2013 Activity Plan/Ideas

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Comment Please give us your ideas to add to the 2013 Activity Plan. These should be ideas which are create impact, rather than being internal matters like governance or fundraising. Please think about the resource implication. E.g. "Hold Editathons at 50 museums" is a great idea, what would we need to make it happen in terms of money, volunteer time, or staff time? And don't be afraid to think big.

Sample idea[edit | edit source]

What? - what would we do, and why is it a good idea?
What would we need? - how much money, volunteer time, or staff time would it take to make this happen?
Please sign your ideas so we can follow up and give credit! (Don't worry, you're not committing yourself to anything).

Sound recordings of musical instruments[edit | edit source]

What? - currently there is a real shortage of sound clips in our articles on musical instruments. If you want to know what a {{w:violin}} sounds like, there is one openly-licensed file of some basic sounds, but nothing about its advanced technique, and nothing about a {{w:Historically_informed_performance}} of older music. For older instruments (e.g. the {{w:viol}} ) there is nothing at all.
What would we need? For modern instruments, we'd need musicians (professional or semi-professional) and recording equipment or studio time. To get audio reflecting the history of music, we would need a relationship with people like these. It is probably unlikely that a good archive of these sounds already exists, or that all the various specialist skills (not just performance, but studio time) would be donated free.
Submitted by The Land (talk)
Nice project - partnership with a music college? Suggest would take one person a day a week for a year Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 12:04, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia in Schools[edit | edit source]

What? - Slightly amazed this isn't in the budget already. In this author's humble opinion, there should be wikipedia editing lessons as part of every school's curriculum for every subject.
What would we need? - A good start would be free educational materials; suggestions for lesson plans etc. Then a dedicated group evangelising to institutions and government. See also http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Education_strategy#Staffing_and_management
Submitted by EdSaperia
I've been picking at the fringes of this idea for a little while. It's not bad, but I think at School level we should focus on critical thinking, reading sources, research & other topics related to reading Wikipedia. As School age children tend to (not always, but generally) lack a broader perspective that makes them top notch contributors. On the other hand encouraging respect and interest in Wikipedia at an early age will create a much larger pool of prospective editors in their later lives :) --ErrantX (talk) 14:15, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I notice that Ed has suggested this as an area of work. It's a sensible suggestion and I'm developing a project at the moment around digital literacy, online research skills and other related topics. I'll add some more details of this to this wiki later on today. --Stevie Benton (talk) 08:47, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
This being a plan for next year, there has to be a reasonable goal of what can be achieved in a year. Ed writes, "there should be wikipedia editing lessons as part of every school's curriculum for every subject." Yes, this is a desirable goal, but what's an achievable way to progress toward it in the next year? Without that, we don't have an activity. What's happened in the past is that people have signed up to do "education projects" but people's interests are so spread across the sector that not much concrete happens. So we need to pull together on something achievable. I do want there to be a workshop for teachers some time in the next year and I've made a start on writing up some suggested activities, and Leutha and Tom Morton are making improvements. MartinPoulter (talk) 09:22, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
The downside is you get more precocious kids editing, becoming admins and bureaucrats (our youngest was 12, as far as I recall), and further juvenilisation of community processes. I don't think that's sensible. --Andreas JN 08:21, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Which is why I've argued (consistently) that our outreach at this level should avoid editor recruitment strategies, and do more to teach about the utility of Wikipedia, theory of knowledge etc. --ErrantX (talk) 08:42, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
My impression was that the 'precocious' Wikipedians were generally very serious people. I don't think you can blame them for the 'juvenilisation of community processes' - what ever that means. Filceolaire (talk) 12:59, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
You can get 14-year-olds who can talk the hindlegs of a donkey (with perfect spelling), but that does not mean that they make mature and appropriate decisions, or see the big picture. Have you ever had teenage children, and argued with them over ... anything? Their positions may be completely logical, fervently held, and at the same time quite ignorant and inappropriate (a fact which they will readily realise a couple of years later, when arguing just as fervently as before for a different intellectual position). Just the other day I read a long dialogue between a 14-year-old admin and a published scholar ... the teenage admin had a good grasp of Wikipedia policies, and the scholar had a good grasp of an encyclopedic topic. The former caused the latter to leave Wikipedia, and to write on his blog, "I therefore recommend that scholars like myself not bother to make edits on that platform where any non-specialist can take them down within seconds. Scholars don’t have the time to waste on such games." --Andreas JN 01:21, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

This is HUGE. To give you some idea of the scale; the organisation that promotes film clubs in schools FilmClub reaches up to 40% of schools but apart from a volunteer in each school has 53 staff and a budget of £4.6m. This is an important area but one we need to find a partner for. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 12:04, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Re-releasing the 2008/9 'Wikipedia for Schools' DVD with more content[edit | edit source]

What? - Several years ago, the WMF, WMUK and "SOS Children" released a DVD called Wikipedia for Schools, which is available here. We should re-release this in a larger, more up-to-date version.
What would we need? - An awful lot of volunteers, and a core staff (possibly at SOS Children) who have experience in managing/overseeing this sort of project. We already have links with education charities who work in some of the poorest areas worldwide.
Submitted by Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry
This may be a project where we could experiment with building a basic crowdsourcing system through toolserver - "is this version of this article suitable for release in a school's encyclopedia? yes / no, it needs work / no, it's inappropriate". That might be able to scale up the selection quite fast without needing a lot of on-wiki involvement. Andrew Gray (talk) 11:14, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Fully support this. I've been asking for a couple of years about when the next version of this will be released. My understanding is that the critical element that's missing is volunteers that are willing to support the project - if we can find such volunteers, then that's going to benefit the project much more than simply providing funds will. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 01:34, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
P.S., WMUK was never directly involved in the 2008/9 edition of the Wikipedia for Schools project. Very sadly. Mike Peel (talk) 01:36, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Good idea. --Andreas JN 11:56, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Note: Britannica takes on might of Wikipedia as encyclopedia to give Scottish schools free online access. (Actually have to say, Britannica is a more appropriate encyclopedia for use in schools.) --Andreas JN 08:12, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
If we created a resource and had it rubber stamped as 'safe and suitable' by organisations that schools trust then we could make a serious impact on the national consciousness and start the sort of process that Ed referred to further up. Would be a year's work and need a dedicated and experienced person full time.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 11:41, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

A lovely idea and one we could do brilliantly as a give-away through the Times Education Supplement or some such. There are around 24,000 schools just in England so this would not be cheap but certainly doable. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Mapping the canal network[edit | edit source]

What? - Britain's canal network is currently undergoing a renaissance, with new canals being opened at a faster rate than ever before. UK canals are quite unlike any others anywhere else in the world - they are small, narrow, shallow and packed with history. They also have an abnormally large amount of listed buildings linked with them, whether they be directly linked with the canal, or simply nearby (eg an old warehouse, or river weir). The Kennet and Avon canal is peppered with untouched fortifications from World War Two, and the entire length of the Wey Navigation is a National Trust property.
Get to the point... - We could put a volunteer or two on a specially fitted-out (and Wikipedia-liveried?) live-aboard boat for the summer, and have them map the canal network - taking photos of every building, every lock, and even taking video footage of sections of the trip from a roof-mounted camera. A GPS system would trace the entire route for Open Street Map. British Waterways may also be interested, as we'd essentially be doing a mini-survey of the network, including all the structures, for them. We could fit the inside of the barge with a small supply of educational materials and a marquis for stopping the 'wiki-barge' in towns along the way.
What would we need? - A narrowboat, to hire, for the summer - needs to be quite small. Two volunteers, technically minded, at least one of whom knows about narrowboats. GPS equipment (possibly able to loan from OSM or British Waterways?). A 3G internet connection (wouldn't work everywhere, but would work when near a village/town). A camera (and possibly a video-camera). Lots of hard drive space. Expenses for the volunteers aboard. Brochures/booklets.
Submitted by Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry

Obviously just an excuse for Richard to escape from the office Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Aren't you looking for excuses to get Richard out of the office? ;) --Tango (talk) 11:13, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Couldn't we simply provide GPS devices, and opportunities for uploading the collected data, to individuals that are already planning on navigating the canal networks? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:07, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Training events for volunteers[edit | edit source]

What? - WMUK currently puts on a lot of training events for newcomers, but fewer for established Wikipedians. These would be events marketed at established Wikipedians who want to expand their skill set. We should, in the author's humble(ish) opinion, have a combination of large events like the OTRS workshop, at which Wikipedians spend a weekend or several days sharing experiences and those with less experience of the subject matter can come along to learn, and smaller, skill-swap type events. This would hopefully result in personal development for the attendees, both on Wikipedia and as WMUK volunteers. Also helpful might be training in public speaking, alongside a continuation of the trainer training programme.
What would we need? - A few hundred quid per event for travel costs, possibly venue hire if other Development House tenants get sick of us occupying their basement, and hotels for multi-day events. Possibly consider flying in attendees from abroad where a good case can be made, which would add significantly to the cost. We would need a member of staff on hand for events at the office, and Daria's assistance in booking venues etc may be useful.
Submitted by Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts?
Mozilla might be a great venue for this, especially if we throw some of the skill sessions open to the wider open-content/open-source community. Andrew Gray (talk) 11:15, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Train the trainer should definitely be continued, and may be expanded as we capture and understand our needs better. Other training events that we could explore are Media training (could include photography) Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 15:22, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
For volunteers who actively do things for WMUK, definitely. I was thinking particularly of experienced Wikipedians who aren't necessarily heavily involved in the chapter. For example, some editors have a lot of knowledge and experience of the more technical aspects of Wikipedia (like modifying the interface or abuse abuse filters, and templates), there might be interest in learning how to be an enwiki admin or what admins do, experience-sharing sessions for admins, FA/GA reviewing, copyright, etc. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 15:28, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm currently in the process of getting some media training organised, so watch this space. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 15:35, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Speaking selfishly, I'd like there to be a workshop for Wikipedians who want to be admins eventually. I hope and expect that some of the participants in the Train the Trainers workshop will take the initiative and put something together. In fact, why wait until 2013? MartinPoulter (talk) 09:25, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
In my mind, it is more urgent to have a workshop for potential Commons admins. -- (talk) 09:35, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

All of this can and will happen. Train the Trainers is creating skilled and caring people to help deliver these events. The suggestion for two new members of staff to do volunteer outreach and education and training is key to this. Probably our single most important challenge but a lot of open doors waiting to be knocked at. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Community meetups[edit | edit source]

