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W i K i M e D i A N e W s no. 32 - August 1, 2011

Official bulletin from Wikimedia Italia Association.


Dear member,
it's August again, the month before the busiest one for our association. In September, or soon after it (we're still defining the details), we will host the next general assembly and with it the renewal of the board. Candidates are slack: be bold and enter your bid at this page, which is empty at the time I am writing this. Do think: Wikimedia Italia needs your help!

Next year will be full of new challenges and goals to achieve:

  • We will get help from a secretary, who should start to work with us in late September
  • In October the third edition of the Festival of Liberty Digital, coordinated by Luca Chemello and Marco Menini, will take place (if you candidated to organize an event, this is the time to start working out: October is just around the corner!)
  • In November the new fundraising campaign will start (and it's time to submit a plan of activities to WMF, think of the communication and the banners to put on your sites ...)
  • Between December and January the new Wikiguida will be published (dedicated to this time to Wikiquote): Christian Biasco will need to discuss with the Wikiquoters in order to understand how to set it, and as always he will ask for a hand once he will write the script down
  • In Autumn students in Lombardy will compete in rounds of Wikipedia entries to participate in the 2012 Wikimedia Italy Prix

... and many other activities and initiatives. If you think this list is not exhaustive, tell us what is missing!

Now I leave you to read this new issue of the newsletter of the association, which comes after a long period (again, we need a hand. Are you the right person for Wikimedia News? Tell us!) and is full of information on the activities of recent months.

I would be happy if, after reading it, you wanted to write and tell me what you think of what Wikimedia Italia has done in this first half of the year. My address is



(And happy holidays too!)

What happened during last months

January 2011

  • Here there is the report for the three events organized for the ten years of Wikipedia.


Wikimedia Italy tried for once to come out and invite the internet scene in Milan to its party, with some success given the turnout. It was not a formal meeting, but just an opportunity to celebrate our magnificent 10 years of work: we managed to meet some Wikipedians, and Wikimedians, with some professionals of the Internet.

Maybe we should organize social events like this more often, in the hope that the distance, and often the lack of understanding among those working in the wiki-world and the society diminishes.


Rome held two distinct events: a trip to the Imperial Forum, organized and conducted by MM (here the report, in Italian), and the celebrations of the joint Public Domain Day and the tenth anniversary of Wikipedia, organized by Marco Calvo at the Nardi Library (here the report, in Italian).


The celebration of the tenth anniversary was held in Vicenza in the gallery of a shopping mall, among housewives busy to shop, teenagers with their cell phone looking at us with curiosity and a clown to entertain children to play... because Wikipedia is only 10 years old and a future-oriented project. We cut the wiki-cake with a live connection with Jimbo Wales, who found our choice curious: but he understood the fact that Wikipedia is for the Wikipedians, but also for passers-by, who open a page, read it and then leave. This is why we wanted to celebrate with them. We have also been contacted in video by other groups Wikimedians (especially Eastern European) who wanted to say hello and share this celebration which took place "at the same time" or so in over 400 locations around the world.

February 2011

  • February 26, Vicenza - public meeting on "Wikipedia and didactics", part of the wiki-meeting in that day - Report by Marcok
Our initial idea (of Marcok and Lcm and who organized the day) was to provide, within a wikimeeting in preparation for the Festival of Digital Freedoms in October, a public meeting with students in the auditorium of a nearby high school. Eventually we decided to focus directly on teachers, who after all need more than their students to "update" and discuss the use of new tools for knowledge. Elisa Spadavecchia, teacher and member of the LUG, generously offered to assist us: Elisa is an expert in the use of wikis in teaching and described a number of relevant experience in the short time available. A researcher of the Kessler Foundation in Trento, Asta Zelenkauskaite, also came to present an interesting academic study conducted on the relationships between users from talk pages of an edition of "minor" Wikipedia as the Venetian one. The participation of the teachers was not high, but everyone seemed very informed and enthusiastic, probably more competent than we had expected, which allowed us to learn something. All this took place in a beautiful space kindly provided by St. Paul Cultural Center, who hosted us for lunch too. The photos can be found on Commons.

