Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Philosopher of the Wiki-Conference

R. Stuart Geiger has a great blog post out on our recent Wiki-Conference New York.

He really gets all the weird and wonderful things we tried to do, which is amazing.

And good luck to WikiConference Bay Area!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Jimmy Wales Video at Wiki-Conference New York

A big thanks to the 100 or so attendees who joined us at Wiki-Conference New York, which we organized recently with Wikimedia New York City and Free Culture @ NYU at NYU Law School.

Our first video out is of Jimmy Wales' Keynote, where he touched on the general state of Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects, as well as the Biographies of Living Persons problem and Ann Coulter's surprising concerns, and also fielded several interesting questions from the audience.

Many more videos of the other presentations should be on the way, including our other Keynote, which went further into the BLP issue.

See the Opening Remarks and Keynote here:

Video of Jimmy Wales Keynote at Wiki-Conference New York

Friday, July 31, 2009

Organizers in China

Chapcom has just received word this morning that some interested volunteers are starting to organize a new chapter in China. This is very exciting news and I hope sincerely that this group is successful in their attempts and will be able to submit an application soon.

Information is slim at the moment, I will post more as I learn it

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wikimedia Finland

This morning the ChapCom has received an official application from a group of organizers in Finland. I haven't had a chance to read over the bylaws just yet, but if everything goes well we could have a WMF Finland chapter by the end of the year.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

WM Ukraine, Denmark, Portugal

There hasn't been a lot of chapcom-related news recently because there hasn't been a lot of chapcom-related activity.

However, we've received word this morning that the WMF Board has approved applications from WM Ukraine, WM Portugal, and WM Denmark. Three new chapters, quite exciting!

The application from WM Macedonia is still slowly making it's way through the pipeline, and I'll try to get news about that as soon as there is anything to report.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wiki-Conference New York in July

The 1st Wiki-Conference New York will be held over the weekend of July 25-26 2009 (confirmed!) at New York University, and hosted by Free Culture @ NYU and Wikimedia New York City.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales will be giving a keynote, and we will also have a second keynote speaker TBA.

Since this is an unconference, participants are encouraged to give your own ideas for topic sessions!

This is also a great opportunity for people who aren't so wiki-savvy to get a fun introduction. All are most certainly welcome.

Oh yeah, and we're having the Central Park picnic again too!

Register here:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wiki-Conference New York

The folks at WM NYC are planning a mini-conference this summer, Wiki-Conference New York. Similar in spirit, but smaller in scale then Wikimania, it will serve as a great alternative for people like myself who can't make the trip to Buenos Aires, and can't take a whole week off for a big conference. Dates aren't set yet, but the planning is going ahead at full steam.

I'll post more details as they get nailed down, but if you're going to be in the New York area this summer, it would be a cool event to attend. I hope to see a lot of other Wikimedians there.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Wikimedia Canada Bylaws

The first draft of the Canada group's bylaws have been posted on meta. This is a pretty big step, and I am sincerely hopeful that we will see a Canadian chapter formed and approved sometime in 2009.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wikimedia Ukraine

Short update today. The chapcom has received notification today that that group in Ukraine has had their first general meeting and elected a board of directors.

As a short disclaimer, the Ukraine group has not yet been approved as a chapter by the WMF board and has not signed the chapters agreement, so they are not yet a "chapter". When and if that status changes, I will write about it here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wikimedia Macedonia

I've just received word that the organizers from Macedonia have completed their bylaws and submitted them to the Chapters Committee for approval. Assuming the Chapcom approves the bylaws as-is, we could end up with a Macedonia chapter in the not-too-distant future.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wikimedia UK Board Meeting

The next WM UK online board meeting will held tomorrow on IRC. Here's the announcement from the mailing list:

The next board meeting is tomorrow evening; Tuesday 12 May 2009,
8.30-10.30BST, in the #wikimedia-uk-board channel on, with discussion in #wikimedia-uk. The draft agenda
is at:

Board members: please confirm whether you'll be present or not on the agenda page.

As they have done in previous meetings, they will be hosting two channels: One that is for board members only and one that will be open for all community members to participate. I think this is a particularly good system so that the board can get business done in an open and timely manner, and the community still has a forum to voice their opinions/concerns.

Trip to Norfolk VA

I'm taking a trip down to Norfolk Virgina to meet some people that I'm doing some Wikimedia-related work with. I'll be in town on May 30th and 31st, although we will be doing some planning work for most of the time. Are there any Wikimedians in the area that would be interested in meeting up while I'm in town?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Wikimedia India Planning Meeting

Just got the first news back this morning about the Wikimedia India Planning meeting. Apparently it was a good success, and the team looks like they have a solid plan in place going forward.

Information is scarce right now, and I'll report more as I have it.