What? - Establishing meetups in parts of the country that currently lack them. In the author's personal experience, coming to a meetup can leave an editor feeling much more positive about their participation in Wikimedia projects, can act as a mechanism for recruitment of new editors or retention of inexperienced ones, and the meetup can form the bedrock for a volunteer community actively doing exciting things in its area. This is already proving to be the case in Liverpool and Coventry, both relatively newly established communities. Somebody will no doubt point out that meetups are not strictly chapter activities, but that doesn't mean the chapter can't support them.
What would we need? - Travel costs for volunteers not based in the area of the meetup (importing somebody to kickstart things and then hand over when a community is established is probably our best way of starting something in areas where we are not currently active, such as the north east, and has worked thus far in Liverpool); possibly venue hire; maybe some sandwhiches or something if we end up in a non-pub venue. Staff time required is next to nil unless they want to come to the meetups (and I strongly advocate that they should get out and meet the community at every opportunity); some help might be needed in liaising with venues if necessary.
Submitted by Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts?
The big problem we've been encountering here is how we can effectively support such meetups. The problems we've been encountering include:
  1. Meetups are traditionally community-lead. Volunteers don't necessarily like the chapter providing assistance for meetups.
  2. It's unclear what support we actually can provide to community meetups. We're using charitable funds, so we can't really buy attendees a drink. That, and food, tends to be the main expense of such meetups at the moment. Equally, we can't really fund people's travel expenses to go to a booze-up. We can't provide advertisement in the form of banners at such an event, since locations tend to object to this (the community can provide advertisement via geonotices, but they're not chapter activities). We can't book rooms, since they generally aren't needed. So, help, please! Mike Peel (talk) 01:48, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
The former argument may apply to existing meetups, but my proposal is focused on founding new ones (and I think people object to an appearance of the chapter attempting to control or hijack meetups, rather than to it providing logistical or financial support where it is asked for). What I had in mind was essentially paying travel costs and possibly hotels and incidentals if needed for volunteers to start meetups in areas where we currently lack volunteers, with the aim of building a volunteer base there, which would eventually be able to sustain the meetup itself and then start doing other things, like building relationships with local GLAMs/groups/educational institutions. We currently do very little outside of London and the midlands (and arguably Manchester), and I'd really like to see things happening in the north east and south west of England in particular. The way to do this is to build volunteer communities there, and the way to do that, I feel, is to start meetups in cities like Newcastle, Leeds/Bradford, Hull/somewhere else on the east coast, Nottingham/Derby, perhaps somewhere on the south coast/M4 corridor, Oxford, and Exeter. Cardiff and Edinburgh would be on the list, but there have already been meetups there; I'm not sure if they need support. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 16:09, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

I think this is a horses for courses area. London doesn't need much organisation (although I am hosting one soon) but might need some financial support from time to time? Other meetups, particularly start-ups might need staff support for months until they get going. Our aim is to have a broad network covering most of the population. We also need a nest practice kit to give people ideas as to what works best. Again a job for the proposed volunteer support staff member if approved.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

I don't think they need any staff support (speaking from personal experience), but you need to be able to guarantee that there are a small number of people who will turn up no matter what. That's easy enough when you have a few dedicated people based nearby, but some support for travel costs etc might be needed for the first few months if we have to parachute somebody in. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:01, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
I really think that depends on who THEY are. At my last job we lost our coordinator in Manchester and the group evaporated. Myself and another member of staff took turns in hosting the meetings for four months until we got a new coordinator and the group was up and running again. The log of active Wikipedians in the UK that we have been working on shows 7 trustees, 20 volunteers who do something most weeks and 38 who do something most months. We need to build this up and draw from the pool of editors and donors. starting new Wikimeets will help with this but User X from Cleethorpes is likely to need some support getting going and in fact s/he may not yet be identified or known to us. How much better if the first meeting is well organised, can be relied on to happen, contains good content and makes people feel they are signing up to a charity that really works? Coventry is fine example of where it works already but is a rear example, otherwise is it is just London, Manchester Leeds and Cambridge? The ideal is of course the independent volunteer organised wikimeet but giving birth to them may need a staff midwife! Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 08:47, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree it needs a midwife; I disagree that that midwife has to be a member of staff. The only reason we don't have a meetup in Newcastle, for example, is the time and money involved in getting there and probably staying overnight; we have editors in the area, at least some of whom would come to a meetup. The same is true in a few other areas. There's not much point trying to start a meetup where there aren't people who would come.

The meetups we have are London, Cambridge, Coventry, Manchester, Liverpool, and Cardiff and Reading have just started. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 14:12, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Who is going to be staying overnight? Meetups should be aimed at locals. There should be very little travel cost and no accommodation cost (some people may enjoy travelling to distant meetups, but WMUK shouldn't fund that - they can probably sleep on couches anyway and probably have more fun). The reason we haven't had a meetup in Newcastle, or anywhere else, is simply because no-one has organised one. WMUK's role should be helping with the initial organisation (being a midwife, as Jon puts it), there shouldn't be any long-term work for WMUK and certainly no significant costs. --Tango (talk) 17:30, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Sex-ed improvement project[edit | edit source]

What? - Wikipedia articles on human sexuality topics are numerous and have high viewing figures, yet are often poorly sourced and written. Improvements in this area (to GA or FA level) would benefit a large number of readers, especially younger readers.
What would we need? - Need to research / establish contact with sex-ed experts in government (Dept. of Education) and academia, pitch the idea to them, and help bring them up to speed with the internal workings of Wikipedia. May require travel costs, possibly venue costs, and on-wiki support. --Andreas JN 00:18, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
This is an area where we could get involved. Sadly we are a source of sex-ed and there are many people who would like to see sex-ed improved. A few letters to the correct NGOs may just get this moving and its as important as CancerUK and a similar "taboo" subject where we end up being the resource of last resort. I'm not sure you need "permnission" to do this. Why not just write to these people and see if they are interested. This should nt need to cost anything initially IMO Victuallers (talk) 10:25, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
This is an area I used to be a bit of an expert in - leading a Home Office/Department for Education and Department of Health pilot project that is still going...

Sex (and drugs) education was a minefield but one for which there is a very good single body The Sex Education Forum Just like with Cancer Research UK this would be a great starting point. BUT beware. We had to create policies and teaching material that would work from 4 to 16, in Catholic and non-denominational schools etc etc. The end result could be very bland. Jon Davies WMUK (talk) 11:47, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Fortunately, Wikipedia isn't censored so we don't need to worry too much about that. Wikipedia plays an important role in getting information to people that they aren't allowed to have. We normally talk about that in the context of countries with oppressive regimes, but the same holds for children of religious, or otherwise conservative, parents. Sex-ed info is the kind of thing children are going to be looking up on Wikipedia without their parents' knowledge, so we don't really need to worry about whether parents approve or not. --Tango (talk) 12:27, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
This is not just about censorship if we are to produce support material that will be endorsed and therefore stand a chance of being used by the schools and the educational establishment it has to be trusted, hence the need for educational partners. 10:18, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Bridging the needs of adults and children in Wikipedia will not be easy. But our articles in the entire field of human sexuality – anything from porn actors to paraphilias to plastic surgery – are in my experience either written from a popular-culture perspective, or from the perspective of practitioners. Given that we are a major source of sex-ed, especially for the most vulnerable readers, a major shift in perspective is required. A good initial step actually would be to get our articles in the whole field of sexology assessed by professional educators, so that we have some sort of baseline.
As far as Wikipedia's own quality assessment system is concerned, note that the only Featured Articles within WikiProject Sexuality are: Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies, American Beauty (film), Elizabeth Needham, and Gropecunt Lane; to wit: an article on a Victorian directory of prostitutes, an article on a street where prostitutes plied their trade, an article on an 18th-century Victorian brothel keeper, and an American film about a man who becomes sexually infatuated with a girlfriend of his teenage daughter. Going down the scale, there then is an A-Class article on Wank Week. These are the project's top-rated articles, after 12 years of undirected crowdsourcing. :( Wikipedia can do better. --Andreas JN 16:27, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
How does this topic compare to other potential topics that the Wikimedia projects cover? Is it better or worse than other topics? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 01:25, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Generally worse. It's, for obvious reasons, a popular topic area for readers - and also tends to attract a "certain type" of editor. Topics on sexuality are consistently poor, with bad sourcing and a lot of pop culture, when I come across them. I think this is a good area to focus on; we happily do outreach on other topic areas with light (World War I, for example) or poor coverage. Bridging professional sex ed people into Wikipedia would be a really great step; because working there at the moment can be like interacting with pre-pubescent children. --ErrantX (talk) 14:13, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
It's a very important area if we are to be taken seriously in the world of education. We know teenagers will look up sexual terms on Wikipedia just like many would have done with encyclopaedias and dictionaries in years gone past. If we really want to be for everyone, we need to be appropriate for use in schools and colleges. As a starting point that means that content is appropriate, educational and sensible. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:52, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I think most of what's there is, to steal your Phrase Stevie, "appropriate, educational and sensible". The problem tends to be that the articles are often thin, poorly sourced, and a magnet for vandalism. I think part of the problem is that these are taboo subjects, and editors who focus a large amount of their time on such subjects can be subject to ridicule far more than those who focus almost exclusively on other subjects. While bringing in sex-ed professionals would help with the immediate problem of low-quality articles, the social problems with these articles would remain. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 16:25, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I believe that improving the quality of the articles would help reduce the poorly sourced additions and the vandalism. Even the people making poorly sourced additions are mostly trying to help and if they see the article is already better than anything they might add they tend to stay away. Recruiting people to fight vandalism and help keep a good article good is easier than getting them to care about a poor article. I think this a great idea, not just for children but also for ignorant adults. I would suggest we should start with the most viewed articles in this field (anybody know what they are?). A reputation as a source of quality Sex Ed is our best defence against the accusations of porn-mongering that get aimed at us every now and then. Let's show people there is a reason why we have pictures of naked people on Commons. Let our slogan be "Wikipedia: Making sex less titillating since 2013!" Filceolaire (talk) 18:22, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
"appropriate, educational and sensible": I disagree, HJ, honestly. Much of it is pop culture, or how-to guides (read tit torture and other BDSM topics), and almost all of it cites no genuine sexological literature (see the references for tit torture). Just go into the sexual slang nav template, or the Outline of BDSM nav template, and work your way through these articles the way thousands of teenagers are likely doing it, and analyse the sourcing and writing. --Andreas JN 00:52, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I think you an I are thinking of different types of article. I thought you were talking about articles on the topic of human reproduction, anatomy, and other scientific topics, rather than sexuality more generally. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 13:02, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I was indeed talking more generally. You need to look at where the traffic and the editing effort go. The sexual slang template for example is included at the bottom of the Fuck article, which is a magnet to any teenager (a quarter million views per month, no. 516 in Wikipedia overall). The article "Human reproduction" gets about 500 views a day. [1] The article on Dirty Sanchez (sexual act) meanwhile gets over 1,500 views a day, [2], and the one on anilingus, 3,000 a day. [3]. The article on tit torture (600 views a day) is 1,694 words long; the one on the vagina (15,000 views a day) is only marginally longer, at 2,048 words. Meanwhile, the article Vulva contains 22 photographs of a vulva, and every single one is Caucasian (and all but 4 are shaved). We are advertising ourselves to donors as a boon to kids in the developing world, but the articles tend to range from urban dictionary to prurient, and are very Westernised. They may get us page views, but they fail as education for a global audience in my view. --Andreas JN 11:32, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Andreas' proposal is already covered and budgeted in planned activity under expert outreach. We are working with a range of scientific and scholarly bodies to get improvements to Wikipedia in their area, and we have a budget and support for volunteers who want to meet with partners or to arrange training events or editathons, but nothing so far that specifically addresses sex education. Rather than trying to put sex ed into the activity plan, Andreas, your effort would be better spent finding a contact in a relevant partner body, having a meeting and getting something going. We can't put each individual project into an activity plan, otherwise we'd have a "cancer pages improvement" project, a "Parkinson's pages improvement" project and so on. MartinPoulter (talk) 09:15, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
WMUK officials ought to do that outreach. I am happy to join in, attend a meeting etc., or give a summary or presentation of perceived problems, but the initiative should be spearheaded by someone with the authority to speak for WMUK, commit WMUK resources, etc. --Andreas JN 00:52, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I've never heard of WMUK having "officials". We're a volunteer-led organisation, and the partnerships that exist have come about often because an interested volunteer got themselves onto the meeting agenda of a relevant group. So are you going to find a suitable expert body and have a meeting with them, Andreas? Once we have such partners then just the sort of project you're asking for can go ahead: no need to wait for 2013. We're finding that these partnerships require almost no money, as we are providing a service to the experts in helping their public outreach and helping them understand Wikipedia, so they are happy to provide venue for joint events. MartinPoulter (talk) 13:00, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
You have a short memory then, mate. ;) Realistically, I lack standing and connections. Someone like Jon or Chris can call The Sex Education Forum e.g. and say, "Look, I am the director/chair of the WMUK educational charity, and we would like to explore possibilities for collaboration, to improve Wikipedia's sex-ed material", and have a chance of being taken seriously, and of pledging credible support. An individual volunteer like myself is not able to represent and commit WMUK in the same way – at least not without an assurance of support for the initiative from the board and/or director. Andreas JN 13:24, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I mentioned plastic surgery above. Here is a press release from today, from a plastic surgeon who basically wrote himself an advertisement in Wikipedia and then sent out a press release about it:
Mommy Makeover Presented by San Francisco Plastic Surgeon Miguel Delgado, is a New and Exciting Addition to Wikipedia.
Mommy Makeover, is a new term added to Wikipedia. Known as the “free encyclopedia” Wikipedia quickly became a favorite source of information on the internet, consistently rating high in Google searches. Content contributions come from experts all over the world. Dr. Delgado saw the need for an extensive description for the Mommy Makeover procedure after receiving many inquiries from his patients.

