July 28, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Sign the Petition for Free Access to Wikipedia on Cellphones

Today we are pleased to announce that the Wikimedia Foundation is launching a petition for free access to Wikipedia on mobile phones, accompanied by the short documentary film, Knowledge for Everyone.

In November 2012, a group of high schoolers from Joe Slovo Park township in South Africa wrote and posted an open letter on Facebook, requesting that mobile carriers in South Africa grant free access to Wikipedia on mobile phones so that they could use Wikipedia’s articles to support their schoolwork and contribute to their education. The class had read about Wikipedia Zero; a Wikimedia Foundation program that works with mobile carriers to waive data charges that normally come with accessing Wikipedia on mobile phones. We first heard about the efforts of the class in February of 2013; soon after, I went with filmmaker Charlene Music to Cape Town, to hear the students’ story in person, and capture their request on camera.

In October 2013, we published a video of the students reading the open letter that they had written. On February 14, 2014, one of the mobile carriers mentioned in the letter, MTN South Africa, responded with their own video announcing that they would grant free access to Wikipedia in South Africa to MTN users via the Opera Mini browser. What a Valentine’s day present! Everyone was excited by MTN South Africa’s decision.

Many people talk about the consequences of the global digital divide, or the gap between the quality and availability of digital access in the global north versus the global south. (Vint Cerf recently addressed the issue on The Colbert Report). However, there are few examples of stories that humanize this gap. It’s often hard to show the direct impact of knowledge on an individual or a community, and big numbers and statistics lose the personal truth of the story. Knowledge for Everyone is a chance for the world to see what free access to Wikipedia can mean, through the experience of the students of Sinenjongo High School.

The petition that we’re publishing along with the documentary is a way for you to do something about helping make the world’s free knowledge available for everyone. When you sign this petition, you can tell us what free access to Wikipedia could mean to you or your community. This way, when the Wikimedia Foundation talks with mobile carriers all around the world, we can share your message. They’ll be able to hear, in your words, why access to free knowledge is a powerful tool.

Documentaries take a long time to produce. Since we first visited Sinenjongo, a lot has happened:

A few other notes about how this all came together:

  • We produced four different cuts of the film above (cut two, cut three, cut four) in order to A/B test them and the messaging on the petition for effectiveness in getting signatures. We haven’t tested them yet so we don’t know which cut works the best. After we finish our tests, we plan to translate the petition into languages other than English.
  • When you sign the petition, we don’t share any of your private information with anyone, but we may message you later for your support in fundraising or other efforts in the future. I’m personally going to be reviewing your messages as they come in to sort and share them for their maximum effectiveness in messaging. We will be sharing this petition with our donors. We are also providing links to the documentary on YouTube.com and Wikimedia Commons on the petition page to allow playback and distribution on as many types of devices as possible.
  • This film was directed by Charlene Music, and the musical score was produced by Andrew Jordan. The score is available as a free CC-by-SA 3.0 download here. I think they both did a fantastic job.
  • The extension of the Mediawiki software which is used for this petition is available here. I’m curious to see what this is used for in the future.

Sinenjongo High School 2013 12A class graduation

Finally, it’s my sad duty to inform those reading that one of the students featured in the documentary, Ntsika Kellem, died in an auto accident on a dark road just a few months after graduating from Sinenjongo High School. He was only 19 years old and he was studying computer science at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. We have dedicated the documentary to him in honor of his memory. He loved to play chess, and started the Xhosa language Wikipedia article about chess. Portions of this documentary in its unfinished form were played at his memorial which was attended by around 450 people.

The names of people who contributed to making this happen are numerous to mention here. My thanks to everyone involved in taking this campaign to where it is now. I want to live in a world in which every single person on the planet has equal access to the sum of all knowledge, and if you do too, please sign our petition and let mobile carriers know why they should work with us.

Victor Grigas

Storyteller and Video Producer

Wikimedia Foundation

P.S. — Many of the Sinenjongo students have gone onto college since graduating, and their needs now extend beyond free access to knowledge. If you would like to assist the students in the film above in a more direct way, I have set up — in my personal capacity — a crowdfunding campaign to buy laptops for these students. They have all learned the basics of editing Wikipedia via browsers, and many are eager to contribute.

by Victor Grigas at July 28, 2014 11:27 PM

July 26, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Victory in Italy: Court rules Wikipedia “a service based on the freedom of the users”

This post is available in 2 languages:
English Italiano


Update: We received notification on 23 July 2014 that the same court has rejected the Angeluccis’ claims against Wikimedia Italia and has awarded the chapter €17,000 in expenses. The court further ruled that Wikimedia Italia has no corporate relationship with the Wikimedia Foundation, nor does it own or manage the Wikimedia sites. We congratulate Wikimedia Italia on this well-earned victory.

Last week, the Wikimedia community obtained a resounding victory in Italian court. For more than four years, the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Italia [1] had been involved in a lawsuit initiated by Italian politician Antonio Angelucci and his son, Giampaolo. The Angeluccis were seeking €20,000,000 from the Wikimedia Foundation over allegedly defamatory statements appearing on two Italian-language Wikipedia pages.

The Roman Civil Tribunal handed down its ruling [in Italian] on 9 July, 2014 with respect to the Wikimedia Foundation, dismissing the lawsuit and declaring that the Foundation is not legally responsible for content that users freely upload onto the Wikimedia projects. The victory, however, runs deeper than the case at hand. The judgment is the first full consideration of Wikimedia’s standing in Italy,[2] and the ruling itself paves the way for more robust free speech protections on the Internet under Italian law.

The Angeluccis argued that the Wikipedia pages for Antonio Angelucci and for the Italian-language newspaper Il Riformista contained false statements that supposedly harmed their reputations according to their claims. Generally, the European Union’s E-Commerce Directive limits the liability of hosting providers for content that users upload; however, the Angeluccis asserted that Wikimedia Foundation’s activities were more akin to a content provider and that no exemption of liability according to the Directive would apply or at least Wikipedia should be deemed as an “online journal” and thus the Foundation should be liable under the stricter standards that apply to the Italian press.

The Italian court rejected this argument, stating that while the Directive does not directly apply to the Wikimedia Foundation as a non-EU-based organization, the basic principles of the Directive apply. In compliance with such principles, Wikimedia must be recognized to be a hosting provider, as opposed to a content provider, and thus it can be liable for user generated content only if it gets explicit notice of illicit information by the competent authority and fails to remove it.

The court stated that Wikipedia “offers a service which is based on the freedom of the users to draft the various pages of the encyclopedia; it is such freedom that excludes any [obligation to guarantee the absence of offensive content on its sites] and which finds its balance in the possibility for anybody to modify contents and ask for their removal.” The court went on to state that the Foundation was very clear in its disclaimers about its neutral role in the creation and maintenance of content, further noting that anyone, even the Angeluccis themselves, could have modified the articles in question.

Lively discussions and even disagreements about content are a natural outgrowth of creating the world’s largest free encyclopedia. However, the vast majority of these editorial debates can be and are resolved every day through processes established and run by dedicated members of the Wikimedia community. We strongly encourage those who have concerns about content on the Wikimedia projects to explore these community procedures rather than resorting to litigation.

Attempts to impose liability upon neutral hosting platforms — our modern day public forums — threaten the very existence of those platforms, and stifle innovation and free speech along the way. When the need arises, the Wikimedia Foundation will not hesitate to defend the world’s largest repository of human knowledge against those who challenge the Wikimedia community’s right to speak, create, and share freely.[3]

Michelle Paulson, Legal Counsel

Geoff Brigham, General Counsel

The Wikimedia Foundation would like to express its immense appreciation towards the incredibly talented attorneys at Hogan Lovells, who represented the Foundation in this matter, particularly Marco Berliri, Marta Staccioli, and Massimiliano Masnada. Special thanks also goes to Joseph Jung (Legal Intern), who assisted with this blog post.

Note: While this decision represents important progress towards protecting hosting providers like the Wikimedia Foundation, it is equally important to remember that every individual is legally responsible for his or her actions both online and off. For your own protection, you should exercise caution and avoid contributing any content to the Wikimedia projects that may result in criminal or civil liability under the laws of the United States or any country that may claim jurisdiction over you. For more information, please see our Terms of Use and Legal Policies.


  1. While the court has handed down the judgment with respect to the Wikimedia Foundation, it has not yet done so with respect to Wikimedia Italia. We expect a ruling to be handed down shortly.
  2. In a special proceeding, an Italian court previously declared that Wikimedia is a mere hosting provider that it is not liable for user-generated content. An account of the earlier victory can be found at: https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/06/26/wikimedia-foundation-legal-victory-italy/.
  3. The Wikimedia Foundation has successfully defended against similar lawsuits in the past. You can read more about some of our previous victories here: https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/06/26/wikimedia-foundation-legal-victory-italy/, https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/12/02/legal-victory-german-court-wikimedia-foundation/, and https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/12/04/two-german-courts-rule-in-favor-of-free-knowledge-movement/.


Vittoria in Italia: il tribunale dichiara Wikipedia “un servizio basato sulla libertà degli utenti”

La scorsa settimana, la comunità di Wikimedia ha ottenuto dal tribunale italiano una vittoria fragorosa. Per oltre quattro anni, Wikimedia Foundation e Wikimedia Italia[1] sono state coinvolte in una causa avviata dal politico italiano Antonio Angelucci e suo figlio, Giampaolo. Gli Angelucci chiedevano a Wikimedia Foundation €20.000.000 per affermazioni presumibilmente diffamatorie, che comparivano su due pagine in lingua italiana di Wikipedia.

Il 9 luglio 2014 il Tribunale Civile di Roma ha emesso la sua sentenza in relazione a Wikimedia Foundation, archiviando il caso dichiarando che la Fondazione non è legalmente responsabile per i contenuti che gli utenti caricano liberamente sui progetti Wikimedia. Ad ogni modo, la vittoria, ha delle ripercussioni più profonde del caso in questione. La sentenza costituisce il primo e completo riconoscimento della posizione di Wikimedia in Italia [2]e la sentenza stessa ha spianato la strada a una maggiore tutela della libera comunicazione su Internet nell’ordinamento giuridico italiano. Gli Angelucci sostenevano che le pagine di Wikipedia su Antonio Angelucci e il giornale italiano Il Riformista, contenevano affermazioni false e che presumibilmente, in base alle loro pretese, danneggiavano la loro reputazione. In generale, la Direttiva sull’e-Commerce dell’Unione europea limita la responsabilità dei provider di hosting sui contenuti che gli utenti caricano; ma gli Angelucci asserivano che le attività di Wikimedia Foundation erano più affini a un provider di contenuti e che non erano esonerati da responsabilità come la Direttiva disponeva o perlomeno Wikipedia avrebbe dovuto ritenersi come un “giornale online” e quindi la Fondazione doveva essere soggetta ai rigidi standard applicati alla stampa italiana.

Il tribunale italiano ha respinto tale argomentazione, affermando che, sebbene la Direttiva non si applichi direttamente a Wikimedia Foundation, non essendo un’organizzazione con sede in Europa, si applicano i principi fondamentali della Direttiva. In conformità a tali principi, Wikimedia deve essere riconosciuta come un provider di hosting, in contrapposizione a un provider di contenuti, e può essere responsabile dei contenuti generati dagli utenti solo se riceve una nota esplicita di informazioni illecite da parte dell’autorità competente e quindi non li rimuove.

Il tribunale ha dichiarato che Wikipedia “offre un servizio basato sulla libertà degli utenti di redigere le varie pagine dell’enciclopedia; è questa libertà che esclude qualsiasi [obbligo di garantire l'assenza di contenuti offensivi dei suoi siti] e che trova il suo equilibrio nella possibilità che chiunque può modificarne i contenuti e

chiederne la rimozione”. Il tribunale ha continuato dichiarando che la Fondazione era molto chiara nelle sue dichiarazioni di non responsabilità sul proprio ruolo neutrale nella creazione e gestione dei contenuti, da notare inoltre che chiunque, anche gli Angelucci stessi, potevano modificare gli articoli in questione.

La creazione della più grande enciclopedia libera del mondo è il risultato naturale di discussioni animate e addirittura di disaccordi sui contenuti. Comunque, la maggioranza di tali discussioni editoriali può essere e viene risolta ogni giorno, tramite processi stabiliti e gestiti da membri dedicati della comunità di Wikimedia. Consigliamo vivamente coloro che sono in disaccordo con i contenuti dei progetti Wikimedia, di esaminare le procedure della comunità, anzichè ricorrere a una controversia legale.

I tentativi di imporre la responsabilità a piattaforme di hosting neutrali — i forum dei nostri giorni — minacciano l’esistenza stessa di queste piattaforme, e nel percorso soffocano l’innovazione e la libera comunicazione. In caso di necessità, Wikimedia Foundation non esita a difendere la raccolta più grande al mondo della conoscenza umana, contro coloro che sfidano il diritto della comunità di Wikimedia di comunicare, di creare e di condividere liberamente.[3]

Michelle Paulson, Consulente legale

Geoff Brigham, Responsabile area legale

Wikimedia Foundation esprime la sua immensa gratitudine verso i procuratori di incredibile talento presso Hogan Lovells, che hanno rappresentato la Fondazione in questa questione, in particolare Marco Berliri, Marta Staccioli e Massimiliano Masnada. Un ringraziamento speciale va anche a Joseph Jung (Interno legale), che ha fornito assistenza per questo post del blog.

Nota: Sebbene questa decisione rappresenti un progresso importante verso la protezione dei provider di hosting come Wikimedia Foundation, è parimenti importante ricordare che ogni singolo individuo è legalmente responsabile delle proprie azioni sia online che offline. L’utente, per la sua protezione, dovrebbe prestare attenzione ed evitare di contribuire con contenuti, nei progetti Wikimedia, che possano risultare in responsabilità penale o civile sotto la legge degli Stati Uniti o qualsiasi altro Paese che potrebbe reclamare la giurisdizione nei suoi confronti. Per ulteriori informazioni, consulta i nostri Termini di utilizzo e Politiche legali.


  1. Sebbene il tribunale abbia emesso il giudizio nei confronti di Wikimedia Foundation, non l’ha ancora fatto per Wikimedia Italia. Ci aspettiamo a breve che venga emessa una sentenza.
  2. Precedentemente, in un procedimento speciale, un tribunale italiano aveva dichiarato che Wikimedia è un semplice provider di hosting, non responsabile dei contenuti generati dagli utenti.Si può trovare un resoconto della precedente vittoria alla pagina: https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/06/26/wikimedia-foundation-legal-victory-italy/.
  3. In passato Wikimedia Foundation si è difesa con successo contro cause simili. Alcune delle nostre precedenti vittorie si possono leggere qui: https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/06/26/wikimedia-foundation-legal-victory-italy/, https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/12/02/legal-victory-german-court-wikimedia-foundation/, e https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/12/04/two-german-courts- rule-in-favor-of-free-knowledge-movement/.

by Michelle Paulson at July 26, 2014 05:17 PM

July 25, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Africa’s first Regional Conference gathers Wikimedians in Johannesburg

Wiki Indaba 2014

Group photo

Conference memorabilia

This past June, Wikimedia South Africa hosted more than 35 Wikimedians in Johannesburg for the first ever Wiki Indaba Regional Conference. All four regions of Africa were represented by at least one country, with West Africa having the lion’s share. For three days we talked about the challenges and possible solutions for initiating Wikipedia editing communities in the continent, in an effort to fulfill our vision of sharing the sum of all human knowledge with the world.

We left the conference with a renewed sense of purpose and a united goal to create Wikipedia editing communities in our respective countries through clear communication channels and co-operation plans, even though we were well reminded that we don’t have a magic wand to accomplish this overnight.

The first day was spent listening to delegates recounting community efforts in their home countries, the unique challenges they face as well as their future plans. We learned how group dynamics and diversity helped Tunisia acquire their status as a newly recognized African user group. From Egypt we heard about how universities are responding to Wikipedia. From Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon we learned of local efforts from WiR at the Africa Centre and how they are linking up with local academic and art institutions to expose the public to Wikipedia. We learned of grass root efforts in Ghana and Nigeria where they’ve actively reached out to schools and the general public. We heard how difficult it is to arrange events without the approval of local authorities. From Cameroon we learned how Wiki Loves Monuments improved acceptance of Wikipedia. From Ethiopia we learned about the dangers faced by bloggers and how Wikipedia is often mistaken for Wikileaks. We learned how some Wikipedians have actually been incarcerated for blogging. Representatives from Malawi and Tanzania discussed how Wikipedians are fusing their entrepreneurial skills with open knowledge. From Kenya we learned of efforts to regroup and pursue chapter status. We learned of the efforts of university students to build a community in Botswana. Namibia highlighted its renewed effort to experiment on oral citations as a way to create acceptance of local and indigenous knowledge through Wikipedia. We explored the efforts made in South Africa, which still is the only chapter in the continent. At the end of the day, we reviewed statistics of African language Wikipedias and gathered as many insights as possible. The day was completed with a presentation on the Wikimedia Foundation’s global south strategy and how it is poised to assist communities throughout the continent.

After a refreshing social event in the heart of Johannesburg, we were back for day 2 and onto business. Delegates got a chance to interact with the Wikimedia Foundation Grants team (Anasuya and Asaf) and ask them questions regarding available funding opportunities to enable them to run outreach events in their countries. Many misconceptions were dispelled and delegates gained confidence in planning future projects with the assurance that funding and support will be available when they need them. The Wikipedia Zero presentation (by Adele) was awe-inspiring and instilled a sense of excitement when delegates learned about recent developments in their own countries. A deeper understanding of the technology and its potential impact in the continent was shared with delegates. The afternoon session was divided into two tracks running concurrently, where insights on exceptional local projects in education and copyright issues were discussed. We listened on how mission-aligned thematic organizations can complement local community efforts in increasing Wikipedia’s reach and understanding. The day was capped by a social event hosted by Creative Commons ZA, where a movie on copyright highlighted issues brought to light by entities like The Pirate Bay and the European lawsuit against their peer-to-peer online content sharing.

WMF Grants Team

The third and final day of the conference saw exhausted delegates wrap up with local success stories such as Omaheke, Namibia’s outreach and research sandbox. Wikipedia Primary Education, Wikipedia Education Program in Egypt, The Siyavula Open Education portal in South Africa as well as Mesh Sayada, a free community network for open data and free culture in Tunisia were all showcased. An evaluation of Wiki Loves Monuments successes in South Africa was discussed. The session culminated with the announcement from the project Wiki Loves Africa, which will be a photographic competition modeled after the Wiki Loves Monuments concept.

At the close of the conference, delegates were requested to write down personal pledges on how they plan to continue and increase their efforts to build editing communities in their countries. These were documented and will be sent back to delegates to remind them of their personal pledges. Delegates also deliberated on the best ways to stay connected as a group through discussions on Meta-wiki, in social networks as well as the creation of an African mailing list.

Wikipedia Zero Presentation

As captured by the program director in his closing statements, there are no expectations that this conference will magically result in super active editing communities in Africa, however there is now hope that an organized group of dedicated volunteers will work together to spark the much needed Wikipedia editing communities in the continent – one step at a time.

(Watch videos from the conference participants on Youtube here. Complete conference documentation is available on Meta-wiki and more pictures of the conference can be seen on Commons. Many thanks to our wonderful hosts at Wikimedia South Africa in Johannesburg for a well-organized event and to all participants for sharing their knowledge and experiences at this conference. We look forward to continuing this conversation in the coming months).

Dumisani Ndubane, Project lead, Wikimedia ZA

by Dumisani Ndubane at July 25, 2014 09:52 PM

Wikimedians in Residence: a journey of discovery

GLAM-WIKI 2013 attendees

A bit of background

In April of 2014 I found myself digging deep into analytics in search of possible improvements and insight into what we do as a chapter. What brought me there? One of our most renowned programs, Wikimedians in Residence. A Wikimedian in Residence (WIR) is a person who, as a Wikimedia contributor, accepts a placement within an institution to facilitate open knowledge in a close working relationship between the Wikimedia movement and the institution. They work to facilitate content improvements on Wikimedia projects, but more importantly serve as ambassadors for open knowledge within the host organization.

Wikimedia UK has been involved with WiR in the UK with varying degrees of support and supervision. Since the creation of the chapter, we always felt that the program was worth running, seeing it as one of the key ways we can engage with external organizations. However, I never knew for sure, if that was just a feeling. Toward the end of 2013 we decided to explore these notions.

Why and how to evaluate

As I focused on my questions about program impact, I embarked on a review process of the program, which eventually included: a questionnaire for all the key parties, online surveys, meetings, group discussions, the analysis of existing materials (e.g. residents’ reports) and creation of a review document.

In January of this year I planned to survey the Residents and host institutions about their views on the program. Since I wasn’t sure what to ask, I reached out to the Program Evaluation and Design team for help.

Their stringent approach was worth it. We boiled down the issues around what I actually wanted to find out from the survey. Doing that before creating the questions was a revelation to me. The questionnaire went much deeper than I had originally anticipated. This meant that when we worked on creating the survey questions, every point was there for a specific reason and in a sensible order. With their help, I developed three surveys: for residents, residency hosts  and another for community member input.

I was impressed with the amount of feedback that was shared. The Residents were clearly committed to the project and keen on telling me what could make the program more successful. At the same time I ran interviews with the host institutions. By that stage I was deeply entrenched in the review process. Discovering more about the program increased my appetite for a deeper analysis. This culminated in an April brainstorming meeting aimed at completing an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) of our Wikipedian in Residence program.

With the data collection completed, I then examined all the reports and case studies produced by the residents and summarized them in terms of the impact made to Wikimedia projects. (Click here to read Overview of the residencies.)

Lessons learned

After running the program for a long time, one may assume they know everything about it. I was surprised to hear from many Residents that it often took them a couple of months to fully understand what their role within the host organization was. I had assumed that they would have connected with one another to share the resources they created without my help, but this was not the case.

Before doing this research, I did not appreciate how important it is to have a ‘team’ within the institution working with the residents. Having a line manager and/or senior staff support seemed to be one of the main reasons some residencies were more successful than others.

With the data pulled from the report, the program evaluation and design team helped in the elaboration of an infograph (see below). This resource seeks to showcase the numbers behind the program. How do the efforts of the wikimedians in residence impact the Wikimedia projects? Overall, Wikimedia UK invested only 30% of the total cost to fund in-house residents over the course of their term. Each residency is singular, with variations from one to the next, however they also have many points in common. Take a look and follow the colors to single out residencies. The graphics are not exact but an approximation, due to gaps in reporting. If you would like to add more data to these graphics, please email eval@wikimedia.org.

Looking Ahead: An improved WiR program

The aim of the review was to assess the program, focusing on the feedback of successful models for the residencies and analyzing key obstacles to greater success. Six months later, with some volunteer support, I finished a review report. (Click here to read the summary). What I appreciated most about this project was how I was able to analyze an existing program and see how it could run better, rather than stopping it and trying something completely new. Innovation is usually expected to arise from brand new initiatives, but I found it motivating and useful to find novelty looking deep into WiR.

The areas for improvement we have identified are:

  • Duration of residencies – residencies should be longer to ensure impact (e.g. 9-12 months for larger organizations)
  • Project goals – should be clearer for each residency to improve assessing impact. They should be reflected on the job description. Better reporting should follow.
  • Sharing of information – set up a forum for the sharing of advice, information and best practice between institutions and between residents.
  • Supporting the program – additional capacity is needed for supporting the residents and the program. This will be considered in the future.


  • Watch the video of the Survey Strategies virtual meet-up, where I share reflections and commentary on the process and what I learnt from the survey process on a recorded hangout:

Daria Cybulska, Wikimedia UK

Wikimedians in Residence – Report May 2014

by Daria Cybulska at July 25, 2014 09:49 PM

The First ever Creative Commons event in Telugu: Ten Telugu Books Re-released Under CC

Event flyer, User:రహ్మానుద్దీన్, CC-BY-SA 3.0

Telugu is one of the 22 scheduled languages of the Republic of India (Bhārat Gaṇarājya) and is the official language of the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and the Union Territory district of Yanam. In India alone Telugu is spoken by 100 million people and is estimated to have 180 million speakers around the world. The government of India declared Telugu a Classical language in 2008.

Telugu Wikipedia has been in existence for more than 10 years and has 57,000 articles. Telugu Wikisource is one of the sister projects that has more than 9,400 pages. Several Telugu books are being typed and proofread using Proofread extension. Since Telugu is one of the complex Indic scripts, computing in Telugu came much later. Many books that were published (or are being published) are not in Unicode. Telugu Wikisource has now emerged as the largest searchable online book repository in Telugu. Telugu Wikisourcerers, despite being a small community, did a great job of digitizing many prominent Telugu literary works. Attempts have been made to convince contemporary writers to re-release their books in CC-BY-SA 3.0 license. Such an effort was made a year ago by bringing in a translation of the Quran in Telugu. Recently, 10 Telugu books by a single author were re-released under the Creative Commons license (CC-BY-SA 3.0) on June 22, 2014 at The Golden Threshold, an off-campus annex of the University of HyderabadCIS-A2K played an instrumental role in getting this content donated. This is one of the first instances in an Indian languages where a single author re-released such a large collection of books under the CC license. These books are being uploaded on Telugu Wikisource using Unicode converters.

Audience at the event.

Telugu Wikimedians in collaboration with CIS-A2K came together to celebrate this first Creative Commons event in Telugu. The event was attended by about 100 people from various walks of life. The patron of Indu Gnaana Vedika, Sri Sri Sri Prabodhananda Yogeeswarulu, presided over as chief guest and N Rahamthulla, long time Wikipedian and senior bureaucrat was the guest of honor. Prabodhananda emphasized the importance of the availability of knowledge in ones native tongue and how knowledge should not be confined to books alone. Telugu Wikisource, he said, would not only ensure a wider audience for the books, but also enable the language to survive in the digital era. A video interview of the guest of honor, Rahamthulla was played, where he spoke about the creation of new technical terms in ones native language and how Telugu is being used as an administrative language in his office.

One participant sought clarification on Creative Commons licensing and Wikisource at the event.

Rahamthulla also shared his experience using Telugu in the office and suggested that the Government should enact measures to support wider use of Telugu in official correspondence. This was followed by Veeven’s talk on “End-User’s perspective of free licenses,” where he spoke about the importance of open content, free software and free licenses. Speaking about the importance of creative commons licenses in the context of Indian languages on Internet, Vishnu Vardhan pointed to the enormous amount of content available in Indian languages which is increasingly inaccessible as most of it is published under copyright and in non-Unicode formats. He noted that many authors writing in Indian languages are keen on their work reaching as many people as possible and are not interested in making profits. In fact, many of the writers who publish their works incur losses, but they are nonetheless passionate about publishing their works despite the losses. However, these writers choose copyright as a default and do not realize that they are curtailing the wider circulation of their books. Awareness about Creative Commons in Indian languages is very essential. Vishnu Vardhan went onto state how CIS-A2K is leaving no stone unturned when bringing awareness on this topic.

Wikipedians and Wikisourcerers were presented physical copies of the books that are released under CC.

There was a vibrant discussion regarding Creative Commons during the open session. Participants wanted to know the difference between copyright and Creative Commons. Some asked why there is a need to re-release content under CC license if the books could be made available on a website. Some were worried if they release it under CC license they will be deprived from publishing their books as anyone can now use them. All these apprehensions were answered by long-time Telugu Wikimedian Veeven and the Program Director of CIS-A2K, T. Vishnu Vardhan. A Wikisource demonstration by Rahmanuddin Shaik was shown followed by Q&A session.

The event inspired some of the participants to come forward and donate their books under the CC license. We may soon expect another 50 books to enrich Telugu Wikisource after being released under appropriate CC license.

by Rahmanuddin Shaik and Veeven

by Rahimanuddin Shaik at July 25, 2014 02:59 AM

July 24, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Recovering the shared history editing Wikipedia in Argentina, Mexico and Spain

This post is available in 3 languages:
English  •  Spanish Catalan


The Spanish Republican Exile forced thousands of Spanish citizens to leave their country after the Spanish Civil War and the aftermath of persecutions by the Francisco Franco dictatorship. Nearly 220,000 supporters of the Second Republic left Spain to other countries like Argentina and Mexico.

Attendants at the edit-a-thon

To mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Sinaia vessel to the Mexican port of Veracruz, the Wikimedia chapters in Argentina, Spain and Mexico ran ​​the First Spanish Republican Exile Edit-a-thon of Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikisource on historical facts, biographies and testimonials related to these events.

The coordination of this event was conducted by the Iberocoop initiative. The event in Mexico City was held at the Space X of Cultural Center of Spain in Mexico. This edit-a-thon was curated by Guiomar López Acevedo, historian of the Spanish Ateneo of Mexico, who contributed sources and reviews for the activity. At the opening, Macarena Pérez, staff of the Cultural Center of Spain, said that the Spanish exile is a prolific theme and many more working sessions will be needed to retrieve all available evidence.

At around 2 pm local time in Mexico, Santiago Navarro Sanz, member of the board of Wikimedia Spain, joined in a videoconference from Vila-real and saluted the participants and noted that he was happy that a hard episode in Spanish history is a positive reason to gather Wikipedians in three countries and contribute to the growth of information on Wikimedia projects.

Attendants at the edit-a-thon

The event in Mexico produced articles about the Administrative Committee of the Funds for the Relief of Spanish Republican as well as a letter for Wikisource from former President Lazaro Cardenas, who facilitated the coming of thousands to Mexico. Other articles created related to the House of Spain in Mexico, a harbor for Spanish researchers and intellectuals that helped them continue their work, and which eventually became one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the country: El Colegio de Mexico. Other articles included the Ermita Building, a famous building in Mexico City that few know was initially created to accommodate Spanish exiles, including some very relevant individuals like the poet Rafael Alberti.

At the end of the event, Macarena Pérez introduced the Atlas of Exile project, a collaborative map that shows where the Spanish exiles located after leaving Spain.

In the case of Argentina, the event was held inside the Casal de Catalunya, where Wikipedians and members of Wikimedia Argentina met for the First Spanish Republican Edit-a-thon.

From the beginning, the attendees could see that the Edit-a-thon would be an event with particular characteristics: several founders of the Children of Spanish Civil War in Argentina Civil Association attended, people who keep alive the memory of the events that took place a long time ago. Their testimonies about how their experiences translated to key political movements in the twentieth century were deeply emotional.

The great amount of evidence, the building of a generational story that can only be told by their protagonists and the gathering of many pictures and historical documents demanded recorded audio and video material in addition to the digitization of documents, including interviews. This material will be the basis for an audiovisual documentary about the Spanish exile in Argentina and the experiences of children of war. The material is being collected in a special category for that purpose in Wikimedia Commons.

Iván Martínez, Wikimedia México president, Nicolás Miranda, Wikimedia Argentina head of communications, and Santiago Navarro Sanz, Wikimedia Spain vicepresident.


Recuperando la historia compartida editando en Argentina, México y España

El exilio republicano español forzó a miles de españoles y españolas a abandonar su país luego de la Guerra Civil Española y el posterior periodo de persecución durante la posguerra por la dictadura de Francisco Franco. Cerca de 220 mil personas simpatizantes de la Segunda República abandonaron España hacia otros países como Argentina y México, quienes lo acogieron de distinta manera.

Attendants at the edit-a-thon

Con motivo del 75 aniversario del arribo del buque Sinaia al puerto mexicano de Veracruz, los capítulos Wikimedia de Argentina, España y México, realizaron el Primer Editatón del Exilio Republicano Español, en el que se editó Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons y Wikisource sobre hechos históricos, personajes y testimonios de este proceso.

La coordinación de este evento, realizado bajo la iniciativa Iberocoop, implicó que el trabajo se realizara en horarios distintos el pasado 16 de junio. Desde temprana hora, editores desde territorio español escribieron artículos en español y catalán, como el del escritor y militante socialista Marcial Badia Colomer o el del periodista Isaac Abeytúa.

El evento en la Ciudad de México se realizó en el Espacio X del Centro Cultural de España en México. El evento reunió a la comunidad de editores de Wikimedia México y motivó la presencia de familiares de exiliados españoles. Este editatón contó con el apoyo de la Lic. Guiomar Acevedo López, del Ateneo Español de México, quién aportó fuentes y opiniones para el mejor desarrollo de la actividad. Al inicio de la actividad Macarena Pérez, del Centro Cultural de España, destacó que el exilio español es un tema prolífico y del que se necesitarán muchas más sesiones de trabajo para recuperar todos los testimonios a su alrededor.

Attendants at the edit-a-thon

Cerca de las dos de la tarde, hora local de México, Santiago Navarro Sanz, miembro de la mesa directiva de Wikimedia España, en videconferencia desde Vila-real, saludó a los presentes y se dijo contento de que un hecho difícil para la historia española sea una razón positiva para reunir a wikipedistas en tres países y crecer la memoria sobre este hecho en los proyectos Wikimedia. En la actividad en México se editaron artículos como el de la Comisión Administradora de los Fondos para el Auxilio de los Republicanos Españoles o las cartas en Wikisource del entonces presidente Lázaro Cárdenas, quien gestionó el refugio de miles desde España en territorio mexicano. Otros artículos creados fueron la Casa de España en México, en donde fueron acogidos investigadores e intelectuales españoles para que continuaran su labor y que a la postre se convertiría en una de las instituciones académicas más prestigiadas del país: El Colegio de México; o bien, el Edificio Ermita, un afamado edificio de la capital mexicana del que pocos saben que su razón de ser inicialmente fue acoger exiliados españoles, algunos muy relevantes como Rafael Alberti.

Al final del evento Macarena Pérez presentó el proyecto Atlas de Exilio, un proyecto en el que de forma colaborativa se elabora un mapa en el que se sitúa dónde se establecieron los españoles exiliados tras la Guerra Civil; proceso que es posible hoy al no existir una persecución en su contra.

En el caso de Argentina, el evento se realizó dentro del edificio Casal de Catalunya, donde miembros de la comunidad de wikipedistas y de Wikimedia Argentina se reunieron en el Editatón del Exilio Español en Argentina junto a sobrevivientes de la experiencia del desarraigo en la posguerra.

Desde el comienzo, los asistentes pudieron comprobar que el Editatón del Exilio Español iba a ser un evento con características particulares: acudieron al Casal a varios miembros fundadores de la Asociación Civil Niños de la Guerra Civil Española de Argentina, personas que recuerdan y mantienen vivo el significado de los hechos de los que fueron víctimas hace tanto tiempo. Pausadamente y de a uno, sus testimonios acerca de la experiencia del exilio siendo muy pequeños y de cómo sus vivencias personales explican movimientos políticos clave en el siglo XX resultaron muy emotivas. Que el evento resultara tan impactante disparó en los presentes gran cantidad de preguntas que expandieron la temática y enriquecieron los relatos.

Por otro lado, el editatón tuvo una modalidad diferente a la usual, en la que se mejoran, expanden y crean artículos nuevos con el material que se esté tratando en ese momento. En este caso, se consideró que la riqueza de los testimonios, la construcción de un relato generacional que sólo puede ser contado por sus protagonistas y el recopilación de gran cantidad de imágenes y documentos históricos demandó un registro de audio y video -además de la digitalización de los documentos- que incluye entrevistas y que será la base para una recopilación documental audiovisual sobre el exilio español en Argentina y las experiencias de los niños de la guerra. Este material está siendo recopilado en una categoría especial a ese fin en Wikimedia Commons.

Iván Martínez, Wikimedia México president, Nicolás Miranda, Wikimedia Argentina head of communications, and Santiago Navarro Sanz, Wikimedia Spain vicepresident.


Attendants at the edit-a-thon

L’exili republicà espanyol va forçar a milers d’espanyols i espanyoles a abandonar el seu país després de la Guerra Civil Espanyola i el període de persecució a la postguerra, durant la dictadura de Francisco Franco. Vora 220 mil persones simpatitzants de la Segona República van abandonar Espanya cap a altres països com ara Argentina o Mèxic, que els van acollir de distinta manera. Amb motiu del 75 aniversari de l’arribada del buc Sinaia al port mexicà de Veracruz, els capítols Wikimedia Argentina, Espanya i Mèxic, van realitzar el primer editató de l’Exili Republicà Espanyol, en el qual es va editar la Viquipèdia, Wikimedia Commons i Viquitexts sobre fets històrics, personatges i testimonis d’aquest procés.

La coordinació d’aquesta activitat, realitzat sota la iniciativa Iberocoop, va implicar que el treball es realitzara en horaris diferents el passat 16 de juny. Des de bon prompte, editors des de territori espanyol van escriure articles en castellà i català, com el de l’escriptor i militant socialista Marcial Badia Colomer o el del periodista Isaac Abeytúa. L’activitat a la Ciutat de Mèxic es va dur a terme a l’Espai X del Centre Cultural d’Espanya a Mèxic. L’acte va reunir a la comunitat d’editors de Wikimedia Mèxic i va motivar la presència de familiars d’exiliats espanyols. Aquest editató va comptar amb el suport de la Llic. Guiomar Acevedo López, de l’Ateneu Espanyol de Mèxic, qui va aportar fonts i la seua opinió per a millorar el desenvolupament de l’activitat. A l’inici de l’activitat, Macarena Pérez, del Centre Cultural d’Espanya, va destacar que l’exili espanyol és un tema prolífic i del que faran falta moltes més sessions de treball per a recuperar tots els testimonis al seu voltant.

Attendants at the edit-a-thon

Al voltant de les dues de la vesprada, hora local de Mèxic, Santiago Navarro Sanz, membre de la junta directiva de Wikimedia Espanya, en videoconferència des de Vila-real, va saludar als presents i es va manifestar content de que un fet difícil per a la història espanyola siga una raó positiva per a reunir a viquipedistes en tres països i fer créixer la memòria sobre aquest fet en els projectes Wikimedia. En l’activitat a Mèxic es van editar articles con el de la Comissió Administradora dels Fons per a l’Auxili dels republicans espanyols o les cartes a Viquitexts del aleshores president Lázaro Cárdenas, qui va gestionar el refugi de milers des d’Espanya en territori mexicà. Altres articles creats varen ser la Casa d’Espanya a Mèxic, on varen ser acollits investigadors i intel·lectuals espanyols per a que continuaren la seua tasca i que a la fi es va convertir en una de les institucions acadèmiques més prestigioses del país: el Col·legi de Mèxic; o bé, l’edifici Ermita, un afamat edifici de la capital mexicana del qual pocs saben que el seu origen va ser inicialment acollir exiliats espanyols, alguns dels quals molt rellevants com Rafael Alberti.

Al final de l’acte, Macarena Pérez va presentar el projecte Atles de l’Exili, un mapa col·laboratiu on es mostra on es van establir els exiliats espanyols després de la Guerra Civil; procés que és possible avui en dia ja que no existeix una persecució contra ells.

En el cas de l’Argentina, l’acte es va dur a terme a l’edifici del Casal de Catalunya, on membres de la comunitat de viquipedistes i de Wikimedia Argentina es van reunir en l’Editató de l’Exili Espanyol a l’Argentina junt a supervivents de l’experiència del desarrelament durant la postguerra.

Des del començament, els assistents van poder comprovar que l’Editató de l’Exili espanyol anava a ser un esdeveniment amb característiques particulars: es va rebre al Casal a diversos membres fundadors de l’Associació Civil Niños de la Guerra Civil Española d’Argentina, persones que recorden i mantenen viu el significat dels fets dels que van ser víctimes fa tant de temps. De forma pausada i d’un en un, els seus testimonis a voltants de l’experiència de l’exili, quan eren molt menuts, i de com les seues vivències personals expliquen moviments polítics clau al segle XX van resultar molt emotives. Que l’esdeveniment resultara tant impactant va disparar entre els presents gran quantitat de preguntes que van expandir la temàtica i van enriquir els relats.

Per una altra banda, l’editató va tindre una modalitat diferent a la usual, en la que es milloren, amplien i creen articles nous amb el material que s’està tractant en eixe moment. En aquest cas, es va considerar que la riquesa dels testimonis, la construcció d’un relat generacional que tan sols pot ser contat pels seus protagonistes i l’eixida a la llum de gran quantitat d’imatges i documents històrics va demandar un registre d’àudio i vídeo -a més de la digitalització dels documents- que inclou entrevistes i que serà la base per a una recopilació documental audiovisual sobre l’exili espanyol en Argentina i les experiències dels xiquets de la guerra. Aquest material està sent recopilat en una categoria especial per a aquesta finalitat a Wikimedia Commons.

Iván Martínez, Wikimedia México president, Nicolás Miranda, Wikimedia Argentina head of communications, and Santiago Navarro Sanz, Wikimedia Spain vicepresident.

by Carlos Monterrey at July 24, 2014 09:10 PM

July 23, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Expanding local history with The Wikipedia Library

Find out more about The Wikipedia Library!

If you are an editor on the English Wikipedia, you might have noticed the recent uptick in announcements for accounts offered by The Wikipedia Library! The Wikipedia Library gives active, experienced Wikipedia editors free access to a wide range of paywalled databases – reliable sources that are vital for their work (see also: “The Wikipedia Library Strives for Open Access“). We have been having a lot of success meeting the goals of our Individual Engagement Grant from the Wikimedia Foundation. Established partnerships, like that with JSTOR, are expanding, getting Wikipedia editors more access to high quality research materials! Moreover, because of those successes, we are having many fruitful discussions with organizations large and small that are interested in helping Wikipedians create public knowledge and link Wikipedia in to the larger network of scholarly source materials.

We surveyed Wikipedia users interested in the Wikipedia Library about which sources would be best for us to get access to, and one from that list, British Newspaper Archive, has been a very active recent success. It started with 50 accounts and has since expanded to 100 because of the enthusiasm in the initial sign-up period. An archive of high-quality scans of newspapers from the collection of the British Library, it provides a great source of reference materials for Wikipedia articles about 18th, 19th, and early 20th century Britain and its global interests. Even though the accounts have only been available for a couple of weeks, Wikipedians have been successfully using them to create new and expand old articles about historical topics, both about local history and topics of national British interest. These range from articles about geographical features (Swithland Reservoir) to sports (1884 FA Cup Final and Jack Kid Berg), coal mines (Pendleton Colliery) to politicians (Sewallis Shirley).

User:Sitush’s experience

As part of our partnership with the British Newspaper Archive, they have offered us an opportunity to talk about improving Wikipedia on their blog, highlighting the success of the account donation. More importantly though, it enables us to communicate to their social media audience – researchers investigating historical topics through old newspapers – how Wikipedians motivated by similar interests are able to use that research to provide knowledge to our vast audience. Here is what one of our Wikipedia editors who got access through this partnership, User:Sitush, shared on their blog about his new account:

I have a degree from Cambridge in History, and Wikipedia has always been a way for me to explore my interest in Indian and local history. When I got BNA access through the Wikipedia Library, I saw it as an opportunity to explore a local history mystery raised by several people who had been apprentices with the engineering firm of Sir James Farmer Norton & Co Ltd at Adelphi Ironworks in Salford. They often speak with some pride and affection of their time there and of the products that the company manufactured. Those products were sold worldwide, many are still being used and resold now, and some were truly innovative, such as a fast printing press.
None of these people, however, could really tell me anything about Sir James Farmer (the Norton bit of the name came later, when another family became involved in the business). They only knew that he was once mayor of Salford. Although the company did produce a celebratory booklet for an anniversary, there really doesn’t seem to have been much effort made by way of tipping the hat to the man who started it all. Yet, because of the impact on my friends and our community, I suspected him to be one of the more notable of the many self-made – often world-changing – engineering men who inhabited Manchester, Salford and the surrounding areas in the 19th century. He needed a Wikipedia article!
Wikipedia’s model for article development supports the “from little acorns …” approach. So, if I could start an article about Farmer then perhaps at some time in the future someone might find more information and add to it. But Wikipedia also has limitations, meaning that I couldn’t use primary source material available at a couple of archives and, really, there wasn’t much else that I could find without some extensive trawling through microfilms. Inaccessible verifiable information usually means no article – it is meant to be an encyclopaedia, after all, and thus there needs to be some type of public and reliably documented conversation to show that it is of interest to the public (we on Wikipedia call this public interest “notability”).
Enter the BNA! Forget spending days, probably weeks, twiddling at a film reader. I could could get access to the most important information about Farmer with one simple search. In the space of a couple of hours, most of which was spent being pleasantly distracted by other news articles surrounding the ones about Farmer, I’d gathered enough material to justify an article, to plant that acorn. The man is now recognised on a major educational project that gets millions of viewers and, although it’s not the best thing I’ve ever written for Wikipedia, the hat has been tipped. Hopefully, given time, much more can be said about him and his company.

User:Sitush’s new article based on research done with the British Newspaper Archive is titled “James Farmer (knight)” and can be found on English Wikipedia.

Get Wikipedia Library access!

We would love to see more Wikipedians like Sitush get access to these resources that publishers are donating. If you are interested in getting access to the British Newspaper Archive for improving Wikipedia, sign up at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:BNA . If you would like access to one of our other resources or want to suggest a publisher to reach out to, check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:TWL/Journals . We hope to continue harnessing the resources of libraries and publishers to strengthen the reference materials on Wikipedia!

Alex Stinson (User:Sadads), Project Manager, The Wikipedia Library

2014-07-23: Edited to add a link to britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

by Alex Stinson at July 23, 2014 02:23 PM

A look back at Wikimania 2013

File:Wikimania 2013 in Hong Kong.webm

This is a short documentary about Wikimania 2013 in Hong Kong. You can also view it on YouTube.com here and Vimeo.com here. A version without burned-in English language subtitles is available on Wikimedia Commons here.

Wikimania is the annual global gathering of Wikimedians. To me, it feels like the United Nations moved to Github. It feels like the future of civilization. You get to meet people who have become empowered by human-computer symbiosis. Like any convention or meetup, Wikimania is also an ode to serendipity – there’s no accurate way to predict or measure what the dynamics or the outcomes of it will be.

Interviewing at Wikimania in 2013

Last year, I went to Wikimania in Hong Kong to shoot a documentary about the annual convention (film above). A little background – in 2012, my team and I interviewed as many people on camera as we could at Wikimania in Washington D.C., because Wikimania is where you can find the highest diversity and concentration of Wikimedians in the same place at the same time, anywhere in the world. I’d say that maybe half of the people we talked to we hadn’t known before Wikimania. For that project, I decided to remove the convention from the story and focus exclusively on Wikimedians themselves and their personal testimonies. So, when I went to Wikimania in Hong Kong in 2013, I set out to do the opposite and shoot a short documentary that makes the convention itself the main character of the movie. I had a question in my head – if all these people can collaborate online, then why do they need to collaborate face-to-face? I wanted to make something that suggests an answer to that question that would also let you feel like you are an attendee at the conference.

The film above is just under thirty minutes long. I wanted to talk about topics like language and culture, copyright, Wikipedia in education, Wikipedia offline, the Visual Editor, Wikimedia Grants, Wikipedia Zero, demonstrate what a hackathon is, and basically show things that I thought were important to talk about; things you should know that you can learn from being at Wikimania. I couldn’t talk about everything of course, and I had to cut some stuff out. One interview that stands out to me that didn’t make the cut was a conversation with Christoph Zimmermann about the Public Domain Project in Switzerland. Their goal is to make an encyclopedia of music that exists in the public domain. They accept any turntable records that are old enough to be in the public domain in Switzerland and scan the records with a super expensive laser turntable and archive that recording on their wiki for public use.

My thanks to everyone who let me interview them for this film.

Wikimania 2014 in London is just around the corner. It will be the tenth Wikimania. If you’ve never attended Wikimania, and have the opportunity to, you should. It’s always exciting. I’ll be there this August looking for fresh faces to talk to. You can sign up for Wikimania here, and if you have ideas for things to do you can post them here. And if you can’t make it to Wikimania 2014, you can watch the movie above and get a sense of what Wikimania is all about.

Victor Grigas
Storyteller and Video Producer, Wikimedia Foundation

by Victor Grigas at July 23, 2014 06:28 AM

July 18, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Wiki Loves Pride 2014 and Adding Diversity to Wikipedia

Logo for the proposed user group Wikimedia LGBT

Since Wikipedia’s gender gap first came to light in late 2010, Wikipedians have taken the issue to heart, developing projects with a focus on inclusivity in content, editorship and the learning environments relevant to new editors. 

Wiki Loves Pride started from conversations among Wikipedians editing LGBT topics in a variety of fields, including history, popular culture, politics and medicine, and supporters of Wikimedia LGBT - a proposed user group which promotes the development of LGBT-related content on Wikimedia projects in all languages and encourages LGBT organizations to adopt the values of free culture and open access. The group has slowly been building momentum for the past few years, but had not yet executed a major outreach initiative. Wiki Loves Pride helped kickstart the group’s efforts to gather international supporters and expand its language coverage.

Pride Edit-a-Thons and Photo Campaigns Held Internationally

We decided to run a campaign in June (LGBT Pride Month in the United States), culminating with a multi-city edit-a-thon on June 21. We first committed to hosting events in New York City and Portland, Oregon (our cities of residence), hoping others would follow. We also gave individuals the option to contribute remotely, either by improving articles online or by uploading images related to LGBT culture and history. This was of particular importance for users who live in regions of the world less tolerant of LGBT communities, or where it may be dangerous to organize LGBT meetups.

San Francisco Pride (2014)

In addition to New York City and Portland, offline events were held in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., with online activities in Houston, Seattle, Seoul, South Africa, Vancouver, Vienna and Warsaw. Events will be held in Bangalore and New Delhi later this month as part of the Centre for Internet and Society’s (CIS) Access to Knowledge (A2K) program. Other Wikimedia chapters have expressed interest in hosting LGBT edit-a-thons in the future.

Campaign Results

The campaign’s “Results” page lists 90 LGBT-related articles which were created on English Wikipedia and links to more than 750 images uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. Also listed are new categories, templates and article drafts, along with “Did you know” (DYK) hooks that appeared on the Main Page and policy proposals which may be of interest to the global LGBT community.

Pride parade in Portland, Oregon in 2014

The campaign also attracted participation from Wikimedia projects other than Wikipedia. Wikimedia Commons hosted an LGBT photo challenge, which received more than 50 entries and an LGBT task force was created at Wikidata. So far the group, which also seeks to improve LGBT-related content, has gathered 10 supporters and has adopted a rainbow-colored variation of the Wikidata logo as its symbol.