I want to post a big "Thank You" to Achal Prabhala for organizing this whole thing in person, something the ChapCom could probably not have done by itself. I also want to thank the rest of the WMF staff members who have been making an Indian chapter such a high priority.

Here's hoping that all this good momentum finally produces a strong and active Indian Chapter!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wikimedia Chapters Agreement

We've received word today from Mike Godwin, chief legal council of the WMF, that the first draft of the new Wikimedia Chapters agreement is nearing completion, and parts have been posted on the internal wiki to solicit feedback from the existing chapters.

I haven't read the new agreement yet myself (I will soon) and I probably don't feel comfortable talking about the details until we get closer to an "official" version of it, but I can say that from what I've heard it's going to be a huge step forward in the way the WMF and the chapters interact. I hear tell that the document is longer and more legally precise, which is going to help immensely with many of the common questions and uncertaintys that were present in the old "classic" chapters agreement.

I don't currently know how the new agreement is to be rolled out, whether existing chapters will have to sign the new agreement or not. Again, I haven't read it and probably won't give out any details till it's time.

So things are moving forward in the world of WMF chapters, and that's always a good thing.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wikimedia UK Pictures

Short update to my post from yesterday about WM UK. Apparently some pictures of the meeting have been posted on Flickr. Very cool stuff, and it's good to see so many people getting involved.

As a general note: If you have chapters-related news that you want me to post here on this blog, please send it to me and I'll be happy to post it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wikimedia UK in 2009

Just received word that Wikimedia UK has elected a new board of directors:
  • Zeyi He
  • Thomas Holden
  • Michael Peel
  • Joseph Seddon
  • Andrew Turvey
  • Steve Virgin
  • Paul Williams
There has been some bad news this week too with their legal situation, apparently there have been some setbacks in becoming a registered charity. Hopefully it's just a small delay however, and I'll post more details as I get them.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wikipedia Invades La Plata Natural History Museum

Heard a press release today about Wikimedia Argentina participating in a photo scavenger hunt, similar to the "Wiki Loves Art" event that WM NYC has done in the past. More evidence that the activity is really a great idea, and there is so much potential for Wikimedia chapters to get involved with local museums to benefit the open-content movement.

Wikimedia Argentina is the same group that's working hard to organize Wikimania 2009, so they're a busy little group. I'm looking forward to seeing what kinds of events and activities they organize in the future.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wikimedia Portugal

We've received notice today that Wikimedia Portugal has posted an English-language translation of their new bylaws on Meta, and have submitted them to Chapcom for initial review. I'll post more information about this as the situation progresses.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WM Denmark

Earlier today the Chapcom received bylaws from a new group in Denmark. Check out their bylaws on Meta. We're waiting on some more information from them before we start a formal review. I'll post more information as we have it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Wikimedia Ukraine

I've just received word that a new group from Ukraine has posted their bylaws on Meta. The Chapcom has just gotten them, so I can't say what the committee will say, but it's possible that we could have a new WM Ukraine chapter in 2009.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wikimedia Macau

Just saw a note on Meta, but it looks like things are moving forward in Macau. Chapcom hasn't heard anything from them yet, but if things are progressing so quickly, I'm sure we'll be hearing from them soon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Global Chapters Updates

Some assorted mini-updates:
  1. We've received some communication from a new group in Macedonia who appear to be well on their way to forming a new chapter. I'll post more updates about this group as I get them.
  2. Good progress is being made in India. Sue Gardner has made the formation of an Indian chapter a major priority, and has been putting a lot of time and energy into it's creation. Advisory board member Achal Prabhala has gotten involved as a serious facilitator for the new group, and has been doing amazing work getting the ball rolling. Hopefully we have more news to report on this in the coming weeks.
  3. Wikimedia Indonesia is growing and is going public soon with a press conference. I'll get more details about this soon.
  4. A few other groups have been in contact with the chapcom, but it's too early for me to talk about any of them yet. Suffice it to say that we could have a pretty good year in terms of adding new chapters if even half of the communications we've received turn into something real.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Philadelphia Committee Meeting Recap

Last night was the seventh Philadelphia meetup. The word "meetup" is actually a misnomer because it wasn't the normal social meet-and-eat get together that the previous Philly meetups had been. The name for these kinds of events will probably be "Philadelphia Committee Meetings" in the future, and the word "meetup" can stay reserved for the informal social gatherings that so many of us have come to enjoy.

Last night we had a small group, just 5 Wikimedians for the bulk of the meeting and only 4 at the dinner portion. Despite small numbers, we were very productive and managed to lay out a general gameplan for the future. The goal seems to be that we want to hold some kind of major event every 2-3 months, and punctuate those with more regular but smaller events as well (meetups, Wiki Acadamies, etc).

