News from the Office/Posts

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13th September

Volunteer space in the office

While doing all the day-to-day stuff we are having to consider a small reorganisation of the office. In November 2011 this was not a problem. I sat by myself in a corner. Now we have ten staff and visitors every day. We are about to take advantage of the space next to us coming free. It is a bit bigger but only slightly more expensive. It also contains a quiet room for meetings of up to five people. That will be useful in a very noisy office! But most of all we want to design things so that they are friendly to volunteers and visitors. On the water cooler we want to know what the community would like to see in the office - please put in your suggestions. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 15:50, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

3rd September

So, Wiki Loves Monuments is under way in the UK for the first time and it's been great to see volunteers and staff getting stuck in. There's been great co-ordination of effort and it's been fascinating to see it unfold. There's been lots of late nights working on things like making sure the lists of buildings are up to date, the website is ready, the app is working... great kudos goes to all those involved, including Andrew Gray, Michael Maggs, Richard Nevell, Katie Chan, Harry Mitchell, Harry Burt and everyone else making valuable contributions behind the scenes. One of my favourite things is the church-fundraising-style thermometer pinned to the wall of the office, giving an indication of how many images have been uploaded so far and how this compares to other countries. A busy time, but a fun time. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:34, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

If you are reading this - thanks. But are you getting all the news and information you want? Please let me or Stevie Benton know.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 09:09, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

14th August

A few reflections from Wikimania 2013 in Hong Kong. First of all we are a major part of the Wikimedia world. After the Foundation itself and the German Chapter we are one of the biggest communities. Working day-to-day on all our issues it is so easy to forget how much we are doing. Our stall at the conference was a constant hub of activity with people really keen to find out what we are doing and how. The WMUK team worked hard to make friends and imported approaching 100 kilos of biscuits to keep a running English tea Party going. Second we are now doing SO much. It is impossible to keep up with it all. New Meets all over the place, strong Wikimedians in Residence, Editathons almost every week and a steadily growing band of volunteers AND Wiki Loves Monuments about to start.

June 5th

There has been a lot to report since the last post. The new team has been settling in well and I am seeing the sort of synergies that can only happen when real human beings get to know each other and share their enthusiasms. We are now a staff team that has a wealth of community experience and we are working hard to work on a volunteer strategy that will build on our volunteer ethos. In the office our desks keep moving around as our space is being adjusted. We now have a bean bag area for a more relaxed workspace. It has proved popular with our volunteers and visitors.

We also have some longer term volunteers for the summer. Lucile, referred to us through Wikimedia France is here for two months followed by Andreas who has come via Imperial College. As I write we are building up for the AGM with decisions that are vital to the community; who will our next board be, what will our programme look like in 2014-15 and should we eat at Nandos on the Friday night (do they sell beer in Nandos?)? Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 10:10, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

1 May

Some of the attendees to GLAM-Wiki 2013 at the British Library

With GLAM-Wiki 2013 in mid April and the quarterly report to the FDC due on 30th April, the past few weeks have been very busy in the office. And Daria Cybulska's job title has changed from Events Organiser to Programme Manager. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:56, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

5 April

A real feel of industry and busyness in the office this week - even more than usual. GLAM-Wiki preparations coming to a head, Jonathan and Katie now in the office, annual report being written... all good stuff. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 16:04, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

16th January

Good IRC chat this evening a whole range of topics though it does get rather surreal at times as three strings collide and you can't make out what the relationship of one thing is to the previous comment. Thanks to all who took part (about 30 people).Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 18:41, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

9th January

Last out of the office after the phone board meeting yesterday and first back in - should I order a bed? We got through a whole load of business last night and it is really exciting.

  • Agreed the budget and plans for 2013-14. Ambitious but doable.
  • Started the recruitment of three new posts, Volunteer Support Organiser, GLAM Organiser and Education Organiser.
  • Agreed to run our third Train the Trainers weekend, this time in Newcastle. Anyone from the North especially welcome.
  • Finalised arrangements that will lead to Wikimedians in residence in four important UK GLAM institutions.
  • Agreed to share funding of a full time Wikimedian in Residence post At JISC (We are the UK’s expert on digital technology for education and research.)

