July 07, 2015

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Wikimedians urge the EU to protect freedom of panorama

The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid statue, the work of Danish–Icelandic sculptor Edvard Eriksen, can be shared online under the country’s freedom of panorama laws. Photo by Avda-berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0

The ability to freely share information of all kinds, from text to images, is core to Wikimedia’s mission of making all knowledge available to everyone. Recently, the Wikimedia community has mobilized in response to a European Parliament recommendation on freedom of panorama—the right to freely take and publish images of works in public places, like buildings, permanent works of art, and landmarks. A recent amendment to the recommendation now under consideration threatens to place restrictions on this right across all European Union member states.

Currently, some EU member states provide freedom of panorama rights; others do not. This inconsistency between different national law makes it difficult for the volunteer photographers and editors who build the Wikimedia projects to share knowledge online. Users on Wikimedia Commons have put together a 218 kilobyte guide, complete with 63 references, that explains the laws as they apply to each country. For example, based on this guide, the English Wikipedia does not freely use photographs of the original Atomium, located in Belgium, and instead illustrates the article with photographs of this model of the Atomium from Austria.

In January, Julia Reda, a German member of the European Parliament, prepared a report known as the “Reda Report” for the parliamentary committee that recommended extending the freedom of panorama throughout the EU. Her recommendation was subsequently amended to limit the right to non-commercial uses. As a result, the version of freedom of panorama now under consideration is not compatible with Wikimedia’s goal to broadly share knowledge. If this amendment became law, it would be more difficult for users to freely share photos of public spaces. It would be a step backwards in revamping the EU’s copyright rules for the digital age.

The Reda Report is important because it will guide the European Commission’s review of copyright law. On July 9, a vote will determine whether or not the final version of this report will take a position on freedom of panorama and what that position will be.

In response, there have been a number of discussions in the Wikimedia community about this report and the significance of freedom of panorama for the Wikimedia projects. Wikimedians across Europe are voicing their right to freely share images online. Editors on the German Wikipedia, for example, published an open letter urging the European Parliament to support full freedom of panorama.

As laws are updated, it is clear that some long-used legal terms are not well-suited to the Internet. “Commercial” and “non-commercial” in particular is an ambiguous and difficult distinction, and can be defined in a variety of ways depending upon the context. There is no bright-line rule. “Non-commercial” does not mean “not for profit”, and vice-versa. For example, sharing something on social media sites can be considered commercial re-use, if those sites require as much in their policies. Wikimedians support the essential freedoms to use, share, and remix content as broadly as possible, uninhibited by the opaque limitations imposed by a “non-commercial” restriction.

The Wikimedia community shares images of public buildings, art, and landmarks online to illustrate Wikipedia articles, enliven the travel guides on Wikivoyage, and share their country’s heritage with the world through Wiki Loves Monuments. Through pictures, they are free to save a visual record of our public spaces for others around the world to enjoy.

Sharing images of public spaces freely and internationally is crucial to the future of the Wikimedia projects and other online educational platforms. Such rights should be expanded, and we are happy to see Wikimedians voicing their support for this cause.

Stephen LaPorte, Legal Counsel, Wikimedia Foundation
Aeryn Palmer, Legal Fellow, Wikimedia Foundation

by Stephen LaPorte and Aeryn Palmer at July 07, 2015 01:25 AM

Wikisource needs your input

Wikisource user group meet-up.JPG
Wikisource user group meet-up during the Wikimedia Conference 2015 in Berlin. Photo by Micru, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Wikisource is the free digital library operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. Since 2003, it has been dedicated to gathering sources available in the public domain, like old books or open access articles, and transcribing them onto the Internet in formats that can be easily accessed. In a way, it is similar to Project Gutenberg, although on Wikisource the source used to transcribe the document is always accessible for peer-review thanks to the MediaWiki extension Proofread page.

However, the international community is scattered, and local communities do not have the power or ability to build their own tools or to make a serious and sustainable improvement of the software infrastructure.

To correct this, there was a growing movement from our volunteers, which resulted in the 2013 creation of the Wikisource Community User Group. This user group can be considered an emergent organization, since anyone can participate in its development; its end goal is to improve the Wikisource project, as the volunteers believe it is important to take responsibility for their project’s needs.

Recently, the Affiliations Committee has issued a resolution stating an indefinite renewal of the user organization.

User groups are light-weight organizations meant to aggregate volunteers who share a common purpose without the burden of incorporation or regulatory compliance. This has been ideal for the Wikisource community, since the size and the sparse geographic distribution doesn’t allow a tighter structure. As a user group, the Wikisource community has been represented in different venues such as at Wikimania and the Wikimedia Conference. The main challenge of the user group has been to keep interest in the project alive, as well as to offer incentives to create an international community to represent the particular interests of all Wikisourcers around the world.

In the past, thanks to the activities of the user group, there were some Google Summer of Code projects which made use of the Wikisource project as a subject. The challenge for this year is to continue to create a common understanding of the project, and to improve the involvement of volunteers in the project. For this reason we would like to invite you to fill out this survey and share your thoughts and ideas with us. The survey will remain open until July 22.

During the survey, you will be asked questions regarding your personal involvement with the Wikisource project, your preferences regarding governance and technology, and your opinion on how a Wikisource Conference should be shaped. With the support of Wikimedia Österreich and Wikimedia Italia, a Project and Event Grant proposal is to be presented for such a conference. We would like to involve Wikisourcers in a joint venture both to spread knowledge about the project and to strengthen community bonds. This, in the end, is what brings the group closer as a community for the benefit of all readers.

Micru, volunteer editor and promoterWikisource Community User Group

by Micru at July 07, 2015 12:34 AM

July 06, 2015

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Growing the Wikimedia blog

Much has happened on the Wikimedia blog in the past six months. Here’s an update on our goals, accomplishments, lessons learned — and new features under development, as shown in this design mockup. Photo by Ralf Roletschek, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

For the past six months, I have had the honor to manage and edit the Wikimedia blog with the Wikimedia Foundation’s (WMF) Communications team. During that time, we kept growing the blog as an important communications channel for the Wikimedia movement.

Here’s an update on our goals for the blog, what we achieved and learned in 2015, and the next steps for the blog, which the team is considering for the rest of the year.

Our goals

The Wikimedia blog provides a unique service for our movement, by informing and connecting our communities through the stories we publish. These aim to:

  • Inform people about Wikipedia, its sister sites, the WMF, and our movement.
  • Connect our communities around a shared narrative, and amplify their voices.
  • Convert casual visitors into supporters: readers, editors, donors.

What we achieved

To serve these goals, we published 150 blog posts in the first half of 2015 on a wide range of topics: community news, tech reports, research studies, and foundation announcements. About half of these posts were from or about community members, while the rest were written by foundation staff or affiliates. Many were translated in a variety of languages. Over ten stories were new content experiments.

Here were our top five stories for the first half of 2015:

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 9.25.25 AM
Activity on the Wikimedia blog fluctuates based on the popularity of stories we publish, as shown in this graph of monthly views and visitors from August 2014 to June 2015. Traffic surged in March, due to the announcement of our NSA lawsuit; traffic in June was more typical, as highlighted in orange. This graph was automatically generated by WordPress, and is public domain.

Altogether, the Wikimedia blog received about 626,000 pageviews from January 1 to June 30, 2015—an average of 4,175 views per post. The first quarter of the year (January–March) was particularly active, with 356,000 pageviews, or twice as many views as the previous year’s first quarter. This was largely due to our NSA lawsuit announcement in March 2015, which recieved over 66,000 views in that month. Other months had less activity, and we ended the second quarter with about 98,000 monthly views and 61,000 unique visitors, which is about average for our blog traffic this year (see above graph).

For more blog metrics, take a look at these 2015 research slides.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 9.25.50 AM
A recent survey of Wikimedia blog readers shows a strong interest in community and movement news, as well as technology reports. Graph automatically generated by Survey Monkey, public domain.

What we learned

This year, our team ran a number of research studies to learn about the impact of the stories we publish on the blog and make more informed decisions about our content strategy.

To hear what our users think of the blog, we ran a survey in February–March 2015. A majority of survey participants told us that they find the Wikimedia blog useful, but many said they only visit it about once a month, relying on emails, social media, and web links to draw them in.

Participants preferred content quality over quantity, with an interest in more depth and relevance, and asked for more reports from community members translated in more languages. They wanted easier ways to find stories they are interested in and more visibility on popular sites where they are active, from wiki projects to social networks. For more details, read our full survey report.

We also ran a comparative study to evaluate the user experience on other blogs in related media, technology and nonprofit organizations. This helped us identify new trends and ideas for improving our site.

Our recommendations

Based on this research, we have recommended three main areas of improvements for the blog in 2015:

  • Better content: Focus on quality, experiment with new ideas.
  • Better experience: Improve the blog’s discovery, visibility, and presentation.
  • New tools: Provide email subscriptions, as well as tools for editing and translating blog posts.

These recommendations are outlined one at a time below, and described in these Wikimedia blog slides, with more details and illustrations for each goal.

The blog’s editorial team is experimenting with new content ideas to better serve our community. Here are featured images from three different stories cited below. Wikipedia Picks image by James E. Buttersworth, Public domain. Philae news image by Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt, CC BY 3.0 Germany. World music photo by Dalbera, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Better content

In the past six months, we focused on content quality, rather than quantity—aiming for more depth and relevance, as suggested by many survey respondents. We covered topics we know are popular among blog readers, such as stories about our community, Wikipedia, and technology reports.

We also started experimenting with new formats to increase engagement and relevancy around content, and are now testing these three ideas:

Wikipedia Picks
This proposed blog series has two versions. The first invites Wikipedia community members to recommend articles, images, or other content that they find interesting and share their views on why they’re important or how they were created. The second is an in-depth interview with a Wikipedia editor on the articles they’ve written.

Here are our first examples:

In the news
This proposed series features top news stories of the week and shows how they are covered on Wikipedia and Wikimedia sites, informing our readers and surfacing those articles at the same time.

Here are some recent examples we’re now evaluating:

Multimedia Spotlight
This proposed series features compelling images, videos or sounds from Wikimedia Commons, through daily social posts and special blog roundups on familiar themes and popular events.

Here are some of our first blog examples:

What do you think of these new content ideas? How could they be improved? Do you have other suggestions for new experiments? Your feedback is most welcome in the comments below. Learn more here.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 9.27.00 AM
This design mockup for the blog’s home page shows some of the proposed improvements to the blog’s user experience, such as a clearer navigation bar, updated typography and more prominent social media buttons. Blog design by Exygy and Wikimedia Foundation, CC-BY-SA 3.0. >Photo by Kabelleger, CC BY-SA 3.0.

A better experience

To improve the Wikimedia blog’s user experience, we are developing new features and upgrading our site in three main areas:

Yesterday, we released a first round of improvements towards these goals. The blog now has an improved layout, with a clearer navigation bar featuring our top categories, as well as updated typography to make text easier to read. Special thanks go to our colleague Kaity Hammerstein for creating this design, in collaboration with Heather Walls—and to our development partners at Exygy for implementing it and extending it forward.

Later this month, the team plans to release updated sidebars and more prominent social media buttons, to provide a more pleasant and productive experience. We welcome your comments on any of these first improvements. Learn more here.

New tools

Yesterday, we released our first new tool for the blog this year: you can now subscribe to daily or weekly email updates, to find out when new stories are posted on the Wikimedia blog.

To get started, simply type your email address at the top of any page on the blog (or quickly sign up on this page).

An example of the weekly mailing list email. Design by Exygy and Wikimedia Foundation, CC-BY-SA 3.0. Painting by James E. Buttersworth, public domain.

Daily email updates are sent at 12pm PT (19:00 UTC), and weekly updates are sent every Thursday at 12pm PT (19:00 UTC). You can change your email preferences at any time by clicking ‘Update your preferences’ at the bottom of any email.

Nearly half of survey respondents told us they needed a way to be notified when new content is published on our site, and email subscriptions was one of the most frequent requests.

We hope you too will find this service useful: it’s a great way to keep up with the latest Wikimedia news!  Learn more in this blog announcement.

Going forward, the team is looking to raise awareness for the blog on Wikipedia and its sister projects, where our communities spend much of their time. Possible features could include an on-wiki newsletter delivered to your talk page; or links to the blog in sidebars and community portals; or a widget that could embed blog stories or lists on wiki pages.

And we started to discuss new tools to increase diversity on the blog, both in terms of content and participation. For example, new blog forms could help community members suggest or edit stories on the blog, as well as translate them into more languages, as described here.

What do you think of these ideas? Your feedback is welcome in the comments below.

Sharing the stories of our movement

For those of us who have managed this process on a daily basis, the Wikimedia blog is not just a publication—it works as a powerful community engagement tool. The stories we share on the blog bring together readers and contributors from around the world and helps share knowledge across diverse cultures. In my six months editing the blog, I collaborated with hundreds of community and team members, most of which said they enjoyed the experience of sharing their stories and discussing them with others.

This may be my most important insight from this assignment: creating quality content on channels like the Wikimedia blog has the potential to bring our communities closer to each other. By collaboratively editing and publishing each other’s stories, we learn to understand one another: this helps build empathy and trust between us — which is good for our whole movement.

Group photo of the Wikimedia Foundation’s communications team. Pictured from left to right: Jing Liong, Haoting Zhang, Heather Walls, Fabrice Florin, Katherine Maher, Andrew Sherman, Samantha Lien, Michael Guss, Dhvanil Patel and Juliet Barbara. (Remote workers Ed Erhart, Victor Grigas and Joe Sutherland are shown in a separate insert.) Group photo by Adam Roses Wight, CC BY-SA 3.0.

A wonderful team

Over the past few months, we assembled a world-class team to carry on this work and grow the blog into a global communications channel for the Wikimedia movement.

Going forward, the Wikimedia Foundation’s Juliet Barbara will manage the Wikimedia blog, in close collaboration with Ed Erhart, former editor-in-chief of the Wikipedia Signpost. They will work with many of our talented team members, including Victor Grigas, Heather Walls, Michael Guss, Samantha Lien, Joe Sutherland, Andrew Sherman, Jing Liong, Dhvanil Patel and Haoting Zhang (many of whom are working with us as summer interns), and former Communications team member Tilman Bayer. I helped recruit and mentor several of them and am really impressed with how quickly they have come together as a team: I am confident they will keep doing amazing work to take the blog to the next level.

As for me, the time has come to say goodbye, after three great years at the Wikimedia Foundation; this is my last post as a WMF employee. Starting today, I look forward to spending more time with my family, focusing on personal art projects and consulting part-time on other worthy causes. I also plan to remain involved as a community volunteer, to contribute some of my multimedia libraries to Wikimedia projects.


I would like to thank all the community and team members I have had the pleasure to work with over the years. It has been an honor to serve our movement together and to help our contributors share free knowledge with each other and the world.

I’m particularly grateful to Katherine Maher and our entire Communications team for being such wonderful collaborators. I really enjoyed working with you all to manage and edit the Wikimedia blog, helping grow our team and publish some great stories together.

Serving the Wikimedia movement for nearly four years has been an incredible experience for me, and I am grateful for all that I have learned from so many of you. I have high hopes for the free knowledge movement, and can’t wait to see it grow to new heights in coming years.


Fabrice Florin
Movement Communications Manager
Wikimedia Foundation

by Fabrice Florin at July 06, 2015 09:40 PM

The Wikimedia Foundation’s “Got Your Back” when it comes to user privacy

Privacy is a core tenant of the Wikimedia movement. Photo by Owen Moore, freely licensed under CC BY 2.0.

We are proud to announce that the Wikimedia Foundation received perfect marks in all five categories in the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)’s Who’s Got Your Back? report.

The annual report, released on June 17, grades technology companies on how well they protect users’ rights and how transparent they are about their policies and activities. As the EFF points out, in an era in which the law is slow to keep pace with technical developments, it is the responsibility of technology companies to enact the strongest possible policies and practices to protect user rights.

This year, the Wikimedia Foundation earned five stars in all five categories:

  1. follows industry-accepted best practices;
  2. tells users about government data demands;
  3. discloses policies on data retention;
  4. discloses government content removal requests; and
  5. pro-user public policy: opposes backdoors.

Noting that we have adopted all of EFF’s recommended best practices, the report praised the Wikimedia Foundation for our “strong stance regarding user rights, transparency, and privacy.”

Wikimedia’s five-star rating reflects the lengths we go to for transparency and privacy. Photo by Sylwia Bartyzel, freely licensed under CC-0 1.0.

Industry-accepted best practices: The Wikimedia Foundation occasionally receives requests from governments and organizations to release nonpublic user data or remove content from the Wikimedia projects. Compared to other technology companies, we receive relatively few requests like these, in part because we collect little nonpublic information about our users and retain that information only for a limited time. When we do receive a request, we carefully scrutinize it to ensure that it meets our requirements prior to considering release of any nonpublic user information. As we state in our law enforcement guidelines, we require a valid, enforceable warrant before releasing any content to law enforcement. We also explain in those guidelines how we respond to data demands, and publish a transparency report that documents the requests we receive and how we responded.

Government data demands: We promise to give users prompt notice of government demands for nonpublic user information. When we receive a request, we seek to notify the affected user and provide a copy of the request at least 10 calendar days before we release the information. We will contact the user provided that we have the user’s contact information, that disclosing the request will not threaten life or limb, and that we are not otherwise prohibited by law from doing so. The notified user can then attempt to quash or legally challenge the request. If we are prevented from notifying users for one of the above reasons, we will provide information about the request to affected users after the threat or legal restriction has ended. Additionally, we may, and reserve the right to, challenge a request on behalf of any affected user, whether or not the user chooses to pursue his or her own legal challenge.

Data retention policies. We publish detailed information about our data retention policies.

Content removal requests: In our transparency report, we disclose government requests to remove user content or accounts, as well as information about how often we comply.

Pro-user public policy: We oppose “backdoors” that introduce security vulnerabilities for the government’s use.

As part of our commitment to supporting the free sharing of knowledge, we strive to do our utmost to protect our users’ privacy and we are honored to be recognized as industry leaders. We invite you to learn more about our efforts to protect user privacy  and promote transparency at https://transparency.wikimedia.org/.

Geoff Brigham, Wikimedia Foundation General Counsel*

• *Our commitment to privacy is an organization-wide effort, and we thank all who are involved in upholding that commitment, including the Foundation’s Analytics, Operations, Design, Community Engagement, Communications, and Legal teams, as well as many others. Our special thanks go to Lexie Perloff-Giles for her assistance with this blog post.

by Geoff Brigham at July 06, 2015 04:08 PM

Get email updates from the Wikimedia blog


Find out when new stories are posted on the Wikimedia blog: subscribe to our new email updates. Design by Exygy and Wikimedia Foundation, CC-BY-SA 3.0. Painting by James E. Buttersworth, Public domain.

Today, we’re happy to announce a new email service for the Wikimedia blog: you can now subscribe to our email updates, to find out when new stories are posted on the blog.

To get started, simply type your email address at the top of any page on the blog (or quickly sign up on this page). Select either a daily or weekly update, then click on ‘Subscribe’, as shown below.

Screenshot of email subscription panel from the right sidebar.

To complete your subscription, just click the link in your confirmation email. Daily email updates are sent at 12pm PT (7pm UTC), and weekly updates are sent every Thursday at 12pm PT (7pm UTC).

You can change your email preferences at any time by clicking ‘Update your preferences’ at the bottom of any email — or on ‘Unsubscribe’, if you wish to no longer receive these emails.

Why are we doing this?
Earlier this year, we ran a blog survey to learn what our users think of the blog. A majority of respondents told us they find the Wikimedia Blog useful, but that they only visit it about once a month — relying on emails, social media and web links to draw them in.

As a result, nearly half of respondents said they would like to be notified when new content is posted on the blog. One participant said: “I forget to go to the blog”, and another told us: “I need to be reminded it exists.” The most popular notification methods were Facebook (34%), Twitter (31%) — and a blog email list (30%).

Based on this feedback, we concluded that email updates would improve the blog experience and its visibility, by making it easier for our community to know when new stories are published on the blog.

How does this work?
All email updates include the lead image from each new story, a short summary and a link to the full story on the blog. The updates include all the blog posts that were published that day or week. If there are no new stories for that day or for that week, no emails will be sent. The emails are sent with the popular WordPress and MailChimp platforms, which are used for the Wikimedia blog.

