Wikipedia:Meetup/NYC/June 2008

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The 7th New York City Meetup event was held on Sunday June 1, 2008 in the Columbia University area. This was the fourth of the meetups with a session dedicated to discussing meta:Wikimedia New York City issues.

What, Where, When, and How?[edit]

There was one public meeting in the afternoon at Columbia's Pupin Hall, where we took further steps to organize the Wikimedia New York City local chapter.

Additionally, there was an optional post-meeting social activities at a local restaurant.

Main public meeting (to discuss Wikipedia issues and chapter formation):

  • 1402 Pupin Hall, Columbia University. Take the elevator to the 13th floor and then walk up one flight of stairs. Meeting to be held in the library at the east end of the hall. 2:30 PM - 5:00PM

Optional post-meeting meetup[edit]

  • Meetup at Pupin Hall, and then walk together to The Symposium, a Greek restaurant. After the restaurant, we can return to Pupin Hall for an observing session with the telescopes on the roof weather permitting. 5:00 PM onwards.

Late arrival info and Transportation[edit]

If you plan on arriving late, and are concerned about not finding your way to the group, you can drop your mobile phone number ahead of time at Special:Emailuser/Pharos (e-mail will not be able to be checked during the actual meetup time, leave requests ahead of time).

Nearby subway stations:

Who can tape the meeting?[edit]

Since I will be unable to attend, someone else will have to record the meeting. As I recall, David Shankbone, Daniel Case, and one or two others have digital cameras with camcorder function, so for those who like to keep a record of the meeting (I'd like to be able to view it myself afterwards), you'll have to make arrangements. Sorry! Nightscream (talk) 04:58, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

I can do it, although my tripod is in Binghamton. I'll improvise. RadicalHarmony (talk) 23:03, 31 May 2008 (UTC)


Bring your own ideas!

  • Follow-up on ideas raised in the March 16, 2008 meeting minutes
  • Chapter business
    • "Wiki Week" or "Wiki Conference" is planned with Columbia Free Culture for Fall at Columbia University (see below)
      • A Wikipedia:Academy (requires on-site volunteers)
      • Wikipedia Takes Manhattan 2 (bigger and better)
      • High-profile speakers
      • Would it be better as a few events held over a week, or as an intensive conference over one or two days?
    • Wikimedia New York City forming as a non-profit
      • Organization makes more sense now, since it has come to light that under 508(c)(1)(B) we can achieve non-profit status without going through the difficult 501(c)(3) process, as long as we have <$5,000 in income—and if we do plan for a larger budget, we have 15 months to decide anyway
      • Increased collaboration with the Columbia group and others on big events makes such organization more necessary
      • A draft by-laws will be presented at the meeting
      • At least 3 interim board members (18+ only, state of residence unimportant) will be elected, resposible for finishing the by-laws, submitting them to the Chapters Committee, and incorporating in New York State
      • Volunteers to the board are encouraged to put themselves forward at the meeting for President, Treasurer, Secretary, and other positions, especially if they have relevant experience
      • People will have to serve on the board under their real names (see here for example, but if you don't want to publicly associate your name with a user account that shouldn't be a problem)
        • Can people volunteer for the board of electors, or be able to vote for a candidate, in absentia? I can't make this Meetup. Nightscream (talk) 01:55, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
          • I don't think that would be practical at this time. In the future, when we are organized and have a roster of registered members, online voting will be possible, and we can implement this at the next election after we are incorporated. For now, there might be non-board officer positions that will be created, that would be open to appointment by the board.--Pharos (talk) 04:27, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
    • Do we want to hold a satellite event during Wikimania 2008? Do we want to make a bid for meta:Wikimania 2010 or future years?
    • Proposals of date and place for next meeting (should we have a more regular schedule?)
    • 2nd annual WikNYC Picnic in Central Park this August?
    • Grassroots Jam June 14-15 with OLPC
    • How are our neighbors doing with the Philadelphia Meetups? (we have an overlapping membership)
    • Same for the DC meetup, maybe. I attended. — Becksguy (talk) 04:01, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Speakers and roundtable discussions
    • User:ScienceApologist's pseudoscience update Didn't happen due to AV equipment failure. — Becksguy (talk) 03:09, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
    • User:MBisanz on the Wikipedia:Admin coaching program  Done
    • David Shankbone on the problems with Biographies of Living Persons; anonymity and privacy on Wikipedia. Retired from WP, didn't attend. - Becksguy (talk) 03:09, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
      • I would encourage anyone with a desire to present to sign up here, and we'll try to make room for you.--Pharos (talk) 05:06, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
    • Question-and-discussion session with non-Wikipedians who have been invited to the meeting
    • user:volt4ire On July 18th-20th there'll be a big hacker (as in technology enthusiast, not petty criminal) conference in Manhattan H.O.P.E. . I was thinking of doing a speech/session about Inclusionism vs. Deletionism on Wikipedia (let me know if you're interested in helping me with that), but I also think someone from the group should do a separate session on what exactly Wikipedia NYC does and plans to do. It would be a great place to recruit new members.
  • Date/time/location for next meeting. While Columbia University Pupin Hall 14th Floor Library is nice: it might be better if we could find a place that wasn't so limited access.