The article he linked to looked like this: [4]. (Similarly, the article on labiaplasty has often had completely normal labia described as "hypertrophied" and in need of surgical correction.) --Andreas JN 00:38, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

A HUGE project and a minefield. As I said earlier tread very carefully in this area and work in partnership with the experts.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Spoken Wikipedia (all languages)[edit | edit source]

What? - Planned support to add to Commons:Category:Spoken_Wikipedia. It would be excellent to have examples of new audio support for articles created in English and non-English languages such as Welsh, Gaelic, Cornish or Urdu (at the moment these languages have none).
What would we need? - Decent audio kit and a sound-proof space to use it in. Potentially a small audio kit to loan out for people to use at home or on outreach activities would make sense, along with online support to help re-process the files to OGG format if the readers find this difficult. In addition a number of our partners (in locations across the UK) have recording facilities or sound-proofed rooms that we could book on a monthly or other basis. Some partners have facilities that we need only promote in a directory of places to use and volunteers could self-book. We would need to advertise the initiative as an on-going programme for our regular volunteers but also our donors and the general public who may not be so interested in editing Wikipedia, but might enjoy helping with high quality readings to assist mobile and disabled access. A small amount of training in how to get best use from the equipment and how to plan for good quality readings (and feedback on test readings) might be needed. With expenses, kit and promotion (including some external advertising) I would expect £1,500 over 12 months might be a good investment for, say, 200 or more articles in spoken format.
Proposed by -- (talk) 02:58, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
We have a good quality sound recorder in the office. It's very easy to make decent quality recordings these days, even with a £100 recorder and no studio. My NFL podcast is a good example. If we have a quiet space (and we can arrange some in the office, particularly after hours or at weekends, this is something we can do internally, whether by staff or volunteers. Audacity is a very good, open source sound editor which is easy to use. Our recorder creates high quality wav or MP3 files which can be edited in Audacity and converted to OGG if required. We can get this one started whenever we like I think. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:55, 13 August 2012 (UTC) Addendum: just a thought but the spoken articles may not remain accurate reflections of the copy for long. How would we address this? --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:57, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Sounds simple and could attract a group of people not engaged before. Kit cheap enough would need someone to co-oridnate it probably half a day a week. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Turn donors to editors[edit | edit source]

(following on from WSC's first event, & as discussed a bit with Fae)

What? Using the donor database, organise a series of events lasting say 3 hrs, starting with quick "thanks very much", and "where your money goes" presentations, before moving on to sessions on editing, uploading, real life help, & generally contributing to the projects. Targeted at donors who are not existing contributors, but would like to be, with ideally 100+ at a time - first sessions plenary, then 3-4 tracks such as basic WP editing (prob x2), Commons including uploading, categories?, other stuff. One could offer the initial presentations, plus a coffee mingle, to an even larger number, and including existing editors, then non-aspirant editors leave. That might be a good way of igniting meet-ups in hard to penetrate regions.
What would we need? Could be done at various scales, but I'd like to see a tour of biggish events, so locations begged/borrowed/hired. Work on session material. Lots of volunteers. Some catering. Arrange targeted invitations to donor list. Arrangements for online follow-up and tracking.
Proposed by Johnbod (talk) 11:09, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Fits in nicely with the idea further up of a range of activities to develop editors. A job that could be coordinated by the Fundraiser and proposed volunteer organiser. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

The latest session I did is kind of morphing in to that. Adding images to articles is a very quick thing to teach people and they were very quickly making big changes to articles. We've probably run out of people who are available daytime in London. Some time in the first half of 2013 I should be able to do a saturday session, and if anyone is willing to take my stuff and run a session on a weekday evening or in the midlands...... WereSpielChequers (talk) 22:28, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Editing roadshow[edit | edit source]

What? A package we can take to larger events such as shows (county, garden, antiques, music & other themes) offering a series of short editing workshops - just 40 mins for 15-20 people say. Designed to capture those desperate to sit down. A session each hour all day.
What would we need? Marquee, lots of net books, banners etc. Some transport. Have to pay for the stand normally. Lots of volunteers - travelling trained trainers would need paying, supplemented by local volunteers, prob also paid. Standard lesson plans. Arrangements for online follow-up and tracking.
Proposed by Johnbod (talk) 11:09, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
A lower pressure version of this is the Wikipedia free internet cafe - the same marquee, net books, banners with a box for donations and roving volunteers with "I edit wikipedia. Ask me how!" badges available to do some one to one tutoring. Or a combination of the two - seats and screens in the marquee for those in the workshop, free wifi and charging points outside the marquee for everyone else. Filceolaire (talk) 17:44, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Could the transport be a canal boat? Seriously, though, I like this idea. Roadshows are something we're really missing out on. Richard Symonds (talk) 21:18, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Leutha's favourite pub proposal is the wiki-bus. I still like the idea of doing up a bus and going on tour. Anywhere we can find a power connection and pitch up a marquee tent, we could run an editathon, photo-uploading, scanning and audio recordings mega event. Seriously, anyone up for it? I can help drive a bus and quite fancy going around either Cornwall or Scotland. If we could share the programme between, say, 8 volunteers with a lot of free time, it could be a lot of fun. Imagine the public enthusiasm if we could get several councils to give us a space on the big market day in any major town's market space. -- (talk) 21:36, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Count me in! I can't drive anything more sophisticated than a bicycle, but I make a reasonable navigator. It would be great to try and cover as much of the country as possible, perhaps starting in one corner and progressing towards the opposite one, stopping at towns and cities en route. It would be novel enough that it could make national news. How much would a stick-on livery (that could hopefully be removed easily once we're done with it) cost? Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 22:55, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
I remember discussing a wikibus proposal back in 2009 (which came about due to a discussion between Tango and myself) - it's great to see that this idea is still floating around. :-) Mike Peel (talk) 01:39, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
This is something that would go down brilliantly at festivals... get people editing on the acts they've gone to see, esoteric topics (crystals, yoga, cannabis), counter-culture and so on. The hippies would love it (although they are getting pushed aside by the people who go to be seen these days, but that's another story). -- 09:15, 10 August 2012 (UTC) Sorry, this was me - didn't realise I was't signed in. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:16, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I like this, and am sure I could join it for a week or two. I'd add that it naturally fits in with the idea of jumpstarting wikimeetups in areas of the country that don't currently have them. As well as festivals we should be thinking about county shows, basically any big event where people can come and talk to us. As well as the netbooks this event would require a portable WiFi connection, and not one dependent on mobile phones as they get busy in big events. We could get a satellite uplink for a few hundred a year. WereSpielChequers (talk) 23:32, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Quite ambitious - would need someone full-time to make this happen.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Pilot Adult Education Project[edit | edit source]

I teach at a respected Adult Education Establishment in Waterloo. It has good computer facilities and is accessible. The college is strapped for cash, like the whole sector, but are interested in running classes in editing. They have good IT staff and facilities. We could put financial support into a series of Sunday or Saturday schools that would be run by the college but using our people to teach a range of courses around Wiki editing. Ideas could be "Newbies", 'Up to 100 edits', etc etc. The target students would be ordinary people who know the college and are generally from local communities but do come from all over London. Our funds wold be there to help subsidise the costs. Jon Davies WMUK (talk) 14:06, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Good - I think we could justify/spend money if the outcome was that we could write an email to every adult education centre in the UK that said ::"Dear Adult Educ Centre - please find attached a url to everything you need to teach, advertise and reward editors on a course called "Creating your first Wikipedia Page" - this page lists all the articles created by the first people who were trained in Waterloo and includes links to some videos saying what they got out of it. (The course and its material were created by Wikimedia UK staff and are all available via our wiki site). We are running a competition for the best wikipedia page created on these course with a prize for the trainee and another for the best adult education establishment and best tutor. The first 50 applications will receive ..." Victuallers (talk) 14:59, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
And a 'how to' guide for the college admins who get often get nervous about anything new.
I am developing a relationship with U3A as well that would be quite happy to run a pilot programme within this. The main restriction would be to find enough volunteers willing to support, but I am quite enthusiastic about trying this out in 2013. Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 13:18, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Training in Community Centres[edit | edit source]

We could aim to deliver Wikipedia training in community centres - church halls, parish halls, meeting rooms, etc. that are not traditional venues for IT-related training because of lack of infrastructure. Aim would be to meet the needs of a broad audience - not all of whom would own portable pcs, but might have access to a shared pc at home, or in an internet cafe, etc. Target might be perhaps a dozen venues in a year?

Resources[edit | edit source]

We'd need to create a "mobile classroom" that does not depend on the local infrastructure. Buy a dozen(?) computers - perhaps a mixture of laptops (£400 each); netbooks (£275 each); tablets (£175 each). Buy a projector and screen (£500-£700); an OHP, pens and screen (£250); a scanner/printer and replacement inks (£60); a card reader (320), spare usb, vgs, dvi, hdmi, audio leads; extension leads and sockets, storage boxes to carry equipment around (£100). Buy a phone subscription that includes a good data plan so that the phone becomes the wireless access point.

