Water cooler/2014

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Invitation to Chapters and Photographers for the European Parliament Project 2014

Photographers needed

Hello everyone, please see the below information regarding a new project on Commons that's looking to help photograph and record members of the European Parliament. The group working on the project are looking for volunteers to help out with this piece of work and Wikimedia UK will consider providing funding for someone to go and help out. I've copied the below directly from the message originally circulated about the project so that those interested can get full details and context. Wikimedia UK also has equipment that we can loan for use on the project, including camera, lights, lenses and a sound recorder. Please comment below if you're interested, or feel free to email me directly. Thank you. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:56, 3 January 2014 (UTC)


Some might have heard about the State Parliament Projects done in Germany and Austria since 2009: A bunch of Wikipedians and photographers meet politicians in the parliament, shoot professional photos, discuss their Wikipedia articles etc. This way hundreds of free licensed, high quality images have been made, Wikipedia articles have been improved. In the latest project at Schwerin (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) we added videos, politicians give a short introduction about themselves, their position and political focus in German and in their mother tongue if different from German. About 20 photographers were able to participate and processes how to work with the parliament's administration, how to interact with the politicians, how to efficiently take a lot of photos in a short time and with good quality have been established.

Next Level: European Parliament

Now we would like to take this to next level: After contacting the European Parliament I was able to get their approval, the support by the parties and a date! Unfortunately the date is already in February, 3rd to 7th, as we have to use the short time gap between budget deliberations and elections. MEPs only travel to the EP when deliberations are ongoing but then they are also busy with meetings, as soon as the election preperation starts there won't be any time for our project within the next 6 months. Anyway I am sure we can do that - the elections are also a great opportunity to raise awareness on our material we have in Wikipedia and on Commons. It is also an excellent opportunity to bring together volunteers in doing our core work together, maybe we can transfer the idea of Parliament Projects to other countries. Volunteers get the opportunity to learn from each other - the EP is a very challenging project, having more than 700 MEPs to be handled within a few days. And Wikipedia may improve its articles, also by bringing together volunteers from different EU countries. Many MEPs have their articles only in a few of the European languages, some not even in their native language!

Your Chapter Involved

We are looking forward to get volunteers from as many countries as possible involved in this project. In order to be handle it we need approx. 35 people to help. Obviously the german and austrian photographers are already waiting for it, from past projects they already know what will go on. But there is much more to it: We want your volunteers! Imagine a project where we could bring together volunteers from all 24 language communities in the EU - that is what we are trying!

Therefore we ask you for a favour:

  • please forward this invitation to your local community - you can point them to our project page on Wikimedia Commons:


  • does your chapter provide travel support for those volunteers in your country who want to participate? Please do so. Your chapter pays for the transportation to / from Strasbourg and the accommodation (around 300 EUR per person for all 6 nights), we take care of the rest (transportation hotel - EP, catering etc.)


  • does your chapter have photographic equipment we might need? We could use DSLRs, flash units, background systems, lenses...


  • we would like to supply the volunteers with t-shirts or hoodies with Wikipedia logo or similar - for a unified appearance and to make them visible as volunteers and Wikimedians. Is your chapter (or the WMF?)

interested in providing 90 shirts / hoodies? (We planned 2 pc. per person as they will be worn almost one week.)


Existing online resources

Could we encourage volunteers to first think of uploading public domain/copyright free available media published by institutions such as the European Parliament Information Office in the United Kingdom, and to check if there are other media packs available to release on request from their off-line archives, before making plans to create amateur new media? My experience with uploading over 5,000 photographs relating to politicians from the Nordic Region was that this provided a plentiful supply of top quality photographs to illustrate Wikipedias in several languages. These photographs cost nothing in travel or equipment and so initial projects of this type are likely to be of incredibly high "bang for the buck" in terms of using the charity's funds.

If anyone finds such an archive with several hundred or more media files, and would like my help in a month or two with a mass upload, I would be happy to help out by making this part of my 2014 Faebot batch upload projects as well as claiming this as a success under the European Parliament Project umbrella. Thanks -- (talk) 17:58, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Scholarship to attend Learning Day and EduWiki Conference 2014 in Serbia

NoviBG Nov30 2005.jpg

To keep the conversation together and make it easier to link to the call and discussion in the future, use the Talk:Wikimedia Serbia EduWiki Conference 2014 Scholarship page there. Call content transcluded:

Wikimedia Serbia EduWiki Conference 2014

Wikimedia Serbia is organising an event called EduWiki Conference 2014 on Monday 24 March at the Belgrade Youth Center (Belgrade Serbia); this will be mostly in Serbian. Learning Day, an internal meeting between members of the WMRS education project and Wikimedians from other chapters takes place on Sunday 23 March, the day before the conference; this will be in English. This meeting will take place in Wikimedia Serbia Office. For more information please check the web page for this event from WMRS (in English).

WMUK is offering one scholarship (i.e. covering travel and accommodation expenses) to an active volunteer from the Wikimedia UK community willing to give a 15-minute presentation at the Learning Day. This scholarship is to cover a proposal made directly by the chapter in relation to its main Education-related activities for the Learning Day. We therefore need a volunteer to present the main Education-related work of the chapter at this event. Ideally, the presentation should be about at least three of the following topics:

The call for applications for this scholarship is now closed.

The successful scholarship applicant will be required to write reports about the Learning Day for the Wikimedia UK wiki and/or blog before and after traveling to Belgrade.

PLEASE NOTE: This scholarship offer does not exclude us from considering a separate request for support from any other individual interested in presenting their Education-related work, should their proposal be accepted for this conference in Serbia. Wikimedia Serbia is accepting individual proposals for presentations until Monday 6 January, as per the email circulated by WMRS on the Education mailing list.

Looking for a Wikimedia Training Coordinator

Wici Cymru and Wikimedia UK are looking for a Wales Coordinator to develop the Wicipedia Cymraeg and English Wikipedia in Wales through encouraging and training new editors via our Llwybrau Byw - Living Paths Project.

The Coordinator must have experience of editing Wikimedia projects (both English and Welsh) and supporting volunteers and training on a professional level. The work will involve organising and delivering training sessions throughout Wales.

Fluency in both the Welsh and English language is essential.

The post is for 6 months and the successful applicant will be seconded to Wici Cymru who will oversee the work, jointly with WMUK, the employer, and the Welsh Government as financial partner.

The post is subject to Wikimedia UK's guidelines and contracts and is for 3 days per week. Further information can be found here and application forms are available from: Jon Davies at jon.daviesatwikimedia.org.uk

Applications are welcome. The closing date is 10am on the 22nd of January 2013. Applications cannot be accepted after that date. Interviews are planned for the morning of 28th January in Wrexham. Candidates need to be available for this.

The successful candidate's salary will be paid for by the Welsh Government. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 16:20, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

"WOW!" Will in Other Words

Dr Tom Cheesman and others learning to edit Wikipedia; Swansea Library 21 January 2014.

I'd like your thoughts on how to develop a project based on Shakespearean text.

As part of the Living Paths Project, I recently met Dr. Tom Cheesman and others at Swansea University. I'd like to suggest a WikiProject titled "WOW!" Will in Other Words! which will use crowd sourcing to gather and organise reliable metadata for versions of Shakespeare’s works in languages other than English. I'm not sure if this should be part of the existing w:en:Wikipedia:WikiProject Shakespeare (may kick-start it!) or a brand new one?

Tom Cheesman's website www.delightedbeauty.org crowd-sources Shakespeare translations; it's a self-made Google site which displays around 180 versions, in over 30 languages, of one rhyming couplet from Shakespeare’s Othello (1604). As he told me, "This one couplet is a great challenge for translators, because of its ambiguity, its punning wordplay and its controversial implications regarding race, gender and political power. Each version expresses a different interpretation, making a fascinating study in re-translation-mutation-adaptation … or ‘versioning’. There can be no ‘straight translation’ of Shakespeare’s language."' I do believe that a WikiProject could develop this site in magnificent, way!

The second part of this projectwould be based on www.delightedbeauty.org/vvv demonstrates innovative, experimental interactive tools for exploring collections of comparable texts, working with 37 versions of one scene from Othello. This project was reviewed by Wired in Septemebr 2012. Tools include a time-map showing the historical and geographical spread of German-language Othello versions: at http://othellomap.nand.io/.

The Project would attempt to answer such questions as:

  1. How many languages has Shakespeare been translated into?
  2. What different cultural forms does translation (or “cross-language versioning”) take, in different times, places and languages? When plays are re-versioned as new playscripts, the texts can be ‘faithful’, full versions of the original, but they can also be adaptations of many different kinds, transposing the action to different times and places, reducing and expanding and revising, turning tragedies into farces, histories into satires, and so on. And plays can also be ‘versioned’ as other genres: prose stories, comic strips, films, radio shows, series of paintings, dance shows, etc etc.
  3. What are the trends in popularity of Shakespeare’s different works in different times, places and languages, as measured by publications and performances?
  4. When was Hamlet first or most recently translated into Danish? Or Henry V into Welsh?
  5. In which African languages has Othello been published or performed?
  6. How many Italian versions of Romeo and Juliet have there been, and which are considered the best for reading, or the best for staging?
  7. The Merchant of Venice is on the national school curriculum in China today: 22 million 14-year-olds read the trial scene each year (source p.7). Which of the many Chinese versions are read in classes? Which versions are watched on screen (and who does the subtitling?) Do the various versions interpret Shylock in different ways? (You bet they do – but how different?)
Scope of Project

Probably 100+ languages have at least one work of Shakespeare. All of his works have been translated at least once into all the “major” European and Asian languages. In most “major” and some “lesser” languages, all or many of his works have been re-translated, re-adapted or re-versioned several times, even over and over again.

Let's look at one language: German: German has possibly the greatest number of Shakespeare versions, of all languages. Tom guesstimate around 5,000 items, growing by around 50 year on year. A bibliography published in 2003 includes around 2,000 printed items, and does not claim to be complete for the period covered (to 2000). From the past c. 250 years, we have around 70 published versions of the entire set of 154 Sonnets; hundreds of published versions of single sonnets or selections (over 200 versions of Sonnet 66 are collected in a recent anthology); around 60 versions of the Complete Plays (±37 plays); probably 120+ published versions of Hamlet; up to 80 versions of the 10 next most popular plays; numerous revised editions of many versions; hundreds of audiovisual releases (radio, film, tv, audiobooks); dozens of theatrical productions at major public theatres each year (each using a different version); scores more amateur productions each year; production-associated scripts; and assorted other versions. Since 2000, no fewer than eight new German versions (translations/adaptations) of Othello have been added to the theatrical script agencies’ catalogue (www.theatertexte.de).

And that's just one language. I might be wrong, but I do believe this could be one hell of a project! Any takers?

Robin Owain (WMUK) (talk) 23:36, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Robin, we should consider making this one of the Education activities WMUK supports in 2014-15. As you know, Dr Cheesman has already contacted me about this and he had hoped to come to EduWiki last November to discuss possible developments, but couldn't make the dates in the end. I'll contact him to follow-up and copy you in since it's clear that a substantial amount of constructive discussion has occurred in the interim. I have a feeling that this is something that some members of TaPRA (the Theatre & Performance Research Association) will find interesting. We're supporting a Wikipedia workshop for them soon, so the timing is probably just about right this time. Thanks! --Toni Sant (WMUK) (talk) 14:49, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Many thanks Toni. Swansea University representatives (including Tom) were trained in Wiki editing skills on the 21 January. The first list was of translations into Welsh. A great start! Robin Owain (WMUK) (talk) 10:35, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
That's great Robin! I look forward to inviting Dr Tom Cheesman and/or colleagues from Swansea University to the Wikimania Fringe/Hack event we're planning for June, so that we can look into ways to take the project forward as discussed. --Toni Sant (WMUK) (talk) 14:12, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Wikis for all - how to improve accessibility.

Disability symbols 2.png


This paper has been written by Carol Campbell a trustee of Wikimedia UK. She is very interested in 'getting the ball rolling' on issues around accessibility on Wikipedia and all other wikis. She is fairly certain that this is not the first time these issues have been raised but would like to commit to bringing together people interested in finding answers to some of the challenges she is raising. Please add your names below and offer any background or insights you may have. Thanks. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 15:45, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Please assure Carol that many people have already done a great deal of work on this area over several years. I suggest we are careful not to duplicate existing work or fail to take into account previous research. As a starting point I suggest contacting those leading Wikipedia:WikiProject_Accessibility, those behind the developments at mw:Accessibility and forming a library of existing research to reference and review against such as MediaWiki – Accessibility Enhancements. -- (talk) 16:27, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi Fae, I agree we should build on existing work and communities. Some of this is also about style guide stuff (which is a point you've raised elsewhere). I started to collect together mediawiki accessibility resources on my blog, it's interesting to see where some projects seem to have stalled, and where there may be gaps in attention (see Carol's comment). If we can support existing work that'd be great, if we can continue development then that's positive too! Sjgknight (talk) 16:48, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

1st June is Global Sharing Day

Hello everyone. I had a really interesting conversation with some people who are developing Global Sharing Day (link is to old website, new one coming soon). Essentially, it is a global celebration of sharing and the "sharing economy". This year I think it would be great for Wikimedia UK to take part in this celebration as sharing is at the very heart of what we do. Some of the ideas I've had so far include an open day on 1st June where we all bring along some food, share lunch together and then teach each other new skills. We could also have an editathon on the topic. I also think it would be worthwhile delivering a training and editing session to some of the groups taking part in the event. I'd love to hear any suggestions you may have on how we can mark Global Sharing Day as a celebration of what we all do. Thoughts please! Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 18:20, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Sharing is great, we all agree, but please read the discussion first at the Engine Room as the company behind this appears to be a commercial venture and so we need to give it more thought before endorsing this day. Perhaps we could have a sharing day without aligning ourselves with this particular effort? Of course you could argue that every day is a sharing day for us already. Philafrenzy (talk) 14:30, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
The company behind Global Sharing Day have now confirmed they are a for-profit commercial venture. -- (talk) 12:10, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Discussion about this day is also happening at: Engine room#1st June is Global Sharing Day

The third human editor to exceed a million edits on the English language Wikipedia

In the last few days User:Waacstats has become the third editor other than bots ever to contribute over one million edits on a single project. Immediately afterwards he overtook Rich Farmbrough, and he now has the second highest edit count on the English language Wikipedia.

Apparently Waacstats is in Wales, so I would like to suggest that we invite him to our next AGM and present him with an award for being the third editor ever to achieve this milestone. Perhaps Rich would be willing to make the presentation? Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 09:03, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Note that there is no authoritative list for edit counts. Other lists exist on projects other than the English Wikipedia, such as this Commons list of active contributors. I would be cautious about making general claims about all projects. -- (talk) 10:02, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry Fae, I didn't notice that you had also made the million on Commons. Very happy to broaden my proposal to mark your milestone as well. That means that other than Koavf, three of the four highest edit counts that I'm aware of are from people in the UK! It is certainly possible that people on some of the other major versions of wikipedia have also passed this milestone, but I'd be surprised if they were in the remit of the UK chapter. Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 11:16, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, passed the million a while back; nobody noticed. I celebrated by having a tea break. With bot edits I have more than 3.5m edits, you should imagine there are "bot" writers who have made around 10m. -- (talk) 11:37, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Giant meetup for all UK Wikimedians

Reference above. Definitely give him something. Even better, why not invite every active Wikimedian in the UK to an event of some kind and give them a membership application at the door (or free membership for a year just for turning up?) There are about 2000 who say they are in the UK. Including 83 in N.I., 319 in Scotland and 136 in Wales. Philafrenzy (talk) 11:03, 16 January 2014 (UTC) Add extra ideas here:

Maybe we should have a UK meeting around Wikimania - when people are likely to be down in London anyway? Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 11:00, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
We could let the French in, but only if they salute the flag as they pass - in line with tradition of course! Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 11:10, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Wikimedia UK has many non-British citizens as voting members, we should remain sensitive to that. Personally I avoid nationalistic jokes unless they are mildly self-deprecating. -- (talk) 11:42, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Richard did not specify which flag people would be required to salute. Personally I'd choose this one as being particularly worthy of salute. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 15:58, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
True, though French visitors might struggle to recognize it. A more internationally recognizable one like this might go down well if we expect them to salute it. Alternatively, considering that London is France's sixth city, we would probably do well to put up a Tricolour for us to salute. -- (talk) 16:24, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
I had forgotten I had even made this suggestion. The point, of course, was that there are vast numbers of UK resident editors on Wikipedia, far more than the 2000 who self-identify, almost none of whom are members. As membership growth is stalled, a one-off event could be run specially for them, separate to Wikimania, to celebrate their contribution to all of the projects. This could be combined with a membership drive. To be honest, I don't have the time to organise this and I don't know if anyone else does either, but I think that it's the sort of thing that ought to be happening. Wasn't there some sort of awards system once? We could give awards like at the Oscars - Wikis? As far as flags go, the Severn Cross of Gloucestershire would be my choice, though the design may need updating now that the county is under water. Philafrenzy (talk) 22:05, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
A UK meetup at Wikimania would be a great idea - no flags needed. ;-) Particularly if it can be combined with a membership drive/sharing of information about WMUK. The awards system from last year is described at UK Wikimedian of the Year 2013. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:32, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Wikimedia UK and Cancer Research UK to recruit Wikimedian in Residence

Hello everyone. I thought you might like to know that Wikimedia UK has teamed up with Cancer Research UK to recruit a Wikimedian in Residence. The exciting new role will include teaching Cancer Research UK’s scientists to edit the website as well as researching how cancer patients use the site to access information and helping to make information on its pages as easy as possible to understand. They will also support Wikipedians already editing its cancer science pages. You can find more details of the role, including how to apply, on our blog - https://blog.wikimedia.org.uk/2014/01/wikimedia-uk-and-cancer-research-uk-to-take-cancer-information-to-the-next-level/ Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:23, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

This is excellent news, and UK-based Wikipedians with a background in science should consider having a look at the job description. Jfdwolff 20:08, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Excellent news. Well done. Andreas JN 11:24, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments folks. We're really excited about this and it will have a great impact on important content. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 16:02, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Can I ask why expressions of interest were sought after the closing date had passed? LoopZilla (talk) 11:49, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi Loopzilla. We believe it's because the number of applications has been disappointing. Hope this helps. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 12:03, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. This breaks a standard of recruitment. Opportunity to apply is equal for all (that is the closing date is the same for all candidates). LoopZilla (talk) 12:43, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Hello LoopZilla. CRUK were managing the recruitment but we will certainly bear in mind your comments for any recruitment that Wikimedia UK manages. I;ve been told that only one person contacted CRUK after the closing date and that they weren't shortlisted. Hope this helps! Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 15:20, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but Daria sent out an email after the closing date. LoopZilla (talk) 21:15, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi Loopzilla, the email was sent as there was a concern about whether the recruitment message reached all relevant groups and I was asked to support the effort to spread the message wider. CRUK would have considered extending the deadline if the response to the message was significant -but as we have said, it was low. I am assured though that any application that came in was considered. Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 10:59, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
This is incorrect, in my book LoopZilla (talk) 11:43, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
CRUK has been made aware of this discussion and will be contacting you directly - I hope it will provide the clarification you are seeking. Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 13:50, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Open Coalition Project Co-ordinator

Hello everyone. As you may be aware, for some time Wikimedia UK has been working with organisations such as Creative Commons and Open Knowledge Foundation to build closer working relationships across the open sector. We're now looking for a project co-ordinator to help take this work forward. It's a six month, part-time role and you can find all of the details here. Please do get in touch if you'd like more information. The closing date is Monday 3 February. Thank you! Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 17:07, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Discussion about this post is at Engine_room#Recruitment_-_Discussion_removed_from_Water_cooler#Open_Coalition_Project_Co-ordinator -- (talk) 19:13, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

OpenSym 2014

Clockwise:Charlottenburg Palace, Fernsehturm Berlin, Reichstag building, Berlin Cathedral, Alte Nationalgalerie, Potsdamer Platz and Brandenburg Gate.

