Announcing the “GLAM-WIKI:UK” conference

“Being a beloved institution will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of being an irrelevant one.” – Cory Doctorow

23 November 2010, UK: Should the cultural sector take the recent funding hit on the chin and reduce their activities – or should they seek to engage the online e-volunteer community that is already reaching over a third of the UK population every day? Wikipedia already is every GLAMs e-Volunteer program, the institutions just don’t support it yet.

On 26-27 November, the GLAM-WIKI conference at the British Museum will bring together Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums with Wikimedia for a series of hard-hitting presentations. At this conference you will hear how some museums are already leveraging the connection between sharing a part of their own collections with Wikimedia and seeing some amazing benefits – such as a sharp increase in web traffic to their site and an increase in sales of merchandising. Attendees will better understand the crossover of mutual interest that Wikimedians share with curators of cultural heritage.

National Portrait Gallery

Tom Morgan, Head of Rights and Reproductions at the National Portrait Gallery, will be presenting on “Wikipedia and the National Portrait Gallery – A bad first date? A perspective on the developing relationship between Wikipedia and cultural heritage organisations”. This will be the first time that the NPG has been able to express its perspective to an audience of interested Wikimedians since the heated debate last year.

Cory Doctorow

Blogger, scientist and online futurologist Cory Doctorow (speaking at the GLAM-Wiki Conference on Nov 26) told Wikimedia UK that “trading relevance for funding is a bad bargain”. Cuts to funding mean that the pathway to irrelevancy is now opening up in front of many as a real threat. This conference is about solutions that can stop such a disastrous thing ever happening.

Purpose

“To use the jargon of today,” says Chair of Wikimedia UK, Andrew Turvey, “There is an alternative!” It is one that the sector should consider now as spending priorities for future years are set and operational budgets for the next 2-4 years become clearer. It is working closer with the voluntary sector. Many organisations, like Wikimedia UK, have as their core objectives the diffusion of common cultural heritage to as wide an audience as possible as part of their operational objectives.

Wikimedia UK is ready to listen to the problems facing the guardians of our culture heritage. Our community wants us to work more closely with the sector to explore ways in which we can leverage our presence as the world’s fifth biggest web property – and bring it to the benefit of institutions that are bold and that release content to Wikipedia and our other projects. Having a small percentage of an institutions content on our sites will create a buzz across the online world that could lead to both cultural and perhaps commercial benefits for the donors – in terms of more hits to their website. Indeed, closer links to Wikipedia and other projects will add valuable ‘Wiki-juice’ to the search engine results online and mean that smaller bodies will likely see a rise in interest in what they do.

Follow-up – GLAM-WIKI France in Paris

Building partnerships with GLAM institutions is a worldwide effort from the Wikimedia movement. Wikimedia France has organized a GLAM-WIKI event on December 3rd and 4th along the same lines than GLAM-WIKI UK: presenting GLAM partnerships and widening the reflection about digital collaborative culture(s) by involving many players in the cultural sector. More than 50 speakers and 300 participants will come together to build this dialog, and work on the future of online culture.

Editors notes

Further information
About Wikimedia

Wikimedia is an umbrella term for the projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation and for the movement of volunteers that contribute to and maintain them. These projects are: Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikiversity, Wikispecies, Wikinews, Wikisource, Wikibooks, Wikiquote, Mediawiki and Wikitionary. These projects make up one of the top five websites in the world.

About Wikimedia UK

Wikimedia UK is the local Wikimedia chapter covering the United Kingdom. Wikimedia UK is an independent organisation that supports free and open knowledge throughout the United Kingdom, including promoting and supporting the projects of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation.

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is the US-based non-profit organisation that operates some of the largest collaboratively-edited reference projects in the world. These include Wikipedia, one of the world’s 10 most-visited websites, and Wikimedia Commons.

Contact details:

Michael Peel, Secretary, Wikimedia UK

  • Email: michael.peel@wikimedia.org.uk
  • Phone: +44 (0)7988 013 646
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