cs.planet.wikimedia

November 27, 2014

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Tisková zpráva: Na hvězdárně vystoupí tvůrci Wikipedie

Na Wikipedii hledá informace téměř každý, ale málokdo se už zajímá, odkud pocházejí. I proto mají studenti mnoha škol používání Wikipedie zakázáno, zatímco jiní ji pod dozorem svých vyučujících pomáhají vytvářet. Na brněnské hvězdárně se 29. listopadu sejdou tvůrci české Wikipedie, kteří do ní napsali již přes 300.000 článků, aby více než 150 přihlášeným návštěvníkům umožnili nahlédnout „pod pokličku“ této největší internetové encyklopedie. Připraveno je 15 přednášek, příležitost popovídat si osobně s některým z „wikipedistů“ a pro zástupce brněnských kulturních a vzdělávacích institucí i odborný seminář o možnostech spolupráce s Wikipedií.

„Kdo chce zlepšit české školství, měl by podpořit rozvoj české Wikipedie,“ potvrzuje Jiří Dušek, ředitel Hvězdárny a planetária Brno, která šestý ročník české Wikikonference v Brně hostí. Pořadatelem akce je Wikimedia Česká republika, nezisková organizace zastupující v České republice americkou nadaci Wikimedia Foundation, která Wikipedii provozuje. S půlmiliardou návštěvníků měsíčně je Wikipedie šestou nejnavštěvovanější webovou stránkou na světě a první z nekomerčních – na její chod přispívají sami čtenáři v dobrovolných sbírkách, finančně ji podporují také některé internetové vyhledávače. Encyklopedická hesla píší dobrovolníci z celého světa a úpravy v ní může dělat každý. „Když jsem zjistil, že mí studenti používají Wikipedii, přišlo mi marné jim to zakazovat. Namísto toho jsem do ní začal sám psát, aby tam našli kvalitní obsah,“ vysvětlil svůj postoj profesor Jan Sokol, který přispívá do Wikipedie od roku 2007. Jeho spolupracovník Vojtěch Veselý bude na letošní Wikikonferenci prezentovat nový projekt, ve kterém se snaží zapojit do tvorby Wikipedie seniory.

Na fungování české Wikipedie mají svou zásluhu i Brňané: Na počátku české verze stál brněnský esperantista Miroslav Malovec, který v roce 2002 přeložil úvodní stránku Wikipedie z esperanta do češtiny a vytvořil tak prostor dalším nadšencům, kteří přišli po něm. Dnes má česká Wikipedie sice jen několik stovek aktivních redaktorů, ale různou měrou do ní za celou dobu jejího fungování přispělo 13 tisíc uživatelů. Práci všech autorů lze volně kombinovat díky licenci Creative Commons, jíž se vzdávají části svých autorských práv. Tu představí Lucie Straková z Ústavu práva a technologií Právnické fakulty Masarykovy univerzity. A právě na Masarykově univerzitě je v současnosti v přípravě směrnice, která má zjednodušit přebírání tam vznikajících prezentačních článků a fotografií do Wikipedie. O možnostech propojení akademického světa s Wikipedií promluví Tomáš Mozga, předseda Spolku absolventů a přátel Masarykovy univerzity, který Wikikonferenci spolupořádá.

Wikikonferenci, která letos do Brna zavítá poprvé, lze navštívit bezplatně. Zájemcům je však doporučováno se předem registrovat na www.wikikonference.cz, kde také najdou podrobný program akce. „Na rozdíl od minulých ročníků, které byly více zaměřeny na již aktivní redaktory, je tentokrát program orientován více na zvídavou veřejnost,“ vysvětlil Marek Blahuš z týmu brněnských wikipedistů.

Kontakt: Vojtěch Dostál, tiskový mluvčí spolku Wikimedia ČR, press@wikimedia.cz
Telefon: 731 023 060 (Vojtěch Dostál, v den konání) nebo 777 252 487 (Marek Blahuš, před akcí)

Celý text této tiskové zprávy je uvolněn jako volné dílo (public domain). To platí po celém světě. V právních řádech, kde takové uvolnění není ze zákona možné, poskytují autoři komukoliv práva použít toto dílo jakýmkoliv způsobem bez dalších podmínek, ledaže by takové podmínky vyžadoval zákon.

by Marek Blahuš at November 27, 2014 12:04 AM

November 26, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Education collaborative members meet in Edinburgh

Collab members in Edinburgh, from left to right: Tighe, David, Fernando, Leigh, Filip (and Shani behind him), Vojtěch, Jami, Floor, Mariona, Reem, Samir, Toni, Kacie and Anna

“Group picture, Edinburgh” by Fedaro, under CC BY-SA 4.0

Wikipedia is built upon diversity. A high quality encyclopedia cannot be achieved unless there are opportunities for everyone in the world to contribute to it and people from different cultures, genders and ages are well-represented in the community. Diversity on Wikipedia was one of the reasons that the Wikipedia Education Program was created. The need was growing to unite the volunteer leader efforts from different countries in a space where they can share their experiences and develop their programs. This was also a reason why the Wikipedia Education Collaborative was created.

In March 2012, Frank Schulenburg, the Wikimedia Foundation’s former Senior Director of Programs, who is now the Executive Director of the Wiki Education Foundation, wanted to gather the hands of individuals who believe that “Wikipedia belongs in education” and would like to help boost the use of Wikipedia as a teaching tool in classrooms. This idea, which was then known as the Wikimedia Education Cooperative, was the seed for a newborn movement.

Prague Kickoff meeting in March 2014

 

“Education Coop kick-off meeting in Prague 93” by ragesoss, under CC BY-SA 2.0

Today, the Wikipedia Education Collaborative, or Collab, is a group of Wikipedia Education Program leaders from several countries around the world whose aim is to share experiences and and support other education programs to achieve their goals.

In March 2014, the Collab held a kickoff meeting in Prague, where the founding members were able to define what worked well and what needed more work in their programs and to set a list of tasks to work on together within several  focus areas. During its first six months, the Collab began its work and actions were taken to implement what was planned in Prague. Small teams worked on developing the program in different areas, such as improving the Education Newsletter by the communications group, preparing the Education Portal to share available resources by the resources group and developing ways to recognize students, volunteers and program leaders by the recognition group.

 Collab members in Edinburgh discuss their new six-month plan

 

“Wikipedia Educational Programa – Edimburgo 2014 – Working” by Fedaro, under CC BY-SA 4.0

On November 1st, the Collab members gathered in Edinburgh to review their previous projects and set new targets to complete within six months. The morning session was dedicated to sharing ideas and impressions about the Collab, what they think is a great success and what they learned to avoid in the future.

Collab members spent some time on brainstorming objectives they want the Collab to achieve during the next six months and then voted on the most important ones. Following a short selecting process in which members rearranged, added and deleted some ideas, the group settled on a six-month plan with fixed goals:

  1. Define the Collab’s scope, responsibilities, roles, and membership policies and determine how to implement this.
  2. Identify and develop a set of best practices and feature them on the education portal.
  3. Improve the user experience with the education program extension by better socializing it and supporting its users.
  4. Start a mentoring pilot and evaluate its effectiveness.

In the afternoon session, Collab members were divided into small groups so that every one of them could work on one of the new goals and then the whole group gathered to present what they discussed. The meeting ended with each member heading home with new ideas for their education programs and for the Collab.

Mariona Aragay from Catalonia (Spain), who is a new member of the Collab, believes that the Collab’s diversity is an advantage. “The Collaborative is giving me the chance to know people from different parts of the world, where culture and education are so different from the place I’m from,” says Mariona. “This gives me the opportunity to widen my horizons and implement ideas and resources that are working in education programs in other parts of the world.” Mariona wants to help anyone who wants to start or grow a new education program.

Vojtěch Dostál from Czech Republic is one of the founding members of the Collab. He tries to support the idea as much as he can, and he believes that it will be more productive as more people are more passionate about it. Vojtěch elaborates, “I envision the future of the Collab as an open forum for all education programs in the world, as an idea lab and a workshop for new ideas which cannot be done by a single initiative or chapter alone.”

Education program leaders from different countries devote their time and efforts to the Collab to work together to raise awareness about the value of Wikipedia in Education. Their goal is to see Wikipedia in each classroom and to see students all around the world click the [edit] button.

Samir Elsharbaty, Communications Intern, Wikipedia Education Program, Wikimedia Foundation

by wikimediablog at November 26, 2014 05:53 PM

November 24, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Photos aside, how else does Wiki Loves Monuments deliver?

The concrete cooperation through Wiki Loves Monuments means a lot! Wikimedia Commons is currently the only open platform where we can work together with dedicated and talented photographers. The work with WLM – and the mere existence of Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia – means a lot for our work with digital infrastructure K-samsök/SOCH where the linchpin is to create an open and networked access to cultural heritage and museum information.

Lars Lundqvist, Head of new media and cultural heritage data at the National Heritage Board.

The partnership has been very valuable to us. We have received many great new photos of the ships, but also gained new networks and friends.

Anders Näsberg, Brand Web Editor at the National Maritime Museums in Sweden.

Icebreaker Bore, working both on and off wiki as an icebreaker.
“Isbrytaren Bore” by Kristianwhedberg, under CC BY-SA 3.0

A train load of prizes arrived thanks to our cooperation with GLAMs.
“Järnvägsmuseet, Kristianstad – 2013-05-03 – 10″ by Haxpett, under CC BY 4.0

Don’t let a wall of hierarchy stop you.
“Visby ringmur östra delen” by En-cas-de-soleil, under CC BY-SA 3.0

For the past four years, Wikimedia Sverige has organized the photo contest Wiki Loves Monuments in Sweden. Besides getting great photos to showcase Wikipedia and involving many new photographers, we have noticed another benefit from the contest that has received little attention.

What we have come to realize is that the contest is an excellent tool to increase cooperation with GLAM institutions in our country. Inviting GLAMs to be involved in the world’s largest photo contest and include their objects to be photographed is a great icebreaker.

Through the contest, Wikimedia Sverige has deepened its cooperation with a number of central GLAM organizations in several ways. In Sweden, we have mainly worked with three GLAMs: Riksantikvarieämbetet (The National Heritage Board); Statens Maritima Museer (The National Maritime Museums in Sweden); and Arbetslivsmuseernas Samarbetsråd (ArbetSam) (The Council of Working Life Museums). These GLAMs have, amongst other things, the responsibility to collect data and spread awareness about the objects within their respective fields. For example, The National Heritage Board deals with old buildings and ancient monuments, The National Maritime Museums in Sweden with important ships, and ArbetSam with a large number of museums and outdoor collections (such as old trains, mills etc.).

Wikimedia Sverige started working with the National Heritage Board in 2011, and has continued to work closely with them. The Wiki Loves Monuments contest was one of the first major projects we did together, and the National Heritage Board is now one of our most vocal and close supporters in the GLAM sector. This cooperation has been the model from which we built other GLAM relationships.

Before the start of the contest each year, we maintain close contact with the GLAMs, and work on improving the lists and other associated tasks. We strongly believe that having this type of regular interaction has solidified our cooperation.

Each of the GLAMs have provided us with data that we have used to build lists on Wikipedia. This has been the foundation of the cooperation, and has presented the GLAMs with a clear benefit and task. They have all appreciated the fact that their objects are included on Wikipedia and are considered important enough to form the foundation of the worlds largest photo contest. For the Wikimedia movement, it is obviously a great benefit to have complete and updated lists on Wikipedia. The cooperation has also put the spotlight on their work with their databases and licensing their data sets as open data – which is an added value. These are things we will then be able to include on Wikidata in the future.

For most of the contest, the GLAMs have also sponsored the prizes. These are often from their own shops – hence the prizes are very suitable for the photo categories in the contest. Sponsoring prizes is something that their staff has said is a bit easier to find support for in comparison to other tasks. What’s more, GLAM staff have been part of the jury, which is a good way to use their expertise and a task that many experts find rewarding and interesting. Another win-win!

For the last year, the GLAMs have also been actively – and very successfully – involved in the external communication work. Our joint efforts led to more than 30 press mentions about Wiki Loves Monuments in 2014 alone.

Finally, the GLAMs are now involved in Wikimedia Sverige’s applications for external funding as partners or in project reference groups. This involvement has greatly increased our chances of receiving funding for our work, and we have already seen positive outcomes. The fact that we now can pick up the phone, and ask them to join our application on short notice, is possible because of prior cooperation around Wiki Loves Monuments.

So what is needed for this to happen in your country as well?

We have learnt a lot during the last years and here are a few things to remember to form a strong cooperation (of course this list is not comprehensive, and some of it we could do better in practice ourselves):

  • Contact them early. Some of these are big hierarchical organizations that need time to form an opinion. This is especially true the first year you work together.
  • Be clear with them what they can do and what you are hoping for. Communication is the key. Don’t surprise them with new stuff that they haven’t planned for.
  • Report results continuously and at the end. Be sure to let them know that their work matters and that it is visible. E.g. we have great numbers to give them about page/image views and knowing these numbers makes it easy for them to argue internally for why they should work with us. Note: Making sure that the images are being used on Wikipedia will increase these numbers greatly. See if there is volunteer interest or if a contest around writing or adding images to Wikipedia can be organized.

Things we still struggle with

Of course there are still a number of things that we would like to develop further:

  • Reuse of the images. We would love to find ways of helping the GLAMs to use the API to get the WLM photos so that they can reuse them in their own environment. (We have a project focusing on this that is about to take off in 2015.) One example where this is already happening is the website Kringla.nu where cultural heritage images from Wikimedia Commons are embedded (example).
  • Updating the lists. Keeping the lists up to date has proven a bit tricky, as not all GLAMs update the lists themselves or have a RSS feed with the updates in their database.

Have you found Wiki Loves Monuments useful for GLAM cooperations in your country? Have you done something similar? Please share in the comment section below!

Best,

John Andersson, Project Manager, Wikimedia Sweden

Axel Pettersson, Project Manager GLAM, Wikimedia Sweden

by yoonahawikimedia at November 24, 2014 11:00 PM

Welcome to Phabricator, Wikimedia’s new collaboration platform

Bugs, tasks, boards, and cards for the masses! The Wikimedia Phabricator project workboard, captured right after the Bugzilla migration.

Wikimedia launches a space for collaboration open to all contributors: phabricator.wikimedia.org. Primarily devoted to software development, this platform also welcomes non-technical projects. Wikimedia Phabricator has been available since September for early adopters. Its prime time starts this week, after having incorporated 73,681 reports migrated from Bugzilla, the bug management tool that has served our projects during a decade. Farewell Bugzilla, welcome Phabricator!

As far as we know, we are maintaining the biggest public Phabricator instance in terms of number of tasks filed. Phabricator is a third-party open-source software development platform that we decided to use for project management, bug reporting, design of new features, and (one day not too far away) code review, all in an integrated fashion. Wikimedia Phabricator has already more than 800 users, who are getting their Bugzilla activity automatically assigned. New users can join and claim their Bugzilla history as well.

Main features

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="169" src="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Very_Basics_of_Phabricator.ogg?embedplayer=yes" width="300"></iframe>The Very Basics of Phabricator, a Wikimedia Tech Talk on video.

Phabricator comes with many improvements over Bugzilla:

  • The desktop UI looks contemporary. Most features are mobile-friendly as well. Interacting via email is possible.
  • Users can log in with their Wikimedia (SUL) credentials, and the LDAP access used for Labs and Gerrit is available as well. Email addresses are finally private.
  • Bug reporters, developers, designers, product managers, and other contributors use the same tool to discuss issues, features, and other tasks.
  • Tasks are editable, and can be assigned to multiple projects. In fact, projects are like tags in a flat structure.
  • There are workboards for project planning, and possibility to upload mockups and add notes.
  • Users enjoy auto-saved comments while typing.
  • Users can edit their own comments (with history).
  • There is no mid-air collision when someone adds a comment while you are writing yours.

Known issues

In general, fluent Bugzilla users who are new to Phabricator will need a few days to get used to the different paradigms this tool proposes.

There are some areas that require improvement:

  • Suggestions for duplicates when creating a new task.
  • Even if Phabricator’s search is powered by Elasticsearch, it needs some fine-tuning to get to Bugzilla’s efficiency.
  • Advanced Bugzilla users will also find that some actions take more clicks (assigning blocker/blocking tasks, for instance).

There is a complete list of known issues and we will keep working on them after the launch.

Key features implemented

Wikimedia Phabricator’s homepage, after the Bugzilla migration and reopening.

Phabricator is free software available for anybody. The Wikimedia Phabricator team has worked on key features to adapt it to our projects:

  • Migration script keeping relevant data and metadata, allowing users to claim their activity from different services and unify it in Phabricator.
  • Wikimedia Single User Login.
  • Private tasks accessible to a user group and reporters.
  • Separate file hosting domain.
  • Automatic redirects from old Bugzilla reports to Phabricator tasks.
  • Wikimedia username visible in Phabricator user profile.
  • Custom IRC bot to report activity.
  • Updated interwiki links and wiki templates (e.g. phab:T2001)

Also, we have updated a lot of on-wiki documentation that was related to Bugzilla. Those pages now refer and point to Phabricator.

The Phabricator upstream developers have also implemented many features and bugfixes based on our feedback, and we really appreciate their support with this undertaking.

Bugzilla archived

Existing links to Bugzilla reports are automatically redirected to their equivalent Phabricator tasks. Wikimedia Phabricator already had 1,391 tasks before the migration, and we could not assign to Phabricator tasks the same number as their Bugzilla counterparts. Instead, we are providing a memorable solution: just add 2,000 to a Bugzilla number, and you will get its Phabricator task number, i.e. Bug 123 is T2123.

Users can still check the old Bugzilla instance, now retired in read-only mode. They can log in to check their votes and their saved searches, which we could not migrate.

What comes next

Evan Priestley, Phabricator’s main developer (with black shirt) visiting the Wikimedia Foundation offices in San Francisco. (“Wikimedia Phabricator Meeting – June 2014 – Photo 2″ by Fabrice Florin (WMF), under CC-BY-SA-3.0)

The migration from Bugzilla marks the first step of the migration of the Wikimedia Foundation software development teams (who also need to migrate from Trello and Mingle), and of the Wikidata team at Wikimedia Germany (from Scrumbugz).

The RT migration is underway, coming in a couple weeks. RT is the tool used by the WMF Operations team to handle requests. Expect some thousands of additional tasks coming to Phabricator through this migration.

Code review is the next frontier. The Gerrit Migration Bot has been updated. Diffusion, Phabricator’s code repository browser, is available already now. With Diffusion, developers can import existing repositories, beginning the deprecation of another tool, GitBlit. The migration of the Gerrit code review tool will take more effort and a few months. The actual bottleneck is MediaWiki’s continuous integration system, a tough nut to crack.

Get involved

This is a very exciting project! We welcome your help.

PHP developers are welcome to contribute enhancements and new features upstream. Learn more at Phabricator/Code.

And for Phabricator support and camaraderie, join #wikimedia-devtoolsconnect. See you there!

Quim Gil, Wikimedia Foundation

by Guillaume Paumier at November 24, 2014 07:11 PM

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Šestá česká Wikikonference: Tento víkend se uvidíme v Brně!

Plakát wikikonference. Autor: Dominik Matus

Plakát Wikikonference. Autor: Dominik Matus

Naši brněnští kolegové strávili několik týdnů přípravou Wikikonference, která se bude konat tento víkend, 29. listopadu (v sobotu). Bude to celkem již šestá konference o Wikipedii a první svého druhu v moravské metropoli Brně. Zázemí nám poskytne planetárium na Kraví Hoře.

Díky tomu, že jsme letos přesunuli konferenci do Brna, zvládneme Wikipedii představit i jiné, než pražské komunitě a oslovit zájemce o svět Wiki také na jihu Moravy. V současné době se na akci zaregistrovalo zhruba okolo 150 zájemců. Konferenci naši brněnští kolegové představili také prostřednictvím regionálního tisku, v prostorách různých muzeí, dopravních prostředků a dalších kulturních institucí. 
A na jaký program se lze těšit? Vystoupí zakladatel české Wikipedie, esperantista Miroslav Malovec, který stál v roce 2002 u jejího zrodu. Dalšími mluvčími budou například Lucie Straková (z Ústavu práva a technologií Právnické fakulty MU a z pracovní skupiny Creative Commons Česká republika) či správci internetové Encyklopedie dějin města Brna nebo nového projektu WikiSofia. Představen bude také i workshop Wikiměsto – česká obdoba anglického projektu Wiki Takes, který byl tento rok poprvé uskutečněn v Přibyslavi. Program konference bude na rozdíl od loňských ročníků (zaměřených z velké části již na zkušenější wikipedisty) orientován více na zvídavou veřejnost.
V dopoledních hodinách proběhne paralelně k hlavnímu programu i odborný program pro zástupce kulturních a vzdělávacích institucí, v němž budou představeny praktické příklady dobré spolupráce Wikipedie s institucemi projektu GLAM (galerie, knihovny, archivy a muzea) a účastnící se zástupci nových institucí dostanou příležitost prodiskutovat možnost navázání vlastní spolupráce s Wikipedií. Na tento seminář se již přihlásili zástupci několika z množství oslovených, především brněnských institucí.
Programem provedou návštěvníky moderátoři Miroslav Langer a Jaroslav Zastoupil. Závěr konference pak bude patřit zábavnému wikikvízu o ceny, na kterém si tři dobrovolníci z publika ověří pod dohledem ostatních své znalosti o Wikipedii. Po soutěži bude následovat krátké představení spolku Wikimedia Česká republika a jeho aktivit. Ukážeme, jaké projekty v rámci hnutí Wikimedia vznikají, jak se rozvíjejí a jak obohacují Wikipedii. Poté bude následovat  zlatý hřeb večera – vyhlášení vítězů 3. ročníku českého kola soutěže Wiki miluje památky. 

 

by Jan Loužek at November 24, 2014 07:18 AM

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

UN, Wikimedia New York deliver open, free world maps on GIS Day

For thousands of years, humans have used maps to define, understand and navigate the world in which we live. From cave drawings to star maps to geospatial navigation, maps have been an ever-improving tool for people everywhere. In today’s increasingly connected world, maps play a critical role in areas like humanitarian response to disasters, understanding the spread of disease, and much more. Like any information resource, however, maps vary in terms of accuracy and accessibility.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) believes that accurate, reliable, and easy-to-understand maps should be available to everyone. That is why they’ve partnered with Wikimedia New York City and ReliefWeb to release a collection of more than 200 freely licensed “country-location” maps that are available on Wikimedia Commons and on the ReliefWeb site. In addition, many maps are also featured on Wikipedia country pages.

We are excited to announce this collaboration on GIS Day, which provides an international forum for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society. The project is intended to give the humanitarian community and the public access to free, accurate, and attractive maps, wherever they may be.

These maps were originally created as part of OCHA’s focus on information management and geographical visualization, in order to support the coordination of humanitarian partners during the response to an emergency or natural disaster anywhere in the world. OCHA location maps were designed to be embedded into a report or a website, offering essential information, such as main cities and neighbouring countries, while using a sleek and effective design.

Gwi-Yeop Son, Director of OCHA’s Corporate Programmes Division, said that OCHA is pleased to share the maps openly and publicly. “OCHA can now offer Wikipedia’s nearly half a billion readers the ability to study and reuse those maps as they see fit,” she said. This is thanks to the community of volunteers who dedicate time and energy to write, edit, and check entries to ensure information is current and relevant.

Access to accurate, free and reliable maps has implications for a variety of efforts, including combating climate change. The Green Growth Knowledge Platform, a partnership of more than 30 leading organizations that generate, manage and share green-growth knowledge, uses OCHA’s maps to gain geographical context important to understanding a country’s efforts to transition to a green economy. According to Amanda McKee, the Communications and Outreach Officer for the Green Growth Knowledge Platform, “the accurate and up-to-date location maps from OCHA enable us to provide this context on the 193 country dashboards offered on the Green Growth Knowledge Platform.”

Since OCHA first created the location maps, it has made a series of improvements including design updates and new territories. The accessibility of these maps allows any user to publish location maps as is, or edit each element of the content. All the maps are freely licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 unported licence.

Richard Knipel
President, Wikimedia New York City

by himam2014 at November 24, 2014 05:41 AM

November 22, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Winners of the photo contest Wikiviajes por Venezuela 2014

Wikiviajes2.png

Wikimedia Venezuela organized the photo contest WikiViajes por Venezuela 2014, which ran between April 15 and May 31 with a theme centered on Venezuela’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 Venezuela.

More than 14,000 photographs were submitted, which will better illustrate articles on Wikipedia, and especially Wikivoyage the free travel guide that anyone can edit, a project of the Wikimedia Foundation that was launched in early 2013.

Two winners were determined by popular vote, counting the number of “Likes” received on Facebook. The voting took place between October 15 and October 30 via the Facebook photo albums made available to the public. You can find the winners below.

  • 1. First Place
  • 2. Second Place
 El_roedor_mas_grandeChigüire, the biggest rodent.

“El roedor mas grande” by Daniel10ortegaven, under CC BY-SA 3.0

  • 3. Third Place

MEDANOS_DE_CORO_-FALCON_01Médanos de Coro National Park.
“MEDANOS DE CORO -FALCON 01” by Julioreylagarto, under CC BY-SA 3.0

  • 4. Special Award

01_-_Playa_Edo._VargasBeach of Vargas state.
“Playa Edo. Vargas” by Luis Jaimes, under CC BY-SA 3.0

Oscar Costero, Wikimedia Venezuela

by wikimediablog at November 22, 2014 01:12 PM

November 20, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Three Questions and Three Answers as Food for Thought About the Future of Wikipedia

This is an opinion piece by Amos Meron of Wikimedia Israel. All views are the author’s own; discussion is welcome in the comment section of this blog post.

What should Wikipedia (also) be?

Wikipedia prides itself of being the encyclopedia of the 21st century. Except that in the 21st century there are no encyclopedias. Wikipedia has amazingly removed this category from the face of the earth. Since we already are the biggest, most updated, shared and common encyclopedia in the world – and mostly since we are virtually the only one left – this is the time to understand what our future holds. If we settle for the status quo and only try to preserve what we have, we will soon be left behind. If we really want to fulfill our vision and provide every single human being free access to the sum of all knowledge, we should ask ourselves – where is this knowledge?

The knowledge is in books. We should move towards a future where as many of the world’s books as possible are freely licensed and are accessible in a way that allows easy reading, sharing and referencing. We could build a library of an infinite number of shelves with a community to maintain it and even provide reference desk services to the public.

The knowledge is in museums. Today’s museums contain most of the items of humanity and natural history. However, only a fraction of those items are displayed at any given time, the remainder of them stored behind closed doors for a majority of the time. We could create virtual museums with an infinite number of exhibition halls and provide access to every collection in its entirety in new and varied forms. The search capabilities, indexing and interface of the Wikimedia projects must be improved to allow this.

The knowledge is in the academy. The Open Access movement brought a significant change in the amount of academic materials that are freely accessible online. We should take the idea of free academy a few steps further and create an infrastructure not only for free publishing of papers, but also for sharing and crowdsourcing the process of research and peer review. Researchers could publish their results at various stages and receive real-time feedback from others, the entire process being open and accessible to everyone. The platform would support collaborative research where each contribution is documented and appreciated, just like in Wikipedia.

How to get new editors?

It seems that Wikipedia’s major problem in recent years is the decline in the number of new editors. So far, the discussion is focused on removing barriers and obstacles that may stand in the way of someone trying to edit: socially (closed and inflexible community) and technically (visual editor). I completely agree with this discussion and with most of the proposed and implemented solutions. However, I would like to argue something different: our main problem is not with those who tried to edit and were somehow deterred, but with those who have the potential to be great editors but never chose to try. We put our trust to provide “the sum of all knowledge” solely in the hands of the ones who are content with their satisfaction of writing and contributing, and by doing so we neglect many others. I am not suggesting, of course, to pay for editing – this would ruin the voluntary model of the community and may bring content of varied quality. But I do suggest we rethink the incentives of editing Wikipedia.

I would like to focus on the main incentive which I believe is not given adequate attention. I also believe it is the key to a real solution to the editor decline problem. This incentive is the most classic incentive of any creative – credit. Technically, it can be argued that each editor gets full credit for each and every contribution in a completely transparent way. In practice, however, the credit is “behind the scenes” since most readers are not exposed to it or even aware of its existence completely. For media files it is practical to properly present credit and the Foundation’s development teams are implementing measures which help to increase the visibility of this credit – starting with the new media viewer and later further directions for measuring the use of media files, new possibilities to express appreciation and improved views of the credit. For text, however, there is a practical problem in adequate presentation of credit in a way that does not interfere with the continuous reading of the text. Even with the most sophisticated tools (Google Docs, for example) it is impossible to give clear credit for a variety of corrections and small edits.

A possible solution to the credit problem is shifting the emphasis from recognition of individual edits to recognition of the editing activity in general. As Wikipedia grows and its quality improves, the expertise required from an active editor is expanding. Even today, veteran editors who have proven their proficiency in certain subjects are appreciated by other editors and their opinions on these issues weigh more than others’. What I suggest is to formalize this recognition in a way that would transcend the internal community of Wikipedia and would be used to glorify the resumes of its members. Just as academics define titles and grant them to each other based on academic activity, so can Wikipedians define their own hierarchy of knowledge which will be based entirely on editing activity in the Wikimedia projects. As the credibility of Wikipedia grows, so will the public’s esteem to the Wikipedian titles, and vice versa – people will understand that Wikipedia is written (also) by experts.

What are the roles of the movement entities (the Foundation and the chapters)?

Wikipedia is not only a phenomenal knowledge project, it is also a very successful social experiment that implements so many principles – sharing of knowledge, free content, volunteering, crowdsourcing, democracy, long tail and more. Above all, it is something that works in practice despite our instincts telling us it would probably fail. This is the beating heart of the project, or in one word – community. Despite the community’s obstinacy and exclusivity, we cannot and do not want to see a Wikipedia where the community is not its central and dominant ingredient. Therefore, the Foundation is correct to focus on being, first of all, a technical and legal back for the project’s activity and second, the source of improvements and innovation in software and design. This is the professional added value of the Foundation that a volunteer community often cannot provide.

But the Foundation should not stop there. Just as it is leading Wikipedia’s vital design renovation and the initiatives for more advanced software, so too should it be building strategic foundations that go beyond its comfort zone and challenge the entire movement. Thus, it should be implementing ideas like the ones mentioned above – infrastructure for Wikipedia museums or a program for community hierarchy of knowledge. There is no need for a top-down implementations. It is sufficient for the Foundation to introduce the possibilities, and the tools to implement them to the community – and the necessary changes, in the end, will happen by themselves. When the community is growing more closed and stagnant, it is in the hands of the Foundation to challenge the status quo, or the entire project will be left behind.

While the Foundation operates to fulfill the community’s professional needs, the chapters are the earthly representatives of the movement around the world. When strictly online communication is not enough, a chapter’s role is to provide the bridge. In practice, besides arranging community meetings, advocating for changes in legislation, raise awareness for free content and other necessary activities, the chapters should focus on three types of content projects that aim to expand the scope of knowledge in Wikipedia and/or bring new editors:

First, projects with organizations that own the information or collection – these are, among others, galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM). In recent years there has been major progress in promoting collaborations and projects with these institutions, but sometimes through the flux of activity the long-term goal might be forgotten: to bring all the information or collection to Wikipedia (or: “give us everything you have”) and by doing so, focus in our most important added value – providing access to all of it, freely, to the whole world, in every language and at any time. The means to achieve this vision is a technological solution in the form of the above mentioned virtual museums with the chapters’ role being to direct collaborations with the institutions. Possible tools to gain cooperation with the institutions are: providing them with services or solutions for digitization of their content, acting to release it under free license by giving counsel and guidance on these issues, creating tools for measurement and statistics and teaching their staff how to share their content themselves on Wikimedia projects. All of these should be done on a large scale using apt volunteers recruited not necessarily from the Wikipedians. The fulfillment of this goal would obviously benefit the institutions, increasing their importance in the eyes of the public. Our activities in these projects are in the right direction, but we need to start thinking bigger to achieve real impact.

Second, projects with organizations whose members include experts in their field – Many organizations – such as a football club, the Ministry of Agriculture, or the ornithology department of a university – unite people around a certain field of knowledge, whether formally or recreationally. The chapters should identify these organizations and encourage their members to contribute to Wikipedia, whether by editing directly or in other ways (such as joint content ventures). People engaging in a certain field are usually interested in promoting public knowledge of their field, which is another unique incentive for writing. Therefore, the main effort here (except practical guidance) is advocacy about the importance of free knowledge and Wikipedia’s role in providing access to knowledge (or: “Wikipedia is where the people are”). These projects present a tremendous growth opportunity for the chapters.

And finally, projects that are based on people and communities – The chapters should be creative and innovative in different ways to create communities and activities around free knowledge and contribution to Wikimedia projects. Located at the heart of the people in the various countries, the chapters can appeal to new audiences and communities with common denominators, such as a community of common origin, interest, workplace and so on. Such projects hold the greatest potential for the chapters because the social gathering will form around Wikimedia projects and because with these projects the general population may be approached. Many examples of such projects can be found today in various chapters: from content creation competitions such as editing contest or “Wiki Loves Monuments”, to editathons on different topics, all the way to innovative projects for creation and accessibility of content such as WikiAir or MPs voice recording. These types of projects make the most exciting and discussed initiatives in the movement and in order to engage more people we need more innovation!

Amos Meron

Wikimedia Israel

by wikimediablog at November 20, 2014 12:05 AM

November 19, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

10th anniversary of Wikipedia in Asturian

"Logotipu 10 años(svg)" by Denis Soria under CC BY SA-3.0

Logo for the event

“Logotipu 10 años(svg)” by Denis Soria under CC BY-SA 3.0

On September 12th and 13th, the tenth anniversary of Uiquipedia, the Asturian language Wikipedia, was celebrated in the Prince Felipe Auditorium Oviedo in Oviedo, Spain. It was a special event because after ten years, this community is in a process of improvement and setting goals to give the final push to the project.

The event began on Friday the 12th with a welcome by Xuacu Saturio, administrator and technical ambassador of Asturian Wikipedia, who provided a brief review of the past decade. It was followed by a talk titled “Wikipedia: what, who, how,” an approach to how the project is run. This was useful to those present in the studio editing during the rest of the afternoon.

The following day, Saturday, had two premises. First, Asturian Wikipedians were convinced that literature in this language, along with its writers, are pieces of heritage to document in this encyclopedia and to disseminate for public consumption. On the other hand, they wanted to provide a broader perspective of the language, attending more to the linguistic domain. In fact, there was a tribute given to Leonese writer Caitano Bardón (Carrizo, 1881-1924), the author of “Stories in Leonese dialect” who pioneered Asturian-Lionese literature in León.

The act began with the music of Fran Allegre, who continued playing with different traditional instruments from León. Alberto Flecha, expert on Caitano and a fellow native of Carrizo, talked about the writer and gave ​​a short summary of the meaning of his work. Then, in collaboration with the Faceira Association and the literary collective Fame Poetika, several poems from Caitano and other authors were read in Asturian.

The second act of the event consisted of a simple presentation on the WikiProject “Sport in Asturias”, by Denis Soria. He emphasized the need to standardize the linguistic register of Wikipedia itself, as well as the importance of WikiProjects organizing the editing of articles. He went on to summarize the challenges and logical errors in the early years. Soria also discussed the need to address common objectives for the community with the intention of standardizing the image of the encyclopedia, arrange interaction strategies with society, and make it grow in the near future.

Much of the roundtable focused on the role that the media – especially on the Internet – and the work of Wikipedia play in energizing and reinforcing the attitudes of speakers from each territory of the linguistic domain.

There were some very special guests, including David Melendi (Professor of Telematics Engineering Area, University of Oviedo), José Ignacio Suarez (Professor of Musicology at the University of Oviedo and member of Faceira), Nicanor Garcia (computerization of Musel Port Authority, also a member of Faceira), Pablo Rodriguez Guardado (Asturies.com editor), Pelayu Valduvieco (student of Romance Philology at the University of Oviedo and developer of various translation projects), Xuacu Saturio (administrator and technician ambassador in Asturian Wikipedia) and Denis Soria (administrator on Wikipedia). Topics that were addressed included the challenges in encoding and linguistic standardization in the media, and recovery policy pertaining to different territories with presence of native speakers. It was a very fruitful discussion, and arguably the participants left a very high standard, holding the attention of the audience throughout the discussion. After the gathering ended, a series of books were distributed among the attendees, donated by the publishers Asturtoons, Ediciones Trabe, Hércules Ediciones, Librería Cervantes and Ediciones Nobel.

We finished the event with a meet-and-greet meal among all participants, courtesy of the city council, who also gave the auditorium space. The Asturian Wikipedia community expressed thanks for the work and organization by members of Wikimedia Spain, from whom the initiative was conceived and made the anniversary celebration possible. Similarly, they moved the commitment to schedule future activities inside and outside of the tenth anniversary.

Rubén Ojeda,miembro de Wikimedia España

Group photo from the tenth anniversary celebration in Oviedo

“Asistentes aniversario Wikipedia en asturiano” by Montgomery, under CC BY-SA 4.0

by wikimediablog at November 19, 2014 01:24 AM

November 18, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Sailing the South Pacific with a copy of Wikipedia on board: The Goodall Family

This profile is part of a series about Offline Wikipedia.

The Goodall family

“The Goodall family” by Simon Goodall, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Goodall girls using Kiwix aboard the family ship, the Kyrimba.

