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News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

WMF monthly reports

Wikimedia Highlights, January 2014

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 January 2014, with a selection of other important events from the Wikimedia movement

Wikimedia Foundation highlights

New community-centered trademark policy

After a seven-month long community consultation, the Foundation’s legal team concluded work on the new trademark policy. The community discussion, which had more words than The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, resulted in a policy that is unconventional in how it provides liberal use of the Wikimedia marks, while maintaining legal protection. The final policy was approved by the Board of Trustees on February 1, effective immediately.

After one year, Individual Engagement Grants demonstrate potential for impact

Projects from the first round of IEGs

One year after Individual Engagement Grants program was launched in January 2013, the Foundation’s Learning & Evaluation team completed an impact assessment of the projects funded in the first round. One of the projects, The Wikipedia Library, generated $279,000 worth in donations from commercial research database providers, enabling Wikipedia editors to use high quality sources for free. At a grant cost of only $7,500, this represents a 37x return on investment. Another project, on generating publicity in China for Wikipedia, gained 10,000 followers for a new Wikipedia account on social networking site Weibo (25% of whom are women). Applications for the first round of 2014 start in March.

Multimedia vision for 2016, and request for comment on MP4 video

Video explaining the multimedia vision for 2016 ((slides)

The Foundation’s recently formed Multimedia team presented a multimedia vision for 2016. It is a scenario describing possible new tools for collaborating on multimedia on Commons, Wikipedia and other projects. The team invited community feedback on these ideas.

Separately, the multimedia team started a request for comment (RfC) on whether to support video files in the MP4 format on Wikimedia sites, in addition to the existing software support for the free formats Ogg Theora and WebM. Currently, only about 0.2% of the around 20 million files on Commons are videos, and it is assumed that MP4 support would make uploading and viewing videos much easier for many users, especially on some mobile devices that cannot play videos in the existing free formats. However, MP4 is a proprietary format covered by patents. Most users in the RfC preferred not to support MP4, maintaining the current practice of only using free formats.

New search engine

A new search infrastructure is being rolled out out to all Wikimedia wikis. It is based on the existing open-source software “Elasticsearch”, instead of the “Lucene-search” software that was written especially for MediaWiki. “Lucene-search” has worked well on Wikimedia sites for around 8 years, but developed some technical problems in 2013. The new search system for MediaWiki is called “CirrusSearch“. Its search results will reflect page updates much quicker than the old system. The text of templates in an article will now be found too, and some new search options were added. CirrusSearch is first becoming available as an optional Beta feature (see the timeline).

Data and Trends

(more…)

Wikimedia Foundation Report, January 2014

Information You are more than welcome to edit the wiki version of this report for the purposes of usefulness, presentation, etc., and to add translations of the “Highlights” excerpts.

Data and Trends

2013 traffic trends (presentation slides)

Global unique visitors for December:

490 million (-7.98% compared with November; +3.73% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release January data later in February)

Page requests for January:

20.678 billion (+13.2% compared with December; -7.0% compared with the previous year)
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation content projects including mobile access, but excluding Wikidata and the Wikipedia main portal page.)

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

75,441 (+0.99% compared with November / -2.72% 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 December 31, 2013

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

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

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

Revenue 34,750,758
Expenses:
 Engineering Group 7,818,380
 Fundraising Group 2,267,144
 Grantmaking Group 838,068
 Programs Group 866,479
 Grants 1,289,803
 Governance Group 377,413
 Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group 1,752,003
 Finance/HR/Admin Group 3,566,318
Total Expenses 18,775,608
Total surplus (15,975,150)
in US dollars
  • Revenue for the month of December is $20.14MM versus plan of $19.61MM, approximately $535K or 3% over plan.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $34.75MM versus plan of $36.32MM, approximately $1.57MM or 4% under plan.
  • Expenses for the month of December is $3.65MM versus plan of $4.43MM, approximately $778K or 18% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, payment processing fees, and travel expenses partially offset by higher outside contract services.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $18.78MM versus plan of $22.86MM, approximately $4.08MM or 18% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, legal fees, payment processing fees, staff development expenses, and travel expenses partially offset by higher outside contract services and recruiting fees.
  • Cash position is $55.34MM as of December 31, 2013.

Highlights

New community-centered trademark policy

(more…)

Wikimedia Highlights, December 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 December 2013, with a selection of other important events from the Wikimedia movement

Wikimedia Foundation highlights

The new “editing Wikipedia” brochure

New brochure explains how to edit Wikipedia

The Education Program team completed work on an entirely new version of the Welcome to Wikipedia brochure (now titled “Editing Wikipedia“). It is also available for translation into other languages.

