Wikimania Support Team Report

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Report from the Wikimedia UK Wikimania Support Team
May - August 2014
Wikimania Support Team on our First Day: John Cummings, Chris McKenna and Fabian Tompsett
Wikimania Support Team on our Last Day: John Cummings, Chris McKenna and Fabian Tompsett


“Last weekend was the best weekend I spent in UK till now... Tons of Energy, Optimism, Awesomeness, Networking and Learning…”
Murlidhhar Naidu, Wikimania Volunteer


This report does not attempt to be a full account of Wikimania 2014. With so many people involved from such a diversity of perspectives it is unclear how a single document could realistically claim to offer a full account. This account is written from the perspective of the three Wikimedians recruited by Wikimedia UK (WMUK) in May 2014 to provide support to the Wikimania London Team. Our role was to provide support to them in such a way that not only was their ambitious programme realised, but also to ensure that Wikimania 2014 would leave a lasting legacy for Wikimedia UK and the UK community. This report is part of our fourth objective: “to build and develop through reflective practice”.

As far as we can determine there has been no reports produced for previous Wikimanias, and we have endeavoured to incorporate both qualitative and quantitative data herein.

We need to express our thanks for the support of our colleagues, the other Wikimedia UK staff, who from the outset welcomed us as part of the team, worked closely with us, shared their knowledge and experience with us and were an integral part of delivering Wikimania 2014. Also Declan Pattison, the contractor who handled technical aspects was amazing.

Finally, we need to say a big thank you to all the volunteers who contributed massively to making Wikimania 2014 a success. At the outset the scale of the task was quite daunting and we had cautionary tales from previous Wikimanias where volunteers had melted away during the event. We offered volunteers access to the whole event on the basis of contributing a single five hour shift. We discovered that two thirds of the volunteers worked two shifts or more with a hard core of eight volunteers working throughout Wikimania 2014: Ed Saperia, Francis Dickinson, Harry Mitchell, Hera Hussain, James Moulding, Kevin McLaughlin, Naureen Nayyaer and Tom Walker.

Wikimania London Team

Our principal partners were the Wikimania London Team, who Ed Saperia had developed from the bid team after it was confirmed that WIkimania was coming to London. They retained their independent identity but collaborated closely with Wikimedia UK and the WMUK Wikimania Support Team. At times the WMUK London offices were bursting at the seams with some staff finding space in the basement of Development House, where they could get on with some work.

The Plan

Wikimania 2014 attracted participants from over 59 different countries (this map is not exhaustive)

The WMUK plan highlighted five objectives:

  1. That the Chapter enhances its reputation for innovation, competence and achievement
  2. That the Chapter fully involves its wider community, so that they feel ownership and develop as active volunteers into the future
  3. That what we do complements and enhances our planned programme and strategic goals.
  4. That our programme at Wikimania 2014 allows us to build and develop through reflective practice.
  5. That there is a lasting legacy for the chapter once the conference is over.

The Chapter enhances its reputation for innovation, competence and achievement

"not too bad, actually" Signpost 13 Aug 2014


The innovative use of a beanbag at the Wikimedia UK stand in the Community Village made the stall popular and welcoming
  1. This report is the first report to summarise activities around a Wikimania event
  2. This Wikimania was the first to have a planned social media strategy
  3. This was the first Wikimania to have the highly successful Games Corner (Thanks to Adi Khajuria)


  1. Wikimedia UK proved itself as competent in supporting the delivery of the largest Wikimania yet, working closely with the Wikimania London Team.


  1. Wikimania 2014 is the largest Wikimania to date.
  2. Over 10,000 members of the public passed through the Community Village at Wikimania 2014.
  3. Wikimania 2014 received a wealth of positive press reports.

The Chapter fully involves its wider community, so that they feel ownership and develop as active volunteers into the future


A Wikimedia meetup in Cambridge in May 2014
A Wikimedia meetup in Leeds in June 2014

This covers meetups in UK during the May-July 2014 period

Region No. of Meetups Total No. Attendees (WMUK staff attendances) Comments
North East England 0 0
North West England 3 12
Yorkshire and Humber 1 8(1)
East Midlands 0 0
West Midlands 0 0
East of England 1 12(2)
London 3 35(5)
South East England 4 17(4) WMUK staff initiated first Portsmouth meetup
South West England 0 0
Wales 1 5(1)
Scotland 2 8 (1) WMUK staff support ensured Glasgow meetup a success
Northern Ireland 0 0
Total 15 97(14)

Meetups are essentially products of the Wikimedia community in the UK. We did not see our role to artificially create meetups which did not have a sustainable future. Rather we wanted to make sure that we attended a large number of meetups to encourage Wikimania participation. We had a target of increasing the number of meetups by 10%. As we fully organised 1 meetup and shared in the organisation of another, this gives us a metric of 1.5, 10% of 15.