March 2011

The meeting was held in Palazzo Re Enzo at Piazza del Nettuno in Bologna in collaboration with APTservizi, the transport company of Emilia Romagna, and the Tourism Department of the region Emilia Romagna (TER). The meeting was opened at 10.00 and saw the presentation of the project "Adopt a word" (by TER, see the overview of the project on the TER blog). In addition to presenting the project, Frieda made ​​a presentation on Wikipedia, the experiences of some users who worked on the project have been told, and a call for "auction" was made to adopt new terms. This concluded the first part of the assembly.
In the afternoon the results of some projects implemented by WMI in the first half of the year were presenred: the new WikiGuida on Wikisource made ​​by Christian Biasco, the short "Merde", sponsored by us and made ​​by the International School of Comics (in collaboration with the Association "Gente di Cartoonia" and "Tunué"), the first project of its kind in Italy released under a Creative Commons license; Mehdi Tekaya then presented his blog InsideTunisia, a report on Tunisia after Ben Ali.
The actual meeting started at 14:30; we approved 2010 final balance and 2011 provisional budget, with the opportunity to discuss and reflect on respect of completed projects and those to be implemented. The debate was intense and as tradition the meeting ended abruptly at 18:00, because of the closure of the premises. The day ended with the also traditional social dinner.
  • March 23, Zanè (Vicenza): conference of members Marcok and Xaura on Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects in "Modern Times", series of conferences organized by the cultural association Gigizeta. Report by Marcok and Xaura
It is not true that only in large cities there is life and cultural sensitivity: in fact the county is full of interesting and often well done initiatives, like this cycle of conferences organized by a group of young people in Zanè (VI) with support of the City Council. We thought it was a good idea to accept their proposal to make a presentation to explain what the "wiki" world has become in a few years out of (seemingly) nowhere, invariably speaking of the most successful and ​​"popular" project, Wikipedia, and how it works, but also of other Wikimedian projects.
I made ​​a presentation of general Wikipedia and Wikimedia Italia to ten eighth grade classes (over two hundred students) of the town of Sesto San Giovanni. The presentation was derived from one of the many one already made and let available by Wikimedia Italia. To support it, I distributed to their teachers copies of "Welcome to Wikipedia" and, for students, postcards with comics released under Creative Commons.
The background of the conference is based on the "how" to use Wikipedia for school projects, for example, focusing on the fact that it is a new("When I was in school there wasn't") and now it is possible to use it as an excellent starting point for school projects, but prople should not try and consider Wikipedia the culmination of their research, because it is a tool, useful, easy, fast, but with many limitations its users should be aware of. So: start your search at Wikipedia, and then go to more specific texts, articles, (or even other encyclopedias), maybe availale on Wikisource or in areference library, either public or personal. In this way not only you will perform a better search, but you can also improve the encyclopedia.
This thing surprised not a little the teachers, who were expecting (some of them confessed to me) a hagiographic presentation of the encyclopedia, an almost exaggerated ode, while I wanted to stress on its defects, trying also to instill the desire to improve it by adding or updating information.
At the end of the presentations I showed the WikiGuida of Wikipedia, which is very well made and summed up very well in about 7 minutes what I have tried for over an hour to explain. Both students and teacher were interested, much more than I hoped for.
We should be able to work again with then in the school year 2011/12.

