Wikipedia talk:Meetup/London 1

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Moved from main page, so we can finalize plans. -- Fuzheado | Talk 22:15, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Original announcement as it stood by the time of the event[edit]

Main discussion previously listed here moved to User talk:Jimbo Wales/2004-06-05.

We had been talking about a London meetup anyway, and Jimbo Wales trip might be a good catalyst.

When: Saturday June 5, 2004, 3 p.m.

Where: Meet at 3pm at the entrance to Inn the Park, a cafe bar in St James' Park (review) (home page) (map) (nearest tubes Green Park oh no it isn't, St. James's Park — St James's Park is shut for District Line engineering worksCharing Cross tube station — about as close as Green Park station to Inn The Park, possibly closer.

How: We will recognize each other because... (see Bodnotbod, below, for a tentative suggestion in the absence of any other)

  • How about wearing newspaper hats? [1] (Suggested by Fuzheado)
    • Are you just concealing a tin foil desire here? --bodnotbod 00:31, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)
      • Yes, pseudo-paranoia, knowing newsprint will only shield us from the most basic brainwave scans. Fuzheado | Talk 01:59, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
        • I like the Guardian-carrying idea. - MykReeve 19:38, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
          • I should say, the Saturday Guardian is quite a big beast, though nowhere near as crippling as the Sunday Times. I suppose you can always jettison a couple of sections in the nearest bin. I thought this would be a particular problem since the last forecast I saw said temperatures were going to hit 29C on Saturday. But now the forecast is saying it will only be 21C with black clouds looming. Bah! --bodnotbod 19:42, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)
            • Ooh! I'm just working my way down looking at the user pages. You all look really scary and intimidating. I will be carrying The Guardian. But I think you'll all recognise me by virtue of my smallest frontal lobe and lack of a science degree. --bodnotbod 23:06, Jun 4, 2004 (UTC)


Wikipedians who might be in the area and interested? (starting the list randomly)

  • Angela
  • Arkady Rose Just look for the pink fringe. I'll be the shy one hiding behind David!
  • Bodnobod I'll be wearing black rimmed specs and carrying the Guardian newspaper. Everyone could, I suppose, carry the Guardian newspaper? Yeah, I'm a terrible old lefty. Sorry about that. --bodnotbod 23:34, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)
  • Camembert - I vaguely resemble the picture on my user page, though I'll probably be looking more lost and less drunk (at least initially). I'll be heading off at about seven to get my train back.
  • Charles Matthews (Cambridge-based)
  • ChrisO
  • David Gerard - I'll have my camera with me
  • Enchanter
  • Evercat - I'd have to fly down. Highly improbable now...
  • Fuzheado - flying from Hong Kong via Paris (90% chance)
  • G-Man Probably wont be there, but I'll make my mind up at the last minute. Trains are an absolute pain you see (coach from Rugby to Kettering to get a train to London) If I'm not there tell me how it went.
  • James F. (talk)
  • [[JPF]] -- definitely possible
  • Lumos3 - a possible
  • Máirtín
  • Matt Crypto -- quite possibly
  • Morwen -- 07764679447
  • Martin clashes with a band booking - sorry!
  • MykReeve - bringing laptop in red and grey shoulder bag, and I look the photograph on my user page.
  • Nommo - I'll be coming, otherwise Camembert will get lost.
  • Nsh (train: Lowestoft -> Norwich -> London, but could go through Camb.)
  • Oliver P.
  • Pete/Pcb21 Unable to wriggle out of another event that I expected to be able to. I echo Rob Brewer's comments below.
  • rbrwrˆ A family crisis has intervened. I am very sorry to miss this chance to meet so many fellow Wikipedians, and hope you all have a great time.
  • sannse (talk) - maybe next time (and not because of the cameras ;)
  • Secretlondon - probable
  • Tagishsimon
  • theresa knott Working (Down with work! and other four letter words ending in k)
  • Timwi
  • VampWillow - possible (if people don't mind a normal user attending
    • Don't worry, you're distinctly odd - David Gerard
      • Coming from you dear, that is distinctly worrying ;-) VampWillow
  • Warofdreams
  • Arno Lagrange  flying especially from Toulouse, France to talk about ESTU esperanto-project inside the Wikipedia. I need an hour or two to talk seiously about it. It could be on Friday at 1:00 PM. Every interested wikipedian welcome ! Arno Lagrange  06:47, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

Comments, ideas[edit]

I started this comments section without having a clue what Jimbo's schedule is, so refactoring may be required. Pete/Pcb21 (talk). <- Hadn't read Jimbo's user page!