WikiSym has changed it's named to OpenSym and this year it will take place on 27th – 29th August in Berlin. It's an annual symposium about open collaboration. The list of tracks includes:

  • Open access research
  • Open data research
  • Open education resources research
  • Free, libre, and open source software research
  • IT-driven open innovation research
  • Wikipedia research
  • Wikis and open collaboration

They issued a call for papers last week so if you're interested, the page on their website about submissions has more details including the array of deadlines for different tracks. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 13:06, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

I'd be interested to know if anyone is planning on going to this, last year had a lot of v interesting looking papers! (Sadly unlikely I'll make it) Sjgknight (talk) 22:08, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
Will WMUK be offering scholarships this year, as per past years? (I can pass on the contact details for the organisers if you don't have them already!) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:29, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, scholarships will be available. More details soon. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 10:56, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Going somewhere? Check for 'missing' images

A towering 19th-century monastery
Mount Melleray Abbey (geograph 3381465)

Having a play with some tools, I've just come across Wiki ShootMe! which allows you to search (coordinates or placename) geographic areas for articles associated with those areas that have no images e.g. http://toolserver.org/~magnus/wikishootme/index.html?autorun=1&language=en&lat=52.15&lng=-7.85&distance=10&art=Cappoquin Mostly I just wanted to share (there's so much going on it's hard to keep track of)! Also,

  1. if anyone else has cool tools it'd be great to hear about them,
  2. if people have ideas about how we could use, promote, and support tools that'd be good too,
  3. I was wondering how easy it'd be to play with e.g. Open Street Maps to map these articles & browse that way (or if that exists?).

On '2' obviously there's scope for WLM/WikiTakes, but maybe we could also drop links like this onto event pages as a simple activity to engage people and remind people of the tools. (Incidentally the photo is from geograph.ie cross-loaded semi-automatically into Commons. I probably have one myself somewhere (grandmother from the area)) Sjgknight (talk) 16:47, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

A slight tangent of background and history that some may find interesting
Though Simon used a tool to do a one-off transfer of the example image, 4 years ago the vast majority of nearly 2 million UK Geograph images were transferred by Multichill's clever GeographBot as a large project, which become controversial and has yet to be re-run due to the difficulties of categorization of the resulting backlog. One of the projects that WMUK is now supporting is adding sensible location categories to all Geograph images (such as a County name) and we'll be looking again at an exercise Multichill experimented with a couple of years back to take this down to, say, the UK "village" level, something that my work with the Ordnance Survey open data makes far more accurate since the earlier experiments (in a way that does not exist for most other countries!). Multichill approached me recently about running GeographBot again for a refresh, and I hope in a few months time to make a joined up smart workflow so that the images can appear with more helpful categories than the last time.
Being millions of images, rather than thousands or even a hundred thousand, it's the sort of extremely large project that seems daunting and can burn out volunteers (it has taken me more than a full year of helping Faebot plod away mostly unnoticed to add categories across the whole of the UK). I think it's also the sort of thing that WMUK should be seen to find ways of encouraging or funding local projects, competitions and "gamification" (as well as wikishootme, have a look at Facebook Funfair which makes a game out of an otherwise dull maintenance job). -- (talk) 17:46, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Cool! Thanks for the additional info Fae Sjgknight (talk) 17:59, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

On '1', there's also Unvisited, an Android app. I've not used it myself as it doenst seem to support older Android versions, but looks good.--Rhyswynne (talk) 15:15, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Spare beds for Wikimania

A four poster bed
Something modest like this?

We are thinking about how we can spread our resources for Wikimania 2014 and one way is finding supporters who will offer a bed or even a sofa, to people attending Wikimania this year. The cost of accommodation in London can be a deterrent to people. If you could put up someone in London during the period August 5th to 10th could you let Katie Chan know by emailing katie.chanatwikimedia.org.uk. She will start a database with preference e.g. non smokers etc. Thanks Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 10:11, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Has nobody got a sofa or spare bed? Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 08:31, 2 April 2014 (BST)

Training the Trainers Cardiff

Hi all, we've had a last minute drop out for Training the Trainers/February 2014 event in Cardiff this weekend. If anyone reading this are interested in the open spot, please let me know by calling 07885980534. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 17:28, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Initiatives for 2014

I had some ideas for significant initiatives that would be interesting to do this year, that WMUK might be able to support. I could amplify their effect significantly with Wikimania, which I am organising. I'd be interested in comments or, better yet, co-conspirators - please feel free to weigh in on the talk page: 2014 Initiatives.

EdSaperia (talk) 00:16, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Unconference as part of Wikimania 2014

An open way to plan sessions, using unconference ideas at Wikiconf NYC 2010

Does anyone know if there is any plan to have an unconference as part of Wikimania 2014? I have been to an unconference that was part of a wider conference and found it was a great way to find people of a common interest and get them talking to each other. I am planning to run a small unconference as part of a larger conference in March so will have experience of that in time for Wikimania. I could organise the unconference for Wikimania 2014 if people would like me to do that. If someone is already planning to run one, I would be happy to help out. Yaris678 (talk) 10:27, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Hey! Yes, we hope to have a lot of unconference, or maybe open space type activity, and it would be great to have volunteers to facilitate. Email me: ed@wikimanialondon.org EdSaperia (talk) 19:55, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Cool! Email sent. Yaris678 (talk) 09:43, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Community consultation - WMUK response to European Commission copyright consultation

WMUK intends to lodge a response to a review by the European Commission of EU copyright rules. Community feedback is invited on the draft document indicated below.

(I apologise that the draft response has so far been uploaded to the wiki only in pdf format. If anyone has the time and expertise to create an easier-to-manage series of wiki pages, that would be much appreciated. I have not so far been able to get the OpenOffice export to wiki functionality to work, perhaps because there are so many footnotes in the document. In the meantime, I can email an editable OpenOffice document to anyone who would like a copy).

Please make comments on the text not here but on the main wiki page Talk:WMUK response to European Commission copyright consultation.

This consultation will close at midnight on Saturday 8th February 2014.

--MichaelMaggs (talk) 07:47, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

The consultation is now closed, and the charity's response will be sent to the Commission shortly. Thank you to all who responded, both online and off. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 04:44, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Drafting a digital literacy strategy

Hello everyone. Wikimedia UK's education committee has often spoken about the need for us to have a digital literacy strategy. I've made a start on a draft here and would welcome some constructive input in developing the document. Thank you. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 12:00, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

International Women's Day 2014

International Women's Day

As you may have noted from the events page, WMUK is in the process of supporting a number of events in London around International Women's Day 2014. Trainers will be needed for some of these events, so if you're a trainer, please take a closer look at the planning pages and let us know whether you're interested and available in helping out as a trainer.

Planned events on or near 8 March include:

Please use the talk pages for the individual events to discuss availability, needs, etc. Many thanks! --Toni Sant (WMUK) (talk) 13:47, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Some support needed

We really need you!

We have been approached by a wikimedian who has been affected by a medical problem and can't edit easily any more. He wants to finish a couple of pages that are important to him (adding links I think) and I wonder if there is a kind person out there I could put him in contact with. An interest in military history would be an advantage. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 10:30, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

What's the area of military history? I'm a coordinator of the Military History Project on enwiki, so I might be able to take it on, or I could find someone who knows the topic area. Harry Mitchell (talk) 21:34, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
20th Century I think. Can put him in touch with you? Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 10:26, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
I can't promise I won't pass him to someone else, but sure. Harry Mitchell (talk) 15:57, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Great man! Thanks Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 08:50, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Wikimedia UK is hiring: Web

Dear all -

I would like to announce Wikimedia UK is hiring for a fixed term contract position for 6 months for a Technical Programme Manager

We will be promoting the post via Government Gateway, the Wikimedia-l and Wikimediauk-l lists, and the 3 beards and Tech City jobs boards. If you can think of any other suitable places do drop a line here, and of course, please forward the link to those you think should be applying!

Thanks Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk)

Zürich Hackathon scholarships

Opening of the 2013 Hackathon in Amsterdam.

Wikimedia UK will be offering two to three scholarships to the international Wikimedia Hackathon in Zürich this year. Application will be taken through the registration page for the Hackathon. The deadline for application is 16 March. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 18:43, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Individual Engagement Grants - from the Foundation

Some of you may be interested in this Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 10:45, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

The Wikimedia Foundation and the Individual Engagement Grants Committee invite you to submit and review proposals for community-led experiments to improve Wikimedia!

Individual Engagement Grants support individuals and small teams to organize projects for 6 months. You can get funding to turn your idea for improving Wikimedia projects into action, with a grant for online community organizing, outreach and partnerships, tool-building, or research. Funding is available for a few hundred dollars up to $30,000.

Proposals for this round are due 31 March 2014:


We're also seeking new committee members to help review and recommend proposals for funding. Candidates are invited to sign up by 9 March 2014:


Some examples of projects we've funded in the past:

  • Organizing social media for Chinese Wikipedia ($350 for materials)[1]
  • Improving gadgets for Visual Editor ($4500 for developers)[2]
  • Coordinating free access to reliable sources for Wikipedians ($7500 for

project management, consultants and materials)[3]

  • Building community and strategy for Wikisource (EURO 10000 for organizing and


You can read more on the WMF blog:


Hope to have your participation in this round!

Best wishes,

Siko Bouterse - Wikimedia Foundation

Shouldn't you be promoting the WMUK's grant scheme, rather than the WMF's? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 18:21, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Anyone interested in applying for a grant form WMUK should check out the green box at the top of this page, if you haven't already seen it. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 03:56, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Community consultation on WMUK's Wikimedia in Residence programme

Hi everyone,

As a chapter we have run the Wikimedian in Residence (WIR) programme since May 2012, when Andrew Gray started his residency at the British Library.

We have now agreed to reflect on the programme’s successes and challenges through a review. The WIR programme has been seen as one of the key ways we can engage with external organisations, extending our scale of activities and outreach. These residencies are often a considerable investment for WMUK (£2-8K) and need to deliver a meaningful impact.

We would like to see what the UK community thinks of the programme so far - you are now invited to take part in the survey that will form the first part of the review. Your answers will be an important element of influencing the future of the programme.

If you are not based in the UK, you are still welcome to comment - we are very interested in what our community thinks of the programme.

The deadline for responding is 24 March.

Thank you! Richard Nevell

Gnome home

I feel the absence of a central cleanup and gnoming place on this site, so I have created gnome home, and a category to go with. Charles Matthews (talk) 09:16, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Royal Society editathon

My photos from the evening session of yesterday's editathon at the Royal Society are now on Commons at Commons:Category:Wikimedia UK Royal Society Women's editathon 2014. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 23:06, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Thank you seem to be the hardest words

Thank you 001.jpg

A few months ago I wrote a critical review about a hotel I stayed in for Trip Advisor. I wanted to share my experience and warn off others. I posted and thought no more of it. I was surprised a few weeks later to receive a 'Thank you' email explaining how important by little piece of bile had been, and how many people had read it. I was chuffed. A month after that, and a couple more reviews, I was thanked again, given an update on the surprisingly large number of people who had read the reviews, and was awarded the equivalent of a 'gold star'.

OK, so it was a bot but it occurred to me how sad it was that we don't do something similar for our contributors. Barnstars are great but from what I observe many people never look at their user pages. Wouldn't it be great if every time one of my uploaded photos made it onto a page I got some sort of alert or just a 'thank you' for every twentieth edit?

When I started working for Wikimedia UK I was warnedthat I was entering a culture that didn't 'do thank yous'. I think that we are missing out here and if we want to encourage and retain editors a few words of thanks from time to time would be a powerful tool. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 18:27, 6 March 2014 (UTC) - on behalf of User:Jon Davies (WMUK)

I received a very nice thank you after doing the work on the membership survey and the UCL editathon. It touched me more than I think I let on at the time, and certainly more than I expected something as simple as that to. So thank you again to Jon, Katherine and Daria.
I'm also reminded of a few years ago when I moved house, I looked up the days for rubbish collection on the council website and was very impressed with how easy it was to find what I was looking for, as my previous council's website made it unnecessarily difficult. So I wrote a quick thank you email. About two days later I got a reply from the manager of the person responsible for that, saying that my note had made their day. So I fully agree with the aim to encourage more thank yous. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 21:01, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
All good points. I see that WMCH have started a page on Meta to discuss how to encourage new users to stick around by thanking them after the fundraiser. This seems of interest to WMUK as well. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:03, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

[INFO] Scripts in Lua

Hi, I have setup a few days ago the Scribunto extension on our wiki. You are now consequently able to create scripts in Lua on this wiki. Kelson (talk) 10:55, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Wikimedians in the UK

I've been working on the categorisation of photos into commons:Category:Wikimedians in the United Kingdom (moving files over from commons:Category:Wikipedians in the United Kingdom). I'm curious to know - how many of these users do you recognise? Who's missing? (these are both open questions to anyone that reads this!) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:30, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

You removed me from both "Wikipedians in the United Kingdom" and "[Commons] User in the United Kingdom". I assure you, I am both. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 23:00, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, as am I. However, people seemed to be split between "Wikipedians in" and "Wikimedians in" for no apparent reason or order, and you were one of only two people that had all of their photos in the User category rather than just their user page... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 07:52, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Open Access Reader

I have come up with an initiative called "Open Access Reader", a project to systematically have every piece of notable open access research cited in Wikipedia. I'd like to develop this into a grant proposal, and I welcome comments and suggestions, both on the project itself and where best to get grant funding: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab/Open_Access_Reader EdSaperia (talk) 00:37, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Just linking to the prelim discussion on your userpage https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/User_talk:EdSaperia/Wikimedia_UK%27s_2014_Strategy#Open%20access%20reader Sjgknight (talk) 11:55, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Free Wiki Loves Monuments calendars 2014 (with 2013 pictures)

Thanks to the WLM International Group we have received some rather nice Wiki Loves Monuments wall calendars for 2014, with photos from the 2013 international contest. I have deposited them at the WMUK offices from where they are available free to anyone who was involved in the 2013 competition, either as an organizer or as an competitor. Although they are a little late, they still have 10 months of useful life in them! If you would like one, please contact the staff. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:00, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

We still have about ten left and would be happy to post them to people who can't make it to the office. Email us jon.davies@wikimedia.org.uk Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 09:27, 4 April 2014 (BST)

West Midlands Police Museum editathon

Just a reminder that the West Midlands Police Museum editathon is this Saturday, in Birmingham; some places remain! Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 13:53, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

I couldn't make this, Andy - much though I wanted to! I was stuck in London doing training. How did it go? Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 16:51, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Very well, thank you, though over 470 very fine images are stuck on Flickr while the tool to import them to Commons appears borked. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 13:59, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Andy, is the tool still broken? Which tool is it that isn't working? I'm not sure there's much we can do, but we can nudge the person who runs the tool. Extra voices saying how useful it is might help. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 11:25, 3 April 2014 (BST)

Letter to UK MEPs

Hello everyone. You may be interested to note that Wikimedia UK is writing to all 73 UK MEPs regarding copyright. In line with the work we've done with the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU (group of European Wikimedia chapters) we are looking for support for change in three areas: freedom of panorama; public domain of publicly-funded works; and use of orphan works. If you'd like to see the letter, it's here. It will be going out next week (with a couple of minor modifications) in the post and also by email. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 17:07, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Following this up, after some discussion with UK and international community members some minor changes were made. The final version of the letter was sent out yesterday and can be seen in pdf format by clicking here. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 16:10, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
A quick update - we've received four letters and emails of support for our view on copyright reform so far, from the three main political parties. I view this as being a good start and will share more information as we receive more replies. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:15, 2 April 2014 (BST)

Day of the week of events

There's been no reply to my message at Talk:Women in Science Wikipedia edit-a-thon 13 May 2014 - University of Liverpool. Does anyone know why it is happening on that day? I'd hate to think that we'd do an event on a day that is convenient for someone in a partner institution but results in us reaching very few people. Yaris678 (talk) 19:42, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi Yaris, I have passed this on to my colleagues so hopefully someone who is able to answer your question will be in touch soon. Thank you. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 12:19, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Replied on the event page - hope it helps. If you are interested in being a trainer for this event, do note your interest on the event page. Thanks! Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 09:45, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Wikidata workshop