So lots of emails sent out this morning - hope you weren't all overwhelmed. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 14:06, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

2nd January

Today the office opened for the first time since the winter break. We received a surprise visit from Douglas Scott from Wikimedia South Africa, who just happened to be passing through. Really lovely to spend some time with colleagues from overseas, sharing our experiences of what works well, where we can improve and how we can all grow together. Hopefully Douglas found the conversation as helpful as Jon and I did. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 17:08, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

28th November

Where did the last year go? We seem to be crashing into Christmas at far too fast a rate. Richard Symonds has bought a small plastic Christmas shrub in so we can all be jolly. Just looking at the October report I can see the wealth of activities but as the financial year draws ever closer I am aware that we won't be able to do absolutely everything we had intended. With luck we will have four Wikipedians in Residence established very soon but we should have had this established many months ago. Bottom line lots of ambition but not enough human resources to do everything. I am hoping though that with the arrival of Richard Nevell as our office support person we can all make sure that at least from a staff point of view we can chase up some of the backlog and be in good shape for next year's programme. At heart though we need to grow the community with more volunteers running wikimeets, editathons etc. That way we will attract new people and grow to the size we need to be to fulfil our ambitions. I don't know whether there will be any mince pies but drop in before Christmas if you are around. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 14:14, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

15th October

Where did the last month go? As I passed my first anniversary battling sleep deprivation and a daily in-box of several hundred emails I found little time to reflect on how much had happened in the last year. It is a good day when I wake up to less than ten overnight messages. This has been a tough month for the chapter with trustees and staff facing a lot of extra challenges while trying to carry on with the normal demands of daily life. Sometimes it is hard to remember what we are all achieving and then an excited volunteer comes in for a coffee telling us how brilliant the event was they've just attended, or I chat to people at the London meet from all over London and the world who come together to demonstrate the good faith at the core of our movement. And always, always, always, in the background the gentle hum of 'the machine' creating the miracle of Wikipedia. My target for this week is to catch up on my 'to do' list, and perhaps, one evening, update that page that is annoying me! Wish me luck. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 08:09, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

17th September

Hasina at work

Wikimedia UK has two interns over the Summer. The second one, Hasina, has just finished her first week. Here is a hello message from her:

I have just finished my role as a Gamesmaker during the Paralympics , which was a truly amazing experience. I am so glad to have had the opportunity to be involved in such a big event. I am now ready to be in work mode and keen to start my internship with Wikimedia. I have just graduated this summer, I studied Politics and have had experience in many political institues such as Parliament, The London Assembly and a Think Tank Called Demos. Having experience from my past internships, I am really interested to see how Wikimedia function as a charity and still have such a big impact on spreading information just as sucessfully. Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 09:34, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

11th September

Almost a year in and planning for the next year. A huge growth in activities but if there is one failure this year it has been to enthuse a new wave of volunteers. At Wikimania Jimmy Wales asked people to put their hands up if the had edited for ten years (hurrah), nine years (hurrah) etc until he asked if there were any newbies. They got just about the biggest cheer. I hope this will be refleceted in what we are doing on the ground in the UK as we grow and expand our activities. We have about 87 people who will come out of their homes to be active. We need ten times that is we are to create new editors, admins arbcommers etc. The 2013 plan, which is taking shape on this very wiki, hopes to do this with plans for a volunteer development person and an expanded grants programme to get volunteers doing projects that might even involve them receiving enough to live on for a few weeks (gasp!). We are a volunteer movement but even volunteers need to eat and if we can help them be active by some financial support all well and good.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 16:44, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

3rd September

Back in the office after this weekend's exploits at Wikipedia Takes Coventry. A very enjoyable event, 40+ people came along to take photos of historic Coventry and learn about how to upload content to Commons. Received a lovely email, containing perhaps my favourite piece of feedback to WMUK so far: "Thank you all for yesterday's Wikipedia Takes Coventry event, we enjoyed it very much and it was great to be back out as a family doing something creative! It's been a while. :-)" Great stuff. Congratulations to HJ Mitchell and Rock drum for setting up such a great event. No time to rest too much - it's off to Edu-Wiki tomorrow for two days. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 15:16, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

23rd August

There's been lots of comings and goings to the office this week. It's been a real hive of activity, with various volunteers dropping by, our printer coming in with very welcome shortbread... A sense that lots is going on. EduWiki and GLAM Camp are on the horizon, preparations for the fundraiser are continuing, we're hoping to do something around Ada Lovelace Day and we're making our submission today to the consultation on the Communications Data Bill. There's no shortage of things to do! Suggestions and discussions around the 2013 activity plan are ongoing, lots of interesting ideas bubbling away. It feels like an exciting time. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:34, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

