Wikipedia’s Volunteer Story

What’s happening to Wikipedia’s volunteer community? Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that “Volunteers Log Off as Wikipedia Ages”. The article is a comprehensive description of the challenges and opportunities facing the Wikipedia community. Among other things, it describes recent research findings regarding the number of Wikipedia editors….

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Google experiments with new ways to search Wikipedia

The good folks at Google Custom Search, in cooperation with experienced Wikipedian Mathias Schindler, have developed a “Google Custom Search skin” for Wikipedia that can be activated by following these instructions. In addition to using Google to search for Wikipedia articles, it makes it possible to search linked Wikipedia articles,…

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OpenMoko Launches WikiReader

OpenMoko (Om), a company that previously created an open source smartphone, has just launched The WikiReader, a dedicated reader device with an offline copy of the entire English Wikipedia (without images) stored on a small chip. With two AAA batteries, the WikiReader will run for several months, as it’s been…

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Supporting translatewiki.net

Translatewiki.net is a core part of the MediaWiki ecosystem. While not a Wikimedia Foundation project, it’s used by hundreds of volunteers to improve the localization of MediaWiki and its extensions, alongside other open source projects, which has led to MediaWiki being one of the most internationalized software packages available. We’re…

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A quick update on Flagged Revisions

One of the wonderful characteristics of Wikimedia’s wikis, including Wikipedia, is that every change ever made to a page is recorded, back to the very first version (compare, for example, the first version of the article about chess with the most recent version of the same article). This characteristic also…

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Protecting the public domain and sharing our cultural heritage

Last week, the National Portrait Gallery in London, UK sent a threatening letter to a Wikimedia volunteer regarding the upload of public domain paintings to Wikimedia’s media repository, Wikimedia Commons. The fact that a publicly funded institution sent a threatening letter to a volunteer working to improve a non-profit encyclopedia…

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Ford Foundation Awards $300K Grant for Wikimedia Commons

I’m very happy to announce that the Ford Foundation has awarded a USD 300,000 grant to the Wikimedia Foundation to improve our interfaces and workflows for multimedia uploading. See the press release and the grant proposal as submitted (PDF). This should give you a good idea about what we can…

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Licensing update rolled out in all Wikimedia wikis

On June 15, the site-footer and various other messages in the English Wikipedia were changed to reflect the licensing change that the Wikimedia community overwhelmingly approved last month: from the GNU Free Documentation License as the primary content license to the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License (CC-BY-SA). Creative Commons founder…

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Welcome to Steve Kent

On Monday, Steve Kent will be joining the Wikimedia Foundation team as the Head of Office IT Support. Steve will take the IT support torch from Ariel as well as incorporating some new responsibilities that were previously shared by other staff. Ariel’s responsibilities will shift to software development work. Steve…

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Scholarly community gives feedback regarding Wikipedia

In February, the Wikimedia Foundation ran a survey with support from the Public Library of Science to explore the attitudes and beliefs of the open access scientific community with regard to Wikipedia. The open access movement is dedicated to the free dissemination of scientific knowledge. PLoS and other open access…

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