Talk:Main Page/2008

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This is an archive page, please do not edit here. This page is for discussion threads that have been dormant since 2008.

other informing people stuff

I posted a quick notice at w:en:Wikipedia talk:UK Wikipedians' notice board#Wikimedia UK v2.0 the wub "?!" 16:57, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Also, if I have time tomorrow I'll write up a brief article for the Signpost, I'll probably post a link here for people to check/discuss. the wub "?!" 17:02, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

en:User:Cfp/Sandbox2

Village pump notice

A plan is in the works to found a new UK chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation and we are ready to begin gathering support from the community. If you are interesting in being part of a new UK chapter either as a member or a board member or just want to register a general interest, please head over to m:Wikimedia UK v2.0 and let us know and help put some finishing touches to the plans. An election will shortly be held for the initial board who will oversee the process of founding the company and accepting application to membership. They will then call an AGM to formally elect a new board to take the chapter forward to begin fundraising and supporting the Wikimedia community in the UK in whatever ways we can. (User:Geni)

How about:
A plan is in the works to found a new UK chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, and we are currently gathering support from the community. If you are interesting in being part of this new UK chapter as a member, a board member or as someone with a general interest in the chapter, please head over to m:Wikimedia UK v2.0 and let us know. We welcome help in making finishing touches to the plans. An election will be held shortly for the initial board, who will oversee the process of founding the company and accepting membership applications. They will then call an AGM to formally elect a new board, which will take the chapter forward, starting to raise funds and generally supporting the Wikimedia community in the UK.
although "We welcome help in making finishing touches to the plans." doesn't fit in particularly well... Mike Peel 18:56, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
"we also welcome" perhaps?Geni 20:52, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
With that change, I think it's a good notice. I might reverse board member and member, though, since board members are also members. "as a board member, a regular member or just as someone with a general interest" (then it's in decreasing order of commitment) --Tango 23:21, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't think the risk of confusion is high enough to worry.Geni 23:24, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it's confusing, it just reads slightly better. We're not going for a literary masterpiece, though, so it's not that important. --Tango 23:32, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

A couple of comments

It's great to see movement with this: from lurking on the mailing list for a while, it does sound like starting from a new slate is needed. I've added myself to the list(s), but have more than a few questions. A few to kick things off, and to make sure I'm thinking along the right lines:

As the webpage is currently written, WMUK2 seems to solely aim towards being a company/charity. I get that that has to be the top-most priority, but I'm worried that there isn't any discussion or description of the intended aims of the group, both long-term and short-term, outside this. Was this a conscious decision, and if so why? I'm worried that without at least some indication of plans beyond a company/charity, a lot of potential supporters will be turned off.

Are there plans to transfer over things like the website domain (wikimedia.org.uk) from WMUK1 to 2? If it is of use, then I'm willing to put together and/or host the website for the company.

Mike Peel 18:33, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Mostly because some of us percive that the board being destracted from setting things up was the problem last time. Once we've sorted out who the board will be those not on the board will probably start collecting the many many ideas for what WMUK can do and looking for futher ones.Geni 20:45, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, it's going to be a chapter and we know roughly what chapters do, they support the goals of the WMF/Wikimedia community is their home country. What that involves depends on what people choose to do. The way I see it, the chapter will probably only directly handle fundraising and other financial matters, with other things it will just support the local community. The board probably aren't going to be organising all the events and publicity and everything (they may choose to organise some, of course), that will be up to the community. The board will then approve the plans and hand over the cash (and throw their titles around where needed). What people choose to do with the chapter doesn't really matter at this stage, we're just talking about getting it set up. As for the domain name, I did bring it up on IRC, and I think the conclusion was that we need to talk to JamesF (who apparently owns it). I don't believe anyone has contacted him about it yet, but I'm sure they will in due course (the domain can't be transferred until there is something to transfer it to, so there is no hurry). --Tango 23:17, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
James F registered the domain name in use for WMUK and I currently host the email and content and will do so probably until WMUKv2 is incorporated (or accepted by WMF) which seems the right way to go about it. --Alison Wheeler 22:12, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

MoA, AoA

I have copied the Mem and Arts from the previous incarnation to Wikimedia UK v2.0/MoA and Wikimedia UK v2.0/AoA, changed the names and removed the old goals (I think we should rethink them slightly). Please make comments on their talk pages regarding changes you think should be made. --Tango 00:23, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Companies Act 2006 caused some changes to the MoA and AoA - at least for charities.[1] I wonder if it would be best to start from the latest Charity Commission models, for the final version at least? [2] Rwendland 01:16, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
You may have a good point, there. I was thinking sticking with the old one makes it easier to get approval from WMF, but starting again from the new models may make it easier in the long run with the charity commission, which is probably the more important consideration (the WMF is far more flexible about the details, I imagine). --Tango 04:14, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

I've replaced the versions up before with versions from the new models, but they need some work doing on the formatting (don't worry too much about it, though, I'll convert it all to LaTeX before we're done, so if you want to tidy it up, just make it readable). I've done a bit of fill in the blanks work on them, and selected the options I think are best for the MoA (haven't gotten around to doing that for the AoA yet). Comments on the talk page about whether I made the right choices would be appreciated. You can find some guidance notes on the Charity Commission's version ([3]). --Tango 21:32, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Congrats! - and some ideas....

G'day folks! - and congrat.s on moving this forward. Advice I'd offer on first impression (for what it's worth) is to try and really 'reboot' all discussions from here on in. To slow down, and ensure everything is thought through, and done properly (it goes without saying that I see no indication that this isn't in fact the case!! :-) ).

