Wikimedia news/numero 30/en
Autumn. Halloween is celebrated, trips outside the city are organized, maybe people think that Christmas is approaching. This happens in the world out there.
It's the second year that in November the most difficult period of the year for the Board begins: the organization and the daily management of the fundraising.
Organizing the fundraising means to shadow the Wikimedia Foundation and their demands, to study contracts, to subscribe to new mailing lists, to come up with slogans, to spread pages of explanations, to translate FAQs and in the meantime to try and optimize the tools so that we may be prepared for the wave of activity which will begin shortly.
When the fundraising actually begins and banners appear on all projects' pagess, the first thing that happens is that we lose our treasurer and secretary for a few months: Cotton, Aubrey and all their staff (Xaura, Dinwath, Remulazz) are completely absorbed by subscriptions flowing in, questions about donations, registrations of gifts, contacts with WMF which are nevertheless required (every self-respecting fundraising gets technical problems or changes to do on the spot!). At the time of writing, there are 170 mail in the subscription mailbox, 88 in the information mailbox and still others in the general one.
Install OTRS, enroll people directly from the site and write scripts for importing data are some of the little things we did to simplify the job of secretary and treasurer, but they are only the tip of the iceberg: we were not able to customize our CRM, it's more than six weeks since we tried to open an account at the post office but we have not succeeded yet - despite all our efforts - and the list of problems does not stop there.
On 11 December, when the directors shall meet visually, one of the topics on the agenda will be hiring one or more persons during the next year to help us carry out those activities for which we don't have sufficient resources (and sometimes expertise): communication, secretariat, various consultants (fundraising, legal, graphics, non-profit specialists).
In closing I remind you of the hot topics still open, that we're overlooking because discussion, consensus and interests languish: the celebration for the ten years of Wikipedia and the forthcoming Festival of Digital Freedom.
What happened during last months
Members' meeting in September
On September 25 we held our yearly ordinary members' meeting of Wikimedia Italia, hosted by the Dipartimento di discipline della comunicazione at the University of Bologna.
Unfortunately we could not record and transmit a real-time video of the assembly: an audio recording is available, although the presence of a single microphone at the chair meant that the questions from the public are barely audible.
The morning began with brief presentations by our guest, Professor Lalli, and Frieda. The presence of a large and involved audience led to an interesting discussion: a useful opportunity for information and comparison.
Some of the topics discussed were:
- Relationships with schools, universities and cultural and heritage institutions;
- The quality of Wikipedia articles in the medical field and other specific areas;
- The possibility of increasing their quality through collaboration with institutions and experts in the category;
- The encouragement of participation through certificates or other evidence that can be added to their curriculum vitae ;
- Statistics and attention to the confidentiality of the Wikimedia projects;
- Accessibility ok Wikipedia content to deaf-mutes.
During the afternoon the actual Members' meeting took place. We renewed the Board and reviewed the main events of the past year (they are discussed in more detail in our annual report). We also have the opportunity to present and discuss briefly the project "ideas from Wiki" (see below) and the new WikiGuide on Wikimedia Commons produced by Christian Biasco (see below).
Mantua: Festivaletteratura and Premio Wikimedia Italia 2010
As usual in the last years, the Association attended Festivaletteratura in Mantua (held on September 12) together with Lettera27 association, our partner in WikiAfrica project. During Festivaletteratura we awarded our annual Premio Wikimedia Italia. This year the winner was project "Sanbaradio - Ponte Radio" by Cooperativa Mercurio «For having released with a Creative Commons license (CC-BY-NC-ND-3.0) contents produced in project "Ponte Radio" (Radio Link), "sound contaminations between Trentino and Mozambique" able to bring near two worlds quite far apart».
Special mention to project Nigrizia: «For having released with a free Creative Commons license (CC-BY-SA-2.5) a lot of contents about Africa».
Panel on comics and free licenses at Romics
Saturday, October 2 2010, Wikimedia Italia organized in collaboration with Gente di Cartoonia association a panel on copyleft and the world of comics at Romics 2010. Participants were Senpai, Mauro Biani, Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri, Francesca Perri (of Tonucci & Partners, law firm which takes care of the business of Disney in Italy), and some publishers and lawyers expert in copyright and free licenses.
report by Utente:Senpai
I made only a presentation of our association and some background comment. Biani had a very interesting intervention; he boasted of being one of the first cartoonists to adopt Creative Commons licenses on the web, and explained that his choice was dictated essentially by two reasons: one kinda ethical, and another "practical". As regards the second reason, he said that in more than one occasion - when he released its work with traditional copyright - his cartoons have been grabbed from his blog and used without permission. In an occasion a newspaper with regional circulation even changed the dialogue before publishing the cartoon. Since adopting CC licenses, however, he realized that the web morally condemns and prosecutes cases of appropriation of the content released in copyleft, and when a strip of him is stolen many people signal him the fact.
