UK Wikimeet survey 2015

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Wikimeets are informal, in-person social meetings of Wikimedians. They have been held in a number of different UK locations since 2004. In September-October 2015, a survey was run that aimed to:

  • find out what could be improved to make wikimeets more accessible, open and appealing, particularly to editors that haven't been to a meetup before (whether new or established editors)
  • identify better ways to notify/invite/advertise to potential attendees about upcoming wikimeets
  • identify better meetup venues and times

This page reports the outcome of that survey.

The draft survey questions were posted on a user subpage on the English Wikipedia in March-April 2015, and they were revised following feedback from community members. The survey link was circulated through a watchlist notice on the English Wikipedia that was geolocated to the UK, by email to the wikimediauk-l mailing list, through the WMUK newsletter, and by sending talk-page messages to a number of attendees of previous wikimeets. The survey ran from 20 September to 9 October 2015, with 151 people filling in the survey. Unless otherwise stated, participants were restricted to selecting one option in response to the questions, or entering a free text response. All questions were optional.

Survey respondees were biased towards older males located in the London, South East, and North West regions of England. Half of the respondees have never attended a wikimeet.

Key results from this survey that should affect future wikimeets are:

  • Organising wikimeets in South East England should be a priority (We are assuming that when people selected this, they meant official South East England region, which does not include London, since that was a separate option)
  • There should be more local wikimeets: ideally they should be no more than about 30 minutes away from a number of Wikimedians, who should only have to pay £5-£10 to get to the wikimeet by public transportation.
  • The best times for a wikimeet are on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, preferably in a museum/cultural institute or a cafe rather than a pub.
  • Better notifications should be sent around about upcoming wikimeets, ideally through email, user talk pages and watchlists, on a regional or UK-wide basis about a month in advance of the wikimeet.
  • There are a number of people who would potentially be willing to organise a local wikimeet, but most need more information about this, and others need assistance. WMUK should follow up with those that are willing to organise wikimeets to offer them any support/assistance that they need.

It may make sense to re-run this survey in two years time. There are a number of improvements that could be made to the way this survey was laid out (e.g., moving "About you" to the end, removing duplication of questions).

The survey was run by Mike Peel, with the support of Richard Nevell from Wikimedia UK, User:Yaris678, the many people who helped formulate the questions, and everyone that filled it in!

About you[edit]

Q1. Which gender do you identify as?[edit]

  • Male: 115 (76%)
  • Female: 18 (12%)
  • Other: 3 (2%)
  • No answer: 15 (10%)

These results are in line with other Wikimedia surveys, which have generally found that around 13% of Wikimedians are female. This possibly indicates that we're reasonably sampling the Wikimedia community, but doesn't indicate that wikimeets appeal more to one gender than another.

Q2. How old are you?[edit]

  • Under 18: 2 (1%)
  • 18-25: 10 (7%)
  • 26-35: 27 (18%)
  • 36-45: 23 (15%)
  • 46-55: 23 (15%)
  • 56-65: 37 (25%)
  • Over 66: 17 (11%)
  • No answer: 12 (8%)

Survey respondees are typically of working age, with a bias towards older people. Young people (25 or younger) are under-represented compared with older/retired people, which is a concern for the long-term future of Wikimeets, and the Wikimedia projects more generally. This distribution is quite different from the age distribution of the UK population and is slightly different from the age distribution of the typical volunteer.

Q3. Where are you based?[edit]

  • England: North-East: 3 (2%)
  • England: North-West: 19 (13%)
  • England: Yorkshire and the Humber: 8 (5%)
  • England: East Midlands: 5 (3%)
  • England: West Midlands: 8 (5%)
  • England: East: 8 (5%)
  • England: South West: 8 (5%)
  • England: South East: 27 (18%)
  • England: London: 36 (24%)
  • Wales: North: 1 (1%)
  • Wales: South: 4 (3%)
  • Scotland: Eastern: 5 (3%)
  • Scotland: Southwestern: 2 (1%)
  • Scotland: North Eastern: 1 (1%)
  • Scotland: Highlands and Islands: 1 (1%)
  • Northern Ireland: 0 (0%)
  • Other: 10 (7%)
  • Between NW and SE
  • Central Scotland
  • Jersey
  • Scotland - Central Belt.
  • South Warwickshire - between West Midlands and South West
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Ukraine
  • US
  • West Cornwall
  • No answer: 5 (3%)

There is a strong bias towards Wikimedians based in London, the South East of England, and the North West of England. London and the North West are unsurprising, as there have been regular wikimeets in these locations. It is surprising how many respondees are in South East England, though, as there are not currently regular wikimeets in this area - this should be a high-priority area for new wikimeets.