Do you want to learn more about Wikidata? On Saturday 26 April, Wikimedia UK is organising a one day workshop focusing on Wikidata, its tools ecosystem, and what you can do with it. More details and registration can be found here. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 14:50, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

I do, but I can't make that date. Will the event be re-run? Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 13:57, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I imagine it will be. This is the second one we have ran, but Wikidata is still developing and maturing rapidly, so there will be lots of new things to cover in a few months no doubt. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 12:29, 1 April 2014 (BST)

Wikimania delegate packs

Hello everyone. It's time to start preparing delegate packs for Wikimania. What materials would be useful to include in a perfect world? What information would be useful to visitors to the conference, and to London? Things like Tube maps and guides to using Oyster cards of course, emergency contact details, directions to the Barbican and Wikimedia UK office... but what else do you think would be helpful? Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Note: While it seems like Wikimania is a long way away still, if we want new materials they need to be written, designed and printed so the sooner we start, the better. Thanks very much. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:12, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Wikivoyage:Wikimania 2014 London Guidebook is intended to cover a lot of things like this. Some of it doesn't work well offline (the URLs mainly) but that project's page are designed to be printed off and used manually. (At one point I was thinking of useing QRpedia to create a quick QR link from a printed page to the website but that doesn't seem to work any more for non-pedias.) - AdamBMorgan (talk) 11:39, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
  • A Wikimedia branded memory stick. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 12:50, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
  • An A4 local map showing the venue, the locations of the evening events, the accommodation and the public transport links Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 13:23, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
  • the Wikimania schedule Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 13:23, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
  • A list of friendly dos and don't such as "on tube escalators stand on the right, walk on the left". Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 13:23, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
  • A wikimedia UK sticker and coaster Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 13:23, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Re the emergency contact details, there is a draft already started on the Wikimania wiki. Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 13:23, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
  • a Weather forecast for the 8-11 August. We would need to print this on the 7th and add it to the delegate bags. Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 13:23, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
    • Surely people can check the weather for themselves? I mean, paper is going to be out of date quickly. Jarry1250 (talk) 16:05, 31 March 2014 (BST)
      • And given how quickly we'd need to get the info printed, it would either be expensive or look like it was home made so probably best to put this one on the back burner. Unless we want something tongue-in-cheek and just put 'drizzle' for all Wikimania. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 17:15, 31 March 2014 (BST)
        • Possibly just the URL of a good online weather forecast or two (e.g. BBC, Met Office). Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 00:41, 1 April 2014 (BST)
  • I've always wanted to hand out physical copies of the Signpost at a Wikimania, and I may finally get the chance this year :) A special "Wikimania" edition could provide some curated editorial insight into what was going on in different interest areas. Of course, it needn't be in the delegate packs, that's just an extra thought of mine. Jarry1250 (talk) 16:05, 31 March 2014 (BST)
Hi Jarry1250, the office can help with that if you'd like some support arranging this. I do like the idea of The Signpost as a one-off printed product. I think it could be very good. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 10:22, 1 April 2014 (BST)
  • Nothing at all. Rather than packing bags, put things out on a table near to the registration desk, and let people help themselves to what they're interested in. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 16:26, 31 March 2014 (BST)

Scholarships available to OKFestival & OpenSym

Group photo of participants of WikiSym+OpenSym 2013 in Hong Kong

Wikimedia UK is offering up to two scholarships each to both the Open Knowledge Festival 2014 (15-17 July) & OpenSym 2014 (27-29 August), both of which are being held in Berlin, Germany.

OKFestival, run by the Open Knowledge Foundation is an open data and open knowledge conference that will bring together over 1,000 people from more than 60 countries in a bid to encourage innovation in the open sector through sharing experiences and skills. Furthermore, the event is a celebration of the open movement itself and what it has already achieved.

OpenSym, previously known as WikiSym, is the International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration where researchers from all over the world gather to present their latest research and practice on "open access, open data, open education resources, IT-driven open innovation, open source, wikis and related social media, and Wikipedia".

To qualify for either scholarship, you must be based in the UK, be able to travel to Berlin and attend all days of the event, and agree to produce a public report (which may be published on the Wikimedia UK blog and in our newsletters) summarising the key things that you have taken from the event. Applicants for OpenSym must also be engaging in research about Wikimedia or other free content projects. The scholarship will cover conference registration fee, travel, accommodation, along with a per diem allowance to cover local expenses.

To apply for the scholarship to OKFestival, complete this online form by Sunday 20th April. The deadline for OpenSym scholarship is Sunday 30th April, and you can apply here.

-- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 12:31, 1 April 2014 (BST)

Looking for a Research Volunteer to help us with the Wikimedian in Residence survey - interesting opportunity!

Hi All,

Over the last two years, Wikimedia UK has worked towards creating a firmer structure supporting our Wikimedian in Residence project. ‪This started with, in November 2012, running a call for applications to attract institutions wanting to engage with such a project (background for that is [2] and [3]). ‬Some of the organisations we have worked with since can be found here.

Towards the end of 2013, we have agreed to reflect on the programme’s successes and challenges through a review. With significant learning for any organisation or institution wanting to be involved with the Wikimedian in Residence project, it's important that Wikimedia UK gathers the results of the surveys and creates a clear report summarising the results and producing recommendations for the future. We are now looking for a volunteer to deliver this report.

Please have a look here for more details. Looking forward to hearing from people who are interested in working on this.

Many thanks, Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 11:31, 3 April 2014 (BST)

Is too much stuff ending up in the engine room?

I am of the opinion that too much stuff is ending up in the engine room. Discussions like Engine room#Mini pop up banners and Engine room#Museum photography could definitely be had here, at the water cooler.

My impression, when the engine room started, was that we wanted to separate off the discussions that could get too noodly or too self-flaggelting for most people to be interested in. Am I right? At the moment, it is difficult to tell which venue is for what.

Yaris678 (talk) 22:57, 7 April 2014 (BST)

I agree that both of those topics could and should be on the WC. The distinction is set out in the headings of the two pages. Essentially, the WC for Open Knowledge projects and outwardly-directed stuff and the ER for inwardly-focused discussions eg policy, how we measure ourselves etc. (ps if anyone wants to start a discussion thread on this, the proper place - as an inwardly-focused topic - would the the ER rather than here)--MichaelMaggs (talk) 23:19, 7 April 2014 (BST)
I just did start a discussion thread on this and it is here.
I'm glad you agree with me on those two topics. I think they are the ones that most obviously should be here. But I think other things could be here too, like the one on affiliate-selected seats on the WMF board.
Personally, I think the outwardly/inwardly divide means that too many things will end up in the engine room. Anything could be construed as inwardly focused. Look at this discussion, it is about how we organize the wiki... of course it is inwardly focused... except that it effects how much stuff gets discussed here, in this nominally more public location... so its all about communication with the wider public really so it should be here. See? This is the problem with outwardly/inwardly.
I got the impression at the time that the engine room was created that the idea was that it was for stuff that was too noodly or too self-flaggelting for most people to be interested in. It's just that we couldn't think of any more precise language to express it in.
Look at it another way. Do we want the water cooler to be a place where announcements about banners and photos are made, or does it have a wider scope? A lot of the threads on here have 0 to 2 replies. Is that what we want it to be about?
Yaris678 (talk) 18:40, 8 April 2014 (BST)
Perhaps (and I hate to say it) we, as Wikimedians, are too inwardly-focussed? Or perhaps we need to have more open-ended discussions on here (and thus more opportunity for replies?) Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 23:47, 8 April 2014 (BST)

Wikimania support contractors

Wikimedia UK are looking for two people to act as Wikimania support contractors. Check out the page for details of what the post involves and how to apply. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:38, 9 April 2014 (BST)

British cartoons 1780—1830 available in very high resolution

Example parody of George IV and his desire for divorce, 1820.
7,068 × 4,638px, 93MB

There may be some UK Wikipedians interested in helping with 18th/19th century articles on British society, so I thought it worth highlighting my upload of over 700 new high resolution scans to Wikimedia Commons of the Library of Congress British Cartoon Prints Collection (for usability, both large tiff and more modest jpeg files are available). Many of these are notable political parodies that are either worth including on Wikipedia articles of the artists, their unfortunate subjects, or some may be notable enough for their own article. Alternatively, you may find some of the recently uploaded (complete) books, manuscripts and maps at World Digital Library an untapped resource for an article or a new Wikisource project.

The Library of Congress has other collections with a connection to UK history or there may be different on-line public domain collections that you would like to see uploaded. Drop me a note on Commons if you have an idea for future batch upload projects. -- (talk) 08:40, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

William Henry Pyne cartoon deriding the Spanish during the Anglo-Spanish war, 1796-1808. 11,817 × 3,120 pixels, 105MB.

As an exemplar of the Library of Congress's work in digitizing this collection, I have put the above cartoon up as a Featured Picture Candidate. Old etchings tend to be difficult to get through on technical grounds, though historical significance should be taken into account. -- (talk) 17:00, 15 April 2014 (BST)

If they prove difficult to get promoted on Commons, it may be worth going through the Featured Picture process on Wikipedia as encyclopedic value ("EV") is explicitly one of the criteria (#5). Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 11:51, 22 April 2014 (BST)

VLE released for beta testing

Hello everyone, I'm very happy to report that the Wikimedia UK virtual learning environment has been released to a small group, including those who have been through the Train the Trainers programme, for beta testing. I'm pretty excited by the potential the VLE has for supporting trainers and those who wish to learn about Wikipedia independently. Following this round of testing, a wider test period will begin in which the system will be shared with anyone within the movement who would like access before a final rollout of the system later in the year. Many thanks to Charles Matthews who has put an enormous amount of work into writing the course content and quizzes, as well as putting the thing together. Big thanks also to Doug Taylor and Tom Morton for their technical support, without which we would not have made it to this point. If you have any comments or questions please do let me know. Thank you. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:54, 2 April 2014 (BST)

That's good to hear, thanks. And congratulations to all who have made this happen. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:30, 2 April 2014 (BST)

Report: Supported work by Faebot

WMUK supported world map of trade winds
c.1711 by Herman Moll of London
6,021 × 2,562 pixels, 44MB
Commons:User:Faebot/WMUK report

This is a running report on activities using the Chapter supplied Macmini. The report is intended as a quarterly report so that the board can have oversight and ensure transparency for the positive outcomes of this funded project, however other volunteers and members might find it of interest. At the moment around 80% of all media identified as supported by chapter funding is a result of this project.

There are other, mostly one-off, things that I automate, along with odd WMFlabs hosted stuff such as the TARDIS and the Facebook Funfair. Requests from fellow volunteers are welcome, and have (quietly) resulted in some interesting uploads and mass improvements. Though with a large backlog of stuff, I cannot promise to do everything, nor to do it quickly :-) -- (talk) 12:03, 12 April 2014 (BST)

Interesting report. Thank you. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:27, 14 April 2014 (BST)

Great video from Wikimedia Armenia

This is a lovely video from Armenia touching on their work in schools: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSbrivrpzmw

Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 09:15, 15 April 2014 (BST)

To see the English text, make sure you have the captions option switched on. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:44, 16 April 2014 (BST)

WikiCon Berlin 2014

Attendees at the Wikimedia Conference

For those interested in what went on over the long weekend our report is now up on the wiki.

Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 09:43, 16 April 2014 (BST)

Photography at the Tank Museum

Dear all, Wikimedia UK has been given some complementary off peak tickets by en:the Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset so that our photographers can improve our coverage of their tanks and other vehicles. Interested photographers can apply for a ticket by emailing me with their snail mail address. Regards Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 12:43, 23 April 2014 (BST)

Contractor Scoping brief

In order to further the charity's goal of encouraging and supporting technological innovation, Wikimedia UK are looking for a contractor to undertake a scoping exercise to report to the charity's Board with proposals for how best we can achieve our mission in this respect. Details of the tender can be found here. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 12:58, 24 April 2014 (BST)

Upcoming volunteer opportunities to speak about Wikipedia

Dear All,

There are two exciting volunteer opportunities within expert outreach and Wikipedia that I wanted to flag up.

  • Science Communications and Public Engagement workshop on 19 June, London, run by Society for Applied Microbiology, but open to a wider audience from other science organisations. See a draft agenda below. This is a really good opportunity to talk about using Wikipedia in Science communication to the right audience. Some details remain to be pinned down, so whoever is keen to deliver this can adapt the programme.
  • A talk about Wikipedia and how a learned society can engage with it at Physiology 2014, London, which takes place over 30 June - 2 July. Probably a brief presentation (or a workshop, depending on your preference) to function as a part of the conference, to lead to a full training workshop in October in the office of the Physiology Society. The details are up for discussion and so we would arrange a meeting with the conference organiser to pin it all down.

Do get in touch if you are interested in getting involved! Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 10:15, 28 April 2014 (BST)

Wiki Education Cooperative

Prompted by the Wiki Education Foundation's latest monthly report, and in preparation for WMUK's next monthly report, I think it's appropriate to share the following information on the Water Cooler (with apologies that it has taken me slightly longer than I would have liked to do so):

Wiki Education Cooperative kick-off event delegates

In early March, I attended the Wiki Education Cooperative meeting in Prague. At this meeting, the WMUK joined other Wikimedia education programs (including Israel, Nepal, Czech Republic, Mexico, Ukraine, United State, Canada, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Serbia) and the Wikimedia Foundation’s Global Education Program team to determine a plan moving forward for sharing best practices and fostering collaboration among educational efforts on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia project. Outcomes of the Prague meeting include:

  • Cooperative members will spend the next several months in small teams that target the initial goals agreed upon by the whole group. From now through Wikimania 2014, I will be a part of the Resources Team, which initially aims to consolidate existing resources so that everyone can find everything in one (very visible and easy-to-find) place. I see this as an important step in aligning our Education activities to the successful approaches on the global education program and similar efforts in other parts of the world.
  • The team at the Wikimedia Foundation will help the group redesign an online portal that is more cohesive and accessible than the varied portals have been in the past.
  • The cooperative will network at Wikimania 2014 with other stakeholders to expand its reach and to welcome new members into the community.

For more about the kick-off meeting in Prague see this Education newsletter post.

The cooperative is technically still in formation and is presently only operating under a working name. Aims, goals, scope and other essential elements for any such grouping are still to be codified, but we are already formulating these ahead of a potential official launch at Wikimania 2014.

As ever, please do not hesitate to direct any questions or comments directly to me. --Toni Sant (WMUK) (talk) 15:31, 4 May 2014 (BST)

Wikimedia Sweden launches Umepedia Challenge

Hello everyone. You might be interested to learn that Wikimedia Sweden has launched an article improvement competition called the Umepedia Challenge. The contest is focused on writing and editing articles about the Swedish city of Umea. The contest runs through the month of May and more details can be found here. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 10:10, 6 May 2014 (BST)

10,000 research quality maps of the world

Map of Britain, Samuel Thornton, c.1705
Scan at 6,078 × 4,968 pixels.
NYPL maps project page.

I have been drafting a note about this GWToolset based maps upload project for the Wikimedia Commons Village pump. The upload should complete within the next couple of days (due to extreme file sizes, and an WMF Operations request to throttle speed of uploads, this has taken a lot longer than I expected). As this is Chapter supported media, would a UK blog post along similar lines published at the same time be of interest? -- (talk) 10:20, 8 May 2014 (BST)

Notice posted here. -- (talk) 12:04, 9 May 2014 (BST)
A UK blog post would be very interesting. As I mentioned below, this should really be on the Water Cooler as it relates to an external programme. Would you be good enough to repost there? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 14:52, 11 May 2014 (BST)
If my blog account ("Fae") is re-enabled (it appears to have been restricted from editing without anyone informing me), then I will draft a post on WordPress. -- (talk) 17:11, 12 May 2014 (BST)
Hi Fae, if you'd like to draft a blog post about this excellent project I would be more than happy to publish it with an appropriate attribution on your behalf. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 18:17, 12 May 2014 (BST)
I would rather create it exactly as it will be displayed using my account, which is on the system. I was under the impression that volunteers can do that, rather than eating up employee time cut & pasting and reformatting. I assume that there is a review process for draft blog posts, though I recall that the board of trustees no longer needs to approve them. -- (talk) 21:05, 12 May 2014 (BST)
I'm going to skip this now. Too many days have passed since my notice on Commons about the project, and time passed without further response here. My original intention was to hold off the Commons notice for a day or two so that the post on the chapter blog would be news.
It would be nice if we could return to allowing unpaid volunteers to draft blog posts on WordPress, rather than this entirely relying on employees along with the associated lost opportunity costs. However this is just an observation comparing how things used to be done, not that long ago, to the reality of how the charity works today. This is not a request for an employee to do anything, neither is it a criticism of employees, the shift to using closed processes for managing the chapter blog being the choice of the board of trustees. -- (talk) 14:21, 20 May 2014 (BST)

Trained trainers - post-refresher meetup

Alcohol can encourage sharing, but may inhibit other brain functions required for learning.
Not that kind of workshop!

Who is going to the refresher of the train-the-trainers course on Saturday the 28th of June?

Who would be interested in some kind of meet-up afterwards?

We could do something that evening or something on Sunday. We could do an informal chat over a pint or we could have some kind of workshop where we share and reflect on our experience as trained trainers and learn from that. It depends on who is around when and what exactly is planned for the refresher. I don't know what is planned for the refresher yet but perhaps we should start by asking questions of availability.

Who will be around the evening after the refresher? Who will be around - or could arange to be around - the next day?

