Engine room

From Wikimedia UK
Jump to: navigation, search
Archives.png
2013
2014

Referendum on Scottish independence[edit]

In a previous Engine Room discussion Stevie Benton asked a question about this topic which went on to become a conversation about WMUK's charitable status in Scotland. I don't think Stevie's question was fully addressed, and so can I now ask it to be given some consideration. In the event of a 'Yes' vote, have the consequences been considered both for Wikimedia UK (or might that be Wikimedia rUK?) and WMUK funding? I appreciate that people might not want to speculate on political possibilities, but in a way that's the point: it is a possibility. Graeme Arnott (talk) 22:30, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

I would also back this request for consideration. I imagine that the discussion has been had, but I don't any kind of contingency plan in the event of Scottish independence, or even a note/suggestion on what would be an advisable course of action. Given that this could, potentially, be a significant concern for the 2014-2019 plan, I think it would be good to at least have the conversation publicly now. To some extent it would be speculation, yes, but the impact of the referendum is a topic that is being logistically discussed by other organisations both in Scotland and elsewhere, and I know I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts. I'm not 100% sure what I would even suggest myself, so I would definitely appreciate seeing some possibilities raised, however rough they may be at this time. ACrockford (talk) 12:09, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
A fascinating area to speculate on and I would be interested to hear community thoughts on this. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 14:58, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Just a really quick take on this (although I should be out in the sunshine!), I think it's an important question. My initial thinking would be that we could continue to support the work in Scotland as an element of our international support which is somewhere in the activity plan. But a contingency plan would certainly be worthwhile. I, too, would love to hear what others think about this - especially in the context of the excellent work that Graeme, Ally and others are doing in Scotland. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 15:23, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Having a vague idea on what it will mean for us in the event of a yes vote is probably worthwhile. However, we don't need to work on detailed specific until and unless there's a yes vote. There will be a period after a yes vote where negotiation will take place between Scotland and rest of the UK on the specific of the separation, and we can use that time. It's not like a yes vote is announced and Scotland will be independent the very next day. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 16:08, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, something we need to give some thought to and haven't really - though worth pointing out that any English-based charity that does work in Scotland will face the same issue!
Some initial thoughts (which are all personal and not remotely a Board view!)
There probably wouldn't be the necessity for anything to change quickly. We will before too long be registered as a charity in Scotland as well as in England & Wales; and even if we weren't, our charitable objects and our Chapters Agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation would still allow us to operate in Scotland, even if Scotland was a fully independent country.
What happens in the longer run would naturally be down to Scottish Wikimedians. It's quite conceivable that we could continue as a "multinational" organisation indefinitely, and I'm sure many organisations on both sides of the border will do exactly that. But if there was a strong call from the community to set up a new Wikimedia Scotland I can't see WMUK trying to object. There are some things that we wouldn't be able to pass on to a separate legal entity (e.g. we couldn't give names/addresses of members/donors in Scotland to a hypothetical new chapter, because of the Data Protection Act) but otherwise I hope we would be as helpful as possible. It's also quite possible that there might be pragmatic reasons to create a new Wikimedia Scotland - if the two countries end up with different currencies with highly variable exchange rates, for instance, or if the Scottish government were to decide to make generous grants to organisations headquartered in Scotland....
But yes, something to think about... The Land (talk) 21:06, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
I'd say that's a sensible view to take; we can continue operating in an independent Scotland, and if a prospective Scottish chapter forms, we can support them. Would it be worth considering creating a subsidiary to operate in Scotland if there were benefits to having separate entities like those you suggest, Chris? Harry Mitchell (talk) 17:22, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

In terms of data protection, my understanding (and it may be wrong) is that it would be possible to share member information with a Wikimedia Scotland, which would be after a vote) if we have consent from members to do that. It may be worth seeking legal opinion on the desirability of something like "Subject to the laws of England and Wales and Scotland, we may share the information of members or donors who are resident in Scotland with a Wikimedia chapter recognised by the Wikimedia Foundation as the national chapter for Scotland.". It would surprise me if either country thought it in their interests to restrict data-sharing between them, but when politics gets involved it is probably wisest not to bet against any course of action. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 01:12, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your all your input folks. It's good to get the conversation started, even if it can't go much further at present. Although the 'official' media polls show No in the lead, at street level Yes tends to have a 60+% poll. Just less than six months to go and still plenty to play for. Graeme Arnott (talk) 13:03, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Update licence to CC-BY-SA 4.0?[edit]

Hi all. I'd like to suggest updating the default license used by WMUK (both here, and through image uploads etc.) to CC-BY-SA-4.0 rather than 3.0. The main change that I can see here is that any breach of license would be given a 30-day grace period to correct the breach before the license would be invalidated (clause 7b1), but there are also other changes such as covering database rights. Are there any arguments against updating the licence here? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:36, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

I've no objection to switching to v 4.0 as the default.--MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:07, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
How will that work for content that is current v3.0 licensed? Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 17:34, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
Existing uploaded media content would stay under the existing licence. Not sure how the text should be dealt with. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 15:25, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
It might be worth the board/staff attending the proposed CC-4.0 session at Wikimania to learn more, and ask any questions about how to do this transition. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:21, 4 April 2014 (BST)

Terms of use[edit]

The "Terms of use" link in the footer of every page currently links to the Terms of use page on the WMF Foundation Wiki (Foundation:Terms of use). Given that this wiki is now independently hosted, the terms of use should probably be a local page. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 23:08, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Yes, that's the very next thing on the list of things to be done. Community suggestions for a new set of terms for us to work on would be more than welcome.--MichaelMaggs (talk) 06:42, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Any community thoughts? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:00, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, we talked about this at the coventry meetup - I still think the best approach is to start with the WMF's new ToS and then make any changes needed for them to be suitable for use here (which I would hope would be minimal, although you said that more substantial changes are needed). I hope that conversation helped here. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:23, 4 April 2014 (BST)

Education pages[edit]

Hi all, I've replaced the old Education projects page link with an Education Portal in the sidebar. The new portal includes all the old info, with some new bits and a bit of reorganisation. This is my first attempt at a portal, so I'm sure there are visual and technical improvements to be made! If anyone fancies doing that, or editing the content, or thinking about creating improved structures anywhere else it'd be appropriate (other projects?), that'd be great. Sjgknight (talk) 12:24, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Loving the portal. That's just what we need.
I notice we have a number of portals now. Is it worth creating a Portal namespace? At the moment, the word portal is just part of the title.
Yaris678 (talk) 13:11, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I hadn't noticed we didn't have a portal namespace. Is it worth creating one? The way I see it, on Wikipedia it helps differentiate edits in articlespace from others, is it such an important distinction here? A portal is a navigational aid, so I'm not sure we need either the prefix or the namespace in this case. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 13:30, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I'd say no, as the whole website is essentially a portal for WMUK's work rather than being the meta work around the project's content. Perhaps this new portal could simply be at Education? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:25, 4 April 2014 (BST)

Talking Wikipedia In Ghana[edit]

This event is listed to be in 4 days time (28th March) but there are no details of what this is about, and the registration page (BritishBlackMusic.com in assn with BTWSC/Wikimedia UK) is not yet created. This is such short notice would it be better to move it to a later date? -- (talk) 08:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

