collected at Board of Trustees noticeboard talk page on the meta-wiki. R
- Quoth the chemist: Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing), Wikimedian in Residence at the Royal Society of Chemistry, announced a chemistry-quote competition to take place on Wikiquote, with cash prizes. Also on the mailing list is a link to the video of a presentation given by Mabbett on the use of Wikidata in OpenStreetMap. R
- Fiscal year: Per an email in wikimedia-l, the Wikimedia Foundation's fiscal year is now over, and the fundraising department is set to begin work on next year's fundraiser. Details on the Foundation's impression of its activities will be posted to the fundraising reports once the report is compiled; for now there is a summary on the meta-wiki of near-future efforts to come. R
- Erasmus Prize award ceremony: Three members of the Wikimedia community, chosen for diversity, will be presented the Erasmus Prize at an award ceremony on 25 November. A guest list for Wikipedians has been compiled on the Dutch Wikipedia, with sign-ups having closed on 12 July. For more information on the nature of the award refer to previous Signpost coverage. R
- This Month: The June edition of the GLAM newsletter is now published, as is the June edition of the Education newsletter. R
- Visiting Scholar positions: The Wikipedia Library (WMF) and the Wiki Education Foundation have partnered to put together a second round of Visiting Scholar programs. Applications are currently being accepted for positions at McMaster University, University of Washington, DePaul University, University of Pittsburgh, and the Smithsonian Institution. For more information on the outcomes of the program's first round see previous Blog coverage; a further blog post with more details on the matter has also been distributed (two, actually). R
- WMDE fundraising report: Wikimedia Germany have released their detailed fundraising report on the meta-wiki. Wikimedia Germany's size and fundraising power are anomalously successful in the movement: the Chapter-Wide Financial Trends Report published in June had to correct many of its results to account for the heavy positive skew Wikimedia Germany in the statistics. An executive summary was published as a blog post in May. R
- New WM-UK CEO: In a post to the wikimedia-l mailing list Wikimedia UK announced the hiring of a new executive CEO for the organization, Lucy Crompton-Reid, previously with the theatrical charity Apples and Snakes. A press release is available on the Wikimedia UK blog. R
- Semantic Wikimedia Survey: The Semantic MediaWiki, a popular knowledge-base extension to the movement's base MediaWiki platform, is looking for feedback on a user survey ahead of a meeting at this year's Wikimania. R
- p➞q: Wikipedia now has a channel on the notification-and-information-management website If This Then That. A number of recipes exist for things like setting your phone wallpaper to the Wikipedia Picture of the Day and getting the day's featured article in your inbox. R
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