“Drafts” feature provides a gentler start for Wikipedia articles

In December, the new Draft namespace was launched on the English Wikipedia, as requested by the local community. It gives all users (registered or anonymous) the option to start new articles as a draft, instead of publishing them immediately (which can carry the risk that the new article is nominated for deletion before it can be improved). Drafts are marked by a “Draft:” in the page title, and are not visible to search engines.

Paul Kikuba is leading an IEG project to set up a Wikipedia center in the village of Mbazzi, Uganda

Recipients of Annual Plan Grants (FDC) and Individual Engagements Grants (IEG) announced

In December, 11 Wikimedia organizations were awarded annual plan grants totaling $4.4M, following the recommendations of the volunteer-run Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) in the first round of requests for 2013/2014. The approved amount was lower than the overall requested amount of US$5.94M, affirming the FDC’s guidance to the organizations to be thoughtful about growth.

Also in December, the selection of seven projects for the second round of Individual Engagements grants (IEG) was announced. They focus on activities from outreach to tool-building, all aimed at connecting and supporting the community.

Successful year-end online fundraising campaign

The WMF fundraising team ran the year-end online fundraising campaign in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Roughly $18.7 million USD was raised from more than one million donors in December. During the two weeks when the campaign ran at full capacity, the team created and tested approximately 250 different banners. Banners will be run in other countries and languages throughout 2014.

Data and Trends

Global unique visitors for November:

(more…)

Wikimedia Foundation Report, December 2013

Information You are more than welcome to edit the wiki version of this report for the purposes of usefulness, presentation, etc., and to add translations of the “Highlights” excerpts.

Contents

Data and Trends

Global unique visitors for November:

533 million (+9.95% compared with October; +0.42% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release December data later in January)

Page requests for December:

18.270 billion (-4.0% compared with November; -9.4% compared with the previous year)
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including mobile access)

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

74,803 (-1.33% compared with October / -4.88% 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 November 30, 2013

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Expenses by Functions as of November 30, 2013

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

All financial information presented is for the Month-To-Date and Year-To-Date November 30, 2013.

Revenue 14,609,876
Expenses:
Engineering Group 6,589,458
Fundraising Group 1,439,053
Grantmaking Group 720,055
Programs Group 723,516
Grants 950,624
Governance Group 302,012
Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group 1,367,697
Finance/HR/Admin Group 3,029,513
Total Expenses 15,121,928
Total deficit (512,052)
in US dollars
  • Revenue for the month of November is $2.96MM versus plan of $8.83MM, approximately $5.87MM or 66% under plan.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $14.61MM versus plan of $16.71MM, approximately $2.1MM or 13% under plan.
  • Expenses for the month of November is $2.89MM versus plan of $3.73MM, approximately $844K or 23% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, payment processing fees, and travel expenses partially offset by higher outside contract services and recruiting expenses.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $15.12MM versus plan of $18.43MM, approximately $3.31MM or 18% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, legal fees, payment processing fees, staff development expenses, and travel expenses partially offset by higher outside contract services and recruiting fees.
  • Cash position is $38.8MM as of November 30, 2013.

Highlights

The new “editing Wikipedia” brochure

New brochure explains how to edit Wikipedia

(more…)

Wikimedia Highlights, November 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 November 2013, with a selection of other important events from the Wikimedia movement

Wikimedia Foundation highlights

Duration of edit-a-thons: 91% lasted less than 8 hours

New support material for program organizers: Evaluation report about edit-a-thons, and a pattern library

A new report about edit-a-thons includes data from 46 events between February 2012 and October 2013. It starts a series of seven reports about the most common types of programs executed by Wikimedia program leaders around the world, authored by the Wikimedia Foundation’s Program Evaluation and Design team. This is the first time that such an analysis compares the outcomes of a specific program to its costs. Among the many findings of this report is that edit-a-thons with a small budget can be as productive as events with a large budget.

In the new learning pattern library on Meta, Wikimedians can share what they learn about organizing activities like edit-a-thons, GLAM collaborations, gender gap outreach, or Wiki Loves Monuments. Each pattern includes a description of a common problem, and instructions for solving it.

Screenshot of the new Beta Features preferences page

“Beta Features” option allows users to test upcoming software changes

A new “Beta Features” section has been added to the user preferences menu, allowing logged-in editors to test upcoming software changes and give feedback to the developers, before these features become available for everyone.