“The Goodall girls using Kiwix aboard the Kyrimba” by Simon Goodall, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Goodall family aboard the Kyrimba viewing dolphins.

“The Goodall family aboard the Kyrimba viewing dolphins” by Simon Goodall, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Goodall Family going up the river in their dinghy to visit the Nanda Blue Hole, in the island of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu.

“Visiting the Nanda Blue Hole, in the island of Espiritu Santo (or just ‘Santo’)” by Simon Goodall, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Kyrimba approaches Tanna, Vanuatu after 16 days at sea. The family had departed from from Tarawa, Kiribati.

“The Goodall family aboard the Kyrimba viewing dolphins” by Simon Goodall, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

Connecting to Wi-Fi is a daunting task when you spend most of your time at sea. It’s more of a challenge when you’re traveling offline to unfamiliar places, without a reliable and readily available source of knowledge. With Kiwix, however; an open source offline content browser, users are able to access the knowledge base that attempts to compile the sum of all human knowledge. It allows offline reading of Wikipedia in its entirety, even in the most remote parts of the world.

The Goodall family is part of a growing number of Wikipedia users that benefit from Kiwix. The family of five hails from the South American island of Tierra del Fuego and has been sailing across the world for the past year.

Simon Goodall and his wife, Carolina Goodall, have been globe-trotting for quite some time. Their list of adventures include backpacking across Russia, Mongolia and China, experiencing farm life in New Zealand and Australia, and traveling across Argentina in a motor-home. They are also experienced with traveling by water, having delivered yachts between ports along South America and the Caribbean, as well as sailing along Cape Horn to Antarctica.

The family originally intended on sailing to the northern or southern coast of Europe by means of the Caribbean Sea, but eventually decided to sail across the Pacific Ocean. Together, the Goodalls have three children: 10 year-old Sarah, eight-year-old Emma, and 6-year-old Clara. The children have been a part of the couple’s journey in their boat named Kyrimba. Simon Goodall writes, “sailing in the Pacific came as part of a continuum, a stage in life when the girls are the right age to absorb what the world has to offer: cultures, places, ways of life and the ability to travel together as a family.”

“We have learned that these cultures are very much in touch with mother earth. That although they can be considered “simple” in today’s modern world they are much more in touch with the world that supports us and have a wealth of information that in many places is slowly being lost,” writes Simon.

They were first introduced to the Kiwix software through a friend who gave them a copy of Navigatrix, an open source suite of boating applications designed for use on boats at sea.

Since using Kiwix, Simon says he has told other travelers about the offline software and how much it has helped them answer questions right away.

“When speaking about Kiwix/Wikipedia it has been mainly on how many times we have had queries that have been answered on the spot because of this availability of information,” writes Simon.

The family has been chronicling their adventures on their website, and say that using Wikipedia has been an integral part of their journey. With the Kiwix software on board, they’ve been able to use Wikipedia as a reference for culture, art and history. In addition, Wikipedia comes in handy for everyday living, whether it is identifying health risks or browsing the movie database for entertainment.

The Goodalls’ three daughters are currently home-schooled. Simon and Carolina find the offline Wikipedia software to be a useful part of their children’s education. As part of their home-school program, Carolina and her daughters use Wikipedia as a reference point to discuss topics ranging from animal classification systems to ancient civilizations.

Sarah uses Wikipedia in conjunction with her school readings to discover more about subjects that fascinate her in the books that she reads and in real life. She enjoys looking up stories from Greek mythology and fueling her interest in natural medicine by reading about herbs.

Emma also uses Kiwix frequently to identify everything from volcanoes to exotic fish species. In fact, whenever the Goodalls eat fish they have made it a part of their routine to identify the fish before prepping it for consumption.

“With Carolina we have used [Kiwix] to look up specific fish like Wahoo [to] see if it was mentioned for eating raw [either as] sushi [or] sashimi, which it is not really mentioned but we ended up eating it anyway! It’s not like you put a label on the hook that says Tuna or Mackerel only, we would like to eat [them] for sashimi,” writes Simon.

Simon tells us that even repair tasks can be helped with Kiwix as a reference, and the family as a whole enjoys learning about the places they have visited or plan on visiting.

“Let’s ask Kiwix the answer!” has become a part of the Goodalls’ vernacular.

Profile by Yoona Ha, Communications Intern

Interview by Victor Grigas, Wikimedia Foundation Storyteller

by yoonahawikimedia at November 18, 2014 03:53 AM

November 17, 2014

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Senioři píší Wikipedii – první měsíc kurzů je za námi

Kurz v městské knihovně, fotografie: Jindřich Nosek, CC-BY-SA4.0

Kurz v městské knihovně, fotografie: Jindřich Nosek, CC-BY-SA4.0

Projekt Senioři píší Wikipedii byl už na stránkách tohoto blogu několikrát představen. Nyní nastal čas podat zprávu, kam projekt za necelý půlrok dorazil a jak se bude vyvíjet dál. Kolesa tohoto projektu, jehož cílem je zapojit naše starší spoluobčany do tvorby největší česky psané encyklopedie všech dob, se rozjela v červnu tohoto roku, kdy nám na jeho provoz udělila grant nadace Wikimedia. Přes léto jsme horlivě navazovali kontakty s institucemi, bez nichž bychom takový projekt úspěšně nezorganizovali – se seniorským centrem Elpida a s Městskou knihovnou v Praze. A od konce září jsme na obou místech spustili pravidelné kurzy – a to rovnou ve třech termínech každý týden!

Kurzy vede člen Wikimedia ČR a garant projektu, Vojtěch Veselý. O dosavadním průběhu říká: „Z vedení kurzů mám skvělý pocit. Účastníci jsou velmi pozorní a zaujatí (což je  jiná zkušenost, než mám například s prací s mladými studenty). A osobně i  v e-mailech projevují velký vděk (především za „trpělivost“), což je  nesmírně motivující pro další práci. Největší odměnou pak je, když  vidím, jak mnozí z účastníků editují už sami z domova bez mého vedení.“ A čísla mu dávají za pravdu – podle aplikace EducationProgram, kterou používáme, se do kurzů přihlásilo už 28 „studentů“ – tedy v tomto případě seniorů. Aplikace, která byla původně vytvořena pro studenty, nám velmi dobře poslouží i pro tento program a je díky ní možné třeba v reálném čase sledovat editační aktivitu účastníků.

Nedávno organizátoři projektu odevzdali první oficiální grantovou zprávu. Vojtěch Veselý v ní vyjma úspěchů zmiňuje i výzvy, kterým při vedení projektu musí čelit. Největší výzvou, jak se dalo čekat, je  samotný nábor účastníků. Na letáky či e-maily (newslettery různých  organizací) reaguje jen nepatrný zlomek oslovených. Lepší výsledky má  jen osobní setkávání, to je ale časově i organizačně náročné. A samotná výuka také není jednoduchá záležitost. Ve Wikipedii se to jen hemží „modrým“ textem a to  může být pro mnoho seniorů namáhavé. Vojtěch o tom říká: „Když potřebují jednoduchou nápovědu, nevědí kam kliknout. Nabízených průvodců, nápověd, FAQ,  diskusí apod. je tolik, že si nejsou jistí, kam se obrátit. E-mailová  podpora celkem funguje, ale ta není z dlouhodobého pohledu optimální. A ač zkušenosti s prací na počítači a  internetu mají všichni, některým přeci jen občas činí problémy.

Kurz v městské knihovně, fotografie: Jindřich Nosek, CC-BY-SA4.0

Kurz v městské knihovně, fotografie: Jindřich Nosek, CC-BY-SA4.0

Níže uvádíme přehled kurzů, které v současnosti probíhají a na něž je možno se přihlásit:

  • Kurz v Centru Elpida na Pankráci (Na Strži 40) probíhající v pondělky a středy, a to od 27. října do 12. listopadu (celkem tedy šest setkání), vždy od 17 do 19 hodin. Na tento kurz je dobré se předem registrovat zde, případně telefonicky na čísle 272 701 335 (poznámka: ač se na odkazovaných stránkách ukazuje kurz jako „obsazený“, ve skutečnosti jsou ještě volná místa).
  • Každé úterý od 15 do 17 hodin v Ústřední knihovně Městské knihovny v Praze (Mariánské náměstí 1, počítačová učebna, v suterénu, vedle sálů; více informací zde). První hodina začíná 4. listopadu.
  • Každý čtvrtek od 9 do 11 hodin v pobočce Městské knihovny na Smíchově (Náměstí 14. října 15, počítačová učebna; více informací zde). První hodina začíná 30. října.
  • Připojit se do kurzu je možné i v jeho průběhu, když třeba nestíháte první dvouhodinovku. V tom případě je však dobré dát nám o tom předem vědět na náš e-mail.
  • Pro zájemce o projekt Knihovna umění jsou kurzy cca jednou měsíčně vždy ve středu od 14 do 16 hodin (5. listopadu, 19. listopadu a 3. prosince) v Artotéce Městské knihovny Opatov (Opatovská 14). Je možné přihlásit se také na stránce projektu a sjednat individuální kurz v jiném termínu.

Děkujeme za váš zájem o projekt Senioři píší Wikipedii, probíhající pod záštitou spolku Wikimedia Česká republika a za grantové podpory Wikimedia Foundation. Za partnerství děkujeme Městské knihovně v Praze. Sdílejte informaci o našich kurzech na Facebooku (níže) nebo o něm prostě řekněte svým přátelům:

Kurz v městské knihovně, fotografie: Jindřich Nosek, CC-BY-SA4.0

Kurz v městské knihovně, fotografie: Jindřich Nosek, CC-BY-SA4.0

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by Vojtěch Dostál at November 17, 2014 12:41 PM

November 15, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

How to get the Wikimedia Foundation to fund your international gathering

AdaCamp 2012 attendees

”Adacamp DC attendees 3″ by Adam Novak, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

After the first Wikimania was organized in Frankfurt, Germany in 2005, it was clear that alongside the virtual channels that we rely on every day, Wikimedia community members are in need of physical meeting spaces. They allow to build stronger networks of trust and friendship, share experiences, and create new ideas with peers from all across the globe.

Our international conferences have become more complex. In 2005, 380 participants were brought together; in 2014, attendance numbers grew more than 5 times, as Wikimania was attended by over 2000 people. These gatherings are inspirational and fun, and held alongside the more specialized meetings focused on particular programs and regions.

Some of the complexity stems from getting the conference off the ground. Important questions to keep in mind are: What kind of Wikimedia grants are funding these meetings? What does a successful proposal look like?

Plan: What do you want to achieve?

Planning an international gathering can be broken into three different phases: goals, program and schedule, and evaluation. In the first phase, organizers establish the goals and main themes of the conference. International conferences are expensive and logistics are complicated, so the first question the WMF would want answered is the rationale: Why have this event at all? Why does it need international participation? Is there a demonstrated need for it?

During the programming phase you brainstorm ideas for the specific sessions and activities in the event program. It’s a good idea to survey the prospective participants to learn what they want from the conference. These actions shape the evaluation plan of the conference. It is important to establish goals, design sessions and formats (will there be a talk? a workshop? a brainstorm?) and work on the metrics you’ll use to measure your success.

Galileo Vidoni, organizer of Iberoconf 2014, the international meeting that brings together Wikimedia organizations from Latin America, Spain and Italy says, “We want to showcase the conference as another link in the chain of work that goes on during the year, rather than as an isolated event.” He describes the efforts that have gone into improving the way the success of conferences are measured, and says, “Unlike last year, in 2014 we submitted a more detailed plan, with the metrics we will use to measure our results, against goals. We also highlighted the continuous discussions and agreements developed at Iberoconf 2013.”

Each conference has a different history and hence, different goals. While Iberoconf is heading towards its fourth edition and is already working on programs across chapters, Wiki Indaba in 2014 was the first event of its kind in the region. One of its goals was very simple: bring together experienced Wikipedians from across Africa, to build best practices around outreach, and to form a wider community.

Since travel expenses usually form the highest cost of international gatherings, it is advised to seek deals with travel agencies or airline national offices to get a discounted rate. This is also why it is important to be selective in inviting participants. You not only want people who can demonstrate their activity (online and offline) in the Wikimedia movement, but also those with ability to both contribute their experiences and share the knowledge gained in their local community (also known as multipliers).

Another common topic raised in recent reviews of international gatherings was the preparation for the event. Participants are expected to be prepared for discussions, having read previously any resources available, and leaving the meeting with a clear idea of the opportunities that lie in the future for working together. If you are organizing the event, how will you ensure this is happening as much as possible? Some possible methods are pre-event surveys and SWOT analyses.

Apply: Secure funds and resources for your conference

"Iberoconf 2013 - Foto grupal" by ProtoplasmaKid, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

Iberoconf 2013 group photo
“Iberoconf 2013 – Foto grupal” by ProtoplasmaKid, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

If you need funding for your event, you should apply for a Project and Event Grant (PEG). The PEG program accepts proposals at any time, but be sure to submit your proposal early. We recommend at least 3 months in advance of the meeting to allow time for review by the Grant Advisory Committee, discussion, and revision, as well as purchasing flights at reasonable rates, if necessary. If you have questions about the process, contact the grants team early on. All of the WMF grants programs aim to increase the reach, participation in, and quality of Wikimedia projects, and grow local free knowledge.

This last goal is, in Galileo’s view, why the community supports Iberocoop — the Ibero-American network of Wikimedian groups that has been organizing the Iberoconf events. Iberocoop is not only an association of neighbouring countries, but it is also sustained by sister languages and a shared culture. He adds: “The international community acknowledges that, and appreciates it. This also represents a challenge for us: to execute Wikimedia programs on a regional level.” The participating countries in Wiki Indaba also have regional similarities: Limitations in access to the Internet and the high use of mobile broadband are two common denominators faced by editors across Africa.

Your international conference doesn’t have to rely solely on PEG funds to become reality. A good example of that is Ada Camp 2014, an initiative that originally started as a big international meeting, and broke into smaller camp-like workshops in different countries. In their recently approved PEG proposal, organizers requested USD 11,480, but the total costs of hosting three camps went up to USD 129,453. The rest was funded by Google, Mozilla and Wikimedia Deutschland, among others.

Execute and measure: How did it go? What did you learn?

"Evaluation Survey WM Conference 2014 final" by Nicole Ebber (WMDE), under CC-BY-SA-4.0

Showcase your results! Here, Wikimedia Conference 2014 report
“Evaluation Survey WM Conference 2014 final” by Nicole Ebber (WMDE), under CC-BY-SA-4.0

Once the conference is over, documenting its outcomes and outputs will help you prepare for your final report. Before parting ways, it is also key that participants know how to continue with the project, anywhere they go. Build up strong communication bonds and have a project coordinator to follow up with the outcomes of the conference. Perhaps the greatest service you can do your event participants after the event is to help them following up on ideas and initiatives discussed at the event.

The PEG grant report template has guidelines to help you showcase the conference experience. We recommend collecting feedback during and after the event through surveys to better understand participants’ experiences and discover where improvement is called for. A good example is the Wikimedia Conference 2014 Report, which summarizes participant demographics and impressions from the conference, including favorite sessions.

Good ideas end where they begin: plan how you will evaluate your actions in advance! Find resources and tools on the Evaluation portal to build your indicators of success and write an evaluation plan.


María Cruz, Learning and Evaluation, Wikimedia Foundation

by wikimediablog at November 15, 2014 01:04 AM

November 14, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Apertium and Wikimedia: A collaboration that powers the Content Translation tool

Many readers of this blog know about the Content Translation initiative. This project, developed by the Language Engineering team of the Wikimedia Foundation, brings together machine translation and rich text editing to provide a quick method to create Wikipedia articles by translating them from another language.

Content Translation uses Apertium as its machine translation back-end. Apertium is a freely licensed open source project and was our first choice for this stage of development. The first version of Content Translation focused on the Spanish-Catalan language pair, and one of the reasons for this choice was the maturity of Apertium’s machine translation for those languages.

However, with growing needs to support more language pairs in the newer versions of Content Translation, it became essential that the machine translation continue to be reliable, and that the back-end be stable and up-to-date. To ensure this stability, we needed to use the latest updates released by the Apertium upstream project maintainers, and we needed to use Apertium as a separate service. Prior to this set-up, the Apertium service was being provided from within the Content Translation server (cxserver).

The Content Translation tool is currently hosted on Wikimedia’s beta servers. To set up the independent Apertium service, it was important to use the latest released stable packages from Apertium, but they were not available for the current versions of Ubuntu and Debian. This became a significant blocker, because use of third party package repositories is not recommended for Wikimedia’s server environments.

After discussion with Wikimedia’s Operations team and Apertium project maintainers, it was decided that the Apertium packages would be built for the Wikimedia repository. In addition to the Apertium base packages, individual packages for supporting the language pairs and other service packages were built, tested and included in the Wikimedia repository. Alexandros Kosiaris (from the Wikimedia Operations team), reviewed and merged these packages and the patches for their inclusion in the repository. The Apertium service was then puppetized for easy configuration and management on the Wikimedia beta cluster.

Meanwhile, to make Apertium more accessible for Ubuntu and Debian users, Kartik Mistry (from the Wikimedia Language Engineering team) also started working closely with the Apertium project maintainers, to make sure that the Debian packages were up-to-date in the main repository. Going forward, once the updated packages are included in Ubuntu’s next Long Term Support (LTS) version, we plan to remove these packages from the internal Wikimedia repository.

The Content Translation tool has since been updated and now supports Catalan, Portuguese and Spanish machine translation, using the updated Apertium service through cxserver. We hope our users will benefit from the faster and more reliable translation experience.

We would like to thank Tino Didriksen, Francis Tyers and Kevin Brubeck Unhammer from the Apertium project, and Alexandros Kosiaris and Antoine Musso from the Wikimedia Operations and Release Engineering teams respectively, for their continued support and guidance.

Runa Bhattacharjee, and Kartik Mistry, Wikimedia Language Engineering team

by Guillaume Paumier at November 14, 2014 06:41 PM

India Community Consultation 2014

WMF India Community Consultation 2014 Group Photo
(“India Community Consultation Meet -2014 (Most of the) Participants” by Viswaprabha, under CC-BY-SA-4.0)

A group photo of some of the participants of WMF India Community Consultation 2014
(“WMF India Community Consultation (Bangalore, Oct 4th & 5th, 2014) 48″ by Pranayraj1985, under CC-BY-SA-4.0)

A little over a month ago, a group of Indian Wikimedians from 15 different language communities gathered in Bangalore to attend the India Community Consultation 2014, the first such consultation at this scale, convened by the Wikimedia Foundation. The meeting had representation of volunteers from the Assamese, Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Konkani, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and Sanskrit language Wikipedia communities. The meeting was attended by six representatives of the Wikimedia India chapter Executive Committee (WMIN EC) as well as three members of the Access to Knowledge Programme of the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS-A2K) and the CIS Executive Director Sunil Abraham. The Wikimedia Foundation was represented by Head of Wikimedia Grants and Global South Partnerships Asaf Bartov, Senior Director of Grantmaking Anasuya Sengupta, Vice-chair of the Board of Trustees Patricio Lorente, Trustee Bishakha Datta and Chief Financial Officer Garfield Byrd.

The aims of this meeting were:

  1. Share views and preferences on the most effective ways to pursue our common vision of creating and sharing free knowledge in India and in the Indian languages (including English) around the world.
  2. Attempt to come to agreement on a roadmap for a future where our resources are better utilized, our volunteers are better served, and progress on our mission is more steadily attained.

This proposed roadmap can become the basis for programmatic activity in India by the different editing communities, the Wikimedia India chapter, CIS-A2K, and the Wikimedia Foundation, and any future Wikimedia User Groups in India, to promote the Wikimedia mission in India.

The Wikimedia Foundation arranged for the travel and stay of all non-local participants, as well as a night stay for all local participants between the first and second day, to ensure that the programme started on time on the second day and to overcome local travel difficulty (morning traffic).

The sessions were facilitated by Mr. Gagan Sethi, an experienced facilitator in the non-profit sector from Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He supported the attendees in visioning and strategizing exercises, and in collecting the ideas budding in the minds of the participants and capturing agreement points during discussions.

This condensed proposed roadmap was compiled by attendee Tito Dutta from the raw minutes on this etherpad. Here are some of the themes discussed:

  • National WikiConferences for geographically disparate communities (e.g. Hindi Wikipedia) (see this presentation by User:Hindustanilanguage).
  • Promoting the sister projects such as Wikisource or Wiktionary in languages where Wikipedia has a vibrant community with good organic growth.
  • Recognition of various movement partners (more plurality and diversity) such as free software groups, Indic language computing organizations, open education groups etc.
  • Easy idea exchange across Indic Wikimedia communities.
  • Cross-border collaborations with neighboring countries for shared languages. (see also current plans for the Bangla Wikipedia anniversary celebrations in India and in Bangladesh)
  • Notability issues and systemic bias as a challenge for English Wikipedia editors from India (especially by non-Indian English Wikipedians who may not understand context)
  • The urgent need to find a new method of measuring contributions other than by edit counts
  • opening up content, digitization, and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems. (see also current grant proposal for Tamil OCR, and current grant proposal for Malayalam palm leaf digitization)
  • The special concerns of low-bandwidth readers and editors were brought up, and it was agreed there needs to be more visibility of those issues with WMF Engineering and User Experience teams. Past issues with the deployment of the Universal Language Selector were also mentioned.

There were also discussions on the roles of the Wikimedia India chapter as well as the CIS-A2K programme, the role of communities, individual volunteers, funding via Individual Engagement Grants (IEGs) and Project and Event Grants (PEGs), and the possibilities of institutional partnerships. The sessions benefited from a positive spirit and collegial collaboration, and the participants concluded that the enthusiasm and newfound trust resulting from this community consultation will go a long way in shaping the progress of the Wikimedia movement in India.

Syed Muzammiluddin, Hindi and Urdu Wikipedian (participant)
Asaf Bartov, Head of WMF Grants and Global South Partnerships (convener)

by wikimediablog at November 14, 2014 01:42 AM

November 12, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Chapters Dialogue: Imagine a movement striving for Free Knowledge at full potential

In spring 2013, Wikimedia Deutschland initiated a project called “Chapters Dialogue”. The main aim of the project was to discover the roles, relationships and responsibilities of Wikimedia organisations. After 94 interviews with staff and volunteers from Chapters and the Wikimedia Foundation, Nicole Ebber and Kira Krämer concluded the project with six tough questions. To enable the Wikimedia movement to strive for its mission at full potential, these questions now need to be tackled urgently and with coordinated dedication.

Project lead Nicole Ebber (left) and project manager Kira Krämer (right)
(by Dominic Ernst, CC-by-sa-4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Wikimedia is a global movement: the Wikimedia Foundation runs projects like Wikipedia, raises funds and disseminates them among the international communities. Individuals and committees work and fight together to share and create Free Knowledge. Passionate people achieve amazing things. Over the last decade, a huge and complex network of Wikimedians grew, all sharing the same vision: “A world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.” On their way towards changing the world, all these individuals and organisations are exploring new territory.

Wikimedia Chapters are part of the international movement of Free Knowledge enthusiasts. They are crucial stakeholders in our movement, covering a wide range of tasks and responsibilities. They work closely together with the local communities, cover financial and logistical support for projects to further our joint mission, facilitate the exchange of experiences, team up with partners from inside and outside the movement, and lead a whole lot of different programmes in support of the creation, dissemination and curation of Free Knowledge.

Not all is full of wikilove

But besides all that wikilove there is also dispute. Not a single day passes without discussions inside the Wikimedia movement, between the Chapters, the Wikimedia Foundation, the committees, and the communities. These discussions revolve around unclear responsibilities, relationships and roles in the Wikiverse; and they lead to distrust. Plus, there is no common understanding of what is expected from Chapters: What are their tasks, what are their goals, what support do they need and who is in the position to provide this support?

Here at Wikimedia Deutschland, we felt that these are issues that were long overdue and it was time to dig deeper into the meaning of the all-embracing term “the Chapters”. In our view, the movement was lacking a solid foundation of insights of movement structures; an overall groundwork on which to base future plans and decisions. And rather than just setting up another Meta page or mailing list, we went for a structured and coordinated approach, allocated the relevant resources and devoted ourselves to this task from the beginning to the end: In spring 2013, we kicked off a structured assessment of the Chapters’ needs, goals and stories combined with a stakeholder survey, and we called it “Chapters Dialogue”.

A map of Wikimedia

We quickly figured out that what we needed for that project was qualitative research. Instead of crunching numbers we rather needed to uncover, collect and connect all the different stories and experiences. Our goal was to build a “map of Wikimedia”. We hired Kira Krämer who adapted the Design Thinking methodology to the Chapters Dialogue project.

In the course of the project (August 2013-February 2014), Kira interviewed 94 movement representatives – volunteers and staff of the Wikimedia Chapters, the Wikimedia Foundation as well as the Funds Dissemination Committee and the Affiliations Committee. Most interviews were audio recorded and transcribed afterwards; we took photos of the interviewees and documented the journey on our Facebook page.

In the synthesis of the project, we filtered key topics and integrated bits of each interview into this “Wikimedia map”. The art of synthesis lies in paying attention to details and interesting quotes, but keeping the whole picture in mind at the same time. The various stories needed to be condensed into one narrative that could be told to the movement. Our goal was to mirror the movement, to present the whole picture of what it actually is, what people care about and where the trouble spots are.

Insights and questions

Visual Recording of Kira’s presentation at Wikimedia Conference 2014
(by Nicole Ebber, CC-by-sa-4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The synthesis of all the interviews resulted in a distillate of the most pressing issues. The findings and insights cover these main areas which have severely influenced the movement as it is today:

  • Passion for Wikimedia
  • Measuring success when exploring new territory
  • Lack of empathy and the persistence of old narratives
  • Organisational structures
  • The gap in leadership
  • Fundraising and funds dissemination

The insights lead to the following conclusions: The global footprint of the Wikimedia projects is huge; we have the potential to change the world. We can be proud of the things that work. But at the moment, we are not striving for Free Knowledge at full potential. None of the presented conflicts can be viewed in isolation, and no solution can be developed without a thorough understanding and frank conversations about the causes in the first place.

We have often been asked for quick recommendations, but consider it highly irresponsible to suggest isolated solutions to any of the described issues. Instead, we have distilled tough questions from the insights that we think need to be addressed as soon and as diligently as possible:

  1. What do we as a movement want to achieve? Do we run a website or foster free knowledge? Why are we doing the things we do, and what for?
  2. How do we define impact when exploring new territory? And how do we measure success?
  3. What is the role of the Wikimedia Foundation?
  4. How do we want to communicate, learn and build empathy? How can we overcome the old narratives and perceptions?
  5. Where does the money come from and where should it go? Should money be the limiting factor when striving for Free Knowledge?
  6. What movement framework or model is best suited to fulfil the Wikimedia mission?

The lack of mutual empathy ran like a golden thread through the interviews and synthesis. Understanding each others’ perspectives is essential for leaving the old narratives behind, for growing the level of trust and for a critical analysis of the given structures.

What’s next?

File:Wikimedia Chapters Dialogue.webmhd.webm

A 30 minutes film summarises the project, its insights and conclusions (subtitles in English available)
(by Dominic Ernst, CC-by-sa-4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Nicole and Kira presented and discussed the insights at different small-scale meetings and bigger conferences, such as Wikimedia Conference 2014 and Wikimania 2014. We have published an extensive dossier (58 pages PDF, 1,24 MB) with a lot of details and insights. Moreover, a 30-minutes movie summarises the project idea, process, insights and conclusions.

This material can now lay the foundation for further research and exchange. There is a huge variety of topics that can be picked up and further developed by different movement groups or entities. The movement needs to figure out who can take ownership, leadership and responsibility for all these burning movement topics. We already see some efforts being made by different groups, for example the new liaison model of the AffCom, the strategy process within the WMF or the collaborative work on defining organisational development and board governance.

But the overall question remains and needs to be answered in a structured and professional approach, with dedication, commitment and clear responsibilities: In which system, model or framework can the Wikimedia movement work strongly and effectively towards its mission in a professional way, yet stay true to its grass roots and maintain its diversity? Imagine a movement that is built on trust, that stands united, and that is capable of leading an open dialogue. A movement with clarity about its impact and roles as well as stability to strive for changing the world. A Wikimedia that balances independence and committed obligations. There is no point in tinkering with the symptoms and finding single-problem solutions, while not challenging the existing structures. We consider answering these questions urgent and essential for the movement to unfold its full potential in the future.

Nicole Ebber, International Affairs, Wikimedia Deutschland

by wikimediablog at November 12, 2014 05:31 PM

The Code to Access – the Key to the Treasure

Our efforts to win support for free content for the Wikiverse

International projects and guests at the GLAM conference “Shaping Access”

The GLAM conference “Shaping Access” (German: “Zugang gestalten”) starts on November 13, 2014 at the Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin.
Picture by David Jacob (david-jacob.de), under CC-BY-SA-3.0

Germany’s largest conference on “cultural and heritage institutions on the Internet” will begin in Berlin tomorrow: “Shaping Access – More Responsibility for Cultural Heritage.” The acronym GLAM – which stands for galleries, libraries, archives and museums – is used internationally to describe activities relating to collaborative work between cultural institutions and online actors. For the fourth time, Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE) is one of the partners of the GLAM conference “Shaping Access.” More than 350 guests have already signed up for the conference; last year we had approximately 250 attendees over the two days.

For WMDE, the conference represents an important opportunity to present itself to a group of cultural and heritage institutions as a prospective cooperation partner. In the first part of the program we will discuss “Cultural Heritage 3.0 – Digital Reuse.” This will include three keynote speeches from business (Google, William Patry), government (National Library of Norway, Roger Jøsevold) and civil society (Europeana/Wikimedia, Liam Wyatt), plus a panel discussion featuring five prominent representatives from cultural institutions and the previously mentioned areas. We will present the achievements made so far and discuss how the conditions for the reuse of digital content could be improved. Representing science on the panel is Prof. Kurt Fendt, Director of MIT’s Center for Digital Humanities; representing business is Max Kaiser, Project Coordinator of EUROPEANA Creatives; representing the world’s largest non-profit project on the reuse of digital content is Alice Wiegand, member of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, the body responsible for Wikipedia; and, last but not least, representing GLAM institutions are Dr. Michael Hollmann from the German Federal Archives and Prof. Johannes Vogel, Director of the Museum für Naturkunde (museum for natural sciences) in Berlin. Jan Engelmann, Executive Director of WMDE, will moderate the discussion. Covering nine exciting international projects, the large exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Museum of Natural History) sheds light on the many different aspects of the digital reuse of cultural data and on possible applications in the GLAM sector.

Coder’s delight

The coders are delighted.
Coding da Vinci – Der Kultur-Hackathon” by Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland, under CC-BY-2.0

One of the main focal points of the exhibition is the programming competition Coding da Vinci, which we held for the first time this year in cooperation with our partners. We wanted to motivate GLAM institutions to make their digitized collections available to programmers and developers under a free license, so that they can link cultural data together and supplement it with data from Wikipedia or geographical data, and thus develop new ways for using the content in small apps, websites or even hardware devices. The most impressive results will be presented at the conference. The curiosity of GLAM institutions to see how others could reapply “their” data was what prompted them to make it available under a free license. Some 325,000 media files from 16 different cultural institutions give us a great deal of possibilities. Photos, paintings, scanned images of objects such as instruments, devices, insects and plants, plus books, maps and databases – all imaginable kinds of media files are waiting to be reused, for example, as part of Wikipedia projects.

The GLAMour of cultural heritage

About half of the 17 applications presented to the “Coding da Vinci” jury were market-ready by the time the award ceremony was held in July. zzZwitscherwecker (ChirpyClock) is very popular as it takes a playful approach to bringing the calls and pictures of birds to a simple app. Verbrannte-und-verbannte.de, on the other hand, rescues from obscurity the authors who were banned by the Nazis by turning the gloomy Nazi list into an interesting starting point for a journey through knowledge. I personally really like the Alt-Berlin app because it puts museum knowledge at my fingertips. It will become part of my everyday reality, as I can go on a stroll through the city and click on links at my current location to see historical facts about present-day places. As part of the programming competition, the Museum für Naturkunde has decided that all its scanned images of insects (15 million creatures) should be freely accessible for reuse under the CC BY license. The Stadtmuseum Berlin has “released” further material for the Alt-Berlin app. A number of GLAM institutions have already agreed to participate in Coding da Vinci in 2015 with new data sets under a free license. We now need to build upon these successes.

Let’s talk about it

We want to use the opportunity provided by the “Shaping Access” conference to get as many cultural institutions as possible on board for Coding da Vinci. These institutions should also be persuaded to allow content from their collections to be freely reused. Media files under free licenses can then be integrated into Wikipedia articles and within Wikidata. We can also reuse the free digitized historical collections for Wikisource. These are just a few of the possible applications within the Wikiverse. Until now, users can only download the content. We will therefore make it a more pressing matter in the coming year to also closely integrate free content into Wikimedia projects. To do so, we have to build up a technical infrastructure and learn to support developers even more strongly as one of our communities. Developers and programmers should be able to use cultural data as an exciting raw material for their new creative products, in order to enable more people to share in our common cultural heritage and to remain true to the idea of Coding da Vinci – cultural data should not simply be confined to the museum, but also be available on smartphones or tablets in the future.

For us, Coding da Vinci means access to free content and the “Shaping Access” conference is the main platform for communicating that very objective, also known as the Code to Access.

File:Vii C 823 -b X.oggtheora.ogv

One of the music videos by the Ethnologisches Museum Berlin which can now be reused.
Video by Andreas Richter, under CC-BY-3.0

Barbara Fischer, Wikimedia Deutschland

by wikimediablog at November 12, 2014 04:36 PM

55 works of iconic Indian writer released on Wikisource under a free licence

Kannada is a language spoken by 40 million people in Karnataka– one of the four southern states of India.The Kannada Wikimedia community, in collaboration with CIS-A2K, are enthusiastic about having almost all of the works of Niranjana re-licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0 on the occasion of Kannada Rajyotsava. Niranjana was a prolific Indian author and activist, and wrote more than 60 books over the course of his career. These works will be digitized and made available on Kannada Wikisource, allowing Kannada speakers to freely access the diverse set of works. Niranjana’s works give a rich glimpse into social, political, and cultural history of Karnataka from the 1940s to 1990s; they can be used as a potential resource for creating and improving articles on Kannada Wikipedia.

Niranjana (1924-1992) was the pseudonym of Kulkund Shivarao, a prominent Kannada writer of the 20th century and a leading figure in the Progressive Writers’ Movement in Kannada. His prolific output, across nearly five decades, included novels, short stories, plays, biographies, political commentary, and translations. He was a regular columnist in the Kannada newspapers and magazines. Among his achievements as an editor are Jnana Gangotri, a 7-volume encyclopedia for young people, and a 25-volume compilation of the world’s greatest short stories.

“This is the the single largest and most comprehensive individual collection of a writer to be released under CC-BY-SA 4.0 in any of the Indian languages so far,” says Omshivaprakash.

“KannadaWikipediaWorkshop 010″ by Pavanaja, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

A total of 55 Kannada books by Niranjana are re-licensed. “This is the single largest and most comprehensive individual collection of a writer to be released under CC-BY-SA 4.0 in any of the Indian languages so far,” says Kannada Wikimedian Omshivaprakash. Kannada Wikimedians and CIS-A2K have organized a formal event to celebrate Creative Commons efforts to cultivate free and open knowledge online in Kannada; specifically, Kannada Wikisource. It is important to also acknowledge the great initiative shown by Niranjana’s daughter, Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana, in getting these works released under CC-BY-SA 4.0 licensing.

Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana says, “[Kannada] Wikisource is an excellent free and open knowledge platform for books in Indian languages and I am happy that my father’s works can now be accessed by [all] Kannadigas across the world. Let these writings have innumerable readers. What more could any author want?”

She is determined to release more work under CC licensing, and says, “[I] will be more than glad to get as many Indian works as possible under a free license as this will ensure that a lot of knowledge produced over the past many decades in India can easily be made accessible to the next generation of seekers of knowledge, who are digital natives.”

Tejas Jain, another Kannada Wikimedian, was quick to co-write a blog in Kannada about this content donation. Jain says, “this is a bold step…and will act as motivation for other Kannada writers to release more content under CC-BY-SA 4.0.” He hopes to see “Kannda Wikisource grow as the comprehensive single digital resource for free Kannada books” and address “the fear of loosing the rich print heritage of Kannada to time.”

Tejas Jain “This is a bold step[...]and will act as motivation for other Kannada writers to release more content under CC-BY-SA 4.0″

“Tejas Jain” by Visdaviva , under CC-BY-SA-4.0

Omshivaprakash was surprised to realize that there is no article on such a prominent Kannada writer like Niranjana on English Wikipedia.This led to a Facebook discussion, and User Tito Dutta responded swiftly, but needed help with verifiable resources. Omshivaprakash chipped in with resources and a page on Niranjana (needs your Wiki Love) has now been started on English Wikipedia. While this is not a big achievement, it is a simple example of how the (Indian) English Wikipedians could collaborate with Indic Wikimedians in creating India focused content on English Wikipeida and how social media could be used for off-wiki collaboration by Wikimedians. Incidentally Tito and Omshivaprakash became friends on FB during the WMF’s India Community Consultation 2014 which was held recently in Bangalore.

T. Vishnu Vardhan, Program Director, CIS-A2K

by wikimediablog at November 12, 2014 02:20 AM

November 11, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Excelling students in Be’er Sheva write articles about their city in the Hebrew Wikipedia

For the first time, Wikimedia Israel (WMIL), the education department of the Municipality of Be’er Sheva (the 7th largest city in Israel), and the Ministry of Education have joined forces to establish the innovative Wikipedia in Education project.

