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Wikimedia UK Members Newsletter

Message from a Trustee: Chris Keating

Chris Keating is currently Chair of Wikimedia UK, and has been a trustee since April 2011.

Why not get involved in Wikimania?

Have you heard the exciting news that next year's global Wikipedia conference is coming to London next year?

Wikimedia UK is happy to be supporting Wikimania London 2014, a conference that brings together people from across the globe who are involved in editing Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia Foundation projects.

This is going to be a big event and over coming months the organising team will be announcing a stellar cast of keynote speakers. The Barbican Centre's been booked for a week to hold it (yes, really, the whole Barbican Centre!) and we are expecting over 1,000 people - Wikimedians and members of the public - from all over the world.

So put 8-11 August 2014 in your diary now. Whether you're a veteran Wikimedian or simply interested in learning more, Wikimania London will be an experience not to be missed.

Also, we're on the lookout for people who are interested in being part of the organising team. You can find out more on wm2014:Volunteers. If you're interested, sign up on the page or drop an email to and we'll be in touch.

Look forward to seeing you at Wikimania, if not before.

Chris can be contacted by email to

Hello from the Office: Katie Chan

Katie Chan taking a photo during Wikipedia Takes Chester.

Katie Chan, better known to some of you as KTC is a longstanding Wikimedian and WMUK's Volunteer Organiser

As Volunteer Organiser, my job is to develop a range of activities appropriate to the needs of our volunteers, work with them so they are supported and productive, and to promote volunteering opportunities to encourage more people to get involved. Recently, I have been one of the staff member supporting our volunteers with the organisation and running of Wiki Loves Monuments, which by all account was a great success attracting contributions from many different editors, both new and old.

Before working for Wikimedia UK, I have been a Wikimedia editor and volunteer on and off since 2004, serving as a volunteer on things such as Wikimedia Foundation's Election Committee and Grant Advisory Committee. Having been involved with the chapter as a volunteer both at the beginning and around the time before I started as Volunteer Organiser, hopefully I bring with me some understanding of the diverse needs of our volunteer, what could be done to support them and how to encourage more people to become volunteers in the first place. Having said that, I am always more than happy to hear feedback and suggestions on ways to do improve. Similarly, if you require any help with events you are running, or have ideas for events or projects that you want help with to get started, I am here for you!

Looking forward, we now have a volunteering strategy as a basis from which to operate and work on to develop our volunteer community. You will soon see a Volunteering Portal targeted at both experienced volunteers, existing Wikimedia contributors but also those completely new to Wikimedia. Serving as a starting point from which a volunteer or potential volunteer can get more information on the charity and its activities, advice on how to organise an event, checklist on what to do etc. it will hopefully enable more volunteers to feel empowered to do the things they want to do.

Email Katie at or have a look at Volunteer to see how you can get involved

Upcoming events

Colour woodcut-style portrait of Ada Lovelace.

Wikimedia UK is running several initiatives during October to celebrate Women in Science - and you are invited to attend! They are inspired by the Ada Lovelace Day, which exists to celebrate the contributions of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In this spirit, we are running events to improve the coverage of Women in Science on Wikipedia. You can help!

1. The Royal Society is hosting an editathon on 11th October in London. Places are sold out, but you are welcome to attend a free evening reception and a panel discussion about Women in Science. More details are available at here.

2. For those in Oxford, we have an event on 15th October.

3. Kingston University will be hosting its Women in Science event on 28 October.

Hope to see you at one of these events!

Meetup in focus: Newcastle

The Grade II listed Union Rooms where the meetup took place.

Harry Mitchell writes about what happened when he organised the first ever Newcastle Meetup

I've been a regular at meetups around the UK for a few years, and I've seen first-hand that meetups are a great way to build a community of Wikipedians in a city. There are established meetups in London, Oxford, Cambridge, Coventry, and Manchester, and they've begun to spring up in other cities over the last couple of years, including Liverpool and Chester (both offshoots of the Manchester meetup), Bristol, Glasgow and Edinburgh, Nottingham, and Leeds. I've been supporting the meetups in Oxford and the North West for a while, and I was conscious that there was very little happening in the North East.