Targeting[edit | edit source]

Use the membership and donors to find out-of-the-way places that they would be a point of contact for. Coordinate with other charities to reach their centres that are off the beaten track and do some advertising through their newsletters. If necessary, use an agency to buy in some local expertise in Cornwall, Scotland, Northumberland, etc. to make initial contacts who can identify locations.

Depending on measured success against PIs, the budget could be scaled up in the future to duplicate the mobile classroom in different parts of the country, thus avoiding having to get the MC from a central location each time. --RexxS (talk) 16:52, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Many language minorities have cultural centres. Training at these could be a way to work with other language wikiprojects.
  • For people with minimal literacy skills finding an educational site in their own language can help.
  • People learning English can translate articles (basic articles about the local area or advanced articles about science, history etc.) into their own language.
The hands-on nature of Wikis mean that a wiki-trainer, with a little help from a translator, can teach the basics. If editors in that language are available then even better. If they are no experienced editors in that language then maybe when we go back next year there will be.
Filceolaire (talk) 12:01, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I love this idea - certainly a pilot would be possible. Using the WEA model visiting small vilages and delivering sessions on a weekly basis for say four weeks could work really well. I think this would be a full or part time job for someone who had their own wheels and could fit into a network in partnership, such as the WEA, that already existed. So not cheap but certainly doable and would get a lot of attention. 10:07, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Fits in with the idea two up. A pilot on 2013 would be possible. WOuld need someone full time for a period to make it happen.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

More volunteers able to deliver training events[edit | edit source]

The proposals for establishing more editing events sound great, but I would say already there are not enough volunteers to deliver these if we had one workshop every week or a fortnight. What is needed is an expanded network of volunteers who are happy to deliver such events - talk about rather basic editing skills, or even just presenting about Wikipedia/Wikimedia UK to raise awareness. These could be achieved by training inactive editors, or even complete newbies. Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 11:55, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

There are two points I'd like to make in reply to that. First, I think these are more ideas for brainstorming than formal proposals at this stage. And second, we definitely need more volunteers, but training isn't necessarily the most helpful thing. There is some use in training the volunteers we have, but we need more of them. To that end, both my existing ideas, and another I'm about to make, focus on the recruitment and development of volunteers (for anyone who hadn't noticed, that's something I feel strongly about!). Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 16:31, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Again fits in with some of the ideas above and the core proposal for two new staff to cover the volunteer, and education and training support briefs.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Oral citations[edit | edit source]

WMF has doen some research on Oral Citations in India and South Africa - interviews with named persons describing things they have personal knowledge of to use as citations where published sources are unavailable.

We should pursue this; run a project to record peoples personal reminiscences, things they witnessed. Part mass observation, part field recordings. Visiting primary schools, recording pupils interviewing their grandparents; visiting festivals of comemoration to record memories; visiting cultural centres to record minority languages, stories, dances, colonial history from the other side; visiting local radio stations to play our most interesting recordings and invite people to volunteer to be interviewed; visiting the site of big news stories after the fact to record the survivors/victims/bystanders.

resources needed.

A recording studio in a box (laptop, microphones, camera + tripod, audio/video editing software) with a full time reporter/producer/facilitator

Next: work with existing archives of recordings (BBC, EFDSS etc. ) to get older recordings released under open licenses.

Later: Provide training and sponsorship for the same to happen in other countries.

Does this fit in with one of the previous ideas that Fae made? Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

I rather like this idea. If volunteers are interested in going out and taking oral histories we might be able to get support from an archive. This could take the form of using their recording their equipment or providing advice on best practice. There is some material online with pointers from the East Midlands Oral History Archive [5] [6]. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 09:48, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Equipment pool[edit | edit source]

What? Over the last year Wikimedia UK has started to build up a pool of equipment which it lends out for use at events. While this is good (laptops, an HD video camera, and an audio recorder are all very useful) it would be helpful for the chapter to have more equipment available for loan to Wikimedians in the UK. Wikimedia DE have built up such a collection since 2011. While there is some stuff there that is probably best bought on a need-to-buy basis (read: it's unlikely many Wikimedians in the UK will need dissection equipment and if they do, it can be bought through a microgrant as and when required) other equipment such as camera lenses, ethernet cables + WiFi routers (for outreach events where lots of media will be uploaded - so as not to make the WiFi too slow) and (possibly) studio lighting would be useful.
I know it was proposed some time ago that the chapter actually buy a mid-range DSLR for lending out and this is still a good idea. It is possible, however, that anyone who wants a camera has one or knows someone who has one.
What would we need? A longer-than-kit-lens lens will cost somewhere in the region of £300-400. Presuming you want to get one that fits a Canon EOS and another for Nikon DSLRs you could double that figure. You can get a set of three softbox lights (including carry cases etc.) for $179 which Google tells me is about £114 (which does seem too cheap to be true...).
I wouldn't really expect much extra staff time to be needed to handle the whole project. If the equipment is purchased by WMUK it would need to be kept catalogued on the Fixed Asset Register and it could be kept at the WMUK office. Rock drum (talkcontribs) 14:06, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
We could consider a high-end DSLR rather than a mid-range one. But even for a mid-range DSLR the person behind the camera is as important as the kit. Would we also need to think about training for volunteers to make best use of it? The Land (talk) 20:19, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
So, I lent my Canon EOS 400D to Wikimedia UK, via Harry Mitchell. I bought this camera for ~£500, and it would currently be worth somewhere around £150. My expectation was that this would cover WMUK's interim needs for a camera, prior to purchasing a better one. This loan was directly a result of the requests that WMUK was receiving to have a reasonable camera available, but were unable to fund immediately. As best as I can tell, the camera has been lost, and there's no way of making it available to other volunteers, or returning it to myself. As such, I'm currently unable to support any such requests for expensive equipment that will be entrusted to volunteers, since the risk of losing it is far too high. How can we deal with this sort of issue? Mike Peel (talk) 01:22, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
The only cameras I would support would be a fixed one for photographing objects and documents in the office (in the same way that the reading rooms in the National Archives have photography stations available to the public) and one for webcasting/video for events and meetings which we already have. At a time when every volunteer has a camera/video camera on their phone, and every volunteer interested in photography already has a very decent camera or pocket camera (I have only ever had a pocket camera and get very decent results, always having a camera with you is far more important than having a tripod and DSLR), I have struggled to understand the justification for the charity buying a camera for £500 to loan to volunteers which will be highly likely to be out of date within a year. Unfortunately the discussion about A/V kit always gets distracted on this point of a high quality camera on vague general loan without a clear justification as to which projects it is really needed for; I will continue to reject this part of the proposal and support the main concept. I am disturbed to read Mike's story of embarrassingly lost kit which seems discouraging, to be honest that story convinces me that if the charity lends out £500+ worth of kit for use on anything but a major planned event, then we should think of asking for a returnable deposit so that volunteers are likely to treat the equipment with some respect or lose some of their own cash. The concept of a deposit for any casual loan should extend to all kit; as an example one of our volunteers has managed to braeak or lose 3 (of their own) laptops in 12 months, reminding us that such accidents are commonplace.
The charity has just purchased a number of reasonable quality (they cost 50% more than mine) new laptops for loan as well as having a fair amount of other kit available for events, based on the asset register these sorts of capital items (mostly reserved for staff use) are running at around £9,000 worth of kit. I firmly recommend the office carefully measures how well used these are by volunteers and staff and then work out the resulting value for the charity and the fulfilment of our mission before investing more in equipment. If at the end of the day a rapidly depreciating capital item is only used for 3 events in a year, then I would question this as a useful investment.
For training, Peter Weis' initiative in Scotland should probably be replicated in England. If anyone wants to do a photography event in Cornwall, I might even arrange a free field for a few folks to pitch a tent for a week. ;-) -- (talk) 04:44, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
I would be a little wary of this. I think equipment should be bought for specific projects where the project can justify the cost. At the end of the WMUK project the equipment would be passed on to the group carrying on the project (WMUK project are meant to be sustainable aren't they?). Filceolaire (talk) 18:27, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

This is a simple enough project and should be demand led. we don;t need to go bonkers but for not much money we could encourage a lot of volunteer activityJon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Commission a steampunk skin for mediawiki[edit | edit source]

What? Find a graphic designer and get them to create a steampunk themed skin for mediawiki. Wikipedia needs more skins and steampunk might be different enough to attract attention.
What would we need? fair bit of money. Reskinning something as messy as mediawiki may not be cheap.
Geni (talk) 16:33, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
With all due respect, I feel I should play devil's advocate and ask why it would be worth investing a "fair bit of money" - donors' money, that is - in a steampunk-themed skin for MediaWiki. :-) Regards, Rock drum (talkcontribs) 16:41, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
a)worse spending decisions have been made b)I want one.Geni (talk) 07:27, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
There might be something in this - perhaps a Steampunk skin would be a little... far from our charitable objectives, but maybe we should be putting money into developing a new, more user-friendly skin for newbies? Or a skin for people with visual impairments? Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 14:16, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
If we approach it from an accessibility perspective I'd definitely be in favour. I'd suggest a high contrast version as well, if possible. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 15:54, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Maybe the answer is to spend some money making it easier to develop skins for mediawiki? That way it won't cost a fortune for someone else to create a steampunk and all the other skins. Filceolaire (talk) 18:31, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
One thing I don't understand is why I can't download free skins for Wikipedia from third parties online, the way I can for my browser. --Andreas JN 11:44, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Because Wikipedia is a website, not an application. I don't think I've ever heard of third parties selling skins for websites. The concept doesn't really work. --Tango (talk) 12:14, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia is unusual in offering users 9 different skins already. It should not be impossible to enable users to plug in a tenth of their choice. --Andreas JN 21:23, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Absolutely no comment.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Translations from Wikimedia Deutschland[edit | edit source]

From Daria:

  • Commission translations of some of the Wikimedia DE materials. They have tons of useful brochures and leaflets that would be extremely useful at events (e.g. Wikimedia Commons guide, or materials for volunteer speakers)
It shouldn't be too hard to get this done at no cost. :-) Rock drum (talkcontribs) 10:06, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps the translation itself not (although that makes me wonder why it hasn't been done yet), but the redesign and printing do carry a cost implication. The amount of support materials for volunteer speakers that WMDE has is really impressive, and it may be too laborious to have volunteers translate it all. Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 11:26, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
To find out if anyone is interested, a good starting point is to ask on the Translators list - https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/translators-l. -- (talk) 13:07, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Easy to do - probably not too expensive, Could get a volunteer, intern or short term person in to manage this.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

More intern posts[edit | edit source]

What More interns These could be over the summer, ideally longer than 6 weeks so they can really get into a concrete project (2-3 months may work well). The intern could execute a single event idea, or help with the administration of the office in general. We could have one for the duration of the fundraiser too to help with the paperwork workload over one month. Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 11:33, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

If we have specific projects for them to work on, then definitely (though it would be nice if they could be based outside London if they wanted to be). Interns can be a great thing for us (in terms of getting things done), for our reputation as a nice employer, for getting non-Wikimedians involved, and for the interns themselves. However, if we want someone to chain to a desk during the fundraiser, we should hire temps, not interns. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 16:35, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

This is a simple way to bring in capacity when neededJon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Some ideas from Stevie Benton - Comms officer[edit | edit source]

Some ideas from me.