A search on Google reveals that registration is possible at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/talking-wikipedia-in-ghana-tickets-10971368659?aff=es2, which also provides further details. (I have nothing to do with the event, was just interested in if (and what) details were available. TheOverflow (talk) 22:58, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
The advert on the eventbrite page claims to be a Wikimedia UK event, but it is scheduled for a different day. It is reasonable to assume that the lack of any engagement from employees on the Water cooler over several working days, seems to indicate that Wikimedia UK is lending out the name of the charity for events it has no hand in organizing, nor has agreed basic logistics for, such as the date. The are now only 3 days left before the event as per the Wikimedia UK calendar of events. I doubt this is sufficient notice for this to be considered a charity supported event that members and volunteers have been invited to attend.
I hope that no money or staff time from the UK charity is supporting this talk, considering how poorly organized it appears to be.
Could an employee or a Trustee please confirm that is the case, or if not, then how much money is being spent on this? -- (talk) 13:40, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
What's the problem? The eventbrite page only says "with support from Wikimedia UK" and it looks like a basic introduction to Wikipedia event. The calendar on the main page isn't limited to Wikimedia UK run events; it currently includes two independent meet ups and Wikimedia Conference 2014 for example. Perhaps there could have been a link but I don't see that as a critical failure. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 14:50, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
We (WMUK members) have confidence that we understand who is arranging Wikimedia Conference events and the nature of the relationship with Wikimedia UK is a public affair. The eventbrite page linked above was only found by TheOverflow searching on Google, not because Wikimedia UK knew about it or recommends that as a source of agreed information. Members and volunteers neither knowing where or when this event will be is a critical problem for any Wikimedian that would like to actually attend or may want to help. Three days notice is insufficient and (bizarrely) the Wikimedia UK advertized date is different to the eventbrite published date.
When a UK national charity provides support to other organizations, volunteers and members should be free to ask where and when the events are, expect transparency and accountability for support (money, paid employee time?) and a published definition of joint arrangements, even if just a brief statement.
I hope my basic questions above are welcome and fit the Watercooler which is supposed to be a place for questions about events. However I am aware that under the new working practices on the Watercooler my assumption may be wrong.
Every support commitment or partnership Wikimedia UK enters, needs basic understanding of what the support/partnership is, who the relationship is with, and why it fits the mission of the charity. Without a documented understanding between all parties, there is a risk that misunderstanding and confusion may waste our donor's money or lead to damaging the reputation of the charity. -- (talk) 15:06, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Surely there is a proportionality issue here. It's just an introduction/editathon level event. I would expect WMUK to be generally in favour of, and provide at least some support for, any and all such events (and, by extension, would have no reputational risk because of that ubiquity). Unless it is something more significant thatn this, I'd say any "published definition of joint arrangements" would be excessive. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 15:33, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
By that I mean any credible explanation in public. I agree that in this case, something like two clear sentences would be sufficient and proportional.
At the moment members of the charity have no idea if WMUK is footing the bill for any expenses or funding anything else. Employees, trustees have been strangely reticent to clarify anything.
It is the charity's name against an event that is advertized as in 2 days time, but puzzlingly, we are unsure of the date.
Update I note that the Eventbrite page has been updated in the last 24 hours. It appears that Kwaku is delivering this event for Wikimedia UK. It is not clear if this is an edit-a-thon or not. Without a registration page on-wiki we do not know if any trained trainers are going to be available to help. You may recall that to date, Kwaku BBM has made 10 edits to Wikipedia over 10 months, some of which had COI issues. It is an odd situation for Wikimedia UK to be officially supporting. -- (talk) 17:41, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

This event is either tomorrow or on Saturday, depending on which source you check. As a week has passed since I first asked about the basic logistics of this event on the Watercooler, it would be great to have an employee or trustee of the charity confirm the nature of the partnership/association with BBM (British Black Music) and/or BTWSC (Brent Black Music History Project) and whether any of the charity's money is supporting these organizations or this event in expenses or otherwise. If there are reasons for apparent silence in response to questions from the board or employees at this time, it would be good to have this stated. From the Eventbrite information discovered by TheOverflow, it appears this event is in Ghana rather than in the UK (this was not apparent to me, until Kwaku updated the Eventbrite page with more information on Tues/Weds).

It appears that the experienced Wikimedians who are part of the proposed Wikimedia Chapter in Ghana have not been informed about this event, nor asked to help. Their blog is at http://planningwikimediaghana.blogspot.co.uk (the most recent post being on 8 March 2014) and their events page is at meta:Planning Wikimedia Ghana/ Events & Projects. I have approached Sandister Tei as the official community liaison in their organization. -- (talk) 11:05, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

It really doesn't look good, nor inspire confidence, that the office is saying absolutely nothing about this project here. Has this project gone completely off the rails? Or is the office just being secretive for no good reason? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 12:14, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Hi Mike! A volunteer is travelling to Ghana and offered to do a quick 'Introduction to Wikipedia' session while he is there - that's all. I don't want to go into too much detail, because the cost is minimal, it's a tiny event on another continent, and the risk is low - so our time is better spent on things like Wikimania or larger events, where potential mistakes are much more costly. For Ghana, when I checked, we're just paying for refreshments etc for those that arrive there - no flight costs or anything similar. Just sundries (sandwiches etc). It'll be an interesting event from a financial point of view: I'd like to see if we can run events at such a long distance, especially in a country where the financial systems are less stringent than in the UK. If you have any specific questions, feel free to email me with them, and I'll see if I can get some answers. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 13:08, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Hi Richard. Thanks for the response. Can I ask why this didn't go through the grants process then, please? Also, can I ask why the proto-chapter in Ghana that Fæ mentioned above haven't been informed about it? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 13:21, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
I see that the charity ignores legitimate questions on governance from me for 7 days but will provide answers on the same thing for Mike within 45 minutes. The statement given in this thread that this is just a volunteer is confusing, as it does not appear to match the statement given by Jon Davies a week ago "[BritishBlackMusic] are an independent organisation with whom we have worked and hope to continue to work" nor does it match the way the event in Ghana is promoted on Eventbrite.[1][2]
Surely all Wikimedians can see how remarkably strange it is to fund someone with only 10 edits on Wikipedia to run a 3 hour long 'Introduction to Wikipedia' workshop and can be seen promoting their website and consultancy services at the same time? I am amazed that the board of trustees and charity employees appear to believe that either blanket silence or the equivalent of "there is no problem to see here, move along" are acceptable responses to a governance and communications failure. -- (talk) 21:55, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Fæ, your comments about the TtT benefits here are blatantly untrue - the aim of that course is to teach volunteers about how to teach others about contributing to the Wikimedia projects, which (where the trainers are engaged in leading subsequent training events) is well worth that money. I'm sad to see you say that here, where your other points are spot on. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:10, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough, I have removed "main". As one of the original architects of the training concept, I believe a benefit is that the charity has confidence when recommending a certified trained trainer and a key part of all training events I have been involved with has been addressing potentially contentious areas of policy such as COI—even NPOV and CIV can be difficult for newer contributors. These may not be why the course was designed, but it is an expected outcome. I am slightly puzzled, you may be reading my words here differently to my intention, I have not said that TtT was not good value for what it delivers, I was only contrasting the Ghana workshop to events that are supported by trained trainers. -- (talk) 22:38, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
The emphasis in your comment on 'the UK charity invests £800 a head to send active volunteers on a train the trainers course', along with your comment about your expected aims for the project, seemed to imply the lack of value. My memory was that Martin was the key architect behind this concept.... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:47, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Suppressed the tangent. How quickly we are forgotten. :-) The concept of tiered training was started from my management experience of techniques for cooperatively sharing knowledge of factory floor staff, Martin and I drew it up during a board meeting. -- (talk) 22:54, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Feedback from Ghana[edit]