Most people that haven't been to a wikimeet (according to their response to the next question) are located in London (17), the South East (13), the South West (7) and the North-West (6) respectively, which is surprising given that regular wikimeets have taken place in London for over a decade now (those in London preferred weekday evenings, weekday mornings, or Saturday afternoons, with equal responses to Q14 for discussions and workshops, followed by training).

Q4. Have you ever been to a wikimeet?[edit]

  • Yes: 67 (44%)
  • No: 76 (50%)
  • No answer: 8 (5%)

Just over 50% of respondees have never been to a wikimeet. This was unexpected, given that the advertising of the survey was biased towards people that have been to wikimeets. However, this is excellent in terms of understanding the reasons why people haven’t attended past wikimeets.

Q5. how many wikimeets have you been to?[edit]

  • None: 68 (45%)
  • Some: 42 (28%)
  • Many: 16 (10%)
  • Lots: 13 (9%)
  • No answer: 12 (8%)

Most people that have been to a wikimeet have only been to 'some', but there are also a good sample of those that have been to 'many' or 'lots' (i.e., count themselves as regular attendees).

Q6. What has prevented you from attending or put you off?[edit]

  • (1) Manchester Wikimeets, which are almost always on Sundays, frequently clash with another activity I frequently take part in on Sundays. (2) Since I make very little use of watchlisting, I often miss the automatic notice informing me of meetups.
  • 1. Didn't know they were happening 2. Worried they will be too techy / I lack good enough tech skills 3. I understand need is for women rather than old white men like me
  • A bit geeky
  • A desire to avoid some of the people who expressed an interest in attending.
  • been unable to attend because of other commitments
  • Chapter politics.
  • Clash with other events.
  • conflicts with other activities
  • Cost
  • Cost
  • Cost of travelling to one, occasional feelings that the meetups are dominated by cliquishness.
  • Cost/ Location (I'm a student).
  • Dates are not announced far enough in advance to plan, especially if having to travel to meet-up.
  • Did not know about them (if I did, I would need convincing it wasn't a male technerd fest and I would not be a lone middle-aged woman!)
  • Did not know they were held.
  • Didn't even know they happened.
  • Didn't know about any wikimeets.
  • Didn't know anyone going. Not obvious what the benefit would be. Reluctant to travel for an event that might be of no use.
  • Didn't know anything about them.
  • Didn't know they existed
  • Distance
  • distance
  • Distance and limited means of travel.
  • Distance, time, other conflicting engagements
  • Distance.
  • Distance. can only go when I am in the UK
  • Don't know any other wikipedians, don't feel like a small meetings are welcoming.
  • Don't know where they are advertised
  • Evenings are tricky as I have childcare responsibilities
  • Family commitments at weekends.
  • Feel I would spend more time editing Wikipedia, when I have other priorities
  • Geography
  • Gives every appearance of being a few guys with laptops in a pub
  • Had not heard of them
  • Have the impression most attendees are not of my demographic.
  • I am very busy, so part is fitting in my schedule. Plus they are in a Pub.
  • I attend most London and most Oxford meets. I would attend more, particularly those in the North West, if I had more money and fewer diary clashes.
  • I attended the first Reading meet. Sadly the next two were cancelled due to bad weather and after that there were no more Reading meets
  • I don't deal with groups of new people well (aspergers) I don't like getting photographed, and even worse putting it up on line, even worse if with realname/username
  • I had not heard of Wikimeets before your recent email
  • I happen to be busy a lot of Sundays, which is when the London wikimeet is held.
  • I haven't been able to make them so far, and there haven't been very many (only every two months).
  • I haven't heard about them until now
  • I live in outer London, and tend not to travel into central London on the weekend. So I attended one in my early wiki "career" but haven't been back since. I have however attended wikithons at the British Library.
  • I rarely go to meets outside London due to cost, and it would be unfair to my wife if I went to more than one a month.