20th August

Isabelle Yates at work

My first week as an intern at the Wikimedia UK office coincided with Olympics Hangover Week – a sense of anticlimax and difficulty in functioning without a constant stream of sporting events to watch and medal tallies to check on an hourly basis. But it was business as usual here, and I started off my internship with preparations for the EduWiki Conference on 5th and 6th September. The Case Studies booklets explaining how universities are teaching with Wikipedia arrived, and made very interesting reading before being packed up and sent off to educational institutions all over the UK. I'm really looking forward to finding out how they're received – I wish editing Wikipedia had been part of my university curriculum! But luckily I do now know how to do it, thanks to Were SpielChequers who kindly trained me on Friday afternoon. I fear I may get addicted to correcting typos... Isabelle Yates (WMUK) (talk) 13:42, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

10th August

Nick Barratt

Busy last day before going on holiday for a couple of weeks - my first real break since starting at Wikimedia on October 10th. Isabelle, one of the two interns we are taking on over the summer, came in to meet us and didn't seem too scared. Had lunch with en:Nick Barratt fascinating guy with a wealth of knowledge about genealogy and a bringing desire to keep it ll open access. Any one interested in the area please contact Daria in the office as we need good liaison people. Lessons to be learnt from his community - 10,000 volunteer transcribers 50%women and most of whom are 60+, a part of the population we could do well to attract. Back the end of the month but hope to keep half an eye on what everyone gets up to. No broadband where I am going so will be reliant on old technology. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 14:00, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

7th August

Interesting meeting today with Gemma Griffiths and Philip Sheldrake, both of whom are friends of Wikipedia and were involved in shaping the first round of guidelines for PR representatives on engaging with Wikipedia. We discussed the second phase of this project and how we work together to develop version two. Plenty of other positive work taking place too, particularly around Edu-Wiki, the development of some wider work in the education field and our publications. Exciting to be moving forwards with some excellent projects. Plenty of media enquiries this week about Wikipedia being down. I wanted to blame chipmunk for chewing through the cables but couldn't confirm that. BBC Wales interested to learn that BBC Welsh language services get so little traffic, especially when compared with Wicipedia Cymru. Put the journalist in touch with the marvellous Robin Owain. - Stevie Benton, Communications Organiser

3rd August

Not really a quiet week (!) but one where people have kept their good humour and manners despite dealing with some very tricky issues. The changing of our chair was difficult and involved a great deal of careful thought. In the end the board came through it united and we have kept people on board that the Charity needs. Particular thanks to the members who had to put up with a small wave of emails. Especial thanks to those who sent me their comments. We are all human and so thanks to the board who voted the staff a cake to say thanks for their work during a tough week. Much appreciated. -Jon Davies, Chief Executive.

27th July

My mum never told me there would be weeks like this. Just as well really. Such a lot of balls to juggle. Simultaneous conversations with about thirty people across twelve time zones make sleeping difficult. But out on the streets relative calm prevails. The Olympic lanes have actually improved my cycle journey to work and with Bradley Wiggins for inspiration I cycle just the same speed as before but feel good, added to which we now have covered cycle parking at Wikimedia UK thanks to a grant from Transport for London.

Richard S. now back from the states - everyone soooooo relieved. He is our own one-man helpline.

The year's plans are starting to come together and the proposals for 2013 re sitting there waiting for you all to comment: 2013 Activity Plan
— Jon Davies, Chief Executive

23rd July

A week ago I was being blasted by the heat of Washington and the joys of Wikimania. Now back to the more moderate climate of London. The Olympic Torch will be coming past our building later this week so we all got out our dustpans to clear the rubbish from the back car-park. Five sacks of various pieces of nastiness.

On a personal note feel amazed that I have made it to 1001 edits on wikis. Chose two obscure but close to heart wikis to edit on for this amazing moment. Will Jimmy Wales be round with a cake?

And despite that number still yearn for the Visual Editor.
— Jon Davies, Chief Executive

19th July

Coming to the end of my third week in post as Fundraising Organiser, and things are starting to pick up! I had a great time yesterday being taught how to edit more with one of Wikimedia UK's volunteers, WSC, and have already put my lessons into practice by posting up a review page to encourage discussions about what our donor newsletters could be like...