To respect your privacy, the Wikimedia blog sends emails only to individuals who explicitly subscribe to this service. For more information, check out this special privacy policy for the Wikimedia blog.

We hope you will find this new service useful: it’s a great way to keep up with the latest Wikimedia news! We like to think of it as getting the Wikimedia blog in your inbox, so you never miss another important blog post. Enjoy!

Fabrice FlorinMovement Communications ManagerWikimedia Foundation

by Fabrice Florin at July 06, 2015 04:08 PM

Wikimedia Israel’s annual conference focuses on Wikipedia in education

Seventh Wikipedia Academy (52).JPG
Lila Tretikov’s lecture at WMIL’s 7th Wiki Academy conference. Photo by אוראל כהן, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Teachers and other key figures from the fields of education and academia gathered in Herzliya, Israel, on June 1 to attend the Wikipedia Academy annual conference, which took place at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.

Focusing on the issue of integrating Wikipedia into the education system, the conference was attended by Lila Tretikov, the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation; Katherine Maher, Chief Communications Officer; and Tighe Flanagan, Middle East & Africa Education Fund Program Manager.

It was the seventh conference held by Wikimedia Israel (WMIL), the country’s national Wikimedia chapter. WMIL selects a different topic for each annual conference, and this year the conference concentrated on integrating Wikipedia into Israel’s national education system. It was an opportunity to showcase the diverse educational projects that took place over the past year, including online training for teachers on the use of Wikipedia, editing workshops for students, development of tutorials, self-study courseware for Wikipedia editing, a brochure for teachers, and academic courses that can offer credit for Wikipedia editing assignments.

Experiencing the game NaraView at the Wiki academy conferece. Photo by אוראל כהן, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

The keynote speech was delivered by Lila, who explained why Wikipedia belongs in education. She spoke of Generation Z, which is characterized by new learning patterns that are independent and based on content sharing. Lila noted that while educators of this generation face remarkable challenges, Wikipedia presents them with a particularly effective tool: through the online encyclopedia, their students develop a wide range of skills and abilities that help students gain confidence and make a meaningful contribution to society.

Dr. Zvia Elgali presented research indicating extensive use of Wikipedia among teachers from all corners of Israeli society. Over three quarters of teachers surveyed said they had used at least one Wikipedia-based task in classes, and 87% of them agreed that such tasks contribute to the achievement meeting the required standards. Afterwards, a fascinating discussion was held with a representative from the Israeli Ministry of Education, a teacher, a researcher, and the audience.

The showcase of the educational game NaraView, a digital version of the WikiRace game, was received particularly well. NaraView was developed by Ben-Amotz and Breslev, two participants of a teachers’ online training course led by Wikimedia Israel. Using a specialized application, students play the game while their teacher visualises their race routes through articles in real time. It also allows for additional elements to be included to enhance the learning process.

Another highlight was the debut of interactive courseware for Wikipedia editing. This software allows users to learn the editing process step-by-step, and is accompanied by a frame narrative presented by two cartoon characters.

Wikimedia Israel education team meets Tighe Flanagan. Photo by Deror avi, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

The conference also offered lectures reviewing the educational activities of Wikimedia chapters worldwide, as well as the current educational projects in Israel. The closing session consisted of a series of lightning talks about groundbreaking Israeli projects combining technology and education.

Meanwhile, Tighe’s arrival in Israel coincided with WMIL’s educational activities and efforts to strengthen the collaboration between the Foundation and the chapter in educational matters. He met with volunteers who carry out a variety of education and training initiatives for WMIL, and visited different university campuses to meet with students and professors who participate in these projects. One of the most interesting meetings came from Arabic Wikipedia editing and included Dr. Sharon Halevi, the head of the Gender Studies Program at the University of Haifa, as well as Hana Yariv, who provides voluntary assistance to their WMIL project and Arabic-speaking female students of the program.

Tighe’s knowledge in the field of the Arabic Wikipedia was a major boon for the meeting, and he used his ties with Arabic-speaking Wikipedians to help interested students connect with them to provide support for editing articles there. We are now forming a monthly gathering to help foster new editors for the Arabic Wikipedia.

Shai Katz
Education Coordinator
Wikimedia Israel

by Shai Katz at July 06, 2015 04:07 PM

These Texans are on a quest to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of their state’s revolution

The Alamo at Night, San Antonio, Texas (2014-12-12 23.00.05 by Nan Palmero).jpg
The Alamo became a symbol for all Texans after most or all of its defenders were killed by the Mexican army. Photo by Nan Palmero, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 2.0.

Students in the United States and Mexico are often required to learn about the history of the Texas Revolution, the outcome of which foreshadowed a much larger war and the loss of a significant portion of Mexico’s territory in what is today the American Southwest. The tales of individual actions and the Battle of the Alamo—the symbolically pivotal event in the conflict—have persevered in the nearly 180 years since the conflict.

For those less familiar with this narrative, a hurriedly assembled rebel army was able to separate themselves from Mexico in large part due to the crucial Battle of San Jacinto, where they captured the President of Mexico. They used this advantage to force an end to the war.

Wikipedia editor Karanacs grew up in Texas and is therefore well-acquainted with this tradition. “During a family vacation to see the Alamo Mission in San Antonio when I was 10, we watched the film Alamo: The Price of Freedom,” she says. “For the first time, I understood the impact that war had on ordinary people. I cried for a little boy who lost his father in a battle fought 150 years before I was born.” Two decades later, this interest manifested itself on Wikipedia. Like many editors of the world’s largest encyclopedia, she was browsing the site’s articles and found that they were of relatively poor quality—and that the traditional narrative she’d learned was not necessarily accurate.

Sam Houston by Mathew Brady.jpg
Sam Houston was a general in the revolution and, later, the president of the fledgling republic. Photo by Mathew Brady, public domain.

The real descent down the rabbit hole, however, began when a group of volunteer editors called for collaborators to rewrite the article on Texas A&M University, Karanacs’ alma mater. She joined them “even though I had no idea what they were talking about.” It wasn’t long before this snowball grew larger: she was soon “in love with Wikipedia—the research, the writing, the teamwork, the satisfaction of knowing that something I helped create would help assuage someone else’s curiosity, and hopefully dispelling some of their misunderstandings of the topic.”

Between 2006 and 2010, Karanacs wrote 23 featured articles, the highest article rating on the site and only reached after a rigorous peer review process. She branched out from Texas history at times with articles like Irish Thoroughbred, Nora Roberts’ first romance novel, or Gumbo, a Louisianan soup. Still, the grand majority focused on her home state, such as the French colonization of Texas, and its revolution against Mexico, like the Grass Fight or the Battle of the Alamo. She was “most fascinated by the human elements,” she says, “and the people on both sides who made decisions that cumulatively led to the place I live.”

Still, the challenges proved daunting. The host of editors who enticed her to join Wikipedia in 2006 had dwindled by 2011 to just her. When combined with the amount of work required and three young children at home, Karanacs made the difficult decision to quit the site. “My Wikipedia time turned into ‘chase-the-toddler’ time,” she said.

More than three years went by before Karanacs was tempted back to the site by an email from fellow native Texan editor Maile66, who started editing Texas-related articles in 2006. She alerted Karanacs to an enticing offer: the History Channel‘s then-upcoming Texas Rising wanted the article on the Texas Revolution to run on the English Wikipedia’s main page on the day of the show’s premiere. In return, the channel would point viewers and interested fans to the page for more information.

The Battle of San Jacinto (1895).jpg
The last major battle of the revolution was fought near San Jacinto. Painting by Henry Arthur McArdle, public domain.

Karanacs’ reaction was two-fold: she was intrigued by the opportunity, which offered outside interest and a long deadline, but cautious. Readers of Wikipedia may not be aware of the struggle of writing wide-scope articles; many editors are quick to espouse that articles on a war, for instance, are more difficult to write than articles on the individual battles and skirmishes that occurred during that war. Karanacs told me that her research for these battle articles would require reading three to four books on the general topic—the war, in our running example—and anywhere from five to twenty articles on the battle itself. The actual writing could take anywhere from twenty to forty hours and could be done alone.

A big picture article, on the other hand, requires a great deal more effort and people. “I have been researching the Texas Revolution off and on for seven years,” Karanacs said. “There have been literally thousands of books written on that topic, and I likely spent more than eighty hours just identifying appropriate sources to consult.” The actual reading of these sources took a good deal longer—and most didn’t make it into the article. Karanacs believes that covering these works was important, if only to “establish scholarly consensus and ensure that I wasn’t missing any of the more focused angles scholars delved into.”

And there were a lot of them. Karanacs recalls that many of the books she could acquire were written by American and Mexican scholars, as one would expect, but there was also one written by a German (albeit translated into English) and one by a Scottish researcher. Her local librarians were an invaluable resource, as they were able to point out monographs that she missed and put in dozens of inter-library loan requests, as was the relatively new Wikipedia Library, which helps connect editors to outline journal and reference databases that Wikipedia editors can cite. Karanacs called the latter a “tremendous resource”—”I am blown away by how much easier it is now to do some of the research.”

Karanacs also undertook a physical journey to several of the areas where significant events occurred. “It made it all just a little more real,” she told me. “Both sides fought for something they believed was important, and it was important to me to present each of their perspectives fairly and with respect.”

Santa Anna—the commander of the Mexican forces—surrenders. Painting by William Henry Huddle, in the public domain.

Over a three-month span, Karanacs and Maile66 worked together to develop the Texas Revolution article itself. Their plan of attack included scrapping the entire existing article, all 5,243 words of it, and starting anew. This allowed them to not worry about where existing content had come from and instead concentrate on including facts and views from the principal sources on the topic. They had to decide how much weight each view should receive, similar to when an academic historian evaluates a topic’s place in historiography. This differs from primary source research in that it evaluates historical narratives that have emerged from the event. Using the Texas Revolution as an example, historians once portrayed the Texans as white, from the US, and universally in support of the rebellion. Contributions from Tejanos (native-born Texans of Spanish or Mexican heritage) were overlooked. Time often plays a significant role in historiography, and this is no different: here, the revolution’s traditional narrative, upheld by many of the television and film productions of the last fifty years, has since been been superseded with the recognition that a good percentage of Texans actually supported the Mexican government, not the rebel side, and that Tejanos featured in many significant roles.

National narratives came into play as well. Supporters of the revolution portrayed themselves as fighting for a just cause against an oppressive overlord, while Mexicans, after the Mexican–American War of 1845, thought that the region was stolen from them by the United States. After their initial assessments, Karanacs and Maile identified areas that required more research and each returned to the library.

When satisfied the article was comprehensive and balanced, Karanacs and Maile nominated Texas Revolution for featured status. Having already received comments from three editors, ten more editors commented during the review period. “It really did take a village,” Karanacs told me, and estimated that she personally spent an estimated three hundred hours on the article, underlining just how difficult it can be to write these sorts of big-picture articles. Finally, Texas Revolution became a featured article on April 18—more than a month before the deadline requested by the History Channel.

The History Channel’s historians suggested only minor changes in the article’s wording; overall, they were very pleased with the article, which has now doubled in size to over 10,000 words. It ran on Wikipedia’s main page on May 25, and about 54,000 people read the article over a four-day period—and possibly thanks to the popularity of Texas Rising, more than a thousand people per day viewed it for nearly all of the first half of June.

For Karanacs’ part, she told me that “I am extremely proud of this project. First, that we created one of the best short(ish) yet still comprehensive overviews of this topic that exists anywhere on the web, in my opinion. Second, that we brought an article that is on a broader topic—an entire war, rather than a single battle—to featured status. Third, that real paid historians thought we did a good job, and fourth, that we achieved this through a collaboration, rather than as individual editors.” When asked why they are so important in the greater context of North American history, she replied:

“In the nineteenth century, the Texas Revolution fit neatly into the United States philosophy of manifest destiny. According to that narrative, Americans went to what was then Mexico to show a poor, backwards group of people a better way to live. Of course, they chose to break free of their shackles and embrace freedom—interpreted as annexation to the US. Texian independence and subsequent annexation to the United States directly led to the Mexican-American War and Mexico’s loss of half of its territory to the United States. In Mexico, focus was placed more on the Mexican-American War, and the Texas Revolution, when discussed, was often framed as American intervention in Mexican affairs.

“The Texas Revolution is also a very compelling story of a small group of underdogs defeating a quasi-established power. Logically, the Texians should not have won that war, yet they did. Even the Texian defeats were romanticized; from almost the moment that the Alamo fell to the Mexican Army, the battle was compared to the Greek Battle of Thermopylae. A small group of men deliberately turned down the chance to retreat, knowing they faced annihilation, in order to defend their homeland against a larger invading force. Historians have shown that this narrative is inaccurate, but the general public does not accept that new interpretation.”

Perhaps most importantly, Karanacs’ interest in Wikipedia is now rekindled—and it’s for the “same reasons” from her the first time around: “pride in a job well done, the joy of teamwork, and pure nerdiness.” Maile has already started a new collaboration with Karanacs with the Battle of San Jacinto, although the former is taking the lead role this time. They hope to have all thirteen Texas Revolution-related articles at featured status by next year.

Karanacs and Maile wish to thank the many editors who helped them get this article featured, including—but not limited to—Mike Christie, Dank, P.S. Burton, and Iridescent.

Ed Erhart
Editorial Intern
Wikimedia Foundation

Karanacs as drawn by one of her young children. Photo from Karanacs, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 4.0.

by Ed Erhart at July 06, 2015 04:07 PM

July 02, 2015

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

ACLU files amended complaint on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation

Blind Justice stands with scales aloft over the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia. Photo by Tim Evanson, CC BY-SA 2.0.

In March, the Wikimedia Foundation filed suit against the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the United States.[1] The lawsuit challenged one of the NSA’s mass surveillance programs, specifically the large-scale search and seizure of internet communications known as “upstream” surveillance. Our aim in filing this suit is to end this mass surveillance program in order to protect the rights of our users around the world. We are joined by eight other organizations and are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Today, we’re pleased to provide a brief update on the progress of Wikimedia v. NSA. After we filed our original suit, the United States government filed its anticipated motion to dismiss our suit on May 29. This is a basic procedural hurdle common to most lawsuits in the United States. On June 19, our lawyers at the ACLU filed an amended version of the original complaint in response to the government’s motion. Filing an amended complaint is an automatic right under federal court rules and a common step in United States lawsuits, allowing us to further reinforce our claims. This version of the complaint includes additional information, such as a more detailed explanation of the operations of the Wikimedia projects.

As it now stands, both sides will present their arguments at a hearing currently scheduled for September 25. In the meantime, the government’s motion to dismiss the amended complaint is due August 6, our response is due September 3, and the government’s reply is due September 17.

Spread the word about inappropriate surveillance. Art by Rich Black, CC BY 3.0.

Headquartered in New York City, the exceptionally strong ACLU team representing us in this case has a broad range of experience in national security issues. They recently won an important victory at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in ACLU v. Clapper, a case dealing with government surveillance of telephone metadata. In addition, they have taken a strong stand on the recent passage of the USA FREEDOM Act. We are grateful that they have chosen to represent the Wikimedia Foundation pro bono.

During the last few months, the Wikimedia Foundation has been very involved in preparing court documents and confirming various points of legal research; this required intense focus from our legal team. To reduce the workload on our staff and better assist the ACLU, we decided to ask Cooley LLP, our litigation law firm, to provide some reinforcement. Cooley’s hard work has enabled us to support the ACLU’s time-sensitive needs. Cooley had generously agreed to charge us their reduced fee rate for these last few months, and we are thrilled about their recent decision to represent us pro bono as we enter the upcoming fiscal year. We are extremely grateful for their continued support of the movement and mission.

We have always expected a particularly difficult fight, but with the ACLU and Cooley, we are committed to seeing this through and presenting the strongest case possible.

We look forward to putting our claims before the Court. As the case proceeds, we will continue to post brief updates to keep the community informed. To read the pleadings that have been filed to date, please click here.

Michelle Paulson, Senior Legal Counsel
Geoff Brigham, General Counsel

Special thanks to all who are supporting our efforts in this matter in a variety of ways, including Patrick Toomey (ACLU), Jameel Jaffer (ACLU), Alex Abdo (ACLU), Ashley Gorski (ACLU), Aarti Reddy (Cooley), Amanda Levendowski (Cooley), Patrick Gunn (Cooley), Ben Kleine (Cooley), Aeryn Palmer, Jim Buatti, Mehtab Khan, Lexie Perloff-Giles, James Alexander, Philippe Beaudette, Oliver Keyes, Kevin Leduc, Faidon Liambotis, Andrew Otto, Dan Andreescu, Aaron Halfaker, and Erik Zachte.


  1. Other defendants include: Michael Rogers, in his official capacity as Director of the National Security Agency and Chief of the Central Security Service; Office of the Director of National Intelligence; James Clapper, in his official capacity as Director of National Intelligence; and Loretta Lynch , in her official capacity as Attorney General of the United States.

by Michelle Paulson and Geoff Brigham at July 02, 2015 08:34 PM

July 01, 2015

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Developers gather in France for the 2015 Wikimedia Hackathon

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 12.10.35 PM
Wikimedia developers from around the world met last month in Lyon, France, for the Wikimedia Hackathon 2015. To meet a few of them, watch this short video.

On May 23, public transportation workers were on strike in Lyon, France. But it would have taken a lot more to discourage our coders from around the world, gathered here to develop tools for the Wikimedia projects! They were invited by Wikimédia France for our annual Wikimedia Hackathon, which took place at Écully, a small town just outside of Lyon.

A traditional group photo. Photo by Pierre Selim, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0.

But why a hackathon … and why in Lyon?

The Wikimedia Hackathon is an annual gathering of coders from across the Wikimedia movement. Many of the tools you use every day on Wikipedia and other projects are developed during hackathons like this one.

This year’s event was held in Valpré, a major conference and training center near Lyon, in France’s second-largest metropolitan area. Lodging and work rooms were in the same location, and participants had access to a wide range of services to make their stay more comfortable: a daycare, a restaurant, a large playing field—and five meeting rooms available to developers night and day.

The 2015 Wikimedia Hackathon was a real success, with over 200 participants from 20 different countries! This year’s programs were carefully designed to welcome new contributors: 66 new participants joined us in the convention center’s crowded amphitheater, for the hackathon’s opening session, on May 23, 2015 at 9am.

We had a full house at the opening ceremony. Photo by Jean-Philippe Kmiec, CC-BY-SA 4.0

How does it work?

For three days, developers worked on software and tools related to Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata, MediaWiki and many other projects. In total, 62 meetings and workshops took place during the event. Participants had the choice of working in one of five meeting rooms, so they could code around the clock to develop better software.

We also organized a number of public lectures, to encourage interactions with newcomers, and to introduce them to the Wikimedia movement, to Wikimédia France and other wiki projects. It was a great opportunity to spotlight our local group in Lyon and discuss their many initiatives in the region.

A project showcase

No fewer than 33 projects were presented at the closing ceremony on Monday, May 25 at 4pm. We saw cool new features, like Wikipedia on Apple Watch, and an ultra minimalist version of the free encyclopedia: La découvrir! More technological projects were also shown, such as a tool which generates complex search queries using sentences written in natural language.

A media event

The Wikimedia Hackathon was covered by a dozen regional and national publications, and it was a great opportunity to spread the word about our association and the Wikimedia projects.

Thanks to all our attendees, and see you at next year’s Hackathon in Jerusalem!

Jean-Philippe KmiecManager of Communications and EventsWikimédia France

Infographic by Jean-Philippe Kmiec, CC-BY-SA 4.0

From the editors: This story was originally published in French on the Wikimédia France blog and on Planet Wikimedia. It was translated into English by Fabrice Florin.

by Jean-Philippe Kmiec at July 01, 2015 05:42 PM

New French partners for The Wikipedia Library

The Wikipedia Library aims to connect writers with high-quality sources. Photo by JHistory, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Earlier this month, we were happy to launch a new French-language branch of the Wikipedia Library with donations from three new publishers of French and English sources.

The Wikipedia Library aims to connect experienced Wikipedia editors with the quality sources and references that they need to author more content and spread the sum of human knowledge. One strategy for this access is our publisher donation program, which offer free subscriptions to contributors who meet a modest selection criteria. To learn more about the Wikipedia Library, check out our earlier blog posts about it or a 2014 Signpost feature.