Continuing Efforts

Our hope is that the campaign will continue to grow and evolve, galvanizing participation in more locations and in different languages. Wiki Loves Pride organizers will continue to provide logistical support to those interested in hosting events and collaborating with cultural institutions.

Contiguous with the events of Wiki Loves Pride, Wikimedia LGBT has an open application to achieve user group status from the Wikimedia Affiliations Committee and looks forward to expanding its members and efforts on all fronts.

Jason Moore, Wikipedian

Dorothy Howard, Wikipedian

by Dorothy Howard at July 18, 2014 08:50 PM

Wikimedia Foundation offers assistance to Wikipedia editors named in U.S. defamation suit

Since posting, we have learned that Mr. Barry’s attorney has requested to withdraw their complaint without prejudice and their request has been granted by the court. Mr. Barry’s attorney has further indicated that Mr. Barry intends to file an amended complaint some unspecified time in the future.

Wikipedia’s content is not the work of one, ten, or even a thousand people. The information on Wikipedia is the combined product of contributions made by hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world. By volunteering their time and knowledge, these people have helped build Wikipedia into a project that provides information to millions every day.

With many different voices come many different perspectives. Resolving them requires open editorial debate and collaboration with and among the volunteer community of editors and writers. Disagreements about content are settled through this approach on a daily basis. On extremely rare occasions, editorial disputes escalate to litigation.

This past month, four users of English Wikipedia were targeted in a defamation lawsuit brought by Canadian-born musician, businessman, and philanthropist Yank Barry. In the complaint, Mr. Barry claims that the editors, along with 50 unnamed users, have acted in conspiracy to harm his reputation by posting false and damaging statements onto Wikipedia concerning many facets of his life, including his business, philanthropy, music career, and legal history.

However, the specific statements Mr. Barry apparently finds objectionable are on the article’s talk page, rather than in the article itself. The editors included in the lawsuit were named because of their involvement in discussions focused on maintaining the quality of the article, specifically addressing whether certain contentious material was well-sourced enough to be included, and whether inclusion of the material would conform with Wikipedia’s policies on biographies of living persons.

A talk page is not an article. It is not immediately available to the readers of the encyclopedia. Its purpose is not to provide information, but a forum for discussion and editorial review. If users are unable to discuss improvements to an article without fear of legal action, they will be discouraged from partaking in discussion at all. While some individuals may find questions about their past disagreeable and even uncomfortable, discussions about these topics are necessary for establishing accurate and up-to-date information. Without discussion, articles will not improve.

In our opinion, this lawsuit is an effort to try and chill free speech on the Wikimedia projects. Since Wikipedia editors do not carve out facts based on bias or promotion this lawsuit is rooted in a deep misinterpretation of the free-form truth-seeking conversations and analysis that is part of the editorial review process that establishes validity and accuracy of historical and biographical information. As such, we have offered the four named users assistance through our Defense of Contributors policy. Three of the users have accepted our offer and obtained representation through the Cooley law firm. We thank Cooley for its assistance in the vigorous representation of our users. The fourth user is being represented by the California Anti-SLAPP Project and is working closely with the Wikimedia Foundation and Cooley.

Lawsuits against Wikipedia editors are extremely rare — we do not know of of any prior cases where a user has been sued for commenting on a talk page. The Wikipedia community has established a number of dispute resolution procedures and venues to discuss content issues that are available for anyone to use. Most content disputes are resolved through these processes. We are unaware of Mr. Barry taking advantage of these processes to work directly with the editors involved in this lawsuit or the greater Wikipedia community to address these issues.

Wikipedia’s mission is to provide the world with the sum of all human information for free and we will always strongly defend its volunteer editors and their right to free speech.

Michelle Paulson, Legal Counsel

by Michelle Paulson at July 18, 2014 12:21 AM

July 17, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

WikiProject Report: Indigenous Peoples of North America

A Zuni girl with a pottery jar on her head, photographed in 1909. Most Zuni live in Zuni Pueblo in southern New Mexico.

Wikipedia’s community-written newsletter, The Signpost, recently talked to a number of participants in WikiProject Indigenous Peoples of North America. Encompassing more than 7,000 articles, the project currently boasts sixteen featured articles—articles that have gone through a thorough vetting process and are considered some of the best on the encyclopedia—as well as 63 WikiProject good articles, which have been through a similar, though less rigorous, process. The WikiProject aims to improve and maintain overall coverage of the indigenous peoples of North America on Wikipedia.

Members CJLippert, Djembayz, RadioKAOS, Maunus and Montanabw were asked for their thoughts on various aspects of the project. All five have a strong interest in the topic, though not all have direct ties to the indigenous peoples of North America. CJLippert, who works for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, a federally recognized American Indian tribe in Minnesota, comes pretty close. “Minnesota is a cross-road of where the Indian Removal Policy ended and Reservation Policy began and where the old and small Reserve system and the new and large Reservation system intersect,” he explains.

He adds, “As I work for a Native American tribal government, though not Native but also not ‘White’, I have the privilege of participating as the third party between the two. This also means I get to see both the strengths and weaknesses of both in regards to the relations between the Native Americans and the majority population. As that third party, trying to help to close some gaps in understanding is what led me to participate in Wikipedia and then to join the WikiProject.”

Maunus, a linguist and anthropologist, focuses on Mexican indigenous groups, which he feels is an underrepresented topic area on Wikipedia. “I am one of the only people doing dedicated work on these groups, but I have been focusing on languages and I agree that Mexican indigenous people require improved coverage compared to their Northern neighbors,” he says. “There are some articles on the Spanish Wikipedia of very high quality, mainly because of the work of one editor, but likewise other articles that are of very poor quality, with either romanticizing or discriminatory undertones. They also tend to use very low quality sources.”

An Iñupiat man, photographed in 1906. There are an estimated 13,500 Iñupiat in north and northwest Alaska.

He is not the only contributor keeping his focus precise. RadioKAOS lives in Fairbanks, Alaska, an “intersecting point for a variety of distinct groups of Alaskan Natives” thanks to its position as the second-largest city in the northernmost state. Finding information on these rural communities, however, can be a challenge given the areas lack of online coverage. “Because a large part of what constitutes sourcing on Wikipedia is web-based and/or corporate media-based, coverage is hamstrung by the lack of any media outlets in scores of small, rural communities throughout Alaska,” he says. “Look at the ‘coverage’ of many of these communities and you’ll see that the articles are little more than a dumping ground for the Census Bureau and other public domain data that provide little or no insight as to what life there is like. Most attempts to provide factual insights of rural Alaska wind up deleted due to lack of [online] reliable sources.”

Montanabw, an editor of over eight years with a catalog of featured and good articles, says systemic bias is a big issue throughout Wikipedia’s coverage of indigenous peoples. “My first concern is use of language and phrasing that treats Native People like they are merely interesting historic figures instead of a living, modern people with current issues and current leaders,” he adds. “My second concern is uninformed, and at times inadvertently insulting, use of terminology in articles. For example, not all Native leaders are called ‘chief,’ yet many biographies labeled certain people this way even though it was not an appropriate title for that person.”

He adds, “Respect for a living culture and living people is not ‘political correctness,’ and it is frustrating to run across that attitude.”

For more info on WikiProject Indigenous Peoples of North America, read the full feature on the Signpost, or go to the WikiProject’s overview page.

Joe Sutherland, communications volunteer for the Wikimedia Foundation

by Joe Sutherland at July 17, 2014 09:11 PM

First Look at the Content Translation tool

The projects in the Wikimedia universe can be accessed and used in a large number of languages from around the world. The Wikimedia websites, their MediaWiki software (bot core and extensions) and their growing content benefit from standards-driven internationalization and localization engineering that makes the sites easy to use in every language across diverse platforms, both desktop and and mobile.

However, a wide disparity exists in the numbers of articles across language wikis. The article count across Wikipedias in different languages is an often cited example. As the Wikimedia Foundation focuses on the larger mission of enabling editor engagement around the globe, the Wikimedia Language Engineering team has been working on a content translation tool that can greatly facilitate the process of article creation by new editors.

About the Tool

The Content Translation editor displaying a translation of the article for Aeroplane from Spanish to Catalan.

Particularly aimed at users fluent in two or more languages, the Content Translation tool has been in development since the beginning of 2014. It will provide a combination of editing and translation tools that can be used by multilingual users to bootstrap articles in a new language by translating an existing article from another language. The Content Translation tool has been designed to address basic templates, references and links found in Wikipedia articles.

Development of this tool has involved significant research and evaluation by the engineering team to handle elements like sentence segmentation, machine translation, rich-text editing, user interface design and scalable backend architecture. The first milestone for the tool’s rollout this month includes a comprehensive editor, limited capabilities in areas of machine translation, link and reference adaptation and dictionary support.

Why Spanish and Catalan as the first language pair?

Presently deployed at http://es.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Especial:ContentTranslation, the tool is open for wider testing and user feedback. Users will have to create an account on this wiki and log in to use the tool. For the current release, machine translation can only be used to translate articles between Spanish and Catalan. This language pair was chosen for their linguistic similarity as well as availability of well-supported language aids like dictionaries and machine translation. Driven by a passionate community of contributors, the Catalan Wikipedia is an ideal medium sized project for testing and feedback. We also hope to enhance the aided translation capabilities of the tool by generating parallel corpora of text from within the tool.

To view Content Translation in action, please follow the link to this instance and make the following selections:

  • article name – the article you would like to translate
  • source language – the language in which the article you wish to translate exists (restricted to Spanish at this moment)
  • target language – the language in which you would like to translate the article (restricted to Catalan at this moment)

This will lead you to the editing interface where you can provide a title for the page, translate the different sections of the article and then publish the page in your user namespace in the same wiki. This newly created page will have to be copied over to the Wikipedia in the target language that you had earlier selected.

Users in languages other than Spanish and Catalan can also view the functionality of the tool by making a few tweaks.

We care about your feedback

Please provide us your feedback on this page on the Catalan Wikipedia or at this topic on the project’s talk page. We will attempt to respond as soon as possible based on criticality of issues surfaced.

Runa Bhattacharjee, Outreach and QA coordinator, Language Engineering, Wikimedia Foundation

by Runa Bhattacharjee at July 17, 2014 12:29 AM

July 16, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Coding da Vinci: Results of the first German Culture Hackathon

Mnemosyne, goddess of memory

From the Delaware Art Museum, Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Memorial, © public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The weather was almost as hot as it was in Hong Kong one year ago. But whereas on that occasion a time machine had to catapult the audience ten years into the future, at the event held on Sunday, July 6 at the Jewish Museum Berlin, the future had already arrived.

It was not only virtual results that were presented at the award ceremony for the culture hackathon Coding da Vinci in Berlin. Image from Marius Förster © cc-by-sa 3.0

At the final event of the programming competition Coding da Vinci, seventeen projects were presented to both a critical jury and the public audience in a packed room. Five winners emerged, three of whom used datasets from Wikimedia projects. This result signals that the predictions put forward by Dirk Franke in Hong Kong have already become a reality: that in the future more and more apps will use the content of Wikimedia projects and that the undiscerning online user will barely notice where the data actually comes from. There is a clear trend towards providing information in a multimedia-based and entertaining way. That’s the meta level, but the source of the knowledge is still clear: Wikipedia.

The aims of Coding da Vinci

The new project format used by Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE) for the first time this year ended successfully. Coding da Vinci is a culture hackathon organized by WMDE in strategic partnership with the German Digital Library, the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany and the Service Center Digitization Berlin. Unlike a standard hackathon, the programmers, designers and developers were given ten weeks to turn their ideas into finished apps. Most of the 16 participating cultural institutions had made their digital cultural assets publicly available and reusable under a free license especially for the programming competition. With the public award ceremony on July 6 at the Jewish Museum, we wanted to show not just these cultural institutions but also what “hackers” can do with their cultural data. We hope that this will persuade more cultural institutions to freely license their digitized collections. Already this year, 20 cultural data sets have been made available for use in Wikimedia projects.

Exciting til the very end

It was an exciting event for us four organizers, as we waited with baited breath to see what the community of programmers and developers would produce at the end. Of course, not all the projects were winners. One of the projects that did not emerge as a winner, but that I would nevertheless like to give a special mention, was Mnemosyne – an ambitious website that took the goddess of memory as its patron. We are surely all familiar with those wonderful moments of clarity as we link-hop our way through various Wikipedia pages, so who would say no to being guided through the expanse of associative thought by a polymath as they stroll through a museum?

The polymath as a way of life died out in the end of the 19th century, according to Wikipedia – a fact that the Mnemosyne project seeks to address by using a combination of random algorithms to make finding and leafing through complex archive collections a simpler and more pleasurable activity. In spite of some minor blips during the on-stage presentation, the potential of the cast concrete Mnemosyne was plain to see. Hopefully work will continue on this project and the developers will find a museum association that wants to use Mnemosyne to make their complex collections available for visitors to browse.

The five winners

After two hours of presentations and a one-hour lunch break, the winners were selected in the five categories and were awarded their prizes by the jury.

Out of Competition: The zzZwitscherwecker (chirping alarm clock) really impressed both the audience and the jury. It’s a great solution for anyone who finds it difficult to be an early bird in the morning. That’s because you can only stop the alarm if you’re able to correctly match a bird to its birdsong. You’re sure to be wide awake after such a lively brain game.

Funniest Hack: The Atlas beetle is a real Casanova. It inspired IT enthusiast Kati Hyppä and her brother to build not only a dancing Cyberbeetle, but also an accompanying hi-tech insect box. We’ll see if the Museum für Naturkunde (museum for natural sciences) incorporates the project into its entomology exhibition. The jury was enchanted by the dancing beetle and awarded its creators the prize for Funniest Hack.

Best Design: The prize for most impressive design went to Ethnoband. The organ was the inspiration behind this project. The inventors of the organ packed a full orchestra in the pipes of just one instrument. With Ethnoband, Thomas Fett has made it possible to conduct an orchestra with instruments from all over the world using a computer. You can also invite friends from around the world to a jam session.

Screen shot of the Alt Berlin app by Claus Höfele. Winner of the Most Technical category. © cc-by-sa 3.0

Most Useful: In this category, it was important to come up with an idea and strategy that would make the jury wonder why nobody had ever come up with this idea before. Insight – 19xx excelled at this almost impossible task. It is based on a list of names of authors ostracized by the Nazis and linked with additional information, from Wikipedia and other sources. This turns the list of mere names into intriguing biographies that are an engaging introduction to the author’s work. During the project it emerged, among other things, that a total of almost 20,000 books had been put on the prohibition list by the Nazis – a number much greater than previously estimated.

Most Technical: The app Alt-Berlin (old Berlin) impressed the jury on account of its great level of technical sophistication. In the app, the digitized collection of paintings from the Stadtmuseum Berlin, which hosted a Wikipedian in Residence in 2012, illustrates modern OpenStreetMap maps. Anyone wanting to experience time travel can discover historical maps along the streets of today. Even current images from Wikimedia Commons can be laid over old photographs of the streets of Berlin. You will soon be able to easily access the app from your cell phone while out and about.

All applications have a free license and can be further developed and reclassified accordingly.


Thank you to everyone who took part in Coding da Vinci! Photo: Volker Agueras Gäng, CC-BY 3.0

Looking to 2015 Next year, we would once again like to invite the programming community to participate in our culture hackathon Coding da Vinci. We hope to attract more cultural institutions, programmers and designers, to receive more data and to produce more creative projects; but more than anything we hope to help increase accessibility to the digitized cultural heritage that has already been made available. Our aim is to fully integrate this data into Wikimedia projects so that they can be used directly by all volunteers working on these projects.

Photographs from the event can be accessed from the Wikimedia Commons page. Photos of the award ceremony will be posted soon.


Barbara Fischer, curator for cultural cooperations at Wikimedia Deutschland.

German blogpost

by Katja Ullrich at July 16, 2014 09:03 PM

July 15, 2014

Okinovo Okýnko

O objektivitě a neobjektivitě na Wikipedii, viděno na konkrétním příkladu

Wikipedii píší lidé. Někdy bych možná chtěl napsat jenom lidé. Inu, tak to chodí. Proto jsou ve Wikipedii užitečné informace, ale také chyby, nepřesnosti nebo třeba neobjektivně zkreslené články. Někdo zkrátka nemá odhodlání a výdrž přinést informace úplné a někdo jiný má přímo záměr informaci zkreslit. Najít skutečný motiv vzniku neobjektivního článku obvykle není možné. Ale je možné najít

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at July 15, 2014 04:45 PM

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Wikimedia engineering report, June 2014

Major news in June include:

Note: We’re also providing a shorter, simpler and translatable version of this report that does not assume specialized technical knowledge.

Engineering metrics in June:

  • 151 unique committers contributed patchsets of code to MediaWiki.
  • The total number of unresolved commits went from around 1440 to about 1575.
  • About 14 shell requests were processed.


Work with us

Are you looking to work for Wikimedia? We have a lot of hiring coming up, and we really love talking to active community members about these roles.


  • Elliot Eggleston joined the Wikimedia Foundation as a Features Engineer in the Fundraising-Tech team (announcement).

Technical Operations

New Dallas data center

On-site work has started in our new Dallas (Carrollton) data-center (codfw). Racks have been installed, the equipment we moved from Tampa has been racked and cabling work has been mostly completed over the course of the month. We are now awaiting the installation of connectivity to the rest of our network as well as the arrival of the first newly-ordered server equipment, so server & network configuration can commence.

Puppet 3 migration

In July we migrated from Puppet 2 to Puppet 3 on all production servers. Thanks to the hard work of both volunteers and Operations staff on our Puppet repository in the months leading up to this, this migration went very smoothly.

Labs metrics in June:

  • Number of projects: 173
  • Number of instances: 424
  • Amount of RAM in use (in MBs): 1,741,312
  • Amount of allocated storage (in GBs): 19,045
  • Number of virtual CPUs in use: 855
  • Number of users: 3,356

Wikimedia Labs

Last month we switched the Labs puppetmaster to Puppet 3; this month all instances switched over as well. Some cleanup work was needed in our puppet manifests to handle Trusty and Puppet 3 properly; everything is fairly stable now but a bit of mopping up remains.

Features Engineering

Editor retention: Editing tools


In June, the VisualEditor team provided a new way to see the context of links and other items when you edit to make this easier, worked on the performance and stability of the editor so that users could more swiftly and reliably make changes to articles, and made some improvements to features focussed on increasing their simplicity and understandability, fixing 94 bugs and tickets. The editor now shows with a highlight where dragging-and-dropping content will put it, and works for any content, not just for images. The citation and reference tools had some minor adjustments to guide the user on how they operate, based on feedback and user testing. A lot of fixes to issues with windows opening and closing, and especially the link editing tool, were made, alongside the save dialog, categories, the language editing tool, table styling, template display and highlights on selected items. The mobile version of VisualEditor, currently available for alpha testers, moved towards release, fixing a number of bugs and improving performance. Work to support languages made some significant gains, and work to support Internet Explorer continued. The new visual interface for writing TemplateData was enabled on the Catalan and Hebrew Wikipedias. The deployed version of the code was updated five times in the regular release cycle (1.24-wmf8, 1.24-wmf9, 1.24-wmf10 and 1.24-wmf11).


In June, the Parsoid team continued with ongoing bug fixes and bi-weekly deployments; the selective serializer, improving our parsing support for some table-handling edge case, nowiki handling, and parsing performance are some of the areas that saw ongoing work. We began work on supporting language converter markup.

We added CSS styling to the HTML to ensure that Parsoid HTML renders like PHP parser output. We continued to tweak the CSS based on rendering differences we found. We also started work on computing visual diffs based on taking screenshots of rendered output of Parsoid and PHP HTML. This initial proof-of-concept will serve as the basis of more larger scale automated testing and identification of rendering diffs.

The GSoC 2014 LintTrap project saw good progress and a demo LintBridge application was made available on wmflabs with the wikitext issues detected by LintTrap.

We also had our quarterly review this month and contributed to the annual engineering planning process.

Core Features


Presentation slides on Flow from the metrics meeting for June

In June, the Flow team finished an architectural re-write for the front-end, so Flow will be easier to keep updating in the future. This will be released to mediawiki.org the first week of July, and Wikipedia the following week.

The new feature in this release is the ability to sort topics on a Flow board. There are now two options for the order that topics appear on the board: you can see the most recently created threads at the top (the default), or the most recently updated threads. This new sorting option makes it easier to find the active conversations on the board.

We’ve also made a few changes to make Flow discussions easier to read, including: a font size now consistent with other pages; dropdown menus now easier to read; the use of the new button style, and the WikiGlyphs webfont.



In June, the Growth team completed analysis of its first round of A/B testing of signup invitations for anonymous editors on English, French, German, and Italian Wikipedias. Based on these results, the team prepared a second version to be A/B tested. Additionally, the team released a major refactor of the GuidedTour extension‘s API, as well as design enhancements like animations, a new CSS-based way of drawing guider elements, updated button styles, and more. The team also launched GuidedTours on three new Wikipedias: Arabic, Norwegian, and Bengali.


Wikipedia Education Program

This month, the Education Program extension again received incremental improvements and bugfixes. Sage Ross of the Wiki Education Foundation submitted two patches: one that adds information to the API for listing students, and another that lets anonymous users compare course versions. Also, a student from Facebook Open Academy fixed a usability issue in the article assignment feature.


Wikimedia Apps

The Mobile Apps team released the new Android Wikipedia app and it is now available to be downloaded through the Google Play store on Android devices.

Core features of the app include the ability to save pages for offline reading, a record of your browsing history, and the ability to edit either as a logged in user or anonymously. Therefore the app is the first mobile platform that allows anonymous editing! The app also supports Wikipedia Zero for participating mobile carriers.

Additional work done this month includes the start of implementing night mode for the Android app (by popular demand), creating an onboarding experience which is to be refined and deployed in July, and numerous improvements to the edit workflow.

Mobile web projects

This month, the mobile web team finished work on styling the mobile site to provide a better experience for tablet users. We began redirecting users on tablets, who had previously been sent to the desktop version of all Wikimedia projects, to the new tablet-optimized mobile site on June 17. Our early data suggests that this change had a positive impact on new user signup and new editor activation numbers. We also continued work on VisualEditor features (the linking and citation dialogs) in preparation for releasing the option to edit via VisualEditor to tablet users in the next three months.

Wikipedia Zero

During the last month, the team deployed the refactored Wikipedia Zero codebase that replaces one monolithic extension with multiple extensions. The JsonConfig extension, which allows a wiki-driven JSON configuration system with data validation and a tiered configuration management architecture, had significant enhancements to make it more general for other use cases.

Additionally, the team enabled downsampled thumbnails for a live in-house Wikipedia Zero operator configuration, and finished Wikipedia Zero minimum viable product design and logging polish for the Android and iOS Wikipedia apps. The team also supported the Wikipedia apps development with network connection management enhancements in Android and iOS, with Find in page functionality for Android, and response to Wikipedia for Android Google Play reviews.

The team facilitated discussions on proxy and small screen device optimization, and examined the HTML5 app landscape for the upcoming fiscal year’s development roadmap. The team also created documentation for operators for enabling zero-rating with different connection scenarios. Bugfixes were issued for the mobile web Wikipedia Zero and the Wikipedia for Firefox OS app user experience.

Routine pre- and post-launch configuration changes were made to support operator zero-rating, with routine technical assistance provided to operators and the partner management team to help add zero-rating and address anomalies. Finally, the team participated in recruitment for a third Partners engineering teammate.

Wikipedia Zero (partnerships)

We launched Wikipedia Zero with Airtel in Bangladesh, our third partner in Bangladesh, and our 34th launched partner overall. We participated in the Wiki Indaba conference, the first event of its kind to be held in Africa. The event, organized by Wikimedia South Africa, brought together community members from Tunisia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Malawi and South Africa. The attendees shared experiences and challenges to work in the region and formulated strategies to support and strengthen the movement’s efforts across the continent. While in South Africa, Adele Vrana also met with local operators. Meanwhile, Carolynne Schloeder met with numerous operators and handset manufacturers in India. Carolynne joined Wikimedian RadhaKrishna Arvapally for a presentation at C-DOT, and both participated a blogger event hosted by our partner Aircel, along with other members of Wikimedia India in Bangalore. Smriti Gupta joined the group as Mobile Partnerships Manager, Asia.

Language Engineering

Language tools

The Translate extension received numerous bug fixes, including fixing workflow states transitions for fundraising banners.

Content translation

The team added support for link adaptation, worked on the infrastructure for machine translation support using Apertium and on hiding templates, images and references that cannot be easily translated. They also prepared for deployment on beta wikis and made multiple bug fixes and design tweaks.

Platform Engineering

MediaWiki Core


The team has been running HHVM on a single test machine (“osmium”) for the purpose of testing the job queue in production. The machine is only put into production on a very limited basis, while enough bugs are found to keep the team busy for a while, and then it’s disabled again as the team fixes those bugs. We’re planning on having HHVM running on a few job runner machines (continually) in July, then turning our focus toward running HHVM on the main application servers, taking a similar strategy.

Release & QA

The Release and QA Team had their mid-quarter check-in on June 27. Phabricator work is progressing nicely. The latest MediaWiki tarball release (1.23) was made and the second RFP started and is close to completion. We are moving to only WMF-hosted Jenkins for all jobs, and we are working with the MediaWiki Core and the Operations teams on HHVM-related integration (both for deployment and for the Beta Cluster).

Admin tools development

Work on this project is currently being completed along with the SUL finalisation project, including the global rename tool (bug 14862) and cleaning up the CentralAuth database (bug 66535).


CirrusSearch is running as the default search engine on all but the highest traffic wikis at this point. Nik Everett and Chad Horohoe plan to migrate most of the remaining wikis in July, leaving only the German and English Wikipedia to migrate in August.

Auth systems

Continued work on the SOA Authentication RFC and Phabricator OAuth integration. We made OAuth compatible with HHVM and made other minor bug fixes.

SUL finalisation

The MediaWiki Core team has committed to having the following work completed by the end of September 2014:

  • Completing the necessary engineering work to carry out the finalisation.
  • Setting a date on which the finalisation will occur (Note: this date may not be later than September).
  • Have a communications strategy in place, and community liaisons to carry that out, for the time period between the announcement of the date of the finalisation and the finalisation proper.

Security auditing and response

We released MediaWiki 1.23.1 to prevent multiple issues caused by loading external SVG resources. We also performed security reviews of the Wikidata property suggester, Extension:Mantle for mobile/Flow, and Flow’s templating rewrite.

Quality assurance

Quality Assurance

This month saw significant improvements to the MediaWiki-Vagrant development environments from new WMF staff member Dan Duvall. We have completed support for running the full suite of browser tests on a Vagrant instance under the VisualEditor role. In the near future, we will extend that support to the MobileFrontend and Flow Vagrant roles, as well as making general improvements to Vagrant overall. Another great QA project is from Google Summer of Code intern Vikas Yaligar, who is using the browser test framework to automate taking screen captures of aspects of VisualEditor (or any other feature) in many different languages, for the purpose of documentation and translation.

Browser testing

After two years of using a third-party host to run browser test builds in Jenkins, this month we have completed the migration of those builds to Jenkins hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. Hosting our browser test builds ourselves gives us more control over every aspect of running the browser tests, as well as the potential to run them faster than previously possible. Particular thanks to Antoine Musso, whose work made it possible. Simultaneously, we have also ported all of the remaining tests from the /qa/browsertest repository either to /mediawiki/core or to their relevant extension. This gives us the ability to package browser-based acceptance tests with the release of MediaWiki itself. After more than two years evolving the browser testing framework across WMF, the /qa/browsertests repository is retired, and all if its functions now reside in the repositories of the features being tested.



In June, the multimedia team released Media Viewer v0.2 on all Wikimedia wikis, with over 20 million image views per day on sites we track. Global feedback was generally positive and helped surface a range of issues, many of which were addressed quickly. Based on this feedback, Gilles Dubuc, Mark Holmquist, and Gergő Tisza developed a number of new features, with designs by Pau Giner: view images in full resolution, view images in different sizes, show more image information, edit image file pages, as well as easy disable tools for anonymous users and editors.

This month, we started working on the Structured Data project with the Wikidata team, to implement machine-readable data on Wikimedia Commons. We are now in a planning phase and aim to start development in Fall. We ramped up our work on UploadWizard, reviewed user feedback, collected metrics, fixed bugs and started code refactoring, with the help of contract engineer Neil Kandalgaonkar. We also kept working on technical debt and bug fixes for other multimedia tools, such as image scalers, GWToolset and TimedMediaHandler, with the help of Summer contractor Brian Wolff.

As product manager, Fabrice Florin helped plan our next steps, hosting a planning meeting and other discussions of our development goals, and led an extensive review of user feedback for Media Viewer and UploadWizard with new researcher Abbey Ripstra. Community liaison Keegan Peterzell introduced Media Viewer and responded to user comments throughout the product’s worldwide release. To learn more about our work, we invite you to join our discussions on the multimedia mailing list.

Engineering Community Team

Bug management

Apart from gruntwork (handling new tickets; prioritizing tickets; pinging on older tickets) and Andre’s main focus on Phabricator, Parent5446, Krinkle and Andre created several requested Bugzilla components, plus moved ‘MediaWiki skins’ to a Bugzilla product of their own. In Bugzilla’s codebase, Tony and TTO styled Bugzilla’s Alias field differently, Tony removed the padlock icons for https links in Bugzilla and cleaned up the codebase, and Odder fixed a small glitch in Bugzilla’s Weekly Summary and rendering of custom queries on the Bugzilla frontpage. Numerous older tickets with high priority were triaged on a bugday.

Phabricator migration

Apart from discussions on how to implement certain functionality and settings in Phabricator among team members and stakeholders, Mukunda implemented a MediaWiki OAuth provider in Phabricator (Gerrit changes: 1, 2; related ticket) and Chase created a Puppet module for Phabricator.

Mentorship programs

Google Summer of Code and FOSS Outreach Program for Women interns and mentors evaluated each other as part of the mid-term evaluations. Reports are available for all projects:

Technical communications

In addition to ongoing communications support for the engineering staff, Guillaume Paumier focused on information architecture of Wikimedia engineering activities. This notably involved reorganizing the Wikimedia Engineering portal (now linked from mediawiki.org’s sidebar) and creating a status dashboard that lists the status of all current activities hosted on mediawiki.org. The portal is now also cross-linked with the other main tech spaces (like Tech and Tech News) and team hubs.

Volunteer coordination and outreach

Volunteers and staff are beginning to add or express interest in topics for the 2014 Wikimania Hackathon in London. The WMUK team is working hard to finalize venue logistics so that we can schedule talks and sessions in specific rooms. Everything is on track for a successful (and very large!) Hackathon. Tech Talks held in June: How, What, Why of WikiFont on June 12 and A Few Python Tips on June 19. A new process has been set up for volunteers needing to sign an NDA in order to be granted special permissions in Wikimedia servers. On a similar note, we have started a project to implement a Trusted User Tool in Phabricator, in order to register editors of Wikimedia projects that have been granted special permissions after signing a community agreement.

Architecture and Requests for comment process

Developers had several meetings on IRC about architectural issues or Requests for comment:



To support Editor Engagement Vital Signs, the team has implemented a new metric: Newly Registered User. There is also a new backup system to preserve user’s reports on cohorts as well as the ability to tag cohorts. A number of bugs have been fixed, including fixing the first run of a recurrent report and preventing the creation of reports with invalid cohorts.

Data Processing

The team has now integrated Data Processing as part of its Development Process. New Stories/Features have been identified and tasked. Also, experimentation with Cloudera Hadoop 5 is complete and we are ready to upgrade the cluster in July.

Editor Engagement Vital Signs

The ability to run a metric over an entire project (wiki) in Wikimetrics drives us closer to producing data daily for our first Vital Sign. The team has also iterated on the design of the dashboard and navigation. We added a requirement from executives to have a default view when EEVS is loaded. This view would display metrics for the 7 largest Wikipedias.


We fixed a serious bug where cookie data was getting captured in the country column. Saved data was scrubbed of the unwanted information and some old and unused tables were dropped. The team also implemented Throughput Monitoring to help catch potential issues in EventLogging.

Research and Data

This month we refined the Editor Model – a proposal to model the main drivers of monthly active editors – and expanded the documentation of the corresponding metric definitions. We applied this model to teams designing editor engagement features (Growth, Mobile) and supported them in setting targets for the next fiscal year.

We analyzed the early impact of the tablet desktop-to-mobile switchover on traffic, edit volume, unique editors, and new editor activation.

We hosted the June 2014 edition of the research showcase with two presentations on the effect of early socialization strategies and on predictive modeling of editor retention.

We released wikiclass, a library for performing automated quality assessment of Wikipedia articles.

We released longitudinal data on the daily edit volume for all wikis with VisualEditor enabled, since the original rollout.

We continued work on an updated definition for PageViews.

Finally, we held our quarterly review (Q4-2014) and presented our goals for the next quarter (Q1-2015).


The Wikidata project is funded and executed by Wikimedia Deutschland.

The team worked on fixing bugs as well as a number of features. These include data access for Wikiquote, support for redirects, the monolingual text datatype as well as further work on queries. Interface messages where reworked to make them easier to understand. First mockups of the new interface design have been published for comments. The entity suggester a team of students worked on over the last months has been deployed. This makes it easier to add new statements by suggesting what kind of statements are missing on an item. Wikidata the Game has been extended by Magnus by 2 games to add date of birth and date of death to people as well as to add missing images.


The engineering management team continues to update the Deployments page weekly, providing up-to-date information on the upcoming deployments to Wikimedia sites, as well as the annual goals, listing ongoing and future Wikimedia engineering efforts.

This article was written collaboratively by Wikimedia engineers and managers. See revision history and associated status pages. A wiki version is also available.

by Guillaume Paumier at July 15, 2014 03:37 PM

July 14, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Creating Safe Spaces

This morning I read an article entitled Ride like a girl. In it, the author describes how being a cyclist in a city is like being a woman: Welcome to being vulnerable to the people around you. Welcome to being the exception, not the rule. Welcome to not being in charge. The analogy may not be a perfect fit, but reading these words made me think of a tweet I favorited several weeks ago when #YesAllWomen was trending. A user who goes by the handle @Saradujour wrote: “If you don’t understand why safe spaces are important, the world is probably one big safe space to you.” As I continue interviewing women who edit Wikipedia and as I read through the latest threads on the Gendergap mailing list, I keep asking myself, “How can a community that values transparency create safe spaces? How can we talk about Wikipedia’s gender gap without alienating dissenting voices and potential allies?”

Ride like a girl?

Wikipedia’s gender gap has been widely publicized and documented both on and off Wiki (and on this blog since 1 February 2011). One of the reasons I was drawn to working on the gender gap as a research project was that, despite the generation of a great deal of conversation, there seem to be very few solutions. It is, what Rittel and Webber would call, a “wicked problem.” Even in the midst of the ongoing work of volunteers who spearhead and contribute to endeavors like WikiProject Women scientists, WikiWomen’s History Month, WikiProject Women’s sport and Meetup/ArtandFeminism (to name only a few), the gender gap is a wicked problem a lot of community members–even those dedicated to the topic–seem tired of discussing.

The Women and Wikipedia IEG project is designed to collect and then provide the Wikimedia community with aggregate qualitative and quantitative data that can be used to assess existing efforts to address the gender gap. This data may also be used to guide the design of future interventions or technology enhancements that seek to address the gap. The data may include but not be limited to:

  • Stories of active editors who self-identify as women;
  • Interviews with Wikipedians (including those who represent non-English communities) who have been planning and hosting editing events to address the gender gap;
  • Small focus groups with different genders who participate in events such as meet-ups, edit-a-thons, Wikimania, etc.;
  • Observations of co-located editing and mentoring events designed to address the gender gap–both those sponsored by Wikipedia and those not–such as meet-ups, workshops and edit-a-thons;
  • Participation in and observations of non co-located (e.g., online, virtual) editing and mentoring events designed to address the gender gap;
  • An online survey designed specifically with the gender gap in mind;
  • Longitudinal measures of the success (e.g., the ability to attract and retain new editors who self-identify as women; lasting content created by new editors who self-identify as women; user contribution tracking) of co-located and non co-located events);
  • Content analysis of internal documents (e.g., project pages, talk pages, gender gap mailing list archives, etc.) regarding the gender gap and efforts to address it.

How can a community that values transparency create safe spaces?

This past month I’ve been watching, reading and thinking. I’ve also been revisiting my goals. Now, the first goal I’d like to accomplish is to help reinvigorate the gender gap discussion by creating a central place where the international Wikipedia community can document all of the terrific ideas that have been shared, conversations that have taken place and work that has been done to address the gap. Currently, the conversations are, at times, disparate and dispersed. And, sometimes, they aren’t safe. Often the stakeholders–like cyclists and motorists–have such different goals and values that conflict is inevitable. However, as studies[1] have shown, conflict can be productive and collaborative when differing voices are respected, when policies are thoughtfully constructed and when power is shared.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be updating the Wikimedia Gender gap page with sources I’ve gathered during my literature review and with links to existing projects and conversations. I’ll also continue to recruit participants for interviews and focus groups. If you’d like to participate in any of this work, please let me know. Creating safe spaces is a truly collaborative effort.

Amanda Menking, 2014 Individual Engagement Grantee

  1. Travis Kriplean, Ivan Beschastnikh, David W. McDonald, and Scott A. Golder. 2007. Community, consensus, coercion, control: cs*w or how policy mediates mass participation. In Proceedings of the 2007 international ACM conference on Supporting group work (GROUP ’07). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 167-176. DOI=10.1145/1316624.1316648 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1316624.1316648

by Amanda Menking at July 14, 2014 10:40 PM

July 11, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Digging for Data: How to Research Beyond Wikimetrics

The next virtual meet-up will point out research tools. Join!!

For Learning & Evaluation, Wikimetrics is a powerful tool for pulling data for wiki project user cohorts, such as edit counts, pages created and bytes added or removed. However, you may still have a variety of other questions, for instance:

How many members of WikiProject Medicine have edited a medicine-related article in the past three months?
How many new editors have played The Wikipedia Adventure?
What are the most-viewed and most-edited articles about Women Scientists?

Questions like these and many others regarding the content of Wikimedia projects and the activities of editors and readers can be answered using tools developed by Wikimedians all over the world. These gadgets, based on publicly available data, rely on databases and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). They are maintained by volunteers and staff within our movement.

On July 16, Jonathan Morgan, research strategist for the Learning and Evaluation team and wiki-research veteran, will begin a three-part series to explore some of the different routes to accessing Wikimedia data. Building off several recent workshops including the Wiki Research Hackathon and a series of Community Data Science Workshops developed at the University of Washington, in Beyond Wikimetrics, Jonathan will guide participants on how to expand their wiki-research capabilities by accessing data directly through these tools.

Over the course of three virtual meet-ups, participants will:

  • Learn the basics of MySQL – A language used to pull data from the Wikimedia databases.
  • Create a Wikimedia Labs account.
  • Learn about features and limitations of community data resources and tools.
  • Access data resources directly through Wikimedia APIs.
  • Gather data from various Wikimedia APIs.

Whether you recently received an Individual Engagement Grant, coordinated programs for a chapter or user group, or just launched a new WikiProject, finding out how your initiative evolves might give you key information for success. If you are a Wikimedia program project leader who wants to evaluate efforts and impact, a Wikimedian researcher who has little or no previous programming experience – but need to work with data, or simply curious on how to explore data from Wikimedia page, then these webinars are for you!

Understand your way through data.

These online sessions are a great way to gain technical skills, both in quantitative research and programming basics. The sessions are set to allow participants to follow along with the host, so if you have some specific data questions you want to explore, be sure to have those ready for your personal exploration. No programming skills are needed!

Has this blog post raised new questions? Do you have topics in mind you would like to discuss? Share them on the event page! Join us for the first Beyond Wikimetrics meet-up on Wednesday, July 16, at 3 pm UTC. Sign up through the PE&D Google+ page and stay tuned to our News page for links to event recordings and dates for sessions in August and September!

For more info please visit:

María CruzCommunity Coordinator of Program Evaluation & Design

by María Cruz at July 11, 2014 06:12 PM

Making Wikimedia Sites faster

Running the fifth largest website in the world brings its own set of challenges. One particularly important issue is the time it takes to render a page in your browser. Nobody likes slow websites, and we know from research that even small delays lead visitors to leave the site. An ongoing concern from both the Operations and Platform teams is to improve the reader experience by making Wikipedia and its sister projects as fast as possible. We ask ourselves questions like: Can we make Wikipedia 20% faster on half the planet?

As you can imagine, the end-user experience differs greatly due to our unique diverse and global readership. Hence, we need to conduct real user monitoring to truly get an understanding of how fast our projects are in real-life situations.

But how do we measure how fast a webpage loads? Last year, we started building instrumentation to collect anonymous timing data from real users, through a MediaWiki extension called NavigationTiming.[1]

There are many factors that determine how fast a page loads, but here we will focus on the effects of network latency on page speed. Latency is the time it takes for a packet to travel from the originating server to the client who made the request.


Earlier this year, our new data center (ULSFO) went fully operational, serving content to Oceania, South-East Asia, and the west coast of North America[2]. The main benefit of this work is shaving up to 70−80ms of round-trip time for some regions of Oceania, East Asia, US and Canada. An area with 360 million Internet users and a total population of approximately one billion people.

We recently explained how we chose which areas to serve from the new data center; knowing the sites became faster for those users was not enough for us, we wanted to know how much faster.


Before we talk about specific results, it is important to understand that having faster network round trip times might not directly result in a faster user experience for users. When network times are faster, resources are retrieved faster, but there are many other factors that influence page latency. This is perhaps better explained with an example: If we need 4 network trips to compose a page, and if round trips 2, 3 and 4 are happening while I am parsing a huge main document (round trip 1), I will only see improvements from the first request. Subsequent ones are done in parallel and totally hidden under the fetching of the first one. In this scenario, our bottleneck for performance is the parsing of the first resource. Not the network time.

With that in mind, what we wanted to know when we analyzed the data from the NavigationTiming extension were two things: How much did our network times improve? and Can users feel the effect of faster network times? Are pages perceived to be faster, and if so, how much?

The data we harvest from the NavigationTiming extension is segregated by country. Thus we concentrated our data analysis on countries in Asia for which we had sufficient data points; we also included the United States and Canada but we were not able to extract data just for the western states. Data for United States and Canada was analyzed at a country level and thus the improvements in latency appear “muffled”.

How much did our network times improve?

The short summary is: network times improved quite a bit. For half of requests, the retrieval of the main document decreased up to 70 ms.

ULSFO Improvement of Network times on Wikimedia Sites

In the opposite graph, the data center rollout is marked with a dashed line. The rollout was gradual, thus gains are not perceived immediately but they are very significant after a few days. The graph includes data for Japan, Korea and the whole SE Asia Region.[3]

We graphed the responseStart–connectStart time which represents the time spent in the network until the first byte arrives, minus the time spent in DNS lookups. For a more visual explanation, take a look at the Navigation timing diagram. If there is a TCP connection drop, the time will include the setup of the new connection. All the data we use to measure network improvements is provided by request timing API, and thus not available on IE8 and below.

User perceived latency

Did the improvement of network times have an impact that our users could see? Well, yes it did. More so for some users than others.

The gains in Japan and Indonesia were remarkable, page load times dropped up to 300ms at the 50th percentile (weekly). We saw smaller (but measurable) improvements of 40 ms in the US too. However, we were not able to measure the impact in Canada.

The dataset we used to measure these improvements is a bigger one than the one we had for network times. As we mentioned before, the Navigation Timing API is not present in old browsers, thus we cannot measure, say, network improvement in IE7. In this case, however, we used a measure of our creation that tells us when a page is done loading called mediaWikiLoadComplete. This measure is taken in all browsers when the page is ready to interact with the user; faster times do mean that the user experience was also faster. Now, how users perceive the improvement has a lot to do with how fast pages were to start with. If a page now takes 700 ms to render instead of one second, any user will be able to see the difference. However a difference of 300 ms in a 4 second page rendering will be unnoticed by most.

Reduction in latency

Want to know more?

Want to know all the details? A (very) detailed report of the performance impact of the ULSFO rollout is available.

Next steps

Improving speed is an ongoing concern, particularly as we roll out new features and we want to make sure that page rendering remains fast. We are keeping our eyes open to new ways of reducing latency, for example by evaluating TCP Fast Open. TCP Fast Open skips an entire round-trip and starts sending data from the server to client before the final acknowledgment of the three-way TCP handshake has been finished.

We are also getting closer to deploying HipHop. HipHop is a virtual machine that compiles PHP bytecode to native instructions at runtime, the same strategy used by Java and C# to achieve their speed advantages. We’re quite confident that this will result in big performance improvements on our sites as well.

We wish you speedy times!

Faidon Liambotis
Ori Livneh
Nuria Ruiz
Diederik van Liere


  1. The NavigationTiming extension is built on top of the HTML5 component with same name which exposes fine-grained measurements from the moment a user submits a request to load a page until the page has been fully loaded.
  2. Countries and provinces served by ULSFO include: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Cambodia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Mongolia, Macao, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, US Pacific/West Coast states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming) and Canada’s western territories (Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory).
  3. Countries include: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Cambodia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Mongolia, Macao, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam.

by Nuria Ruiz at July 11, 2014 02:59 PM

A Survey of Esperanto Wikipedians

Esperanto Wikipedia founder Chuck Smith (right) being interviewed along with Miroslav Malovec (left), Esperanto Wikipedian and founding member of Czech Wikipedia during Esperanto Wikimania 2011 in Svitavy, Czech Republic.

Esperanto Wikipedia started its journey in 2001. Within the past thirteen years Esperanto Wikipedia has registered a massive growth with a record 196,923 articles[1] – an editing landmark which places it in the forefront of not only other constructed languages but also many natural languages.

As a constructive language, Esperanto has been adopted out of love for its inherently uniform grammar as well as the idea of a culturally neutral universal language. In the context of Esperanto Wikipedia, we find people from different parts of the world enthusiastically contributing.

It is with this global framework in mind that I made a humble effort to survey Esperanto Wikipedians in an effort to get an overview of the editing culture of this Wikipedia and the whereabouts of its contributors. I designed a 10-point questionnaire and sent it to a number of Esperanto Wikipedians. To my good fortune, the first recipient, Christian Bertin, provided an Esperanto version of the questionnaire making it possible to give respondents the option to reply either in Esperanto or English. I received 12 responses from Esperanto Wikipedians including three responses from admins.

Although all respondents did not disclose their geographical location, those who did hailed from Austria, Colombia, France, Portugal, Czech Republic, Spain and the United States. Three respondents were inspired by the efforts of the founding member of Esperanto Wikipedia, Chuck Smith, to promote Esperanto Wikipedia, with one respondent, Miroslav Malovec, sharing a close association with him.

Esperanto Wikipedians contribute on a wide array of diverse topics – from local information, transportation, writers, sports, literature, film, food, Esperanto events, Russian ethnography, American culture, geography, ornithology and other areas of biology and science. Two of the respondents, Pino and Miroslav Malovec, made a point to mention outreach events for Esperanto Wikipedia. Miroslav Malovec listed Esperanto Wikimania 2011 in Svitavy, Czech Republic, Conference on the Application of Esperanto in Science and Technology 2012 in Modra, Slovakia and Wikitrans 2013 in Partizánske, Slovakia as examples of outreach events. Another Wikipedian, Marcos Crammer, mentioned an interesting anecdote where he attended the Conference on the Application of Esperanto in Science and Technology 2010 in Modra, Slovakia where he encountered an Esperantist who had been frustrated by Esperanto Wikipedia because of a terminological error which remained unaddressed. Marcos suggested a proposal to change the terminology and later carried out the change, providing his Esperantist friend with a more positive outlook.

When asked about potential problems surrounding Esperanto Wikipedia, Scott Starkey, an Esperanto Wikipedia admin, point out that a major problem is that almost all Esperantists know Esperanto as a second language. Because of this, poor grammar occasionally sneaks into articles along with neologisms. A simple solution to this would be that every new Esperanto Wikipedian stick to their individual ability level and ask fellow community members for help when needed. The best thing about the Esperanto Wikipedia group is that it is eager to help, even when it comes to small things like helping a new user figure out how to translate something from their native language into Esperanto. Scott also points out that in 2006-2007 there was an unnatural growth of articles on Esperanto Wikipedia due to the use of bots with automatic translations and uploads. The grammar was stilted, messy with some articles seeming abandoned. In 2007 the Esperanto community banned the use of bots to create articles. This inherently slowed down the rate of article-growth, but helped Esperanto Wikipedia grow in a natural and qualitative manner. He also showed the link of the second list of “must-have” articles being worked out on Esperanto Wikipedia:

The interface messages for Esperanto seem to be well translated on Translatewiki.net. The respondents seem to be comfortable with the ease of typing on Esperanto Wikipedia, especially for Esperanto letters (Ĉ, Ĝ, Ĥ, Ĵ, Ŝ, Ŭ). A positive aspect here is that a user does not have to search for “ĝ” to type “ĝi” (it) rather he can use the Esperanto X-system and just type “gxi.” The page will automatically display the word once it is saved. In the case that “x,” which is not an Esperanto letter, needs to be displayed, then it should be typed twice. However, this also presents a few problems – Simon Peter Hughes points out that he once wanted to add an external link to an online Esperanto translation of “The wizard of Oz.” It wasn’t possible because there was a “cx” in the web address, which was automatically corrected to a “c” with a circumflex. Thus, the problem of referencing Esperanto website addresses with “X” system needs to be looked into and addressed. Two other suggestions were made evident in the survey – additional support for the usability of Wikidata as well as making more referenceable content accessible in Esperanto seemed to be among the biggest concerns.

A big positive of Esperanto Wikipedia revealed in the survey is that it is largely free from Edit-wars. Senior users and admins are extremely supportive and like to extend a helping hand to all new users in understanding the language grammar as well as Wikipedia’s editing rules. I am enthusiastic about Esperanto Wikipedia’s growth and continued positive and friendly community.

I would like to thank all Esperanto Wikipedians for their valuable input and information used in this Survey.

