[WMCEE-l] Wikimedia CEE conference - program proposal

Marcin Cieslak marcin at wikimania2010.pl
Thu Feb 2 13:11:17 CET 2012


Hello,

First I'd like say *big thank you* to Miloš, Mile and the team in
Belgrade for agreeing to
host us in Belgrade in May. I am really happy to see things taking
real shape now.

I would like to propose a framework/outline of the program. This is
going to be our first meeting
in a larger group and I think we should not expect to do everything
this time. Therefore
I would envision that this will be a more introductory meeting for
everyone to catch up with
what one's neighbours are doing.

It is my understanding that we are aiming at the at most two day
meeting. Therefore
I would like to propose the following:

==Founder summit==

At the core of the meeting I would like to see a discussion panel of
few founders of few CEE
Wikipedias. I hope at least one of the Polish founders will agree to
participate and I hope
we manage to arrange for others to join. I think this point would be
also a good outreach/media
attraction - we could promote this meeting as "CEE summit" or
"Founders meeting".

This could possibly happen on the first day afternoon.

Given sufficient interest a press conference could be held after this.

==Introductory presentations==

To make discussion more interesting and to relieve our founding
fathers from repeating boring facts
I would propose that respective projects prepare presentations about
their projects. Each project
could present for at most 30-40 minutes now. Those presentations need
not or even should not
be delivered by invited founders (unless they really want to or there
is no one other from the community
to delivery it).

This part itself may take most of the morning of the first day.

==Two speeds in development of the movement?==

Our region hosts some quite large communities, which are widely
recognizable in the society and widely
used by the average Internet user there. Some projects (especially
from smaller language communities) still
have a long way to go to be recognized among their respective
communities. Assuming we hope
to achieve a better reach among those, there are some questions to be asked:

* What are the breakthrough factors to achieve recognition?
* Impact of general economic development on community work and recognition
* Impact of Internet access/cost
* Impact of Google/Yandex/Seznam positioning on project's popularity
(my favourite :)
* Easy access to some other language resources (e.g. Russian, German
or English) instead
* Role of institutional support (government, sponsors, Wikimedia
Foundation, chapters ... etc.)
* ...

Every subject on the list might be subject of research on its own, it
would be good if we could attract
some people specialized in economics/sociology to discuss this.

This issue to me looks like a small version of a "Global South"
problem and possibly CEE region could
serve as a good testbed for various activities in this area undertaken
for example by the Wikimedia
Foundation. This itself would be an interesting problem to talk about.

I would propose a session/program block dedicated to this issue.
A take way from such a session is to find out what are the main
differences between large
and small projects in the region and point out areas of further study.
If we are lucky we might
have some recommendations for projects and chapter activists.

==Technical workshop: Wikipedias in multiple writing systems==

Main article: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedias_in_multiple_writing_systems

Many communities are interested in using automatic switch between
various writing systems (mostly latin, cyrillic and arabic). Some
wikis in the region (Serbian, Kazakh) have this implemented already,
some would like to have this (Bashkir, Tatar and others).
If we manage to invite our colleagues from the former Soviet Union area
to participate in this conference we could possibly use this as
a chance to:
* define common goals, identify issues, requirements
* identify resources (i.e. volunteers) that are able to work on development
  of the software

I think if we gather representatives of 5-6 communities interested in this
we might end up setting up a proper project to push things further.

----

I think above proposals are enough to fill an almost two day session.
I keep in mind there are many other interesting things to cover - my goal
was to propose something for the FIRST meeting and to foster further
projects/ideas so that we will have a good material to work on during
the SECOND and THIRD CEE meeting.

So, not everything at once:)

I'd love to hear your comments on the above!

//Marcin


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