  • We had over 30 identified UK Wikimedians involved in the delivery of Wikimania.
  • Some of volunteers were long time Wikimedians who had not previously been in touch with either Wikimedia UK or the attended any meetups

What we do complements and enhances our planned programme and strategic goals

Jimmy Wales being interviewed by one of the media organisations attending Wikimania
Volunteers being applauded during the Wikimania closing ceremony
Over 10,000 people walked through the Community Village during Wikimania
Three of the 36 Wikimedia chapters and user groups represented at the Community Village
Creative Commons was just one of the open organisations in the Community Village

Our activities were linked to the Wikimedia UK Strategic goals:

Goal No. Goal Metric Target Achieved
G1.3 We are perceived as the go-to organisation by UK GLAM, educational, and other organisations who need support or advice for the development of open knowledge Media Organisations attending 20 72
Positive Media items about Wikimania 50 136
Twitter Report none Twitter report: 20,488 Tweets, 3,428 contributions
G2.a1 We have a thriving community of WMUK volunteers. Number of Volunteers for Wikimania none 180+
Number of Activity hours in preparation for Wikimania none 800+
Number of Activity hours delivering Wikimania none 3,700+
G2.a3 We have a thriving community of WMUK volunteers Volunteer training events none 3
G2.b1 We have effective and high quality governance and resource management processes, and are recognised for such within the Wikimedia movement and the UK charity sector This report exemplifies an effective resource management process n/a n/a
G2.b2 We have a high level of openness and transparency, and are recognised for such within the Wikimedia movement and the UK charity sector. This report exemplifies openness in sharing our data n/a n/a
G2.b3 We have high quality systems to measure our impact as an organisation. This report exemplifies measuring our impact n/a n/a
G3.2 There is increased awareness of the benefits of open knowledge. Number of visitors to the Barbican who will have walked through the Community Village none 10,138
G5.1 A thriving set of other Wikimedia communities Wikimedia organisations represented in Community Village none 36
G5.2 An increased diversity of Wikimedia contributors Number of countries whence attendees came none 59
Number of women attendees none 725+ (36.1%)
G5.3 Wikimedia communities are skilled and capable. Train the Trainers International attendees (2 days) 12 10
Governance Course 20 17
G5.4 Open knowledge communities with missions similar to our own are thriving. Open knowledge organisations represented at Community Village none 19

There is a lasting legacy for the chapter once the conference is over

It is still too early to really asses the lasting legacy.

  1. A greatly increased database of volunteers - but will they be retained?

Volunteering at Wikimania 2014

The WMUK office was a hive of volunteer activity leading up to the conference

Wikimania, like the Wikimedia community as a whole, works on the basis of co-production, and so in a sense everyone was a volunteer. Likewise the ethos of Wikimedia is that it overcomes the distinction between the role of professional and amateur. However, in order to provide effective metrics, our statistics are based on recorded hours of specific volunteering dedicated to delivering Wikimania 2014. Also our statistics do not attempt to cover the amazing contribution of the Wikimania London team, who had been hard at work long before the time span of our involvement (May-August, 2014), and which continued all the way through to the actual delivery of Wikimania 2014. Our figures are based on recorded hours including a portion of Wikimania London activities facilitated through use of the Wikimedia UK London offices.

Hours of volunteering broken down according to number of hours per volunteer

Fringe Events

The Five Weekend Events

Attendees at the Open Data Wikimania 2014 Fringe event

There were five weekend events in the period May-July 2014 which provided a lead up to Wikimania itself and were aligned with the five major themes running throughout Wikimania.

Date Title Theme No. Attendees Volunteer hours
24 - 25 May Social Machines Weekend Social Machines 14 24
07 - 08 June Free Culture Weekend Democratic Media 34 27
21 - 22 June Future of Education Workshop Future of Education 24 24
05 - 06 July Open Data Weekend Open Data 15 24
19 - 20 July Open Scholarship Weekend Open Scholarship Weekend 19 41

Education Pre-Conference

Planning session for the Education Pre-Conference at the Future of Education workshop

The Future of Education weekend received substantial support from Toni Sant (Wikimedia Uk's Education Organiser), Floor Koudijs (Wikimedia Foundation's Education Program Senior Manager), and LiAnna Davis (Director of Programmes) and Jami Mathewson (Educational Partnerships Manager) of the Wiki Education Foundation. This meant it played a significant role in preparing for the Education Pre-Conference (6th-7th August).


The Hackathon is a regular ingredient of Wikimania. The WMUK Wikimania Support Team had no particular involvement in the running of this, as Wikimedia Foundation had this in hand. We did however take some photographs:

GLAM Wiki Revolution

The GLAM-Wiki Revolution video

One key contribution to Wikimania 2014 was the GLAM-Wiki Revolution video, which was premiered at WIkimania and made available on Wikimedia Commons (see right) and YouTube.