Wiki Week[edit]

This could be a pretty big event, a prelude to Wikimania even. Do you think we should have an outreach events format or a conference format? Can you think of other types of event besides Wikipedia Academy and Wikipedia Takes Manhattan that might draw in people (think primarily Columbia students), and engage them with the Wikimedia projects in a visceral way?

Add any comments or your own wacky suggestions below.

  • Wikipedia:Academy (small-scale)
    • Is there a way we could design this as a more "fun" event (reflecting the thoughts of the Columbia people)?--Pharos (talk) 20:17, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Musical event?: live performance and recording of historically significant music (concert or contest?)
    • OK, this is a truly wacky (and possibly topical) suggestion for the creation of PD music of encyclopedic value, a "Wikipedia Presidential Election History Jamboree". See the campaign song page for a couple of songs I convinced someone to record earlier. I happen to own a big book with dozens of these, and a lot of them are quite fun (especially the negative ones). We could even do sing-alongs.--Pharos (talk) 20:17, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
      • I demand a 10 minute drum solo in honor of the incredibly lengthy presidency of William Henry Harrison! MessedRocker (talk) 03:37, 29 May 2008 (UTC)


Here is what was supposed to have been behind me Image:AdminCoach.pdf, was going for the eye candy route so you wouldn't have to stare at my face even more than you all already do (I know Pharos spends hours staring at my userpage gallery :) ) MBisanz talk 05:42, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Read through it. Brief and to the point. It's a shame your effort was somewhat wasted. Nice job, anyway. Enigma message 05:54, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Meeting Signup List - Likely, Possible, and Regrets

Likely attendees[edit]

Possible attendees[edit]

  • TravellingCarithe Busy Bee 03:31, 8 May 2008 (UTC) : depends on whether I'm moving that weekend.
  • Mblumber (talk) 12:39, 19 May 2008 (UTC)— I have other plans for the day, but there's a high probability that they will fall though and I can come.
  • GlassCobra 00:03, 20 May 2008 (UTC) - sounds interesting! I'll try to get off work that day.
  • JAF1970: Maybe. JAF1970 (talk) 01:31, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Staffwaterboy Critique Me Guestbook Sandbox 16:38, 20 May 2008 (UTC) I can possibly attended depends what time i get off of work.
  • DCDuring (talk) 13:46, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 50% probability. I hope to be there! Keep me informed of future events too! That's how I found this one. CoolGuy (talk) 22:12, 31 May 2008 (UTC)


  • Nightscream Sorry, but it's my cousin's college graduation party. Make sure someone else brings a camcorder to tape the meeting! I'd like to see it myself!
  • JustPhil I'll be in Germany during this time. Sorry, guys!
  • Robert Greer Sorry, I've got ballet tickets (not sorry I've got tickets, just sorry I can't be in two places at the same time!)
  • Markus Poessel (talk) – whose idea was it to hold this event during the last day of New York City's first big science festival? In any case, I would have liked to come, but I'm involved with the festival, so that's where I'll be...
  • Swatjester: Wish I could make it, but I'm working at a firm in florida all summer, and I left today. I don't get back to DC until August. I'll see some of you at DC #5 in August though, and hopefully the next NYC meetup.
  • Blue387: I will be busy that afternoon with Forgotten NY tour 34. Maybe another day? Or record the thing and upload to Youtube?
  • DanTD: I'm already in NYC this month, but I'll be returning to Florida on May 22, 2008.
  • Sharkface217: I will be camping in Pennsylvania that day and I won't get back until very late. Sorry I can't make it!
  • hmwithτ 22:57, 25 May 2008 (UTC): I cannot make it this June, but I would love to attend the next one.
  • Alas, I have a paper I desperately need to finish.--ragesoss (talk) 02:09, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Sorry I had to miss it. Bearian'sBooties (talk) 01:01, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • John Manuel, well some health problems precluded me to attend but next time, I should be there with all of you. Talk 18:02, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Report on the Meet-up[edit]