I'd say it's worth taking a look at Wikimedia Australia, something I've been a little involved with - and (again, just first impression really) - I think it'd be worth making pages here like Wikimedia_UK_v2.0/aims Wikimedia_UK_v2.0/planned activities etc. - I'd say the actual work you're planning on doing / supporting should be a higher priority than just rigorous deadlines for chapter formation itself as a goal per se...

Finally, one little small one is that I would like to be a paid up 'member' in whatever way you guys figure out is best - and I would like to be able to vote in elections for Directors (or other office bearers) - however that's implemented technically / systemically, is that what you chaps are aiming for? :-) again well done! well done! well done! :-) cheers, Privatemusings 21:49, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

you can see sort of what I mean by reviewing this version of the page - I'd suggest it as an improvement :-) Privatemusings 22:33, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
The goals that are written in the Memorandum are somewhat different from what we actually plan to do. The official goals need to be pretty general so we don't unnecessarily restrict ourselves - I've started discussion of those goals on /MoA. What people plan to do with the chapter is up to them and doesn't really matter at this stage. --Tango 22:38, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Paid up members are "supporting members", members that are allowed to vote are "guarantor members". Technically those are independent, but I think it's generally expected that guarantor members will also be supporting members. The other way round is another matter, though - there are legal requirements and liabilities for guarantor members, so not all supporting members will be guarantor members. As for planned activities, the way I see it, the chapter exists to facilitate the community in whatever they want to do, it's not necessary for those running the chapter to be involved in coming up with ideas for things to do (they can be if they want, of course). --Tango 22:36, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
"What people plan to do with the chapter is up to them and doesn't really matter at this stage"... I'd add the rather important ..'to you' to that bit :-) - I think it's fantastic that you're so motivated to get the chapter off the ground - I appreciate it personally (because I'm english 'n all, and would like to see a flourishing 'home' chapter!). If I'm reading you correctly, you're seeing your role as a facilitator - or maybe that you're able to help push through whatever hurdles there may be and actually bring a chapter into existence! - Given the history of this chapter, this perspective is entirely understandable! I would however look for leadership at the board level of any chapter as to the planned activities, and how you might achieve them.. give it some thought! :-) Privatemusings 22:45, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Not really. The sole aim of the initial board is to get things off the ground. It's the post AGM board that is meant to start doing things beyond that.Geni 23:13, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
If I'm on the board once all the initial hurdles have been leaped, then I will certainly give thought to what to do next, but I really don't see the role of the board as one of leadership. I would take an active role in working with the community to work out what activities would be a) achievable and b) beneficial, but beyond vetoing things that can't be done for financial or legal reasons I don't see that as a leadership role. --Tango 23:58, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

type of company and banking

Not trying to complicate matters; please feel free to ignore this comment. There is a newish type of company in the United Kingdom called "community interest company" (CIC). I wonder whether Wikimedia UK 2.0 can be both a company limited by guarantee, a co-operative, and a CIC?

Also, the Co-operative Bank seems to be most aligned to the ethos, if they would allow the company to set up an account with them. – Kaihsu 19:03, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

If I'm reading that article correctly, CIC's don't have the tax benefits of a charity, which makes it pretty useless for our purposes. Thanks for the comment, though, it's good to consider all the options. Personally, I think we should decide on a bank based on what they'll offer us rather than ideological reasons - it would be nice to go with a bank with a similar ethos, but it doesn't really gain us much. --Tango 19:14, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
As an FYI it was the Co-op bank who turned down WMUK v1 at least twice. The UK banking system seems to require that even for a 'body corporate' (ie Company legally independent of the people involved with it) that all the individuals associated with it (Board, etc) have perfect credit histories. A side of WMUK v1 was that that status proved difficult to document to their satisfaction for the people involved. --Alison Wheeler 22:16, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Possible source of interest

There is a list here of people that expressed an interest in joining the last attempt. If any of them are still active and haven't added themselves to our lists, it is probably worth contacting them and making sure they've heard of our attempt. --Tango 23:27, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Decisions

An email I also sent to the email list:

I'm not entirely sure I understand the process here for making decisions. Reading through http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_UK_v2.0 I can see a few decisions are already being presented as if they have been made:

  • The initial Board will have 3-5 members
  • The initial Board will serve until the AGM only for six months
  • WM-UK will be a Company Limited by Guarantee
  • The name will be "Wiki Information Network"

How have/should these decisions be made? a consensus on the email list? a consensus on the wiki page?

Please enlighten me! AndrewRT 21:54, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

It is a legal necessity of every newly-registered company (share-issuing or by-guarantee) that the first Board - which are the people who are the signatories to the Articles and Memorandum - only serve until the first AGM, which can be up to 15-18 months after the Company is founded. At that meeting they must resign but can re-stand. I am pleased that the original reasoning for not trying to register the company as WMUK has been seen as the right solution and like the choice of "WIN" ;-P --Alison Wheeler 22:20, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for getting back to me Alison. I've corrected my post above to make it clearer. AndrewRT 22:25, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Number of Board members

Personally I would like to suggest this is increased to seven. Firstly because there seems to be enough interest from enough people and secondly because there will always be some people who can't make the meeting and 7 means you need 4 people to get quorum. Five board members (3 for quorum) seems too low for me. AndrewRT 22:52, 8 September 2008 (UTC) See comment below