  • Presumably it will be simply a social occasion? Any ideas for a location?
  • To maximize the chances of people around the country being able to attend, and given the notorious fickleness of the British railway system at weekends, I recommend an afternoon start. (Morning people can't get there in time, Evening it is last train home time very early for many places)
    • Minimizing the average distance to major train stations, I unilaterally propose 3pm at Piccadilly Circus. There is very wide mix of price and style bars/pubs very nearby (although inevitably London will seem outrageously expensive to non-locals) including Cafe Royal, Tiger Tiger, The Cheers Bar (had to throw that one in... Jimbo may be homesick by the Saturday) through to Wetherspoons. If the weather is good, Jimbo's proposal of a picnic would be possible in Green Park. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 20:50, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I'm travelling with my wife and little girl, so afternoon stuff is best for us. Kira (3 years old) is the most sociable of us, too, ha ha. [...] it sounds great. 3PM Picadilly, very good Jimbo Wales 03:28, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)

P.S. I restored Jimbo's basic approval for the above as it got lost in the date correction tidy up. However I would re-iterate that I am sure more ideas are welcome from newcomers to the page! Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 22:09, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Should we have a plan?[edit]

If only 3-4 people were going to show up, we could just meet somewhere and hang out. But if it looks like more people are coming, perhaps we need a more specific plan, like reservations in a room/pub/restaurant? Perhaps SecretLondon can take us all to some mysterious abandond bomb shelters. :-)

Here's an absolutely astounding fact that might be hard to even imagine -- after more than 3 years of doing this, and nearly 2 years of Nupedia before that -- this meeting in London will be the very first time that I've ever met any Nupedians/Wikipedians in person!

Larry Sanger doesn't count, obviously, because I knew him before Wikipedia/Nupedia. Michael Hardy doesn't count, because I knew him before Wikipedia/Nupedia. In terms of purely meeting people who I know only from Wikipedia, this is the first.

Wild, isn't it?

Jimbo Wales 19:18, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

We should probably arrange to meet in a pub and to stay there for some time, so people can arrive early or late and its no big deal. My experience of internet meetups suggests booking anything will be tricky as the number of people on the list may bear no resemblance to the number of people who actually turn up. Morwen 19:23, Apr 15, 2004 (UTC)
The other logistical question is how do we recognise each other? Phoning each other up and asking what table we are at doesn't really scale... Morwen 19:27, Apr 15, 2004 (UTC)
We need to consider Jimbo's daughter if we are meeting in a pub. As for recognising each other - I did consider bringing my Wikipedia canvas bag, but maybe that would just be too sad ;) Maybe once we have decided a venue the best way to recognise each other will be easier work out. -- sannse (talk) 20:08, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Are 3 year olds allowed to go into a pub? If not, maybe we could meet somewhere more family-friendly. Are any other people bringing family members? Christine Wales 22:24, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)
It depends on the pub. We should be able to find a family-friendly one, or another suitable venue. -- sannse (talk) 23:00, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I am relatively unlikely definitely not going to be there myself (find me here -- no electricity!), so only give this suggestion any weight if you want to. But if you are not booking anything, and it turns out to be a nice summer day, you could do worse than a picnic in the park. You will be a shortish walk from either Green Park or St James's Park. Check the weather forecast a day or two before, and if it looks good then post a request for people to bring some things to eat and drink (and maybe something to sit on). --Trainspotter 12:03, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Following myself up -- a variant suggestion... you could plan to meet at Hyde Park Corner, and go into Hyde Park. There is a cafe (not a pub) approximately here for if the weather is poor, or picnic somewhere if it's nice. (The one small disadvantage is that it is an extra change of underground trains for people coming from Paddington or Waterloo main line stations.) --Trainspotter 12:12, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I'm a London based newbie. I stumbled on this page on my 2nd day but thought "nah, I'm too new". However, in 4 days I've racked up about 40hours on here and I figure I'll feel old by early June ;o) The debate at the moment seems to be the choice between pub and picnic. It may be worth keeping an eye on this page in the coming weeks Long term weather forecast from the BBC. I may attend. But my sociability is very much booze fuelled. My confidence might crumble on lemonade and frisbees... --bodnotbod 15:11, May 1, 2004 (UTC)
No reason not to have a glass of wine or six with the picnic :) -- sannse (talk) 16:03, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
Personally I had every intention of bringing alcohol to the picnic.I hope you do come along bod, I've already made the snap decision that i like you based only apon what you've written above. theresa knott 14:07, 2 May 2004 (UTC)
OK, well, I could certainly go for a bottle of plonk. We can hiccup and talk about Fight Club and, can't believe I'm saying this, Scum: And, on that Theresa K., I should tell you your film link points to an album of that name, at present. The film needs a new page, I think. Who's the daddy? --bodnotbod 14:28, May 2, 2004 (UTC)
On h2g2 meetups people wear name badges and h2g2 T-shirts. Then again, h2g2 might have a somewhat more eclectic mix of people, which makes it easier - on my last meet I just looked for the three foot fairy wings. But phones also work well. Martin 21:03, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Supporting the picnic idea. St James's Park is the easier park to get to from Piccadilly Circus... the walk being downhill and involving fewer crowded pavements en route. Having said that, I voice mild concerns about choosing one of the busiest tourist locations in London as a meeting point for a Summer afternoon though. - MykReeve 22:45, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)