“Meeting with the mayor of Be’er Sheva – September 2014 (5)” by Chenspec-WMIL, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

During the past school year, approximately 350 students from ten 9th grade classes for excelling students learned how to write Wikipedia articles focused on geographical, historical and cultural subjects related to the city of Be’er Sheva, a well as articles on leading public figures in the city’s history. The lectures, editing workshops, and tutoring sessions were conducted in the framework of the student’s Hebrew language studies.

Students were divided into groups where they learned how to collect and research credible sources, and acquired academic writing skills. Students toured significant sites in the city, collected research material, and were guided by the chapter’s volunteers and their teachers, who were also tutored in these subjects. Students received lectures and editing workshops by ten volunteers of the Wikipedia community, who came from across the country to support and assist them in this unique project. Thirty new articles were moved to Wikipedia mainspace!

During the month of September, with the conclusion of the first year of the project, the Mayor of Be’er Sheva invited the WMIL volunteers, as well as representatives of both teachers and students to his office in order to thank them and show his appreciation for the project. The Mayor congratulated both students and volunteers, saying that the project constitutes “a perfect example skills utilized and in-depth learning that comes from fascinating subject matters”. The Mayor added that the city of Be’er Sheva was “proud of this project”.

WMIL sees the Wikipedia in Education project as paramount, as well as the recognition it receives from the educational community. We are happy that the students learned and experienced working with Wikipedia, and witnessed the great contribution it can make to their academic career, as well the contribution they can make to Wikipedia in turn. Added to their acquired experience in writing, both students and teachers got to know and experience an important pedagogical tool, and gained skills in the educated use of knowledge.

Together with Be’er Sheva Municipality, we hope to continue to implement the project in the next school year, and to see it established in other parts of the world. For that end, we are happy to share some of our conclusions and work procedures.

Project overview

The project began with a meeting of a steering committee convened by the Be’er Sheva Municipality to green-light the project, and create lesson plans in accordance with material taught in the 9th grade classes participating in the project.

  1. Teachers of the participating classes received a lecture and an editing workshop. An introductory lecture on Wikipedia was held in each of the participating classes.
  2. A project portal was created in the Hebrew Wikipedia.
  3. A list of missing articles was compiled and approved by the community members leading the project.
  4. 12 editing workshops were held for students, facilitated by additional Wikipedians and chapter volunteers. These articles were written as drafts and the students, divided into groups, worked on them together.
  5. The volunteers leading the projects held follow-up meetings with students, according to need.
  6. The drafts were moved into mainspace by the volunteers leading the project.

Main lessons learned

  1. Adjusting lesson plans to current material was crucial: editing in Wikipedia did not come across as just another school chore, and the concurring syllabus made the work easier and more fruitful for both teachers and students.
  2. The teachers in our projects underwent a four-hour lecture on Wikipedia and a short editing workshop. We believe that prepping teachers prior to their work with the students should be more thorough. They are crucial to the project’s success, and it is important that their knowledge of Wikipedia goes beyond the scope of the average user (talk pages, view history, categories, etc.). In our opinion, it is not necessary that teachers learn to edit or write articles.
  3. It is vital to create a schedule and adhere to it. We have not always been on schedule this last year, and consequently have failed to reach our goal of 40 articles. It is important to create a viable schedule for all parties involved – students, teachers and volunteers.
  4. Students’ enthusiasm is vital! Students must feel that they contribute to the expansion of knowledge by writing articles, and that many people will eventually read the content they have created. It is vital that this sentiment is enhanced during the project.
  5. During the project, we asked the teachers to locate students with the potential and will to continue editing in Wikipedia in the future. Some students were identified, and we maintain contact with them. It is preferable that in future, a volunteer is assigned to follow-up and encourage exceptional students.
  6. WMIL plans to hold a gathering of both the students who continued to edit after the workshop, and community volunteers.
  7. Two volunteers led and managed the project, and this proved to be counterproductive. The amount of work to be done during the project is substantial – coordinating with the different schools, editing articles, facilitating the workshops, participating in school activities, moving articles to mainspace, and more. Before projects of the kind are implemented in the future, it is recommended to consider the number of volunteers or staff members needed to lead and facilitate the project. This is a long, complex project, requiring long-term commitment.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Danny Wax and Nimrod Rapaport, who led the project, assisted and supported the students and teachers in all matters, and of course, all our WMIL dedicated volunteers.

Michal Lester - Executive Director Wikimedia Israel

by wikimediablog at November 11, 2014 07:29 AM

The Wikipedia Monument unveiling

When Jimmy Wales launched Wikipedia in 2001, it’s unlikely he imagined that it would become the biggest encyclopedia in human history. Or, that it would be honored with a monument.

Crowds eagerly waited for the Wikipedia monument in Słubice to be unveiled.

“Celebration of the Wikipedia monument in Słubice – unveiling (DerHexer) 05″ by DerHexer, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

Notably, the idea for that monument did not come not from the Wikipedians themselves, but from an academic and director of a university.

Dr. Krzysztof Wojciechowski is the the head of Collegium Polonicum, located in Słubice, a small town near the Polish-German border. It is a cross-border academic institution maintained jointly by University Viadrina and the Adam Mickiewicz University. Dr Wojciechowski has always held great respect for Wikipedians and their mission to provide every human being with unlimited access to the sum of human knowledge. He also thought that in times when people seem to reach for almost every opportunity to gain fame, an army of volunteers working anonymously for the greater good is something unique and deserving of recognition. He came up with the idea to erect a monument as a homage to Wikipedians. Słubice, a town where a variety of cultures and languages meet, seemed to be the perfect place to pay respect to this international and multilingual community.

The dream was beautiful, but difficult to bring to reality. It took Mr. Wojciechowski three years to find someone who would support his idea. Finally, it happened to be Tomasz Ciszewicz, the mayor of Słubice who helped bring it to fruition. The city of Słubice supported the creation of the monument with 62,000 PLN (approximately $18,000).

Mihran Hakobyan, the Armenian artist who created the sculpture.

“Celebration of the Wikipedia monument in Słubice – unveiling (DerHexer) 21″ by DerHexer, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

Dr. Wojciechowski invited Mihran Hakobyan, an Armenian artist and a former student of Collegium Polonicum, to create the sculpture. The result is astonishing. The monument depicts two men and two women holding the Wikipedia puzzle globe. The characters stand on sheets of paper which, according to Dr. Wojciechowski, represent the culture of print from which we all derive. The globe that they hold is open, as is our mission of gathering human knowledge. As Sebastian Wallroth from Wikimedia Deutschland put it in his speech at the monument’s unveiling ceremony: Wikipedia is a living organism, growing with the knowledge of humanity, struggling with the knowledge and changing with the knowledge (…) Mihran Hakobyan’s sculpture expresses that very well.

The ceremony, but also the preceding preparations, were widely noticed in international media, as the monument is the first of its kind in the world. Aside from the Polish press, the news of the coming unveiling ceremony sailed international waters. Recognizable titles as Der Spiegel and The Independent, and countries including Armenia covered the ceremony. Almost 28,000 titles followed the Associated Press news release.

There was also a lot of excitement within the Wikimedia community itself, as Wikimedians felt deep gratitude and joy that their work was recognized. The Wikimedia Poland association decided that the Wikimedia community should have the chance to express their gratitude for the monument. We came up with the idea of a commemorative book gathering messages written by Wikipedians from all over the world. We only had a few days to collect the thoughts of the Wikimedia community in regards to the initiative, but received a plethora of inputs, including some warm words from Lila Tretikov, the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation and Jimmy “Jimbo” Wales, the founding father of Wikipedia. Also, a note was added from Tomasz Ganicz, the President of the Board of the Wikimedia Polska association, and the Wikipedia article describing the Wikipedia monument, already published in 22 languages. The outcome was printed and presented to Mr. Wojciechowski and mayor Ciszewicz during the ceremony by Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska, of Wikimedia Poland. The ceremony was preceded by a presentation about the role of conflicts in Wikipedia by professor Dariusz Jemielniak, author of the first ever ethnography of the Wikipedia community, called “Common knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia.” There was also a panel discussion about the future of Wikipedia, moderated by Jemielniak, with participation by Garfield Byrd from the Wikimedia Foundation, Sebastian Wallroth from Wikimedia Deutschland and Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska from Wikimedia Poland. The panel participants discussed the gender gap in the Wikipedia community, the role of Wikipedia in protecting the freedom of information on the Internet, and the issues stemming from neutrality and paid editing.

Soon after the discussion, panelists and audience members made their way to the Frankfurt Square, where the long awaited unveiling was about to begin. Mayor Ciszewicz and Mr. Wojciechowski welcomed the gathered guests. The head of Collegium Polonicum said that the fact that an online encyclopedia created by thousands of volunteers from all over the world was credible, and free of plagiarism and lies, is proof that altruistic and peaceful cooperation between people of different languages, cultures, and religions is possible. Then, the representatives of the Wikimedia community were asked to speak.

Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska from Wikimedia Poland said that Wikipedians work anonymously and voluntarily, not hoping for any rewards and certainly not hoping for being honored with monuments. They do it because they believe that by giving people access to free knowledge, they are handing the global community the tools to make the world a better place, by maintaining humankind’s natural curiosity about the world. “I see this beautiful monument created by Mihran Hakobyan as a sign that our readers understand our mission and support it and that Wikipedia has become something important in their lives. That kind of recognition is very motivating,” concluded Szafran-Kozakowska.

In his speech, Sebastian Wallroth from Wikimedia Germany questioned why Wikipedia, of all internet initiatives, as an unfinished project which is and always will be in the process of changing and growing, should have its monument. Furthermore, why should this monument be placed in Słubice? He pointed out that the German word for monument, “Denkmal”, came from Martin Luther who had used it in a meaning of “memory aid” and that this is what the monument should become for the volunteers of free knowledge. “I would appreciate if Wikipedians would meet every year at the “memory aid” to have a short satisfied look at what has been done and then, with an unsatisfied expression, would continue to rake over the wide field of Free Knowledge in front of us,” Wallroth added. He also said that Słubice, a university town essentially situated on a language and a country border, was a perfect place for a monument dedicated to an international project.

Pictured here: Dr. Wojciechowski, Mayor Tomasz Ciszewicz, Garfield Byrd, Dariusz Jemielniak, Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska, and Mihran Hakobyani

“Celebration of the Wikipedia monument in Słubice – unveiling (DerHexer) 19″ by DerHexer, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

Garfield Byrd from the Wikimedia Foundation expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to represent the Wikimedia Foundation and its executive director Lila Tretikov. He gave his thanks to Dr.Wojciechowski, the mayor and the artist for their vision in creating a monument that pays tribute to the volunteers who edit Wikipedia. He also expressed thanks to the world of volunteers Wikipedia and the other Wiki projects made possible, as well as the volunteers for participation in this ceremony. After the speeches, mayor Ciszewicz and Mihran Hakobyan unveiled the statue which immediately became the centre of attention.

Was the ceremony successful? In the words of professor Dariusz Jemielniak: “It was a great event! Truly professionally organized, and well-executed. Mr. Wojciechowski has been following his dream for many years, and with the support from the local mayor and authorities made history in a way that will be difficult to match within the Wikimedia movement. I believe that Słubice should become a regular meet-up place for Wikimedians from the CEE region, especially from Poland and Germany, and the local infrastructure (hotels, restaurants, as well as university halls run by people friendly to our movement) make it a perfect focal point. I hope to come back!”

Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska, Wikimedia Poland

Wojciech Pędzich, Wikimedia Poland

by wikimediablog at November 11, 2014 03:33 AM

Wikimedia supports the Lyon Declaration and Access to Knowledge

“WikiReaders at Sinenjongo” by Pamrob3, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Wikimedia Foundation is proud to join the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development which calls for United Nations member states to provide all people the ability to access and share knowledge. After all, this speaks to the ambition of the Wikimedia movement: sharing the sum of all human knowledge to all people around the world.

Wikipedia provides a vast wealth of free knowledge to the world—more than 33 million articles in more than 280 languages—and allows anyone to contribute to or improve this collection. But as a movement that exists largely online, achieving our mission depends on people’s connection to communications infrastructure that is unfortunately not equally available to all.

Our support for the Lyon Declaration is part of our efforts to make Wikipedia available across the digital divide, including several community initiatives to provide offline access to Wikipedia. Starting in 2004, a group of English Wikipedia contributors began curating a collection of the best Wikipedia articles for distribution on CD or DVD, for places where access to the internet is limited or unavailable. Today, the Kiwix project makes it easier to download a compressed version of Wikipedia, enabling distribution through One Laptop Per Child, SOS Children’s Villages, and other programs supporting the use of inexpensive Wikipedia reader devices.

Even when an internet connection is available, it may not be affordable. In many parts of the world mobile phones are more common than desktop computers, but the cost of mobile data can be prohibitively high. To help ensure that those phones can be used to access and participate in knowledge creation we started Wikipedia Zero, offering mobile access to Wikipedia free of charge through commitments from mobile service providers in developing countries. Today, Wikipedia Zero helps extend access to information to more than 400 million users who may otherwise be unable to afford it. It is part of the broader access to knowledge movement to reduce barriers to knowledge, including poverty and limited internet connectivity[1].

We hope that the Lyon Declaration will further advance this movement across the globe. The Declaration urges nations to adopt a development agenda to address the inequality in access to information. This is a monumental challenge, and as the Declaration rightly asserts, it will require cooperation among a community of nations, civil society organizations, and private sector groups. We are happy to be among those groups, along with Wikimedia UK, Wikimedia Italy, and hundreds of other like-minded organizations that share a vision of increased access to knowledge. As part of this community that is working to spread free knowledge, we hope to see a global commitment to provide everyone the opportunity to connect to the internet and share.

Stephen LaPorte, Legal Counsel
Yana Welinder, Legal Counsel

  1. We discussed this work with Yale ISP fellow BJ Ard in a talk at Wikimania 2014 in London.

by maherwiki at November 11, 2014 01:22 AM

November 08, 2014

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Ze setkání Education Collaborative v Edinburghu

Education Collaborative 2014 v plné kráse

Education Collaborative 2014 v plné kráse

Jelikož je víkend, rozhodl jsem se koncipovat oficiální zprávu ze setkání Education Collaborative ve skotském Edinburghu poměrně neoficiálně a neformálně. Spíše než cokoliv jiného, berte to prosím jako zamyšlení nad Global Education programem nadace Wikimedia Foundation a jejím vztahem k našemu projektu Studenti píší Wikipedii. Je to také zpráva o části světa, kde nadace Wikimedia bez vážnějších problémů spolupracuje s pobočkami z celého světa (a pobočky spolupracují i mezi sebou navzájem).

Education Cooperative byla ustavena na začátku roku 2014 z iniciativy Wikimedia Foundation jako seskupení klíčových projektů z celého světa, které navazují spolupráci mezi vysokými školami a Wikipedií. První setkání se odehrálo v Praze za účasti zástupců projektů z Nepálu, Spojených států, Ukrajiny, Česka, Velké Británie, Srbska, Kanady, Izraele, Egypta, Jordánska i Mexika. Od té doby se toho poměrně mnoho změnilo. Vyjma drobné změny v názvu (nyní „Education Collaborative“) se  členové tohoto uskupení mezi sebou dobře znají a rozumí specifikům jednotlivých projektů. A to i přesto, že se někteří členové vyměnili – Rod Dunican, který šéfoval nadačnímu Education programu, odešel za jinými profesními výzvami a na jeho postu ho vystřídala Floor Koudijs. Část původního Rodova týmu navíc z nadace Wikimedia odešla a založila vlastní skupinu – Wiki Education Foundation, jejímž cílem je výhradně podpora amerických a kanadských programů. Floor Koudijs tak na jednu stranu musí budovat nový tým, na stranu druhou má uvolněné ruce a může se soustředit výhradně na globální iniciativu.

Pro mě osobně bylo setkání ve skotském Edinburghu pikantní i tím, že jsem opět na „meeting“ Education Collaborative nemusel cestovat. Na počátku roku jsem se zúčastnil pražského setkání a nyní, když jsem na soukromém studijním pobytu ve Velké Británii, jsem to měl opět do Edinburghu jen hodinu vlakem. Jsem tak pravděpodobně nejlevnějším členem Education Collaborative vůbec :-).

Setkání se odehrálo na pozadí EduWiki konference, jedné z prvních velkých událostí pořádaných Wikimedia UK ve Skotsku. Tak jako v Česku, i ve Velké Británii je velké téma přenášet iniciativy „z hlavního města“ do vzdálenějších měst státu – možná tím spíše, že Skotsko nedávno rozhodlo o své nesamostatnosti a pro Wikimedia UK se otevřela motivace něco se zapojením Skotska do hnutí Wikimedia udělat. Na EduWiki se prezentovaly aktivity britské pobočky v oblasti vzdělávání – mimo jiné spolupráce s profesními organizacemi, ale i waleský „Wikipedian in Residence“.

A co jsme na setkání probírali? Od minulého setkání se podařilo výrazně vylepšit web věnovaný celosvětovému hnutí Education  a dobrým odrazovým můstkem je zejména graficky pojatý seznam zemí zapojujících Wikipedii do výuky. To umožní pracovat členům Education Collaborative v jednotlivých oblastech zájmu. Já se třeba společně se srbským a uruguayským protějškem budu zabývat tím, jak pomáhat (mentorovat) ostatním education programům ve světě. Těch je několik desítek, ale mnohdy by jim pomohla rada či dvě, jak své projekty organizovat či jak například získat grantové finanční prostředky.

Doufejme, že se nám to alespoň trochu podaří a mapa education programů se bude stále více modrat.

by Vojtěch Dostál at November 08, 2014 03:38 PM

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Creative writing using Wikipedia: Suzanne Fox

Suzanne Fox
(“Suzanne Fox” by Suzanne Fox, under CC-BY-SA-3.0)

After working on Wall Street for more than a decade, Suzanne Fox decided it was time to follow her calling in creative writing. She left behind writing marketing materials to embark on writing fictional novels. Fox set her mind on writing a literary novel set in 1850s Great Britain, but found it challenging to write prolifically about an era she has never known. That’s when she turned to Wikipedia for inspiration, and found that she could relive some of the past she was looking for.

For Fox, who is now 59 years old, the process of writing a novel begins with an abstract idea of a scene she wants to describe. Then the details of the scene are filled in with descriptions from Wikipedia articles she has read. Fox defines this process as “taking ownership of that place and turning it back into an imaginary place.”

“[Wikipedia] is my go-to starting place for the information that I need for that scene,” says Fox, who now lives in Vero Beach, Florida. “I can also make use of the external links, which is a really helpful thing for me.”

Each of Fox’s characters (depending on the era they are set in) are researched carefully on aspects as simple as how they are going from one place to the other. For instance, she looks up details on carriages that could have assisted transportation during the Victorian era.

“As a writer who wants to write something that feels authentic, and to live inside a character’s head, you’re inevitably living inside not only their head, but their corset, their clothing, you know, their hat, their carriage, their house,” says Fox.

In an attempt to be as historically accurate as possible, Fox has researched the dates of events related to her characters on Wikipedia. Once she was writing about the 1850s and had to reconsider introducing the crinoline petticoat because it was invented after when her book took place.

Growing up in New Jersey and later moving to Manhattan, Fox has always found herself in “a place [with] research opportunities galore.” After graduating with an art history degree from Douglass College, Fox started working for a firm as a marketing writer.

“But at a certain point I realized that this was not really, you know, my soul and I started doing my own writing. I started out writing poetry of all things.” says Fox.

She left her position and pursued a masters degree in poetry at Columbia University. There were three compelling reasons she was drawn to poetry:

“The good thing about poetry not having money attached to it for the most part [is] that there’s no real reason not to be authentic… I think poetry is about a delight in language and kind of about the selection of language and the beauty of the English language. So for that reason also, it was deeply nurturing to me.”

But Fox says she surprised herself by working on a memoir rather than poetry after graduation. After completing her masters, she began to work on her first book, “Home Life: A Journey of Rooms and Recollections” which was published in 1997 and had been inspired by the many houses she had been living in.

As a writer, Fox has found herself acquainted with various time periods that prompt her to read about on Wikipedia. For instance, when she was editing and contributing to a novel about 17th century Ireland, she found herself imagining scenes and reading Wikipedia articles to flesh out the details.

“I think it’s the history, I think it’s the fence of uniqueness in each one that the way people live in places and decorate places, the kind of art form of it, it’s formed the core of all of my writing,” says Fox.

Researching artifacts and events that are no longer contemporary seem easier with Wikipedia now, but Fox says she remembers a time when researching the past wasn’t so easy. She cites “the lack of ability to cite quick facts,” as challenging to her research before Wikipedia.

“With Wikipedia I think, you get the best of both worlds,” Fox explains. On one hand, she appreciates the immediacy of being able to find articles that are easy to comprehend. On the other hand she enjoys bookmarking articles that she wants to refer to later. Her latest reads include: looking up bloomers, reading about John Thompson, Augustus Egg and many other historical figures.

Fox has felt inclined to support Wikipedia financially and makes regular donations to Wikimedia.

“I feel more connected to Wikipedia, thinking of myself as somebody who is a contributor to it,” says Fox. “And there’s a value in that, a reminder that I have power to support something.”

“What spoke to me [was] this incredible resource that I’m benefiting from and it takes money to do this even when it’s something that people are contributing to for free,” says Fox. “[Having] Wikipedia is like having the best reference librarian in the world.”

Profile by Yoona Ha, Communications Intern
Interview by Victor Grigas, Wikimedia Foundation Storyteller

2014-11-07: Edited to correct the place of upbringing and the description of “Home Life”

by wikimediablog at November 08, 2014 06:57 AM

November 07, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Cleaning up file metadata, for humans and robots

A short while after Wikipedia was created in 2001, contributors started to upload pictures to the site to illustrate articles. Over the years, Wikimedians have accumulated over 22 million files on Wikimedia Commons, the central media repository that all Wikimedia sites can pull from. In addition, nearly 2.5 million other files are spread out across hundreds of individual wikis.

MediaWiki, the software platform used for Wikimedia sites, wasn’t originally designed for multimedia content. We’ve made good progress with better upload tools, for example, but the underlying system still very much focuses on text.

On MediaWiki, each file has a file description page that contains all the information (“metadata”) related to the picture: what it depicts, who the author is, what rights and limitations are associated with it, etc. Many wikis have developed templates (reusable bits of wikicode) to organize such file metadata, but a lot of information is still unstructured in plain wikitext.

The Wikimedia Foundation recently launched an initiative to develop a new underlying system for file metadata using the same technology powering Wikidata. This project is still in the early stages, and even when it becomes available, it will take a long time to migrate the existing metadata to structured data.

The goal of the File metadata cleanup drive is to make the migration process for those 24+ million files less tedious, by making sure that robots can process most of the files automatically.

MrMetadata is a dashboard tracking, for each wiki, the proportion of files whose metadata is readable by robots, and listing those that need fixing.

The goal of the File metadata cleanup drive is to make the migration process for those 24+ million files less tedious, by making sure that robots can process most of the files automatically.

Machine-readable data also makes it easier to reuse Wikimedia content consistently with best practices for attribution. Examples of tools that use existing machine-readable data include the stockphoto gadget on Commons, WikiWand and Media Viewer. The PDF generator and offline readers like Kiwix are other tools that will benefit from this effort.

Evolution of the file description page

The upcoming Structured data project aims to build a system where you edit the metadata using a form, you view it in a nice format, and robots can understand the content and links between items.

With structured data, robots will know exactly what field refers to what kind of information. This will make it easier for humans to search and edit metadata.

With Structured data, robots will know exactly what field refers to what kind of information. This will make it easier for humans to search and edit metadata.

Many files on Wikimedia Commons aren’t actually very far from that model. Many files have an “Information template”, a way to organize the different parts of the metadata on the page. Information templates were originally created to display metadata in a consistent manner across files, but they also make it possible to make the information easier to read for robots.

This is achieved by adding machine-readable markers to the HTML code of the templates. Those markers say things like “this bit of text is the description”, and “this bit of text is the author”, etc. and robots can pick these up to understand what humans have written.

This situation is ideal for the migration, because it tells robots exactly how to handle the bits of metadata and which field they belong to.

Current information and license templates can be read by machines if they contain special markers. Robots will be able to migrate many files to structured data automatically if they use those templates.

Current information and license templates can be read by machines if they contain special markers. Robots will be able to migrate many files to structured data automatically if they use those templates.

If the machine-readable markers aren’t present, the robots need to guess which field corresponds to which type of content. This makes it more difficult to read the metadata, and their parsing of the text is less accurate. The good news is that by just adding a few markers to the templates, all the files that use the template will automatically become readable for robots.

If a file contains information and license templates, but they don't have the special markers, it's difficult for robots to migrate it. Fortunately, it's easy to add the special markers.

If a file contains information and license templates, but they don’t have the special markers, it’s difficult for robots to migrate it. Fortunately, it’s easy to add the special markers.

Things become fuzzier for robots when the information isn’t organized with templates. In this case, robots just see a blob of text and have no idea what the metadata is saying. This means that the migration has to be made entirely by human hands.

If the file's metadata only contains wikitext, we need to organize the content by adding an information and a license template manually. Those templates need to contain the special markers.

If the file’s metadata only contains wikitext, we need to organize the content by adding an information and a license template manually. Those templates need to contain the special markers.

Fixing files and templates

Many files across wikis are in one of the latter states that aren’t readable by robots, and about 700,000 files on Commons are missing an information template as well. In order to fix them so they can be easily migrated in the future requires, we need an inventory of files missing machine-readable metadata.

That’s where MrMetadata comes into play. MrMetadata (a wordplay on Machine-Readable Metadata) is a dashboard tracking, for each wiki, the proportion of files that are readable by robots. It also provides an exhaustive list of the “bad” files, so we know which ones to fix.

Each wiki storing images has a dedicated dashboard showing the proportion of files with machine-readable metadata, and providing a list of the files to fix.

Each wiki storing images has a dedicated dashboard showing the proportion of files with machine-readable metadata, and providing a list of the files to fix.

Once the files have been identified, a multilingual how-to explains how to fix the files and the templates. Fixing template is easy: you just add a few machine-readable markers, and you’re done. For example, the English Wikivoyage went from 9% to 70% in just a few weeks. Fixing individual files requires more manual work, but there are tools that make this less tedious.

Get involved

The multilingual how-to provides a step-by-step guide to fixing files and templates. It's currently available in more than a dozen languages.

The multilingual how-to provides a step-by-step guide to fixing files and templates. It’s currently available in more than a dozen languages.

If you’d like to help with this effort, you can look for your wiki on MrMetadata, bookmark the link, and start going through the list. By looking at the files, you’ll be able to determine if if has a template (where you can add markers) or if you need to add the template as well.

If you add markers to the templates, wait a couple of days for MrMetadata to update, so you can see the remaining files missing machine-readable information. The multilingual how-to provides a step-by-step guide to fixing files and templates.

Adding special markers to the templates can improve metadata readability very quickly. The English Wikivoyage went from 9% to 70% of "good" files in just a few weeks.

Adding special markers to the templates can improve metadata readability very quickly. The English Wikivoyage went from 9% to 70% of “good” files in just a few weeks.

The Wikimedia Foundation is starting this cleanup effort, and you’re encouraged to help on Commons and on your wiki. Ultimately, the decisions in the transition to machine-readable templates will be up to you.

I’m going to be available as a resource for volunteers who need support. If you have questions or encounter odd edge cases, you can contact me on IRC (I’m guillom in the #wikimedia channel on freenode), on the cleanup drive’s talk page, on the tech ambassadors mailing list, or via EmailUser.

Starting next week, I’ll also be holding “Cleanup Wednesdays”, with several IRC support sessions during the day to rotate across time zones. The first sessions (listed at IRC office hours) will be happening on Wednesday, November 12 at 18:00 (UTC), and a few hours later on Thursday, November 13 at 04:00 (UTC).

I’m hoping that you’ll join this effort to organize file metadata and make it more readable for robots, in order to make the future transition to structured data as painless as possible for humans.

Guillaume Paumier, Wikimedia Foundation

by Guillaume Paumier at November 07, 2014 11:55 PM

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Dokumentarista Jiří Pálka uvolnil svá videa o české historii i přírodních poměrech

<video class="wp-video-shortcode" controls="controls" height="320" id="video-1430-1" preload="metadata" width="400"><source src="http://blog.wikimedia.cz/wp-content/2014/11/chomutov-cut-1080.mp4?_=1" type="video/mp4">http://blog.wikimedia.cz/wp-content/2014/11/chomutov-cut-1080.mp4</video>

Ukázka z videa o historii Chomutova.
Licence: CC BY SA 4.0, autor: Jiří Pálka (A-video)

Jiří Pálka, český režisér – dokumentarista, uvolnil svá videa o historii českých měst a o geologických poměrech západních Čech. Stalo se tak s asistencí členů Wikimedia ČR, kteří vysvětlili princip a podmínky na české Wikipedii a objasnili licenční a technické požadavky na videomateriály. Díky této spolupráci se v první fázi povedlo nahrát čtyři videa provázející městy Mladou Boleslaví, Chomutovem a Plzní. Videa mají přibližně 20 minut a vysvětlují především historické poměry v daných městech, ale nejen to, také např. zmiňují významné architektonické památky. Dále byla na úložiště Wikimedia Commons darována čtyři videa o geologických poměrech v západních Čechách, v tzv. Česko-bavorském geoparku. Článek Česko-bavorský geopark ještě neexistuje, ale až v blízké budoucnosti vznikne, bude doplněn nádhernými videomateriály o vulkanismu, lázeňství i těžbě nerostů v této cenné geologické oblasti. Veškerá videa naleznou zájemci v kategorii Videos donated by Jiří Pálka. V budoucnu budeme ve spolupráci s Jiřím Pálkou pokračovat.

Spolupráci s jednotlivci, ochotnými darovat své fotografie či videomateriály Wikipedii, považujeme za velmi důležitou. Formálně takové aktivity spadají pod projekt GLAM, pojmenovaný zkratkou slov „Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums“. Na začátku tohoto roku se takto podařilo získat např. rozsáhlý fotografický archiv lékaře Josefa Reischiga (více informací zde). Takové příklady ukazují cestu i ostatním následovníkům a mohou tedy inspirovat další fotografy k uvolnění svých materiálů.

Obecně platí, že nejjednodušší je o uvolnění materiálů pod svobodnou licencí vyjednávat s vlastníky autorských práv. Platí sice, že města, která si výrobu těchto videí od dokumentaristy Jiřího Pálky zadala, mají zájem o jejich použití na Wikipedii, ale je velmi těžké přes magistráty dostat se k původním autorům. Vyjednávat přímo s autorem je pro nás mnohem praktičtější.

Děkujeme Jiřímu Pálkovi za darování videomateriálů pod svobodnou licencí.

by Vojtěch Dostál at November 07, 2014 11:12 AM

November 06, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

50 hours of art in Wikipedia: the Museo Soumaya editathon

Wikipedians arriving with luggage to the museum.
”Segundo Editatón Soumaya Abierto 17″ by ProtoplasmaKid under CC-BY-SA-4.0

File:Mensaje de Lila Tretikov sobre el editatón de 50 horas en el Museo Soumaya de la Ciudad de México.webm

Opening message by Lila Tretikov, executive director of the WMF.

Héctor Palhares curator; Laura Huerta, curator an Alfonso Miranda, head of the museum.
”Segundo Editatón Soumaya Abierto 19″ by ProtoplasmaKid, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

The Wikipedians received also guided tours to help their editions.
”Segundo Editatón Soumaya Abierto – Dia dos – 6″ by ProtoplasmaKid, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

Museum staff actively supported throughout the event.
”Segundo Editatón Soumaya Abierto – Dia dos – 4″ by ProtoplasmaKid, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

Tracking the 50 hours continuous editions.
”Segundo Editatón Soumaya Abierto – Dia tres – 6″ by ProtoplasmaKid, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

Liam Wyatt, long time GLAMer, giving a talk about cultural partnering history in Wikimedia movement.
”Segundo Editatón Soumaya Abierto – Dia tres – 5″ by ProtoplasmaKid, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

All the talks in English were translated to Spanish.
”Segundo Editatón Soumaya Abierto – Dia dos – 21″ by ProtoplasmaKid, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

Alfonso Miranda, head of the museum, giving a guided tour through the exhibition about Sophia Loren’s 80th birthday.
”Segundo Editatón Soumaya Abierto – Dia tres – 5″ by ProtoplasmaKid, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

Talk about Wikimedia and internet in Mexican cultural sector.
”Segundo Editatón Soumaya Abierto – Dia tres – 46″ by ProtoplasmaKid, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

We had the rare chance to visit a museum overnight, as Wikipedians, guided by experts. We definitely never thought we would eat and sleep inside the museum for over two days! This opportunity materialized during the last weekend in September, at Mexico City’s Soumaya Museum in Plaza Carso. The editathon, Soumaya Abierto, 50 horas de arte (“Open Soumaya, 50 hours of Art”), was a 50-hour marathon of continuous Wikipedia editing in several languages, lasting from September 26 -28th. It was longest continuous editathon ever recorded in the movement, with 64 new articles created in several languages, and over 1,100 total edits to the Wikimedia projects were made.

The museum is host to a private collection of over 66,000 pieces, spanning six centuries of art from Mexico and around the world. It’s the only museum in Mexico City open 365 days a year, (from 10am-7pm) and it is free of charge. For this editathon, the museum kept its doors open for Wikipedians and the general public throughout the 50 hours. During the weekend, the museum was attended by 10,342 visitors. Several activities happened during these days, including conferences, guided tours, plays and a special program for us Wikipedians. We also offered intensive workshops for beginners about basic Wikipedia editing. We were honored to share this time with the people working at the museum: the director, curators, researchers and tour guides who stood beside us in the titanic effort of working 50 hours straight, writing and sharing in a unique cultural experience, both in Mexico and the Wikimedia movement.

The editathon required two months of intensive logistical planning between the museum’s staff and the local Wikipedian-in-Residence, Iván Martínez. There were five pre-event workshops and two talks about Wikipedia and its collaborations with cultural institutions. It’s worth noting that these talks were given to staff members who weren’t directly involved with content creation during the event itself.

Friday, September 26th

On Friday afternoon, Wikipedians began arriving at the museum with suitcases, tents, sleeping bags, pillows and blankets. They were ready to start editing! The event started at 6pm with a guided tour of all the halls and permanent collections by Héctor Palhares Meza, curator of the museum.

Shortly before 8pm we had everything ready to go: books, computers, power, internet, coffee, snacks and the excitement we had been storing up since the event was first announced.

The formal inauguration began with a brief speech by Alfonso Miranda Márquez, Director of Museo Soumaya, followed by Iván Martínez, who is also the President of the Wikimedia Mexico (WMMX) chapter. The event unveiled the new design of the museum’s website and we screened a recorded message by Lila Tretikov, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation.

We are so proud to partner with institutions like Museo Soumaya as part of our ongoing relationships with the world’s leading galleries, libraries,archives, and museums [...]. I want to thank the organizers of this event, the incredible team at Wikimedia Mexico. You inspire me with your creativity and commitment. Lila Tretikov, Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation

At exactly 8pm, Alfonso Miranda marked the official start of the editathon among thunderous applause. We had a long stretch of work ahead of us.

The initial list had approximately 50 new articles and a few more marked for improvements. The museum’s staff had active participation with us during the whole event; researchers, curators, restorers, museographers, tour guides and the museum director himself were with us to teach us, assist us with polishing the text, find reputable sources and even showing us the history, details, and influences of several artists and pieces.

We kept a tally of major edits in a whiteboard. Eight expert WMMX editors kept up with whiteboard duty, and also served as Wikipedia consultants/ teachers to the assistants.

We had hot food and drinks provided to us during the 50 hours, including snacks so we could edit without worrying or stopping. The museum went above and beyond, and offered an additional program for the Wikipedians, including a play, dramatized tours and a special visit to a TV studio (UnoTV), while a team stayed editing the whole time.

Saturday, September 27th

Just after midnight, the Wikipedians who signed up to write about impressionist artists and paintings met for a specialized tour about Impressionism, Monet and Degas. In this tour we learned about the artists and their lives, dates and cultural contexts. On our way down, the guides stayed with us to help us with specific questions and recommended several books to get information from, before helping us with the edits themselves.

Around 2am, we started our sleeping rotation so that there would always be a team editing while the rest slept, bathed, and ate. The tally was updated every hour. The museum staff wore badges in which they specified their areas of expertise in particular artists or artistic movements.

We were seated in six tables roughly grouped by theme, but we were constantly moving, not only to help each other in editing, but to interact, to create new friendships and renew old ones.

The first night shift consisted of four Wikipedians, who kept on editing throughout the night until the next shift slept, bathed and had breakfast. At 8am the smell of hot coffee woke us up and signaled the night shift to go and get some rest.

At 10am we started the first of six workshops we would conduct during the event. We paused the workshop briefly to assist with the videoconference, “Collaboration between Wikimedia and Cultural Institutions” by Jonathan Cardy, GLAM Organizer at Wikimedia UK. Unfortunately, there were several connectivity issues that made simultaneous translation impossible.

The next workshop was given by Herminia Din, from the American Alliance of Museums, about museums and online learning. The Anchorage University academic showed us how the Alliance is developing platforms for online learning with museums and education institutions in the United States. Then came Liam Wyatt, coordinator of cultural alliances at Europeana, who spoke about the history of the collaborations within the GLAM movement.

