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A GLAMorous romance

This post is available in 2 languages:
English  • Català

English

QR codes at Joan Miró Foundation, 2011

One of the most fruitful collaborations between the community of Catalan-speaking Wikipedians and the GLAM institutions (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) is taking place at the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona. Let’s peer into this little love story between GLAMwiki pioneers.

The first rendez-vous occurred in September 2011, when the Foundation was preparing the exhibition “Joan Miró and the Scale of Evasion” using QRpedia to offer the visitors QR codes linking to Wikipedia articles. A wikimarathon followed by a translation campaign was organized by wikiGLAM volunteers in order to assure complete articles translated in several languages for the seventeen most remarkable works in the exhibition. The participation in this first experience consisted mostly of core editors who worked on the initial seventeen articles and created fifty more. All these articles, originally written in Catalan, were completed with a range of two to fifty translations. Their effort resulted in more than 12,000 readings of QR codes during the period of the exhibition.

This was the beginning of a great friendship; the GLAMwiki experiment proved that a community of motivated volunteers and the good predisposition from a welcoming institution could bring good results. However, after this first experience together, the volunteers and the institution each followed their own paths.

Miró Editathon, 2013

The next rendezvous would come two years later, in 2013. Espai 13, a space within the Joan Miró Foundation devoted to exhibit works of young and emerging artists, was celebrating its 35th anniversary. Wikipedia volunteers and the institution thought that this was a good occasion to work together again. They ran another wikimarathon together, the longest organized in Catalonia so far, lasting 35 hours, topped by the coincidence of creating the 400,000th article of Catalan Wikipedia during the event.

This time, core Wikipedia editors mingled with a legion of new users who came from universities and the fine arts scene. They created 121 articles (in Catalan, Spanish, English, and even French) about artists and commissioners involved with Espai 13 during its thirty-five-year history. The romance between Wikipedia and the Joan Miró Foundation made clear steps forward. The names of the viquipedistes were listed in the acknowledgments section of the exhibition, and a plaque was hung in the main room to remember the wikimarathon that created Wikipedia articles for all the featured artists.

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Remembering Adrianne Wadewitz

Portrait of Adrianne Wadewitz at Wikimania 2012 in Washington, DC.

Each of us on the Wikipedia Education Program team is saddened today by the news of Adrianne Wadewitz’s passing. We know we share this sadness with everyone at the Wikimedia Foundation and so many in the Wikimedia and education communities. Our hearts go out to all of you, her family and friends. Today is a time for mourning and remembering.

Adrianne served as one of the first Campus Ambassadors for the Wikipedia Education Program (then known as the Public Policy Initiative). In this role, she consulted with professors, demonstrated Wikipedia editing and helped students collaborate with Wikipedia community members to successfully write articles. As an Educational Curriculum Advisor to the team, Adrianne blended her unique Wikipedia insight and teaching experience to help us develop Wikipedia assignments, lesson plans and our initial sample syllabus. Her work served as a base for helping university professors throughout the United States, and the world, use Wikipedia effectively in their classes.

Adrianne was also one of the very active voices in the Wikimedia community urging participation and awareness among women to tackle the project’s well-known gender gap. She was an articulate, kind, and energetic face for Wikipedia, and many know that her work helped bring new Wikipedians to the project. The Foundation produced a video exploring Adrianne’s work within the Wikipedia community in 2012.

Many in the Wikimedia community knew her from her exceptional and varied contributions, especially in the areas of gender and 18th-century British literature – in which she received a PhD last year from Indiana University, before becoming a Mellon Digital Scholarship Fellow at Occidental College. Since July of 2004, she had written 36 featured articles (the highest honor for quality on Wikipedia) and started over 100 articles – the latest being on rock climber Steph Davis.

Adrianne touched many lives as she freely shared her knowledge, expertise and passions with Wikipedia, her students, colleagues, friends and family. She will be deeply missed by all of us. Our condolences go out to her family during these very difficult times.