OK then does anyone have a clear plan? this really isn't very helpful at the moment G-Man 16:47, 1 May 2004 (UTC)

There's a month to go. But if folk need to make plans early then a weather-proof venue seems the way to go. --bodnotbod 18:06, May 1, 2004 (UTC)
No need to settle the venue just yet. A week or so beforehand should be plenty long enough IMO. theresa knott 14:07, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

Just a quick travel note: if anyone is planning on getting a Silverlink train to London, there aren't any on this Saturday (June 5) between Watford Junction and Coventry/Stafford, but there will be a replacement coach service (see this page for more) Tom- 15:54, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

The plan[edit]

I've assembled this from the most recent suggestions. Please edit all of it, especially the parts with ? to establish a plan! Warofdreams 17:35, 11 May 2004 (UTC)

  • Meet at 3pm at the entrance to Inn the Park, a cafe bar in St James' Park. We will recognise each other because ?.
    • Because we will be wearing labels or carrying signs saying "WP" or "WIKIPEDIA" or something? - David Gerard 14:11, May 26, 2004 (UTC)
      • It would less unbearably geeky if just one person volunteered to be there prior to 3, have some sort of sign and give out their mobile number to co-ordinate as necessary. (I would volunteer to be that person but I can not say with 100% certainty I am going to be there just yet.) Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 14:56, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
      • I would similarly volunteer, but I can't guarantee my presence either. COULD SOMEONE PLEASE VOLUNTEER! - David Gerard 11:17, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • Have a quiz.
  • Perhaps some other planned activities.
  • Chat to other Wikipedians.
  • Buy User:warofdreams a drink.
  • People will start heading off from about ?, but others might be around all evening.
One suggestion - there's a rather nice new cafe that's recently opened in St James's Park called Inn The Park - - which might be a pleasant place to relax and chat. No idea how busy it'll get in the summer, but it remains fairly quiet at the moment. Perhaps a wet-weather alternative to picnicking?
Piccadilly Circus area
Oh, and I've done a little simplified map of the Piccadilly Circus area, which might be useful for people not familiar with London... I've marked the locations of the five exits to Piccadilly Circus tube. Don't let the white square fool you - in a rare effort to save bandwidth I've saved it as a black-and-white PNG file, which doesn't resize so well. - MykReeve 19:07, 11 May 2004 (UTC)

It seems to me to be a bit silly to meet in Piccadilly Circus then walk to st James Park. Why don't we just meet in the park just in front of the cafe? theresa knott 13:36, 13 May 2004 (UTC)

Inn The Park is nowhere near Piccadilly Circus! - David Gerard 23:51, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Yes, this is why I separated the "raw" talk, so we can make firm our plans. I'm leaving tonight and won't have Internet access until the event, so I want to make sure I actually meet up with you folks! Fuzheado | Talk 23:55, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I'll be coming from either from Paddington or Liverpool Street, so meeting at St. James's Park would be better for me than Piccadilly Circus. Angela. 07:30, May 14, 2004 (UTC)
I second Myk's suggestion of "Inn the Park", as a cafe-bar rather than pub Jimbo's socialable three-year old is sure to be welcome, but yet it will still be licenced for those who could do with a spot of social lubricant.
I also second Theresa's suggestion just to meet at the cafe. There are several natural tube stations for the park depending where you are coming from. And also the entrance to a cafe is less ambigious than an entrance to a tube station.
Oh and finally, Angela, Liverpool Street or Paddington... you're not giving much away are you!? :-) Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 10:15, 14 May 2004 (UTC)
It depends on whether I sit here editing Wikipedia or get on with moving house. :) Angela. 00:53, May 15, 2004 (UTC)
yep, meeting at the cafe sounds good to me too. -- sannse (talk) 11:42, 15 May 2004 (UTC)
ok, I've changed "The Plan". Does this mean no picnics? Or can people eat just outside? Warofdreams 17:09, 17 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm happy either way, picnic or no. theresa knott 20:31, 17 May 2004 (UTC)
Personally, I'm not so sure that a picnic's really the best idea. If it rains, we might have difficulties finding somewhere that we can go that will allow us to eat the picnic there, which would be a pain, to put it mildly...
James F. (talk) 22:18, 17 May 2004 (UTC)
Current forecasts suggest the day will be a scorcher. But Inn the Park sounds great. --bodnotbod 12:51, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)
The forecast does indeed look excellent (see [2]). (Though being British we should now prepare to have to complain about the godawful heat :-). I reckon we'll probably end up outside, though there are gazillion places to buy sandwiches etc around there so it doesn't matter it people bring food/drink or not, at their preference. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 13:10, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Er, anyone taken a look at those reviews of Inn the Park on the user page? [3] The service is, apparently, terrible. So, I think I'll take an emergency bottle so I can self-start ;o) --bodnotbod 23:24, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)