So I thought that a meetup in Newcastle (upon Tyne, not under Lyme!) would be a good way to start building a community by getting local Wikipedians together for a chat over lunch and a few drinks on a Sunday afternoon. Due probably to my bad scheduling, only five of us made it on the day, but we still had plenty to talk about. Topics included the usual conversations about goings-on on Wikipedia, the residency at the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, and potential future partnerships. Indeed, as a result of these conversations, talks are now underway with another potential partner organisation so watch this space!

Over a dozen people expressed an interest in the idea of a meetup, and all those who came agreed we should have further meetups, so plans are afoot for another one before the end of the year.

The next meetup will take place this Sunday in London & Oxford

Focus on individuals: Emmanuel Engelhart

Emmanuel is a longstanding Wikimedia volunteer and has been helping the chapter make major improvements to its IT infastructure.

Members may have noticed that they are receiving their newsletter later than normal this month...

The reason is that our site was undergoing a major migration as the UK Chapter's wiki moved from the Wikimedia Foundation's hosting to its own server. This followed the successful migration earlier in the month of the charity's contact database, itself used to send out newsletter mailings.

Emmanuel Engelhart is one of the two technical contractors Wikimedia UK has worked with since November 2012, and was the lead on both these two switch-overs (supported by non other than Tom Morton).

Emmanuel has been involved in the Wikimedia movement since 2003 and is an active volunteer within the Swiss chapter, mostly involved in offline projects, in particular Kiwix, openZIM, and GLAM. He is also a member of Wikimedia France and has previously served as a member of their board. He's a leading advocate of the kiwix project. Kiwix is an offline reader for web content, and has been installed in schools, universities and libraries which can't afford a broadband Internet access - allowing them to access a filtered selection of Wikipedia content.

Moving to the most up to date version of the contacts database (on a more effective platform) and migrating the UK wiki to our own server hosting have been long-held aspirations for the chapter and it's amazing that this important work has finally come to pass. Emmanuel will be working especially on the database later this year, to help improve other long standing issues such as the online sign up forms for members, managing gift aid claims and allowing people to update their contact details online.

You can find Emmanuel's talk page on the UK wiki, or if you are interested in these sorts of issues you are welcome to sit in on a meeting of the Technology Committee.

Volunteer equipment

Wikimedia UK volunteer camera kit in action.

Lights, camera (and laptops & projector...), action!

Wikimedia UK have a growing pool of volunteer equipment that is available free for members and volunteers use. Whether you're taking part in a Wikimedia event and requires the use of laptops, or a good quality camera to take quality photographs to be made available on Wikimedia Commons, we can help!

The requirements for use of the equipment are:

  1. The use adheres to the objects of the charity “for the benefit of the public, to promote and support the widest possible public access to, use of and contribution to Open Content of an encyclopaedic or educational nature or of similar utility to the general public”.
  2. Any media files created must be published under a free licence acceptable on Wikimedia Commons, complying with the project scope.
  3. The borrower need not be a member of Wikimedia UK, but priority for use will be given to members of the chapter.
  4. Media files created and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons must be tagged with the template {{WMUK equipment}} so that it is categorised within the appropriate category for media files generated.

To borrow any the chapter's equipment, please email or call the office on 020 7065 0990. If you have ideas for something that is not on the list, you can also make suggestions for purchase or rental.

Review: Wiki Loves Monuments

The interior of the Grade I listed St Bride's Church, City of London uploaded as part of Wiki Loves Monuments.

The morning after the month before

September 2013 will always be the month the UK took part in Wiki Loves Monuments for the first time. We missed out in 2012, and planning began in January this year because we didn’t want the same to happen again. It has been a long process, but now the dust is settling and we can look back at WLM in the UK.

The first few minutes of 1 September were nervous. Would everything work? Would we have long to wait for our first upload? What did the month ahead hold? I nearly wore out the F5 looking for that first image, but only had to wait a few minutes. Thirty days later we had 11,995 photos from 573 people.

Both of those numbers are encouraging. The sheer number of photos meant the UK was the eighth biggest contributor to the global competition, but if anything, those 573 people are more encouraging. Looking at the names of people who took part, there is a mix of old and new faces, and lots of people who have never edited before.

Buildings are the stage on which history happens, and WLM was a chance for people to engage with history as well as Wikimedia. And it worked. The fact nearly 600 people got involved speaks for itself, and several people have been in touch with the office saying how much they enjoyed the competition and adding something to Wikipedia. Some people wanted to know more about how it all works. It got people interested.