Syed Muzammiluddin, Wikipedian, Esperantist, Urdu translator of Prague Manifesto of the Movement for the International Language Esperanto


by hindustanilanguage at July 11, 2014 07:58 AM

July 10, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Pywikibot will have its next bug triage on July 24−27

For most Wikimedia projects, Pywikibot (formerly pywikipedia) has proved to be a trusted and powerful tool. Literally millions of edits have been made by “bots” through this (semi-)automated software suite, written in Python.

Bug triage is like a check-up for bots: we check the list of things that need to be done and clean up the list. During a bug triage, we go through the list of our open bugs and check them for reproducibility (Can we make them happen on our computer to investigate them), severity, priority, and we categorize them when necessary. Bugs in this context can imply a problem in scripts, or a feature request that improves Pywikibot.

From July 24 to July 27, we’ll be holding a big online event to learn what more needs to be done for Pywikibot. Which bugs need an urgent fix, what features are missing or incomplete, etc. Obviously, it is a also a good opportunity to look at the code and look for “bit rot”.

Fixing bugs can sometimes be hard and time-consuming, but bug triaging doesn’t require deep technical knowledge: anyone with a little experience about running bots can be of great help in the bug triage. Triage can be a tedious task due to the number of bugs involved, so we need your help to go through them all.

If you know your Python and are interested in putting your skills to good use to support Wikimedia sites, join us for the bug-a-thon starting July 24. Until then, you can start familiarizing yourself with Pywikibot and bug triaging!

Amir Sarabadani (User:Ladsgroup), editor on the Persian Wikipedia and Pywikibot developer

by Amir Sarabadani at July 10, 2014 06:01 PM

Wikimedia Statement on Copyright Changes in the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Potential members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.      Currently in negotiations      Announced interest in joining      Potential future members

Today, the Wikimedia Foundation supports the Fair Deal coalition in voicing opposition to certain provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement that is being secretly negotiated by 12 countries. We have signed onto two letters that focus on two proposals that would be particularly harmful to the Wikimedia movement. The first proposal would extend copyright terms well beyond previously-agreed periods, and the other would expand liability for Internet service providers beyond the standards set out in the U.S. Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) or in other countries’ copyright laws. As a host of other organizations and technology innovators have pointed out, these proposals have dangerous implications for free knowledge, online privacy, and freedom of expression. The Wikimedia Foundation is particularly compelled to act because these proposals threaten our mission of distributing free and public domain content to all people.

The first provision in question seeks to extend the copyright term in signatory countries far beyond what is required by previous international agreements such as the Berne Convention or the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The TPP would extend copyright terms from the lifetime of the creator plus 50 years to lifetime plus 70 years. On average, this means that a work could only enter the public domain after almost 140 years. Although proponents of copyright term extension commonly argue that such restrictive monopoly rights provide an incentive for creators to generate material, economists and legal scholars have found that the benefits of such term extensions accrue overwhelmingly to copyright holding companies rather than to the artists themselves. Extended copyright terms also result in works becoming unavailable altogether – or “orphaned” – because the copyright owner cannot be contacted or is uninterested in commercializing their work. This erosion of the public domain would weaken Wikipedia and all Wikimedia projects that build on a rich public domain.

The second provision calls for an expansion of intermediary liability for Internet service providers. This means that under the TPP, Internet service providers would be required to privately enforce copyright protection rules over their users. ISPs would also have to adopt stricter notice-and-takedown procedures — dubbed “notice-and-staydown” — enabling copyright owners to insist that material be removed from the Internet. The result is that ISPs would be forced to become “copyright cops” by policing their users’ actions on the Internet, passing on automated takedown notices, even disconnecting users or blocking websites like Wikipedia. Critics have called such proposals a form of censorship-by-proxy that imperils free expression and innovation. We know that irresponsible rightsholders already abuse the notice-and-takedown system with automated or invalid claims; the TPP’s heightened liability regime would further burden the Wikimedia Foundation and put it at greater legal risk for even legitimate online activity.

As currently drafted, the TPP would rewrite global copyright rules in ways that threaten the Wikimedia community. The Wikimedia community has demonstrated its opposition in the past to harmful copyright laws like SOPA and PIPA that sought to restrict people’s ability to freely access and share knowledge. We expect Wikimedians will not take new efforts to impose restrictions on knowledge lightly. For this reason, we support the Fair Deal coalition in encouraging TPP negotiators to reject any proposals that so threaten our digital rights.

Joseph Jung, Legal Intern

Luis Villa, Deputy General Counsel

by Joseph Jung at July 10, 2014 06:00 AM

July 09, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

How RIPE Atlas Helped Wikipedia Users

This post by Emile Aben is cross-posted from RIPE Labs, a blog maintained by the Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC). In addition to being the Regional Internet Registry for Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia, the RIPE NCC also operates RIPE Atlas, a global measurement network that collects data on Internet connectivity and reachability to assess the state of the Internet in real time. Wikimedia engineer Faidon Liambotis recently collaborated with the RIPE NCC on a project to measure the delivery of Wikimedia sites to users in Asia and elsewhere using our current infrastructure. Together, they identified ways to decrease latency and improve performance for users around the world. 

During RIPE 67, Faidon Liambotis (Principal Operations Engineer at the Wikimedia Foundation) and I got into a hallway conversation. Long story short: We figured we could do something with RIPE Atlas to decrease latency for users visiting Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites.

At that time, Wikimedia had two locations active (Ashburn and Amsterdam), and was preparing a third (San Francisco), to better serve users in Oceania, South Asia, and US/Canada west coast regions. We were wondering about the effects on network latency for users world-wide for this third location and Wikimedia wanted to quantify the effect turning up this location would have.

Wikimedia runs their own Content Delivery Network (CDN), mostly for privacy & cost reasons. Like most CDNs, to geographically balance the traffic to their various points of presence (PoPs), they employ a technique called GeoDNS: a user will, based on the DNS request that is made on their behalf from their DNS resolver, be specifically directed to one of the data centers based on their or their resolver’s IP address. This requires the authoritative DNS servers for Wikimedia sites to know where to best direct the user to. Wikimedia uses gdnsd for authoritative DNS to dynamically respond to those queries based on a region-to-datacenter map.

Some call this ‘stupid DNS tricks‘, others find it useful to decrease latency towards websites. Wikimedia is in the latter group, and we used RIPE Atlas to see how this method performs.

One specific question we wanted answered is where to “split Asia” between the San Francisco and the Amsterdam Wikimedia location. Latency is obviously a function of physical distance, but also the choice of upstream networks. As an example, these choices determine if packets to “other side of the world” destinations tend to be routed clockwise or counter-clockwise.

We scheduled latency measurements from all RIPE Atlas probes towards the three Wikimedia locations we wanted to look at, and visualised what datacenter showed the lowest latency for each probe. You can see the results in Figure 1 below.

Screenshot of latency map. Probes are colored based on the datacenter that shows the lowest measured latency for this particular probe

Figure 1: Screenshot of latency map. Probes are colored based on the datacenter that shows the lowest measured latency for this particular probe.

This latency map shows the locations of RIPE Atlas probes, coloured by what Wikimedia data center has the lowest latency measured from that probe:

  • Orange: the Amsterdam PoP has the lowest latency
  • Green: the Ashburn PoP has the lowest latency
  • Blue: the San Francisco PoP has the lowest latency.

Probes where the lowest latency is over 150ms have a red outline. An interactive version of this map is available here. Note that this is a prototype to show the potential of this approach, so it is a little rough around the edges.

Probes located in India clearly have lower latency towards Amsterdam. Probes in China, South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore showed lower latency towards San Francisco. For other locations in South-East Asia the situation was less clear, but that is also useful information to have, because it shows that directing users to either the Amsterdam or the San Francisco data center seems equally good (or bad). It is also interesting to note that all of Russia, including the two most eastern probes in Vladivostok have lowest latency towards Amsterdam. For the Vladivostok probes Amsterdam and San Francisco are almost the same distance, give or take 100 km. Nearby probes in China, South Korea and Japan have lowest latency towards San Francisco.

There is always the question of drawing conclusions based on a low number of samples, and how representative RIPE Atlas probe hosts are for a larger population. Having some data is better then no data in these cases though, and if a region has a low number of probes that can always be fixed by deploying more probes there. If you live in an underrepresented region you can apply for a probe and make this better.

With this measurement data to back it, Wikimedia has gradually turned up Oceania, South Asian countries and US/Canada states where RIPE Atlas measurements showed minimal latency to, to be served by their San Francisco caching PoP. The geo-config that Wikimedia is running on, is publicly available here.

As for the code that created the measurements and created the latency map: This was all prototype-quality code at best, so I originally planned to find a second site where we could do this, so to see if we could generalise scripts and visualisation and then share.

At RIPE 68 there was interest in even this raw prototype code for doing things with data centers, latency and RIPE Atlas, so we ended up sharing this code privately, and have heard of progress made on that already. In the meantime we’ve put up the code that created the latency map on github. Again: it’s a prototype, but if you can’t wait for a better version, please feel free to use and improve it.


If you have an interesting idea, and have no time, or other things are stopping you from implementing it, please let us know! You can always chat with us at a RIPE meetingregional meeting or any other channels. We don’t have infinite time, but we can definitely try out things, especially ideas that will improve the Internet and/or improve the life of network operators.

Emile Aben

by Faidon Liambotis at July 09, 2014 01:55 PM

July 08, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Wikipedia Signpost report: WikiProject Film

The logo of WikiProject Film

The English Wikipedia’s community-written newsletter, the Wikipedia Signpost, spoke to five members of WikiProject Film recently. One of the largest projects on the wiki, it boasts around 500 members and has existed for more than ten years. Its goal is to improve and manage articles directly related to film, the project’s main focus area. Though it has a broad scope, currently encompassing more than 100,000 articles, several smaller groups have split away to focus on narrower topics such as actors and screenwriters.

Those interviewed were Corvoe, Erik, Favre1fan93, NinjaRobotPirate and Lugnuts, all veteran editors possessing varying levels of experience. All five are, naturally, fans of film and share the common goal of improving Wikipedia’s coverage of film-related topics.

“Though I’d worked on music articles for a considerable amount of time beforehand, I’ve never felt more at home than at WikiProject Film,” says Corvoe, who has been a member of the project for a year. “Its collaborations far outweigh its solo ventures, and there are a large amount of us just wanting to improve as many articles as much as we can. I want others like me to have any amount of information that we can find at their fingertips, so that those as curious as I am have one centralized hub for any films they might be interested in.”

The Lumiere brothers. Auguste and Louis Lumière are credited to be the first filmmakers in history.

The project currently contains 239 featured articles, articles which have been carefully vetted by the community and deemed to be among the best on Wikipedia. It also covers 633 good articles which went through a similar, if less rigorous, process. Erik, who has been a user on Wikipedia since late 2005, has contributed to a number of pieces of audited content, though he says the process can be difficult.

“It takes a lot of work to truly research a film,” he says. “Older featured articles about films were usually based on online sources and did not often incorporate books as references. It’s a challenge to go that above and beyond since resources can be hard to access and since we have only so much time to devote to what is essentially a hobby for most of us.”

Favre1fan93, a Wikipedian of two and a half years, is a member of the comic book films task force—one of the many smaller “sub-projects” within the umbrella of WikiProject Film. He says that working with like-minded users makes the editing process easier.

“The members of that group all have a similar work ethic and I can look to many of them to be adding content to these pages to help make it a simple process to nominate it for GA status,” he explains. “In my opinion, this is the genre of film right now, so I try to take pride in have fulfilling articles for these very popular films.”

Dealing with vandalism and points of view is a big task which also falls into the project’s remit. “Most people are reasonable when I contact them on their talk page, and a few have been downright friendly and helpful once I politely explained my issues with their edits,” says NinjaRobotPirate. “However, I have run into publicists, filmmakers and vandals who were immensely frustrating to clean up after.”
Above everything, though, the end goal is to make Wikipedia’s content better. Erik says the website’s strengths are in the amalgamation of numerous sources into one solid whole. “If you work to make a film article comprehensive, you are basically making that web page the best place anywhere to read about a film. It’s a satisfying feeling to put together all these details and see how many readers learned new things about the film.”

For more info on WikiProject Film, read the full interview on the Signpost, or go to the WikiProject’s overview page.

Joe Sutherland, communications volunteer 

by Joe Sutherland at July 08, 2014 08:57 PM

July 07, 2014

Okinovo Okýnko

Jak na oborová kritéria významnosti na Wikipedii

Na Wikipedii existuje dlouhodobá diskuse o tom, zda mají tzv. oborová kritéria významnosti opodstatnění. Obvykle jsem říkal, že ano, protože umožňují na základě odborného posouzení ''zdrojů'' odhadnout, o jaké skupině lidí nebo věcí zdroje běžně jsou, a tuto skupinu popsat, definovat a tím říct: Ano, pokud napíšete článek o člověku/věci, co patří do takto popsané skupiny, nejspíš bude významný,

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at July 07, 2014 03:15 PM

July 05, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Wiki Loves Monuments heads to Pakistan for the first time

Wikimedia Pakistan logo.

In the English language, there’s an idiom that says a picture is worth a thousand words; but for the active organizers of the first ever Wiki Loves Monuments Pakistan, pictures are worth so much more. Set to begin this September, the recently-recognized Wikimedia Community User Group Pakistan, led by Wikivoyage administrator Saqib Qayyum (User:Saqib) – who was featured in a prior blog post back in February about his journey across Pakistan - , Samar Min Allah (User:Samar), Rabia Zafar (User: Rzafar) and Karthik Nadar (User:Karthikndr) are part of the international, month-long photo-gathering event that document monuments from across the globe, Wiki Loves Monuments. The goal is to upload these photographs – freely-licensed – onto Wikimedia Commons and subsequently Wikipedia. This year, Pakistan has the opportunity to participate in this multi-national competition. The primary organizers of WLM Pakistan have varied interests, yet share similar goals of preserving the proud cultural heritage of Pakistan for future generations. Samar and Rabia both recall how they first got involved with organizing WLM Pakistan. “Saqib,” Samar begins, “contacted me about it and we have been planning it since 2012. We wanted to organize this in the past year, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, we could not. We just got our user group recognition approved this year and we thought that it would be a very good opportunity to have this competition as a first event.” As for Rabia, Saqib contacted and asked her if she would be interested in working on Wiki Loves Monuments Pakistan. “So basically, I initially started editing the lists that were going to be used for the photographs, and I slowly moved on to helping them work on the project itself.” Both women are determined to preserve Pakistan’s culture digitally and make the first Wikimedia Loves Monuments Pakistan a tremendous success. Samar credits Saqib as the founder and the glue that keeps the user group together. “He is dealing mostly getting finances, getting resources and keeping us all together.” Being more technical, it is Samar’s role to create lists and pages on Wikipedia. Rabia is credited with dealing with media relations ( i.e. communications and public relations liaison and Facebook page moderator for WLM Pakistan). Karthik, as part of the International Wiki Loves Monuments team, has brought his experience over from Wikimedia India, fostering a bilateral collaboration between – traditionally – two rival countries.

Tomb of Mir Tharo Talpur — the ruler of Mirpur Khas — in Chitorri Graveyard (the historic ancestral graveyard of the Talpur Mirs of of Sindh) near the Pakistani city of Mirpur Khas.

“They [Indian Wikimedians] have collaborated with us on topics of mutual interest.” Samar says. “For the first time, I have had some really good friends from India, and all of a sudden, you get so close. It’s like you haven’t met these people and, all of a sudden, become your friends.” The collaborative nature of Wikipedia has strengthened ties personally, as well as illuminated mutual bonds between India and Pakistan, especially on articles where both countries share a common nexus. “Together, we worked on a topic related to Independence Day. We worked together to make it a GA-Class article, as well as articles on the Punjab province, languages, history, political leaders. There are common interest topics in both of our countries.” Samar, a civil engineer and a Fulbright master’s scholar in water resource engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, is currently living in Islamabad. She grew up in a small family with well-educated parents; her mother was involved in the IT sector, which provided her with an environment where she was exposed to computers at an early age. In 2008, while in her teens, she became a volunteer editor on Wikipedia. However, her first experience was – like so many other new editors – not encouraging. “My first edit was immediately reverted, so that scared me off for a little while,” she recalls. Fortunately, Samar returned to editing Wikipedia, primarily focusing on her intense interest in archeology, specifically archaeological sites and monuments of national and cultural significance in Pakistan. Rabia is also passionate about the preservation of Pakistani culture, a culture that has taken thousands of years to embellish itself so uniquely, but more into how Pakistani’s themselves engage with their history. “Pakistan,” she says, “has seen all sorts of contacts with people and has seen a lot of different historical figures visit and has been a part of various empires. I think over the years, this mixing of people and this mixing of history has resulted in a population which is very diverse in many ways- ethnically, religiously, etc. Unfortunately, people in Pakistan do not care about their history too much,” she laments. She hopes WLM Pakistan will change that. This rich state of cultural flux has produced a plethora of beautiful sites that Samar is determined to document, initially via photography and then onto archiving within Wikimedia Commons for all to see. “Pakistan has a very old history – some 7,000 years – back to the Harappan culture in Mehrgarh. After, there’s the Indus Valley Civilization. Then, of course, we have the Hindu Empire, the Sikh Empire, the Mughal Empire and various Muslim Empires. All of these empires left some remnants after them, so there are so many sites here – literally thousands.”

Inside view of the shrine of the great mystic poet, saint and scholar Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, Sindh.

With so many rich cultural sites juxtaposed amongst the relative political instability in Pakistan, the Pakistani government currently has a very incomplete list of all the heritage sites within the country. Nevertheless, Samar has taken up the challenge of helping record these sites. This is one of the objectives Samar hopes to accomplish with WLM Pakistan in September. “We are documenting them right now on Wikipedia, like I said, there are literally thousands of sites here, but unfortunately many of them are not well-known, even by the locals. We are not only trying to make local people realize their cultural significance, but also to show them to the rest of the world.” She’s also looking forward to all the new media that is to be uploaded. “For me, it’s all about the getting those photographs,” she stresses. “Because, when I create new articles or when I am working on those topics, I never find those images. So I’m really looking forward to being able to gain some media which will be able to support these articles.” However, Samar, as well as the rest of the user group have a daunting challenge ahead of them: how do they encourage a nation to participate – let alone donate – pictures for WLM? “I think,” Rabia says, “that the way you convince people is by stressing that it’s just one or two photographs, that’s it. I think you might actually be able to motivate people to help you out and do it.” “I’ve talked to a couple of people that I know and I say ‘even if you submit one photograph… you don’t have to submit tons of them, just one would do, just that one is more than what we have right now, so it would be something.’” The smallest effort can make a world of a difference, especially for WLM Pakistan coming up right around the corner. In addition to receiving help professionally by reaching out to the Pakistani press and with the aid of a photographer who is currently helping them out, Rabia hopes that spreading the word of WLM Pakistan will catalyze more Pakistanis to become interested in their rich history and cultural heritage. This especially is a labor of love for Rabia, history is her passion. Originally from Karachi, Rabia, currently an academic coordinator, holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from an American university, and a Master’s degree in History from a UK institution. She currently edits another Wiki for the Families in British India Society. She started editing Wikipedia back in 2007, helping create history articles. Her history concentrations include the British era of Pakistan from 1839 onwards and mail. “I am a postal historian,” she proudly identifies.

Birthplace of Mughal Emperor Akbar in Umerkot. Akbar was the Mughal Emperor from 1556 until his death in 1605 and was the third and one of the greatest ruler of the Mughal Dynasty in India.

The postage stamps and postal history of Pakistan Wikipedia page can be described as Rabia’s sole production (she’s also writing a book on the postal history of Karachi). “I’ve done research in the national archives in the U.S. actually and the libraries in Britain for that book. So, I have all of this material which relates to Pakistan’s postal system.” And with all this amazing knowledge, she created the Wikipedia article. “People in Pakistan don’t really use history; I want to get them more interested in history because I feel it is an interesting subject. People are like ‘Oh, you just learn about it. It’s the same dates going from grade eight maybe until you graduate. It just gets so boring. Anything I can do to change this perception, to have people care about their own history, I will do.” It is a well-known fact that a majority of  Wikipedia editors are men, a fact that surprises both Samar and Rabia. For Samar she believes women in the west should be more active. “From Pakistan there are not many women who are actively contributing, that is reflective of our society, it is made up like this. You will not see many women participating in such activities in real life and this Wiki world is a reflection of that. Internationally, I just never understood why women from the Western world, which is considered much more developed and much more advanced, are not so active. I don’t understand why they are not part of this movement.” “I don’t know why men are more interested in it than women. I seriously can’t tell you why,” Rabia affirms. Samar is pragmatic about her criticism as to of why people do not contribute to Wikipedia. “Wikipedia is giving you free knowledge, why wouldn’t you care? Why shouldn’t you share your knowledge when you are gaining from others?” With its great cultural heritage and with the support of a determined set of individuals, Rabia is confident in WLM’s success in attaining photographs and proving that Pakistan has what it takes to compete come September. “Let’s just put it this way, we’ll give people a run for their money.”

Michael Guss, Communications volunteer for the Wikimedia Foundation

Interview by Victor Grigas, Storyteller for the Wikimedia Foundation

by Michael Guss at July 05, 2014 12:26 AM

July 04, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Introducing Wikipedia Summer of Monuments

The logo for Wikipedia Summer of Monuments, a project carried out by Wikimedia District of Columbia.

This is a syndicated post from Wikimedia DC, with a few alterations. The original post can be found here.

Hello friends,

As Americans across the United States kick off the 4th of July weekend, the “Summer of Monuments” campaign has launched an exciting photo contest focusing especially on Southern states whose history is underrepresented on Wikimedia Commons. These are a contiguous block of states extending from the East Coast to the middle of the country: Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Kansas.

At the forefront of this effort will be local historians, librarians, photographers and anyone else working passionately to preserve and analyze our culture. We are pleased that we can offer prizes to the best photographers and to the institution that contributes the most valuable collection. We also hope to demonstrate how Wikimedia Commons can be a valuable ally for historians—an amazing free resource for sharing and preserving their materials.

If all goes well, we can use our Monument momentum to develop Wikipedia even further in some of these less-digitized areas. We are seeking communities (be they interested in a specific location or in a theme, such as the civil rights movement) that we can support in their use of Wikipedia to catalogue and preserve the resources and information they value.

We are also calling all Wikipedians who live and work in these ten Southern states to join us in this project and to share with us their ideas for creatively expanding our collective encyclopedic project.

Summer of Monuments 2014 was made possible with the help of a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation. For more information visit the Summer of Monuments homepage.

Happy summer, everybody!

Leo Zimmermann, Project Manager for Wikipedia Summer of Monuments, Wikimedia DC

by Carlos Monterrey at July 04, 2014 06:57 PM

July 03, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

WLM Pakistan

In the English language, there’s an idiom that  says A picture is worth a thousand words; but for the active organizers of the first ever Wikimedia Loves Monuments Pakistan, pictures are worth so much more.


Set to begin this September, the recently-recognized Wikimedia Community User Group Pakistan, led by Saqib Qayyum (User: Saqib), Samar Min Allah (User: Samar), Rabia Zafar (User: Rzafar), and Karthik Nadar (User:Karthikndr )  is part of the international, month-long photo-gathering event to document monuments from across the globe, and then uploading these photographs – freely-licensed – onto Wikimedia Commons, and subsequently, Wikipedia. And this year, Pakistan has the opportunity to participate in this multi-national competition. The primary organizers of WLM Pakistan have varied interests, yet share  similar goals of preserving the proud cultural heritage of Pakistan for future generations and exhibit it to the world. This event is also important because it will be the first time that Wikimedia Community User Group Pakistan would be meeting in person.


Samar Min Alllah and Rabia Zafar, both sharing intriguing backgrounds, are two of the prime organizers for WLM Pakistan and for the Pakistani User group. Both women are determined to preserve Pakistan’s culture digitally, and make the first ever Wikimedia Loves Monument Pakistan a tremendous success.


——- Samar ——–


Samar credits Saqib with as the founder and the glue that keeps the User Group together. “He is dealing with mostly getting finances, getting resources, and keep us all together”. Being more technical, it is Samar’s role in creating lists and pages on Wikipedia. Rabia is credited with dealing with media relations ( i.e. communications and public relations liaison for them, with just one of her tasks handling the Facebook page for WLM Pakistan), and Karthik, part of the International Wiki Loves Monuments team, has brought his experience over from Wikimedia India, fostering a bilateral collaboration between traditionally, two rival countries.


Say something about collaboration here


Samar, a civil engineer and master’s candidate in water resource engineering, grew up in a small family of well-educated parents. Her mother was involved in the IT sector, providing her with an environment where she was exposed to a computer at an early age. In her teen years, she became a volunteer editor on Wikipedia in 2008. However, her first experience was – like so many other new editors – not encouraging.  “My first edit was immediately reverted, so that scared me off for a little while,” she recalls. Fortunately, Samar returned to editing Wikipedia, primarily focusing on her intense interest in archeology, specifically archaeological sites and monuments of national and cultural heritage in Pakistan.


Rabia is also passionate about the preservation of Pakistani culture, a culture that has taken thousands of years to embellish itself so uniquely, but more into the how Pakistani’s interact with history.


. “Pakistan,” she says, “has seen all sorts of contacts with people and has seen a lot of different historical figures visit, and has been apart of various empires. I think over the years, this mixing of people and this mixing of history has resulted in a population which is very diverse in many ways- ethnically, religiously, etc.” This rich state of cultural flux has produced a plethora of beautiful sites that Samar is determined to document, initially via photography, and then onto archiving in Wikimedia Commons for all to see.


“Pakistan has a very old history – some 7,000 years – back to the Harappan culture in Mehrgarh. After, there’s the Indus Valley Civilization. Then, of course, we have the Hindu Empire, the Sikh Empire, the Mughal Empire, and various Muslim Empires. All of these empires left some remnants after them, so there are so many sites here – literally thousands.”


With so many rich cultural sites juxtaposed amongst the relative political instability in Pakistan, the Pakistani government currently has a  very incomplete list of all the heritage sites within the country,  Nevertheless, Samar has taken up the challenge of helping record these sites, one of the objectives Samar hopes to accomplish with WLM Pakistan in September. She’s also looking forward to all the new media to be uploaded.


“For me, it’s all about the getting those photographs,” she stresses. “Because, when I create new articles or when I am working on those topics, I never find those images. So I’m really looking forward to being able to gain some media which will be able to support these articles.”


However, Samar, as well as the rest of the User Group have a daunting challenge ahead of them: how do they encourage of nation to participate- let alone donate – pictures for WLM?

[ Distinction between geographic identity and nationalist identity]“Pakistan as a region is very old, but Pakistan as a country is very young,”

——- Rabia ———–


This mixture of peoples and civilizations is also a fact Rabia Zafar is well-aware of, after all, history is her passion.  Originally from Karachi, Rabia, currently an academic coordinator, holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from an American university, and a Master’s degree in History from a UK institution. She started editing WIkipedia back in 2007, helping create history articles. Her history concentrations include the British era of Pakistan from 1839 onwards, and – the mail.

“I am a postal historian,” she  proudly identifies. The postage stamps and postal history of Pakistan Wikipedia page can be described as Rabi’s sole production (She’s also writing a book on the postal history of Karachi). “I’ve done research in the national archives in the U.S. actually and the libraries in Britain for that book. So, I have all of this material which related to Pakistan’s postal system.” And with all this amazing knowledge, she created the Wikipedia article to share with everyone.


Role of Wikipedia: What it serves: Why should people care.

Gender Imbalance:


by Michael Guss at July 03, 2014 05:54 PM

July 01, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Translatewiki.net in the Swedish spotlight

This post is available in 2 languages:
English  • Svenska


Translatewiki.net’s logo.

Most Swedes have a basic understanding of English, but many of them are far from being fluent. Hence, it is important that different computer programs are localized so that they can also work in Swedish and other languages. This helps people avoid mistakes and makes the users work faster and more efficienttly. But how is this done?

First and foremost, the different messages in the software need to be translated separately. To get the translation just right and to make sure that the language is consistent requires a lot of thought. In open source software, this work is often done by volunteers who double check each other’s work. This allows for the program to be translated into hundreds of different languages, including minority languages that commercial operators usually do not focus on. As an example, the MediaWiki software that is used in all Wikimedia projects (such as Wikipedia), is translated in this way. As MediaWiki is developed at a rapid pace, with a large amount of new messages each month, it is important for us that we have a large and active community of translators. This way we make sure that everything works in all languages as fast as possible. But what could the Wikimedia movement do to help build this translator community?

We are happy to announce that Wikimedia Sverige is about to start a new project with support from Internetfonden (.Se) (the Internet Fund). The Internet Fund supports projects that improve the Internet’s infrastructure. The idea of translating open software to help build the translator community is in line with their goals. We gave the project a zingy name: “Expanding the translatewiki.net – ‘Improved Swedish localization of open source, for easier online participation’.” This is the first time that Wikimedia Sverige has had a project that focuses on this important element of the user experience. Here we will learn many new things that we will try to share with the wider community while aiming to improve the basic infrastructure on translatewiki.net. The translation platform translatewiki.net currently has 27 programs ready to be translated into 213 languages by more than 6,400 volunteers from around the world.

We will carry out the project in cooperation with Umeå University and Meta Solutions Ltd, with support from the developers of translatewiki.net (who are employed by the Wikimedia Foundation). We will be working on several exciting things and together we will:

  • Build a larger and more active community of Swedish-speaking translator on translatewiki.net;
  • Design a system for Open Badges and explore how it can be integrated with MediaWiki software. (Do let us know if you are working on something similar so that we can help each other!);
  • Complete translations into Swedish for at least five of the remaining programs that are on translatewiki.net;
  • Improve usability by inventorying and clarifying the documentation, something that will be done in cooperation with and will benefit the entire community on translatewiki.net;
  • Umeå University will conduct research on parts of the project so that we get a deeper understanding of the processes (what exactly they will focus their research on is yet to be determined); and
  • Add Meta Solutions’ program EntryScape for translation on translatewiki.net, and document the steps and how it went. This case study will hopefully identify bottle necks and make it easier for others to add their programs. MetaSolutions will also develop the necessary code to make it possible for similar programs to be added to translatewiki.net.

We will also organize several translation sprints where we can jointly translate as many messages as possible (you can also participate remotely). Last year we organized a translation sprint and discovered real value in sitting together. It made the work more enjoyable and it made it easier to arrive at the appropriate translations for the trickier messages. If you would like to be involved in the Swedish translations, please get in contact with us!

Kind regards,

John Andersson
Project Manager

Wikimedia Sverige




Translatewiki.net i rampljuset

Translatewiki.net’s logotype.

De flesta svenskar har en grundläggande engelskaförståelse, men långt ifrån alla kan arbeta obehindrat eller känner sig helt bekväma att använda språket. Därför är det viktigt att olika datorprogram anpassas för att även fungerar på svenska och andra språk. Det hjälper folk att undvika misstag och gör det enklare för användaren att arbeta snabbt och effektivt. Men hur går då detta till rent praktiskt?

För detta behöver de olika meddelandena i programvaran översättas var för sig. Detta kräver ofta en hel del eftertanke för att betydelsen ska blir rätt och för att språkbruket skall bli enhetligt rakt igenom. I öppen programvara sker detta arbete väldigt ofta av volontärer som kontrollerar varandras arbete. Detta gör det möjligt att för en väldigt låg kostnad få översättningar till hundratals olika språk, inklusive minoritetsspråk som de kommersiella aktörerna aldrig skulle fokusera på. Exempelvis översätts MediaWiki, programvaran som används i alla Wikimedias projekt, på detta sätt. Då MediaWiki utvecklas i en snabb takt med mängder av nya meddelanden varje månad är det viktigt för oss att vi har en stor och aktiv gemenskap av översättare så att allt fungerar på alla språk. Vi anser alltså att detta är värdefullt för fri kunskap. Men vad kan då Wikimedia-rörelsen göra för att utveckla denna översättargemenskap?

Glädjande nog kommer vi på Wikimedia Sverige att påbörja ett nytt projekt som med stöd från Internetfonden (.Se). Internetfonden stödjer olika projekt som förbättrar Internets infrastruktur, och vårt projekt är i linje med deras mål. Vi kallar projektet lite snärtigt för “En expandering av translatewiki.net – Förbättrad svensk lokalisering av öppen källkod, för enklare onlinedeltagande”. Detta är extra kul då Wikimedia Sverige inte tidigare haft något projekt som fokuserar på denna viktiga del av användarupplevelsen. Här kommer vi att lära oss många nya saker som vi kommer att försöka dela med andra som gillar öppen programvara och förbättra translatewiki.nets infrastruktur. Översättningsplattformen translatewiki.net har för närvarande 27 program upplagda, vilka översätts till 213 språk av över 6 400 volontärer från hela världen.

Vi kommer att genomföra projektet tillsammans med Umeå universitet samt MetaSolutions AB och med stöd från utvecklare av translatewiki.net, som är anställda av Wikimedia Foundation i USA. Inom ramen för projektet kommer vi att arbeta med flera spännande saker! Tillsammans kommer vi att:

  • Arbeta för att bygga upp en större gemenskap av svensktalande översättare på translatewiki.net;
  • Designa ett system för Open Badges och undersöka hur det kan integreras i MediaWiki-programvaran;
  • Färdigställa översättningarna till svenska för minst fem av de återstående program som finns där;
  • Förbättra användarvänligheten genom att inventera och förtydliga dokumentation, vilket kommer att gynna hela translatewiki.net;
  • Umeå universitet kommer att forska på delar av vårt projekt så att vi får en djupare förståelse för processerna (den exakta inriktningen är ännu inte bestämd); samt
  • Lägga till MetaSolutions program EntryScape för översättning på translatewiki.net och dokumentera hur det gick. Denna fallstudie kommer förhoppningsvis att identifiera flaskhalsar och göra det lättare för andra att lägga till sina projekt. För att kunna lägga till EntryScape kommer MetaSolutions även att skriva den nödvändiga koden för att göra det enklare för liknande program att läggas upp på platformen.

Vi kommer även att anordna flera översättningssprint för att gemensamt översätta så många meddelanden som möjligt. Självklart kan man alltid delta på distans! Vi prövade att genomföra översättningssprint förra året och såg då ett tydligt värde av att sitta tillsammans då det gjorde arbetet roligare och det blev enklare att komma fram till lämpliga översättningar för de klurigaste meddelandena. Alla är inbjudna till att hjälpa till och vi guidar er gärna rätt om ni är nya på translatewiki.net om ni är nya där. Skicka bara ett mail eller slå en pling!


John Andersson

Wikimedia Sverige



by John Andersson at July 01, 2014 11:19 PM

Wikimedia Foundation Report, May 2014

Information You are more than welcome to edit the wiki version of this report for the purposes of usefulness, presentation, etc., and to add translations of the “Highlights” excerpts.

<meta charset="UTF-8"/>

Data and Trends

Global unique visitors for April:

465 million (-6.00% compared with March; -9.92% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release May data later in June)

Page requests for May:

20.654 billion (-0.2% compared with April; -1.6% compared with the previous year)
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation content projects including mobile access, but excluding Wikidata and the Wikipedia main portal page.)

Active Registered Editors for April 2014 (>= 5 mainspace edits/month, excluding bots):

75,364 (-2.25% compared with March / -7.25% compared with the previous year)
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects.
Note: These numbers were recently adjusted to correct a bug involving IPV6 addresses.)

Report Card (integrating various statistical data and trends about WMF projects):




Wikimedia Foundation YTD Revenue and Expenses vs Plan as of April 30, 2014

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Expenses by Functions as of April 30, 2014

(Financial information is only available through April 2014 at the time of this report.)

All financial information presented is for the Month-To-Date and Year-To-Date April 30, 2014.

Revenue 49,194,784
 Engineering Group 13,800,658
 Fundraising Group 3,209,299
 Grantmaking Group 1,472,907
 Programs Group 1,493,168
 Grants 4,066,472
 Governance Group 725,565
 Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group 3,256,914
 Finance/HR/Admin Group 5,484,592
Total Expenses 33,509,575
Total surplus (15,685,209)
in US dollars
  • Revenue for the month of April is $8.24MM versus plan of $1.71MM, approximately $6.53MM or 383% over plan.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $49.19MM versus plan of $46.76MM, approximately $2.43MM or 5% over plan.
  • Expenses for the month of April is $3.19MM versus plan of $4.69MM, approximately $1.50MM or 32% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, FDC grants, and payment processing fees partially offset by higher legal fees, outside contract services, and travel expenses related to community convening events.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $33.51MM versus plan of $41.06MM, approximately $7.55MM or 18% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, legal fees, payment processing fees, staff development expenses, grants and travel expenses partially offset by higher outside contract services.
  • Cash and Investments – $55.6MM as of April 30, 2014.

Demo video for “ZoomProof”, a tool that will facilitate proofreading work on the Armenian Wikisource – one of the 12 new IEG projects


12 new individual engagement grants

The Foundation’s Individual Engagement Grants (IEG) support projects from individuals or small teams to organize, build, create, research or facilitate something that enhances the work of Wikimedia’s volunteers. The 12 winning grants from the first round of 2014 were announced on May 30.

Test of a message inviting anonymous editors to create an account, displayed after they have made an edit (presentation slide)

Inviting anonymous editors to join the Wikipedia community

On the English, German, French, and Italian Wikipedias, the Foundation’s Growth team conducted two experiments to test user interface changes for encouraging anonymous editors to create an account and join the community of registered users. In the first test, a recommendation to create an account was shown when the user clicks “edit”, and in the second test, the invitation was displayed after the user saved an edit. Preliminary data strongly suggested a positive effect on new registrations.

Overview over the FDC proposals from round 2 (presentation slides)

Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) recommendations announced

In May, the nine-member Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) met for its face-to-face deliberations and published its recommendations to the WMF Board of Trustees on proposals from four organizations (three chapters and the Foundation) on how to spend Wikimedia donation money. The Board will make its decision on these recommendations by 1 July. The Advisory Group to the FDC also met in Frankfurt for their final meeting, to provide the Executive Director of the WMF with a recommendation on whether or not the FDC process (begun in 2012) should continue, and if so, what modifications should be made. They unanimously agreed to recommend to continue the process.


A detailed report of the Tech Department’s activities for May 2014 can be found at:

Department Highlights

Major news in May include:


In May, the VisualEditor team worked on the performance stability of the editor, rolled out a major new feature to help users better edit articles, and made some improvements to other features to increase their ease of use and understandability, fixing 75 bugs and tickets. The new citation editor is now available to all VisualEditor users on the English, Polish, and Czech Wikipedias, with instructions on how to enable it on other wikis. The citation and template dialogs were simplified to avoid technical language and some outcomes that were unexpected for users. As part of this, the citation icons were replaced with a new, clearer set, and the template hinting system now lets wikis mark template parameters as “suggested”, as a step below the existing “required” state. The formula editor is now available to all VisualEditor users, and a new Beta Feature giving a tool that lets you set the language of content was made available for testing and feedback. Following a new set of user testing, the toolbar was tweaked, moving the list and indent buttons to a drop-down to make them less prominent, and removing the gallery button which is rarely used and confused users. The mobile version of VisualEditor, currently available for alpha testers, was expanded to also have the new citation editor available, and had some significant performance improvements made, especially for long or complex pages. Work continued on making VisualEditor more performant and reliable, and key tasks like keyboard accessibility have progressed. The deployed version of the code was updated five times in the regular release cycle.

Progress was also made on Parsoid, the parsing program that works behind the scenes of VisualEditor. The team continued with ongoing bug fixes and bi-weekly deployments. Besides the user-facing bug fixes, we also improved our tracing support (to aid debugging), and did some performance improvements. We also finished implementing support for HTML/visual editing of transclusion parameters. This is not yet enabled in production while we finish up any additional performance tweaks on it. As part of the Google Summer of Code program, one student is working on a wikilint project to detect broken/bad wikitext in wiki pages.

Editor engagement

In May, the Flow team prepared the new front-end redesign of this new discussion system. We completed work on sorting topics on a board by most recent activity, and changed hidden post handling so that everyone can see hidden posts. Back-end improvements include optimizations on how we handle unique identifiers and generate standard URLs. We also accepted Special:Flow (a community-created improvement that makes it easier to create redirects to Flow boards) and made fixes for topic submission and replies for users without JavaScript.

Growth team presentation slides from the monthly Metrics meeting

The Growth team launched its A/B test of two methods for asking anonymous editors to sign up on the English, German, French, and Italian Wikipedias. Full analysis of the test results is expected in June, though preliminary data strongly suggests a positive impact on new registrations. Last but not least, Growth released two smaller enhancements to our data collection regarding article creation, including adding page identifiers to MediaWiki’s deletion logs and tracking page restorations across all wikis.


This month, the Mobile Apps team worked on a series of navigation improvements to the iOS and Android alpha apps, focusing on the interface for searching, saving and sharing pages, and navigating to the table of contents. We also worked on restyling the global navigation menu and article content—typography, color, and spacing—to create a standardized experience across the mobile web and apps. In preparation for the launch of the Android app in June, we tackled a number of user-reported crashing bugs to ensure a more stable and reliable experience for our users.

The Mobile web team continued to build out the basic features of VisualEditor for tablet users, providing the ability to add references via VisualEditor. We hope to finish refining the add and modify references workflow in preparation for graduating VE for tablets to the stable mobile site sometime in July. On the reader features side, we’ve made a number of tablet-related styling improvements (typography, spacing, and Table of Contents) to the stable mobile site. This should greatly improve the reading experience for tablet users who are already accessing the mobile version of our projects, and it is one of the last pieces of work we planned to get done before we begin redirecting all tablet users to the mobile site mid-June.

The Wikipedia Zero team worked on restructuring ZeroRatedMobileAccess into several extensions, and added support for graceful image quality reduction, and worked on a proposal to use GIF images for Zero banners instead of ESI. We also added necessary library support to the reboots of the Wikipedia apps, performed limited app code review, added support for Nokia (now MS Mobile) proxies, and started work with the Design team on the final polish for the Wikipedia Zero experience in the forthcoming apps.

In May we launched Wikipedia Zero with Ncell in Nepal, Sky Mobile (Beeline) in Kyrgyzstan and Airtel in Nigeria. We also added Opera Mini zero-rating in Umniah in Jordan. We served roughly 67 million free page views in May across 30 partners in 28 countries. We met with community members from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Jordan, as well as prospective partners in Brazil, and kicked off the carrier portal design with Noble studios.


Major Gifts and Foundations

  • The Major Gifts team welcomed Sylvia Ventura to the team as a Development Consultant on a 3 month contract. Sylvia will be helping plan our fall fundraising events and further developing our relationships with international donors.
  • We are working on an event at St. James Palace in London to support Wikimania the last week of June.

Online Fundraising

  • The online fundraising team ran low-level banner tests world-wide. Emails were sent to previous donors in the Czech Republic and Norway. Approximately $700,000 USD was raised in May (preliminary numbers as donations are still settling).
  • The team held focus groups with donors in the US, primarly focused on optimizing mobile and email fundraising.
  • The team prepared translations of fundraising messages into multiple languages for upcoming international banner campaigns. If you would like to help with the translation process, please get involved.
  • The fundraising tech team successfully deployed a new credit card processor allowing us to process payments more efficiently internationally, fully customize forms, and have credit card processing redundancy.


Department highlights

Annual Plan Grants (Funds Dissemination Committee)

  • In May, the nine-member FDC met for its face-to-face deliberations and published its recommendations to the WMF Board of Trustees on 2013-2014 Round 2 proposals. The Board will make its decision on these recommendations by 1 July. A more detailed calendar on the process, including upcoming milestones and deadlines, is available on Meta.
  • In addition, the Advisory Group to the FDC also met in Frankfurt for their final meeting. Their goal was to provide the Executive Director of the WMF with a recommendation on whether or not the FDC process should continue, and if so, what modifications should be made. Their unanimously agreed to recommend to continue the process; more detailed recommendations are forthcoming.
  • The FDC is currently accepting four new members. To that end, self-nominations are accepted through June 15. Four new members will be appointed by the Board of Trustees, and will be announced in July. If you should have questions about the process, contact FDCsupport at wikimedia.org.

Project and Event Grants

  • 3 new requests were funded in May 2014.

Grants funded in May 2014

The logo for Wikipedia Summer of Monuments.

  • Indigenous Knowledge for Wikipedia: To support a workshop and the development of case studies examining the use of oral citations for improving Wikipedia articles.
  • Summer of Monuments 2014: To support Wikimedia US-DC in organizing a photo campaign targeted at select Southern US states to improve coverage of nationally-recognized monuments on Wikipedia.
  • Wikimedia Estonia office rental: To support Wikimedia Estonia with their rental office space.

Travel & Participation Support

  • 3 new requests were funded and 2 reports were accepted in May 2014.

Requests awarded in May 2014

Three requests involving participation in the 2014 Open Source Bridge Conference to fund:

Reports accepted in May 2014

Individual Engagement Grants

Presentation slides about new Individual Engagement Grants

Learning and Evaluation (including Program Evaluation)

In May, much of the L&E teams time was set on developing the L&E logic model and also bringing in new team member Maria Cruz! Also, much time was spent on prepping for the FDC deliberations and advisory group meeting and the revamp of the IdeaLab.

  • Migrated the Evaluation portal to the Grants namespace, as part of our ongoing efforts to re-integrate Learning & Evaluation and Program Evaluation.
  • Collaborated with the IEG program officer, contract developer Jeph Paul, and designer Heather Walls on the IdeaLab revamp project. See IEG section above for more info.
  • Assisted IEG grantee Ocaasi with a 6-month retrospective data analysis of The Wikipedia Adventure.
  • Worked with Analytics to develop a framework for gathering active editor geodata.

In addition to participating with the full Learning and Evaluation team in strategy sessions related to our integration under Grantmaking, the program evaluation and design team members:

Survey of GAC members

Grants Programs

  • Annual Plan Grants: completed impact analysis for the first round of funding, FDC year 1. Prepped materials for the FDC advisory group (to be published); published financial overviews for the entities applying for funds in Round 2, 2013-14.
  • Project & Event Grants: finalized consulting engagement with pro-bono consulting group Inspire. Key topic areas:

Grants Operations and tools

  • Migrated the Evaluation portal to a new address at Grants:Evaluation making its contents searchable by default.
  • Conducted research on available commercial QDA (Qualitative Data Analysis) solutions.
  • Worked with Fluxx labs on fixing major bugs in Fluxx site including bank info, budgets, currencies and others.
  • Documentation of GrantsBot! GrantsBot is a critical tool used by the grantmaking team to update and maintain a variety of pages and portals throughout the Grants namespace.
  • IdeaLab revamp is underway! See IEG section above.

Org effectiveness

  • Closure of the Wikimedia board governance survey developed with of WMF Board, Wikimedia Chapters, and AffCom. Analysis to be done in June. Thank you to all the participants!

A visualization of users’ interaction to the Grants namespace talk pages on Meta (generated using Gephi)


Wikipedia Education Program

Global programs

  • The Wikipedia Education Program team is establishing a baseline of Wikipedia education initiatives worldwide. The team is conducting a large outreach effort to more than 60 programs worldwide that are using Wikipedia in education. Currently, the outreach consists of one-on-one talks with all program leaders to understand their educational initiatives, activities, goals, and potential support needs. Since beginning our outreach efforts in April 2014,Floor, Anna, Tighe, and Rod have spoken to 32 initiatives worldwide that are using Wikipedia in Education.
  • The Wikipedia Education Program continues its support for the Education Cooperative, a group of program leaders worldwide committed to working together to share leanings and experiences using Wikipedia in education. Coop members, together with the Wikipedia Education Program team, are currently working on four initial areas for the Coop: Communications, Resources, Recognition and Mentoring. Check out these works in progress:
    • Restructuring of the education portal on Outreach wiki continues as we bring together five separate educational portals into one site, combining trainings, materials and brochures, learnings and worldwide Wikipedia in Education efforts. See: Update on the education portal. We’ll be working on the content for each of the pages in the upcoming months.
    • Improvements to the monthly community-led newsletter, This Month In Education, including an email subscription option and a single-page edition, resulted in several new subscriptions as well as a significant increase in page views.
  • Floor Koudijs, Manager of the Wikipedia Education Program, attended WikiCon USA 2014, in New York from May 30 to June 1.

Arab world programs

Volunteers from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lebanon and Jordan gathered for a two-day hackathon in Amman. Photo: Samir I. Sharbaty CC-BY-SA-3.0

  • Arab World Education Program Manager, Tighe Flanagan, organized the Wikipedia Education Program hackathon in Amman, Jordan from 16-17 May, 2014 with support from Dr. Nidal Yousef and Isra University; WEP sponsored the participation of 11 volunteers from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Lebanon in addition to over 20 local volunteers from Jordan.
  • 35 volunteers (Wikimedians, educators and student ambassadors) worked on tasks to improve the Wikipedia Education Program in the region, documenting their teams and work on-wiki; the Editing Wikipedia Brochure was partially translated into Arabic and several new institutions were added to the Education Extension to track student activity and contributions on-wiki.
  • Siko Bouterse from Grantmaking and Adele Vrana from Wikipedia Zero helped facilitate the Jordan Hackathon from the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Egyptian students celebrated the accomplishments of the previous semester, featured in the This Month in Education Newsletter.


Two blog posts:

Human Resources

We supported F&A in the finalization of the WMF annual plan for submisson to the board. We hired two employees, Elena Hernandez, who began with us as benefits and wellness coordinator, and a recruiting coordinator who will begin in June. We completed preparation work for the annual reviews and compensation adjustments, and all the hiring and onboarding for nine new req holders as well as managing our portfolio of immigration-related work.