The guided tours, edits and photographs came one after another: Van Gogh, Gauguin, Camille Claudel, Landecio, José María Velasco, Tintoretto, El Greco, Rubens, Mannerism, Expressionism, Baroque — it all went in through our eyes, out through our fingers, on to our keyboards and then to Wikipedia.

Late at night, the Museum Director, Alfonso Miranda Márquez, guided us on a tour to the temporary exhibition “Sophia Loren México. Ayer, hoy y mañana” (“Sophia Loren in Mexico. Yesterday, today and tomorrow”), finishing off our Saturday with a very pleasant experience learning about the life and work of the diva.

Sunday 28th

In the afternoon, there was a talk about the conservation efforts made by the museum, by Sergio Sandoval Arias and Pilar Leñero Llaca. One of the members of WMMX’s board, Alan Lazalde, also gave a talk about Open Culture and Hacker Culture. Then came Agustín Peña, of the radio station Ibero 90.9; Jorge Martínez Micher, Mexico City Secretary of Culture, and Alfonso Miranda sharing their experiences on internet, digital resources and their own activities in the cultural sector of Mexico.

For Alfonso Mirando, the editathon is “…an effort in joint efforts, cross-discipline teams and, above all, vehement work on building open knowledge. (…) knowledge that is shared in a transparent way, without protagonists, without the idea of, I’m the one who creates [knowledge] and I protect it as mine.”

Even though we were all tired, we never faltered and were ready for the final hours. The teams were alternating between brief visits to the museum and editing. The last part of the editathon was held up mostly by the research and curator staff of the museum, who helped us with fact-checking and style corrections. At 10:01pm everyone present began the countdown, New-Year style, marking the end of the challenge. The museum recognized the most prolific editors with a few gifts and we celebrated with a closing cocktail party.

The interest from galleries, archives, libraries, museums and cultural spaces in Wikimedia projects has increased in these last few years, thanks to the work of the volunteers of the Mexican chapter. Museo Soumaya, part of the Carlos Slim Foundation, has decided to work in alliance with Wikimedia Mexico, and to become a museum that embraces Wikipedia as one of its most important projects. We extend a formal invitation to all Mexican cultural institutions to join us in collaborations with the Wikimedia projects.

Elements of success

  • Surpassing 50 hours of continuous editing. This requires precise control of the edits per hour and preplanning content between Wikipedians and the museum staff.
  • Supportive museum staff during each hour of the event for answering questions.
  • The museum was open to the public for 50 continuous hours. This is not common in Mexico City.
  • Dedicated Wikipedian-in-Residence, first in Mexico and second in Spanish-speaking countries.
  • Pre-event trainings attended by all the staff, not only those who edited during the event.
  • Having a list of articles to create in advance, curated by both Wikipedian-in-residence and staff
  • Compiled resources at a temporary library near to the main area of edition.

Salvador Alcántar, Carmen Alcázar, Iván Martínez

Translation by Andrés Cruz y Corro

Wikimedia Mexico

by wikimediablog at November 06, 2014 02:22 AM

November 05, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

First Wikipedian in Residence in a European University

File:Viquimarató Estudis Catalans.webm

Josep-Anton Fernàndez, academic director of the MA in Catalan Studies, explains motivation for holding Catalan Studies Edit-a-thon.

The Catalan Studies Edit-a-thon closed the first stage of a pioneer collaboration project between Amical Wikimedia and Open University of Catalonia.

The Open University of Catalonia (UOC after its Catalan initials) was a pioneer in on-line education back in the mid-nineties, and has always had a strong inclination to educational innovation. In early March, talks started and an agreement was quickly reached between UOC and Amical Wikimedia to create the first Wikipedian in Residence in a European University, and only the second worldwide after the University of California at Berkeley.

Amical Wikimedia is proud to collaborate with most of the universities in the Catalan-speaking territories, and strongly believes that the future of Wikimedia belongs to education, a field in which we are currently devoting our strongest efforts. We recently produced a memorandum on the work of the Wikipedian in Residence. The Wikipedian in Residence focused on curating the high-quality educational or research materials already produced by UOC on a regular basis under Creative Commons licensing. These materials have been listed so that Wikipedia editors can use them to complete articles or create new ones. Faculty, students, librarians, and administrative staff, have all learned about Wikipedia’s principles and how they apply to the university and their activities. According to Teresa Férriz, UOC project manager and co-creator of Viquilletra, “Wikipedia is an excellent tool to disseminate the knowledge generated within the University, not only by teachers and researchers but also by graduate and postgraduate students. We’re exploring different possibilities, and the Wikipedian in Residence has helped us to answer our first questions.” We aim to continue this collaboration in the next academic year, including new material liberation and curation, seminars with faculty, new wiki educational projects, and Wikipedia workshops with students.

We are very pleased to verify that the perception of Wikipedia among faculty members has dramatically changed, at least among our partners. Those days in which they warned students about “unreliable” contents “that anyone can edit” seem to be long gone. The involvement of associations like Amical Wikimedia helps get us nearer to a future in which Wikipedia and universities become even closer allies.

UOC and Amical Wikimedia have been developing different wiki projects in recent years, particularly several short teaching projects in which students are asked to create or improve articles. UOC also runs Viquilletra, a peer production environment in which students from different high schools share projects and ideas around literature works and authors. Four UOC researchers have been involved in the last three years in a project called wiki4he (wiki for higher education). They aim to analyze the use of Internet open contents, and particularly Wikipedia, for university teaching. They also intend to explore and propose new ways of using these resources in learning processes while learning about attitudes and practices of university faculty on Wikipedia. Eduard Aibar, UOC professor and leader of wiki4he said, “Wikipedia is a major channel for the public communication of science and thus it has become crucial for scientists and researchers from all disciplines to be involved in the improvement of its contents.”[1]

According to Josep-Anton Fernàndez, associate professor of Catalan literature and culture, and academic director of the MA in Catalan Studies at the UOC, who co-organized the Catalan Studies Edit-a-thon, “Collaborating with Amical Wikimedia and the Wikipedia not only allows us to strengthen our academic community through initiatives like the Catalan Studies Edit-a-thon, but also helps us fulfill our role in producing knowledge about Catalan culture and disseminating it worldwide, while reinforcing the interdisciplinary character of our programmes.”

The Catalan Studies Edit-a-thon was a remarkable success, with around 18 editors[2], including faculty members, students, and highly-qualified experts. Participants contributed more than 160 editions to 25 articles, some of them top-rated across all language versions. We expect to use this experience to organize a more ambitious event next year, increasing the number of participants and venues.

Pep Adrian, Wikipedian in Residence at Open University of Catalonia

Footnotes

  1. Good practices in the use of Wikipedia (Catalan)
  2. Results of Catalan Studies Edit-a-thon

by wikimediablog at November 05, 2014 10:34 PM

Wikimedia Russia and Tunguska Electronic Music Society release first freely licensed 3plet album

Tunguska E.M.S. for Creative Commons

Recently, Wikimedia RU and the free music society “Tunguska E. M. S.announced the release of their first mutual album, published in the new digital format 3plet and distributed under the Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 open licence. The unique album opens with the composition “Paint It Blue Or Say It’s Sad” by EXIT project – the Russian art-stage star.

3plet is a format of digital editing and distributing of musical albums combining the audio recording, visual images (as slideshow) and text. The three components constitute an application that is distributed via App Store and Google Play.

The album itself contains 12 tracks recorded by leading musicians working in the downtempo, chillout, and ambient styles – Oleg Syrenko, Olga Scotland, Aquascape, Argonika, Bigfoot, Electro-Nick, etc. Every track is followed by a picturesque slideshow: the charming depths of space, the images of other worlds, native reserve areas, mysterious natural phenomena, intricate abstract designs. One should especially mention the decoration of Bigfoot’s Tunguska M track, provided by Vitaly Romeyko, a well-known researcher of the Tunguska phenomenon, which was made out of pictures taken during his expeditions to the Tunguska region.

The text component of the album includes some extracts of Wikipedia articles having something in common with the compositions and the “spacelike” mood of the album itself. While listening to the magical music, one can learn about the brightest star in the Universe, the atmosphere of Venus, what vacuum is made of, what the difference is between a solar sail and an ordinary one, whether levitation could be really performed, what makes night so charming to our eyes, as well as the way to reach absolute zero and an euphoric feeling.

In concordance with the name of the album, all its audio, video and textual contents are being distributed under a free license. It is the first release of this kind to happen in Russia. Everybody can view this release – both Android and iOS versions are available. Download it here:

Linar Khalitov, Wikimedia Russia

Notes: Tunguska E.M.S. (Tunguska Electronic Music Society) is a free music community (an independent netlabel) existing in Germany and Russia and distributing its music under Creative Commons Licenses. It includes melodic instrumental and electronic music.

Example tracks

<audio class="wp-audio-shortcode" controls="controls" id="audio-35036-1" preload="none" style="width: 100%; visibility: hidden;"><source src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/EXIT_project_-_Paint_It_Blue_Or_Say_It%60s_Sad.ogg?_=1" type="audio/ogg">https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/EXIT_project_-_Paint_It_Blue_Or_Say_It%60s_Sad.ogg</audio>

EXIT project – Paint It Blue Or Say It’s Sad

<audio class="wp-audio-shortcode" controls="controls" id="audio-35036-2" preload="none" style="width: 100%; visibility: hidden;"><source src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/90/ARGONIKA_-_Flight_of_the_Spirit_--_Tunguska_E.M.S._for_Creative_Commons_%28track_6%29.ogg?_=2" type="audio/ogg">https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/90/ARGONIKA_-_Flight_of_the_Spirit_--_Tunguska_E.M.S._for_Creative_Commons_%28track_6%29.ogg</audio>

ARGONIKA – Flight of the Spirit — Tunguska E.M.S. for Creative Commons (track 6)

Gallery

"Tunguska E.M.S. for Creative Commons (track 11, pic.14)" by David Revoy / Blender Foundation, under CC-BY-SA-3.0 "Tunguska E.M.S. for Creative Commons (track 8, pic.9)" by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, under CC-Zero 1.0 "Tunguska E.M.S. for Creative Commons (track 11, pic.8)" by David Revoy / Blender Foundation, under CC-BY-SA-3.0 "Tunguska E.M.S. for Creative Commons (track 3, pic.6)" by tpsdave / David Mark, under CC-Zero 1.0 "Tunguska E.M.S. for Creative Commons (track 11, pic.7)" by David Revoy / Blender Foundation, under CC-BY-SA-3.0 "Tunguska E.M.S. for Creative Commons (track 2, pic.6)" by Public Domain CC0 WikiImages, under CC-Zero 1.0 "Tunguska E.M.S. for Creative Commons (track 11, pic.4)" by David Revoy / Blender Foundation, under CC-BY-SA-3.0 "Tunguska E.M.S. for Creative Commons (track 4, pic.9)" by Public Domain CC0 WikiImages, under CC-Zero 1.0 "Tunguska E.M.S. for Creative Commons (track 11, pic.2)" by David Revoy / Blender Foundation, under CC-BY-SA-3.0 "Tunguska E.M.S. for Creative Commons (track 1, pic.1)" by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

by wikimediablog at November 05, 2014 08:45 AM

November 04, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Updates in MediaWiki internationalization reflect changes from CLDR

CLDR, the Common Locale Data Repository project from the Unicode Consortium, provides translated locale-specific information like language names, country names, currency, date/time etc. that can be used in various applications. This library, used across several platforms, is particularly useful in maintaining parity of locale information in internationalized applications. In MediaWiki, the CLDR extension provides localized data and functions that can be used by developers.

The CLDR project constantly updates and maintains this database and publishes it twice a year. The information is periodically reviewed through a submission and vetting process. Individual participants and organisations can contribute during this process to improve and add to the CLDR data. The most recent version of CLDR was released in September 2014.

An important part of the CLDR data are the rules that impact how plurals are handled within the grammar of a language. In CLDR versions 25 and 26, plural rules for several languages were altered. These changes have already been incorporated in MediaWiki, which was still using rules from CLDR version 24.

The affected languages are: Russian (ru), Abkhaz (ab), Avaric (av), Bashkir (ba), Buryat (bxr), Chechen (ce), Crimean Tatar (crh-cyrl), Chuvash (cv), Inguish (inh), Komi-Permyak (koi), Karachay-Balkar (krc), Komi (kv), Lak (lbe), Lezghian (lez), Eastern Mari (mhr), Western Mari (mrj), Yakut (sah), Tatar (tt), Tatar-Cyrillic (tt-cyrl), Tuvinian (tyv), Udmurt (udm), Kalmyk (xal), Prussian (prg), Tagalog (tl), Manx (gv), Mirandese (mwl), Portuguese (pt), Brazilian Portuguese (pt-br), Uyghur (ug), Lower Sorbian (dsb), Upper Sorbian (hsb), Asturian (ast) and Western Frisian (fy).

This change will have very little impact on our users. Translators, however, will have to review the user interface messages that have already been changed to include the updated plural forms. An announcement with the details of the change has also been made. The announcement also includes instructions for updating the translations for the languages mentioned above.

The CLDR MediaWiki extension, which provides convenient abstraction for getting country names, language names etc., has also been upgraded to use CLDR 26. Universal Language Selector and CLDRPluralRuleParser libraries have been upgraded to use latest data as well.

The Wikimedia Foundation is a participating organisation in the CLDR project. Learn more about how you can be part of this effort.

Further reading about CLDR and its use in Wikimedia internationalization projects:

  1. http://laxstrom.name/blag/2014/01/05/mediawiki-i18n-explained-plural/
  2. http://thottingal.in/blog/2014/05/24/parsing-cldr-plural-rules-in-javascript/

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

by Guillaume Paumier at November 04, 2014 05:17 PM

Announcing the second version of the Content Translation tool

A few months back, the Language Engineering team of the Wikimedia Foundation announced the availability of the first version of the Content Translation tool, with machine translation support from Spanish to Catalan. The response from the Catalan Wikipedia editors was overwhelming and nearly 200 articles have already been created using the tool.

We have now enabled support for translating across Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan using Apertium as the machine translation back-end system. This extends our Spanish-to-Catalan initial launch.

The Content Translation tool is particularly useful for multilingual editors who can create new articles from corresponding articles in another language. The tool features a minimal rich-text editor with translation tools like dictionaries and machine translation support.

The Content Translation tool car be used to translate articles more easily (here from Spanish to Portuguese). It provides features such as link cards, category adaptation (in development), and a warning to the editor when the text is coming exclusively from machine translation.

The Content Translation tool can be used to translate articles more easily (here from Spanish to Portuguese). It provides features such as link cards, category adaptation (in development), and a warning to the editor when the text is coming exclusively from machine translation.

Development for the second version was completed on September 30, 2014. Due to technical difficulties in the deployment environment, availability of the updated version of the tool was delayed. As a result, the current deployment also includes some of the planned features from the next release, which is scheduled to be complete on November 18, 2014.

Highlights from this version

Some of the features included in this version originated from feedback received from the community, either during usability testing sessions, or as comments and suggestions from our initial users. Editors from the Catalan Wikipedia provided constant feedback after the first release of the tool and also during the recent roundtable.

Highlights:

  1. Automatic adaptation of categories.
  2. Text formatting with a simple toolbar in the Chrome browser. In Firefox, this support is limited only to keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl-B for bold, Ctrl-I for italics).
  3. Bi-directional machine translation support for Spanish and Portuguese
  4. Machine translation support from Catalan to Spanish
  5. Paragraph alignment improvements to better match original and translated sentences.
  6. More accurate detection for the use of Machine Translation suggestions without further corrections, with warnings shown to the user
  7. Redesigned top bar and progress bar.
  8. Numerous bug fixes.

How to Use

To use the tool, users can visit http://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Special:ContentTranslation and make the following selections:

  • source language – the language of the article to translate from. Can be Catalan, Spanish or Portuguese.
  • target language – the language of the article you will be translating into. Can be Catalan, Spanish or Portuguese.
  • article name – the title of the article to translate.

Users can also continue using the tool from the earlier available instance at http://es.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Especial:ContentTranslation

After translation, users can publish the translation in their own namespace on the same wiki and can choose to copy the page contents to the real Wikipedia for the target language. Please visit this link for more instructions on how to create and publish a new article.

Feedback and Participation

In the next few weeks, we will be reaching out to the editors from the Catalan, Spanish and Portuguese Wikipedia communities to gather feedback and also work closely to resolve any issues.

Please let us know about your feedback through the project talk page. You can also volunteer for our testing sessions.

Runa Bhattacharjee, Wikimedia Foundation, Language Engineering team

by Guillaume Paumier at November 04, 2014 03:30 PM

A Tale of Two Copyrights: The (im)probable reform in Europe

Since July 2013, Dimitar Dimitrov is Wikimedian in Brussels. In assorted blog posts he talks about his experiences vis-à-vis the EU.

Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities. With Illustrations by H. K. Browne. London: Chapman and Hall, 1859. First edition. Photography Hablot Knight Browne, Heritage Auctions, Inc. Dallas, Texas. Public Domain

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,it was the spring of hope,it was the winter of despair…
“Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities. With Illustrations by H. K. Browne. London: Chapman and Hall, 1859. First edition. Photography Hablot Knight Browne, Heritage Auctions, Inc. Dallas, Texas. Public Domain

No, this title is not an original. It is largely copied. A derivative work that is legally unproblematic only because Mr. Dickens has been dead long enough. If I were to remix something newer, let’s say if I came up with “Pirates in the Copyright: Disney’s Chest” and included a picture and quotes from that particular work, well, that might get me into all kinds of trouble.

But copyright term lengths and how we deal with remixed content are just two of the fundamental questions we can no longer postpone. Information technology allows for sharing at virtually no cost. That is the positive promise the digital revolution has brought about. We must admit that this is a genuinely good thing and an opportunity for sustainable global development and improvement of people’s lives.

The other tale is more ambiguous. It retells the old story that every revolution brings about a new culture and new economy, but also puts out of business those who cannot adopt.

Position paper on EU Copyright Reform

The Wikimedia movement has read these two tales. We’ve suffered them, we’ve enjoyed them. We’ve experienced the practicalities, patches and peculiarities. We’ve thought, debated and worked with and around these issues for more than a decade now.

Recently, the European Wikimedia Chapters, together with a group of 18 further civil society organisations, published a Position Paper initially drafted by our EU Policy work group to be send to European Commission units responsible for intellectual property. We made four proposals that we’re convinced must be included in any meaningful copyright reform if it is to make anything fit the so-called “digital age”. These four points have one thing in common: they would drastically increase the commons and our ability to share content while leaving economic interests and thus financial profits virtually untouched. These four changes are:

  1. Harmonising copyright legislation, thereby making rules clearly understandable and reducing current legal risk
  2. Enshrining a universal Freedom of Panorama exception guaranteeing the right to use and re-use images taken in public spaces
  3. Clearly stating that publicly funded content must be public domain
  4. Growing the public domain by reducing copyright terms by 20 years (i.e. to the length set out in the currently binding international treaties)

Meanwhile in Brussels…

Even the new European Commission seems to have drawn the political conclusions from realising the inevitability of changing rules that were made with paper presses and horse-drawn carriages in mind. We are hearing that writing an actual reform proposal will take anything from 6-18 months in Brussels. This means that they’re hurrying which can only be interpreted as political pressure, at least for the moment.

After years of postponing tough decisions, the new President of the European Commission, who put copyright reform in his list of top priorities, moved the dossier and unit responsible for it to another directorate. It will no longer fall under the responsibility of the “internal market” (DG Markt), but is now housed by the Directorate-General responsible for the Digital Economy and Society and its Commissioner, the German Günther Oettinger. Overseeing Oettinger’s work will be Vice-President of the Commission Andrus Ansip from Estonia. His role is dedicated to establishing a “digital single market”, which can only mean harmonisation, which in turn is hardly possible without reforming copyright. The new composition of the European Commission and a recent Twitter hearing the Vice-President agreed to participate in give rise to some reasonable expectations that change might indeed be coming.

“Then tell Wind and Fire where to stop, but don’t tell me.”

Opponents of a copyright reform (which include, but are not limited to, publishers) are in fact not against the four points outlined above. The legal re-balancing we are proposing wouldn’t hurt the industry. They are simply against any change whatsoever, out of fear that it might be slippery slope to abolishing copyright. And while it isn’t a real intellectual challenge to argue that lack of change is much more likely to eventually kill copyright, rather than a few sensible updates, this “I will block anything that comes my way” attitude might turn out to be poisonous for reform. The only things law-makers shy away from more than bad law are unsuccessful legislative proposals.

It takes really strong-minded, shrewd and resolute politicians aided by a dedicated civil society to make things happen.

Tell them!

The good news is: optimism should derive from the fact that you can be part of that dedicated civil society that pushes its policy-makers to be resolute.

Wikimedians are working on being represented at the EU level to be part of the conversation when decisions about us and our daily work are made. By providing volunteers and supporters with necessary background knowledge, personal support and infrastructure, we’re trying to involve you in our advocacy activities!

If you prefer starting off solo, you can try contacting one of our European representatives from your region or country and warning them that a copyright reform is coming their way in about a year, while counselling them about digital culture and intellectual property. They are likely to be very busy people who have a hard time keeping track of every issues headed their way ;)

If you are a team player, please don’t hesitate to contact the coordinator from your country (and/or the Brussels project lead) to figure out what you can do together.

Alone or as an organisation you can follow Wikimedia UK’s example and snail mail decision-makers. Their response rate was impressive and snail mails are becoming less common today, showing that you’re willing to make that little bit of extra effort to gain their attention.

If you are not from or living in Europe, but you wish to engage in advocacy activities, there’s plenty to do globally. Please drop us a line and we will find a way to help each other!

Let’s lobby!

Dimitar Dimitrov, Wikimedian

by wikimediablog at November 04, 2014 03:05 PM

November 03, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Wikimedia Foundation Report, June 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.

 

Data and Trends

Global unique visitors for May:

469 million (+0.7% compared with April; -10.2% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects, not including mobile devices; comScore will release June data later in July)

Page requests for June:

20.217 billion (-0.2% compared with May; -4.4% 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 May 2014 (>= 5 mainspace edits/month, excluding bots):

80,131 (+6.5% compared with April / -1.9% compared with the previous year)
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects.)

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

http://reportcard.wmflabs.org/

(Definitions)

Financials

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Revenue and Expenses vs Plan as of May 31, 2014

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Expenses by Functions as of May 31, 2014

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

All financial information presented is for the Month-To-Date and Year-To-Date May 31, 2014.

Revenue 49,972,461
Expenses:
 Engineering Group 15,308,224
 Fundraising Group 3,392,468
 Grantmaking Group 1,696,721
 Programs Group 1,630,409
 Grants 4,104,348
 Governance Group 909,083
 Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group 4,066,924
 Finance/HR/Admin Group 6,109,383
Total Expenses 37,217,560
Total surplus (12,754,901)
in US dollars
  • Revenue for the month of May is $0.78MM versus plan of $1.67MM, approximately $0.89MM or 54% under plan.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $49.97MM versus plan of $48.40MM, approximately $1.57MM or 3% over plan.
  • Expenses for the month of May is $3.71MM versus plan of $4.49MM, approximately $0.78MM or 17% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, and FDC grants partially offset by higher legal fees, outside contract services, and travel expenses related to community convening events.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $37.22MM versus plan of $45.55MM, approximately $8.33MM or 18% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, payment processing fees, staff development expenses, grants and travel expenses partially offset by higher legal fees and outside contract services.
  • Cash and Investments – $53.13MM as of May 31, 2014.

Highlights

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

Revamped Wikipedia app for Android, and new optimized view for tablet users

The new Android Wikipedia app was released in June and is now available in the Google Play store. Core features of the app include the ability to save pages for offline reading, a record of your reading history, and the ability to edit either as a logged in user or anonymously. The app is the first mobile platform that allows anonymous editing.

Also, since June 17, users on tablets are now redirected to the new tablet-optimized mobile site; they were previously being sent to the desktop version of all Wikimedia projects. Early data suggests that this change had a positive impact on new user signup and new editor activation numbers.

Media viewer released on all wikis

In June, the multimedia team released Media Viewer v0.2 on all Wikimedia wikis, with over 20 million image views per day on those sites that are tracked. Global feedback was generally positive and helped surface a range of issues, many of which were addressed quickly. Based on this feedback, a number of new features were developed by the team: 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.

First impact assessment of FDC grants (APG)

The results of the first impact assessment for Annual Plan Grants (FDC grants) to Wikimedia organiations were published. Based on the reports of the 9 organizations funded in Round 1 of 2012-2013, the report found that organizations had strength in content-related projects, which benefitted from full time staff and consistent partnership:

  • Content development results: 12K articles improved, 168K images on Commons, and 86K other media on Commons
  • Participation improvements (new editors; active editors; retained editors) were not recorded by most organizations. But over 9000 people were touched by the programs associated with the activties of the organizations, and Wikidata (a new Wikimedia project developed by Wikimedia Deutschland) saw 3000 new active editors.

Term of Use amended with transparency requirements for paid editing

The Wikimedia Foundation published a new amendment to the Terms of Use to address disclosure of paid editing.

Engineering

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

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Engineering/Report/2014/June
Department Highlights

Major news in June include:

VisualEditor

Presentation slides about VisualEditor from the Editing team‘s quarterly review

Presentation slides from the Parsoid team’s quarterly review

In June, the VisualEditor team continued to improve this visual tool to edit wiki pages. They provided a 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 focused on increasing their simplicity and understandability. 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 (structured template documentation) was enabled on the Catalan and Hebrew Wikipedias.

Work also continued on Parsoid, the parsing system that works behind the scenes of VisualEditor to convert wikitext to annotated HTML, and vice versa. The team continued with ongoing bug fixes and bi-weekly deployments; they notably worked on improving the parsing support for some table-handling edge cases, handling nowiki tags, and making the parsing faster. They also began work on supporting language converter markup.

The Parsoid team added CSS styling to the HTML code to bring Parsoid’s HTML closer to what is produced by the PHP parser (used in MediaWiki). They continued to tweak the CSS based on rendering differences they found, and started work on generating visual diffs between screenshots of content rendered with the two methods. This initial proof-of-concept will serve as the basis of larger scale automated testing and identification of rendering diffs. Last, the LintTrap project (for the detection of broken wikitext) saw good progress and a demo application was made available.

Presentation slides on Flow from the metrics meeting for June

S Page presenting about Flow

Editor engagement

In June, the Flow team finished an architectural rewrite for the interface, to make it easier to update it in the future. The new feature in the latest 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, and the use of the new button style and the WikiGlyphs webfont.

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, as well as design enhancements like animations, a new way of drawing guider elements, updated button styles, and more. The team also launched GuidedTours on three new Wikipedias: Arabic, Norwegian, and Bengali.

Mobile

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. 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.

New appearance of the tablet-optimized mobile site.

Early data indicates that the new view on tablets is well accepted among readers – few are switching back to the old view

The Mobile web team finished work on styling the mobile site to provide a better experience for tablet users. As of June 17, users on tablets are now redirected to the new tablet-optimized mobile; they were previously being sent to the desktop version of all Wikimedia projects. Early data suggests that this change had a positive impact on new user signup and new editor activation numbers. The team 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.

During the last month, the Wikipedia Zero team activated the new code for Wikipedia Zero, by replacing replaces one monolithic piece of software by multiple smaller tools. The JsonConfig extension, which allows a wiki-driven configuration system with data validation, received significant enhancements to make it more general for other use cases.

Additionally, the team enabled lower-quality thumbnails for a live in-house Wikipedia Zero operator configuration, and finished a basic version of Wikipedia Zero for the Android and iOS Wikipedia apps. The team also supported the Wikipedia apps development by improving the network connection management in Android and iOS, and with the Find in page feature for Android.

Wikipedia Zero was launched with Airtel in Bangladesh; this is the third Zero partner in Bangladesh, and the 34th launched partner overall. The team 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. The team also met with local operators in South Africa, and operators and handset manufacturers in India.

Fundraising

Presentation slides

The Fundraising Tech team welcomed Elliott Eggleston as software engineer.

Fiscal Year Updates:

  • Recognized by GuideStar as the #2 most efficient nonprofit fundraising effort in the US.
  • Overall we generated $50.5 million in the past fiscal year.

Video message recorded by legacy donor Jim Pacha

Major Gifts and Foundations

Fiscal Year Updates:

  • Major Gifts hit their individual group goals.
  • Major Gifts fundraising events were held in New York City and London.
  • A significant legacy gift was received from Jim Pacha.

Online Fundraising

Fiscal Year Updates:

  • Moved to a year-round continuous-campaign model for banner A/B testing.
  • Launched first experiments with mobile fundraising.
  • This was our first year where we sent out emails to donors in multiple languages.

For Next Fiscal Year:

  • Continue to localize to reach more donors worldwide
  • Expand our mobile fundraising reach
  • Improve infrastructure and analysis
  • Fine tune continuous-campaign model
  • Expand email fundraising

Grantmaking

Department highlights
  • In 2013-14, we funded over 200 grants to over 66 countries.

    2013-14 Funding by location

  • 8 new grants were funded in June 2014, and 22 reports were reviewed.
  • The first impact analysis for the Annual Plan Grants program (FDC process) has been completed. The first round of funding (Round 1 2012-2013) of ~$4M resulted in lots of new content on Wikimedia projects (12K articles improved; 168K images on Commons; 86K other media on Commons).
  • The FDC’s recommendations for 2013-2014 Round 2 were approved by the WMF Board of Trustees on 30 June 2014.

Annual Plan Grants (Funds Dissemination Committee)

  • 3 new grants were funded and 12 progress reports were reviewed in June 2014.
  • The FDC’s recommendation for 2013-2014 Round 2 was approved by the WMF Board of Trustees on 30 June 2014. Three grants were approved, to Wikimedia Norge, Wikimédia France and the Centre for Internet and Society. Grant terms begin 1 July 2014.
  • The WMF Board of Trustees is seeking four new members to join the FDC. Those interested in serving have submitted nominations on Meta, and the WMF Board of Trustees will announce the shortlist of candidates in July.
  • FDC staff reviewed Q1 and Q3 progress reports that were submitted at the end of April this month: we can already see that organizations have increased their activity in the new year. Highlights include an impressive increase in program activity across all grantees as well as more targeted approaches to programs. Grantees have already achieved a lot. 792 articles in 92 languages created through Amical’s Culture Challenge, 6,589 uploaded files already supported by Wikimedia Österreich in Q1, 592 new articles created through Wikimedia Norge’s Women’s Day editing workshop, Wikimedia Argentina’s exploration with working with high school students on Wikivoyage, and an exciting partnership between Wikimedia Nederland and the Dutch National Parks. Amical Wikimedia and Wikimédia France are established in new office spaces, and we have welcomed a number of new employees to our Wikimedia community. We hope this will enable increased program activity and results in future quarters. Here are some visual highlights from the Q1 and Q3 reports we reviewed:
  • A beautiful image captured in February using equipment borrowed from Wikimedia CH.

  • EduWiki Learning Day hosted by Wikimedia Serbia, a new Annual Plan grantee.

  • Wikimedia Israel celebrates the 13th Birthday of Wikipedia at a Tel Aviv Meetup.

  • Wikimédia France discovers sports photography is motivating for its volunteers.

Project and Event Grants

Iberoconf 2013

Kolessa Phonograph Cylinders

Volunteer training, Philippine Cultural Heritage Mapping Conference

  • 4 new requests were funded and 10 reports were accepted in June 2014.
  • The Grant Advisory Committee is going through a revamp of its process – stay tuned for improved resources and pages!

Grants funded in June 2014

Reports accepted in June 2014

Travel and Participation Support

  • 1 new request was funded, and there were no reports submitted for review in June 2014.
  • Request funded for Farish C.V.’s participation at the Google I/O 2014 and Google Developers Community Summit 2014, where his talk and demos on “Developing with Wiki” discussed the many opportunities and resources available for developers on Wikipedia and future scopes for Wikipedia from a developer’s perspective.
  • Build is underway on-wiki for the TPS program pages redesign! This first TPS improvement sprint aims to increase usability of this program for more contributors, with a revamped launch in early August.

Individual Engagement Grants

  • 9 IEGrantee projects began work this month (with the remaining three 2014 round 1 selected projects aiming to start in July and August). Visit the project pages on Meta for milestones and updates over the coming months!
  • User-experience surveys are underway for the latest round of IEG proposers and reviewers. We’ll use the findings to improve the experience for future rounds.
  • IdeaLab revamp: We launched version 1 of AddMe, a Javascript Gadget making it easier to endorse and join projects in IdeaLab and other grantmaking entry points. We began developing the Form Wizard, a gadget for easily creating new project and proposal pages. Both gadgets will be implemented on several grantmaking projects on meta-wiki during the coming month, in preparation for live testing at Wikimania in August.
  • The Wikipedia Library’s Arabic book grants pilot: Promotions began on Arabic Wikipedia in June. 5 requests have been received so far, and nine books have been purchased. The team is exploring workarounds for issues with shipping and availability of books for editors in a few key countries, as not all requests have been successfully processed so far.

Learning & Evaluation

We closed out the fiscal year in June by solidifying the tools supporting the Grantmaking team (see tools section below). We are now sitting on the first year of reporting information from our new grantmaking systems (IEG, PEG, and APG) and are ready to collect and synthesize! We have done this for both the first round of IEG grantees and APG grantees, and we are in the process of reviewing the ~35 grant reports submitted through the Project & Event grants program to create a consolidated picture of the progress against our strategic goals via our movement partners funded through grantmaking.

Strategically, we are continuing to see two trends underscored:

1) Grantees are having a tough time measuring outcomes; continued standards, education, and tools for self-evaluation are needed for funded activities.
2) Global South continues to see increases in readership and all editor metrics (1+, 5+, 100+); we should continue to focus our efforts on these priority areas both financially but more importantly with supporting research (e.g., understanding editing motivations and populations).

Grants Programs

Presentation used to onboard new Executive Director to the grantmaking work and strategy

  • For APG, we performed the first impact assessment based on the reports of the 9 organizations funded in Round 1 2012-2013. We found that organizations had strength in content-related projects, which benefitted from full time staff and consistent partnership.
    • Content developed by organizations: 12K articles improved, 168K images on Commons, and 86K other media on Commons
    • Participation improvements (new editors; active editors; retained editors) were not recorded by most organizations, but we saw over 9000 people touched by the programs associated with the activities of the organizations, and 3000 new active editors on Wikidata (a new Wikimedia project developed by Wikimedia Deutschland)
  • For PEG, we performed an exploratory analysis of highly active editors on en.wiki and fr.wiki who are working in priority geographies in Africa.
  • For IEG, we started preparing for a survey that targets all Meta-wiki users who commented on or endorsed an IEG 2014 round 1 proposal in order to understand their motivation of participating in the IEG review process; sent post-review survey to all participants.
  • For Grantmaking in general, we updated the public reporting of overall grantmaking on Meta, including some core statistics around the grants program.
  • For Grantmaking overall, we pulled together a summary of our history and strategic focus areas to help onboard new the new executive director.

Program Evaluation

Metrics brainstorming session at the Wikimedia Conference 2014

Grants Operations and tools

  • Created two new graphs in the internal geo-data dashboard to visualize aggregated editorship data based on location in the global south and global north . See: http://tools.wmflabs.org/grantmaking/geo-data-prototype.html
  • Started experimenting with Dedoose a QDA (Qualitative data Analysis) tool in order to explore the possibilities of using it to analyze grants and program reports in a qualitative manner.
  • Implemented a few new features on Fluxx such as signals, and automated grant agreements, as well as updating programs budgets for the FY 2014-15.
  • IdeaLab revamp is underway! See IEG section above.
  • Fixed a few technical issues by the launch of the micro-grants pilot on the Arabic Wikipedia.

Other

  • What to look forward to in July:
    • First ever evaluation newsletter
    • New Evaluation portal
    • Revamp of IdeaLab
    • Editor survey development for target languages
  • Worked with Analytics and UX departments on the development of a research internship program

Wikipedia Education Program

  • Rod Dunican, Director of the Wikipedia Education Program, announced his departure from the Wikimedia Foundation. His last day was June 30, 2014.
  • Floor Koudijs was appointed the interim Senior Program Manager of the Wikipedia Education Program.
  • Sage Ross has transitioned from the Wikimedia Foundation to the Wiki Education Foundation. He had been the Wikipedia Education Program’s Online Communications contractor.

Global programs

The Wikipedia in Education Project in Uruguay (Proyecto Wikipedia en la Educación)

  • The Wikipedia Education Program team continues to conduct outreach with global program leaders, having spoken with 37 education initiatives around the world.
  • Wikipedia Education Program Manager Tighe Flanagan hosted a metrics hangout for a group of education program leaders, discussing the reasons for tracking numbers and walking through the basics of using the Wikimetrics tool for tracking cohorts of users.
  • The Wikipedia Education Program convened a call with the Education Cooperative to review the work of the action groups (communications, mentoring, resources and recognition) and to start finalizing plans for a Wikimania 2014 panel.

Arab world programs

  • The spring semester ended in Egypt and Jordan, and local volunteers decided to keep the student editing period open through the end of the summer break to allow more time for contributions, especially during the month of Ramadan.
  • The Wikipedia Club at Princess Nora University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, expressed interest in formally being part of the local Wikipedia Education Program. This student run club focuses on translating articles into Arabic and added 30 new articles between March and April this year.

Communications

Human Resources

Work this month was focused on conducting an executive retreat with our new Executive Director and team, and also supporting the entire organization in the process of our annual reviews. We have also completed hiring for our recruiting team, and onboarded both our Benefits and Wellness Coordinator and our Recruiting Coordinator.

