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Wikimedia UK Members Newsletter

Review: Wiki Loves Monuments awards ceremony

Jimmy Wales presenting Matt Emmett a trophy for his second prize photo of C Station Pump House, Abbey Mills.

10th December saw the awards ceremony for the winners of the Wiki Loves Monuments UK photography competition take place at the Wikimedia UK office. The event coincided with the charity's community Christmas party and was attended by over thirty people.

Wiki Loves Monuments is the world’s largest photography contest. The objective is to collect high quality photographs of some of the world's most important buildings – in the UK for 2013, this meant Grade I and Grade II* listed buildings. Over 570 people took part in the UK competition, contributing more than 12,000 photos to Wikimedia Commons.

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, said: "It's fantastic that so many people took the time to contribute their photos to the Wiki Loves Monuments competition. The standard of the winning images is incredibly high and I'm very pleased to be able to present the winners with their awards."

Robin Brown, who received a highly commended prize for his photo of Wrest Park Banqueting House said: "I'm still trying to decide if I am more delighted to have a glass trophy for the mantelpiece or in having my image selected by an exceptionally talented group of my peers for an award. I think it's probably the latter though."

Message from a Trustee: Joseph Seddon

Joseph Seddon has been a trustee since November 2013. He previously served on the Board of Wikimedia UK from April 2009 to February 2011.

Wikimedia UK's first returning Board member...

They say if you walk far enough, you will at sometime come to some place. Go straight long enough, and you will end up where you were. Up until now this has merely been a paradigm, a pattern, that happens in other people's lives. I have been involved in the movement in various guises over the last six or seven years: being a director with the UK chapter, being an editor and working in dispute resolution on the English Wikipedia and working on two fundraisers with the Wikimedia Foundation. Despite all of that though, Wikimedia UK has always been my home in the movement.

To have left the board of this chapter some two and half years ago and to have the opportunity to then return, not as a director but as the trustee of a charity, gives me a certain unique viewpoint. The chapter has achieved so much in such a short space of time. We have an office, more staff than I have fingers and activities all over the British Isles from Edinburgh to Aberystwyth, with some of the UK's finest institutions. I have the advantage of not being acclimatised to the gradational improvements. Things have changed for the better in so many ways that there is no doubt. It is important though, as a trustee, to not focus on the past nor to become stuck in the here and now, but to take lessons learnt and plan our course for the future.

Some aims for the future that are much needed are clear and apparent. We need to ensure we measure, to the best of our ability, our successes and failures, our impact on the projects and the public benefit we provide. We need to continue to work towards the challenges that face the whole movement such as editor decline and the poor diversity within our volunteer base. As well as our fantastic culture/heritage programs and our growing education program, we need to begin to identify how we can contribute to the very technology that permits our movement's existence, and use technology to support all of our strategic goals.

To be able to be part of the charity as we begin our transition into the next phase of our existence is something we should all be very excited about. If we do it well, Wikimedia UK could become something truly special.

Joseph can be contacted by email to

Hello from the Office: Stuart Prior

Stuart Prior, liaison between Wikimedia UK and Wikimania 2014 organising team.

Stuart serves as the liaison between Wikimedia UK and Wikimania 2014 organising team

Well, I've been at Wikimedia UK for a month now and there's a steep learning curve. Having come from a very corporate background it's been a slight change of ethos, and a welcome one at that. It is an interesting and often inspiring environment to work in, and it's good to meet the volunteers that drop by on a regular basis.

My tasks are to assist with the fundraising and organisation of Wikimania 2014 in August. This will be the biggest Wikimania yet, and as such there are a lot of factors to consider, but it's exciting as this is a very ambitious project. We will be reaching out to a very large community here in London, and bringing more people into the Wikimedian fold.

We will be looking for more volunteers to help us run the event a bit nearer the time in various capacities. Keep an eye out for appeals in the future.

Find out more about Wikimania 2014 at its dedicated wiki

Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU

Flag of European Union

The Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU is a proposed collection of Wikimedia chapters which are looking at ways to improve copyright regulations within the European Union by promoting free access to, and re-use of human knowledge. It proposes the expansion of the public domain in the European Union, and the acceleration of the digitisation of cultural heritage.

The first of three actions the group is seeking for is the release of all publicly funded works by EU institutions, national governments and its agencies into the public domain. Second is the expansion and harmonisation of freedom of panorama across the Union. Freedom of panorama is a provision in copyright laws that allows someone to take images or video of buildings located in public place without infringing on any copyright that may exist in the building design. Thirdly, the group seeks to enable the digitisation and use of orphan works where the rights holder is not known and cannot be discovered.

The Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU statement of intent drafted members of Wikimedia Deutschland, Belgium, Sverige, Nederlands & UK was signed by the Board of Wikimedia UK on 1 January 2014.

Upcoming: Anybody but Burns editathon

A editathon about any Scottish poet except this guy!

Which Scottish poet do you know aside from Robert Burns?

Ask someone to name a Scottish poet, the chances are you will get Robert Burns in response. He is by far Scotland's most famous poet, with Burns Night every year celebrating his life and poetry. However, Scotland has so many more wonderful poets to be proud of. The English Wikipedia category for Scottish poets consists of nearly 350 entries, and that is of course not counting those that are without an article.

Before you tuck in to your haggis wi' neeps and tatties this coming Burns Night, come join us to celebrate those literary greats who live forever in Burns' shadow and share their legacy with the would through Wikipedia! Supported by the Scottish Poetry Library, all poets and poetry enthusiasts are welcome to come along. SPL librarians will be there to offer their insight, and we encourage any established or budding poets to bring along their work to read should they feel so inspired. The aim of the event is to create or improve articles on any notable Scottish poet except The Bard.

