Wikimedia Highlights, September 2012

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Highlights from the Wikimedia Foundation Report and the Wikimedia engineering report for September 2012, with a selection of other important events from the Wikimedia movement

Highlights

The Curation Toolbar, here being used to mark a new article as reviewed and send its author a message

“Page Curation” tools make it easier to review new Wikipedia articles

Every day, thousands of new pages are created on Wikipedia, requiring hundreds of volunteer editors to check them for quality. To make their work easier, the Editor Engagement Team has developed the “Page Curation” feature. It includes two tools:

  • The New Pages Feed, an overview of new pages, annotated with information that helps reviewing them
  • The Curation Toolbar appears next to a new page, offering autoconfirmed editors easy access to various actions, e.g. to mark the new page as reviewed, tag it for quality problems, or nominate it for deletion.

Page Curation was deployed on the English Wikipedia on September 20, and is planned to become available on other projects as well.

Many new Wikipedia editors experience frustration when they start an article that does not meet community expectations and gets deleted. It is hoped that the Page Curation feature will also lead to better feedback for page creators.

New volunteer-based model for distributing donation money launched

Over the last half year, a new model has been established for distributing the donation money raised via Wikimedia project sites. More than $10 million of it will now be allocated based on the recommendations of the new Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC), which consists entirely of volunteers.

Following a public nomination process, the seven voting members of the first FDC have been announced: Arjuna Rao Chavala (India), Dariusz Jemielniak (Poland), Ali Haidar Khan (Bangladesh), Mike Peel (United Kingdom), Yuri Perohanych (Ukraine), Sydney Poore (United States), and Anders Wennersten (Sweden). They are joined by Jan-Bart de Vreede (Netherlands) and Patricio Lorente (Argentina) as non-voting representatives of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. Susana Moraes (Portugal) was appointed as ombudsperson for the FDC process.

The FDC is now reviewing funding requests by 12 organizations, which are open for public comment until October 22.

The Wikimedia Foundation has agreed to host a new travel project site at the request of the Wikimedia community. Unfortunately, on August 29, 2012, Internet Brands, the owner of the Wikitravel website, sued two Wikitravel volunteers, alleging various legal claims. In response, one of the volunteers filed an anti-SLAPP motion, arguing that Internet Brands’s lawsuit sought to suppress his right to discuss the new Wikimedia travel project. The Wikimedia Foundation has also filed a suit against Internet Brands, claiming that it has no right to impede the creation of the new travel project.

Global unique visitors for August:

456.25 million (+0.98% compared with July; +7.92% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release September data later in October)

Page requests for September:

19.1 billion (+5.3% compared with August; +20.9% compared with the previous year)
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including mobile access)

Active Registered Editors for August 2012 (>= 5 mainspace edits/month, excluding bots):

79,572 (-0.74% compared with July / -0.81% compared with the previous year)
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects. Note: We recently refined this metric to take into account Wikimedia Commons and activity across several projects.)

Report Card (integrating various statistical data and trends about WMF projects) for August 2012:

http://reportcard.wmflabs.org/

(Definitions)

Financials

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Revenue and Expenses vs Plan as of August 31, 2012

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Expenses by Functions as of August 31, 2012

(Financial information is only available for August 2012 at the time of this report.)

All financial information presented is for the period July 1, 2012 – August 31, 2012.

Revenue $1,758,126
Expenses:
Technology Group $2,286,158
Fundraiser Group $417,387
Global Development Group $1,110,627
Governance Group $144,825
Finance/HR/Admin Group $864,207
Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications $377,572
Total Expenses $5,200,776
Total surplus/(loss) ($3,442,650)
  • Revenue for the month of August is $1.4MM vs plan of $465K, approximately $946K or 203% over plan, primarily due to the $1.0MM received from the Sloan Foundation.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $1.8MM vs plan of $1.9MM, approximately $0.1MM or 9% under plan.
  • Expenses for the month of August is $2.6MM vs plan of $2.7MM, approximately $0.1MM or 3% under plan, primarily due personnel expenses, internet hosting expenses, travel expenses, capital expenses, and legal expenses partially offset by a grant for the India catalyst program and higher recruiting expenses.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $5.2MM vs plan of $5.9MM, approximately $0.7MM or 12% under plan, primarily due to personnel expenses, internet hosting, travel expenses, capital expenses, legal expenses.
  • Cash position is $21.8MM as of August 31, 2012 which is approximately 6.2 months of expenses.
Play video

Video of the monthly Wikimedia Foundation metrics and activities meeting covering the month of September (October 4, 2012)

Other movement highlights

Al Mac’s Diner-Restaurant – one of the US finalist images for Wiki Loves Monuments

Worldwide Wiki Loves Monuments photo contest with record participation

More than 15,000 people uploaded more than 350,000 images throughout September for Wiki Loves Monuments 2012, the contest focused on free photos of national monuments. The number of photos more than doubled from the 2011 event, which has been officially certified as the largest photo contest in the world by Guinness World Records. The national winning entries have since been announced for the US and other countries, and the worldwide top 12 will be announced in early December.

Conflict of interest discussions

During September, the “wiki-town” projects Monmouthpedia and Gibraltarpedia generated discussion about whether a Wikimedia UK trustee had led them in a way that blurred his roles as a Wikimedia chapter trustee, a paid consultant for the projects’ government partners, and an editor of the English Wikipedia. Wikimedia UK and the Wikimedia Foundation have since jointly appointed an independent expert advisor to review both Wikimedia UK’s governance arrangements and the conflicts of interest related to these projects.

First EduWiki Conference

The University of Leicester, England, saw the first EduWiki Conference, bringing together academics from three continents and Wikimedians to talk about the Wikipedia Education Program and other ways of collaboration. The two-day conference was organized by Wikimedia UK.

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