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News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

Wikimedia Highlights, June 2013

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

Highlights from the Wikimedia Foundation Report and the Wikimedia engineering report for June 2013, with a selection of other important events from the Wikimedia movement

Wikimedia Foundation highlights

First workshop on how to evaluate the success of organized Wikimedia activites

On June 22–23, the first workshop on the design and evaluation of programs (organized activities) in the Wikimedia movement took place. The event was held Budapest, Hungary by the Wikimedia Foundation, in partnership with Wikimedia Magyarország, the local chapter. The workshop brought together 21 program leaders from 15 countries to learn the basic concepts of program evaluation. The success of the workshop itself was evaluated, too: Surveys before and after the workshop showed that a majority of the participants left with a better understanding of these terms and concepts.

One of the tasks made easier by VisualEditor: References can now be edited and added in a format that is more convenient than the <ref> tags in the middle of the page’s source wikitext.

Preparations for the launch of VisualEditor and Universal Language Selector

In June, work was completed on major new features for VisualEditor (the visual interface to edit wiki pages without markup), in preparation for its launch for all logged-in editors on the English Wikipedia on July 1. It is becoming available to most other Wikipedians during the rest of July.

Also in June, the Universal Language Selector began to be deployed to all Wikimedia projects. It allows users to configure language settings like interface language, fonts, and input methods (keyboard mappings) in a flexible way. By July 1, it was available on more than 150 wikis.

Universal Language Selector: A logged-in user is choosing the language which they prefer for the interface menus on the English Wikipedia

Community input invited for privacy policy update

In preparation for an update of the Wikimedia Foundation’s privacy policy (the first since 2008), the Legal and Community Advocacy (LCA) team has invited participation in a community discussion period, lasting until July 18. The goal was to get initial input about what privacy concerns community members have, what they find important, and what they would like to see in the next version of the privacy policy. The community was also asked to provide input on practices regarding the Wikimedia trademarks.

Global unique visitors for May:

522 million (+0.97% compared with April; +5.97% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release June data later in July)

Page requests for June:

21.1 billion (+0.7% compared with May; +17.1% compared with the previous year)
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including mobile access)

Active Registered Editors for May 2013 (>= 5 mainspace edits/month, excluding bots):

80,611 (-0.19% compared with April / -1.92% compared with the previous year)
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects.)

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

http://reportcard.wmflabs.org/

(Definitions)

Financials

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Revenue and Expenses vs Plan as of May 31, 2013

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Expenses by Functions as of May 31, 2013

(Financial information is only available through May 2013 at the time of this report.)

All financial information presented is for the Month-To-Date and Year-To-Date May 31, 2013.

Revenue $50,559,430
Expenses:
Engineering Group $13,523,471
Fundraiser Group $3,265,731
Grantmaking & Programs Group $8,284,686
Governance Group $692,321
Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group $2,777,192
Finance/HR/Admin Group $5,272,075
Total Expenses $33,815,476
Total surplus $16,743,954
  • Revenue for the month of May is $0.12MM versus plan of $0.28MM, approximately $159K or 57% under plan.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $50.56MM versus plan of $45.79MM, approximately $4.77MM or 10% over plan.
  • Expenses for the month of May is $2.97MM versus plan of $4.01MM, approximately $1.04MM or 26% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, internet hosting, and grant expenses (FDC grants) partially offset by higher capital expenses, outside contract services, and travel expenses.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $33.82MM versus plan of $38.08MM, approximately $4.26MM or 11% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, internet hosting, grant expenses (FDC grants), and travel expenses partially offset by higher legal expenses, bank fees, outside contract services, and personal property tax expenses.
  • Cash position is $42.7MM as of May 31, 2013.

Other movement highlights

María Sefidari

Phoebe Ayers

Election results for Board and FDC

The results of the 2013 Wikimedia movement elections were announced on June 24. Two new members will join the Wikimedia Foundation’s Board of Trustees in August: María Sefidari (User:Raystorm) and Phoebe Ayers (User:phoebe, who had already served as chapter-selected Trustee from 2010 to 2012). Samuel Klein (User:Sj) was re-elected.

For the first time, elections were held for two seats on the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC), which was formed last year to guide the distribution of donation money to organizations in the Wikimedia movement. Delphine Ménard (User:notafish) and Cristian Consonni (User:CristianCantoro) are joining the seven volunteer committee members that were appointed previously. The elections also confirmed Susana Morais (User:Lusitana) in her role as FDC ombudsperson.

1809 valid votes were recorded, compared to ca. 3368 in the 2011 elections.

“Flow Funding” supports aerial photographs of Hamburg from a hot air balloon

The “Dammtorwall” street in Hamburg

Entrance building to the Old Elbe tunnnel

Wikipedians preparing for the balloon ride

On June 8, five Wikipedians took a photo flight over Hamburg, Germany on board a hot air balloon that had been rented specifically for this project. Over 2000 photos were uploaded to Commons as result of the project. Compared to airplanes, the slower speed and lower flight altitude of balloons offer advantages for the aerial photography of cities.

In her (English-language) project report, the project organizer shared 20 (positive and negative) lessons learned. Successor projects for balloon flights over other German cities are already being planned.

The project was one of the first financed as part of the “Flow Funding” experiment. Flow Funding is a decentralized process where experienced community members are entrusted with making decisions about the funding of activities that support the Wikimedia mission. In the pilot phase, each Flow Funding member could allocate between USD500 and USD2,000. The Wikimedia Foundation then transfers these amounts directly to the grant recipient selected by the Flow Funding member.

Scientific drawing of the extinct giant fossa (Cryptoprocta spelea), uploaded as part of the wikiArS project

Art and design students illustrate Wikipedia

Logo of the wikiArS initiative

In June, several students participating in the ongoing wikiArS initiative uploaded their works to Commons. The idea behind wikiArS is that students from art and design schools create illustrations for Wikipedia articles, such as drawings of notable people or extinct animals, or animations explaining physical phenomena. wikiArS was started in 2011 by Catalan Wikimedians, and has been supported by an Individual Engagement Grant (IEG) from the Wikimedia Foundation since earlier this year.

Offline Wikipedia for prisoners

Since March 2013, inmates of the Bellevue prison in Gorgier, Switzerland can request access to an uncensored offline copy of the French Wikipedia, based on the Kiwix software. Internet access is severely restricted for the prisoners, most of whom serve long-term sentences. But 18 of them own or rent a computer, and they all made use of the Wikipedia offer. The project was organized by the Swiss Wikimedia chapter together with a volunteer Wikimedian, in collaboration with the prison staff. The chapter reports very positive feedback from the project participants, and high interest from Swiss media.

2013-07-20: Edit to correct “compared with May” into “compared with April” in the “Data and Trends” section (twice)

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