I went to the V&A last week and took photos of everything I could,
which I really should upload some time sooner rather than later. In
fact, I want a better camera for low light just to do the V&A.
Their photo policy is "feel free", just don't use a flash and don't be
a nuisance. There are a limited number of exhibitions they ask for no
photography in (there's the Design in China one at the moment, for
example), but mostly you can take pics of anything.
So - apart from those of you with cameras that are good in low light
photographing every damn thing to be found in the entire V&A ...
1. Do we have a list of photographer-friendly museums?
2. (the biggie) How do we thank V&A for their openness? And how do we
do it in such a way as to encourage *other* museums to open their
collections up to free content photography? I'm thinking talking to
them and working out a joint press release.
Has anyone here gone hogwild with a camera in UK museums? Do please tell!
I've received the following invitation for a speaker in the UK, and I thought it
most efficient to share this with the UK list to gauge interest.
I'm also in the process of developing a volunteer speaking list for each of the
major territories, so I can send requests to people directly.
If you're interested in being added to that list (or if there already is one you
might know of...) feel free to send me your contact information directly. Please
also provide some information about areas of interest, your background on WP or
the other WM projects, and what experience you have when it comes to speaking or
Thanks in advance,
Head of Communications
+1 (415) 839 6885 x 609
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Talk Invitation: Sheffield UK
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2008 09:33:52 +0000
From: Susheel Varma <susheel.varma(a)sheffield.ac.uk>
CC: Wales PA <wikispeaker(a)gmail.com>
Dear Jay Walsh,
The Kroto Research Podium Seminars is a long running seminar series
organised weekly by The Kroto Research Institute(KRI) at Sheffield,
UK. The series is mainly aimed at young researchers and participants
to gain access to and interact with distinguished speakers on a wide
range of research topics. The seminars are usually held every Friday
between 10am-12pm and is designed to be informal and free and open to
all members of the University across disciplines.
We have heard that you are a wonderful speaker and deeply passionate
about the work that you do at Wikimedia.org We are particularly
interested in the work your organisation does in the field of Openness
and IP, and we imagine there to be a wide range collaborative
interests between us. We would additionally like to extend the
invitation to any other suitable spokesperson from your organisation
to Sheffield. We would be deeply indebted to you if you could spare
some of your time to give us a talk at the North Campus Conference
Centre here in Sheffield about your thoughts, opinions and comments on
Open Research. We would be able to cover all reasonable travels
expenses within the UK and lunch afterwards. We have listed a number
of possible dates/time for your visit to Sheffield below:
20th June 2008 (11am-12pm)
11th,18th July 2008 (11am-12pm)
8th August 2008 (11am-12pm)
Our research websites (http://www.shef.ac.uk/dcs/research/ and
http://www.shef.ac.uk/northcampus/) will provide an overview of some
the work carried out by our research staff, and may hint at some of
the collaborative ideas that may be possible. Should you have any
questions or need additional information regarding our request, please
feel free to reply to any of my contact addresses below.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your
reply to our request.
Computational Systems Biology | Tel : +44 (0) 114 22 25931
Department of Computer Science | Fax : +44 (0) 114 22 21810
The Kroto Research Institute | Web : www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/~susheel
University of Sheffield | Email: susheel.varma(a)sheffield.ac.uk
Broad Lane, Sheffield, S3 7HQ, UK | Email: susheel(a)dcs.shef.ac.uk
I've just been whacking [[Image:Replace this image male.svg]] and
[[Image:Replace this image female.svg]] on all living biographies I
can find without pics.
So tell me: how the hell do we have an article on the Deputy Prime
Minister ([[Harriet Harman]] for those of short memory) without a free
Anyone feel like making initial approaches to the parties? (Alison,
James, I expect you two to get us pics of every Lib Dem with an
I have a few questions that I haven't been able to answer by reading
this list for a while now and neither were they on the website.
a) When does the foundation plan to become a charitable organisation?
b) Will the charitable organisation hold annual general meetings with
elections, as is custom in other countries or will it run more along the
foundation style appointment. Basically: Democracy or not?
c) What events and other activities will the charitable organisation be
d) What is the current financial situation with not having a bank
I ask this because Wikimedia UK at the moment, at least to me and this
is meant with no offence, seems rather inactive. However, I could
imagine getting involved in certain areas in the future.
Not sure if everyone is on the WikiEN mailing list, but it is perhaps
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Florence Devouard <Anthere9(a)yahoo.com>
Date: 7 Mar 2008 14:45
Subject: [WikiEN-l] Another perspective
Please allow me to offer you another perspective. As Chair of Wikimedia
Foundation Board, member since 2004. And as founding member of Wikimedia
France, and currently on its board as well.
I'd like us to go beyond the current discussion... and maybe think a
little bit ahead, reflecting on the future.
Some of you may have some experience of being a member of a non profit
association. In most cases, a small organization.
Some of you may be living in a country where there is a wikimedia chapter.
(if you are not sure, please check:
The first Wikimedia Chapter born in 2004, just a few months after the
Foundation (the German Chapter). The following one was the French
chapter, which was created in october 2004. Many other chapters
followed. And many more are to come.
Chapters are usually associations of users, and registered as non
profits. The revenue essentially come from membership fees, donations,
grants, and sometimes commercial income (eg, royalties). In majority,
donations and membership fees.