As part of the new French-language Wikipedia Library branch, 3 new donor partners join the ranks of dozens of already established partnerships. The new French-language partnerships include:

  • Cairn.info is a site for the publication and dissemination of humanities and social science journals from several publishers. This project offers publications on several subjects: law, economics, geography, history, literature and linguistics, philosophy, psychology, education science, information science, political science, sociology and society and sport. The Wikipedia Library has 100 free accounts for CAIRN.info, French and English.
  • Érudit is a non-profit organization in Quebec whose primary mission is the dissemination and promotion of results of scholarly research in the humanities and social sciences. The platform also includes some journals in the hard sciences and the environment. The Wikipedia Library offers 50 free accounts.
  • L’Harmattan is a French publishing house founded in 1975. It has 27,000 titles in the social sciences and humanities, rare or out of print books, videos and magazines that are available online via the digital platform. The Wikipedia Library has 100 free accounts for L’Harmattan, in French only.

Through its partnerships, the Wikipedia Library aims that experienced contributors may have access to high-caliber sources to reference and increase the quality of Wikipedia articles. For our partners, the benefits are numerous: due to the high traffic and visibility of Wikipedia, readers learn where to find the best databases and collections.

Wikipedia Library Owl. Logo by Heather Walls, CC BY-SA 3.0.

It is very exciting to see the international team of the Wikipedia Library expand to create partnerships with other providers of newspapers, journals and databases, and in more languages. Our full list of partner journals is located on the English Wikipedia, and editors are invited to list the paywalled resources they need access to on our Meta requests page. We will do our best to make inroads with them.

Additionally, we would like to widen this scope and encourage more Wikimedia communities to consider launching Wikipedia Library branches in their own language. These programs operate as local-language research hubs through various strategies and best practices identified in other language communities. For more information about setting up new branches, check out our new Branch Guide. If you would like to support established Wikipedia Library branches, let us know!

Benoit Rochon and Sylvain Machefert, coordinators of the francophone branch of TWL for WikiFranca.

by Benoit Rochon and Sylvain Machefert at July 01, 2015 05:41 PM

Wikimedia Research Newsletter, June 2015

Wikimedia Research Newsletter
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Vol: 5 • Issue: 6 • June 2015 [contribute] [archives] Syndicate the Wikimedia Research Newsletter feed

How Wikipedia built governance capability; readability of plastic surgery articles

With contributions by: Piotr Konieczny, Leeza Rodriguez and Tilman Bayer

How Wikipedia built governance capability, 2001–2009

This paper[1] looks at the topic of Wikipedia governance in the context of online social production, which is contrasted with traditional, contract-bound, hierarchical production models that characterize most organizational settings. Building on the dynamic capabilities theory, the authors introduce a new concept, “collective governance capability”, which they define as “the capability of a collective arrangement to steer a production process and an associated interaction system”. The authors ask the research question, “How does a collective governance capability to create and maintain value emerge and evolve in online social production?”

Figure from the paper: “The number of monthly contributors and the number of contributor clusters in the English Wikipedia from January 2001 to December 2009.”

  1. Quantitative analysis: The authors processed a dump of the full history of the English Wikipedia’s first nine years. For each of the 108 months from January 2001 to December 2009 and each editor, that editor’s activity was described by the following numbers: “the number of edits and pages edited, median [Levenshtein] edit distance and article length change, the number of reverted edits, and reverts done […., in] four namespaces: encyclopedia articles, article talk pages, policies and guidelines, and policies and guidelines talk pages”. A cluster analysis is then performed for each month to group editors into sets of similar editing behavior. The authors report:
    “we identify a slow initiation period followed by a period of extremely rapid growth, and, finally, levelling out and a slight decline. In the first phase, there is only a minimal differentiation of contributors into clusters. The second phase of exponential growth is characterized by increasing differentiation of contributors, while the number of clusters stabilizes in the third phase. The statistics provide only a very rough depiction of a complex system, but they certainly suggest that, whatever governance mechanisms have been in place, they have had to deal with dramatically different circumstances over the years.”
  2. qualitative analysis: Building on these three phases identified via descriptive statistics, the authors construct “theoretical narrative … [using] a highly selective representation of empirical material that advances the plot of capability-building”, including discussion of the history of policies, processes and events including IAR, 3RR, FAR, bot policy, flagged revisions, the 2005 Nature study comparing Wikipedia’s quality with Britannica’s, the Seigenthaler affair the same year, etc.

The researchers note that Wikipedia governance has changed significantly over the years, becoming less open and more codified, which they seem to acknowledge as a positive change. The authors’ main conclusion stresses, first, that governance could itself be a dynamic, evolving process. Second, that new kinds of governance mechanisms make it possible to create significant value by harnessing knowledge resources that would be very difficult to seize through a market or corporate system. Third, that the lack of a contractually sanctioned governance framework means that people have to learn to deal directly with each other through peer-based interaction and informal agreements, which in turn creates opportunities for self-improvement through learning. Fourth, the authors note that the new type of governance models are constantly evolving and changing, meaning they have a very fluid structure that is difficult to describe, and may be better understood instead as changing combinations of different, semi-independent governance mechanisms that complement one another. Finally, they stress the importance of technology in making those new models of governance possible.

Readability of plastic surgery articles examined

The subject of readability of online patient materials for Plastic Surgery topics was recently assessed by teams from Beth Israel Medical Center at the Harvard Medical School. Readability scores are generally expressed as a grade level: Higher grade levels indicate that that content is more difficult to read. According to the authors, “nearly half of American adults have poor or marginal health literacy skills and the NIH (National Institute of Health) and AMA (American Medical Association) have recommended that patient information should be written at the sixth grade level”. The aim of their research was to calculate readability scores for the most popular web pages displaying procedure information and compare the results to the sixth grade reading level recommendation.


The core author group published two papers, “Online Patient Resources for Liposuction”[2], in Annals of Plastic Surgery , and “Assessment of Online Patient Materials for Breast Reconstruction”[3], in Journal of Surgical Research. The authors concentrated on the topics of “liposuction” and “tattoo information” in one paper, and focused solely on the topic of “breast reconstruction” in the second paper. Readability scores were accessed in both papers, but the breast reconstruction paper added an analysis of ‘complexity’ and ‘suitability’ to more comprehensively evaluate reading level.

For each procedure term topic, websites selected for analysis were based on the top 10 links resulting from the Google search query. The top 10 links were identified as the 10 most common websites for that search term.

Illustration from the liposuction article

Results and conclusions

The authors concluded that the readability of online patient information for ‘liposuction’ and ‘breast reconstruction’ is ‘too difficult’ for many patients as the readability scores of all 20 websites (10 each) far exceeds that of a 6th-grade reading level. The average score for the most popular ‘liposuction’ websites was determined equal to 13.6-grade level. As a comparison ‘tattoo information’ scored at the 7.8-grade level.

Health care information available at the most popular websites for ‘breast reconstruction’ had an average readability score of 13.4, with 100% of the top 10 websites providing content far above the recommended 6th grade reading level . Wikipedia.org readability scores aligned at the higher readability range for both terms, with scores above the 14 grade level for ‘liposuction’, and above grade 15 for ‘breast reconstruction’.

When other metrics such as ‘complexity’ and ‘suitability’ were applied to the Breast Reconstruction websites, the content appeared to be more friendly towards less educated readers. Complexity analysis using PMOSE/iKIRSCH yielded an average score of 8th–12th grade level. In a testament to how images and topography enhance user readability, the breast reconstruction paper also employed the SAM ‘suitability’ formula. This metric concluded that 50% of the websites were ‘adequate’. The SAM formula gives weight to the contribution that images, bulleted lists, subheadings, and video make to the readability of content. Wikipedia.org was found to be ‘unsuitable’ along with Komen.org, BreastReconstruction.com, WebMD.com, and MedicineNet.com.

In conjunction with the ‘readability score’, the PMOSE and SAM metric helped to achieve a more comprehensive view of a patient’s ability to read and comprehend the breast reconstruction material.

Liposuction paper methodology

After articles from the 10 websites with liposuction content were stripped of images and videos, the plain text content was analyzed using ten established readability formulas. These included Coleman–Liau, Flesch–Kincaid, Flesch reading ease, FORCAST, Fry graph, Gunning fog, New Dale–Chall, New Fog count, Raygor estimate, and SMOG. All readability formulas in this paper relied on some combination of word length, syllable count, word complexity, and sentence length. Longer word lengths and sentence lengths compute to higher reading levels. Similarly, words of three or more syllables increase the grade level readability scores. These text-based readability scores do not include the impact that images or graphics have on readers.

In an effort to compare readability scores for a procedure ‘similar’ to liposuction, the authors performed the same type of analysis on the term ‘tattoo information’. Not surprisingly, the query for ‘tattoo information’, a simpler procedure, yielded content with average readability scores of 7.8-grade level.

Based on this wide gap of 5.8 grade levels in readability scores between ‘liposuction’ and ‘tattoo’ literature, the authors pose the question , “So why is this (tattoo) information significantly easier to read than liposuction?” The authors do present good example strategies for rewriting some liposuction content at lower reading levels. However, the authors do not convincingly clarify why the two procedures should have similar low readability levels. The average education levels of the target audience for “liposuction” and “tattoo information” is not well documented in the paper, and it is questionable if they are equal.

According to ASPS statistics, 50% of liposuction patients are over 40 years old. Are 50% of the people seeking tattoos over age 40? While age does not equal reading level, it may certainly give a hint.

Furthermore, the authors downplay the complexity of the liposuction procedure in comparison to tattooing. Liposuction is an invasive procedure performed by a credentialed surgeon and anesthesiologist under IV or General Anesthesia in an accredited outpatient surgery center. The tools, equipment, and anesthetics used in the technique are not simple, common words.

Unlike surgeons, tattoos artists do not require any type of formal medical training or certification. The tattoo procedure does not involve the complexities of pre-operative clearance, fat extraction , fluid and electrolyte regulation, anesthesia administration , or vital sign monitoring. Likewise, the liposuction procedure description is destined to be longer, more technical, and likely requires higher readability levels than tattooing.

Top 10 Google links used in methodology

One consideration which is not discussed by these and other published authors evaluating online content readability, is the fact that Google uses the Dale-Chall and Flesch Kincaid readability formulas in its Penguin algorithm. However, rather than punish high (difficult) readability scores, the algorithm is thought to punish low grade level readability scores. In 2013, the UK analytics company MathSight determined[supp 1] that the Penguin algorithm penalized websites with low grade level readability scores. After the MathSight finding, many SEO experts concluded that Google favors content written at a higher educational level.

In light of this, and regarding the typical methodology of obtaining the data set from Google’s top 10 links, one must question if Google would ever rank a medical content website with a grade 6 readability score higher than a website with a grade 13 readability score. Perhaps even more importantly, most website publishers want what Google wants. Competition is fierce for a spot in the top 10 links. Therefore, as long as online content publishers believe that Google favors well written, well researched, sophisticated content, it might be a tough sell to persuade medical content publishers to oversimplify their content to a sixth grade reading level.


Fukushima discussions in the English and Japanese Wikipedias

Similar to several other pieces of research, this paper[4] looks at social production of knowledge in the context of a single, controversial Wikipedia topic, this time, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. The authors compare the discussions in the English and Japanese Wikipedias, noting that (as we would expect) the English one attracts more global audience. Both communities were primarily focused on writing an encyclopedic article, though, contrary to the authors’ expectation, it was the English Wikipedia editors who were more likely to raise topics not directly related to the creation of the article. Overall, the paper is primarily descriptive, and does not provide much discussion to enhance existing social theories.

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.

  • “Wikipedia and medicine: quantifying readership, editors, and the significance of natural language”[5]
  • “One-shot Wikipedia: An edit-sprint toward information literacy”[6] From the abstract: “In this case study, a Wikipedia-editing activity was incorporated into two-hour one-shot instruction sessions. … While a great deal of attention has been paid to teaching with multi-week Wikipedia assignments and coursework, evidence from this project suggests that Wikipedia-related activities can be used effectively within much narrower time constraints.”
  • “Unsupervised biographical event extraction using Wikipedia traffic”[7] From the introduction: “We hypothesise that when a notable event happens to a person, traffic to their Wikipedia page peaks abruptly, and an edit is made to their page describing the event. To explore this hypothesis, a simple outlier-based method is applied to extract peaks (short periods of sudden activity) from Wikipedia page traffic data, which are used to locate page edits which align to sentences contributing to the notability of the page subject.”
  • “The Internet School of Medicine: use of electronic resources by medical trainees and the reliability of those resources”[8] (blog summary: [1])
  • “Wikipedia knowledge community modeling”[9] (book chapter / reference work entry)
  • “Domain-specific semantic relatedness from Wikipedia structure: a case study in biomedical text”[10] (book chapter)
  • “Wikipedia – challenges and new horizons in enhancing medical education”[11]
  • “Coverage of European parties in European language Wikipedia editions”[12]
  • “Context-aware detection of sneaky vandalism on Wikipedia across multiple languages”[13]
  • “Google and Wikipedia in the professional translation process: a qualitative work”[14] (related paper by the same author)
  • “Coordination and efficiency in decentralized collaboration”[15] (conference paper submitted to ICWSM 2015). From the abstract: “we consider the trade-offs inherent in coordination in [decentralized on-line collaboration environments], balancing the benefits to collaboration with the cost in effort that could be spent in other ways. We consider two diverse domains that each contain a wide range of collaborations taking place simultaneously – Wikipedia and GitHub – allowing us to study how coordination varies across different projects. We analyze trade-offs in coordination along two main dimensions, finding similar effects in both our domains of study: first we show that, in aggregate, high-status projects on these sites manage the coordination trade-off at a different level than typical projects; and second, we show that projects use a different balance of coordination when they are “crowded”, with relatively small size but many participants.”


  1. (2015-06-09) “Building Governance Capability in Online Social Production: Insights from Wikipedia“. Organization Studies: 0170840615584459. doi:10.1177/0170840615584459. ISSN 1741-3044. 
  2. (February 2015) “Online Patient Resources for Liposuction: A Comparative Analysis of Readability“. Annals of Plastic Surgery: 1. doi:10.1097/SAP.0000000000000438. ISSN 0148-7043.  Closed access / freely available authors’ copy
  3. Assessment of Online Patient Materials for Breast Reconstruction“. Journal of Surgical Research. doi:10.1016/j.jss.2015.04.072. ISSN 0022-4804.  Closed access
  4. (2015-05-19) “Social construction of knowledge in Wikipedia“. First Monday 20 (6). doi:10.5210/fm.v20i6.5869. ISSN 13960466. 
  5. (2015-03-04) “Wikipedia and Medicine: Quantifying Readership, Editors, and the Significance of Natural Language“. Journal of Medical Internet Research 17 (3): –62. doi:10.2196/jmir.4069. ISSN 1438-8871. 
  6. John Thomas Oliver (2015-02-09). “One-shot Wikipedia: an edit-sprint toward information literacy“. Reference Services Review. doi:10.1108/RSR-10-2014-0043. ISSN 0090-7324.  Closed access
  7. Alexander Hogue, Joel Nothman and James R. Curran. 2014. Unsupervised biographical event extraction using wikipedia traffic. In Proceedings of Australasian Language Technology Association Workshop, pages 41–49. http://www.aclweb.org/anthology/U14-1006
  8. (April 2015) “The Internet School of Medicine: Use of electronic resources by medical trainees and the reliability of those resources”. Journal of Surgical Education 72 (2): 316–320. doi:10.1016/j.jsurg.2014.08.005. ISSN 1878-7452. PMID 25487347.  Closed access
  9. Jankowski-Lorek, Michal; Ostrowski, Lukasz; Turek, Piotr; Wierzbicki, Adam (2014). “Wikipedia knowledge community modeling”. In Professor Reda Alhajj, Professor Jon Rokne (eds.). Encyclopedia of Social Network Analysis and Mining. Springer New York. pp. 2410–2420. ISBN 978-1-4614-6169-2. http://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-1-4614-6170-8_269.  Closed access
  10. Sajadi, Armin; Milios, Evangelos E.; KeÅ¡elj, Vlado; Janssen, Jeannette C. M. (2015). “Domain-specific semantic relatedness from Wikipedia structure: a case study in biomedical text”. In Alexander Gelbukh (ed.). Computational Linguistics and Intelligent Text Processing. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer International Publishing. pp. 347–360. ISBN 978-3-319-18110-3. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-18111-0_26.  Closed access
  11. (2015-03-06) “Wikipedia – challenges and new horizons in enhancing medical education“. BMC Medical Education 15 (1): 32. doi:10.1186/s12909-015-0309-2. ISSN 1472-6920. 
  12. Yasseri, Taha. Coverage of European parties in European language Wikipedia editions. Can social data be used to predict elections?.
  13. Tran, Khoi-Nguyen; Christen, Peter; Sanner, Scott; Xie, Lexing (2015-05-19). “Context-aware detection of sneaky vandalism on Wikipedia across multiple languages”. In Tru Cao, Ee-Peng Lim, Zhi-Hua Zhou, Tu-Bao Ho, David Cheung, Hiroshi Motoda (eds.). Advances in Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer International Publishing. pp. 380–391. ISBN 978-3-319-18037-3. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-18038-0_30.  Closed access
  14. Alonso, Elisa (2015-02-13). “Google and Wikipedia in the professional translation process: a qualitative work“. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 173: 312–317. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.02.071. ISSN 1877-0428. 
  15. (2015-03-25) “Coordination and efficiency in decentralized collaboration“. arXiv:1503.07431 [physics]. 
Supplementary references and notes:

Wikimedia Research Newsletter
Vol: 5 • Issue: 6 • June 2015
This newletter is brought to you by the Wikimedia Research Committee and The Signpost
Subscribe: Syndicate the Wikimedia Research Newsletter feed Email WikiResearch on Twitter[archives] [signpost edition] [contribute] [research index]

by Tilman Bayer at July 01, 2015 04:07 PM

June 30, 2015

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Wikipedia Picks: disaster, trial by battle, and more

Welcome to our first installment of ‘Wikipedia Picks’, a new content experiment for the Wikimedia blog. This proposed weekly feature would invite one Wikipedia community member to curate a list of five articles, images, or other content that they find interesting or important — in collaboration with our blog editors.

This week’s guest host is Gary Greenbaum (Wehwalt), who has written or collaborated on 127 featured articles on the English Wikipedia—more than anyone else on the site. Over the past ten years, he has made nearly 100,000 edits. He has written about everything from politics (American, British, Canadian, and Australian), architecture, numismatics, law, musicals, royalty, sports, and a train crash. Offline, Greenbaum works as a lawyer in Fairfax, Virginia, and is George Mason University’s Wikipedia affiliate for 2014–2015. For this week’s Wikipedia Picks, he selected five featured articles, three of which he personally worked on; the comments below are his.

Lost at sea

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The SS Arctic was an early Titanic-like disaster. Painting by James E. Buttersworth, Public domain.

I was quite interested in the Girl Pat article about a 1935 trawler, successfully brought to “Featured Article Candidate” (FAC) status by my colleague Brianboulton. Its unauthorized transatlantic voyage in 1936 was a rather strange incident which got much public attention at the time, and is almost completely forgotten today. Britain watched with fascination as this small ship was searched for, amid all sorts of rumors, and eventually found off the north coast of South America. If anything, it’s a reminder that the past was not a sepia photograph, that the people of the past were just as likely as us to focus on unusual things. The only difference being that things didn’t move with the speed of the Internet in the 1930s.

The SS Arctic disaster article, brought to “Featured Article” (FA) status by Brianboulton, was another notorious incident where a passenger ship sank during a trip across the Atlantic; all of the women and children and most of the crew died. Put in today’s context, it was like the Titanic disaster, but worse. Enough said. I think Brian took some quiet glee in asking me to review it, since he knows that I sometimes go on passenger ships, when I can put time and money together. The obvious thing to say is that this could not happen in the age of the ever-vigilant cell phone camera, but then, the captain of the Costa Concordia seemed to get quite a head start on his passengers …

A politician

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Joseph B. Foraker. Photo, Public domain.

Fierce-looking fellow, isn’t he? And quite the speaker, in a time when politics, not baseball, was the national sport. Joseph B. Foraker is one of those figures who was talked about for president for a while at the turn of the 20th century, but never quite made it. He was governor of (and senator from) Ohio, a Republican — and a lawyer who took money from corporations, while he was in the Senate, which at the time was legal. But he also had a regard for human equality that caused him to sacrifice his career over the Brownsville affair, in which President Theodore Roosevelt unjustly fired a group of African American soldiers. It shows that nothing is quite black or white in a time of political polarization.