Rod Dunican
Director, Global Education

Wikipedia Education Program

  • See Adrianne’s user page on the English Wikipedia, her Twitter account, her home page and her blog at HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory)
  • Wikipedians have begun to share their memories and condolences about Adrianne on her user talk page.
  • The leadership of the Wiki Education Foundation, where Adrianne was a board member, have also expressed their condolences.
  • Memorial post from HASTAC Co-founder Cathy Davidson.
  • Wikinews story on the passing of Adrianne Wadewitz.

Wikimedia RU expands Wikipedia Voice intro project to include music

WikiMusic logoRecently, Wikimedia RU (the Russian Wikimedia chapter) successfully launched the Russian version of the “Wikipedia voice intro project” and expanded it to incorporate the “WikiMusic” project. Now it not only covers celebrity voices but also free music – which prior to this had no significant presence in any Wikimedia project.

How did it happen?

The recent launch of the “Wikipedia voice intro project” got extensive coverage in Russian and European press. While the topic was hot, directors of Wikimedia RU achieved an agreement with the chief editor of “Echo of Moscow” radio, Alexei Venediktov, to start a similar joint project in Russia – “WikiVoices“.

It should be mentioned that Echo of Moscow has the largest audience among Moscow radio stations and broadcasts in more than 40 cities in Russia, the United States and Baltic states. It has the highest citation index between all Russian media, exceeding even TV channels. So, we are really happy to start working together with such a partner. According to the agreement, Echo will do the following:

  • ask their guests for short neutral stories about themselves without propaganda, advertising or personal attacks so that they will be suitable for future usage in Wikipedia;
  • search through their archive records (dating back to 1990) and provide us with interesting samples;
  • not only provide us with records of guests who came to their studio but also ask their external correspondents to make such records;
  • publish  photos of their guests under free licenses.

“Waves of the Danube” waltz.

Gypsy song from the opera “Carmen.”

“The Lost Chord.”

Voice Recording of speech “On the cultural role of the gramophone.”

Echo of Moscow not only agreed to donate such materials but also did a lot for simplification of this process: all records are posted at their official website with information about the person and direct statement of CC-BY-SA license for the records. The log of uploads is prepared in the machine-readable XML format and new records are automatically uploaded to Commons via bots in the free OGG format. At the moment about 40 records were uploaded: now we have voice records of the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel (with translator), the USSR president Mikhail Gorbachev, journalist Vladimir Pozner and many other famous people.

Fortunately, that’s not the only good news we want to share. While we were announcing the start of WikiVoices project on the, we were heard by the Russian State Archive of Sound Recordings. This archive was founded in 1932 and at the moment has more than 240,00  records. Many catalogs are not available online and many records are not digitized, but the Archive is ready to convert desirable records into the digital format and donate them to us.

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For Rexford Nkansah, Wikipedia represents the future of education for his country

Despite its growing economy, Ghana is not the first place one would associate with technology, but for 20-year-old native Rexford Nkansah, it’s second nature.

Wikipedians attending WikiAfrica’s Open Africa 2014 course in Cape Town in February of 2014. From left: Abel Asrat, Rexford Nkansah, Michael Phoya, Cyriac Gbogou, and Erina Mukuta.

“In Ghana you don’t have hobbies like skiing or going to restaurants,” he says. “So these are the little things I do to keep myself busy.” The youngest of five, Rexford is now spearheading a campaign to form a Wikimedia Chapter in Ghana. “I’m actually considered to be Ghana’s Wikimedia person,” he explains.

He first stumbled upon Wikipedia in 2006, and like many, at first did not realize what made it so special. It wasn’t until five years later that he began contributing himself. “I thought – how can anyone, anywhere on the planet put in anything just like that? So I decided to read about it, to learn the rules for editing, and that’s how it all started.”

A biography on Ashesi University founder Patrick Awuah was his first foray into writing, an article that took him six hours of non-stop work. “I took my time to write it. I sat down, researched, did everything, put it all together, added photos… I just dedicated that time to do it. I said, this guy – I need to do something to say thank you to him, for how he’s helping Ghana grow.”