The quiz[edit]

There could be a Wikipedia-based quiz or two. Perhaps one on general knowledge gleaned from Wikipedia articles, and another on Wikipedians? Martin 14:16, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

250,000 articles is a lot of general knowledge... but I like the idea... are you volunteering to be Magnus Magnusson and gather some questions? Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 22:09, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

It was Martin who suggested the quiz, and he's not coming anymore. is anyone else willing to compile it? theresa knott 20:31, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

How about a quiz related to Wikipedia rather than a general knowledge quiz? I'd be happy to compile it if people think it's a good idea. How many questions should it be? Angela. 21:52, May 17, 2004 (UTC)
Oh gods, it'd be full of questions such as the limits on the powers of the Arbitration Committee, which would be, err, politically untenable for me to get wrong... ;-)
Seriously, it sounds like an interesting thing for us to do.
James F. (talk) 22:18, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

Yeah, sorry about that folks. I might be able to get there for later on, and stay the night in a hotel or something, but it'd be touch and go, so I won't be doing any Magnus impressions. Some possible ideas, though, might be:

  1. Picture matching - match names to photos: include some facebook images, and some illustrations of Wikipedia articles of celebrities (and minor celebrities).
  2. Know your Wikipedians - match the Wikipedian to the description. Gossip heaven. Include some folks no longer here to please the oldbies.
  3. Obscurity - Take some facts from some of the more stato-orientated articles, and ask "nearest guess" or multiple choice questions. Eg: "According to Wikipedia, how many people in Stoke-on-Trent listed their religion as Jedi?", "According to Wikipedia, track number sevenon the album "The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste is (A) Oxygen (B) Breathe (C) Test (D) Scum". The more obscure the better - just hit "Random Page" a few times.
  4. Illustrations - produce images to illustrate a variety of Wikipedia articles, to be uploaded later. Photos, sketches, etc. For example, Drunkenness is woefully unillustrated... ;-)

If it weren't possibly copyright, I'd be tempted to illustrate it with this picture. Looks like, at a guess, first-year university students, experiencing lack of parental control for the first time, and deciding to celebrate it with a good ol' three-legged-pub-crawl, complete with a graceful display of synchronised vomiting. Bless 'em... Of course, the photo could have been taken a while ago, so maybe by now one of them is an insurance broker and the other one is your bank manager... --Trainspotter 13:49, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

Workability may vary somewhat... *shrug* Martin 23:53, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

I don't have a printer, so I can't do any questions based on images. It would be good if someone else did that. I can do questions on general knowledge/Wikipedia though. I was planning on putting together something which would last about half an hour and be done in teams if that sounds ok to everyone. However, if it's raining, I don't think it'll work. I can't imagine running a quiz in a crowded cafe. Angela. 18:26, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Rumor has it this meeting is being filmed for a documentary about our community. I'm sorry if this was supposed to be a secret, but I think it is only fair the people attending are aware of, and agree to, this. Angela. 13:14, May 26, 2004 (UTC)