Yaris678 (talk) 13:33, 14 May 2014 (BST)

Sadly I can't make the training on the Saturday, but a meet up sounds like a cracking idea to me. It was great to get to know everyone better at the Manchester TtT event. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 11:49, 16 May 2014 (BST)
Registration was opened two months ago, with prospective attendees approached by direct email, and there is no public registration page or schedule (the emailed link was to a restricted web page which specified timing as 9.30am—6.30pm). I would not like to make plans around it until there is a confirmation that there have been sufficient numbers, and confirmation that registrations were accepted. -- (talk) 11:32, 20 May 2014 (BST)
There is no public registration page because this is not a public event, rather one intended only for people who became accredited trainers for Wikimedia UK before February this year. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 11:41, 20 May 2014 (BST)
I would say it is an event restricted to past trainees, it does not automatically follow that we must not use an open page to coordinate the event, such as discussing the schedule and content, sharing a list of who is coming or negotiating the social side. Coordination by direct private email increases the number of touch-points needed to confirm anything, and makes change unlikely, rather than the wiki norm of self service and encouraging suggestions for changes.
As a counter example, ARC meetings are restricted yet have an openly shared agenda in advance of meetings, public minutes afterwards, and a long term open meeting schedule, all of which can be discussed by anyone. Ensuring processes of the charity default to openly sharing as much as we can, rather than defaulting to closed communications, is part of meeting Value 4 of Vision, values and mission. In this case, one consequence of coordinating using closed channels would be that no other volunteers who might happen to be interested in training, would think of joining an evening social nearby. -- (talk) 12:01, 20 May 2014 (BST)
Registration is not on a pending-approval basis, anyone who registered has a place. If it were on a pending-approval basis, the registration confirmation page and email would have stated so. Yes, the event is happening. The exact programme for the day is determined by the training provider base on expectation provided by attendees during registration. There's nothing stopping discussion and or planning happening in public, such as is going on right here......... Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 12:56, 20 May 2014 (BST)
Thanks for confirming that, I was unaware of it and would not want to presume. If the training provider (Midas?) can provide a schedule/description it might be an idea to create a simple event page and move this specific discussion about the day's logistics to that talk page. As there is time before the event, the provider might want attendees to have a pre-discussion on expectations, which is not relevant to share on the watercooler. Is there a reason to not share the attendee list? I doubt this has an expectation of privacy, or represents private data. -- (talk) 13:50, 20 May 2014 (BST)

I have created the page Train the Trainers refresher 2014. Anyone got any thoughts on it before we link to it from Events? Yaris678 (talk) 15:07, 27 May 2014 (BST)

Cool. I note that Katie added the link to the event from the events page. Now we have somewhere to keep discussions about the event. Yaris678 (talk) 16:51, 29 May 2014 (BST)

Tools for identifying Wikimedians at press events, etc

Albin with Wikipedia microphone

Copied from a post I made to the UK mailing list at Michael Maggs's request:

Reading about the making of videos at Eurovison I was stuck by the positive response to the "Wikipedia representative", not least engendered by his use of a branded microphone windshield (see third picture in the above post; that windshield is far too big for use on the Zoom H1 which I use for the voice project, but something smaller would be useful).

Similarly, my local branch of OpenStreetMap issues mappers with branded high-viz vests; these often reassure the public (or at least facilitate the opening of a discussion), when someone is walking down their road noting house numbers and other features.

I suggest some thought is given to providing WMUK volunteers who are likely to attend press calls and related events with something to identify them in a crowd; this could include microphone windshields, tabards, baseball caps, or perhaps something else.

I strongly suggest that the primary brand used should be Wikipedia, with Wikimedia and WMUK (or WikiNews or whatever) beings secondary, as it is the former which the lay public recognise most readily; and which elicits the positive response referred to above.

On a related note, are we ever going to get the promised business cards?

Michael asked:

perhaps you could kick off a discussion there by summarising the sort of recognition and/or materials that you would find it helpful for the charity to supply?

I've mentioned some items above; I welcome suggestions from others. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 20:57, 15 May 2014 (BST)

I sent an email yesterday to the UK list and it has not been posted. If any one wishes to read my summary of the background, please email me for a copy. There seems little point in re-sending emails to the list as I have been given no explanation. Be aware that any emails I send may misleadingly appear in the list archives as if it was posted at the time I sent it. Thanks -- (talk) 14:04, 16 May 2014 (BST)

Or maybe the list admins haven't got round to dealing with it yet. Probably best not to speculate on motives. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:30, 16 May 2014 (BST)
(edit conflict) I have removed anything from my comment here that was more than bald facts, to make sure it is now extremely hard to read bad faith into it. The email of concern was posted on 15 May 2014 @14:16. If it does get posted, it will appear as if it were posted before six other emails in that thread that in practice were written afterwards. -- (talk) 15:20, 16 May 2014 (BST)
Thank you. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:23, 16 May 2014 (BST)

Business cards

I would hope that we can make the best possible use of this excellent suggestion to increase the range and scope of our charitable work.
If we were to supply business cards or other items implying accreditation, what should be on them? Something like "Volunteer Photographer, Wikimedia UK" or the equivalent, with the globe logo if we can persuade the WMF to allow us to use their trademark in that way? The wording "Wikipedia representative" may not be possible as we are not legally allowed to speak for the "Wikipedia community" as a whole, in the same way that we cannot control what goes into the encyclopedia. Just thinking aloud here; of course we will have to look into the legal issues of representation before we can be absolutely certain about what is safe. Ideally, it would be best if we can avoid having to print disclaimers, as any sort of legalise will tend to undermine the member and will scare people off.
What would members find useful, in practice?--MichaelMaggs (talk) 23:01, 15 May 2014 (BST)
Why the word "volunteer"? from comments on the mailing list there seems to be an assumption that it offers some form of legal indemnity to WMUK, or WMF; I remain to be convinced that that's the case. I've used my (voluntary) work with the RSPB as a yardstick before; when I appear in public alongside their paid staff, I have the same type of badge, and the same branded clothing, as they do. The voluntary nature of my participation is nowhere made apparent. [I've split this as a subsection of the above, lest that get bogged down]. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 00:04, 16 May 2014 (BST)
That was just my suggestion. I suspect that the term, or something equivalent, might be needed on a formal business card, but as you say would seem unnecessary on clothing, badges and so on.--MichaelMaggs (talk) 07:39, 16 May 2014 (BST)
as far as I'm aware Andy is right and defining someone as a volunteer does not limit the charity's liability. My view is that if we want to be a volunteer led organisation we should provide volunteers with cards. The charity would need to consider and take steps to limit any liability which might arise as a result. This would however possibly open up a distinction between 'officially-approved' volunteers and others doing the same kind of work on their own initiative. How would everyone feel about that? Any suggestions for the basis on which cards should/should not be issued? Mccapra (talk) 17:06, 17 May 2014 (BST)
As I understand the logic of the previous debate, it was essentially that if we gave volunteers business cards, they would be representing WMUK. The board, in their infinite wisdom, thought that was an inherently bad thing, but there was also the small risk that somebody "representing" WMUK might say something silly, that somebody might take them seriously, and that WMUK's reputation might suffer as a consequence. That's a lot of ifs buts and maybes if you ask me. Volunteers representing WMUK should be seen as a Good Thing™, and the advantages of business cards to people like Andy and me (who talk to a lot of people and often need to follow up, or give others a way of following up should they wish) far outweigh the hypothetical drawbacks based on an overly conservative approach to risk. On a list of most useful things the chapter could d for its volunteers, business cards would be pretty high up on my list. If it's really necessary, we can sign some sort of agreement. Harry Mitchell (talk) 10:58, 24 May 2014 (BST)
Bear in mind that the composition of the board was almost totally different during that 'previous debate'. I can't speak for past boards, but I can say that the current board is more than open to discussing ideas such as this which could help volunteers be more effective in the work they want to do in association with the charity.--MichaelMaggs (talk) 13:32, 24 May 2014 (BST)
I can speak with personal recall of board discussions (for goodness sake, it was hardly that long ago and plenty of discussion was publicly on this wiki), the issue was volunteers making up fantasy titles rather than being an "inherently bad thing", however the trustees wanted to care not to hurt anyone's feelings. Being open to discussing ideas with volunteers is not an invention of the "new" board of trustees, giving out that perception is unhelpful and truly smacks of damnatio memoriae, in most measurable ways past boards were far more engaged in discussion with volunteers than the current set. -- (talk) 14:16, 24 May 2014 (BST)
Your last sentence is accurate, Fae, certainly. It wasn't the volunteers who made up the vanity titles, though (indeed, I Tip-Ex'd it out on my cards), but the phrase used for getting us replacements was "within a week"... Harry Mitchell (talk) 17:18, 24 May 2014 (BST)
This is now on the agenda for the next Board meetingMccapra (talk) 18:54, 24 May 2014 (BST)
Thanks Harry. I have no idea why anyone promised to get replacements within a week. I doubt it was me, based on my personal experience of it taking almost a year to be supplied with replacement business cards, and by the time I actually had them in my possession I was on my way out the door, so they became an extremely expensive notepad. I never found out how much they cost, but I think it would have been in the region of £140? Enough to provide lunch and travel for a modest edit-a-thon. It's been said before, but I hope the board actually ask about costs this time around, as it seems fair to make these costs a matter of public record. -- (talk) 20:17, 24 May 2014 (BST)
I'm not sure I'd go along with the logic that the business cards would be a replacement for an editahon (nor, even, that the editathon would be the better investment, even if it has more tangible results), but I do take your point on costs. It seems reasonable for people to know how much they cost and weigh that up against the benefits for themselves, I agree. "Within a week" was the phrase used (just one of those things that sticks in the mind, I guess) but I guess recrimination for the events of yesteryear isn't really helpful, and I take Alistair's comment to mean that the board will consider the issue carefully, which is progress at least. Harry Mitchell (talk) 22:37, 24 May 2014 (BST)

This is an old conversation and I'm not sure of the outcome, but just wanted to give some factual background.

The Wikimedia Foundation specify a standard for business cards which involves rounded corners and two-sided cards. The cards that were printed a couple of years ago met this standard, but this was why the cost was so controversially high, which in turn was why the idea has not revisited again until this year. Our previous batch of business cards used a more standard format: rectangular and printed on one side. This is naturally cheaper and also meant we could approach a wider range of printing shops. When I was a trustee, I spent a day getting PDF-editing software, editing the template, ringing around Bristol printers for quotes and bussing out to the shop that could do it cheapest. The cost will be written down somewhere, but it was relatively cheap- I seem to recall 90 quid for 1500 cards, but don't rely on my memory. (There are special offers for business cards that seem much cheaper than this, but you can't use your own design). I still use this business cards at events today, with the "Trustee" part scratched out of course.

I like Andy's suggestion of microphone shields/ other props that are visibly Wikipedia-branded, but it could be costly for small numbers. Maybe the on-a-charity-budget solution is just to use stickers? MartinPoulter (talk) 15:34, 6 September 2014 (BST)


Anything visible, like t-shirts/hoodies (perhaps with writing on the back, rather than the front?), baseball caps, camera cases/straps, and other props that people would use anyway lends itself to being branded, which makes it visible. I do agree that the Wikipedia logo is the one that people recognise; if I have to spend ten minutes explaining the difference between Wikimedia and Wikipedia, we've defeated the point (which is to be recognisable, and to catch people's eye with something they immediately recognise and have positive thoughts about). Harry Mitchell (talk) 11:34, 24 May 2014 (BST)
Camera straps would be good idea, if the brand is very prominent. Clothing would need a logo (perhaps breast-pocket sized) on the front, if the purpose is to identify the wearer to someone facing them. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 19:49, 28 May 2014 (BST)

Shaping our programme 2014-19

Shaping our programme 2014.pdf

Dear community,

We are now preparing for plans for next year. This is a complicated task with many viewpoints and factors to consider. Your view are an important part of this and I am publishing today a discussion paper with suggestions for how the chapter can develop over the next year and beyond.

It is based on previous year's work and interviews with trustees, community members and staff.

You can access it here

Please comment on the discussion page.

Thanks and hope to see many of you at Wikimania. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 12:16, 6 August 2014 (BST)

Scholarships to Wikimania London

Wikimania 2013 group photo

Application for scholarship support to attend this year Wikimania is now open. Wikimania 2014, the 10th annual international conference of the Wikimedia movement, is being held between 6 and 10 August 2014. The venue is in the Barbican Centre, London.

To qualify for assistance, you must either be based in the UK or a UK citizen living abroad, and agree to produce a public report (which may be published on the Wikimedia UK blog and/or in our newsletters) summarising the key things that you have taken from the event. Applications may be made for the cost of conference registration, accommodation for the duration of Wikimania, and/or travel within the UK.

Application should be made by completing this application form. The deadline for application is Sunday 8 June 15 June. After the deadline, we will be in touch to offer scholarships as soon as possible. Any UK residents who have previously made an application for scholarship through the Wikimedia Foundation process and had agreed to share their application details with their local chapter need not apply again. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 17:19, 16 May 2014 (BST)

Thanks Katie. May I ask out of curiosity how many scholarships are on offer and/or how much money is being made available for this? CT Cooper · talk 19:10, 18 May 2014 (BST)
It will be depending on needs and applications. The estimated amount is approximately £7,800, which is on par with last year. I hope that helps. Regards -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 14:22, 19 May 2014 (BST)

Bad copyright rules killed Hadfield's Space Oddity

There is an interesting op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen[4] complaining about misuse of bad copyright law to take down Chris Hadfield's cover of "Space Oddity" on the ISS. This is something that is probably of interest to many people here - maybe something we can issue a comment about? Also covered by Boing Boing. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 13:43, 19 May 2014 (BST)

The UK community of active volunteers might not have a solid consensus that this was "bad copyright law". It is no surprise that David Bowie would want to protect the copyright of his most well known works, or have the performing rights negotiated, before finding them globally published. If there is interest in taking official positions on copyright, there are other examples that would illustrate how UK copyright law or its frequent poor interpretation damages open knowledge; misunderstood orphan works or national institutions claiming commercial rights on publicly funded copies of public domain artwork spring to mind.
Thanks for highlighting the story, there are interesting user comments on the article. -- (talk) 12:20, 20 May 2014 (BST)

Wiki Loves Monuments UK 2014 planning meeting

Wiki Loves Monuments United Kingdom

Wiki Loves Monuments is a public photo competition around cultural heritage monuments, organised by volunteers within individual countries taking part. Last year UK competition focusing on Listed Buildings resulted in over 11,000 photos being contributed by over 500 participants. An in-person planning meeting has been scheduled for this year UK participation of the competition. This is to take place on Sunday 29 June from 12:30pm BST at the Wikimedia UK office building in London. Wikimedia UK will cover travel cost of attendees going to the meeting. For more information, and to sign up to attend, see WLM 2014 planning meeting. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 13:55, 29 May 2014 (BST)

Connecting knowledge to power: the future of digital democracy in the UK

Hello everyone, Wikimedia UK and Demos are encouraging Wikimedians to participate in an attempt to crowdsource a submission to a call for evidence on digital democracy from the Speaker of the House of Commons. You can find the consultation page here and we look forward to hearing from you. Full information about this call can be found on the consultation page on Meta here. It has also been shared via various Wikimedia mailing lists and I do hope you'll take part in what we hope will be interesting and useful. Thank you. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 15:16, 29 May 2014 (BST)

Supporting new editors and measuring retention.

Aaaron Halfaker from the Foundation says he is happy to share this posting from wikiemdia-l which I think might be of interest:

I'm a research scientist working for the WMF. My research focuses on the nature of newcomer participation, editor motivation and value production in Wikipedia. See [1] and [2] (if you have the time) for my most seminal work on the subject.

As you'll see in the study I referenced, my work directly addresses a substantial portion of the questions you've raised. See also my team's work with standardizing metrics[3] including survival measures[4] and my work exploring retention trends in ptwiki[5]. See [6] for an example of a recent, cross-language study of newcomer article creation patterns. Also, you might be interested in [7] since it confirms your general concerns about the speed of speedy deletions.

A lot of the work of /really understanding Wikipedia/ is only half-way done since it takes a long time build understanding about previously undocumented phenomena. The academic community, other researchers at the WMF and myself are in the middle of developing a whole field around how open collaboration systems like Wikipedia work, common problems they have and how they can be best supported.

While we're developing this general knowledge about engagement, production and retention in our communities, we (the research & data team) are also working directly with product teams at the WMF to measure their impact on key metrics (e.g. participation) with scientific rigor and to challenge/develop/refine theory on which product strategies lead us toward our goals and which ones do not. See [8] and [9] for examples of such studies.

I welcome anyone who'd like to continue the conversation about what we do and don't know about Wikipedia(s) to raise discussions at wiki-research-l[10]. There are a lot more researchers on that list than wikimedia-l. FWIW, I tend to follow that list more closely.

1. Summary: http://www-users.cs.umn.edu/~halfak/publications/The_Rise_and_Decline/

2. Full paper: http://www-users.cs.umn.edu/~halfak/publications/The_Rise_and_Decline/halfaker13rise-preprint.pdf

3. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Analytics/Editor_Engagement_Vital_Signs

4. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Surviving_new_editor

5. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Ideas/Is_ptwiki_declining_like_enwiki%3F

6. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Wikipedia_article_creation

7. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:The_Speed_of_Speedy_Deletions

8. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Onboarding_new_Wikipedians/Rollout

9. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:VisualEditor%27s_effect_on_newly_registered_editors/Results

10. https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l


Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 15:52, 30 May 2014 (BST)

Rather than reposting emails on-wiki, the convention is to link to the original, like this. One benefit is that interested volunteers can read the whole thread and take part on Wikimedia-l if they wish, rather than duplicating/dispersing discussion on the Chapter water cooler.
If things are less stressful in the office now, could someone please remember to give an answer my outstanding question about expected WMUK plans? It has been waiting for 3 weeks for a link or anything more than a place-holder comment, and it was intended as a very simple question that would require hardly any employee time, or indeed none. Thanks -- (talk) 16:18, 30 May 2014 (BST)

Wikimania 2014: Informal visit to Barbican Centre

Wikimedians visiting the Conservatory at the Barbican Centre, 8 June 2014

In order to start getting a feel for Wikimania 2014, we shall be having an informal visit to the Barbican Centre on Sunday 8th June. If you fancy coming along, please add your name here. We will be joining the London Meetup later. 18:46, 30 May 2014 (BST)

Thanks to everyone who came along. I hope it gave you a better insight of what to expect for Wikimania 2014. Some photos have already been uploaded to commons, which includes some pictures from the Free Culture Weekend.Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) (talk) 10:39, 11 June 2014 (BST)

Trainers needed for workshop in London

RGS Headquarters

WMUK is supporting a Wiki Workshop for Geographers at the Royal Geographical Society (1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR) on Monday 7th July 2014, 1pm-5pm. 2-3 trainers are needed for this event, one of whom will need to act as lead trainer. Travel expenses will be covered as usual. Please direct questions to me or sign up on this page, if you're willing to join in as a trainer. Thanks! --Toni Sant (WMUK) (talk) 17:31, 3 June 2014 (BST)

Bed/couch needed for Wikimedian this weekend in London

Hi All

A Wikimedian is coming from the Netherlands (Ter-burg) to one of the Wikimania fringe events this weekend and would like to know if anyone has a bed/couch available he could stay this Saturday in London.


