GLAM-WIKI/Attendee mailouts/Email 3

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Attendee Email Number 3.

Dear GLAM-WIKI attendees,

Two weeks to go and GLAM-WIKI is effectively fully subscribed. If you have recently registered to attend and haven't seen the two previous attendee emails, they can be read here. Information about discount hotel accommodation in Canberra, some preparation questions, and some introductory videos are there along with information about the event itself.

In this email is:

  1. Joining Wikimedia Australia
  2. New presentations
  3. (UK) National Portrait Gallery controversy
  4. Conference social meeting, dinner and dietary requirements
  5. The "GLAM Challenge"
  6. Quiz about the Wikimedia movement
  7. Filming, outcomes and conference photography
  8. List of attending institutions
  9. Quiz answers

1. Joining Wikimedia Australia

Wikimedia Australia, like the Wikimedia chapters around the world, is a, non-profit organisation run by volunteer members. We would be honoured if you would take the opportunity to join us whilst attending GLAM-WIKI. Membership means that you can have a direct say in how we press forward with our vision of helping to create "a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge". You will be able to join at the registration desk throughout the event or via our website at any time ($40/$20 concession). GLAM-WIKI is a free event to attend, but it is not free to run, so your membership would be most gratefully received to help cover its costs. On a related note, if you are receiving this email but are no longer able to attend please inform us so we can release the ticket for someone else. (Ticket-squatting: “Australia says no.”) Contact details are at the bottom of this email if you need to get in touch.

2. New presentations

There are a couple of new presentations that are now in the schedule - very exciting stuff.

  • Rose Holley, director of the Australian Newspaper Digitisation Program (ANDP) at the National Library will be speaking in the "tech" session. Notably, if you look at their description page for one of the scanned papers, you will see that it incorporates content from Wikipedia. Also, if you dig your way through to a particular article you can see that the public is encouraged to help improve the OCR text - very wiki-like!
  • Mathias Schindler, project officer for Wikimedia Deutschland, who is coming out to Australia for this event (p.s. don't tell him it's winter here...) will now also be speaking about a project he is preparing with the National Library of Germany where the German edition of Wikipedia will be sharing metadata back and forth. This is as well as his discussion about massive image collaboration projects already underway with the German BundesArchiv and with the Deutsche Fotothek.

3. (UK) National Portrait Gallery controversy

Many of you may be aware that there is a current issue concerning access and publication rights between an American Wikipedian and the British National Portrait Gallery that has received large amounts of mainstream and niche press coverage. This has brought the importance of GLAM sector-to-Wikimedia collaboration to the fore. In fact, the existence of this very event was referred to as a demonstration that there is a desire for collaboration. The details of particular case are summarised in the following links, but of greater significance are the issues it raises about copyright, business models, web policy, etc.

  • The detailed discussion of the situation in the week that the story broke, written in the Wikipedia community's newspaper "the signpost"
  • Update on the issue a week after it broke. I especially draw your attention to the "freedom of information" request section in this article which raises some of the points that were implied in the "attendee email number 2" section called "preparation".
  • The open letter (under my username "witty lama") that I and a couple of others (including the aforementioned Mathais Schindler) have written to the Wikipedia Community calling for calm and collaboration.

At the conference we intend to discuss these broader issues rather than focus on the specifics of an ongoing legal case.

4. Conference social meeting, dinner and dietary requirements

On the night before the conference, Wednesday 5th, Wikimedians will be meeting at King O'Malley's pub in the middle of town (Map). Please feel free to join us and learn the secret Wikipedia handshake.

On the night of the first day, Thursday 6th, we will be having the conference dinner, drinks and general socialising from 6pm, at "Debacle" 30 Lonsdale St, Braddon 2612 (Map) This is a funky place with good food, beer and a nice atmosphere. Just as we are not collecting attendance fees, we are not collecting money for a set menu. That way you can order what you want, when you want it (not your regular "chicken-beef-chicken-beef-chicken..." conference dinner!) However, if you could tell us at the registration desk whether you expect to be coming along that would be most appreciated.

Regarding catering at GLAM-WIKI itself, if you have any specific dietary requirements please write/ring and inform us at least a week in advance. Vegetarian options are already catered for.

5. The "GLAM Challenge"

Unsurprisingly, the entire Wikimedia community cannot be physically present at the Australian War Memorial. However, for those who are unable to attend but are still interested in supporting the idea in their own way Wikimedia Australia is running a "GLAM Challenge" - an editing competition across the various Wikimedia projects for people to compete to make the biggest improvement to something that falls in the broad category of Australian culture. This could be taking a series of fantastic photos or digitally restoring some damaged ones, greatly improving an article about an Australian cultural topic or creating a whole swathe of new articles...

We would very much like to offer prizes to the authors of the best content at the end of the challenge. So we would like to ask you if your institution would be willing to donate a prize for this purpose (something that can be posted internationally, please). Already the National Gallery has offered a copy of their "Collection Highlights" publication and the Powerhouse Museum has offered a copy of their "Then and now: stories from the commons". If you can donate something, please tell us.

Moreover, if your institution is interested in running a Wiki-competition around a particular theme (for example, to help jump-start the improvement of Wikipedia articles on a topic particularly relevant to your institution) we can help you arrange that.