Actually, under the default articles of association, the quorum would be 2, it's 2 or the closest number to a third of the total, whichever is larger (we can change that if people want, though - having a low quorum is probably good though, while it gives individual board members more power it means things can get done quicker if a full board meeting proves impossible to organise). Expanding the board may be a good idea once we're up and running but while getting set up it is best to keep it small since there will be times that we need everyone in one place (signing the governing documents before we send them to companies house, for example). The more people there are needing to sign, the harder it will be to find a time they can all be together. (I don't think we can just post the docs round and get people to sign one at a time, since the signatures need to be witnessed.) --Tango 23:23, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Now I understand the plan I agree - I think 5 is probably about the right number as it's small enough be be efficient and large enough to share the burden and be inclusive. AndrewRT 22:08, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

squid server

What, pray tell, is one of these, and why would Wikimedia want to host one? AndrewRT 22:54, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

It's a cache server, it stores pages that have already been produced by the main servers so they can be quickly sent out to other people that request the same page (only works for anons, since logged in users need the links in the top corner adding, etc). Having a squid server in the UK would speed up response times for UK users since the request wouldn't need to travel so far. There are possibly legal concerns, however - having servers in the UK may make the foundation fall more under UK jurisdiction and the UK's libel laws are stricter than elsewhere and the foundation could get into difficulties. We would have to seek detailed legal advice before proceeding with any such plan. --Tango 23:18, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
FWIW, although this is suggested fairly often, i'm generally against it. response time from Amsterdam is already very fast, and adding new clusters significantly increases workload, as well as the likelihood of problems. if WMUK wants to support the site infrastructure, it would make more sense to provide hardware for one of the existing clusters (like Wikimedia Deutschland, who purchased several squids for Amsterdam). Kate 01:39, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
In the short term, I agree. In the long term, the Amsterdam cluster will get so large it may make sense to split it up. We would need to discuss it with the tech team, they'll be able to tell us how best to spend any money we want to spend on servers. --Tango 09:39, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, look at Kate. :D KTC 11:54, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
WMUKv1 had discussions about this in the past (including with the former counsel for the WMF) and felt that the risks outweighed the benefits. As noted, the real and present danger is the definition the law applies to "transitive" and whether or not the cache is a "server" or just a pathway. I use Firefox and have a small extension which tells me where the server I am using is located. At the moment it has the flag of the Netherlands even though I am editing a page which is only held in the USA. If a court decided that the squid (cache) server in the UK was actually "hosting" the content then immediately WMUK would become liable for what was held on "its server". This is not something that is a good idea with UK libel laws! (and is, indeed, the reason why WMF rejected putting any squids of its own in the UK where, after all, there is a lot of good connectivity/peering which would make sense to connect with). --Alison Wheeler 22:23, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

to add to my previous comment, although i'm against hosting servers in the UK, we (the tech team) may want to put a router in the UK at some point (mainly to connect to w:LINX). this is something it would make sense for us (WMUK) to help with (as it improves connectivity for UK users without nearly as much risk as hosting content). Kate 07:51, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

We would still need to run that by some legal types - as Alison says, just having the data go through a piece of hardware in the UK could be enough to cause problems. --Tango 11:37, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
well, Alison's example was that a cache server (squid) makes it appear that the content is hosted in the UK (and for all intents and purposes, it is - that's what a cache does). but a router doesn't store the content, it just forward it, and Alison's flag would still show Holland (or the U.S.). of course, it would still be prudent to seek legal advice being doing that; but the Foundation will, some day, almost certainly have a router in the UK, and if that's likely to cause problems for WMUK, it's probably something that should be looked at sooner rather than later. 87.194.173.122
Well, it will only cause problems for WMUK if we have anything to do with it - the WMF can do what they like, it won't affect us. --Tango 13:05, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
i'm not so sure about that; Wikimedia Deutschland have had at least one court case about content on Wikipedia, which they had nothing to do with. (previous comment was mine, btw) Kate
WM DE does own some servers, though, so they do have something to do with it. (They won the case, though, as memory serves.) --Tango 13:29, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
i'm fairly sure they didn't own any servers at the time; and that the justification wasn't that, but rather that the plaintiff (wrongly) sued wikimedia.de thinking they were the legal representative of Wikipedia in Germany, simply because they are "Wikimedia" and are in Germany. i also believe defending a court case is something to be avoided even if we do end up winning ;-) Kate
I don't think we can avoid people suing us because they are too stupid to work out who is at fault, although it would be nice to if we can. At least we don't have the stupid US system of having to pay your own legal fees when someone files a frivolous lawsuit against you. --Tango 15:52, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
  • There could/would also be legal implications re picture copyrights, since the very useful Corel/Bridgeman US decision, which Commons now uses does not reflect UK law, which still recognises photographers copyright in pictures of 2D art etc, however old. (Johnbod on en/commons)

minimum Age

Not sure if there are any under 18s interested in becoming directors, but strictly speaking anyone over 16 can become a director. See Wikimedia UK v2.0/Candidate FAQs. Should we lower this limit? AndrewRT 23:48, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

The charities commission has some advice on trustees being under 18 [4] and it's rather difficult to follow, so I think it's best to avoid it entirely. For example, they suggest imposing a limit on what proportion of the board can be under 18, if we were to do that we would need a more complicated election system - let's keep things simple. --Tango 09:37, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Refusing CRB check

[cross-posting to mailing list]

I've just seen that AndrewRT has refused a CRB check. I think it's probably simplest not to disqualify him from the election and let people vote for him if they choose (if there's a consensus to disqualify him he won't win the election, so we might as well wait and see), however if the majority of the board decides in favour of CRB checks (at whatever time that decision is made - I'd suggest sooner rather than later if AndrewRT is elected) his board membership would be terminated. Anyone disagree? --Tango 23:36, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