However, most of today has been spent 'adjusting' to our fundraising database and running a number of searches - I'm trying to get together some detailed reporting on our results for various contacts from last year's fundraiser to make sure we learn any lessons they offer us, hopefully to make 2012 even better for donors, and of course for Wikimedia UK. Any questions - get in touch!
— Katherine Bavage, Fundraiser

18th July

Second day back in office after the extraordinary Wikimania conference in Washington. What a privilege to be there and meet such a great bunch of enthusiasts. One of the best things was to meet the real people behind the emails. When all is said and done emails are very poor when it comes to anything subtle, like human relationships. Therein lies a real challenge for our community. Too many assumptions and assertions in emails, not nearly enough 'assuming good faith'. We are the National Council for Voluntary Organisation's Charity of the Day! http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/
— Jon Davies, Chief Executive

13th July

Long day yesterday, lots happening around Gibraltarpedia. Didn't stop when I got home - fielding calls until 11pm from BBC Radio Wales looking to speak with Mr Monmouth, John Cummings. Very impressed that Monmouthpedia was seen as the coolest Wikimedia project of the last year!
— Stevie Benton, Communications Organiser

11th July

Plunged into the world of wiki world politics sitting in a committee room in Washington discussing how to create a sort of WikiUN with staff, exec etc.. Our own Chair has been selected to chair and bring peace and harmony. He is doing a good job but people very risk averse and unwilling to move too quickly. Kudos to the Russian rep who despite some sceptisism has proposed a solution based on the Russian political system.

Bottom line trying to decide on chicken or egg is always impossible. Danger of doing nothing. Too many people sitting quietly.
— Jon Davies, Chief Executive

10th July

The Russian language Wikipedia is blacked out today in protest at a piece of legislation making its way through the Russian Duma. Details can be found here (in Russian and English). I arranged a TV appearance for a Russian Wikipedian to discuss the issue on BBC World News channel. The interview appeared to go well.
— Stevie Benton, Communications Organiser

5th July

It's fun, yet nail-biting, to be working with a printer overseas. Different paper sizes (and weights), different conventions for artwork and so on... Perhaps the most unusual thing is not being able to see and hold a full proof of the work. Here's hoping that 1,000 copies of a booklet on how to create a Wiki town arrive safe and sound at the Wikimania venue on Monday so the hardy event team can pop them into the delegate packs. Not sure whether I'm excited or nervy about the end product...
— Stevie Benton, Communications Organiser

4th July

Daria, our events organiser, has arrived safely in New York and will no doubt have a great day celebrating US Independence. Personally I think they made a mistake and have lost out on having cricket as a national sport. On the other hand they would probably thrash us. The follow up from the board meeting at the weekend led to pages of actions for staff and trustees. I have now posted three major pieces of work on the wiki for comment. Hope the community has the energy to contribute. And as I approach my 1000's edit on wikis I have asked for suggestions as to what it should be. Fae came up with what looks like a week's work. Hmmm. something simpler perhaps?
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

29th June 2012

Build up to board meeting and the sound of whole Norwegian woods being felled for the paper almost audible. Taking sage advice we have done our office shopping well in advance of the Olympics. Visions of stationary stationery vans haunting office managers all over London. Panic buying of toilet paper only weeks away. Sandra, the new CE of Wikimedia Netherlands spends the day with us. The first time ever for an excuse for the whole office to go for a pizza together. Nobody brave/stupid enough to drink anything but water; members be proud of us!
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

22nd June 2012

A busy, busy week but much achieved.

Our events organiser got her visa on second attempt to go to to the states to Wikimania. Everyone very happy and a certain amount of fizzy wine supped to celebrate.

