[okfn-be] Collaboration with Wikipedia

maarten deneckere maartendeneckere at gmail.com
Sat Jan 7 19:29:29 UTC 2012

Hey all,

some more about a possible cooperation between the local community of
Wikipedia and a new "free data organisation".

In Belgium we have been trying to set up a local Wikipedia organisation.
They alreay exist in >30 chapters. Romaine and I are long time editors, and
are working on this. The goal would be to transform the Belgian Wikipedians
(nl/fr/en/de) into colleagues by monthly meetings, organising events,
contacting governmental organisations. Creating a new organisations allows
us to get some funding, allows us to contact governmental organisations,
... Setting up has been a long struggle due to the language barrier and the
lack of interest.

I know you guys are busy organising a new entity. I would be interesting if
the organisation could accommodate small groups of interested people in
open source data (eg. Openstreetmap, irail, wiki, hacker organisations,
...) under the okfn umbrella. Some people that decide to raise money to buy
a new GPS-device for tracking OSM data, want to hire a freelancer, ...
could do this with the money they raised. But legally everything would be
under okfn.

This allows the different volunteers to work within a light, existing
organisation. They can focus on the growth of their group, up to the level
that they decide to start up a new legal entity. Such "umbrella
organisation" would really foster smal opensource initiatives in Belgium.

Working with Wikipedia has some advantages:  we already organised some big
events (eg. WikiLovesMonuments: 6000 participating images by 200 persons).
We got governmental funding by all three (!) Belgian heritage agencies. We
can ask for grants (that's why you saw Jimbo Wales on each Wikipedia page
begging for money!). You can find examples on
And at least, we have big impact (# page views and visitors, connections
with press)

What are your thoughts on this?


Skype: mdeneckere
gsm: +27 71 491 31 38
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