After making a note on-wiki, a representative of the Ghana 'proto-chapter' has promptly made contact with me by email, which I hope will make for a useful independent view of Wikimedia UK's approach to their association with BBM and the grant provided. This email (25 March) was pointed out, which confirms that none of the Wikimedians there was approached ("we were not directly informed or contacted") and there is mention of them partnering with the organizers. This seems a natural response, but considering that Wikimedia UK is supporting BritishBlackMusic.com, they may have unfortunately interpreted that as an official Wikimedia endorsement. -- (talk) 16:48, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

I have updated the local wikimedia-gh email list where an earlier public email of mine had been reposted. The thread and some initial feedback from the local community can be found at [Wikimedia-GH] Wikimedia in Ghana. -- (talk) 21:13, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your work on this, Fæ. As anyone interested can see, I tried a while ago to involve Nyarko Rexford Nkansah in the 2012 Black History Month editathon. His response is here. Following up your links, I noticed that Rexford has proposed a submission for Wikimania. I do hope he receives a scholarship to attend. It is also worth checking this For Rexford Nkansah, Wikipedia represents the future of education for his country. Leutha (talk) 12:06, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks back Leutha, I appreciate the thought, along with the personal emails of thanks to me from the Ghana community.
Most disappointing in this story is that the UK Chapter was alerted to the issue more than a week ago and much positive work could have been done in that time with the local Ghana community to build bridges or for one of the ten full time employees to check the background of BlackBritishMusic.com rather than relying on unpaid volunteers to do it. -- (talk) 14:00, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Moving this thread[edit]

This thread was moved by an employee from the Watercooler to the Engine room on 3rd April. As it is about a specific event, which is the new definition of the Watercooler, could it please be moved back? I do not want to do this myself as doubtless it would be treated as abuse of some sort for me to take bold action as a volunteer. -- (talk) 12:42, 3 April 2014 (BST)

Given the event has happened, and the current thread is not directly about that event, it seems to me the move is entirely appropriate. I don't really think there's much more to say here either. Sjgknight (talk) 12:46, 3 April 2014 (BST)
(ec) That employee of Wikimedia UK is myself. Considering you, Fae, described this as a governance issue it belongs here. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 12:48, 3 April 2014 (BST)
Fair enough. I look forward to the next britishblackmusic.com event, I may try to make it myself. -- (talk) 12:59, 3 April 2014 (BST)

Response to the threads[edit]

I have moved this to the Engine Room as it is an internal matter.

The event in Ghana is supported by WMUK but not organised by us. There is an interesting discussion to be had here about how we indicate our level of involvement in ANY event. This is especially relevant to our collection of data. To quote an extreme example, if we sent someone to the Cup Final could we claim it to be ours and indicate 90,000 people attended one of our events? Obviously not but there are nuances here where an event becomes supported by us to such an extent that it would count. So to take a real recent example. Some volunteers set up an event without any WMUK input. Fine. That is the sort of thing we want. Let a thousand flowers bloom - let a thousand editors get together and contribute. The whole basis of the movement's success. But they then approach the office for help. We set up a page advertising the event. Has it become ours yet? We send them cheat sheets and some pens. Is it ours yet? We send Train the Trainers people to help. Is it ours yet? We pay for the sandwiches? Is it ours yet? I don't want to get boring but there are a spectrum of possibilities here and we need to think about how we describe events we are publicising through the spectrum of 'nothing to do with us but good to know about' through 'supported' to 'Co-organised with' to 'Organised by'. I think it would be helpful to define these levels and make it clear to the community and outside organisations what they can expect from us at each level. Thoughts please.

The Ghana event was definitely 'supported by' in that we donated some literature, a few t-shirts etc for those who attend and up to £200 from our Extending reach budget as this fits in closely with our strategic plans principally:

G5 Develop, support, and engage with other Wikimedia and Open Knowledge communities

This Goal relates to our support for communities other than our own community of WMUK volunteers (for which, see 2.1 above). Some of these other communities are outside the UK - such as other Wikimedia chapters and organisations - while others are UK-based but separate from WMUK (some local Wikimeets, special interest, language-based and ad hoc groupings). Some communities are Wikimedia project-based (Wikipedia WikiProjects, Commons photographic competitions). Finally, we want to engage with non-Wikimedia Open Knowledge groups whose missions are aligned with our own.

Aim
  • We will work with other Wikimedia communities and organisations in an open way to facilitate shared learning across the entire movement. We will encourage and provide support to other Wikimedia communities to help them develop, diversify and thrive. We will play a leading role in sharing good practice and acting as a focus for debate. We will work with non-Wikimedia Open Knowledge groups to further our Open Knowledge vision.
Outcomes
  • G5.1 A thriving set of other Wikimedia communities
  • G5.2 An increased diversity of Wikimedia contributors
  • G5.3 Wikimedia communities are skilled and capable.
  • G5.4 Open Knowledge communities with missions similar to our own are thriving.

It also relates to their goals as well.

We felt that the Ghana event was worth the small amount of cost involved. WMUK has always been willing to experiment and indeed has known success and failure but this is a modest amount of funding and very little staff resource even including writing this.

We know the organiser well. He worked with us on an editathon last year, was a diligent delegate to the Wikimedia Diversity Conference and has remained in touch with us ever since. And he knows that any funding will be entirely dependent on the receipt of evidence of spend acceptable to our auditors.

It is highly relevant to note that he represents a group highly under-represented in our community, i.e. Black British, a group we really need to engage with if Wikimedia projects are to truly represent their users.

We have often supported people without knowing much about them and this is as it should be. The important factor is to balance the risks. You would not give £1000 up front to someone you had never heard of but you might purchase a significant piece of equipment on loan to someone well known to the community. We need to encourage new volunteers and we cannot set thresholds that will deter. We do not have a policy of restricting funding to those with n,000 + edits and quite rightly so. That way lies atrophy. Some really good impact has come from people whose only qualification was a good idea and £5 membership of WMUK.

Although we made contact with at least one Ghanaian Wikimedian I accept that we did not handle this well. We should have contacted their chapter as soon as we were approached. I have since contacted them. Happily they seem to have assumed good faith which I wish we all did a little more. A good lesson to learn and the first time we have made such a mistake, I put this down to the speed it all happened and the general pressure on staff to do everything at once!

As to the lack of response from the office. I was away and would have picked this up quicker if I had been here and Richard S made a brave attempt to plug the gap. We are not an inexhaustible resource. I did talk to the volunteer about the questions being asked before I went on holiday and he asked me to share his email with the questioner as he was happy to answer questions directly. I did this although I am not sure this offer was taken up.