John Cummings (WMUK) (talk) 11:55, 5 June 2014 (BST)

Can you help categorize 6,000 photographs (photochrome) taken in the 19th-century?

Can you name this Beefeater?
TIFF format, 2,736 × 3,680 pixels, 28.83 MB

I am just over half-way through uploading the Library of Congress' collection of photochrome prints and hope to complete the collection in about a week's time. These were taken between 1890 to 1900 and were created using an unusual process of putting a high quality black and white photograph as a base for colour lithograph printing. Colours were added by hand and several layers were used (more than six). The high quality cards were incredibly popular at the time as gifts to send by post, and are mostly of famous locations around the world, or of people in their national dress. Images are being uploaded in both tif and jpg versions, and I am sorting them by country.

These are high quality scans, the tifs being over 3,000 pixels on the longest side, and represent some of the best and most popular photographs of the 1890s. Please enjoy browsing the files, and consider helping with a bit of categorization or reuse to illustrate Wikipedia articles of these notable locations.

-- (talk) 09:57, 7 June 2014 (BST)

Sir Francis Drake's House near Severn Bridge, Gatcombe, Glos - our most recent image of a grade II* listed building
Hi Fae, great photos, apart from the amount of ivy it is surprising how little the buildings have changed in the last hundred years. Though [Category:Camberley_Wellingtonia_Avenue trees] and landforms can be very different. I made a temporary category at Commons:Category:19th_century_photochrome_prints_of_the_UK_and_Ireland_(uncategorised) - there are still a few in there which have yet to be moved from there to better categories. Could you possibly add any that are currently only in the two categories 19th century photochrome prints of the UK and Ireland and Photochrom prints collection to that working category? If anyone else wants to join in, some of the ones that remain are ones I am struggling to locate. 10:54, 16 June 2014 (BST)
Will try adding to my LoC housekeeping script. Note that the uploads are still happening so more may appear. The total number of files should hit nearly 12,000, so more than 80% seems done. I have just started "upgrading" all jpegs to very high resolution, matching the tif sizes; this will probably take quite a while to complete (weeks probably) as it relies pumping everything through my (not great) home broadband connection. Hopefully the charity will pay the previously offered contribution to my broadband costs, even if the Chief Exec and the board of trustees leave me unable to pay to renew my membership and so have no status to make any more proposals to benefit the mission. -- (talk) 12:27, 16 June 2014 (BST)


On Saturday night I was on a party on Swansea beach. As the weather was showery there were a couple of people with umbrellas, one of which was a Wikipedia umbrella and this attracted the attention of a few people. One asking "Where does one get a Wikipedia umbrella?" the answer was Germany, as this umbrella was courtesy of WMDE, but it got me wondering why Wikimedia UK doesn't have umbrellas? Given the stereotype of both the British people and British weather, they seem like an obvious cultural fit to me. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 16:39, 10 June 2014 (BST)

Cost I think. Umbrellas are pretty expensive (and they have to be done well because we don't want tatty merchandise that falls apart). Worth looking into though. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 19:11, 10 June 2014 (BST)

3D printing?

Has anyone explored the possibilities of bringing 3D printing to Wikimedia? With prices of printers themselves tumbling, and the application of the technology expanding everyday perhaps it's something to explore. I've used it personally for making all kinds of tat, trophies, keyrings, little 3D trinkets, perhaps the kind of stuff that Wikimedia could use as promotional items?

The tech lends itself very well to the whole open source movement with models being easily wrapped up and uploaded to websites with accompanying CC licensing. Perhaps commons could be made to incorporate this kind of media with a view to making development and production of 3D models more accessible?

P.S this post came about from attending my first wikimeet event, which I'm posting from right now. Nonlineartom (talk) 15:01, 14 June 2014 (BST)

It has been discussed before. I propose that we organize borrowing one or hiring it to be on display and in use during Wikimania. I suspect that a manufacturer would probably loan one for the event for free. If we can set up an instruction page, Wikimedians might even try designing a few things to print out on it during the event (limited edition 3D Jimbo action figures would be worth a fortune on eBay ;-) ).
As there seem sufficient interest on email lists[5][6] in this as a project, could someone please raise a draft proposal at Project grants? Not currently being able to pay £5 to renew my membership, means I am not allowed to make this proposal myself. There is not much time before Wikimania, but there should be enough to either purchase a kit for the hackerthon, or arrange a loan of a demo printer. -- (talk) 08:13, 15 June 2014 (BST)

All sounds interesting, personally I've used a reprap before and they can be absolutely infuriating at times to make them reliable with decent results that don't resemble a toddlers attempt to ice a cake (in 3D) The tech seems to have moved along a lot in the past 2 or 3 years and having been a regular attendee of a fab lab in the north I've had the luxury of using, and breaking most makes and types of 3D printers. The latest generation of Makerbots really bowled me over with their reliability and ease of use, on the old "Denford Up!" printers I was getting maybe a 30% success rates on prints, all sorts of problems with prints coming loose from the print beds, or going horribly wrong 4 hours into a 6 hour print job. I'm still in contact with a guy called James Kitson who used to manage the Fab Lab at Keighley and now works for Denford in a job to do with their 3D printers I think. I still don't think they make the best products but he might be someone to speak to about borrowing a printer for wikimania?

Also worth noting I *think* the makerbot is closed source with it's print software but the printer itself runs off an arduino board so loading g-code from an open source print application should be doable. Am I able to make this proposal as a total n00b? Nonlineartom (talk) 18:03, 15 June 2014 (BST)

Being new is not a barrier to making suggestions. Especially when you bring some new knowledge to the table. I may be on thin ice here, but I don't see how the printer being closed source is any worse than a PC being closed source, and lots of people read and even edit Wikimedia projects using closed source PCs. I'm assuming that the open side of this is in the designs themselves. As for relevance to our project, tat is one thing, it would be nice to be able to give attendees 3d printed flip flops, mousemats or umbrellas but that is a bit peripheral. More important is demonstrating usefulness in education. John Cummings has shown me software that creates a 3d model from multiple 2d images, I think it would be great if the Wikipedia article on the Broken Hill Skull not only included text, images and maybe a 3d image you could rotate, but also an openly licensed 3d model that you could download and print. Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 18:49, 15 June 2014 (BST)

I think what you are referring to there is the 123D suite of tools from Autodesk, which are amazing. Specifically 123D catch which as you say, creates 3D models from a series of 2D images with astonishing accuracy. It's totally free for non commercial use and it's all server side, the software just uploads the images to autodesks servers where it does all the computation and spits out an .obj 3D model complete with full texture map. .obj's are an open format so you can use free software like meshlab or netfab to view and manipulate the mesh, clean it up and prepare it for printing, and here lies the tricky part, actually getting something prepared for printing.

I agree with your comment about it not being a deal breaker using closed source software and hardware in a workflow, but the more open the better simply because it gives us as a community greater opportunities to learn, develop and fundamentally improve the underlying technology.

It's also relatively simple to go from fully open source modelling software like Blender to 3D printers if you want to create from scratch. My personal favourite use of printers has been playing around in Google Sketchup which has a very fast learning curve, not for engineers used to engineering terms but for novices who just want to draw things, in 3D. Within minutes you can have an accurate model of a building, which you can submit to google for inclusion in google earth, but also print a scale model quite easily. I don't know much about Wiki loves monuments but could there be a potential tie in here? Just thinking out loud. Nonlineartom (talk) 19:09, 15 June 2014 (BST)

User:Nonlineartom I feel your pain about RepRaps, I've had a similar experience, one thing that I feel is missing from this discussion is that prints take hours and hours so not really suitable for things to give away. However it could be used to show the potential for schools to print their own educational models etc. Are there any particular models that would be of interest? Thingiverse.com is a useful place to look. I have a fairly reliable 3d printer that I could print a few 3d models from before hand, however I will be working during Wikimania (I'm working at WMUK at the moment organising it) and it's not the sort of thing you can just leave going on a stall. --Mrjohncummings (talk) 11:48, 17 June 2014 (BST)

I've been talking to the guy I know who used to run a fab lab, he's passed me information of someone who works at Denford who might be able to sort out providing gear for wikimania, who do I pass this information onto? He also said the latest gen of reprap's are comparable to Up and Makerbot printers but I'm yet to be convinced. Just looking on eBay there are dozens of makerbot clone kits out there based on arduino that should give decent results. Sadly none in kit form. I think the idea of building a 3D printer during Wikimania is actually really cool, especially with timelapse camera(s)

I know what you mean about prints taking hours, the way I saw it working was to leave the printer in wikimedia office, quietly chugging away day after day making a few dozen bits of merch a time so there is a stock built up for events as well as it working on the day, hopefully working predictably by this point and not spewing plastic spaghetti all over the desk. If a kit was used I'd be happy to use the laser cutter I have access to for manufacturing a new chassis (the cheap bit) appropriately adorned in wikimedia livery. The box like ones are probably a bit easier to transport which would make it great for taking to schools to demo and experiment with. I use thingiverse a lot, it's a great tool but an even more open wikicommons based hub for models would be brilliant in my mind. I'm not very familar with Wikimedias work with the wider community and I should probably read up on what the bigger goals are of the foundation. I just like the idea of more people using 3D printers as an everyday solution for fixing instead of replacing stuff. Nonlineartom (talk) 14:00, 17 June 2014 (BST)

SUGGESTION - some good ideas here (declaration - I do actually know Nonlineartom IRL!) Could John and Tom have a skype/hangout/mumble/meeting on the astral plane and look at ways to maybe use Wikimania to introduce/explore this with a view to longer term outcomes? I love the idea of using it to print buildings from Wiki loves monuments or museum exhibitions and donating or lending them to schools to make collections/heritage more accessible which is very much in line with our mission. Could use Wikimania to gauge interest from the community in delivering such a project if you had a printer running and a sign up sheet? :-) Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 14:24, 17 June 2014 (BST)
Will do, Nonlineartom I'll be in touch --Mrjohncummings (talk) 13:54, 18 June 2014 (BST)

Can we make a 3D wiki globe? Or half a globe for wall mounting? At least a meter in diameter, one piece at a time, as in the jigsaw? Could then be painted with symbols. One for Cymru, please! Robin Owain (WMUK) (talk) 08:47, 27 June 2014 (BST)

WMUK Governance Review Phase III

Dear All,

We are now tendering for the third and final stage of our governance review.

All details are on the page below.

Should you want to talk to me about any aspect of the work please get in touch.


Jon Davies. 14:42, 20 June 2014 (BST)

UK Wikimedian of the Year 2014

It's that time of the year where we are looking for nominations for UK Wikimedian of the Year. The UK Wikimedian of the Year is an annual award given by Wikimedia UK to thank those in the UK or abroad who have helped the UK Wikimedia movement. These volunteers and institutions have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help bring open knowledge to all.

We would like to invite your nomination for this year winners on UK Wikimedian of the Year 2014/Nomination by end of Sunday 29 June.

Sorry for the short notice here. This went out on the UK mailing list on the 13th, but I've only just spotted (when Katie sent a reminder to the list today) that it doesn't appear to have been advertised on the Water Cooler before, an oversight for which I apologise. Chris McKenna (WMUK) (talk) 12:31, 26 June 2014 (BST)

WMUK sponsored project image on the front page of Wikipedia today

Airliners project image of a Canadair Challenger 604

The image on the right is one of the Airliners uploads that I have been running as a Commons project. The photograph is the primary image on the the main page of Wikipedia today, as it illustrates the Featured Article[7] No. 34 Squadron RAAF. I uploaded this image in July 2013, and WMUK started supporting uploads of this project in February 2014 after supplying me with a macmini (a more powerful version of my 7 years old one). You can read more about my active upload projects on my Commons user page. Over 82,000 images of aircraft have been uploaded using my tools as part of the project, though the total is larger as a variety of methods have been used by volunteers.

In a similar vein, my upload of a Royal Canadian Air Force CC-150 Polaris aircraft during aerial refueling from the US Department of Defense was a featured picture on the Persian Wikipedia last month.[8] My semi-automated uploads to Commons of DoD photographs started in 2012. -- (talk) 13:51, 7 July 2014 (BST)

Thank you for your work on these uploads. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 22:14, 7 July 2014 (BST)

Campus Ambassadors workshop on 6 August

Wikipedia Campus Ambassadors logo

WMUK is co-hosting a Campus Ambassadors workshop as part of the Education Pre-Conference at Wikimania on Wednesday 6 August 2014. This is part of the chapter's renewed efforts to organise a Campus Ambassadors Programme in the UK.

Are you interested in using Wikipedia as a teaching tool? Do you want to support the use of Wikipedia on a university campus? Whether you're a student, a teacher, a policymaker or just a curious individual, come along to our free training session at the Barbican. Registration is required and, if you're an educator, you may also attend the Educator training workshops on Thursday 7 August 2014 using the same registration form.

Please register now! --Toni Sant (WMUK) (talk) 14:50, 17 July 2014 (BST)

Celtic Meet-up at Wikimania

Celtic cross - Ireland

There's a welcome to all those directly involved with all Celtic langauage wikis at Wikimania here, or anyone who wishes to support in any way eg AWB, infoboxes, databases, dbpedia, or just making the tea. Robin Owain (WMUK) (talk) 12:08, 18 July 2014 (BST)

Applications for a Fundraising Assistant

Wikimedia UK are now accepting applications for a Fundraising Assistant to support the delivery of the charity's fundraising programme in particular working with our donors and undertaking the essential administrative tasks involved with donor stewardship. If you are interested in applying, more details can be found here. The deadline for applications is 5pm BST on Friday 1st August 2014. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:24, 18 July 2014 (BST)

GLAM-Wiki 2013 Conference - long term survey

The memories of attending the GLAM-Wiki Conference in London last year may have faded for many of us, but a year after the conference we wanted to see what impact it made on the participants. For this reason in Spring 2014 we have run a 'long term effects' survey that was circulated to all the attendees and answered by 34 people. The full results - only a couple of pages - can be seen here. Particularly inspiring is the 'Action' section, which shows what a great effect the event had on the participants. Enjoy reading the report! Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 15:29, 21 July 2014 (BST)

Wikimedian in Residence - review of the programme

Hi All, over the last couple of months I've been working on reviewing the Wikimedian in Residence programme run by Wikimedia UK. I will be promoting it more widely later this week and further on in July, but it would be great to hear your early thoughts. Please see the report here. One possible space for comments could be here.

Many thanks! Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 17:14, 30 June 2014 (BST)

NB I would like to get the report printed, and to be able to do so for Wikimania I would need to introduce any changes to the content itself by Friday 4th July. Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 17:15, 30 June 2014 (BST)

New outreach publications

We have three new booklets for outreach and our annual review, due to arrive at the office at the end of the month. If you think they'd be useful in your work, drop me an email at richard.nevellatwikimedia.org.uk Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 11:45, 22 July 2014 (BST)

NIACE calls for evidence on implementation of new GCSEs for post-16 education

Hello everyone. National Institute of Continuing Adult Education (NIACE) are calling for submissions to a consultation about new GCSEs and their implementation in the world of post-16 education. Could be a fair amount of work but equally a really good opportunity to make the case for the Wikimedia projects and open knowledge more generally. The basics of the call are here and the full details are here. Wikimania is coming, but the submissions aren't due until 30 September so time shouldn't be a factor. Thanks for any and all suggestions. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:31, 23 July 2014 (BST)

Conference about communicating research, 25-26 September 2014, London - anyone interested?

Hi All,

I recently read about the 1:AM Altmetrics conference (http://www.altmetricsconference.com/). The event focuses on new trends in scholarly publishing and measuring its impact . Where Wikimedia UK becomes relevant is when the debate focuses on how research could be used on Wikimedia projects, how could that be measured, and why it is important to do. Delegates will be invited to share their ideas and experiences in communicating research - Wikimedia UK could add an interesting perspective to that.

Is anyone interested in attending and representing Wikimedia UK? Reasonable expenses would be covered.

Get in touch - daria.cybulskaatwikimedia.org.uk.

Thanks! Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 09:36, 24 July 2014 (BST)

House of Lords Digital Skills Committee calls for evidence

Hello everyone. The House of Lords has established a Digital Skills Committee and has called for evidence. The investigation will explore how the UK can be prepared to compete in a global digital economy, examining issues such as whether we're developing a workforce that is appropriately skilled for the future in jobs that may not yet exist, and how we are encouraging people of all ages to choose careers which will benefit the future digital era. The call for evidence can be found here. Wikimedia UK should consider making a submission to this committee on this issue. Among the many groups they are asking to submit, they include four that are of relevance: technology companies [or charities], digital literacy groups, civil society and lifelong learning organisations. There is plenty of time for us to make a submission as the consultation closes on 5 September. Perhaps a burst of activity after Wikimania? Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 12:52, 24 July 2014 (BST)

If anyone has any preliminary thoughts, I've started a drafting page here. I wouldn't be in the least offended if nothing there at the moment remains obviously! If anyone wants an impromptu hack at this over Wikimania I'm sure we could self-organise something Sjgknight (talk) 13:08, 24 July 2014 (BST)

Right to be forgotten - Google consultation

Google are seeking comments in a consultation on the right to be forgotten, and will be asking some of those submitting to in-person meetings in the future. From the page:

To further its understanding of the issues raised by the ruling, the Council seeks input on these topics among others that may arise:

  • Are there any procedural issues raised by the case (e.g., responsibilities of search engines, data protection authorities,, publishers, individuals)?
  • What is the nature and delineation of a public figure’s right to
  • How should we differentiate content in the public interest from content that is not?
  • Does the public have a right to information about the nature, volume, and outcome of removal requests made to search engines?
  • What is the public’s right to information when it comes to reviews of professional or consumer services? Or criminal histories?
  • Should individuals be able to request removal of links to information published by a government?
  • Do publishers of content have a right to information about requests to remove it from search?