May Staff Changes

New Requisitions Filled
  • Lila Tretikov (ED)
  • Bernd Sitzmann (Engineering)
  • Daniel Duvall (Engineering)
  • Filippo Giunchedi (Engineering)
  • Mukunda Modell (Engineering)
  • Rachel diCerbo (Product)
  • Abigail Ripstra (Product)
  • Elena Hernandez (HR)
Conversions (Contractor to Requisition)
  • Rummana Yasmeen (Engineering)
Requisition Departures
  • Charles Salvia (Engineering)
New Interns
  • Ralph Torres (Office IT)
  • Consuelo Jimenez (Office IT)
  • Sylvia Ventura (Office IT)
  • Mark Verstraete (Legal)
  • Chuck Roslof (Legal)
  • Joseph Jung (Legal)
  • Eric Holmes (Legal)
New Contractors
  • Maria Cruz (Grants)
Contracts Ended
  • Ryan Faulkner
  • Monica Breton
  • Marshall Olin
  • Shaila Nathu
  • Jessica Tam
  • Genya Vasyanina
  • Aaron Arcos
  • Sage Ross

May Statistics

Total Requisitions Filled
May Actual: 176
May Total Plan: 196 (full req#, with stage-gating and out of plan)
May Filled: 9, Month Attrition: 1,
FYTD Filled: 58, FYTD Attrition: 27
Remaining Open positions to fiscal year end
20 → reflects 4 total out of plan req#s 193-196 (for finance)

Finance and Administration

  • In the month of June, the Wikimedia Foundation will be issuing an RFP (Request for Proposal) for investment advisory services.
  • Beginning June 14 and ending June 30, the 6th floor or the Wikimedia Foundation office will be undergoing improvements which will shift staff to the 3rd floor and offsite locations.
  • The Annual Plan of the Wikimedia Foundation has been reviewed by the Chair of the Audit Committee (Stu West) and is being prepared for submission to the Board of Trustees for approval.

Legal & Community Advocacy Department

LCA Report, May 2014

  • Following the closing of a 5.5 month-long community consultation in February, the new draft privacy policy was approved by the WMF Board of Trustees and will go into effect upon completion of an appropriate notice period on 06 June 2014.
  • After the vigorous debate during the 5.5 month-long community consultation closed and significant changes were made based off of community feedback, the WMF Board of Trustees approved the new draft Access to Nonpublic Information Policy, which will go into effect upon completion of an appropriate notice period. Importantly, the new Access to Nonpublic Information Policy contains no identification requirement by members of the community who are entrusted with administrative rights that grant them access to certain nonpublic information, but provides clear guidance about the responsibilities that come with those rights and maintains pre-existing minimum age requirements as the previous Access to nonpublic data policy contained.

Contract Metrics

  • Submitted : 29
  • Completed : 24

Trademark Metrics

  • Submitted : 11
  • Request withdrawn : 1
  • Pending : 4
  • Denied: 1
  • Approval not needed : 5

Domains Obtained

wikimedia.co.za, wikwipedia.org, wikimedia-commons.wiki, wikimedia.co.za, wikimedia.wiki, wikimediacommons.wiki, wikinews.wiki, wikipedia.expert, wikipedia.wiki, wikisource.wiki, wikiversity.wiki, wiktionary.wiki, wikwipedia.org,

Coming & Going

We said goodbye to our spring interns, Shaila Nathu, Jessica Tam, and Marshall Olin. We thank them for all of their hard work and wish them the best in the adventures that await them in the future.
We welcomed our new summer interns, Mark Verstraete, Joe Jung, Chuck Roslof, and Eric Holmes. We are very excited to have them join the Foundation for the summer and look forward to tackling interesting projects with them.

Other Activities

  • Roshni, a WMF privacy legal fellow, shared her experience about attending Yale’s Big Data Symposium in a blog post.
  • Wikimedia made its debut on the EFF’s annual Who Has Your Back report, earning 4 stars.
  • Yana published a blog post announcing our support for the 13 Principles that demand that governments respect human rights in their surveillance actions, which earned Wikimedia an EFF star in the Who Has Your Back report.
  • Legal interns published notes in Wikilegal on Copyright Status of Wikipedia Page Histories, Authorship and Copyright Ownership, Uploading UK Banknotes to Wikipedia.
  • We updated the Wikimedia Legal Disclaimer to better explain the role of the Legal Team and allow us to more freely discuss legal related issues.
  • Manprit is working with OTRS to help them deal with questions from users regarding legal topics. Manprit published a document clarifying trademark related issues often faced by OTRS volunteers. The document is the first of a series meant to provide OTRS volunteers with a resource to consult when legal questions arise to hopefully ease the burden they face.

Communications Report, May 2014

The major news story for the beginning of May was the announcement of the new Executive Director, which resulted in stories in the Economist, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal, among others. A ruling by the European Court of Justices in early May on the ‘right to be forgotten’ led to a flood of articles citing the impact of the ruling on Wikipedia. In the UK, it was discovered that vandalism on an article about the Hillsborough stadium disaster could be traced back to government computers, promting numerous articles detailing the way Wikipedia works, including how editors revert such vandalism. A study released at the end of May on the “accuracy” of top-ten medical articles garned wide coverage, but was dismissed as inaccurate and misleading by editors from WikiProject Medicine. A ruling in Chile on the country’s Net Neutrality provisions prompted articles critiquing the potential impact on projects such as Wikipedia Zero. Throughout the month, the Communications team worked to support the onboarding of the new Executive Director, the rollout of the Terms of Use, the launch of Wikipedia Zero in Nigeria, and preparations for Wikimania, as well as finalized the Communications Narrative for the Annual Plan for 2014-2015.

Major announcements

Airtel offers Nigerians free access to Wikipedia (29 May, 2014)
Wikimedia Foundation names Lila Tretikov as its new Executive Director (01 May, 2014)

Major Storylines through May

Lila Tretikov

Lila Tretikov becomes the Wikimedia Foundation’s new Executive Director
Wall Street Journal (01 May, 2014) [1]
New York Times (01 May, 2014) [2]

Jimmy Wales and the EU Courts of Justices ruling

Jimmy Wales describes the ruling on the “right to be forgotten” as “ridiculous.”
NY Times (blog) (30 May, 2014). [3]
BBC News (15 May, 2014). [4]
International Business Times (15 May, 2014). [5]
CNET (14 May, 2014). [6]

Hillsborough Wikipedia entries scandal

Wikipedia page dedicated to the 1989 disaster in which 96 people died was vandalized using government computers.
The Telegraph (21 May, 2014). [7]
International Business Times (21 May, 2014). [8]
Mirror (20 May, 2014). [9]
The Boar (9 May, 2014). [10]

Wikipedia and medicine

Study claims that medical articles on Wikipedia contain inaccuracies.
ABC News Radio (28 May, 2014). [11]
Yahoo (small business advisor) (28 May, 2014) . [12]
Huffington Post (Tech) (27 May, 2014). [13]
The Telegraph (27 May, 2014). [14]
Time (27 May, 2014). [15]
The Independent (27 May, 2014). [16]

Other worthwhile reads

”Wikipedia is a masterclass in digital democracy”
Wired (22 May, 2014) [http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-05/22/digital-democracy/
”100 most edited Wikipedia articles”
FiveThirtyEight (30 May, 2014) [17]
Chile blocks free access to Wikipedia and Facebook
Quartz (30 May, 2014) [18]
100 most powerful women – Lila is #99
Forbes (28 May, 2014) [19]
”100 most obsessed-over people” on the internet
TIME (27 May, 2014) [20]
Official Wikimedia affiliate organization recognized in Pakistan
Lahore Times (16 May, 2014) [21]
An experiment intended to look at whether giving people an arbitrary advantage over their fellows at the beginning of an endeavour led to a significantly better outcome for those people, using Wikipedia.
The Economist (03 May, 2014) [22]

WMF Blog posts

Blog.wikimedia.org published 32 posts in May 2014. Six posts were multilingual, with translations in English, Spanish, Nepali, Russian, Polish, German, French, Italian, Czech, Catalan, Chinese, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Greek, Turkish, Portuguese (Brazil) and Malay.

Some highlights from the blog include:

Happy Birthday, Ward Cunningham, inventor of the wiki (May 26, 2014).
Donating his estate to the Wikimedia Founation: The story of Jim Pacha (May 12, 2014).
“No interviews. Except for Wikipedia!” – Documenting the Eurovision song contest on Wikimedia Commons (May 10, 2014).
Launching a privacy policy built the Wiki way (May 07, 2014).
Announcing our new Executive Director Lila Tretikov (May 01, 2014).

Media Contact

Media contact through May 2014: wmf:Press room/Media Contact#May 2014

Wikipedia Signpost

For detailed coverage and news summaries, see the community-edited newsletter “Wikipedia Signpost” for May 2014:

Communications Design

The legal team is creating guidelines for app developers to follow when they create apps that integrate use our projects’ names or content. One of the guidelines is how to create app logos that are not confusingly similar to our trademarks or our own application logos. We developed a few logos to provide as examples. We also created some logo templates for Wikimedia User Groups.

We expanded the endorse gadget on Meta from last month with another function to make it easy for people to join a project page in various roles. Jonathan Morgan and Heather developed a Lua-based infobox to summarize information across ideas and projects (see also the Individual Engagement Grants section).

The staff handbook continues to be shaped on the Office wiki.

Visitors and Guests

Visitors and guests to the WMF office in May 2014:

  1. Violette (Gemalto)
  2. Jeremie Acemyan (Gemalto)
  3. Ajay Kaushik (Gemalto)
  4. RAY KING (TL Design)
  5. Tom Hehir (CCSC Inc.)
  6. Rishi Sharma (Paul Hastings)
  7. Peter Cooper (Paul Hastings)
  8. Virgina Sutton (J.D.)
  9. Kelly Johnson (J.D.)
  10. Priscilla Imboden (Swiss Radio)
  11. Hershel Mehta (Stanford)
  12. Allison Dods (Stanford)
  13. Alex Martell (Stanford)
  14. Kent Blake (Stanford)
  15. Ellie Redding (Stanford)
  16. Gaurav Handa (Standford)
  17. Howon Lee (Stanford)
  18. Amber Rockwood (Stanford)
  19. Julie Fortuna (Stanford)
  20. Todd Davies (Stanford)
  21. Gaurav Handa (Stanford)
  22. Melissa Cliver (Melissa Cliver Design and Research)
  23. Charlene Music (Boundless Media)
  24. Carsten Voecker (WB)
  25. Tamera White (WB)
  26. Tom Hehir (CCSC Inc.)
  27. Joe Zahradka (CNA)
  28. Craig Aaron (Free Press)
  29. Josh Levy (Free Press)
  30. Humberto Chacon (Concern:EAP)
  31. Rachel Connors (Yellow Leaf)
  32. Joe Demin (Yellow Leaf)
  33. Myleen Hollero (Myleen Hollero Photography)
  34. Gregory Flipo (Sikana)
  35. Joyce Cruz (Guardian)

by Tilman Bayer at July 01, 2014 07:24 AM

Wikimedia Highlights, May 2014

Information For versions in other languages, please check the wiki version of this report, or add your own translation there!

Wikimedia Foundation highlights

Demo video for “ZoomProof”, a tool that will facilitate proofreading work on the Armenian Wikisource – one of the 12 new IEG projects

12 new individual engagement grants

The Foundation’s Individual Engagement Grants (IEG) support projects from individuals or small teams to organize, build, create, research or facilitate something that enhances the work of Wikimedia’s volunteers. The 12 winning grants from the first round of 2014 were announced on May 30.

Test of a message inviting anonymous editors to create an account, displayed after they have made an edit (presentation slide)

Inviting anonymous editors to join the Wikipedia community

On the English, German, French, and Italian Wikipedias, the Foundation’s Growth team conducted two experiments to test user interface changes for encouraging anonymous editors to create an account and join the community of registered users. In the first test, a recommendation to create an account was shown when the user clicks “edit”, and in the second test, the invitation was displayed after the user saved an edit. Preliminary data strongly suggested a positive effect on new registrations.

Overview over the FDC proposals from round 2 (presentation slides)

Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) recommendations announced

In May, the nine-member Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) met for its face-to-face deliberations and published its recommendations to the WMF Board of Trustees on proposals from four organizations (three chapters and the Foundation) on how to spend Wikimedia donation money. The Board will make its decision on these recommendations by 1 July. The Advisory Group to the FDC also met in Frankfurt for their final meeting, to provide the Executive Director of the WMF with a recommendation on whether or not the FDC process (begun in 2012) should continue, and if so, what modifications should be made. They unanimously agreed to recommend to continue the process.

Data and Trends

Global unique visitors for April:

465 million (-6.00% compared with March; -9.92% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release May data later in June)

Page requests for May:

20.654 billion (-0.2% compared with April; -1.6% compared with the previous year)
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation content projects including mobile access, but excluding Wikidata and the Wikipedia main portal page.)

Active Registered Editors for April 2014 (>= 5 mainspace edits/month, excluding bots):

75,364 (-2.25% compared with March / -7.25% compared with the previous year)
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects.
Note: These numbers were recently adjusted to correct a bug involving IPV6 addresses.)

Report Card (integrating various statistical data and trends about WMF projects):




Wikimedia Foundation YTD Revenue and Expenses vs Plan as of April 30, 2014

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Expenses by Functions as of April 30, 2014

(Financial information is only available through April 2014 at the time of this report.)

All financial information presented is for the Month-To-Date and Year-To-Date April 30, 2014.

Revenue 49,194,784
 Engineering Group 13,800,658
 Fundraising Group 3,209,299
 Grantmaking Group 1,472,907
 Programs Group 1,493,168
 Grants 4,066,472
 Governance Group 725,565
 Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group 3,256,914
 Finance/HR/Admin Group 5,484,592
Total Expenses 33,509,575
Total surplus (15,685,209)
in US dollars
  • Revenue for the month of April is $8.24MM versus plan of $1.71MM, approximately $6.53MM or 383% over plan.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $49.19MM versus plan of $46.76MM, approximately $2.43MM or 5% over plan.
  • Expenses for the month of April is $3.19MM versus plan of $4.69MM, approximately $1.50MM or 32% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, FDC grants, and payment processing fees partially offset by higher legal fees, outside contract services, and travel expenses related to community convening events.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $33.51MM versus plan of $41.06MM, approximately $7.55MM or 18% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, legal fees, payment processing fees, staff development expenses, grants and travel expenses partially offset by higher outside contract services.
  • Cash and Investments – $55.6MM as of April 30, 2014.

Other highlights from the Wikimedia movement

Group photo of the attendees at the 2014 Wikimedia Hackathon in Zürich

Annual Wikimedia Hackathon in Zürich, Switzerland

From May 9-11, more than 150 developers, engineers, sysadmins, and technology enthusiasts gathered in Zürich for the annual European Wikimedia hackathon, organized by Wikimedia CH, the local Wikimedia chapter. Among many other topics of interest, participants focused on maps and geographical data, Flow (the new discussion system intended as replacement for wiki talk pages), and Wikidata.

“Wikidata Game”: A fun way to improve Wikidata

On May 20, Magnus Manske, a longtime Wikimedian and volunteers software developer, announced “Wikidata – The Game”, a set of simple games, each asking the user to make a certain decision about Wikidata – for example, deciding whether two items describe the same topic, or whether an item describes a person or not. After two weeks, “643 players [had] made an astonishing 352,710 decisions through the game, many of which result in improving Wikidata directly”.

Wiki Loves Earth goes international

Wiki Loves Earth is an international photography competition with the subject of natural heritage. Started in 2013 for the Ukraine by the local chapter, this year it extended to 14 countries, and attracted tens of thousands of submissions. Similar to Wiki Loves Monuments, juries will first determine national winners for each country, from which the global winners will be selected.

Wiki Loves Earth submission from Brazil: Aerial photo of the Iguaçu falls

by Tilman Bayer at July 01, 2014 07:06 AM

June 30, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Wikimedia Research Newsletter, June 2014

Wikimedia Research Newsletter
Wikimedia Research Newsletter Logo.png

Vol: 4 • Issue: 6 • June 2014 [contribute] [archives] Syndicate the Wikimedia Research Newsletter feed

Power users and diversity in WikiProjects; the “network of cultures” in multilingual Wikipedia biographies

With contributions by: Taha Yasseri, Maximilian Klein, Piotr Konieczny, Kim Osman, and Tilman Bayer

New book: Global Wikipedia

An edited volume[1] by Pnina Fichman and Noriko Hara from Indiana University, Bloomington was released on May 23, 2014, subtitled “International and Cross-cultural Issues in Online Collaboration”. The book description states that “dozens of books about Wikipedia are available, but they all focus on the English Wikipedia and assume an Anglo-Saxon perspective, while disregarding cultural and language variability or multi-cultural collaborative efforts”. The description claims that this is “the first book to address this gap by focusing attention on the global, multilingual, and multicultural aspects of Wikipedia.” The book contains nine chapters authored by 16 Wikipedia researchers (including a chapter authored by the volume editors). Among the topics covered are international and cross-cultural conflict and collaboration, case studies in the Chinese, Finnish, French, and Greek Wikipedias, and Wikipedia gender gaps in different language sites.

“Interactions of cultures and top people of Wikipedia from ranking of 24 language editions”

Review by Maximilianklein (talk)

The German philosopher Immanuel Kant, born in today’s Russia, is among the small number of cases where the researchers’ method of assigning a historical figure to a national culture based on their birth place fails

This research by Eom et al.[2] is an exploratory data analysis of figures (roughly, “people”) from a mining of date and place of birth and gender in biography articles. Presenting novel ideas based on the infamous Google PageRank algorithm, this paper is a sort of computational history. The methods used are standard – if not a bit dated – compared with more contemporary research using Wikidata.

This is a shame because newer techniques would have allowed the claims of a quantified cultural influence factor to rest on firmer grounds.

Their method is for each of their 24 Wikipedia languages (approximately the top 24 largest ones) to construct the network where nodes are biography articles, and links are intrawiki-links. Then they rank each node by both PageRank and 2DRank. PageRank says your importance is a recursive function of your incoming links, weighted by the page rank of each incoming linker; CheiRank is the same as PageRank, but using outgoing links instead. 2DRank is a mixture of PageRank and CheiRank. Some of the authors have coauthored earlier papers that similarly examined PageRank and CheiRank for biographical and other Wikipedia articles (see our previous coverage: “How Wikipedia’s Google matrix differs for politicians and artists” and “Multilingual ranking analysis: Napoleon and Michael Jackson as Wikipedia’s ‘global heroes’“).

However, the input to these algorithms is the weak part. The base set consists of all of the articles that are in a subcategory of Biographies of Living People, Births by Year, or Deaths by Year. Obtaining 1.1 million biography articles, they acknowledge that this isn’t a full set because it is based off English Wikipedia, but then make an anecdotal claim that it’s only 2% off. However, with the latest Wikidata information we know of at least 2.08 million “people” with Wikipedia articles[3].

The rest of their method consists of finding the top 100 articles in each of the 24 languages using both PageRank and 2DRank. Then they get birth place, birthdate and gender from DBpedia if available, and if not they look up this information manually. They pigeonhole each article into one of the 24 target cultures based on birth place, and use a “World” category if none applies. Simplifying assumptions are also made during these processes: modern borders are used, and each country is assumed to speak only a single language. So Kant is Russian and all Belgians speak Dutch in this research.

There is an exploratory analysis of these top 100 by geography, time, and gender. The results confirm a long-told story: the biographies that the English Wikipedia knows about are heavily skewed towards being Western/European, modern, and male. They make points of showing local favour, e.g. Hindi has many in their top 100 who are born in India. With regard to history, the authors note that the Arabic Wikipedia is more interested in history than what world growth would suppose. Another measure is defined to look at the localness factor by decade – that is, what percentage of top figures in this decade were born in this language-place? Of course it’s Greeks early on, and the US dominating later.

On gender, their results indicate 5.1% or 10.1% by PageRank and 2DRank, respectively, are female of the top 100s, averaged. The authors make mention that maleness does decrease over time as well. This reported figure is more severe than the overlap with any single language, so the authors show some “wisdom of the crowds” effect.

The final analysis tries to quantify cultural influence. A “network of cultures” is made, where nodes are each of the 24 languages-cum-cultures, and the directed, weighted edges are the number of foreigners in their top 100. For instance, in the English Wikipedia’s top 100, five people were born in France; so England connects to France with a weight of 5. With this “network of cultures” in hand, they apply the PageRank and 2DRank algorithms to rank each culture. This is a novel approach to making statistical what we all often guess at. Even despite the fact that Jesus is considered Arabic through their simplifications, PageRank turns up English and German as top and runner-up, respectively. Using 2DRank, Greek, French and Russian get more due.

In summary, although this cultural research suffers from biased data, some clever ideas are implemented – particularly the “network of cultures”. The implication is that statistical history somewhat corroborates the opinions of manually conducted history.

“Recommending reference materials in context to facilitate editing Wikipedia”

This article[4] describes IntelWiki, a set of MediaWiki tools designed to facilitate new editor’s engagement by making research easier. The tool “automatically generates resource recommendations, ranks the references based on the occurrence of salient keywords, and allows users to interact with the recommended references within the Wikipedia editor.” The researchers find that volunteers using this tool were more productive, contributing more high-quality text. The studied group was composed of 16 editors with no Wikipedia editing experience, who completed two editing tasks in a sandbox wiki, one using a mockup Wikipedia editing interface and Google search engine, and using the IntelWiki interface and reference search engine. The author’s reference suggestion tool seems valuable, unfortunately this reviewer was unable to locate any proof that the developer engaged the Wikipedia community, or made his code or the tool publicly available for further testing. The research and the thesis does not discuss the differences between their MediaWiki clone and Wikipedia in any significant details. Based on the limited description, the study’s overall conclusions may not be reliable, since the mockup Wikipedia interface used for the comparison seems to be a default MediaWiki clone, lacking many Wikipedia-specific tools; therefore the theme of comparing IntelWiki to Wikipedia is a bit misleading.

While the study is interesting, it is disappointing that the main purpose appears to be completing a thesis,[5] with little thought to actually improving Wikipedia (by developing public tools and/or releasing open code). (See also: related webpage, YouTube video)

“What do Chinese-language microblog users do with Baidu Baike and Chinese Wikipedia?”

This paper [6] (accepted for presentation at OpenSym 2014, and subtitled “A case study of information engagement”) explores the use of the Chinese Wikipedia and Baidu Baike encyclopedia by Chinese microblog (Twitter, Sina Weibo) users through qualitative and quantitative analyses of Chinese microblog postings. Both encyclopedias are often cited by microblog users, and are very popular in China to the extent that the words “wiki” and “baidu” have become verbs meaning to look up content on the respective websites, analogous to “to google” in English.

One of the study’s major focuses is the impact of Internet censorship in China; particularly since Wikipedia is not censored – but access to it, and its discussion in most Chinese websites may be. Baidu Baike is both censored and more likely to host copyright violating content. Despite Baidu Baike’s copyright violating content, many users still prefer the uncensored and more reliable Chinese Wikipedia, though they can become frustrated by not being able to access it due to censorship. Whether some Wikipedia content is censored or not is seen by some as a measure of the topic’s political sensitivity. The author suggests that a distinguishing characteristic can be observed between groups that prefer one encyclopedia over the other, but does not discuss this in detail, suggesting a very interesting research avenue.

Content or people? Achieving critical mass to promote growth in WikiProjects

Review by Kimaus

In a recent paper[7], Jacob Solomon and Rick Wash investigate the question of sustainability in online communities by analysing trends in the growth of WikiProjects. Solomon and Wash track revisions and membership in over one thousand WikiProjects over a period of five years to examine how the concept of a critical mass can influence a community’s development. The key question being, as the title of the paper states: “Critical mass of what?” Is it achieving a certain number of contributions or a certain number of members that will ensure the future sustainability of an online group?

Using critical mass theory, which describes groups as having an accelerating, linear or decelerating production function, the authors modelled a growth curve for each community. They found that the majority of WikiProjects had an accelerating growth regarding the number of revisions, however a decelerating growth in accruing members which suggests that existing editors are increasing individual contributions to the projects. In further examining this trend Solomon and Wash focus on the early years of projects’ existence to determine whether amassing content or editors in this formative period influences future production functions.

Their modelling shows that a greater number and diversity of editors within a project positively affects the number of revisions accumulated after five years (where diversity is calculated through membership in other WikiProjects). Interestingly, the modelling showed contributions by infrequent participants helped a project grow, but this can be offset by “overparticipation from a project’s power users.” They attribute this to members’ feeling that they can make a difference to projects that have diverse and sparse contributions. They do note, however, that increased contributions from power users may simply be an attempt to keep a project afloat, and that this effort is ultimately futile in certain cases. In sum, the authors find that it is a critical mass of people (who hold a variety of skills and knowledge) contributing small amounts in the early stages that positively affects a project’s growth and future sustainability.

A cinema audience, possibly containing Wikipedia readers

“Prediction of Foreign Box Office Revenues Based on Wikipedia Page Activity”

In a paper[8] presented at the ChASM Workshop of WebSci’14, Bloomington, Indiana, this month, de Silva and Compton, have generalised a method, previously introduced by Mestyán, Yasseri, and Kertész (see the newsletter review) to predict the box office revenues of movies based on the Wikipedia edits and page-view counts. Of these two metrics, the new paper considers only the page-view statistics of articles about the movies, but extends the sample of movies to include non-American movies as well. Samples of movies in the US, Japan, Australia, the UK, and Germany are studied. The authors concluded: “although the method proposed by Mestyán et al. predicts films’ opening weekend box office revenues in the United States and Australia with reasonable accuracy, its performance drops significantly when applied to various foreign markets. … we used the model to predict the opening weekend box office revenues generated by films in British, Japanese, and German theatres, [and] found its accuracy to be far from satisfactory.”


“Building academic literacy and research skills by contributing to Wikipedia”

A survey[9] of research skills of a group of students at an Australian institution showed that purposeful engaging with Wikipedia, including contributing to it, improved their academic skillset.

Map indicating the language areas and provinces of Belgium.

“Google and Bing reintroduce national boundaries more so than Wikipedia does”

In a blog post titled “How does Wikipedia cover the world differently than Google (or Bing)?”,[10] researcher Han-Teng Liao examines this question by looking at the case of Belgium, which has several language areas. While the two search engines offer a national portal page (google.be / be.bing.com) in different language options, “Wikipedia organizes its users and information less along the lines of national differences and more along the lines of language differences. According to various traffic reports provided by the Wikimedia foundation, users from Belgium contribute to viewing and editing activities mostly in its Dutch, French and English versions.”

Other recent publications

A list of other recent publications that could not be covered in time for this issue – contributions are always welcome for reviewing or summarizing newly published research.

  • “Inferring Semantic Facets of a Music Folksonomy with Wikipedia”[11]
  • “Towards linking libraries and Wikipedia: automatic subject indexing of library records with Wikipedia concepts”[12]
  • Pandemic page views in online news media and Wikipedia: From the English abstract of this German-language paper[13]: “… a time-series analysis is done comparing the amount of the coverage of eleven online media on the EHEC pandemic in summer 2011 and the amount of page requests for articles in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia relevant to EHEC. Overall, analyses show strong correlations but also temporary discrepancies, appearing because page requests do not only depict the public agenda but also existing uncertainty about an issue.”
  • “What Makes a Good Team of Wikipedia Editors? A Preliminary Statistical Analysis”[14]. From the abstract: “The paper concerns studying the quality of teams of Wikipedia authors with statistical approach. [...] The analysis confirmed that the key issue significantly influencing article’s quality are discussions between teem [sic] members. The second part of the paper successfully uses machine learning models to predict good articles based on features of the teams that created them.”
  • “A computational linguistic approach towards understanding Wikipedia’s article for deletion (AfD) discussions”[15]. From the abstract: “In this thesis we aim to solve two main problems: 1) how to help new users effectively participate in the [deletion] discussion; and 2) how to make it efficient for administrators to make decision based on the discussion. To solve the first problem, we obtain a knowledge repository for new users by recognizing imperatives. We propose a method to detect imperatives based on syntactic analysis of the texts. And the result shows a good precision and reasonable recall. To solve the second problem, we propose a decision making support system that provides administrators with an reorganized overview of a discussion.”


  1. Fichman, Pnina (2014). Global Wikipedia : international and cross-cultural issues in online collaboration. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9780810891012. 
  2. Eom, Young-Ho; Pablo Aragón, David Laniado, Andreas Kaltenbrunner, Sebastiano Vigna, Dima L. Shepelyansky (2014-05-28). “Interactions of cultures and top people of Wikipedia from ranking of 24 language editions“. arXiv:1405.7183 [physics]. 
  3. Sex Ratios in Wikidata.
  4. Mohammad Noor Nawaz and Andrea Bunt (2014) IntelWiki: recommending resources to help users contribute to Wikipedia. In Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation, and Personalization (UMAP 2014), 12 pp., forthcoming. PDF
  5. [1]
  6. Liao, Han-Teng (2014-06-17). What do Chinese-language microblog users do with Baidu Baike and Chinese Wikipedia?.
  7. Solomon, Jacob; Rick Wash (2014-05-16). “Critical mass of what? Exploring community growth in WikiProjects”. Eighth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media. Eighth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media. http://www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/ICWSM/ICWSM14/paper/view/8104. 
  8. de Silva, Brian; Ryan Compton (2014-05-22). “Prediction of foreign box office revenues based on wikipedia page activity“. arXiv:1405.5924 [physics]. 
  9. Miller, Julia (2014-06-13). “Building academic literacy and research skills by contributing to Wikipedia: A case study at an Australian university“. Journal of Academic Language and Learning 8 (2): A72-A86. ISSN 1835-5196. 
  10. Liao, Han-Teng (2014-05-13). How does Wikipedia cover the world differently than Google (or Bing)?.
  11. Sordo, Mohamed; Fabien Gouyon, Luís Sarmento, Òscar Celma, Xavier Serra (2013). “Inferring semantic facets of a music folksonomy with Wikipedia“. Journal of New Music Research 42 (4): 346-363. doi:10.1080/09298215.2013.848904. ISSN 0929-8215. Retrieved on 2014-06-28.  Closed access
  12. Joorabchi, Arash; Abdulhussain E. Mahdi (2014-04-01). “Towards linking libraries and Wikipedia: automatic subject indexing of library records with Wikipedia concepts“. Journal of Information Science 40 (2): 211-221. doi:10.1177/0165551513514932. ISSN 0165-5515. Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 
  13. Holbach, Thomas; Dr Marcus Maurer. “Wissenswerte Nachrichten“. Publizistik: 1-17. doi:10.1007/s11616-013-0191-z. ISSN 0033-4006.  Closed access
  14. Bukowski, Leszek; Michał‚ Jankowski-Lorek, Szymon Jaroszewicz, Marcin Sydow (2014-01-01). “What Makes a Good Team of Wikipedia Editors? A Preliminary Statistical Analysis”. In Akiyo Nadamoto, Adam Jatowt, Adam Wierzbicki, Jochen L. Leidner (eds.). Social Informatics. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 14-28. ISBN 978-3-642-55284-7.  Closed access
  15. Mao, Wanting. A computational linguistic approach towards understanding Wikipedia’s article for deletion (AfD) discussions. Master’s thesis The University of Western Ontario, 2014. PDF

Wikimedia Research Newsletter
Vol: 4 • Issue: 6 • June 2014
This newletter is brought to you by the Wikimedia Research Committee and The Signpost
Subscribe: Syndicate the Wikimedia Research Newsletter feed Email @WikiResearch on Identi.ca WikiResearch on Twitter[archives] [signpost edition] [contribute] [research index]

by Tilman Bayer at June 30, 2014 06:55 AM

June 27, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Wikimedia Bangladesh completes its local registration after a five-year journey

Annual Wikigathering on 21st February in front of Ekushey Book Fair.

On 10th June 2014, Wikimedia Bangladesh finally completed the exhaustingly long bureaucratic process of local registration when treasurer Ali Haidar Khan collected the registration certificate from the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies & Firms office. This marked another big step towards the creation of a Wikimedia Chapter in Bangladesh. The formal public launching of the chapter is the last task, which we will be doing very shortly.

The idea of having a Bangladesh chapter began in 2009. Since then, Bangladeshi Wikimedians have been hosting regular offline activities for the purposes of realizing this goal. We formally submitted our bylaws to the Chapters Committee (now AffCom) in April 2011. Final approval from the Wikimedia Board of trustees came a few months later on October 3, 2011. We were the 39th chapter to be approved by the Wikimedia Foundation board. After getting the approval from the WMF, the biggest challenge for us was to find a lawyer who would complete the legal formalities of registration at a low cost. Most of the lawyers we approached turned down our proposal because, according to them, getting registration as a non-profit ‘society’ was very difficult since applicants require a security clearance from the National Security Intelligence (NSI) of Bangladesh. We finally found a lawyer who agreed to help us with the condition that we collect the security clearance from NSI on our own. After accepting the condition, we submitted our application for local registration with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies & Firms on May of 2012. We knew that the registration might take some time but we never imagined it will be such a long process that would take so long. We had to wait more than two years before finally receiving the certificate of registration on June 10th, 2014.

The Registration

Wikimedia Bangladesh is registered at Joint Stock Companies & Firms – Bangladesh under the Societies Registration Act of Bangladesh and our official name is Wikimedia Bangladesh Foundation.

15th Wikimeetup in Dhaka.

The usual government administrative setup is quite bureaucratic in Bangladesh, long delays are common when trying to get approval from the authorities. We were prepared to face difficulties in completing the registration as a non-profit ‘society,’ however, we were not prepared for the setbacks that came when trying to get security clearance from NSI. Despite the difficulties, we decided to get the ‘society’ registration as it allowed for more transparency, accountability, good governance and a smooth transition of leadership. During the registration process, we learned that it is very difficult to get the NGO registration in Bangladesh, as only about 5% of all the applications get final approval. There are ways to reduce this uncertainty, one of which is by offering bribes to the appropriate desks. We were informed by our legal consultant several times that ‘speed money’ could expedite the process and we could complete the registration within two to three months. However, we were determined to not to give any bribes and instead chose to keep persisting with patience.

It took us more than two years to get the long awaited registration in Bangladesh. These two years were marked with many visits to government offices, submitting the same paperwork several times, making personal appeals to different people and persistent follow-ups. At the end, it makes us quite happy to finally register our chapter in an honorable way, upholding the Wikimedia spirit.

Wikimedia Bangladesh and the community

Though we got the approval as a Wikimedia chapter in October 2011, the active community that we organized existed long before that. We staged different online and offline events to expand the community and enrich the Bengali Wikipedia.

We have been organizing various types of events in the name of Wikimedia Bangladesh since we got approved as a Wikimedia chapter. Since our beginning as a chapter, we’ve organized many offline events such as Wikimeetups, Wikipedia workshops, Bangla Wikipedia Unconference, photo-walks, Ekushey Book Fair outreach programs as well as a press conferences with the launch of Wikipedia Zero in Bangladesh. There are some online activities as well to encourage new contributors to increase and improve the quality of articles in Wikipedias. Wikimedia Bangladesh is also very active in social media channels like Facebook, Twitter etc.

Future plans

We have started to collect members for our chapter and are planning to launch our new website very soon. We also plan to have regular offline monthly meetups and online IRC meetings. The offline meetups will be used as brainstorming and planning platforms for other larger events. We also have plans to engage the new editors as well as the new members of the chapter. We will do these in project basis, some of them will be online projects and some will be offline. The announcement will be published on mailing lists and on social media platforms.

We would like to welcome other chapters/thematic organizations and the larger Wikimedia community to offer suggestions and provide comments/feedback on our activities. We look forward to increased collaboration with other movement entities, chapters and the Wikimedia Foundation.

Contact us



Mailing list

Official mailing list of Wikimedia Bangladesh. join discussions at wikimedia-bd


Catch us directly on our freenode IRC channel #wikimedia-bd


Become a fan of Wikimedia Bangladesh at facebook.com/wikimediabd


Follow our tweets at @wikimediabd (hash #wmbd)

Google Plus Page

Add to circle +Wikimedia Bangladesh

Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy), Treasurer, Wikimedia Bangladesh
Nasir Khan, Executive Committee Member, Wikimedia Bangladesh
Tanweer Morshed, Executive Committee Member, Wikimedia Bangladesh
Mayeenul Islam, Executive Committee Member, Wikimedia Bangladesh

by Ali Haidar Khan at June 27, 2014 09:35 PM

June 26, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Wikipedia Signpost report: WikiProject Cities

Rotterdam in the Netherlands, seen during a commemoration of the Rotterdam Blitz in a featured picture from Trebaxus.

Last week, the English Wikipedia community-written newsletter, Wikipedia Signpost, interviewed two members of WikiProject Cities, users Student7 and JonRidinger. A WikiProject is a team of contributors who wish to improve Wikipedia. Every WikiProject has a special focus area (for example, medieval history) or a particular task (such as, proofreading recently created pages). WikiProject Cities aims to provide up-to-date information in a consistent format across Wiki articles. The term “Cities” is used generically and encompasses towns, villages, hamlets, townships, unincorporated communities, sections of municipalities and neighborhoods.

Interested in cities and motivated by the desire to produce more articles in a standardized format, Student7 and JonRidinger saw WikiProject Cities as a great opportunity to contribute to articles on a subject they were passionate about. The amount of effort put forth by many contributors usually leads to extensive contributions to specific articles, as JonRidinger explains. “I was largely responsible for getting Kent, Ohio to FA [featured article] status and helped with Stephens City, Virginia too.” Naturally, this level of commitment and scrutiny can have its drawbacks, “The issue I faced was burn-out…(but) yes, there were some genuine improvement that were made by going through the process, plus I learned more about what kind of content to include and how to word things better, says JonRidinger.

Deciding which city merits an article or integration into an existing article is a common question. “If It has sources that cover it specifically, it can have a decent article, though if it’s not a large amount of info, I typically don’t see the point of having an article separate from the city article,” says JonRidinger. Student7 adds, “If a country has aggregated people, it should be using these Project standards for the article. A village has to be ‘noticed’ to be ‘notable’ I suppose.”

The Staten Island Ferry terminal, a featured picture from Daniel Schwen.

When exploring far-flung settlements, the problem of limited references arises, which is usually not an issue for major metropolitan areas. Student7 stresses the point that there is no real way to circumnavigate this problem nor is there necessarily a quick fix. “In the third world we have all sorts of problems. I don’t think Wikipedia resources should be wasted on ‘remedying’ this problem. 3rd world (cities) don’t take censuses. When they do, they may not be reliable…if the UN has no idea, how can we?”

When asked about pictures, it was agreed upon that every good article needs a good picture, but not too many says Student7. “I hate, truly hate galleries because they stop readers from pursuing material beyond the gallery and they take up too much space,” he explains. JonRidinger adds, “Look at each section and think about what kinds of photos would best help illustrate that section…when I go to a city article, I want to see what that place looks like. I do agree with avoiding galleries. If you have lots of picture, use the Commons Category template at the bottom of the page.”

Student7 and JonRidinger hope that new contributors explore more obscure areas and not the usual cities that already garner a lot of attention. They remind us that WikiProject Cities is here to educate not promote, “We all want our town to look great, but these aren’t promotional brochures. Not only knowing what it is, but helping remove it is also helpful.”

For more info on WikiProject Cities, read the full interview on the Signpost, or go to the WikiProject’s overview page.

Report by Carlos Monterrey, Communications Associate for the Wikimedia Foundation.

by Carlos Monterrey at June 26, 2014 08:46 PM

June 25, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Revamped Wikipedia app now available on Android

The Main Page of the English Wikipedia on the new Android app.

If you love Wikipedia and have an Android phone, you’re in for a treat! Today we’ve released a revamped Wikipedia for Android app, now available on Google Play.

Our new app is native from the ground up, making it the fastest way to experience Wikipedia on a phone. For the first release, we’ve focussed on creating a great browsing and reading experience. Whether you’re looking up a specific fact or looking to spend a day learning a new topic, our search and table of contents features get you to the information you need, quickly and intuitively. We’re also offering the ability to edit in the app, so you can help make Wikipedia better for billions of readers around the world.

What features are included?

  • Speed – Our new, native app allows you to browse and edit Wikipedia faster than ever before.
  • Editing – You can edit Wikipedia on the app. Logged in or logged out, we thank you for all your contributions.
  • Recent pages – We provide you with your reading history, so you can tap as many links as you like without ever getting lost.
  • Saved pages – You can save select pages for offline reading and browse them even when you don’t have a data connection.
  • Share – Use your existing social networking apps to share in the sum of all human knowledge.
  • Language support – The app allows you to seamlessly switch to reading Wikipedia written in any language.
  • Wikipedia Zero – We’ve partnered with cellular carriers around the world to provide Wikipedia free of data charges to users in many developing areas.

Coming soon

  • Night mode – We’ve gotten lots of great beta user feedback; one feature people love is reading Wikipedia in darker environments. The inverted colour scheme offered by night mode will make that much easier.
  • Discussions – Talk pages are an important part of Wikipedia for both new users and experienced editors alike. We’re bringing them to the app.

This release is just the beginning! We’re still working hard on creating new features to make the app the best Wikipedia reading and editing experience out there. Whether you’re a long-time user of Wikipedia on Android or are brand new to the app, give it a spin and let us know what you think. This is just the first step; we hope this app will grow with us, and we’re excited to have our community help us evolve it.

Please help us improve this app by sending a note to our mailing list, mobile-android-wikipedia@wikimedia.org, or writing a comment here.

Thank you!

Dan Garry, 
Associate Product Manager, Mobile Apps

by Dan Garry at June 25, 2014 06:41 PM

Wikimedia sites get a new look on tablets


Tablet users, rejoice! The Wikimedia Mobile Web team has been working to optimize the mobile view of all our projects, so that reading, browsing, and editing content are all easier on mobile touch screens of any size. Now our changes are finally live on tablets, too!

Why a new tablet view?

Wikipedia and its sister sites were designed long before the rapid growth of smartphones and tablets. For the past two years, we’ve worked to improve the reading and editing experience for smartphone users, and now we’ve turned our attention to tablets. If you’ve used Wikipedia on your phone, you may recognize similarities in the new tablet view. But we’ve also departed from the smartphone experience in some ways, in order to create a tablet-specific experience.

Just the features you need, designed the way you need them

  • Typography and layout. We’ve increased the font size and narrowed the width of the content area to improve readability. These changes are responsive, too, so it looks great whether you’re on a tablet, a phablet – or even the mobile site on your desktop computer.
  • Table of contents and sections. Get to the section you need quicker, but don’t be afraid to lose yourself in the content once you’re there. We’ve taken advantage of the larger screen space that tablets provide and kept article sections open to encourage long-form reading.
  • Last modified byline. Wikipedia is never finished. Getting more readers to see that our content is constantly growing and evolving is a big priority for us. Now you can see at a glance which articles have been edited recently, and which could use some love from contributors like you…
  • Editing. See a typo? Fix it! Simple formatting options and mobile-friendly linking to pages or references are coming soon for all tablet users, and starting this Thursday you can get a preview of this functionality now by opting into our experimental beta site (look for Settings in the site menu and tap to turn on Beta).
  • Other features. The contribution features you know and love, optimized for tablets: uploads, watchlist, page history, notifications, and more.

Your tablet, your choice

If you don’t want to leave the old desktop experience, fear not. You can switch between the desktop view and mobile view from any page by scrolling to the bottom and tapping the “Desktop” or “Mobile” links.

How can I give feedback?

We’re excited to hear from you about these changes! Leave us a comment here and let us know what you think.

Maryana Pinchuk, Product Manager, Mobile

by Maryana Pinchuk at June 25, 2014 08:02 AM

June 24, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Ram Prasad Joshi: Writing Wikipedia from the western hills of Nepal

Ram Prasad Joshi

Ram Prasad Joshi doesn’t have a computer. His village may be beautiful but there is no electricity. It’s a three-hour walk to the nearest road. In spite of all this, Joshi has accumulated more than 6,000 edits to the Nepali Wikipedia using nothing more than a feature phone.

An image shot by Ram Prasad Joshi on his feature phone: Devotees paying homage to the Thama Mai Temple (replica of Badimalika, Bajura) in Dailekh

“On Wikipedia I write about geography, history and culture of my surroundings,” he said. “I am a Hindu so I write about the Hindu religion and Hindu culture. I edit and write new articles on the Sanskrit, Hindi, Fijian, Bhojpuri and Gujrati Wikipedias, as well as in Nepali. I can introduce my village, my locality and my culture to the world.”

An image shot by Ram Prasad Joshi on his feature phone: Stone script of Damupal near Kartikhamba in Dailekh established by King Prithivi Malla B.S. 1038 (981 A.D.). It is claimed to be the first stone script in the Nepali Language.

In addition to his writing, Joshi has contributed almost a hundred photographs to Wikimedia Commons. He took part in Wiki Loves Monuments 2013 and his images of archaeological monuments in his area won him the prize for best mobile contributor.

Due to its remote geography, his contributions may be the only representation his village will get online. “No newspapers, no magazines, nothing arrives here,” he explains. “In my village there are many people who have never seen a television. Now the mobile phone emerged, villagers watch videos on mobile, but no-one owns a television.”

For Joshi, his initial introduction to editing began on a somber note four years ago. While living and working in Haridwar, a small city in northeast India, his mother became seriously ill and passed away. “According to Hindu culture, all children should perform the rituals; they have to sit isolated for thirteen days in mourning,” he explained. “I was grieved greatly by her loss. My eyes still become wet when I remember her death. Parents are regarded as the almighty and holy in my culture.”

“I had to find ways to divert my thoughts from the memories of mom. As a way to vent my grief, I began to surf mobile internet more which helped me a lot. I explored the Nepali Wikipedia. I also saw the edit button in each article and the sub heading too. I then learned that I could edit these encyclopedia entries. When I remember my mom, I open Wikipedia and read or edit,” he added.

Fortunately, Joshi might no longer be alone in his editing endeavors; soon others will be able to benefit just as he did. Wikipedia Zero’s partnership with Nepali GSM mobile operator Ncell has given more people the opportunity to learn what Wikipedia is and how they can contribute to Wikimedia projects. “I have conveyed to my family and my villagers about Wikipedia,” said Joshi. “But for most people the Internet is out of reach, so it is a vague topic for them. After Ncell announced [their partnership with] Wikipedia Zero, some have given concern to it. Earlier when I started talking about Wikipedia they treated me as if I had gone mad.”

“Ncell broadcast advertisements for Wikipedia Zero through local radio. Many people now understand that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia of knowledge.”

Ncell’s partnership is ideal for those looking to access and contribute to Wikipedia from a mobile phone, in the same way Joshi has for so long.

“I don’t know how to use computers,” he explained. “I don’t have one. I feel joyful while editing through mobile. It asks for neither a table nor a chair to use it. My mobile handset is in my pocket for 24 hours.”

“I can use it sitting on a rock, taking break, while in isolation or laying down in bed. This work is really easy,” he asserts.

Joe Sutherland, communications volunteer for the Wikimedia Foundation.

To read the full interview, please see the text below.

Original transcript

Questions to Ram Prasad Joshi (Ramesh Tiwari):

  • Can you please tell me a little bit about yourself, who are you? What do you do? / १ मलाई तपाईंको बारेमा केही बताउनुहुन्छ? तपाईं को हो? के गर्नुहुन्छ?

मेरो नाम राम प्रसाद जोशी हो। म एक सामान्य लेखपढ गर्न जान्ने कृषक हुँ। मैले नेपालमा SLC पास गर्न सकिन त्यसपछि भारतमा गएर संस्कृतमा शास्त्री तह सम्म अध्ययन गरेको छु। कहिले कहिं भारतमा गएर केही समय काम गरेर कमाएर ल्याउँछु। अहिलेको मेरो दिनचर्या खेतबारीमा खेतीको काम गर्ने, (बाख्रा) गोठाला जाने, घरमा बालबच्चा र बुवाको हेरचाह गर्ने गर्दछु।

I am Ram Prasad Joshi. I am a basic literate person. I could not complete my School Leaving Certificate exam in Nepal so I went to India and studied up to Shastri level in Sanskrit. I often go to India for employment, earn some money and look after my family. In my current daily routine there are some household chores like farming works in the fields, herding goats in the nearby forest and looking after my kids and father etc.

  • Where do you come from? What’s it like there? / २ तपाईं कहाँ बस्नुहुन्छ? त्यहाँ के कस्तो छ?

म नेपालको पश्चिमी पहाडी जिल्ला दैलेखमा पर्ने एक दुर्गम गाउँमा बस्छु। मेरो गाउँ दुर्गम र अविकसित भए पनि प्राकृतिक छटाले भरिपूर्ण छ। यहाँ सधैं भरी जता ततै हरियाली नै हरियाली छाएको हुन्छ। यो बसन्तको मौसम भएकोले काफल, चुत्रो, ऐंसेलु, घँगारू, तितु जस्ता विभिन्न प्रकारका फलफूलहरू वनभरी फलेर लटरम्म पाकेका छन्। डाँडा पाखामा गोठालाहरूले बजाएको बाँसुरीको धुन गुन्जिएको सुनिन्छ। कोइली, न्याउली, ढुकुर इत्यादी चराहरूको स्वरले वनपाखा गुञ्जायमान छ। भौगोलिक रुपले दुर्गम भएता पनि प्राकृतिक दृष्टिले त यहाँ स्वर्गमा भएको अनुभुति हुन्छ।

तर यहाँ आधुनिक भौतिक सुविधाहरू उपलब्ध छैनन्। मेरो गाउँमा बिजुली र गाडीको सुविधा पनि छैन। उच्च शिक्षा हासिल गर्नको लागी धेरै टाढा जानुपर्छ। गाउँमा एक निम्न माध्यमिक विद्यालय मात्र छ। बत्तीको लागी घर घरमा सोलारहरू राखिएका छन्। गाडी चढ्न ३ घण्टा पैदल हिडेर जानु पर्छ।

I live in a very remote village of Dailekh District situated in the western hills of Nepal. Though my village is less developed, it is rich with natural phenomenas. This village is green in all seasons. Now, it is spring here, varieties of plants are loaded by their ripened varieties of wild fruits like raspberry, Berberis, Kafal (Myrica esculenta), Ghagaru, Titu etc. The hills are echoed with the melody of flute played by shepherds. Forests are musical with fauna and tweets of variety of birds like Cuckoo, Great Barbet, doves etc. The nature gives you a heavenly feeling causing you to forget the geographical remoteness from modern facilities.

But, no basic physical facilities are available here. No electricity, no road transportation. One has to travel by foot at least 3 hrs to see vehicles. There is a Lower-secondary school only. Kids have to travel a lot to reach to High school. Some people have installed solar panels in their houses for light.