For my sins, I'm a company director, ceo, company secretary, treasurer of a political party and secretary of an heritage charity. I have never had to undergo a CRB check, and I understand it is only considered obligatory where people are working regularly with children. I think Andrew's statement is merely that they are unnecessary and an intrusion on privacy.
My observation of what's going on, only commenced after the round-robin message - but I am concerned that the process is being unnecessarily complex. The purpose of an initial board is merely to set the mechanics of the process in train. They will not have any financial responsibilities before the first AGM - which will elect a board and determine further aims and objectives. The best way to do that is merely designate a geographically (and reasonably trustworthy sub-committee) to get on with the job - as defined by the community.
Neither the charity commissioners, nor bankers, are going to be impressed by a random collection of hairies (!) - regardless of the level of support from the wiki community. The role of trustees is always going to be problematic. Their main legal function is to act as responsible agents of the charity commissioners and to ensure that the charity doesn't make ultra-vires payments. How will candidates balance their legal responsibilities with the democratic process? 89.243.230.51 13:06, 10 September 2008 (UTC) {en:user:kbthompson}.
It's a membership organisation - the members have legal powers to elect board members, so there is no conflict between trustee responsibilities and democracy. It's just the initial board that is elected informally, after that everything will be very formal and done by the book. --Tango 13:19, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
By way of explanation, I don't think it's right that every Board member be required to agree to a CRB check. I certainly agree that Board members (and others) who deal with children - either in connection with school visits or processing membership applications from U18s must undergo CRB checks and any Board member in that situation who refuses (or indeed fails the check!) should be forced to step aside. However, requiring this of every single Board member is just red tape creep at its worst. Thankfully I dont have to deal with CRBs on a regular basis but my impression and limited experience is it's a bureaucratic, cumbersome, costly and onerous process. We should not do it unless there are reasonable grounds to do it.
In practice I expect the interim Board will have little if anything to do with schools - the agenda is packed enough with setting up the company and all that entails. I certainly will have nothing to do with this area if elected so I don't see why CRBs should be at all relevant. 155.202.254.82 17:43, 10 September 2008 (UTC) (AndrewRT)
I am a charity trustee, and the Charity Commission recommends that trustees are CRB'd. I will provide a link her to the relevant advice soon. DuncanHill 13:26, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Slight correction to myself, the commission recommends that when a charity can obtain CRBs, it should obtain them. The link is [5]. DuncanHill 13:28, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Signpost article

Signpost article

For those that haven't seen it. AndrewRT 21:16, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Charity Commission guidance on registering a charity

There are 6 pages of FAQs here [6] for people seeking to register a charity. DuncanHill 13:31, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Geographical scope of objectives

The scope of the objectives, as they appear on the current page, seem overly broad to me in their geographical area - the whole planet. Surely a chapter's scope is primarily the area that the chapter is based in (i.e. the UK) first, with the rest of the world secondary? Or, at the very least, we should work within the UK to start with - world domination can come later ;-) . Mike Peel 06:35, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

It's important that the objectives we specify in the governing documents are broad enough that we don't unnecessarily restrict ourselves. Our main priority should certainly be the UK, but we should leave our options open for broader work in the future (changing the official objects of a charity requires an enormous amount of paperwork, so let's get it right from the start!). We really need to have two lists of objectives, an official one that we'll put on in the governing documents and an unofficial one that will actually guide us in our activities. There has been very little discussion so far on objectives (we all know what they are, we just need to decide how to write them down), but it is something we need to work on before we can get any further than electing a board. --Tango 08:01, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
The Wikimedia chapter requirement (Requirements for future chapters#Geographical base) state that chapters must be "geographically based/anchored in a legal jurisdiction". Strictly speaking our legal jurisdiction will be England and Wales rather than the UK - (as we will be incorporated in E&W) - but there are no practical obstacles to an E&W company operating in Scotland or Northern Ireland except for having to have tre Registered Office in E&W and being subject to E&W law. As Tango said, our objectives need to be permissive so that we could, for instance, support a server based in Amsterdam or donate to WMF located in the US. I suggest our objectives need to be drafted to say both that our base and focus will be the UK and that we may fulfill our objectives by acting elsewhere in the world. As Tango also said, we need tiers of objectives - the legal ones in our Mem&Arts that absolutely restrict our activities and hence should be as permissive as possible whilst satisfying WMF, Charity Commission and Companies Act requirements and the Board/AGM agreed priorities which can be readily changed and set out what we will actually do. AndrewRT 13:39, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I've started a page at Wikimedia_UK_v2.0/Objectives making the distinction between the two areas. AndrewRT 13:49, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Message encouraging people to vote

I suggest the following are substd' onto peoples' page:

Template:Wikimedia UK Vote Member

or

Template:Wikimedia UK Vote Supporter

Please feel free to make changes.