August 11th deadline for the public meetings (they say they'll read ones after) with a list of meetings on the site (London, October 16th). I imagine this will be of interest to some individuals, I don't know if it's something Wikimedia UK should submit something collectively on. Sjgknight (talk) 11:55, 26 July 2014 (BST)

I would expect a collective process, that were to include interested Wikimedia volunteers as well as the charity's board members and employees, would result in a mix of opinions. However it would be interesting to see an engaging collective submission attempted. -- (talk) 16:13, 26 July 2014 (BST)
Agreed, it'd be interesting to see if we can show an interesting range of opinions perhaps alongside what insight we think the Wikimedia context has to offer on the issue (e.g. BLP policy). I've created the start of a page here anyway if people want to collate ideas/start working. Time scale is relatively short unfortunately. Sjgknight (talk) 17:48, 26 July 2014 (BST)

Clean-up of old wiki

Because this concerns everyone who was an admin on the old wiki, I'm letting you know of this. When the old wiki was redirected to the new one, the advanced rights were not cleared up.--Jasper Deng (talk) 05:11, 28 July 2014 (BST)

Apparently, this requires your endorsement, even though no-one has physical control of the wiki anymore.--Jasper Deng (talk) 07:41, 28 July 2014 (BST)
Thank you Jasper, I have replied on meta wiki. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 11:06, 28 July 2014 (BST)

Applications open for a Wikipedian in Residence at the Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry, an organisation based in Cambridge and London, is looking for a Wikipedian in Residence to deliver a six-month full-time project. The deadline for applications is 17th August. If you or someone you know would be interested in applying, details can be found here. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 12:19, 30 July 2014 (BST)

Wikimania Future of Education Workshop - feedback from attendees

Future of Education Workshop attendees

WMUK volunteers Raya Sharbain and Hannah Jones have assisted Richard Nevell, Fabian Tompsett, and me in gathering feedback from attendees to the recent Future of Education Workshop, presented as part of the Wikimania Fringe. Here are the final reports from this feedback:

Further comments are welcome, either here or on the event talk page. Thank you. --Toni Sant (WMUK) (talk) 13:40, 30 July 2014 (BST)

Visual Editor

Hello all! I am currently typing this message on the Visual Editor, which has been rolled out across this wiki thanks to Emmanuel, our resident magician. Do let us know if there are any issues - there shouldn't be, but just in case. The first issue is that I can't sign this post. Otherwise, everything works so far. Richard Symonds, WMUK, 16:22, 31/07/2014

Celebrations at the National Library of Scotland - one year anniversary!

Ally Crockford, the Wikimedian in Residence at the NLS, has completed her first year in post, making her the longest standing WIR in the UK. To celebrate... she wrote a great 12 month summary report - click here to enjoy. Congratulations Ally!

-- Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 17:25, 31 July 2014 (BST)

Bravo! Kelson (talk) 18:12, 31 July 2014 (BST)

Armenian citizens encouraged to write WP articles in new campaign

Hello everyone. The BBC is reporting on a new campaign called "One Armenian, One Article" in a bid to encourage Armenian citizens to write articles on Wikipedia. This seems to be a part of a drive to encourage preservation and acknowledgement of Armenian culture. You can read the article here - and thanks to User:Richard Symonds (WMUK) for the spot! Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:01, 1 August 2014 (BST)

We're recruiting a Programme Intern (paid)

Hello everyone, Wikimedia UK has just begun recruiting for a paid intern to join our programme team for three months. The main focus of the role will be to organise and support the delivery of Wikimedia gender gap related events, particularly Women in Science editathons, focusing on Ada Lovelace October celebrations. We would particularly welcome applicants with an understanding of, and experience of, our mission. You can see full details of the role here and the closing date is 5pm on Monday 18 August. We do hope that you will apply, or share the details with your networks. Thank you. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 15:04, 1 August 2014 (BST)

New overlaying website is live

Hello everyone, I'm very happy to report that our new overlay website is live. Just to reiterate that this is intended for people new to our work and encountering us for the first time. Experienced Wikimedians and our community are not the primary audience for this. But I'd like to know what you think, so please do take a look. It's here. I expect there are refinements needed and I have spotted a couple myself but on the whole I am happy with it. I hope you like it. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:14, 8 August 2014 (BST)

Voting at the AGM

Yesterday a number of concerns were raised about expired membership and voting at the AGM. Evidently this year a number of people’s memberships have expired without their realising. We adopted a new procedure this year on AGM voting in response to concerns about security, and sent out voting forms in the post. It was obviously not clear to everyone that they needed the form posted to them in order to vote. After Wikimania I’ll start a discussion on the wiki about whether we should continue to post voting forms in future years – unless anyone else wants to start it sooner. As far as voting at this year’s AGM is concerned the Board has asked me to say the following:

1. If you are a member and for any reason have not received/forgotten to bring your voting paper, you can ask for a new voting paper shortly before the AGM. Papers will be available for any member who needs them. There will be a check to confirm that your membership is current.

2. As in previous years, it will be possible for applications for membership to be considered in advance of the AGM, and for the Board to have oversight when it holds a meeting just before the AGM. If you have come to Wikimania believing that you are a member and just discovered that you aren’t any more, and you want to rejoin and vote: you can apply to rejoin up to noon tomorrow using the online form at https://donate.wikimedia.org.uk/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=4

If you are readmitted you will be given voting papers and may vote.

Apologies for any difficulty caused this year. I hope this answers the concerns raised.


Alastair McCapra WMUK Secretary

2014 AGM

In all the hubbub of Wikimania it could be easy to forget that we held our 2014 AGM! Unless I am mistaken we had 72 people through the door making it our best attended ever. The minutes are being written up and will be published as soon as possible. Holding it in the middle of Wikimania meant that an unusually large number of people could attend. For instance volunteers who had received WMUK or Foundation scholarships. We also attracted a number of observers from other countries.

It is important to put on record my thanks to:

  • The volunteer tellers, Richard Symonds and James Farrar.
  • Michael Maggs for calmly chairing despite time restrictions and a packed agenda.
  • Greyham Dawes for a concise and authoritative Treasurer's report.
  • The Wikimania Team for accommodating us.
  • Everyone who turned up, and those that were unable to who cast their votes by post or proxy.
  • Those who contributed to the discussions and debates.

Next year's will be on September 13th, venue to be decided. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 10:10, 12 August 2014 (BST)

Could someone add a link here to the parallel Facebook discussion that informed so many members and interested Wikimedians about events throughout the AGM? Unfortunately I was unaware that this was a feature of the AGM either beforehand, or at the time. Thanks -- (talk) 11:05, 12 August 2014 (BST)

Applications for a Volunteer Support Organiser (Cover)

Hello everyone, Wikimedia UK is now accepting applications for a Volunteer Support Organiser (Cover). The role will involve managing the engagement and development of volunteers in the programme of activities and work of Wikimedia UK. This is a fixed term position for four months. If you are interested in applying, more details can be found here. The deadline for applications is 5pm BST on Tuesday 26th August 2014. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 16:33, 12 August 2014 (BST)

Am I able to fix problems with the new front end?

I have just spotted a small error on the new front end at https://wikimedia.org.uk/

Am I able to fix it myself? e.g. is there a wiki that it takes info from? Or do I have to request a change?

The error I spotted was that the link for Liverpool meetup is incorrect.

Yaris678 (talk) 13:15, 15 August 2014 (BST)

Actually, another link also simply returns you to the main page. I suspect that the links are waiting to be updated, but in general it's probably best to raise a bugzilla ticket at https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org.uk/ if we're all agreed that the issue has a workable fix. My recommendation for anybody who has the time is to compile a list of requested link changes, e.g.
The new front page is made using WordPress, so anyone with admin rights on the installation (not me) can edit the content. perhaps we can be told whom to contact for that information. --RexxS (talk) 14:40, 15 August 2014 (BST)
Thank you for the comments. The new site is indeed built in WordPress. I am currently the only admin but I am going to create other accounts shortly (today / tomorrow). In the meantime, if you see anything else that you think needs updating please drop me a line and I will take care of it. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 10:56, 18 August 2014 (BST)
Just realised I hadn't followed this up with you, sorry about that. I've fixed the link now. Have a good weekend. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 18:08, 22 August 2014 (BST)
I'd like an edit account please. MartinPoulter (talk) 18:45, 5 September 2014 (BST)

Free books about oil paintings in the UK

Hi, Wikimedia UK has been talking to the Public Catalogue Foundation. They have offered us a dozen of their books on Oil Paintings in public ownership in the UK to give to FA writers who would find these useful reference material. If you would like one of these books, details of the 85 titles available are here. You do not need to be a member of Wikimedia UK or even resident in the UK to get one of these books, if you are an active editor who would find one of these useful just choose a book and email me. Preference will be given to FA writers. Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 16:59, 20 August 2014 (BST)

Upcoming Training for Trainers session in Edinburgh

Attendees of the February 2014 Training the Trainers event

Wikimedia UK is committed to supporting our volunteers. To encourage them to teach others how to edit Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, we are running a weekend training workshop. This will take place on the weekend of 1-2 November in Edinburgh, and we would particularly encourage anyone from Scotland and the north of England to attend.

The workshop will be delivered by a professional training company and aims to improve delegates’ abilities to deliver any training workshop. It’s especially relevant to anybody who already runs Wikimedia-related training, or is very interested in doing so in near future.

The workshop is a chance to:

  • Get accredited and receive detailed feedback about your presenting and training skills
  • Get general trainer skills which you can then apply when e.g. delivering specific Wikipedia workshops
  • Share your skills with others
  • Help design a training programme that serves Wikimedia UK in the long term.

The course will run from 9:30 am-6:30pm on Saturday and 9am-5pm on Sunday. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. We should also be able to cover travel and accommodation if you let us know in advance.

If you are interested in attending, please indicate your commitment by registering on this page but please note that places are limited.

If you are not able to attend this time but would like to take part in the future, please let us know by email to volunteeringatwikimedia.org.uk – we will be offering more sessions in the future.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. We can also put you in touch with past participants who will be able to share their experiences with you. -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 18:27, 22 August 2014 (BST)

Automated membership welcomes and renewal process - feedback sought

Dear all,

We are now working with a contractor to improve the way our database supports membership applications, approvals and renewals and reminders!

I have created a flowchart to describe what we are currently planning as a process - you can see it here. The shapes that are not green represent different email templates that are customised by linking to member details held on each person's database record.

I would love feedback about:

  • What stages are missed
  • What else might we include in these emails in terms of content
  • What problems can you see with this

I will review comments on Friday 12th September so please get back to me by then - the talk page for the flow chart would be best or you can email me directly. Unfortunately I am on holiday Saturday 6th - Thursday 11th so won't reply on those days but other members of staff will keep an eye out for any requests for info and if I can check in from a French campsite I will :-) Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 15:33, 3 September 2014 (BST)

Tweaks to the front page Wordpress template

I just did some testing of the WMUK home page. Well done for embedding the Youtube video in a way that doesn't track the users!

A few quite minor things that could be changed in the template:

The "Welcome" top-level heading on the front page is a common error: it suggests to search engines that the word "welcome" is relevant to the content of the site. The heading does nothing at best, or dilutes the relevance of content search terms to the content of the site. Better to have "Wikimedia UK" as the h1 on that page: we want people searching for "Wikimedia UK" to find that page, don't we?

The source code contains <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="wikimedia.org.uk » Welcome Comments Feed" href="https://wikimedia.org.uk/wellcome/feed/" /> but this is a broken link, as is /welcome/feed/ and /feed/ . I don't think there's any need for this tag at all.

This og:description meta tag includes a sentence fragment: "We can teach you how to ...". The description would be fine without this.

These are minor quibbles but fixing them would help the appearance of the site in search engines. MartinPoulter (talk) 18:34, 5 September 2014 (BST)

Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development

Hello everyone. Wikimedia UK is considering signing the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development. This is a very common sense document that calls on members of the EU to work to make access to information a priority as it is key to sustainable development and democracy. There is nothing controversial in there and I strongly recommend that we sign. Please do take a look and let me know if you have any serious objections. Thank you. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 15:45, 8 September 2014 (BST)

Having had a look at the declaration and other signatories, this looks very much in line with our mission. The list of signatories, with many national libraries and professional bodies, seems to be substantially the sort of organisation we want to work with and show ourselves to be aligned with. No objections from me. MartinPoulter (talk) 17:38, 8 September 2014 (BST)
I would also be happy to recommend supporting the declaration (this is a personal view, and I am here not speaking as chair).--MichaelMaggs (talk) 20:10, 8 September 2014 (BST)
I'd support this too Mccapra (talk) 17:42, 25 September 2014 (BST)

Padmini Ray Murray steps down as trustee

As many in the community may already know, Padmini announced some time ago that she would be stepping down from her role as trustee in order to take up a new position teaching digital humanities at Srishti in Bangalore. Her final day as trustee will be Thursday 18th September. On behalf of us all, I'd like to thank her for the work she has done and wish her all the best for the future.

The board hopes to appoint a replacement trustee shortly. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 05:46, 15 September 2014 (BST)

Volunteer job list

We are creating a list of volunteer jobs, some online, some at specific locations. Please check if there is anything you are up for, or make some suggestions.Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) (talk) 15:46, 18 September 2014 (BST)

This is a really good idea. How to coordinate volunteers has always been an issue that we're not sure about. This is a good step in the right direction... and one that no on can disagree with and that should fit naturally with how Wikimedians work. Yaris678 (talk) 11:56, 19 September 2014 (BST)

Preparations for EduWiki 2014

Edinburgh First's St Leonard's Hall - venue for EduWiki Conference 2014

Preparations for EduWiki Conference 2014 are now in full swing. The event will take place on Friday 31 October 2014 in Edinburgh. Registration is open until Monday 6 October; the reduced rate for Wikimedians and other concessions is £25. Details about accommodation options at and around the conference venue have also been released. A limited budget to support scholarships for the conference has been allocated and applications; please contact educationatwikimedia.org.uk by Monday 29 September to apply for a scholarship.

Kindly direct any personal questions or concerns to me. We hope to see many members of the WMUK community at the conference, especially those who live within easy traveling distance from Edinburgh. --Toni Sant (WMUK) (talk) 10:53, 19 September 2014 (BST)

An opportunity at the Science Museum Late

Wikimedia UK has been in discussion with our friends at the Science Museum regarding taking part in a Science Museum Lates event on Wednesday 26 November. The theme of the event will be The Information Age to celebrate the opening of their new gallery on this theme in October. This gallery is a significant development, the biggest of its kind in the museum for more than a decade. Entry is free and the Late audience is going to be around 5,000 people, most between 18 and 35 and with a roughly equal gender balance.

The discussions are going well and we are now looking for suggestions of the kind of activities we could offer in the Museum during the evening event. If you have any ideas for events or displays - make them ambitious and exciting! - please comment here, or email Stevie Benton or me, and we will bring you on board to help make the plans and arrangements. It's also possible we will need some volunteers on the night. If you're keen to be involved, again, please do let us know.

Lates take place in the museum on the last Wednesday of every month. September's is about the science of magic and illusion, while October's is about food and drink, so drop in for a flavour (sorry) of how these events work.

So that we have enough time to prepare for November's Information Age Late, please give us your suggestions by the end of September. Roberta Wedge (WMUK) (talk) 17:32, 19 September 2014 (BST)

ORCID user template

{{User ORCID}} is now available, for those of you who have an ORCID identifier (and I encourage you to register for one). You can see an example on my user page. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 23:31, 19 September 2014 (BST)

Volunteer Strategy

I have just put up the notes from our recent Volunteer Strategy Meeting. Please have a look here. Any comments welcome.Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) (talk) 09:40, 21 September 2014 (BST)

Fabian, in the first list it says: First one in late November 2014, second in March 2014; should this be March 2015? -- Marek.69 talk 18:42, 30 September 2014 (BST)
Thanks Marek, I have made the correction. Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) (talk) 10:21, 1 October 2014 (BST)

Technology Scoping report

At the Board meeting on October 4th the trustees will be considering a report from an IT consultant on how the Chapter could develop its support of technical innovation. There are several options in the document. The board would be very keen to hear community opinions on the discussion page. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 14:18, 23 September 2014 (BST)

Wikidata training

Wikimedia UK is providing our second Wikidata training day on Saturday 11th October. This will be in the basement of Development House, London, the building where Wikimedia UK offices are located. If you are interested in coming please register here. We are very lucky to have Magnus Manske lead the session and we are particularly keen to encourage our accredited trainers to attend as we plan to build the capacity to run more sessions up and down the country. Wikidata is an amazing innovation which promises to have an increasingly significant impact both on the way Wikipedia works as well as on the wider Open Data movement. This is a good opportunity to get a clearer understanding of how Wikidata works.Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) (talk) 10:48, 26 September 2014 (BST)

Proposal: Science/STEM Conference

This is an idea I have had on the back burner for a long time. Note the following:

  • We have existing relationships with many scientific bodies such as the Institute of Physics, Geological Society, Medical Research Council, and many more. However, individual societies are usually unwilling to take the risk of running a big event centred on Wikimedia because, although they have some interest from their members, they can't be sure that enough [physicists, geologists, psychologists, whatever] will turn up.
  • Many scientists are pure researchers working in small research centres: they aren't associated with universities, or at least university teaching. These small research centres or groups can easily be missed in our outreach but they can be very receptive: e.g. Sphingonet
  • Scientists are under professional pressure 1) to engage with the public, 2) to make all the outputs of their research open-access and freely reusable. This is the case much more so now than just a few years ago. This makes them receptive to explanations of how they can achieve this. This has also led to a great expansion of science communicators/ public engagement professionals.
  • Scientists are likely to do coding/markup in their daily work. This makes them "low-hanging fruit". It's not that they are more valuable to Wikipedia than arts/humanities experts: in fact I think WP is clearly more in need of content and expertise in arts/humanities areas. I mean that in the current atmosphere, outreach to scientists is more likely to result in enthusiasm and concrete outcomes.
  • We have documentation and workshops aimed at scientists and their bosses, explaining how Wikimedia relates to their goals of research impact and public engagement. These materials need continual improvement and wide publicity.
  • There are articulate scientist-Wikipedians such as Peter Murray Rust, Daniel Mietchen, Darren Logan, and Alex Bateman who are great at demonstrating Wikimedia's relevance to scientific practice.
  • Wikimania 2014 and other events have shown that Wikimedia has useful friends in the scientific sphere, including the Public Library of Science and the many Open Access/Open Science advocates.
  • We have raised a lot of awareness of Wikipedia as a platform for dissemination or for education, but not so much yet about WP as a platform for research itself.
  • Wikimedia UK volunteers have run sessions at science conferences but there is just too much overlap between Wikimedia and science to cover in a single session.