This did not go through the grants process as it was not a grant. It fits squarely in our programme as detailed above.

To say it again this was funding through an individual volunteer not any organisation.

I don't think it is 'strange' that we asked this volunteer to do this. He was wiling to take kilos of WMUK literature etc in his luggage and support local Wikimedians and would-be Wikimedians. There was no way we could justify sending a couple of trainers there so this seemed good value and completely in line with what we should be doing.

There was a discussion about Train the Trainers which I don't understand but if somebody wants to explain I will reply.

So some mistakes but also effective outreach, good faith and hopefully good links with Ghana in the future.


The dates issue is perplexing but these things happen. Apologies to anyone who was inconvenienced.

Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 12:47, 3 April 2014 (BST)

Jon, you have explained something about what happened and made an apology, thanks for doing that now. It is refreshing to feel that my questions are not just being indefinitely blanked or dismissed. With regard to your indirect comment about me contacting Kwaku, I am waiting on information from the Heritage Lottery Fund, as I explained to you by email. If you need me to release my email of 2 weeks ago, I shall do so. Until I have that information I cannot review it with Kwaku nor compare the statements on his website and promotional material against it. As an unpaid volunteer, I hope you understand that handling the bureaucracy of checking Wikimedia UK partnerships or associations on behalf of the charity is not going to be my top priority, particularly when I am never going to be thanked or recognized for doing it.
As the CEO, can you identify and recommend any (SMART) learning points for the organization, and do you intend to propose how Wikimedia UK operations should improve the management of partnerships or non-UK funded/expenses paid events and their promotion as a result of the mistakes you have highlighted above? -- (talk) 13:34, 3 April 2014 (BST)

A full set of metrics covering all we do has been constructed that we will report on quarterly to the board and FDC. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:37, 3 April 2014 (BST)

Sorry, there may be a format problem. Is this your answer to my question about what has been learned from this incident and what you will now change? -- (talk) 13:40, 3 April 2014 (BST)
Incident? Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 15:06, 3 April 2014 (BST)
The one above. Perhaps someone else might help explain why corrective action and planned improvement might be a good idea in addition to your apology for what happened, especially when another organization, based on your statement, has published false advertising of partnership with the charity. From past experience, trying to put my point of view is likely to be interpreted as bad faith.[3] -- (talk) 15:41, 3 April 2014 (BST)
Fae, please bear in mind that staff are now working to meet strategic SMART charitable targets, which did not exist in your day as a trustee. As a consequence they need to balance the amount of time they spend setting up ad hoc governance mechanisms, structures, targets, actions and improvements that you as a volunteer would personally like them to implement with the things they are actually being paid to do, which is to forward the objects of the charity and to meet their published targets. It's well known that you ran things differently in your day, but back then the board had approved no formal high-level strategy for the staff to work to. It is no longer acceptable (if indeed it ever was) to treat staff time as a free resource available to be used at the discretion of one individual; nor to expect them to spend hours, days or longer responding to demands that they do ever more complex and time-consuming things for you.
You might personally think more of the charity if the staff jumped every time you asked for something, and did it for you immediately, but that would amount to you as a single volunteer taking over the governance of the charity from the board and the wider community, which would be an approach my fellow trustees might have some views on. Our best attempts to follow our charitable mission may never satisfy you, but that mission takes precedence over the wishes of any one individual. There has to come a point at which the asking of critical questions (which are helpful) becomes a personal campaign (which is not). You have passed that point I am afraid, and I regret that your often helpful underlying points have become increasingly obscured by your tone. Your points would be more effectively heard by the charity and by the community if you made them, made neutral suggestions for improvements, then moved on to whatever you feel would next most benefit from your time.
No doubt you will frame this response in itself as the charity 'losing contact with its volunteers', but it is evident that whatever Jon says (and I mean absolutely whatever) you will always come back and ask for more. And then more. Going on and on is simply not fair to the staff and is not constructive. The time they spend dealing with you - not the underlying points you raise, but you personally - is time lost forever in trying to advance the charity's mission, making it more difficult for them to meet the targets against which they are publicly going to be judged. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:14, 3 April 2014 (BST)
I did not realise you might personally believe this was all about me, or support Jon's claims over the last two years that I am ordering employees of the charity to do things, I did not realize that the board thought I had so much personal charisma, or that my opinions mattered.
I have carefully read Jon's statement in which he apologises for some things and defends others. What it lacks is any commitment by the charity to learn from what went wrong, for example to ensure that partnering organizations do not use the Wikimedia brand and logos to promote their commercial business without agreeing the advertisements with the charity.
Using organizational problems and issues to generate corrective and preventative action has been fundamental management theory and practice for the last century, dating before even Juran was first writing about it. You are the Chairman, I am sure you understand the underlying issues here for the charity and the risk it represents, it is up to you and your fellow trustees to decide if you are happy with that remaining unresolved, and the members of the charity left in doubt as to whether we are moving forward, and due to failures like this, whether the charity is becoming more wise and efficient in how it uses the donor's money and the goodwill of our small number of active volunteers
To put this another way, in the form of the new strategy that you mention:
  • This incident publicly damaged our international reputation, clearly failing to deliver the aim of G5/G5.1.
  • Though notified well in advance, there was a lack of corrective action before the event, in particular the Eventbrite adverts including the Wikimedia UK logo with a claim of association with BritishBlackMusic.com was not removed. This fails G2b.1 and the lack of response fails to meet G2b.2.
  • Failing to look for alternatives for BEM representation by either seeking partnerships with (for example) UK registered national charities with an established BEM footprint, or to approach BEM Wikimedians with strong Wikimedia project skills to support this event failed to meet G2a, G2b and G5.
For these reasons I hope there is a public report as part of the next board meeting, with measured improvements that ensure similar less than satisfactory communication and management around partnership claims or event logistics cannot happen again. -- (talk) 18:34, 3 April 2014 (BST)
Just to point out: although I agree that "ad hoc governance mechanisms, structures, targets, actions and improvements" shouldn't come from individual volunteers, staff should (and do) action themselves and make improvements to what they do based on incidents like this, and the board should (and I think does) identify governance mechanisms, structures and targets that should be implemented or revised based on such incidents. There should always be lessons learnt from this sort of thing, and mistakes identified to be avoided in the future. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:45, 4 April 2014 (BST)
Hi Jon - thanks for the thorough response. Sounds like a worthwhile event. I agree it's probably worth being fairly careful to ensure we engage other chapters/nascent chapters if our activity overlaps with theirs (even if a small activity). I remember being irked myself when others haven't consulted us in the past. Regards, The Land (talk) 17:58, 4 April 2014 (BST)
Thanks also for me for the detailed response. It would be great to see this happen more often and earlier on in the discussions please. I would point out that you're being very contradictory when you say "The Ghana event was definitely 'supported by' in that we donated some literature, a few t-shirts etc for those who attend and up to £200 from our Extending reach budget as this fits in closely with our strategic plans" but then also say "This did not go through the grants process as it was not a grant. It fits squarely in our programme as detailed above." - I'd suggest that grants provide one way to separate between WMUK events and WMUK supported events. In this case, you were essentially giving a grant of money and merchandise to support an event, so it really would have seemed to me to be an obvious case for a grant. (I really hope that grants aren't only for work not set out in WMUK's overall programme!) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:36, 4 April 2014 (BST)

