Last Friday I visited Wikimedia Deutschland. The Wikimedia Foundation is the foundation behind Wikipedia, WikiData and many more projects related to free knowledge. You can check out all projects on the Wikimedia Landing Page.
I was in Hamburg last week, when a friend of my invited me to work for one day at the Wikimedia office in Berlin. So I did a 1 day trip to Berlin to check out the Wikimedia office. And this is it.
It’s a beautiful old building in Berlin Kreuzberg. Wikimedia Deutschland rules here the first floor with 70 employees. That’s the 2nd biggest Wikimedia office in the world. The biggest one is in the USA.
How does Wikipedia work?
This is how it works. Every time somebody is performing a search on Wikipedia, one of the employees is running to this shelfs and retypes the article into Wikipedia for you!
Haha 😀 Just kidding!
Wikipedia works because many thousands of volunteers are writing and correcting articles in their free time. Wikipedia is the biggest crowd sourcing project on this planet ever! According to Alexa Wikipedia is the 6 most visited web page in the Internet. To handle this kind of traffic a robust IT Infrastructure is needed. Beside all the volunteers there are more than 100 full time employees who ensure the quality and performance of the service. The salaries of all these employees are paid by donations. Some of the biggest donators are Google and Microsoft. But the biggest chunk of the donations is coming from micro donations. From small people all around the world who want to support Wikimedia! That’s pretty awesome! Isn’t it?
Wikimedia has his own fundraising team, which is responsible to collect donations. They build networks to other Foundations, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Craigslist Foundation. And much more important they do the crowd funding project on Wikimedia itself.
One of the biggest departments of Wikimedia is of course the Software Development Department. Here a picture from their workstations 🙂
And of course they drink Club Mate! But not the default stuff. They drink Club Mate Granat!
And the Software Development Department has his own big white board, what they turned into a Cat Wall! 😀
Everybody is welcome to draw cats on the white board!
If you want to do a phone call and you care about your privacy you can use this phone box on the floor 🙂
They have a couple rooms for events. They use it for their own events but they also host external Events. The event calendar is this wall 🙂
By the way, there is no online version of it! Wikimedia is organizing themselves in a very analog way. How ironic 🙂
One of the event rooms is the Mosaic room.
It fits round about 99 people. More are not allowed legally! And by the way, the next Geek2Geek event will happen in this event room.
It was fun to be there for a day and to meet the people who make Wikipedia work. Many Thanks to Abraham for inviting me and for showing me everything. It was a pleasure!