Summary: You can now join Wiki UK Ltd, which hopes to become the official UK chapter of Wikimedia in January. The organisation is planning its first Annual General Meeting, where members can vote on who is on the board, and put forward and vote on resolutions. The organisation is already supporting activities such as a bid to hold Wikimania 2010 in Oxford and the exciting Wikipedia Loves Art project at the Victoria and Albert Museum. We also bring you news of the the recent Wikimeet in London.
In this month's newsletter:
As mentioned in our November newsletter, the Chapters Committee has recommended we are approved as a chapter of Wikimedia, and we are expecting the Wikimedia Foundation to decide on this at their next meeting, on 9th–11th January. We hope to complete bank account opening shortly after we are approved. In the meantime, we are preparing for the rush of events which will happen immediately afterwards, and we are also supporting activities ranging from the bid to hold Wikimania 2010 in Oxford to Wikipedia Loves Art.
As we announced in our last newsletter, we are now inviting membership applications: being a member gives you an official say in what the company does, allowing you to attend and vote at AGMs, put forward written resolutions, elect the new boards at the AGMs, and much more. You can download the application form here.
We will start processing the applications received as soon as the bank account is set up. We should also be able to accept tax-refundable donations at that point, and claim back the tax from the donations already received with the permission of the donors.
As soon as the chapter status is approved and the bank account opened, the board will move to call the first AGM. This is currently pencilled in for the end of February, giving us enough time to give the statutory notice and to organise the elections. However, if there are any delays this may be pushed back. The draft of the agenda for the AGM currently includes the election of the first permanent Board, discussing the priorities of the chapter and passing some formal resolutions.
Wikimania 2010 - Oxford bid
Wiki UK Limited is keen to bring Wikimania to the UK, and the 2010 Oxford bid still seems like the best chance we will have for this in the next few years, since there is a common feeling that 2010 is Europe's year. Organising a conference on the scale of Wikimania is a lot of work, and we desperately need your help (see below for details of things you could do). A lot of progress was made on the bid over the summer, but since then the momentum has died down a little due to the other commitments of those who had been working on it. In the last few weeks, Seddon has once again begun work, obtaining the support of the local flickr group, and investigating a new source of sponsorship for us.
How you can help:
- work on the bid page (expand existing sections, fill in place holders)
- contact potential sponsors and partners on our behalf (see this list and the talk page)
- show your support by signing up as a member of the local team here
Wikipedia Loves Art
The Victoria and Albert Museum, the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design with a collection of over 4.5 million objects, is joining in with a world-wide project in February 2009 to photograph major pieces of work and release the images under public licence:. They have invited Wikipedians to get involved in collecting the images, putting them online and using them in Wikipedia articles. More information is available here. Please sign up to get involved and let us have your ideas!
Sunday 14th December saw the 16th London Wikipedia meetup. As the numbering suggests the meetups have been running for quite some time, with the first one in June 2004. The meetups currently take the form of a pub lunch at the Penderel's Oak in Holborn on the second Sunday of every month. Eight Wikipedians came along, falling within the stereotypical Wikipedia demographic (15-45, higher education, involvement in a non-manual job). Topics discussed included Wikimedia UK and its current status, the (now concluded) Arbitration Committee elections, (briefly) contract law and various other tidbits. The meetups are excellent fun and a good opportunity to meet other Wikipedia contributors and get to know them; several projects people have worked on have come about as a result of interactions with people at these meetups. The next one is due to be held on Sunday 11th January 2009 at 13:00.