I think all these facts suggest that a large conference (aiming at 100 attendees) on Science and Wikipedia would have a lot of impact. The themes of the conference would be:

  • Wikipedia and Wikimedia as platforms for promoting informed public discussion of scientific topics and theories (acknowledging that the public have a curiosity about all sorts of scientific topics, and overwhelmingly use Wikipedia as a starting point to self-educate).
  • Wikipedia and Wikimedia as a platform for research (e.g. the Research portal).
  • Wikipedia and Wikimedia as a model for scientific publishing and citizen science (including Wiki-to-Journal publication, Journal-to-Wiki publication, altmetrics, machine-extraction of data from published research, open bibliographic data, data citation, crowdsourced enhancement of scholarly databases, integration of Wikipedia with open/free services such as Figshare, ORCID, Flickr...)
  • Wikipedia and Wikimedia as a platform for scientific education. (The answer to "I haven't time to edit Wikipedia." is "Allocate your students to do it and assess them.")
  • Women in Science and Technology: is Wikipedia reinforcing stereotypes or providing role models? What is being done?
  • Since a lot of the attendees will be personally interested in editing Wikipedia, the event should include training.

I see this as potentially a day or day-and-a-half event, on the model of EduWiki. Much as I advocate for geographic diversity, the scholarly societies and science communicators are so concentrated in London that this event would realistically have to be in London. This means that for it to be financially feasible we'd need a host organisation to provide a cheap venue. It would need about a year's lead time to organise and publicise.

I realise that WMUK's funding makes it hard to plan costly activities in advance, that staff have a lot on their plate and that at this point the suggestion of organising another conference may come like fatty food after a powerful hangover. On the other hand, I think an event like this could be a great success, would continue the partnerships we've already worked to build up, could spawn more editors and more partnerships, and could involve shared effort with other Open Coalition organisations, such as Open Knowledge. Feedback welcome on this suggestion. MartinPoulter (talk) 14:20, 29 August 2014 (BST)

Sounds like a good idea in principle. Wearing my "Wikipedian-in-Residence at ORCID" hat, I'm in. We should consider whether there are other events to which this could be attached (to save/ share costs), and whether we need a traditional or "unconference" format (or a blend). Does the medical project do anything like this? What about the open access/ open publishing folk? Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 21:36, 29 August 2014 (BST)
Would be great to have you involved, Andy. Yay for a blend of keynotes/ scheduled sessions/ unconference blocks! That way we have appealing stuff to publicise, but lots of attendees get a chance to speak and people can talk about very new activities. I think medicine on Wikipedia could be a conference itself, but throwing the net wider means a wider potential audience, and STEM is a wide net. A conference like this is probably a necessary step on the way to more specialised conferences, and that's a big reason I'd like us to do it.
There are relevant conferences where we've previously been represented, like Science Online London and the national public engagement conference, and we've run workshops adjacent to major subject conferences (you may well have done this yourself), but I think the interesting work going on under the above themes has outgrown one subject or one session in a conference. MartinPoulter (talk) 23:55, 29 August 2014 (BST)
Worth noting that the Science Online London (now branded as SPOTON) has gone silent - no word whether there will be a 2014 event so I guess that means there won't. There is certainly a gap waiting to be filled. I would be happy to help out. Frank Norman
Love the idea of the conference. I have organised and facilitated an unconference as part of a wider conference before, so could do similar for this. Yaris678 (talk) 19:15, 30 August 2014 (BST)
I think this is a great idea, thank you for sharing. Wikimedia UK's proposal to the FDC needs to be complete and handed in on 1st October. If we wanted to include something like this in our proposal we would need to get a handle on how much it would cost and where it would fit into our strategic goals - which of course it does. If anyone is keen to start a wiki page for the proposed event where we can thrash out some details, I would be happy to help. We'd need to be fairly quick about it. If there is anything the office can do to help please do let me know. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:24, 1 September 2014 (BST)

I think this is a great idea and would happily help out17:30, 2 September 2014 (BST) <-- this is HenryScow, unfortunately I'm having login probs on WMUK!

Sounds a great idea. There's only so much you can do in a day (or 1.5) though, especially if training is included. Some narrower focus might be a good idea, leaving space for the next year .... Johnbod (talk) 22:27, 4 September 2014 (BST)

@Johnbod: I agree that pursuing each of these themes at length would make the conference too big. The idea is that we invite contributions on these themes and the conference participants decide which to prioritise. Also, the unconference format would mean that there could be sessions that cover a lot of ideas in a short time, eg. lightning talks or round-table discussions. I share the hope that follow-up events would have a different emphasis.
@Stevie Benton (WMUK): I want to take up your offer. I'm kind of worn out writing stuff, but I'm clear in my head how this relates to the strategic goals. If we talk over Skype and you ask me some questions, can you write down the details you need?
@all: So we need to decide quickly if this is actually happening, and it's not happening unless we have a venue we can use freely or very cheaply. That means that we must get a suitable host organisation. The Wellcome Trust/Wellcome Library would be an ideal location, as would the Royal Society, as would the British Library, as would the Science Museum (where we've previously had an AGM). My recollection of the Institute of Physics building is that its rooms are not quite big enough for the conference I envisage, but there are other scholarly societies that have suitable venues and would like to do a jointly badged event with Wikimedia UK. I'm assuming that once we have a venue, WMUK could pay for refreshments, handle bookings and we volunteers can organise programme and publicity. So let's all pump our respective contacts and try to get at least an in-principle agreement. This could be a headline-making event, especially with the right controversial speakers. MartinPoulter (talk) 15:02, 6 September 2014 (BST)
An additional thought: the one-and-a-half-day format assumes people are staying overnight. This will be more difficult in London than in other places. Perhaps it would be better to run the conference for two days, with a late start both days so that people can commute in (e.g. from Cambridge or Oxford) on off-peak trains. MartinPoulter (talk) 17:27, 6 September 2014 (BST)
Okay, good news everyone: contacts have been pumped and we have a willing host organisation which is absolutely ideal: the Wellcome Trust (who hosted the Medical Humanities editathon earlier this year)! Next important task is to decide *dates* for the conference. This would appeal to scientists, academics, science communicators, librarians and of course Wikimedia volunteers- very much the same bunch who would have attended SpotOn. For those based in universities, it's hard to find a convenient slot. May-to-mid-June will be difficult because of exams/marking. Mid-September onwards is the start of term. July is when people are usually away on holiday. The first week of August is out because Wikimedians will be in Mexico for Wikimania. We need to suggest some dates to Wellcome. MartinPoulter (talk) 14:13, 8 September 2014 (BST)
Awesome. Great work and great location. I am flexible on date. Yaris678 (talk) 14:24, 8 September 2014 (BST)
@User:Yaris678: Thanks. I'll be taking you and everybody else up on their offers of help. :) MartinPoulter (talk) 17:10, 8 September 2014 (BST)

@all: We now have a planning page for the conference, at Wikipedia Science Conference, so please join in there. As the page develops, I hope we can move some planning stuff to sub-pages. MartinPoulter (talk) 17:10, 8 September 2014 (BST)

Volunteers needed to help pre-screen Wiki Loves Monuments UK entries

As you may know, the Wiki Loves Monuments competition closes tonight, and over the next couple of weeks we need to decide on the winning entries. In the UK, we have over 7000 entries, from which we need to select the 500 best for formal judging by the jury.

I'm seeking volunteers to help out with the pre-screening process, which we have to complete within the next two to three weeks.

Can you help us, please?

To help, you’ll need the following:

1. A minimum of few hours free between now and 14th October

2. A good level of ability to distinguish high-quality photography from lower quality (guidelines will be provided)

3. A fast broadband connection for downloading to your local computer several hundred high-resolution images (we’ll tell you how to do it)

4. Suitable software (eg Adobe Lightroom or some other photo-review software) for reviewing the images at full screen size.

You don’t need to be based in the UK to help.

If you can help, please get in touch now! Either reply directly to this posting, or contact me directly by email.

Many thanks, --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:46, 30 September 2014 (BST)

I have listed this at Volunteer jobs#Help pre-screen Wiki Loves Monuments UK entries. Feel free to tweak the listing. Yaris678 (talk) 08:49, 1 October 2014 (BST)
Good thought. Thank you. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:28, 1 October 2014 (BST)
I note the deadline has passed. Has this been sorted now? Either way, it would be good to update the Volunteer jobs page. Yaris678 (talk) 04:54, 21 October 2014 (BST)
It has indeed – thank you to everyone who helped with the screening! I've updated the volunteer jobs page (thanks for keeping that in mind). Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 11:03, 24 October 2014 (BST)

Wiki hard to reach on mobile

On my mobile (HTC Desire HD, Android 2.3.5) there seems to be no way to reach this wiki, from the main page at https://wikimedia.org.uk/ Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 21:02, 1 October 2014 (BST)

Hello Andy. I've just taken a look at this. In the top right hand corner there's a menu. Select that and select the "Wiki" button. On the desktop version (and I believe tablet version) there's a green button labelled "Wiki" that is immediately available. Hope this helps. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:41, 2 October 2014 (BST)
There's no such menu link when viewing on my device (I've just double-checked). Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 12:19, 3 October 2014 (BST)
OK, that's interesting. Are you able to send me a screenshot or photo please? I will look into this a bit more deeply. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 13:52, 3 October 2014 (BST)
On its way. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 20:06, 3 October 2014 (BST)
Thank you for the screenshot Andy. I will pass this on and see what I can find out. I'm not around today or tomorrow but will keep you posted. In the meantime, a work around is to go to the URL wikimedia.org.uk/wiki and I'll let you know when I've found a resolution. Speak soon. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:21, 6 October 2014 (BST)
Hello again Andy. This should be fixed now. Do let me know if you have any other problems. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 08:59, 8 October 2014 (BST)

Volunteer Equipment

Following the Board Meeting on Saturday 4th October, anyone wishing to use volunteer equipment will have to be a member of the charity.Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) (talk) 10:17, 7 October 2014 (BST)

Wow. This hard on the heels of the Chapter refusing to allow me to borrow a projector for this month's LGBT editathon and without tracking all attendees of the event on chapter databases. I would like to see a detailed public explanation of why it is necessary and in the interests of open knowledge to only loan equipment purchased to fulfil the shared open knowledge mission of the charity to members, and exclude non-members with active Wikimedia projects on the go who happen to not have membership along with the privilege of voting in chapter elections. Timing would seem to indicate this change has been agreed to ensure I am further excluded from working with the charity that I helped to create, so another "Fae case" change in membership policy.
By the way, we wrote the policy on volunteer loan equipment to state that "The borrower need not be a member of Wikimedia UK" (which nicely fits our the original values of the charity of not just existing for the benefit of members) and the policy still states this. -- (talk) 14:12, 7 October 2014 (BST)
Thanks for pointing out the inconsistency on the volunteer equipment page, it has now been corrected.Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) (talk) 14:29, 7 October 2014 (BST)
Maybe the name of the page should be changed from 'volunteer equipment' to 'member equipment' as well? TheOverflow (talk) 07:35, 8 October 2014 (BST)
I may have to borrow a laptop for the LGBT Editathon as my usual one went bust and it may take a while to be repaired. Will this still be possible? I guess we could manage without the projector but as a chapter member I would like the option of it being borrowed in my name instead. I was also interested in claiming travel costs back from the chapter as this event is within its aims and objectives. On that subject, I note that we do make grants to non-chapter members and I presume that this situation hasn't changed as a result of this resolution. CT Cooper · talk 14:57, 7 October 2014 (BST)
No problem, I shall e-mail you as regards borrowing the equipment and volunteer expenses. Also you are correct that there has been no change as regards the policy regarding making grants to non-chapter members.Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) (talk) 15:30, 7 October 2014 (BST)
@CT Cooper: - On a bit of a tangent, Chris, but can I ask when you think we've made grants to non-chapter members? For at least a year now - more like two or three - our grants have been to members only. If you've spotted one otherwise please let me know so I can either put the record straight or find out how it happened! Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 17:11, 9 October 2014 (BST)
Hi Richard. I was thinking of my role on the Grants Committee. I've never asked about membership when reviewing grant requests as I didn't think it was necessary. However, I have always considered whether the applicant is trustworthy and in good standing. Possible examples of non-member grants include Project grants/Transport for WikiIndaba Creative Commons event and the still ongoing Project grants/GAN Treasure Hunt. I'm not sure blanket disallowing grants to non-members is a good idea, though if this is the case, then this should be noted on the project grants page. I do note though that the loaning of equipment and grants are not mutually exclusive issues. For example, some grants are for the purchase of new equipment which becomes WMUK property and must be returned to WMUK when the user no longer needs it. CT Cooper · talk 19:19, 9 October 2014 (BST)

Friends Newsletter 06

The latest Friends Newsletter 06 has been posted. Any comments, feedback etc would be welcome on the talk page. Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) (talk) 10:21, 7 October 2014 (BST)

Quirky Wikipedia articles

Hello everyone. As a part of a project that we're developing to participate in the Science Museum Lates event in November, I'm looking for a selection of quirky Wikipedia articles - think Buffalo buffalo (etc) and Toilet paper orientation, those that are odd but still have some academic or scientific merit. Participants in the session will be selecting some of their favourite lines from unusual Wikipedia articles and putting them together to create found poetry. I'm looking for some of the quirkier articles that might be fun for this, so if you have any suggestions please do let me know! Thank you Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 15:04, 9 October 2014 (BST)

Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development and FKAGEU polocy paper on copyright

Hello everyone. I wanted to give you all a brief update on a couple of advocacy-related matters. I'm really happy to report that in the last couple of days Wikimedia UK has signed the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development. I believe this is an important statement for us to make, underscoring our belief that: "increasing access to information and knowledge across society, assisted by the availability of information and communications technologies (ICTs), supports sustainable development and improves people’s lives." The second policy item for update is the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU position paper on copyright reform. Wikimedia UK has now signed this paper, joining several other European chapters and other open knowledge organisations. This work is important on a European level as collectively the FKAGEU is making a strong case for copyright reform favourable to the Wikimedia and open knowledge movement. The main areas of interest the group is working on are harmonisation of freedom of panorama across the EU to the most liberal model, the public domain licensing of publicly funded works, and the right to use orphan works. If you'd like to know more, please do contact me directly or leave some questions here and I'll respond. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 10:30, 13 October 2014 (BST)

Short code for linking to this wiki ?

What's the inline code for linking to this wiki -- ie the equivalent of the prefix :commons: that specifies a wikilink is to Commons ?

I've made a page Digital maps Halloween tagathon, October 2014, but I'm not sure how to link to it from other wiki sites? Jheald (talk) 16:46, 13 October 2014 (BST)

Hey! looks awesome I think wmuk: should work? Sjgknight (talk) 16:59, 13 October 2014 (BST)
Perfect! Thanks very much. Jheald (talk) 17:16, 13 October 2014 (BST)

Gill Hamilton co-opted as trustee

I'm very pleased to be able to confirm that the board has today resolved to co-opt Gill Hamilton as trustee to replace Padmini Ray Murray who stepped down last month. Gill is Digital Access Manager at the National Library of Scotland, in Edinburgh, where she is responsible for the development of open and linked data strategies and policies. She has recently lead the development and implementation of a policy to enable Library resources and metadata to be licensed openly. Gill maintains a broad range of contacts with national cultural heritage organisations, and brings to the board very valuable direct experience of the national GLAM sector. Please join me in welcoming her to the board. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:09, 14 October 2014 (BST)

Wikimedian in Residence post at Museums Galleries Scotland - applications welcome

Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) is the National Development Body for the museums and galleries sector in Scotland. They are seeking applications for a Wikimedian in Residence from dedicated individuals with excellent presentation and digital skills to work with Glasgow Museums for a 4 month secondment followed by 8 months at the MGS office in Edinburgh. The post will run for 12 months starting in early January 2015.

The project will support museums and galleries to improve their skills in creating online content and open data projects from the digital curation of their collections. This is a unique opportunity to help enrich Wikipedia and its sister projects and share with the world the expert knowledge from Scottish museums and galleries and to engage with curators, members of the public and researchers to encourage contributions to the development of Wikipedia articles.

MGS works with Scotland’s museums and galleries to create ambitious, dynamic and sustainable enterprises: connecting people, places and collections; inspiring, delighting and creating public value.

Deadline for applications - 12:00pm on the 31st Oct 2014. Do pass it on to anyone that may be interested. - Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 13:55, 14 October 2014 (BST)

Looking for help setting up a MediaWiki distribution with Visual Editor and Flow (needs Parsoid)

Hi All

I do some volunteer work for a charity called WYSE International, I'm trying to set a wiki to help young leaders around the world collaborate on projects. I'm happy with setting up a basic MediaWiki distribution but really struggling to get Visual Editor and Flow to work, I can work out the instructions for Parsoid at all. Ideally I'd really love someone to help me set up the wiki, I'm very happy to learn how to do it but realise it may be simpler and quicker for someone to just press the buttons to make it work.

Many thanks

Mrjohncummings (talk) 19:17, 16 October 2014 (BST)

Quick survey ideas

Hello everyone. As you might recall, Wikimedia UK is taking part in a Science Museum Late event in November, running a few sessions. One of the things we plan to be doing is asking people in queues a very quick couple of questions related to Wikipedia and Wikimedia UK. If you could ask one question about Wikipedia and one about Wikimedia UK, what would you ask? Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:51, 20 October 2014 (BST)

The wording might need a bit of thought but something like, "what topic(s) would you most like to see improved on Wikipedia?". We could then feed this in to some focused action on some of the more frequently mentioned topics. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 09:42, 27 October 2014 (GMT)

xml users and potential users

In order to use the GLAM wiki toolset and do mass uploads of media from institutions such as museums we need their metadata to be in an appropriate xml format.