  • How did you first discover Wikipedia? / ३ तपाईंले सबैभन्दा पहिले विकिपीडिया कसरी भेट्टाउनुभयो?

म पहिले भारतको हरिद्वारमा सानो प्राइभेट नोकरी गर्थें। मलाई थाहा भयो मोबाइलमा इन्टरनेट पनि चल्छ भनेर। मलाई इन्टरनेट हेर्ने पहिले देखी नै रहर थियो। मैले रेडियो र अन्य संचार माध्यमबाट विभिन्न साइटहरूको वेबसाइटहरू सुनेको र देखेको थिएँ। त्यसबेला म एउटा लजमा म्यानेजर थिएँ त्यो लजको पनि आधिकारीक वेब साइट बनेको थियो। यो थाहा पाएर मैले GPRS सुविधा उपलब्ध भएको मोबाइल फोन लिएँ। भारतमा मोबाइल इन्टरनेट सेवा सस्तो थियो। भा.रू. ९८ रूपियाँको रिचार्ज गरेमा एक महिना भरी चौबिस घण्टा इन्टरनेट चलाउन पाइन्थ्यो। मैले पनि ९८ को रिचार्ज गरें। त्यसपछी मैले याहु र गुगलमा आफ्नो गाउँको बारेमा खोज्न थालें। यसरी खोज्दा अंग्रेजी भाषाको विकिपीडियामा मेरो गाउँको बारेमा केही लेखेको देखें। यो देखेर मेरो मनमा विकिपीडिया के रहेछ भन्न खुल्दुली जाग्यो।

I was employed by a private firm in Haridwar, India. One day I learned that the internet could be used via mobile phones. I had heard about the internet through the radio and other media. I was working for a lodge which also had a website which I was eager to see. I then subscribed to a GPRS service with a data enabled handset. Mobile internet was cheaper in India, if you buy a 98 rupees package, you would subscribe to unlimited internet for whole month. I bought the package and began to search about my village on Yahoo and Google. Finally, I discovered an article about my village in English Wikipedia which increased my enthusiasm about Wikipedia.

  • When did you realize that you could edit Wikipedia? / ४ विकिपीडियामा तपाईंले पनि लेख्न मिल्छ भनेर कहिले थाहा पाउनुभयो?

जतिखेर म हरिद्वारमा थिएँ, त्यो बेला मेरो आमा सिकिस्त विरामी हुनुभयो। वहाँलाई उपचारको लागि हरिद्वार लगियो तर कुनै सुधार भएन वहाँको त्यहीं मृत्यु भयो। हिन्दु संस्कार अनुसार बाबु अथवा आमाको मृत्यु हुँदा छोराछोरीले क्रिया गर्नुपर्छ। १३ दिनसम्म अलग्गै बसेर अलिनु खाएर आशौच बार्नुपर्छ। आमाको मृत्युले म धेरै दुःखी थिएँ। मेरी दिवंगत आमाको सम्झना मेटाउन निकै गाह्रो भएकोले ध्यान अन्यत्र मोड्न म मोबाइलमा विकिपीडिया हेर्न थालें। त्यसरी हेर्दा हेर्दै मैले नेपाली भाषाको विकिपीडिया पनि भेटाएँ। त्यसमा मैले प्रत्येक लेख र लेखको खण्डमा सम्पादन गर्ने भन्ने लिंक देखें। विकिपीडियामा सबैले सम्पादन गर्न मिल्दो रहेछ भन्ने थाहा भयो।

While I was still in Haridwar, my mom became seriously sick. She was taken to Haridwar. We took her to a hospital but her condition was still degrading. She died there. According to Hindu culture, all offsprings should perform the rituals. Have to sit isolated for 13 days and mourn. I was grieved by the loss of my mom. I had to find ways to divert my thoughts from the memories of mom. As a way to vent my grief, I took asylum in the mobile internet and began to surf more, which helped me a lot. I explored the Nepali Wikipedia at that time. I also saw the edit button in each article and the sub heading. I then learned that I could also edit them.

  • I saw on your userpage that you like poetry, what kinds of things do you you write on Wikipedia? / तपाईंको प्रयोगकर्ता पृष्ठमा मैंले देखेँ तपाईं कविता पनि लेख्नुहुन्छ रे, विकिपीडियामा चैं कस्ता विषयहरूमा लेख्नुहुन्छ?

हो म साधारण खाले नेपाली कविता पनि लेख्छु। म कविता, मुक्तक र देउडा गित लेख्न मन पराउँछु र लेख्छु पनि तर मेरो कुनै पनि कृतिहरू आज सम्म प्रकाशन भएको छैन। विकिपीडियामा म आफ्नो ठाउँको भुगोल, इतिहास, संस्कृतिको बारेमा लेख्छु। म एक हिन्दु धर्मावलम्बी हुँ त्यै भएर म हिन्दुधर्म तथा हिन्दु संस्कृतिको बारेमा पनि लेख्छु। नेपाली विकिपीडियामा भैरहेका नयाँ परिवर्तनहरू नियालिरहन्छु। यदि नयाँ परिवर्तनमा कसैले लेख बिगारेको अथवा थपेको छ भने त्यो लेख जुनसुकै बिषय वस्तुको भए पनि हेर्छु र सकेसम्म विग्रेको जानकारी सच्याउँछु।

Yes, sometimes I do. I love to compose poems, muktak, Deuda songs but none of my works are published so far. In Wikipedia I write about geography, history and culture of my surroundings. I am a Hindu so I write about the Hindu Relligion and Hindu Culture. I watch the recent changes in Nepali Wikipedia. I try to improve any topic article if mistakes appear in those changes.

  • Can you talk about what kind of phone you have and why you edit only using your mobile phone? / तपाईं सँग कस्तो किसिमको फोन छ? बताउन सक्नुहुन्छ? अनि तपाईं किन आफ्नो मोवाइल फोन बाट मात्र सम्पादन गर्नुहुन्छ?

उसो त म मोबाइल सेट परिवर्तन गर्दै रहन्छु। जुन मोबाइलमा मलाई विकि सम्पादन गर्न सजिलो पर्छ त्यै मोबाइल राख्ने गर्छु। हाल मसँग नोकिया कम्पनीको X2 ब्राण्डको मोबाइल छ। मलाई कम्प्युटर आउँदैन र मसँग कम्प्युटर, ल्यापटप पनि छैन। अर्को कुरा मलाई मोबाइलबाट सम्पादन गर्न आनन्द हुन्छ। यसका लागी न बस्ने कुर्ची चाहिन्छ नत राख्ने टेबल। मोबाइलबाट सुतेर, बसेर, काम गर्दा गर्दै थकाइ मेटाउँदै एकान्त ठाउँमा बसेर सम्पादन गर्न सकिन्छ। यो काम निकै सजिलो छ, मोबाइल २४ घण्टा गोजीमा राख्न सकिने चिज हो। हाम्रो गाउँमा विजुलीको व्यवस्था नभएको कारणले पनि वाध्यतावश विकि सम्पादनको लागि मोबाइलको प्रयोग गर्नु परेको छ। यीनै विभिन्न कारणहरूले गर्दा पनि म मोबाइलबाट मात्र सम्पादन गर्छु।

Since I keep changing the mobile handset, I prefer a set that is convenient to edit wiki. Currently I am using a Nokia X2. I don’t know how to use a computer, I don’t have one. I feel joyful while editing through mobile. This neither asks for a table nor a chair to use it. Mobile handset is in my pocket for 24 hrs. I can use it sitting on a rock, taking break, while in isolation or laying down in bed. This work is really easy. On the other side, using mobile handset is my compulsion because there is no electricity. These are some reasons I prefer to edit via my mobile phone.

  • When did you first have a mobile phone? How common are phones like yours where you live? / तपाईंले सबैभन्दा पहिले कहिले मोवाइल फोन लिनुभयो? तपाईंको जस्तो फोन तपाईं बस्ने ठाउँमा कतिको प्रचलनमा छन्?

मैले पहिलो चोटी सन् २००३ मा मोबाइल किनेको थिएँ जुन बेला म भारतमा नै बस्थें। मेरो पहिलो मोबाइल चैं सादा थियो। मैले GPRS सेवा उपलब्ध भएको मोबाइल सन् २००८ तिर लिएको हुँ। मेरो ठाउँमा मैले चलाउने गरेको जस्तो फोन धेरै प्रचलनमा छ।

I owned my own mobile phone in 2003 while I was in India. The first mobile handset was a black & white set. I got GPRS data enabled handset around 2008. Such handsets are common in my surroundings.

  • Does your phone and the data on it cost a lot of money for you? / तपाईंको फोन र यसमा लाग्ने डाटा सेवा (इन्टरनेट)का लागि तपाईंको धेरै पैसा खर्च हुन्छ?

हो नेपालमा मोबाइलबाट इन्टर्नेट धेरै महँगो पर्छ। यसमा मेरो पैंसा त धेरै खर्च हुन्छ नै। मैले मोबाइलमा गर्ने खर्चको बढी भाग इन्टरनेटमा नै खर्च गर्छु कल गरेर भन्दा इन्टरनेट चलाएर बढी पैंसा खर्च गर्छु।

Yes, mobile internet is very costly in Nepal. A lot of my money is spent in it. I spend a major part of the total mobile cost in data. I use more data than voice.

  • Are you an Ncell customer? Are you aware that Wikipedia Zero (no charges for reading Wikipedia) is now available in Nepal on Ncell? / के तपाईं एनसेलको सेवाग्राही हो? एनसेलको मोवाइल मार्फत नेपालमा पनि फोनमा डाटाको शुल्क नलाग्ने विकिपीडिया शुन्य भन्ने सेवा उपलब्ध छ भन्ने कुरा तपाईंलाई थाहा छ?

हो म एनसेल ग्राहक हुँ। मैले हालैमा एलसेलले ल्याएको जिरो विकिपीडिया योजनाको बारेमा थाहा पाएको छु तर यसको फाइदा लिन सकेको छैन। किन भने मैले विकि सम्पादन गर्दा ओपेरा ब्राउजरको प्रयोग गर्छु। एनसेलले ल्याएको उक्त योजना ओपेरा प्रयोगकर्ताको लागी लागु हुन्न। मेरो हालको मोबाइल सेटको स्क्रिन सानो छ, त्यसैले मेरो मोबाइलमा विकिका ठुला पृष्ठहरू खुल्दैनन्। तै पनि एनसेलले यो योजना ल्याएकोमा म धेरै खुसी छु। हुन सक्छ म भविष्यमा ठुलो स्क्रिन भएको फोन लिएर यो सेवाको फाइदा लिन सक्ने छु।

Yes, I am a NCELL customer. I have heard about Wikipedia Zero offer recently brought by NCELL but am not being able to get advantage from it. Because I use internet via Opera browser and NCELL does not give such services for opera. The handset I currently use has a small screen, hence I cannot browse big pages in it. Anyway, I am very happy to know about Wikipedia Zero. I may use this services in the future if I’m able to buy a smartphone in the future, I am hopeful.

  • What’s the most interesting thing you have used Wikipedia for? / तपाईंले कुन चाहीँ सबैभन्दा रोचक कामका लागि विकिपीडिया प्रयोग गर्नुभएको छ?

विकिपीडिया एक ज्ञानको भण्डार हो यसबाट मैले धेरै ज्ञान हासिल गरें। साथै आफुसँग भएको ज्ञान पनि अरुको माझमा राख्न पाएँ। म नेपालीको साथै संस्कृत, हिन्दी, फिजी हिन्दी, भोजपुरी, गुजराती, भाषाका विकिपीडियामा पनि लेख्ने गर्छु। यसबाट मैले आफ्नो गाउँ ठाउँ र आफ्नो संस्कृतिको परिचय अन्य भाषामा संसार भर दिन सक्छु। मलाई विकि सम्पादन गर्न निकै रमाइलो लाग्छ। त्यै भएर म यसमा आवद्ध रहेको छु।

Wikipedia is the source of knowledge. I gained a lot of knowledge from it. At the same time I got a platform to share the knowledge with me. I edit and write new articles in Sanskrit Wikipedia, Hindi, Fiji Hindi, Bhojpuri, Gujrati as well as in Nepali language. I can introduce my village, my locality and my culture to the world. I enjoy editing in wiki a lot that’s whyI am here.

  • What does Wikipedia mean to you? Why do you care about it? / तपाईंको लागि विकिपीडियाले कस्तो माने राख्छ? तपाईं किन यसको ख्याल राख्नुहुन्छ?

विकिपीडिया मात्र नभएर विकिका सबै प्रोजेक्टहरू मेरोलागी ज्ञान आर्जन गर्ने किताब जस्तै हुन्। कुनै किताबमा नभेटिएको विषय पनि विकिपीडियामा भेटिन्छ। विकिपीडिया मेरो लागी मनको चौतारी हो। म आफ्नो मन विरक्त भएको बेला यसमा भएका सामाग्रीहरू पढ्ने र लेख्ने गर्छु। म जुन दिनदेखी यसमा जुटें त्यो दिनदेखी यसको धेरै ख्याल राख्ने गर्छु । यो मेरोलागी एक नशा जस्तो बनेको छ।

Not only Wikipedia but all projects of Wikimedia are like a knowledge book for me. Knowledge not found in books can be found here. Wikipedia is a place where I can share my heart. I take assistance by reading/writing in Wiki while I am nostalgic. From the very day when I joined Wiki, I take care of it. This has been an opium for me.

  • Do you have any questions for me? Is there anything I can do for you? / तपाईं मलाई केही सोध्न चाहनुहुन्छ? मैंले तपाईंका लागि गर्नसक्ने केही कुरा छ?

विक्टरजी यति दुर्गममा भएको मलाई खोजेर इमेल मा भएपनि मेरो अन्तरवार्ता लिएर संसारमा मलाई चिनाइदिनुभएकोमा धन्यवाद! तपाइँको र मेरो परिचय गराएर हामी दुइवीचको वार्तामा ठुलो भुमिका निभाउनु भएका गणेश पौडेललाई पनि धन्यवाद छ। वहाँले मलाई विकिमा पहिले देखी नै सहयोग र उत्साहित गर्दै आउनु भएको छ। मेरो भाषा तपाइँ नबुझ्ने तपाइँको भाषा म नबुझ्ने, वहाँले दोहोरो अनुवाद गरेर सहयोग नगरिदिएको भए यो असंभव थियो।

विकिपीडिया सम्पादन गर्नु अब मेरो नशा जस्तो भैसक्यो। तर बेला बेला हराउने मोवाइल नेटवर्कले यहाँ निकै कठीन हुन्छ। मलाई लाग्छ यदी मसँग एक ठुलो स्क्रिन भएको मोबाइल सेट भएको भए शुन्य सेवा प्रयोग गरेर मलाई विकि सम्पादन गर्न सजिलो हुन्थ्यो होला। मसँग तत्कालै त्यस्तो मोबाइल किन्न सक्ने क्षमता छैन भविष्यमा किन्न सकेँ भने “विकिपीडियाको लागी जिरो डाटा” योजनाको फाइदा लिन सक्छु होला।

मोवाइल बाट इन्टरनेट चलाउने नेपाली दाजुभाई दिदी बहिनीहरूलाई आफ्नो भाषामा जोसुकैले लेख्न मिल्ने विकिपीडियामा आफुले जानेको कुरा लेख्न थाल्नुहोला अप्ठ्यारो परे मद्दत गर्न हामी तत्पर छौं भन्न चाहन्छु।

Thank you Victor! Thanks a lot for exploring me in this remote village and introducing me to the world. Thanks also go to Ganesh Paudel who played a vital role in connecting me with you. He has been helping and encouraging me from the very beginning. I don’t understand your language and you don’t understand mine, without his double translation service, this could not happen.

Editing wikipedia has become a habit for me now. But, frequently disappearing mobile networks suck a lot. I think if I would own a wider screen mobile handset (smartphone?), I would edit more conveniently using the zero service. I don’t have the capability to buy it right now, when I’m able to purchase, I will be able to take advantage of Wikipedia Zero. To all Nepalese, especially those who have access to the internet only through their mobile phone, I request you to start editing Wikipedia. I am ready to assist you anytime when you face a problem.

Round 2 questions:

  • Your village sounds beautiful! Have you ever uploaded photos or video to Wikimedia Commons of your village using your Nokia x2? Why or Why not? / तपाईंको गाउँ सुन्दैमा धेरै सुन्दर छ जस्तो लाग्छ! तपाईंको गाउँका कुनै तस्वीर अथवा भिडियो विकिमीडिया कमन्समा अपलोड गर्नुभएको छ? किन?

प्राकृतिक र पयर्टकिय दृष्टीकोणले मेरो गाउँ र मेरो जिल्ला निकै सुन्दर छ। श्रोत र साधनको पहुँच नभएको कारणले गर्दा मैले मेरो ठाउँको भिडियोहरू विकिमिडिया कमन्समा अपलोड गर्न सकेको छैन साथै मोबाइलबाट विकिमीडिया कमनमा भिडियो अपलोड गर्न सकिन्छ या सकिन्न भन्ने पनि मलाई थाहा छैन। मेरो ठाउँको केही फोटोहरू विकिमिडिया कमन्स र नेपाली विकिपीडियामा अपलोड गरेको छु। मैले WLM Ne २०१३ को फोटो प्रतियोगितामा भाग लिएको थिएँ। त्यो बेला मैले मेरो ठाउँमा भएका केही पुरातात्विक सम्पदाहरूको फोटो खिचेर विकिमिडिया कमन्समा अपलोड गरेको थिएँ। र उत्कृष्ट मोवाइल तस्वीरको लागि नगद पुरस्कार पनि जितेको थिएँ। मैले मेरो यहाँ पाइने केही जंगली फलफूल, यहाँ गरिएको खेतीपाती, यहाँका कृषकहरूले पाल्ने गरेका घरपालुवा जनावरहरू, यहाँको दृश्य, यहाँको वन जंगलको फोटोहरू पनि विकिमिडिया कमनमा अपलोड गर्ने गरेको छु ती फोटोहरू मैले आफुले लेखेको लेखमा प्रयोग गर्नकोलागी अपलोड गरेको हुँ।

My village is beautiful. I am not able to upload videos to Commons because of connectivity. I even don’t know whether I can upload videos via mobile phone. I have uploaded some photos in Wikimedia Commons and Nepali Wikipedia. I had participated in WLM 2013 and had uploaded photos of the archaeological monuments of my area, where I won a cash prize for best mobile contributor. I have uploaded photos of some local wild fruit, local traditional farming activities, pets and cattle of farmers, scenes, forests etc to Commons. I’ve uploaded those pictures to illustrate articles that I’ve contributed to.

  • If you have uploaded any images can you send me links to them? I am sure that many people will want to see the things and places you are talking about! / यदि त्यस्ता फोटो वा भिडियोहरू अपलोड भएका छन् भने हामीलाई लिङ्क दिन सक्नुहुन्छ? तपाईंले भनेका आधारमा तपाईंका गाउँको तस्वीर हेर्न धेरैलाई जिज्ञासा भैरहेको होला।

उत्तर:- विकिमा मेरा २ वटा खाताहरू छन्। दुवै खाताबाट मैले विकिमीडिया कमन्समा फोटोहरू अपलोड गगरेको छु। ती यहाँ भेटिन्छन्। http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3AListFiles&limit=50&user=Rameshti अथवा http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:ListFiles/राम_प्रसाद_जोशी तर मैले अपलोड गरेको अधिकांश फाइलहरूको नाम नेपालीमा राखेकोले तपाइँलाई त्यो चित्र केको हो भनेर थाह पाउन अप्ठ्यारो पर्छ होला। मैले नेपाली विकिपीडियामा अपलोड गरेका चित्रहरूको सूची हेर्न यो लिंकमा जानुहोला http://ne.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:ListFiles/राम_प्रसाद_जोशी तर मैले अपलोड गरेको अधिकांश फाइलहरूको नाम नेपालीमा राखेकोले तपाइँलाई त्यो चित्र केको हो भनेर थाह पाउन अप्ठ्यारो पर्छ होला। मैले नेपाली विकिपीडियामा अपलोड गरेका चित्रहरूको सूची हेर्न यो लिंकमा जानुहोला http://ne.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:ListFiles/राम_प्रसाद_जोशी

घरायसी कामकाजमा व्यस्तताको कारण मैले अपलोड गरेका कतिपय फोटोहरू त मैले सम्बन्धीत लेखमा प्रयोग गर्न पाएको पनि छैन।

भिक्टरजी तपाइँले दिएको लिंकमा मैले तपाइँले भनेको फोटो हेर्ने कोशिस गरेको थिएँ तर त्यो पृष्ठमा धेरै चित्रहरू अपलोड गरिएकोले मेरो मोबाइको ब्रौजरबाट कुनै पृष्ठमा धेरै चित्रहरू छन् भने त्यो देखाउन्न त्यै भएर तपाइँले अपलोड गरेको फोटोहरू देखिएनन्। साथै मैले तपाइँको प्रयोगकर्ता पृष्ठ पनि हेर्ने कोशिस गरें त्यहाँ पनि धेरै फोटोहरू राखिएका रहेछन् त्यसैले मैले तपाइँको प्रयोगकर्ता पृष्ठमा भएका तस्वीरहरू हेर्न सकेन। यसमा मलाई धेरै पश्चाताप भएको छ।

Yes, I have two accounts in Wiki, my image contributions can be found in the following links. http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3AListFiles&limit=50&user=Rameshti or http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:ListFiles/राम_प्रसाद_जोशी But most of my uploads are titled in Nepali, that may cause difficulty to know what is what. You can find my contributions in Nepali here. http://ne.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:ListFiles/राम_प्रसाद_जोशी Many pictures are not linked to articles yet.

Victor, Unfortunately I could not open the pictures on the link you provided. My mobile browser does not support a page if it contains a lot of images. I also could not open your user page. I regret not being able to view the images uploaded by you.

  • You described the area where you are from very well, I want to be more specific: What kinds of books, libraries, or news and information outlets (like newspapers, television and radio) are available to you and other people in your area? The more specific you can be the better. / तपाईंले आफ्नो गाउँको बारेमा सुन्दरतापूर्वक वयान गर्नुभयो। म अलिक प्रष्ट हुन चाहन्छु: तपाईंहरूलाई कस्ता किसिमका पुस्तकालयहरू अथवा सूचना पत्रपत्रिका पढ्ने सुविधा छन्? अथवा रेडियो, टेलिभिजन हेर्न सुन्न के सुविधा छ?

विक्टरजी मेरो गाउँ प्राकृतिक सुन्दरताले भरिपूर्ण भए पनि अती विकट छ यहाँ संचारको माध्यम भनेको रेडियो मात्र हो। पहिले त रेडियो नेपालका कार्यक्रम र समाचार मात्र सुनिन्थ्यो रेडियो नेपालको केन्द्रीय प्रसारण काठमाडौंबाट हुन्छ, काठमाडौं यहाँबाट करिब ७०० कि.मी. टाढा छ। रेडियो नेपाल क्षेत्रिय प्रसारण सुर्खेत र दिपायलका कार्यक्रम र समचारहरू सुन्न पाइन्थ्यो ति दुबै स्थान यहाँबाट करिब २५० किलो मीटर टाढा भएकोले हाम्रो यहाँको स्थानिय समचार कहिलै पनि सुन्न पाइन्नथ्यो । अहिले स्थिति केही फेरिएको छ। केही बर्ष यता यहाँ नजिकमा एफ.एम. रेडियोहरू संचालमा आएका छन्। तीनै एफ.एम.हरूबाट सूचना र मनोरञ्जन प्राप्त गर्नु बाहेक अरू कुनै संचार माध्यमको पहँच यहाँ छैन। यहाँ कुनै पनि पत्रिकाहरू आइपुग्दैनन् त्यसैले पढ्न पाइन्न । यदी एक दिन पैदल हिंडेर छिमेकी जिल्ला कालिकोटको सदरमुकाम मान्म गयो भने त्यहाँ टेलिभिजन र पत्रिकाहरू हेर्न पाइन्छ। मेरो गाउँमा धेरै जसो मान्छे यस्ता छन् जस्ले आजसम्म टेलीभीजन नै देखेका छैनन्। अब मोबाइलको जमाना आएकोले मोबाइलमा नै भिडियोहरू फ्लिमहरू हेर्ने गर्छन्। तर यहाँ टि.भी. कसैको घरमा पनि छैन। किनकी यहाँ बिजुलीको सुविधा छैन।

Victor, my village is very remote. Radio is the only medium of mass communication. Earlier, only Radio Nepal the national radio could be listened to. Radio Nepal Central broadcasts from Kathmandu approx. 700 KM from here. The regional transmission of RN from Dipayal and Surkhet were audible later. Both are 250 KM in distance from here so no local news was imagined. In the last couple of years things have changed. Few FM stations transmitted locally cover more local issues and entertain the locals. There are no other alternatives. No newspaper, no magazine nothing arrives here. You can see some outdated papers if you’d walk for a whole day to Manm, Kalikot District Headquarter. You can see Television there. In my village there are many people who have never seen the Television. Now the mobile phone emerged, villagers watch videos from mobile. No one owns a television here because we have no electricity.

  • Do you ever tell your family, friends and neighbors about Wikipedia? If so, what do they say? / तपाईंले कहिल्यै आफ्ना परिवार, साथीहरू र छिमेकीहरूलाई पनि विकिपीडियाको बारेमा भन्नुभएको छ?

मैले मेरो परिवार र मेरा गाउँलेहरूलाई विकिपीडियाको बारेमा भनेको छु। तर यहाँ इन्टरनेटको सुविधा लिन खोज्ने र यसको जानकारी भएका मान्छेहरू कम छन्। यदि कसैको इन्टरनेटमा पहुँच छ भने पनि त्यो फेसबुक, ट्विटर, जस्ता सामाजिक संजालहरूमा मात्र केही मात्रामा रुची राख्नेहरू छन् त्यो पनि धेरै कम। आजकल एनसेलले विकिपीडिया शुन्य योजना लागु गरे यता भने कुनै कुनैले यो विकिपीडिया भनेको के रहेछ भनेर चासो राखेको देखिन्छ। त्यो भन्दा पहिले त यहाँका मेरा गाउँले र मेरो घरका परिवारहरू सहितले मलाई नै पागल भन्थे। यता तिर या त कुनै जागिरेको मान्यता हुन्छ यात कुनै राजनेताको हुन्छ । हामीजस्तो विकिपीडियामा लेख्नेहरूलाई कसैले चिन्दैनन् त्यसमा पनि म एक साधारण मान्छे भएकोले मैले भनेको कुरामा कसैले विश्वास गर्दैनन्। गाउँकै पढेलेखेका मानिसहरूलाई विकिपीडियाको बारेमा भन्यो भने कुनै वास्तै गर्दैनथे उल्टो मलाई यो मान्छे किपीडियामा लागेर पागल भएको छ सम्म भन्थे। तर जुन दिन देखी एनसेलले विकिपीडिया शुन्य योजना सुरु गर्यो त्यो दिन देखी यहाँका रेडियोहरूले पनि एनसेलको विज्ञापन प्रसारण गर्दा एनसेलले विकिपीडिया शुन्य योजना सुरु गरेको छ भनेर प्रसारण गरेपछी केही व्यक्तिहरूले भने विकिपीडिया साँच्चै कुनै ज्ञानकोष रहेछ भन्ने बुझेका छन्। म आफ्नो फेसबुक पेज, गुगल+, आदीमा विकिपीडियाका लेखहरू नै सेयर गर्छु। दुई तिन दिन पहिले एक जना सञ्चार कर्मीले मलाई फेसबुक च्याटमा भनेका थिए -”तपाइँ जहिले पनि विकिपीडिया विकिपीडिया भन्नु हुन्छ तर यसको अर्थ मैले बुझ्न सकिन” उनले पठाएको यो सन्देश देखेर मलाई नै आश्चर्य लाग्यो। एक सञ्चार कर्मीलाई त विकिपीडियाको बारेमा थाह छैन भने इन्टरनेटको पहुँचबाट बन्चित मेरा परिवारका सदस्य र मेरा गाउँलेले मलाई जतिखेर पनी मोबाइलमै घोरिएर बसेको देख्दा किन पागल नभनुन्?

I have conveyed to my family and my villagers about Wikipedia. But most of the people are away from reach, the Internet is a vague topic for them. In case someone uses the internet via mobile phone, they use social networks like Facebook and Twitter etc. After the Ncell announced Wikipedia Zero, some have given concern to it. Earlier when I start talking about Wikipedia they treated me as if I had gone mad. Either a political leader or a government employee has prestige here. They do not count a simple person like me who writes in Wikipedia, they didn’t trust upon what I told. Even educated people have no interest. After the Wikipedia Zero, NCELL broadcast advertise through local radios, many people understood that Wikipedia was an encyclopedia of knowledge. Mostly I share Wikipedia articles on my Facebook and Google Plus pages. Recently in a chat a journalist asked me “Why do you always talk about Wikipedia? What is it about?” First I was surprised, but understood later. If a journalist does not understand what Wikipedia is, how can villagers?

  • I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. When is it that that happened and you started editing Wikipedia? / तपाईंको आमाको निधनले मलाई दुःख लाग्यो। यो घटना कहिले भएको हो? अनि तपाईंले कहिलेदेखि विकिपीडिया सम्पादन गर्न थाल्नुभयो?

धन्यवाद मेरो आमाको मृत्युमा शोक व्यक्त गर्नु भएकोमा। मलाई पनि आमाको मृत्यु भएको सम्झदा आँखा रसाउछ। हाम्रो हिन्दु संस्कृतीमा त आमा बुवालाई ईश्वर अथवा तीर्थ भनिन्छ। संसारका सबै प्राणीहरूमा आमा र बच्चाको प्रेम देखिन्छ। “जन्म र मृत्यु भइ नै रहन्छ। एक दिन हामीले पनि मर्नु छ। त्यै सोचेर म त्यो घटनालाई विर्सिने काशिस गर्छु। अँझै पनि जतीबेला मलाई मेरो आमाको सम्झना आउँछ त्यो बेला विकिपीडिया खोलेर हेर्छु। मेरो आमाको मृत्यु सन २०१० को जनवरी २६ का दिन भएको हो। त्यसै बेला देखी म विकिपीडियालाई मेरो आमा जत्तिकै माया गर्छु र यसमा सम्पादन गर्छु।

Thank you for expressing sorrow. It had happened in January 2010. My eyes become wet when I remember my mother’s death. Parents are regarded as the almighty and holy in my culture. Mom-kid love is seen in all creatures of the world. I try to forget the event thinking – death is inevitable for all, it is a regular process so I must have to die one day. When I remember my mom, I open Wikipedia and read or edit.

  • I also wanted to say personally Ramesh, that it’s spring here too, and the animals have come out after a long winter. Here is an image of a snapping turtle and wood ducks by a pond near me / (तपाईंलाई म पनि एउटा निजी कुरा सुनाउन चाहन्छु, अहिले यहाँ पनि वसन्त ऋतु छ। जनावरहरू लामो शिषिर पछि बल्ल बाहिर निस्केका छन्। यहाँ मेरो नजीकैको एउटा पोखरीमा भेटिएका कछुवा र जंगली हाँसको तस्वीर छ।)


  • Thank you both again! I will be sure to publicize your story. One more question – Does the Wikimedia Foundation have permission to publish your interview? / तपाईंको यो अन्तरवार्ता प्रकाशित गर्नका लागि विकिमीडिया फाउण्डेशनलाई अनुमति दिनुहुन्छ?

भिक्टरजी मेरो अन्तरवार्ता विकिमिडिया फाउन्डेसनमा प्रकाशन गर्नको लागी मेरो अनुमति छ। म जस्तो साधारण मान्छेकोलागी विकिमिडिया ब्लगमा अन्तरवार्ता प्रकाशन हुनु मेरालागी ठुलो उपलब्धि हो।

Yes Victor, the Wikimedia Foundation has full permission to publish my interview. Publishing interview in WMF blog is great achievement for an ordinary man like me.

Interview conducted by Victor Grigas, Visual Storyteller for the Wikimedia Foundation.

by Joe Sutherland at June 24, 2014 11:29 PM

Making a change to our Terms of Use: Requirements for disclosure

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Today, we’re making an important change to our Terms of Use. This change will clarify and strengthen the prohibition against concealing paid editing on all Wikimedia projects.

Half a billion people use Wikipedia every month as their source of knowledge. Wikipedia’s community editors work tirelessly at maintaining the accuracy, transparency, and objectivity of the articles, which requires identifying conflicts of interests and removing bias. Editing-for-pay can be a source of such bias, particularly when the edits are promotional in nature, or in the interest of a paying client. The Wikimedia Foundation is committed to continuing to support the Wikipedia community’s efforts to keep articles free of promotional content.

What’s changing?

This change adds a new subsection to Section 4, Refraining from Certain Activities, on “Paid Contributions without Disclosure.” The Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation has issued a letter explaining the change. We have also prepared an FAQ that helps explain how the change applies in specific instances. We encourage you to read the full update, letter, and FAQ, but the most important points are:

  • If you edit as a volunteer and for fun, nothing changes. Please keep editing! You’re part of an amazing community of volunteers contributing to an unprecedented resource of free information available to the whole world.
  • If you are employed by a gallery, library, archive, museum (GLAM), or similar institution that may pay employees to make good faith contributions in your area of expertise and not about your institution, you are also welcome to edit! The FAQ provides more guidance on when you should provide disclosure.
  • If you are paid to edit, you will need to disclose your paid editing to comply with the new Terms of Use. You need to add your affiliation to your edit summary, user page, or talk page, to fairly disclose your perspective. You’ll want to read the FAQ to learn more.
  • If you are paid to edit, other rules beyond the Terms of Use may also apply. Specific policies on individual Wikimedia projects, or relevant laws in your country (such as those prohibiting fraudulent advertising), may require further disclosure or prohibit paid advocacy editing altogether. Details on the legal issues and risk associated with undisclosed paid advocacy editing may be found in this FAQ.
  • Individual Wikimedia projects may discuss and implement alternative disclosure policies appropriate to their particular needs, as explained at greater length in the FAQ.

Why are we making a change?

As explained in October of 2013, we believe that undisclosed paid advocacy editing is a black hat practice that can threaten the trust of Wikimedia’s volunteers and readers. We have serious concerns about the way that such editing affects the neutrality and reliability of Wikipedia.

The change to the Terms of Use will address these concerns in a variety of ways. First, it will help educate and explain to good-faith editors how they may continue to edit in the spirit of the movement and mission, through simple disclosure of their affiliation. Second, it will empower the community to address the issue of paid editing in an informed way by helping identify edits that should receive additional scrutiny. Finally, it will provide an additional tool to the community and Foundation to enforce existing rules about conflicts of interest and paid editing.

How did we make the change?

The Terms of Use sets out rules for how nearly half a billion monthly users engage with Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects. The current Terms of Use are the result of an extensive community collaboration in 2011.

We periodically review the Terms to ensure they are responsive to changes in the law and on the Wikimedia projects. To address community and Board concerns about paid editing, the Foundation proposed an amendment to the existing Terms of Use in February of this year. The Terms of Use already prohibited “deceptive activities,” such as misrepresentation, impersonation, and fraud. The original proposal was intended to help ensure compliance with these rules by requiring any users who “receive or expect to receive” direct compensation for their edits to disclose their employer, client, and affiliation.

Throughout February and March, the Wikimedia community extensively discussed the issue of undisclosed paid editing, resulting in 320,000 words of discussion in various languages and 6.3 million views of the proposal. The discussion was overwhelmingly supportive of the change. It also provided constructive criticisms that helped refine the amendment, and led us to improve our planned FAQ to provide more context and better examples.

At the meeting of the WMF Board of Trustees in April, members of the Board reviewed the change and results of the public consultation. After their discussion, they approved the amendment. The Wikimedia Foundation will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the amendment, and remain open to changes as necessary to improve it.

What happens next?

This change is effective immediately. We are notifying all users with banner messages on all Wikimedia projects.

If you have any comments, or would like to discuss this change further, please join the conversation on the Meta talk page for the Terms of Use.

Thanks everyone who has contributed to the discussion on this important issue. Your concerns elevated and clarified the issue in a manner that helped improve the original proposed amendment. Your input and feedback ensured a strong, yet appropriate, policy that we expect will strengthen the projects overall.

Stephen LaPorte, Legal Counsel

Luis Villa, Deputy General Counsel

Geoff Brigham, General Counsel


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إدخال تغيير على شروط الاستخدام الخاصة بالموقع: متطلبات خاصة بالإفصاح

نقوم اليوم بإدخال تغيير مهم على شروط استخدام موقعنا. يهدف هذا التغيير إلى إيضاح أن إخفاء التحرير مدفوع الأجر للنصوص محظور والتأكيد الصارم على ذلك، وذلك في جميع مشروعات ويكيميديا.

يستخدم نصف مليار شخص شهريًا موقع ويكيبيديا كمصدر للمعرفة. ولهذا يعمل محررو مجتمع ويكيبيديا دون كلل او ملل للحفاظ على دقة المقالات المنشورة وشفافيتها ومو ضوعيتها، الأمر الذي يتطلب تحديد حالات تضارب المصالح والتخلص من أي تحيز. إن التحرير مدفوع الأجر للنصوص قد يكون سببًا للتحيز، خاصة عندما يكون تحرير النص دعائيًا بطبيعته أو يهدف إلى مصلحة العميل الذي يدفع نظير ذلك. وفي هذا الصدد، تتعهد مؤسسة ويكيميديا بمتابعة دعمها لجهود مجتمع ويكيبيديا الرامية إلى أن تكون المقالات المنشورة خالية من أي محتوى دعائي.

ما الذي تغير؟

بموجب هذا التغيير، أضيفَ قسم فرعي ضمن القسم 4،تجنب أنشطة معينة، تحت عنوان “المساهمات مدفوعة الأجر دون إفصاح”. وقد قام مجلس أمناء مؤسسة ويكيميديا بإصدار خطاب يشرح فيه هذا التغيير. كما قمنا بإعداد أسئلة شائعة تشرح تطبيق هذا التغيير على أمثلة بعينها. ندعوكم لقراءة التحديث كاملًا، وكذلك الخطاب والأسئلة الشائعة، لكننا نجمل لكم أهم النقاط أدناه:

• إذا كنت تقوم بعملية التحرير من قبيل التطوع أو المتعة، فليس هناك أية تغييرات. فضلًا، استمر في تحرير النصوص! أنت جزء من مجتمع رائع من المتطوعين الذين يسهمون في مصدر غير مسبوق للمعلومات المجانية المتاحة للعالم أجمع.

• إذا كنت تعمل لدى معرض، أو مكتبة، أو أرشيف، أو متحف (GLAM)، أو مؤسسة شبيهة تدفع لموظفيها نظير قيامهم بإسهامات بنية حسنة في مجال تخصصهم وليس للكتابة عن المؤسسة نفسها، فمرحبًا بك في عالم التحرير! تقدم الأسئلة الشائعة معلومات أكثر تفصيلًا عن المواقف التي تتطلب إفصاحا.

• إذا كنت تقوم بتحرير النصوص نظير أموال، عليك إذن الإفصاح عن هذا التحرير مدفوع الأجر حتى تكون ممتثلًا لشروط الاستخدام الجديدة. عليك إضافة الجهة التي تتبعها إلى ملخص تحريرك، أو صفحة المستخدم، أو صفحة المناقشات، حتى يكون ذلك بمثابة إفصاح عادل عن وجهة نظرك. عليك بقراءة الأسئلة الشائعة لمعرفة المزيد.

• إذا كنت تتلقى أموالًا نظير تحرير النصوص، قد تكون هناك بعض القواعد الأخرى التي تنطبق عليك بخلاف شروط الاستخدام. قد تتطلب بعض السياسات الخاصة أو القوانين (مثل القوانين التي تجرم الدعاية الاحتيالية) ذات الصلة بالمشروعات الفردية لدى ويكيميديا، مزيدًا من عمليات الإفصاح أو منع التحرير مدفوع الأجر للنصوص الداعمة بشكل كامل. يمكنكم العثور على مزيد من التفاصيل حول المشاكل القانونية والمخاطر ذات الصلة بالتحرير مدفوع الأجر للنصوص الداعمة على صفحة الأسئلة الشائعة.

• قد تتناول المشروعات الفردية لدى ويكيميديا بعض سياسات الإفصاح البديلة أو تطبقها حسب متطلبات كل مشروع، وهو ما يتم تناوله بالتفصيل في الأسئلة الشائعة.

لماذا نقوم بهذا التغيير؟

وفقًا لما تم شرحه في أكتوبر 2013 ، فإننا نعتقد أن التحرير مدفوع الأجر للنصوص الداعمة سلوك احتيالي قد يُضر بثقة متطوعي ويكيميديا وقرائها. ومن ثم تعترينا مخاوف كبيرة من أن هذا السلوك يؤثر على حيادية ويكيبيديا ومصداقيتها.

وعليه، فإن تغيير شروط الاستخدام سوف يبدد هذه المخاوف بعدة طرق. أولًا، سوف تطلع المحررين أصحاب النوايا الحسنة وتشرح لهم كيف يمكنهم متابعة تحرير النصوص وفقاً لروح الحركة والمهمة، وذلك بإجراء بسيط للإفصاح عن الجهة التي يتبعونها. ثانيًا، سوف تدعم المجتمع في تناول مشكلة التحرير مدفوع الأجر للنصوص بطريقة علمية، وذلك بالمساعدة في تحديد محرري النصوص الذين يجب متابعتهم بشكل أكثر دقة. وأخيرًا، سوف توفر تلك التغييرات أداة إضافية للمجتمع والمؤسسة يمكنهم من خلالها إنفاذ القواعد القائمة ذات الصلة بتعارض المصالح والتحرير مدفوع الأجر للنصوص.

كيف أدخلنا هذا التغيير؟

تنص شروط الاستخدام على القواعد المنظمة لاستخدام ما يقرب من نصف مليار شخص شهريًا لموقع ويكيبيديا ومشروعات ويكيميديا الأخرى. وشروط الاستخدام الحالية هي نتاج مناقشات مجتمعية مكثفة جرت عام 2011.

ونقوم بمراجعة هذه الشروط بصفة دورية لضمان تماشيها مع التغييرات التي تطرأ على القوانين ومشروعات ويكيميديا المختلفة. استجابة للمخاوف التي أبداها المجتمع ومجلس الأمناء حول التحرير مدفوع الأجر للنصوص، عرضت المؤسسة في فبراير من هذا العام تعديل شروط الاستخدام القائمة. يذكر أن شروط الاستخدام تحظر “الأنشطة الاحتيالية” مثل التحريف، وانتحال الشخصيات، والاحتيال. وكان الهدف من المقترح الأصلي المساعدة في ضمان الامتثال لهذه القواعد، وذلك بإلزام أي مستخدم “يحصل أو يتوقع الحصول على” مقابل مادي مباشر نظير تحرير النصوص أن يفصح عن الشركة التي يعمل بها، والعميل، والجهة التي يتبعها.

طوال شهري فبراير ومارس، قام مجتمع ويكيميديا وبشكل مكثف بمناقشة مشكلة عدم الإفصاح عن التحرير مدفوع الأجر للنصوص، حيث وصلت المناقشات إلى 320,000 كلمة في لغات مختلفة و6.3 مليون وجهة نظر حول المقترح. وكانت المناقشات داعمة باكتساح لهذا التغيير. كما قدمت هذه المناقشات مجموعة من الانتقادات البناءة التي ساعدت في تنقيح التعديل، وهو ما أدى إلى تجويد مستوى الأسئلة الشائعة المزمع نشرها بغرض ذكر السياق المقصود وأمثلة أكثر إيضاحًا.

وفي اجتماع مجلس أمناء مؤسسة ويكيميديا في شهر أبريل، استعرض السادة أعضاء المجلس التغيير المقترح ونتائج المناقشات العامة. وبعد الانتهاء من المناقشة، قرروا الموافقة على هذا التعديل. ستواصل مؤسسة ويكيميديا متابعة مدى فاعلية هذا التعديل، ويظل إدخال التغييرات بغرض التجويد مطروحًا متى كان ذلك ضروريًا.

وماذا بعد ذلك؟

يسري هذا التغيير فورًا. نقوم الآن بإعلام جميع المستخدمين عن طريق رسائل مكتوبة على شريط الإشعارات في جميع مشروعات ويكيميديا.

إذا كانت لديكم أية تعليقات، أو تودون مناقشة هذا التغيير بصورة مستفيضة، يرجى الانضمام إلى الحوار الموجود على صفحة المناقشات بموقع Meta حول شروط الاستخدام.

نشكر جميع من ساهم في مناقشة هذا الموضوع المهم. فمخاوفكم أثرت الحوار وأوضحت المشكلة بحيث ساعدتنا في تجويد المقترح الأصلي للتعديل. كما ساهمت آراؤكم ومقترحاتكم في وضع سياسة محكمة، وكذا ملائمة، حيث نتوقع أن تدعم المشروعات بصورة عامة.

ستيفين لابورت، مجلس الشؤون القانونية

لويس فيلا، نائب المجلس العام

جِف برِغام، المجلس العام



Änderung unserer Nutzungsbedingungen: Verpflichtung zur Offenlegung

Heute nehmen wir eine wichtige Änderung an unseren Nutzungsbedingungen vor. Diese Änderung verdeutlicht und verstärkt das Verbot der Verheimlichung von bezahlten Bearbeitungen auf allen Wikimedia-Projekten.

Jeden Monat verwenden eine halbe Milliarde Menschen Wikipedia als Wissensquelle. Wikipedias Community-Autoren arbeiten unermüdlich daran, die Genauigkeit, Transparenz und Objektivität der Artikel zu bewahren, und dazu ist es erforderlich, Interessenkonflikte zu identifizieren und einseitige Darstellungen zu beheben. Bezahlte Bearbeitungen können eine Quelle solcher einseitiger Darstellungen sein, insbesondere wenn es sich werbliche Änderungen im Interesse des zahlenden Kunden handelt. Die Wikimedia Foundation ist entschlossen, die Anstrengungen der Wikipedia-Community zu unterstützen, Artikel frei von werblichen Inhalten zu halten.

Was ändert sich?

Durch diese Änderung wird ein neuer Unterabschnitt zu Abschnitt 4, Unterlassung bestimmter Handlungen zum Thema „Bezahlte Beiträge ohne Angabe” hinzugefügt. Das Kuratorium (Board) der Wikimedia Foundation hat einen Brief veröffentlicht, in dem diese Änderung erklärt wird. Wir haben auch Häufig gestellte Fragen (FAQ) vorbereitet, die ebenfalls erklären, was die Änderung in spezifischen Fällen bedeutet. Wir empfehlen, dass Sie die gesamte Aktualisierung, den Brief und die häufig gestellten Fragen lesen, aber die wichtigsten Punkte sind folgende:

  • Wenn Sie Artikel ehrenamtlich und zum Spaß bearbeiten, ändert sich gar nichts. Bitte machen Sie damit weiter! Sie sind Teil einer großartigen Community von Freiwilligen, die zu einer beispiellosen Ressource freier Informationen beitragen, die der ganzen Welt zur Verfügung stehen.
  • Wenn Sie ein Mitarbeiter in einer Galerie, Bibliothek, einem Archiv oder Museum (GLAM) oder einer ähnlichen Institution sind, die vielleicht Mitarbeiter bezahlt, um mit guten Absichten Beiträge zu Ihrem Fachgebiet und nicht über Ihre Institution zu machen, dürfen Sie ebenfalls gerne Bearbeitugen vornehmen! Die häufig gestellten Fragen bieten weitere Anhaltspunkte dazu, wann Sie etwas offenlegen sollten.
  • Wenn Sie für Ihre Bearbeitung bezahlt werden, müssen Sie diese bezahlte Bearbeitung offenlegen, um die neuen Nutzungsbedingungen einzuhalten. Sie müssen Ihre Zugehörigkeit in Ihrer Bearbeitungszusammenfassung, Benutzerseite oder Diskussionsseite angeben, um Ihre Perspektive fair offenzulegen. Sicher ist es sinnvoll, die häufig gestellten Fragen zu lesen, um mehr zu erfahren.
  • Wenn Sie für Ihre Bearbeitung bezahlt werden, gelten möglicherweise zusätzlich zu den Nutzungsbedingungen noch andere Regeln. Besondere Richtlinien für einzelne Wikimedia-Projekte oder entsprechende Gesetze in Ihrem Land (beispielsweise Gesetze zur betrügerischen Werbung) erfordern möglicherwise weitere Angaben oder verbieten eine werbliche Bearbeitung gegen Bezahlung gänzlich. Details über die gesetzlichen Fragen und Risiken im Zusammenhang mit nicht offengelegten Bearbeitungen gegen Bezahlung zu werblichen Zwecken finden Sie unter diesem FAQ-Abschnitt.
  • Individuelle Wikimedia-Projekte können alternative Offenlegungsrichtlinien diskutieren und implementieren, die ihren speziellen Bedürfnissen entsprechen, wie ausführlicher in den häufig gestellten Fragen erklärt wird.

Warum führen wir diese Änderung durch?

Wie im Oktober 2013 erläutert, sind wir der Ansicht, dass eine nicht offengelegte Bearbeitung gegen Bezahlung zu werblichen Zwecken eine Black-Hat-Praktik ist, die das Vertrauen von Wikimedias Ehrenamtlichen und Lesern unterminiert. Wir haben ernsthafte Bedenken, wie sich eine solche Bearbeitung auf die Neutralität und Zuverlässigkeit von Wikipedia auswirkt.

Die Änderung der Nutzungsbedingungen geht diese Bedenken auf mehrfache Weise an. Erstens hilft sie dabei, jene, die mit guten Absichten beitragen, zu informieren und ihnen zu erklären, wie sie im Geiste des Wikimedia-Movements und seiner Mission weiterhin Beiträge leisten können, indem sie auf einfache Weise ihre Zugehörigkeit offenlegen. Zweitens ermächtigt sie die Community, das Problem bezahlter Bearbeitungen auf informierte Weise anzugehen, indem Beiträge identifiziert werden, die genauer unter die Lupe genommen werden sollten. Und schließlich bietet sie der Community und der Foundation ein zusätzliches Tool, um bestehende Regeln über Interessenkonflikte und bezahlte Bearbeitungen durchzusetzen.