Attendees of record[edit]

Wikipedians/Wikimedians, from the sign-up sheet. May be incomplete.
Other guests

Chapter formation[edit]

It was decided to pursue incorporation of Wikimedia New York City as a legal non-profit. Five members, User:Becksguy, User:Daniel Case, User:DGG, User:Gosgood and User:Pharos were selected as a board to lead this process. The stages of progress will be (1) coming to a consensus of bylaws (see draft bylaws here) amongst ourselves and with the Chapters committee, (2) getting approval from the WMF board, and (3) formally incorporating.

After incorporation, we will establish a formal membership process, and we can hold elections for the first term of a permanent board. Forming a non-profit chapter allows for fund raising, lets us hold larger and more ambitious events, and will make official dealings with local institutions easier. On the whole, the road seems set for us to become the first Wikimedia chapter in the US.

Wiki Week / Wikipedia Takes Manhattan 2[edit]

We reviewed our successful Wikipedia Takes Manhattan event April 4, which netted photographs of 92 different sites around Manhattan and the other boroughs.

It was decided that for Fall 2008 we will take our special event efforts to the next level, with a more ambitious and broader Wikipedia Takes Manhattan 2, and perhaps one other event, a mini-Wikipedia Academy, which could be tied in topically to Wikipedia Takes Manhattan 2. These would again be coordinated with the Students for Free Culture chapters of Free Culture Columbia and Free Culture NYU, likely in the context of a larger series of free-culture-related events. We should try to ramp up these events gradually, with each new effort just one step beyond the last one.

Other chapter business[edit]

Our next meeting should be in August. We hope to repeat last year's WikNYC Picnic—the "picnic anyone can edit"—in Central Park as a fun event for Wikipedian and Wikimedians from throughout the Eastern Seaboard.

It is unclear if the WikNYC Picnic will be held in lieu of a "regular" meeting, but if it is, we will probably have a small mini-meeting at another time to prepare for Wikipedia Takes Manhattan 2, etc.

Outside events we might be interested in participating in are Grassroots Jam June 14-15 with One Laptop per Child, and H.O.P.E. July 18-20 (overlaps with Wikimania—possible synergy?). User:Mchua is coordinating the Grassroots Jam, and would like to meet with Wikipedians/Wikimedians either inside of that event, or outside of it that weekend. User:Volt4ire suggested that Wikimedia NYC take an active part in H.O.P.E., with presentations (and possibly debates!) by our members.

It was suggested that Pupin Hall may not be an optimal meeting location, because it is at an outlying location on campus, and tends to be somewhat abandoned on weekends. We may seek out another meeting location on the Columbia campus, or possibly at another university in Manhattan.

It is too late this year to do a satellite event for Wikimania, but perhaps we can do one in 2009, in preparation for a possible Wikimania 2010 bid.

MBisanz on Admin coaching and roundtable discussion[edit]

Crystal cam.png
Video of part of the admin coaching discussion, preserved at the Internet Archive
Admin Coaching @ PDF: the slideshow that was intended to accompany that presentation

User:MBisanz presented Admin coaching @ on the Admin coaching program, of which he is a lead coordinator. There were some technical difficulties with the projector displaying, but MBisanz still gamely presented from memory, and lead a broader roundtable discussion on adminship and related issues. Other participants with special contributions to the subject were Bureaucrat User:Andrevan and current adminship candidate User:Enigmaman.

Other interesting conversations and happenings[edit]

User:Travellingcari commented on the great room for expansion of articles on the List of museums and cultural institutions in New York City.

The issue of the classification of Good articles came up several times.

The irony of the lack of decent articles on copyright law and the free culture movement was also pointed out.

Post-Meetup Dinner[edit]

Most of us headed to The Symposium for a lively dinner after the meeting; at least one of us had moussaka for the first time. The owner is getting to know us fairly well.

User:ScienceApologist had to leave early, so no telescopes on the roof of Pupin Hall that night.