Nkansah is a passionate web developer, and is keen on emphasizing the value of open source software. “Not all of us have access to credit cards, buying something online is like going a million miles to fetch something,” he says, “so when you get free software, you get happy about it. Because software that is not free… it’s hard to pay for it even if you have the money.”

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Wikimedia-RU changes Russian Civil Code

FOP in RussiaOn March 12, 2014, the Federal Law that introduced changes to the prime source of Russian civil law, the Civil Code, was signed. This sign-off brought to life many amendments that Russian members of Wikipedia have been eager to see for a long time.

The main changes relevant to Wikimedia projects are listed below:

  • introduction of free licenses: before license agreements were only in the form of a written agreement; now CC-BY-SA-3.0, which is used by Wikipedia, has a legal basis and Wikipedia editors can defend their own author rights;
  • freedom of panorama: now photos of architectural and urban development objects and objects of garden design in public places can be published under free licenses without consent of architect or designer;
  • now an author can revoke publication of own materials only before such publication actually occurred;
  • libraries now have right to create electronic copies of certain types of works.

These changes are a result of a lot of hard work on behalf of Wikimedia-RU, the local chapter of Wikimedia movement in Russia – proposing, discussing and defending amendments to the Code.

Wikimedia-RU officially started work on changes to the Civil Code in 2009 when the first open letter to the State Duma was published.

In 2010, we sent a detailed list of our proposals to the Codifications Council. The list was a result of real wiki-corroboration: editors published their comments and proposals on the village pump and all ideas were brought together by WM-RU. Afterwards, the list was published on a number of popular websites where it gathered feedback from external users who helped evaluate possible drawbacks of proposals and suggested some additional changes. The Final list of proposals became “a light at the end of the tunnel” for WM-RU.

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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

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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

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Wikipedian Ihor Kostenko dies on the Maidan

This post is available in 2 languages: Українська 7% • English 100%

The original post was published on the Wikimedia Ukraine blog. The English translation can be found further down this page.

Українська

На Майдані загинув вікіпедист Ігор Костенко

Ігор Костенко

20 лютого 2014 року під час протистояння у Києві трагічно загинув Ігор Костенко — активний дописувач української Вікіпедії, журналіст, студент-географ.

Ігор Костенко народився 31 грудня 1991 року у селі Зубрець Бучацького району на Тернопільщині. Після закінчення школи вступив до Львівського університету імені Івана Франка, де навчався на 5-му курсі географічного факультету за спеціальністю «Менеджмент організацій». Паралельно з навчанням працював журналістом видання «Спортаналітика».

Ігор був активним дописувачем української Вікіпедії, писав під ім’ям Ig2000. Ігор зареєструвався 23 липня 2011, і вже того ж місяця почав писати перші статті. За два з половиною роки він написав понад 280 статей, зробив понад 1600 редагувань. Мав широке коло енциклопедичних інтересів — писав статті спортивної тематики (футбол, Формула-1), з географії, економіки, а також про історію українського війська. Його стаття про есмінець «Незаможник» українського та радянського флоту першої половини XX століття  була визнана спільнотою як одна з найповніших та отримала статус «доброї статті». Крім цього, він написав і ряд повідомлень про спортивні події до Вікіновин.

Ігор також активно займався просуванням української Вікіпедії в соціальних мережах, через які намагався залучати нових дописувачів. Адміністрував групу дописувачів Української Вікіпедії у Фейсбуку, де постійно розміщував цікавинки про Вікіпедію. В серпні 2013 року запропонував провести Вікіфлешмоб — запросити в певний святковий день якомога більшу кількість українців написати нові статті до Вікіпедії. Вікіфлешмоб пропонувалося провести 30 січня 2014 року до 10-річчя української Вікіпедії, проте через трагічні події в країні його довелося скасувати. Ігор вірив, що флешмоб допоможе поповнити Вікіпедію тисячами нових статей за день та запропонував стратегію його реалізації, однак до його проведення, на жаль, він не дожив…

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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:

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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

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