A horse trainer and … newspaper publisher

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Al-Marah horses from Tankersley’s ranch were used in her son’s Arabian Nights dinner show. Photo by Rob Bixby, freely licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Another article that I found interesting was about Ruth ‘Bazy’ Tankersley, an American breeder of Arabian horses and a newspaper publisher; it was successfully brought to “Featured Article Candidate” status by my colleague Montanabw. Tankersley’s involvement with Arabian horses is well known; her political history, and her involvement in political controversies of the 1950s less so. I was able to help out by getting old committee hearings transcripts, through Congressional ProQuest, a database to which I have access through being George Mason University’s Wikipedia affiliate. It will be difficult to do without these resources when my term expires at the end of August; they have proven useful to me and to other editors who aren’t students or academics. While the Wikimedia Foundation and volunteer coordinators have done good work in establishing these positions, there needs to be more of them. Sometimes the hardest thing about contributing content is getting access to the sources to begin with.

A pioneer … and writer

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Ezra Meeker. Photo, Public domain.

Another gentleman with spectacular facial hair! Ezra Meeker was, for about 20 years—his last twenty—a very well-known figure in the U.S., from about 1906 to 1928. He went west by wagon trail in his 20s, in 1852. He lived quite a life: a settler of the west, he made a fortune growing and selling hops for brewing, lost it all, and went to the Klondike as a gold miner. When that didn’t pan out, he reinvented himself as a sort of professional living history pioneer, promoting the Oregon Trail and was quite successful at it. He did this into his late 90s. If not for an inconvenient illness at age 97, he’d probably still be doing it today.

Legally sanctioned … trial by battle

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Legal trials by battle were once much more common. Artwork by Jörg Breu d. Jüngere and Paulus Hector Mair, public domain.

Let me impose once more with an article on which I did much work. Ashford v Thornton was a case that I looked up in the library, like many law students. It’s probably easier to find it now. Ashford was the last ruling to uphold a right to trial by battle. That this could survive until 1818, at least in theory, seems hard to believe. And yet it did, and it was only abolished when the antiquated procedures surrounding it began to be invoked too often. Behind this case is a very human story that disrupted many lives. I don’t write much about law—it’s too much like work—but I enjoyed this one.

Gary Greenbaum (Wehwalt)
English Wikipedia editor

This story is part of an ongoing content experiment to produce more interesting stories for you, the reader of the Wikimedia blog. Please leave comments below on how we can improve this proposed feature.

by Gary Greenbaum at June 30, 2015 06:21 PM

June 29, 2015

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

World Camera Day 2015: What’s your favorite camera?

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Wealthy apples in Piper Orchard, Seattle, Washington taken with a Leica CL. Photo by Dennis Bratland, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Today, June 29th, is World Camera Day 2015! To celebrate, upload or check out photos taken with different cameras on Wikimedia Commons. Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons do a great job of not only providing an article for reference and more info, but also images and examples of photos taken with different cameras.

The best part is that Wikimedia Commons photos are freely licensed under Creative Commons’ CC BY-SA (example). This means that you can freely reuse these wonderful images, taken with fantastic and high quality cameras, as long as you reshare them under a similar license and attribute the photographer.

Find out more about cameras on Wikipedia and see photos taken by specific cameras on Wikimedia Commons.

The below text is adapted from Wikipedia; it was written by various contributors and is freely licensed under the CC BY-SA 3.0 License and GFDL. Authorship information can be found in each article’s “history” tab.

Kodak Brownie

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Kodak Brownie Flash III camera. Photo by NotFromUtrecht, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Brownie is the name of a long-running popular series of simple and inexpensive cameras made by Eastman Kodak. The Brownie popularized low-cost photography and introduced the concept of the snapshot. The first Brownie, introduced in February 1900, was a very basic cardboard box camera with a simple meniscus lens that took 2¼-inch square pictures on 117 rollfilm. With its simple controls and initial price of $1, it was intended to be a camera that anyone could afford and use, hence the slogan, “You push the button, we do the rest.” The camera was named after the popular cartoons created by Palmer Cox. Consumers responded, and over 150,000 Brownie cameras were shipped in the first year of production. An improved model, called No. 2 Brownie came in 1901, which produced larger photos and cost $2. It was also very popular.

Taken with a Kodak Brownie

Leica CL

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Leica CL with 40mm Summicron-C. Photo by JamesPFisherIII, freely licensed under CC BY 3.0.

The Leica CL is a 35 mm compact rangefinder camera with interchangeable lenses in the Leica M-mount. It was developed in collaboration with Minolta who manufactured it. It first appeared in April 1973 and was released in the Japanese market in November 1973 as the Leitz Minolta CL. Both the Leica CL and Leitz Minolta CL were manufactured in a new Minolta factory in Portugal.

Taken with a Leica CL

Nikon D40x

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Nikon D40 with Nikkor 50 f1.8 AF (whose autofocus doesn’t work with this camera). Photo by Phiarc, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

The D40 is a now-discontinued Nikon F-mount entry-level digital SLR, announced November 16, 2006. Compared to its predecessor, the D50, the D40 had several features removed, a few added, and a lower price: US$499.95 ESP as of November 2009 with the 18–55 mm G-II kit lens, positioning it as an entry-level model compared to the D80. The D40x (released March 6, 2007) has a 10-megapixel maximum resolution, up from 6 megapixels of the D50.

Taken with a Nikon D40x

Sony DSLR-A700

The front of a Sony Alpha A700 DSLR. Photo by Evan-Amos, Public domain.

Sony α 700 (DSLR-A700) was the second model launched in the Sony α series of digital single-lens reflex cameras. This model appeared to reuse some technology of the former Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D. On March 8, 2007, at the PMA Trade Show, Sony announced two new α cameras, both positioned to be “above” the α100 in the Alpha line-up. One model was referred to as a “high amateur” model, with a release date of late 2007. The A700 was discontinued, and its successor, the A77 (SLT-A77), was announced on August 24, 2011, with availability from October 2011.

Taken with Sony DSLR-A700

Canon EOS-1D X

2012 Canon EOS 1D X 2013 CP+.jpg

2012 Canon EOS 1D X. Photo by Morio, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

The Canon EOS-1D X is the professional flagship digital SLR camera body by Canon Inc. It succeeded the company’s previous flagship Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III and the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV. It was announced on 18 October 2011. It was released in March 2012 with a suggested retail price of $6,799.00 (body only) and a suggested retail price of £5,299 in the United Kingdom. The camera is supplemented by the Canon EOS-1D C, a movie-oriented camera that shares most of its still photographic features with the 1D X. The 1D C was announced in April 2012 and released in March 2013.

Taken with Canon EOS-1D X

Andrew Sherman
Digital Communications Intern
Wikimedia Foundation

by Andrew Sherman at June 29, 2015 09:04 PM

“My community’s goals drive me”: Tahir Mahmood

Tahir Mahmood.jpg

Tahir Mahmood spent much of his childhood in Saudi Arabia, but is now the most prolific editor on the Urdu Wikipedia. Photo by Tahir Mahmood, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0.

“I am trying to help the Urdu Wikipedia reach the community-set goal of 100,000 articles. In the process, I crossed the 100,000 edits milestone. This makes me happy.”

This statement highlights the intensely-spirited approach of Tahir Mahmood Qureshi, who has become the first Urdu Wikipedian to surpass 100,000 edits. Though originally from Pakistan, Tahir spent most of his childhood in Saudi Arabia, and attended university in Cyprus. His background means he is familiar and comfortable speaking English, Arabic, and Greek. When it came to Wikipedia, though, Tahir chose to contribute mainly in Urdu.

As one of his colleagues on the Urdu Wikipedia, I congratulated him on his remarkable feat. I then took the opportunity to ask some questions to the man behind the username.

I was surprised to learn that he works in a well-respected Saudi Arabian company, and is in charge of networking and operations. Yet Tahir still finds the time to edit the Urdu Wikipedia with great enthusiasm and dedication.

He credits his achievement to his family support, as well as the general atmosphere of the Urdu Wikipedia. The community is friendly and free from conflict. He started editing on the English Wikipedia as early as 2009, but switched to the Urdu-language Wikipedia in 2012 when he discovered the project in his native language. Adding knowledge in Urdu, that was freely usable by others, was a thrilling and satisfying experience.

Soon, Tahir became a prolific contributor. He was eventually granted administrator and bureaucrat rights by the community, allowing him to perform more technical maintenance tasks. Tahir has an excellent track record of sustaining Urdu content and supporting users, enthusiastically helping to improve templates and categories, guiding new users, fixing missing links, and engaging in other admin tasks – on top of creating and editing new content for the project.

But Tahir’s strongest attributes are his vision and his team spirit. He points out that Urdu Wikipedia is currently ranked 61st in terms of article numbers, bettering its status from 90th last year, as a result of collective effort. It boasts the 14th-highest “article depth” of all Wikipedia projects. The community, however, is far from complacent. Rather, they are working on ways to add even more content, and to improve the encyclopedia’s quality.

“I personally compare the Urdu Wikipedia with the Arabic, Persian and Hindi Wikipedias,” he says. “I believe that we still have a long way to go.”

Tahir spoke about his efforts in reaching the community-set goal of 100,000 articles on the Urdu Wikipedia. As result of his untiring involvement in the process, Tahir surpassed 100,000 edits, becoming the first Urdu Wikipedian to do so.

As something of a team leader, Tahir notes he is just one of many contributors to the Urdu Wikipedia helping to reach this lofty goal. He speaks particularly highly of Mohammed Shoaib’s technical expertise, Obaid Raza’s linguistic knowledge, and Ameen Akbar’s great all-round ability. Tahir also mentioned thirteen other very active Wikipedians, including many with good knowledge of other languages, as being excellent colleagues to work alongside.

Tahir recalled his participation in the Urdu Wikipedia community group call reported on Wikimedia blog last year. He also spoke of the success of Wikipedia meetup events in Karachi, Pakistan, some years ago, and suggests that planning similar meetups in the near future could help to enlist new editors for the Urdu Wikipedia.

Urdu is under no threat of extinction, as it is the national language of Pakistan, and there are good number of Urdu publications in the subcontinent. Tahir is, however, disappointed that the use of Urdu, especially on digital and social media, is poor. “Many well-known media outlets make basic mistakes in spelling and grammar,” he says.

Tahir believes these mistakes are coming from the new generation of “Roman Urdu” users, who write traditional Urdu using the Latin alphabet to get around the relative lack of support for Urdu characters. He urges these Urdu speakers to instead acquaint themselves with Urdu keyboard, and to write in traditional Urdu script. He sees Urdu Wikipedia as the most appropriate platform on which to learn and use these skills.

Syed MuzammiluddinIndian Wikimedian

by Syed Muzammiluddin at June 29, 2015 11:04 AM

June 28, 2015

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Developing a Songhay Wikipedia from scratch: Mohomodou Houssouba

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Mohomodou Houssouba has strong ties to his native Mali and its languages and culture. Photo by Mohomodou Houssouba, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0.

Mohomodou Houssouba is intimately tied to his home country of Mali and the Songhay languages spoken by around six percent of his country’s population, spread over a vast area in the central and northern regions of the country. He has spent the last two years working on a plan to build a Songhay Wikipedia that may help bring free knowledge to the people of west Africa.

Houssouba was born and raised in Gao, a city in the northeastern region of Mali on the Niger River. Historically, Gao was the capital of the Songhay Empire in the 15th and 16th centuries, and the language—Songhay and its various idioms—has become a lingua franca in the northern part of the country, especially along the Niger River. It remains an important cross-border vehicular language, spoken in five countries (Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger), with enclaves in Sudan and sizable diasporas across west Africa.

Houssouba studied English at the national teacher-training college in Mali’s capital, Bamako, and wrote his Bachelor’s thesis on traditional Songhay poetic expression. “I started writing French or English, and tried to write in Songhay, but mostly in poetry,” he says. “I think that is how my interest in the language grew up. My interest in creating other things in the language, like translating software into the language, that came twenty years later.”

Indeed, he played a key role in localizing Mozilla‘s Firefox 4 browser for use in the language. He is also a co-founder of Songhay.org, an online resource providing information on the Songhay language and culture. He is now a literary scholar at the Univeristy of Basel in Switzerland.

Much of Houssouba’s interest in history and language stems from his father. Though his father could not read, he possessed an incredible memory for events and stories in his past, including his experience of French colonial rule.

“He came of age during the colonial period, where people lived under French colonization with all kinds of restrictions. There was a labor regime in which he had to participate when he was very young,” Houssouba says. “I recorded a lot of him telling different stories of the genealogy of my family, or the village, or the whole region going back hundreds of miles. When you try to transcribe it, it is really linear, really something you just have to write down.”

Houssouba’s father was a historian—a “local, traditional historian”—whose stories, passed down the family line, served as a public record of life in Gao. He was also highly skilled in the Songhay tongue. “He was really a master of that language,” Houssouba says. “I always got fascinated by how many nuances [there] are in this seemingly simple [language]. Seemingly short words are fairly simple to write and pronounce, but one word can have so many interpretations and so many connotations.”

On Wikipedia, Houssouba’s goals involve moving on with a Songhay-language version of Wikipedia. He began work on translating the MediaWiki interface into Songhay in 2011, but says he only found time to devote to the project at the end of 2013. Now, the translation is complete.

“The second phase is to collect articles and publish them,” he explains. “A mid- to long-term [goal] is to have a Songhay Wikipedia domain, where we could have hundreds, thousands of articles that people publish [in the Songhay language] on Wikipedia.”

He envisions the project as providing cultural information in Songhay relating to the culture and history of the region. Houssouba does, however, concede that it is difficult to define Songhay as a language in its own right, since many of its dialects are so wildly varied. “It is sometimes put in one category of languages, other times taken as an isolated [language],” he says.

While Mali has introduced Songhay in schools in the Gao region, there are a lack of well-trained teachers and adequate teaching material in the language. “This is an important aspect,” he explains, “since the Internet is not readily available in that part of the world. The encyclopedia idea is to have a platform in which a lot of knowledge—traditional and modern—can be collected and translated into Songhay. This can be made available online, but also accessible offline for those who do not have access to the Internet, which is mostly the case for those parts of Mali.

“For us, it is very important to have the production of knowledge by people who speak the language. Articles and text that have been well translated, and those that have been produced directly in the language. These are the two aspects that we hope are complementing each other,” he adds.

“To have a Wikipedia in Songhay, with Songhay content, that could be made available offline… that would be major for us.”

Joe Sutherland, Wikimedia Foundation Communications Intern
Victor Grigas, Wikimedia Foundation Storyteller

by Joe Sutherland and Victor Grigas at June 28, 2015 04:38 PM

June 26, 2015

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Documenting the world’s biological diversity, one insect at a time: Jeevan Jose

Danaus chrysippus, also known as the plain tiger or African monarch, is a butterfly widespread in Africa and Asia. This rare and hard to reproduce picture, shows the butterfly’s hair-pencil. Photo by Jeevan Jose, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

When asked who he is, Jeevan Jose responds—in his typically unassuming way— “not a notable person.” Yet his story of evolution from a long-term Wikipedia reader to an active contributor remains an inspiring example for many of his fellow volunteers.

Born to a family of traditional farmers in the small village of Kadavoor, Kerala, Jeevan—or Jee for short—is an entrepreneur, a volunteer photographer, and a Flickr user-turned-Wikimedian. Jee has observed a wide variety of plants and animals from a young age; Kadavoor is located on the border of Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the eight “hottest hotspots” of biological diversity in the world. His passion for the local flora and fauna shows through his many excellent contributions.

A male Blue Bush Dart (Copera vittata) trying to mate with a female Pseudagrion indicum. Photo by Jeevan Jose, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
A female Ascalaphus sinister, a species of owlfly. Photo by Jeevan Jose, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

When Jee purchased his first hybrid camera in 2009, he started photographing Kerala’s varied plants and bugs, publishing his work at Flickr. Recalling that period, he says that he found Wikipedia to be a useful resource to improve his knowledge on the subjects he photographed. When a Wikimedia Commons volunteer asked Jee to share his pictures under a free license so that they could be uploaded to Commons, Jee did not hesitate. “I believed it to be a small expression of gratitude on my side given that I had used Wikipedia a lot,” he remembers.

Jee’s beginnings with Wikimedia did not go very smoothly. “Even though I started uploading images to Commons, I didn’t understand it much,” he admits. After another of his pictures had been successfully nominated for quality image status by someone else, however, Jee was hooked. “I started nominating my pictures for quality image and featured picture status myself, and soon became addicted to it,” he adds with laughter.

In just over five years of documenting the biodiversity of Kerala, Jee has uploaded over 1,100 pictures to Wikimedia Commons; almost 150 are now classified as being of quality image standard, with close to 40 of them being awarded featured picture status by the Commons community. In addition to submitting pictures, Jee has been spending his time helping other Commons contributors at the help desk, the Village Pump, and as a member of the volunteer response team, OTRS. When asked about his motivation to contribute, Jee says simply: “I like the idea of collecting and preserving knowledge and making it freely available to anyone who needs it.”

As I query him about his plans for the future, Jee makes sure to mention his crowdfunding campaign that was funded earlier this year. In about a month, the campaign raised $3,150 that will allow Jee to upgrade his photo equipment and take more high quality pictures of Kerala’s plants and animals. “I’m very happy to see the success of the campaign and I’m eager to get back in the field,” he says. “I wish everyone could get such support; it would guarantee an abundant flow of free knowledge.”

Answering my question about his views on the future of the Wikimedia movement, Jee says: “I hope Wikimedia will remain the main source of free knowledge.” In a true Wikimedian spirit, he quickly describes areas worth improving. “But to be able to do that, it must be more democratic and willing to change or update its technical side according to people’s needs. It would be nice if we could identify potential contributors and help them by making available the required infrastructure; a good camera or a computer for a youngster from the third world could do wonders.”

Tomasz W. Kozlowski 
Wikimedia community volunteer

by Tomasz Kozlowski at June 26, 2015 09:19 PM

June 25, 2015

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

7,473 volumes at 700 pages each: meet Print Wikipedia

File:Print Wikipedia (no subtitles).webm

An interview with Michael Mandiberg, the artist behind Print Wikipedia. You can also view the above video on YouTube and Vimeo. Video by Victor Grigas, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

After six years of work, a residency in the Canadian Rockies, endless debugging, and more than a little help from my friends, I have made Print Wikipedia: a new artwork in which custom software transforms the entirety of the English-language Wikipedia into 7,473 volumes and uploads them for print-on-demand. I’m excited to be launching this project in a solo exhibition, From Aaaaa! to ZZZap!, at Denny Gallery in the Lower East Side of New York City, on view now through July 2nd.

The two-week exhibition at Denny Gallery is structured around the upload process of Print Wikipedia to Lulu.com and the display of a selection of volumes from the project. The upload process will take between eleven and fourteen days, starting at ! and ending at ℧. During this time, the upload process will be open for all to see around the clock—at least during the first weekend, as the gallery will remain open through the night in recognition that the computer itself works continuously. There will be two channels for watching this process: a projection of Lulu.com in a web browser that is automated by the software, and a computer monitor with the command line updates showing the dialogue between the code and the site. If you aren’t able to visit the gallery in person, you can follow the process on Twitter; we will post to the @PrintWikipedia Twitter account after it finishes each volume.

Individual volumes and the entirety of Print Wikipedia, Wikipedia Table of Contents, and Wikipedia Contributor Appendix will be available for sale. All of the volumes will be available on Lulu.com as they are uploaded, so by the end of the upload/exhibition all of the volumes will be available on for individual purchase. Each of the 7,473 volumes is made up of 700 pages, for a total of 5,244,11 pages. The Wikipedia Table of Contents is comprised of 63,372 pages in 91 volumes. The Wikipedia Contributor Appendix contains all 7,488,091 contributors to the English-language Wikipedia (nearly 7.5 Million).

It is important to note that I have not printed out all of the books for this exhibition, nor do I personally have any intention of doing so—unless someone paid the $500,000 to fabricate a full set. There are 106 volumes in the exhibition, which are really helpful for visualizing the scope of the work. It isn’t necessary to print them all out: our imaginations can complete what’s missing.

