Wikipedia:Meetup/London 1

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This 5 June 2004 London Wikimeet was the first time Jimbo had ever met more than one Wikipedian at a time in person.

We gathered at the back of Inn the Park (St. James's Park) from 3 p.m. Jimbo spoke for about an hour and a half on all sorts of Wikimedia-related subjects prompted by questions from the group. After a general discussion, Jimbo was presented with a guestbook together with a small Polaroid I-zone camera as a memento (courtesy of Fuzheado). There followed a quiz, a visit to a pub and finally a meal at a restaurant - the numbers of participants dwindling at each stage.

Jimbo addressing the Wikimeet.

Attendees: Angela, Arkady Rose, Arno Lagrange, Bodnotbod, Camembert, Charles Matthews, Christine Wales, David Gerard, Enchanter, Ed g2s, Fuzheado, G-Man, James F., Jimbo Wales, JPF, Kira Wales, Máirtín, Morwen, MykReeve, Nommonomanac, Oliver Pereira, theresa knott (after all), VampWillow, Warofdreams, Kevin Burley. A WikiWidow and a WikiVirgin also made an appearance later on in the evening.

Jimbo's talk

Wikipedia 1.0

There's been talk on WikiEN-L in the past few months of a paper Wikipedia 1.0 being published. (Is the publisher's name a secret?) This was hoped to be happening this year, but may have to be next year.

There's also talk of giving Wikipedia CDs to a charity that distributes obsolete computers in Africa. The trouble is, en is already larger than a CD if you include text and photos! Jimbo said, "Wikipedia wasn't created just for wealthy Western countries."

Disaster planning

If St. Petersburg, Florida (Jimbo and Bomis's home) gets hit by a meteor, Wikipedia could be up in another location within twenty-four hours, servers and admins being assumed. The content is GFDL, the software is GPL, the only bit that isn't free is the user/password list, and that's backed up. This includes legal meteors.

(Note: the next day, Wikimedia crashed badly.[1][2] Recovery time, with servers and admins to hand, was 36 hours.)

Arno Lagrange came over from France for the Wikimeet.

Wikimedia and different languages

There was a good discussion on languages (and what will happen when policy from the Wikipedia: namespace gets moved to meta), with User:ArnoLagrange speaking of the importance of meta not being dominated by English speakers. (Arno is French and also speaks Esperanto (the Western derived language of international communication); he has some English, but we had enough French speakers to translate whenever he needed to slip into French.) Vague idea floated: a translator corps for policy on meta.

Scaling with load

The load has doubled in the past week, presumably from the Yahoo! indexing. We're OK for bandwidth for the moment — we could cope with ten times the bandwidth easily — but you can tell what load the servers are under lately. We're going to need more boxes, and real soon. Fortunately, the new configuration means it's almost as easy as setting up the boxes and adding them to the server farm. The real bottleneck may well be sysadmins.

Cathedral and Bazaar

Jimbo talked a bit about how The Cathedral and the Bazaar played out perfectly in the case of Nupedia and Wikipedia. Jimbo: "I knew Nupedia was going to fail when I wanted to contribute and I was scared," referring to being peer reviewed by experts and Ph.D.s in the field.

Reaching for the Sky

Fuzheado presents Jimbo with an instant camera and guestbook for all his European meetups

In response to a number of questions on where this all leads, Jimbo recalled that there was a time when he kept up with all the Recent Changes. Put on the spot on one occasion, he produced a target of 100,000 pages, as Britannica had around 60,000 articles at the time. There was no particular current goal he had in mind. There were sites that quickly, if not permanently, achieved more popularity than Wikipedia; and it was not yet the leading reference site.


Afterwards, we chatted for a while, then user:Angela revealed she had prepared a quiz. First part was a list of sentences from user pages (pick the user), second was to match the permanently-banned user to their sockpuppets, third was ten questions on Wikipedia content trivia.

A copy of this quiz starts at User:Jimbo Wales/2004-06-05/Quiz - user pages.

There were four teams


Jimbo and family left around 7pm, the remaining Wikiholics (and one heavily alcoholic) departed for the Lord Moon of the Mall Wetherspoons pub on Whitehall. A smaller contingent went on to Wagamama near Leicester Square at around 9:30pm.

This was good. We should probably do this again. 1st Saturday in June each year...

The future

I wish I'd known about this - would have loved to have been there. Count me in for the next one! Agendum 17:23, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)

External links

Note for other Wikimeets

Jimbo has a guestbook that you can sign. We also presented him with a Polaroid I-Zone instant camera for taking pictures of attendees and sticking them in the book. For Germany, Italy and French meetups - please bring a cartridge or two of i-Zone sticker film, and you can add your faces to this book.

Photo gallery



User:John Foley's