Wie haben wir diese Änderung durchgeführt?

Die Nutzungsbedingungen legen Regeln fest, wie knapp eine halbe Milliarde monatlicher Benutzer sich mit Wikipedia und den anderen Wikimedia-Projekten beschäftigen. Die derzeitigen Nutzungsbedingungen sind das Ergebnis einer umfassenden Zusammenarbeit der Community im Jahr 2011.

Wir überprüfen die Nutzungsbedingungen in regelmäßigen Abständen, um sicherzustellen, dass sie an Gesetzesänderungen und Änderungen bei den Wikimedia-Projekten angepasst werden. Um die Bedenken der Community und des Kuratoriums über bezahlte Bearbeitungen anzugehen, hat die Foundation im Februar dieses Jahres eine Änderung der bestehenden Nutzungsbedingungen vorgeschlagen. Die Nutzungsbedingungen verboten bereits vorher „täuschende Handlungen” wie Falschangaben, Identitätsbetrug und Betrug. Der ursprüngliche Vorschlag sollte die Einhaltung dieser Regeln gewährleisten, indem Benutzer, die für ihre Bearbeitung eine direkte Vergütung „erhalten oder erwarten”, dazu verpflichtet werden, ihren Arbeitgeber, Kunden und ihre Zugehörigkeit anzugeben.

Im Februar und März diskutierte die Wikimedia-Community ausführlich über das Thema nicht offengelegter bezahlter Bearbeitungen, in einer Diskussion von insgesamt 320.000 Wörtern in verschiedenen Sprachen bei 6,3 Millionen Pageviews für den Vorschlag. In der Diskussion wurde die Änderung in überwältigendem Maße unterstützt. Es gab auch konstruktive Kritik, die zur Verfeinerung der Änderung beitrug, woraufhin wir unsere geplanten Häufig Gestellten Fragen verbessert haben, so dass sie jetzt mehr Kontext und bessere Beispiele enthalten.

Bei der Meeting des WMF-Kuratoriums im April überprüften die Boardmitglieder die Änderung und die Ergebnisse der öffentlichen Konsultation. Nach ihrer Diskussion stimmten sie der Änderung zu. Die Wikimedia Foudation wird die Wirksamkeit der Änderung beobachten und für weitere Anpassungen offen bleiben, falls sich diese als notwendig erweisen sollten, um die Änderung zu verbessern.

Was passiert als Nächstes?

Diese Änderung tritt ab sofort in Kraft. Wir informieren alle Benutzer mit Bannermeldungen auf allen Wikimedia-Projekten.

Wenn Sie Kommentare haben oder die Änderung weiter diskutieren wollen, beteiligen Sie sich an den Gesprächen auf der Meta-Diskussionsseite für die Nutzungsbedingungen.

Wir danken allen, die zur Diskussion dieses wichtigen Themas beigetragen haben. Ihre Bedenken haben das Thema hervorgehoben und auf eine Weise verdeutlicht, die zu einer Verbesserung der ursprünglich vorgeschlagenen Änderung beigetragen hat. Ihr Input und Feedback hat zu einer starken, aber angemessenen Richtlinie geführt, die die Projekte insgesamt sicher stärken wird.

Stephen LaPorte, Rechtsberater

Luis Villa, stellvertr. Leiter der Rechtsabteilung

Geoff Brigham, Leiter der Rechtsabteilung



Modificación de nuestros Términos y condiciones de uso: requisitos de revelación de información

En el día de hoy vamos a efectuar una importante modificación a nuestros Términos y condiciones de uso. Esta modificación aclarará y reforzará la prohibición de ocultación de información respecto a las ediciones remuneradas en todos los proyectos de Wikimedia.

Quinientos millones de personas al mes usan Wikipedia como fuente de conocimiento. Los editores de la comunidad de Wikipedia trabajan incesantemente por mantener la precisión, transparencia y objetividad de los artículos, lo que requiere la identificación de conflictos de intereses y la eliminación de información parcializada. La edición remunerada puede ser origen de dicha parcialidad, especialmente cuando las ediciones tienen un fin de promoción o se realizan en interés de un cliente que ofrece una remuneración a cambio. La Fundación Wikimedia tiene el firme compromiso de continuar apoyando las iniciativas de la comunidad de Wikipedia para mantener los artículos libres de contenido promocional.

¿Qué cambios se producen?

Esta rectificación añade una nueva subsección en la sección 4, Abstenerse de realizar determinadas actividades, en “Contribuciones remuneradas sin revelación de información”. El Consejo de Administración de la Fundación Wikimedia ha emitido un comunicado para explicar la rectificación. Además, hemos elaborado una página de preguntas frecuentes para explicar la forma en la que esta modificación es aplicable a casos específicos. Le aconsejamos lea todas las novedades, el comunicado y la hoja de preguntas frecuentes, aunque resumimos a continuación las cuestiones más importantes:

  • Si realiza una edición de forma voluntaria o por diversión, no hay ningún cambio que le afecte. ¡Por favor, siga editando! Forma parte de una asombrosa comunidad de voluntarios que contribuyen a unos recursos de información sin precedentes, gratuitos y a disposición del mundo entero.
  • Si trabaja para una galería, biblioteca, archivo, museo o una institución similar que puede remunerar a sus trabajadores para que realicen contribuciones de buena fe en su área de conocimiento y no sobre su institución, ¡sus aportaciones también son gratamente recibidas! En la página de preguntas frecuentes puede encontrar más información sobre los casos en los que debe revelar información.
  • Si recibe una remuneración por realizar una edición, debe informar de tal circunstancia para cumplir con los nuevos Términos y condiciones de uso. Deberá añadir su relación en su resumen de edición, página de usuario o página de discusión para poner en conocimiento su enfoque de una forma justa. En la sección de preguntas frecuentes podrá encontrar más información.
  • Si recibe una remuneración por sus ediciones, pueden ser aplicables otras normas además de los Términos y condiciones de uso. Las políticas específicas de los proyectos individuales de Wikimedia o la legislación correspondiente de su país (como la que prohíbe publicidad fraudulenta) podrán exigir la revelación de otra información o prohibir por completo las ediciones remuneradas con fines promocionales. En la sección de preguntas frecuentes podrá encontrar información detallada sobre cuestiones legales y riesgos asociados a la ocultación de información respecto a ediciones remuneradas.
  • Los proyectos individuales de Wikimedia podrán considerar e implantar políticas alternativas de revelación de información conforme a sus necesidades particulares, tal y como se explica en mayor profundidad en la sección de preguntas frecuentes.

¿Cuál es el objeto de esta rectificación?

Como explicamos en octubre de 2013, consideramos que la ocultación de información en ediciones remuneradas con fines de promoción es una práctica poco ética que puede poner en peligro la confianza de los voluntarios y lectores de Wikimedia. Nos preocupa enormemente la forma en la que dichas ediciones afectan a la neutralidad y la fiabilidad de Wikipedia.

La modificación de los Términos y condiciones de uso abordará estas preocupaciones en diversos aspectos. En primer lugar, servirá para concientizar y explicar a los editores de buena fe cómo pueden continuar editando conforme al espíritu de nuestros principios informando simplemente de la relación que mantienen con la entidad que proporciona la remuneración. En segundo lugar, capacitará a la comunidad para abordar la cuestión de las ediciones remuneradas de manera informada ayudando a identificar las ediciones que deben ser analizadas con mayor minuciosidad. Por último, proporcionará una herramienta adicional a la comunidad y la Fundación para exigir el cumplimiento de la normativa en materia de conflictos de intereses y ediciones remuneradas.

¿Cómo hemos hecho esta rectificación?

Las condiciones de uso establecen las normas de participación en Wikipedia y el resto de proyectos de Wikimedia de los casi 500 millones de usuarios mensuales. Los actuales Términos y condiciones de uso son el resultado de la amplia colaboración comunitaria que tuvo lugar en 2011.

De forma periódica revisamos las condiciones para asegurarnos de que reflejen los cambios tanto legislativos como en los proyectos de Wikimedia. Para abordar las preocupaciones de la comunidad y del Consejo sobre las ediciones remuneradas, la Fundación propuso en febrero de este año la modificación de los actuales Términos y condiciones de uso. La versión actual de los Términos y condiciones de uso ya contiene una prohibición de las “actividades engañosas”, tales como falsa declaración, suplantación de identidad y fraude. La propuesta original pretendía garantizar el cumplimiento de esta normativa exigiendo a todos los usuarios que “recibiesen o esperasen recibir” una remuneración directa por sus ediciones la revelación de información sobre su empleador, cliente y relación.

Durante los meses de febrero y marzo, la comunidad de Wikimedia mantuvo un exhaustivo debate en torno a la ocultación de información de ediciones remuneradas que dio lugar a 320 000 palabras de debate en distintos idiomas y 6,3 millones de visitas a la propuesta. El debate se decantó de forma abrumadora por la realización de la modificación. Asimismo, se aportaron críticas constructivas que ayudaron a afinar la modificación y nos permitieron mejorar nuestra sección de preguntas frecuentes previstas para ofrecer más contexto y ejemplos más precisos.

En la reunión del Consejo de Administración de la Fundación Wikimedia celebrada en abril, se analizaron la modificación y los resultados de la consulta pública. Tras el debate mantenido, la rectificación quedó aprobada. La Fundación Wikimedia continuará realizando un seguimiento de la efectividad de la rectificación y mantendrá una actitud abierta para efectuar los cambios necesarios con el fin de mejorarla.

¿Cuáles son los pasos siguientes?

La modificación entrará en vigor de forma inmediata. Hemos procedido a informar a todos los usuarios mediante banners en todos los proyectos de Wikimedia.

Si desea realizar algún comentario o discutir la rectificación en mayor profundidad, participe en la conversación que está teniendo lugar en la página de discusión en Meta respecto a los Términos y condiciones de uso.

Queremos agradecer a todas las personas que han participado en el debate de esta importante cuestión. La manifestación de sus preocupaciones ha servido para aclarar y acotar mejor la cuestión de manera que se ha mejorado la propuesta original de modificación. Sus contribuciones y opiniones han garantizado la redacción de una política sólida y apropiada que esperamos reafirme los proyectos en general.

Stephen LaPorte, asesor jurídico

Luis Villa, director jurídico adjunto

Geoff Brigham, director jurídico


Modification de nos Conditions d’utilisation : obligations de divulgation

Aujourd’hui, nous apportons un changement important à nos Conditions d’utilisation. Ce changement clarifiera et renforcera l’interdiction de dissimuler les contributions rémunérées sur tous les projets Wikimédia.

Chaque mois, un demi-milliard de personnes utilisent Wikipédia comme source d’information. La communauté des rédacteurs de Wikipédia s’emploie sans relâche à garantir l’exactitude, la transparence et l’objectivité des articles, ce qui nécessite d’identifier les conflits d’intérêts et de supprimer les contributions reflétant des partis pris. Les contributions rémunérées peuvent être sources de partis pris, en particulier lorsque les contributions sont à caractère promotionnel, ou défendent les intérêts du client qui rémunère le rédacteur. La Fondation Wikimédia s’engage à continuer de soutenir la communauté Wikipédia dans ses efforts visant à exclure tout contenu promotionnel des articles.

Qu’est-ce qui change ?

Ce changement consiste en l’ajout d’un nouvel alinéa à l’article 4, Éviter certaines activités, sur les « Contributions rémunérées sans divulgation ». Le Conseil d’administration de la Fondation Wikimédia a publié une lettre expliquant ce changement. Nous avons également préparé une FAQ qui aide à comprendre comment ce changement s’applique dans des cas spécifiques. Nous vous invitons à lire l’intégralité de la mise à jour, la lettre et la FAQ, mais les points les plus importants sont les suivants :

  • Si vous contribuez à titre gracieux et par plaisir, rien ne change pour vous. Continuez à contribuer ! Vous faites partie d’une remarquable communauté de volontaires qui apportent une source sans précédent d’informations gratuites à disposition du monde entier.
  • Si vous êtes employé par une galerie, une bibliothèque, un centre d’archives, un musée (GLAM) ou un établissement similaire qui peut payer ses employés pour écrire des articles de bonne foi dans leur domaine de compétence, et non sur leur établissement, vos contributions sont également les bienvenues ! La FAQ explique en détail dans quels cas vous devez divulguer des informations.
  • Si vous êtes rémunéré pour écrire des articles, vous devez divulguer vos contributions rémunérées afin de vous conformer aux nouvelles Conditions d’utilisation. Vous devez ajouter votre affiliation à votre résumé de modification, page utilisateur ou page de discussion, afin de faire toute la transparence sur votre angle de vue. Pour en savoir plus, consultez la FAQ.
  • Si vous êtes rémunéré pour écrire des articles, il est possible que d’autres règles s’appliquent en plus des Conditions d’utilisation. Des politiques spécifiques concernant les projets Wikimédia individuels, ou certaines lois en vigueur dans votre pays (comme celles interdisant la publicité dissimulée) peuvent imposer la divulgation d’autres informations ou même interdire toute contribution rémunérée à caractère promotionnel. Cette FAQ vous donne des informations sur les aspects juridiques et les risques associés à la non-divulgation des contributions rémunérées à caractère promotionnel.
  • Les projets Wikimédia individuels peuvent élaborer et appliquer d’autres politiques de divulgation adaptées à leurs besoins, comme expliqué en détail dans la FAQ.

Pourquoi procédons-nous à un changement ?

Comme nous l’avons expliqué en octobre 2013, nous considérons que les contributions rémunérées à caractère promotionnel sont une pratique malhonnête qui peuvent ébranler la confiance des volontaires et lecteurs de Wikimédia. Nous sommes extrêmement inquiets de la manière dont ces contributions compromettent la neutralité et la fiabilité de Wikipédia.

Le nouvel alinéa des Conditions d’utilisation permettra de remédier à ce problème de différentes manières. Tout d’abord, il permettra de sensibiliser les rédacteurs de bonne foi et de leur expliquer comment ils peuvent continuer à contribuer dans l’esprit du mouvement et de la mission, en divulguant simplement leur affiliation. Ensuite, il donnera les moyens à la communauté d’affronter le problème des contributions rémunérées en toute connaissance de cause, en aidant à identifier les articles qui nécessitent un examen approfondi. Enfin, il servira d’outil supplémentaire à la communauté et à la Fondation pour faire respecter les règles existantes sur les conflits d’intérêts et les contributions rémunérées.

Comment avons-nous procédé à ce changement ?

Les Conditions d’utilisation fixent des règles régissant la manière dont le demi-milliard de personnes qui utilisent Wikipédia chaque mois peuvent participer à Wikipédia et aux autres projets Wikimédia. Les Conditions d’utilisation actuelles sont le fruit d’une vaste collaboration au sein de la communauté en 2011.

Nous réexaminons régulièrement les Conditions d’utilisation pour nous assurer qu’elles tiennent compte de l’évolution de la loi et des projets Wikimédia. Face aux inquiétudes de la communauté et du Conseil d’administration concernant les contributions rémunérées, la Fondation a proposé une modification des Conditions d’utilisation existantes en février dernier. Les Conditions d’utilisation interdisaient déjà les « pratiques trompeuses », comme la déformation des faits, l’imposture ou la tromperie. La proposition initiale visait à garantir le respect de ces règles en imposant à tous les utilisateurs qui « reçoivent ou s’attendent à recevoir » directement une rémunération pour leurs articles, de divulguer leur employeur, leur client et leur affiliation.

En février et en mars, la communauté Wikimédia a longuement discuté de la question des contributions rémunérées non divulguées, ce qui a généré 320 000 mots de discussion en différentes langues et 6,3 millions de vues de la proposition. Le changement a obtenu un large soutien lors de cette discussion. En outre, celle-ci a permis l’expression de critiques constructives qui ont aidé à peaufiner la modification des Conditions d’utilisation, et nous ont conduits à améliorer la FAQ que nous avions prévue en y ajoutant davantage de contexte et de meilleurs exemples.

Lors de la réunion du Conseil d’administration de WMF en avril, les administrateurs se sont penchés sur le changement et les résultats de la consultation publique. À l’issue de leurs débats, ils ont approuvé la modification. La Fondation Wikimédia continuera de contrôler l’efficacité du nouvel alinéa, et restera ouverte à toute proposition de modification permettant de l’améliorer.

Et maintenant ?

Ce changement prend effet immédiatement. Nous en informons tous les utilisateurs avec des bannières sur les pages de tous les projets Wikimédia.

Si vous souhaitez commenter ce changement ou en discuter, vous pouvez vous joindre à la conversation sur la page de discussion Meta pour les Conditions d’utilisation.

Nous remercions toutes les personnes qui ont participé à la discussion sur cette question importante. Vos préoccupations ont permis de soulever et de clarifier le problème d’une manière qui nous a aidés à améliorer la modification initialement proposée. Votre contribution et votre retour d’information ont permis la mise en place d’une politique ferme, mais juste, qui, nous l’espérons, renforcera les projets dans leur ensemble.

Stephen LaPorte, juriste

Luis Villa, Directeur juridique adjoint

Geoff Brigham, Directeur juridique


Modifica ai nostri Termini d’uso: Requisiti per la divulgazione

Oggi apportiamo un’importante modifica ai nostri Termini. La presente modifica chiarirà e rafforzerà il divieto di nascondere modifiche retribuite su tutti i progetti Wikimedia.

Mezzo miliardo di persone utilizza Wikimedia ogni mese come fonte di conoscenza. Gli autori della comunità di Wikimedia lavorano incessantemente per mantenere la precisione, la trasparenza e l’oggettività degli articoli che richiedono l’identificazione dei conflitti di interessi e l’eliminazione di pregiudizi. Le modifiche dietro pagamento possono essere una fonte di tali pregiudizi, in modo particolare quando le modifiche sono di natura promozionale o nell’interesse di un cliente pagante. Wikimedia Foundation si impegna a continuare a sostenere gli sforzi della comunità di Wikipedia per mantenere gli articoli liberi da contenuto promozionale.

Che cosa sta cambiando?

La presente modifica aggiunge un nuovo sottoparagrafo al Paragrafo 4, Astensione da determinate attività, su “Contributi retribuiti senza divulgazione”. Il Consiglio degli amministratori fiduciari di Wikimedia Foundation ha emesso una lettera illustrando la modifica. Abbiamo inoltre preparato una sezione FAQ che contribuisce a illustrare come la modifica si applichi in istanze specifiche. Vi incoraggiamo a leggere l’intero aggiornamento, lettera e FAQ, ma i punti salienti sono:

  • Se esegui una modifica come volontario o per divertimento non cambia nulla. Continua ad apportare modifiche! Fai parte di una fantastica comunità di contributori volontari ad una risorsa senza precedenti di informazioni libere disponibili a tutto il mondo.
  • Se sei dipendente di una galleria, biblioteca, archivio, museo (GLAM) o istituzioni simili che possono retribuire i dipendenti per apportare contributi in buona fede nella propria area di competenza e non riguardo all’istituzione, sei il benvenuto per apportare modifiche! Le FAQ forniscono un maggiore orientamento su quando dovresti fornire una divulgazione.
  • Se sei pagato per apportare modifiche sarà necessario che divulghi le tue modifiche retribuite in osservanza dei nuovi Termini d’uso. Devi aggiungere la tua affiliazione al riepilogo di redazione, pagina utente o pagina di discussione al fine di divulgare correttamente la tua situazione. Leggi le FAQ per saperne di più.
  • Se sei retribuito per apportare modifiche possono essere valide altre regole oltre ai Termini d’uso. Politiche specifiche su singoli progetti Wikimedia o relative leggi nel tuo Paese (come il divieto di pubblicità fraudolenta) possono richiedere ulteriore divulgazione o vietare assolutamente modifiche promozionali retribuite. I dettagli sulle questioni legali e il rischio legato a modifiche promozionali retribuite non divulgate si possono trovare nelle presenti FAQ.
  • I singoli progetti Wikimedia possono discutere e attuare politiche di divulgazione alternative adeguate alle loro particolari esigenze come illustrato in modo più esteso nelle FAQ.

Perché una modifica?

Come illustrato nel mese di ottobre del 2013, riteniamo che le modifiche promozionali retribuite non divulgate siano una pratica che cerca di ingannare i motori di ricerca (black hat) che può minacciare le fiducia dei volontari di Wikimedia e dei lettori. Siamo seriamente preoccupati per il modo in cui tali modifiche influiscano sulla neutralità e l’affidabilità di Wikipedia.

La modifica dei Termini d’uso affronta queste preoccupazioni in molti modi. In primo luogo contribuirà a istruire gli autori e a illustrare loro in buona fede come possono continuare ad apportare modifiche nello spirito del movimento e della missione divulgando semplicemente la propria affiliazione. In secondo luogo abiliterà la comunità ad affrontare la questione delle modifiche retribuite in un modo informato contribuendo a identificare modifiche che dovrebbero ricevere un ulteriore controllo. Infine fornirà uno strumento in più alla comunità e alla Fondazione per attuare le regole esistenti sul conflitto di interessi e le modifiche retribuite.

Perché questo cambiamento?

I Termini d’uso stabiliscono delle regole sul modo in cui mezzo miliardo di utenti si impegna con Wikipedia e gli altri progetti Wikimedia. Gli attuali Termini d’uso sono il risultato di un’ampia collaborazione della comunità nel 2011.

Rivediamo periodicamente i Termini per garantire che siano in grado di rispondere ai cambiamenti normativi e dei progetti Wikimedia. Per affrontare i problemi della comunità e del Consiglio sulle modifiche retribuite, la Fondazione ha proposto un emendamento agli attuali Termini d’uso a febbraio di quest’anno. I Termini d’uso vietavano già “attività ingannevoli”, come falsa dichiarazione, sostituzione di persona e frode. La proposta originale mirava a contribuire a garantire l’osservanza di queste regole richiedendo a tutti gli utenti, che “ricevono o si aspettano di ricevere” un compenso diretto per le proprie modifiche, di divulgare il proprio datore di lavoro, cliente e affiliazione.

Per tutto il periodo di febbraio e marzo la comunità di Wikimedia ha discusso ampiamente la questione delle modifiche retribuite non divulgate, producendo 320.000 parole di discussione in diverse lingue e 6,3 milioni di visualizzazioni della proposta. La discussione è stata decisamente a sostegno della modifica. Ha inoltre fornito critiche costruttive che hanno contribuito a raffinare l’emendamento e ci ha portato a migliorare le nostre FAQ già programmate per fornire un contesto maggiore ed esempi migliori.

In occasione dell’incontro del Consiglio degli amministratori fiduciari di WMF ad aprile, i membri del Consiglio hanno rivisto la modifica e i risultati della pubblica consultazione. Dopo averne discusso, hanno approvato l’emendamento. Wikimedia Foundation continuerà a monitorare l’efficacia dell’emendamento e resterà aperta a modifiche necessarie a migliorarlo.

Cosa succederà ora?

Questo cambiamento ha effetto immediato. Stiamo inviando notifiche a tutti gli utenti tramite messaggi banner su tutti i progetti Wikimedia.

Se hai commenti o vorresti ulteriormente discutere la presente modifica partecipa alla conversazione sulla pagina di discussione Meta per i Termini d’uso.

Grazie a tutti coloro che hanno contribuito alla discussione su questa importante questione. La tua partecipazione ha messo in evidenza e chiarito la questione contribuendo a migliorare la proposta originale di emendamento. Il tuo contributo e riscontro hanno garantito una politica forte, tuttavia adeguata, che ci aspettiamo rafforzi i progetti in generale.

Stephen LaPorte, Consulente legale

Luis Villa, Vice-consigliere generale

Geoff Brigham, Consigliere generale


利用規約への変更: 開示の要件




この変更により、セクション4「有償の寄稿の開示」に新しいサブセクション特定の活動の回避が追加されます。ウィキメディア財団の評議員会は、変更について説明する書状を発行しました。当財団はまた、特定の事例で変更を適用する方法を説明する一助となる FAQを作成しました。当財団は、あなたに改訂、書状、およびFAQ全文を読むよう推奨しますが、最も重要な点は以下の通りです。

あなたがボランティアとして、また楽しみのために編集する場合は、何も変わりません。編集を続けてください! あなたは、世界の人々が利用できる前代未聞の無料の情報源に寄稿する素晴らしいボランティアコミュニティの一員です。

  • あなたが、自分の機関についてではなく、自分の専門分野で善意の寄稿を行う職員に支払う場合がある美術館、図書館、公文書保管所、博物館(GLAM)、または類似の機関により雇用されている場合も、編集を続けてください! FAQでは、あなたがいつ開示する必要があるかに関する追加のガイダンスを提供します。
  • あなたが報酬を得て編集を行う場合、あなたは新しい利用規約に従うために有償の編集を開示する必要があります。あなたの見解を公正に開示するために、編集したサマリー、ユーザーページ、またはトークページにあなたの提携団体を追加する必要があります。詳細は、FAQを読んでください。
  • あなたが報酬を得て編集を行っている場合、利用規約以外の規則も適用される場合があります。個別のウィキメディア・プロジェクトに関する特定の方針、またはあなたの国の関連する法律(詐欺的な広告を禁止する法律など)により、追加の開示が義務付けられるか、または有償の擁護編集が完全に禁止される場合があります。開示されない有償の擁護編集に関連する法的問題およびリスクの詳細は、このFAQで見出すことができます。
  • 個別のウィキメディア・プロジェクトは、FAQでより詳しく説明されている通り、特定のニーズに適切な代わりの開示方針について協議し、実施する場合があります。













Stephen LaPorte、法務顧問

Luis Villa、副法律顧問

Geoff Brigham、法律顧問




  • 如果你只是一个为享受编辑的乐趣而加入我们的编辑者,这个条款不会对你产生任何实际影响。请一如既往地积极编辑!你是我们出色的志愿者团队的一部分,为向全世界分享无限的知识而不断努力。
  • 如果你是画廊、图书馆、档案局、博物馆或致力于分享知识而设立的任何类似组织的雇员,且你收受报酬的行为是为了更好的分享你所擅长的知识领域而不是给你的雇主打广告,我们也欢迎你来编辑!你需要阅读我们的常见问题解答,以了解在何种情况下需要公开你的雇佣信息。
  • 如果你在任何维基媒体项目的编辑行为是有偿的(通过编辑获得报酬),根据我们的修正案,你需要公开所有获得过报酬的编辑行为。你需要通过编辑摘要、用户页、讨论页等方式公开你的获取报酬的行为,以让大家充分了解你的身份和编辑动机。关于具体的操作方法,请阅读常见问题解答
  • 如果你通过编辑获得报酬,你不仅要遵守本修正案所规定的内容,也需要遵守其它相关的规定。例如:某些特定维基媒体项目的本地方针、你所在地的法律(有些地方有限制某些宣传行为的法律)等。这些其它法律或规定可能会要求你进一步公开你的编辑动机、或完全禁止付费广告编辑。如要了解详细的法律问题或有偿编辑的风险,请阅读常见问题解答
  • 一些维基媒体项目的本地社群可能会根据它们的实际状况,讨论以至出台内容有别的信息公开政策。请阅读常见问题解答以获得更多信息。













Stephen LaPorte, 法律顾问

Luis Villa, 副首席法律顾问

Geoff Brigham, 首席法律顾问
2014-06-16: Edited to correct an incorrectly translated word in the Spanish version
2014-06-18: Edited to fix a typo in the German version


Внесены изменения в наши Условия использования: Требования о разглашении

Сегодня мы внесли важное изменение в наши Условия использования. Это изменение призвано прояснить и усилить запрет на сокрытие оплачиваемого редактирования во всех проектах Викимедиа.

Каждый месяц полмиллиарда человек используют Википедию в качестве источника знаний. Сообщество редакторов Википедии неустанно трудится над поддержанием точности, прозрачности и объективности статей, что требует выявления конфликтов интересов и удаления предвзятой информации. Источником такой информации могут быть правки, сделанные за плату, особенно когда они рекламны по своей сути или продвигают интересы нанимателя. Фонд Викимедиа намерен и в дальнейшем поддерживать усилия, предпринимаемые сообществом Википедии для защиты статей от рекламного содержимого.

Что изменилось?

В этом изменении в раздел Воздержание от некоторых видов деятельности был добавлен новый подраздел “Сокрытие оплачиваемого редактирования”. Совет Поверенных Фонда Викимедиа выпустил послание, разъясняющее суть изменения. Мы также подготовили список часто задаваемых вопросов, который поможет понять, как применимо это изменение в конкретных ситуациях. Мы настоятельно советуем вам в полном объеме ознакомиться с содержанием обновления, посланием, а также списком вопросов, однако наиболее важными являются следующие моменты:

  • Если вы являетесь добровольным редактором и совершаете правки для собственного удовольствия, для вас ничего не меняется. Пожалуйста, продолжайте редактирование! Вы – член удивительного сообщества волонтёров, участвующих в создании беспрецедентного источника информации, свободно доступного во всем мире.
  • Если вы работаете на галерею, библиотеку, архив, музей или другую аналогичную организацию, оплачивающую деятельность своих сотрудников по внесению добросовестных правок по их специальности и не касающихся самой организации, вы тоже можете продолжать редактирование! В списке часто задаваемых вопросов более подробно рассказывается о том, в каких случаях вы должны раскрыть обстоятельства своей деятельности.
  • Если вам платят за редактирование, то в соблюдение новых Условий использования вам необходимо раскрыть информацию об этом. Для того, чтобы было явно видно, поддержанию какой точки зрения служат ваши правки, вы должны указать, с кем связана ваша деятельность, в описании правки, на вашей личной странице или на странице обсуждения. Для более подробной информации см. список часто задаваемых вопросов.
  • Если вам платят за редактирование, на вас также могут распространяться и другие правила, не входящие в Условия использования. Соответствующая политика отдельных проектов Викимедиа или соответствующие законы вашего государства (в частности, направленные на борьбу с недобросовестной конкуренцией и рекламной деятельностью) могут требовать разглашения или запрещать оплачиваемые рекламные изменения в совокупности. Подробнее о возможных юридических проблемах, связанных со скрытым оплачиваемым редактированием в рекламных целях, можно прочитать в этом списке часто задаваемых вопросов.
  • Отдельные проекты Викимедиа могут обсудить и внедрить альтернативные правила по раскрытию информации об оплачиваемом редактировании, удовлетворяющие их нуждам. Подробнее см. в списке часто задаваемых вопросов.

Почему мы внесли изменение?

Как пояснялось в октябре 2013, мы считаем, что нераскрытое оплачиваемое пропагандистское редактирование – плохая практика, которая угрожает сохранению доверия добровольцев и читателей Викимедиа. Мы серьёзно обеспокоены тем, что такое редактирование может отразиться на нейтральности и достоверности Википедии.

Изменение Условий использования должно позволить справиться с причинами этого беспокойства. Во-первых, добросовестные редакторы узнают, что в соответствии с духом и миссией проектов им следует раскрыть, являются ли их правки результатом прямой связи с лицом или организацией, которую те затрагивают. Во-вторых, это даст возможность сообществу лучше справляться с проблемами оплачиваемого редактирования, помогая выявлять правки, требующие дополнительного анализа. Наконец, в-третьих, это создаст ещё один инструмент в руках сообщества и Фонда, способствующий защите существующих правил, касающихся вопроса конфликтов интересов и оплачиваемого редактирования.

Как проходило принятие изменения?

Условия использования устанавливают правила, в соответствии с которыми около половины миллиарда пользователей ежемесячно принимают участие в Википедии и других проектах Викимедиа. Текущие Условия использования были сформулированы в 2011 году при активном участии сообщества.

Время от времени мы пересматриваем условия использования, чтобы удостовериться, что они отвечают изменениям в законодательстве и в других проектах Викимедия. Учитывая беспокойство сообщества и Совета Поверенных относительно оплаченного редактирования, в феврале этого года Фонд предложил дополнение к существующим условиям использования. Условиями уже запрещались “вводящие в заблуждение действия”, например, искажения, пародирование и обман. Предложение было нацелено на упрощение контроля за соблюдением этих правил путём требования от участников, которые “получают или должны получить” прямое вознаграждение за свои правки, раскрывать своего нанимателя, клиента или иную аффилированную с ними сторону.

На протяжении февраля и марта сообщество Викимедиа всесторонне разбирало проблемы оплачиваемого редактирования, совершаемого скрыто. В итоге дискуссия содержала 320 000 слов на разных языках, а текст предложения был просмотрен 6,3 миллиона раз. В обсуждении предлагаемое изменение было всячески поддержано, но также имелась и конструктивная критика, которая помогла лучше проработать поправку и привела к усовершенствованию задуманного списка часто задаваемых вопросов: была расширена затрагиваемая им область тем и использованы более удачные примеры.

На собрании Совета Поверенных Фонда Викимедиа в апреле члены Совета также рассмотрели предлагаемые изменения и итоги обсуждения с сообществом. В результате поправка была принята. Фонд Викимедиа будет наблюдать за эффективностью её применения, с готовностью при необходимости усовершенствовать её.

Что же дальше?

Эти изменения вступают в силу немедленно. Мы оповещаем пользователей с помощью баннеров на всех проектах Викимедиа.

Если у Вас есть комментарии, или Вы хотите подробнее обсудить изменения, пожалуйста, присоединяйтесь к обсуждению правил пользования.

Спасибо всем, кто участвовал в обсуждении этой важной проблемы. Ваша обеспокоенность помогла очертить её и выделить важные стороны, что позволило улучшить изначальную поправку. Ваш отклик убедил, что подобные строгие, но адекватные правила смогут укрепить проекты Викимеда в целом.

Стивен Лапорт, юрисконсульт

Луис Вилья, заместитель главного юрисконсульта

Джефф Бригам, главный юрисконсульт

by Geoff Brigham at June 24, 2014 11:25 PM

June 22, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Odia language gets a new Unicode font converter

Screenshot mock-up of Akruti Sarala – Unicode Odia converter

It’s been over a decade since Unicode standard was made available for Odia script. Odia is a language spoken by roughly 33 million people in Eastern India, and is one of the many official languages of India. Since its release, it has been challenging to get more content on Unicode, the reason being many who are used to other non-Unicode standards are not willing to make the move to Unicode. This created the need for a simple converter that could convert text once typed in various non-Unicode fonts to Unicode. This could enrich Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects by converting previously typed content and making it more widely available on the internet. The Odia language recently got such a converter, making it possible to convert two of the most popular fonts among media professionals (AkrutiOriSarala99 and AkrutiOriSarala) into Unicode.

All of the non-Latin scripts came under one umbrella after the rollout of Unicode. Since then, many Unicode compliant fonts have been designed and the open source community has put forth effort to produce good quality fonts. Though contribution to Unicode compliant portals like Wikipedia increased, the publication and printing industries in India were still stuck with the pre-existing ASCII and ISCII standards (Indian font encoding standard based on ASCII). Modified ASCII fonts that were used as typesets for newspapers, books, magazines and other printed documents still exist in these industries. This created a massive amount of content that is not searchable or reproducible because it is not Unicode compliant. The difference in Unicode font is the existence of separate glyphs for the Indic script characters along with the Latin glyphs that are actually replaced by the Indic characters. So, when someone does not have a particular ASCII standard font installed, the typed text looks absurd (see Mojibake), however text typed using one Unicode font could be read using another Unicode font in a different operating system. Most of the ASCII fonts that are used for typing Indic languages are proprietary and many individuals/organizations even use pirated software and fonts. Having massive amounts of content available in multiple standards and little content in Unicode created a large gap for many languages including Odia. Until all of this content gets converted to Unicode to make it searchable, sharable and reusable, then the knowledge base created will remain inaccessible. Some of the Indic languages fortunately have more and more contributors creating Unicode content. There is a need to work on technological development to convert non-Unicode content to Unicode and open it up for people to use.

Akruti Sarala – Unicode Odia converter user manual

There are a few different kinds of fonts used by media and publication houses, the most popular one is Akruti. Two other popular standards are LeapOffice and Shreelipi. Akruti software comes bundled with a variety of typefaces and an encoding engine that works well in Adobe Acrobat Creator, the most popular DTP software package. Industry professionals are comfortable using it for its reputation and seamless printing. The problem of migrating content from other standards to Unicode arose when the Odia Wikimedia community started reaching out to these industry professionals. Apparently authors, government employees and other professional were more comfortable using one of the standards mentioned above. All of these people type using either a generic popular standard, Modular, or a universal standard, Inscript. Fortunately, the former is now incorporated into Mediawiki‘s Universal Language Selector (ULS) and the latter is in the process of getting added to ULS. Once this is done, many folks could start contributing to Wikipedia easily.

Content that has been typed in various modified ASCII fonts include encyclopedias that could help grow content on Wikisource and Wikiquote. All of these need to be converted to Unicode. The non-profit group Srujanika first initiated a project to build a converter for conversion of two different Akruti fonts: AkrutiOriSarala99 and OR-TT Sarala. The former being outdated and the other being less popular. The Rebati 1 converter which was built by the Srujanika team was not being maintained and was more of an orphan project. Fellow Wikimedian Manoj Sahukar and myself used parts of the “Rebati 1 converter” code and worked on building another converter. The new “Akruti Sarala – Unicode Odia converter” can convert the more popular AkrutiOriSarala font and its predecessor AkrutiOriSarala99, which is still used by some. Odia Wikimedian Mrutyunjaya Kar and journalist Subhransu Panda have helped by reporting broken conjuncts which helps in fixing all problems before publishing. Odia authors and journalists have already started using the font and many of them have regular posts in Odia. We are waiting for more authors to contribute to Wikipedia by converting their work and wikifying it.

Recently a beta version of another Unicode font converter for Shreelipi fonts based on Odia Wikipedian Shitikantha Dash‘s initial code is released. It works with at least 85 % accuracy.

Even after getting the classical status, Odia language is not being used actively on the internet like some other Indian languages. The main reason behind this is our writing system has not been web-friendly. Most of those in Odisha having typing skills, use modular keyboard and Akruti fonts. Akruti is not web-compatible as we know. There are thousands of articles, literary works, news stories typed in Akruti fonts lying unused (on the internet). Thanks to Subhashish Panigrahi and his associates, they have developed this new font converter that can convert your Akruti text into Unicode. I have checked it. It’s error-free. Now it’s easy for us to write articles online (for Wikipedia and other sites).

Yes, we are late entrants as far as use of vernacular languages on the internet is concerned. But this converter will help us to go godspeed. Lets make Odia our language of communication and expression.

Subhransu Panda, Journalist, author and publisher

Subhashish Panigrahi, Odia Wikipedian and Programme Officer, Centre for Internet and Society

Quick links:

by Subhashish Panigrahi at June 22, 2014 03:48 AM

June 21, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Wikipedia for Schools Project

Teachers and students in Nyeri, Kenya listening to a tutorial under the Wikipedia for Schools Project.

In 2005, SOS Children, the world’s largest charity for orphan and abandoned children[1] [2] launched the “A World of Learning” project, which handpicks Wikipedia articles and categorizes them by subject for schoolchildren around the world to use. The project focuses on content that is suitable for students between the ages of 8-17 based on the UK education curriculum. In November 2006, the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) endorsed the project, which resulted in its relaunch as “Wikipedia for Schools” and its new web address (http://www.schools-wikipedia.org). Ever since then, the project continues to enjoy the support of The Wikimedia Foundation. The website went through subsequent revisions in 2008-09 as well as in 2013. The 2013 edition has 6,000 articles, 26 million words and 50,000 images – making it a fairly large project that caters to the needs of school children across the globe. The online Website also contains “download the website” link which enables users to download the material for use without internet connection. [1]

Hole in the Wall Education Ltd (HiWEL) supported the Wikipedia for Schools project in an effort to expand its reach in Learning Stations in India and African countries.[2] The program has received recognition from around the world for its far reaching impact. According to Subir from Nepal’s online learning project E-Pustakalaya, “Wikipedia for Schools has been really useful in public schools in Nepal. The students of remote corners of Nepal, where there is no internet access, now know about the diverse culture, religion, art, science and lifestyles of the countries around the world. All credit goes to the team that built this wonderful repository of information for schools.” [1] Similarly, Patrick of Treverton Schools, South Africa, welcomed the effort as “fantastic resource for schools with little or no bandwidth, of which there are many here in South Africa.”

According to Jamie Goodland, the annual reach of the online version of Wikipedia for Schools is close to 1.5 million. He also points out that while there are no immediate plans for revisions, should there be any development to this effect, then there may well be a role for Wikipedians play in updating the selections. The software that selects the articles was specially developed for Wikipedia for Schools and allows editors to remove Wikipedia content but not add or change it. Editors only remove vandalized content and explicit content considered unsuitable for its audience; for example, strong language not justified by its context.

This project has garnered the interest of educators from the Teach for India program who implemented the offline version at their schools and spread the word via their lectures (see this discussion on Wikimedia Education mailing list). The Wikipedia project, Offline Wikipedia for Indian Schools, is underway with customized local content for Indian schools. One of the ex-admins of Hindi Wikipedia, Anunad Singh, has called for localized versions of Wikipedia for Schools in Hindi and other Indian languages.[3]  The release of  Wikipedia articles in Malayalam CD  has been a lead in this direction. The idea of handpicking select Wikipedia articles for schools started by SOS Children is no longer restricted to the English Wikipedia. It is now spreading to other languages. This is definitely the materialization of Jimmy Wales’ vision in which he states “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.” That’s what we’re doing.

Special thanks to Jamie Goodland of the Wikipedia for Schools Project for the information used in this post.

Syed Muzammiluddin, Wikipedian.


  1. a b c About SOS Children. SOS Children. Retrieved on June 19,2014.
  2. a b SOS Children’s Village to provide Free Encyclopedia. Hole in the Wall Education Ltd. (HiWEL). Retrieved on June 19, 2014.
  3. Wikipedia for schools के बारे में. Hindi Wikipedia. Retrieved on June 19, 2014.

Copyright Notes:: “Wikipedia for Schools project, Kenya.jpg” by Abbas, under CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported, from Wikimedia Commons.

by hindustanilanguage at June 21, 2014 12:26 AM

June 18, 2014

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Wikipedisté v Seifhennersdorfu

Wikipedisté v Großschönau

Wikipedisté v Großschönau (autor: Gampe, CC BY SA 3.0)

Ve dnech 1.–4. května 2014 proběhla nedaleko českých hranic akce Wikipedians in Seifhennersdorf. Jednalo se o mezinárodní setkání wikipedistů, které bylo orientováno především na dokumentaci podstávkových domů v oblasti Horní Lužice. Tento typ dřevěného domu je pro tuto oblast typický a na území České republiky se vyskytuje nejen v severních Čechách, ale nacházíme jej až na Mělnicku nebo Nymbursku. Akce se zúčastnilo asi třicet wikipedistů z Německa, Rakouska, České republiky, Polska a Švýcarska (seřazeno podle početního zastoupení, počet se v průběhu akce měnil). Hlavními organizátory byli němečtí kolegové WikiAnika a Conny.

Za české wikipedisty se zúčastnili Jedudědek, Michaela Sourisova, Mirek256 a Gampe. Byli vyzváni i další čeští wikipedisté a čeští odborníci v oblasti lidové architektury, ale bohužel se nemohli zúčastnit.

Ve čtvrtek jsme navštívili Muzeum damašku a froté v Großschönau (Deutsches Damast- und Frottiermuseum Großschönau). Většina exponátů je v provozuschopném stavu a průvodce vedle detailního výkladu exponáty (stavy) také předvedl v chodu. Po obědě proběhla prohlídka města s místním patriotem a znalcem, panem Petrem Dornem z Interessengemeinschaft Bauernhaus e. V..

Během prohlídky vidíme různé typy podstávkových domů v nejrůznějším stavu. Ty nezrekonstruované se pohybují ve škále od celkem zachovalých až po zanedbané nebo těžce poničené nevhodnými starými úpravami. Vidíme několik domů v různé fázi rekonstrukce a nakonec výsledky: od citlivě zrekonstruovaných domů přes domy „jako nové“ po luxusní domy z nových materiálů, které jen tvarem připomínají ty původní. Večer nás pak čeká přednáška paní Christine Goldberg – Holz a pana Gerda Goldberga z Waltersdorfu – o podstávkových domech.

Druhý den fotografujeme ve Varnsdorfu a probíhá také exkurze do obce Oberoderwitz, kterou vedl fotograf Volkmar Billeb. Večer proběhl workshop na téma fotografování. V sobotu se opět fotilo, ve Varnsdorfu pod vedením Mirka 256, který je místním znalcem. Večer v Žitavě prohlížíme historické centrum. Do budoucna účastníci vyjádřili zájem o pokračování „Podstávkového programu“ za rok v Čechách nebo v Polsku a případnou podobnou mezinárodní akci „Dřevěné kostely na Slovensku“ nebo ve Slezsku.

Wikimedia Deutschland potěšila nejen organizací, ale trošku ohromila svými technickými možnostmi. Počínaje kvalitními fotoaparáty (Nikon D800) přes elektrokola (díky počasí moc nevyužitá) po satelitní připojení internetu. To bohužel nebylo úplně nejrychlejší, takže bolístka workshopů v terénu se opakuje i zde.


Großschönau (Sasko), Muzeum damašku a froté, tkalcovská píseň:

<audio class="wp-audio-shortcode" controls="controls" id="audio-1249-1" preload="none" style="width: 100%; visibility: hidden;"><source src="http://blog.wikimedia.cz/wp-content/2014/06/GS_song.ogg?_=1" type="audio/ogg">http://blog.wikimedia.cz/wp-content/2014/06/GS_song.ogg</audio>


Účast českých wikipedistů byla financována z komunitního grantu a z Mediagrantu II – téma Lidová tvořivost.

by Gampe at June 18, 2014 06:09 AM

June 15, 2014

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Konference na téma Geoinformatika a Open Data

Dne 12. června 2014 uskutečnilo České vysoké učení technické v budově Fakulty stavební konferenci na téma Geoinformatika. Tedy využívání geografických údajů v infrastruktuře a různých informačních systémech. A tak jsme se bavili o katastrech, mapováních, slučování a rozdělování databází a crowdsourcingu všech těchto procesů. Nemalý prostor dostala také Open Street Map; mapa budovaná na principu wiki. Konference byla sama o sobě poměrně zajímavá – a pro Wikimedii zvlášť – neboť zde probíhala diskuze na téma Open Data. Otevřená data jsou definována jako strojově čitelná data, dostupná pod svobodnou licencí. Jsou tedy využitelná pro každého – ať už soukromou firmu, státní úřad, zájemce z řady široké veřejnosti, ale také i pro internetovou encyklopedii, jakou je Wikipedie.

Fakulta stavební v pražských Dejvicích, místo dějiště konference na téma Geoinfrastruktura (Autor: Gampe, licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Vytvořit databázi strukturovaných a strojově využitelných dat není jednoduché. My se o to například pokoušíme s projektem Wikidata. Existují však i jiné subjekty, které shromažďují rozsáhlé obsahy dat a poté je ukládají do velkých databází. Mezi tyto subjekty patří například i veřejná správa.

Veřejnou správu si všichni platíme ze svých daní. Své údaje přitom dává k dispozici nikoliv zdarma, nýbrž v řadě případů za úplatu. V některých zemích (jako jsou například Spojené státy) však občané mají nárok získat zdarma a pod svobodnou licencí ty data, která vytvářejí státní instituce financované z daní.

Hnutí Wikimedia si vytyčilo podporu PD-GOV jako jeden ze svých cílů. Tato anglická zkratka znamená, že by všechna díla, která jsou vytvořena státními organizacemi (a placena z našich daní), měla být k dispozici jako díla volná (public domain - odtud zkratka PD). Přestože český právní řád zná pojem „úřední dílo“ pro práce vyňaté z autorského zákona, jedná se výhradně o listiny, právní texty a nařízení. Nikoliv výslednou práci úřadů veřejné správy. V praxi je tak přebírání obsahu mnohdy komplikované, složité a ne-li téměř nemožné.

Uvolňování rozsáhlých databází může být velmi přínosné, jak ukazuje koneckonců například i soutěž Wiki miluje památky, která by se neobešla bez rozsáhlého seznamu více než čtyřiceti tisíc kulturních památek z celé naší země. I nejen proto byla Česká republika jednou z velmi úspěšných zemí v soutěži, byť organizační výbor soutěže zůstal mnohem méně početný, než v některých sousedních zemích (například Německo nebo Polsko). Díky tomuto seznamu jsme nejen dokázali propagovat české kulturní dědictví, ale také motivovat dobrovolníky, aby se o české památky více zajímali. Věříme, že obdobně tomu může být i v řadě dalších případů.

Na konferenci o geoinformatice se také konala valná hromada spolku Otevřená geoinfrastruktura, který má zájem aspirovat o statut české pobočky nadace Open source geospatial foundation (OSGEO). I oni mají zájem o rozsáhlejší otevírání a využívání řady databází a my ve Wikimedii proto jejich iniciativu vítáme.


by Jan Loužek at June 15, 2014 02:15 PM

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Wikimedia engineering report, May 2014

Major news in May include:

Note: We’re also providing a shorter, simpler and translatable version of this report that does not assume specialized technical knowledge.

Engineering metrics in May:

  • 154 unique committers contributed patchsets of code to MediaWiki.
  • The total number of unresolved commits went from around 1305 to about 1440.
  • About 15 shell requests were processed.


Work with us

Are you looking to work for Wikimedia? We have a lot of hiring coming up, and we really love talking to active community members about these roles.


  • Filippo Giunchedi joined the Operations team as Operations Engineer (announcement).
  • Rob Moen moved from the VisualEditor team to the Growth team (announcement).
  • Bernd Sitzmann joined the Mobile App Team as Software Developer (announcement).
  • Mukunda Modell joined the new Platform Engineering team as Release Engineer (announcement).
  • Alex Monk joined the Features team as a contractor (announcement).
  • Abigail Ripstra joined the User Experience team as User Researcher Lead (announcement)
  • Rachel diCerbo joined the Wikimedia Foundation as Director of Community Engagement (Product) (announcement).
  • Dan Duvall joined the Release and QA team as Automation Engineer (announcement).