Tom Watson MP, famous Murdoch baiter but more crucially champion of open access, agreed to come into the office. Board meeting next week and masses to do to prepare crucial report. Need to have next year's programme in draft very soon. Trying to pin down the whole Developer issue. EVERYONE has an opinion but in the meantime we really need technical support. The trustee dealing with it is a saint.
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

15th June 2012

Job Description for Developer agreed but lots of discussion still. Running out of time if we are to have someone in post for fundraiser. Build up to WW1 editathon. All seems to be running very smoothly. Staff have mobile phones at last. Very important so that they are not subsidising the charity and can hand the phone over to colleagues when on holiday or if they leave. Androids so lots of learning to do. Many recommendations for apps coming in. Round Table with Jimmy Wales over his government work goes very well with 100% attendance, mostly thanks to Diane from Creative Commons. First Train the Trainers seems to have gone well - received positive feedback from trainers and trainees.
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

8th June 2012

After much legal and small 'p' political discussion we are close to signing this year's fundraiser agreement with the Foundation. Much of the debate involves getting the balance of the relationship right. Lots of goodwill on both sides helps. GLAM camp at Mozilla's swanky new London HQ in Charing Cross Road. A laptop and a serious look gets you admission and access to their kitchen! Popped in on Norwegian Wikimedians during private visit to Oslo. They have big ambitions and two languages to work with apart from English which they all speak fluently and edit on.
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

1st June 2012

Five year plan discussion have died down - will publish soon for board. Long discussions about how to support new board, especially around issues of governance. Fundraiser chosen and references proved good. She will start July 1st. October 1st when I was sitting alone seems a long time ago.
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

25th May 2012

Very slow progress on Developer post/contract. So many things to consider. Mike Peel working hard at trying to come up with a solution. Fundraiser interviews at weekend. Fingers crossed for good outcome. Met British Library and Creative Commons people. Agreed to get Jimmy Wales to a round table to brief him about issues regarding the work he is doing on open access to academic work for the government. Six weekly call with other CE's of European chapters. Fun and useful.
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

18th May 2012

At rapid pace we re-publish copies of 'how to edit' booklet. Almost daily requests for copies. Office admin a very patient guy but now we have a written version so he doesn't have to explain edits down the phone. AGM passes smoothly - no big hassles and elections held in good spirit despite inevitable casualties as so many standing for the seven places. Big potential to make it more successful next year with more events and activities. Advertising for fundraiser post - not many enquiries - disappointing as other jobs attracted lots of interest. London Wikimeet full of interesting charaters. Gave James tin of beans to celebrate its 57th meeting. He eventually understood although possibly unfamiliar with baked beans in his part of Islington.
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

11th May 2012

Prepared five year plan for AGM Carried the Train the Trainers actions forward. Annual report looks good and is something we can give to people to explain our role. New bank account working really well. Some progress on Pensions. Utube channel completely revised by one special volunteer.
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

4th May 2012

Updated this year's plan on Wiki - a major piece of work and lateral thinking. Training the Trainers tender deadline came with five applicants. Annual report at printers - Comms organiser's first publication. Fingers crossed we spelt Wikimedia right! Panel evaluated the Train the trainers and came to a sophisticated set of decisions that should offer a lot of scope for rapid and sustainable development. Working with a key volunteer to develop work in Wales. Jimmy Wales came in to visit staff on his wy from the Vatican to Mexico!
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

20th April 2012

Exec in office Preparations for AGM continue Financial information and archives coming together. Our grant to Foundation received at last after issues around a misdirected code.
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

13th April 2012

Drafting a Five Year plan for everyone to look at (and tear to shreds). Ne Bank Account with proper charity style procedures on point of starting. Will be great relief. Events Organiser away but her work carries on with almost daily deliveries of badges, t-shirts etc. Even Monmouthpedia beer mats.
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

4th April 2012

Attended Berlin Chapters meeting - great to meet so many people Events Organiser off on pre-booked holiday - we will miss her but she has left a list of things for us to do! Began to pay outstanding invoices after financial delays owing to handover from old system.
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

30th March 2012

Lots of preparation for board meeting. Payroll worked, now for setting up a pension. Lots of visitors - curious to see what we look like on earth. Comms organiser and events organiser eating the work. Feels so good to have support.
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

23rd March 2012

Comms Organiser starts - dump shedload of work on him - much more than I would usually but it seems to have motivated him! Charity Commission have rejected the complaint and will file our reply for future use. Assembling PQASSO (Charity evaluation)evidence for review of Charity. IRC session with community - not a huge take-up but fun. AGM notices sent out. Organising payroll from the office for the first time - fingers crossed. Trying to pin down the numbers for Monmouthpedia budget. Set up visitors desks for volunteers etc in office.
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

16th March 2012

Google apps, calendar etc working. Not open source (alas) but very useful. Complaint received about us from Charity Commission. Liaised with Foundation. Predictable issue but must be treated professionally.
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