6. Quiz about the Wikimedia movement

There is a lot of misconception in the broader community about what it is that the Wikimedia community actually is, what it does, and why. Here's a little quiz, the answers are at the end of this email.

  1. What is difference between "Wikipedia", "Wikimedia", the "Wikimedia Foundation", a "Wikimedia chapter" and "MediaWiki"? (and can you say all that three times fast?)
  2. What was the total budget of the Wikimedia Foundation in the last financial year: <$1million; $1-10million; $10-50million; $50-100million; more (and how many staff are there, globally)?
  3. Where does this money come from: government funded; advertising; content sales; trademark licensing; donations; philanthropic organisations?
  4. Where is Wikipedia in the global rankings of most visited websites: top 10k; top 1k; top 100; top 10; top 5?
  5. How does Wikipedia manage to be at the top of search engine results frequently: it pays for it; it has a deal with Google; big investment in search engine optimisation (SEO); just because?

7. Filming, outcomes and conference photography

We want the conversation at GLAM-WIKI to flow freely and for people to be able to express their personal and their organisation's opinion as easily as possible. But equally, we want to be able to share the outcomes of what we discuss at the event with our colleagues in our respective communities. To that end, whilst presentations and panellists listed in the schedule will be filmed, the discussion sessions will not. Furthermore, the "outcomes document" that will result from this event - listing things that each community would like the other to consider (in terms of changes/adaptations/ improvements according to the event's four themes) - will be a common document for everyone with no names attached to particular suggestions. The proposals will come from GLAM-WIKI attendees in toto rather than individuals or organisations. We hope this will allow maximum freedom of expression whilst still enabling people to take their newly acquired information back to their community.

There will be photography during the event and presentations in the schedule will be filmed. These photographs and videos will be placed online with a creative commons license. If you do not wish to be filmed/photographed, please inform us beforehand.

8. List of attending institutions

Now that registrations are effectively full I thought it a good idea to list all of the organisations that will be represented. Some are represented by upwards of six people, some are sending just one but what is most interesting and potentially productive is the range - both in terms of the various missions of the organisations but also their geographic diversity.

Australian Centre for the Moving Image
ACT Library and Information Service
ACT Museums and Galleries
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Arts Victoria
Atlas of Living Australia
Australian Council of National Trusts
Australian Greens
Australian Labor Party
Australian Liberal Party
Australian Library and Information Association
Australian Museum
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Australian National Herbarium
Australian National University
Australian Policy Online, Swinburne University
Australian Research Council
Australian War Memorial
CALYX information essentials
Canberra Museum and Gallery
City of Sydney
Collections Australia Network
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Curriculum Corporation
Department of the Environment Water Heritage and the Arts
Dictionary of Sydney
DigitalNZ, National Library of New Zealand
Gaia Resources
Macquarie University
Ministierial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA)
Museum of Australian Democracy
Museum Victoria
Museums & Galleries NSW
Museums Aotearoa
Museums Australia
Museums Australia (Victoria)
National Archives of Australia
National Film & Sound Archive
National Gallery of Australia
National Library New Zealand
National Library of Australia
National Museum of Australia
National Trust NSW
NSW Department of Education and Training
Parliamentary Library
Powerhouse Museum
Queensland Museum
Queensland University of Technology
State Library of New South Wales
Sweet Technology Pty Ltd
Swinburne University
Toowoomba Regional Council
University of Canberra
UNSW Faculty of Law
Western Australian Museum

and last but not least, Wikimedia!

9. Quiz answers:

1. "Wikipedia" = the free online encyclopedia, "Wikimedia" = the community writ large (including all projects, volunteers, staff) also known as "the Wikimedia movement" or "the Wikimedia Community"; the "Wikimedia Foundation" = the charitable organisation based in San Francisco which actually hosts the websites, pays the developers and owns the trademarks (and helps pay for outreach projects like GLAM-WIKI); a "Wikimedia chapter" = a non-profit membership organisation in a geographical area (usually a country) affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation to work at the local level; and "MediaWiki" = the open-source wiki software that runs Wikipedia and many other non-affiliated projects. The Wikimedia Foundation "owns" MediaWiki, but because it is open source software,anyone can contribute to the code and anyone can use the software for their own purposes, and they do.

2. Less than $6 million (actual spending was even less than planned, at $5.3 million). This included all staff salaries (<30 people), web hosting costs, events, travel, office space etc. This year, the budget calls for an increase to $9.4 million.

3. The overwhelming majority of this money comes from small donations by Wikipedia's readers around the world. There is NO advertising on any Wikimedia project and we do not sell content (even though it is legal for anyone to do so). Some philanthropic organisations have provided generous grants for particular projects. A tiny proportion of funds comes from trademark licensing.

4. Wikipedia is the fourth most visited website in the world with over 320 million unique viewers each month. There are no other .org websites anywhere near the top of the list and certainly no other charities. The others at the top are Yahoo and Google from which a significant proportion of Wikipedia's inbound hits are derived.

5. Just because. Google rankings are based on how often other websites link to a particular site as a basis for the likelihood of that result being relevant/good. The simple fact is that a lot of other websites link to Wikipedia because they know it is a quick, easy and quite reliable place to send their readers for more information on a particular topic.

See you all soon,
Liam Wyatt
VP Wikimedia Australia & Convener of GLAM-WIKI

0434 056 914
Peace, love & metadata

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