  • i'm new to wikipedia
  • I'm one of the rare people that work on a Sunday!
  • Im not a contributor! (But want to start editing some pages...) Ive been to a couple of Wikimedia conferences (2013, British Library and the Global one last year), but don't find "tech" meet ups very lay-friendly...
  • Inconvenience, none nearby
  • keep missing date, unsure of what to expect
  • Lack of access or other plans in the way.
  • Lack of focus at meets or worrying I could not find the people or would fit in.
  • Location
  • Location and timing
  • Location, time
  • Location/date
  • Location/timing
  • Lots of old men drinking real ale. Needs to be more modern, not in a pub.
  • Mainly time & work commitments but it is important to note that in the cases of the more informal meetups where a group of people meet in a pub - it can be quite daunting for a young woman to attend by herself. It is the nature of the internet that you meet people that you've never met before, but that can also present quite a danger as a young woman, and it's quite hard to convince a friend to come with you!
  • Meeting Wikipedians.
  • More a social than a focused meeting about open knowledge
  • My age, I've turned 16 this year.
  • Never had a meet in an area near to me
  • Never heard about
  • never knew about them but suspect travel costs would be high
  • Never knew they existed!
  • No wifi.
  • Not always convenient and wouldn't want to go further than Manchester (unless at a meetup in London if convenient depending where I have time).
  • Not been able to attend any Wikimeets due to being at work or having other things already planned
  • Not being aware of the dates. I don't regularly (nor want to) visit WikiMedia.
  • Not got round to it / been busy on the dates.
  • not heard of them till now
  • Not knowing about them!
  • Not wheelchair accessible/no disabled toilets at CB2 Cambridge
  • Only if it clashes with something else, but I don't think much can be done about that.
  • Only just discovered there were such things
  • Only just started seriously editing; missed the last meeting because of another function, but the Sunday afternoon in Oxford is generally a good time. Otherwise, late evening would be good.
  • Only now found out they exist.
  • other commitments
  • Personal commitments
  • Poor wi-fi. Lack of agenda and focus.
  • prefer editathons, where there is a definite agenda
  • priorities
  • Recovering from addictions
  • Seems to be a sort of "club"
  • Small number of people signed up. People signed up seem to be experienced users of tools and robots, I am just a text writing Wikignome.
  • Social anxiety
  • Social phobia
  • Some strange, unhygienic characters attend as well and their grossness puts me off. Being sat next to them when they smell or being spat on by them while they talk, etc.
  • Sunday lunchtime conflicts with family time
  • Sunday lunchtime/afternoon is inconvenient
  • The day and venue. Am unable to make Sundays - only Mondays, Tuesdays or Saturdays.
  • The fact that they are almost invariably held on a Sunday when public transport is absent or unreliable.
  • The length of the meeting is quite long, and this is intimidating when it's your first time. Nearly everyone stayed for the whole length of the meeting and this is one reason I've only been to one meeting. It's long!
  • The location of Wiki-meets in an informal setting as opposed to a more 'conference' based approach
  • The occasional clash of dates, sometimes distance if driving or rail repairs making the train unusable
  • There don't seem to be many, and they aren't local to me.
  • They are held in my city and are easy to get to. They are also in a near-by city which is not so easy to reach. The time, lunchtime onwards at a weekend, is fine. The atmosphere is a bit of a in-crowd.
  • This newsletter is the first time I am hearing about the meetings
  • time was unsuitable on the last instance.
  • Time, distance.
  • timing
  • too far away
  • Too far away
  • too far away
  • Too far away
  • Travel
  • Travel distance, other commitments.
  • Unaware of nearby meetings
  • unaware of them
  • Wasn't sure if it would be interesting
  • Weather
  • Wikipedians are the kind of people who correct other people's grammar at party. A party *full* of such people may achieve a critical mass of cleverdickery.
  • Worried that my level of involvement doesn't warrant an appearance