9th March 2012

ASA satisfied with our explanation. No action. Started organising the AGM in earnest. Exec meeting in Manchester. Lots to discuss but lots of volunteer time involved and two staff days time taken up. Much of this could be done my phone or email? Listened in to Foundation staff 'Metrics' meeting. Quite inspirational. Lots of energy , very little politics with a samll 'p'
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

2nd March 2012

ASA complaint. Finalised reply and sent in. Response within two weeks. Comms post: provided feedback to thirty applicants and interviewed candidates who requested it. Events Organiser started on Thursday. Oozes enthusiasm and efficiency.
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

27th February 2012

Communications organiser appointed and so from March 19th we will have our core staff of four in place supporting ll the activities of our volunteers and trustees. Great news that there will be four Wikimeets between now and the end of April, London (natch) Monmouth, Liverpool and Manchester. I really enjoyed the one in Cambridge. A great place for Wikimedians to meet and enjoy each other's company.
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

31st January 2012

January swept past and even involved working over the Christmas and new Year to get everything done. We appointed an Events organiser who will soon become familiar to the community, Daria Cybulska, and planned for recruiting the Comms organiser. Hundreds of people interested with a lot of applications to plough through. Sadly despite all our efforts, few Wikipedians applying. I suspect most have established careers or enjoy being volunteers. I could not get to the Finance meeting but has a quick day trip to meet colleagues at Wikimedia France. We have a great deal in common and lots of experiences to share
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

2nd December 2011

This week has been dominated by being at The Foundation offices in San Francisco meeting dozens of key staffers and building relationships for the future. I am writing a report on this that I shared. The final part of the month was occupied with creating systems to ensure the charity works efficiently and properly. I also instituted the employment of the Events and Communications Oragnisers.
— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

24th November 2011 - November

  • A very busy week. The office has attracted quite a few visitors already and Arne Klempert dropped by today.
  • But it isn't all glamour - have spent two weeks on and off ensuring that we are completely insured for any probability. As of 4.30 today we are, just in time for a visit to the Foundation tomorrow.
  • Arriving the day after Thanksgiving so expect lots of Turkey soup and sandwiches.
  • Will report back from the mother ship.

— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

11th November 2011 - November

  • Almost half way through and a lot more has happened.
  • On the 14th the fund raiser started. First reports are good despite the world's stock markets crashing in flames all around us. In difficult times people obviously need us even more.
  • And a UK office opens at last that is more than a few cardboard boxes in someone's front room.
  • Small first steps but we have four desks, four phones and four ethernet cables plus a large supply of tea and coffee. Wireless router imminent.
  • Over the next three months this will become the dynamo for all the WMUK activities, supporting volunteers and making the 2012 programme reality.
  • Visitors are welcome but email before you want to come in as I am often in other places meeting people.
  • And today I am meeting Sue for the first time in a week of activities that should see me completely exhausted by Sunday night.
  • Meanwhile in Coventry Richard is holding the fort in the face of the piles of work generated by the fundraiser. Not sure he will be able to sleep for a while.

— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK

2 November 2011 - My October

I have now been in post a whole month and wanted to share with you some of the highlights and bring you up to date with our plans and activities:

  • Met loads of you at The Herbert in Coventry and also helped Fiona and Richard retain their sanity by running the Wikipedia stall at the Warwick University Fresher's Fair for a while.
  • Have met all the trustees and a few ex-trustees to talk about our hopes and plans for 2012. Trip to Brisle next Monday.
  • Found us four desks in a charity sharing office from November 14th. Working from home is all very well but my family want their living room back! The address will be:
Wikimedia UK,
Development House,
56-64 Leonard Street,
London
EC2A 4LT
  • There will be wireless and hopefully room for people to drop in. Watch this space.
  • Enjoyed the EGM - thanks to the stranger who bought me a drink - I owe you.
  • Witnessed John training curators at the British Museum
  • Spent three days in Berlin being looked after by Wikimedia Deutschland. A lot to learn from them. They have 20 staff and have already outgrown their offices. In their next one they hope to have space for the community with technical resources to help.
  • Now planning for budgets, the fundraiser, the next board meeting and Sue Gardner's visit to London.
  • ...and spent a few days as a guest of our wonderful NHS - no details but not riding my bike for another week!

— Jon Davies, CE, WMUK