Technical Operations

New Dallas data center

Planning for the new Dallas data center has continued in May, and basic data infrastructure components such as racks, PDUs, network equipment and various supplies have been ordered. About 140 servers have been sent from our Tampa data center, to be installed in Dallas. Racking and configuration work in our Dallas data center will commence in June.

Labs metrics in May:

  • Number of projects: 162
  • Number of instances: 392
  • Amount of RAM in use (in MBs): 1,618,432
  • Amount of allocated storage (in GBs): 17,860
  • Number of virtual CPUs in use: 795
  • Number of users: 3,259

Wikimedia Labs

Labs has been upgraded to use Puppet version 3; Ubuntu Trusty (14.04) is now available for instances, and Tool Labs now features 787 tools from 508 maintainers.

Features Engineering

Editor retention: Editing tools


In May, the VisualEditor team worked on the performance stability of the editor, rolled out a major new feature to help users better edit articles, and made some improvements to other features to increase their ease of use and understandability, fixing 75 bugs and tickets. The new citation editor is now available to all VisualEditor users on the English, Polish, and Czech Wikipedias, with instructions on how to enable it on other wikis. The citation and template dialogs were simplified to avoid technical language and some outcomes that were unexpected for users. As part of this, the citation icons were replaced with a new, clearer set, and the template hinting system now lets wikis mark template parameters as “suggested”, as a step below the existing “required” state. The formula editor is now available to all VisualEditor users, and a new Beta Feature giving a tool that lets you set the language of content was made available for testing and feedback. Following a new set of user testing, the toolbar was tweaked, moving the list and indent buttons to a drop-down to make them less prominent, and removing the gallery button which is rarely used and confused users. The mobile version of VisualEditor, currently available for alpha testers, was expanded to also have the new citation editor available, and had some significant performance improvements made, especially for long or complex pages. Work continued on making VisualEditor more performant and reliable, and key tasks like keyboard accessibility have progressed. The deployed version of the code was updated five times in the regular release cycle (1.24-wmf3, 1.24-wmf4, 1.24-wmf5, 1.24-wmf6 and 1.24-wmf7).


In May, the Parsoid team continued with ongoing bug fixes and bi-weekly deployments. Besides the user-facing bug fixes, we also improved our tracing support (to aid debugging), and did some performance improvements. We also finished implementing support for HTML/visual editing of transclusion parameters. This is not yet enabled in production while we finish up any additional performance tweaks on it.

GSoC 2014 also kicked off in May; we have one student working on a wikilint project to detect broken/bad wikitext in wiki pages.

We also started planning and charting goals for 2014/2015.

Core Features


In May, the Flow team prepared the new front-end redesign for expected release in mid-June. We completed work on sorting topics on a board by most recent activity, also for mid-June release. We changed hidden post handling so that everyone can see hidden posts, including anonymous users.

Back-end improvements include optimizations on UUID handling and standardized URL generation. We also merged Special:Flow for release; it’s a community-created improvement that makes it easier to create redirects to Flow boards. We also made no-JS fixes for topic submission and replies.

Bug fixes include: Firefox errors, WhatLinksHere fixes, special characters in topic titles, topic creation on empty boards, curr and prev links in board history for topic summaries, and cross-wiki issues with user name lookup.



Growth team presentation slides from the monthly Metrics meeting

This month the Growth team launched its A/B test of two methods for asking anonymous editors to sign up on English, German, French, and Italian Wikipedias. Full analysis of the test results is expected in June, though preliminary data strongly suggests a positive impact on new registrations. We finished the mw.cookie module, assisted by Timo Tijhof. Matt and Aaron participated in the Zürich hackathon. Last but not least, Growth released two smaller enhancements to our data collection regarding article creation, including adding page identifiers to MediaWiki core deletion logs and tracking page restorations across all wikis.


Wikipedia Education Program

This month we fixed bugs and made some improvements to the Education Program extension. The biggest change was Sage Ross’s addition of an API for listing students enrolled in courses. Also, students from Facebook Open Academy worked on a new notification and a new activity feed.


Wikimedia Apps

This month, the Apps team worked on a series of navigation improvements to the iOS and Android alpha apps, focusing on the UI for searching, saving and sharing pages, and navigating to the table of contents. We also worked on restyling the global navigation menu and article content—typography, color, and spacing—to create a standardized experience across the mobile web and apps. In preparation for the launch of the Android app in June, we tackled a number of user-reported crashing bugs to ensure a more stable and reliable experience for our users.

Mobile web projects

This month the Mobile Web team continued to build out the basic features of VisualEditor for tablet users, providing the ability to add references via VisualEditor. We hope to finish refining the add and modify references workflow in preparation for graduating VE for tablets to the stable mobile site sometime in July. On the reader features side, we’ve pushed a number of tablet-related styling improvements (typography, spacing, and Table of Contents) to the stable mobile site. This should greatly improve the reading experience for tablet users who are already accessing the mobile version of our projects, and it is one of the last pieces of work we planned to get done before we begin redirecting all tablet users to the mobile site mid-June.

Wikipedia Zero

During the last month, the team restored IP address dynamic updates for Wikipedia Zero partner configurations, advanced refactoring of ZeroRatedMobileAccess into multiple extensions, added support for graceful image quality reduction (roll-out for Wikipedia Zero will be carefully approached), fixed an HTTPS-to-HTTP redirection bug, and worked on an RFC for GIFification of banners instead of ESI. We also added MCC/MNC sampling and necessary library support to the reboots of the Wikipedia apps, cut an alpha Android build, performed limited app code review, added support for Nokia (now MS Mobile) proxies (next step is to add zero-rating with operators who have a Nokia proxy arrangement), diagnosed configuration retrieval issues, simplified automation tests down to just banner presence checks, ran SMS usage analysis and a one-off operator pageview analysis, and started work with the Design team on the final polish for the Wikipedia Zero experience in the forthcoming apps. Additionally, the team started its annual engineering goal setting for the upcoming fiscal year. Routine pre- and post-launch configuration changes were made to support operator zero-rating, with routine technical assistance provided to operators and the partner management team to help add zero-rating and address anomalies.

Wikipedia Zero (partnerships)

In May we launched Wikipedia Zero with Ncell in Nepal, Sky Mobile (Beeline) in Kyrgyzstan and Airtel in Nigeria. We also added Opera Mini zero-rating in Umniah in Jordan. We served roughly 67 million free page views in May across 30 partners in 28 countries. Adele Vrana attended the Wikipedia Education Hackathon in Jordan, where she collaborated with community members from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Jordan. While there, she visited Umniah, our local operator partner. Adele also went to Brazil, where she met with prospective partners. We kicked off the carrier portal UX design with Noble studios. 

Language Engineering


The Sanskrit keyboard was updated according to user requests. CLDRPluralParser was relicensed under the MIT license for possible reuse in upstream jQuery libraries.

Language Engineering Communications and Outreach

Niklas Laxström participated in the Zürich hackathon.

Content translation

Most of the team met in Valencia to complete the ContentTranslation architecture and roadmap. The dictionary feature is now up for limited testing.

Platform Engineering

MediaWiki Core

Site performance and architecture

Aaron Schulz has been reviewing the Petition extension for deployment to the cluster, working with Peter Coombe to improve its performance. In addition, the reliability and speed of media uploads was increased by removing many failure cases on Commons. There were many other minor fixes over the course of the month.


HHVM is running on a test machine (“osmium”) in our production cluster. Most of Tim Starling’s work on the Zend compatibility layer have landed in HHVM 3.1. Most jobs are working, but bugfixing continues on osmium.

Release & QA

The Release and QA team expanded this past month with the addition of Mukunda Modell as a new Release Engineer. His first work is addressing the remaining technical issues blocking our adoption of Phabricator as a WMF-wide tool. Antoine Musso has begun drafting an RFC to outline how the WMF would support isolated test environments for automatic builds. The WMF kicked off the second RFP for the release management of MediaWiki. Chris McMahon fleshed out tooling for creating test data at test time more widely along with building off of Antoine’s work for using the appropriate version of browser tests for testing specific mediawiki test installs (browser tests are versioned along with the other code).

Admin tools development

Minor improvements were made to admin tools projects including having global blocks shown on Special:Contributions (bug 52673). Code review also continued on the global rename user tool.


In May, we deployed changes to improve snippets generated by Cirrus to a handful of wikis, spent some time improving its analysis for Hebrew, and adding more backwards compatibility with lsearchd’s syntax to Cirrus.

Auth systems

We worked on the SOA Authentication RFC to support the Services team. We also created a MediaWiki-vagrant role for CentralAuth, including significant work to support multiple wikis on a single Vagrant instance. We continued work on the Phabricator-MediaWiki OAuth integration, and the patch was upstreamed. Last, we held an OAuth training session at the Zürich Hackathon, resulting in several new apps using OAuth.

Wikimania Scholarships app

The Wikimania Scholarships project for the 2014 cycle wrapped up with the final awarding of scholarships for Wikimania 2014. The current hope is that the 2015 application and review cycle will be managed mainly by the Wikimania 2015 organizing group with limited technical support from Platform Engineering.

Deployment tooling

Bryan Davis continued the Pythonification of our deployment tooling with the conversion of the remaining bits, namely all sync-* scripts (sync-common, sync-file, sync-dir, and sync-db). Work continues on modifying our deployment tooling to provide easier and more robust automatic access to our version information (available at Special:Version).

Security auditing and response

MediaWiki (1.22.7) was released to fix an XSS vulnerability. A separate DOM XSS issue was fixed in MobileFrontend. We also finished a review of Hadoop’s Camus.

Quality assurance

Quality Assurance

The expertise of our new Automation Engineer, Dan Duvall, will allow us to update, maintain and modernize our development environments using Vagrant virtual machines, keep our Puppet site configuration running properly, and contribute to the whole delivery pipeline as we continue to improve our ability to deploy software features to Wikimedia sites quickly and safely.

Browser testing

Now that we have the ability to address the MediaWiki API from the browser testing framework, we have changed the existing test suites to use this powerful tool. This not only gives us a test of the API itself, but also makes the browser tests faster and more reliable. Furthermore, it allows us to easily create a set of acceptance tests that will pass on any MediaWiki installation regardless of what extensions exist or what language the wiki is. We plan for these acceptance tests to eventually become part of MediaWiki core, and our existing tests continue to expose important issues in Wikimedia software development projects.



Metrics meeting presentation slides about UploadWizard

In May, the multimedia team released Media Viewer v0.2 on more large wikis (Dutch, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian Wikipedias), with over 10 million image views daily. This multimedia browser has been well received: 70% of survey respondents find this tool useful; based on this favorable feedback, we plan to deploy Media Viewer on all wikis in June. Gilles Dubuc, Mark Holmquist, and Gergő Tisza fixed more bugs and features during this development cycle, with design help from Pau Giner.

The team has switched its focus to new projects, starting with the UploadWizard, our main user-facing feature this year: this month, we collected metrics, reviewed user feedback, created new designs, fixed bugs and refactored code as part of a major upgrade of this important contribution tool. We also allocated a third of our time to technical debt and bug fixes for other multimedia tools, with an initial focus on improving image scalers, GWToolset and TimedMediaHandler.

Fabrice Florin managed product development, hosting an annual planning meeting to define our goals for 2014−15: this year, we aim to engage more users to contribute media to our sites through tools like UploadWizard, while implementing structured data on Commons and continuing to address our technical debt and fix critical bugs. Keegan Peterzell and Fabrice also continued to engage our community partners throughout the release of Media Viewer. We are planning new discussions in coming weeks to improve our plans together. For join these conversations and keep up with our work, we invite you to subscribe to the multimedia mailing list.

Engineering Community Team

Bug management

Mark Holmquist and Chad Horohoe changed Bugzilla to automatically handle out “editbugs” permissions to new accounts and to be able to hand out “editbugs” recursively (bug 40497). Apart from usual bugtriage and major focus on Phabricator migration work, Andre Klapper retriaged some open major/high Multimedia tickets, created some requested components and investigated Gerrit bot notification breakage with Daniel Zahn and Christian Aistleitner. He also made small changes to the Annoying little bugs page based on feedback, and reorganized the Wikipedia App and the Analytics products in Bugzilla. Andre and Mark Hershberger updated some open Bugzilla tickets with Target Milestone 1.23.0 at the Zürich Hackathon 2014.

Phabricator migration

Mukunda Modell is currently addressing authentication and access restrictions for security tickets with upstream. Chase Pettet and Daniel Zahn of Wikimedia Operations are spearheading the Phabricator installation. Andre Klapper has upstreamed some issues, commented on numerous tickets, and identified further tasks related to migration. An overview board of tasks to solve for the first day of Phabricator in production is available. Furthermore, once Wikimedia SUL authentication is sorted out, it is investigated to launch the Phabricator production instance first with very limited functionality to provide a Trusted User Tool.

Mentorship programs

We hosted a Q&A session on IRC with a high participation of Google Summer of Code and FOSS Outreach Program for Women interns and mentors right at the beginning of the development phase. Below are the first project reports, including the lessons learned during the community bonding period:

Technical communications

In addition to ongoing communications support for the engineering staff, Guillaume Paumier mostly focused on improvements to the system of scripts and templates used to document Wikimedia engineering activities on mediawiki.org. Active and inactive projects can now be queried separately, which means that the list of projects that appears in the drop-down of the status helper gadget is much shorter, now only listing active projects. Guillaume also wrote a dedicated Lua module to manipulate engineering activities automatically, in particular for the Wikimedia Engineering portal. It is now possible to query activities from a given team, and display them on any page in various formats. Using the module, the ever-outdated list of “current” activities on the portal was replaced by an automatically-generated list based on projects listed on team hubs. The module also allows to feature a random engineering activity on the portal. Other additions to the portal include the latest issue of Tech News (transcluded and automatically updated every week), as well as the first paragraph of the latest monthly engineering report (manually updated for now). Future improvements of the portal are expected to be mostly aesthetic.

Volunteer coordination and outreach

The Wikimedia Hackathon in Zürich was a success according to ad hoc feedback from the participants. A deeper review is expected to be published in July, after compiling the results of the survey. The main merit goes to Wikimedia CH for an efficient, warm, and flexible organization. We also announced a process to request the organization of Hackathons. We had an intense calendar of events in May, including a Tech Talk about Elasticsearch and a meetup in San Francisco on Making Wikipedia Fast, organized successfully together with the Web Performance SF meetup.

Architecture and Requests for comment process

Engineers discussed the Performance guidelines at the Zürich Hackathon 2014. They also had IRC discussions of several requests for comment and documents:



The focus for this month was on extending Wikimetrics to support the Editor Engagement Vital Signs (EEVS) project. The team also fixed several bugs around Unicode support (particularly non-Latin character sets) and implemented delete cohort functionality.

Data Processing

Capacity, deployment and CDH 5 (new Hadoop) version was worked on this month. These initiatives should be resolved in June. A permissions issue caused the page view dumps to stall for a weekend. The system was fixed promptly and no data was lost.

Editor Engagement Vital Signs

We created a headless user to run recurrent reports and groundwork to support creating new metrics. The team also discussed potential changes to the first round of metrics implemented in the system to support a broader view of participation, and reviewed mockups provided by the design team with stakeholders.


The team has adopted event logging and has identified some monitoring updates that need to be made.


The Kiwix project is funded and executed by Wikimedia CH.

The Hackathon in Zürich was our highlight for May. There, most of the team met, and a few new people joined the development effort during the 3 days in common with the Wikimedia hackathon. Most of the work done focused on preparing the final Kiwix 0.9 release, to be released in June. It was also necessary to release a new minor release (1.2) of libzim. Work on Kiwix for Android continues with the integration of a content/download manager. On the offline content side, 6 ZIM files with all TED talks were also released; it’s the first time we provide files with so much multimedia content. 50 USB flash drives with Kiwix and the Wikipedia for schools were prepared and sent to WikiIndaba; 15 Kiwix-plug are also going to be prepared for Afripedia. Finally, in the scope of the Malebooks project, work to prepare an offline version of the Gutenberg project, with its 45,000 public domain books, has started.


The Wikidata project is funded and executed by Wikimedia Deutschland.

It has been a busy month for Wikidata. The development team made significant progress on a number of important features. These include simple queries, the mono-lingual text datatype and redirects. We’ve also done a lot of research for the upcoming user interface change and started making mockups for it. Lydia Pintscher held an office hour on IRC and answered a lot of questions. Two interns (Anjali Sharma and Helen Halbert) started working with the team. They will improve the user documentation and social media outreach around Wikidata. Wikidata was also well represented at the MediaWiki hackathon in Zürich. Last but not least, Magnus Manske developed a number of games around Wikidata that help improve the data in it and add more. It’s a resounding success so far.


The engineering management team continues to update the Deployments page weekly, providing up-to-date information on the upcoming deployments to Wikimedia sites, as well as the annual goals, listing ongoing and future Wikimedia engineering efforts.

This article was written collaboratively by Wikimedia engineers and managers. See revision history and associated status pages. A wiki version is also available.

by Guillaume Paumier at June 15, 2014 12:43 PM

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Ještě jednou ke Dní dětí na pražském Petříně

Z naší akce na dni dětí jsme natočili krátké video:

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RIEYXtUbx-c?feature=oembed" width="500"></iframe>

by Jan Loužek at June 15, 2014 10:34 AM

June 14, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Through Thick And Thin

This post is part of an ongoing series of monthly blog posts by members of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees that aims to shed light on the function, responsibilities and inner workings of the Board.

Portrait of Wikimedia Foundation Board member Bishakha Datta

I’ve often thought you need the thin skin of an amphibian and the thick hide of a rhinoceros to be a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation. Your skin must be thin enough to allow different ideas, voices, thoughts and perspectives to permeate, including those most distant or different from your own – openness is an inherent aspect of leadership. At the same time, it must be thick enough to weed out distractions and inessentials. And of course, your mind must be capable of knowing the difference.

What makes leadership complex in Wikimedia is its vast, diverse and decentralized nature. Like the movement itself, the 10 of us on the Wikimedia Foundation board come from different cultures, continents, backgrounds and experiences – all of which shape how we understand power and leadership. And all of which determine, to some extent, the kinds of leaders we aspire to be or will become.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into this. In companies or corporations where the notion of hierarchy is accepted, power can flow directly up or down in a straight line. In academics, the teacher-learner dynamic provides cues for the exercise of power and leadership. In the women’s rights movement, which is part of my background, power is a dirty word and erasing power inequalities between genders is an explicit goal. Thus leadership here cannot be overt or heavy-handed; it has to be subtle and implicit, more circular and collective, sometimes even veiled. In the sex workers’ rights movement, of which I am a long-time ally, we turn power on its head and equip unlettered sex workers or the ‘powerless’ to become leaders. This requires supportive ‘outsiders’ to consciously step back and transfer some of their own skills and power to ‘insiders’.

As WMF trustees, we exercise leadership through a mix of methods, from the invisible to the visible, the implicit to the explicit and the subtle to the evident. One of our most commonplace, yet most profound, acts of leadership is upholding shared values and principles, an everyday act that we take almost for granted. Let’s take consensus, which is a movement-wide principle. [1] On the WMF board, we regularly strive for consensus in our decision-making, while understanding that consensus is not unanimity. This is done through certain routinely followed processes. For example, at our board meetings, virtual or physical, each trustee is given a chance to speak on each agenda item. This may sound basic, but this is essential to give everyone a voice. This round-robin technique ensures that newer trustees are not hesitant to speak, brings diverse views to the table, prevents any one trustee or viewpoint from dominating the discussion, or the formation of cliques or lobbies advocating a particular perspective. And it ensures we don’t get entrenched in our individual positions – as long as we are honest enough to admit we may not have all the answers in our heads. And open enough to changing our minds in the face of better evidence, arguments and insights.

Diagram of the Three Levels of Leadership (Private, Public and Personal) model.

And as each trustee voices his or her thoughts, never repeating what has already been said, but plus-oneing, adding, sifting, sorting, shading, unconsidered points and nuances appear on the table, the conversation starts to round out – and commonalities, or the building blocks of consensus, start to emerge. I find this process almost magical – and Wikipedian in the sense that our collective decisions are built through our individual contributions that we share with one another, just like our articles.

Another way we exercise leadership is by using our influence, but this is done sparingly, modestly and in a peer-to-peer manner that fosters equality in keeping with our values. An encouraging nod, supportive email or helping hand where it can make a difference, a candid behind-the-scenes conversation when it’s called for, sometimes calling a spade a spade, or a banana a banana rather than an elongated yellow fruit. There is satisfaction at having done the right thing, even though no one may be there to witness it.

Leadership is often misunderstood only as flaunting one’s power, but it is as much about recognizing and accepting the impact, and the limits of power. As WMF trustees, we entrust the Executive Director to make or implement certain decisions; that is what delegation of power is all about. In theory, delegating power is easy, like building consensus. In practice, it means exercising a different kind of leadership, one which knows how and when to step back just as much as it knows when and how to step forward. You have to keep moving between the spotlight and the shadows to be an effective leader.

In this sense, good leadership also means allowing others to lead and creating the space and conditions to do so; as Board liaisons or observers to Board-created committees such as the Affiliations Committee or the Funds Dissemination Committee we must constantly ensure that our presence encourages accountability but does not prevent others from exercising their leadership. At the same time, we must know when to step in and provide needed guidance or suggest improvements. Ask tough questions when they must be asked. And explain Board decisions that may not be popular but that we, as trustees, consider meaningful for the movement.

All in all, leadership is a balancing act, a bit like walking on a tightrope. Lean too far ahead and you’re too much of a leader. Lean too far back and you’re not enough of a leader. How can one command leadership while continually deconstructing hierarchies of power? How can one challenge thinking that has fossilized and inspire others to think in different ways? How can one bring one’s personal experiences and influences to the boardroom while putting aside one’s personal agendas? How can one have skin that is both thick and thin? How can one see the trees without missing the woods – or the big picture – in the same gaze? And finally, how can we think not just of the needs of today, but also those of tomorrow?

As trustees the ultimate challenge before us is to be many-splendoured things, as per this Buddhist model of leadership: sometimes “visionary (or mission-driven, mission above all else, including constituent interests and noise),” sometimes “role model (exemplary figure, does what he says, someone who can be respected and emulated, lead by example),” sometimes balanced “(impartiality in judgement rather than resolving conflict),” sometimes “manager (ability to delegate),” sometimes “protector (of the movement, wellbeing of the community),” sometimes “showing the way (inspire others to their full potential).” [2] Or as one 11-year-old girl simplified it to her mother: “Leadership is helping others, particularly through difficult times. They need to show that this is the way you could go for your future.” [3] I’ll plus one her on that.

Bishakha Datta (User:Bishdatta) has been serving on the WMF Board of Trustees since 2010.


  1. Consensus. Retrieved on June 2014.
  2. Six lessons from Buddha. Retrieved on June 2014.
  3. An 11 year old’s take on leadership. Retrieved on June 2014.

by Bishakha Datta at June 14, 2014 07:14 AM

June 11, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Asking the right questions: Resources for your survey strategies

Wikimedia program leaders can use surveys for many reasons:

I’m curious what people learned
from my class on editing Wikipedia.
—Let’s write a survey!


Wiki Loves Monuments went very well.
I wonder what motivated everyone to participate.
—Let’s send out a questionnaire!


I wonder which workshops were particularly
useful for the conference attendees.
—Let’s create a feedback form!

Surveys are an excellent strategy for measuring a group’s interests, behaviors, learning methods and other feedback. They are windows into the mind of the movement and they give us insight we otherwise would not have. These insights are gathered from survey questionnaires, where asking questions the right way becomes very important.

Writing a good questionnaire takes time. Drafting the questions and asking colleagues or fellow volunteers to provide feedback are important steps. Along each step, we might ask ourselves: Are we asking the right questions for our survey goals? Are we asking enough questions to give us the full picture? Are we asking too many questions which might discourage respondents from finishing the questionnaire?

A few months back, the Program Evaluation & Design team created a learning module called Designing Effective Questions aimed at providing theories behind how surveys work with examples on how to improve the quality of questions. In addition to the learning module, we are pleased to announce upcoming events and resources for anyone interested in writing surveys to measure their program outcomes:

Need some help with surveys? Email eval@wikimedia.org to get some support!

1. Survey pilots

Need to prepare a survey? Have an event you would like to assess with a survey? Need to find a better tool for surveys? Email us! We work one-on-one with community members who request assistance with preparing and collecting survey data. For interested groups or individuals, we have a pool of accounts to give you access to the Qualtrics online survey platform. Qualtrics is a good and easy-to-use tool for writing and collecting survey data with functionality beyond google forms. If you are planning a survey and are interested in trying out the Qualtrics platform, email us at eval@wikimedia.org.

2. Let’s talk about surveys: Virtual meetup – June 12 from 4-5 p.m. UTC 

On Thursday, June 12th, the program evaluation and design team will be joined by Daria Cybulska (WMUK) and James Hare (WMDC) who will share their recent experiences piloting survey tools for evaluating their programs! Jaime Anstee, Ph.D., and the program evaluation team will also provide a brief overview of the survey tools and resources available. Participants can join the google hangout or can watch via YouTube livestream. Join us! If you are unable to make it, don’t worry! The video will be available for you to watch later.


3. Wikimedia Question Bank in development

One of the biggest requests we receive is for sample surveys. One problem with sharing specific surveys is that different program leaders write their questions with various objectives in mind. So rather than a large pot of surveys with various scopes and sizes, we are instead building a browsable pool of survey questions that allows anyone to choose the questions that best fit their measurement goals. We have started with a group of questions that we receivedfrom the community through survey pilots. Anyone will be able to submit new questions to the bank or have discussions about the questions already in the bank. This will be a useful tool which we hope will help in preparing surveys. Look for the first entries in the Survey Question Bank in our portal in the coming weeks!

Edward Galvez, Program Evaluation Associate of Learning & Evaluation

Feel free to reach out to us at anytime at eval@wikimedia.org

Watch our News page for upcoming events and announcements. Follow us on Twitter @wikieval.

Join our Facebook group.

by Edward Galvez at June 11, 2014 09:00 PM

June 10, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Israel’s Ministry of Education & Wikimedia Israel Agree On New, Unique Initiative

Rabbi Shai Piron, Israel’s Education Minister, Jan-Bart de Vreede, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, Itzik Edri, Chair of the Wikimedia Israel Board and Michal Lester, Executive Director of Wikimedia Israel

An agreement was met in a meeting between Rabbi Shai Piron, Israel’s Education Minister, Jan-Bart de Vreede, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, Itzik Edri, Chair of the Wikimedia Israel Board and Michal Lester, Executive Director of Wikimedia Israel, regarding a shared cooperation with Wikimedia Israel in the framework of the ministry’s school curricula in the coming years. Through the planned cooperation, history, geography and science teachers will receive special professional training to instruct students on how to contribute to new or incomplete Wikipedia articles for which information is lacking or inadequate.

Rabbi Shai Piron, Israel’s Education Minister, Jan-Bart de Vreede, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

The Education Ministry will also examine the possibility of integrating Wikipedia writing assignments in the teaching of research and community involvement. They will also consider having students who speak additional languages (primarily English and Russian) write Wikipedia articles about Israel in those particular languages.

Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron said, “It is important to us that the education system in Israel leads in innovation and cooperating with Wikipedia is a wonderful opportunity to think outside the box and enable students in Israel to do things that make a difference from which others can also benefit.”

Jan-Bart de Vreede, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees said, “Israel is today among the leading countries in the integration of Wikipedia in the education system and academia. I hope our joint work model will also serve as an example to other education systems around the world.”

In the framework of cooperation that is already in place between Wikimedia Israel and the Ministry of education, several pilot projects are being conducted. The projects involve teacher training in good Wikipedia usage, article composition, Wikipedia article writing by gifted high school students and the teaching of proper Wikipedia usage to elementary schoolchildren. It is worth mentioning that through cooperation with academics in a variety of universities and colleges throughout Israel, hundreds of articles are written each year by students in courses. Thus students write Wikipedia articles as part of their degrees, sometimes even in lieu of exams or final papers. The Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University recently conducted a special 2-credit course on the subject of Wikipedia and medicine.

Survey results published last week as part of Wikipedia Academy 2014 Israel revealed that 84% of the Israeli public relies heavily on Wikipedia and 74% say that it provides all the information they need. Over one third of the population expressed interest in learning to write for Wikipedia.

Itzik Edri, Chair of Wikimedia Israel Board

by Carlos Monterrey at June 10, 2014 10:54 PM

On our way to Phabricator

Later this year, we’ll say good-bye to Bugzilla, our bug tracking platform, and migrate its content to another software called Phabricator. This will be an opportunity to centralize our various project and product management tools into a single platform, making it easier to follow technical discussions you’re interested in. This is the result of a six-month community review and discussion that identified requirements, evaluated options and decided on Phabricator.

What does this mean for me?

Bug reports and feature requests are listed as “tasks”, in an attractive interface not too different from Bugzilla’s.

If you’re a casual reader of Wikipedia and its sister sites, nothing will change (except maybe the rate at which you see improvements to the site, if our productivity increases).

If you’re an editor on a Wikimedia wiki, we expect this change to make your life easier, if you sometimes report bugs, request new features or participate in other technical discussions:

  • You’ll be able to use your SUL username to log into Phabricator;
  • No more having to go through half a dozen different tools to follow what’s happening on a specific bug or feature you’re watching: eventually, everything will be in one place.
  • Existing bug reports will be migrated to the new tool, and most links will continue to work; they will redirect to the bugs’ new location.
  • You’ll need a little time to adjust to this new tool, but hopefully Phabricator’s modern interface will make it easier for you to report bugs and participate in technical discussions.

If you’re more involved in the Wikimedia technical community, you’ve probably already participated in the discussions that have led to this decision. If you have other questions, you can ask them on the help page.

Why are we moving?

Since we started to use Bugzilla, the size of our technical community has dramatically increased. There are now dozens of developers, engineers, designers, tools maintainers, bot owners, project and product managers, etc. (not yet counting the hundreds of users regularly reporting bugs and participating in technical discussions).

It’s easy to see how a single tool with a limited scope (bug tracking) may not be able to meet the needs of all members of our technical community. Therefore, over the years, we’ve started to use other tools to complement Bugzilla in the areas of code review, project and product management, and quality assurance.

This had led however to a proliferation of scattered tools that barely talked to each other; engineers wrote scripts to keep some of them synchronized, but this wasn’t an ideal solution. Discussions about a single technical issue could be split across Bugzilla, Gerrit, Trello, Mingle and/or Scrumbugz. It was difficult for developers, and even more so for casual users.

Phabricator solves this problem by offering all those features under a single unified umbrella; eventually, everything will be in one place, tightly integrated and neatly organized. Initially, we’ll focus on bug tracking and project management, but we’re planning to also use it for code review once the features we need have been added.

How was this decided?

Phabricator notably includes a project management feature, allowing users to organize tasks in “boards” familiar to developers using the Agile methodology.

In late 2013, the Wikimedia Foundation started to facilitate a community review of all the project management tools then in use in the Wikimedia technical community. Developers, engineers and anyone who identified as a stakeholder in this discussion was invited to provide input and share their use cases, needs and usual processes. After this consultation period, this input was summarized into consolidated requirements.

A list of options was proposed, and discussed by the community to only keep those that were true contenders, based on our requirements.

Phabricator emerged as the only real challenger to the status quo. After a three-week request for comment, the technical community had weighed in the costs and benefits, and expressed an interest in moving to Phabricator. There were still a few issues and missing features to iron out, as well as a carefully-prepared migration plan to put in place, but overall the feeling was that once those had been resolved, there wouldn’t be any social blockers.

The Wikimedia Foundation is now preparing for the migration, and your help is much welcome. You can get involved directly in our test instance of Phabricator, that was originally set up just for testing, but that later became home to the migration project itself in order to become more familiar with the software.

When will this happen?

The migration plan gives an overview of the current timeline. There’s still work to be done, and Wikimedia engineers are working closely with the Phabricator development team, who’s been very responsive and open to collaboration. Together, they’re making sure that the features we need are present, and that we can adapt the software to our various workflows.

The current plan is to deploy a bare bones Phabricator instance with only Wikimedia SUL enabled, and make a first community call to test only the login process. The next step will be to deploy the Trusted User Tool required by the Legal and Community Advocacy team to keep track of agreements signed by community members. These steps will help guaranteeing a successful Day 1, when Phabricator will become the new driver of our development infrastructure.

On the Wikimedia side, Andre Klapper is leading the migration project, Mukunda Modell is lending his Phabricator expertise and Chase Pettet is handling the Operations side. You can read Andre’s retrospective on the review process and the road ahead. You’re also encouraged to follow the progress of the migration (dubbed “Wikimedia Phabricator Day 1″) on the dedicated page, the tracking item and its associated board in our test instance.

Guillaume Paumier, Technical communications manager

by Guillaume Paumier at June 10, 2014 02:49 PM

June 09, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Samskrita Bharati and Sanskrit Wikipedia: The journey ahead

“Aksharam,” Samskrita Bharati Office in Bangalore.

In 1981, a movement called the “Speak Samskrit Movement” started in Bangalore. The effort quickly spread across India and evolved into the organization “Samskrita Bharati” in 1995. The movement has a number of dedicated volunteers who aim to popularize the Sanskrit language, Sanskrit culture and the Knowledge Tradition of India.[1]

Inline with these objectives, Samskrita Bharati embarked upon a mission to enrich Sanskrit Wikipedia in 2011. This project involved approximately 50 volunteers with some of them working full-time. Most of the contributors are based in Bangalore, Karnataka or Karnavati, Gujarat. As a result of tremendous effort and dedication, the team was able to substantially grow the number of articles on Sanskrit Wikipedia. With only 2,000 articles in 2011, mostly written in Hindi, the present number of articles is well over 10,000, with articles ranging from geography and history to health and society.

In terms of editing difficulties, Samskrita Bharati editors, like other Sanskrit Wikipedians, encountered difficulty in the use of modern terminology and the paucity of referenceable literature. Most of the contributors of Sanskrit Wikipedia are from the Southern region, resulting in confusion due to pronunciation differences between northern and southern regions for some Sanskrit words.

As part of the outreach efforts, Samskrita Bharati conducted introductory workshops in many educational institutions like Karnataka Samskrit University, Delhi University and Christ University, Bangalore.

Samaskrita Bharati member, Ms Shubha, who is also a proactive admin of the Sanskrit Wikipedia, finds no difficulty in managing the language community. According to her, the supportive gesture of Malayalam and Kannada Wikipedians was helpful in overcoming many technical issues.

Regarding the future efforts needed to support Sanskrit Wikipedia, Ms Shubha is of the opinion that workshops on technical aspects of Wikipedia (like Wikidata) is a necessity. In addition to this, she has specifically pointed the following suggestions:

  • Create more involvement of Sanskrit teaching fraternity in the Sanskrit Wikimedia Projects.
  • Assign online Sanskrit Wikimedia Projects for students.
  • Involve masters and doctoral students in the Sanskrit Wikimedia Projects.
  • Involve scholars in vocabulary-related support.
  • Promote organizational involvement in digitization of literature on Sanskrit Wikisource.
  • Create university involvement in projects such as Sanskrit Wikisource and Wikitionary.
  • Technical support for Sanskrit Wikimedia Projects could be readily extended by engineers who have an inclination for the language.
  • Encourage schools to create Sanskrit Wikipedia Clubs in the same manner as popular Science and Literary Clubs.
  • Support/sponsorships for good articles to encourage editors.
  • Inspire knowledgeable persons to contribute audio content in the language.

Syed Muzammiluddin, Wikipedian

I am thankful to Ms Shubha of Samskrita Bharati for the valuable information that was used in this post.


  1. Samskrita Bharati. The Organization. Retrieved on June 5, 2014.

by hindustanilanguage at June 09, 2014 10:29 PM

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

S českou Wikipedií jste se mohli setkat na Dni dětí

Zájemci o stánek Wikipedie na pražském Dni dětí (Foto:Aktron, CC-BY-SA 3.0

Zájemci o stánek Wikipedie na pražském Dni dětí (Foto:Aktron, CC-BY-SA 3.0

Rozhodli jsme se držet se ve Wikimedii tradice a navázat na Bambiriádu, kde jsme byli v roce 2012. Nyní jsme se přesunuli z pražského Vítězného náměstí na Petřín, kde jsme mezi Zrcadlovým bludištěm a Petřínskou rozhlednou rozbili stan.

Zájem o naší prezentaci nebyl malý. Úderem dvanácté hodiny, kdy začala vědomostní soutěž pro děti, se k nám navalilo neskutečné množství lidí. Úkol byl jasný: V rámci dětské soutěže přinesly jednotliví soutěžící kartičky a stánek Wikipedie byl číslo jedna. Po celém Petříně pak bylo dalších cca 10 stánků a kdo prošel všechny, na toho čekala odměna. Za správně splněný úkol dostaly děti značku do kartičky a pexeso Wikipedie. Úkolem bylo poznat šest vybraných pražských věží (Svatomikulášská zvonice, Petřínská rozhledna, Zrcadlové bludiště, Prašná brána, Staroměstská a Malostranská mostecká věž). Pokud k tomu zbylo něco času, byla vždy příležitost promluvit si o dějinách jednotlivých věží. Tak jsme se vlastně s rodiči jednotlivých dětí dostali i na téma například švédského obléhání Prahy. Proč ne.

Pro ty, kteří se chtěli dozvědět něco podrobněji o Wikipedii samotné, jsme se vybavili několika knihami Wikipedie – průvodce na cestě informacemi. Dále bylo k dispozici pexeso s motivy projektu Chráněná území a spousta letáků. Probíhala také interaktivní prezentace na téma Wikipedie, Petřínská rozhledna a obecně pražské věže.

Dětem se sice jednotlivé věže občas pletly (Staroměstská mostecká věž a Prašná brána byly věru těžký oříšek i pro řadu dospělých), zato pexesa, kterých jsme rozdali něco okolo tří set padesáti byly velikým úspěchem. Počet dětí, pohybující se někde kolem čtyř set (za jedno odpoledne), zjevně zaskočil i organizátory soutěže. Kartičky pro soutěžící kolem třetí odpoledne došly… To ale dětem nezkazilo radost … u nás soutěž probíhala dál.

Celkově vzato se nám Den dětí povedl – oslovili jsme spoustu lidí (rodičů), vysvětlili jim, kde mohou čerpat informace, a kde je vlastně už čerpají jejich děti. Objevila se řada zájemců, kteří již Wikipedii dobře znají, ale sotva vědí, proč by do ní mohli přispívat právě oni sami. Přišli i příbuzní dlouhaletých wikipedistů. A v neposlední řadě – náš stánek navštívili i zahraniční turisté… z Ukrajiny, Ruska, Rumunska, Srbska, Makedonie, Itálie, Španělska, ale i Spojených států.

by Jan Loužek at June 09, 2014 05:19 PM

June 07, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

The Weasel-Lobster Race

Since July 2013 Dimitar Dimitrov is Wikimedian in Brussels. In assorted blogposts he talks about his experiences vis-à-vis the EU.

Big Fat Brussels Meeting vol. 2

It’s five to three. A dapper man, slightly out of breath, enters the room and quickly makes his way to the front. The event started almost an hour ago, but despite double-bookings in his schedule, Marco Giorello – deputy head of unit “Copyright” at the European Commission – didn’t want to miss the debate on Mass Digitisation and Access to Cultural Heritage co-organized by Wikimedia and the Flemish Commission for UNESCO. He shakes a few hands on his way to the speaker’s table and immediately finds himself in the midst of a lively discussion about the future of European copyright.

The room full of Wikimedians, representatives of cultural institutions and international associations witnessed in-depth arguments around copyright and the internet. Besides Marco Giorello, there were speakers from the British Library, the Federation of European Publishers, DG CONNECT of the European Commission, the Flemish Centre for Expertise in Digital Heritage “PACKED” and Wikimedia. The challenge to represent our movement was hereby accepted and mastered by Jean-Frédéric Berthelot of Wikimédia France.

Copyright terms: Who can offer less?

Apart from digitization projects, the debate also turned to practical and legal issues. It was User:Hubertl from Wikimedia Austria who managed to not only hand out WLM calendars and chocolade to the speakers during the event, but also used the opportunity to bring up Freedom of Panorama in the EU and more specifically, its lacking harmonisation. Various conversations continued well after the official discussion had finished. Representatives from the European Commission Directorate-Generals for the Internal Market (DG MARKT) and Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG CONNECT) seized the opportunity to exchange views regarding Wikimedia photographs, “Commonists” and other chapter folk. They took away a number of concrete examples illustrating the absurdity of current copyright legislation across the 28 member states and a lot of ideas on how to remedy the framework.

Seminar on Mass Digitization and Open Access to Cultural Heritage (26).JPG

Marco Giorello of the European Commission and Jean-Frédéric Berthelot of Wikimédia France during the Expert Seminar on Mass Digitization and Open Access to Cultural Heritage, UNESCO, World Bank & Copyright Day 2014. Brussels.

Further discussion topics included orphan works, a repeated call to shorten the copyright term and revise the Revised Berne Convention. Jeroen Walterus of the Flemish Centre for Digital Cultural Heritage “FARO” proposed a “cascading” model granting an automatic protection for the initial 20 years after creation, while further protection would be granted only after registration. Admittedly, chances for actually shortening the copyright term in the EU are rather slim. However, as a result of the copyright consultation at the event, we finally got the European Commission and part of the industry to participate in a conversation about this. So far the discussion has only revolved around prolonging the term. Are we witnessing a change of narrative? We will have to wait and see, but either way, it’s a step in the right direction.

Good ideas aren’t protected. Let’s copy them!

What other methods can we practice to put our concerns on the political agenda and influence copyright legislation? This was the theme question for a two-day meeting of the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU, the working group of European Wikimedia Chapters that took place alongside the “Mass Digisitasion” event. The Big Fat Brussels Meeting Vol. 2 gathered 15 Chapter representatives and external supporters in order to refine our long-term strategy, imagine a stable organizational structure and draft concrete project ideas.

A decision was made to have other countries emulate an initiative by Wikimedia UK . Our British chapter sent all UK Members of the European Parliament a letter outlining our three core issues asking for a change in legislation. This helped them start the conversation with 6 out of the 72 MEPs. Another goal is to create and translate brief and clear brochures that illustrate complex matters like Freedom of Panorama or public domain for government works. These should then be distributed to all relevant decision-makers in the EU. Furthermore, it was agreed to stage – together with Creative Commons - an event around Open Educational Policy at the European Parliament toward the end of this year. This should, among other aims, help us increase our visibility in the newly elected European Parliament.

We’re game!

Only by bringing our international structure and our in-depth knowledge of the issues concerned –  at the right moment and at the right place – can we reach our self-proclaimed goal to have Wikimedia identified as a very transparent and coherent copyright expert for policy makers. The trick in running the Weasel-Lobster (Wikimedia activists-industry lobbyists) race is to convince the other side, at least partly, that our positions would be beneficial to them. We’ll need a lot of enthusiasm and even more brains to do that. The good news is that our international working group is growing. Now we just have to continue working in a steady dedicated manner. Just like we did with all the other projects.

Dimitar Dimitrov, Wikimedian

by Dimitar Dimitrov at June 07, 2014 10:21 AM

June 06, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Libre Graphics Meeting 2014 at Leipzig

Gráfica Liebre and Wikimedia Spain Workshop.

The Libre Graphics Meeting (LGM) started in 2006 as an annual event aimed at bringing together graphic developers of free software for design, desktop publishing, photo editing, 3D modeling and animation. Last year the workshop took place in Madrid, hosted by MediaLab-Prado. This year it happened in Leipzig from April 2-5. Our purpose in hosting the meeting in Leipzig was to connect the local community around free graphics with the Wikimedia movement and the creative graphics community around Wikimedia Commons. This academic year the wikiArS initiative was launched in Madrid to involve the schools of art and design with the objectives of promoting Wikimedia and free knowledge. A collaboration between Wikimedia Spain and Gráfica Liebre studio have begun to hold workshops where attendees produce graphics using free software, then uploaded the graphics onto Commons. The wikiArS initiative has been developed over the last three years with seven schools in Catalonia who participated with Amical Wikimedia and with the participation of the University of Cadiz in collaboration with Wikimedia Spain. We went to Leipzig to present on our experiences and offer it as a model for other countries to emulate.

WikiArS talk at Libre Graphics Meeting 2014.

The presence of wikimedians in LGM was low, even though Wikipedia is cited by participants (for example Free culture aware educators in art and design) as a reference model in terms of effective collaboration and governance. The overlap of principles regarding free culture makes us think that in the coming years we should strive for even greater collaboration between the two communities. After our workshop, some participants expressed interest in starting a similar meetup in their respective fields, so we may soon see the start of wikiArS in other parts of the world. As is the case in many art schools, students work on assignments to produce graphic images and ultimately count on the advice of an expert. This process can take weeks or months. For our two-hour workshops, the participants should be able to work independently without expert advice. Taking that into account, it’s useful to select images that the Commons community has already established a model for. In the LGM workshop we proposed vectoring coats of arms of cities close to Leipzig, typographical diagrams of free fonts and maps of urban parks in Leipzig. Most participants chose the first two options and mainly used Inkscape to create vector images, then uploaded them to Commons using the version of UploadWizard adapted to wikiArS. Something that was also noteworthy was the contribution of one participant, Brent Yorgey, who used the Haskell language to generate SVG graphics, later publishing the code in a Commons subpage for anyone who wants to create variations of it. Previously, Brent had presented on the Diagrams library package for Haskell.

wikiArS workshop at Libre Graphics Meeting in Leipzig, April 2014.

In essence, LGM was a chance for us to learn more about free graphic projects and the people who developed them. The more experienced graphic creation software developers gave updates and outlined their future plans. We were able to learn about libre graphics projects regarding education, documentation and other issues; not strictly related with the development of graphic tools, such as the “Commons Machinery” project that develops resources and generates proposals to preserve the metadata of published works on the Internet and maintains context information associated with the artworks. It was interesting to participate in a session that linked and strengthened the network of educators committed to free culture that had begun in the previous year’s edition of LGM in Madrid. Also discussed were issues relating to hesitancy from teachers, students and educational institutions in adopting free graphics software along with more optimistic cases in which this hesitancy has started to fade away. The network has a web page, mailing list and will develop other forms of coordination, in addition to the idea of ​​developing modular curricula that may be useful as a model for teachers.

The coat of arms of Thummlitzwalde.

In general, the free graphics community is enthusiastic about taking advantage of the capabilities of the tools being developed. There is an interesting component when experimenting with new tools and new features along with technical rigorousness to resolve bugs and complex issues. Its diversity and activity contrasts with the concentration in the area of proprietary software, in which Adobe is becoming the only actor. We discovered a widely shared interest in typography. Several lectures and workshops dealt with the development of typefaces, using Fontforge, or about projects that exploit the potential of the OpenType format. Being together in Leipzig with the Gráfica Liebre team was a great opportunity to get to know each other and share ideas on wikiArS, as well as strategies to better connect the creation of graphics and the free software community. We got to know a nice East German city and were able to visit the Museum of Applied Arts showing a path from antiquity to the present day through the Stilj Jugend, the Art Deco and Bauhaus. The experience in LGM was a success in terms of spreading the wikiArS initiative, getting in touch with the libre graphics community and testing the overall functionality of the workshop, giving us an image of the areas which we hope to improve upon and develop in the coming years.

David Gómez (Member, Wikimedia Spain and Amical Wikimedia) 

Rubén Ojeda (Member, Wikimedia Spain)

Ruben and David’s participation in the Libre Graphics Meeting was backed by a participation support grant from the Wikimedia Foundation. 

by Ruben Ojeda at June 06, 2014 09:10 PM

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Program Senioři píší Wikipedii získal grant od Wikimedia Foundation

Profesor Sokol přednáší seniorům - wikipedistům.

Profesor Sokol přednáší seniorům – snad budoucím wikipedistům (autor: Jan Bartoš – centrum Elpida).

Nadace Wikimedia Foundation 30. května oznámila vítěze dalšího kola Individual Engagement Grants (tedy grantů, které nejsou určeny pobočkám, ale přímo jedincům, kteří mají nápad jak pomoci a chuť jej realizovat). Jedním z dvanácti vybraných projektů je i český program Senioři píší Wikipedii, jehož zástupci nadace přislíbila 8000 dolarů (asi 160 000 korun) pro činnost do konce roku. Výdaje mají pokrýt čas strávený na práci na projektu, propagaci či např. pronájem prostor.

Obrysy projektu, zaměřeného na získání nových dlouhodobých editorů Wikipedie z řad seniorů, se začaly rýsovat během podzimu loňského roku. Na listopadové Wikikonferenci vystoupil iniciátor programu profesor Jan Sokol se svým příspěvkem Senioři – rezervoár nových wikipedistů a v následné diskusi hned několik lidí vyjádřilo ochotu s projektem pomoci.

Během jara pokračovalo navazování kontaktů s různými institucemi a proběhly i první akce, kterých se zúčastnilo několik desítek seniorů. V následujících měsících se bude program snažit seniory zaujmout skrz několik různých kanálů – chystá se (či již probíhá) spolupráce s knihovnami, univerzitami třetího věku, seniorskými kluby a médii – a pořádáním pravidelných akcí. Přednášky a kurzy budou doplněny i „Wikikluby“, v podstatě malými editatony.

Cílem projektu však není pouze verbování nových trvalých aktivních editorů, což je mimořádně obtížný úkol, ale i popularizace světa Wiki a získání velkého počtu nových čtenářů – kteří zároveň budou mít jasnější představu, jak Wikipedie funguje, a nebudou se ostýchat v článku opravit nějaký ten překlep či chybu.

Věříme, že se naše vize ukáže jako životaschopná a s kolegy wikipedisty-seniory se budeme při editování setkávat stále častěji.

by Vojtěch Veselý at June 06, 2014 08:13 PM

June 05, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Global Action Against Mass Surveillance on the Anniversary of the Snowden Revelations

Graphic designed for the Snowden anniversary.

On June 5, 2013, the Guardian confirmed that the US National Security Agency collected communication records of millions of individuals — indiscriminately and regardless of whether they were the subject of an investigation. The story revealed the first of a series of government documents leaked by Edward Snowden. Today, one year later, individuals and organizations all over the world will speak out against mass government surveillance.

