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Wikimedia UK Newsletter
March 2009 Issue
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Summary: With everything in place for the chapter, other than charity status, we have organised the first Annual General Meeting - your chance to influence the chapter's future and stand for the board. The bid to hold Wikimania 2010 in Oxford is coming on nicely. We also bring you the usual details of meet-ups and news coverage, and details of how to propose a project, and possibly get funding.

In this month's newsletter:

  1. Chapter formation process
  2. Annual General Meeting and Board elections
  3. Oxford Wikimania bid
  4. Project funding
  5. Meet-ups
  6. News coverage

Chapter formation process

We've started accepting members! Since we opened our bank account last week, we've been able to finish processing the membership applications received so far. We currently have 15 members, with more in the final stages of acceptance. If you've been waiting for us to be fully set up before submitting your application, then now's the time!

Annual General Meeting and Board elections

We are pleased to annouce that the first AGM of Wikimedia UK v2 will be on Sunday 26th April 2009, starting at 1pm. The AGM will elect a new Board for 2009–10 and debate the priorities of the chapter - including Wikimania, if we win the bid! All members can take part in the election or stand for the Board - this page has details of how to join and this page how to stand for the board.

When the initial board was elected in September 2008, we agreed that we would stand down if we hadn't incorporated the company within six months, and we would hold an AGM within six months of incorporation. Despite the delays experienced first in getting chapter approval and then opening the bank account, we are very happy to have met both of these deadlines.

Oxford Wikimania bid

The bid to hold Wikimania 2010, the 6th annual Wikimedia Conference, in Oxford is nearing completion. All major information about the bid must be in place before 29th March, after which the jury will begin questioning the three teams aiming to host the event.

If you would like to support the bid, please add your name to the local team, help finalise the bid, and consider joining the organising meeting on the IRC channel on Tuesday 24th March at 20:30.

Project funding

There is currently an opportunity for chapters to get funding from the Wikimedia Foundation for specific projects. Have you got a project that you'd like to get started on? We're currently asking for proposals! The deadline for the funding opportunity is the 7th of April, so don't delay!


Since the last newsletter, meet-ups have occurred in Cambridge, London and Manchester.

Sunday 8th March saw the 19th London Wikipedia meetup. The meetups have been running since June 2004 and currently take the form of an afternoon at the Penderel's Oak in Holborn on the second Sunday of every month, with people dropping in and out, as and when they can. Ten wikipedians came along, most falling within the stereotypical Wikipedia demographic of 20 to 40 year-old winter-warmer-and-cranberry-juice-drinkers, slightly too knowledgeable of wiki markup for their own good. Topics discussed included Wikimania, adminship, copyright law, hoax articles and the featured article process. The meetups are a good opportunity to meet other Wikipedia contributors and several projects have come about as a result of discussions at these meetups. The next one is due to be held in April (see this poll for the next date, as the second Sunday of April is Easter Sunday).

The 4th Manchester meetup took place on the 14th March at "The Manchester & County", a Wetherspoons pub off Piccadilly Gardens. Six Wikipedians appeared, also falling within the stereotypical Wikipedia demograph. Topics included the RfA process (including lots of juicy gossip), flagged revisions, the balance between admin duties and regular editing and Wikimedia UK. The next meetup in Manchester will be on Saturday 4th April.

News coverage

March has been a quieter time for us, with no big story dominating, but we've seen the BBC discussing Wikipedia's articles on UK politicians[1], while Jimmy Wales has been interviewed by the BBC World Service, who wondered how Wikipedia manages to remain free,[2] and Seth Finkelstein wrote a critical piece in The Guardian on inclusionism and deletionism in Wikipedia.[3]

  1. Brian Wheeler, "UK politicians' Wikipedia worries", BBC News, 6 March 2009
  2. Can Wikipedia stay free to users?, Business Daily, BBC World Service, 4 March 2009
  3. Seth Finkelstein, "Inclusion or deletion? In the end, it's actually about money", The Guardian, 5 March 2009