Print Wikipedia by Michael Mandiberg, NYC June 18, 2015-19.jpg
Wikipedia has been printed. Photo by Victor Grigas, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Books are microcosms of the world. To make an intervention into an encyclopedia is to intervene in the ordering systems of the world. If books are a reduced version of the universe, this is the most expanded version we as humans have ever seen. For better or for worse, it reflects ourselves and our societies, with 7,473 volumes about life, the universe, and everything. An entry for an film or music album will pop up every few pages, and the entry for humanism will be located in a volume that begins with “Hulk (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)” and ends with “Humanitarianism in Africa” and the names of battles will fill the 28 volumes with entries that start with “BAT.” It’s big data that’s small enough that we can understand it, but big enough that no human will know all of it. It is small enough that I can process it on a desktop computer, though big enough that each round of calculations, such as unpacking the database into a MySQL database, takes up to two weeks to complete, and the whole build cycle takes over a month. As we become increasingly dependent on information what does this relative accessibility of its vastness mean.

Print Wikipedia is a both a utilitarian visualization of the largest accumulation of human knowledge and a poetic gesture towards the futility of the scale of big data. Built on what is likely the largest appropriation ever made, it is also a work of found poetry that draws attention to the sheer size of the encyclopedia’s content and the impossibility of rendering Wikipedia as a material object in fixed form: once a volume is printed, it is already out of date.

My practice as an artist is focused around online interventions, working inside of existing technical or logical systems and turning them inside out. I make poetic yet functional meditations that provoke an examination of art in a non-art space and a deeper consideration of the Internet as a tool for radically re-defining communication systems. For example, I sold all of my possessions online in the year-long performance and e-commerce website Shop Mandiberg (2001), and made perfect copies of copies on AfterSherrieLevine.com (2001), complete with certificates of authenticity to be signed by the user themselves. I made the first works to use the web browser plug-in as a platform for creating artworks: The Real Costs (2007), a browser plug-in that inserts carbon footprints into airplane travel websites, and Oil Standard (2006), a browser plug-in that converts all prices on any web page in their equivalent value in barrels of oil.

Michael Mandiberg and Jonathan Kiritharan with 'Print Wikipedia', NYC, June 17, 2015 -1.jpg
Mandiberg (left) with assistant Jonathan Kiritharan. Photo by Tilman Bayer, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

I began editing Wikipedia a couple years before I first started working on this project in 2009, though it is not my only engagement with Wikipedia. I’m a professor of digital media at the City University of New York, and I teach with Wikipedia in my classes. I have written about this process, my teaching has been covered on the Wikipedia Blog, and one of my assignments was included in a series of Case Studies on teaching with Wikipedia put together by the Wikimedia Foundation, a function now done by the Wiki Education Foundation. I am co-founder of the Art+Feminism, a campaign to increase female identified editorship on Wikipedia and improve the site’s articles on women and the arts.

Wikipedia matters to me because it is a collaboratively produced repository of human knowledge made through unalienated labor and kept in a digital commons. Most people are acting in good faith, and amazingly those who aren’t can’t seem to bring the whole thing down.

Print Wikipedia by Michael Mandiberg, NYC June 18, 2015-26.jpg
Wikipedia contributor appendix, volume 1. Photo by Victor Grigas, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

This was not a solitary endeavor. I was grateful to work with several programmers and designers, including Denis Lunev, Jonathan Kiritharan, Kenny Lozowski, Patrick Davison, and Colin Elliot. I was also supported by a great group of people at Lulu.com who went above and beyond to support this wild and quite unwieldy project.

If you’re in New York, I hope can come see the show. The show will remain open 24 hours a day through 6pm, Sunday June 21st. We will be hosting a special New York City Wikipedians on Sunday June 21st at 1PM. For those of you far away, you can follow the upload process at PrintWikipedia.com and on Twitter.

Michael Mandiberg, artist, Associate Professor, City University of New York

by Wikimedia Blog at June 25, 2015 08:20 PM

Train the Trainer: Running effective outreach activities in India

CIS-A2K TTT 2015 167.jpg
February’s Train the Trainer program—which aims to increase the number of new editors and ‘ambassadors’ for the movement at large—proved a rewarding experience for attendees. Photo by U.B. Pavanaja, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0.

It is heartening to report that many Wikimedia projects in Indian languages have sustained, and even experienced an upward trend in, editor engagement. However, in terms of content creation, the majority of these projects are still facing grave challenges that put their very existence at risk.

Pageview statistics for Indian-language Wikipedias are pleasantly surprising. Almost all exceed one million unique views every month—but despite these positive readership figures, very few of these readers become actively involved in the project’s communities. There is almost no increase in the number of active and very active editors on a month-to-month basis.

These statistics are alarming. They suggest a very real possibility of volunteer burnout, a dearth of second-generation editors who might continue established work, and, perhaps most importantly, the projects losing their reputation as frequently-updated and reliable encyclopedias.

The most realistic way of dealing with this problem is to bring in new volunteers who will be guided by more experienced users. They would, eventually, fill the shoes of senior Wikimedians and continue to fight for free and open knowledge.

The Centre for Internet and Society – Access to Knowledge (CIS-A2K)—a campaign to promote the fundamental principles of justice, freedom, and economic development—realised as part of its needs-assessment program that although outreach activities are being conducted to attract more volunteers to Wikipedia, they had not been as successful as expected.

To address this problem, CIS-A2K came up with the ‘Train the Trainer’ program (TTT). The program is designed to teach volunteers essential skills and abilities to, in turn, train the general public on all things Wikipedia.

These volunteers, or “trainers,” develop key competencies that will allow them to conduct a successful outreach workshop, such as public speaking, presentation skills, peer-to-peer learning, effective communication, reporting, and followup strategies.

To take part in the TTT program, it is imperative that participants be active Wikipedians. CIS-A2K is angling TTT as both a skill-building initiative amongst Indian-language Wikimedians, as well as a platform where Indian-language Wikipedians can meet and greet each other in-person. This allows participants to interact with Wikimedians from many different communities, to understand their nature of engagement, and share the challenges they have faced and overcome.

The contextual learning and exchange of ideas at these events, similar to editathons, are very special. They help participants feel like they are a part of both their linguistic community and a greater Indian-language community, opening up new opportunities of collaboration, project development, and friendship.

TTT intends to train Indian-language Wikimedians into effective ambassadors of the movement—keen and able to spread the goals and mission of the open knowledge movement. The program also strives to combine best practices from all over the world, taking cues from various chapters, user groups, and thematic organisations. It builds bridges between communities in terms of communication, encouraging partnerships and collaborations that can result in long term rewards.

Tanveer HasanProgramme OfficerCIS-A2K

by Tanveer Hasan at June 25, 2015 07:40 PM

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Česká pobočka Wikimedia odmítá omezení svobody fotografování, které má přijít z Bruselu

Atomium musí být cenzurováno. Autor: Nro92 + Romaine, CC0 1.0

Atomium musí být cenzurováno. Autor: Nro92 + Romaine, CC0 1.0

Kontakt | Jan Loužek, místopředseda spolku Wikimedia Česká republika | www.wikimedia.cz | jan.louzek@wikimedia.cz | +420 608213119

V posledních dnech finišují diskuze okolo dva roky připravované evropské reformy autorského práva. Jedná se o text, který bude mít značný dopad na fungování řady internetových kolaborativních projektů včetně Wikipedie. Ta česká má přes 300 tisíc článků a nabízí 26 milionů svobodně šiřitelných souborů. Hrozí nicméně, že nový právní rámec značně omezí fotografování architektury. Budou muset z Wikipedie zmizet obrázky Prahy a dalších měst?

Wikipedie je největší internetovou encyklopedií. V češtině má přes 300 000 článků a k jejich ilustraci využívá vlastní audiovizuální portál, kde je k dispozici přes 26 milionů souborů. Všechny tyto fotografie, videa, zvuky a další materiály jsou svobodně šiřitelné pod licencí Creative Commons (nebo podobnou) a jejich autoři jsou dobrovolníci. To vše se podařilo vybudovat za pouhých čtrnáct let. Podstatné množství výsledků této práce však je reálně ohroženo: kvůli autorskému právu.

Česká právní úprava je ve srovnání s řadou dalších zemí Evropské unie velmi vstřícná ke kolaborativním a dobrovolnickým projektům, jako je Wikipedie. Platí u nás totiž tzv. „svoboda panoramatu“ – tedy princip, že cokoliv, co je ve veřejném prostranství vystaveno permanentně, může být vyfotografováno a zveřejněno. Do této kategorie spadá téměř vše, co lze běžně v každém městě nebo na venkově fotografovat. Tento princip je zakotven v našich zákonech, podobně jako je tomu například i v Německu, Rakousku, Polsku nebo Holandsku. V jiných státech, mezi které patří například Belgie, Francie, nebo Itálie, tomu tak není. Pokud chce kdokoliv zveřejnit například svůj obrázek belgického Atomia, mrakodrapů v pařížské čtvrti La Défense nebo skvostů Le Corbusiera, musí žádat správce kolektivních práv o povolení. A ten mu jej nemusí poskytnout. Pokud zveřejní fotografii i tak, poruší tím autorské právo a vystavuje se možnému právnímu postihu. V dnešní době fotografických portálů, kam každým dnem proudí tisíce fotografií, je to vskutku zvláštní představa – nicméně platná. Zveřejnění snímku jakékoliv budovy, jejíž autor zemřel před méně než 70 lety, je v některých zemích porušením zákona. Přesvědčte se sami – podívejte se, kolik fotografií k těmto tématům nabízí Wikipedie a zjistíte, že téměř žádné.

Reálně hrozí, že bude schválena taková podoba evropské reformy autorského práva, která zavede podobně restriktivní zákon i u nás. Zveřejňovat fotografie z veřejných prostranství by se sice potom smělo – ale jen a pouze pro nekomerční účely. Většina současných fotografií české architektury, která je na Wikipedii dostupná, je licencována pro svobodné užití (tedy i komerční). Je tomu proto, že se tak autoři fotografií svobodně rozhodli.

„Pokud o současnou svobodu panoramatu přijdeme, budeme muset smazat z Wikipedie tisíce fotografií. To by byla obrovská škoda, třeba i pro zahraniční návštěvníky, kteří by se rádi o naší zemi něco dozvěděli. Wikipedie je často na prvních místech ve vyhledávání, protože je navštěvovaná. Řada turistů si na ní hledá informace o tom, kam se pojedou podívat,“ uvedl k této záležitosti Vojtěch Dostál, předseda spolku Wikimedia Česká republika, který v České republice zastupuje Wikipedii.

Restriktivní svoboda panoramatu by měla rozsáhlý dopad i na možnosti fotografů obecně. Negativní změnu by přinesla pro veškeré internetové portály, na nichž dobrovolníci uveřejňují svoje snímky. Vzhledem k tomu, že většina obrázků, které lidé nahrávají na Facebook a Twitter, je využívána i pro komerční účely, dostala by se do možného protiprávního jednání velmi široká skupina lidí. „Jako spolek Wikimedia Česká republika proto rozhodně odmítáme jakékoliv omezení svobody panoramatu v České republice i v dalších evropských zemích. Nechceme se dočkat doby, kdy jednotliví fotografové Wikipedie, ale i jiných dobrovolnických projektů, budou porušovat zákon jen proto, že chtějí, aby všichni měli přístup k veškerým lidským znalostem,“ uzavírá Vojtěch Dostál.

Obrazový materiál (prosím vyjma log uvádějte vždy autora a licenci)

by Jan Loužek at June 25, 2015 12:06 PM

June 24, 2015

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

News on Wikipedia: Charleston church shooting, Pakistan heat wave, Danish elections, and more

Suggested alternative image for Charleston: [1]

Here are some of the global news stories covered on Wikipedia this week:

by Joe Sutherland at June 24, 2015 09:21 PM

Annual Wikimania conference comes to Mexico City

The annual Wikimania conference will be coming to Mexico City on July 15-19, gathering volunteers and digital rights leaders to discuss access to knowledge, participation in the Wikimedia projects, and the role of Wikipedia in education. Photo by Ralf Roletschek, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Wikimania 2015, the annual conference celebrating Wikipedia and its sister projects, will take place in Mexico City from July 15-19. Digital rights leaders and hundreds of volunteer editors will come together at the Hilton Mexico City Reforma to discuss issues at the heart of the Wikimedia movement, including the state of free knowledge, the role of Wikipedia in education, international privacy issues, and using technology to grow participation.

Wikimania focuses on the Wikimedia vision: to make the sum of all knowledge available to everyone on the planet. Unfortunately, access to knowledge around the world is not equal. In some places, people do not have Internet access or cannot afford access. In Mexico, for example, only 40% of the population have access to the Internet. In other areas of the globe, access to knowledge is censored or constrained. These issues, which directly impact our ability to fulfill the Wikimedia mission, will be at the center of conversations at the conference.

This year’s conference—which is co-organized by the local Wikimedia affiliate, Wikimedia Mexico, and the Wikimedia Foundation—will feature a special focus on efforts from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal to improve access to knowledge and increase the amount of quality content on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.

“People across Mexico read 44 million Wikipedia articles every month. While we have made great strides in making knowledge available, we have a long way to go to achieve our mission,” says Iván Martinez, president and founder of Wikimedia Mexico. “Wikimedia communities in Latin America and other countries are increasingly finding solutions for growing quality information on Wikimedia projects, including through partnerships with educational, government, cultural, and civil associations. Wikimania is a chance for us to share these kinds of experiences with each other to make Wikipedia and its sister projects stronger.”

This year’s speakers and workshops include:

With more than 35 million articles in 288 languages, Wikipedia is the largest shared knowledge resource in human history. Nearly half a billion people turn to Wikipedia every month for everything from preserving cultural heritage, to improving cancer detection, to researching homework. This remarkable scope and scale was recognized this month by the prestigious Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, awarded by the Princess of Asturias Foundation in Spain. The jury recognized Wikipedia as an “important example of international, democratic, open and participatory cooperation—to which thousands of people of all nationalities contribute selflessly.”

“Wikimedians collaborate digitally with each other from far corners of our planet all of the time,” says executive director Lila Tretikov. “Once a year we have a chance to gather in person and we are so excited to meet this year in Mexico City, and share our passion, knowledge, and experiences.”

The Wikimania conference has been organized globally for the last 10 years, to make it easier for anyone to access, share and contribute to free knowledge.

Registration for Wikimania 2015 is now open here.

Juliet Barbara, Senior Communication Manager, Wikimedia Foundation
Samantha Lien, Communications Intern, Wikimedia Foundation
Joe Sutherland, Communications Intern, Wikimedia Foundation

by Joe Sutherland at June 24, 2015 06:10 PM

June 22, 2015

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

World Music Day: What are you listening to?

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Concerts, like this one featuring Indrajit Banerjee, will take place all over the world today. Photo by Dalbera, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Today, June 21, 2015, is World Music Day! Also known as Fête de la Musique, World Music Day is celebrated on the northern hemisphere’s summer solstice. Thousands of events are scheduled to take place all around the world, including in the United States, in the United Kingdom, in France and in India.

Even if you don’t attend, you can listen to your favorite music this Sunday. In honor of World Music Day, please enjoy this music and other multimedia content that Wikimedians have contributed to Wikimedia Commons.

For more multimedia, see Wikimedia Commons’ “music”, and “world music” categories, Wikipedia’s article on music, and freely licensed music on Wikimedia Commons.

The below text is adapted from Wikipedia, written by various contributors, freely licensed under a CC BY-SA 3.0 License and the GDFL. Authorship information can be found in each article’s “history” tab.

Salsa – Latin America

File:Bailarines de Salsa en Cali.webm

Salsa dancers at the World Championships in Cali, Colombia. Video by Julian Andres Rodriguez Nieto, freely licensed under CC-BY 3.0.
Salsa refers to Cuban and Puerto Rican popular dance music. The term “salsa” was initially promoted and marketed in New York City during the 1970s. Salsa comprises various musical genres, predominantly Cuban, and is the product of genres such as the Puerto Rican bomba and plena. In some cases, the term is also used to describe Dominican merengue, and the Colombian cumbia. Latin jazz, which was also developed in New York City, has had a significant influence on salsa arrangers, piano guajeos, and instrumental soloists. Read more on Wikipedia.
Learn more with the “salsa music” category on Wikimedia Commons.

Jazz music – United States

File:Revelation-Trio MVI 1398.ogv

Jazz group Revelation Trio at the 2004 Moers Festival. Video by Nomo, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Jazz originated in African American communities during the late 19th and early 20th century. It emerged in many parts of the United States in the form of independent popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African American and European American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz spans a period of over 100 years and encompasses a range of music from ragtime to the present day, and has proved to be very difficult to define. The birth of jazz in the multicultural society of America has led intellectuals from around the world to hail jazz as “one of America’s original art forms”. Read more.

Learn more with the “jazz musicians” category on Wikimedia Commons.

Classical – Russia

Певец-сказитель.jpgRussia has a long and varied musical history. Image by Lukutina, in the public domain in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.

The music of Russia denotes a wide range of music produced in Russia or by the Russians. Russia is a large and culturally diverse country, with many ethnic groups, which is reflected in the country’s musical output. Russian music also includes significant contributions from ethnic minorities, who populated the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and modern-day Russia. Russian music has a long history, beginning from ritual folk song and the sacred music of the Russian Orthodox Church. The 19th century saw the rise of highly acclaimed Russian classical music, while the 20th century brought major composers, such as Igor Stravinsky as well as Soviet composers. Read more.

Galitzijskye Polae” by Д. Н. Ментуз, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Sample Russian music with the “audio files of Russian music” category on Wikimedia Commons.

Samba – Brazil

Dancers at Samba Festival 2014 in Caddebostan, Istanbul. Photo by CeeGee, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Samba is both a genre and a dance style originating in Brazil. Its roots are in Africa, especially in the West African slave trade, and in African religious traditions, particularly Angola and the Congo. Although there were various forms of samba in Brazil, such as various popular rhythms and regional dances that originated from the drumming, samba as music genre is seen as a musical expression of urban Rio de Janeiro, then the capital of Imperial Brazil. Samba is recognized around the world as a symbol of Brazil and the Brazilian Carnival. Considered one of the most popular Brazilian cultural expressions, samba has become an icon of Brazilian national identity. Read more.

Vida Loka” by Ruy Humberto, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Sample samba music with the “audio files of samba music” category on Wikimedia Commons.

House Music – Europe

Miguel Migs by Peter Chiapperino.jpg
San Francisco-based DJ, Miguel Migs, performs in Hawaii. Photo by Peter Chiapperino, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

House music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago in the early 1980s. It quickly spread to other American cities along the east coast, all of which developed their own regional scenes. Throughout the 1980s, it grew popular in Europe, as well as in South America and Australia. House music’s success in Europe meant that several early house songs entered the national pop charts. Since the early to mid-1990s, house music has been infused in mainstream pop and dance music worldwide. Read more.

Benevolence” (progressive house) by MCT, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Learn more with the “house music” category on Wikimedia Commons.

Traditional Music – Japan

Kusakabe Kimbei - 11. Playing samisen, tsudzumi, fuye, and taiko.jpg
Traditional Japanese musical instruments include the samisen, tsudzumi, fuye, and the taiko. Image by Kusakabe Kimbei, in the public domain in the United States as copyright has expired.

The music of Japan includes a wide array of Japanese performers in distinct styles, both traditional and modern. The word for music in Japanese is 音楽 (ongaku), combining the kanji 音 “on” (sound) with the kanji 楽 “gaku” (enjoy). Japan is the largest physical music market in the world, worth US$2 billion in 2014, and is dominated by Japanese artists. Local music often appears at karaoke venues, a staple of Japanese culture. Traditional Japanese music is quite different from Western music, as it is often based on the intervals of human breathing rather than on mathematical timing. Read more.

Shika no Tōne” (played on shakuhachi) by Araki Kodō III, public domain

Learn more with the “music of Japan” category on Wikimedia Commons.

Andrew ShermanDigital Communication InternWikimedia Foundation

by Wikimedia Blog at June 22, 2015 08:02 PM

June 19, 2015

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Wikimedia Ukraine unlocks ‘secret’ cultural heritage lists

Панораму двору Спасо-Преображенського кафедрального собору.jpg
The Saviour’s Transfiguration Cathedral, Dnipropetrovsk. Photo by Ryzhkov Sergey, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Preparing for Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM), the Wikimedia community’s worldwide photo contest, requires creating lists of cultural, historical, architectural and archaeological heritage monuments. These are typically based on official records. In Ukraine, only some of the official lists were available free online; most were not.