June Staff Changes

New Requisitions Filled
  • Smriti Gupta (Product/Strategy)
  • Jenn Suzuki (HR)
  • Elliott Eggleston (Engineering)
Conversions (Contractor to Requisition)
  • Janet Renteria (F&A)
  • Tighe Flanagan (Grants)
Requisition Departures
  • Rod Dunican (Grants)
  • Leslie Harms (F&A)
  • Kul Wadhwa (Product/Strategy)
New Interns
  • Ralph Torres (F&A)
  • Consuelo Jimenez (F&A)
  • Mark Verstraete (LCA)
New Contractors
  • Shai Nisan (Fundraising)
  • Papaul Tshibamba (Engineering)
  • Neil Kandalgaonkar (Engineering)
Contracts Ended
  • Angelica Tavella
  • Janet Go
  • Anthony Byrd
  • Teresa Cho
  • Ambrosia Lobo

June Statistics

Total Requisitions Filled
June Actual: 178
June Total Plan: 196 (full req#, with stage-gating and out of plan)
June Filled: 5, Month Attrition: 3,
FYTD Filled: 63, FYTD Attrition: 30
Remaining Open positions to fiscal year end
18 → reflects 4 total out of plan req#s 193-196 (for finance)

Finance and Administration

  • With the approval of the updated investment policy at the last Board of Trustees meeting, WMF will be sending out an RFP (Request for Proposal) for Investment Advisory Services.
  • Successful site visit to Mexico City to review the proposed venues for Wikimania 2015.
  • Start of upgrades to the 6th floor space, which will include improvements to HVAC, the addition of “phone” rooms and new paint.
  • Receipt of final Wikimania 2013 report from the Hong Kong team and chapter.
  • Approval of the Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan by the Board of Trustees. The approved plan will be published by July 7, 2014.

Legal and Community Advocacy

  • June was a transition month for LCA, with the team refocusing its energies on traditional workflows and new projects after wrapping up work on the new Privacy Policy and Access to Non-Public Information Policy. We anticipate being able to report on these new projects in more detail in the coming months.
  • The Legal team was involved in publishing a new amendment to the Terms of Use to address disclosure of paid editing. The Legal team worked extensively with the community to answer questions and help individual communities (like Commons and MediaWiki) prepare new alternative policies in light of the amendment, like the one on Commons.
  • To protect our trademark portfolio, we worked with outside counsel to obtain withdrawals of third party attempts to register trademarks for a puzzle globe clone logo with the word Milipedia (in Spain), Vidipedia (in Germany), Willipedia (in Germany), Winipedia (in France), and Wikymedia (in the UK).
  • The CA team transitioned responsibility for the Community Liaison (Product) team to Rachel di Cerbo, Director of Community Engagement (Product). CA will now refocus its energies on traditional workflows and building out training methods for OTRS agents.

Contract Metrics

  • Submitted : 20
  • Completed : 26

Trademark Metrics

  • Submitted : 10
  • Approved : 1
  • Pending : 6
  • Approval not needed : 3

Domains Obtained

wikimedia.community, wikimediacommons.community, wikimediacommons.uk, wikimediauk.uk, wikinews.community, wikiversity.community, wiktionary.community

Coming & Going

  • There were no comings and goings this month for LCA.

Other Activities

  • Yana did a panel presentation on the new generic top level domains (such as .wiki) being rolled out by ICANN at the Stanford E-Commerce Conference.
  • The legal team revised the forthcoming WMF staff handbook and worked on making it user-friendly using techniques previously applied to the Wikimedia Trademark Policy.

Communications

The biggest Communications stories in June were about paid editing on Wikipedia. WMF announced an amendment to its Terms of Use in the middle of the month, generating significant media coverage about the relationship between Wikipedia and paid editing. This came one week after a pledge by leading US public relations to respect Wikimedia’s terms of use generated numerous press hits. The EU’s right to be forgotten ruling remains in the news, with speculation about what it means for Wikipedia. Wikipedia Zero launched in Rwanda, generating local press. The Product team launched its new Android App, generating coverage in the tech press. Throughout the month, the Communications team worked to finalize its Q1 goals, supported the rollout of the Terms of Use and the Android App, and on preparations for Wikimania.

Major announcements

The communications team supported the launch of the Android app in June.

Major Storylines through June 2014

Right to be Forgotten – Jimmy Wales

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales says Google EU ruling “won’t work.”
In The Capital (02 June, 2014) [1]
BBC News (01 June, 2014) [2]

Wikipedia Zero and MTN

“MTN gives its customers free access to Wikipedia via Wikipedia Zero”
Inya Rwanda (03 June, 2014) [3]
All Africa (03 June, 2014) [4]

Wikipedia in schools – Israel

Public schools in Israel to integrate Wikipedia into curriculum
Isreal Hayom (10 June, 2014) [5]
Israel National News (10 June, 2014) [6]
JNS (10 June, 2014) [7]

PR firms and Wikipedia

PR firms vow to abide by Wikipedia’s rules
Business Insider (11 June, 2014) [8]
Wall Street Journal (10 June, 2014) [9]
Advertising Age (10 June, 2014) [10]
Harvard Business Review (10 June, 2014) [11]
PR Week (10 June, 2014) [12]
TIME (10 June, 2014) [13]

New Terms of Use

Wikimedia announces changes to terms of use, adds requirement for disclosure of paid contributions
Slate (17 June, 2014) [14]
The Next Web (17 June, 2014) [15]
The Washington Post (17 June, 2014) [16]
Aljazeera America (16 June, 2014) [17]
AD Week (16 June, 2014) [18]
Info Docket (16 June, 2014) [19]
Wall Street Journal (16 June, 2014) [20]

US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) & Wikimedia

“US National Archives to upload all holdings to Wikimedia Commons”
Gigjets (30 June, 2014) [21]
Tech Crunch (30 June, 2014) [22]

Other worthwhile reads

”Women and Wikipedia: Science and engineering’s forgotten labour”
Open democracy (23 May, 2014) [23]
”Fighting censorship in Uzbekistan, one entry at a time”
Radio free Europe, Radio Liberty (17 May, 2014) [24]

See also the June press clippings

WMF Blog posts

Blog.wikimedia.org published 28 posts in June 2014. Five posts were multilingual, with translations in Swedish, Italian, French, Spanish, German, Romanian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Arabic and Algerian Arabic.

Some highlights from the blog include:

Wikimedia Bangladesh completes its local registration after a five-year journey (June 27, 2014).
New and improved Wikipedia app for Android (June 25, 2014).
Wikipedian Ram Joshi has contributed over 6,000 edits to Wikipedia only using his feature phone from his remote village in Nepal (June 24, 2014).
Change to the terms of use (June 16, 2014).
Blog post from Board of Trustee member Bishakha Datta (June 13, 2014).

Media Contact

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

Wikipedia Signpost

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

Communications Design

We helped the Administration team to make some decisions for the 6th floor reconstruction. Started talking with various teams about swag for Wikimania and the Allhands meeting. We also worked on adding page creation to a new Meta gadget with the IEG team.

by wikimediablog at November 03, 2014 04:36 AM

Wikimedia Highlights, June 2014

Highlights from the Wikimedia Foundation Report and the Wikimedia engineering report for June 2014, with a selection of other important events from the Wikimedia movement

Wikimedia Foundation highlights

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

Revamped Wikipedia app for Android, and new optimized view for tablet users

The new Android Wikipedia app was released in June and is now available in the Google Play store. Core features of the app include the ability to save pages for offline reading, a record of your reading history, and the ability to edit either as a logged in user or anonymously. The app is the first mobile platform that allows anonymous editing.

Also, since June 17, users on tablets are now redirected to the new tablet-optimized mobile site; they were previously being sent to the desktop version of all Wikimedia projects. Early data suggests that this change had a positive impact on new user signup and new editor activation numbers.

Media viewer released on all wikis

In June, the multimedia team released Media Viewer v0.2 on all Wikimedia wikis, with over 20 million image views per day on those sites that are tracked. Global feedback was generally positive and helped surface a range of issues, many of which were addressed quickly. Based on this feedback, a number of new features were developed by the team: 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.

First impact assessment of FDC grants (APG)

The results of the first impact assessment for Annual Plan Grants (FDC grants) to Wikimedia organiations were published. Based on the reports of the 9 organizations funded in Round 1 of 2012-2013, the report found that organizations had strength in content-related projects, which benefitted from full time staff and consistent partnership:

  • Content development results: 12K articles improved, 168K images on Commons, and 86K other media on Commons
  • Participation improvements (new editors; active editors; retained editors) were not recorded by most organizations. But over 9000 people were touched by the programs associated with the activties of the organizations, and Wikidata (a new Wikimedia project developed by Wikimedia Deutschland) saw 3000 new active editors.

Term of Use amended with transparency requirements for paid editing

The Wikimedia Foundation published a new amendment to the Terms of Use to address disclosure of paid editing.

Data and Trends

Global unique visitors for May:

469 million (+0.7% compared with April; -10.2% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects, not including mobile devices; comScore will release June data later in July)

Page requests for June:

20.217 billion (-0.2% compared with May; -4.4% 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 May 2014 (>= 5 mainspace edits/month, excluding bots):

80,131 (+6.5% compared with April / -1.9% compared with the previous year)
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects.)

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

http://reportcard.wmflabs.org/

(Definitions)

Financials

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Revenue and Expenses vs Plan as of May 31, 2014

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Expenses by Functions as of May 31, 2014

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

All financial information presented is for the Month-To-Date and Year-To-Date May 31, 2014.

Revenue 49,972,461
Expenses:
 Engineering Group 15,308,224
 Fundraising Group 3,392,468
 Grantmaking Group 1,696,721
 Programs Group 1,630,409
 Grants 4,104,348
 Governance Group 909,083
 Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group 4,066,924
 Finance/HR/Admin Group 6,109,383
Total Expenses 37,217,560
Total surplus (12,754,901)
in US dollars
  • Revenue for the month of May is $0.78MM versus plan of $1.67MM, approximately $0.89MM or 54% under plan.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $49.97MM versus plan of $48.40MM, approximately $1.57MM or 3% over plan.
  • Expenses for the month of May is $3.71MM versus plan of $4.49MM, approximately $0.78MM or 17% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, and FDC grants partially offset by higher legal fees, outside contract services, and travel expenses related to community convening events.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $37.22MM versus plan of $45.55MM, approximately $8.33MM or 18% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, payment processing fees, staff development expenses, grants and travel expenses partially offset by higher legal fees and outside contract services.
  • Cash and Investments – $53.13MM as of May 31, 2014.

Other highlights from the Wikimedia movement

From left to right: Itzik Edri and Michal Lester of Wikimedia Israel, Jan-Bart de Vreede, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, Rabbi Shai Piron, Israel’s Education Minister
(“Shai Piron-Jan-Bart-Itzik-Michal” by Sasson Tiram, under CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Israel’s Ministry of Education and Wikimedia Israel agree on initiative to integrate Wikipedia in schools

The Israeli Wikimedia chapter announced an agreement with the country’s education ministry to support the integration of Wikipedia into 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.

Logo of Wiki Indaba 2014
(“Wiki Indaba 2014″ by Thuvack, under CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Wiki Indaba: Africa’s first regional conference of Wikimedians

During three days in June, more than 35 Wikimedians came together 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.

US National Archives announces plans to upload all of its holdings to Wikimedia Commons

The US National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) announced plans to upload all of its holdings to Commons. NARA hired a Wikimedian-in-Residence in 2011 and had already uploaded over 100,000 images to Commons since then.

by wikimediablog at November 03, 2014 04:32 AM

Wikimedia Foundation Report, July 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.

 

Contents

Data and Trends

Global unique visitors for June:

432 million (-7.9% compared with May; -9.1% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects, not including mobile devices; comScore will release July data later in July)

Page requests for July:

20.583 billion (+1.8% compared with June; +4.4% 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 June 2014 (>= 5 mainspace edits/month, excluding bots):

74,549 (-7.0% compared with May / -2.0% compared with the previous year)
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects.)

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

http://reportcard.wmflabs.org/

(Definitions)

Financials

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

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

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

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

Revenue 51,280,212
Expenses:
 Engineering Group 17,380,695
 Fundraising Group 3,701,090
 Grantmaking Group 1,860,627
 Programs Group 1,766,790
 Grants 5,695,611
 Governance Group 1,254,286
 Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group 5,114,480
 Finance/HR/Admin Group 7,025,451
Total Expenses 43,799,030
Total surplus (7,481,182)
in US dollars
  • Revenue for the month of June is $1.31MM versus plan of $1.67MM, approximately $0.36MM or 22% under plan.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $51.28MM versus plan of $50.07MM, approximately $1.21MM or 2% over plan.
  • Expenses for the month of June is $6.58MM versus plan of $4.52MM, approximately $2.06MM or 46% over plan, primarily due to higher legal fees, capital expenditures, grants, outside contract services, personnel expenses, and travel & conference expenses offset by lower internet hosting expenses.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $43.80MM versus plan of $50.07MM, approximately $6.27MM or 13% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, payment processing fees, staff development expenses, overall grants and travel expenses partially offset by higher legal fees, outside contract services, and conference expenses.
  • Cash and Investments – $49.67MM as of June 30, 2014.

Highlights

Knowledge For Everyone – a short documentary accompanying the petition

Petition for free access to Wikipedia on mobile phones

On July 28, the Wikimedia Foundation launched a petition for free access to Wikipedia on mobile phones, as it is offered in the Wikipedia Zero program. The petition is accompanied by the short documentary film, titled Knowledge for Everyone, about a group of high school students in South Africa who had written an open letter asking the country’s mobile carriers for such access, so that they could use Wikipedia for their schoolwork.

Legal victories in Italy and against paid editing sites

After more than four years, a Rome court dismissed a case against the Wikimedia Foundation, describing Wikipedia as “a service based on the freedom of the users” and setting positive precedent for other claims in Italy. Also in July, the Foundation successfully obtained orders preventing four websites advertising a service of paid editing of articles on Wikipedia from abusing the “Wikipedia” trademark.

Screenshot of new iOS Wikipedia app

New Wikipedia app for iOS mobile devices

In July, the new native iOS Wikipedia app was released, following the successful launch of the Android app in June. The app has the same features as the Android app, including the ability to edit both anonymously and logged in, saved pages for offline reading, and a history of your recently visited pages.

Grants impact analysis

The Wikimedia Foundation’s Grantmaking department published the first set of analyses for an impact review focusing on $4.4M of fully reported grants from the year 2013/14 in its three grants areas: Individual Engagement Grants, Project & Event Grants and Annual Plan Grants.

“Key observations from this first round of impact analyses” (presentation slide)

Engineering

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

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Engineering/Report/2014/July
Department Highlights

Major news in July include:

HHVM

HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine) is aimed to improve the speed of Wikimedia sites. The Beta cluster (the testing environment that best simulates our sites) is now running HHVM. The latest MediaWiki-Vagrant and Labs-vagrant (virtual machine environments that make it easier for developers to apply their code to Wikimedia sites) use HHVM by default.

Presentation slides about the iOS app launch

Mobile Apps

In July, the Mobile Apps team launched the new native iOS Wikipedia app, following the successful launch of the Android app in June. The app has the same features as the Android app, including the ability to edit both anonymously and logged in, saved pages for offline reading, and your recently visited pages. The iOS app also contains an onboarding screen which is displayed the first time the app is launched, asking users to sign up. An update to the Android app was released, containing the Android version of the onboarding screen, as well as a a night mode for reading in dark environments, a font size selector, and a references display that makes browsing references easier. Next month, the team plans to continue improvements to page styling, and begin designing a dialogue that displays the first time a user taps edit to help them make their edit successfully.

Mobile Web

This month, the team continued to focus on wrapping up the collaboration with the Editing team to bring VisualEditor to tablet users on the mobile site. We also began working to design and prototype our first new Wikidata contribution stream, which we will build and test with users on the beta site in the coming month.

Flow

In July, the Flow team built the ability for users to subscribe to individual Flow discussions, instead of following an entire page of conversations. Subscribing to an individual thread is automatic for users who create or reply to the thread, and users can choose to subscribe (or unsubscribe) by clicking a star icon in the conversation’s header box. Users who are subscribed to a thread receive notifications about any replies or activity in that thread. To support the new subscription/notification system, the team created a new namespace, Topic, which is the new “permalink” URL for discussion threads; when a user clicks on a notification, the target link will be the Topic page, with the new messages highlighted with a color. The team is currently building a new read/unread state for Flow notifications, to help users keep track of the active discussion topics that they’re subscribed to.

VisualEditor

In July, the team working on VisualEditor converged the mobile and desktop designs, made it possible to see and edit HTML comments, improved access to re-using citations, and fixed over 120 bugs and tickets. The team also expanded its scope to cover all MediaWiki editing tools as well, as the new Editing Team.

The new design is possible due to the significant progress made in cross-platform support in the interface code. This now provides responsively-sized windows that can work on desktop, tablet and phone with the same code. HTML comments are occasionally used to alert editors to contentious issues without disrupting articles for readers. Making them prominently visible avoids editors accidentally stepping over expected limits. The simple dialog for re-using citations is now available in the toolbar so that it is easier for users to find.

Other improvements include an array of performance fixes targeted at helping mobile users especially. We fixed several minor instances where VisualEditor would corrupt the page. We also installed better monitoring of corruptions if they occur. The mobile version of VisualEditor, currently available for beta testers, moved towards stable release. We fixed some bugs and editing issues, and improving loading performance. Our work to support languages made some significant gains, nearing the completion of a major task to support IME users. The work to support Internet Explorer uncovered some more issues as well as fixes.

SUL finalization

In July, the SUL (single user login) finalisation team worked on developing features to ease the workload that the finalisation will place on the community, and to minimise the impact on those users that are affected. A feature is being developed that allows users to log in with their pre-finalisation credentials, so that everyone who is affected is still able to access their account; this feature is mostly complete from a back-end engineering standpoint but now needs design and product refinement, and will hopefully be completed by late August. A feature to globally rename users in a manner that does not create clashing accounts was completed and deployed. A feature is being developed to allow accounts to be globally merged, so that clashing local-only accounts that were globalised by the finalisation can be consolidated into a single global account; this feature is in the early stages of implementation and no estimate is possible at this time. A feature is being developed to allow local-only account holders to request rename and globalisation before the finalisation, and also feeds these rename requests to the appropriate community processes in a manner that reduces the workload of community; this feature is in the design phase, and will likely be ready for implementation in early August.

Phabricator migration

Phabricator’s “Legalpad” application (a tool to manage trusted users) was set up on a separate server that provides provides Single-User Login authentication with wiki credentials. We implemented the ability to restrict access to tasks in a certain project and worked on initial migration code to import data from Bugzilla reports into Phabricator tasks. We also set up a data backup system for Phabricator, and upgraded the dedicated Phabricator server to Ubuntu Trusty. A more detailed summary email about the status of the Phabricator migration was sent to Wikitech-l.

MediaWiki core front-end libraries

In July, the Request for comment for refactoring MediaWiki’s skin system (which handles the appearance of wiki sites) was re-written and discussed with members of the community and staff. Work on the proposed system is scheduled to begin in August, alongside creating an Agora theme for, and server-side version of, OOjs UI, a toolkit used to compose complex widgets. In addition to the RfC work, a well-attended meeting was held for teams using or considering using OOjs UI, including Editing, Multimedia and Growth. From that meeting, several issues were identified as blockers to increased acceptance of the toolkit. The most prominent blocker is the lack of an Agora theme for OOjs UI at this time. Creating this theme has thus been prioritized and will be completed as soon as possible. The Design team has committed to delivering necessary assets by mid-August. Discussion about changes to OOjs UI also surfaced the desire to be able to create widgets on the server and then bind to them on the client (a feature proposed as part of the skinning RfC). This functionality is thus now planned to be implemented in OOjs UI before the skin refactoring begins.

Presentation slides on mobile readership and contribution trends at the July 31 metrics meeting

Research and Data

This month we completed the documentation for the Active Editor Model, a set of metrics for observing sub-population trends and setting product team goals. We also engaged in further work on the new page views definition. An interim solution for Limited-duration Unique Client Identifiers (LUCIDs) was also developed and passed to the Analytics Engineering team for review.

We analyzed trends in mobile readership and contributions, with a particular focus on the tablet switchover and the release of the native Android app. We found that in the first half of 2014 mobile surpassed desktop in the rate at which new registered users become first-time editors and first-time active editors in many major projects, including the English Wikipedia. An update on mobile trends was presented at the upcoming Monthly Metrics meeting on July 31.

Services

The brand new Services group started design and prototyping work on the storage service (see code) and REST API (see code). The storage service now has early support for bucket creation and multiple bucket types. We decided to configure the storage service as a back-end for the REST API server. This means that all requests will be sent to the REST API, which will then route them to the appropriate storage service without network overhead. This design lets us keep the storage service buckets very general, by adding entry point specific logic in front-end handlers. The interface is still well-defined in terms of HTTP requests, so it remains straightforward to run the storage service as a separate process. We refined the bucket design to allow us to add features very similar to Amazon DynamoDB in a future iteration. There is also an early design for light-weight HTTP transaction support.

Fundraising

  • Fundraising is off to a strong start in the new fiscal year – raising $4.5 million in July.
  • We welcomed Victoria Shchepakina as a new Fundraiser Program Associate. She will focus her efforts on the Wikimedia Shop.
  • We started accepting Bitcoin. See the blog post for the full announcement.
  • A Petition for Free Access to Wikipedia on Cell phones was published. We will be emailing this petition to our donors in order to increase awareness about Wikipedia Zero.

Major Gifts and Foundations

  • The MGF team raised over $2.4 million in July, including $1.25 million from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
  • Fall fundraising events scheduled for September 22 in NYC and November 6 in San Francisco

Online Fundraising

  • The online fundraising team ran low-level banner tests world-wide, and a full-scale campaign in Japan. Emails were sent to previous donors in the Japan and South Africa. Approximately $2 million USD was raised in July through these campaigns (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.
  • We are making our mobile banner tests more sophisticated, and ran a very successful one on July 30 which increased donations 3.5 times.

Grantmaking

Highlights

FY 2013-14 first part of grantmaking impact assessment report.

  • Published the first set of analyses for grantmaking impact review (a full assessment will follow)
  • 4 new members are appointed to the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) by the WMF Board of Trustees: Risker (Anne Clin), Matanya (Matanya Moses), B1mbo (Osmar Valdebenito), and Thuvack (Dumisani Ndubane). Welcome, and congratulations!
  • The Travel and Participation Support program launched a revamp. Besides making workflows more user-friendly and fun, some experimental changes in this revamp aimed at supporting more participants to accomplish Wikimedia’s mission include: broadening the eligibility of event types and offering Wikimedia merchandise as an outreach-tool for participants
  • 110 Wikimania scholarship recipients are headed to London next month, and we can’t wait to learn about the outcomes of their participation.
  • A review of Project and Event Grants which were reported on in 2013-14 was completed. 32 different Wikimedia projects were supported (out of 36 grants), resulting in over 340 events, 10K people involved, 190K photos to Commons, and over 8K articles written. See full report.
  • 2014-2015 Round 1 of the FDC process kicks off, with the initial announcement of eligibility status for all 15 organizations that submitted a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the upcoming round.
  • Several members of the grantmaking team participated in the International Human Rights Funders Group (IHRFG) annual conference in New York City, where we talked about the challenges and opportunities in funding human rights work, and importantly, shared our experiences in participatory grantmaking with the larger field of funders (and wrote the Wikipedia article).
  • Launched new Learning Quarterly newsletter. Sign up to subscribe

In other news, from grantee projects:

the Library is serving 1,940 editors with access to 2,924 free journal accounts worth 1.2 million USD. There is still room to grow as the Library has set its sights to move well beyond English.

  • The results from Wiki Loves Earth are coming in. With the support of a PEG grant, the Macedonian community submitted over 12,000 photos, with 200 already in use in Wikipedia articles!
  • Members of Wikimedia Taiwan have translated the Editing Wikipedia brochure into Chinese — filling a huge gap in resources for our global community.
  • Amical Wikimedia supported as many as 792 articles created through the Catalan Culture challenge in 92 languages.

Visits and Events

Annual Plan Grants Program

Aerial photography supported through WMIL’s WikiAir in 2013
(“HaMakhtesh HaGadol Aerial View” by Amos Meron, under CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Photo upload supported by WMCH in 2013
“Alte Kirche Witikon” by Conz von Gemmingen, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

Participants in WMRS’ EduWiki Learning Day, featured in their Q1 report
(“EduWiki Learning Day Belgrade 2014 – DM (45) – group photo” by Dominikmatus, under CC-BY-SA-3.0)

  • 20 reports reviewed; 6 grants completed; 11 reports submitted; 15 organizations evaluated for eligibility; 4 new committee members appointed
  • The WMF Board of Trustees announces four new appointments to the FDC. Welcome to new members Risker (Anne Clin), Matanya (Matanya Moses), B1mbo (Osmar Valdebenito), and Thuvack (Dumisani Ndubane)! New members were appointed by the board after a selection process including statements from nominees and a public question and answer phase. The terms of the new members will begin 1 August. We thank the departing members for their invaluable contributions to the work of the inaugural FDC: Mike Peel, Arjuna Rao Chavala, Anders Wennersten, and Yuri Perohanych.
  • Organizations receiving grants in 2013-2014 Round 2 were contacted in order to execute grant agreements and send payments. New grant terms started on 1 July, and the first round of progress reports will be due 30 October.
  • Initial eligibility for 15 organizations submitting Letters of Intent for 2014-2015 Round 1 was announced on 18 July 2014. Organizations in the YES IF category will have until 15 July 2014 to meet eligibility gaps and move to the YES category. Organizations in the YES category will be eligible to submit proposals for 2014-2015 Round 1, which will be due on 1 October. As of 30 July, 10 organizations are already deemed eligible to participate!
  • 11 Quarter 2 progress reports for 2013-2014 grants were submitted by 30 July. Second installments of grant funds will be sent to 2013-2014 Round 1 grantees.
  • 11 Quarter 1 progress reports for 2013-2014 grants and 2 Quarter 3 progress reports for 2012-2013 Round 2 grants were reviewed by FDC staff. Some highlights from the Q1 progress reports include:
    • Amical Wikimedia supports as many as 792 articles through the Catalan Culture challenge in 92 languages.
    • Wikimedia Serbia hosts a successful EduWiki conference.
  • 9 impact reports for 2012-2013 grantees were reviewed by FDC staff and 2012-2013 Round 1 grants have now been completed by 8 organizations (including Wikimédia France and Wikimedia Foundation, that submitted impact reports earlier); 2 organizations will need to return underspent grant funds before grants are complete and 1 organization still needs to submit English translations of audited financial statements before its grant is considered complete. Some highlights from the impact reports include:
    • Images gained through WMIL’s WikiAir program show an impressive 9.1% use rate for a group of 1,441 photos, and one of the photos was featured on the President’s greeting card for Rosh Hashanah.
    • WMCH supports the upload of 11,453 pictures, including 437 quality images in 2013.
    • WMAR shares impressive results from the international Mujeres Iberoamericanas contest, which produced 1,227 improved articles and an outstanding retention rate of contributors.
    • WMAT shares a learning pattern about community engagement in photo contests.

Project and Event Grants Program

Editing Wikipedia in Chinese

Mount Korab, Republic of Macedonia (Wiki Loves Earth 2014)
(“Mount Korab, Republic of Macedonia” by Don macedone)

Photos from Afghanistan in the 1960s digitized by WMCZ
(“Afghanistan 1961 woman and girl” by František Řiháček, under CC-BY-SA-3.0)

  • 5 new requests were funded, 1 request was declined, and 11 reports were accepted in July 2014.
  • The Grant Advisory Committee has a new look and Workroom. We are currently testing a new review process over the next few months. Feedback is welcome!

Grants funded in July 2014

  • Printing Editing Wikipedia in Chinese: To fund the printing of “Editing Wikipedia” in Chinese for distribution by Wikimedia Taiwan.
  • Wiki Loves Monuments in Ireland 2014: To support the Irish community to organize the country’s first Wiki Loves Monuments.
  • Acitivites in Egypt: To support activities organized by the new Eygptian User Group, including Wiki Loves Monuments, the Wikimedia Education Program, and edit-a-thons.
  • Wiki Loves Monunents in Thailand 2014: To support the new Thai User Group to organize Wiki Loves Monuments.
  • Script Encoding for Nepal: To support a meeting of stakeholders to discuss two Nepali scripts (Prachalit Nepal and Ranjana) with the goal of creating script proposals that will be submitted for review and eventually published in the Unicode Standard. Once they are in the Unicode Standard, they can be used on Wikimedia projects and elsewhere.

Reports accepted in July 2014

Individual Engagement Grants Program

Grantee updates

  • Round 2 2013 grantees are preparing to finish their final reports as the new crop of round 1 2014 grantees begins to pick up steam on their new projects! For example:
    • Keilana published the finalized version of her kit to help others replicate her successful experiments in hosting workshops aimed at countering Wikipedia’s gender gap and other forms of systemic bias. Thanks to verynice.co, for donating their pro-bono design skills to WMF to make this kit shine!
    • Meanwhile, Amanda published her first blog post charting the course ahead for her own gender gap research.
    • As one year of funding for The Wikipedia Library comes to a close, Ocaasi is measuring and reflecting on what’s been accomplished so far and what lies ahead for this growing global program aimed at expanding access to sources for Wikipedia editors around the world. So far, the Library is serving 1,940 editors with access to 2,924 free journal accounts worth 1.2 million USD. At the same time, this month the Arabic Library pilot team pulled metrics from the book pilot’s first month. 11 books have been successfully purchased for Wikipedians so far, but shipping to several countries in the Middle East remains the largest restriction to growth at present.

Reports accepted in July 2014

  • Wikimaps Atlas – Midpoint: Much of the backend infrastructure for the Wikimaps Atlas is now functional, and a website with a front-end making it easy for new users to generate maps is still in the works.
  • The Wikipedia Library – Final report: As The Wikipedia Library’s first year comes to a close, the program is serving 1,940 editors with access to 2,924 free journal accounts worth 1.2 million USD. There is still room to grow as the Library has set its sights to move well-beyond English!

Travel and Participation Support Program

  • 2 new requests were funded and 3 reports were accepted in July 2014.
  • The Travel and Participation Support Program has a new look. At the end of July, we launched a redesign of the program pages, based on analysis conducted on the program’s first 2 years. Besides making workflows more user-friendly and fun, some experimental changes in this revamp aimed at supporting more participants to achieve Wikimedia’s mission include: broadening the eligibility of event types, offering Wikimedia merchandise as an outreach-tool for participants, and bringing Wikimania scholarships under the umbrella of WMF’s TPS administration processes. We’re also piloting the first usage of the new Add-me gadget in program applications, making it easier than ever to endorse someone else’s request for funding.

Requests awarded in July 2014

Reports accepted in July 2014

Wikimania Scholarships

WMF’s Grantmaking team has partnered with Travel & Finance to send 110 volunteer Wikimedians to London via Wikimania Scholarships. Most arrangements have now been made, and scholars are ready to travel! Some changes to the program this year are aimed at bringing Wikimania scholarships in-line with grantmaking’s existing best-practices and processes for funding travel. As part of our commitment to transparency and to help establish a baseline for iterations in future years, we’ve published a list of scholarship recipients, and will be requiring all scholars to submit a short report about their experiences.

Learning and Evaluation

PEG Overview, 2013-14

Grants programs

  • Individual Engagement Grants:
    • Prepared and launched a survey to collect feedback from users involved in proposing and evaluating Round 1 2014 IEG proposals.
  • Project & Event Grants: Conducted impact analysis of all grants reported an during FY2013-14. Hosted a Google hangout to discuss results, which can be found on Meta. Major takeaways:
    • PEG grantees focused on specific goals were able to report back the most success
    • Online writing contests work great: 3 of 36 grants did them, resulting in 60% of total article contributions
    • Grantees receiving over $10K tended to underspend quite significantly (by ~30%)
    • We need a shift into quality of content (e.g., use of photos vs aggregate # of photos)
  • Travel and Participation Support: Helped launch features for the new space! See other section

Grants operations and tools

  • Made some progress on making grants administration work paperless by getting internal approvals electronically using Fluxx; began using Fluxx for the 2014-15 grantmaking year.
  • Ran two qualitative data analysis experiments using Dedoose on grant reports, and education program leaders survey.
  • More than 40 people tuned in for “Beyond Wikimetrics” (video, blog post, resource page) the first of a series of three Wikiresearch webinars focused on teaching Wikimedians how to use technical tools such as MySQL and the MediaWiki API for research purposes. These webinars are intended to teach leaders of mission-aligned projects (grant funded and otherwise) the skills necessary to perform self-evaluation, as well as to provide other community members with the skills necessary to perform exploratory research that could lead to innovative new initiatives.
  • Helped develop and launch a Lua-based infobox for ultimate use in IdeaLab and across grants pages, but first in the Travel and Participation Support Program revamp (see Travel and Participation Support Program section for more details).

Program Evaluation & Design

Infographic created for WMUK’s evaluation

  • Launched Evaluation Pulse 2014, a first-year’s end feedback survey to reassess program leaders’ capacity, as well as learning and resources needs, for evaluation. Are you a project or program leader and/or evaluator who would like to take the survey? Message eval@wikmedia.org to receive an invitation to participate.
  • Launched new Learning Quarterly newsletter. Sign up to subscribe
  • Worked at various stages of consultation on three survey strategies and tool development: Wikimania Exit Survey, Wikimania Hackathon Survey, and a user group survey.
  • Launched the Survey Question Bank with questions developed in partnership with program leaders piloting survey strategies
  • Code cleaning for evaluation portal redesign and templates to assure translatability of pages and links of the redesign plan and mock-ups.
  • Published two new blog posts: Digging for Data: How to Research Beyond Wikimetrics and Wikimedians in Residence: a journey of discovery
  • Hosted virtual meet-ups on Beyond Wikimetrics: Using Databases and APIs for Research with 20 attendees live (4 from the GLEE team) and 66 views (as of 7/29/2014), and Project and Event Grants: an impact review of 2013-14 with 18 attendees live (5 from the GLEE team) (on 7/29/2014).
  • Developed infographic icon sets and will upload to Commons for upcoming in-person meet-up sessions surrounding Wikimania 2014. Preview icons on this WiR infographic.
  • Developed infographic and

    Summative Poster of the Topline Metrics from Evaluation Report (beta), Year 1 Reporting

    for topline metrics poster presentation of ‘Topline: Evaluation Report (beta)’ for Wikimania.

  • Nearing end of contract (8/6/2014) for Wikimetrics features development (Central Auth Cohorts, Tagging, and Delete User)
  • Portal Space Metrics: In July, 1140 edits were made by 24 non-WMF users to the portal main space (1098 edits, 15 users), portal talk pages (3 edits, 1 user) and to Grants:Learning_patterns (39 edits, 8 users). As for page views, there were 1467 total views of the portal’s main pages Portal landing page (450), /News (375), /Tools (73), Library (158), /Parlor 42, and Grants:Learning_patterns (369).
  • The community dialogue around program evaluation closed July 15th, having been promoted broadly. This request for comment was open online from May 15 to July 15, and had a total of 403 page views between its description (209) and talk page (194), with only 6 users contributing feedback. (Due to low responsiveness in terms of edits to the talk page, and a few points of feedback expressing that people did not feel comfortable disagreeing with some of the ideas which had already been posted there, key questions from the dialogue were integrated into the Evaluation Pulse 2014 survey to encourage broader project and program leader feedback. Survey respondents’ anonymized answers will be integrated into the online documentation space after collection.)
  • Posting to social media: 52 posts to Twitter (19 new followers (117 total followers), 528 views, 19 link visits; 15 retweets); 13 Facebook posts (157 members, 498 views, 31 likes, 9 comments); 2 Google+ events for July (70 followers, 26 new followers, 7,780 profile views, 10 +1’s, 13 comments, 5 shares)

Other

  • Started preparing for a Global South user survey by collecting information about the kind of questions to be asked in the survey.

Wikipedia Education Program

As part of the Wiki Learning Project at Tec de Monterrey, faculty and staff are trained in the basics of editing Wikipedia and brainstormed ideas for projects, including improving mathematical graphs and using MediaWiki to collaborate across campuses. July 2014.
(“GrupoJuly3CCM” by Thelmadatter, under CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Anasuya Sengupta outlined the team’s plans in an announcement on 27 June 2014: “As the team goes forward to develop a road map for the future with our community members, Floor Koudijs will be the interim Senior Manager for the Education Program. Initially the team has been assigned different parts of the world in order to create a baseline of educational programs and activities, with Floor responsible for North America, Latin America and Western Europe, Tighe Flanagan for the Arab region and Africa, and Anna Koval for Asia and Eastern Europe.”

Poster on the education team’s work, prepared for Wikimania

Wikimania

Wikipedia Education Collaborative

The Wikipedia Education Collaborative (formerly called the Cooperative) met in teleconference on 11 July 2014. One result of this meeting is an information page about the Collaborative and its purpose. This description will serve as the basis for the Collaborative panel session that will take place in London at Wikimania 2014.

Arab world programs

  • Summer editing continued in Egypt during the month of Ramadan with some additional summer cohorts.
  • Program volunteers in Jordan are considering creating a Wikipedia Education Program Advisory Committee to guide the program locally.

