Wiki Camp Palic-Szeged (Вики Камп Палић-Сегедин) was held for the first time ever this summer. It was organized by Wikimedia Serbia and Wikimedia Hungary in order to promote networking and develop stronger relationships among the chapters. On the last weekend of August, 17 volunteers from Serbia and 3 volunteers from Hungary gathered at Palic and Szeged. Three days, two cities, and 20 highly motivated participants resulted in a large number of photographs and 32 articles on the Serbian language Wikipedia about topics related to Serbia and Hungary. All articles and attendees are listed here (in English and in Serbian). Photos are available on Commons.
Among the participants of Wikicamp, there were those who had not previously worked on Wikipedia or weren’t familiar with the projects of the organization, which is an opportunity for training new people and potential Wikipedians and Wikimedians. “Diversity is what we always work on and support. We are pleasantly surprised by the number of interested people and we wanted to give everyone a chance to participate, so the first part of the camp was set for training of editing Wikipedia for newcomers, and then we proceeded with the planned edit-a-thon.”, said Ivana Madžarević, project and community manager from the office of Wikimedia Serbia.
At the first edit-a-thon there were 20 Wikipedians. Eight new articles were written and five were improved, all covering topics related to Serbia. Participants from Hungary joined us a little later. Apart from the workshop and edit-a-thon, we had two photo tours in Subotica and Palic, where we visited the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Synagogue of Subotica and the City House. After the second tour at Palic Lake, we successfully ended the first day of the camp with all participants full of positive impressions.
The next day, we arrived in Szeged around 12pm. We first visited the city and its attractions, as well as the museum, where we took a large number of photos. After lunch, we went back to the accommodation where we held a workshop about editing Wikipedia. Once again we were surprised by the motivation of the attendees – some of them stayed to edit until 11pm. 16 new articles were created and three were improved. This time, the topics were related to Hungary.
The conference part of the camp was planned for the third day. Filip Maljkovic, the president of Wikimedia Serbia, presented the chapter and its projects, and Andrea Toth, Wikimedia Hungary Office Manager, talked briefly about Wikimedia Hungary. We then divided the participants into groups and gave them short case studies to consider, which involved improving cooperation between WMRS and WMHU. Representatives of the groups presented their creative solutions and then we officially finished the first Wikicamp 2014. We presented certificates to participants, and three of them joined Wikimedia Serbia. Maljkovic, Toth, and Ivana Madžarević, Project and Community Manager, each gave statements to reporter Milenko Radić, a Serbian journalist from a Hungarian radio station.
Madžarević said, “Wikicamp 2014 was successful and the first project organized by two chapters in our region. We’re definitely planning on doing this again, bearing in mind the importance of connection of chapters and strengthening the community in general. We learned that all we need is a little effort to strengthen the community by tapping the interests of existing members and attracting new volunteers. Wikicamp proved to be a successful way to enhance cooperation between the two chapters to enrich content on both Wikipedias and to show to new volunteers the idea and the importance of Wikimedia movement and the fun of participating in it.”
Ivana Madžarević, project and community manager, Wikimedia Serbia