Metric Target Achieved
Attendees at Wikimania premier 140 about 100
Views online 29th August 100 Commons 577
You tube 878
Total 1,455
Views online Jan 31st 2015 100 + Commons 1,228
You tube 1,724
Total 2,952
Institutional reuse 3 Translations: 4*
* German, Finnish, French and Swedish completed (Italian started)

Community Village

This was a concept which was initiated at Wikimedia 2012 (Washington).

Case Studies

Linked Up

Marieke Guy at LinkedUp stand in the Community Village

by Marieke Guy

I was there representing LinkedUp and the Open Education Working group.
  1. LinkedUp is an EU-funded project that aims to push forward the exploitation of the vast amounts of public, open data available on the Web, in particular by educational institutions and organizations. The Open Education Working Group is one of over 20 Open Knowlege working groups. It brings together people and groups interested in open education. Its goal is to initiate global cross-sector and cross-domain activity that encompasses the various facets of open education including open education resources, open policy, open learning and teaching practices and open data.
  2. I found the Community Village incredibly useful. It was well located, the tables were set out in appropriate places so there was an even footfall and we had a steady stream of people over the 4 days I was at the stand.
  3. I used my community village space as a hub point for discussions about the LinkedUp Project and Open Education Working Group. I had some marketing materials (flyers, rulers, stickers) but these disappeared pretty quickly! After that it was a place to exchange business cards and chat to people.
  4. I was able to talk to technical people and those interested in open data about the LinkedUp Challenge. There were also quite a few people who were new to open education, so I was able to explain ideas and concepts to them. It was great to meet such a varied audience who were often new to the project and working group. As a result of the stand we hope to have at least 2 new entries to the LinkedUp Challenge!
  5. As a result of attending Wikimania I have gained a better understanding of the breadth of the Wikimedia work. The stand gave me an opportunity to engage with the community and appreciate how diverse it is, yet how the community is also united and incredibly welcoming. Being on a stand is a great way to start a conversation with people you won't necessarily have chatted to if you'd just attended the event.
  6. Over the course of the 4 days I probably spoke to over 100 people at the stand. I have contacted over 20 people since I returned to see how we can work together in the future.
  7. The only thing I had a problem with was lighting - it was a little dark where we were standing! In the future it might be good to offer display screens - though there is a cost associated. Maybe there could be an opportunity to highlight all the stands on the main stage (a minute madness!).

See Marieke's blogs

Organisations with whom connected

  • City of London
They provided a stall for the Comm
  • Museum of London

Videos uploaded

Period Videos uploaded Aggregated views Max hours viewing
August 2014- October 2015 30 578
November 2014 - October 2015 47 2,970
Total 77 3,548 4,834


  • also see:
Nkansah Rexford's short video: Wikimania Documentary

Wikimania London Survey Results

Relaxing on the beanbag at the WMUK stall in the Wikimania 2014 communities village

This section incorporates information transcluded from Wikimania London Survey Results.

The survey was a collaborative effort of the Wikimania Conference and Hackathon organizers along with the WMF Learning and Evaluation team.


  • Online survey via Qualtrics (view items)
  • Data collection:
    • August 10th – September 15th, 2014 (after the Conference closing)
    • Unique conference participants: 1520
    • Survey Respondents: 792 (52% of conference participants)

Conference Program

  • The majority of the respondents judged the conference as a good opportunity.
    • 92% felt that the conference provided useful information.
    • 88% felt that the conference was suitable for their background and experience.
    • 86% felt that the conference gave them the opportunity to exchange ideas with others on Wikimedian issues.
    • 82% felt that the conference contributed to reaching a shared understanding of the future of open knowledge.
    • 77% felt that the conference increased their understanding of the open knowledge movement.
  • Overall participants were satisfied with the organization of the conference. Survey participants reported being most satisfied with the conference venue, their personal accommodations and access to help for any questions they had while they experiences some dissatisfaction with the conference catering, outings, and evening events.

Networking & Learning Outcomes

  • 85% of participants reported they would pursue a new project with at least one of the contacts they made this year at Wikimania
  • Meeting all the Wikimedia people at the conference helped participants to gain knowledge (90%, strongly agree or agree), motivate to contribute to Wikimedia and its projects (80%), gain a better understanding of each others' views (82%) and share knowledge (75%).

The Conference Overall

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  • Participants were highly satisfied with the conference overall.
  • 91% of respondents rated the conference as "Good" (48%) or "Excellent" (43%)
  • 87% indicated their expectations had been "met" (48%) or "exceeded" (39%)
  • The most named benefits of attending Wikimania were meeting people and finding out about projects.