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Subject: [Foundation-l] Chapters news
Date: Dimanche 21 Mai 2006 03:14
From: "Delphine Ménard" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

I have just come back from various trips which allowed me to attend,
in my capacity of member of the Chapters committee, various Wikimedia
meetings across Europe.

Here is a little report on what I saw happening here and there.

==Wikimedia Polska==

I attended the annual Wikimedia Polska meeting in Wroclaw on April
30th-May 1st. The meeting consisted of two parts. The first part was a
conference which gathered Wikipedians as well as non-wikipedians to
talk about and around Wikimedia projects. It was all in Polish, so I
can't really report on the exact content of most of the talks, but I
also had Łukasz (TOR) as a personal translator who sat by my side for
some of the talks given (and I hereby thank him).

*Tomasz Ganicz (Polimerek) did a very interesting presentation about
NPOV, original research and how those two ground principles are linked
and important for the building of Wikipedia.
*Jarosław Lipszyc presented his project of Polish wiki-textbooks
writen by schoolteachers, a project designed to make free textbooks
available in Polish schools.
*Zbigniew Braniecki (Gandalf), member of the board of Mozilla Europe
and developper in charge of internationalisation and localisation for
Flock presented Web 2.0 and how Wikipedia fits in. He explained how
Wikipedia was a precursor of Web 2.0 through its social implications,
and also how the Wikimedia projects and the Mediawiki software still
had to improve their usability and accessibility to join the social
and technical implications of Web 2.0
* Łukasz Garczewski (TOR) gave a talk about the different activities
of Wikimedia Polska.
*I gave a talk on organisational issues, stressing the importance of
local initiatives through chapters as a means of ensuring
international outreach of the Wikimedia projects.

Among other interventions I did not follow as thoroughly, Rafał
Próchniak of Creative Commons Poland gave a talk on Creative Commons
Licenses, Bogumił Cieniek (A_Bach) a talk on Templates, their use and
their technical background... May those I forgot forgive me. My Polish
is rusty.

==Wikimedia Deutschland==
I attended the annual meeting of the board of Wikimedia Deutschland on
May 6th-7th 2006. Every year, all members of the board get together
for a week-end to work on the projects of the coming year.

Among the different issues raised:
*Officialization of the "Geschäftsstelle" for Wikimedia Deutschland.
Arne Klempert, until now Vice-president of Wikimedia Deutschland, has
been hired as Executive Director of WIkimedia Deutschland to start in
October 2006. The creation of the position of Executive Director was
given a go by the Member's general assembly in February 2006 and the
position advertised brought in about 70 applications.
*Run down on the Wikipedia Academy final preparations. Frank
Schulenburg gave a summary of the Wikipedia Academy, which seems to
have hit its target, namely academics, students, teachers who are
interested in learning about Wikipedia and how they can participate.
All about the Wikipedia Academy on the official website:
*There are various projects in the air, in collaboration with partners
as diverse as schools, other non-profits and possibly companies.
*Participations in trade-shows and events in Germany were planned for
the year 2006
*The board of Wikimedia Deutschland also had a lengthy discussion
about the role (or lack of) of Wikimedia (the organisation) in the
conduct of the Wikimedia projects.

==Wikimedia Italia==
My flight to Belgrade had a stop over in Milano, which I used to have
an informal meeting with some members of the board of Wikimedia Italia
as well as with some wikipedians. Around a home-made pizza, we
discussed a few topics.
*Wikimedia Italia has had various offers from sponsors, especially on
the technical side, and needs to find out whether they are viable or
not, reviewing them with the technical committee.
*Wikimedia Italia has been working in partnership with the
"Politecnico di Torino" to develop an offline reader to put the
Italian Wikipedia on a DVD. The reader is in working state and works
with a browser, the technology being based on the html static
Wikipedia. The project is released under a BSD licence, and Wikimedia
Italia is looking for a publisher who could be interested in producing
the DVD.
*I realized something, ie. how boring it can be for people who are not
involved in Wikipedia to hear us all speaking about Wikipedia. Sitting
here, listening to very particular problems involving users or
articles I had no clue about, I had a thought for all our
companions/friends/parents who have to put up with this Wiki thing all
the time. I just want to take this opportunity to tell them I

==Wikimedia Србије и Црне Горе (Serbia and Montenegro)==
I was in Belgrade for two days, assisting a Free culture, free
software and free knowledge festival, originated by Wikimedia Serbia
and Montenegro and joined by other Free-movement organisation. Talks
and presentations included:
*Free art display - some real weird stuff, and some very nice art, I
particularly liked the illustration of 'an axe in honey", a Serbian
saying which displayed a major sized axe in a major sized pot of honey
*Free music and concerts
*Free software, open source distributions were presenting their products.
*Free knowledge (I gave a small talk about Wikimedia)
Many organisations joined this event which was in part driven by the
chapter, among which an organisation about free wireless internet, a
feminist organisation...

The festival was hosted by the Cultural Center DOB, a state funded
organisation, which is very interested in working with Wikimedia on a
longer time basis, their goal being to try and develop communities
around different topics, whether software, culture, knowledge etc.
Again, the presentations were in the local language, which gave me
little possibility of understanding them.
However, I had long talks about the Serbian Wikipedia, and very
interesting ones, as this Wikipedia is much smaller than those the
other existing chapters are tied to by language. Their problems and
solutions are both the same and very different, which is food for
thought how Wikipedias can help each other (or not).

All in all, these meetings were rich and interesting, and comfort me
in the idea that local representaiton is definitely the future of
Wikimedia. It is very important that we keep in touch with the
initiatives that originate around the Wikimedia projects locally in
order to ensure the maximum outreach, in as many countries as

I also hereby want to thank all my hosts, who were just perfect. :-)

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Michael Bimmler

Wikimedia CH - Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Wikimedia CH - Association for the advancement of free knowledge

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