World Wars project[edit | edit source]

There's plenty of work that could be done around Remembrance Week. Not so much around WWI perhaps, but some living history style work with veterans of WWII (and others who lived through the war) - photos, audio / video interviews for Commons, perhaps some intergenerational work.

What: speak to people who have lived through the second world war to record their experiences – as service personnel, on the Home Front, as children... record videos and audio to create a living history project. All of these resources would be made available on Commons and to support relevant articles on Wiki projects. It also opens up the possibility that the people we speak to and / or their families would allow us access to their photos or other resources from the time (ration books, diaries and so on). It may be something we can work in partnership with the Imperial War Museum – potentially leading to archive access. This could culminate in some kind of event around Remembrance Sunday. The intergenerational element is an interesting one – we could run projects in partnerships with schools / IWM (school visitors) to bring together veterans / those who lived through the war together with those learning about it. These workshops would include some element of Wikipedia / Commons editing and also utilise our trained trainers.

I would hope we don't limit this to 'World Wars'. Many of the other wars the UK has been involved in are not well documented, particularily the colonial wars and political struggles. For some of these we could even find sources on the 'other' side amongst the immigrants here in the UK as a first step to helping inspire similar efforts in other countries. Filceolaire (talk) 21:15, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with that point. The reason I mention the World Wars project here is that I understand there's an existing piece of work around WWI. Just seems like this extension would be a natural fit. No objection against looking at other conflicts from me.--Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:06, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

What would we need: I suggest we'd need a project co-ordinator for the duration of the project. If we develop this as a partnership with the Imperial War Museum this could potentially take the form of a Wikipedian in Residence. This could open up the potential for some funding, too. As far as equipment goes, we have a sound recorder and video camera in the office. We may need an extra video camera to support other work that's happening at the same time. We'd need volunteer support, such as transport costs. We'd need to be able to devote some staff time to administrative support of the project. We'd also need to cover recruitment and salary costs, were we to employ a project co-ordinator. The training element would also need to be accounted for. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 12:25, 13 August 2012 (UTC) Addendum: This could fit in well with Chris's proposed WWI coordinator. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 13:44, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Like the idea of a WIR at the Imperial War Museum - could be at one of their regional centres to hep spread the word.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

University / women's outreach[edit | edit source]

What: Given the recent furore about Kate Middleton's wedding dress and whether it's notable, and given that we need to increase our diversity, how about holding events for students in more "female-oriented" areas (apologies for the clunky phrasing). Women's studies for example, fashion and so on. The Women's Library is not far from our office. St Martin's College is another place that's not too far away. London College of Fashion... these may not be suitable for this year but next year they'd certainly be realistic.

The widely reported Wikipedia editing gender gap clearly illustrates that there's a definite need to reach out to more women to engage in our projects. This idea is just a start but would clearly need to be a part of a long, ongoing campaign to widen participation among under-represented groups. If possible, we could try to attract some high profile ambassadors to the project such as Sandi Toksvig and Germaine Greer – highly intelligent women with a high profile and an academic background. We could also work to engage with large, existing online communities, such as MumsNet (as one well known example). Other routes in would be through student societies, the SU, groups that promote women in science / technology / add topic here. Updated --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:35, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

What would we need: Top priorities for this project would be open minds, determination to succeed and a genuine desire to increase inclusivity. It would be perfect for any volunteers with particular interests in diversity and increased participation. Further down the page I suggest that an outreach officer would be a good appointment – this is the kind of project which illustrates a longer term need for this – especially if the post can be filled from within our community. The project would need to be supported by events, and our very useful trainers. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 12:51, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

I think we have scope to have someone full time working on all aspects of promoting women in WMUK.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Education[edit | edit source]

What: There's lots of potential in this relationship we've been developing with Demos and Digital Disruption. Not sure how many of you have read the proposals or the details of the upcoming meeting I have booked with them but we could easily get a good return from investing in this - events, publications, digital work, training programmes, research... education is a critical area for us to develop in. It's an area where we can make a lasting difference. If this does turn in to something we take beyond the discussion phase resource requirements will be discussed at that point.

What will we need: This will be discussed as the ideas develop, depending on if / how we take the project forward.

Fits in nicely to the remit of having an education person in the core plan.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Staffing[edit | edit source]

What: If we were looking to hire more paid employees, I’d suggest an education officer, an outreach officer and an administrative assistant would all be very useful. The admin assistant could divide their time between acting as a PA for the office and providing help for other staff as needed. Many of the projects listed on this page would benefit from extra staffing, particularly the roles suggested. Education and outreach seem to me to be the main two areas that would benefit from extra staffing. The roles would support increased participation in our projects and extend our reach and influence in the educational world. I would suggest they are key and ideally would be recruited from within our community.

The first two in the core proposals.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

What we would need: Recruitment, salary and on-costs. Office space and equipment. Buy-in from the trustees and Chief Executive that these roles are worthwhile.Updated - --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:29, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

All for the office admin/events support person. It would take a huge weight off everyone's shoulders. Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 11:29, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Isn't that Richard's job? Do we need to start a cloning programme? --Tango (talk) 23:03, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
If there's a guarantee that we can clone Richard, then yes. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:20, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

If we give Fiona a top of the range chemistry kit...Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

User experience assessment of the UK wiki[edit | edit source]

What: The UK Wiki is our public facing website but it doesn’t look, feel, or behave like one. Let’s get some experts in to test the site with people who have never used it before. This is very important. At the moment it’s almost like a Wiki club for members. I advise we find some community members with some experience of user experience testing and accessibility testing and set up some testing. The results of the testing would then inform changes to the site layout, navigation and architecture. It may lead to the development of a small website that sits on top of the wiki, it may equally lead to some amends to the Wiki. These changes would then be implemented by any experts in Wiki design or layout we have within the community. This is an important piece of work in my view if we are to become more accessible to newcomers – particularly with the fundraiser coming up.

What will we need: Potentially budget required for testing, design, and implementation of changes. Volunteer travel, etc. Alternatively we could contract out the work but this would be more expensive and they wouldn't be so familiar with our culture and requirements. Always better to recruit from within the community.

Something that is already being considered from our fundraiser.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Wikimedia Commons workshop[edit | edit source]

What: There are many elements of Commons that are worth discussing, to the point where we can justify a day-long (or half day) workshop devoted to it. A proposed, rough “agenda” would include a welcome and introduction to Commons, a session on copyright (very confusing stuff) and different types of CC license.

We could then have a panel debate about mature content and image filtering (this would apply to all kinds of mature content, such as images of violence, war, the Holocaust, drug use / abuse and so on, not just sexual content). It's important we have this debate, and it's just as important that we are seen to have this debate too.

Other areas for discussion / talks could include the importance of good tagging and metadata, and quality control. We could also issue a call for submissions and presentations. I genuinely think this is worthwhile and could lead to some really positive outcomes.

What we would need: We'd need money for a venue (depending on size of delegation we could host it here), catering and some travel costs. Some money set aside for promotion possibly. A couple of thousand should be enough, depending how big we want to go with the event. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 16:35, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

A good project to consider - part of a GLAM camp or GLAM conference? Might help with organisation.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

And finally[edit | edit source]

And if all else fails, let’s just buy a helicopter and a swimming pool to land it in. Wouldn't need to be a big helicopter, but obviously the swimming pool would need to be a bit bigger to facilitate a successful landing. Silver and blue the preferred livery, please --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:32, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

All our other helicopters (of which, of course, we have none) are black. WMUK should stick with tradition, I think. --Tango (talk) 23:06, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I can buy a cheap paddling pool and you can twirl around in it with your arms out while making chopper sounds (health and safety guidelines permitting). I think these were going for around £15 in the Peckham Lidl recently. Worth it for the video we could put on Youtube. -- (talk) 10:09, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Sources Helpdesk[edit | edit source]

What? - At the moment we are in principle doing a lot to help Wikimedians get hold of sources for articles, via microgrants. But, actually, could do more here to streamline the process. We could create a sources helpdesk which will, on request, make available any source (within reason) to a Wikimedian who needs it to research an article or similar.
  • Books and other printed publications - The office could find the best prices, place the order, pay using Wikimedia UK accounts, receive the book, asset stamp it, and pass it on to the person who requested it.
  • Journals which offer free subscriptions to Wikimedians - We can make sure the office has subscriptions and is able to pass on articles to individuals
  • Pay-as-you-go journal content - we can set up accounts, pay for requested articles, and pass on the articles (subject to licence limitations)
  • PD content that only exists on paper - we could then scan this in and put it on Wikisource/Internet Archive etc.
Once we have a well-streamlined, easy-to-use process we could be much more confident in publicising it.
How? I'd see us delegating more responsibility to approve requests to the staff, rather than continuing to use volunteer time to approve small requests. The actual work involved could be done by an intern. We could also include these kinds of requests in our volunteer database (e.g. if someone asks for some books on Jane Austen we make sure we invite them to the next BL Editathon). We could also, as a matter of routine, drop people a line receiving the books an email a month later saying "By the way, did you update those articles yet? Is there anything else you'd like to get involved with." - and be much more active monitor~ing impact.
Suggested by The Land (talk)
Since the WMF has so far completely failed to get any JSTOR subs [7] after nearly a year, & is only proposing 100 accounts, with already 174 requests from a pretty good-looking bunch of editors, doing something there would make us very popular among the editing community, and would solve the journals issues for most areas I think. Another possibility is, when we work with universities & HE institutions, we get them to agree to consider future nominations by WMUK for access to their libraries by individual volunteers. That should be free, or very cheap. London Uni Library offers access at I think £15 per day & so on, which is relatively little use now the British Library is open to all, but if other unis around the country do the same, that might be very useful. Many people just never think of these options. Johnbod (talk) 13:37, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Scanning centre[edit | edit source]

What?: At the moment Wikisource, and some references on Wikipedia, rely heavily on the Internet Archive in California. The Archive is great but its content is heavily weighted towards American and Canadian works. It would be nice and beneficial to have something similar to a scanning centre in the UK. One that could both go through a library's public domain collection and act as a drop in centre for people in the UK (Wikimedian or otherwise); mobility would be a bonus.
What would we need?: Professional V-cradle scanner(s) and software. People capable and willing to operate this equipment and give up the time necessary to do the scanning (some knowledge of UK and US copyright laws will be useful). Storage space for the equipment (and/or space from which to operate the scanners). I would recommend hosting everything on the Internet Archive itself and mirroring the scans on Commons. We could build towards this rather than creating the whole thing from scratch and maybe the equipment can be rented. If we go for a mobile scanning centre, one we can take to a library or similar destination, then transport will need to be hired and we'll need drivers.
Suggested by AdamBMorgan (talk) 00:09, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
This could possibly be done in partnership with other groups - A museum or archive prepared to host and operate the machine, Project Gutenberg Europe, others. Filceolaire (talk) 21:18, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
For the practical issues (such as what equipment to use, best practice etc.) I would recommend you to contact Lars Aronsson who is active on the Swedish language version and ask him for advice. Lars is the one that started Project Runeberg (http://runeberg.org/), which has been very successful and Lars is extremely active there. Cheers, John Andersson (WMSE) (talk) 16:10, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
At a quick check, a professional V-cradle scanner can be obtained for around £5-6k. This does not count infrastructure costs (storage, a computer to operate it, insurance) or training.