I bet that if we were to ask the casual Wikipedia editor if he is aware
of the existence of chapters, he would probably open big surprised eyes
(OH, WIKIMEDIA CHAPTER ? WHAT IS THIS ?).
For those who heard about chapters and are maybe even thinking of
creating a chapter, or joining a chapter, it is very likely that in
their mind, in terms of MONEY, the Foundation is the BIG SERIOUS stuff,
whilst the chapter is merely a side-happy-thing.
(Note: for those of you who do not know chapters, please check out what
they are doing. Chapter activity is properly amazing. Consider joining.
UK chapter and Australia chapters in particular)
I saw so many discussions related to the finances of the Foundation,
such as allegations of misuse of donors money, mismanagement, poor
governance, insufficient control... that I really wonder if people here,
really realize that the Foundation is still -somehow- a small
organization. We now have a staff of 15 and a 5 million dollar budget;
and this is still very tiny. But fact is, the Foundation is less than 5
years old. And 5 years ago, the Foundation was merely a piece of paper.
We had to grow to follow Wikipedia growth. Back in 2004, we were very
very very tiny. And we try to do the best with the resources we had.
I welcome discussions on how we ensure controls, to the limits that it
is meant to be constructive and will not have more negative sides than
Now... to go beyond this, a thought....
Have you EVER discussed the possibility that the money received by
chapters from donors, be somehow, misused ? that the chapters might have
poor management ? that the chapters might have poor governance ? Have
unsufficient control ?
Has any chapter travel expenses reimbursement policy ? Bank savings
policy ? Confidentiality agreement policy ? Conflict of interest policy ?
Is any chapter audited ?
When I write this, I am pretty sure I am hearing your thoughts. "OH, BUT
THERE IS NO COMPARISON !"
And why not ?
Why not ?
The money received by the chapters come from donors just as well. In the
name of Wikipedia. If there are so many discussions and criticism on how
we handle the Foundation (in the name of "we must respect the wishes of
donors") why is there no discussion and no criticism on how we handle
the chapters ?
The facts we are currently discussing are 3 years old.
In 2004, the organization revenue was 80 000 dollars.
In 2005, the organization revenue was 380 000 dollars.
As a matter of comparison, which I find myself interesting, the german
chapter got a significant amount of donations during this winter
fundraiser. You'll find exact figures here
In two months, the chapter collected USD 208,000.
The german chapter currently has only one staff member (Arne Klempert).
I do not exactly know much their annual revenue is, but could I try a
guess ? Perhaps 300 000 dollars ? 400 000 dollars ?
Very likely, more than what WMF got in 2005. Back in those times about
which complaints are now made upon Jimbo providing his receipts with delay.
I'd like us to project ourselves in the future. Maybe in three years
Where will the Foundation be ? I am not sure.
Where will chapters be ? I could guess that a couple of chapters will
enjoy a similar revenue to what the Foundation is getting RIGHT NOW. And
maybe chapters will even be the biggest source of the revenue of the
Foundation. Who knows ?
What I know is this
* if you want a really clean organization overall, with full respect of
the donors, then the controls must be discussed and set at all levels
and in all organizations. Not WMF only. (I am not saying that any
chapter do anything wrong; this is long term perspective).
* the levels of control must fit the degree of development of the
organization. An organization of 10 000 dollars (one of our new
chapters), of 400 000 dollars (Wikimedia Germany in 2007) or of 5 000
000 dollars (WMF in 2008) do not require the same controls. There is no
sense to expect very tight controls from an organization which is not
even able to afford a real accountant (WMF in 2005).
* it is *urgent* to clarify the relationships between the Foundation and
the chapters, in particular the financial one. The longer we wait, the
more difficult it will be, because there will be more actors to deal
with, and because the more money is involved, the more power is
involved, the more politic is involved, the dirtier it is likely to become.
The past is the past. You may trust me or not if I tell you that past
issues have been fixed. But please look at the future as well.
WikiEN-l mailing list
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
Forwarded to foundation-l because the topic's come up here, and
wikimediauk-l for UK interest. If you're in the EU, please sign the
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Becky Hogge <becky.hogge(a)openrightsgroup.org>
Date: 4 Mar 2008 13:10
Subject: Term extension: you helped us say no in the UK, now help us
say no in Europe
Thanks for signing our Release The Music petition in 2006. You helped
us win the battle against copyright term extension in the UK. Now we
need your help again. The European Commission are discussing a
proposal for term extension. This is truly urgent because the UK
government will be reassessing their 'no' to the term extension lobby
in light of the new proposal. So if you oppose copyright term
extension for sound recordings then sign our new, Europe-wide
Please also be sure to tell your communities about the petition,
whether via your blog, podcast, mailing lists or just down the pub. In
particular, if you are in touch with digital rights activists in
Europe then please push the petition link in their direction and ask
that they sign up too. The website is available in English, French and
If you've still got some energy left after that, please write to your
MP about the issue. A Private Member's bill for copyright term
extension will have its 2nd reading in the House of Commons on 7
March. We need more informed opponents of the Bill in Parliament so
please tell your MP just how you feel on this issue. For advice on how
to write to your MP and suggestions for the kind of arguments that
work in this context, please read our blogpost:
Finally, if you're not already, please consider becoming a supporter
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Anyone who rates an obituary in a national newspaper is probably
sufficiently notable to deserve an article. I just started [[Archie
Hind]] from the Guardian obit, and was surprised there was no article
as yet. So if you're bored, go through the obituary archives and see
what Wikipedia's missing.