Find out more, along with a link to the sign up page at Anybody but Burns editathon

Training the Trainers programme

Attendees of the February 2013 Training the Trainers event.

Interested in teaching others how to edit?

As a part of Wikimedia UK's remit to support Wikimedia outreach projects and develop volunteer skills, we deliver a series of workshops as part of our Train the Trainers programme where volunteer Wikimedians are taught to deliver effective training. Whether you are new to delivering training, or are already delivering professional-quality training, there is something for you to gain from attending this. All we ask for is a credible commitment to support training at future Wikimedia UK events.

The course focuses on enabling the participants to develop and deliver high quality training which draws on their own skills and expertise. You can then apply these skills whenever you run a training session. Note that this is about training, not presenting, so we will not be focusing on developing content of presentations on any particular Wikimedia project. By the end of the course the participants will be able to:

  • Set training objectives and structure a session with appropriate material to meet those objectives
  • Present information clearly to different audiences and use visual aids effectively
  • Identify ways to make the sessions interactive and participative and deal with questions.

As a part of the course you will also be receiving an hour long 1-1 telephone feedback session. This provides the opportunity to discuss your performance and reactions to the course privately. It promotes intense reflection and rounded learning. The participants will also be able to:

  • Recognise the importance of diversity in the training context
  • Respond appropriately to the needs of volunteer trainers
  • Understand the impact of different learning and communication styles when designing and delivering training
  • Use active listening to guide their interaction with participants
  • Give effective and appropriate feedback to other participants.

More details and sign up can be found at Training the Trainers/February 2014 event

Wikipedia supporters share their love of free knowledge

Thank you

The annual Wikipedia fundraising campaign took place over December with the appearance of fundraising banners across the different language sites. The online fundraising campaign aimed to raise $20 million globally, while the remainder of the Wikimedia Foundation's funding will come from individual gifts given outside the year-end campaign, and from foundation grants. The overwhelming majority of the Wikimedia Foundation's funding comes from individual readers giving an average of £10.

One of the best things about the campaign is that many people who generously donate often share their reasons why. Reading through these donor stories is genuinely inspiring and everyone connected to the encyclopaedia can be very proud of what we've created. If you love Wikipedia and want to help then you can make a donation here. If you're a UK taxpayer your donations are eligible for Gift Aid, too. We are grateful for all your support.

"The story I like to tell is that whilst I had heard of Wikipedia but only looked at it a few times thereafter, when the 2004 Tsunami occurred the day after Christmas, mainstream news organisations (TV, newspapers) were all away from their offices. That day I turned to Wikipedia to try to understand the scale of the event. It was Wiki editors 'on the ground' that created the sort of information and coverage usually considered the province of rolling news organisations only. This I now dub my 'Wiki Epiphany'."

"My world has been opened up time and time again by Wikipedia. From studying Detroit and computer programming to finding unbiased information on America's history, Wikipedia has been a beacon of free speech and information for over ten years. Sometimes, I just sit in awe of the fact that the greatest accomplishment of man was assembled mostly by volunteers, people who just wanted to make the world a better place."

"My Dad's addicted to Wikipedia. Seriously. I can't think of a single day I've seen him not go on here at least once. The man craves knowledge, and one blue link leads to another. Soon enough, he has dozens of tabs open leading to a million different things. As I hear quite often, I am my father's daughter. I was in third period US History today reading the page on Dmitri Kabalevsky during our homework time. I came on here right now to make sure it would be okay to refer to France as Gallia in the book I'm attempting to write. I come on here so many times a day, you wouldn't even believe. I absolutely love the system you all work so hard to run, and I hope Wikipedia stays online and banner free for dozens of years to come! You have my full support. :)"

We wouldn't be here without your support!

Quick updates

Community Chat

Wikimedia Community Logo

The date and location of the next Wikimedia Hackathon has been announced and will take place over 9th-11th May in Zürich, Switzerland. A long weekend filled with hacking anything related to MediaWiki or one of the Wikimedia projects, the Wikimedia Hackathon has previously been held in a number of different countries including Netherlands, India, USA, UK & Germany.

Based on the result of its Request for consultation, the Wikimedia Foundation is withdrawing its trademark registration and protection of the community logo. Originally created in 2006 by Artur Jan Fijałkowski, the logo was adopted as the logo of Meta-Wiki in 2008.

The Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart has issued a ruling affirming that the Wikimedia Foundation is a "service provider" and not a "content provider". This is based on the fact that content on Wikipedia is created and managed by the Wikimedia volunteer community as opposed to the Wikimedia Foundation itself.

Wonder what the most visited pages on the different languages Wikipedia in 2013 are, and how they differ depending on languages? Now you can find out by reading this Wikitrends report.

Wiki Loves Monuments International result

International winning photo from Wiki Loves Monuments 2013.

The overall international winners of Wiki Loves Monuments have been announced by its organising committee. As part of the competition, photos from more than 50 countries were uploaded. The first prize is a picture from David Gubler in Switzerland of a push–pull train crossing the Wiesen Viaduct over the Landwasser river between Wiesen and Filisur.

As well as the regular prizes, there were this year also three Special Awards for photos fitting a specific theme. The first of which is the Special Award for the best photo of a First World War-related monument, awarded and sponsored by Europeana. Out of 2,065 submitted photos, 25 were shortlisted and the winner selected by a vote of the Europeana community on Facebook is a picture from Elena Loredana of a cemetery of German soldiers in Tişiţa in Romania. The other two Special Awards for Arabic speaking countries and Asiatic countries, awarded and sponsored by Guiddoo were won by JoTB's picture of Ad Deir in Jordan, and Wcfan49's picture of Paisha Chia Lighthouse in Taiwan respectively.

A gallery of all the winners from each individual countries and the overall winners can be seen on here.