Communications

  • The Wikipedia Education Program now has a page on Foundation wiki. It was developed in consult with the WMF’s Communications, Community Advocacy, and Wikipedia Zero teams to support interdepartmental collaboration.
  • The July issue of the education newsletter This Month In Education featured articles from education programs in Macedonia, Mexico, Israel, the Czech Republic, Wikimedia Deutschland and Wikimedia UK, as well as updates from Brazil and South Africa.
  • Education portal improvements continue at Outreach:Education. Special attention is being paid to visual contrast — for readability, accessibility and WCAG compliance — as well as to navigation for ease of use. Feedback is welcome at Outreach:Talk:Education.

Human Resources

July was a very busy month for us as we moved through the process of annual reviews, annual compensation increases and cost of living adjustments, and supporting organization-wide discussions on results and implications. We have also decided to move from Jobvite to Greenhouse as our jobs applicant tracking system, so we are planning for that roll-out and implementation. Ongoing work in contract renewals, immigration, and leadership development continued – including continuing the second session, second cohort, of our leadership development program for directors and managers.

July Staff Changes

New Requisitions Filled
  • Victoria Shchepakina – Fundraising
  • Emanuela Neagu – HR
  • Kristen Lans – Engineering
  • Joel Sahleen – Engineering
Conversions (Contractor to Requisition)
  • Arlo Breault – Engineering
  • Keegan Peterzell – Product/Strat
  • Nick Wilson – Product/Strat
  • Erica Litrenta – Product/Strat
  • Jessica Robell – Fundraising
Requisition Departures
  • None
New Interns
  • Josephine Gulingan – F&A
  • Segun Aluko (LCA)
New Contractors
  • None
Contracts Ended
  • None

July Statistics

Total Requisitions Filled
July Actual: 187
July Total Plan: 207
July Filled: 9, Month Attrition: 0
FYTD Filled: 9, FYTD Attrition: 0
FY positions planned: 233

Finance and Administration

  • The Wikimedia Foundation RFP for Investment Advisory Services closed July 31, 2014. Final selection is scheduled for August 31, 2014.
  • Net investment returns for Wikimedia Foundation for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014 were $352,237.
  • Completed site visit for Wikimedia Israel.

Legal and Community Advocacy

LCA Report, July 2014

Contract Metrics

  • Submitted : 30
  • Completed : 25

Trademark Metrics

  • Submitted : 18
  • Pending : 11
  • Approval not needed : 7

Domains Obtained

(none in July)

Coming & Going

  • The team said farewell to Roshni Patel, a Georgetown privacy fellow, who had spent over 8 months with the legal team and was pivotal in the privacy policy consultation and roll-out. We wish her luck at Zwillgen in DC!
  • We also said goodbye to Joe Jung, a rising 2L from Harvard law, who completed his summer internship and assisted us with many exciting intellectual property and advocacy issues during his time here.

The Legal, Technological, and Social Barriers to Free Knowledge panel

Other Activities

  • The summer class of Legal Interns organized a panel discussion at WMF, titled Legal, Technological, and Social Barriers to Free Knowledge, including speakers from the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, Google Project Loon, the Wikimedia Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Asia Foundation.
  • The Wikimedia Foundation supported the Fair Deal coalition in opposition to copyright-related provisions of the Trans Pacific Partnership.
  • With Wikimedia Chile, the Wikimedia Foundation prepared a letter to the Chilean Subsecretaria de Telecomunicationes about Wikipedia Zero.
  • We began discussions with the advocacy advisory group and Commons about taking a stance on non-free “open access” academic publishing licenses.
  • Along with the design team, we participated in an ongoing discussion on refreshing the basic Creative Commons license templates on Commons. We look forward to continuing that discussion at Wikimania.

Communications

In July, the media was fascinated by the inner workings of Wikipedia, from bots to bans. An early July report on Sverker Johansson, a Swedish Wikipedian and physicist whose bot “Lsjbot” has created 2.7 million articles, lead to inquiries into whether bots were taking over Wikipedia. The Twitter account @congressedits, tracking anonymous edits from U.S. Congress IPs, spurred a slew of imitations in other nations, including one which found that Russian government IPs were involved in editing the article on the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. This Twitter transparency drew scrutiny to recurring vandalism from the U.S. House of Representatives; a subsequent ban of one particularly vandalous Congressional IP generated significant press tinged with perhaps a little media schadenfreude.

In July, the blog team worked on final preparations for the relaunch of the Wikimedia blog, which took place on July 31. The blog’s new design is responsive, provides better support for multilingual posts, offers blog admins a tool for simple transfering of image licensing information from Wikimedia Commons, and reflects the blog’s evolution over the past years from a venue for WMF staff to share updates about their work to a news platform for the entire movement. The move to third-party hosting enables the WMF Operations team to better focus on their core mission of operating one the world’s most popular websites, and gives the blog team access to dedicated tech support which will also facilitate future updates to the platform.

Major announcements

Wikimania’s 2014 team announces the program for this year’s conference (01 July, 2014)

Major Storylines through July

Anonymous edits by Congress

Twitter bots track articles edited anonymously from Congress IP addresses. Topics include Choco Taco and Horse Head Mask.
The Guardian (18 July, 2014) [1]
Yahoo News (16 July, 2014) [2]
Ars Technica (11 July, 2014) [3]
Engadget (11 July, 2014) [4]
The Washington Post (10 July, 2014) [5]

Ban of Congress IP address

A congress IP address gets banned for 10 days for vandalism.
WIRED UK (28 July, 2014) [6]
TIME (26 July, 2014) [7]
New York Magazine (25 July, 2014) [8]
BBC News Technology (25 July, 2014) [9]
Aljazeera (25 July, 2014) [10]
The Guardian (25 July, 2014) [11]
Newsweek (25 July, 2014) [12]
Ars Technica (24 July, 2014) [13]
Gizmodo (24 July, 2014) [14]

Malaysian flight MH17

Russian state IP edits Wikipedia in an apparent attempt to sway opinion surrounding flight MH17’s crash.
The Telegraph (30 July, 2014) [15]
Tech Times (22 July, 2014) [16]
Global Voices (18 July, 2014) [17]
Slate (18 July, 2014) [18]
The Huffington Post (18 July, 2014) [19]

Sverker Johansson

In Sweden, Sverker Johansson and his bot have created over 2.7 million Wikipedia articles.
Boing Boing (16 July, 2014) [20]
Gizmodo (16 July, 2014) [21]
The Huffington Post (15 July, 2014) [22]
Daily Mail (15 July, 2014) [23]
Popular Science (14 July, 2014) [24]
Wall Street Journal (13 July, 2014) [25]

Other worthwhile reads

”American Canyon man researches, edits Wikipedia”
Times-Herald (07 July, 2014) [26]

See also the July press clippings

WMF Blog posts

Blog.wikimedia.org published 29 posts in July 2014. Two posts were multilingual, with translations in Italian, Spanish and Catalan.

Some highlights from the blog include:

The Wikimedia Foundation successfully obtained orders preventing four websites advertising a service of paid editing of articles on Wikipedia from abusing the “Wikipedia” trademark (July 29, 2014).
Wikimedia launches a petition for free access to Wikipedia on mobile phones (July 28, 2014).
A video recap of Wikimania 2013 (July 22, 2014).
Re-cap of Wiki loves Pride 2014 (July 18, 2014).
The Wikimedia Foundation supports the Fair Deal Coalition in voicing opposition to certain provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (July 09, 2014).

Media contact

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

Wikipedia Signpost

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

Communications Design

We helped various Foundation teams create graphics and giveaways to help represent themselves at Wikimania, and to show our thanks to the Wikimedians we don’t usually get to see in person. We also worked with Grantmaking to continue improvement of grant application pages and tools.

by wikimediablog at November 03, 2014 04:23 AM

Wikimedia Highlights, July 2014

Highlights from the Wikimedia Foundation Report and the Wikimedia engineering report for July 2014, with a selection of other important events from the Wikimedia movement

Wikimedia Foundation highlights

File:Knowledge for Everyone.webm

Knowledge For Everyone – a short documentary accompanying the petition

Petition for free access to Wikipedia on mobile phones

On July 28, the Wikimedia Foundation launched a petition for free access to Wikipedia on mobile phones, as it is offered in the Wikipedia Zero program. The petition is accompanied by the short documentary film, titled Knowledge for Everyone, about a group of high school students in South Africa who had written an open letter asking the country’s mobile carriers for such access, so that they could use Wikipedia for their schoolwork.

Legal victories in Italy and against paid editing sites

After more than four years, a Rome court dismissed a case against the Wikimedia Foundation, describing Wikipedia as “a service based on the freedom of the users” and setting positive precedent for other claims in Italy. Also in July, the Foundation successfully obtained orders preventing four websites advertising a service of paid editing of articles on Wikipedia from abusing the “Wikipedia” trademark.

Screenshot of new iOS Wikipedia app

New Wikipedia app for iOS mobile devices

In July, the new native iOS Wikipedia app was released, following the successful launch of the Android app in June. The app has the same features as the Android app, including the ability to edit both anonymously and logged in, saved pages for offline reading, and a history of your recently visited pages.

Grants impact analysis

The Wikimedia Foundation’s Grantmaking department published the first set of analyses for an impact review focusing on $4.4M of fully reported grants from the year 2013/14 in its three grants areas: Individual Engagement Grants, Project & Event Grants and Annual Plan Grants.

“Key observations from this first round of impact analyses” (presentation slide)

Data and Trends

Global unique visitors for June:

432 million (-7.9% compared with May; -9.1% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects, not including mobile devices; comScore will release July data later in July)

Page requests for July:

20.583 billion (+1.8% compared with June; +4.4% 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 June 2014 (>= 5 mainspace edits/month, excluding bots):

74,549 (-7.0% compared with May / -2.0% compared with the previous year)
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects.)

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

http://reportcard.wmflabs.org/

(Definitions)

Financials

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

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

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

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

Revenue 51,280,212
Expenses:
 Engineering Group 17,380,695
 Fundraising Group 3,701,090
 Grantmaking Group 1,860,627
 Programs Group 1,766,790
 Grants 5,695,611
 Governance Group 1,254,286
 Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group 5,114,480
 Finance/HR/Admin Group 7,025,451
Total Expenses 43,799,030
Total surplus (7,481,182)
in US dollars
  • Revenue for the month of June is $1.31MM versus plan of $1.67MM, approximately $0.36MM or 22% under plan.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $51.28MM versus plan of $50.07MM, approximately $1.21MM or 2% over plan.
  • Expenses for the month of June is $6.58MM versus plan of $4.52MM, approximately $2.06MM or 46% over plan, primarily due to higher legal fees, capital expenditures, grants, outside contract services, personnel expenses, and travel & conference expenses offset by lower internet hosting expenses.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $43.80MM versus plan of $50.07MM, approximately $6.27MM or 13% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, payment processing fees, staff development expenses, overall grants and travel expenses partially offset by higher legal fees, outside contract services, and conference expenses.
  • Cash and Investments – $49.67MM as of June 30, 2014.

Infographic from Wikimedia UK’s report

Other highlights from the Wikimedia movement

Wikimedia UK publishes impact analysis of Wikimedian-in-Residence programs

The UK Wikimedia chapter published the result of an impact analysis of Wikimedian-in-Residence programs at British cultural institutions. Among the recommendations of the report is to increase the duration of residencies (residencies should be longer to ensure impact, e.g. 9-12 months for larger organizations) and to have clearer project goals for each residency to improve assessing impact.

First German “culture hackathon”

Organized by Wikimedia Germany together with the German Digital Library, the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany and the Service Center Digitization Berlin, the first “Coding da Vinci” culture hackathon took place in Berlin on July 6. The five winning software project include a project linking a list of names of authors ostracized by the Nazis with additional information from Wikipedia and other sources, and an app showing historical paintings from the Stadtmuseum Berlin, which hosted a Wikipedian in Residence in 2012, as illustrations on modern OpenStreetMap maps.

by wikimediablog at November 03, 2014 04:00 AM

Wikimedia Research Newsletter, October 2014

Wikimedia Research Newsletter
Wikimedia Research Newsletter Logo.png

Vol: 4 • Issue: 10 • October 2014 [contribute] [archives] Syndicate the Wikimedia Research Newsletter feed

Informed consent and privacy; newsmaking on Wikipedia; Wikipedia and organizational theories

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

Tl;dr: Users, informed consent and privacy policies online

Reviewed by Kim Osman

In new research[1] conducted in light of proposed changes to data protection legislation in the European Union (EU), authors Bart Custers, Simone van der Hof, and Bart Schermer conducted a comparative analysis of social media and user-generated content websites’ privacy policies along with a user survey (N=8,621 in 26 countries) and interviews in 13 different EU countries on awareness, values, and attitudes toward privacy online. The authors state consent regarding personal data use is an important concept and observe, “There is mounting evidence that data subjects do not fully contemplate the consequences and risks of personal data processing.”

Custers, van der Hof and Schermer developed a set of criteria for giving informed consent about the use of personal data including: “Is it clear who is processing the data and who is accountable?” and “Is the information provided understandable?” When existing privacy policies were applied to these criteria, Wikipedia was the worst performing of the sites analyzed and recommends that it makes clear how minors are dealt with and to provide additional clarity around security measures. It also notes that IP addresses may be traced, therefore making “anonymous” Wikipedia users identifiable.

The study did acknowledge issues around self-presentation and identity in different online contexts and the actual need for a site like Wikipedia to have an extensive privacy policy as users afford criteria regarding privacy different value in these different contexts. The authors do note however, “Wikipedia does collect opinions that may be attributable to individuals and that may be considered privacy sensitive.”

This paper is a well-researched summary of the privacy policies of online sites (including major international platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube), and although from a European perspective (where data collection practices are arguably more stringent than in other places in the world), it raises important questions about how Wikipedia approaches its privacy policy in terms of informed user consent, and would be useful reading for anyone with an interest in how online practices are shaping approaches to user privacy.

For researchers requiring more information about ethics in online research visit the Association of Internet Researchers’ wiki.

Briefly

Holocaust articles compared across languages

We tell ourselves that Wikipedia works well for the most part, but that finding consensus might break down on controversial articles. Of all article topics, perhaps none is potentially more fraught than the Holocaust, and that is precisely what Rudolf Den Hartogh has tackled in his Master’s thesis “The future of the Past: A case study on the representation of the Holocaust on Wikipedia”.[2] It is an in-depth compare and contrast analysis of the Holocaust topic in the English, German, and Dutch. Several curious facts come out of this. For instance the average vandalism rate on these articles is 4%, compared with 7% globally – as these articles have been locked at some point, although the Dutch version is no longer protected. Other analyses show edit activity over time, since the articles’ inception. The German version saw the height of its shaping 2 years after it was started in 2004, whereas the English and Dutch articles saw their main spurts 5 and 3 years later respectively. Moreover the author finds “that there does not exist one representation of the Holocaust, but each language version has its own unique account of events and phenomena.” Finally they “found that none of the Holocaust entries under study is rated ‘good quality’,” so we still have not definitively addressed the hardest parts of our encyclopedia.

Semantic role label features for all records, colours are based on event tag in the Lensing Wikipedia dataset.
(“SRL-Full-p40″ by Jasneet.sabharwal, under CC-BY-SA-4.0)

Lensing Wikipedia

A project[3] with this title aims to extract date, location, event and role semantic data from historical English Wikipedia articles. Of course making grand sense of that automatic extraction work requires visualization. Such visualization is difficult on high-dimensional data consisting of e.g. a date, location, multiple events and roles – all at the same time. A short proof of concept “Visualizing Wikipedia using t-SNE” by Jasneet Singh Sabharwal [4] has done just this using a Barnes-Hut simulation variation of the T-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding algorithm. This image shows the closeness of the semantic roles of features found in Wikipedia article text, with colors indicating similar events that articles are describing.

“Infoboxes and cleanup tags: Artifacts of Wikipedia newsmaking”

An article[5] in Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism looks at use and abuse of cleanup tags and infobox elements as conceptual and symbolic tools. Based on ethnographic observations and several interviews, the author provides a lengthy description of the formative first three or so weeks in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution article. It is a valuable study of how articles are developed, and the collaboration and conflicts that are common in high-activity articles. The author provides a valuable observation that “Classification work… is intensely political” and “the editing of Wikipedia articles involves continuous linking and classifying.” The choice of words, categories, article titles, but also specific tags or infoboxes (though a particular example discussed – whether to use Template:Infobox uprising or not – seems to concern a template that does not, in fact, exist) can be quite controversial. The author also puts forth an interesting argument that removal of cleanup tags may give false impressions of stability in articles that are not yet stable; and that infoboxes carry significant, perhaps undue weight, compared to other elements of the article.

Wikipedia’s identity “based on freedom”

This paper[6] looks at Wikipedia through a number of organizational theory lenses, in particular theories of organizational identity. Of particular interest to Wikipedians is one of the aspects analyzed by the editors – identify of the project. The authors state that “the organizational identity at Wikipedia is based on freedom”. Next, they discuss the utopian ideals of freedom (such as “anyone can edit”), as contrasted with the freedom-reducing tendencies of censorship, administrative control, and bureaucratization. The authors argue that the common solution to criticism of Wikipedia, within the community, is concealment and marginalization of said criticism. The authors point to the practical defanging of the Wikipedia:Ignore all rules policy, which has went through a number of meaning shifts, in which it was redefined to be virtually toothless, even though the name remained the same. Another way that freedom is limited is through end-justifies-the-mean utopian vision of “free access [to Wikipedia] for everyone”, replacing the older “anyone can edit” “freedom of editing meaning. Unfortunately, the author’s discussion of “the subjugation of contesting voices” is very short on details and specifics; the authors allude to administrator power abuse, but fail to provide any specific discussion of how it occurs; an example they used of “deleted content” can be interpreted as nothing more sinister then admin ability to delete content that does not meet Wikipedia’s site policies, including uncontroversial content such as spam.

“Copyright or Copyleft? Wikipedia as a Turning Point for Authorship”

This paper[7] touches upon a very interesting yet understudied area: what Wikipedia’s existence means for copyright law. As the authors note, Wikipedia “appears to challenge some of the notions at the heart of copyright law.”

Critique of Wikipedia’s dispute resolution procedures

This paper[8] claims to presents an ethnographic analysis of and a strong critique of Wikipedia’s dispute resolution procedures, and states upfront its goal as “to tease out systemic discrimination or injustice”. The strongly worded abstract is attention-drawing, promising that “A number of flaws will be identified including the ability for vocal minorities to dominate the Wikipedia community consensus”. Unfortunately, while the paper provides a very detailed description of Wikipedia’s dispute resolution scene, it doesn’t seem to present any new data; its critique of “vocal minorities”, for example, is composed of few sentences, and the entire argument is based on, and essentially a repetition of a similar passage in Reagle’s Good Faith Collaboration book. While the paper is well written and presents a number of valid arguments, it does not seem to contribute anything new to our understanding of Wikipedia, being in essence a literature review focused on the topic of dispute resolution on Wikipedia. Which this reviewer finds disappointing, considering that the almost tabloid-style abstract and the introductory section promise ethnographic research, which – like anything else going beyond synthesis of existing, published research – is sadly very much absent from the paper.

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.

  • “Insights from the Wikipedia Contest (IEEE Contest for Data Mining 2011)”[9] (earlier coverage: “Predicting editor survival: The winners of the Wikipedia Participation Challenge“)
  • “A Piece of My Mind: A Sentiment Analysis Approach for Online Dispute Detection”[10] (constructs a dispute corpus from Wikipedia talk pages)
  • “Extracting Imperatives from Wikipedia Article for Deletion Discussions”[11] (without conclusions or published dataset, apparently)
  • “Use of Wikipedia by Legal Scholars: Implications for Information Literacy”[12]
  • “Guiding Students in Collaborative Writing of Wikipedia Articles – How to Get Beyond the Black Box Practice in Information Literacy Instruction”[13] (received the EdMedia Outstanding Paper Award)
  • “Two Is Bigger (and Better) Than One: the Wikipedia Bitaxonomy Project”[14] (project home page, allowing the live creation of a taxonomy graph for an arbitrary Wikipedia article: http://wibitaxonomy.org )
  • “Analysis of the accuracy and readability of herbal supplement information on Wikipedia”[15]
  • “Maturity Assessment of Wikipedia Medical Articles”[16]
  • “Computer-supported collaborative accounts of major depression: Digital rhetoric on Quora and Wikipedia”[17]

References

  1. Custers, Bart; Simone van der Hof, Bart Schermer (2014-09-01). “Privacy Expectations of Social Media Users: The Role of Informed Consent in Privacy Policies“. Policy & Internet 6 (3): 268-295. doi:10.1002/1944-2866.POI366. ISSN 1944-2866. 
  2. Den Hartogh, Rudolf (2014). The future of the Past: A case study on the representation of the Holocaust on Wikipedia (Masters). Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  3. Lensing Wikipedia. Simon Fraser University Natural Language Laboratory.
  4. Jasneet Singh Sabharwal: Visualizing Wikipedia using t-SNE
  5. Ford, Heather (2014-08-31). “Infoboxes and cleanup tags: Artifacts of Wikipedia newsmaking“. Journalism: 1464884914545739. doi:10.1177/1464884914545739. ISSN 1741-3001 1464-8849, 1741-3001.  Closed access
  6. Kozica, Arjan M. F.; Christian Gebhardt, Gordon Müller-Seitz, Stephan Kaiser (2014-10-13). “Organizational Identity and Paradox An Analysis of the ‘Stable State of Instability’ of Wikipedia’s Identity“. Journal of Management Inquiry: 1056492614553275. doi:10.1177/1056492614553275. ISSN 1552-6542 1056-4926, 1552-6542.  Closed access
  7. Simone, Daniela (2013-07-01). “Copyright or Copyleft? Wikipedia as a Turning Point for Authorship”. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network. http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2330766. 
  8. Ross, Sara (2014-03-01). “Your Day in ‘Wiki-Court': ADR, Fairness, and Justice in Wikipedia’s Global Community”. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network. http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2495196. 
  9. Desai, Kalpit V.; Roopesh Ranjan (2014-01-07). “Insights from the Wikipedia Contest (IEEE Contest for Data Mining 2011)“. arXiv:1405.7393 [physics, stat]. 
  10. Lu Wang, Claire Cardie: A Piece of My Mind: A Sentiment Analysis Approach for Online Dispute Detection Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Short Papers), pages 693–699, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, June 23-25 2014
  11. Fiona Mao,Robert E. Mercer, Lu Xiao: Extracting Imperatives from Wikipedia Article for Deletion Discussions Proceedings of the First Workshop on Argumentation Mining, pages 106–107, Baltimore, Maryland USA, June 26, 2014.
  12. Darryl Maher: Use of Wikipedia by Legal Scholars: Implications for Information Literacy. Master’s thesis, School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington, submitted June 2014
  13. Sormunen, E. & Alamettälä, T. (2014). Guiding Students in Collaborative Writing of Wikipedia Articles – How to Get Beyond the Black Box Practice in Information Literacy Instruction. In: EdMedia 2014 – World Conference on Educational Media and Technology. Tampere, Finland: June 23-26, 2014
  14. Flati, Tiziano; Daniele Vannella, Tommaso Pasini, Roberto Navigli (2014). “Two Is Bigger (and Better) Than One: the Wikipedia Bitaxonomy Project“. Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers): 945-955. 
  15. Phillips, Jennifer; Connie Lam, Lisa Palmisano (2014-07-01). “Analysis of the accuracy and readability of herbal supplement information on Wikipedia“. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association 54 (4): 406-414. doi:10.1331/JAPhA.2014.13181. ISSN 1544-3191.  Closed access
  16. Conti, Riccardo; Emanuel Marzini, Angelo Spognardi, Ilaria Matteucci, Paolo Mori, Marinella Petrocchi (2014). “Maturity Assessment of Wikipedia Medical Articles”. Proceedings of the 2014 IEEE 27th International Symposium on Computer-Based Medical Systems. CBMS ’14. Washington, DC, USA: IEEE Computer Society. pp. 281–286. DOI:10.1109/CBMS.2014.69. ISBN 978-1-4799-4435-4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/CBMS.2014.69.  Closed access
  17. Rughinis, Cosima; Bogdana Huma, Stefania Matei, Razvan Rughinis (June 2014). “Computer-supported collaborative accounts of major depression: Digital rhetoric on Quora and Wikipedia”. 2014 9th Iberian Conference on Information Systems and Technologies (CISTI). pp. 1-6. DOI:10.1109/CISTI.2014.6876968.  Closed access

Wikimedia Research Newsletter
Vol: 4 • Issue: 10 • October 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 wikimediablog at November 03, 2014 02:41 AM

November 02, 2014

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Evropská reforma autorského práva a hnutí Wikimedia

Budova Evropské komise

Budova Evropské komise, kde se bude o reformě Autorského práva rozhodovat. Přinese nám svobodu panoramatu, abychom nemuseli pro příště cenzorovat tuto budovu? (foto: Snowdog, Public Domain)

Již dříve jsem na stránkách tohoto blogu zmínil rodící se wiki platformu, která existuje v rámci Evropských institucí. Jejím v současné době nejzajímavějším počinem byl croudsourcing odpovědí k evropské reformě Autorského práva. Evropská komise se zeptala veřejnosti, co si myslí o nadcházející harmonizaci Autorského práva v Evropě a sepsání nové směrnice. Free Knowledge Advocacy Group – skupina zájemců prosazující cíle Wiki v politickém prostředí – nelenila, a celou záležitost nechala podrobit crowdsourcingem. A dokonce i Evropská komise byla překvapena, že v hnutí Wikimedia jsme si jednotlivé odpovědi sepsali sami.

Do 6-18 měsíců můžeme očekávat vypracovaný návrh směrnice. Za hnutí Wikimedia k němu Free Knowledge Advocacy Group vypracovalo Position Paper, který podepsalo již celkem 31 organizací (15 poboček hnutí Wikimedia, 5 poboček Open Knowledge, 4 organizace zabývající se digitálními právy, 3 organizace okolo Svobodného software a jedna pobočka Open Street Maps). Mandát je tedy silný. Co vlastně chceme?

Vytyčeny byly celkem čtyři body:

  • Evropská komise by měla vyjasnit evropský rámec Autorského práva jeho harmonizací (tzn. vytvořením jednotného evropského autorského práva). Proto se také setkáváme s názvem single EU Copyright Title.
  • Evropská komise by měla zajistit každému právo svobodného užívání a sdílení fotografií, které byly pořízeny ve veřejném prostoru v duchu svobody panoramatu. Výjimka, která je dnes podle směrnice 2001/29/EC článek 5 bod 3.H volitelná pro každou členskou zemi, by měla platit na celém kontinentě bez výhrad.
  • Evropská komise by měla zajistit, aby práce veškerých úředníků v rámci administrativy a institucí EU bylo možné svobodně užívat a modifikovat. Tyto práce by neměly být chráněny autorským právem.
  • Evropská komise by měla nalézt novou rovnováhu mezi veřejnými díly a ekonomickými zájmy. Udělat definitivní tečku za 20. stoletím a zkrátit délku trvání výlučných práv na minimální možnou délku tak, jak ji definují mezinárodní smlouvy a úmluvy.

Od listopadu pracuje nová Evropská komise s komisařem Günterem Ötitingerem pro digitální záležitosti. Předseda komise Jean Claude Juncker definoval reformu Autorského práva jako jednu ze svých klíčových priorit, což znamená, že do budoucna nezapadne, jako tomu bylo v létě, kdy se o ni přetahovala jednotlivá ředitelství Evropské komise. A jak je na tom nový komisař Öttinger? Na jeho práci, která bude spočívat v budování jednotného digitálního trhu v Evropě, bude dohlížet místopředseda Komise, Estonec Andrus Ansip. Tak snad uvidíme… třeba se poštěstí i nám a otevřou se vbrzku nové možnosti pro šíření svobodného vzdělání a svobodných znalostí i u nás.

by Jan Loužek at November 02, 2014 07:32 PM

Wikipedie na veletrhu v Havlíčkově Brodě: dotazy návštěvníků i soutěž o trička

Book_Fair_2014_Havlíčkův_Brod_-_WM_CZ_5Českou Wikipedii, největší česky psanou encyklopedii všech dob, se snažíme představovat na všelijakých místech. V rozhlase a televizi, na vysokých školách a během konferencí, na seniorských kurzech i dětských festivalech. Mnoho nových akcí pořádáme letos poprvé, ale jestli někde jsme už skutečně mnoho let, tak je to Podzimní knižní veletrh v Havlíčkově Brodě. Wikimedia Česká republika tam má svůj stánek už od roku 2009 a ani v roce 2014 jsme na tomto veletrhu nemohli chybět.

Na našem stánku jsme tak už pošesté návštěvníkům prezentovali projekty nadace Wikimedia a činnost spolku Wikimedia ČR. Informovali jsme i o aktuálních projektech – např. o soutěži Wiki miluje památky, o projektech Foto českých obcí nebo Studenti píší Wikipedii (koneckonců, veletrh navštěvuje poměrně velké množství učitelů). Na co se návštěvníci ptají? Pravidelně jim vysvětlujeme základní principy Wikipedie a snažíme se objasnit, jak lze informace z Wikipedie správně přebírat. Velmi často rovněž odpovídáme na otázku, jak je možné údajům na Wikipedii věřit, když v ní může kdokoliv cokoliv změnit. Jako zpětnou vazbu se od návštěvníků snažíme získávat informace o tom, jak používají Wikipedii oni.
Book_Fair_2014_Havlíčkův_Brod_-_WM_CZ_2
Abychom naši účast letos oživili, přišli jsme letos s akcí „Opravte chybu ve Wikipedii a získejte triko“. Ukázali jsem lidem, kteří znají Wikipedii, že opravdu není složité opravit překlep nebo jinou drobnou chybu, na kterou při používání Wikipedie přijdou. Cílem akce bylo přilákat nové lidi k editování Wikipedie. A dozvíme se, zda se to alespoň trochu povedlo – na všechny editující návštěvníky máme e-mailový kontakt a začátkem příštího roku se jich optáme.

Podzimní knižní veletrh v Havlíčkově Brodu je nejstarším a druhým největším knižním veletrhem v Česku. Koná se každoročně od roku 1991. Letos se jej zúčastnilo 165 vystavovatelů a navštívilo přes 15 000 lidí. Děkujeme všem, kteří se podíleli na naší účasti na knižním veletrhu 2014 – jmenovitě to je Pavel Hrdlička (Packa), Milada Moudrá (Sandwort), Jiří Sedláček (Frettie), Miroslav Langer (Okino) a wikipedista Mercy. Za podklady k této zprávě patří dík Pavlu Hrdličkovi. Účast byla financována z grantu Presentation&Outreach II nadace Wikimedia Foundation. Fotografie z akce jsou na této stránce.

by Vojtěch Dostál at November 02, 2014 04:51 PM

November 01, 2014

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Video: Encyklopedická významnost

Co je to encyklopedická významnost? Proč mají být články na Wikipedii jen o určitých tématech a ne o všem možném?

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by Vojtěch Dostál at November 01, 2014 11:36 PM

October 31, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Pang-start 2014: A collaboration between the Oslo National Academy of the Arts and Wikimedia Norge

Illustration for the article metaphor. In Norwegian language the expression “the King of the forest” is a metaphor for moose.
“Skogens konge” by Synne A. Salvesen, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

100 illustrations in 2 days?

In June 2014, Wikimedia Norge was contacted by Andreas Berg, a professor of illustrations at the department of graphic design and illustration at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. He had an idea. In preparation for the upcoming fall semester, he drafted a workshop that centered on Wikipedia. The aim of this workshop was to teach students how to design and make use of freely licenced illustrations.

Wikimedia Norge adopted the proposal and compiled a list of 100 Wikipedia articles that were without illustrations. An academic program was created, comprising of six lectures. Over the course of the series, the topics ranged from the transition of print to online encyclopedias, over gender issues in dictionaries, to the use of cultural “big data”. Students would be taught how to use free licences, and how deconstruct the elements that make a successful illustration.

Professor at the University of Oslo, Ruth E. Vatvedt Fjeld and research librarian at the National Library of Norway, ph.d. Siv Frøydis Berg both held lectures at the workshop.
“Making illustrations for Wikipedia 09″ by WMNOastrid, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

We reached out to a variety of people, some from past collaborations and others we had heard speak at conferences. Our requests were well received; however, it was difficult to narrow down specific articles. After extensive creative help and good advice from Svein Nyhus, both an award winning illustrator and a Wikipedian, we chose a list that consisted mostly of articles about abstract words. Here are some examples: inner peace, power nap, master suppression techniques, shame, political asylum and rapid eye movement sleep.

Why illustration?

  Andreas Berg and Martin Egge Lundell, professors at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts.

“Making illustrations for Wikipedia 08″ by WMNOastrid, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

Encyclopedias are a pillar of Western culture. The French Encyclopédie has represented the ideal of an inseparable basic structure of text and images in a national framework for over 200 years. This alone, with its complex implications, is good enough reason for professors Berg and his colleague Martin Egge Lundell to deal with encyclopedias: “Up until fifteen years ago, major projects were in process all over the world to create national encyclopedias. It was considered a state responsibility. Nationalism was empowered by authority. The Internet has completely reshaped the concept of encyclopedias, and Wikimedia projects have been a driving force in that development.”

The students hang all the Wikipedia articles up on the wall, and as they got ideas, made drafts and hang them up next to the articles.

“Making illustrations for Wikipeida 07″ by WMNOastrid, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

On the second day, the best drafts were selected for uploading to Wikimedia Commons.
“Making illustrations for Wikipeida 07″ by WMNOastrid, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

Berg and Lundell approached Wikimedia Norge with the idea of a two day workshop for 50 students of illustration and graphic design, an experiment with the aim to produce one hundred illustrations for Wikipedia. Designing scientific images for encyclopedias was a sharp contrast to the work students were used to creating. «With Pang-Start 2014 we wanted to get the students as a group to playfully use their abilities and skills, taking into account the responsibility that comes with any kind of interference in the media», say Berg and Lundell.

Pang-Start 2014 dealt with general questions within the field of graphic design and illustration: Who decides the content? What is the difference between user and producer? What is possible to communicate and what is not? And specifically, when it comes to the free encyclopedia: What is national and what is international on Wikipedia? Who is in charge? Who really cares about the design and the images? And, last but not least, how to contribute?

The workshop resulted in the publication of 72 distinct illustrations, that have been thus far put to use on Bokmål Wikipedia, Nynorsk Wikipedia (2 Norwegian Wikipedias), Indonesian Wiktionary, English Wikipedia and Arabian Wikipedia. You can see all the illustrations by clicking here.

Contribution can have many forms, and most importantly, a wide range of meanings for the person who decides to take part. Help us expand this project and take its stories further: share, contribute, and use the images we brought on the Wikimedia projects!

Astrid Carlsen, project leader at Wikimedia Norge
Andreas Berg, professor of illustration at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts
Martin Egge Lundell, professor of graphic design at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts

by wikimediablog at October 31, 2014 10:04 PM

October 29, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Structured Commons project launches in Berlin

How can we make multimedia data easier to use on Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia and sister sites?

Today, information about media files on Wikimedia sites is stored in unstructured formats that cause a range of issues: for example, file information is hard to search, some of it is only available in English, and it is difficult to edit or re-use files to comply with their license terms.

To address these issues, members of the Wikidata and Multimedia teams met with community volunteers for a week-long bootcamp in Berlin from October 5 to 10, 2014.

caption

The Multimedia and Wikidata teams met with community volunteers in Berlin to discuss structured data on Commons.
(Photo: Structured Data Bootcamp Group Photo – Closeup by Christopher Schwarzkopf, under CC-by-sa 2.0)

The focus of this event was to investigate how to structure data on Wikimedia Commons, reusing the same technology as the one developed for Wikidata. Participants collaborated in small workgroups to explore a range of problems and solutions, in parallel sessions focused on community, design, engineering, licensing and product management challenges.

Each workgroup produced concrete examples of how these ideas could be implemented, including:

  • first data models for structuring file information, to make it machine-readable and license-compliant
  • first user interface designs for viewing and editing structured data seamlessly
  • a working prototype of a high-level API, for reading and updating metadata about media files
  • improvements to a prototype dashboard identifying files missing machine-readable metadata.

These preliminary ideas are now being documented on Commons so they can be discussed and improved with community members. For a project overview, check out this development page and these project slides.

The bootcamp was very productive, but many questions remain unanswered. Next steps include community discussions, design, prototyping, testing and a series of experiments — before starting actual development and data migration next year.

Everyone is invited to contribute to this important project. Your ideas and comments are much welcome, and developers would love your active participation to define and guide this project.

We look forward to working with our community to modernize our multimedia infrastructure and better support the needs of our users.

For the Structured Data project team at the Wikimedia Foundation:

Fabrice Florin – Product Manager, Multimedia (WMF)
Keegan Peterzell – Community Liaison (Product) (WMF)
Gilles Dubuc – Tech Lead, Multimedia (WMF)

by Guillaume Paumier at October 29, 2014 11:13 PM

Wikimedia Logos Have Been Freed!

A representation of the red, green, and blue of the Wikimedia logos. “ThreeCircles” by Samuel Johnson, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

We are proud to announce that starting today, the Wikimedia logos will be freely licensed on Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. After all, Wikimedia Commons’ mission is to disseminate free and public domain content to everyone. We are thrilled that the copyright status of Wikimedia logos will now be fully aligned with that goal.

As you may have noticed, many of the Wikimedia logos on Commons did not carry the CC BY-SA 3.0 license for historic reasons. Over the past year, we have done an extensive review of their copyright status and worked with many of the logo designers to get a complete history. That review is now complete, and we have begun to re-licence the Wikimedia logos on Commons so that they can be freely used, subject to the terms of the CC BY-SA 3.0 license and the Wikimedia trademark policy.

