Wikimedia AGM held in Cape Town on 28 November 2015
Present in person :
Present via Skype :
- Johan van Litsenborgh
- Pria Chetty
Wikimedia ZA survey results
The results of the survey are discussed with the attendees. Many interesting statistics have been highlighted such as the number of editors per province, language preference of editors, what issues they experience with editing etc. This information from Africa was very valuable at Wikimania and the Foundation took note about editors in South Africa. The Foundation wants all the chapters to run a similar survey.
The user survey has been talked about a lot since WIkimania. There have been requests to shorten the survey. Local surveys are good to understand local communities. The suggestion is to get a survey completed every two years. For the first time we are looking at dissecting our community and finding out what we can do to effect a positive change. The editorship in black communities is almost not existent which is also true in other parts of the world. We understand the demographics and the numbers and our strategy should be based on these numbers. The question is what makes Gauteng and the Western Cape so active. What can we do to spark contributions in other provinces?
Gauteng is the wealthiest province and Western Cape more educated. These socio-economic factors definitely contribute. The Pakistan survey reflected Wikipedia to be a middle class phenomenon. There is something there that gets people editing. In Afrikaans Wikipedia a lot of the users are over 50, skilled and educated who want to leave something behind. This is when they start editing. In smaller languages linguistic nationalism drives contributions to these. Active languages in Wikipedia are tied to education as well. It is important to remember the level of education of those editing and contributing to Wikipedia. Editing is middle class. Nobody has an idea of how to increase the numbers. People have tried to engage with activities but if individuals don't have the core passion to do it, you will battle to retain them as editors. The issue is that it is difficult to engage and sustain editors. You cannot effect a change in an echo system experiment, there is no model that can work. The Armenians have a very strong education project, Wikicamp. Students are requested to build up to the camp to quality to attend. The students were editing after the camp because they knew the camp would be presented each year and that they would have to work towards it. Should the camp be cancelled, the retention of these students might not happen. At the moment the only two ideas are awareness - which is very low in South Africa and outreach through edit-a-thons. We have focused on outreach but not awareness. It might be contributed to the fact that people like to have incentive to continue doing something, a reason. If they don't see the reaosn for contributions, they won't contribution. We do not have a benchmark that we can use to compare so in fact this phenomen is normal. If we don't encourage people to continue, it is normal for this type of work. Numbers will increase when people are encouraged, incentivised to contribute.
All members present in attendance renew their memberhsip at a cost of R30.00.
The Chapter has appointed a new accountant. They recommended we start off meeting with a summary of our financial statements, commitments and balances. Currently we have R198 000 in the bank. That does not include a couple of the expenses we have done for Wiki Loves Monuments. Our commitments on the balance are Wiki Loves Monuments, paying the administrator, the accountants. There is a commitment in excess of R40 000 coming from UCT to facilitate WIkiPrimary edit-a-thons. Edit-a-thons are going to run at the local library in Cape Town, focused on educators to enhance knwoledge on WIkipedia for primary schools. Douglas will be manning the Cape Town versions. This is meant to show guests basic editing, usual mark up, activating visual editors and starting an article in their sandbox. We also want to get them to understand the bureacracy in Wikipedia. We have to explain what they can and can't write, writing authoritively. 6 - 8 hours is allocated for edit-a-thons where people are shown how to do editing. Douglas to create an article on meta about the upcoming workshops. This will be shared with everyone on the mailing list. Joburgpedia has had 4 edit-a-thons. The partnership Conhill was very productive as they provided the venue and a link to the respective schools. The City of Joburg has considered getting involved for 3 years and committed this year. We have access to free venues at the City of Joburg. The ConhillEdu project has given us a guarantee that we can use their venues as well. What came out of these edit-a-thons is that we built up to the writing competition. The first edit-a-thon was to inform people of what goes where and how to go about in editing Wikipedia. The second edit-a-thon was meant to help learners set up their sandboxes. A third edit-a-thon was requested because some learners came with additional questions that we weren't excpecting. Learners were shown how to upload content to Commons. The Joburg team spent three days with learners.
It is important that we follow the model of hooking up with an institution that already has links to the various schools.
The reason we are budgeting so much for the accountants is that we had a deficit of R50 000 in relation to what our commitments were andwhat we had in our bank account. We found this worrying so we notified the Foundationand we agreed to hire a new set of accounts to look at our old audit reports. We also didn’t find that the existing auditors served our needs so we found an accountant who is good at serving small NGO’s. We budgeted R50 000 to figure outwhere the R50 000 went. The Foundation is happy with this. We were not sure how much money it was so guestimate.
So the investigation has started and we want to prevent this from happening again. We think it was about miscalculating costs. When for example we applied for WLM, we actually asked for less then what we needed to receive. On the Wiki Loves Monuments 2012 grant application there was R10 000 that we could not trace. The current system with the foundation says that it will reimburse over expenditure on PEG grants. All under expenditure is allocated to another project. The exchange rate is not taken into account. We never advised this to the Foundation and this has added up. We agreed that an accountant can quantify the differences in accounting and where the money went. The fact that the auditor is experienced in NGO's also helps him to understand our needs better. We need to find a way to mitigate exchange rate fluctuations. If we have audited financial statements we can register as a section 18 company. We also want to reassure people that we are spending the money the way we said we would. The investigation will explain the shortfall and then to do normal acocunting stuff on behalf of the chapter. We can use UCT money to subsidise HWC deficit. they ahve commited R15 000 per annum to WLM. The WMF wrote off our debts and were very understanding. They were part of the problem. The logic was there, they could see where the shortfall would come from. We are waiting for the accountant to get to the bottom of this. The current grant is ground zero. We need to get another bank account for all other income not from the Foundation. We should reach out to other Universities to see if they can find projects, such as UNISA. That is important for linguistic outreach.