The intervention of the Serpieri showed then the "comics" side of the matter; an established artist as he has, to date, no interest in releasing his works on CC but ethical issues. Serpieri then talked about his battle for recognition of the cartoonist as a professional artist, especially when his work is commissioned. Working for the publisher, perhaps drawing a character who is owned by the same publisher, in fact, is frankly simplistic for the artist and distorts his role.
In conclusion, the panel was a complete success; Gente di Cartoonia is asking us to organize another one, this time as a flagship event.
- Milano, Linux day OpenLabs
CristianCantoro attended the Linux Day held at Parco Trotter in Milano. His talk was a presentation of Wikipedia and its philosophy, followed by a demo session with modification to Sandbox and practical explanation about how Wikipedia works.
- Modena, EAVIcamp
Aubrey attended EAVIcamp, barcamp dedicated to crowdsourcing and user-generated content, organized in conjunction with the Linux Day. His presentation on Wikipedia and its sister projects received positive comments and compliments: being a competent audience, he could fly over on Wikipedia and talk about Wikimedia universe. Participants agreed that it was an interesting event, although it was long and difficult; hopefully we would repeat it next year.
- Grosseto, Linux day held by GroLug
Senpai attended Linux Day in Grosseto. Our intervention was focused on the issue of free licenses and copyleft in general. Public, unfortunately, was not very numerous, but they proved interested in the subject. It persists (even in a pseudo-specialized environment as that of linux gruop) substantial misinformation about what "we can do and not do" under a free license.
Grolug contacted us also for a possible intervention at coming Public domain day.
Lucca Comics & Games 2010
During Lucca Comics and games our Association revamped WikiWall, a project ideated for the Festival of Digital Freedoms. This time the WikiWall had on one side the theme "comics"; bystanders were urged to stop and write something (what's comics for you?) or to make a drawing.
On the other side there were some postcards with free (as in speech) images, which were really appreciated
Sull'altro lato erano presenti delle cartoline con immagini libere che hanno riscosso molto entusiasmo (they were also sought from other exhibition stands).
Even some cartoonists who caught the spirit of the project worked with us and left a picture on the wall. Among others: Leo Ortolani, Darix, Gabriele Dell'Otto and Marco Albiero, ullustrator of Sailor Moon.
Jaqen took photos and interviewed people for all four days, for Sanbaradio e Wikinews.
- October 4, Modena: Aubrey gave a lecture on Wikipedia and free knowledge at Sacred Heart High School. The lesson was two hours long, and had been specifically requested by the professor with whom he already worked in the past. The video of Wikiguida on Wikipedia was shown, and well received, and has given an overview of Creative Commons licenses and copyright in general.
- On November 26 Aubrey took part to a panel, organized by "Azioni a catena", in Verona. Title was "Condivisione dei saperi?" (Sharing knowledges?), other participants Officina S3 and Il Superstite.
What will happen next months
- On December 4, Aubrey will be in Paris for the second GLAMWIKI to talk about Wikisource in the conference session devoted to metadata.
- Monday, December 13th from 14:30 to 17:30 in Milan as part of a series of seminars on "digital media languages and citizenship" at the headquarters in Milan, Lombardy territorial nucleus of the National Agency for the Development of Education (formerly IRRE Lombardia) is organizing a meeting entitled "Education for citizenship and the development of writing skills: the case of Wikipedia". Attending CristianCantoro.
News from our groups
Ideas from Wiki
The Association launched, at the annual meeting in September, a call for ideas" called "Ideas from Wiki" (ie the various wiki projects): we tried to gather ideas on how to promote Wikipedia and its sister projects and how to raise awareness on the issue of free licenses.
Some ideas have been selected and who had proposed the meeting was called to expose the Wikimedia Bologna of Italy. The next phase, not yet put into practice, will be the development of the selected ideas.
In the (only) two weeks available for the submission of proposals we received more than thirty ideas; we take this opportunity to thank all those who participated.
The ideas proposed were often similar, they all echoed the proposals discussed and brought to light very often and at length within the association, demonstrating that the disconnect between what the members discuss and think they shoul do and what outsiders asked to the association does not exist; nobody has however a magic wand or easy to do recipes to work on the ideas.