Something like this is being set up in Fleet Street, London at the moment. Might be good to support them in 2013 nd learn from their experience.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Very interesting! Do you know who's doing it? Andrew Gray (talk) 07:35, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Brain Donor[edit | edit source]

Simple idea. We build a web site where you can register your name, establish your identity using next of kin etc and you can then give your intellectual rights away on the day of your death. I think this would be part of your will and testament. It may not be legally binding but it would record what your wishes were. It would also get us in the news so that we could educate people about how bad a choice (c) can be Victuallers (talk) 00:18, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

We could, perhaps more effectively, get lawyers to draft standard clauses to this effect that people can insert into their wills, then maintain a register for that. Johnbod (talk) 13:25, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Build a tech team[edit | edit source]

  • What? As an organisation that meets our goals entirely through technology, technology is seriously underrepresented in our activities, and our volunteer and staff skillset. The WMF has ~40-50% of its staff working on technology, and they manage to cover the basics, with a limited capacity to build upon that. WMDE is currently leading the way with chapters having significant technical capacity. We should follow their lead, and invest significantly in setting up a tech team at WMUK.
    A really obvious low-hanging fruit for us is Wikimedia-OpenStreetMap integration, which has seen limited development thus far, and a small team could make a huge impact on a timely basis. Another topic could be improving the workflow at Wikisource via the ProofReadPage extension. There are many other opportunities here - ask the community of any Wikimedia project, and they'll give you a long list of things that need to be fixed or can be significantly improved.
  • What would we need? We've tried hiring a single developer, and that didn't work, primarily because of technical management capacity. So we need to think bigger, and take more of a top-down approach. We need to set up a team that can work together to focus on and significantly improve key development projects, whilst providing general support for our other activities. So this proposal is to hire somewhere around 4-5 full-time staff, starting with an experienced manager via a professional recruitment organisation.
  • Note: A key principle that we've consistently followed when hiring our staff is that they are there to support volunteers. This continues to follow that principle, but in a slightly different way - here, we're hiring staff to contribute directly to an open source project, which then goes on to support volunteers via content creation and curation.
  • Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:23, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Could we achieve similar aims by contracting the work to existing wikimedia development teams - such as WMDE or even Wikia? Filceolaire (talk) 21:22, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Not really, no. One of the key points here is that there's insufficient development capacity in the movement, which this would help improve. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 10:45, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
In the light of how difficult it has been to recruit development talent in the UK at reasonable costs, for this to grow any legs, I recommend a careful analysis of how much it would be to run a development team in the UK compared to other parts of Europe. Supplementing funds for an international cross-chapter joint team would probably be politic, pragmatic and remaining open-minded on host country is likely to result in more efficient use of the charity's funds. Advice from our international community of developers such as Multichill could make quite a difference. -- (talk) 12:04, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

So... the developer hiring didn't work out? (ahem..). Anyway; this would be good to see on the plan, but I suggest (gently) that one of the issues with the previous attempts was a lack of planning out (in detail) what we wanted and what was needed. I suggested before that our list of projects was quite hand wavy in terms of the actual work needed, and if we aim for a development team then that problem will only get worse.

I suggest one idea is to hire someone specifically to act as an "evangalist" - someone who can program but also blog and interact with the community. This person could then be charged with building a paid & volunteer development team.

The cost need not be prohibitive; hiring a dev team in the UK can be cheap compared to the continent (unless you want to look into Eastern bloc countries, which I don't entirely recommend). However Fæ's comments about a cross-chapter funded team is a good one, worth considering - do we have any other chapters looking at this sort of thing?

Regardless; I'd still recommend a UK-based management role, as this will help solidify communications. (disclaimer; that's exactly the form of job I am interviewing for at the moment ;)) --ErrantX (talk) 15:35, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

If you found yourselves unable to hire one person, I'm not sure hiring 4 or 5 people is the solution... you need to give more thought to what went wrong. A lack of technical management is something you just have to deal with - it's always going to be a problem with your first technical hire. I would caution against expanding the staff too rapidly. Take the time to get used to having staff. Overcome the inevitable teething problems. Then you can think about expanding. --Tango (talk) 22:31, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

  • This would require a very large proportion of our current budgets - we'd need to sure that our funding would support it. Many of the initiatives that the WMF devs have presumably invested a lot of time in have floundered in the face of community opposition, & for us that might mean a relatively big spend ending up with no result. Johnbod (talk) 13:22, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Based on the comments; I think Jon has a good point. What I would suggest is that rather than strike too high (i.e. propose a big budget and waste money) or do as we did (offer too little money for too high requirements) is aim for a middle ground. Cover the short term development needs with a cheap, one day per week contractor - but set it up so we can build on it long term. I've started work on a deeper proposal here which looks to meet this need. Comments welcome. --ErrantX (talk) 14:27, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Very ambitious. Certainly something to look at for the future but 2013 a bit soon I feel.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Musical notation support for mediawiki[edit | edit source]

mediawiki doesn't at the present time support musical notation. An attempt with lilypond has security issues but that was some years ago and no progress has been made since. Support for musical notation would be useful across a range of articles and on wikisource and be useful to at least some third parties.Geni (talk) 21:15, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Did you see bugzilla:33193? 18:52, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

A nice project that could be delegated to someone with financial support to achieve.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Sercquiais Wikipedia[edit | edit source]

There are 15 or so speakers of Sercquiais, the language spoken on Sark. Why not teach the entire population to edit? Cost: Perhaps £5,000 maximum. Largest cost would be to hold a series of edit-a-thons on Sark, over a week. We could then potentially have an entire population editing Wikipedia, forming a basis for a Sercquiais-language project. The language is dying out, and this is a fantastic way to preserve it. I'd be happy to take the lead on this project as a volunteer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talkcontribs)

It doesn't seem to have an ISO 639 code, so you won't be able to start any new projects without getting one. Also, the article you link to says there isn't a standard way of writing it, which would be a problem. Finally, the impact is going to be minimal when there are so few speakers. We are in the business of providing knowledge to people, not preserving languages. --Tango (talk) 23:00, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
It's classified as a dialect of Norman for now. To be fair I'm really skeptic about the current language policy; the Manchurian Wikipedia, for the Manchurian language with 50 native speakers but in a non-native script, seems to me a prime example the people at LangCom having absolutely no clue what they're doing. Rather than trying to preserve Sercquiais, I'd go to Scotland and have all the highlanders edit the Scottish Gaelic Wikipedia. Deryck Chan (talk) 16:33, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Wiktionary projects for Bantu languages[edit | edit source]

What: There are Bantu languages, spoken by millions but with only a small percentage of the speaking population having any written skills in their spoken language (as often only written Swahili or European languages are taught in schools), with hardly any publications and no recent published dictionary or on-line free dictionary. Supplying a well written Wiktionary project for the top ten Bantu languages (by population) which is not only free online but can be supplied free on CDROM to any school or library that has a use, would be a major achievement.
How: By spending £10,000 or more on events, outreach and research with the goal being to create, improve and promote Bantu Wiktionaries along with nicely produced materials at GCSE standard for free Swahili or Shona language courses. This would have huge long term impact on access and preservation on the world's knowledge (including improving the lives of many thousands who happen to live in the UK). Active coordination with a chapter in Africa, where we supply most of the funding, would be a great approach.
As an example, Shona, which has 11 million native speakers and is the most widely spoken native Bantu language (around thirty times more than fluent Welsh speakers), had its Wiktionary closed down in 2007 due to a lack of any supporting project or volunteers.[8] -- (talk) 12:29, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Partnering with and supporting smaller chapters would be really good. --Tango (talk) 22:51, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Regional coordinators[edit | edit source]

What: Appoint a paid coordinator (possibly part time, possibly full time) to support and develop volunteer bases and activities in various areas of the UK. They would act as the point of contact for their area of responsibility, and would support or establish meetups in major population centres, build relationships with local government and relevant government/public sector agencies, and support volunteers in establishing relationships with GLAMs, universities, etc. These needn't be permanent roles&mdsah;ideally they would make themselves redundant by having built a volunteers base that is capable of carrying on the work—but they would probably need to be in-post for 12 to 18 months to really make a difference. They would need to be based in the relevant region while in-post, and would ideally know the area reasonably well. I would suggest we have one for Scotland, one for Wales, on for southern England, one for northern England, and one for Northern Ireland who could possibly assist volunteers in the ROI if they wanted assistance from WMUK.
What would we need?: Salaries/stipends and overheads for each regional coordinator, somewhere for them to work where they would have a phone and a computer. We may be able to get the latter for free or significantly discounted if we could persuade councils/public sector organisations/sympathetic charities/other organisations working on regional development/GLAMs/universities to provide a desk in their office. The cost could be high, possibly running into six figures, but if we can negotiate free desk space, the only real cost would be salaries or stipends, though they would probably need to travel regularly. Although it would be a significant chunk of our budget, probably our biggest budget line after the office, the potential impact compared with ad hoc volunteer efforts alone is huge. We wouldn't see results overnight, but the hope is that it would lead to better contacts with local government and other similar or sympathetic organisations, resulting in these organisation better understanding Wikipedia/WMUK (an end in itself imo), and possibly opening up potential sources of funding for local projects, as well as building active volunteer bases in all corners of the UK. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:19, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

See my comments below. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

I don't this has to be dependent on the proposal below. We could have regional coordinators working part time and/or from home in 2013. Things are getting better, but we don't do enough outside London, and regional coordinators could really help with that. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts?