The current president will put out a directors report.
WMZA will apply for PEG grants as they currenty do, but on the simplified system. For 2016 we will work on PEG grants until the next round of APG grants. The core function is what we are going to do next year. We need to come up with mandate, goals, strategy to achieve these and mandate.
Freedom of panorama - we have been active in trying to amend the copyright act by attending a workshop held in Johannesburg. We lodged an official submission to say this is the section of the act needs to be reworded. The problems were on buildings younger than 50 years old when it came to submissions for WLM. We could not receive monuments that are part of the struggle. It is built to commemorate history in South Africa but yet cannot be submitted into the competition. One particular section of the act said that although you would own the copyright of the photograph for example Nelson Mandela rest site, you do not own to distribute it over electronic media. And this meant we could not share images on commons. The law is from 1970 and is obsolete. The law is redrafted because of it's age. Tobias, the head of the IP unit at UCT, used our input to be part of the bigger submission. There was a group of organisation who put together a submission addressing various issues thought Creative Commons. They will publish a list of the submissions that everyone can see what was recommended, they should then issue a draft or there might be an oportunity for oral submissions. Film is excluded from this law which is very bazarre. The members thank Pria and Douglas for their work on this.
Wiki Loves Monuments
The competition was wrapped up today and a report will follow. There is a wind down internationally and it is probably the last time this competition will be held in SA. The Foundation is seeing dimishing returns and we have noticed this as well. This year we had 1/10th of the entries received last year. The participation is definitely decling. Monuments have been photographed before and interest is declining. An idea proposed by Andrew Hall at the first WLM was to run the competition every five years. They want a photographic memory. It is also a good way of tracking the upkeep of these monuments. Douglas has mentioned to HWC that we will be winding down but we would perhaps like to replace it with something else. An idea is for example Wiki loves Earth, Wiki loves Bridges, birds, plants and animals.
We want to go for another round because of our established partnerhsips in CohillEdu and City of Joburg. One last application will give us an indication of the project's sustainability. As soon as these partners buy in they will make it work. Douglas suggests that they liaise directly with the Foundation on this.
Wiki from Above
A small competition among drone pilots to use on Wikipedia. The competition went very well. It was hosted before the new law came into effect. We operated through existing drone communities who had the licence anyway. There were few entries but 50% of them were used on WIkipedia. We also showcased this as Wikimania. The first question was if anything was done with drones and WMZA could comment on this exciting project. There are about 1000 drone pilots in South Africa.
We are moving ahead with this. The funding is cut by a third becuase of the missing funding mentioned previously. We received the two Kiwix devices from Wikimedia CH.
The next meetup is a wiknic. We will edit WP during the picnic. The two Kiwix units with the whole of Wikipedia on it will be available. We are going to install the first one next week Wednesday. We have to experiment with real world problems in connecting in a group. Still to be optimised for smartphones. A meeting has been scheduled with the permier to show the device to get access to schools or roll it out. We have funding to demonstrate the technology but we need funding to actually roll it out. Photographs for WMCH. Sinenjongo has got a benchmark survey done which we can use to measure our success. We need to investigate how we can integrate these units with schools in Gauteng who use Ipads.
Strategy moving forward
Considering the results of the survey we need to basically draw objectives to devleop the strategy for next year. Reducing system bias, increasing diversity, easier to edit, increasing editor pool in Gauteng. Bobby and Pria to arrange a meetup. Joburg wanted to organise a meetup in October and Pria was busy at the time. It was complicated and the idea was to have it simple. Go to restaurant and invite active contributors. It turned out to be a logistical nightmare instead of just meeting and keeping it simple. A geo-located notice which is a banner alerts people of upcoming events. Andy assists in doing a watchlist add. The idea was to interface the two days so that they are on the same date. The next one in Cape Town will be the first Sunday in February.
The awareness is the biggest issue as we need to let people know that the Chapter exists and that you can edit Wikipedia. Paid for advertising was highlighted as a very important step to creating this awareness. We can advertise on Google Ads, newspapers, online etc. Makes more sense to do it online then people can go and check it out immediately but it has to be South African media. A good idea is advertising in online obituaries.
Reach out to Universities remains an important part of our outreach focus. Student groups / finding a champion remains a problem. Outreach is a good way to activate people and they could act as champions to engage with other people. Reaching out through student newspapers are also an option becuase it would mean young editors have the opportunity to contribute to articles. We will investigate online student newspapers.
We also need to think about the broader audience who do not have access to the internet.
An initial exercise will be to make contact with student newspapers and asking them to advertise the chapter and it's activities. We will then judge from this is there is any interest and whether it is beneficial to expand onine marketing.
Reducing system biased and creating diviersity of editors
Increased awareness but also a series edit-a-thon on black history (focused project) or those sort of issues.
We need to increase awareness in the editing community and through that we can reduce biase.
If we do edit-a-thons, we need to do partner finding. Deon is going to write a letter to all Afrikaans publications to tell them about Wikimedia ZA and will also have another interview on radio.
Identify partners for a themed edit-a-thon.
Nomination for Directors of the Board
- Ian Gilfillan
- Liebe Brand
Board of Directors 2016
- Dumisani Ndubane
- Deon Steyn
- Bobby Shabangu
- Douglas Scott
- Pria Chetty
- Ian Greenman
- Liebe Brand
Election of Chapter president
The chapter president for 2016 is Douglas Scott.