115 people answered this question, with 36 skipping it. The most frequently used words here include "Distance", "Far", "Location", "Travel", "Clash", as well as "Unaware", "Never Knew" and "Not Heard".

Many different reasons have been presented here. A key one is distance, followed by not knowing about the wikimeets; these can be resolved by having more wikimeets around the country, and notifying people better about wikimeets. Another main reason is one of timing, and other personal commitments. Some people also commented that they felt too new to the movement to attend a wikimeet.

Q7. If you have only been to a few wikimeets, what has prevented you from attending or put you off?[edit]

  • Again, lack of access or other plans in the way.
  • Already spending huge amounts of time on WMUK volunteering. Family needs time, too.
  • Apart from Reading none of the others are readily accessible to me - too far away
  • Are they inclusive and diverse and meet disability requirements
  • Distance has been an issue sometimes.
  • Finding out about them, as I only see notices about them on Wikipedia, not other WMF projects. Sometimes dates have clashed with other things, which would be easier to avoid if the dates were published 3-6 months ahead.
  • First, I did not know they existed. Then, after going to a wikipedia editathon, its organiser told me of the one in my city. So I've now been to 2 or 3. The people try to be inclusive and welcome a new person. I would get more from it if I could persuade one of them to show me how to do find things in Wikipedia I occasionally find but then lose again, or if I could get them to show me how to do things. Some dates have clashed with other things I'm doing. I don't understand the difference between Qs 6 and 7.
  • Frankly at the wikimeets it was the other editors who came across as posers or just plainly incredibly dull. The Wikithons were much better as the people attending were interested in working on that cause and so there was something much more in common.
  • I tend to find the content of Wikimeets fairly dull; I'd much rather attend events and Do Things, than sit about in a Wetherspoons.
  • I'm generally working on Sundays which is when they're mostly held. Plus the London one, which is my nearest, rarely seems to attract people whom I'd be interested in meeting - judging by photos, the ones in the North and Scotland seem to attract a broad mix of people but the ones in London and the South seem to attract a mix of elderly bearded men and teenage boys, neither of which I feel I'm likely to have much in common with.
  • Lack of structure or people I want to catch up with not attending (making the event neither really business nor social)
  • Lack of time
  • Location and timing
  • Meetings ok, friendly. Not aware of the topics arising. Cannot recall who the people attending are, so a bit awkward. Regular (like monthly) news by email would help.
  • most are too far away
  • No access to my pills of choice
  • Other commitments
  • Personal commitments - time is always pressing
  • Pub setting – although I recognise it is probably a good place for most people.
  • Sunday church commitments; poor social skills.
  • The distance. Apart from the 2 Wikimeets I have been to in Newcastle, the others have not been local. They have been hundreds of miles away and unless you drive it is just not possible to get to them.
  • The intimacy and low numbers, the lack of activities on events
  • They're now held on a Sunday, which isn't convenient for me.
  • Too far away
  • Too far away
  • Very Wikipedia focused
  • Went to a couple of Wikimeets in York; first time couldn't find any wikipedians (this was when people were supposed to be doing things at the railway but all apparently arrived about an hour later when I'd given up and had gone back to my flat). Second wikimeet in the rain but missed meeting anyone there (they'd gone off to various York places that I'd have tagged if I'd been given timings).
  • What about having them in some evenings? The London ones are on Saturdays, and I don't really want to spend more money travelling in on a weekend.

39 people answered this question, with 112 skipping it, most likely because of its similarity to the previous question. The most frequently used words here include "Distance" and "Far", as well as "People Attending" and "Commitments". Most of these responses are along the same lines as those to the previous question, showing that the main reasons for not attending are not that different between those that haven't been to any wikimeets and those that have only been to a few.

Q8. Have you ever organised a wikimeet?[edit]

  • Yes: 17 (11%)
  • No: 122 (74%)
  • No answer: 12 (8%)

The proportion who had organised a wikimeet (11%) was a quarter of the proportion that had been to one (44%, Q4). That it is less is unsurprising, since we would expect all (or almost all) of people who had organised a wikimeet to attend one. See also Q21.

Getting to a wikimeet[edit]

Q9. How far (in terms of distance/price/time) would you be willing to travel to attend a wikimeet?[edit]

Miles GBP(£) Minutes
  • 0 (3 responses)
  • 2 (1 response)
  • 3 (1 response)
  • 5 (10 responses)
  • 7 (1 response)
  • 10 (18 responses)
  • 15 (8 responses)
  • 20 (8 responses)
  • 25 (5 responses)
  • 30 (6 responses)
  • 40 (2 responses)
  • 40-50 (1 response)
  • 50 (11 responses)
  • 50-100 (1 response)
  • 60 (5 responses)
  • 70 (1 response)
  • 80 (1 response)
  • 85 (1 response)
  • 100 (5 responses)
  • 120 (3 responses)
  • 130 (1 response)
  • 150 (1 response)
  • 200 (1 response)
  • Forty to seventy maximum.
  • I have been to London but it's a long way.
  • It would depend on the location and the ease of public transport to get there.
  • only london
  • To nearest large city (London or Manchester)
  • Within the London area
  • York to places in York; Leeds; York to Manchester
  • - (2 responses)
  • 0 (7 responses)
  • 5 (12 responses)
  • 6 (1 response)
  • 7 (1 response)
  • 10 (16 responses)
  • 12 (2 responses)
  • 12.6 (1 response)
  • 13.50 each way (1 response)
  • 15 (3 responses)
  • 20 (15 responses)
  • 25 (4 responses)
  • 30 (3 responses)
  • 40 (2 responses)
  • 50 (3 responses)
  • 100 (1 response)
  • 200 (1 response)
  • ? Hard to say, but money is an issue sometimes
  • can produce cash if required
  • Difficult to put a limit.
  • up to about £35-40 train fare
  • 0 (3 responses)
  • 15 (1 response)
  • 30 (22 responses)
  • 40 (5 responses)
  • 45 (8 responses)
  • 60 (29 responses)
  • 66 (1 response)
  • 75 (1 response)
  • 80 (1 response)
  • 90 (8 responses)
  • 110 (1 response)
  • 120 (9 responses)
  • 150 (1 response)
  • 180 (4 responses)
  • 300 (1 response)
  • 60-90
  • 15 minutes to walk to York walls, 25 minutes by train to Leeds, +1 hour to Manchester
  • would depend if there was someone I particularly wanted to meet, probably about 60
  • ~3 hours from London

128 people answered this question, while 23 skipped it. 102 people responded about distance, 79 about price, and 100 about time. The distributions are rather trimodal: in terms of miles, respondees are most willing to travel 5, 10 or 50 miles; with cost, £5, £10 or £20. The travel times are more bimodal than trimodal, though, with peaks at 30 and 60 minutes.