To make the WLM list, Wikimedia Ukraine—the local Wikimedia affiliate in the country—had to send requests to the relevant government agencies. According to the Ukrainian law on Access to Public Information (“Law on Access”), these agencies had to respond within five working days.

This step proved more difficult than expected. We received answers ranging from redirects to other agencies, claims that the information wasn’t held, or that “the staff member responsible for this was fired recently and took everything with them.” One of the regional authorities, Pokrovske Raion State Administration in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, proved especially troublesome. Our first request to Pokrovske Raion was sent on August 27, 2013, and their answer came three days later: while they noted that there were 227 archaeological and historical monuments in the territory, they refused to make the list public as it was classified for the staff’s use only.

This contradicted the Law on Access, which clearly prescribed the types of information that could be withheld from public access, like internal official correspondence, information collected for defence, and other similar documents.

Wikimedia Ukraine’s second request was made a year later. It resulted in the same denial, with the government citing a local Act drafted in 2011. The chapter’s third request asked for the text of this Act, and it appeared that information on cultural and historical monuments fell into the category of classified information.

Such a response, Wikimedia Ukraine argued, was contrary to nationwide law. With help from the Media Law Institute and its Fund for Defending the Right to Access Information, the chapter’s executive director Nataliia Tymkiv filed a lawsuit against the Pokrovske Raion State Administration.

The first meeting was held on December 14, 2014, and the province’s legal defense team backed down. They said that the 2011 law was incorrectly applied, and were ready to provide the lists to the chapter. This result, while fulfilling our immediate goal, would have kept other similar documents inaccessible, so we pressed on with our lawsuit.

Nataliia Tymkiv, Executive Director of Wikimedia Ukraine. “Wikimedia Conference 2013 portrait” by Niccolò Caranti, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

On February 9, the judge made their decision, satisfying all positions of our claim: The court recognized the refusal as illegal, ordered Pokrovske Raion State Administration to satisfy the information request, and declared that the provision in the 2011 Act, which ultimately kept the list of cultural and historical monuments from public view, was illegal.

The court also stressed that the only type of information in the field of cultural heritage that may be restricted is that of protected archaeological territory, according to the aforementioned Law on Cultural Heritage Protection. Pokrovske Raion did not contain any such territories.

On May 6, the court decision was executed and Wikimedia Ukraine finally received the lists, along with lists of architectural heritage monuments of which we had not previously been aware.

The received lists of historical, architectural and archaeological heritage monuments have already been added to the contest lists in the Ukrainian Wikipedia.

“While this case may sound ridiculous for those from countries with developed democracies, in Ukraine we have to struggle for different kinds of important information. State bodies hide it from the citizens. We fortunately managed to get victories through courts, even though sometimes we have to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights,” explains Taras Shevchenko, director of the Media Law Institute NGO.

Tymkiv, the executive director of Wikimedia Ukraine, says: “A lot of time and efforts are put into the lists of monuments. Our Ministry of Culture does not have all the information, so we have to contact all of the individual state administrations (including oblast [province], raion [district], and city level) to request it. That takes time, and one needs patience to [do this] again and again. Ukraine has around 150,000 cultural monuments. We have more than 71,000 in our lists—less than half the total number—and it has taken us three years to get that many. It requires dedication, so I want to thank everybody working on this project.”

“I believe there are other teams fighting against all the odds and winning, to share, to have it for everybody to use and reuse. This kind of work requires dedication, sleepless nights, and requires you to be in love with what you do and what for.”

We are hopeful that these lists will help in obtaining many more photos of Pokrovske Raion during Wiki Loves Monuments this September; it is currently rather poorly represented on Wikimedia sites.

Vira Motorko, volunteer, Wikimedia Ukraine chapter
Maksym Dvorovyi, lawyer, Media Law Institute

by Wikimedia Blog at June 19, 2015 10:19 PM

June 18, 2015

- Wikimedia Foundation - (anglicky)

Wiki Loves Pride: Help expand Wikipedia’s LGBT coverage

Pride parade, Portland, Oregon (2015) - 189.JPG
Help Wikipedia by uploading your photos of events like this pride parade in Portland, Oregon. Photo by Another Believer, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities are underrepresented on Wikipedia. In the month of June, Pride Month, you can help to change this.

Wiki Loves Pride is a global campaign to expand and improve LGBT-related content across several Wikimedia projects and to celebrate LGBT culture and history. Wiki Loves Pride is an initiative of Wikimedia LGBT+, an affiliate of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The goals of Wikimedia LGBT+ are to encourage LGBT cultural organizations to use Wikimedia projects and to adopt the values of free culture and open access; to promote Wikimedia projects as a tool for strengthening LGBT communities; and to create and expand the overall quality of content of interest to LGBT communities on Wikimedia projects in all languages.

EuroPride 2010 Warsaw Poland 15.jpg
Even the bikers were colorful at Europride 2010 in Warsaw, Poland. Photo by Nikodem Nijaki, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

In 2014, Wiki Loves Pride events took place in several locations around the world, including in seven cities in the United States and three in India. Check out the 2014 results or view images from the LGBT photo challenge hosted by Wikimedia Commons.

This year, we need your help to photograph pride parades, LGBT districts, and LGBT cultural landmarks, then release the photographs under a free licence.

To contribute, you can use the Commons Upload tool to upload your photographs directly to Wikimedia Commons where they can be used immediately on any Wikimedia project. You can also upload your photographs to Flickr with a public domain, Creative Commons (CC0 license).

If you want to use Flickr, email us and let us know where your photographs are, so we can add them to Wikipedia pages and to our image galleries to create and improve LGBT-related Wikipedia articles.

De Waterkant 6 (cropped).jpg
A unique display of pride in Cape Town, South Africa’s gay village, De Waterkant. Photo by HelenOnline, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

If you have questions about any aspects of this process please get in touch!

Dorothy Howard and Jason Moore Wikimedia LGBT+

by Wikimedia Blog at June 18, 2015 09:57 PM

Wikipedia receives Spain’s Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation

Wikipedia just received the prestigious ‘Princess of Asturias’ award to recognize its contributions to universal human heritage. Photo by Fpasturias, CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Princess of Asturias Foundation has announced that it is awarding Wikipedia the 2015 Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation. The Princess of Asturias Awards (English, Spanish), previously known as Prince of Asturias Awards, recognize scientific, cultural and social achievements that form part of the universal heritage of humanity.

“On behalf of our global community of Wikimedians, we are deeply honored to accept this prestigious award,” said Jan-Bart de Vreede, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “The Princess of Asturias Awards recognize achievements and organizations that celebrate and advance our shared human heritage. As a collective project of shared human knowledge, we are honored Wikipedia has been recognized today.”

Presented in eight different categories ranging from Arts to International Cooperation, the Princess of Asturias Awards are considered to be amongst the most important honors in the world, especially in the Spanish-speaking world. These awards are intended to acknowledge exemplary and internationally recognized cultural, scientific and social achievements.

“Wikipedia is an incredible project that has been created by millions of people from around the world. We are honored to be recognized in the category of international cooperation, which is at the heart of our mission,” said Lila Tretikov, executive director at the Wikimedia Foundation. “This award honors those volunteers—the editors, photographers, writers, and developers—who make Wikipedia possible.”

Wikipedia is one of the most popular knowledge resources in the world; it is read by nearly half a billion people every month. From its humble origins nearly fifteen years ago, it now offers more than 35 million articles in 288 languages—including a number of indigenous languages—all written by volunteers from around the globe.

According to the jury of the Princess of Asturias Awards, Wikipedia is an “important example of international, democratic, open and participatory cooperation—to which thousands of people of all nationalities contribute selflessly—that has managed to make universal knowledge available to everyone along similar lines to those achieved by the encyclopedic spirit of the 18th century.”

“Cooperation is what Wikipedia is all about, and it is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the Princess of Asturias Awards,” said Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia. “I hope this inspires more people to become involved in the mission to share in the sum of all knowledge with the world.”

Previous recipients of the Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation include the Fulbright Program, the International Red Cross, the World Health Organization, Al Gore, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and others.

The ceremony of the Princess of Asturias Awards will take place in Oviedo, Spain, on the 23rd of October, under the presidency of H.M. King Felipe VI of Spain. The Prize comprises a Joan Miro sculpture symbolizing the award and a cash prize of 50,000 euros.

Katherine Maher
Chief Communications Officer
Wikimedia Foundation

by Wikimedia Blog at June 18, 2015 06:01 PM

Space, disease and a natural disaster: this week in news on Wikipedia

In the news lead.jpg

Here are some of the global news stories covered on Wikipedia this week:

From the editors: This news roundup is a new content experiment for the Wikimedia blog. These news updates are based on content created on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. What do you think about this first example? Please share your feedback in the comments below.

Philae awakens

Rosetta's Philae on Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko.jpg
An artist impression of the Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Image by the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, freely licensed under CC-BY 3.0 Germany.

Philae, the European Space Agency lander which made history last year by landing on a comet, woke from hibernation on Saturday (June 13) and made contact with Earth. The Rosetta mission took ten years to reach the comet, arriving in November 2014. After an unexpectedly rough landing, however, Philae worked on the comet for just 60 hours before its battery went flat. It has now accumulated enough sunlight to recharge its batteries and resume operations.

Learn more in these related Wikipedia articles: Philae, Rosetta, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

South Korean MERS outbreak

제22차 국가과학기술자문회의 -무인 이동체 및 엔지니어링 산업발전 전략보고회- (10).jpg
International preception of South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, has suffered following the outbreak. Photo by the South Korean Presidency, freely licensed under Korean Open Government License Type I: Attribution.

Since May, there have been 150 reported cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in South Korea, the worst outbreak of the disease outside of Saudi Arabia. So far, 19 people are known to have died from the virus. Thousands of schools have been closed across the country as a preventative measure, as well as twenty universities, and almost 4,000 people have been placed in quarantine. International observers have noted the outbreak has had a significant effect on President Park Geun-hye’s public perception.

Learn more in these related Wikipedia articles: 2015 Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreak in South Korea, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus

Flooding in Tbilisi

Tbilisi Flood 3.JPG
The aftermath of the floods in Tbilisi, which have resulted in at least 15 deaths. Photo by Zviad Avaliani, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0.

On Saturday (June 13), the Vere River valley in Tbilisi, Georgia, was unexpectedly hit by major flooding following hours of sustained rainfall. Fifteen people are confirmed to have died as a result of the floods, which also caused severe damage to highways, homes, and the Tbilisi Zoo. Around half the zoo’s animal population was killed in the floods, while several more are alleged to have been killed by police, who were rounding up several animals who were wandering the streets of the city.

Learn more in the related Wikipedia article: 2015 Tbilisi flood

Zhou Yongkang sentenced to life in prison

FEMA - 25380 - Photograph by Barry Bahler taken on 07-27-2006 in District of Columbia.jpg
Zhou, pictured here on a trip to the United States in 2006, was tried in secret in May. Photo by Barry Bahler, freely licensed as public domain in the United States, as a work of the US Government.

Zhou Yongkang, the former Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission and a senior member of the Communist Party of China, was convicted on Thursday (June 11) of abuse of power, bribery, and the intentional disclosure of state secrets by the Intermediate Court in Tianjin. Xinhua writes that the total amount of bribes received by him and his family was about 129 million yen, or over 20 million dollars. Zhou was sentenced to life in prison, becoming the most senior-ranked official since the founding of the People’s Republic of China to be convicted of corruption-based charges.

Learn more in these related Wikipedia articles: Anti-corruption campaign in China, Zhou Yongkang

Omar al-Bashir evades arrest for war crimes

Omar al-Bashir, 12th AU Summit, 090131-N-0506A-342.jpg
al-Bashir, pictured here in 2009, is wanted for war crimes. Photo by Jesse B. Awalt, freely licensed as public domain in the United States, as a work of the US Government.

The president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, evaded arrest on Monday (June 15) after ignoring a South African court ruling forbidding him from leaving the country. al-Bashir was attending a two-day African Union meeting in the country when the High Court in Pretoria ruled he must be arrested under the terms of an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court in 2009. The warrant relates to his involvement in the ongoing Darfur conflict, and accuses him of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Learn more in these related Wikipedia articles: Omar al-Bashir, War in Darfur

Research stats

Page view data for ITN, 15 June 2015.png
Wikipedia pageview statistics show the various spikes in activity on these related news articles. Graph by Joe Sutherland, freely licensed under CC-BY 4.0.

Of this week’s articles, Philae saw the largest spike in pageview traffic on the English Wikipedia, surpassing 27,000 views on June 15. Media attention allowed 2015 Tbilisi flood into second place with more than 20,000 views, while Omar al-Bashir attracted 10,000 views.

Although the article with the lowest pageview peaks of the five, 2015 Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreak in South Korea saw sustained attention this week, after its creation on June 7. Zhou Yongkang spiked at almost 4,000 pageviews on June 11.

To see how other news events are covered on the English Wikipedia, check out the ‘In the news’ section on its main page.

This news roundup is a new content experiment for the Wikimedia blog, based on content created for Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. What do you think about this first example? Is this type of news roundup interesting to you? Should we consider making it a weekly series? Please share your comments below to help us refine this idea.

Joe Sutherland, Communications Intern, Wikimedia Foundation

Photo credits from opening montage: ”제22차 국가과학기술자문회의 -무인 이동체 및 엔지니어링 산업발전 전략보고회- (10).jpg” by the South Korean Presidency, Korean Open Government License Type I: Attribution. ”:Tbilisi Flood 3.JPG” by Zviad Avaliani, CC-BY-SA 4.0. ”Omar_al-Bashir,_12th_AU_Summit,_090131-N-0506A-342.jpg” by Jesse B. Awalt, public domain in the United States, as a work of the US Government.”Rosetta’s_Philae_on_Comet_67P_Churyumov-Gerasimenko.jpg” by the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, CC-BY 3.0 Germany. ”FEMA_-_25380_-_Photograph_by_Barry_Bahler_taken_on_07-27-2006_in_District_of_Columbia.jpg” by Barry Bahler, public domain in the United States, as a work of the US Government.

by Joe Sutherland at June 18, 2015 12:03 AM

June 09, 2015

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Evropská reforma autorského práva ovlivní také Wikipedii

Jednání jednoho z výborů Evropského parlamentu. Takové se uskuteční právě 16. června, kdy legislativní výbor bude hlasovat návrh reformy autorského práva (JLogan, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Jednání jednoho z výborů Evropského parlamentu. Takové se uskuteční právě 16. června, kdy legislativní výbor bude hlasovat návrh reformy autorského práva. (autor: JLogan, CC BY-SA 3.0)

V posledních dvou letech vzniká na evropské úrovni reforma směrnice InfoSoc (tedy o informační společnosti), která se zabývá autorským právem. Hnutí Wikimedia celou záležitost na mezinárodní úrovni bedlivě sleduje, už také proto, že jakákoliv změna v oblasti celoevropského autorského práva bude mít podstatný dopad i na fungování Wikipedie a dalších kolaborativních projektů nadace Wikimedia Foundation.

Nová směrnice má autorské právo především harmonizovat. Tento hezký termín znamená především jedno: Převést pravomoci z členských států EU na centrální úroveň, do Bruselu. Jedny podmínky pro všechny. Evropská unie si za svůj cíl vytkla budování jednotného digitálního trhu, a to právě vyžaduje unitární legislativu. Návrh nové směrnice byl zveřejněn v lednu tohoto roku a 16. června o něm bude hlasovat legislativní výbor (JURI) Evropského parlamentu.

Svoboda panoramatu v evropských zemích - tato mapa bude brzy minulostí, paletu barev nahradí jediná. Otázkou ale zůstává - jaká bude. Bude možné svobodně zveřejňovat fotografie všeho ve veřejném prostranství, či nikoliv?  (autor:  Quibik , CC BY-SA 3.0)

Svoboda panoramatu v evropských zemích – tato mapa bude brzy minulostí, paletu barev nahradí jediná. Otázkou ale zůstává: jaká? Bude možné svobodně zveřejňovat fotografie všeho ve veřejném prostranství (zelená), či nikoliv (žlutá/červená)?  (autor: Quibik , CC BY-SA 3.0)

Proč ale veškerá ta politika a kde je ten dopad na Wikipedii a další projekty? Předně, diskuze probíhají na řadu témat, ale dvě z nich jsou pro nás klíčové: svoboda panoramatulicencování úředních děl. V současné době není možné pro Wikipedii svobodně fotografovat různé památky například v Belgii, Francii nebo Itálii. Přesněji – fotit je lze, ale obrázky nesmí být zveřejněny pod svobodnou licencí. Známý je případ nočního osvětlení Eiffelovy věže nebo Atomia. Wikipedie tak zůstává ochuzena o spoustu ilustrací týkajících se kolébky moderního věku, ale třeba i renesance. V Itálii je totiž autorskoprávně chráněno téměř vše, co lze ve veřejném prostranství vyfotit. I kdyby budova byla stará například 500 let, stále je nezbytné chránit právo autora.

Dalším příkladem jsou úřední díla. Tato díla mohou sloužit k ilustraci Wikipedie, nebo dalších projektů (Wikizdroje, Wikiknihy, Wikidata aj). Zatímco ve Spojených státech je vše, co vytvoří vláda, automaticky volné dílo, v Evropské unii tomu tak není. V současné době se otevírá možnost, aby tato díla byla licencována alespoň jako Creative Commons.

Návrh reformy je samozřejmě připraven, je však stále diskutován a přicházejí různé pozměňovací návrhy. Nic proto není v současné době ještě jisté a hrozí, že právě vyjednávaná reforma bude v oblastech klíčových právě pro Wikipedii restriktivní. Někteří europoslanci v současné debatě prosazují svobodu panoramatu pouze pro nekomerční účely. Tím omezují práva dobrovolníků své práce užívat nejen pro výdělečné účely, ale předně omezují možnost uveřejnit Wikipedii se všemi ilustracemi např. knižně; vydat pohlednice svobodných obrázků nebo i různé hry, kde by byly jednotlivé obrázky komerčním způsobem využité.

Vzhledem k tomu, že reforma má upravit stejným způsobem podmínky ve všech zemích EU, znamenala by svoboda panoramatu pro nekomerčí účely změnu i v České republice. K horšímu. A to je vážný problém.

Do finálního hlasování o tomto tématu v současné době zbývá již jen několik dní. Diskuze nad jednotlivými částmi reformy stále probíhají. Máte-li zájem se do jednání zapojit, můžete svému europoslanci napsat, nebo zatelefonovat. Můžete pomoci mu problém vysvětlit a přednést argumenty na podporu svobody panoramatu, volných děl – ale třeba i svobodného odkazování, sdílení souborů nebo čehokoliv jiného. Diskutovaných témat je spousta.

Pokud chcete ušetřit za telefonní poplatky, dozvědět se o této problematice více, nebo se podívat i na další témata, o kterých je řeč – je tu projekt copywrongs.euTen přehledně a jednoduše vysvětluje problematiku nadcházející reformy. Navíc nabízí možnost zavolat svému poslanci zdarma a uvádí také nápovědy, jak rozhovor zvládnou i ti stydlivější.


by Jan Loužek at June 09, 2015 02:17 PM

June 03, 2015

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Hustopeče se staly WikiMěstem roku 2015, Wikipedie obohacena o stovky fotek a kilobajtů

Účastníci WikiMěsta Hustopeče

Účastníci WikiMěsta Hustopeče (foto: Gampe, CC BY SA 3.0)

Loni vytvořená tradice WikiMěst má jeden důležitý cíl: vylepšovat encyklopedické informace o českých regionálních městech a „vyvážet“ tak Wikipedii z našich metropolí. Víkendové WikiMěsto je příjemným setkáním pracovitých lidí, kteří si vypůjčí snad všechny existující knihy o městě z knihovny, zavřou se do jedné místnosti s rychlým internetem a opouští ji jen tehdy, potřebují-li si nafotit město (protože obrázek přeci vydá za stránku textu!).