April 2011

The seminar spanned on two afternoons, for about 7 hours in total.
The first afternoon (Tuesday, April 5) the program has been more "theoretical" and with a more general approach, with an initial brainstorming for testing the knowledge about Wikipedia: the boys (but also the teachers) were well informed; they all use Wikipedia and, surprisingly, many knew also about its free license. Someone had already tried to edit articles. During the meeting we screened some videos ("Source verification and neutral point of view", the WikiGuide about Wikipedia and the WikiGuide about Commons), appreciated by the audience.
In the second afternoon (Tuesday, April 12) the session has been more interactive and "practical". Teachers did an excellent job, as the students came that afternoon with some texts ready: some of them have been published in real time, giving the opportunity to explain "live" how Wikipedia works. We revised several articles, talked about redirects, deletions, and templates; we saw what interwikis are and how they are included. We also uploaded on Commons a photo of Claudio Baglioni, kindly offered by a girl student.
  • April 9, Torino: short movie Merde presented at Torino Comics. Report by Senpai:
The event went on very well. We managed to make two presentations of the movie instead of one and in both cases we had a good response from the audience.
At the official presentation (the one on Sunday at 14.00) the hall was almost full and the audience was very interested. The video has even been shown twice - at the opening and closing of the presentation - and many people asked about how the cartoon was made and about the Creative Commons licenses, in particular the inevitable "but what do you earn with that?" was immediately asked.
The outcome of the trip to Turin has therefore been overwhelmingly positive: the idea and the actual short were both liked, moreover coupling a Creative Commons license to a pleasing and interesting product is certainly easier than doing it in an aseptic and theoretical way.
The two owners of a small publisher of manga were also impressed: they took our contacts and will probably contact us to learn more.
The video was later put online on YouTube and is also accessible through our site.
An invitation to a sci-fi convention doesn't happen often, especially if it's for talking about... Wikipedia and the Galactic Encyclopedia! Neither Marcok, nor Gvf (whose love for the sci-fi is well known) could resist and they went to Fiuggi, which for several years hosts Deepcon - a convention mated up to last year with Italcon, this year with a lesser but not less passionate audience. In the organizers' mind, Wikipedia has been figured out as a possible, if not likely, ancestor of the Galactic Encyclopedia - the gigantic work described in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Cycle novels - or maybe the grandmother of the "Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy" desgined in Douglas Adams' humoristic novels. Actually, Wikipedia looks more like the carefree "Guide to Galaxy" than to the serious "Galactic Encyclopedia". Marcok anf Gvf joined therefore a funny but cultured dissertation - which lasted the whole Friday afternoon - about these two imaginary encyclopedias and "ours" real one, trying to explain to a small audience how Wikipedia works. Not the easiest of the tasks, because Wikipedia is deep down like the Star Trek's "inertial damper" technology: everybody knows it works fine... but precisely nobody knows how! They peppered their talk with facts about the story of the on-line encyclopedias (unknown to many) together with quotes from Asimov's and Adams' novels. We can say it's been a very pleasant afternoon for all the attendees. Among the relators, also our Marco Calvo who spoke about Liber Liber. For further details, here there is a link to an interview made by a blogger who attended the event.
  • April 30, Schio (VI): we were at Ubuntu Party with the presentation Wikipedia and crowdsourcing. - Report by Marcok
Putting Wikipedia within a broader context - the crowdsourcing - has been the challenge in this presentation held in Schio at Ubuntu Party, an event hosted by our long-time friends who animate the local Telematics Square in collaboration with the City Council. Marcok tried to talk (as it could, that is, in popular form) of "intelligence of crowds" and user-generated content, through Wikimedia Commons and other wikis. For those who just could not do without it, here is the full video.

May 2011

Wiki Loves Monument is an European photography competition, to be held in September 2011, organized by the various Wikimedia chapter at the national level, with a second paneuropean round in which the 10 best pictures of every nation will compete. Pictures of users, each tied to a monument, will be released under CC-BY-SA free license and will be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and later to Wikipedia. The competition aims to create a database of free images on the European artistic heritage, which can be used on all Wikimedia projects.
Due to problems related to the Law on Cultural Heritage, Italy will not be able to participate.
For further informations, see personal and technical notes by Aubrey, or the final report of the meeting, together with the final results.
WLM History
The project was born in 2007 in Holland, with a photo contest on the windmills. It went so well that they Wikimedia Holland decided to make a similar competition with historical and artistic monuments, which had a big success too. This year the chapters decided to make the competition European (federated for the single nations).
  • May 23, Imola: Frieda Brioschi (President of Wikimedia Italia) takes part to Open Generation: the identity of the new generation organized by CNA Emilia-Romagna. Report by Frieda.
The meeting was dedicated to young entrepreneurs and the theme was the openness conjugated in all forms of interest to the company (open innovation, open economy, open information, and open & free net). The panel in which I participated had as speakers Tito Boeri (professor at Bocconi University), Raimondo Iemma (researcher at Rosselli Foundation), Riccardo Luna (then still director of Wired) and Stefano Costa (coordinator of the Open Data in Archeology at the Open Knowledge Foundation). A video summary of the event is available on YouTube.