Regional office(s)[edit | edit source]

What: As we hire more staff, quite simply, base some of them in an office (and possibly multiple offices if the staff grows significantly) outside London. This shows that we are committed to being Wikimedia UK and not Wikimedia London, and ensures that job applicants from out in the wilderness outside London aren't put off by the prospect of having to relocate to the capital. I would suggest the West Midlands or Manchester for the first regional office, and then possibly Cardiff or Edinburgh if we open a third office (not least to make sure we're not seen as Wikimedia England). These offices should have space for volunteers and interested others to drop in to do some work or chat to staff. This proposal is separate from the one above, but the two could be combined.
What would we need?: The usual overheads associated with running an office. Again, may be possible to get desk space donated. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:19, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I like the idea of regional offices, but I think 2013 might be too soon for that. There are significant inefficiencies involved in having multiple offices. There are the obvious financial costs, but it also makes it more difficult for the staff to work together, more difficult to manage staff, etc.. I think you would need the regional office to have at least 3 people in it before it became worth it, and that would be too rapid hiring (assuming not all new hires would want to be in the new office). --Tango (talk) 22:36, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Agree with Tango that it's too early for this. Let's concentrate on strengthening the volunteer communities outside of London for now. the wub "?!" 16:47, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

This WILL come. I would argue that we combine a strategic and demand-led approach. For instance It seems quite likely that we could establish something in Wales before too long and Scotland may have similar potential. I established five regional offices at my last Charity and know that this is NOT easy. Staff working on their own become easily demotivated and require extra management support - support which we don't have at the moment. Three people in an office (someone's suggestion) means support and sociability and the finances for enough space to encourage volunteers in. Not impossible that we could get funding fro this but 2014 at the earliest unless something falls into our lap.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Volunteer coordinator/volunteer development officer[edit | edit source]

What: A member of staff dedicated to recruiting and looking after volunteers. Would be a vital bridge between the office and the community and would act as the first port of call for any enquiries from volunteers. Would try to find ways that volunteers can become (even) more involved in the chapter, as well as recruiting new volunteers for the chapter and assisting with initiatives to recruit more editors for the projects. Would support existing volunteers by keeping them motivated, helping them to find things to do, putting them in touch with other volunteers to help with projects or events, and introducing them to other people involved with the chapter (particularly staff and board members) when the opportunity arises. Would get to know volunteers and potential volunteers personally, learning what skills they have to offer, what their interest are, what experience they have, what their ambitions are, what their views are on issues facing the chapter at a given moment, and generally make volunteers feel good about what they do, like they're making a difference, like they're supported by the chapter, like they matter to the chapter, etc. Could also help with coordination of large initiatives requiring lots of volunteers (for example, with the wikibus proposal above, they could coordinate getting volunteers to the right place at the right time to meet/join the wikibus) and could take some of the load off the events organiser by assisting with volunteer-led events. Most importantly, would act as an advocate for the volunteer community to the board and staff. It's absolutely essential that this person have a thorough understanding of Wikipedia and WMUK. They would need to maintain or build a network of contacts across the country and so would have to travel regularly for meetups and events.
What would we need?: Salary/stipend and overheads. Probably another desk in the London office. Travel expenses and incidentals for trips on business, occasional hotels. for multi-day or long-distance trips. Some foreign travel to the WMF offices and the offices of other chapters, both to see how they do things and so that staff there become familiar with this person. Total cost, probably £30-40k, 45 absolute maximum I would have thought, based on a salary; £20-30k based on a stipend (less if the post-holder were based outside London, though they would be most effective based with other staff, all of whom are currently based at the office in London). Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:19, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I suggest the name "volunteer liaison". "Coordinator" sounds a little too much like they would be in charge of volunteers, which is something we want to avoid. --Tango (talk) 00:56, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I would be a little worried that creating this post would mean the other staff could breath a sigh of relief and wash their hands of the volunteers. I would hope that liaising with volunteers is part of every staff members duties. If additional resources are needed then I would be a little wary of taking the volunteer liaison part out of any of the staff positions - I would hope that could be one of the fun parts of the job. Filceolaire (talk) 01:56, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
The post should liaise between staff and volunteers, so it should improve communications with the rest of the staff. In particular, it will help volunteers get in touch with the right staff member. --Tango (talk) 11:47, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Filceolaire, that wouldn't happen. We like working with volunteers. If we didn't there'd be no point in us working for a voluntary organisation. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:15, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
This is an interesting idea, and I feel a bit guilty for saying "but" to any of the suggestions on this page - but - we would need to be clear what would this person do that we are not currently doing, and explain why we aren't currently doing it. I'm sure there is some best practice in this area that we haven't currently tapped, but we ought to think about the what here more than the who... The Land (talk) 12:31, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

This is already a proposal in the core plan suggestions. Don;t be too scared by the title. We are deliberately creating a staff team that does NOT work in silos. Everyone should be supporting the community. If we do expand with more staff this will take managing to ensure everyone feels involved and part of a team. We have been lucky with our staff so far and I want them to develop and remain glued onto the community.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

First aid improvement project[edit | edit source]

What: Collaborate with the British Red Cross and/or St John Ambulance to improve our articles on first aid topics and also the associated Wikibook. Get some decent posed photos of treatment situations (the Red Cross have some excellent ones in their books, maybe they are willing to free-license?), video showing CPR performed on a mannequin etc.
What would we need?: Probably similar resources to the #Sex-ed improvement project above. the wub "?!" 16:45, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Think this would be a lovely project to work with a partner on - like with Cancer Research UK. Red Cross or St. John's? Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Wiki Loves Monuments 2013[edit | edit source]

For various reasons we haven't participated in WLM2012, though about thirty other countries have (chiefly no-one was willing to organise it and we already have most of the images we'd need, just very poorly categorised, and usually fairly low definition). We do now have the requisite lists of listed buildings, and our categorisation backlog is improving. Leutha has agreed to help me work on another categorisation workshop and I'm confident that the changes to hotcat and catalot earlier this year will mean that by Sept 2013 we will have greatly reduced the categorisation backlog. So I would propose that bdget be made available for WLM2013 in the UK. We might still not get someone come forward to run it, but making the budget available would be a very clear statement from the chapter that we are willing to participate in something that many other chapters are participating in and which has a proven ability to motivate more photographers and generate good quality content. WereSpielChequers (talk) 23:51, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Agreed - if we want it to happen put in some cash and make sure someone takes hold of it.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Longterm commitments[edit | edit source]

Make Wikipedia and Commons permanently available[edit | edit source]

One of the issues that Fae has mentioned a couple of times re GLAM is our movement's lack of longterm commitments re archiving and permanent access. We have an open license that means that in theory someone could copy all data in the WMF projects and still make it available decades from now. But it would be a much more positive if we could say to institutions considering image releases, "these are our archiving arrangements, here is the revenue scheme that will fund this for the next thirty years and in the meantime build an endowment fund to maintain a digital copy of the WMF projects for as long as the electronic age persists." This would be something of an insurance policy, but a reassuring one to have, and not just reassuring to GLAMs. My understanding is that WMUK is much more advanced than the WMF, and possibly the other chapters, in transitioning from short term fundraising in an annual fundraiser to longer term funding. So there would be financial logic in the UK leading on this in addition to the cultural thing of our being les short termist than Americans and above all our GLAM focus which confirms the need for this. So this chapter has the funding, the culture and the need to take a lead here for the whole movement.

Such a scheme needs to be scalable as funding allows, and as the projects continue to grow. In a few years time it would be nice to expand it to include editing. But to start with it would be nice to know that one of the copies of Wikipedia, commons and so forth was funded to persist indefinitely even if the rather more complex databases that refresh and expand it were to be switched off. WereSpielChequers (talk) 00:43, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Shaping this a little:
  1. Wikimedia projects need a 100 year archive plan (primarily strategic and financial in content) in order to be a unique proposition to support the (WMUK) part of the mission for preservation. This will underpin the Open Knowledge manifesto for cultural projects and be attractive as a reason for educational, research and cultural institutions to consider Wikimedia Commons as a solution for demonstrating that media of interest to the public has been made permanently accessible. Note that the vast majority of research and educational projects struggle to put forward a 10 year funding plan for digital archiving and it remains a virtually impossible area to secure any longer term funding commitment from the majority of funding bodies (i.e. you have to re-apply every 5 years and the cost of managing the applications becomes a disproportionate burden or cost in comparison to the funded outcome).
  2. I have discussed the potential with the British Library for them to act as an independent deposit for a digital archive, they already have world class digital archive facilities and would be interested in holding the archives for future research purposes. This would be likely to be at no direct cost for Wikimedia UK. We have discussed the issue of the size of a full archive of Wikimedia Commons (there is no facility for taking a dump of the images) and finding a pragmatic solution would need negotiation with the WMF. The discussion is at a very early stage, I had in mind taking this to a practical level with the BL in a year or more. -- (talk) 08:10, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
It is incredibly hard for us to set out such long-term commitments, since we as a movement do not have funding that extends that far into the future, nor do we have the anticipated or planned for funding on that timescale (if we did, then relying on the current rate of interest then we'd require something like $1 billion to be held in guaranteed deposit accounts). As such, it is necessarily down to our partner organizations that do enjoy such long-term funding thanks to guaranteed Governmental funding to ensure that this long-term archiving takes place. Without such a guarantee of funding, we are unable to offer such long-time archiving. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:52, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
See the bit where I mention the British Library - this means it would probably cost us nothing. Even if we ignored co-funders and in-kind contributions of services and did put an independent 100 year funding plan together, the cost of the last 90 years would probably work out as being less than the first 10; for what are obvious reasons not worth clogging the discussion here with (though I cannot resist noting that a figure of a billion is completely bizarre as any funding plan would take account of monies appreciating in an active investment plan to either match or do better than inflation - if you want to play with numbers this way, I suggest you read Net present value first (though the en.wp article is ghastly, better off reading a book)). -- (talk) 22:18, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
If you want to fund the total movement budget of about $40M in perpetuity using the current risk-free long term interest rates of about 3%, you get a present value of $1.3B, or not much less than Mike's £1B. That may have been where Mike got the number (or it may have just been hyperbole!). This proposal, however, is just to secure the actual content in a reliable way, which would cost much less than $40M/yr. However, if you want an amount increasing with inflation (which, of course, you do) then you need real interest rates, which are close to zero at the moment. That means you need an infinite amount of money (or you need to take on some investment risk in order to get larger returns). One needs to assume that the market is not behaving realistically at the moment if one wants to get sensible answers. --Tango (talk) 11:52, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
I would suggest that our long term strategy is not based on servers and investment accounts. Instead it should be based on widely dispersed copies and well documented formats and open licenses. I suggest we sponsor a guide to forking wikipedia. Work with WMF to create archival copies of the various WMF projects, tested and certified by WMUK as being complete. Then we create torrents of the archive copies and encourage our museum and archive partners to host these torrents on their servers.
During the Terms of Use Discussion I proposed that the 'right to fork' be included in the ToU as the ultimate sanction users could obtain i.e. the most you could get in a court would be the right to fork the project. Since that is more than any other website gives you it cannot be considered inadequate; since you can get it without going to court you are wasting the courts time. I thought I was pretty dam smart when I came up with that but the problem was that no one was sure the info then available was sufficient to fork the project (also the courts don't like a smart-alec). Filceolaire (talk) 19:01, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
@Mike Peel. The UK chapter has a significant amount of money signed up to Direct debits, at some point in the next year or so we should be able to make longterm projections of that revenue based on our experience of attrition rates. While I don't anticipate that any of our current donors will still be donating in a century, it is reasonable to assume that many of these direct debits will run for some decades. When you combine reasonable assumptions about Direct debit revenue with an assumption about Moore's law applying for at least a few more years, and reasonable assumptions re longterm endowments then it is entirely possible for the UK chapter to fund something that would last beyond the century and probably indefinitely. There are still investments out there that yeild longterm income, though freeholds and shares might be more interesting than gilts. A tracker fund would probably be the best option. If it turns out that the cost of such a digital archive would currently be more than we can fund then we can still start the project, sort out the scope and start building an endowment fund. My asssumption is that the cost of maintaining such an archive would be rather less than the Foundation's IT spend. If it turns out that Moore's law means the cost of the necessary hardware falls faster than our direct debit revenue for at least the next couple of decades then we may even have a window to build up our endowment. WereSpielChequers (talk) 12:50, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Material not yet available[edit | edit source]

