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Below is the Wikimedia UK monthly report for the period 1 to 31 January 2012. If you want to keep up with the chapter's activities as they happen, please subscribe to our blog, join our mailing list, and/or follow us on Twitter. If you have any questions or comments, please drop us a line on this report's talk page.

Program activities

GLAM activities

See also the This Month in GLAM UK report for this month.
One of the images donated by Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry

Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry

  • Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry contributed several watercolours of Coventry and the surrounding area to Wikimedia Commons.
  • Herbert Art Gallery and Museum also hosted a talk entitled "Wikipedia and Me" this month. Presenter Roger Bamkin (Victuallers) gave an introduction to Wikipedia and with the assistance of local Wikipedian Harry Mitchell (HJ Mitchell) helped attendees make their first edits.


  • Monmouth Museum started to contribute several photographs from the several thousand they intend to release. MonmouthpediA created 50 new articles this month (several of which appeared in the "Did You Know" section on the Main Page) and improved another 100.


Education projects

Martin Poulter, along with two members of Wikipedians at Imperial College, visited Oxford University on 27th January to train fourteen graduate students in basic Wikipedia editing. This is part of the Free Speech Debate project led by Prof. Timothy Garton Ash, which is creating its own multilingual site at and is also improving Wikipedia articles. The target articles, which participants will improve over the next six months, are "Freedom of speech" in Arabic, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Urdu.

The Free Speech Debate project was launched at a public talk featuring Jimmy Wales and Timothy Garton Ash. Despite being streamed online, it filled up the lecture theatre and an overflow room. Wikipedia, and its blackout the previous day, were the main focus of discussion. One Twitter comment described the event as a "love fest for Wikipedia". Prof. Ash acknowledged this, saying that the encyclopedia's success was something for other crowdsourcing projects to learn from.


Wikimedia UK's site now has a voluminous section for trainers, including tips, syllabuses, ideas for interactive exercises and a suggested evaluation form. This is intended to support volunteers who want to run training or skill-sharing events. Comments and improvements are invited, especially feedback from putting the ideas into practice.

Expert outreach

The Girl Geek Dinner group in Bristol celebrated Wikipedia's 11th birthday with a training event/ editathon at the University of Bristol's Virtual Reality Suite. Wikimedia UK provided experienced Wiki editors and a birthday cake. Among the edits was a new stub page for the Nobel Women's Intiative.

OTRS workshop

Attendees during the workshop.

On 7-8 January we ran an OTRS workshop at the Wikimedia UK offices. OTRS volunteers handle e-mails sent to the various e-mail addresses for different Wikimedia projects, and their work includes answering questions and concerns from readers, BLP issues, complaints about copyright and permissions to reuse images and text. The workshop was well attended, with over a dozen people coming along from across the UK, and from as far away as Germany (thanks to Wikimedia Deutschland) and the USA (thanks to the Wikimedia Foundation). They discussed a range of issues from technical improvements to the OTRS system to recruiting OTRS volunteers. There were also several talks.

Further reading


Other activities

The Liverpool wikimeet this month
  • No microgrants were approved this month.


This month's major news story was the English Wikipedia blackout against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) that took place on 18 January. The blackout was a community decision; Wikimedia UK supported the community's decision, and explained it to the media and public. Roger Bamkin, Jon Davies, David Gerard, Martin Poulter and Steve Virgin gave many interviews to the media, supporting the Wikimedia Foundation's media communications led by Jimmy Wales, Sue Gardner and Jay Walsh. WMUK also put out two blog posts: [1] [2]

Newspaper coverage
UK Wikimedian blogs

More information

UK press coverage (and coverage of UK projects & activities)


MonmouthpediA Cup cakes for meeting with local business people

Wikimedia fundraiser

PR company and Stella Artois

Oxford free speech project

Related to

Orange making Wikipedia available data-free in Africa and the Middle East

Android App



Johann Hari


Upcoming activities in February

For events in March and onwards, please see Events.

Administrative activities

Board activities

Board meetings

A particularly important decision this month was the resolution approving our statement on fundraising and funds dissemination principles. Two of our board members will be attending the Finance meeting in Paris in February to continue participating in these discussions, which have already been extensively discussed on Meta.

We are currently planning a Board Interest Day, to be held in London on 11 February, ahead of the board elections in May. See our blog post for more information.

News from the Chief Exec

For information on Jon's activities this month, see News from the Office.

Fundraising and Budgeting

During the annual Wikimedia fundraiser, we raised over £1 million for the Wikimedia movement, thanks to over 43,000 UK donors! This was the first year when we were able to offer direct debits and Gift Aid, and we saw a considerable take-up of both.

We received £23,226.94 in one-off donations this month, with 987 individual donors. The average donation amount was £23.53. 392 of these donors have had Gift Aid Declarations made and matched with their records. If anyone would like a full (but anonymised) csv file with more information, please get in touch with Richard and let him know your requirements.

Payment Instrument Number of Donations
Cheque 187
CAF Cheque 14
Cash 2
PayPal 783
Postal Order 1

There were 5,978 direct debit donations this month, raising a total of £23,001.62.

Our 2012 budget is now available, and our 2012 Activity Plan has been updated accordingly. We are looking forward to a very active and exciting year!


This month the chapter began recruiting for a Communications Organiser and interviews were conducted for the Events Organiser.

An appointment was made with the Events Organiser starting on March 1st


The office attracted a wide range of volunteers and visitors. Richard and Jon gradually made sure that it was properly functioning. The addition of a hat stand has made it a lot tidier.

We held our OTRS event over a weekend and this went well.