Activity Report for the First Quarter of Fiscal Year 2013–14

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This report describes the activities of Wikimedia District of Columbia from October 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013.

Content programs

During the quarter, Wikimedia DC held three edit-a-thons, two of which were held in partnership with local cultural institutions. A total of 38 volunteers attended these three edit-a-thons, volunteering approximately 147 hours in total, including time spent editing Wikipedia, learning how to edit Wikipedia, and helping others in their editing. Twenty of these volunteers created their Wikipedia accounts at these events or in the preceding week, constituting approximately 52.6% of the total attendees. None of these newcomers have attended edit-a-thons since, making reaching out to them all the more necessary. Indeed, only three volunteers participated in two or more edit-a-thons. We expect repeat attendance figures to increase as more events are held and more efforts are made to reach out to past attendees.

Smithsonian Libraries Edit-a-Thon

Laurel History Edit-a-Thon

International Year of Statistics Edit-a-Thon

Editors working hard

Wikimedia DC worked with Justin Fisher of Statistics Without Borders and the American Statistical Association to host an edit-a-thon in honor of the International Year of Statistics. The event, attended by twelve editors, saw the contribution of 20,504 bytes of content across 46 edits, with five new articles created: Lynne Billard, S. N. D. North, Isador Lubin, and Katherine Wallman. An additional 21 articles were improved, including articles related to the American Statistical Association and its past presidents, as well as the article on the Censuses of Egypt.

This was our first event related to statistics. Given our access to statistical resources and volunteer interest in the subject matter, there is an opportunity to hold future events and continue our work in this field. The edit-a-thon was also our first event interrupted by weather conditions. The library hosting the event was shut down in the afternoon because of icy weather conditions, and we reconvened at a cafe in a nearby museum and continued working safely behind its thick stone walls.

Technology programs

During the quarter, Wikimedia DC held a single hack-a-thon in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution. The event proved to be a successful inauguration for our technology program, and we anticipate holding additional hack-a-thons in partnership with other local institutions through the remainder of the year.

Luce Foundation Center Hack-a-Thon

On November 16 and 17, the Smithsonian American Art Museum hosted a hack-a-thon at the Luce Foundation Center for American Art. The Center is a visible art storage and study center that provides new ways to experience American art. Visitors can select an area to explore at a glance with more than 3,000 works from the permanent collection in 64 secure glass cases.

Participants at the hack-a-thon included local web and software developers, who were invited to work individually or in teams to create concept prototypes for part or all of a new digital interpretive solution for the Center. The two-day hack-a-thon included a behind-the-scenes tour of the Luce Foundation Center, a demonstration of the Center's existing information kiosks, and an overview of the requirements for the new solution. The event concluded on Sunday afternoon with presentations and prizes.

Community programs

During the quarter, Wikimedia DC held a WikiSalon on October 13 to discuss ideas for the year, followed by dinner. We also held a dinner meetup on October 23, continuing our tradition of dinner meetups.

The Social Media Club of DC and Wikimedia DC held the Holiday Happy Hour at Buffalo Billiards on December 16. The event included the presentation of the Wiki Loves Monuments 2013 finalists, projected on screens throughout the venue. Wikimedia DC President James Hare delivered remarks at the event, encouraging attendees to learn more about contributing their own photography to Wikimedia Commons. Three attendees signed up to learn more, which is a good start.

Annual meeting

Our annual meeting for Fiscal Year 2013–14 was held on November 9 at the National Archives. The meeting featured the presentation of various reports, including the Annual Report and Annual Financial Report for the prior year. The Annual Plan for the upcoming year was also presented, and the members voted to approve the Annual Budget.

This fiscal year, Wikimedia DC introduced the Distinguished Service Award to honor volunteers who made exceptional past contributions in the prior year. The inaugural Distinguished Service Award was awarded to Sara Snyder and Effie Kapsalis in recognition of their work within the Smithsonian Institution to encourage people to learn how to edit Wikipedia. Attendees also enjoyed a discussion with a panel on perspectives in the GLAM-Wiki community, featuring speakers from the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and American University. The event's success was an indicator of the progress Wikimedia DC made in the past year on reaching out to new editors and keeping experienced editors engaged.

Organizational development

Wikimedia DC's Board of Directors met four times during the quarter; these meetings took place on October 5, October 29, November 8, and December 7. At these meetings, the Board approved three new policies: the Travel Policy, which provided guidelines business travel done at Wikimedia DC's expense; the Fiscal Control Policy, which describes Wikimedia DC's financial controls and accounting practices; and the Advisory Committee Policy, which provides a standard framework for Wikimedia DC's advisory committees. Additionally, Wikimedia DC adopted a memorandum of understanding with Wikimedia New York City regarding the conduct of WikiConference USA 2014, a national Wikimedia conference to be held in New York City in 2014, and created two new advisory committees, the Content Programs Committee and the Technology Programs Committee, to assist the Board with organizing Wikimedia DC programs in those respective areas.

During the quarter, Wikimedia DC's membership increased from 58 to 71, representing an increase of 22.4%. Wikimedia DC also instituted an automatic membership renewal program; to date, 29 members have signed up for automatic renewal, corresponding to 40.8% of the total membership.