The indication here is that wikimeets will be most successful if they are at most 30 minutes away from the locations of Wikimedians, with travel costs between £5 and £10.

Q10. How would you prefer to travel to a wikimeet?[edit]

  • By car: 43 (28%)
  • By train: 80 (53%)
  • By bus: 48 (32%)
  • By other public transport: 37 (24%)
  • On foot: 42 (28%)
  • Other: 24 (16%)
    • Any of the above
    • By bicycle (20 responses, 13%)
    • by unicorn
    • By wheelchair adapted vehicle
    • Free travel
  • Skipped: 15 (10%)

Bicycle was an obvious omission from the answer set. However, trains and buses are clearly the favoured options, followed by travel by car and then by foot. So accessibility by public transportation should be an important factor in determining the location of a wikimeet, but car parking should also be considered.

Dates, locations and activities[edit]

Q11. When would you prefer to attend a wikimeet?[edit]

Day Morning Lunch Afternoon Evening
Weekday 18 (12%) 25 (17%) 36 (24%) 41 (27%)
Saturday 21 (14%) 50 (33%) 71 (47%) 22 (15%)
Sunday 19 (13%) 48 (32%) 62 (41%) 17 (11%)

125 people answered this question, 26 (17%) skipped it. It was possible to select all, some, or none of these responses. The preferred option is Saturday afternoons, with Sunday afternoons closely behind. This does not significantly change for those that prefer to travel by public transport or by car. A significant number of people prefer weekday afternoon/evening meetings, though, so this may be something worth investigating.

Q12. Where would you prefer to meet?[edit]

  • In a pub: 72 (48%)
  • In a cafe: 77 (51%)
  • In a park/public space: 27 (18%)
  • In a museum/cultural institute: 90 (60%)
  • Other: 13 (9%)
  • All are possible- Friends Meeting Houses, librarys - its horses for courses
  • Any of above
  • Any of these would be perfectly OK, but my slight preference is for a pub.
  • Any other venue free to you.
  • Anywhere suitable
  • Dedicated meeting space
  • Library or similar with good wifi !
  • meeting space / office
  • On a boat
  • Out of the rain!
  • Pub is #1 choice, others are equal #2.
  • Soho
  • Somewhere quiet, so pub or cafe needs to be chosen with care
  • Skipped: 20 (13%)

It was possible to select all, some, or none of these responses, and also to simultaneously leave an "Other" response. The clear favourite option here is to hold wikimeets in museums / cultural institutions, followed by cafes, then pubs. This is notable as most wikimeets to date have taken place in a pub, so a change here might make a big impact. While meetings in parks/public spaces have been tried in the U.S. (Wikiniks), this option doesn't look likely to succeed in the UK, most likely because of the traditional British weather (i.e., rain).

Those that said that they would prefer to meet in a museum/cultural institute are located most in London (23), followed by the South-East (18), the North West (8), and the South West or Yorkshire and Humber (both 6). Those that said they would prefer to meet in a cafe are located most in London (19), followed by the South-East (15), the North West (14), and the West Midlands or East (both 5).

Q13. What requirements should a meetup venue meet?[edit]

  • Car parking: 42 (28%)
  • Accessible by public transport: 90 (60%)
  • Child friendly venue: 10 (6.6%)
  • Wireless internet access: 76 (50%)
  • Quiet venue: 70 (46%)
  • Food available: 54 (36%)
  • Vegetarian food available: 15 (10%)
  • Real ale available: 18 (12%)
  • Alcohol-free: 8 (5%)
  • Other: 21 (14%)
  • A space near a socket (for an adaptor), accessible by wheelchairs
  • affordable
  • alcohol & food nice-to-have, not essential
  • All are possible- the value is the social contact- and the ability to get home safely.
  • Depending on the size of the group, "relatively deserted" can be important. "Other things to do nearby" is a consideration too in case people get there early, or have a long wait for a train.
  • Depends on location. If going by train, then near a station ... Good beer helps!
  • Disability facilities
  • Disabled access
  • Easy way of finding group in venue, possibly something else of interest in the area so something to do if public transport times are poor for the meeting.
  • Friendly environment.
  • NB: I dont mind if others drink (I dont happen to drink...), but this British obsession with alcohol is a bit offput for a lot of people: almost everything is in pubs! (or otherwise copious amounts of wine must be available or people simply wont turn up) :-0
  • prefer drinking wine
  • Real ale is a bonus but not essential. Beverages other than tea and coffee are essential.
  • seating so you can move round to talk with others
  • seriously 'real ale available'? way to perpetuate a stereotype
  • Sex shops
  • Somewhere where the organisers are easily visible (e.g. not a crowded space)
  • Tea & coffee available
  • Tea/coffee and cakes etc - not necessariy full meals
  • Veg food & real ale are definite pluses, but optional. The two I have checked above are important.
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Skipped: 22 (15%)

It was possible to select all, some, or none of these responses, and also to simultaneously leave an "Other" response. Accessibility by public transport is a must (reinforcing the conclusion reached from Q10), as is wireless internet access. Quietness, and the availability of food, are also important.

