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Wikimedia announces Wikimania conference coming to London in 2014 and reveals update plans

Wikimedia, the non-profit organisation behind Wikipedia, will be holding its annual international conference in London in August 2014, it was revealed by founder Jimmy Wales on Monday.

Speaking at Canary Wharf's accelerator space Level39 (opens in new tab), Wales officially announced London's Barbican Centre as the location of the free 'culture developer' conference.

Wales also used the opportunity to outline a series of large-scale changes that will be coming to Wikipedia and its associated projects in the near future.

The updates will include an interface overhaul, a new WYSIWYG editor, enhanced mobile support, bolstering of social features, an improved developer platform and a large scale project to make Wikipedia's data machine readable.

The week long event will host 10,000 users of the collaborative wiki projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Jimmy Wales will be speaking at the conference and a number of other guests have been confirmed, including Clay Shirky, author of Cognitive Surplus and professor of New Media at NYU, Lawrence Lessig, author of Free Culture and a professor at Harvard Law School, and Cory Doctorow, a digital rights activist and former director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Commenting on the announcement, London mayor Boris Johnson said: "I'm delighted to see London host the Wikimania conference in 2014. It is a great honour for the city and a warm welcome will be extended to you throughout this prestigious event."

In keeping with the central character of all Wikimedia projects, the conference is being organised by two volunteers, James Knight, head of international development at TechHub (opens in new tab) and Ed Saperia, creative director at agency Original Content London (opens in new tab).

The 2013 Wikimedia conference will be held in Hong Kong between 6-10 August.

Image credit: Flickr (Joi Ito (opens in new tab))

Tomas is co-founder of Lucky Pilgrim, a team of journalists, photographers and art directors who connect brands to audiences through words, imagery and design. He was formerly editorial director at Chapel and managing editor at Courier magazine, and was a writer for ITProPortal as well as The Independent, EastLondonLines, The Sunday Times Magazine, and Croon.