Open Source Language Summit in Pune, India

Together with Red Hat, the Wikimedia Foundation’s language engineering team organized the fall 2013 Open Source Language Summit in Pune, India. It was also attended by members of the VisualEditor and Mobile teams. Session topics included:

  • improving the support for fonts (in particular in Indic languages)
  • input methods for entering characters that are not available on a user’s keyboard
  • the Language Coverage Matrix Dashboard, which displays how a language is supported on Wikimedia projects
  • a prototype for a user interface for translating Wikipedia articles and other content

OAuth extension makes it easier to use third-party editing tools

All Wikimedia wikis now support OAuth, an open standard that allows users to authorize third-party software tools to carry out actions on the wiki on their behalf, without handing over their user password. Among the first tools that use this new feature is “CropTool“, which allows users to crop images on Wikimedia Commons.

  • A visualization of the interaction between a third-party tool (left), the wiki and the user under the OAuth protocol
  • OAuth-metrics-20131107.pdf
  • OAuth-metrics-20131107.pdf
  • OAuth-metrics-20131107.pdf

Data and Trends

Global unique visitors for October:

530 million (+4.86% compared with September; +8.62% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release November data later in December)

(more…)

Wikimedia Foundation Report, November 2013

Information You are more than welcome to edit the wiki version of this report for the purposes of usefulness, presentation, etc., and to add translations of the “Highlights” excerpts.

Contents

Data and Trends

Global unique visitors for October:

530 million (+4.86% compared with September; +8.62% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release November data later in December)

Page requests for November:

19.039 billion (+1.2% compared with October; -6.4% compared with the previous year)
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including mobile access. Note: the numbers previously reported for the months of July to October 2013 have been corrected.)

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

75,964 (-0.99% compared with September / -3.83% 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 October 31, 2013

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

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

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

Revenue $11,646,366
Expenses:
Engineering Group $5,379,535
Fundraising Group $1,097,830
Grantmaking Group $556,471
Programs Group $573,291
Grants $857,473
Governance Group $221,061
Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group $1,058,063
Finance/HR/Admin Group $2,490,383
Total Expenses $12,234,107
Total deficit ($587,741)
  • Revenue for the month of October is $3.78MM versus plan of $4.91MM, approximately $1.13MM or 23% under plan.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $11.65MM versus plan of $7.88MM, approximately $3.77MM or 48% over plan.
  • Expenses for the month of October is $2.84MM versus plan of $3.52MM, approximately $680K or 19% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, legal fees, payment processing fees, and travel expenses partially offset by higher grants and recruiting expenses.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $12.23MM versus plan of $14.70MM, approximately $2.47MM or 17% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, legal fees, grants, staff development expenses, and travel expenses partially offset by higher payment processing fees.
  • Cash position is $38.61MM as of October 31, 2013.

Highlights

Duration of edit-a-thons: 91% lasted less than 8 hours

New support material for program organizers: Evaluation report about edit-a-thons, and a pattern library

(more…)

Wikimedia Highlights, October 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 October 2013, with a selection of other important events from the Wikimedia movement

Wikimedia Foundation highlights

Pilot project for free mobile access to Wikipedia via text messages in Kenya

Wikipedia Zero, the program to provide access to Wikipedia on mobile phones free of data charges, became available in Kenya this month. The partnership with mobile provider Airtel also involves a pilot project testing free access to Wikipedia via USSD/SMS. For the first time, this service enables people who cannot afford data-enabled smartphones to read Wikipedia through SMS on low-cost basic phones (“feature phones“).

An open letter for free access to Wikipedia

Video about South African students’ grassroot efforts to get Wikipedia free on their cellphones

In November 2012, the students of Sinenjongo High School, South Africa wrote an open letter on Facebook, encouraging cellphone carriers to waive data charges for accessing Wikipedia, so they can do their homework. Victor Grigas and filmmaker Charlene Music visited them and asked them to read their open letter on camera, resulting in a short video that was published this October. Help is welcome with the translation, design and promotion of this video and of the longer documentary that will be published about the students’ call for the carriers to sign up to the Wikipedia Zero partnership program organized by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Planning the replacement of the Florida data center

The Wikimedia Foundation’s Technical Operations team published a detailed request for proposals (RfP), inviting offers for the location of a new data center in the United States. It will join the existing primary data center in Virginia, and replace the data center in Tampa, Florida. Wikipedia and its sister projects have been hosted in Florida since 2004.

Data and Trends

(more…)

Wikimedia Foundation Report, October 2013

Information You are more than welcome to edit the wiki version of this report for the purposes of usefulness, presentation, etc., and to add translations of the “Highlights” excerpts.