The competition is over as far as submissions is concerned, but now the judging stage starts. Volunteers have been integral to getting the infrastructure in place for WLM to work, and now they are helping by whittling down 11,995 photographs to around 1,000 for the final judging panel. The volunteer community have been outstanding. There are too many names to list here, but their efforts were invaluable and I owe them thanks.

As October wears on, keep an eye out for those listed buildings. Commons always needs good pictures, so don’t put away the camera just yet. The winners will be announced in early November, so watch this space.

Quick updates

Community Chat

Wikimedia Community Logo

The result of the vote for the new logo of Wikivoyage has been announced. The winning proposal by AleXXw out of a total of 68 entries, consists of the localised project name in the middle, with three arrows pointing outwards decorated in Wikimedia Foundation colours representing directions of travel. A new logo was chosen as a result of cease-and-desist from the World Trade Organization on the basis of similarities between Wikivoyage's old logo and that of the WTO's.

A Request for Consultation has been started by the Wikimedia Foundation legal team regarding its ongoing application for trademark registration of the Wikimedia community logo. Originally created in 2006 by Artur Jan Fijałkowski, the logo was adopted as the logo of Meta-Wiki in 2008. A formal opposition to the Foundation application for trademark in the European Union was filed before the European Union's Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market by four members of the Wikimedia community on 25 September.

Wikimedia Foundation has announced a security leak that has affected approximately 37,000 Wikimedia project users. Affected user email addresses, password hashes, session tokens, and last login timestamp were publicly available to the 228 users of the LabsDB service between 29 May and 1 October. Affected users with confirmed email address have been sent an email notification and all affected users have been forcibly logged out, and required to change their password on their next login.

Wikimania 2014

Wikimania 2014 logo

Wikimania 2014 will be held on 6-10 August 2014 at the Barbican Centre in the City of London, the largest performing arts centre in Europe. The first two day will feature the usual Wikimedia hacking days and unconference along with chapters' activities, meetings, and tours, while the final three days will feature the main conference of talks and workshops. Alongside the traditional Wikimania presentations will be a simultaneous conference targeted at the general public comprising an exhibition, workshops and talks specially aimed towards outreach. Starting in approximately March 2014 and leading to the main Wikimania event, the organising team intend to run ten hackathons, focusing on five specific strand of outreach in Online Community, Education, Free Culture, Open Data & Big Data, and Open Access.

If you are interested to get involved, there are a variety of ways for you to do so. If you are familiar with London or have visited recently, you can contribute to the Wikimania 2014 London Guidebook on Wikivoyage. Alternatively, you can take part in discussions ongoing on the Wikimania 2014 wiki such as this one on the idea of producing little booklets featuring each of Wikimedia Foundation projects. To get even more involved, you can sign up on the Volunteers page. If you prefer not to provide your information publicly, you can email

Wiki migration

Close up of some Wikimedia Foundation servers

The migration of Wikimedia UK's wiki from Wikimedia Foundation hosting has been successfully completed. If you had an account on the old site and haven't already, please log in to the old site and active "Enable email from other users" so that a password for your account on the new site can be sent to you. After logging into the new site with the password you received, don't forget to change it to something of your choice.

More information on the migration can been found on WMUK wiki migration. If you have encountered any problem or discovered any bugs related to the migration, please raise it on the talk page.


Audience at EduWiki Conference 2012.

Registration is open and continuing until 20 October for EduWiki Conference 2013, to be hosted at the Future Inns in Cardiff Bay on 1st and 2nd of November. EduWiki Conference 2013 is the second annual conference organised by Wikimedia UK focusing on education projects. The conference is a chance to discover opportunities; report lessons learned; and explore how the free, open, learner-centred ethos of Wikimedia overlaps current trends in formal education.

Supported by Wikimedia UK, Wikimedia Nederland, and the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Deutschland is hosting the first Wikimedia Diversity Conference in Berlin on 9th and 10th of November. While application for scholarship and proposal submission have closed, registration to attend is open until 20 October. The goal of the conference is "to exchange findings, methods, and approaches for incorporating more gender diversity in Wikimedia projects, and for considering gender diversity within the wider context of diversity in general".