AndrewRT 16:02, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

heh - that'll learn me to check these pages more thoroughly before diving in! - I've just dropped notes off to all the 'Guarantor' members informing them that the ballot boxes are open, and inviting them to vote... here's the text fyi;

A warm hello to all those signed up as guarantor members of the soon-to-be-rebooted UK chapter! Voting is now open over at meta - there's tons of information online over there, and the mailing list has been very active too. Discussion, comment (and even the inevitable technical gremlins!) are most welcome at the meta pages, otherwise please do send in your vote/s, and tell a friend about the chapter too :-) Privatemusings 22:33, 20 September 2008 (UTC)I'm not actually involved in the election workings, and am just dropping these notes in to help try and spread the word :-) I welcome any or all comment too, but 'election related' stuff really is better suited to the meta pages :-)

I'll hold on dropping notes off for the supporting members, because the 'substd' thing above sounds sensible :-) Privatemusings 22:33, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Great work PM - your one looks a lot better than mine! AndrewRT 09:21, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
I've added the message to everyone's talk page where they are listed on the "supporters" list but not on the "guarantor members" list. AndrewRT 16:26, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Great stuff Andrew... I'm sure they're rolling in now... :-) Privatemusings 06:46, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
You know. I got one of those messages and it really encouraged me to vote, I liked it! I would have voted anyway, but I felt; welcomed! Good job! :-) fr33kman t - c 02:33, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Maybe I missed it, but I don't remember seeing such a message. --Dweller 11:57, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

You only signed up as being interested in being kept informed, not in being a member, so you weren't eligible to vote. --Tango 12:18, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I would have thought that it would be worth informing people who say they want to be informed that a) there's a vote in the offing and b) they've been disenfranchised. Not impressed with this. --Dweller 14:26, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree. Not a good start. This process did not exist in Wikimedia UK the first time around. There are too few people involved in voting if voting is what you want. To start the formation Wiki Educational Resources Ltd, there was a gathering in an upstairs room in a pub with Jimbo... Gordo 18:18, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry to hear that you feel you have been disenfranchised. It does say in the section you signed up in "If you do not wish to be a member at this time ... please add your name below" so I'm sorry if you didn't realise that meant you wouldn't have a vote. I'll make sure that when the Board invite people to apply for voting membership in the next few weeks they also send these invites to those who signed up as "supporters".
As for participation, 26 people voted for the initial Board out of the 46 people who signed up as interested in voting membership. The 46 people compares to nearly 1,500 wikipedians who are listed as from the UK, so I agree the penetration rate is quite low. Hopefully when the first regular Board is elected (as opposed to this interim Board whose purpose is only to complete the formalities of registration and then hold the first AGM) we can get at least 100 members, hopefully many more. Please let us know if you have any ideas for how we could encourage more participation. AndrewRT 00:01, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree that to allow 46 out of a possible 1,500 to take part is not a participatory approach. But then neither is a meeting in a pub upstairs room. Gordo 07:27, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
We gave everyone the opportunity to sign up, advertised it as widely as we could manage and then invited everyone who signed up to vote. I can't see any other way we could have done it - that's how membership organisations work. Do you have any alternative suggestion? AndrewRT 21:41, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Book a room in an pub? Gordo 09:05, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps we should try that for the AGM, thereby making the most of both approaches! AndrewRT 23:10, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Timeline changes

I've suggest some changes at Talk:Wikimedia_UK_v2.0/Timeline#Some_Changes AndrewRT 17:49, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

"Chapter"

(See Wikimedia_UK_v2.0#Interested_in_being_kept_informed) Is there any chance the use of the word "chapter" can be discontinued or replaced? It's a horrible Americanism - and the whole point of this thing is that we're British. --Dweller 11:56, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

The WMF is American and they are the ones using the term. While the OED does say this use is US English, their earliest use is from 1815, so it's a very old Americanism. Why do you think it's so horrible? --Tango 12:17, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Probably because I'm English, British, European, define me in many ways, but not American. I similarly don't use "color" or "freeway" and when someone talks about going to the "bathroom", I assume they want to wash. --Dweller 14:33, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Well it will be known as wikimedia UK once up and running.Geni 18:47, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Are they really chapters anyway? See [7] which says a branch, usually restricted to a given locality, of a society, organization, fraternity, etc. As many are at pains to point out, we are affiliated to but not a branch of the Foundation. Gordo 07:35, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Wikimedia Foundation sets the terminology - we just follow it. If you think it should be called something else, you need to raise it with the Foundation, not us. We just follow their lead! AndrewRT 21:43, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Indeed you do... Gordo 09:10, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Message about membership fees

Hi all,

Here's the message I'm planning on putting on the (primarily en.wp) talk pages of those that have shown an interest in WMUK by putting their names under the Guarantor, Supporter and Interested lists:

Hello! Thanks for showing an interest in Wikimedia UK v2.0. Formation of the company is currently underway under the official name "Wiki UK Limited", and we are hoping to start accepting membership in the near future. We have been drawing up a set of membership guidelines, determining what membership levels we'll have (we plan on starting off with just standard Membership, formerly known as Guarantor Membership, with supporting membership / friends scheme coming later), who can apply for membership (everyone), what information we'll collect on the application form, why applications may be rejected, and data retention. Your input on all of this would be appreciated. We're especially after the community's thoughts on what the membership fee should be. Please leave a message on the talk page with your thoughts.
Also, we're currently setting up a monthly newsletter to keep everyone informed about the to-be-Chapter's progress. If you would like to receive this newsletter, please put your username down on this page.
Thanks again. Mike Peel 09:46, 8 November 2008 (UTC) (Membership Secretary, Wikimedia UK [Proposed])

Comments/suggestions for improvement are more than welcome. I'll circulate this around this evening. Thanks. Mike Peel 09:46, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Message has now been sent around; it was delivered to the en.wp talk pages of all but 5 users under the assumption that that would be their main account, with the remaining left on either meta (3), en.wikiversity (1) and ru.wikipedia (1). --Mike Peel 20:09, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
It's a good message. I am eagerly watching the newsletter subscription page, I think that should give us a decent idea of how much interest there still is (it's looking good so far). --Tango 20:26, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

low cost ideas

Looking at things that won't cost very much. The ones that come to mind fall into two/three groups. Useing the name to get into areas that would otherwise be hard to get into (museam backrooms bits of industrial archology) or doing much the same for major document collections. The other is useing the name to get the idea of releaseing under a free license into the heads of those looking to carry out significant digitalisation projects.Geni 16:57, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for these ideas - I've added them to Wikimedia_UK_v2.0#Potential_future_activities AndrewRT 20:42, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Resolution to delegate powers