You have surely done the right thing by letting people know. Do you know who's doing the filming?
Also I think we should use British English on this page, as it is primarily an UK topic page, see Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#Usage_and_spelling. ;-). Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 13:49, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
Ars Electronica as far as I know, but again that is only a rumour. Angela. 16:08, May 26, 2004 (UTC)
Well that could be a very cool rumor if its true... Jimbo visiting lots of sections of the Wikipedia community (London, Berlin, South Tyrol...) just before Wikipedia collects a Best Community award... awesome "I am sorry I couldn't be with you but.." speech potential. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 19:14, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
I'll be taking pictures at a fantastic rate. Particularly if User:Irismeister does show up - David Gerard 14:00, May 26, 2004 (UTC)
Humm - I'll be thinking about this - I may decide to back out -- sannse (talk) 22:06, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
That would be a tragedy if the filming kept people away, after all the effort to get together. Perhaps we can have a "privacy safe" time after a certain hour when folks can be sure filming will stop and privacy protected? (There is a chance I might see you all there.) Fuzheado | Talk 11:11, 27 May 2004 (UTC)
Although I can't speak for Sannse, the filming itself may well not much of a problem per se... it's just that those of us who've expressed an interest in coming along have heard about the filming from a circuitous route from another wikipedia. We don't know what for sure if it is happening and what it's purpose is. We are not sure if anything is expected of us or whether it would be happending silently in the background as Jimbo gets entirely sozzled due to 15 people buying him a drink for hosting such a great project. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 16:58, 27 May 2004 (UTC)

(Copied from user talk:Angela)
I had only just heard about it when I mentioned it to a couple of people on IRC, and that must be how you heard about it. The story is this: the people from the Golden Nica awards want to do a short film about each winner, and so they wanted to know if they could come here and film me doing my work.

But of course, me doing my work here is a very boring thing to watch.  :-)

So I suggested that they film some of our meetings in Europe, as these will be the first time many of us meet, and it's really a big deal for our community as community. They liked the idea, and there you go.

They were planning to meet me at the airport and film me arriving, but the schedule did not work out. But I guess they will be filming me some at Cherry Court Hotel, and then going to our meetup.

You are right that people should know before they show up, in case they are fugitives or whatever. ;-) But I think that almost no one will ever see the film, it's just for the awards ceremony I think. Jimbo Wales 10:10, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Hey Sannse are you on the run from the old Bill? ;-) theresa knott 10:38, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Nope, just overly shy :) - sannse (talk) 17:05, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
Oh but it's much more fun to think of you as a desperate criminal, on the run after pulling off the biggest robbery this decade. Or even better - a spy, yes an exotic beautiful foreign agent, who has infiltrated wikipedia in order subvert us to the will of your controllers. Your orders are to come to the London Meetup, influence everyone there, especially Jimbo, plant sime kind of tracking device on him and under no account allow yourself to be photographed! theresa knott 18:37, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
shhh, don't blow my cover, the password is Kumquat -- sannse (talk) 19:16, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
I'll be the big blond Australian with the tiny camera. Alert me so I know to keep you out of the shots :-) - David Gerard 17:41, May 28, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks David, I'm still thinking about it, maybe I'll see you there :) -- sannse (talk) 19:16, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

If y'all had been meeting in New York, I wouldn't have minded coming. Rickyrab 19:21, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

New York isn't really the optimum place for a UK meetup. However, you might be interested in User:Jimbo Wales/Boston... at least one other user is planning to take the train from NYC and presumably make a weekend of it. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 11:58, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Yes, someone from the Golden Nica awards will be filming our meeting. I do not think this should discourage anyone from attending, as I will insist that we segregate things for anyone who doesn't want to be filmed. I'm sorry this became public via rumor, it's just that I casually mentioned it to someone before it was firmly fixed as a plan, and there you go. I apologize for that, it wasn't meant to be secret or anything. Jimbo Wales 12:31, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Not directly related, but I thought I might mention to the techies that the following day (6th June), the NTK-sponsored "inappropriate uses of technology" conference takes place at Imperial College in London.

Info here and here. Guest speakers include Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow and the BBC's Bill Thompson. - MykReeve 21:14, 29 May 2004 (UTC)


Apparently quite a number of people in the above list are in or around Cambridge. I wonder if we should meet in Cambridge and go to London together? Any suggestions? — Timwi 20:47, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Have a good time![edit]

To those who are going (which won't include me as I have to slave for money): hope it goes well, hope the weather holds up and that you find each other! Cheers, Tom- 00:21, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Could someone more expert at layouts, please give me a hand. Finding names for those portrayed would also be useful. JPF 12:33, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Are there no photos of me? I'm not that ugly you know ;-) G-Man 20:47, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I don't know about that, I've seen what you look like ;-P <runs for cover> Actually there is a photo of you in the external links. See here (you need to scroll down the page) theresa knott 07:44, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

2nd London meetup[edit]

Jimbo is in London again on Tuesday 31 August. See Wikipedia:Meetup#London.2C August 2004 for details. Angela. 00:46, Aug 28, 2004 (UTC)