We delete tons of stuff that isn't ours or that has an incompatible copyright. Some of us have lots of material that could be loaded under a more restrictive license such as no commercial use. Much of this stuff, and especially the no commercial use images could be legally stored on a feeder database which allows for such copyrights. In the longterm this material could then be migrated to commons etc as and when it falls out of copyright. So images taken in countries where Freedom of Panorama is only with No commercial use could be loaded onto this database with two applicable copyright terms. One from the photographer releasing it on commons compatible license, and one for the object depicted specifying co commercial use, but with potentially a much shorter license period for the NC license. When the depicted object falls out of copyright the image can automatically be transwikied to commons. Some of the images will be available later this decade, others not for more than a century. This would be particularly useful for images that it won't be possible to take in decades to come. WereSpielChequers (talk) 07:40, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Effectively this already happens on Commons as deleted material can be marked for undeletion in the right year. The way this is presented could be massively improved with a small amount of development of the interface. For example a record/image page of the deleted file without the image, but with source, description and copyright expiry details would be an excellent resource, making it much clearer what is coming up as available to the public in the near future and therefore our projects can plan to use. For example, I have no idea what media can be undeleted on Commons that can be used in time or relevant for the centenary for World War I. -- (talk) 08:15, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia Library[edit | edit source]

It might be a bit late for ideas, but the proposed Wikipedia library project by Ocaasi, is currently facing a shortfall of resources to commit. You may remember the proposal mentioned earlier this month on mailing lists and Meta. According to Ryan lane, the dev. work would require a 6 month commitment that WMF can not spare. This is a great opportunity for a high-impact project where WMUK can step in. The benefits and the work would be very helpful to a large majority of English Wikipedia editors. I see this one of the most visible and highest impact project worth considering. You can read more about it here - [9]. Regards. Theo10011 (talk) 08:04, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikimania 2013 stall[edit | edit source]

Having an information stall at Wikimania in Hong Kong similar to what WMDE has done in 2012 - to promote our work, showcase success projects, and offer people a better way to get to know us. Would need funding for the staff running the stall, merchandise (and postage). Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 13:30, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

I felt this would be good too. Could we make one of the conditions of scholarships some time spent supporting the stand (half a day?). DC was a bit lacking in social events - could we host WMUK tea after one of the days? Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

I agree, a stall with WMDE had would be good. Getting scholars to man it sounds like a good plan (would probably need to get the staff and board on the rota as well). As for a WMUK social events, I absolutely agree - see my proposal at Wikimania 2014/2013 activities. --Tango (talk) 11:17, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Annual report[edit | edit source]

I am sure that the 2013 will be even better than the 2012 one. With this year's annual report though we ended up having many copies spare, so it would be great to have an idea of how to utilise them better. Doing a mail out to key partners and donors may be expensive, but could be a powerful gesture. Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 13:38, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

A definite +1 from me! Really keen to incorporate many more multimedia elements next year, and for the report itself to be more substantial - but for this year, we can do better at sharing the report. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:29, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Or we could print fewer copies. The WMUK audience is more online than the average and the annual report will be read online. If we mailout unsolicited copies we will (rightly) get complaints of waste. Next year lets make the annual report a HTML document instead of a PDF. A document which looks great on screen and can be printed out if you really want to but it doesn't look as good instead of the current PDF which looks great printed out and great on the page designers big screen MAC but is a bit awkward to navigate online or reuse or do anything with. NO MORE PDFs!!!!. Filceolaire (talk) 07:12, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
I take your point here but the annual report isn't just for existing audiences - it's also for new audiences and can play an important role in outreach (What does WMUK do? Take a look here...). We do have a lot of copies left - but we've only had the printed version just over three months. We have a lot of events between now and the next report being due and it's always very useful to have some printed materials available. We also have the fundraiser coming up, so there's another way in which the report can support us. The thing with PDFs is they are pretty accessible and amenable to resizing. No problem trying to come up with something in HTML - fiddly as it can be for something like that report which is a designed publication - but let's see it as an addition rather than a replacement, please. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:20, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

This year was a good start,and at very short notice. Something for everyone, particularly the fundraiser, to think about.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

  • It's a useful bit of literature to give to people at events, and yes it would be good to send out to key supporters. However, we need to consider whether sending out huge volumes of annual reports actually helps to fulfil our objectives as a charity. We can accomplish our goals without anyone ever knowing we exist. There is an argument to be made that we can accomplish them better if people know we exist, but we shouldn't promote ourselves for the sake of it, and certainly not at the expense of an opportunity to promote the projects. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:16, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Language Learning materials[edit | edit source]

WMUK/WMUK to provide audio/visual language learning materials for beginners in English and Welsh designed as a proof of concept which can be extended to more advanced lessons and other languages.

What is needed to make this work: stage 1. Employ a teacher/course designer. Research existing courses with suitable licenses which can be adapted (Does the Welsh governemnt own the copyright to a course?). Stage 2. Prepare a specification for how this can be delivered over the net and how volunteers can extend it by adding audio examples/ extra modules /extra languages. Stage 3. software development to inplement stage 2. Filceolaire (talk) 13:05, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Interesting idea. Re Welsh language courses, there are varying courses being offered, but the following are the most common/popular:
  • There's a set coursebooks used throught Wales, produced by WJEC. There are three books, Mynediad (Entry), Sylfaen (Foundation) and Canolradd (Intermediate). Each student normally has to purchase a copy him/herself on top of course fees.
  • For Welsh for Adults delivery and co-ordination, Wales has been split into 6 regional Welsh For Adults Centres. Each centre may arrange or co-oridinate classes using the above mentioned material, but they also offer more intensive courses, based on the WLPAN (see also Ulpan) method. Each centre produce their own WLPAN courses, which they hold the copyright for. Some of these centres, plus some other providers such as FE institutions, are developing on-line courses.
  • There are various smaller private/co-operative providers, either offering courses in the community or in the workplace.
  • Another source of Welsh for Adults provision is on-line. One particular popular and succesful one is SaySomethingInWelsh (well worth a look). They have an interesting business model - they offer courses for free, at least at beginners level, then charge for additional material and possibly proceeding levels. They've managed to develop a very loyal on-line community (see their forum) who have in turn created their own spin off wiki with additional material.
Hope this overview is useful. --Rhyswynne (talk) 10:39, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

More local GLAM events[edit | edit source]

WMUK currently has a relationship with the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, a local museum in Coventry, but most GLAM partnerships are with large, national cultural institutions. Most, if not all cities will have a museum dedicated to their local history, and these can be a goldmine of important historic information. I would like to see more relationships starting at local museums. These relationships can also lead to the establishment of an editing community in the local area as has happened in Coventry.

We need to actively encourage people to approach their local museum, and offer staff support and a network of volunteers to assist in consummating with content donations and events. Also possibly staff time to talk to museum staff over the phone to help with negotiations. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:40, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

TV adverts[edit | edit source]

Run a series of TV adverts. Start with telling people they can edit Wikipedia and why they should. Then move onto the how through a series of 20-30 second tutorials. The message would probably be most effective if delivered by a combination of "celebrities" and veteran Wikipedians.

No idea how much this would cost. I imagine it would be very expensive, though I believe rates vary according to the time of day you want to run the advert, and it would certainly be high-impact. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:40, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Quite expensive - one slot on Corrie £59K. I must declare a COI though - a lot of my wife's pension is in the ITV fund! But there is a good germ of an idea here. Particularly when the visual editor is up and running we should get the idea that editing is easy in front of as many people as possible. We should ask Stevie but I think this could be a huge news story that might get us all the publicity we want. Well worth starting to think about. In fact one ad on a few buses got the atheists group all the publicity they wanted. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheist_Bus_Campaign.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 09:01, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
I was kicking an idea around the office recently after someone sent me a "viral" video, wondering how much it would cost. I have a penchant for the ukulele and I love watching and listening to ukulele videos on YouTube (although other user-generated video sites are available). I thought it would be great fun to find a uke player to write a song about their love of Wikipedia. Would be very cheap and have a "recorded in someone's bedroom" feel. Something playful and creative like this would be fun and effective I think. If we really want to do TV ads though we might be able to stretch to showing something during the Thursday, 2.15am repeat of One Man and His Dog in the Grampian region ;) --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:20, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

International Camera Exchange[edit | edit source]

What Commons:Commons:Equipment_exchange is a great way of sending older cameras for re-use in countries where for the cost of a few AAA batteries, a Wikimedian might be able to reuse an unwanted 4 mega-pixel camera to great effect. WMUK can take a lead in coordinating the service, promoting it and providing funds for international postage of (respectable quality) cameras for those that can make use of them for the open knowledge projects.

What would we need? Say, an offer of an initial budget of 100 dollars of postage costs and feedback as to how effective the outcomes are. Some guidance as to what electrical adaptors would be needed in what countries would be useful and WMUK might also cover the cost of some UK to European standard power adaptors where the quality of the kit and the expected outcome makes it worthwhile.

As an example my old Olympus 3030Z is a great quality camera for its time, and can still take good, if modest resolution, photos (2048 x 1536), but sits dusty and unloved on my shelf. BTW, if you have some old cameras that might be good enough to be worth posting, add them to Commons:Commons:Equipment_exchange rather than waiting for this discussion to get somewhere. ;-) -- (talk) 11:27, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Great idea. Love this, particularly if we can do this internationally - would really extend our reach and lead to a great improvement of content in areas where we aren't strong. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:45, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
I didn't know that page exists. It's a great idea, and certainly something WMUK could help with. There's no reason to stop at camera, though - why not include laptops? And maybe even phones? I believe we have a lot of editors that work from internet cafes due to a lack of their own computer (although an internet connection can also be a limiting factor). I agree that we should focus on the international market - there are plenty of contributors in the UK with decent cameras that there isn't all that much to be gained by this kind of process here. There is a lot to be gained by sending equipment to developing countries. There are a few chapters in countries that could benefit from this - perhaps we can partner with them? (I'd like to see us trying to partner with other chapters more.) --Tango (talk) 16:48, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Wikimania could be an effective venue for this. Surely it would be possible for our attendees to take some kit with them as gifts and pass that on to attendees who are able to meet the planned recipients? It certainly works for books and handouts, in the 2011 Wikimania I was able to pass on some handouts from one of our GLAM partners to the Indian chapter. Not sure that we need budget for this though. WereSpielChequers (talk) 13:09, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Satellite link[edit | edit source]

If we are going to do events in isolated locations or more likely events where the WiFi gets overloaded such as Photo uploading sessions at county fairs and other outreach opportunities in muddy fields then we really want a WiFi connection that doesn't rely on the mobile network as such connections degrade at big events. A satellite connection now only costs a few hundred pounds per annum and should give us good WiFi even if the local mobile phone network is having its busiest day of the year. WereSpielChequers (talk) 13:17, 12 September 2012 (UTC)