We would really appreciate your help in replacing the {{Copyright by Wikimedia}} templates for all Wikimedia logos on Commons! Each of the Wikimedia logos in every language version should instead carry the {{Wikimedia trademark}} and {{cc-by-sa-3.0}} templates. The only logos that will not be licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 are the MediaWiki and the Community logos, which were originally released under free licenses and do not need to be changed.

Yana Welinder, Legal Counsel

Many thanks to former legal interns Joseph Jung, Matthew Collins, and Lukas Mezger for their work on the review of the copyright status of the Wikimedia logos. I would also like to thank Joseph and Natalie Kim for their help in preparing this post.

by nkimwmf at October 29, 2014 02:37 PM

October 28, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Wikicamp 2014 in Serbia and Hungary brings chapters together!

Participants of Wikicamp Palić – Szeged 2014
“Wiki Camp Palic-Szeged 2014 001″ by Mickey Mystique, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

Wiki Camp Palic-Szeged (Вики Камп Палић-Сегедин) was held for the first time ever this summer. It was organized by Wikimedia Serbia and Wikimedia Hungary in order to promote networking and develop stronger relationships among the chapters. On the last weekend of August, 17 volunteers from Serbia and 3 volunteers from Hungary gathered at Palic and Szeged. Three days, two cities, and 20 highly motivated participants resulted in a large number of photographs and 32 articles on the Serbian language Wikipedia about topics related to Serbia and Hungary. All articles and attendees are listed here (in English and in Serbian). Photos are available on Commons.

Workshop of editing Wikipedia
“Palić, Radionica obuke o Vikipediji, 01″ by Mickey Mystique, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

Among the participants of Wikicamp, there were those who had not previously worked on Wikipedia or weren’t familiar with the projects of the organization, which is an opportunity for training new people and potential Wikipedians and Wikimedians. “Diversity is what we always work on and support. We are pleasantly surprised by the number of interested people and we wanted to give everyone a chance to participate, so the first part of the camp was set for training of editing Wikipedia for newcomers, and then we proceeded with the planned edit-a-thon.”, said Ivana Madžarević, project and community manager from the office of Wikimedia Serbia.

Edit-a-thon in Sgezed
“Segedin, Uređivački maraton, 03″ by Mickey Mystique, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

At the first edit-a-thon there were 20 Wikipedians. Eight new articles were written and five were improved, all covering topics related to Serbia. Participants from Hungary joined us a little later. Apart from the workshop and edit-a-thon, we had two photo tours in Subotica and Palic, where we visited the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Synagogue of Subotica and the City House. After the second tour at Palic Lake, we successfully ended the first day of the camp with all participants full of positive impressions.

The next day, we arrived in Szeged around 12pm. We first visited the city and its attractions, as well as the museum, where we took ​​a large number of photos. After lunch, we went back to the accommodation where we held a workshop about editing Wikipedia. Once again we were surprised by the motivation of the attendees – some of them stayed to edit until 11pm. 16 new articles were created and three were improved. This time, the topics were related to Hungary.

The conference part of the camp was planned for the third day. Filip Maljkovic, the president of Wikimedia Serbia, presented the chapter and its projects, and Andrea Toth, Wikimedia Hungary Office Manager, talked briefly about Wikimedia Hungary. We then divided the participants into groups and gave them short case studies to consider, which involved improving cooperation between WMRS and WMHU. Representatives of the groups presented their creative solutions and then we officially finished the first Wikicamp 2014. We presented certificates to participants, and three of them joined Wikimedia Serbia. Maljkovic, Toth, and Ivana Madžarević, Project and Community Manager, each gave statements to reporter Milenko Radić, a Serbian journalist from a Hungarian radio station.

Madžarević said, “Wikicamp 2014 was successful and the first project organized by two chapters in our region. We’re definitely planning on doing this again, bearing in mind the importance of connection of chapters and strengthening the community in general. We learned that all we need is a little effort to strengthen the community by tapping the interests of existing members and attracting new volunteers. Wikicamp proved to be a successful way to enhance cooperation between the two chapters to enrich content on both Wikipedias and to show to new volunteers the idea and the importance of Wikimedia movement and the fun of participating in it.”

Ivana Madžarević, project and community manager, Wikimedia Serbia

by wikimediablog at October 28, 2014 02:32 AM

October 27, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

On Philadelphia’s birthday, a look at how it came alive on Wikipedia

David Thomsen has written dozens of articles about Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This user profile is part of a series about history and geography on Wikipedia. Today, October 27th, 2014, is the 332nd anniversary of the founding of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Fulfilling your civic duty can mean a lot of different things. David Thomsen, a retired programmer and member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, sees it as his civic duty to get the facts straight on almost everything Philadelphia-related on Wikipedia.

“I want people to know who their council people are [and] who they can come to,” says Thomsen. “I see it as a role to encourage democracy, political participation [and] I think anybody looking for information should have a place to go and Wikipedia is one of the places that they can go.”

With over 160,000 edits to his name and counting, the 75-year-old Philadelphian has been an active Wikipedia editor since early 2009. Thomsen says his first Wikipedia edit was inspired by his connection to Lafayette College (he earned a degree there), and since then has continued to specialize in editing and writing pages mostly related to either Philadelphia or Pennsylvania.

Thomsen’s first edit was when he decided to improve the page on Francis March, the first professor of English in the U.S. Then he went on to create a disambiguation page for the surname March.

“I really got started and did the first thing; an article about March and then I got into other things,” says Thomsen. “Particularly things about Philadelphia when I found [out] there was nothing [on] various things in Philadelphia or in Pennsylvania.”

One of Thomsen’s favorite edits was correcting an article that claimed that Independence Hall was a property of the United States federal government when actually it was owned by the City of Philadelphia. Thomsen also found himself correcting a rumor that fast-food chain Taco Bell, which has a bell logo, was planning on purchasing the Liberty Bell, an iconic symbol of American independence located in Philadelphia.

“It would have been unlikely to start out with, but also impossible because they thought they were buying it from the federal government also and not so, Philadelphia,” says Thomsen.

The avid Wikipedian worked as a programmer at Sunoco for 27 years and found that his experience as a web developer helped him ease into the nooks and crannies of Wikipedia.

Thomsen has written dozens of articles on Wikipedia (he lists them on his user page), and fondly remembers writing about the “First City Troop“, a unit of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and the oldest military unit in U.S. history. He wrote about how the first captain of the troop was actually Abraham Markoe, who left his position after the King of Denmark issued an edict that Danes were not to fight the British.

“Even Philadelphians may know about the First City Troop [and] know about the fighting captain, [but] not the first captain,” says Thomsen.

Thomsen believes that contributing to Wikipedia is a democratic process that does not require technical know-how.

“I think that the software [has] been organized so people are free to add, but in a disciplined way, an organized way.” says Thomsen.

Thomsen recognizes that most Wikipedia users have not edited a single article, and editing isn’t the only way to give to the Wikimedia community.

“You don’t have to become an editor, but give some money so that the whole enterprise goes along and give some respect to all those tens of thousands of editors who are busy giving up their own time, money, effort to make it better.” says Thomsen.

Profile by Yoona Ha, Communications Intern

Interview by Jacob Wilson

by wikimediablog at October 27, 2014 07:00 PM

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Wikipedie: Základní principy

Nezaujatý úhel pohledu. Ověřitelnost. Encyklopedická významnost. Pravidla a doporučení. Wikipedie stojí na několika základních principech, které z ní udělaly největší internetovou encyklopedii na světě. Podívejte se, jak je vymezen její obsah; co do ní patří a co je již za hranou.

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by Vojtěch Dostál at October 27, 2014 02:18 PM

October 26, 2014

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Senioři píší Wikipedii – přijďte na naše kurzy!

Chcete se naučit psát do Wikipedie? Pokud jste z Prahy, není nic snazšího než (klidně bez ohlášení) přijít do jednoho z pravidelných kurzů, které pro vás zdarma pořádáme. Můžete nám také napsat na náš e-mail seniori@@@.svgwikimedia.cz, budete-li chtít, budeme vám pravidelně posílat všechny aktuální informace o chystaných akcích – přednáškách, kurzech apod. Zkusit editovat Wikipedii ale můžete hned teď, ani se nemusíte nikam registrovat. Stačí si najít článek, který vás zajímá, a kliknout vpravo nahoře na tlačítko Editovat. Nemusíte se bát, že něco zkazíte. I kdyby se tak náhodou stalo, vy sami či někdo jiný chybnou změnu jedním kliknutím vrátí zpátky.

Pravidelné kurzy můžete navštěvovat v těchto termínech:
  • Kurz v Centru Elpida na Pankráci (Na Strži 40) probíhající v pondělky a středy, a to od 27. října do 12. listopadu (celkem tedy šest setkání), vždy od 17 do 19 hodin. Na tento kurz je dobré se předem registrovat zde, případně telefonicky na čísle 272 701 335.
  • Každé úterý od 15 do 17 hodin v Ústřední knihovně Městské knihovny v Praze (Mariánské náměstí 1, počítačová učebna, v suterénu, vedle sálů; více informací zde). První hodina začíná 4. listopadu.
  • Každý čtvrtek od 9 do 11 hodin v pobočce Městské knihovny na Smíchově (Náměstí 14. října 15, počítačová učebna; více informací zde). První hodina začíná 30. října.
  • Připojit se do kurzu je možné i v jeho průběhu, když třeba nestíháte první dvouhodinovku. V tom případě je však dobré dát nám o tom předem vědět na náš e-mail.
  • Pokud nejste z Prahy či kurzy nestíháte, a přesto o ně máte zájem, napište nám e-mail – kurz je možné absolvovat i na dálku on-line, přestože osobní setkávání to asi nevynahradí.
  • Pro zájemce o projekt Knihovna umění jsou kurzy jednou měsíčně vždy ve čtvrtek od 9 do 11 hodin (9. října, 6. a 27. listopadu) v Artotéce Městské knihovny Opatov (Opatovská 14). Je možné přihlásit se také na stránce projektu a sjednat individuální kurz v jiném termínu.

Kurzy jsou určeny pro všechny, kteří už si rozumí s počítačem a internetem a chtěli by se naučit psát do internetové encyklopedie Wikipedie – a sdílet tak své celoživotní zkušenosti a znalosti (ať už jde o odborné vzdělání nebo koníčky a záliby) se všemi ostatními, především s mladší generací, pro kterou je dnes Wikipedie hlavním informačním zdrojem. Účastníci si pod vedením zkušených wikipedistů ověří, že psát do Wikipedie není nic zas tak těžkého a je to velké zadostiučinění, protože její obsah je zdarma přístupný všem. Rozsah kurzu je přibližně 6×120 min. Absolvent kurzu se bude umět skvěle orientovat ve Wikipedii, seznámí se s tím, jak Wikipedie funguje a vzniká. Založí si vlastní profil, bude umět opravovat chyby, diskutovat s ostatními wikipedisty, doplňovat do článků chybějící informace i vytvořit kompletně nové heslo, včetně třeba nahrání vlastních fotografií.

Projekt Senioři píší Wikipedii probíhá pod záštitou Wikimedia ČR a je financován z IEG grantu Wikimedia Foundation. Text byl přejat z oficiální stránky projektu.

by Vojtěch Veselý at October 26, 2014 03:24 PM

October 23, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Do you know what’s around you? Let Wikipedia tell you!

Screenshot of the Nearby feature in the Wikipedia iOS App.

Screenshot of the Nearby feature in the Wikipedia iOS App.

The Wikimedia App team has just added the first native “Nearby” functionality to the new Android and iOS Wikipedia apps. Using this feature, you’ll be able to retrieve a list of Wikipedia articles near your current location and see their relative distance to you. You’ll even notice a handy compass arrow that points to the direction for each location and updates as you move.

Simply single tap an entry to read the article, or long-press an entry to open in map view.

With this feature, we’re bringing Wikipedia into the world around you and enabling you to explore and learn more about your surroundings. Perhaps you’ve always wondered about that monument that you pass during your commute home, been curious about an architecturally interesting building, or simply wanted a to-do list while traveling. Now, the new Wikipedia app can surface those for you, and maybe it’ll even inspire you to add your own.

Screenshot of the Nearby feature in the Wikipedia Android App.

Screenshot of the Nearby feature in the Wikipedia Android App.

Possible things to come

We have some exciting and ambitious ideas of where we could go next:

  • Filtering nearby items by category, so that you could read more about specific things you’re interested in near you, such as museums or historic buildings.
  • Searching for other articles that are near the article you’re currently reading.
  • Letting you drop a pin on a map so you can see articles tagged near that location.

What do you think?

Don’t hesitate to send us feedback about this and make sure to download our latest Android or iOS beta. We want to know what you’d like to see in future updates, and to hear your ideas for making the apps even more awesome!

And if you love to code, do take a pass on our GeoData API and show us what you’ve built.

Dmitry Brant, Software Engineer,
Monte Hurd, Software Engineer

by montehurd at October 23, 2014 09:47 PM

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

V polských Słubicích byl včera slavnostně odhalen památník Wikipedii

Odhalení památníku. Autor: Awersowy, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0

Odhalení památníku. Autor: Awersowy, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0

Včera byl v polském městě Słubice odhalen památník věnovaný Wikipedii. Iniciátorem jeho zbudování byl Krzysztof Wojciechowski, ředitel školy Collegium Polonicum v Słubicích. Samotné odhalení se potom uskutečnilo za přítomnosti starosty města, Tomasze Ciszewicze, a zástupců nadace Wikimedia Foundation. Autorem památníku je arménský sochař Mihran Hakobyan, který na Collegium Polonicum vystudoval.

Památník má výšku okolo 170 cm a zbudován je z mosazného kovu. Představuje dva muže a dvě ženy, zvedající kouli sestavenou z částí puzzle – symbol Wikipedie. Náklady na toto dílo dosáhly výše 60 tisíc zlotých, které poskytlo město. Památník byl umístěn na Frankfurtském náměstí (Plac Frankfucki), hlavním náměstí ve Słubicích.

Proč byly ale vybrány právě polské Słubice, město s necelými dvaceti tisíci obyvateli? I přes nízký počet obyvatel a umístění téměř na hranici s Německem se jedná o město akademické; město kde se potkávají různé kultury a střetávají různé národy. I to představuje duch Wikipedie, kterou tvoří dobrovolníci z celého světa. V současné době je encyklopedie v dispozici v okolo dvou set osmdesáti jazycích.

Slavnostní odhalení se uskutečnilo ve večerních hodinách. Doplnila jej také debata o budoucnosti Wikipedie, kterou moderoval profesor Dariusz Jemelniak, a které se účastnilo i několik lidí ze spolků Wikimedie Polsko a Wikimedie Německo.

Zprávu o zhotovení a odhalení památníku přenesla média na celém světě – o inciativě města Słubice informovaly deníky nejen v Polsku, ale také i ve Spojených státech, Španělsku, nebo Německu… V neposlední řadě svůj článek přinesl také Český rozhlas, a také slovenská agentura TA3.

O samotném památníku už vznikl na Wikipedii článek, který byl jen několik hodin po odhalení přeložen rovnou do 21 jazyků, včetně například japonštiny, malajštiny, nebo velštiny. Český článek prozatím chybí, nicméně jeho vznik lze v krátké době očekávat. Název Wikipedie vznikl z havajštiny, kde Wiki znamená rychle. A základní princip encyklopedie spočívá v tom, že rychle reaguje na řadu nových podnětů, změn i výzev.

by Jan Loužek at October 23, 2014 05:30 PM

October 22, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

What we learned from making book grants on Arabic Wikipedia

Wikipedians and Wikimedia Foundation partner to experiment with microgrants

Launching Microgrants

Wikimedia Foundation Grants teamed up with The Wikipedia Library to open an Arabic, community-run branch

In early 2014 the Wikimedia Foundation began an experiment to better support individual contributors to Wikimedia projects, by giving out smaller grants to more individuals (complementing our existing grants to organizations, which mainly fund offline activities). We started by selecting a global south community that did not already have a local chapter meeting its needs: Arabic Wikipedia. We wanted to make grants that the community would find useful, so we asked them in a consultation, what kinds of small resources do you need? “Books!” was the primary answer we got, so we focused the pilot in that direction.

At this point, WMF staffers connected in the organizers of The Wikipedia Library, a community project (also WMF-funded) that helps editors access reliable sources. The Wikipedia Library already had experience delivering journal access to lots of editors on English Wikipedia, but they had not yet set up similar programs for other language communities, nor experimented with offering resources besides journals before. Their community-coordinator model appeared to offer a scalable way for distributing small resources to many editors, and they were looking for new ways to expand beyond serving the needs of English Wikipedians. Partnering on an Arabic pilot was a natural fit.

Mohamed Ouda and عباد ديرانية set up and coordinated the Arabic Wikipedia Library.

The next step was to find local partners in the Arabic community to lead the Arabic Wikipedia Library. We ran signups for local community coordinators to vet requests and purchase and track books, and selected two: User:Mohamed Ouda and User:عباد ديرانية.

Creating Infrastructure

To buy and globally ship books requested on Arabic Wikipedia, we needed pages where editors could ask for a book, payment options that volunteers could securely use to purchase books, and a way to track everything as it happened.

We made our first test purchases using Amazon.com and Neelwafurat.com (a popular Arabic bookseller). It was surprisingly difficult to get money to the local Arabic Coordinators for purchasing books in ways that were both user-friendly and easy to track. Providing them with prepaid cards, our first strategy, seemed like a good direction, but we weren’t able to find a card that WMF could purchase in the US for use by coordinators internationally. We ultimately employed a very old strategy – bank wire transfers – and worked with WMF’s finance team to add standardized processes for two other payment transfer options – Paypal and Western Union – to meet our needs for controls and flexibility.

Leveraging the existing journal access program run by The Wikipedia Library, we looked to a page design that could expand globally through a more modular set of pages. If The Wikipedia Library was going to serve many different communities, all with different needs, then its portal needed to be clear and distinct but its options needed to be adaptable and flexible. We translated the new kit into Arabic Wikipedia Library Pages: a portal page, book purchases, journal requests, and one for sharing sources between editors.

The Arabic Wikipedia Library Homepage

 

The kit pages used a customizable request template which let volunteers make requests and then interact with the local coordinators to facilitate on-wiki tracking of which books they wanted, when they received them, and how they used them.

Measuring Impact

Over the four months that the program was running, we purchased 14 books out of 19 that were requested. We shipped books to Spain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Tunisia. Books like: Turks and Moroccans and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery, and July Revolution: Pros and cons after half a century. On the average, books cost $20 and shipping cost $10.

Our biggest challenge by far in purchasing books was shipping. It has been difficult to get booksellers (even regional ones) to ship books from the country where the book is stocked to many of the countries where Arabic Wikipedians have requested them. In the case of Amazon, postal codes are required for shipping, and it turns out that some editors in the MENA region do not have postal codes. We failed to have books shipped to Palestine, Jordan, Morocco, and in one case Egypt. In the first month of the pilot, this prevented about half of the requests from being successfully processed. Trouble with shipping a significant portion of requests made us hesitant to broadcast signups more widely. As a result, we fell short of our target of having 40 books successfully purchased, shipped, and used to improve or create new encyclopedia content during this pilot.

Another significant challenge was in reporting itself. It was hard to know if books were received, because despite volunteer-coordinator-pinging, only 2 books were ever marked as having gotten into the hands of the editor who they were shipped to. At this point, we still don’t have enough data to understand if the books had any impact on Wikipedia, as no editors came back to update their request with a short list or link of the articles that they improved or created.

What we learned

We originally set out to learn more about supporting the needs of individuals in the global south, test WMF grantmaking systems for making many small grants to individuals around the world, raise awareness of WMF grantmaking in communities outside English Wikipedia and Meta, and expand The Wikipedia Library beyond its English home base. Here are some of our findings:

1. Moving money to individuals globally is even harder than could reasonably be expected, and multiple options are needed to fit different users and countries.

For processes to scale easily, they need to be consistent. But the global financial reality is not particularly consistent. At the start of this pilot, we knew that trying to process lots of small money transfers to individual contributors would increase the burden on our finance department. We also knew that WMF’s standard method for sending money via bank wire transfers can take up to 2 weeks for an individual to receive, involves a lot of back and forth with individuals and banks to confirm details like SWIFT codes, and that bank transfer fees can eat up large portions of small grants. So we were hoping to find some new methods for sending a few hundred dollars at a time to our coordinators.

Over the course of this pilot, our finance team added standardized processes for sending money to individuals via both Western Union and Paypal, which we’d had only limited use of in the past. These are great options to add to our toolkit because they tend to move money to individuals in many countries more quickly than bank transfers. And we’ve also confirmed we still need a variety of other options, because individuals and countries come in all shapes and sizes. Paypal, for example, is the best option for many contributors to receive money in many countries, but Paypal doesn’t work in Egypt.

2. Moving physical things to individuals globally isn’t easy either.

It turns out that tangible objects aren’t easily transferred between countries either – unsurprisingly, we ran into regional infrastructure problems. Over the course of the pilot, we tried several bookselling websites, and we even considered having a book shipped to point A and then forwarded on to point B so that requests could be filled. Ultimately, though, shipping tangible items globally is a barrier to scale. For future experiments, it may be better to focus on transactions that can be entirely completed online.

3. Community volunteers and WMF staff have complementary strengths that make us great partners and can lead the way to scale if done right.

Community members know their communities! They understand the local processes (and policies), they speak the language, and they have built relationships with other editors. But, coordinating planning and timing can be a challenge, and it wasn’t always easy to know when to involve which members of the team, balanced with a desire to keep things moving forward as quickly as possible. Engaging all team members early and often is an area we can still improve on, to help everyone maintain a sense of shared ownership of the project.

4. Community-building and impact measurement takes time.

9 months into the project and 4 months into the active pilot, we still don’t know much about the ultimate effect we’ve had on contributors or on Wikipedia. We will need to follow up with measurement again in future months, and we may also need to come up with better ways to collect data to determine impact (see next learning).

5. Microgrant reporting may not be a feasible means for collecting data on impact.

Coordinators were more successful at handling requests than they were at getting recipients to report on how they used books, or even to confirm that they got them! Reporting is always a challenge for grants (or even surveys). In this case, we aimed for very small and lightweight reports (linking to an article that had been improved), but still lack this data. A requirement that editors coming back for a second book need to report back on their first book may gradually bring in this data, but it remains to be seen if that will be enough motivation in the long run to get people to respond, or if the program will lose steam before this happens.

6. It’s important to design for scalability, but easy to get caught up in over-designing it before it is needed.

We put a lot of initial effort into setting up book-purchasing accounts with controls for reconciling purchases. Some of that infrastructure ultimately went unused when we found issues with purchasing and shipping that were different than expected. On the other hand, we also put effort into building the kit for local satellite Wikipedia Library branches, which will be used well beyond the initial Arabic test case. Our development was better harnessed in that case, perhaps because there we understood the community needs we were designing for, and left it open-ended in cases where we didn’t yet understand the needs.

7. Having a well-defined target community to partner with is a clear benefit to your experiment.

We were not designing an experiment in a vacuum. Rather, we piloted via a program that had already demonstrated a working community model, connected to a new target community expressing a need to expand this model in new directions. This helped us better target our efforts and waste less time figuring out how to approach the pilot.

8. When the costs of your experiment start to outweigh the benefits, it’s time to wrap up and turn your ‘failure’ into learning.

Ultimately, we learned a lot from this experiment, and it has pushed our thinking, processes, and relationships forward in useful ways. At this point, we’ve learned enough about what doesn’t work to recognize that it is time to change direction. The tendency for all participants involved in a struggling pilot is to blame themselves and then try harder. But knowing when to stop trying to ‘make it work’ helps us conserve the most important resources we have: the time, energy, and morale of volunteers and staff — which deserve to be spent on future projects with brighter chances to succeed.

What’s next

The Wikipedia Library remains on Arabic Wikipedia, but we’re taking focus off making book requests work. Editors can still request books for the time being, and if they’re easy to send we’ll still ship them, but the Arabic coordinators are resetting expectations to clarify that not all requests can be met, and we’re not going to waste more volunteer time on complicated workarounds or invest further in solving these issues. If/when there is sufficient data on successfully received book requests at some point in the future, we’ll still aim to analyze the impact of book grants on the encyclopedia, to continue learning from this project.

This report will now be used as a starting point to go back to the Arabic community again for further consultation. We leave it to the Arabic community to decide whether to continue the Wikipedia Library and attempt to focus on providing other types of resources, and/or move in some other direction for supporting Arabic editors.

The pilot participants:

Siko Bouterse (Head of Individual Grants), Haitham Shammaa (Learning Strategist), Asaf Bartov (Global South Advisor), Janice Tud (Grants Administrator), Ocaasi (heading The Wikipedia Library), Patrick Earley (WMF Community Advocate), Mohamed Ouda (Arabic Library Coordinator), Abbad Diraneyya (Arabic Library Coordinator)

by wikimediablog at October 22, 2014 06:43 PM

October 21, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

More Than 40 Million People Await the Launch of Odia Wikisource

This blog post was first published at Rising Voices on October 18.


(“Odia Wikisource incubator project screenshot” by Wikimedia Foundation. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0, except the Wikisource logo which is (c) Wikimedia Foundation)

Speakers of Odia will soon have mountains of books to read online in their mother tongue, following the launch of the Odia Wikisource, which will make accessible many rare books that have entered the public domain. Authors and publishers are also invited to donate their copyrighted work, possibly bringing open access to large volumes of books and manuscripts, creating a vast archive of educational resources. And everything will be in Odia. 

One of the biggest advantages of Wikisource is that all its books are available in Unicode, meaning that Google's search engine indexes the texts’ entirety, and readers are able to copy easily what they wish. (Most conventional archival systems lack this feature.) A volunteer community administers Wikisource. To upload a book's content, volunteers either retype the books word-for-word, or, when possible, use Optical Character Recognition (commonly known as “OCR“), which converts scanned images into editable text. Available at or.wikisource.org, Odia is Wikisource's eleventh Indic language. 

There are more than 40 million native Odia speakers in the world. Most live in the Indian state of Odisha and its neighboring states, but there is a large diaspora in countries like the US, UK, UAE, and across South and East Asia. Despite being spoken by so many people, Odia's online presence is relatively small.

As of October 2014, Odia Wikipedia hosted 8,441 articles. The state government's websites have Odia-language content, naturally, but none of the text is in Unicode, making the materials invisible to search engines and difficult to share. Thanks to individual and organizational efforts, some Odia-language websites have recently emerged with Unicode content. 

With support from the non-profit organization Pragati Utkal Sangha and the National Institute of Technology Rourkela, a Bhubaneswar-based outfit has digitized about 740 books through the Open Access to Oriya Books (OAOB) project. Most of these texts were published between 1850 and 1950. The OAOB project is the largest existing digital archive of Odia literature, but the archived books are only available as scanned PDFs, restricting readers’ ability to search within the texts.

As a Wikimedia project, Odia Wikisource underwent a long approval process, after running as an active incubator project for nearly two years. Both the Language Committee and the Wikimedia Foundation's Board reviewed and endorsed the project. 

Odia Wikisource has already digitized and proofread three books entirely. In collaboration with the Wikimedia-funded Centre for Internet and Society‘s Access to Knowledge, the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) has partially digitized another book, as well. KISS is also busy digitizing another Nine books by Odia-language author Dr. Jagannath Mohanty that were relicensed to CC-BY-SA 3.0 earlier this year.

In response to posts on Twitter and Facebook, four new contributors recently joined Wikisource to help digitize “The Odia Bhagabata,” a literary classic compiled in the 14th century. “Content that have already been typed with fonts of non-Unicode encoding systems could be converted by converters which was the case of Odia Bhagabata. New contributors did not face the problem of retyping the text, as the book was already available on a website Odia.org and is out of copyright”, says Manoj Sahukar, who (along with yours truly) designed a converter that helped to transcribe “Bhagabata”.

Rising Voices contacted some of those whose efforts made this happen.

Mrutyunjaya Kar (MK), Long time Wikimedian who has proof-read the books on Odia Wikisource
Rising Voices (RV): Youre there with Odia Wikisource since its inception. How you think it will help other Odias?
MK: Odias around the globe will have access to a vast amount of old as well as new books and manuscripts online in the tip of their finger. Knowing more about the long and glorious history of Odisha will become easier.

Nihar Kumar Dalai (NKD), Wikisource writer
RV: How does it feel to be one of the few contributors to digitize Odia Bhagabata. How you want to get involved in future?
NKD: This is a proud opportunity for me to be a part of digitization of such old literature. I, at times, think if I could get involved with this full time!

Nasim Ali (NA), Oldest active Odia Wikimedian and Wikisource writer
RV: Do you think any particular section of the society is going to be benefited by this?
NA: Books contain the gist of all human knowledge. The ease of access and spread of books are the markers of the intellectual status of a society. And in this e-age Wikisource can be helpful by not just providing easy access to a plethora of books under free licenses but also aiding the spread of basic education in developing economies. Together with Wikisource and cheaper internet this could catalyze a Renaissance of 21st century.

Pankajmala Sarangi (PS), Wikisource writer
RV: You have digitized almost two books, are the highest contributor to the project and also one of the main reasons for Odia Wikisource getting approved. What are your plans next to grow it and take to masses?
PS: I would be happy to contribute by typing more books on Odia so that they can be stored and available to all. We can take this to masses through social, print and audio & visual media and organizing meetings/discussions.

Amir Aharoni (AA), Wikimedia Language Committee member and Software Engineer at the Language Engineering team at the Wikimedia Foundation
RV: What you feel Wikisource could do to a language like Odia with more than 40 million speakers?
AA: In schools in Odisha, are there lessons of Odia literature? If the answer is yes, then it can do a very simple thing – make these lessons more fun and help children learn more! Everybody says that in Kerala this worked very well with Malayalam literature.

Clearly, strong passions motivate Odia Wikisource's volunteers, like Nihar Kumar Dalai, who writes on Facebook:

Hindi and English are fine, but our native language is bit more special! Who of us does not now about the art, culture, noted personalities, tourist spots and festivals of Odisha? But if you search online about all of these then there is very little available. There comes a simple and easy solution – Odia Wikipedia. Like Odia Wikipedia, Odia Wikisource is another great place and this is my small contribution to bring Odia Bhagabata on Odia Wikisource.

Subhashish Panigrahi is a volunteer contributor for Wikipedia and in past worked as a community and program support consultant for the Wikimedia Foundation.

by wikimediablog at October 21, 2014 08:42 PM

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Video: Jak je možné, že Wikipedie funguje? Díky své komunitě dobrovolníků.

Wikipedie vznikla jako projekt komunitní. Stovky a tisíce dobrovolníků přispívají drobnými částmi. Dohromady tak dokáží vytvářet články, které by jednotlivcům trvalo napsat týdny či měsíce Toto video objasňuje některé základní prvky spolupráce na Wikipedii. Bylo natočeno spolkem Wikimedia Česká republika. Autorem videa je Joni Immonen, který jej zveřejnil pod licencí Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0.

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="281" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/9vzMShh64-8?feature=oembed" width="500"></iframe>

Video obsahuje české i anglické titulky a je dostupné i na Wikimedia Commons.

 

by Vojtěch Dostál at October 21, 2014 12:01 PM

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Free as in Open Access and Wikipedia

This post by Yana Welinder (Legal Counsel at the Wikimedia Foundation and Non-Residential Fellow at Stanford CIS) was first published on the blog of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), as part of Open Access Week – a week to acknowledge the wide-ranging benefits of enabling open access to information and research, as well as exploring the dangerous costs of keeping knowledge constrained by copyright restrictions and locked behind publisher paywalls.

Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia sites are closely connected to open access goals of making scholarship freely available and reusable. Consistent with these goals, the Wikimedia sites make information available to Internet users around the world free of charge in hundreds of languages. Wikimedia content can also be reused under its free licenses. The content is complemented by citations to open access scholarship, and the Wikimedia sites play a unique role in making academic learning easily available to the world. As the next generation of scholars embraces open access principles to become a Generation Open, we will move closer to “a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.”

To write and edit Wikipedia, contributors need to access high quality independent sources. Unfortunately, paywalls and copyright restrictions often prevent the use of academic journals to write Wikipedia articles and enrich them with citations. Citations are particularly important to allow readers to verify Wikipedia articles and learn more about the topic from the underlying sources. Given the importance of open access to Wikipedia, Wikipedia contributors have set up a WikiProject Open Access to increase the use of open-access materials on the Wikimedia sites, improve open access-related articles on Wikipedia, and signal to readers whether sources in Wikipedia articles are open access.

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowFullScreen" frameborder="0" height="338" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" src="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Reusing_Open_Access_materials_on_Wikimedia_projects.ogv?embedplayer=yes" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitAllowFullScreen" width="600"></iframe>

Link to video on Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0: Reusing Open Access materials on Wikimedia projects, Jesse Clark, Max Klein, Matt Senate, Daniel Mietchen.

Great potential lies in the reciprocal relationship between the open access scholarship that enriches Wikipedia and Wikipedia’s promotion of primary sources. As a secondary source, Wikipedia does not publish ideas or facts that are not supported by reliable and published sources. Wikipedia has tremendous power as a platform for relaying the outcomes of academic study by leading over 400 million monthly visitors to underlying scholarship cited in articles. Just as a traditional encyclopedia would, Wikipedia can make the underlying research easier to find. But unlike a traditional encyclopedia, it also provides free access and reuse to all. In that sense, Wikipedia is an ideal secondary source for open access research.

In light of this, we are thrilled to see Generation Open grow. The Digital Commons Network now boasts 1,109,355 works from 358 institutions. The Directory of Open Access Journals further has over 10,000 journals from 135 countries. Esteemed law journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, Berkeley Technology Law Journal, and Michigan Law Review subscribe to the Open Access Law Program, which encourages them to archive their articles under open access principles. But while all these initiatives enable free access to academic scholarship, some of them still provide limited ability to reuse that work falling short of the definition of open access:

[F]ree availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.

Wikipedians are also contributing to the body of published open access scholarship. Earlier this month, four Wikipedians published an article on Dengue fever in Open Medicine (an open access and peer-reviewed journal) based on a Wikipedia article that was collaboratively edited by over 1,300 volunteers and bots. In addition to providing an open access scholarly article on this important topic, this publication validated that Wikipedia’s editorial process can produce high quality content outside traditional academia. Many Wikipedia articles incorporate text from openly licensed scholarship and some scholars write and publish openly licensed scholarship specifically to have it reused in Wikipedia articles.

Placing scholarship behind paywalls and copyright restrictions has the effect of relegating new advances in human knowledge to small academic communities. We have previously joined many open access groups to demand that scholarship be not only freely accessible, but also freely reuseable. As more academics allow their work to be shared and used freely, online secondary sources like Wikipedia will play a large role in disseminating the knowledge to more people in new regions and on different devices.

Yana Welinder, Legal Counsel

Many thanks to Hilary Richardson and Camille Desai for their help in preparing this post. I would also like to thank Stephen LaPorte, Manprit Brar, Daniel Mietchen, and other members of WikiProject Open Access for their helpful feedback.

by wikimediablog at October 21, 2014 12:27 AM

October 19, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

First GLAM collaboration in Canada with BAnQ

1941: Two employees at a bottling plant of Coca-Cola Canada Ltd. in Montreal, Canada
Photo: Conrad Poirier, PD-Canada, BAnQ Vieux-Montréal

1945: Two young women read the front page of The Montreal Daily Star announcing the German surrender and the impending end of World War II in Europe
Photo: Conrad Poirier, PD-Canada, BAnQ Vieux-Montréal

The Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) and Wikimedia Canada are announcing a pilot project to upload public domain images from the Conrad Poirier collection at BAnQ Vieux-Montréal.[1]

Freelance photographer Conrad Poirier (1921-1968) sold his photographs to various newspapers and magazines including The Montreal Gazette, La Patrie and La Presse. A follower of the “new vision” (Nouvelle Vision, a photographic movement in the first half of the 20th century), he did social photography early on. He was interested in the working world, in street life and in popular events. Poirier’s work shows the developement of Montreal through historical photographs, and more widely the province of Quebec, Canada. With more than 20,000 photographs, the collection includes photographs taken between 1932 and 1960, which show the evolution of the Quebec metropolis – especially during the 1930s and 1940s. More broadly, the work of Poirier reflects the social changes underway in Quebec in the middle of the last century.

To date, approximately 700 photographs have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. In the coming months, an equivalent number of photographs will be added to the selection.

This collaboration between a GLAM institution and Wikimedia is a first in Canada.

Visit the BAnQ GLAM page on the English Wikipedia and the Category:BAnQ-Projet Poirier on Commons.

Thank you to the archives diffusion team of BAnQ Vieux-Montréal.

Benoit Rochon, Project Manager, Wikimedia Canada.

  1. Fund Conrad Poirier description, Pistard catalogue, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.

by wikimediablog at October 19, 2014 05:52 AM

October 18, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Protecting users against POODLE by removing SSL 3.0 support

"Pudel-drawing" by Gustav Mützel (Brehms Tierleben), public domain


To protect our users against the recently disclosed POODLE security vulnerability, we are removing support for SSL 3.0 on all Wikimedia sites as of 15:00 UTC (8:00 am PDT) today.

SSL 3.0 is an outdated implementation of the HTTPS web encryption protocol. HTTPS helps people communicate more securely across networks by encrypting the data they send and receive in a web browser.