June 2011

  • June 7, Padova: participation to Festival della Comunicazione with the talk "Let's share knowledge? the Wikipedia case", at Centro culturale S. Gaetano. - Report by Marcok
Festival della Comunicazione is an important event (with over 60 different activities) held in Padua. It was born in combination with a day of social communications, supported by the Municipality of Padua and the diocese; sacred and profane are therefore cross-members. Marco Chemello and Luca Menini made two interventions, respectively about Wikipedia and the free software, illustrating how these two issues are closely linked. The concept of "reliability" in relation to the free encyclopedia was explored, a topic certainly complex, not easy to explain but always collecting considerable interest by everyone. Before the presentations, our members have been interviewed by a local television (Tele Chiara) in the context of a long live set in central Piazza Cavour. The video is available on the site of the festival (from minute 28.06).
  • June 8, Catania: Giovanni Augulino held a seminar on Wikimedia Italia, Wikipedia and sister projects at the Math and Computer Science Department of the University of Catania. Here the full report.
  • June 14, Milano: meeting at Fabbrica del Vapore with the stakeholders of the project "Share your knowledge"; Marco Chemello held a training session on using Wikipedia. - Report by Marcok
The meeting was part of an innovative training program targeted at non-profit organizations and cultural institutions, inside the "Share your knowledge" initiative, organized by the Foundation lettera27 in collaboration with various partners, including Wikimedia Italia. This is a pilot project of considerable interest and importance, aimed at spreading knowledge and heritage of the cultural institutions through the conscious use of the CC BY-SA license and Wikipedia. This initiative takes place within WikiAfrica project with the scientific direction of Iolanda Pensa and is closely linked to Project GLAM, recently opened on the Wikipedia in Italian too to encourage contributions to the Wikimedia projects from the cultural institutions. Marco Chemello used the first part of the afternoon - which took place at the documentation center DOCVA of Careof - to explain what are the right approach to be taken in helping the free encyclopedia. The second part of the meeting was held as a workshop, where delegates of the institutions could directly experience editing content on Wikipedia, thanks to the presence of a large group of Wikipedians, admins and wikimedians who have kindly provided as "tutors". Special thanks to ChristianCantoro, .mau., Mizardellorsa, Nemo, Remulazz! The representatives of cultural institutions - experts in their fields who often faced for the first time in person editing entries - were involved responding with interest and enthusiasm; this will certainly make a positive contribution to the success of the project, which is intended to be repeated in 2012. The day ended with a "happy hour" to which were invited all the wikipedians who had participated in the marathon to write new entries with the first content granted by the institutions.
  • June 23, Roma: Frieda Brioschi took part to the conference «Brand new media: young people and changing jobs» organized in Campidoglio. - Report by Frieda
The conference was organized by Foundation Cutuli and Foundation RCS and was part of a series of three conferences in memory of Maria Grazia Cutuli, addressed to journalists. Moderated by Massimo Gaggi (New York correspondent for Corriere della Sera), there speakers - apart from myself - were Gianni Riotta , Luca De Biase, Carlo Formenti, Giuseppe Smorto, Riccardo Luna, Alessandro Ferrara. It was a moment of reflection and discussion on the now old "new media", the citizen journalism, reputation and anonymity online.

July 2011

  • July 8, Siena: Frieda Brioschi (President of Wikimedia Italia) takes part to a meeting at Summer School of Fondazione Fortes. Report by Frieda
The meeting itself was pretty quick, so I had the chance to tell a couple of things about Wikipedia, explaining our world (how the Wikimedia universe is structured) and answer a few questions from a very attentive audience. The context in which I found myself was very interesting: The Summer School was dedicated to managers of associations, foundations, etc. from the so-called third sector.
  • July 16-17, Abbadia S.S. - Cartoon Village 2011. Report by Senpai
Cartoon Village (now in its 4th edition) is basically a classic comic book fair which however has actually very little of classic. It takes place in the main square of a town and not in the usual aseptic sheds of a fair, and the distance between the "VIPs" and the audience is non-existent, so that walking between the stands you may meet the same faces that spoke from the main stage just before.
Our participation was joined to that of Comics camper, an initiative by Associazione Arte Invisibile which has created a touring bookshop containing only comics. During the fair the cartoonists who participated in the event spent several hours at the Comics camper (and therefore at our booth) creating cartoons and illustrations which were later released under a free license.
Comics are being uploaded on our comics' portal present in Biblioteca.
In addition to this collaboration with the Gente di Cartoonia goes on: their initiative "Cartoons on the Ring" (which will see the final stage next September in Diamante) will be hosted on the pages of the comics project. In fact all the cartoons produced by the different artists during the race will be released under a free license and then loaded on the portal.

