Below is the Wikimedia UK report
for the period 1 January to 31 May 2011. We will be making future
reports available on a monthly basis from now on. If you want to keep up
with the chapter's activities as they happen, please subscribe to our blog, join our mailing list, and/or follow us on Twitter. You can find this report online at http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Reports/2011/May . If you have any queries, please leave a comment on the talk page.
WikiConference UK and AGM
We held the first WikiConference UK,
which included our 2011 Annual General Meeting, at the Watershed Media
Centre in Bristol. The three main themes of the conference were
Wikipedia and GLAM; Wikipedia content; and Wikipedia in Education
(including two keynotes). Slides from the presentations are available
At the AGM our members elected the Board for the coming year. 8
members stood for the 7 available seats, and it was a very close-run
election. The new Board consists of Roger Bamkin (Chair), Andrew Turvey (Treasurer), Michael Peel (Secretary), Chris Keating, Martin Poulter, Ashley Van Haeften and Steve Virgin. The new Board put out a blog post announcing their appointment and the first board meeting.
The AGM also included the formal business of the outgoing Board's report, approval of minutes from the 2009 and 2010 AGMs, and voting on resolutions.
5 resolutions were put to the members. The first was on extending board
seats to 2 years, which failed to receive the required 75% support. The
other four - on setting membership fees; appointing board members;
approving the 2008-2010 annual accounts; and appointing auditors - were
unanimously approved. Preliminary minutes for the AGM are online.
The event summary below excludes events and new relationships under
current negotiation which includes 5 new institutions as well as
continuing programmes with at least 4 current institutions.
British Library - As part of our 10th Anniversary activities
and partially inspired by our successes with the British Museum
collaboration, on 14-15 January 2011 we held a editathon at the British
Library. At the event, Wikimedia UK volunteers alongside the employees
of the British Library created Wikipedia content related to the British
Library - 8 new articles were started and infrastructure on the English
Wikipedia related to the new GLAM/BL project was developed. See
Editathon, British Library/January 2011 and the event announcement for
- Backstage Pass - 9 April, the event established a model for high
engagement with smaller museums and included the innovative use of QR
codes to enable an multi-language interactive exhibition at almost no
- Wright Challenge - April/May - Gaming has been a great success in
order for the collaboration to deliver articles in 100 languages.
Further press interest should probably be encouraged for this
achievement, particularly considering relationship to multi-language use
of QR codes. Victuallers leading.
UGC4GLAM Vienna - 16-17 May Victuallers was invited to join
this conference and presented on the topics of BM, Derby, QRpedia and
the Wright Challenge and gained an insight into the GLAM work and
logistics for other Chapters.
GLAMcamp NYC - 20-22 May, the workshops arranged by Liam Wyatt
were successful in pushing forward interchapter relationships and
advanced a number of international GLAM related projects. This included
revising the :outreach website, sharing and publicising the Wikimedian
in Residence experience, proposing a GLAM metrics programme and
proposing a European GLAMcamp to be hosted in Utrecht late this year.
The entire event (with around 30 participants) was funded with $10,000
from the WMF. Travel cost concerns limited UK involvement to Fae and
In May a GLAM task force was established to help drive the expanding
programme forward and establish the UK GLAM network of e-volunteers. The
current GLAM task force members active are Fae (director and budget
holder), Leutha, WereSpielChequers, Tom Morris, Johnbod and Andrew
An Imperial College Wikipedia Society has been officially recognised
by Imperial College, the first Wikipedia student organisation to be
established in the UK. The society hopes to feed teaching assignments
and outreach on campus and hopes to encourage the use of Wikipedia on
campus and to seriously question its position in the academic community.
It has already run two contribution team events: wikipedia:Wikipedia:CONTRIB/Imperial & wikipedia:Wikipedia:CONTRIB/Imperial2 - as well as the London Wikipedia Academy. It was covered by the BBC, Care2 and Sify News.
The ongoing survey into Expert barriers to Wikipedia caught the attention of the Guardian, who ran an article on Tuesday 29th March. Mike Peel sent the Guardian
a variety of suitable contacts, and the paper chose Mike's own photo
and interview to lead the article. The article mentioned a number of
ways in which Wikimedia is reaching out to academia, including
Wikipedians at Imperial College (see above). Wikipedia's detractors
piled into the online comments, as did some veteran editors. The article
caught the attention of the BBC World Service, who ran an interview
with Rod Ward,
who lectures at the University of West of England, Bristol. The
interviewer seemed taken aback when Rod explained that Wikipedians are
not paid for their contributions. The Guardian later ran an editorial column "In praise of academic Wikipedians".
Martin Poulter spoke at the Open Educational Resources 2011
conference at the University of Nottingham on "Wikimedia and Higher
Education: Beat them or join them?" This urged the UK's Open Educational
Resource community to learn from, and engage with, the Wikimedia
Wikimedia UK ran a 'Wikipedia Workshop' at Cancer Research UK's London offices.