A little more feedback from the weekend. We seem to have made friends with the Ghana chapter with a lot of positive emails and talk of future cooperation. At least one person aims to be at Wikimania. I am really hopeful that we can build a long standing relationship with them. Mike there are lots of grey areas where sometimes something should be a grant and sometimes a more direct approach works better. In this case time was a factor and so we chose this route. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 09:51, 7 April 2014 (BST)

Well, if you err on the side of doing something as a grant, with the transparency and oversight on this wiki that that entails, then I suspect you wouldn't end up in hot water like you did here. But as I doubt me commenting in this thread will change anything, I won't bother doing so further. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 18:32, 7 April 2014 (BST)

Attendees at the Wikimedia Conference 2014?[edit]

Hi all. I'm rather puzzled by the list of WMUK attendees at the Wikimedia Conference this year, since it seems to imply that WMUK is sending 8 people to the conference. What's going on here? Why is WMUK apparently sending 4 trustees, 3 staff and one unknown ('Katherine Ruth'?) to a conference that every other chapter is restricted to sending 2 board members and, optionally, one staff member to? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:59, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi Mike - this question might have to wait until Jon is back in the office for an answer. Are you happy to wait until Monday/Tuesday for one? Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 11:55, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. Is there a choice with waiting? ;-) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 12:11, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your question Mike and apologies for the delay in reply but even I get holidays sometime! This was a question I asked myself a few months back when trying to work out who should go. You may have noticed last year at Milan that the 'two per chapter' rule was not being adhered to. I had been led to believe it would be and was disappointed not to have been able to send more WMUK people as it is such a useful forum. I checked with the German chapter on or about February 4th and the line I was given was that it is no longer the Chapters Conference as was and is now the Wikimedia Conference and that the 1+1 rule no longer applied. I can see 12 chapters who go beyond the 1+1 rule.

In our case, in addition to myself and the chair, we have three people speaking. This is also a great opportunity for newer trustees to meet the wider community as part of their induction process at a reasonable cost. I hope that helps Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 07:23, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

The 'two per chapter' rule was what applies to board members; it's turned more into a 2+1 rule where there's two board members and one staff member (normally the CE). Out of curiosity, what exactly did WMDE/the organisers of the conference say here? It's one thing to bend the rules a bit and bring an extra person, but to bring 8 people really looks very odd and could well damage the chapter's standing in the eyes of the other chapters (particularly those that struggle to send any representatives to the conference whatsoever!). Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 14:34, 31 March 2014 (BST)
+1 -- (talk) 17:14, 31 March 2014 (BST)
The registration details are here: [4] I don't recall anyone suggesting the registration process was wrong while it was actually open. 23:37, 1 April 2014 (BST) —Preceding unsigned comment added by The Land (talkcontribs)

Hi Mike, I recall this agreement, back in the time when the Chapter used to pay to send me to these meetings, as many chapters were concerned about the best use of Wikimedia movement's funds and many smaller chapters were concerned that the chapters with the largest amount of money to spend were overwhelming the conference. The general thinking was that any chapter can easily be represented by two people regardless of how large they are in terms of membership or money and if people are keen to have internal meetings then video conferencing is an alternative that costs the movement nothing. Do you have a link to where this was most recently stated?

Has anyone worked out who Katherine Ruth is and why she is representing the UK Chapter internationally? -- (talk) 09:11, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Have asked the organiser who KR may be.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:52, 31 March 2014 (BST)
Thank you. Mike Peel (talk) 19:26, 31 March 2014 (BST)
Now have an answer - Katherine Ruth is actually trustee Kate West - they used her middle name in error. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 08:27, 2 April 2014 (BST)
Ah, OK, I thought it might be something like that. :-) This does worry me a bit, though, in that it implies that you weren't aware of Kate West registering to attend the event before this... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:46, 4 April 2014 (BST)

For the record we have people going for four reasons:

  • CEO and Chair as standard
  • Two staff and one (sorry two) trustee(s) who are invited to do presentations.
  • Two trustees (we are guessing KR might actually be Kate West) who will be using this as part of their induction as trustees - a great chance to meet other people and learn about the community.
  • Everyone can promote Wikimania London and learn about people's ideas and expectations.

I think this is a sensible use of our resources, flights to Berlin are cheaper than many train journeys to UK cities, for our learning and helps share our knowledge and understanding with other chapters. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 16:16, 31 March 2014 (BST)

From my experience of these meetings (having attended three of them in the past), I'd say this is overkill - the number of people you're sending means that there will be multiple people from WMUK in each of the sessions, which dilutes the benefit of having people at the meeting (and reporting back from it). I'd ask for a citation on your cost point - how much are the flights, and can you give an example of a train ticket within the UK that costs more? (assuming off-peak for both of course). But I guess this is all a moot point now, though, given that everything will have been booked and paid for already... So please do assess the cost-benefit ratio here, and learn from that for next year. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:25, 31 March 2014 (BST)
When I was looking at flights, the cheapest option was £69 return (ok, plus probably £30 to get to and from the airport, and these aren't the flights I actually booked as I needed to fit around my work schedule!). That's less than I would normally pay to get to Edinburgh and back, and far less than it ended up costing to get me to Monmouth.
I am not sure that having more than one person from WMUK in a meeting makes it less effective, though.
Finally - after the Wikimedia Conference, virtually the whole Board will one way or another have spent a couple of days getting to know international Wikimedians and making connections (some at last year's Wikimania, some at the governance workshop the other weekend, some at this Wikimedia Conference). That is very useful experience which I think previous Boards could have done with more of, and something to be proud of given how new our current Board is.The Land (talk) 18:21, 1 April 2014 (BST)
Hi Chris. Thanks for responding to my points.
On flight costs - that's interesting. My flights (which I think were the cheapest option I could find, albeit from Manchester) are something like 3x that. But anyway.
I never said 'less effective', I said 'dilutes the benefit'. If you're using the meeting appropriately, i.e. the people going know the background of the discussions and WMUK's perspective/key learnings, and report back to WMUK on everyone else's perspective and key learnings, then ideally one person per meeting session works well - by having more than that you double the cost but don't double the benefits (yes, you do get more diverse opinions being put forward, but I'm sure there will be plenty of those to go around anyway. ;-) )
Yes, getting to know international Wikimedians is very important and well worth doing. But there's Wikimania in London later this year, which presumably most of the board will be going to as it's very local for them. I don't get why you're sending people to Berlin instead of waiting a few months and going for that much cheaper option! Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 10:06, 2 April 2014 (BST)
I'll just point out that "chapter bigwig" and "Wikimedian" are not necessarily one and the same. Sure, it's important to meet people from other chapters to share experiences, best practice, discuss common issues, etc, but the moving and shaking of the movement's politicians is an entirely parallel and irrelevant process to the rank-and-file editor, without whom there would be no movement, no WMUK, no bigwigs from other chapters, no WMF... And yet when was the last time you saw a group of eight staff and trustees (or even one!) at any event for the average Wikipedian? That tells you a lot about the current direction of WMUK. Harry Mitchell (talk) 17:33, 3 April 2014 (BST)

I have had some private emails from old friends who are current chapter board members that thanked me for raising the issue, and have been surprised that the previous "gentlemen's agreement" of sending modest numbers ("2+1") has been so easily forgotten and dismissed as inconvenient. The current trustees of Wikimedia UK may be missing the point of how this appears to other chapters, some struggling to manage their plans with far more modest budgets and with either none, or far fewer employees than this chapter has in proportion to the number of members it represents. There is no dispute with the fact that as a trustee or employee, going to this conference is enjoyable and an excellent social networking opportunity; however that WMUK has chosen to send significantly greater numbers to this conference than any other chapter, will not reflect well in the eyes of many of our international colleagues.

