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Wikimedia UK Newsletter
April 2009 Issue
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Summary: Wikimedia UK has held its first AGM! The AGM included numerous speakers talking about a wide range of topics, ranging from collaboration with the BBC to reaching out around the world with Wikipedia on a DVD! A number of official actions were also taken - including the passing of six Resolutions, the election of the new seven-person Board, and the first new Board meeting! Also this month, an overview of the Chapters meeting in Berlin, of which two of our number were present, and details of the upcoming meetups this month!

In this month's newsletter:

  1. Annual General Meeting
  2. New Board
  3. Chapters Meeting
  4. Meet-ups

Annual General Meeting

The first Wikimedia UK AGM was held on Sunday 26th April at the Kro Bar in Manchester. The day saw a new Board be elected to serve, numerous speakers cover a range of highly interesting topics, as well as the general chit-chat that comes with any wiki-meet! The minutes from the AGM can be found at Meetings/2009 AGM/Minutes, and the minutes from the first meeting of the new Board (see below!) can be found at Meetings/2009-04-26.

Steve Bowbrick, Editor of the BBC Radio 4 blog, spoke to the assembled members about how to open the BBC archives for use within Wikimedia projects, including 10 million images, and 4.5 miles of paper archives. He explained that the BBC is currently undergoing staffing changes in the areas surrounding the archives, and that the future may hold some bright things for us! He also spoke about how he is trying to encourage BBC staff to contribute to Wikipedia without fear of losing their jobs over it. He explained how he wished to set up a "Wikipedia Club" within the BBC. He also spoke about how he believes the chapter could interact with the BBC, clearly illustrated by the image at [1], which was circulated amongst the assembled.

Duncan Harris, speaking on behalf of SOS Children's Villages, spoke about the Wikipedia for Schools project (see [2]), and offered an insight into how it all works "behind the scenes". He spoke about how the charity selects and distributes - for free - the "selection" of articles - now totalling around 3.5GB - to those places with a computer but without or otherwise unable to access an internet connection. The articles are selected based on the UK's National Curriculum - a widely popular curriculum around the world - and formatted to fit into the proprietary software developed especially for the DVD.

Joe Seddon spoke about the Oxford Wikimania 2010 bid, and its strengths and weaknesses. He explained that, while the UK may not be given the chance to host it this time around, it is feasible for the UK to bid again in 3 to 4 years (after the continent rotation had taken place). In the meantime, we could host our own UK Conference, which could incorporate not only Wikimedia projects, but the Chaptter's AGM, as well as expand into an open-source movement conference / event.

Andrew Turvey and Mike Peel spoke very briefly about cultural partnerships with establishments around the UK, especially with regard to the Wikipedia Loves Art project. Andrew commented on how successful the WLA project had been, generating hundreds of free-license images for Commons, and that he hoped to continue with these projects in the future.

New Board

As part of the 2009 AGM, a new Board was elected by the present members and those voting by proxy. Therefore, the board currently stands as:

  • Michael Peel - Chair (assuming role of Communication Officer)
  • Andrew Turvey - Secretary
  • Tom Holden - Treasurer (assuming role of Membership Secretary)
  • Zeyi He - Initiatives Director
  • Joseph Seddon - Events Director
  • Steve Virgin - Corporate Relations Director
  • Paul Williams - Volunteers Director

The full results of the board election can be found in the 2009 AGM Minutes

Chapters Meeting

The second Chapters Meeting - involving representatives from all chapters of the Wikimedia Foundation - took place in Berlin at the start of this month. Michael Peel and Thomas Dalton (Tango) represented Wikimedia UK at the meeting, which covered a broad range of subjects from fundraising and outreach to trademarks and common projects. Fundamentally, the meeting was aimed at increasing the interactions and improving relationships between the chapters, and served to set up longer-term "committees" or "workgroups" to encourage the chapters to work closer in the future. The event was organized on meta, and the schedule is available online.


The next scheduled meetups in the UK are as follows: