#Internaut Day – can we learn to stop worrying and love the internet?
The public internet turned 25 today, which means it’s on its third unpaid internship, still living with its parents and has become a cynical nihilist with little hope for the future of humanity.
‘The Web took off without regard for borders at all’, said Tim Berners-Lee on the 25th anniversary of the idea for the Web’s conception in 2014. In fact, for the pioneers of the public internet, this liberation from state control (especially coming just after the end of the Cold War) was part of the great promise of the internet, a promise that it has not always been able to live up to.
Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.
— John Perry Barlow, "A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace" (1996)
Access All Areas: how can Wikimedia contribute to increasing Open Access publishing?
It used to be a normal part of an academic’s duties to be asked to peer-review papers for academic journals. They would do this as part of their salaried position at a university. Equally, publishers wouldn’t even pay the academic who had written the article, as Hugh Gusterson explained:
‘I get paid nothing directly for the most difficult, time-consuming writing I do: peer-reviewed academic articles. In fact a journal that owned the copyright to one of my articles made me pay $400 for permission to reprint my own writing in a book of my essays.’
Academic journals used to not make much money, but in recent years have been taken over by for-profit companies like Elsevier, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley-Blackwell. These companies now make very good profits, as they are in a position to charge a lot for access to their content. Erik Engstrom of Elsevier is the third highest paid chief exec in the FTSE100. He earned £16.18m last year.
Pride in London – photographer Katy Blackwood on working with Wikimedia UK
My name is Katy Blackwood. I’m a music photographer, fledgling photo-journalist and writer that has been published in print, worked as a professional and, on Saturday, donated her time and photographs to Wikimedia UK in the name of knowledge and free content.
The event was Pride in London, an occasion surely close to the heart of anybody that values equality, inclusivity and solidarity, whether they are LGBT or not. In such a divisive week for the United Kingdom, it brought together an estimated one-million people to celebrate humans of all cultures and sexualities, highlighted by a triumphant parade.
Working with Wikimedia UK, I attended as a member of the media in order to create high-quality photography of the parade and its build-up. These photos, including some by John Lubbock, have now been released under a licence that allows them to be used, for free, by anyone.
Supporting our community to create open content: we want your ideas!
As the summer rolls around, there are so many important cultural events which the Wikimedia community can engage with and create content about. The European Football Championships start this week, and the Olympics aren’t far away either. The festival season is already beginning, and there are hundreds of other cultural events taking place across the UK and the world, from religious ceremonies to elections, the London Comic Con, Pride, or any other kind of commemoration or anniversary events.
Wikimedia UK is hoping to support people who want to cover any notable events to create high quality images available under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license. We have grant funding available for photographers who know how to take great photographs which could be used across Wikimedia projects. We would also be interested to support people who would like to add other content besides photographs. If you are going to particular events, we also may be able to liaise with the organisers to get you accreditation.
Share your photos of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves on Wikipedia to inspire the world
Yesterday was World Environment Day, the United Nations’ designated day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.
Many of us know the world faces unprecedented pressure from human activities. The United Nations Environment Programme Global Environment Outlook reports:
'The state of global biodiversity is continuing to decline, with substantial and ongoing losses of populations, species and habitats. For instance, vertebrate populations have declined on average by 30 per cent since 1970, and up to two-thirds of species in some taxa are now threatened with extinction.'
2016 Strategy Consultation
Wikimedia UK are currently going through a strategic planning process for the next three years and welcome input from our members, volunteers and other stakeholders.
Please take a look at the page for the 2016 Strategy Consultation and the linked documents laying out the draft strategic framework and accompanying notes from a board planning session. If you have any suggestions or other feedback, please add comments to the talk page or email our Chief Executive on the email address provided. Thank you!
The Shiver: communion with the past in a digital age
Bodleian Wikimedian Martin Poulter says that although the digital world finds it hard to capture the intimacy of being in the presence of historical objects and texts, it can play an important role in adding value to the collections of museums, libraries and galleries which do provide that experience.
While working at the Bodleian, I’ve experienced what I call ‘the shiver’ many times. I had it when I realised I was reading Charles Darwin’s handwriting, or when shown a book that had been studied by Henry VIII. I saw it happening at the Marks of Genius exhibition when people encounter a Gutenberg Bible or a First Folio of Shakespeare.
The shiver is a realisation of a tangible connection to the past. It comes from authenticity, physicality and uniqueness. As such, it may seem irrelevant to digital information, which is endlessly reproducible and independent of physical location. However, when we think of how libraries can involve more people in that authentic experience, that digital world turns out to be crucial.
- Read more at blog.wikimedia.org.uk