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.