Q14. What activities would you like to experience at a wikimeet?[edit]

  • Discussion with fellow wikimedians: 116 (77%)
  • Special guests: 51 (34%)
  • Meeting new editors: 73 (48%)
  • Debates: 38 (25%)
  • Workshops/tutorials on specific topics: 73 (48%)
  • Wikipedia training sessions: 54 (36%)
  • Help sessions: 42 (28%)
  • Visits to nearby visitor attractions: 35 (23%)
  • Tours of nearby visitor attractions: 34 (23%)
  • Tours of the city: 22 (15%)
  • Other: 14 (9%)
  • All are possible- lets not confuse them with editathons though
  • Avoiding Wikipedians.
  • Discussion with fellow wikimedians are by far the most important, but other activities might be welcome too.
  • Find out what it's all about
  • focused debate radiation effects
  • last four OK by me if I'm interested in particular attractions
  • Not sure what wikimedians or new editors are. No idea who would be a special guest.
  • Sharing of skills.
  • Social
  • Somehow combining pub quizzes with Wikimeets!
  • Special access to usually inaccessible locations
  • Training sessions on sister projects (Wikidata, Wikisource, etc)
  • Wikidata events
  • Wikimeets are informal. Associating them with "sessions", debates and spekers is fine, or including them if they become large enough.
  • Skipped: 22 (15%)

It was possible to select all, some, or none of these responses, and also to simultaneously leave an "Other" response.

Discussion should continue to be the main activity at wikimeets. Meeting new editors and workshops were the second most highly ranked, followed by training events. It would be interesting to see whether running a training event or workshop at a wikimeet would work out in practice.

Tours/visits to nearby places were less highly ranked. These have been tried before, but haven't had much success, so they should be less of a priority for future wikimeets.

It's worth noting that there are high correlations (φ=0.63-0.76) between the selection of the trio "Visits to nearby visitor attractions", "Tours of nearby visitor attractions" and "Tours of the city". There are significant correlations (φ=0.37-0.49) between the trio "Workshops/tutorials on specific topics", "Wikipedia training sessions" and "Help sessions". There are also significant correlations between "Discussion with fellow wikimedians" and "Meeting new editors" (φ=0.46) and "Special guests" and "Workshops/tutorials on specific topics" (φ=0.40).

Notifications about wikimeets[edit]

Q15. How would you prefer to be notified about future wikimeets?[edit]

Method Prefer Would see Would not see
A message on my user talk page 39 (26%) 47 (31%) 20 (13%)
A central list of meetups 26 (17%) 25 (17%) 42 (28%)
A central notice 22 (15%) 25 (17%) 40 (26%)
A notice on my watchlist 37 (25%) 33 (22%) 30 (20%)
A notice on the Main Page 9 (6%) 28 (19%) 52 (34%)
An entry on Wikimedia UK's event list 11 (7%) 18 (12%) 61 (40%)
By email 54 (36%) 46 (30%) 6 (4%)
By Twitter 7 (5%) 11 (7%) 62 (41%)
By Facebook 6 (4%) 27 (18%) 49 (32%)
  • Other
    • all of these presupose the false assumption that I want to be notified; as I don't want to attend, I don't want to be notified
    • At previous meetups, and by relevant mailing list
    • Every email from the charity to members should include the list of upcoming wikimeets as a footer.
    • Sometimes I see the watchlist notice, sometimes I miss it.
    • Text message
    • Text message
  • Skipped: 24 (16%)

For each option, it was possible to mark it as 'Prefer', 'Would see' or 'Would not see', without having to indicate a preference for each option. An optional 'Other' response could also be entered. Top preferences are for notifications by email, messages on user talk pages, and notices on watchlists, which should be implemented more routinely in future. Most people would not see notifications posted on Twitter, the WMUK wiki events list, the Main Page, and Facebook, so these probably aren't worth pursuing.