I've just seen the resolution that's been proposed for tomorrows meeting giving two board members extremely wide ranging powers - I strongly advise against it (I'm not even convinced it's legal). Such powers should only be delegated for specific purposes. As it stands, that resolution allows either of those board members to unilaterally commit the company to spending all its money on anything they like. You can form a committee of board members and grant them powers to do particular things, but you need to be specific about what they are meant to be doing. Better yet, you decide what to do in general board meetings and just delegate the actual implementation (the details of how to implement it can be delegated as well as long as the general purpose and a budget is agreed by the whole board). --Tango 18:04, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

The purpose of this resolution is just to give the two people the authority to sign cheques. We would not have blanket authority to agree expenditure that the Board had not authorised - it is just a practical measure so that we can pay expenses when need be. Do you think we need more controls on this? AndrewRT 18:28, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
You need to change the wording of the resolution then, because that's not what it says. Anyone who is a signatory for the bank account can sign cheques, I'm not sure you need an explicit resolution for that (although one wouldn't hurt, and one is required should you want to restrict it further). The significant thing is authorising expenditure, which only the board as a whole should do (or, at least, they should assign a budget and the delegate could authorise payments within that budget). I would advise a wording along the lines of: "Any two of the following may sign cheques or otherwise make such payments as have been agreed in principle by the board: ..." You might also want to include something to say that authority only applies while they are members of the board (alternatively, you can specify "Treasurer and Secretary" rather than names - that might be better). (I see you've already changed it, I'm not really sure I see the point of it in its current form, the board has already agreed to open a bank account and mandated the treasurer to do so, what further authority is required?) --Tango 19:05, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes you're right - looking at the resolution as drafted it is a bit ott. I've toned it down a bit and will look at doing further at tomorrow's meeting. The bank requires the Board to do a resolution like this: (See [8] page 3)
pursuant to section 82 of the Charities Act 1993, [] and [] have been given a general authority to enter into obligations on our behalf and that a copy of the trustees’ resolution confirming such delegation shall be attached to the application form and mandate. (Charities only – please print names of two authorised signatories.)
AndrewRT 23:25, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I've looked up that section of the Charities Act 1993 and what it's talking about is authorising people to actually sign things which the charity is a party to. It's not talking about actually deciding to enter into the obligation, but the actual signature saying that the charity has agreed to it. To make it clear what is going on, I suggest adding the phrase "Pursuant to Section 82 of the Charities Act 1993" to the resolution. You may also want to make it clear that it's just for things the board has agreed to (I think the bank wants more than just authorisation for the opening of the account, since they say "general authority"). Something like: "Pursuant to Section 82 of the Charities Act 1993, the Board of Directors confers upon X and Y, acting together, a general authority to execute in the name and on behalf of the charity assurances or other deeds or instruments for giving effect to transactions to which the charity is a party and have been approved by the Board or its delegate(s)." (That's mostly copied from the Act, although I've changed "trustees" to "charity" since the Act seems to be written from the perspective of an unincorporated charity, so doesn't quite make sense for us.) The Act also allows for the authority to be conferred in some way other than to named individuals - for example, you may want to consider "confers upon any two directors acting together" or "confers upon the Treasurer and the Secretary acting together" or anything like that (the wording is mine, but I'm reasonably sure that's what the Act is talking about). How exactly you would fill out of the bank's form for that, I don't know, but they would probably accept just the names on the form as long as the supporting documentation makes it clear that those names correspond with the people described in the resolution. (Incidentally, it seems odd for the Chair not to be one of the people, but maybe that's just me.) --Tango 00:07, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks as always for your input! I definitely agree with you about referencing the Act & I've made that change. The Board will probably not specifically agree for each and every checque that's signed, which is why I think it goes beyond just opening the account. I'm not sure about the rest of your wording change - I'll make sure it's discussed tonight (hopefully you will be there?) The Chair specifically asked not to be one of the initial people - he might be added later - see the IRC log for details. AndrewRT 18:08, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I'll be playing poker. I think the resolution needs to be more than just about the bank account in order to satisfy the bank - it's not a "general authority" if it's restricted to one thing (I'm not entirely sure why they need them to have a general authority, but if that's what they ask for you had better do it). While the board won't explicitly approve each and every cheque, they will need to approve all expenditure or specifically delegate that to someone with a set budget (that's why my wording included "or their delegate(s)"). If the charity gets to be quite large that delegation could be pretty general (eg. you delegate all administrative decisions to a hired manager and give them a massive budget and they only need to talk to the board in order to report back or get their budget increased) but while we're very small I would expect the board to decide most things as a group and delegation would be for very specific things (delegate booking the AGM to someone and give them a budget of £500 for hiring and catering, say, and they could then make decisions about specifically where to hire and who to get to do the catering). --Tango 19:48, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Hi Tango. Thanks again for your contributions to this - hope you were happy with the resolution we ended up with (here) AndrewRT 20:36, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
It's almost exactly the resolution I suggested, so yes, I'm happy with it! --Tango 21:26, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Excellent! AndrewRT 21:57, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Election rules

I've starting some discussions at Talk:Wikimedia_UK_v2.0/Election_Rules on how we should run elections at the AGM. AndrewRT 01:00, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