News from the Association

New board elections

In September there will be the second annual meeting of WMI, and on this occasion an amendment to our rules will be voted on to bring the number of board members to 7.

Nominations for the next Board are already open: we urge all members are then invited to submit their applications adding their names to the dedicated page in the wiki of the Association.

News for our projects

The Spokesperson's Corner

Wikimedia Italy has grown up, and it needs a spokesperson: that is, someone who is ready to spam the editorial staff of various media with news on the initiatives of the association and clarifications - especially when something is badly reported - about Wikipedia: we are optimistic, and hope that sooner or later some concepts will be understood. Actually there is not yet a real spokesperson: .mau. is acting pro tempore as it. Among the press news in recent months, here there are the most important: (needless to say, all in Italian)

  • Adopt a word, the initiative in cooperation between Wikimedia and APT Emilia Romagna Italy to enrich Wikipedia articles related to Emilia Romagna.
  • Letter to the Il Secolo d'Italia, after one of many articles dangerously close to libel Wikipedia that appear regularly in various newspapers.
  • praises to Treccani, the famous Italian encyclopedia which has begun to open to contributions from their readers about the definition of items to be created ... although there are still | some communication problems.
  • 10 questions to SIAE, a ironic but detailed rebut to the ten rhetorical questions that SIAE (Italian Authors' and Editors' Guild) has made, buying page advertisements in major Italian newspapers.

News from Biblioteca

We are carrying out a review of the first pages of the work of our comics project, in order to move from an alpha to a beta version.

Senpai started to upload some short biographies of the artists featured on the pages of the project and to upload new material.

News from Musica

Senpai is pursuing the construction of a FAQ on copyleft and - later - the drafting of a guided tour to the release of works under a free license. Anyone willing lend a hand is welcome!

News from wiki@home

Life is made of lucky encounters, where desires coincide. Wikimedia Italy sought and still seeks worthy activities to be financed, Medhi meeting gave us the chance to do something we had never tried before, for which Wiki@Home has been a kind of rehearsal. Medhi went to Tunisia to investigate the social situation after the revolution, and made a photographic report also released under a free license, and explained what he found at our assembly in Bologna. This is the spirit that should permeate wikinews.

News from WMF projects

  • Wikiquote: it is a reality, subsidized by the Wikimedia Italy, the program to automatically load the quote of the day and send it via Twitter. Through the RSS feeds, the quotes are also shown on Facebook.
  • Wikisource: we are developung a "toolbox" to help proofreaders in the most tedious task. Formatting and proofreading of text proceeds actively, also thanks to the visibility given by the new box in the main page of Wikipedia: the new statistics confirm a very positive trend.
    Statistics from January 2010 to June 2011
  • Wiktionary: the scanning of a dictionary free of copyright continues, in order to extract the lemmata from the entries in the project. The volume has been scanned but there are big problems in the extraction of text. We are currently contacting some specialized companies in order to continue the work.
  • Wikipedia: The main project of the WMF has, in recent months, exceeded 800,000 articles in the Italian language.

Monthly strip

strip drawn by Passpartout for Wikimedia Italia at Cartoon Village 2011

- I searched for God for long, hard years of meditation... through loneliness, fast, privation... tomorrow I'll start with Wikipedia!

Talk with us

If you want to participate actively in Wikimedia Italia, what about joining the mailing list?
Beware! The list may be quite lively, with up to twenty messages a day.

Editorial staff:

  • Luca Sileni (editor-in-chief)
  • Frieda Brioschi;
  • Marco Chemello;
  • Nemo (section "News from WMF projects")
  • Aubrey (section "News from Biblioteca" and GLAM)
  • Christian Cantoro (section "News from W@H" )
  • .mau. (English version)

To contact the staff, write at: or directly to the editors:

  • Luca Sileni - wikisenpai(presso)
  • Frieda Brioschi - ubifrieda(presso)
  • CristianCantoro - kikkocristian(presso)

Notice. This newsletter is exclusively intended for information about Wikimedia Italia, both to its members and to the general public; as per Art. 1, Comma 2, Legge 7 marzo 2001 no. 62, it is not an editorial product