Contents

Data and Trends

Dario Taraborelli presenting an analysis of trends in active editor numbers

Global unique visitors for September:

506 million (+1.82% compared with August; +6.54% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release October data later in November)

Page requests for October:

27.05 billion (+4.4% compared with September; +36.6% compared with the previous year)
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including mobile access)

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

76,959 (+0.76% compared with August / -5.83% 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 September 30, 2013

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Expenses by Functions as of September 30, 2013

(more…)

Wikimedia Highlights, September 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 September 2013, with a selection of other important events from the Wikimedia movement

Wikimedia Foundation highlights

Siko Bouterse presenting about Individual Engagement Grants (at the Foundation’s October 3 metrics and activities meeting)

22 proposals for Individual Engagement Grants submitted

The Foundation’s Individual Engagement Grants support individuals or small teams working on projects that help Wikimedia’s volunteers do their work. The program was started in early 2013 and its second round of proposals closed on September 30. 22 complete proposals were submitted, totaling $297,575 in requested funding. The requested sums range from $10 to $30,000. Via online community organizing, offline outreach, tool-building and research, the proposals aim to impact at least 15 different Wikimedia projects. Examples include a project for “Reimagining Mentorship on Wikipedia” and work on ensuring that gadgets that support editing are updated to be compatible with the new VisualEditor. In October, proposals are being checked for eligibility while community discussion continues, before the committee’s formal review begins on 23 October.

FDC receives 11 proposals for annual plan grants, looks back on first year of operation

The Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) process is another component of WMF grantmaking, where organizations in the Wikimedia movement can request larger grants to support their annual plans. This committee, which reviews the requests and makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees consists, entirely of volunteers, supported by WMF staff. The second FDC round of 2013 was concluding in September, with 11 Wikimedia organizations requesting a total of almost 6 million US dollars. Until October 31, Wikimedians are invited to participate in the community review period of the proposals

FDC staff also worked on preparing the 2012-2013 annual report looking back at the first year of operation since the FDC was established in 2012. It includes reflections from WMF Executive Director Sue Gardner about the FDC process.

Community consultation about new privacy policy begins

The Foundation’s Legal and Community Advocacy team announced the launch of the 4.5 month-long community consultation and feedback period (scheduled to conclude on 15 January 2014) for the new privacy policy draft. Feedback and discussion has been very fruitful thus far and have already helped improve the draft.

Data and Trends

(more…)

Wikimedia Foundation Report, September 2013

Information You are more than welcome to edit the wiki version of this report for the purposes of usefulness, presentation, etc., and to add translations of the “Highlights” excerpts.

Data and Trends

Global unique visitors for August:

497 million (+0.97% compared with July; +8.90% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release September data later in October)

Page requests for September:

25.90 billion (+8.6% compared with August; +30.8% compared with the previous year)
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including mobile access)

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

76,612 (-0.34% compared with July / -2.94% 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 August 31, 2013

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

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

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

Revenue $5,408,836
Expenses:
Engineering Group $2,515,199
Fundraiser Group $573,336
Grantmaking & Programs Group $607,306
Grants $502,420
Governance Group $130,722
Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group $533,787
Finance/HR/Admin Group $1,201,542
Total Expenses $6,064,312
Total (loss) ($655,476)

Revenue for the month of August is $2.29MM versus plan of $0.99MM, approximately $1.3MM or 133% over plan.

Year-to-date revenue is $5.41MM versus plan of $1.99MM, approximately $3.42MM or 172% over plan.

Expenses for the month of August is $3.34MM versus plan of $4.26MM, approximately $919K or 25% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, legal fees, grants, and travel expenses partially offset by higher payment processing fees.

Year-to-date expenses is $6.06MM versus plan of $7.69MM, approximately $1.63MM or 21% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, legal fees, grants, and travel expenses partially offset by higher payment processing fees.

Cash position is $38.75MM as of August 31, 2013.

Highlights

Siko Bouterse presenting about Individual Engagement Grants (at the Foundation’s October 3 metrics and activities meeting)

22 proposals for Individual Engagement Grants submitted

The Foundation’s Individual Engagement Grants support individuals or small teams working on projects that help Wikimedia’s volunteers do their work. The program was started in early 2013 and its second round of proposals closed on September 30. 22 complete proposals were submitted, totaling $297,575 in requested funding. The requested sums range from $10 to $30,000. Via online community organizing, offline outreach, tool-building and research, the proposals aim to impact at least 15 different Wikimedia projects. Examples include (more…)