Newsletter/September2009

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Wikimedia UK Newsletter
September 2009 Issue
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Summary: This month, our Initiatives Director explains our Initiatives, we update you on our Membership (including some new benefits for members!), keep you informed on our Charity Status application, and update you with our regular sections regarding Other Chapters' Activities, Press Coverage, and UK Meet-ups!

In this month's newsletter:

  1. Initiatives
  2. Membership
  3. Charity status update
  4. Other Chapters' Activities
  5. Press Coverage
  6. Meet-ups

Initiatives

Schools Project

The Wikimedia UK Schools Project plans to introduce Wikimedia projects into the classroom, as a set of technical tools and studying tools. It aims to establish a series of workshops and presentations in schools, to demonstrate how to use resources from Wikimedia projects appropriately.

So far, it has completed the draft time line and budget. The Board has agreed to purchase a Laptop and associated peripherals to support this project from funds obtained in the Kick Start Grant. Ideas, thoughts, and contributions are always welcome - direct them either at the mailing list or the Schools Project Leader, Paul Williams.

Britain Loves Wikipedia

Since London Loves Wikipedia was broadened to Britain Loves Wikipedia, we started to make initial contact with museums. Currently, we have had positive feedback from those we have contacted, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London have confirmed that they will be participating again. The project aims to include the whole of the UK, so our plan is to run a pair of special events every weekend distributed around the country.

This project has also completed the draft time line. Are there particular cities that you'd like to see the event run in, or particular museums you think would be interested in joining this event? Please get in touch with the Project Leader, Mike Peel

Workplace Learning Lunches

This initiative is now actively seeking businesses who would be interested in hosting "Learning Lunches"! If you have more information on any potential businesses who will be interested in this collaboration, please contact the Project Leader, Steve Virgin.

Membership

After the 2009 AGM, we agreed to set a target of increasing our membership to 100 by the 2010 AGM, establishing the chapter as one of the top-ten chapters in the world. Since then we have welcomed five new members, and are hoping that the initiatives planned later this year, the annual Wikimedia fundraiser and the 2010 conference will boost our numbers towards the target. We have also now received permission to sell Wikimedia branded mugs, mousemats or other merchandise as a perk for our members and would like to hear what kind of things you would like us to have available.

Charity status update

We passed an important milestone this month as we submitted our charity status application to the Charity Commission. This quicker, direct approach has been possible thanks to the grant we received from the Foundation, which took us over the £5,000 income threshold. The Charity Commission say they aim to decide applications within 40 days on average, meaning we could have an answer by the end of October. However, we found with our indirect application that some people do not think our activities are sufficiently educational to qualify, so the result should not be considered a foregone conclusion. We are talking to a top charity barrister about assisting us to put our best possible case forward and will keep all our supporters informed of progress.

Other Chapters' Activities

Wikimedia Netherlands' latest report has just been published, including the success of their Wiki Loves Art project which generated over 5400 images.

Wikimedia Italy has received a writ claiming €20m for alleged defamation on the Italian Wikipedia.

Wikimedia Sweden has also published a new Report

Wikimedia Hong Kong has elected its first Board of Directors (photo).

Press Coverage

Flagged Protection

The big story on Wikipedia this month was flagged protection which we covered in a blog post. Following from a New York Times article, the UK press caught on to the story. Our Chair, Mike Peel, talked to BBC News, The Times, The UK Press Association and The Independent.

Andrew Turvey was interviewed on Dublin's Radio 4 (26 August). Also, David Gerard was interviewed by BBC Radio 2 (Chris Evans Drivetime; 26 August)) and Radio 5 (25 August), and also gave interviews on BBC Newsnight (25 August) and Sky News (26 August).

In addition, the Times also ran an article entitled "The 10 biggest Wikipedia hoaxes". The story was also covered by the Daily Mail, the Guardian Blog and The Telegraph (which also had a blog post on the story). The Guardian also ran an editorial covering it.

Resulting from the press coverage, the WMF posted a blog entry, which was covered by TechRadar and PC Pro.

Other press coverage this month included
  • 3 million articles on the English Wikipedia: Coverage continued of the 3 million article milestone on the English Wikipedia, with articles from The Telegraph. Wired repeated The Telegraph's coverage of the most popular 50 articles on the English Wikipedia so far.
  • iPhone app: The Telegraph covered the launch of the official iPhone application for Wikipedia.
  • Best Wikipedia articles: The Times Online's Comment Central gave a list of "The 10 best wikipedia entries" - chosen more for their oddity than their encyclopaedic quality.
  • Most popular articles: The Telegraph reported lists of the most popular 20 articles in 4 categories: "People", "Films and TV", "Places" and "Technology"
  • WikiTrust: Wired prematurely reported that "WikiTrust" could be coming to Wikipedia - although there are no plans yet to introduce it on Wikipedia. This was also covered by The Times.
  • Celtic Languages Internet Project: The Celtic League are proposing a project to support the Celtic language Wikipedias

Meet-ups