Our first event is going to be a local take on the popular "Wikis Take Manhattan" that WM-NYC has done. Our version, Wikis Take Philadelphia, is tenatively scheduled for May 16th. We're still in early planning stages, but we are hoping to be able to plan an awesome event in the next two months. We're looking for volunteers to help execute it, teams to participate in it, and friends to help get the word out. I'll post more details about the event as we do more planning.

We're also looking for other activity opportunities, and like-minded organizations in the city that we can parner with to execute bigger events. If you know any people or groups that fit this bill, I would love to hear from you!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Philadelphia Meetup

This weekend, there will be a meetup in Philadelphia for interested Wikimedians. Details are located at Wikipedia. The meetup will start on March 15th at 3PM at Drexel University.

This isn't just a normal meetup, it's the first meetup of Philadelphia Wikimedians as part of the new Wikimedia New York chapter. The Philadelphia area is part of the NYC chapter, and there is the potential for us to create our own regional committee to get Philadelphians involved in the chapter's activities. This is quite a cool opportunity, and I look forward to seeing a lot of our local friends attend.

In other chapters news, there has been some scattered talk about a Mexico chapter forming, and a few communications have even come in to the Chapcom. If you are from Mexico and know anything about this effort or have any thoughts about it, I would love to hear from you. Send me an email or leave a comment here on this blog with any information.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Chapcom Blogging, and News

The issue of creating and maintaining a blog has been mentioned to the Chapcom, and some of the members there seem pretty agreeable to the idea. I don't know if it's going to happen, but it would be a great way to open the committee up to outside inspection and increase communication bandwidth between us and the rest of Wikimedia.

Some other committee members have mentioned that I could share some news on this blog, so long as I make it clear what information is my personal opinions and which is supported by the entire committee. To start off this new found freedom, Here is a (partial) list of countries and groups that myself or the Chapcom has heard from recently. If you live in one of these areas, please send me a message to let me know about it. Also, if you're working on creating a new chapter, but aren't listed here, send a message to me or to the Chapcom to let us know about you.
  1. Catalan language region (portions of Spain, France, Italy and Andorra). I've talked about this group before, and will likely have more to say about them in the future.
  2. Mexico
  3. Canada
  4. India
I've heard rumors about a few other groups existing, but no firm confirmations of that. If you are working to create a new chapter and your group is not listed here, please contact me or the Chapcom ASAP! Seriously, you want us to get involved as early as possible so we can help, support, and guide you.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wikimedia Canada

Lots of mailing-list discussion about Wikimedia Canada in the last two days. They had been in an organizational lull for a few weeks, but it seems they are starting to wake up from that. Any Wikimedians who are in Canada should join Wikimediaca-l and participate in the discussion. Maybe 2009 will be the year we get a Canadian chapter? I hope so.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wikimedia New York City

I'm pleased to announce (and frankly a little surprised that I'm the first) that Wikimedia New York City has been approved by the WMF board and is now an official chapter. This is the first subnational chapter created since the Board put out a missive last year specifically allowing such chapters to be created. A working group was created to deal with any potential issues that might pop up with the new type of chapter, but so far no such issues have manifested themselves.

The new paradigm of subnational chapters has already spurred renewed interest from dormant groups such as organizers in India. Organizers in India had tried previously to put together a national chapter but failed for a number of logistical reasons. Now, organizers seem to be putting together state- and city-based groups instead and (from what information I hear through the grapevine) are having good success with it. I'd be interested to hear if other groups are having more success, motivation, and momentum in organizing new chapters now that subnational chapters are possible?

Wikimedia New York City is the first US chapter, although hopefully it won't be the last. For those who are not aware, the bylaws of WMNYC extend it's geographical boundaries beyond the city limits: they specifically mention covering the rest of New York state, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania as well. Any Wikimedians in those areas, including people who had previously expressed interest in a PA chapter, should really consider joining WMNYC and getting involved in their activities. I'll be sure to post information as I receive it about meetings and activities held by this new chapter.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

9 Chapter Goals For '09

If we achieve 8 out of 9 of these things, we'll have a pretty damn good 2009. Any less, and we're utter failures.

1. Incorporate Wikimedia New York City, after WMF approval.

2. Wikipedia Loves Art museum photography event in February is a smashing success.

3. Form regional committees of Wikimedia New York City in areas like New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

4. Wikis Take Manhattan street photography event in the Fall is a smashing success (again).

5. Teach Wikipedia classes at the New York Public Library.

6. Bring an important reference work into copylefted Wikimedia content.

7. Take one small step to the day when every cultural institution will have a "Wiki Department".

8. Further our alliance with local Free Culture groups.

9. Host a "Wiki-Conference New York" for 100-200 people in the Summer, in conjunction with our 3rd annual WikNYC Picnic.