Q16. Would you prefer to be notified about wikimeets[edit]

  • in my nearest city: 84 (56%)
  • in my county: 48 (32%)
  • in my region: 53 (35%)
  • in my country: 15 (10%)
  • UK-wide: 26 (17%)
  • Skipped: 28 (19%)

It was possible to select all, some, or none of these responses. It's not clear what the best approach is here: most people prefer to be notified about wikimeets in their city, which is fairly obvious, but a significant fraction also want notifications about wikimeets further away. Probably the emphasis should be on notifying more people rather than less, so notifications should probably be sent out more widely wherever possible.

Q17. How far in advance would you prefer to be notified about a future wikimeet?[edit]

  • 1 day: 2 (1%)
  • 3 days: 4 (3%)
  • 1 week: 18 (12%)
  • A fortnight: 51 (34%)
  • A month: 70 (46%)
  • Two months: 24 (16%)
  • Other: 4 (3%)
    • As far ahead as possible for travel and budgeting reasons.
    • As long as possible. I travel a lot for work, and if I know there's a WMF event nearby will try to allow time to attend it, but they usually aren't announced long enough in advance.
    • never
    • These are the ideal notification times for me, but all the others are good too.
  • Skipped: 24 (16%)

It was possible to select all, some, or none of these responses, and also to simultaneously leave an "Other" response.

Wikimeets should be organised at least a fortnight, and preferably about a month, in advance of them taking place.

Q18. Would you prefer to receive notifications about wikimeets[edit]

  • When a wikimeet is announced: 83 (55%)
  • Every week: 13 (9%)
  • Every month: 47 (31%)
  • Other: 6 (4%)
    • A specific time before they are held
    • An email reminder to any I've signed up to would be nice, and when they are announced on the mailing list, and a watchlist notice a fortnight in advance
    • I think a regular email for only this would get lost. It should be embedded in charity comms.
    • never
    • See 17
    • subject related
  • Skipped: 27 (18%)

It was possible to select all, some, or none of these responses, and also to simultaneously leave an "Other" response.

Most people would prefer to be notified when a wikimeet is announced; the second most popular option is every month: both of these approaches are worth adopting.

Q19. How would you prefer to receive last-minute change notifications about wikimeets?[edit]

  • Updates posted on-wiki: 46 (30%)
  • By email: 84 (56%)
  • By text message: 34 (23%)
  • Having a contact telephone number of an organiser: 11 (7%)
  • Other: 6 (4%)
    • By using a service like Eventbrite
    • Facebook
    • Informing the venue of any changes made within 48 hours of the event so that they can tell anybody that turns up.
    • never
    • talk page
    • Twitter
  • Skipped: 26 (17%)

It was possible to select all, some, or none of these responses, and also to simultaneously leave an "Other" response.

Most people would prefer email notifications for last-minute changes, followed by updates on-wiki, which are probably the best options to pursue. A smaller number would prefer text messages or a contact telephone number, so these probably aren't worth pursuing at the moment.

The last few questions[edit]

Q20. Would you be willing to abide by Wikimedia UK's Friendly space policy?[edit]

  • Yes: 107 (71%)
  • No: 4 (3%)
  • no answer: 40 (26%)
  • Comments
  • "... if they seek to participate for reasons other than the advancement of our charitable objectives, then the Chief Executive should recommend to the Board that that individual be excluded from all Wikimedia UK activities." is unacceptable to me. I want to be able to meet for a variety of reasons.
  • ...except I don't have access to wikimedia UK. I lost the account when you split from the other wiki servers and, despite emailing, it's not been resolved. No idea who the "Chief Executive" is.
  • Absolutely
  • Anyone who doesn't can get out
  • Can't access link, phone claims it is unsafe.
  • I am reluctant to endorse anything that includes the phrase "This includes (but is not limited to):" [taking that out now!] Nor am I comfortable with signing up to "Any action taken should be promptly reported to the Chief Executive." Thirdly Wikimeets are not organised by WMUK, under the aegis of WMUK or on WMUK premises. It is therefore not possible, and unduly onerous, to require of meet organisers what the FSP dictates.
  • I don't see any reason why not, though I must note that most meetups are not organised by Wikimedia UK and so are not under Wikimedia UK's jurisdiction. It will be down to the owner/manger of the venue to set such policies.
  • I had no idea this policy existed.
  • I would expect to meet serious grown-up people who can socialise in public places without the need for silly rules
  • I would have to state that I do not relish the company of spiritists or that type of occult and may distance myself from such.
  • It seems odd that there should be such a policy.
  • Obviously
  • Obviously I'd abide by the spirit but I'm not comfortable with it as a formal policy. As I read it this means no-one can ever do or say anything which might upset anyone, which rules out discussing many Wikipedia pages as well as discussing politics, current events etc.
  • Of course.
  • That page has a security certificate error, which will put off many people from reading it.
  • The page is blocked by my firewall
  • The policy places the power of enforcing the policy in the hands of the board. That's not how anything at Wikipedia should be done; even if I had confidence in this board or any other, decisions need to be made in public by the community.
  • Though it does appear to make a wikimeet much more formal, and the line can be difficult to draw.
  • What's the point of this question?
  • What? A certain low growl that Wikimedia has more policies than the united nations..................
  • While the policy might benefit from a few tweaks, it is basically a very good idea.
  • Yes. But I worry that asking people in advance to adhear to the policy could put them off. Most people don't enjoy reading policies but would want to agree to something they didn't know much about. Perhaps a better approach would be to make "regulars" aware of the policy and ask them to help enforce it by, for example, intervening if they suspect someone is feeling harassed.