How are we doing

Just thought now might be a good time to ask how people think the Initial Board is doing with WMUKv2? It's been two months since we were elected and we've achieved quite a bit, but there's also quite a few things left to do before the AGM. Have we been effective and efficient? Have we been open and transparant? Is there anything we should be doing differently? Any other comments? All feedback - positive or negative - would be interesting to hear. Thanks AndrewRT 23:16, 29 November 2008 (UTC) (CoSec Wiki UK Ltd)

Well, there's been the odd occasion when you've disagreed with me, you really should stop that... ;) Seriously, though, I think the facts speak for themselves - you're on schedule to have everything ready for the AGM in January as planned, so you can't be doing too badly! Openness and transparency have been very good (from what I can tell there are a few discussions going on in private, but it seems like they're just technicalities of procedure and the like that don't require any kind of public comment, and the one time you've held a private board meeting was for a legitimate reason). You seem to be working effectively, some of the early board meetings weren't very efficient (I'm sure that 5 hour meeting could have been better handled - you were discussing the details of grammar and punctuation in a board meeting, which really isn't necessary, for example), but now the governing documents are out of the way things seem to have improved. There are some issues with discussions being split between the mailing list and meta, which isn't ideal - I suggest discussion takes place on meta and emails just say "Go [here] to comments on such-and-such." At the end of day, you all seem to be doing a fantastic job - well done, and thank you! --Tango 23:50, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

inviting people to join

Can I ask what have we done so far to invite people to join, and what more could we do to drum up interest? AndrewRT 00:26, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

So far, we have:
  • Put links on the meta pages
  • Mentioned it in the WMUK newsletter
  • Sent an email to the mailing list about it
  • Sent a message round to all people who signed up as interested to let them know
From thinking about it for a few minutes, we could:
  • Get it mentioned in the Signpost (which Warofdreams is working on already), Wikipedia Weekly, etc.
  • Send around messages to the UK-based Wikiprojects
  • Mention it in the Village Pump(s)
  • Get it mentioned in the various Wiki blogs
  • Start actually doing stuff, and whilst we're doing it let people know that we exist
However, I'm inclined to do a lot of the "We could" stuff once we're actually accepting membership applications - that's a much better situation to be in compared with just inviting applications. Mike Peel 11:12, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Size of board

There has been some discussion, in passing, about increasing the board to 7 (or maybe even more) people. I think we should discuss that sooner rather than later - how many board positions are available may affect people's decisions about whether or not to stand for the board (more positions means more chance of getting elected and less work to do if you are, so will probably increase the number of candidates), and that decision needs to be made some time in advance of the AGM (14 clear days if memory serves, but sooner than that if you want to get many of the proxy votes). I think we should discuss it here and then have a final vote on the matter at the AGM (before the election, obviously). So, what are the options? I think an odd number of board members is a good idea to make the chance of an tie less likely (I believe a tied vote always fails, but it's not a good position to be in). The minimum is 3, so that gives us 3, 5, 7 or 9 as practical choices (11 or more seems ridiculous to me, but we can discuss it if anyone wants to). 3 means a lot of work for each person and a big problem if one person is unable to fulfil their duties for whatever reason, so I think we can rule that out. With 9 people you are likely to have the board dominated by a few with some people not being involved in discussion at all and just voting (an extremely good chair might be able to draw everyone into discussion, but it would take a concious effort), so there isn't much point having that many people. That gives us a choice between 5 and 7. 5 has the advantage of it being easier to get everyone in the same place (or same IRC channel) at the same time and makes discussion easier. 7 has the advantage of less workload per person, less damage if someone can't fulfil their duties, and greater representation of the membership. If Wikimedia UK is as successful as I hope (and expect) it will be, I think there may well be enough work after a few years for a 7 person board to be essential (unless we hire staff, I suppose, but that would require a little more time - we would need to be confident we can sustain the levels of income necessary). There may be an advantage in keeping the board small for a year or two to aid us in getting on our feet (a large portion of the basic setup will have been done by the current board before the AGM, it seems, but there will be plenty left to do - establishing relationships with the press, sorting out fundraising, setting up all the necessary internal bureaucracy [the current board have started that too, but there is plenty left to do there - we should probably set up a reserve policy for example, more detailed policies on expenses and other spending, etc.], etc.). Personally, I don't know where I stand on this one and look forward to reading everyone else's points of view. --Tango 22:08, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