Letos jsme se na pozvání Davida Kennedyho, regionálního wikipedisty, sešli o víkendu 8.–10. května v Hustopečích (organizační stránka letošního ročníku je zde). Encyklopedický tým zajistili kolegové wikipedisté Bazi, Pernak1 a Vojtěch Dostál. Vznikly také dva fotografické týmy – jeden vedl Aktron, druhý Packa s Jagrem. Ve městě fotil také Ben Skála a celý kolektiv letos také doplnili kolegové z rakouské pobočky Wikimedia Österreich – vážení a milí wikipedisté Karl Gruber, Ailura a Regiomontanus, kterým jsme za účast velmi vděčni. Dík patří také hustopečskému informačnímu centru, které poskytlo písemné materiály o městě.

Editace encyklopedického týmu, hodinu po hodině

Editace encyklopedického týmu, hodinu po hodině

Encyklopedickému týmu se podařilo v české Wikipedii provést 221 editací, díky nimž bylo vloženo celkem 168 697 bajtů. To je pro představu ekvivalent asi 85 stránek na psacím stroji. Veškerý vložený obsah je kvalitně ozdrojovaný a vesměs cituje prameny, jež by se z našich domovů vůbec nedaly získat – jsou to různé regionální knihy a místní publikace, z nichž část jsme přivezli z brněnské knihovny a část si opatřili na místě. Výsledky encyklopedického týmu se však díky práci rakouských kolegů neomezují jen na českou Wikipedii – také německá Wikipedie nyní obsahuje kvalitnější obsah na téma Hustopečí, místního kostela a podobně. Celkem se na německojazyčné Wikipedii přidalo 5 603 bajtů. Výsledných 175 000 sice nedosahuje na původně plánovaných 250 000, ale i tak je nutno encyklopedický tým pochválit, protože letos byli encyklopedisté přítomni v nižším počtu a museli pracovat o to tvrději.

Fotografie nahrané fotografickými týmy, stav k 31. 5. 2015

Fotografie nahrané fotografickými týmy – koláč po jednotlivých uživatelích, stav k 31. 5. 2015

Zato fotografové letos naopak zformovali hned dva týmy a na výsledku to je vidět. Namísto původně plánovaných 500 fotografií už bylo k dnešnímu dni nahráno 1066 fotografií – z nich nejvíce (272) nahrál Aktron, v závěsu je Ben Skála (250). A už dnes jich je 75 použito v článcích – z toho 71 na české Wikipedii. Toto číslo však plánujeme ještě zvýšit a aktivně fotografie do článků souvisejících s Hustopečemi a okolím dodávat. Vždyť k čemu je fotografie vyfocená pro Wikipedii, když neilustruje žádný článek! :-)

Všem účastníkům a organizátorům patří velký dík. Už nyní se těšíme na další WikiMěsto – kam nás to zavane, to ještě nevíme, ale práce je ještě po českých luzích a hájích spousta.

by Vojtěch Dostál at June 03, 2015 02:29 PM

Wikimedia ČR uzavřela memorandum o spolupráci s Národním památkovým ústavem a přednášela v Národní knihovně

Podpis Rámcové smlouvy o spolupráci mezi NPÚ a WMCZ (autor: Gampe, CC BY SA 3.0)

Podpis Rámcové smlouvy o spolupráci mezi NPÚ a WMCZ (autor: Gampe, CC BY SA 3.0)

26. května 2015 – výjimečně plodný den z hlediska spolupráce světa Wiki s českými kulturně vzdělávacími institucemi. V 9:00 jsme podepisovali Rámcovou smlouvu o spolupráci s Národním památkovým ústavem, načež jsme krátce poté přednášeli v Národní knihovně ředitelům sekcí vzdělávání krajských knihoven.

Národní památkový ústav

Národní památkový ústav

Podpis memoranda o spolupráci s Národním památkovým ústavem (NPÚ) je vlastně vyvrcholením dlouhodobé neformální spolupráce, kterou spolu Wikimedia Česká republika a NPÚ již léta na různých úrovních udržovaly. Jen v loňském roce například zasedli zástupci Wikimedia ČR a NPÚ u kulatého stolu na téma „Spolupráce Spolkového památkového úřadu a Wikipedie / pobočky Wikimedia Rakousko“ v Salzburgu; NPÚ také v roce 2014 zaštítil naši soutěž „Wiki miluje památky“, která oceňuje nejlepší fotografy českých památek. Jelikož je památek jen v Česku 40000, práce stovek našich wikipedistů-dobrovolníků je nejefektivnějším způsobem, jak se alespoň přiblížit jejich fotografickému zdokumentování. Rámcová smlouva o spolupráci, podepsaná generální ředitelkou NPÚ ing. arch. Naděždou Goryczkovou a předsedou Wikimedia Česká republika Vojtěchem Dostálem, zmiňuje několik cest, jimiž se budoucí spolupráce může ubírat: důležité je předávání odborných znalostí v oblasti památkové péče a hlavně propagace památek v ČR a realizace společných projektů týkajících se této problematiky. Text memoranda bude k dispozici online.

Jako by jeden úspěch nestačil, podařilo se nám dnes pokročit také ve spolupráci s knihovnami. V Klementinu Národní knihovny jsme dostali prostor na setkání ředitelů sekcí vzdělávání krajských knihoven. Jsou to lidé, kteří v krajských knihovnách koordinují přípravu kurzů pro veřejnost, přednášek a dalších akcí a zajímalo je např. to, jak mohou na svých domovských institucích zorganizovat kurzy Senioři píší Wikipedii. Probrali jsme organizační záležitosti, zodpověděli dotazy a vyjádřili víru, že v září či říjnu tohoto roku spustíme první kurzy v mimopražských městech. Díky této schůzce i díky předcházejícím kurzům pro knihovníky v Národní knihovně jsme tak v posledních měsících významně rozšířili povědomí knihoven o Wikipedii a o naší činnosti.


by Vojtěch Dostál at June 03, 2015 02:29 PM

Město Kadaň vylepšuje články na Wikipedii o obci i významných rodácích

Wikipedisté na víkendovém workshopu v březnu 2015

Wikipedisté na víkendovém workshopu v Kadani v březnu 2015 (autor: Aloysius, CC BY SA 4.0)

Město Kadaň se v lednu stalo prvním městem v Česku – a pravděpodobně i na světě – které nabídlo spolupráci na tvorbě článků na české Wikipedii za úplatu středoškolským studentům. A to s jedinou podmínkou – články musejí mít souvislost právě s tímto podkrušnohorským městem na Ohři.

Vzorem se Kadani stalo zaměstnávání wikipedistů světovými institucemi, které se starají o kulturní dědictví (světové projekty GLAM). Wikipedie si zakládá na pověsti dobrovolného přispívání svých autorů, ovšem pokud dojde k dohodě, která je výhodná pro všechny strany, může autor článků, který zároveň dělá osvětu, dostávat mzdu. Průkopníkem se stalo Britské muzeum, které krátkodobě na plný úvazek zaměstnalo wikipedistu v domě (Wikipedian in Residence) v roce 2010. Od té doby se do projektu zapojilo na stovku světových institucí, kromě národních i mnohé soukromé, které zaměstnaly a zaměstnávají wikipedisty na různě dlouhou dobu na různě naplněné úvazky.

Seminář o Wikipedii pro kadaňské studenty a další zájemce (autor: Aloysius, CC BY SA 4.0)

Seminář o Wikipedii pro kadaňské studenty a další zájemce (autor: Aloysius, CC BY SA 4.0)

Z České republiky byla první smlouva podepsána 1. ledna 2015 mezi Kulturními zařízeními Kadaň (KZK) a Jonášem Hlaváčkem, studentem Gymnázia Jana Nerudy v Praze, který je ovšem kadaňským rodákem a patriotem. 21.–22. března 2015 se na Gymnáziu Kadaň konal ve spolupráci s Wikimedia ČR workshop pro studenty a veřejnost a od 1. června 2015 mají své smlouvy s KZK další dva studenti: Jakub Jan Fiala a Pavla Kolářová. Cílový stav, kterého by chtěla dosáhnout kadaňská instituce, jež spravuje mj. městské muzeum, knihovnu a galerii (tedy je zastřešující organizací několika institucí GLAM), jsou čtyři studenti – wikipedisté v domě. Každý z nich má podle smlouvy napsat jeden kvalitní článek na téma, které souvisí s Kadaní (památky, osobnosti, události apod.).

Minutovou reportáž o prvním českém wikipedistovi ve městě přinesla i Česká televize (čas: 15.08), časově štědřejší pak byla místní televize TV Focus, která přinesla reportáž o workshopu na gymnáziu.

Protože naši mladí wikipedisté se teprve mnohým věcem učí, budeme rádi, když jim zkušenější wikipedisté poradí a zvýší tak kvalitu nejen již vzniklých, ale zejména budoucích článků těchto autorů. Na výsledky dosavadní práce kadaňských wikipedistů se můžete podívat zde:

Chrám sv. Anny v Kadani (autor: H2k4, CC BY SA 3.0)

Chrám sv. Anny v Kadani (autor: H2k4, CC BY SA 3.0)

Kadaň by se spolu se sousedním Kláštercem nad Ohří chtěla stát WikiMěstem roku 2016, a to mj. i v souvislosti s tím, že město je dějištěm Císařského dne, největší středověké slavnosti věnované Karlu IV., od jehož narození uplyne příští rok již 700 let.

Autor je naším externím spolupracovníkem a zároveň současným místostarostou města Kadaň.

by Jan Losenický at June 03, 2015 01:03 PM

April 19, 2015

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Wikipedisté a jejich hosté navštívili vilu Karla Čapka

Pracovní stůl Karla Čapka

Pracovní stůl Karla Čapka

Vila Karla Čapka se v roce 2013 stala vlastnictvím Prahy 10. V současné době zde probíhá soupis inventáře. Díky velkorysé nabídce příznivců našeho spolku si mohla skupina wikipedistů a jejich hostů prohlédnout toto mimořádné místo. Přidal se k nám nejen čestný člen Wikimedia ČR, zakladatel české Wikipedie Miroslav Malovec, ale i zástupci sponzorů z firmy Active24.

Dostalo se nám podrobného výkladu od předního „čapkologa“, pana Hasana Zahiroviće. Ten nás seznámil s bohatou historií objektu i s překvapivými objevy a novými fakty, které vzešly z probíhajícího podrobného průzkumu. Mohli jsme si zblízka prohlédnout Čapkovy poznámkové sešity a skicáře z cest po Evropě, jeho osobní předměty, místa, kde vznikala jeho díla a kde se scházela společnost Pátečníků. Nesmíme zapomenout ani na obrazy, sochy a grafiky jeho přátel (Josef Čapek, Bohumil Kubišta, Karel Dvořák, Hana Dostalová a další). Velice ochotně se nám věnovali i další pracovníci, kteří se podílejí na inventarizaci, přestože jsme jim spíše překáželi v práci. Pro wikipedisty z této návštěvy ale vyplývá rovněž obrovské množství práce, kterou je třeba v naší encyklopedii udělat. Oceníme každou pomocnou ruku!

by Jaro Zastoupil at April 19, 2015 01:05 PM

March 23, 2015

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Soutěž CEE Spring běží již týden. A čeká ji ještě několik měsíců

Logo soutěže

Logo soutěže (Licence: CC-BY-SA 4.0, Autor: Aktron)

Možná jste si všimli banneru na české Wikipedii. Po několika letech probíhá na Wikipedii opět soutěž v editování článků. Tentokrát je zaměřená na region střední a východní Evropy a je mezinárodního charakteru. Lze se s ní tak setkat nejen na české verzi největší světové encyklopedie, ale také i na Wikipedii polské, ruské, maďarské, albánské, bulharské… a mnohých jiných.

O co vlastně jde? Na rozdíl od soutěže Ceny za rozvoj české Wikipedie, které se v minulosti uskutečnilo několik ročníků je CEE Spring mnohem více kulturně a geograficky zaměřená soutěž. Zpracovává se ohromné množství regionů, doslova „od Aše až po Vladivostok“. Včetně například Slovenska, kde je možné překládat existující články ze slovenštiny již rok fungujícím nástrojem. Témata soutěže musí souviset s jednotlivými zeměmi, ale výběr je víceméně volný. Do soutěže tak lze například přihlásit články o maďarské klasické hudbě, rumunských památkách, ukrajinské kuchyni, ruských hradech aj…

V loňském roce se v mezinárodním prostředí, tzn. na Wikimedia Commons, konaly různé soutěže, které měly přesah i do české Wikipedie. Byla to například Umepediašvédská soutěž, kterou iniciovalo město Umeå spolu se spolkem Wikimedia Sverige. Články mohly vznikat ve všech jazycích. A výsledek? Podívejte se sami...

Igo Sym

Igo Sym, první článek, který vznikl v rámci naší soutěže.

Za druhou zajímavou akci lze považovat soutěž, kterou zorganizovali španělští wikimediáni. Na rozdíl od města Umeå, kde byl jasně daný seznam témat, šlo do této akce přihlásit jakoukoliv památku ze Španělska. Vzhledem k tomu, že iberský poloostrov je kulturně nesmírně bohatý, vzniklo spoustu článků o vskutku unikátních objektech. A mnohé z nich byly napsány i v češtině

Ale vraťme se zpět k soutěži CEE Spring. Naše soutěž má dvě kategorie (jednu zaměřenou na Polsko v druhé světové válce a jednu na obecně region střední a východní Evropy). Tato skutečnost, která do jisté míry odkazuje na dobře fungující praxi ze soutěže Wiki miluje památky, vychází se spolupráce s Polským institutem. Polsko si letos připomíná výročí 70 let od konce druhé světové války (která v zemi napáchala ve srovnání s Českem nebo Slovenskem nesrovnatelné škody) – a proto je připomínka výročí na místě.

Takže pokud máte čas a chuť, zapište se do jedné ze dvou kategorií, vyberte si vhodné téma, pište nebo překládejte, přečtěte si pravidla a pomáhejte rozšiřovat českou Wikipedii. Soutěž poběží až do přelomu května a června. Společně můžeme zpřístupnit veškeré lidské vědění celému světu.


by Jan Loužek at March 23, 2015 10:31 PM

March 16, 2015

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Wikimedia vs. NSA: Nadace Wikimedia podala žalobu proti Národní bezpečnostní agentuře USA

Spravedlnost - socha ve Frankfurtu nad Mohanem. Autor: Roland Meinecke, Free Art Licence

Spravedlnost – socha ve Frankfurtu nad Mohanem. Autor: Roland Meinecke, Free Art Licence

Přinášíme částečný český překlad vyjádření nadace Wikimedia Foundation na jejím blogu v souvislosti s dnes učiněnými právními kroky ve Spojených státech.

Nadace Wikimedia Foundation se dnes ve spolupráci s řadou dalších občanských iniciativ ve Spojených státech amerických rozhodla podat žalobu proti Národní bezpečnostní agentuře (NSA) a Ministerstvu spravedlnosti USA. Žaloba se týká programu sledování NSA; přesněji rozsáhlých aktivit a pozorování internetové komunikace, které často bývá označováno termínem „upstream surveillance”. Cílem Wikimedia Foundation je boj proti masovému sledování, jehož konec by znamenal ochranu práv uživatelů projektu nadace po celém světě. Osm dalších organizací se přidalo k žalobě. Jsou zastoupeni Americkým svazem pro občanské svobody (ACLU).  Text žaloby je veřejně k dispozici.

Jimbo Wales, zakladatel Wikipedie, uvedl k této skutečnosti následující: „Žalobu jsme podali za naše čtenáře a editory z celého světa. Rozsáhlá sledování narušují původní záměr fungování internetu: Otevřený prostor, kde je možné spolupracovat i experimentovat a kde strach nemá své místo.”

Soukromí ja základem osobní svobody. Univerzální právo, které doplňuje svobodu projevu a shromáždění. Na jejich základě je možná diskuze, dialog a svobodná tvorba – klíčové prvky vize hnutí Wikimedia, jež vyjadřuje právo všech na přístup k veškerému lidskému vědění. Podrývání těchto práv znamená také ohrožení cílů hnutí. Pokud by lidé museli zpozornět vždy předtím, než začnou vyhledávat informace na internetu, rozmýšleli si přispívání do kontroverzních článků Wikipedie nebo se zdráhali sdílet důvěryhodné, ale nepopulární informace, byla by Wikipedie i svět o mnoho chudší.

V roce 2013 se na světlo světa dostaly aktivity Národní bezpečnostní agentury a komunita okolo Wikimedia zpozorněla. V loňském roce nadace Wikimedia Foundation zahájila dialog s Americkým svazem pro občanské svobody v souvislosti s možností podání žaloby na NSA a další subjekty.

Žaloba se soustředí na praxi „upstream surveillance”, kterou umožnil zákon Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act (FAA), schválený v roce 2008. Spočívá ve sledování komunikace internetové páteře, a to především osob, které nejsou občany USA. „Tento zákon povoluje shromažďovat veškerou komunikaci, spadá-li do široké kategorie informací pro zahraniční rozvědky. Umožňuje sledovat v podstatě jakékoliv informace, které lze interpretovat jako významné z hlediska národní bezpečnosti nebo mezinárodních vztahů. Výsledkem několika let trvající praxe bylo vybudování rozsáhlé sítě informací, mnohdy takových, které se netýkají žádného možného „cíle”, nebo vztahujících se ke komunikaci občanů USA. Například i pracovníků nadace Wikimedia Foundation a uživatelů projektů nadace.

Výkonná ředitelka nadace Wikimedia Foundation, Lila Tretikov, k této skutečnosti uvedla: „Odposloucháváním internetové páteře Národní bezpečnostní agentura přiškrcuje páteř demokracii. Wikipedie je postavena na svobodě vyjadřování, diskuze a informací. Porušováním soukromí uživatelů našich projektů ohrožuje NSA svobody klíčové pro schopnost lidí vytvářet a porozumět vědění.”

Národní bezpečnostní agentura interpretovala FAA jako možnost, která ji otevírá dveře zcela volně identifikovat cíle, sledovat lidi, organizace a skupiny bez ohledu na jejich proporcionální význam ve společnosti. Věříme tomu, že současná praxe Národní bezpečnostní agentury překračuje již tak široké pravomoce amerického Kongresu. Navíc se tímto domníváme, že dochází k porušování prvního dodatku ústavy Spojených států, který se zabývá svobodou projevu a shromažďování a čtvrtého dodatku, který chrání před neodůvodnitelným sledováním a pronásledováním.

Wikipedie je historicky nejrozsáhlejším kolaborativním projektem v oblasti sdílení svobodného vědění. Představuje zhmotnění všeho, čeho lze dosáhnout, jsou-li možnosti spolupráce otevřeny a nespoutány strachem. Za posledních 14 let napsali wikipedisté přes 34 milionů článků v 288 různých jazycích. Každý měsíc k informacím Wikipedie přistupuje zhruba půl miliardy lidí z téměř z každé země na světě. Tvoří dohromady oddanou komunitu lidí, které spojuje vášeň pro šíření vědomostí. Jejich odhodlanost dokázala, že projekt Wikipedie může fungovat. Především kvůli nim jsme proto dnes podali tuto žalobu.

Další informace k tomuto tématu byly zveřejněny v tiskové zprávě, kterou spolu napsala výkonná ředitelka nadace Wikimedia Foundation Lila Tretikov a zakladatel největší online encyklopedie, Jimbo Wales. Zpráva rovněž vyšla v deníku New York Times.

by Jan Loužek at March 16, 2015 08:39 PM

February 28, 2015

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

V Národní knihovně proběhl první wiki-workshop pro knihovníky

Kurz pro knihovníky v Národní knihovně

Kurz pro knihovníky v Národní knihovně

Ve spolupráci s Národní knihovnou České republiky uspořádal spolek Wikimedia ČR kurz Wikipedie pro knihovníky. Po vyhlášení termínu jsme nemuseli na ohlasy čekat příliš dlouho – kapacita učebny byla zaplněna během pouhé hodiny. Už v průběhu přednášky – která se týkala Wikipedie a zahrnovala i praktický kurz editování – jsme se rozhodli, že akci zopakujeme a zorganizujeme i pokročilý kurz pro zájemce z prvního kola.

