Summary: (to be written)
In this month's newsletter:
On 29th October the Board of Trustees appointed Thomas Dalton (aka Tango) as Head of Fundraising. His role will be to coordinate Wikimedia UK's part in the big Wikimedia fundraising drive starting at the beginning of November. We will be working with the Wikimedia Foundation and expect to raise at least £10,000 and hope to raise far more. We are still looking for volunteers to help write the text for our fundraising website, write press releases, talk to the press and many other things. If you would like to help, please e-mail Tango.
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New meeting style
With almost a complete turnout of the Board at the recent London Wikimedia Meet-up at Penderell's Oak in Holborn in early October, one conclusion was that the Board should try to use its time in Board meetings even more productively than it does at present. One suggestion that was agreed was that the Board should experiment on holding the first hour of the Board meetings on Skype, thereby, allowing business to flow faster and for more to be achieved at each meeting. The second hour of each Board meeting was to be an IRC meeting, as always, but this time it would work in a more flexible way, with Board decisions and explanation being listed and detailed with 'side-chat rooms' being open for members to ask additional questions and volunteer additional information that the Board may need. This new 'experimental' format is now running and will be reviewed by the Board in due course.
- Editor numbers
The big story in the last 2 months has been the research by Felipe Ortega showing a decrease in wikipedia editors of over 49,000, where a wikipedia editor is defined as anyone that has made an edit to Wikipedia. For more information on the numbers, see Dr Ortega's doctoral thesis and the Wikimedia Foundation's blog post.
The story was started by the Wall Street Journal, and it was covered by a range of British newspapers in late November. These included
- Guardian Techology blog, "Have you stopped editing Wikipedia? And if so, is it doomed?", "Wikipedia falling victim to a war of words", "Breakfast Briefing: German company claims Smartbook name, Wikipedia responds, and mysterious pricing"
- The Times: "Wikipedia shows signs of stalling as number of volunteers falls sharply", Comment: "Who Knows Best?", Commentary: "Wikipedia: an anti-intellectual venture to its core", "Shifting sands offer poor foundation for a dependable truth", "Five right, five wrong and five just plain weird", "Wikipedia's influence grows. But the project is still in trouble."
- Telegraph: "Wikipedia project 'losing contributors in record numbers'", "Wikipedia is becoming more like a normal encyclopaedia", "Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales denies site is 'losing' thousands of volunteer editors"
- This Is London: "Tighter rules prompt 49,000 volunteers to quit Wikipedia"
- Irish Independent: "Wikipedia project 'losing contributors in record numbers'"
- Daily Mail: "Fears over future of Wikipedia as 49,000 volunteers leave site"
- BBC: Tech blog: "Wikipedia on the wane?", "Wikipedia 'loses' 49,000 editors", http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8382477.stm "Wikipedia denies mass exodus of editors"]
- Press Association: "Wikipedia UK 'definitely not dying'"
- ITProPortal: "Wikipedia Lost Tens Of Thousands Of Editors"
- PC Pro: "Wikipedia loses 49,000 contributors"
- IT Pro: "Wikipedia has lost editors, but the numbers aren't as dramatic as one report has made them seem."
- PC World: "Struggling Wikipedia Sheds Thousands of Editors"
- V3.co.uk: "Wikipedia denies contributor exodus"
- Other coverage has included
- AP, 25 November: "2 Beefeaters fired for bullying female colleague" - "Tower spokeswoman Ruth Howlett says Cameron's entry in the online encyclopedia known as Wikipedia had been defaced as part of the campaign against her." Also covered by the Guardian and Mirror.
- Mirror, 22 November: "BBC newsgirl victim of internet hate campaign and number one suspect is colleague" - "Presenter Tasmin Lucia Khan's entry on online encyclopaedia Wikipedia was hacked into eight times"
- Guardian, 19 November: "Thierry Henry and the net: Fifa report whitewash and anger on Twitter" - "A Wikipedia edit war has also started, with disgruntled fans repeatedly trying to edit Henry's page to include references to cheating. In fact, several pages at Wikipedia have been feeling the "Henry effect" - with a battle raging over the definition of cheating in sport." - also covered by the Independent
- Telegraph, 17 November: "Jimmy Wales interview: Wikipedia is focusing on accuracy" - "Emma Barnett meets Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, in Monaco."
- Guardian, 13 November: "Wikipedia sued by German killers in privacy claim" - "Two men claim that article on online encyclopaedia Wikipedia infringes their right to privacy"
- BBC News, 13 November: "Wikipedia's future in Africa" - "Expansion into Africa and other non-English speaking areas is a top priority for Wikipedia, site founder Jimmy Wales has said."
- Daily Mail, 1 November: "British troops are told: Don’t Tweet war secrets" - "The rules also cover online encyclopedias such as Wikipedia, which troops are allowed to edit – as long as they do not alter entries relating to their work."
- Network World, 30 October: "Tiscali to offer 6.5 million music downloads in monthly deal" - "The site also promises in-depth music editorial and pulls in related artist content from sites such as YouTube and Wikipedia."
- Observer, 18 October: "House of Commons computer used to hide past of Tory ally Kaminski"
- Guardian, 17 October: "Q&A: Jimmy Wales"
- Guardian, 17 October: "Democracy in the decade of Google" - "How do I know that the first recorded use of the verb "to google" was 8 July 1998, and that Google itself initially used lawyers to discourage the use of the word-as-verb? From Wikipedia – the half-baked, crazy idea of Jimmy Wales (and others) launched in January 2001."
- Telegraph, 14 October: "The Rush Limbaugh media lynch mob" - False quotes inserted into Wikipedia first made it into a book, then into the media.
- Mirror, 13 October: "WikiReader: ex-Apple designer puts Wikipedia in your pocket"
- Telegraph, 8 October: "Wikipedia-flavoured beef on Chinese restaurant menu" - "Fans of Chinese food are accustomed to seeing unlikely combinations of flavours on menus. But beef that tastes of Wikipedia?"
- Scotsman, 7 October: "NHS staff cast the net wide when they go surfing online" - "The Evening News has obtained the website traffic of NHS Lothian's computers, which also show the ESPC site and Wikipedia to be popular resources among doctors, nurses and other health staff."
- Times, 30 September: "The gospel truth that you can write yourself" - "If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia written by readers, has one very conservative admirer. [...] Conservapedia"
- Telegraph, 28 September: "Roman Polanski's Wikipedia page frozen after 'edit war' over child sex charges" — "Roman Polanski's Wikipedia page has been frozen, after the film maker's arrest for having sex with an underage girl."
- ZDNet UK, 28 September: "Debt to Wikipedia Society" by Jake Rayson — "I use Wikipedia incessantly, for workshops, blog entries and generally finding out about things."
- The Scotsman, 24 September: "Young people need to be encouraged to use Holyrood's petitions process, MSPs told" — "Mr Crawford welcomed recommendations in a report published by Holyrood's public petitions committee in June. The report said blogs, Wikipedia and YouTube could make parliament more accessible to the public."