Our project has been running for a bit more than half a year now. Time to sketch out what we have achieved so far:
- Thanks to the dedication of more than 25 volunteers, the action “Free Cruise on the Internet” (Freie Fahrt ins Internet), which combines an information stand, computer/Internet support, and workshops, has had an impressive start at the Wankdorf Center in Berne, exceeding all our expectations. The organizing partners – Seniorweb CH, Coop, Swisscom, Wikimedia CH, Pro Senectute, and Bern University of Applied Sciences – are now preparing to transpose the action to other places in Switzerland.
- Wikimedia Germany has launched its project „Silberwissen“ – aiming at getting more people above 50 to contribute actively to the Wikipedia and its sister projects. Seminars in several locations have already been carried out, and many more are in the planning.
- Wikimedia Switzerland is preparing a photo contest around Swiss cultural heritage: Wiki Loves Monuments is a yearly action initiated by Wikimedia Netherlands and carried out by several Wikimedia chapters simultaneously. Its goal is to involve new people in the Wikimedia community in a playful manner, to increase the footprint of Swiss cultural heritage in the Wikipedia and related projects, and to raise public awareness for the cause of free access to knowledge.
While the first actions have successfully taken off and others are in the making, research activities are abounding, the first evaluations are running, and we are planning to present our first research results during this summer, focusing for example on difficulties and motivational factors for elderly people when it comes to engaging actively in online communities or on the motivation of volunteers to engage in various e-inclusion activities.
On the technical side, a first round of accessibility tests has been carried out on de.wikipedia.org – the goal is to improve the accessibility of Wikipedia and the software it runs on: MediaWiki.
Beat Estermann, Project Coordinator