SSL 3.0 was introduced in 1996 and has long since been superseded in all modern browsers. This means that very few people will be affected by this change. However, if you still use Internet Explorer 6 (IE6), or another old browser that only supports SSL 3.0, you will be affected in the following ways:

  • It will no longer be possible to log into your user account while using IE6. Logins generally require an encrypted connection to prevent password snooping, and IE6 only supports SSL 3.0.
  • You will not be able to use HTTPS for browsing the Wikimedia projects while using IE6.
  • You will still be able to read Wikipedia and our other sites using an HTTP connection while using IE6.

We made this decision in order to protect all of our users. The POODLE vulnerability allows an attacker to to exploit weaknesses in the SSL 3.0 protocol, and potentially intercept a user’s data (something known as a man-in-the-middle attack). At the minimum, this could compromise the log-in details of registered users of the Wikimedia projects. IE6 is widely viewed as out of date and insecure, and Microsoft itself has urged users users to upgrade to modern alternatives for several years now. In fact, we disabled JavaScript for IE6 this past August, also for the purpose of protecting our users’ security.

If you are one of our affected users, we strongly encourage you to consider upgrading from IE6. We want everyone to be as secure as possible, and a modern, standards-compliant browser is a great place to start.

Mark Bergsma
WMF Director of Technical Operations;
WMF Lead Operations Architect

 

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by wikimediablog at October 18, 2014 09:38 PM

Wikimedia engineering report, August 2014

Major news in August includes:

Engineering metrics in August:

  • 160 unique committers contributed patchsets of code to MediaWiki.
  • The total number of unresolved commits went from around 1640 to about 1695.
  • About 22 shell requests were processed.

Technical Operations

Dallas data center

On August 21, our first connectivity to the new Dallas data center (codfw) came online, connecting the new site to the Wikimedia network. The following week, all network equipment was configured to prepare for server installations. The first essential infrastructure services (install server, DNS, monitoring etc.) were brought online in the days following August 25, and we are now working on deploying the first storage & data base servers to start replication & backups from our other data centers.

Labs metrics in August:

  • Number of projects: 170
  • Number of instances: 480
  • Amount of RAM in use (in MBs): 2,116,096
  • Amount of allocated storage (in GBs): 22,600
  • Number of virtual CPUs in use: 1,038
  • Number of users: 3,718

Wikimedia Labs

Andrew fixed a few sudo policy UI bugs (68834, 61129). Marc improved the DNS cache settings and resolved some long-standing DNS instability (70076). He also set up a new storage server for wiki dumps. This should resolve some long-term storage space problems that led to out-of-date dumps.
Andrew laid the groundwork for wikitech to be updated via the standard WMF deployment system. We’re investigating the upstream OpenStack user interface, ‘horizon’.

Features Engineering

Editor retention: Editing tools

VisualEditor

In August, the team working on VisualEditor presented about VisualEditor at Wikimania 2014, worked with a number of volunteers at the hackathon, adjusted key workflows for template and citation editing, made major progress on Internet Explorer support, and fixed over 40 bugs and tickets.

Users of Internet Explorer 11, who we were previously preventing from using VisualEditor due to some major bugs, will now be able to use VisualEditor. Support for earlier versions of Internet Explorer will be coming shortly. Similarly, tablet users browsing the site’s mobile mode now have the option of using a mobile-specific form of VisualEditor. More editing tools, and availability of VisualEditor on phones, is planned for the future.

Improvements and updates were made to a number of interface messages as part of our work with translators to improve the software for all users, and VisualEditor and MediaWiki were improved to support highlighting links to disambiguation pages where a wiki or user wishes to do so. Several performance improvements were made, especially to the system around re-using references and reference lists. We tweaked the link editor’s behaviour based on feedback from users and user testing. The deployed version of the code was updated three times in the regular release cycle (1.24-wmf17, 1.24-wmf18 and 1.24-wmf19).

Editing

In August, the Editing Team presented at Wikimania 2014 on better ways to develop and manage front-end software, improved the infrastructure of the key user interface libraries, and continued the planned adjustments to the MediaWiki skins system.

The TemplateData GUI editor was significantly improved, including being updated to use the new types, and recursive importing of parameters if needed, and deployed on Norwegian Bokmål Wikipedia. The volunteers working on the Math extension (for formulæ) moved closer to deploying the “Mathoid” server that will use MathJax to render clearer formulæ than with the current versions.

The Editing team as usual did a lot of work on improving libraries and infrastructure. The OOjs UI library was modified to make the isolation of dialogs using <iframe>s optional, and re-organise the theme system as part of implementing a new look-and-feel for OOUI, to make it consistent with the planned changes to the MediaWiki design, in collaboration with the Design team. The OOjs library was updated to fix a minor bug, with two new versions (v1.0.12 and then v1.1.0) released and pushed downstream into MediaWiki, VisualEditor and OOjs UI.

Parsoid

In August, we wrapped up our face-to-face off-site meetup in Mallorca and attended Wikimania in London, which was the first Wikimania event for us all. At the Wikimania hackathon, we co-presented (with the Services team) a workshop session about Parsoid and how to use it. We also had a talk at Wikimania about Parsoid.

The GSoC 2014 LintTrap project wrapped up and we hope to develop this further over the coming months, and go live with it later this year.

With an eye towards supporting Parsoid-driven page views, the Parsoid team worked on a few different tracks. We deployed the visual diff mass testing service, we added Tidy support to parser tests and updated tests, which now makes it easy for Parsoid to target the PHP Parser + Tidy combo found in production, and continued to make CSS and other fixes.

Services

Services and REST API

August was mostly a month of travel and vacation for the service team. We deployed a first prototype of the RESTBase storage and API service in Labs. We also presented on both Parsoid and RESTBase at Wikimania, which was well received. Later in August, computer science student Hardik Juneja joined the team as a part-time contractor. Working from Mumbai, he dived straight into complex secondary index update algorithms in the Cassandra back-end. At the end of the month, design work resumed, with the goal of making RESTBase easier to extend with additional entry points and bucket types.

Core Features

Flow

In August, the Flow team created a new read/unread state for Flow notifications, to help users keep track of the active discussion topics that they’re subscribed to. There are now two tabs in the Echo notification dropdown, split between Messages (Flow notifications) and Alerts (all of the other Echo notifications). Flow notifications stay unread until the user clicks on the item and visits the topic page, or marks the item as read in the notifications panel. The dropdown is also scrollable now, and holds the 25 most recent notifications. Last, subscribing to a Flow board gives the user a notification when a new topic is created on the board.

Growth

Growth

In August, the Growth team vetted CirrusSearch as back-end for personalized suggestions and prepared its first A/B test of the new task recommendations system. This test will deliver recommendations to a random sample of newly-registered users on 12 Wikipedias: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, Persian, Russian, Ukrainian, Swedish, and Chinese. Several Growth team members also attended Wikimania 2014 in London. At Wikimania, the team shared presentations on its work and conducted usability tests of the recommendations system. Last but not least, design work began on the third major iteration of the team’s anonymous editor acquisition project.

Mobile

Wikimedia Apps

In August, the Mobile Apps Team focussed on bug fixes for the recently released iOS app and for the Android app, as well as gathering user feedback from Wikimania. The team also had unstructured time during Wikimania, in which the engineers are free to work on whatever they fancy. This resulted in numerous code quality improvements on both iOS and Android. On iOS, the unstructured time also spawned a preliminary version of the feature “Nearby”, which lists articles about things that are near you, tells you how near they are to you, and points towards them. On Android, the unstructured time spawned a preliminary version of full text search, an improved searching experience which aims to present more relevant results.

Mobile web projects

This month the mobile web team, in partnership with the Editing team, launched a mobile-friendly opt-in VisualEditor for users of the mobile site on tablets. Tablet users can now choose to switch from the default editing experience (wikitext editor) to a lightweight version of VE featuring some common formatting tools (bold and italic text, the ability to add/edit links and references). We also began building a Wikidata contribution game in alpha that will allow users to add metadata to the Wikidata database (to start, occupations of people) directly from the Wikipedia article where the information is contained. We hope to graduate this feature to the beta site next month to get more quantitative feedback on its usage and the quality of contributions.

Wikipedia Zero & Partnerships

Wikipedia Zero page views held steady at around 70 million in August. We launched Wikipedia Zero with three operators: Smart and Sun in the Philippines (related companies) and Timor Telecom in East Timor. That brings our total numbers to 37 partners in 31 countries. Smart has been collaborating with Wikimedia Philippines for months, and they previously offered free access to Wikipedia on a trial basis. Just announced, Smart has now officially joined Wikipedia Zero and brought in their sister brand Sun, covering a combined 70 million subscribers in the Philippines. Timor Telecom launched Wikipedia Zero with a press event including the Vice Minister of Education and much promotion. Timor Telecom is keen to support growth in the Tetun Wikipedia by raising awareness in universities, with resources from the Wikipedia Education Program. In Latin America, we made progress toward app preloads by completing testing for the Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) program. The Wikipedia Android app is now certified for preload on QRD. We made terrific connections with Global South community members at Wikimania, which will lead to more direct local collaboration between partners and Wikimedia communities. Smriti Gupta, partnerships manager for Asia, moved to India where she will work remotely. We’re recruiting our third partnerships manager to cover South East Asia and tech partnerships.

Language Engineering

Language tools

Niklas Laxström (outside his WMF job) completed most of the work needed in Translate to Recover gracefully from session expiration, a known pain point for translators. The PageMigration feature (a GSoC project mentored by Niklas) was (GSoC project mentored by Niklas) released . The team also worked on session expiry checking (to prevent errors in long translations), updated YAML handling, deployed auto-translated screenshots for the VisualEditor user guide (a GSoC project mentored by Amir and done by Vikas Yaligar). They did internationalization testing of the new Android and iOS apps, as well as internationalization testing and bug fixes in VisualEditor, MobileFrontend and Flow.

Milkshake

Webfonts were enabled on the English Wikisource and Divehi wikis, following requests from the respective communities.

Language Engineering Communications and Outreach

The team was at Wikimania in London. Santhosh Thottingal and Amir Aharoni presented on Machine-aided machine translation, and Runa Bhattacharjee and Kartik Mistry on Testing multilingual applications. They conducted user testing for ContentTranslation in several languages (Catalan, Spanish, Kazakh, Russian, Bengali, Hebrew, Arabic), continued conversations with translators from Wikipedias in several languages, and published a retrospective on ContentTranslation and Wikimania.

Content translation

achine translation abuse algorithm was redone. The team also worked on reference adaptation improvements, refactoring the front-end event architecture and rewriting the cxserver registry to support multiple machine translation engines.

Platform Engineering

MediaWiki Core

HHVM

We migrated test.wikipedia.org to HHVM in early August and saw very few issues. Giuseppe shared some promising benchmarks. Re-imaging an app server was surprisingly painful, in that Giuseppe and Ori had to perform a number of manual actions to get the server up-and-running, and this sequence of steps was poorly automated. Doing this much manual work per app server isn’t viable.

Mark submitted a series of patches to create a service IP and Varnish back-end for an HHVM app server pool, with Giuseppe and Brandon providing feedback and support. The patch routes requests tagged with a specific cookie to the HHVM back-ends. Tech-savvy editors were invited to opt-in to help with testing by setting the cookie explicitly. The next step after that will be to divert a fraction of general site traffic to those back-ends. The exact date will depend on how many bugs the next round of testing uncovers.

Tim is looking at modifying the profiling feature of LuaSandbox to work with HHVM; it is currently disabled.

Admin tools development

Most admin tools resources are currently directed towards SUL finalisation. There was a roundtable at Wikimania with developers and admins/tool users discussing some issues they’ve had, and feature requests they would like to see implemented. The GlobalCssJs extension was deployed to all public Wikimedia wikis, allowing for proper user global CSS and JS.

Search

tarted deploying Cirrus as the primary search back-end to more of the remaining wikis and we found what looks like our biggest open performance bottleneck. Next month’s goal is to fix it and deploy to more wikis (probably not all). We’re also working on getting more hardware.

SUL finalisation

The SUL finalisation team continues to work on building tools to support the finalisation. There are four ongoing streams of work, and the team is on track to have the majority of the work completed by the end of September.

The ability to globally rename users was deployed a while ago, and is currently working excellently!

The ability to log in with old, pre-finalisation credentials has been developed so that users are not inadvertently locked out of their accounts. From an engineering standpoint, this form is now fully working in our test environment. Right now, the form uses placeholder text; that text needs to be ‘prettified’ so that the users who have been forcibly renamed get the appropriate information on how to proceed after their rename, and more rigorous testing should be done before deployment.

A form to globally merge users has been developed so that users can consolidate their accounts after the finalisation. From an engineering standpoint, this form is now fully working in our test environment. The form needs design improvements and further testing before it can be deployed.

A form to request a rename has been developed so that users who do not have global accounts can request a rename, and also so that the workload on the renamers is reduced. From an engineering standpoint, the form to request a rename has been implemented, and implementation has begun on the form that allows renames to rename users. Once the end-to-end experience has been fully implemented and tested, the form will be ‘prettified’.

Security auditing and response

ecurity reviews of the Graph, WikibaseQuery and WikibaseQueryEngine extensions. Initial work was done to enable regular dynamic security scanning.

Release Engineering

Quality Assurance

Having completed the migration of our Continuous Integration infrastructure from a third party host to Wikimedia’s own Jenkins instance, we are thinking about improvements and changes for future work. We aim to improve performance for Jenkins and also for beta labs. We are looking into creating other shared test environments along with beta labs to better support changes like we did this month with HHVM and with a security and performance test project. We also continue to improve the development experience with Vagrant and other virtual machine technologies.

Browser testing

This month, we continued to build out and adjust the new browser test builds on Jenkins. We saw updates to tests and issues identified for UploadWizard, VisualEditor, Echo, and MobileFrontend. New tests for GettingStarted pointed out a need to update our Redis storage on the beta cluster. We are currently monitoring an upstream problem with Selenium/Webdriver and IE11 on behalf of VisualEditor, as VE support for IE11 is coming soon.

Multimedia

Multimedia

Media Viewer’s new ‘minimal design’.

In August, the multimedia team had extensive discussions with community members about the various projects we are working on. We started with seven different roundtable discussions and presentations at Wikimania 2014 in London, including sessions on: Upload Wizard, Structured Data, Media Viewer, Multimedia, Community and Kindness. To address issues raised in recent Requests for Comments, we also hosted a one-week Media Viewer Consultation, inviting suggestions from community members across our sites.

The team also worked to make Media Viewer easier to use by readers and casual editors, our primary target users for this tool. To that end, we created a new ‘minimal design’ including a number of new improvements such as a more prominent button linking to the File: page, an easier way to enlarge images and more informative captions. These new features were prototyped and carefully tested this month to validate their effectiveness. Testers completed easily most of tasks we gave them, suggesting that the new features are now usable by target users, and ready for development in September.

This month, we prepared a first plan for the Structured Data project, in collaboration with many community members and the Wikidata team: we propose to gradually implement machine-readable data on Wikimedia Commons, starting with small experiments in the fall, followed by a wider deployment in 2015. We also continued our code refactoring for the UploadWizard, as well as fixed more bugs across our multimedia platform. To keep up with our work, join the multimedia mailing list.

Engineering Community Team

Bug management

Daniel made Bugzilla use ssl_ciphersuite to add HSTS and removed a superfluous STS header setting. Andre worked around a Bugzilla XML RPC API issue which created problems for exporting Bugzilla data for a Phabricator import. In Bugzilla’s taxonomy (components, descriptions, default CCs, etc.) some smaller changes took place.

Phabricator migration

The project is getting close to Day 1 of a Wikimedia Phabricator production instance. For better overview and tracking, the Wikimedia Phabricator Day 1 project was split into three projects: Day 1 of a Phabricator Production instance in use, Bugzilla migration, and RT migration. Furthermore, the overall schedule was clarified. In the last month, Security/permission related requirements got implemented (granular file permissions and upload defaults, enforcing that policy, making file data inaccessible and not only undiscoverable). In upstream, Mukunda added API to create projects and Chase added support for mailing lists as watching users. Chase worked on and tested the security and data migration logic. Mukunda continued to work on getting the MediaWiki OAuth provider merged into upstream. Chase and Mukunda also worked on the Project Policy Enforcer action for Herald, providing a user-friendly dropdown menu to restrict ticket access when creating the ticket. A separate domain for user content was purchased. Chase also worked on the scripts to export and import data between the systems and support for external users in Phabricator and the related mail setup. Chase and Chad also took a look at setting up Elasticsearch for Phabricator.

Mentorship programs

All Google Summer of Code and FOSS Outreach Program for Women were evaluated by their mentors as PASSED, although many were still waiting for completion, code reviews and merges. We hosted a wrap-up IRC meeting with the participation of all teams except one. We are still waiting for some final reports from the interns. In the meantime, you can check their weekly reports:

Technical communications

In August, Guillaume Paumier attended the Wikimania conference and the associated hackathon. He gave a talk about Tech News (video available on YouTube) and created a poster summarizing the talk. He also continued to write and distribute Tech News every week, and started to contribute to the Structured data project.

Volunteer coordination and outreach

We ran the Wikimania Hackathon in an unconference manner together with the Wikimania organizers. The event went well in a unique venue, and we are compiling a list of lessons learned to be applied in future events. Together with other former organizers of hackathons, we decided that the next Wikimedia Hackathon in Europe will be organized by Wikimedia France (details coming soon). Also at Wikimania, Quim Gil gave a talk about The Wikimedia Open Source Project and You (videoslides).

Analytics

Wikimetrics

Following the prototype built for Wikimania, the team identified many performance issues in Wikimetrics for backfilling Editor Engagement Vital Signs (EEVS) data. The team spent a sprint implementing some performance enhancements as well as properly managing sessions with the databases. Wikimetrics is better at running recurring reports concurrently and managing replication lag in the slave DBs.

Data Processing

The team continued monitoring analytics systems and responding to issues when [non-critical] alarms in went off. Packet losses and kafka issues were diagnosed and handled.

Hadoop worker nodes now automatically set memory limits according to what is available. Previously all workers had the same fixed limit. This allows for better resource utilization.

Logstash is now available at https://logstash.wikimedia.org (Wikitech account required). Logs from Hadoop are piped there for easier search and diagnosis of Hadoop jobs.

Some uses of udp2log were migrated to kafkatee. The latter is not prone to packet losses. In particular Webstatscollector was switched over and error rates were seen to drop drastically. Eventually, the “collecting” part of Webstatscollector will be implemented in Hadoop, a much more scalable environment to handle such work.

Editor Engagement Vital Signs

The team implemented the stack necessary to load EEVS in a browser and has a rough implementation of the UI according to Pau’s design . The team also made available to EEVS two metrics already implemented on Wikimetrics: number of pages created, and number of edits.

Research and Data

This month we hosted the WikiResearch hackathon, a dedicated research track of the Wikimania hackathon. 3 demos of research code libraries were broadcast during the event and several research ideas filed on Meta. Highlights from the hackathon include: Quarry (a web client to query Wikimedia’s slave databases on Labs); wpstubs (a social media bot broadcasting newly categorized stubs on the English Wikipedia); an algorithmic classification of articles due to be re-assessed from the English Wikipedia WikiProject Medicine’s stubs.

We gave or participated in 8 presentations during the main conference.

We published a report on mobile trends expanding the data presented at the July 2014 Monthly Metrics meeting. We started work on referral parsing from request log data to study trends in referred traffic over time.

We generated sample data of edit conflicts and worked on scripts for robust revert detection. We published traffic data for the Medicine Translation Taskforce, with a particular focus on traffic to articles related to Ebola.

We wrote up a research proposal for task recommendations in support of the Growth team’s experiments on recommender systems. We analyzed qualitative data to assess the performance of Cirrus Search “morelike” feature for identifying articles in similar topic areas. We provided support for the experimental design of a first test of task recommendations. We performed an analysis of the result of the second experiment on anonymous editor acquisition run by the Growth team.

We hosted the August 2014 research showcase with a presentation by Oliver Keyes on circadian patterns in mobile readership and a guest talk by Morten Warncke-Wang on quality assessment and task recommendations in Wikipedia.

We also gave presentations on Wikimedia research at the Oxford Internet Institute, INRIA, Wikimedia Deutschland (slides) and at the Public Library of Science (slides). Aaron Halfaker presented at OpenSym 2014 a paper he co-authored on the impact of the Article for Creation workflow on newbies (slides, fulltext).

Wikidata

The Wikidata project is funded and executed by Wikimedia Deutschland.

August was a very busy month for Wikidata. The main page was redesigned and is now much more inviting and useful. A lot of new features were finished and deployed. Among them are:

  • Redirects: allowing you to turn an item into a redirect.
  • Monolingual text datatype: allowing you to enter new kinds of data like the motto of a country.
  • Badges: allowing you to store badges for articles on Wikidata. This includes “featured article” and “good article”. More will be added soon.
  • In other projects sidebar as a beta feature: allowing you to show links to sister projects in the sidebar of any article.
  • Special:GoToLinkedPage: allowing you to go to a Wikipedia page based on its Wikidata Q-ID. This will be especially useful if you want to create links to articles that don’t change even if the article is moved.
  • Wikinews: Wikinews has been added as a supported sister project. Wikinews can now maintain their sitelinks on Wikidata. Access to the other data will follow in due time.
  • Wikidata: Sitelinks to pages on Wikidata itself can now also be stored on Wikidata. This is useful to connect for example its help pages with those on the other projects.
  • Change of the internal serialization format: The internal serialization format changed to be consistent with the serialization format that is returned by the API.
In addition, the team worked on a lot of under-the-hood changes towards the new user interface design and started the discussions around structured data support for Commons. The log of the IRC office hour is available.

Future

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 October 18, 2014 05:35 PM

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Máte nápad? Zorganizujte zajímavou Wiki akci v naší kanceláři

Jedna z akcí v kanceláři - workshop s novinářem.

Jedna z akcí v kanceláři – workshop s novinářem.

Naše pobočka Wikimedia byla založena už v roce 2008, ale skutečnou kancelář – v dobře dostupném místě na Praze 10 – má až od letošního roku. Účelem naší kanceláře však rozhodně není skladování šanonů či posezení nad fakturami. Chceme vytvořit místo, které pulzuje životem, kde se setkávají členové i naši hosté, a pumpuje se krev do žil dobrovolnickému úsilí, na němž je naše pobočka postavena.

A ačkoliv už v kanceláři řada akcí proběhla, většinou to bylo na nás jako na členech sdružení Wikimedia. Už jsme tam měli workshopy, přednášky, pracovní setkání, diskuze i editatony. Jsme rádi, že zázemí kanceláře máme a bohatě ho využíváme i pro pravidelná setkání komunity českých wikipedistů nebo třeba pro schůze rady spolku. Myslíme si ale, že takové místo má mnohem větší potenciál – česká komunita wikipedistů se totiž tak málo zná, a přitom mají navzájem velmi podobné zájmy. A třeba nás některé typy akcí ještě vůbec nenapadly.

Je to tedy na vás, milí wikipedisté a wikimediáni. Máte-li zajímavý nápad na akci v naší kanceláři, napište nám. Všem nejen vyjdeme vstříc, ale i pomůžeme s zajíštěním celé akce. Máme i finanční prostředky na některé typy akcí, takže se nás nebojte zeptat.

by Vojtěch Dostál at October 18, 2014 03:39 PM

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

First editathon on the Spanish language and literature in Madrid

“Wiki Editatón Madrid 2014 – 04″ by Carlos Delgado, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

Group photograph of participants in the editathon at the National Library of Spain.

On Saturday, September 27th, Wikimedia España co-organized in Madrid the first editathon focused on improving content about the Spanish language and literature in the Spanish Wikipedia. This editathon was fostered by three relevant institutions strongly committed to the promotion and dissemination of the Spanish language and culture around the world: the Cervantes Institute, the Royal Spanish Academy and the National Library of Spain. The meeting was hosted in the Board’s Hall (Salón del Patronato), an emblematic room inside the museum of the National Library of Spain, and it was primarily aimed at participants without prior experience editing in Wikipedia. The directors from the three institutions were present at the start of the event to welcome all attendees and thank them for their participation. Progress of the meeting could be tracked through Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms by following the hashtag #WikiEditatonMadrid. This facilitated the participation of other virtual editors who could not attend this meeting.

“Wiki Editatón Madrid 2014 – 14″ by Carlos Delgado, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

From left to right, José Manuel Blecua Perdices (director of the Royal Spanish Academy), Ana Santos Aramburo (director of the National Library of Spain) and Víctor García de la Concha (director of the Cervantes Institute) welcome participants in this editathon.

The registration was quite successful, with 114 enrolled participants from which approximately 61% were women. This was an outstanding achievement, especially considering the still low participation of women editors in Wikipedia. Ten volunteers, experienced Wikipedians from Wikimedia España, offered guidance to all editors and resolved their questions and doubts. The meeting took place from 10.00 to 18.00 (local time) and started with a short introduction to effective participation in Wikipedia. Lunch, beverages and cupcakes were served to all participants to keep up the editing enthusiasm.

The meeting was a great success and its main accomplishments can be summarized as follows:

During the editathon.
“Madrid – Editatón Madrid BNE 2014 – 140927 145624″ by Barcex, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

All editors received special surprise gifts: books from the Royal Spanish Academy, image products from Cervantes Institute, the National Library of Spain and WMF. On top of that, the National Library invited all attendees (editors and volunteering Wikipedians) to participate in an exclusive guided tour through the National Library museum, including visits to special areas and rooms. Overall, we were quite satisfied with the development of this editathon. We also hope that it can be the first step in a new series of similar initiatives in Spain to engage these and other renowned organizations and institutions on improving access to free knowledge in Wikipedia.

Felipe Ortega, co-organizer and member of Wikimedia España.

by wikimediablog at October 18, 2014 02:30 AM

October 17, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

How the #wikinobel Nobel Peace Prize collaboration came to be

Bente Erichsen, Executive Director at the Nobel Peace Center, and Atrid Carlsen of Wikimedia Norway, edit after the announcement. “Edit-a-thon Nobel Peace Prize 04″ by WMNOastrid, under CC-BY-SA-4.0

In April 2013, the Nobel Peace Center and Wikimedia Norway came together for their first collaboration: an edit-a-thon to enhance the quality of Wikipedia articles on the Nobel Peace Prize, various Peace Prize laureates, and other related articles on war, peace and conflict resolution.

Both groups agreed it was a great experience, and were looking for opportunities to continue working together. Last week, they came together again at the Nobel Peace Center for the announcement of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. On Friday, 10th October, a group of Wikipedians from Wikimedia Norway converged at the Peace Center, in order to follow the announcement. There, they made updates to Wikipedia in real time as the winners — girl’s education activist Malala Yousafzai, of Pakistan, and childhood rights activist Kailash Satyarthi, of India — were made public.

At the same time, 500km away in the northern Norwegian city of Trondheim, Wikimedian Jon Harald Søby followed remotely, supporting updates to other language versions of Wikipedia by Wikimedians all around the world. Throughout the day we kept in contact via Skype, and Jon Harlad was even interviewed about the experience on Norwegian national radio.

Knowledge and education of young and old alike is pivotal to all activities at the Nobel Peace Center, which is visited by 220,000 people every year, one third of whom are children and young people. The Nobel Peace Center works to increase the knowledge of the Nobel Peace Prize and its history, its laureates and topics within the fields of war, peace, and conflict resolution. The Nobel Peace Center and Wikimedia Norway both want this collaboration to contribute to even more quality and fact-based knowledge to Wikipedia, to enhance public conversation on these important issues. We greatly appreciate all the efforts and feedback from community members around the world in connection with the event.

Kirsti Svenning at The Nobel Peace Center sums up: “The way a Wikipedia article is made, the fact that several people co-write it, bringing a joint pool of knowledge and facts together and continuously enhancing the quality of the final output, is very much in keeping with the Nobel Peace Center’s mission: to increase the knowledge and reflection about the Nobel Peace Prize. The collaboration with Wikimedia Norway is much appreciated and there are new events already being planned.”

Wikimedia Norway looks forward to a continued collaboration with the Nobel Peace Center. If there are any community members, Wikimedia chapters, or institutions with ideas or thoughts on an international collaboration, please contact astrid@wikimedia.no.

Astrid Carlsen
Prosjektleder, Wikimedia Norge

by maherwiki at October 17, 2014 06:42 PM

October 16, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Why librarians should edit Wikipedia: A testimonial from Switzerland

The Unithèque, one of the sites of the Library on the campus of the University of Lausanne
(“Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire de Lausanne” by Odrade123, under CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Since April, the Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne (BCUL) hosts, on a monthly basis, Wikipedian get-togethers in their Unitheque room, referred as the “Wikipermanences”. How do they proceed and what happens during those gatherings? Basically, between noon and 2 pm, representatives of Wikimedia CH, the Swiss Wikimedia chapter, are available to all members of the general public to answer any questions they may have. You can show up whenever you wish and stay as long as you want. The entrance is open to all, there are no strings attached.

You might think you have nothing interesting enough to tell the world to become a Wikipedia editor – maybe you believe that you are not enough of an expert to contribute to articles ? Or, maybe you believe that editing is complicated and requires you to register and hold technical competencies?

Having believed all the above, the Wikipermanence organised in our venue enabled me take a step forward towards editing on Wikipedia. After all, why not me? Are those beliefs justified after all?

Volunteers teaching Wikipedia to the librarians of the BCUL during a Wikipermanence
(“WMCH Volunteers teaching wikipedia during a wikipermanence “ by Chandres, under CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Myself, having never edited a Wikipedia page before, I began with a simple question – how to proceed? I was quickly introduced to editing pages by Frédéric, a member of Wikimedia CH, who is also working at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and passionate about Wikipedia. I quickly realised that editing an already existing page is as easy as pie. Previously, the editing option required an understanding of the wikipedia language to code information, nowadays, there is a WYSIWYG[1] editor which enables you to modify pages intuitively.

To edit a page, there is no need to have an existing user profile, or any requirement of a previous knowledge of Wikipedia codes. All you have to do is to click on the link entitled “edit” (in French: “modifier”) next to each section’s title to open a very straightforward editing window. Before confirming any modifications, it is asked to detail in a couple of lines the type of corrections you contributed, so that one can follow up on them. Indeed, all the changes are stored with the IP address of the computer used to make those changes from, or with the username of the contributor if he has a Wikipedia profile.

How can we librarians add value to this area of knowledge ? Actually, on several levels, as we all know something – either from our professional activity, or from our personal interests – which enables us to contribute by adding or amending Wikipedia entries. Or if your favorite hobby is grammar and checking details, you could also participate by correcting any mistakes you come across. More specifically, we can be quite particular on providing adequate references in the bibliographies. At a beginner’s level, I was able to correct the “Publications” section of an article concerning a public figure, as the bibliography was not presented properly with incomplete sources. With our professional backgrounds, who better than librarians may check the quality of the bibliographies as well as complete them if required ?

Wikipedia’s WYSIWYG editor provides multiple areas to fill out and automatically compiles the information with the correct Wikipedia presentation model. There is no need to select a particular style, it is all done automatically.

If you have a professional or a personal area of expertise, then your contribution may be even more important in creating a page, instead of completing an existing page‘s content. In this case only, it’s better to create a profile and officially enter the community of Wikipedia editors.

So, what are you waiting for to participate in one of these Wikipermanences? It is an easy opportunity to discover the anonymous world of many editors and who knows, maybe getting started yourself!

Olivia Trono, Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne

  1. What You See Is What You Get

by wikimediablog at October 16, 2014 12:49 AM

October 14, 2014

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

New learning series: Telling your program story

Stories are important for every community.

Every night, a different story.

«Any story worth telling relates to real life in some meaningful way.»Jane Espenson

Retelling is a significant technique for transferring knowledge to one another, engaging people, and triggering change. The Wikimedia movement has proven the value of a good story many times. Just look at the Love Dart story or the world acclaimed Wikipedia Zero letter. The time has come to spread this talent further for others to use as well.

Starting October 15, the Learning & Evaluation team will host a new learning series, Telling your program story. If you are a program or project leader and struggle to get your story across in reporting, this is your chance to learn tricks and gather resources to tell a better story. Through some key strategies you can improve not only the way you share about your efforts, but the impact of the work in advancing the movement and how others might benefit from such efforts.

 

 

How to report more effectively

One of the primary means for grantees to share stories is a grant report. However, the task of reporting is usually set aside until the last minute, and is not integrated in the flow of work. What is the current report structure? How does it help (or not) to bring out the stories you want people to know? How do you distinguish organizational details and core activities? These topics will be addressed in the first virtual meet-up.

There is more to reporting than meets the eye. You can keep a consistent frame of reference from one report to another by acknowledging the stages of your actions as part of a larger plan. In the second virtual event (planned for mid November), you will learn how to use color coding and infographics, as well as incorporating quotes and multimedia to showcase your work.

This series will also address how to frame your stories better.

The last virtual event that will take place in early December, will focus on how to frame your measures in advance to be able to tell the story you want. The report is most useful when articulated with both a project plan and an evaluation plan. How can reporting become a learning tool, instead of a mandatory page to complete? During this event we will talk about the importance of describing the context of your work, for example, why or how your results are important given the context of your community and situation. We will also discuss one of the biggest challenges, how to report on projects and programs with indirect linkages to outcomes (i.e., Advocacy, Community climate).

The aim of this series is to introduce storytelling as a core method to achieve the movement’s goals.

Why story-telling?

Join the conversation!

We want to support you in telling your stories. With this series, we open the conversation to discover what kind of support you need. We know that the current report structure can fall short when it comes to certain topics and activities. The only way to make it better is by discussing this resource in the community. If you struggle to find the right tone and to tell good stories, join the conversation! Any of the topics mentioned may ring a bell, bring your ideas to the virtual meet-ups and help us build better tools, tailored for every need.

The series is the first step in the development of a new set of tools on reporting-as-storytelling. They will be available on the Evaluation portal by the end of this year.

Bring a chair and get ready… let the story begin!

María Cruz, Community Coordinator of Program Evaluation & Design, Wikimedia Foundation

by wikimediablog at October 14, 2014 11:34 PM

Free licenses and freedom of panorama now recognized in Russian law!

One of the undeleted images: Main building of Moscow State University
(“Main Building of Moscow state University” by Victor Morozov (Rdfr), under CC-BY-2.5)

Wikimedia Russia congratulates the Russians and all the proponents of free culture to the changes in the Russian Civil Code, which are very significant for the promotion of the free knowledge. Particularly, the amendments are extremely important for Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects; and for developers of free software. The amendments entered into force on October 1st, 2014; Wikimedia RU actively participated in their preparation.

Among the numerous changes, we should mention:

  • Open licenses introduced.
The new law directly recognizes free licenses (which are fundamental for projects like Wikipedia or Linux). The authors of free content will be able to have legal protection from misuse of their works.
Now it is allowed to take photos in any public territory. The photographers are no more formally offenders, as before when nobody was allowed to sell postcards with modern buildings without the permission of the architect or his successors (despite the fact that such situation was quite usual in practice). Unfortunately, monuments are still not covered by the introduced amendments.
  • Libraries are allowed to keep in electronic format dilapidated works and those scientific and educational works that have not been republished for more than 10 years.

 

«The direct inclusion of the stipulations on the free licenses into the law is a progressive step not only for Russia, but worldwide. There are no specific articles on free licenses in other countries’ laws, and hence these licenses are still in a grey area there. Actually, free licenses exploit the archaic tercentenary system of copyright, that always limited the readers’ freedoms in order to allow the authors and the publishers to earn money, for the opposite goal – to protect the readers’ right to free access. Therefore, without direct regulation, there is too vast judicial discretion, and free licenses users are not protected perfectly. In the Russian law there are no uncertainties like that anymore. Up to the wording that covers copyleft clauses as well; they poorly fit the traditional laws.» — explained Wikimedia RU director Vladimir Medeyko.

Members of Wikimedia RU worked hard on these and other amendments in the Civil Code. Namely:

  • In 2009-2010, numerous letters with the description of the problems and possible solutions were sent to special committees of the State Duma.
  • In 2010-2011, the directors of Wikimedia RU – Vladimir Medeyko and Stanislav Kozlovskiy – participated in sessions of the expert groups of the Committee of culture and the Committee of information policy and communications of the State Duma.
  • In April 2011, during a meeting with then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the representative of Wikimedia RU communicated the problems and possible solutions to the head of the state.
  • In 2011-2012, the experts from Wikimedia RU became part of the working group of the Ministry of Justice. We worked on the free licenses and related laws and also participated in various events organized by the Ministry of Communications, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education and Science.
  • In 2012, the representatives of Wikimedia RU participated in sessions of the State Duma’s working group on intellectual property, attended the parliament hearings and sessions of the Federation Council on the information society proceedings.
  • From 2010-2014, members of Wikimedia RU participated in more than 200 conferences, seminars, and round tables, where they explained problems and ways to legalize the work. Hopefully, the foreign legislators will handle free licenses with the due care, and the uncertainty will vanish.

Featured image of Petrovskiy stadium in St. Petersburg that won’t be deleted now
(“Petrovskiy football stadium in SPB” by Florstein, under CC BY-SA 3.0)

 
What is the impact of these amendments on the Wikimedia movement?

  • more than four hundred deletion requests due to prior restrictions were cancelled and files were undeleted;
  • Commons will be able to receive thousands of images that couldn’t be uploaded before;
  • Now Russia can legally participate in the Wiki Loves Monuments contest, which is running till the end of October. Unfortunately, sculptures and monuments are still not covered by the changed law, but photos of historic buildings are permitted now and this opens wide opportunities for participation in the contest.

 

Linar Khalitov, Wikimedia Russia

by wikimediablog at October 14, 2014 11:21 PM