[okfn-be] Collaboration with Wikipedia

Gmail - Wouter wouter.vanden.hove at gmail.com
Sun Jan 8 01:56:07 UTC 2012

Op 07-01-12 20:29, maarten deneckere schreef:
> 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. ... 
> Setting up has been a long struggle due to the language barrier and 
> the lack of interest.

IMHO It's more lack of critical mass, then lack of interest.
There are many interested people in all kinds of "open" projects,
with each person understandably having their favorite topic.

There are various international organisations that have local chapters.
But in belgium, each of those lack critical mass to get something up & 

Just to list a few:
- Wikimedia,  
- Creative Commons  [source:http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Belgium]
-  Open Source Geospatial Foundation 
- Openstreetmap Foundation 

These are succesfull organisations, but with no active chapters in Belgium,
while synergies between these organisations are plenty and natural.

So instead of 2-3 very motivated people trying to setup Wikimedia-Belgium,
and 2-3 other people trying to setup CC-Belgium,
and yet another 2-3 Openstreetmap Belgium,
a more successful strategy could be to setup a single formal 
"umbrella"-organisation with broad enough scope
to attract enough active people where everyone can work/promote their 
topic of interest in informal working groups.
IMHO, OKFN-BE should be that organisation.

Volunteers should be able to focus on Getting Things Done, instead of 
fighting with administrative issues.

> 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.

Exactly my idea.

I added following comment to 
In Q4 2011, several people decided to found a Belgian chapter of the 
Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN-BE). Open Knowledge encompasses all 
topics related to open content, open data, free culture,... OKFN-BE will 
be an official non-profit organisation, but is open to all topics 
promoting open data, open content,.. This can range from just bringing 
like-minded people together to organising events, hackathons & 
conferences. cfr. 
http://wiki.okfn.org/wiki/index.php?title=Chapter/Belgium IMHO, OKFN-BE 
can act as an umbrella-organisation also for local wikimedia-related 
projects by having a Wikimedia-working group. If this group is active 
enough, with enough active participants, the decision can be made to 
spin-off into a more formal organisation to become an official 
Wikimedia-chapter. WouterVH 

Wouter Vanden Hove

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