In addition to selecting one of the responses, additional comments could also be left to this question.

The overwhelming majority (71%) of people said that they would be willing to abide by the friendly space policy. Some emphatically disagreed with the policy. However, several comments pointed out particular phrases within the policy that they disagreed with, which WMUK should look at addressing by rewording and amending the policy.

Q21. Would you potentially be willing to organise a wikimeet in your city? If yes, would you need any assistance setting it up?[edit]

  • Yes, would need assistance: 12 (8%)
  • Yes, would not need assistance: 10 (7%)
  • Maybe, would need more information: 26 (17%)
  • No: 64 (42%)
  • no answer: 39 (26%)

There are a surprisingly large number of people that would be willing to organise wikimeets, compared with the number that currently do. WMUK should follow up with those that are willing to organise wikimeets to offer them any support/assistance that they need.

Q22. Are there any other suggestions or comments you'd like to make?[edit]

  • "Scotland - Central Belt" really should have been on the list of locations there ;)
  • Aside from not having much time for meetings, I'm uncertain of their point. I occasionally use Wikimedia as a tool, have given a donation to help it keep going, but don't understand the point of meetings except at a high esoteric and academic level - not for me really.
  • Have a theme for a wikimeet. People need a reason to meet - either because they meet with friends they already know, or some other reason if they are new to Wikipedia.
  • I am a core supporter of wikimeet- and believe they are an essential part of the Wikimedia experience- and we are limited by UK geography, and the non correlation of editing activity and the desire to organise others- in effect recreating the 'Village Hall Committee'. We can look at themed wikimeets for editors of similar interest. Flash Wikimeets- launched at shortnotice because it is a lovely day and they are doing a special at Wetherspoons etc, or because of a special opportunity- Fringe meeting at party conference- Govt minister - has cancellation- hole in schedule- wants to meet us.
  • I am guessing that I should have either authored an article in Wikipedia or edited a Wikipedia page/entry to really be an active contributor at a Wikimedia meeting.
  • I see Wiki takes events and backstage passes and editathons as separate to meetups. I've answered this re meetups.
  • I welcome efforts to improve meetups, but I see no reason why multiple viewpoints can't be accommodated by multiple meetups e.g. one week having a "traditional" pub meetup and another having a formal edit-a-thon. I also want the loose and flexible organisation of meetups to remain – a chapter takeover is not necessary, and won't be universally welcomed.
  • I would be interested in setting up a subject specific (radon effects) meeting in orkney uk.
  • I would like clarity about the agenda for such meetings
  • I'd maybe be interested in working to help organise a thematic meet at academic conferences or similar events (obvious e.g. would be the IMC Leeds for historians and medievalists)
  • I've made many friends through Wikimeets, and have often met up with them for cultural excursions and general awesomeness.
  • Include photos in the publicity, and choose photos which show a broad mix of people. Most of the current photos show virtually exclusively fat middle-aged white men with beards, and I can't be the only one who finds this off-putting.
  • It would be nice to have one in Bristol, which is not the nearest city to me but I would travel for it. Perhaps Gloucester too and places like it with historic buildings to photograph for Commons.
  • More regular e-bulletins please
  • My city is Worcester
  • My city (London) is well supplied with Wikimeets and I also frequent those in Oxford. I would be willing to help organise ones elsewhere.
  • My concern is that any edits I make promote the truth, or nearer to the truth than material correctable.
  • Not everyone likes Pubs, please pick other venues. Make them more inclusive.
  • Overall I think the meetups work well. I can't think of any major changes that are necessary.
  • Published agendas
  • seriously 'real ale available'? way to perpetuate a stereotype.
  • Thank you for the work you have done in organising meetups. It is much appreciated.
  • Thanks for setting up this survey!
  • Where is nearest Wikipedia meeting to Southampton?
  • Wouldn't it be good if wikimeets had specific (but broad) themes or feature specific workshops? That might draw the interest of more Wikipedians, including me.

A wide variety of final comments were left, which can be read above. One topic that was mentioned several times was that wikimeet should have 'themes' / agendas, which is worth trying out.