"GLAMcamp" joins Wikimedians and representatives of cultural institutions in New York City
From 20–22 May, around 30 Wikimedians from all around the world – four continents and eight countries in all – came together at the New York Public Library for GLAMcamp NYC, "a workshop targeting a small group of community-focused and technology-focused Wikimedians to kickstart the key elements of the glamwiki.org project".
Although many participants had arrived the day before, the event itself began on Friday, with a public workshop. Fifty extra people attended, from four US states, museums, libraries and archives (large and small), as well as several private art galleries, government agencies, universities, think-tanks, and the Wikimedia Foundation.
The workshop lasted for two hours, and included a keynote presentation from Meg Bellinger from Yale University, which has recently announced it will release the contents of its digital archive into the public domain. This was followed with a quick talk from Maarten Zeinstra, from Creative Commons Nederlands, about the Public Domain calculator, and a breakout into smaller groups of both WIkimedians and other participants for Q&A.
The rest of the day was spent on various tasks, although primarily on GLAM ambassadors, tools, and documentation. One group focussed on improving the guide to batch uploading, while another worked on the GLAM point of entry and its subpages. The GLAM ambassadors group decided on a complete overhaul of the project, and renamed the system to "Local contacts", although the term "e-volunteer" was also suggested.
The day ended with a VIP tour of the Met. Barbara Bridgers, General Manager for Imaging, took people around the photography department, after which Neal Stimler and Susan Chun showed groups their favorite artifacts in the Museum.
Day 2 started where Day 1 had left off: writing documentation. The POE group continued with what they were doing, and work began on a mass uploading tool. During this time, Nina Paley – famous cartoonist and free culture advocate – dropped in and talked with the Wikimedians.
The first parallel sessions after lunch focused on more coding/documentation and a discussion of the proposal of a Free Culture Index "to evaluate free culture compliance within the GLAM sector", such as whether a museum releases photos for free use, or allows photography by others. The group decided against the idea that this might be awarded to the GLAM by Wikimedians, judging that it would probably be both easier and better if the institution could give themselves some sort of badge for their website, probably along the lines of the HTML5 badge.
The final session of the day was a lengthy discussion of metrics and tools that could be used for GLAM-Wikimedia collaborations. Participants mentioned various tools, which can be seen on the Tools & Requests page.
On the final day around half of the participants made their way towards the Mid-Manhattan branch of the New York Public Library. Sunday was mostly spent working on the projects that had been started during the previous two days.
Ryan Kaldari (Kaldari) showed the group his new "Wikimedia bulk uploader" tool, and gave a demonstration with "Airview" images. The participants then split back up into two groups, working on documentation – in particular, how-to guides and FAQs – and metrics for GLAM partnerships.
The final session of the day was a plenary/wrap-up. Liam Wyatt led the group in going through all of the things that had been achieved throughout the weekend, and who would continue to work on them. Another potential GLAMcamp conference was discussed – which would be held in Europe, if at all – as well as finishing off all of the new guides and tools.
The event was supported by a $10,000 grant from the WMF; the budget appears to have been met.
WMF legal department publishes draft of internal policies
The Foundation's legal department has published a draft of legal policies documenting internal staff practices in various matters. These include office actions (such as DMCA takedowns), subpoenas (noting that "As a general rule, the Wikimedia Foundation may not recognize a foreign subpoena or order") and the harassment of users ("The Wikimedia Foundation will fully cooperate in investigations involving harassment of users that include credible threats of violence. Users, however, must report the harassment to local police"). On his personal blog, Larry Sanger (known for his role until 2002 in getting Wikipedia started) applauded the part about dealing with child pornography, interpreting it as a vindication of his allegations a year ago when he reported the WMF to the FBI for "knowingly distributing" such matter. (These allegations were rebutted by the Foundation's legal counsel at the time and do not appear to have resulted in any action by the FBI.)
Foundation report for April: The WMF report for April has been published. Among other items reported previously in the Signpost, it notes that the legal department won an "UDRP case for the domain names wikkipedia.org and wekipedia.org", which had been used by a typosquatter "in connection with a Wikipedia-related survey scam." The "Chapter Relations" section states that "as of April 30, WMF has only received revenue or grants from 4 of 11 chapters who have fundraising agreements with WMF for 2010/11" (current status).
LangCom meeting report: User:Millosh has posted a report from the first ever in-person meeting of the Wikimedia Language Committee (coinciding with the Berlin Hackathon), listing numerous decisions (still to be verified by other parties), such as wider use of the incubator, the procedure to propose the closing of a project, and the intention to write monthly reports for the community.
Pending changes page protection removed: After a Request for Comment began in February and closed earlier this month, the Pending Changes protection was removed from all pages on the English Wikipedia, with onlytest pages using the feature at the time of writing. An ArbCom injunction governed the mode in which PC protection was being replaced by semi- or full protection on BLPs, see this week's Arbitration Report. The feature had been switched on last June for the start of a two-month trial, see list of previous Signpost coverage.
Admin passes away: Wikipedian Vaoverland (Mark Fisher, based in Virginia, USA) died on April 30, as noted in an obituary on Schoolbusfleet.com (Fisher had been the owner and president of a bus company). His user pages retain Vaoverland's recollections about his contributions to Wikipedia since 2002, emphasizing the value of collaboration, and his thoughts on the administrator role. The entry at the "Deceased Wikipedians" page commends him for having been "unfailingly kind to new editors and veterans alike."