So we are looking for volunteers who know or would be willing to learn xml and are interested in helping museums do mass uploads to Commons.

A good understanding of the Commons category structure is also useful as the idea is to format the xml in such a way as to enable the migration of metadata.

If you'd like to get involved please email me whether or not you already know xml as if there is sufficient interest we can organise an xml training session. Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 17:53, 22 October 2014 (BST)

Storytelling at the Science Museum

Recently there has been a great deal of conversation about storytelling within the Wikimedia movement. We have a good opportunity to capture some compelling stories at the Science Museum Late event on 26 November. With the variety of events taking place being delivered by Wikimedia UK volunteers and staff, as well as a significant audience, there are many ways we can create video and photographic resources for us to use in future communications. In order to make the most of this chance it will require some planning and some thought as to what we would like to record and what we plan to use these materials for. I envisage us gathering lots of footage that we can use for different materials. Firstly, a collection of views on Wikipedia could be recorded with event attendees. These would act as a supplement to the survey that will be conducted during the event. Other footage would be of some of the sessions themselves, and interviews with some of the staff and volunteers, as well as colleagues form the Science Museum. Does anyone have any other particular thoughts? In order to complete these tasks, we will need some volunteers. We'd love for you to be involved, so sign up here! Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 13:01, 24 October 2014 (BST)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Public Art/London

A London task force of WikiProject Public Art was created recently. WMUK participants who are interested in public art are welcome to join. We have identified a list works without Wikipedia entries, so feel free to help us eliminate these red links! I hosted an art edit-a-thon here in Portland, Oregon once, which resulted in the creation of several new articles. WMUK might consider doing the same, if it hasn't already. Just a thought! :) -Another Believer (talk) 01:59, 26 October 2014 (BST)

Suggested tasks for people with free time

Hello everyone. Something that we've spoken about before is creating a list of suggested jobs for people with varying amounts of time. It's about offering ways for people to help our open knowledge mission in as little as a couple of minutes, right the way through to having a couple of hours or days to spare. With some help, I've added some early suggestions to the volunteer jobs page, so you can see what I mean. Any and all suggestions welcome please! Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 16:50, 31 October 2014 (GMT)

Using accounts moved from the WMF infrastructure

How do I set a new password for my real account, given that there seems to be no email associated with it? Megaphone Duck (talk)

Hi Megaphone Duck, sorry for not replying sooner. Could you send me an email about this as it will involve disclosing email addresses? I can be reached at richard.nevellatwikimedia.org.uk Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:36, 11 November 2014 (GMT)
Will do. Megaphone Duck (talk)

Au revoir

A message from Jon

With some sadness I have to tell you that I will be leaving Wikimedia UK, as an employee, if not as a volunteer, at the end of the year. I have achieved what I set out to do and leave WMUK in a good state. I now need to look for new challenges.

I was the first chief executive and it has been an amazing three years watching the chapter grow and develop. It has not always been smooth sailing but we have come through it together in good shape. Wikimania proved how professional we had become and the positive feedback from the participants makes all the work we put in worthwhile.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone in the community, particularly the volunteers who are at the heart of all we do, my great colleagues at the Foundation and the loyal and hardworking staff at WMUK who have supported me so ably and with such good humour over the years.

My best wishes go to my successor in all they seek to achieve.

Cyhoeddiad gan Jon

Gyda pheth tristwch rwy'n eich hysbysu y byddaf yn gadael Wikimedia UK, fel cyflogai, os nad fel gwirfoddolwr, ar ddiwedd y flwyddyn. Dw i wedi cyflawni'r hyn roeddwn wedi'i obeithio a dw i'n gadael WMUK ar delerau da. Edrychaf ymlaen rwan am sialensau newydd. Fi oedd y Prif Weithredwr cyntaf ac mae'r dair blynedd diwethaf wedi bod yn hollol anhygoel, wrth i mi weld y siaptr yn tyfu a datblygu. Doedd y daith bob amser ddim yn llyfn, ond daethom drwyddi'n y diwedd yn ddianaf! Profodd Wikimania inni aeddfedu mewn modd proffesiynol a chafwyd adborth adeiladol gan y cyfranwyr ­oedd yn gwneud yr holl waith yn bleser.

Carwn ddiolch o waelod fy ngalon i bawb o fewn ein cymuned, yn enwedig y gwirfoddolwyr sy'n sylfaen i'n gwaith, fy nghydweithwyr bendigedig yn Sylfaen Wikimedia a'r staff sydd wedi bod mor driw i mi, wedi fy nghefnogi mor effeithiol ac wedi gweithio mor arbennig o galed dros y blynyddoedd ­ a hynny gyda hiwmor iach.

Dymunaf pob llwyddiant i f'olynydd ym mhopeth y ceisiant ei gyflawni.

Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 08:46, 11 November 2014 (GMT)

Further to Jon's announcement that he will be leaving Wikimedia UK at the end of this year to pursue new challenges, I would like on behalf of the board to express our thanks for the exceptional levels of passion and commitment that Jon has brought to his role as CEO over the last three years.
Jon has been instrumental in urging WMUK and our sister chapters to aim for higher levels of professionalism, and has demonstrated the results of professionalism and hard work by delivering WMUK's widely-respected contribution to Wikimania London. We are proud of what was achieved at Wikimania, and Jon can justifiably be proud of his invaluable personal contribution to that success.
The WMUK board will be taking some time to consider Jon's replacement, and will be consulting widely over the next few months. To provide continuity we will in the meantime be appointing an interim CEO, and we are extremely pleased that Jon has agreed to the interim CEO starting work this month to allow a smooth hand-over period up to the end of the year.
We wish Jon all the best in his new chosen role, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with him as a friend and volunteer. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:36, 11 November 2014 (GMT)

I have known Jon working as a volunteer, Wikimedian in Residence and as a WMUK staff member, I'm very sorry to see him leave.
Jon has been a wonderful example of servant leadership, giving employees the freedom and tools needed to build partnerships and support volunteers to do amazing things.
Jon's support of outreach with external organisations has helped others to realise the importance of the Wikimedia movement in educating the world and to find ways to contribute to this global endeavour. Mrjohncummings (talk) 13:06, 11 November 2014 (GMT)
I'll add here what I posted on Wikimedia-l a minute ago: I'd like to add my own thanks to Jon - for doing so much to transform the scale and impact of Wikimedia UK's work over the last three years, and for your invaluable steadiness and tenacity in dealing with the very significant challenges that the chapter's faced during that time. Many best wishes for the future! The Land (talk) 20:05, 11 November 2014 (GMT)
This is posted on behalf of all staff today - we first heard about Jon's decision on Monday.
We are sorry to see Jon go - we have worked with him over the past few years to make Wikimedia UK what it is today. He has shown quiet but effective leadership to keep together and inspire a close-knit staff team through the rough and the smooth. He has done that by managing in a way that has fostered our development as individuals and as a team, and by reminding us all along about the bigger picture, the mission and the vision we’re all working towards.
Under Jon's stewardship we have grown from being a small staff team with a focus on small events and basic administration to taking our first steps as a leading force in the open knowledge sector through our partnerships and projects. Along the way he has supported many of us in our personal lives and nurtured us to grow and seek opportunities as professionals. That has always been appreciated and we haven't taken for granted the humility he has shown by being prepared to offer help with even the smallest tasks in all of our roles.
We have had the chance to talk to the Trustees about the impact on the charity, and we will soon be working with Jon's interim and permanent successors. We will do what is needed to ensure our current programme is delivered and lay the groundwork for welcoming his permanent successor. We will continue to build on his legacy having stewarded the Chapter from before it was even a registered charity to its current successes.
Jon, on our behalf, thank you for the untold hours of overtime you have put in and for your encouragement, your understanding and humanity. You have made us feel valued and we’re proud to have worked with you, and for you. We wish you the very best for the future. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 16:40, 12 November 2014 (GMT)
  • Adding to the views above. Jon has brought WMUK a long way, culminating in a highly successful Wikimania 2014. We will miss his calm and measured approach, always keeping wider aims in view, & I'm sure we all wish him all the best for the future. Johnbod (talk) 16:15, 14 November 2014 (GMT)
  • I know this is a bit late, but I also wish Jon the best of luck for the future. He has brought Wikimedia UK from being practically nothing to a successful and productive chapter, which is serving the UK Wikimedia community well and will continue to do so. I personally would like to thank him for his kindness when I applied for a staff role at Wikimedia UK. Goodbye Jon and thank you. CT Cooper · talk 15:29, 9 December 2014 (GMT)

Welcome to D'Arcy Myers

A big welcome to D'Arcy who has started as an Interim CEO at WMUK. I am finishing up jobs that make more sense for me up until the New Year while D'Arcy is quickly getting his feet under the table. He is an experienced CEO with specialist experience in being an interim CEO. To quote his Linkedin biography:

I was educated at Douai Abbey ( a community of monks of the English Benedictine Congregation ), the Berkshire College of Agriculture and Cranfield University. I spent about eight years working in marketing and business development. In 1993 I went out to the independent Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific with VSO. This experience led me to work in 32 countries around the world from Africa, the Far East, Europe, the former Soviet Union, and the USA. I am passionate about professionalism within the voluntary sector and believe that the leadership within the sector is key to this change. I am active within the sector and amongst other things I am the founder of the Corporate Social Partnership and a trustee for the Small Charities Coalition. I am a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a member of various third sector institutes, the IoD, and a school governor.

I am sure he will be keen to met members of the community. You can email him on darcy.myers /at/ wikimedia.org.uk. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 16:26, 18 November 2014 (GMT)

Pelican Books donates reference E-books for Wikipedians

We are delighted to announce that Pelican has given us 50 free Ebooks for Wikimedians to use. Applications are open now, details are on a page on the Wikipedia Library. Giving reference books to Wikipedians is one of the most practical ways to improve Wikipedia, and we are delighted to have Pelican's support in this. Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 15:01, 26 November 2014 (GMT)

Map finding - one last push

Over 16,000 old maps and plans have been found in the last 27 days as part of the British Library map tagathon, and with just 22% of the images to check and we might still complete this in a single month. Maps found so far are from all over the earth, come and join us or just come to enjoy what we have found so far. Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 16:08, 26 November 2014 (GMT)

Final governance audit report published

The WMUK board is today pleased to announce publication of the third and final report on the charity's governance. The report has been prepared by Rosie Chapman and Sarah Loader of Belinda Pratten and Rosie Chapman Associates.

Today's report (the second Chapman review) is a follow-up independent audit of the progress that Wikimedia UK has made to improve its governance since January 2013. It comes 18 months after completion of the initial 2013 governance review (the Hudson review) and nine months after the first follow-up audit (the first Chapman review) which covered progress in addressing the Hudson review’s recommendations.

In summary, Chapman's findings are that

"the charity has very largely addressed the 50 recommendations found within the original review. WMUK has developed very quickly, and the charity has clearly put a lot of effort into ensuring that its governance now meets best practice expectations. It has a cohesive, skilled and experienced board in place. They have a clear understanding of the charity’s vision and mission".

In the section comparing WMUK with similar UK charities, we were pleased to note Chapman's conclusion (para 42) that:

"for the stage that Wikimedia is in its lifecycle it compares well with similar UK charities. Its transparency about its procedures is a beacon of best practice, and its conflicts of interest procedures are robust and well-tested".

She further observes (paras 14 and 15) that:

"Inevitably, a lot of the Board’s efforts have to-date been internally focussed; putting in place robust governance arrangements and agreeing the new strategy that was published in March this year. Whilst there is still some fine-tuning to bed in the strategy, for example linking particular outcomes with detailed objectives, targets, budgets and performance measurement through-out the organisation, there is also the chance for WMUK’s Board to become more outward focussed in its time and efforts. This will, in turn, enable the Board to consider opportunities and choices for what the organisation does to deliver its strategy, and how it should be resourced to do so.
"From our discussion with trustees and staff it is clear that there is a real appetite for this shift in the board’s focus, and to consider more external opportunities".

The report is worth reading in its entirety, as it includes a wealth of advice, analysis and commentary that will be of interest and use not only to WMUK itself but also to the community at large and to other organisations within the movement.

The WMUK board would once again like to thank Rosie Chapman for her comprehensive and insightful analysis which will be of great help in enabling us to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:56, 28 November 2014 (GMT)

The charity's plans for 2015

The WMUK board's regular two-day strategy overview meeting was held in Cambridge last weekend. This is the time of year when we focus on future plans and we were joined by our interim CEO, D’Arcy Myers, who provided us with fresh perspectives from the point of view of a relative newcomer.

The minutes of the meeting are being prepared, and should be available within the next week, but the board felt that it would be useful to publish a guide to the broad challenges that face us, and how we are tackling them.

One of the tasks of the meeting was to review the third quarter financial report, which included a consideration of the full impact of Wikimania. The WMUK office ended up playing a larger role than had originally been anticipated, and the charity's costs on both staff and Wikimania-related programmes in the third quarter of the year has been significantly higher than anticipated. At the same time, the Funds Distribution Committee of the Wikimedia Foundation has indicated that it will not recommend granting WMUK the full amount we requested for the 2015-16 financial year.

These factors mean that the board needs to review our plans for the coming year in the light of the reduced funds available to us, and to ensure that in spite of financial constraints our reserves are not allowed to drop to an unacceptably low level.

It is inevitable that over the next year the charity will need significantly to reduce its direct expenditure, both on overheads and on programmes, and over the next few weeks our CEO will be working on his recommendations for a detailed action plan to achieve that. The focus will be not on 'business as usual' and salami-slicing our existing expenditure, but on the opportunity we have to re-direct our energies towards those programmes that are most able to provide us with high charitable impact when weighed against the resources required (direct costs, staff costs, number of willing and skilled volunteers available and so on).

We need to prioritise, and to accept that we no longer have the luxury of being able to support highly-resourced programmes that do not provide a commensurate level of direct charitable impact when measured against our strategic goals. There are an almost infinite number of useful free knowledge projects we could be involved in, including many which are directly aligned with our goals.  But we have to have the courage to turn projects down and acknowledge that our charitable aims are best met by doing a limited number of projects exceptionally well than accepting a multitude of ideas that we don't have the resources to follow up on.

Of course, the resources available to us are not fixed, and we will be making significant directed efforts to increase both volunteer resources and also locally-sourced finance via UK-based fundraising and gifts in kind. The extent to which we are able to accept and support project ideas for which we have insufficient core funding is likely to depend on whether the project has a sufficiently large and skilled group of enthusiastic volunteers who are able to lead and run it with minimal staff help, and whether it is of interest to external grant-makers who can be persuaded to cover the non-core costs.

Once the CEO has a draft action plan and 2015-16 budget prepared, they will be shared with the community for comment and suggestions before coming to the board for approval of a financially sustainable package of activities geared to achieving our agreed strategy. We are happy to accept general questions on this, but of course we can't discuss anything relating to internal HR or staffing issues. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 07:19, 17 December 2014 (GMT) for the board.

The charity's plans for 2015

The WMUK board's regular two-day strategy overview meeting was held in Cambridge last weekend. This is the time of year when we focus on future plans and we were joined by our interim CEO, D’Arcy Myers, who provided us with fresh perspectives from the point of view of a relative newcomer.

The minutes of the meeting are being prepared, and should be available within the next week, but the board felt that it would be useful to publish a guide to the broad challenges that face us, and how we are tackling them.

One of the tasks of the meeting was to review the third quarter financial report, which included a consideration of the full impact of Wikimania. The WMUK office ended up playing a larger role than had originally been anticipated, and the charity's costs on both staff and Wikimania-related programmes in the third quarter of the year has been significantly higher than anticipated. At the same time, the Funds Distribution Committee of the Wikimedia Foundation has indicated that it will not recommend granting WMUK the full amount we requested for the 2015-16 financial year.

These factors mean that the board needs to review our plans for the coming year in the light of the reduced funds available to us, and to ensure that in spite of financial constraints our reserves are not allowed to drop to an unacceptably low level.

It is inevitable that over the next year the charity will need significantly to reduce its direct expenditure, both on overheads and on programmes, and over the next few weeks our CEO will be working on his recommendations for a detailed action plan to achieve that. The focus will be not on 'business as usual' and salami-slicing our existing expenditure, but on the opportunity we have to re-direct our energies towards those programmes that are most able to provide us with high charitable impact when weighed against the resources required (direct costs, staff costs, number of willing and skilled volunteers available and so on).

We need to prioritise, and to accept that we no longer have the luxury of being able to support highly-resourced programmes that do not provide a commensurate level of direct charitable impact when measured against our strategic goals. There are an almost infinite number of useful free knowledge projects we could be involved in, including many which are directly aligned with our goals.  But we have to have the courage to turn projects down and acknowledge that our charitable aims are best met by doing a limited number of projects exceptionally well than accepting a multitude of ideas that we don't have the resources to follow up on.

Of course, the resources available to us are not fixed, and we will be making significant directed efforts to increase both volunteer resources and also locally-sourced finance via UK-based fundraising and gifts in kind. The extent to which we are able to accept and support project ideas for which we have insufficient core funding is likely to depend on whether the project has a sufficiently large and skilled group of enthusiastic volunteers who are able to lead and run it with minimal staff help, and whether it is of interest to external grant-makers who can be persuaded to cover the non-core costs.

Once the CEO has a draft action plan and 2015-16 budget prepared, they will be shared with the community for comment and suggestions before coming to the board for approval of a financially sustainable package of activities geared to achieving our agreed strategy. We are happy to accept general questions on this, but of course we can't discuss anything relating to internal HR or staffing issues. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 07:19, 17 December 2014 (GMT) for the board.

Bodleian Library WIR

The Bodleian Libraries and Wikimedia UK are delighted to announce that we will be supporting a part time Wikimedian in Residence at the Bodleian library in Oxford. The post provides the opportunity to work with some of the world’s richest collections to improve content on Wikipedia and its sister projects and to share with the world the resources held in the Bodleian Libraries. More details including how to apply at bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Regards Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 14:30, 19 December 2014 (GMT)