I tried to start a discussion here: Talk:Wikimedia_UK_v2.0/Election_Rules#Number_of_Directors but as you can see didn't get much response! This page might be better place to have it - thanks for starting it off!
I don't think we have to decide until after the bank account is opened and the AGM is called, but it is still good to start the discussion now! However, I don't agree we should wait until the AGM actually meets - that is after candidates have put their names forward and proxy voting has taken place; I think it should be decided by the initial Board after consultation with the community here and on the email list with a resolution put to the AGM to confirm.
Although we have had very good attendence so far with the initial Board (100% except for one person (ahem) whose attendance record is currently only 80%), I think it's better for us to plan on having lower attendence than that - particularly over summer. I think the Board should still have the critical mass to continue when some are absent and be able to make credible decisions. With 5 people, quorum would be 3 meaning 2 people voting yes could, thoeretically, carry a decision. A Board of 7 would require 4 as quorum and 3 people voting yes - which I'd be more comfortable with. Seven is also closer to the average for the chapters I surveyed (see Wikimedia_UK_v2.0/Election_Rules#Number_of_Directors AndrewRT 23:23, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
My hope was that we would reach a consensus here and the vote at the AGM would just be a formality - I think it is important that decisions like that are made formally by the membership. An alternative to having a larger board is just increasing the quorum, although that makes it difficult to arrange meetings when things need to be decided at short notice (and can't practically be done by written resolution), so I wouldn't advise it. Comparing to other chapters is helpful, it would also be interesting to know what size board is typical for UK charities with memberships in the 100s, but I have no idea where to find such numbers. --Tango 23:40, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
I think an odd number of board members is a good idea to make the chance of an tie less likely (I believe a tied vote always fails, but it's not a good position to be in). - Is there no provision for the Chair having a casting vote? Six is, IMO, the logical number for the Board (it easily splits to two threes or three twos if parallel tasks are requires) and if the Chair were to only have a casting vote, he would need cast it only in the case of abstentions. LondonStatto 01:20, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I seem to remember reading somewhere that legislation doesn't allow the chair to have a casting vote anymore. I'll try and confirm that... --Tango 13:19, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Found it: [9] (2nd bullet point under section 1(a)). --Tango 13:36, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
My opinion is that we should have a maximum of 7 board members for now, for the reasons mentioned above, plus a couple more. First, I know at least one person is/was considering not running for the board at the AGM because they didn't want to run against the current board as it might be thought of as ungrateful. Second, it lets more people get involved with the work (meaning, hopefully, that we can get more work done), whilst not turning into a large bureaucracy. That second is especially important with the wikimania bid. Mike Peel 09:30, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
That's a good point - having some more trustees would enable us to have someone specifically assigned to work on the bid (as chapter-bid liaison, if not actually working directly on the bid - probably both). Bid work could well require the full time commitment reasonable from one person, and a board of 5 may not be able to spare someone. (Oh, and if it was me you were referring to as considering not running, don't worry - I wouldn't feel entirely comfortable with it, but I wouldn't let that get in the way of my quest for world domination!) --Tango 10:22, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I think that we've had a good number of reasons for a limit of 7 board members. I don't think we can rule out a larger board at some point in the future; more board members mean more people able to take responsibility for things, and it's not essential for every board member to attend every meeting, nor for every board member to participate in every discussion. But I agree that for time being, 7 people should be plenty to co-ordinate the activities of the organisation and represent the membership. Warofdreams 19:01, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I think if we end up with enough work to do to require more than 7 people we would want to come up with a different governance model than having the board do everything. It may be possible to hire staff by that point, if not we can come up with a way to involve the general membership more. While individual board members can occasionally miss meetings, they do need to be aware of everything that is going on - they have a legal obligation in that respect. --Tango 19:21, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Hiring staff seems a good longer-term plan, but we'd have to ensure that it was the best use of our finances - if something could be done by adding two board members, that might be preferable to employing a member of staff. I'd like to try to involve the general membership as much as possible now, not waiting until there's too much for the board to cover, but managing a budget for a project, for example, should be restricted to board members. Warofdreams 21:57, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
A member of staff is worth about 40 hours a week, I would be surprised if board members are able to contribute 20 hours a week consistently. There is also the benefit that staff work office hours which is usually precisely the time that board members are busy, so having staff available to answer the phones is very useful. But that's a discussion for another day. I agree the membership should be involved from the beginning, but there are various ways manage things. At first I would expect board members to have a very hands-on role in organising activities with members, as we get bigger it may be necessary to assign a member to manage the project with the board playing an oversight role. --Tango 00:02, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Suggestion

Per point 10 on the "Potential future activities" list; might I suggest universities as a good source? My university has a mass of texts and journals no longer copyrighted (we're talking journals from the 1840's, here), as well as a historical documents collection. Contacting the universities or simply looking at collaborations between chapter members at the same educational institute could work. Comments? Ironholds 06:05, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Yup a good idea. The Bodleian has an existing project to digitise old texts and I'd imagine other universities are doing similar things, so there's certainly potential for partnerships as well. --cfp 19:20, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. What exactly does it take to do so, if I may ask? I'm trying to see if my uni would even have the capacity. We have a shedload of journals (including, which I find hilarious, the leather-sellers journal, coated in leather and the only journal with a disintegrating cover. Obviously not very good at their jobs) but I'm not sure if we'd actually be able to digitise them. Ironholds 00:27, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Most in copyright journals have already been digitised. But to digitise older ones requires anything from a desktop scanner, to a professional OCR machine. I'd suggest we don't want to be (and in any case probably wouldn't be allowed to) digitise such items ourselves, but instead one to attach to the output process, offering classification, hosting etc. --cfp 13:44, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Charities and VAT

Was just investigating what VAT we can claim back/have to pay. My conclusion (roughly) is that at least for the foreseeable future we won't be able to claim VAT back on anything we're buying, but neither will we have to pay VAT on our incomes. So all fairly simple. For details see this PDF from HMRC and this HMRC page, saved here mostly for my future reference. --cfp 19:14, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia Loves Art

Hi all,

I'm starting to get some more details together about the events at the Victoria & Albert Museum that we're running as part of the Wikipedia Loves Art project.

The V&A are organising their launch event on Sunday 1st February - time to be confirmed. If you can come down that day or otherwise contribute either in person or on wiki during February please sign you name up here

Please spread the word to anyone else you know who may be interested - these groups have already been notified: and please add in any other groups you contact.

Lastly, we're planning a short discussion on irc:wikimedia-uk to organise the event and sort out how the V&A element is going to fit in with the international project - details on the main page.

If you can think of anything else please post on the project page!

Thanks AndrewRT 00:49, 31 December 2008 (UTC)