As has been kindly pointed out, there are people who believe I should remain dead and buried with past achievements or failures forgotten. This is a choice to be made by the living, you hold the goodwill of the charity, it's up to you to ensure you understand and embody the values of the community most of you have been recently elected to represent. One day you must join me in the necropolis, it should provide an interesting perspective. -- (talk) 23:00, 1 April 2014 (BST)

Response to the threads[edit]

In this discussion one aspect has been forgotten or overlooked. i.e. what are we giving back to the conference? As the second biggest chapter we risk accusations of trying to dominate the smaller chapters. I am certain we will not be doing that but the quite the opposite we will be sharing our experience and learning. Four of those attending are making presentations on what we have done. This will be of serious assistance to other chapters and organisations, especially the newer ones. After all we went through in the last two years I think we really owe it to the movement to explain how we developed. So the sessions on good governance, and monitoring and evaluation will be a crucial part of the conference. One member of staff will be talking about our cross-European advocacy work. I remember sitting in a basement room in Milan last year where a few of us realised the potential benefits of working together on EU matters. I am pleased that we have been a leading chapter in bringing this agenda so far and will be bringing the first results to Berlin. Of course we could do this by Skype but I believe the fairly modest cost of getting to Berlin justifies all the benefits of having the face to face contact, especially for those for whom English is not their first language.

In addition two of our new trustees will be there which I see as part of their proper trustee induction. They have been elected for two years bringing significant skills we needed, and this is a great chance for them to learn more about the movement. I don't think this would be as possible at Wikimania which is so much bigger and this is a great chance to make friendships that can be renewed in the summer at the Barbican.

To some extent the venue of such events is irrelevant, it is what is achieved that is important. Some of those going will add days on to other end of the conference to see Berlin and that is up to them and their purses. For the days of the conference we will be in meeting rooms that could be anywhere in the world. Berlin is a fairly cheap place to get to and accommodation not nearly as pricey as London. So all in all I think this is a valid use of our funds that will benefit our chapter but more importantly the wider movement. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 12:58, 4 April 2014 (BST)

Hi Jon. Thanks for your response. :-) I hadn't overlooked that aspect, though. WMUK certainly has many things that it can give back to the conference, and share with the other chapters. That can, however, be done by suitably briefing the representatives and asking them to give the presentations. In some cases that's not possible (in particular with advocacy work, where the discussion is more about 'why' than the facts or sharing information), but I can't believe it's the case for all of the presentations that are being given (in particular, I'd hope that all board members would feel able to present on good governance/monitoring/evalutation!). I disagree with your assertion about trustee induction and Wikimania - can you explain why you made that assertion? I'd agree with your following (contradictory) point that the venue is irrelevant, which implies that this could have been done effectively in London. I'd disagree with your point about cost, though, since every single WMUK board and staff member is now located either in London or within easy commuting distance, making accommodation costs irrelevant. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:55, 4 April 2014 (BST)

To be honest Mike I don't think any of the three areas we are addressing open themselves to a 'briefing'. The work around governance, planning and metrics is highly complicated and nuanced and will inevitably create more questions than answers. Having experts there to lead the discussions will be extremely valuable. The WMUK session in Milan last year on governance demonstrated the demand for discussion The Advocacy work will entail a lot of debate as you say.

I firmly believe (from having witnessed trustee interaction with the community in Wikimania Washington, Wikimania Hong Kong and the last two Chapter's Conferences) that in-person attendance pays real dividends for the trustees themselves and hence our chapter, helps build understanding between the chapters and gives us the chance to feedback mire intensely what we are doing.

It may be that Berlin is exceptional given our desire to bring new trustees into the loop and lay the ground for the Chapter's involvement in Wikimania 14. Perhaps we won't need to send so many people next time. In any case this s a trustee decision . I can only answer for myself and my two colleagues who are going. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 10:12, 7 April 2014 (BST)

P.S. I hope it will be an good event but let's not forget that the trustees are volunteers giving up their own time to be in quite intensive meetings for four days. I thank them.

P.P.S Not all the trustees and staff are in easy commuting distance of London. Yorkshire, and Wales are significant distances and even if HS4 is ever built Edinburgh is a significant distance away.

OK, so we disagree then - perhaps that part of things is best left as it is. This is the first time I've seen you say that it was a trustee decision - is there a link available to that decision, please? On trustee locations, I'd forgotten Seddon (sorry!), but who on the board or on the staff is based in Yorkshire or Edinburgh? Perhaps trustee locations can be added to the Board page? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 18:38, 7 April 2014 (BST)
Padmini lives in Edinburgh, Toni in Scarborough.

For those interested in what went on over the long weekend in Berlin our report is now up on the wiki. I firmly believe it was good value for money. And if anyone is interested only one per diem was claimed to my knowledge and my expenses, as an example, were £131 for the return flight and the hotel was £240 for four nights.

https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/WIKICON_BERLIN_2014_report

Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 09:49, 16 April 2014 (BST)

Thanks for including some of the costs of sending 8 people to this conference, helpful. It would be more meaningful if the total cost could be published. As far as I am aware, this is not a confidential matter that needs to by-pass our commitment to transparency of expenses.
With regard to CEO expenses, I note that Expenses 2013-2014 has not been updated since October 2013, making it now six months out of date. As has been discussed previously on the Water cooler, this report is explicitly required of the Finance Policy and a matter that the board of trustees should be regularly monitoring as part of our commitment to transparency. It seems reasonable for the board to assess that not successfully meeting the requirements of the Finance Policy as not meeting the Strategy monitoring plan (G2b.2 / G2b.3) when this gets reported by the board.
Thanks again for sharing your expenses promptly on this noticeboard. I look forward to seeing both your expenses and the expenses of all current trustees reported in compliance with the Finance Policy. -- (talk) 15:47, 16 April 2014 (BST)
Just to comment: those sorts of pages should really include both expenses claimed and those paid directly by the chapter (e.g. flights). And thanks Richard for working on them. :-) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 09:07, 17 April 2014 (BST)
If we're talking about trustees, then yes, it should. This should probably relate to the Chief Executive too (although the increased activity and the fact that the CE is paid a salary means that the rules may be different, I'm not sure). The SORP, at https://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/media/90634/sorp05textcolour.pdf reads with regard to trustees that (paras 231-233): "the aggregate amount of those expenses should be disclosed in a note to the accounts. The note should also indicate the nature of the expenses (eg travel, subsistence, entertainment etc) and the number of trustees involved...".
However, the Charity Commission recommends that we have "a written agreement setting out what is classed as an expense". This is something we're currently lacking, and is something that I believe the Board will be discussing in the future.
For the avoidance of doubt, not all of Jon's expenses for the recent trip are on there, but they do conform to what I've seen so far. As soon as I have Jon's expenses approved (obviously they have to be signed and approved), I'll get them up on the page. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 13:00, 17 April 2014 (BST)
OK, thanks Richard. :-) I'd be happy to contribute to the definition here, if that would be useful - I think my meta page list of compensation represents best practice here. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 18:51, 17 April 2014 (BST)

