forwarded from wikien-l... anyone feel like descending on London next week?
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Daniel R. Tobias <dan(a)tobias.name>
Date: 12-Jul-2007 05:45
Subject: [WikiEN-l] London
I'm going to be in London (in England, not any of the other Londons
of the world) next week, arriving Saturday the 14th (departing from
America the [unlucky?] night of Friday the 13th). I know that some
people on this list (and on Wikipedia) are around there, so if
anybody's interested in meeting me in person, to argue with me,
applaud me, personally-attack me, or whatever, I might be open to
it... just let me know.
== Dan ==
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- Andrew Gray
Just a short word to mention that during the Unesco meeting, I met with
Brenda M Gourley, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University
(www.open.ac.uk). Brenda comes from South Africa. She indicated much
interest in helping us (and in particular Wikimedia UK), in particular
in hosting an event if one was organized in UK. I do not know if this
can lead somewhere, but if it rings a bell, just ask me for her contact
I am very pleased to announce that the website has just been updated with
the downloadable PDFs for joining Wikimedia UK.
To answer some questions that have (or will be!) raised:
1. You can now apply to be a Supporting Member of the Wikimedia UK
Chapter. This can be under your 'real name' or a pseudonym of your choice
such as the name you use on a Wikimedia project. Anyone of any age may be
a supporting member. We only require your email address, but a real one
will help us in event planning.
2. Supporting members cannot legally command the Chapter to do anything,
but they *will* be listened to!
3. Membership of the Company ("Guarantor membership"), which entitles you
to a formal vote at General Meetings or to stand as a candidate for
Director, is also available. This requires a real name and postal address
and you must be over 18.
4. You may submit one or both applications, but if both they must be in a
single envelope. Upon receipt the pages will be separated and we will not
be able to ascertain whether information on one page relates to the other
and will not record such information jointly in any other manner, ie. you
can use your handle on the Supporting membership but your real name on the
guarantor form cannot be tied back to it.
5. Whilst clearly we are targeted to people who edit on the various
Wikimedia projects, that is not a pre-requisite for membership of
Wikimedia UK; everyone who supports our aims and intentions is most
welcome to assist and join.
6. At the moment we are not a registered Charity and, as such, cannot
claim back any tax. We hope to have 'gift aid' procedures in place later
Wikimedia UK is open for business!
Alison Wheeler Chief Executive Officer, Wikimedia UK
Wikimedia UK is the operating name of Wiki Educational
Resources Ltd, company limited by guarantee #05708269
Imagine a world in which every person
can have free access to the sum of all human knowledge
We're making it happen. Will you help us?
dgerard: >>No, because it includes Northern Ireland :-)<<
Just in case you weren't being funny, FTR. GB is the ISO 3166-1 code
for the United Kingdom <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1> and
the other chapters are named per ISO 3166.
[Ye, I think UK would have been better too, but it is silly to break
the standard for that reason. Apparently the ISO committee guys, who
are ironically mostly from a country with the code US (not AM), made
the strange decision that it was inappropriate for a county code to be
an abbreviation for the generic words `United' and `Kingdom', even
though some codes don't even bear any relation to their country's
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gordon Joly [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Monday, July 02, 2007 9:46 AM
> Subject: RE: [Wikimediauk-l] Editors' exclusion due to privacy
> Two points
> 1) You are representing the views of others, and I am not sure you
> have that right. Especially since there are anonymous, and are not
> acting as a single body.
> 2) Wikimedia UK is about sending money to Foundation. One of the
> reasons I left (days before the legal incorporation) was that I was
> interested in research and education, but the Chapters are primarily
> (but not only) about getting the tax back on donations. I can form a
> charity called "Wiki Research, Education and Training Ltd" and not
> use the trade marks of the foundation. And I could do that in a few
It's hard to see either of those as good quality answers.
"Representing" is an unhelpful word here. To note a situation, and comment
that it merits review is not the same as representing anonymous editors per
se. The situation exists, and it's extremely likely that a significant
number of those who would wish to be involved as members will be affected by
it. Drawing attention to a problem or situation is not the same as claiming
to be some form of unelected spokesperson. I've not claimed the latter; I've
only spoken as someone who wishes to be involved, and can conceive that this
will be a barrier for some that should be removed so that Wiki-supporters
valuing online-anonymity in the UK may do so freely without avoidable
With regard to your second point, yes you can, but you didn't, and the
likelihood is others wouldn't either, for similar reasons. Realistically "
in that case set up your own supporting body" is going to exclude most
people too. Very few will set up a body, compared to the many who might
join a pre-existing, already-organized body. In either case both Wikimedia
UK and bona fide dedicated editors lose out.
To recap on the matter as in my previous comment:
> Given how many UK-based editors continue to edit anonymously, the
assumption must be that a significant number of those who would wish fully
to be members of Wikimedia UK and might contribute well (and wish to) as
members, will avoid doing so to save their anonymity (if this is not
considered carefully), and may, if limited in how much they are permitted to
be involved, feel excluded. If it's unavoidable, then so be it... but it's
definitely worth exploring from a point of view of "how can we help and
involve them as much as possible", not just "why would they care, and why
I don't think consistently looking for reasons to _justify_
exclusion/suspicion is as helpful a viewpoint as looking for ways to
_support inclusion_ (so far as practical) of one's own wiki*.org peer group
-- the people who actually write the reference pages which Wikimedia is
intended to financially support -- and some of whom may just want to give
more without feeling excluded.
On 6/29/07, Gordon Joly <gordon.joly(a)pobox.com> wrote:
> I don't get it.
> There is no need to disclose your online identity when registering as
> a member of the charity (a company limited by guarantee).
> So me [User:LoopZilla] and me "Gordon Joly" are distinct. I have
> chosen to link them up, but I didn't need to.
> Companies House has no idea that the person who is a director of two
> companies (one is a charity) is also [User:LoopZilla] on several
We've set things up with exactly this in mind Gordon - to become a
member of the company (to vote at general meetings, become a board
member, pay a pound to any creditors if we are wound up, etc.) you
will need to provide your identity but not any on-line personality. In
the case where you cannot join the company (if you are too young,
won't provide a real identity etc.) you can still be considered a
member of the chapter (and a supporter of WER). It's not necessary to
provide any information about any on-line pseudonyms in either case.
I think the suggestion on this thread is to attempt to find a way for
people to influence the company by having a vote at general meetings
without providing any identity. This is what Alison is discussing.