Cancer Research UK's staff explored how their unique expertise can
benefit Wikipedia, improving existing cancer-related pages and sharing
new information about cancer and health. The 'Wikipedia Workshop' was
split into two sessions. The first took place in early February and
consisted of a two hour comprehensive introduction to Wikipedia,
including what makes a good Wikipedia article and how to interact with
other contributors. The second session, on Monday 28th March 2011, was
an all-day 'hands-on' session where the Wikipedians guided attendees
through their first edits to Wikipedia. Kate Arnold, director of patient
information at Cancer Research UK, said: "Wikipedia is a key source of
information for people looking for information about cancer. Either they
go to the site directly or they Google a term and Wikipedia links
appear high in the search rank. We believe it is vital for the
information available on these pages to be accurate and easy to
understand." The event received a mention on the BBC web site, as well as extremely favourable coverage in The Times.
This included an editorial which praised CRUK's bold step in engaging
with Wikipedia, and a double-page spread on the information available to
cancer sufferers, mentioning Wikipedia as one of the resources that
will save lives by helping people make informed decisions. The event was
also covered by New Scientist, AccuraCast and DigitalJournal
As a result of the Cancer Research UK event, the UK's Medical Research Council requested a workshop at its London offices,
which is set for July. The Institute of Physics, an educational and
scholarly charity, is exploring shared activities with Wikimedia UK. As
part of this, the IoP will host a workshop at its London headquarters in September.
Saturday 19th March saw a one-day event
at the University of Bristol, jointly branded between Wikimedia UK and
the University, and organised by Steve Virgin and Martin Poulter.
Attending were representatives from potential partner organisations and
the local Somali and Bengali-speaking communities, as well as some
students from the city's two universities. After Martin's overview, Alex Stinson explained the Five Pillars, GLAM sector partnerships and the Ambassador programme. Rod Ward spoke about article quality and WikiProjects (see Rod's blog). William Avery demonstrated image uploading. Steve Woods gave a non-technical intro to MediaWiki (see Steve's blog). Roger Bamkin made a very persuasive case for QR codes, placing examples around the room. Jezhotwells was on hand to provide one-to-one help to new users. Martin spoke to BBC local radio in the morning to promote the event. Matt Jukes of the Medical Research Council blogged favourably:
"I think if more people were aware of just how tough the Wikipedia
peer-review system was then there would be a lot less nay-sayers. The
focus not only on getting things factually correct and well cited but
also on the quality of the copy (and even layout) was really
Wikipedia's 10th birthday
Wikimedia UK hosted two events in Bristol in honour of Wikipedia’s 10th Birthday. Wales spoke to an audience of 700 at the University of Bristol's Victoria Rooms, with 3000 more watching the live video stream, and about 25,000 on watching the recorded videos after the event. Local user Jezhotwells
had made it his ambition to get the article about the event's venue to
Good Article status beforehand, and managed it at 3am on the day of the
talk. After an introduction from Guy Orpen, the University's Pro-Vice
Chancellor for Research, Wales gave a prepared speech and answered
selected questions. His comments about Net Neutrality & HP Labs led
to a large number of news stories about the event the following morning.
The BBC Anchor Project recorded and edited the talk: a six minute video has been uploaded to Commons. Earlier in the day, Wales had spoken at the Bristol Cathedral School, from which a YouTube video is available. Throughout the day, Wales gave interviews to local, national and international media, including a lengthy interview with the New Statesman while en route from Bristol to London.
After the Bristol events, Jimmy threw a celebratory party in London,
attended by many Wikimedia contributors and public figures. Jimmy was
introduced by Richard Dawkins, who said that if he had been told about
Wikipedia at its outset, he would have bet a large sum of money on it
failing. Video of the party is available on the Reuters site. See summary of events. The Editathon at the British Library (see above) was also a 10th anniversary celebration event.
- We put out a blog post on Wikimedia Commons reaching the 10 million multimedia files milestone.
- A major media story at the end of April was regarding the disclosure
of information subject to UK injunctions, which was covered by the Guardian and Daily Mail, and which Jimmy Wales criticised to the BBC (also covered by The Independent). Additionally, in May The Guardian covered a high court order regarding defamation on Wikipedia.
- Back in January, a big news story was about the gender imbalance on Wikipedia, which was covered in the UK by The Telegraph in two articles.
- Mike Peel attended the Chapters meeting 2011 in Berlin on behalf of WMUK. Documentation from the meeting is available online, and Manuel Schneider wrote a summary of the conference. WMUK provided sponsorship of €4,000 to hire the facilitators for the event.
- Minutes of board meetings are available for 4 January, 5 February, 1 March, 8 April, 16 April (pre-AGM), 16 April (post-AGM), 26 April (full board) and 20 May (Exec).
- Wikimeets happened in London on 9 January, 13 February, 13 March, 10 April and 8 May; in Cambridge on 27 February and 21 May; and in Manchester on 24 April.
- UK Community IRC meetings were held on 3 May and 17 May.
Upcoming activities in June
For events in July and onwards, please see Events.