Spambots[edit]

I see over 20 spam accounts being created in an hour (this morning) and then the majority creating spam pages with advert links. This level of spam is well beyond the capacity of the small number of active volunteer admins to manage. Is there a plan to quench these? -- (talk) 09:19, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Hey Fae, The tech committee are aware of it becoming an increasing problem. I know that recently a number of static ip's were blocked last week based on the foundations blacklist. I believe the next step will be to implement a number of range blocks to supplement this. We will probably want to employ some bots to do some recent change patrol. I would like to avoid raising the bar to people being able to contribute to the wiki. However a sensible way forward may be to require a captcha for those posting links. There are a number of ways forward. Ill ensure its raised at tomorrows tech committee meeting. Leave any suggestions you might have here. Some, all or non might be taken on board but at least they will have been raised and can be considered along with any ideas the committee discusses :) Seddon (talk) 18:11, 31 March 2014 (BST)
Using the standard blocklist and inheriting rangeblocks from other Wikimedia projects (en.wp and/or Commons) would make sense. Separately maintaining large lists for a small wiki would probably eat up a lot of volunteer time without much benefit. I would avoid CAPTCHA unless this were the only effective solution, though considering how few IPs make a long term positive contribution on this wiki that includes new page creation (none?), I doubt this would be any more than a hypothetical issue. -- (talk) 18:45, 31 March 2014 (BST)
If you can, Fæ, then please consider coming along to the meeting - details here. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:20, 31 March 2014 (BST)
Harry Burt has been working on this for a while, and is implementing a script to import the WMF range blocks, with approval from the Tech Committee. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 19:11, 1 April 2014 (BST)
The root of the problem sees to have been the 'migrating' of this wiki outside the Wikimedia family, with which we seem to have lost just about everything that was useful about having a wiki. Harry Mitchell (talk) 17:13, 3 April 2014 (BST)
Harry, that's harsh! This is still a perfectly well functioning wiki - yes, blocking is now an issue, but what else of the useful functions of a wiki has been lost as a result of the migration? Perhaps this should be viewed as an interesting learning exercise about MediaWiki - this is a problem that any other user of MediaWiki will experience, so what is the best way of solving it, and can that solution be shared back with the mediawiki community to help others? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:59, 4 April 2014 (BST)

Mini pop up banners[edit]

Banner seen in action at the Coventry 9 Wikimeet

In response to prospective attendees finding it difficult to find meet-ups (going into a pub alone looking for strangers for instance can be quite challenging), we have acquired some mini-banners for people to use at meet-ups. They are quite discreet but we hope will help. Further design more specifically for Wales & Scotland are pending. Opinions please and if you would like one for your meet-ups contact me. Regards -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 10:51, 2 April 2014 (BST)

I like these. I think they're a great idea. They'd be even better if we had some with the Wikipedia logo on them rather than just WMUK's; the former, obviously, is a lot more recognisable. Harry Mitchell (talk) 17:09, 3 April 2014 (BST)
Hi Harry, thank you very much for your feedback. I'm pleased you like the banners and agree with your comments. We would like to be able to use the Wikipedia globe mark, particularly juxtaposed with the Wikimedia UK logo, but we are currently having a pause on producing new materials with the globe while our trademark agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation is finalised and put in place. An updated draft of the agreement is with the Foundation and I'm hopeful this will be signed, sealed and delivered within the next week or two at most. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 17:25, 3 April 2014 (BST)
Hi Stevie, I gathered that that was the reason from Michael at the Coventry meetup, but I saw no harm in mentioning it again for when the trademark agreement is sorted. Do let us know how you get on with that. Best, Harry Mitchell (talk) 00:53, 4 April 2014 (BST)
I've now received one of these, and they are very nice. :-) Thanks to the office for ordering these. Would it be worth setting up a page that keeps track of where all of these are, so that anyone that is organising a meetup/event but doesn't have one can check to see if one of the attendees will be bringing one or can ask a nearby holder to either attend the event or pass them on to someone that will? I've also asked the office if they would be willing to make cheap mobile phones available to meetup organisers, so that (non-personal) contact phone numbers can be made available on the public meetup pages. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:05, 4 April 2014 (BST)

Museum photography[edit]

Would it be worth putting effort into trying to make this list as extensive as possible for the UK:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:WikiProject_Arts/Museum_photography

04:46, 3 April 2014 (BST)

There are something like 2,500 museums in the UK. A comprehensive list noting how suitable they are for photography would be a pretty serious undertaking. Maybe if we narrow it down to something like the 100 most frequently visited museums. It could very easily end up that the UK would need it's own table or even a separate page. I think it would probably be a useful undertaking. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 11:49, 3 April 2014 (BST)
I wonder if this would be something best done via Wikipedia or Wikidata, rather than commons. On Wikipedia, it could maybe be done with an additional infobox parameter that categorises the museum's article into an appropriate hidden category. On Wikidata, I guess it would need an additional parameter to be added that would allow the (referenced) addition of the information. I'm not sure I can see the point in doing this just on Commons for the Commons community nowadays, when it could be done much more generally. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:11, 4 April 2014 (BST)
wikivoyage would be the other interested project. Trying to find out for all of them makes it a decent crowdsourced project. 100 isn't far off what I could dig out of my own archives.Geni (talk) 05:42, 16 April 2014 (BST)

Affiliate-selected seats on the board of the Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

In alternate years, Wikimedia chapters and thematic organizations select two members for the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. The candidates for 2014 can be seen here, and questions for individual candidates can be asked by following the links from that page. Organizations including Wikimedia UK have until 15 April to submit any formal pre-voting endorsements. No candidate has, so far as I know, asked us for an endorsement and unless there is a significant groundswell of WMUK community support for any particular candidate, we do not intend to endorse any individual before the opening of the ballot. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 19:33, 3 April 2014 (BST)

I don't know how these things work, but it looks like other chapters may have had a more active role in this than just posting a message on their local wiki. Obviously it is a bit late for 2014, but for 2016 do we want to come to some sort of collective decision in advance and actually put one or two candidates forward. Or is that sort of thing just counter-productive?
Yaris678 (talk) 22:48, 7 April 2014 (BST)
Probably just a practical issue this time in that Chris Keating is one of the volunteer organisers of the election, and as a result great care has been taken to ensure that the chapter and its trustees have no conflict of interest. There is no reason in principle why we could not endorse a candidate in advance next time if a suitable one steps forward that our community could get behind. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 23:30, 7 April 2014 (BST)

Trademark Agreement between Wikimedia UK and Wikimedia Foundation, Inc[edit]

Hello everyone. I am very happy to report that there now exists a Trademark Agreement between Wikimedia UK and Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. This agreement sets out how Wikimedia UK may make use of the Wikimedia project logos, such as the Wikipedia globe icon. The agreement can be seen here. Thank you to the people in the trademarks team at Wikimedia Foundation for their help in making this happen. Thank you also to Jon Davies and Michael Maggs for their input. If you have any questions about the agreement please do get in touch. Thank you. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 16:31, 8 April 2014 (BST)

Thanks for your work on this, Stevie. Is there any chance somebody could produce a short, plain English summary? The legalese is obviously necessary for the avoidance of ambiguity, but it would be great to have a plain English summary that people could refer to if they ever wonder whether an idea or proposal would be acceptable under the agreement.