Last month, the Wikimedia Foundation reaffirmed its opposition to mass surveillance by signing the Necessary and Proportionate Principles on the application of human rights to surveillance. In that spirit, we would like to inform the Wikimedia community about the global actions taking place this week. Here are some of the events around the anniversary of the Snowden revelations.


United Kingdom: A coalition of digital rights organizations will organize a Don’t Spy On Us campaign against mass surveillance by the UK’s intelligence services. They will hold a public event on June 7th, featuring speakers such as Jimmy Wales, Bruce Schneier, Cory Doctorow, Alan Rusbridger, Shami Chakribarti and Stephen Fry. Additionally, Simon Davies will release an analysis of the global impact of the Snowden revelations based on contributions from NGOs, academics and legal professionals.

Spain: The Association for Progressive Communications will hold a TakeBackTheNet! conference. There, human rights activists and technology providers will discuss strategies to give people control over their own data when using the internet.

Poland: This year, Poland is celebrating 25 years since their overthrow of communism. Many politicians, including President Obama, will visit the country. Fundacja Panoptykon will take this opportunity to highlight the importance of freedom of speech and the right to privacy in a country that has been subject to ubiquitous surveillance before overthrowing an oppressive regime. The campaign will encourage people to post pictures of themselves while holding a sign that reads “Surveillance is not freedom. Say it on the 4th of June” and tag the pictures with the hashtags #ObamaPL and #25latwolnosci. Fundacja Panoptykon will also hold an event with a wide range of activities, such as workshops on how to encrypt emails and how to create a “safe wallet” that prevents attacks on cards with RFID chips.

Germany: Digitale Gesellschaft is organizing a rally in front of the Chancellery on June 6th to demand the government stop extending the surveillance powers of the Bundesnachrichtendienst and address mass surveillance issues by various intelligence agencies.

Netherlands: Bits of Freedom will release a blog post analyzing the impact of the Snowden revelations. The Internet Society Netherlands will hold an event titled “One Year After Snowden” on June 5th in the Royal Library in The Hague.

Ukraine: June 6th is known as “journalist’s day” in Ukraine. For the last three years, activists have gathered in front of President Yanukovych’s residence Mezhirya to protest media censorship. This year, the event will focus on free speech, investigative journalism, digital security and activism. Earlier this year, Mezhyhirya was opened to the public following the end of the Yanukovych government. That led to a discovery of more than 200 folders of documents detailing the former president’s activities. On June 6th, various journalists and activists will present a final analysis of the documents as well as a new documentary about YanukovychLeaks.

South America

Colombia: The Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression will release a report on “Freedom of Expression and the Internet” on June 16, 2014. Fundación Karisma will hold an online event that will bring together journalists and security experts to discuss the report. Special guests will include Fernando Bermejo, Katitza Rodriguez and Carolina Rossini.

Chile: ONG Derechos Digitales will launch a new legal assistance service on digital rights issues. It will also issue a good practices guide for exercising fundamental rights online.

North America

United States: Fight for the Future initiated the Reset the Net campaign. EFF as well as dozens of other organizations, including reddit, Thunderclap, Access, Restore the Fourth, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and the Free Software Foundation have joined in to support a day of action to “Reset the Net.” A number of advocacy organizations released blog posts with information about things we now know about NSA surveillance that we did not know a year ago.

Canada: The Protect Our Privacy Coalition will campaign for effective legal measures to protect Canadian residents from secret government surveillance. The coalition will encourage the use of encryption to fight mass surveillance. They will also try to get Canadian Members of Parliament to take a stand against secret surveillance online.

Mexico: With the support from La Quadrature du Net, Mexican activists have started a campaign called #DefenderInternet (Defending Internet). They oppose President Enrique Peña Nieto‘s telecommunications bill, which could turn the Internet into an instrument of surveillance.

These are only some of the actions taking place around the world today. If you know of additional events or have anything else to add, feel free to leave a comment below.

Yana Welinder, Legal Counsel
Roshni Patel, Privacy Fellow

by Yana Welinder at June 05, 2014 10:12 PM

Women Scientists Workshop Development Update

Editors at a LUC Women Scientists Workshop.

The Women Scientists Workshop Development IEG [1] is a project aimed at empowering women college students by encouraging them to create content about women scientists on English Wikipedia.

We worked tirelessly through the cold Chicago winter, motivated by the desire to address Wikipedia’s gender gap. We held a series of seven workshops in addition to three that were held the previous semester. We’ve since gained valuable insight as we move into the next phase of developing a best-practice kit for countering systemic bias in institutions.
Many important principles were discerned from the workshops we held in our first semester. We spent weeks categorizing this information into a trial kit for other institutions to use. Of the 23 individuals who attended the first semester workshops, two were male and 21 (91%) were female. Five (22%) came to more than one workshop. 30 different articles were created or significantly improved. Interestingly, only one participant found out about the workshop through flyers placed in high-traffic areas throughout the school. The rest of the attendants found out through word of mouth (friends, Facebook, email etc). This was not what we expected. One of the workshops was not promoted on social media channels and consequently experienced a low attendance rate because of it.

Food is a huge motivator for college students!

Several common threads were apparent when students were asked questions regarding the motivation behind their attendance. The most common factors are food, social environment and social justice. These motivations held steady through the second semester workshops. We believe that there are several different elements that help encourage new editors, especially women, to join and work on systemic bias issues. Incentives like free food from popular local restaurants and unique merchandise from the Wikimedia Foundation were a big draw for students, but many women were also motivated by the fun and friendly social environment and the opportunity to learn something interesting. We have found that advertisements that emphasize all of these factors are the most effective, especially when distributed via popular social media channels and direct email to participants who have already signed up.
We have finalized the kit and will be working with a student graphic designer to make the kit more visually appealing. We are also setting up alpha tests – if you are interested in participating, please contact me at keilanawiki@gmail.com. The mid point report for this project provided detailed metrics on this pilot phase of the program. Metrics from alpha testers will be made public as soon as we have them. In our workshops, more than 70 articles were created or expanded and there was a core group of women that returned to the workshops each week and forged strong friendships that have continued beyond the workshops.

I asked the women who attended most regularly to share their thoughts on this blog post. The reflections that follow are in their own words.

When I was growing up as a homeschooler, I had a lot of internet time. This time was, theoretically, to be spent doing online coursework. However, when I got bored of my coursework, but not bored of learning, I would turn to Google. Before too long, I stumbled upon Wikipedia. I loved reading Wikipedia articles. It was my homeschooler-kid dream — unfettered access to pretty much anything I wanted to know. Having been homeschooled for academic reasons (rather than religious reasons), Wikipedia quickly became very important to me as a free source of information that was perfectly suited to my autodidactic tendencies. At age 15 I even wrote a short (and horribly mediocre) song about reading the Wikipedia article about Bernoulli’s principle. This article was ideal reference material to fuel my Richard Feynman obsession, which also began after reading his Wikipedia article.

Fast forward to the Fall of 2013. I was 20 years old, at least year older than my fellow sophomores, and trying to figure out a place for myself at my university. When I heard that there were going to be workshops to write about women scientists on Wikipedia, I was thrilled. Finally, I thought, I could contribute to Wikipedia. I had considered doing so before, but did not want to risk messing anything up on the website I so revered. I picked up the style and coding conventions quickly. Then I wrote and wrote and wrote. I continued the workshops during the following Spring semester, which was also (finally) my first semester as a full-time college student.

Although I have not written too many articles yet, I look forward to these workshops resuming in the Fall. Currently I count 11 articles to which I have contributed. I am deeply thankful to Emily Temple-Wood for the opportunity to pursue Wikipedia editing. Although perhaps not my biggest dream, editing and writing new articles on Wikipedia was certainly a dream of mine. From homeschooled nerd to successful college student, Wikipedia has been hugely important to me. I expect it to remain equally important in the future.”

– Emma Highland, computer science major

“Attending Wikipedia workshops has been an eye-opening experience for me. I have always been a strong proponent for females in the STEM fields but I have become much more passionate about it by attending Wikipedia workshops and being exposed to the injustice. Every time I write an article about an important female scientist, I feel like I’m making the word a better place; I get to help a fellow female scientist get the recognition she deserves.

I also feel like I am now part of a Wikipedia editing community on campus. There is a steady group of people who come to almost every workshop and throughout the year, we have bonded over fighting injustice and systematic bias. We enjoy being in each other’s company and are all looking forward to more years of editing to come.”

– Leia A., physics and math major

“Upon telling people that I plan to go to graduate school, I sometimes receive confused and disgusted reactions. ‘But why do you want to spend SIX MORE YEARS in school?! Don’t you want to have kids?’ While I am interested in starting a family one day, I came to college to get an education- not to find a husband. It’s sad that it’s abnormal for women to value their education and career over bearing children, but that’s what drove me to participate in the Women in Science and Math Wikipedia workshops. Just as I have experienced gender inequality in person, I experienced it on the Internet. Wikipedia users attempted to delete our articles on the grounds that they lacked credibility. In other words, on the grounds that women lack credibility. Despite the further injustice I came across, I learned more about prominent women in my field of study, psychology, and shared that knowledge with Wikipedia readers. While it’s true that women still experience discrimination, I believe that writing these articles has helped to promote gender equality by educating people about the importance of women scientists.”

– Melissa Haggerty, psychology major

“When I heard about the Wikipedia Workshops, I thought it was some kind of presentation on historical women found by clicking the “random article” button on the Wikipedia page. But as soon as I stepped into that room, guided by an energetic girl going on about feminism and the beauty of online encyclopedias, I found myself entrenched in a new, mind-expanding world. That was the start of my life as a Wikipedia Feminist.

I learned a lot that day. I learned how to maneuver this strange new formatting for creating articles, how to find the best sources to create the most well-written articles, and, most surprisingly, the tie between Wikipedia and Feminism. Before this workshop, I had no idea of the misogyny that went on in this website. Not only are there substantially less women who have articles, but many women are actually deleted from the website! Along the way, I found one of the first women to graduate from Harvard had her article deleted, an organic chemist whose work was equal to her husbands, yet her name only linked to her husband’s article, and many women who had done outstanding work in the field of science with no article to their name in the first place!

I was shocked. But not only that, I was inspired. For so long, I had found myself in dialogue after dialogue about feminism and the patriarchy and all the problems I face as a woman today. But I had yet to find somewhere I could help fix that problem. This was my sword in the stone. For the first time, I found myself feeling like I could make an impact on the world to better it. I can give these women the credit they deserve. Not only that, but with the power of Wikipedia Zero, a new app taking away data charges for internet access in poorer countries, those who cannot afford data charges still have the capability to learn about these powerful women, and find themselves as inspired as me. Because there are encyclopedias on top of encyclopedias of women scientists, artists, authors, activists, engineers, you name it. And each of these women deserve a chance to be remembered, and to continue their legacy of progress for women onto future generations.

I went to every workshop I could. And a month after school ended, I’m still finding myself putting together new articles. This isn’t just a new hobby. This is a way for me to make an impact on the world. And I plan to take full advantage of it.”

– Liz Bajjalieh, human services major

“I loved being a part of the Wikipedia workshops this year for so many reasons. With such a busy schedule, the workshops were a much-welcomed time to relax and do something that I truly enjoyed. Learning about different notable women scientists every week was always exciting and exposing myself to the wide variety of fields and topics that each woman dedicated her life to was fascinating. Over the past year, I learned about a Norwegian zoologist who studied sponges, a biochemist who faced severe discrimination in the hospital in which she worked, and an anesthesiologist who went on to co-found the Anesthesia History Association. Studying each woman in order to write the best article possible has given me such a great appreciation for all the women scientists who have come before me, paving the way in the male-dominated field even amongst discrimination and prejudice.

In addition to learning about the amazing women scientists, I also looked forward to attending the Wiki workshops because of the environment they offered and the other attendees. While different people showed up to different workshops, I always knew that those in attendance would have the same passions and interests as myself, even if we were different majors or years in school. The Wiki workshops offered a place where we could gather and expand and write articles about women scientists, but they also offered a forum for us (in many cases, future women scientists) to marvel at our findings during research or just to talk about a recent Buzzfeed article we stumbled upon. The Wiki workshops presented by Women in Science and Math at Loyola University Chicago have, if nothing else, affirmed my desire to continue my journey as a Biochemistry major and pre-med hopeful. The people that make up each workshop, both the attendees and fabulous women we’re studying, never fail to inspire me during each workshop and I wholeheartedly look forward to continuing to attend each workshop to come.”

–Ashley Iannantone, biochemistry major

If you are interested in running your own program, check out the Systemic Bias Workshop Kit located at en:Wikipedia:Systemic bias kit or email me at keilanawiki at gmail.com for more information. I look forward to expanding the program!
Emily Temple-Wood, 2014 IEG grantee

by Emily Temple-Wood at June 05, 2014 08:05 PM

New Wikipedia for Android app now in Beta

Wikipedia Android app (beta) screenshot

The Wikipedia for Android app has a new look, and you can help test its new reading and editing features!

The Wikimedia Foundation Mobile Apps team has just released a beta version of a new Android app to the Google Play Store. This native app features a major design update and focuses on creating a faster and more immersive browsing and reading experience. We’ve added a history of recently viewed articles, so you can figure out how searching for that hot new Summer blockbuster led you to reading about the developmental biology of the jellyfish. We’re also featuring an interactive table of contents to help you navigate long articles and get you to the information you need faster and easier.

In addition to a better reading experience, this new app also offers the ability to edit articles, so you can improve and expand Wikipedia’s content from the convenience of an app. While editing has been live on our mobile site for about a year, this is the first time that we’re offering an editing feature within an app, and leveraging the speed and smoothness of native technology will make contributing to articles via a phone much easier.

If you don’t have a Wikipedia account, you can create one from the app, or log in to an existing account to keep track of your edits across any of the devices you use to contribute to Wikimedia projects.

Android users, help us improve this app! You can download it from the Play Store and use it alongside the existing Wikipedia for Android app. Test out the new features and design before it goes live for all Wikipedia for Android users and let us know what you think; leave us feedback in the Play Store or send your comments to our mailing list, mobile-android-wikipedia@wikimedia.org.

Maryana Pinchuk
Product Manager, Mobile

by Maryana Pinchuk at June 05, 2014 03:34 PM

June 03, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

In Egypt, Ain Shams’ Al-Alsun celebrates four terms of successful work on Wikipedia

This post is available in 2 languages:
English  • Arabic


Students, ambassadors and professors celebrate as they wrap up the fourth term on Wikipedia.

Two years ago the Wikipedia Education program had its first inception in the Arab world with Egypt’s Cairo Pilot. With such a large number of Arabic speakers (530 million primary and secondary speakers) Arabic Wikipedia needed more support to follow its sister versions of the encyclopedia that have more contributors with fewer native speakers. The Arabic Wikipedia today has about 280,000 articles while the Dutch Wikipedia, for instance, has 1.7 million articles with only 27 million native speakers. Every day thousands of Arabic users visit Wikipedia and many of them edit articles. Unfortunately, most of the new pages and edits created by new users are vandalism and not valid entries. Arabic Wikipedia needed a trusted source to recruit new volunteer editors. This was one of the reasons for launching the education program. The faculty of languages (Al-Alsun) at Ain Shams University joined the program as one of the first three participating institutions. During the first term, Egyptian students contributed 1.1 million bytes of information to the Arabic Wikipedia and created more than a hundred articles, three of them were featured articles. Now, Al-Alsun is still having incredible results, adding 7 million bytes in the fall 2013 term alone!

Everyone is happy with the the amount of female participation and the role they played in helping bridge the gender gap.

About forty students, ambassadors and professors of the Al-Alsun college gathered to celebrate the achievements they had during their fourth term in the program. Dr. Karma Sami, the vice dean of Al-Alsun, opened the celebration with a word about the importance of supporting such initiatives to enrich free content on the internet. The professors supervising the program, Dr. Dalia El-Toukhy, Dr. Radwa Kotait and Dr. Iman Galal followed Dr. Sami with words encouraging their students to continue editing Wikipedia. I had a short presentation about the term results. Students have created more than 2,400 new articles in six months. The average number of active editors jumped to 36 editors/month. Having open discussions about content quality will help us achieve new goals as we continue to grow. It is encouraging to see more than forty featured articles created by students.

Reem Alkashif.

Every term the program brings new active editors to Wikipedia who gradually become “Wiki-addicted.” “I love the thought that somewhere somebody needed a piece of information badly, and then he/she found it and became happy.” Reem says.
Reem Alkashif is a post-graduate student who first edited Wikipedia when Dr. Radwa Kotait selected her to join her translation course in the Wikipedia Education Program. Reem was one of the students with extraordinary contributions during her first semester in the program, she has created new articles including featured articles about the 1972 book about slavery in the American South, The Slave Community, and an article on the History of Mars Observation. Reem continued editing the Arabic Wikipedia, becoming a campus ambassador in an effort to share what she has learned with her fellow students.

Like Reem, Amal Abdel-Wahabs had her first editing experience with Wikipedia during the education program. Amal recently joined the program and worked on translating articles from English to Arabic. “Wikipedia always represents the fast source of information when I am in need to write about anything.” Amal says, “But with the Education Program, I was able to enter this world, to contribute and to improve the quality of my works and others’ objectively.” In this very short period Amal has created 155 new stub articles on the Arabic Wikipedia and developed an article about Singapore strategy which is now nominated to be a featured article. Among the articles Amal has created, she feels most proud about the Lizzie Velásquez article. Last month this article was visited 955 times. “Although it is a nine kilobyte article, it means a lot to me. I like that it’s me who translated an article of such an inspirational girl and introduced it through Wikipedia,” Amal says.

In two years, Al-Alsun students were an example of dedication to the contribution of high quality content on Wikipedia, a bright image that other scholars and education institutes should look forward to emulating.

Samir Elsharbaty, Education Program Leader, Egypt.


كلية الألسن في مصر تحتفل بأربعة فصول دراسية ناجحة على ويكيبيديا

الطلاب والسفراء والأساتذة يحتفلون بانتهاء نسختهم الرابعة على ويكيبيديا

منذ عامين، شق برنامج ويكيبيديا للتعليم طريقه للعالم العربي من خلال برنامج القاهرة التجريبي. فرغم العدد الضخم لمستخدمي اللغة العربية (530 مليون) كانت الموسوعة العربية بحاجة لمزيد من الدعم لتلحق بزميلاتها باللغات الأخرى تلك التي تحظى بحجم أكبر مع عدد متحدثين أقل باللغة الأم. ويكيبيديا العربية اليوم بها حوالي 280 ألف مقالة في حين تحظى النسخة الهولندية – على سبيل المثال – بمليون و700 ألف مقالة مع عدد متحدثين لا يتخطى 27 مليونًا. يزور ويكيبيديا يوميًا آلاف المستخدمين العرب ويحرر الكثير منهم مقالاتها، ولكن للأسف معظم الصفحات التي يُنشئها مستخدمون جدد والتعديلات التي يقومون بها تكون تعديلات تخريبية، وبالتالي تُعد تعديلات غير صالحة. كانت ويكيبيديا بحاجة إلى مصدر موثوق وأكاديمي لتجنيد محررين متطوعين جدد من خلاله، وكان هذا أحد أسباب بدأ برنامج التعليم. كلية الألسن انضمت لبرنامج التعليم حيث كانت واحدة من أول ثلاث مؤسسات تعليمية مشاركة، وخلال الفصل الدراسي الأول أضاف الطلاب المصريون 1.1 مليون بايت إلى الموسوعة العربية وأنشأوا ما يزيد على مائة مقالة، كانت 3 منها مقالات مميزة، وكانت هذه بداية طيبة. والآن، ما زالت الألسن تحظى بنتائج مذهلة؛ حيث أضافت 7 مليون بايت خلال الفصل الدراسي السابق (خريف 2013) فقط!

الكل سعيد بالمشاركة النسائية ودور الطالبات في سد الفجوة بين الجنسين

اجتمع حوالي 40 طالبًا، وسفيرًا، وأستاذًا للبرنامج في كلية الألسن للاحتفال بما أنجزوه خلال الفصل الدراسي الرابع من هذه المبادرة. افتتحت د. كرمة سامي، وكيل الكلية الاحتفالية بكلمة عن أهمية دعم مثل هذه المبادرات لإثراء المحتوى الحر على الإنترنت. وتابع الأساتذة المشاركون، د. داليا الطوخين ود. رضوى قطيط، ود. إيمان جلال بكلمات لتشجيع الطلاب على الاستمرار في تحرير ويكيبيديا. وكان لي عرض سريع عن نتائج البرنامج؛ فقد أنشأ الطلاب أكثر 2,400 مقالة جديدة في 6 أشهر، وارتفع معدل المحررين النشطين إلى 36 محرر/ للشهر الواحد، والحديث عن الجودة سيأخذنا إلى إنجاز جديد حققه الطلاب حيث طورواأكثر من 40 مقالة متميزة وجيدة جديدة مما يعني حوالي 10% من المحتوى المميز على ويكيبيديا العربية.

ريم الكاشف

في كل فصل دراسي يأت البرنامج إلى ويكيبيديا بمحررين نشطين يدمنون الويكي مع الوقت. تقول ريم “أحببت فكرة أن شخصًا ما في مكان ما بحاجة ماسة إلى معلومة، ويصبح سعيدًا عندما يجدها”. ريم الكاشف هي طالبة دراسات عليا بدأت تحرير ويكيبيديا عندما اختارتها د. رضوى قطيط لتنضم إلى مجموعتها للترجمة ضمن برنامج التعليم، وكانت ريم واحدة من الطلاب المتميزين خلال فصلها الدراسي الأول بالبرنامج حيث أنشأت مقالات جديدة وطورت مقالات مختارة عن مجتمع العبيد (كتاب) وتاريخ رصد المريخ، واستمرت في تحرير ويكيبيديا حتى أصبحت سفيرة جامعة حتى تنقل لزملائها ما تعلمته وتنمي حب نشر المعرفة الحرة بداخلهم.

أمل عبد الوهاب بدأت تجربتها في تحرير ويكيبيديا من خلال برنامج التعليم، وانضمت أمل لويكيبيديا وللبرنامج مؤخرًا في الفصل الدراسي السابق حيث عملت على ترجمة مقالات من الإنجليزية للعربية. تقول أمل “ويكيبيديا تُمثل المصدر السريع للمعلومات عندما أرغب في الكتابة عن أي شيء، ولكن مع برنامج التعليم دخلت إلى هذا العالم لأساهم وأطور من جودة أعمالي وأعمال الآخرين بموضوعية.” في هذه الفترة القصيرة أنشأت أمل 155 بذرة مقالة وأنشأت وطورت مقالة عن استراتيجية سنغافورة وهي الآن مُرشحة لتكون مختارة، ومن بين المقالات التي أنشأتها أمل تفخر بمقالة عن ليزي فلاسكويز. وقد حققت هذه المقالة خلال الشهر الماضي فقط 955 زيارة. تقول أمل “على الرغم من كونها مقالة صغيرة حجمها 9 كيلوبايت، فهي تعني لي الكثير، أحب كوني أنا من ترجمت مقالة عن هذه الشخصية الملهمة وقدمتها من خلال ويكيبيديا.”

خلال عامين، قدم طلاب الألسن مثلا من النشاط والتفان في تقديم محتوى مميز إلى ويكيبيديا. صورة مشرقة ينبغي أن تتطلع مؤسسات التعليم وأفرادها إلى تحقيق مثلها.

سمير الشرباتي، قائد ببرنامج التعليم، مصر

by Samir El-Sharbaty at June 03, 2014 11:25 PM

Venture beyond

A month ago, I met some of you for the first time at the WMF’s monthly metrics meeting. Officially, today is my first day as Executive Director of the Foundation. In practice, it’s a day like many others: Today and in the future, we’ll keep working together towards our mission.

When I first started learning about Wikimedia, I thought to myself: this will be different. Now, seeing the world from within the information Big Bang, I know: it is.

Every second the universe of information is expanding around us, and Wikimedia is a major force that turns this information into knowledge. It is beholden to no one, yet accountable to each and every human being. We, the people who create knowledge and bring it to every corner of the world, are the ones that help it expand. We, the people who read and learn, are the ones that hold the power to make this world a better place.

I often speak about human experience. Most have understood this as talking about user experience: the way we access the information or contribute knowledge. You are — partially — right. But what I mean is bigger than that.

What I am after is our connection to the world and each other through knowledge. What I’d like us to do is to think big. Think beyond ourselves. Think about humanity as a whole. Because you can. Because Wikimedia is the place to transcend the now and to build the future.

This means that what’s ahead is bigger than any one of us. Yet, together, we can make it happen. It means thinking beyond ourselves. It means thinking as a student in Cambodia learning about Khmer poetry, or a doctor in France writing about infectious diseases. This means empathy, altruism and compassion. It means making things accessible, friendly and easy for everyone.

This is what makes Wikimedia big.

This is what makes each of us bigger than we could ever be.

This is the what. Our job, as the community and the Foundation, is to build the how. Where is the will, there is a way. We are here to walk it.

Let’s think big.

Lila Tretikov
Executive Director

by Lila Tretikov at June 03, 2014 01:52 AM

June 02, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Wiki Tour Chile 2014 photo contest in its final stage!

This post is available in 2 languages:
English  • Spanish


Moai in Rano Raraku, Easter Island, Chile.

Wiki Tour Chile 2014.

Wikimedia Chile organized the photo contest Wiki Chile Tour 2014 which ran between April 5 and May 4 with a theme centered around Chile’s heritage and identity. The competition focused on photographs of nature, urban landscapes, holiday destinations, typical locations, economic activities, crafts, customs and cuisine that showed the cultural particularities of Chile.

Old house in Alegre Hill, in Valparaíso, going up through Almirante Montt street.

The contest produced 3,000 photographs, counting those directly uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and the ones shared on the Flickr group that requested compatible licenses. These pictures will serve to better illustrate articles on Wikipedia, but mainly the articles on Wikivoyage, the free travel guide that anyone can edit, a project of the Wikimedia Foundation that was launched in early 2013.

Two winners will be determined by popular vote by way of most “likes” received on Facebook. The voting will take place between May 26 and June 22 via the albums Wikimedia Chile made ​​available to the public through Facebook. You can find the links below:

Contestant’s photographs are housed on Wikimedia Commons, another project of the Wikimedia Foundation, which are available for you to see and use, provided that you respect the license with which the photos were released with by their authors.

Everybody is cordially invited to view this great collection of photographs and vote for your favorites.

Marble Cathedral, General Carrera Lake, Chile.

Eduardo Testart Wiegand (eduardo.testart at wikimediachile.cl.)
President of Wikimedia Chile


¡Wiki Tour Chile en su etapa final!

Moai en Rano Raraku, Isla de Pascua, Chile.

Wiki Tour Chile 2014.

Wikimedia Chile organizó un concurso denominado Wiki Tour Chile 2014 que se desarrolló entre el 5 de abril y el 4 de mayo y cuya temática fue la herencia de Chile, su patrimonio e identidad. El concurso consistió en la obtención de fotografías de la naturaleza, el paisaje urbano o destinos vacacionales, lugares típicos y actividades económicas, artesanales, costumbres y gastronomía que mostraran las particularidades culturales de Chile.

Casona del Cerro Alegre, Valparaíso, subiendo por la calle Almirante Montt.

El concurso logró conseguir 3.000 fotografías, contando tanto las subidas directamente en Wikimedia Commons, como las que se compartieron en el grupo de Flickr que solicitaba licencias compatibles. Estas fotos servirán para ilustrar de mejor manera, los artículos en Wikipedia, pero principalmente, los artículos de Wikiviajes, la guía libre para viajar por el mundo que cualquiera puede editar, un nuevo proyecto de la Fundación Wikimedia que fue lanzado a principios de 2013.

Los dos ganadores del concurso se determinarán por votación popular, a través de la imágen que obtenga mayor cantidad de “me gusta”. La misma se desarrollará entre el 26 de mayo y el 22 de junio en los álbumes que Wikimedia Chile puso a disposición del público a través de Facebook, y cuyos enlaces adjuntamos a continuación:

Las fotografías concursantes se encuentran alojadas en Wikimedia Commons, otro de los proyectos de la Fundación Wikimedia, donde se encuentran disponibles para que las vean, y las usen, siempre respetando la licencia con las cuales las fotos fueron liberadas por sus autores.

Quedan todos cordialmente invitados a ver las fotos y votar por sus favoritas.


Catedral de Mármol, Lago General Carrera, Chile.

Eduardo Testart Wiegand (eduardo.testart at wikimediachile.cl.)
President of Wikimedia Chile

by Eduardo Testart at June 02, 2014 10:30 PM

Wikimedia Research Newsletter, May 2014

Wikimedia Research Newsletter
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Vol: 4 • Issue: 5 • May 2014 [contribute] [archives] Syndicate the Wikimedia Research Newsletter feed

Overview of research on Wikipedia’s readers; predicting which article you will edit next

With contributions by: Piotr Konieczny, Maximilian Klein and Tilman Bayer

“Wikipedia in the eyes of its beholders: A systematic review of scholarly research on Wikipedia readers and readership”

This paper [1] is another major literature review of the field of Wikipedia studies, brought forward by the authors whose prior work on this topic, titled “The People’s Encyclopedia Under the Gaze of the Sages”[supp 1] was reviewed in this research report in 2012 (“A systematic review of the Wikipedia literature“).

This time the authors focus on a fragment of the larger body of works about Wikipedia, analyzing 99 works published up to June 2011 on the theme of “Wikipedia readership” – in other words focusing on the theme “What do we know about people who read Wikipedia”. The overview focuses less on demographic analysis (since little research has been done in that area), and more on perceptions of Wikipedia by surveyed groups of readers. Their findings include, among other things, a conclusion that “Studies have found that articles generally related to entertainment and sexuality top the list, covering over 40% of visits”, and in more serious topics, it is a common source for health and legal information. They also find that “a very large number of academic in fact have quite positive, if nuanced, perceptions of Wikipedia’s value.” They also observe that the most commonly studied group has been that of students, who offer a convenience sample. The authors finish by identifying a number of contradictory findings and topics in need of further research, and conclude that existing studies have likely overestimated the extent to which Wikipedia’s readers are cautious about the site’s credibility. Finally, the authors offer valuable thoughts in the “implications for the Wikipedia community” section, such suggesting “incorporating one or more of the algorithms for computational estimation of the reliability of Wikipedia articles that have been developed to help address credibility concerns”, similar to the WikiTrust tool.

The authors also published a similar literature review paper summarizing research about the content of Wikipedia, which we hope to cover in the next issue of this research report.

Chinese-language time-zones favor Asian pop and IT topics on Wikipedia

Map of the Chinese-speaking world

A paper[2] presented at the WWW 2014 Companion Conference analyzes the readership patterns of the English and Chinese Wikipedias, with a focus on which types of articles are most popular in the English- or Chinese-language time zones. The authors used all Wikipedia pages which existed under the same name in both languages in the period from 1 June 2012 to 14 October 2012 for their study, coding them through the OpenCalais semantic analysis service with an estimated 2.6% error rate.

The authors find that readers of the English and Chinese Wikipedias from time-zones of high Chinese activity browse different categories of pages. Chinese readers visit English Wikipedia about Asian culture (in particular, Japanese and Korean pop culture) more often, as well as about mobile communications and networking technologies. The authors also find that pages in English are almost ten times as popular as those in Chinese (though their results are not identifying users by nationality directly, rather focusing on time zone analysis).

In this reviewer’s opinion, the study suffers from major methodological problems that are serious enough to cast all the findings in doubt. Apparently because the authors were unaware of interlanguage links and consider only articles which have the same name (URL) in both the English and Chinese Wikipedias, they find that only 7603 pages were eligible to be analyzed (as they had both an English and Chinese version), however the Chinese Wikipedia in the studied period had approximately half a million articles; and while many don’t have English equivalents yet, to expect that less than 2% did seems rather dubious. Similarly, our own WikiProject China estimates that English Wikipedia has almost 50,000 China-related articles. That, given that WikiProject assessments are often underestimating the number of relevant topics, and usually don’t cover many core topics, suggests that the study missed a vast majority of articles that exist in both languages. It is further unclear how English- and Chinese-language time-zones were operationalized. The authors do not reveal how, if at all, they controlled for the fact that readers of English Wikipedia can also come from countries where English is not a native language, and that there are hundreds of millions of people outside China who live in the five time zones that span China, which overlap with India, half of Russia, Korea and major parts of Southeast Asia. As such, the findings of that study can be more broadly interpreted as “readership patterns of English and Chinese Wikipedia in Asia and the world, regarding a small subset of pages that exist on both English and Chinese Wikipedia.”

“Bipartite editing prediction in Wikipedia”

Reviewed by Maximilianklein (talk)

Bipartite Editing Prediction in Wikipedia[3] is a paper wherein the authors aim to solve what they call the “link prediction problem”. Essentially they aim to answer “which editors will edit which articles in the future.” They claim the social utility of this is to suggest articles to edit to users. So in some ways this is a similar function to SuggestBot, but using different techniques.

Their approach here is to use a bipartite network modelling. A bipartite network is a network with two node-types, here editors and articles. Using bipartite network modelling is becoming increasingly trendy, like Jesus (2009)[supp 2] and Klein (2014).[supp 3]

Explaining their method, the researchers outline their two approaches: “supervised learning” and “community awareness”. In the supervised learning approach the machine learning features used are Association Rule, K-nearest neighbor, and graph partitions. All these features, they state, can be inferred directly from the bipartite network. In the community awareness approach, the Stanford Network Analysis Project tool is used to cut the network into co-editor sets, and then go on to inspect what they call indirect features which are sum of neighbors, Jaccard coefficient, preferred attachment, and Adamic–Adar score.

The authors proceed to give a table of their results, and highlight their highest achieving precision, and recall statistics which are moderate and contained in the interval [.6, .8]. Thereafter a short non-interpretive one-paragraph discussion concludes the paper saying that these results might be useful. Unfortunately they are not of much use, since while they declare their sample size of 460,000 editor–article pairs from a category in a Wikipedia dump, they don’t specify which category, or even which Wikipedia they are working on.

This machine learning paper lacks sufficient context or interpretation to be immediately valuable, despite the fact that they may be able to predict with close to 80% F-measure which article you might edit next. Therefore the paper is a good example of the extent to use Wikipedia for research without even feigning attempt to make the research useful to the Wikipedia community, or even frame it in that way.


A reading room in the University of Pittsburgh’s Hillman Library

“Increasing the discoverability of digital collections using Wikipedia: the Pitt experience”

In this paper,[4] a librarian at the University of Pittsburgh discusses how two undergraduate interns have added over 100 links to library collections to Wikipedia articles, which led to the increase use of the library’s digitized collections. An experienced Wikipedian, Sage Ross, provided help with this project. The two undergrads expanded or created approximately 100 articles, mainly related to the History of Pittsburgh (such as Pittsburgh Courier or Pittsburgh Playhouse), using resources hosted by the university’s libraries as sources or external links. The paper also provides a valuable overview of similar initiatives in the past (some of which have also been covered in this research report, see e.g.: “Using Wikipedia to drive traffic to library collections“). The majority of reviewed examples suggest that linking library resources from Wikipedia pages increases their visibility, and this study reached the same conclusion with regards to their project, which led both the improvement of Wikipedia content and of driving more traffic to the digital resources hosted by the library. This reviewer applauds this project as a model one, though it would benefit from a list of all articles edited by the students (which were not tagged on their talk pages with any expected template, such as {{educational assignment}}).

Korean survey on “Key Factors for Success” of Wikipedia and Q&A site

This paper[5] compares aspects of Wikipedia and South Korean Naver‘s “Naver Knowledge” service (see Knowledge Search), similar to Google Questions and Answers. This is a topic of some interest, as South Korea is praised for being one of the most Internet-integrated societies in the world, while at the same time the Korean Wikipedia currently holding the rank of 23rd largest, is less developed than those of a number of smaller countries less commonly seen as Internet powers (consider List of Wikipedias by size). The researchers surveyed 132 Korean Internet users of those services, though they do not make it clear if all members of the sample were in fact registered contributors to both services, instead describing them as “relative active users of the CI [collective intelligence] system”. Unfortunately, parts of the paper, including the survey questions, appear to have been translated using machine translation, and are thus difficult to interpret correctly. Overall, the authors find that there were no significant differences with regards to the respondents views of Naver Knowledge and Wikipedia services. One of the statistically significant results suggest that Korean contributors of collective intelligence services find the Naver Knowledge service easier to use than Wikipedia, though the differences do not appear to be major (73.5% and 60.9% of Korean contributors found Naver Knowledge and Wikipedia easy to work with, respectively). One of the conclusions of the paper is the importance of making user interfaces as easy as possible, and making it easier for the users to add and edit audiovisual content (though the authors seem not aware of and do not discuss the Visual Editor).

“Citation filtered”

This glossy and infographic-laden report dissects the 963 Persian Wikipedia articles that are blocked in Iran.[6] The technique used was to programmatically iterate over Wikipedia to see which articles could not be loaded. Categorizing the articles into 10 topics, an analysis of the Iranian Government’s sensitivities are explored. From the Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania blog. (Maximilianklein (talk))

“Georeferencing Wikipedia documents using data from social media sources”

This paper[7] describes several methods to automatically assign geocoordinates to articles on the English Wikipedia: By matching the article text to hashtags of georeferenced tweets, to tags of georeferenced photos on Flickr, and to the text of other Wikipedia articles that are already georeferenced. The authors report that “using a language model trained using 376K Wikipedia documents, we obtain a median error of 4.17 km, while a model trained using 32M Flickr photos yields a median error of 2.5 km. When combining both models, the median error is further reduced to 2.16 km. Repeating the same experiment with 16M tweets as the only training data results in a median error of 35.81 km”. As one possible application, the authors suggest automatic correction of coordinates for Wikipedia articles where their method predicts a differing location with high confidence. Among their test dataset of 21,839 articles with a geocoordinate located in the United Kingdom, the authors found three such errors, one of which was still uncorrected at the time of their preprint publication (an educational institution in Brussels which had been placed in Cornwall due to a sign error in the longitudinal coordinate). Another interesting byproduct is a visual comparison (figure 5) of the density of geolocated entries from Wikipedia, Twitter and Flickr in Africa (per the datasets used).

Other recent publications

A list of other recent publications that could not be covered in time for this issue – contributions are always welcome for reviewing or summarizing newly published research.

  • Snuggle: Designing for efficient socialization and ideological critique”[8]
  • “Preferences in Wikipedia abstracts: Empirical findings and implications for automatic entity summarization”[9]
  • “Cluster approach to the efficient use of multimedia resources in information warfare in wikimedia”[10] (from the abstract: “A new approach to uploading files in Wikimedia is proposed with the aim to enhance the impact of multimedia resources used for information warfare in Wikimedia.”)
  • “From open-source software to Wikipedia: ‘Backgrounding’ trust by collective monitoring and reputation tracking”[11] (from the abstract: “It is shown that communities of open-source software—continue to—rely mainly on hierarchy (reserving write-access for higher echelons), which substitutes (the need for) trust. Encyclopedic communities, though, largely avoid this solution. In the particular case of Wikipedia, which is confronted with persistent vandalism, another arrangement has been pioneered instead. Trust (i.e. full write-access) is ‘backgrounded’ by means of a permanent mobilization of Wikipedians to monitor incoming edits. … Finally it is argued that the Wikipedian monitoring of new edits, especially by its heavy reliance on computational tools, raises a number of moral questions that need to be answered urgently.”)


  1. Okoli, Chitu and Mehdi, Mohamad and Mesgari, Mostafa and Nielsen, Finn Årup and Lanamäki, Arto (2014): Wikipedia in the eyes of its beholders: A systematic review of scholarly research on Wikipedia readers and readership. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology . ISSN 1532-2882 (In Press) PDF
  2. Tinati, Ramine; Paul Gaskell; Thanassis Tiropanis; Olivier Phillipe; Wendy Hall (2014). “Examining Wikipedia across linguistic and temporal borders”. Proceedings of the Companion Publication of the 23rd International Conference on World Wide Web Companion. WWW Companion ’14. International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee. pp. 445–450. http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/363631/. 
  3. CHANG, YANG-JUI (May 2014). “Bipartite editing prediction in Wikipedia“. Journal of Information Science and Engineering 30 (3). 
  4. Galloway, Ed (2014-05-02). “Increasing the discoverability of digital collections using Wikipedia: the Pitt experience”. Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice 2 (1): 84–96. doi:10.5195/palrap.2014.60. ISSN 2324-7878. 
  5. Seo-Young Lee, Sang-Ho Lee, “A Comparison Study on the Key Factors for Success of Social Authoring Systems – focusing on Naver KiN and Wikipedia”, AISS: Advances in Information Sciences and Service Sciences, Vol. 5, No. 15, pp. 137 ~ 144, 2013,PDF
  6. cgcsblog. Citation-Filtered. Retrieved on 31 May 2014.
  7. Olivier Van Laere, Steven Schockaert, Vlad Tanasescu, Bart Dhoedt, Christopher B. Jones: Georeferencing Wikipedia documents using data from social media sources. Preprint, accepted for publication in: ACM Transactions on Information Systems, Volume 32 Issue 3 PDF
  8. Halfaker, Aaron (2014-04-28). “Snuggle: designing for efficient socialization and ideological critique“. CHI: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. doi:10.1145/2556288.2557313. 
  9. Xu, Danyun (March 2014). “Preferences in Wikipedia abstracts: empirical findings and implications for automatic entity summarization“. Information Processing & Management 50 (2): 284–296. doi:10.1016/j.ipm.2013.12.001. ISSN 0306-4573.  Closed access
  10. Alguliev, R. M. (2014-03-01). “Cluster approach to the efficient use of multimedia resources in information warfare in wikimedia“. Automatic Control and Computer Sciences 48 (2): 97–108. doi:10.3103/S0146411614020023. ISSN 0146-4116.  Closed access
  11. de Laat, Paul B. (2014-04-22). “From open-source software to Wikipedia: ‘backgrounding’ trust by collective monitoring and reputation tracking“. Ethics and Information Technology: 1–13. doi:10.1007/s10676-014-9342-9. ISSN 1388-1957.  Closed access
Supplementary references:
  1. Okoli, C., Mehdi, M., Mesgari, M., Nielsen, F., & Lanamäki, A. (2012, October 24). The People’s Encyclopedia Under the Gaze of the Sages: A Systematic Review of Scholarly Research on Wikipedia. SSRN Scholarly Paper, Montreal. http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2021326
  2. (2009) “Bipartite networks of Wikipedia’s articles and authors: a meso-level approach“. 
  3. Klein. Measuring Editor Collaborativeness With Economic Modelling.

Wikimedia Research Newsletter
Vol: 4 • Issue: 5 • May 2014
This newletter is brought to you by the Wikimedia Research Committee and The Signpost
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by Tilman Bayer at June 02, 2014 08:07 AM

The Umepedia Challenge has now ended!

This post is available in 2 languages:
svenska  • English


The Umepedia Challenge is the latest part of the work done in the QRpedia project Umepedia.

The winner will, amongst other things, be able to showcase this on her/his user page.

Everybody who takes part in the Challenge and through their efforts helps us once again to show how fantastic Wikipedia is will be able to showcase this beautiful award on her/his user page.

A graph listing all the different language versions of the 40 original articles.

The Umepedia Challenge has now come to an end and we are extremely happy with the results! The contest took place between May 1-31 and has been focusing on creating (initially) forty Wikipedia articles about the Swedish city of Umeå in as many languages as possible. These forty articles have been expanded over the last year by a group of Swedish volunteers and translated into English in the weeks before the contest.

Based on other previous online contests we had set our hopes low with only 25 contributions, but this was reached and surpassed on the very first day of the Challenge! As I am writing this (May 27) we have a stunning 551 contributions by 37 participants! It’s also great to see that 11 languages now have all 40 articles available, making them an excellent source of information about the city of Umeå. We are blown away by this! Because so many languages already had all of the 40 articles created, we decided, 20 days into the contest, to add six more bonus articles. We want to sincerely thank all of you for the hard work on Wikipedia and for spreading information about the contest (and to Amical Wikimedia for the idea of using the simple and elegant WLM design in online writing contests) and to Wikimedia CH for sponsoring a number of special prizes!

So why did we limit ourselves to 40 (+6) articles? Well, the idea was that we wanted to focus the efforts and make it possible for the participants to see how much work was left. During the year we will place signs with “QRpedia codes” next to these 40 historically and culturally important places in Umeå (which is currently the European Capital of Culture). You might already know this, but a QRpedia code is a smart form of a Quick Response (QR) code, which automatically identifies what language you are using on your phone and directs you to the right language version on Wikipedia, so that you can read the article in your native tongue. This is an excellent way for immigrants, international students and tourists to enjoy and learn more about the city. Having all of these articles ready will make it easier for us to come to an agreement with the house owners to put signs on their buildings, so in that sense, the volunteer effort is extremely valuable.

One problem is, for example, that tourists have to pay a lot for the roaming charges, but luckily Umeå already has a city-wide Wifi network that is free to use for 15 minutes per day. On top of the 40 places, we also have QRpedia codes in the exhibits in Guitars – the Museum, connected to famous musicians. Perhaps our next challenge will include these, and Umepedia Challenge 2.0 will surely include other important articles that will support the 40 Umepedia Challenge articles in order to give them more depth. In future contests we will also do our best to improve the point system further to make it even more fair, while keeping it fun and easy.

For anyone interested in organizing translation challenges in the future please feel free to use the handy tool that we developed, where the number of languages an article has been translated into can be counted using calls to the Wikidata API.

The winners of the main prizes in the Challenge are:

1st: User:Satdeep gill = 828 points
2nd: User:Artificial123 = 763 points
3rd: User:ANKAN GHOSH DASTIDER = 710 points
4th: User:Semso98 = 574 points
5th: User:DirkVE = 526 points
6th: User:Stryn = 396 points

Congratulations to all of you!

Warm regards,

John Andersson, Project Manager, Wikimedia Sverige. John.Andersson@wikimedia.se


Umepedia Challenge är nu över!

Umepedia Challenge är den senaste delen inom QRpedia-projektet Umepedia.

Vinnaren kommer bland annat att kunna visa upp det här fina digitala priset på sin användarsida.

Alla som har deltagit i tävlingen och genom deras insatser än en gång visat hur fantastikt Wikipedia är belönas med det här vackra priset att visa på sin användarsida.

Ett diagram som visar hur många av de ursprungliga fyrtio artiklarna som finns på de olika språken.

Umepedia Challenge har nu kommit till sitt slut och vi är extremt glada över resultatet! Tävlingen ägde rum maj 1-31 och fokuserade på att skapa (inledningsvis) fyrtio artiklar om Umeå på så många språk som möjligt. Dessa fyrtio artiklar har utökats under det gångna året av en grupp svenska volontärer och översattes till engelska under veckorna före tävlingen.

Baserat på andra online-tävlingar satte vi våra förväntningar lågt med enbart 25 bidrag. Detta resultat nåddes och överskreds dock redan första dagen på tävlingen! I skrivande stund (27 maj) har vi imponerande 551 bidrag av 37 deltagare! Det är även fantastiskt att se att 11 språk nu har alla 40 artiklar tillgängliga vilket gör dem till en utmärkt källa för information om Umeå stad. Vi blev verkligen helt överväldigade av detta! Eftersom så många språk redan hade skapat alla 40 artiklar bestämde vi oss för att, 20 dagar in i tävlingen, lägga till ytterligare 6 bonusartiklar. Vi vill rikta ett stort tack till er alla för ert ihärdiga arbete på Wikipedia och för att ni hjälpt till att sprida informationen om tävlingen (och till Amical Wikimedia för idén om att använda den enkla och eleganta WLM-designen för skrivtävlingar online) samt till Wikimedia CH för sponsringen av flera specialpriser.

Så varför begränsade vi oss till 40 (+6) artiklar? Jo, idén var att vi ville fokusera insatsen och göra det enkelt för deltagarna att se hur mycket arbete som återstod. Sedan kommer vi under året att sätta upp skultar med “QRpedia-koder” intill dessa 40 historiskt och kulturellt viktiga platserna i Umeå (som för närvarande är Europeisk kulturhuvudstad). Du kanske redan vet detta men en QRpedia-kod är en smart typ av Quick Response (QR)-kod vilken automatiskt identifierar vilket språk du använder på mobiltelefonen och tar dig till den språkversionen av Wikipedia, så att du kan läsa artikeln på ditt modersmål. Detta är ett utmärkt sätt för invandrare, internationella studenter och självfallet turister att ta del av och lära sig mer om staden. Att ha alla dessa artiklar redo kommer att göra det enklare för oss att komma överens med husägarna om var skyltarna ska sitta så även för detta har volontärinsatsen varit extremt värdefull.

Ett problem är självfallet att exempelvis turister måste betala höga roaming-avgifter, tursamt nog har Umeå redan ett stadstäckande wifi-nät som är fritt att använda 15 minuter om dagen. Utöver de 40 platserna har vi även QRpedia-koder i utställningarna i Guitars – the Museum, kopplade till artiklar om kända artister. Vår nästa utmaning kommer kanske inkludera dessa och Umepedia Challenge 2.0 kommer säkerligen att innehålla mer viktiga sidoartiklar så att de nuvarande artiklarna får mer djup. Då kommer vi även att arbeta vidare på att utveckla ett ännu rättvisare poängsystem som dock kommer att vara fortsatt enkelt, då det är en central aspekt för att göra det roligt.

För den som är intresserad av att organisera översättningstävlingar i framtiden kan vi tipsa om ett bekvämt verktyg som vi utvecklat där antalet språk en artikel har översatts till automatiskt räknas ihop genom anrop till Wikidatas API. Det sparar en hel del tid!

De sex vinnarna i Umepedia Challenge är:

Första: User:Satdeep gill = 828 poäng
Andra: User:Artificial123 = 763 poäng
Tredje: User:ANKAN GHOSH DASTIDER = 710 poäng
Fjärde: User:Semso98 = 574 poäng
Femte: User:DirkVE = 526 poäng
Sjätte: User:Stryn = 396 poäng

Ett stort grattis till samtliga!

Med vänliga hälsningar,

John Andersson, projektledare, Wikimedia Sverige. John.Andersson@wikimedia.se

by John Andersson at June 02, 2014 05:17 AM