Workshop se konal 26. února 2015 v počítačové učebně v komplexu budov Karolina v Národní knihovně. Začal úvodní přednáškou Michala Reitera, našeho bývalého předsedy rady, o principech Wikipedie a mechanismech, díky nimž tato encyklopedie funguje. Následovala přednáška Vojtěcha Dostála –  mj. koordinátora projektu Studenti píší Wikipedii. Vojtěch se zaměřil na úspěšné projekty spolupráce Wikipedie a knihoven, které se v minulosti odehrály ve světě i u nás. Došla řada i na český projekt Senioři píší Wikipedii, který běží v Městské knihovně v Praze a má velký zájem expandovat do regionů. Právě tento projekt byl důvodem, proč se mnoho z knihovníků rozhodlo kurzu zúčastnit – v regionech je velký zájem vytvářet zajímavou náplň činnosti pro místní seniory a podle knihoven by se Wikipedie mohla u seniorů ujmout. My si to také myslíme a dokonce se domníváme, že knihovníci by mohli tyto kurzy časem sami vést. Proto v třetí části dne probíhal praktický kurz editování, který vedl Vojtěch Veselý, koordinátor programu Senioři píší Wikipedii. Vojtěch je zkušeným lektorem Wikipedie, který ji už vysvětlil desítkám seniorů na jeho kurzech v Praze a ví, jak na to. Účastníci se tedy na Wikipedii pod jeho taktovkou zaregistrovali, naučili se diskutovat a vytvářet první články na svém „pískovišti“.

Kurz pro knihovníky v Národní knihovně

Kurz pro knihovníky v Národní knihovně

Mezi účastníky bylo široké spektrum různých typů knihoven: od všeobecných (Městská knihovna Strakonice, Sedlčany, Český Krumlov) po více specializované (Severočeská vědecká knihovna, Knihovna AV ČR, Knihovna geologie UK). Celkem jsme přednáškou dostali příležitost oslovit 15 institucí; prostřednictvím posluchačů doufáme, že se informace o Wikipedii budou šířit i mezi jejich kolegy. Čtrnáct účastníků se přihlásilo do našeho kurzového rozhraní; následně během kurzu přidali (zejména do svých pískovišť) celkem asi 11 000 bajtů textu. Každý účastník provedl průměrně 10 editací, což je dost na to, abychom je mohli považovat za poučené začátečníky na Wikipedii.

Ti, kteří se do kurzu z kapacitních důvodů nedostali, nemusí zoufat. Rádi bychom přednášku ještě dvakrát zopakovali v dalších měsících – intenzívně hledáme termíny. Z 45 takových účastníků následně 15 dostane možnost přijít na pokročilý kurz Wikipedie, který půjde více do hloubky. Doufáme, že se mezi těmito patnácti najdou tací, kteří následně budou Wikipedii editovat sami, bez naší pomoci, a navíc ji ve svých regionech i vyučovat.

by Vojtěch Dostál at February 28, 2015 08:50 AM

February 26, 2015

* Wikimedia Česká republika *

Wiki miluje památky v roce 2014 – o třetinu více fotek

Na podzim 2014 pořádal spolek Wikimedia již třetí ročník fotografické soutěže Wiki miluje památky v ČR. Jaký byl její průběh a jak to celé dopadlo? Úspěchem ještě před započetím soutěže bylo získání finanční podpory ve výší 50 000 od Nadačního Fondu AVAST, jež nám umožnila rozšířit rámec projektu mimo samotné zářijové období soutěže.

I díky tomu jsme pro Wikipedii získali výtečné fotografy se skvělými snímky – například fotografie pana Jiřího Straška z Klatov se umístily mezi deseti prvními snímky čtyřikrát. Přečtěte si rozhovor s autorem vítězných snímků.

Trocha statistik: soutěž probíhala od 1. do 30. září; během této doby nahráli účastníci v českém kole celkem 8589 fotografií, což je 33% nárůst oproti roku 2013. Z globálního hlediska představuje český příspěvek 2,88 %. Do soutěže se zapojilo celkem 249 účastníků (z toho většina v tomto ročníku poprvé), což je také výrazné zlepšení oproti roku 2013 se 167 účastníky.

Po skončení soutěže bylo na Wikimedia Commons nafoceno 59 % všech českých památek, což nedosahuje námi očekávaných 65 %; nárůst z 51% od začátku projektu je přesto velmi cenný. Vysvětlením je, že fotografové se více soustředili na přefocení již vyfotografovaných objektů ve vyšší kvalitě, což se potvrdilo i u vítězných fotografií (hrady Švihov, Kašperk, Frýdštejn, …). Vítězné snímky z českého kola si můžete prohlédnout zde.

Vítězná fotografie: podzimní hrad Kašperk. Autor Jiří Strašek, CC-BY-SA 4.0


Oceněno bylo 5 nejlepších snímků v hlavní kategorii a 10 snímků postoupilo do mezinárodního kola soutěže. Specialitou letošního roku byla zvláštní kategorie snímků lázeňských památek u příležitosti Roku lázeňské architektury. Do této kategorie bylo přihlášeno celkem 257 fotografií a autoři tří vítězných snímků obdrželi věcné ceny věnované partnery kategorie. Další ocenění dále získala nejlepší fotografie ze Slezského regionu. Vyhlášení vítězů soutěže se konalo na brněnské Wikikonferenci v listopadu 2014.

Jak už ale bylo řečeno, soutěž nebyla jen o posílání snímků. Tentokráte jsme se zaměřili více na propagaci a pomoc začínajícím přispěvatelům; 7. září  jsme v sídle Wikimedia ČR uspořádali workshop pro začínající a mírně pokročilé fotografy – potenciální účastníky soutěže. Okolí kanceláře spolku na Praze 10 poskytlo příhodné prostory a budovy pro výuku architektonické fotografie. Školení bylo zaměřeno jak na samotný proces pořizovaní fotografií, tak na jejich následné zpracování. Celkem se workshopu zúčastnilo 12 fotografů + 3 lektoři. Tito účastníci posléze přispěli do soutěže 448 fotografiemi. Bonusem je, že tito nyní vyškolení fotografové budou i nadále přispívat do našich dalších programů, kde je správné zachycení architektonických objektů velmi důležité, například “Fotografie českých obcí”.

Dalším krokem k propagaci soutěže a Wikimedia se stalo vytvoření výstavy vítězných fotografií z českých i zahraničních kol soutěže. Výstava obsahuje celkem 20 fotografií s popiském, který je vybaven QR kódem, jež odkazuje na článek o vyfoceném objektu na Wikipedii. K výstavě dále patří 3 panely informující o soutěži, principu Wikimedia Commons, psaní článků na Wikipedii a o spolku Wikimedia ČR. Výstava je k dispozici k zapůjčení – máte Vy, či Vaše instituce vhodné prostory k jejímu umístění? Ozvěte se nám!


Putovní výstava fotografií ze soutěže. Autor snímku: Honza Groh, CC-BY-SA 4.0

Soutěž se konala pod záštitou Národního památkového ústavu a Slezského zemského muzea. Partnery soutěže byli Nadační fond AVAST, nakladatelství Foibos BOOKS, firmy AARON a FotoŠkoda a mediálním partnerem portál ProPamátky. Všem partnerům a zúčastněným institucím děkujeme za podporu.

V neposlední řadě děkujeme editorům Wikipedie za pomoc při běhu soutěže a všem účastníkům soutěže za krásné fotografie. Doufáme, že zachováte Wikipedii přízeň i nadále!

by Milada Moudrá at February 26, 2015 03:10 PM

August 20, 2014


Zásada pro chování wikisprávců: Komunikovat a být otevřený

Danny B. je zasloužilý, zkušený a technicky nesmírně zdatný wikipedista. Využívat jeho služby by mělo být radostí pro každý wikiprojekt. Bohužel, mít ho jako správce je problém ve chvíli, když se najde v komunitě někdo, kdo se s ním neshodne. Danny B. totiž někdy využívá své znalosti a svá práva k vytvoření toho, co se jemu líbí, k ostatním požadavkům se někdy nehlásí, ignoruje je a jindy je

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at August 20, 2014 11:32 PM

Užitečnost, odbornost, Wikiverzita : 2. díl : Sebevzdělávání

Snad může někomu přijít divné, že má vůbec smysl psát o sebevzdělávání na Wikiverzitě, když jsem minule tak zdůrazňoval, aby Wikiverzita přinášela odbornost a druhými využitelný obsah. Vždyť kdo se sebevzdělává, dělá to proto, že není odborník, a dělá to sám pro sebe. Ve skutečnosti je na tyto dva požadavky – na odbornost a na tvorbu pro druhé – třeba myslet i zde, a právě pro ten paradox ještě

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at August 20, 2014 11:12 PM

Užitečnost, odbornost, Wikiverzita : 3. díl : Výzkum

Výzkum je zvláštností Wikiverzity. Ne-li všechny, pak naprostá většina ostatních projektů Wikimedia se originálnímu výzkumu (terminologií Wikipedie vlastnímu výzkumu) brání. Pro Wikiverzitu by ale měl být přirozenou součástí. Jak by ale měl vypadat? Než začnu, dovolte mi prosím uvést, že tento text nepíšu jako pojednání o vědecké metodě, ale jako zcela nesoustavný text z povšechně dostupných

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at August 20, 2014 11:12 PM

August 14, 2014

Okinovo Okýnko

Wikipedie: otevřenost a zodpovědnost

Nedávná myšlenka vyslovená spoluzakladatelem Wikipedie Jimbem Walesem v diskusi na Wikiverzitě:„Be careful about valuing 'openness' above quality and the achievement of serious goals. Take a look at how badly trolls can upset and ruin a culture. I absolutely support openness - in a framework of quality and thoughtfulness.“Čili česky:„Buďte opatrní, když dáváte větší hodnotu otevřenosti nad

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at August 14, 2014 12:15 AM

August 12, 2014


Užitečnost, odbornost, Wikiverzita : 1. díl : Vzdělávání

Už je to skoro rok, co jsem dostal jako redaktor bulletinu Wikimedium k publikování materiál o tom, že na Wikiverzitě začali uklízet, aby se zvýšila její úroveň. Právě kvalita materiálů na Wikiverzitě je často terčem kritiky od přispěvatelů z jiných projektů Wikimedia, a to jak v případě anglické Wikiverzity, tak i české. Od té doby, co jsem ten materiál do Wikimedia převzal a bulletin ho tedy

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at August 12, 2014 12:01 AM

July 15, 2014

Okinovo Okýnko

O objektivitě a neobjektivitě na Wikipedii, viděno na konkrétním příkladu

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

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

July 07, 2014

Okinovo Okýnko

Jak na oborová kritéria významnosti na Wikipedii

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

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

January 29, 2014


Zneužil jsem práva správce! Opravdu?

Prosím, nepřehlédněte prosbu na konci tohoto blogu. Děkuji. Ano, podle všeho jsem se na Wikizprávách pohyboval na samé hraně zneužití práv správce. K situaci došlo tak, že jsem se stal terčem nových a nových nepravdivých tvrzení, kterými Lenka64 očerňovala mou mnoho měsíců vykonávanou práci na Wikizprávách. Když Lenka64 nebyla svá tvrzení schopná doložit, nijak neustoupila, naopak přidala ještě

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at January 29, 2014 10:49 AM

January 01, 2014


Wikizprávy a statistika

„Statistika nuda je, má však cenné údaje...“ V roce 2013 vzniklo na českých Wikizprávách 120 zpráv. Je to nejslabší rok od vzniku Wikizpráv. Poslední pololetí bylo s 39 zprávami daleko nejhorší v historii, téměř o polovinu horší než před dosavadní rekord před rokem. To vše přesto, že do tohoto čtvrtletí patřil i nejlepší měsíc tohoto roku listopad (s 27 zprávami, to je skoro čtvrtina celého

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at January 01, 2014 10:14 PM

October 20, 2013


Probudí se Wikizprávy z komatu? Čekají na správné lidi. Co třeba na vás?

Pouhých pět zpráv přibylo na české Wikizprávy v průběhu třetího čtvrtletí tohoto roku. Přestože letní měsíce byly pravidelně problematické (k poklesu oproti předchozímu čtvrtletí došlo vždy v předchozích třech letech), výsledkem je daleko nejhorší čtvrtletí od založení Wikizpráv, pětkrát menší než dosavadní rekord. Dosavadní minima byla tato: 26 zpráv - I. čtvrtletí 2013 29 zpráv - I.

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at October 20, 2013 10:42 PM

August 29, 2013


Ještě smutnější pohled na Wikizprávy

Pohled na Wikizprávy je ještě smutnější než před časem. Titulní zpráva stará dva měsíce, v přehledu aktuálních zpráv vůbec nic - ono tam nic být ani nemůže, protože za poslední měsíc na Wikizprávách vznikly dvě nové zprávy... To je výsledek činnosti lidí, kteří se loni na podzim vyjádřili, že bude nejlepší, když tam nebude nejaktivnější přispěvatel překážet v jejich (ne)činnosti.

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at August 29, 2013 07:12 PM

May 11, 2013


Tohle mne dnes na Wikizprávách opravdu zamrzelo...

Když Danny B. začal v březnu akci za smazání rubrik čili portálů, psal jsem tu už o tom, že to považuji za nesmysl a za důkaz špatného, destruktivního a přehlíživého přístupu k obsahu, který vytvořili ostatní. Přesto akce proběhla bez jakýchkoli námitek tamních současných redaktorů (tamní komunita se opět ztenčila, už tam nepíše ani Tchoř...), portály zmizely z hlavní stránky a byly během dvou

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at May 11, 2013 08:54 PM

Spravedlivý proces

„Obsahem práva na spravedlivý proces samozřejmě není právo na přijetí takového rozhodnutí, se kterým by byl stěžovatel spokojen,“ napsal v usnesení soudce zpravodaj Miloslav Výborný. Není důležité, o čem Ústavní soud rozhodoval (bylo to o vysoké pokutě pro exekutora). Důležité je, aby si to uvědomili i všichni arbitři a wikipedisté, pokud se na arbitry obracejí.

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at May 11, 2013 07:53 PM

April 09, 2013


Pohyb na Wikizprávách

Znovu píšu o Wikizprávách. Vzhledem ke kontroverznosti tohoto tématu předem prosím všechny čtenáře, aby tento příspěvek opravdu brali jako pochvalu. Během dvou dnů vzniklo na Wikizprávách (zatím?) pět různých zpráv od čtyř různých autorů. Něco takového Wikizprávy skutečně dlouho nepamatují a je to radost něco takového vidět. Mezitím sice dochází také k pokračování likvidace rubrik=portálů,

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at April 09, 2013 02:31 PM

April 08, 2013

Okinovo Okýnko

Citát z Wikipedie

„Je to dobrovolná aktivita a nic mne nenutí dělat v kolektivu, který mou práci ničí, a nechci ani mlčet k věcem, které ji, dle mého poškozují. To je všechno.“ S podobným zdůvodněním jsem se vzdálil z Wikizpráv, přičemž můj takto zdůvodněný odchod odsoudila mj. Lenka64. Ale tohle přesně nejsou  moje slova. Takhle to řekla Lenka64 dnes na Wikipedii. Shody ve vyjádření a rozdíly v okolnostech si

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at April 08, 2013 12:44 PM

March 28, 2013


Beznaděj z Wikizpráv

Na Wikizprávách se objevil nový redaktor s přezdívkou Cepice. Napsal zprávu o formuli 1, na začátečníka solidní, i když s větším množstvím chyb - překlepů a chyb gramatických, formátovacích i faktických (asi vzniklých překlepem). I kdyby někdo nebyl znalec a nevěděl, jak to je po faktické stránce, na první tři druhy chyb musel přijít snadno každý. Zpráva z neděle přesto zůstala bez povšimnutí

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at March 28, 2013 04:13 PM

March 18, 2013


Další období Wikizpráv - místo pokroku destrukce

Zhruba před dvěma a půl měsíci jsem na tomto blogu hodnotil, jak se Wikizprávám daří po mém odchodu, tedy poté, co jsem ztratil trpělivost s osobními útoky a s ústrky ze strany ostatních redaktorů. Je nejvyšší čas napsat, jak se věc vyvinula dál. Obsah Wikizpráv Tvorba velkých zpráv, která byla vždy považovaná za hlavní účel Wikizpráv, se nadále drží na velmi chabé úrovni. Za oněch 3,5 měsíce

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at March 18, 2013 12:44 PM

Boti, byrokrati a jiná havěť

Danny využil po 1,5 roce práva byrokrata a přidělil na Wikizprávách příznak bota, a to kamarádu Mildovi. Mildovo zdůvodnění bylo velmi stručné a neurčité a vše trvalo půl hodiny. Mně přiděloval příznak bota na opakované žádání, na základě bezprecedentního výslechu a po konzultacích s jinoprojektovými byrokraty celé dva měsíce. Určitý rozdíl samozřejmě v obou žádostech byl - Mildův bot běhá i

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at March 18, 2013 12:00 PM

January 29, 2013

Okinovo Okýnko

Zkušenosti z anglických Wikizpráv II

Předevčírem jsem tu napsal blog o tom, jak se vedlo mnou založené zprávě na anglických Wikizprávách. Po dvou dnech musím dodat, že to s ním dopadlo špatně. Článek nejspíš nikdy nebude zveřejněn jako řádná zpráva. Narazil jsem totiž na již popsaný složitý systém anglických Wikizpráv. V praxi je ale ještě komplikovanější a nezvládnutější, než to vypadalo v teorii a na první pohled. Čekání na

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at January 29, 2013 05:54 PM

Nový rok bez Wikizpráv

Je to něco málo víc než měsíc, co jsem už si řekl dost a odešel na neurčitou dobu z Wikizpráv. Přestalo mne bavit, že jeden redaktor (ale též správce) Tchoř, který sám připouští, že Wikizprávy nepředstavují jeho hlavní zájem, a který za celé své působení napsal jen hrstku překladů zpráv, doporučuje nejpracovitějšímu autorovi, aby odešel, když se mu na Wikizprávách něco nelíbí. Taky mne přestalo

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at January 29, 2013 05:54 PM

Zkušenosti z anglických Wikizpráv

Napsal jsem na anglických Wikizprávách zprávu o zvolení prezidenta České republiky (mimochodem, české Wikizprávy tu zprávu stále ještě nemají). Je to už šestá zpráva, kterou jsem tam napsal (za téměř pět let, takže žádný častý přispěvatel tam rozhodně nejsem). Moje zkušenosti s anglickými Wikizprávami jsou ale stále rozpačitější. Anglické Wikizprávy mají status média, které je agregováno do

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at January 29, 2013 05:53 PM

January 16, 2013

Okinovo Okýnko

Volby arbitrů končí

...a v tuto chvíli jsem přece jen překročil kritéria volitelnosti. Dojmy? Jestli budu slavit? Ne. Je to jen riziko, že se na výbor snese další spousta práce. Navíc - třeba přece jen zvolen nebudu, zbývají čtyři hodiny a stačí jeden dva hlasy proti a jsem ze hry. Totiž, ona to není hra, hra je forma zábavy. Tak jako tak jasně vnímám, že moje podpora se za poslední rok výrazně snížila. Vidím sice

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at January 16, 2013 06:34 PM

January 08, 2013

Okinovo Okýnko

Milda, ufňukaná bába a diskriminace

Milda, dobře známý kamarád a obhájce Dannyho B., ve své kritice vůči mně dále přitvrzuje. Poté, co mne vyzval ke stažení kandidatury ve chvíli, kdy jsem na tom byl lépe než na začátku (a přiznávám, i lépe než teď), nyní mne osočil, že jsem se ve své obraně proti DeeMusilovu úmyslnému nactiutrhání choval jako ufňukaná bába. Jak se to ale shoduje s tou jeho obranou Dannyho B.? Moje identita je na

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at January 08, 2013 12:15 PM

January 06, 2013

Okinovo Okýnko

Arbitrování s intenzivní kritickou zpětnou vazbou

Před třemi dny připsal Milda k mé kandidatuře (k mému potvrzení) na funkci arbitra nelichotivou a lehce pokryteckou poznámku, že by za podobné intenzivní kritické zpětné vazby sám od kandidatury dávno odstoupil. Napsal jsem mu, že nevidím důvod, když kritiků je méně než třetina, tedy méně než je třeba ke zvolení, a že bych tím znevážil hlasy, které mne podporují. Později jsem se ještě víc

by Okino (noreply@blogger.com) at January 06, 2013 08:02 PM

January 03, 2013

Aktron, Juan de Vojníkov, Okino, Petr Kopač