On a tangent, does this mean we can get some more merchandise in with the Wikipedia logo on it? :) Thanks, Harry Mitchell (talk) 16:54, 8 April 2014 (BST)

Without this wanting to sound like a legal view (!) I would suggest the best bet for a potted summary is on page 5 of the agreement. This sets out some of the uses covered by the agreement. In terms of more merchandise with the Wikipedia globe icon - what would you like? I'm always willing to listen to ideas! Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 16:56, 8 April 2014 (BST)
Addendum - in publications, and other places where practical, we still need to include an attribution that the globe icon (and other Wikimedia project marks) are the trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 16:58, 8 April 2014 (BST)
Well done - it's good to see that this is sorted. :-) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 17:18, 8 April 2014 (BST)

Survey[edit]

I don't think we have ever had the summary demographic data from the survey. Can we have that added to the other results please? Philafrenzy (talk) 21:10, 10 April 2014 (BST)

To give a smattering more context, Philafrenzy is I believe referring to the 2013 members' survey. The main report from which was posted at File:Membership 2013 Full Survey Report.pdf. Katherine is most likely to be the person who can provide the summary of demographic data. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 00:01, 12 April 2014 (BST)

It must be almost six months since the survey and I assume that the data has been looked at by now in the office so can the members also have access to the anonymised summary data please? Philafrenzy (talk) 14:47, 14 April 2014 (BST)

Unfortunately the timely publication of reports appears to be a hole in Strategy monitoring plan, even if the board has got used to always setting SMART targets (T = time limited or timely). If an expected publication of operational reports are delayed, perhaps so long that their use for improvement is lost, it appears that this does not affect the agreed performance indicators for the charity. -- (talk) 15:55, 14 April 2014 (BST)
The office should have deleted the raw data by now, as per the statement at WMUK membership survey 2013/Survey draft ("When the meta report about the results has been produced and any responses that can be followed up stored on your member contact record, all individual responses will be deleted. This will be within 60 days of the survey closing.") ... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:35, 14 April 2014 (BST)
Not asking for the raw data Mike, which as you say is confidential, just the summary demographic results so that we can add those to the other results. Perfectly normal to keep and reveal those I think. Philafrenzy (talk) 21:16, 14 April 2014 (BST)
Agreed. I was meaning more, if the office hasn't generated the summary demographic data by now, then it may be too late. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:45, 14 April 2014 (BST)
True. I would have expected a detailed analysis, which I thought had been mentioned as an outcome in the survey discussion, particularly as the discussion itself probed into quite low level. However I cannot see that in the text now, so that impression might have been unfounded. -- (talk) 21:59, 14 April 2014 (BST)
I am sure the data was captured, it was a fundamental part of why the survey was run and the other "opinions" part wasn't lost. Anyway, why are we speculating? I don't mind the discussion but my original post was intended simply as a request to somebody in the office to release the data. Could the office please confirm when that part will be released? After all, there were only about c. 57 replies. It's weird when we talk amongst ourselves like this and we know people in the office and trustees read this page and have the answer and they lurk and don't comment. It's a bit passive aggressive to be honest. Philafrenzy (talk) 23:01, 14 April 2014 (BST)
There have been 2 working days since you raised your question. 3 employees were required to spend a long weekend in Berlin, and they may well be having time off in lieu as seems the working practice. -- (talk) 23:14, 14 April 2014 (BST)
Indeed, give them a bit more of a chance. :-) Remember that trustees won't know this level of detail, so it is down to the staff to reply here during their working hours. Fæ, having time off in lieu is a very good working practice that should be praised, although (going off at a tangent) it would be very nice to have a page that lets us know which days staff members are working and quick responses can be expected, and when they're away. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 23:24, 14 April 2014 (BST)
Time off in lieu is an administrative working practice, not a praiseworthy achievement of itself. Whether it is effective, and if it benefits the employee are separate things to be managed. I have experienced organizations where it has become a burden to the employee, who might rather have their weekend with their family, or a predictable work/life balance, or it ends up being discriminatory against employees with young families who are less likely to be able to take advantage of it.
I had hoped that after more than 3 years since we started discussing it, the shared calendar for the charity would have this sort of information about absence on it, particularly for the CEO where there have been several occaisons I can recall when Jon being away on holiday, and having nobody delegated to handle particular issues, caused avoidable delay and friction. -- (talk) 23:35, 14 April 2014 (BST)
We're getting very much off-topic here! Perhaps this would be worth splitting off into a separate section?
With regards time off in lieu: I was referring to providing time off after a staff member has worked during a weekend, not whether it is a good thing to expect an employee to work during a weekend. Do you think it is a bad thing to give it to a staff member that has opted to work on a weekend/outside of hours? I'd agree with regards the rest of your points about this, although they aren't related to my comment here.
I'd agree with your comments about the shared calendar. I'm getting rather tired of suggesting this now. :-( Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 00:31, 15 April 2014 (BST)
This is now getting on for a week with no reply from the office, and easter starts tomorrow... :-/ Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 09:06, 17 April 2014 (BST)
Hi Mike, just a quick note that I have flagged this and someone will hopefully get back to you soon. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:18, 17 April 2014 (BST)
There should be a report available within a week of the end of the Easter break, by Monday 28th. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:36, 17 April 2014 (BST)
Report on the missing part of the survey? Philafrenzy (talk) 11:56, 17 April 2014 (BST)
Yes, that's what I meant. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:21, 18 April 2014 (BST)

Voting for the affiliate-selected seats on the board of the Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

Voting procedure[edit]

Voting for the affiliate-selected board seats is now open, and we as a chapter have to place our vote by 31st May by ranking the candidates in order of preference. The two available seats are reserved specifically for candidates chosen by the affiliate organisations. Before making any decision the WMUK board would like to seek input from our own volunteers and members.

The candidates are as follows:

Anyone can ask questions of the candidates by posting on the talk pages of each candidate statement. You can also ask questions of all the candidates by posting to this page: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2014/Questions.

Community comments on the candidates[edit]

If you have any comments on the candidates, or suggestions for the WMUK board as to who you would like the chapter to support, please indicate below. Reasoned comments are preferred, as the candidates are not being selected by popular vote. I would suggest that staff and board members should not post here, and should leave this area free for community comments. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:23, 16 April 2014 (BST)

Comments on Frieda Brioschi
Comments on Patricio Lorente
Comments on Anders Wennersten
Comments on Alice Wiegand