The full list of ideas submitted and evaluations can be found at Idee da Wiki.
The new WikiGuida dedicated to Wikisource is in the workings. The publication is scheduled for the end of January. The script, as in the previous guides, is taking shape on the Cantiere, the wiki of Biasco, and is open to suggestions and comments: go contribute!
News from our groups
- Regional group Lazio
by Markos90 and MM
In "Project WikiTrips" - proposed for the first time during the Assembly of 19 September 2009 - a WikiTrip was made to Sallustiano district in Rome. The destination was chosen by the users Markos90 and MM: a special page in Wikipedia rallies' section was created (Wikipedia:Raduni/Roma WikiGita novembre 2010), and user of Project:Rome and, in general, all Wikipedians were advised. The trip was pleasant and useful: information gathered will enhance the entries about Sallustiano, and photographs will soon be uploaded to Commons. Given the relatively low turnout of participants, a template-bulletin in the discussion pages of the project and the portal on Roma in Wikipedia has been proposed to facilitate the participation of other interested users.
News from our projects
News from Biblioteca
- New Progetto fumetti on Biblioteca
Progetto Fumetti (Project Comics) started on out site Biblioteca. Its aim will be to collect, categorize and describe the comics free (broadly speaking), on the Internet (and outside it, if we could find them). We decided to be very liberal in accepting material. All Creative Commons licenses are well accepted and, at least at the time, no foreclosure is made for "not encyclopedic" comics' authors, if their strips meet our favor.
The project is just at its beginning: for now we just picked up some strips without adding a lot of information, but we expect it to become a meeting point of free comics culture, to advertise it properly and soon reach a reasonable level of completeness. To achieve this goal a lot of work from fans and curious people (members or non members) will help. http://biblioteca.wikimedia.it/wiki/Progetto:Fumetti
News from Musica
We are going on with the extension of the guide on how to publish songs with a free license, the FAQs were updated and in the coming weeks we'll start step-by-step structuring of the guide.
News from wiki@home
Member DracoRoboter contacted the journalist of l'Unità Marco Salvia, after an article in which he noticed that the Ministry for Education copied (without due credits...) from Wikipedia. The interview was published on Wikinotizie: Marco Salvia: chi copia Wikipedia.
News from WMF projects
- Wikinews: Two new sysops were elected, Codicorumus and Osk, while two were removed for inactivity: Olando and Wappi76 (who since 2007 was also bureaucrat).
- Wikiquote: In aNobii, a profile of Wikicitazioni and an associated group were created to promote the project in the site of book lovers, the most known in Italy; 8000 libri have been added, all of them with their incipit or a paragraph included in Wikiquote articles. aNobii users appreciated the initiative, and today the group has nearly 250 members; we also made a spreadsheet with the list of all books added in aNobii (discussions, technical details on how we did it and little program to export titles). We also have a list with roughly 10 000 titles of works which are featured in Wikiquote articles, excluding sections "Incipit of".
- Wikisource: Candalua studied and installed tool Match&Split by ThomasV; a test on Storia della letteratura italiana gave excellent result. This means that we have much more capacity of coupling original versions of a page with transcribed text. We started month's rereadings, advertized also in the sister projects since also novice users of Wikisource may profitably work on them.
- Wiktionary: A new sysop was elected, Siciliano Edivad.
- Wikipedia: Wikipedia in Italian language, like some 30 other projects, eventually features the group of self-verified users, to ease fighting vandalisms: self-verification of contributes reduces the number of potentially vandalistic updates, and people may find improper or harmful modifications with more ease. Because of simple procedures, a week after its inception the group already includes nearly 300 users, most of which added the first day. As for sysops, 5 were elected (or re-elected), 4 quitted (among them, a bureucrat) and 1 was removed for inactivity.
Talk with us
If you want to participate actively in Wikimedia Italia, what about joining the mailing list? http://mailman.wikimedia.it/listinfo/associazione
Beware! The list may be quite lively, with up to twenty messages a day.
- Luca Sileni (editor-in-chief)
- Frieda Brioschi;
- Marco Chemello;
- Nemo (section "News from WMF projects")
- Aubrey (section "News from Biblioteca" and GLAM)
- CristianCantoro (section "News from W@H" )
- .mau. (English version)
To contact the staff, write at: firstname.lastname@example.org or directly to the editors:
- Luca Sileni - wikisenpaigmail.com
- Frieda Brioschi - ubifriedagmail.com
- CristianCantoro - kikkocristiangmail.com
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