Curd_Rice
The victor from India’s Wiki Loves Food contest: curd rice. Postcards sent to Indian “Wikipedia Asian Month” participants could use this imagery. Photo by Sudharshan Shanmugasundaram, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Wikipedia Asian Month is an initiative aiming to bring the Wikimedia Asian Communities together to improve articles about Asian countries and regions on every language edition of Wikipedia. Throughout this month, more than twenty Wikipedia communities will take part in an online edit-a-thon, encouraging Wikipedians to improve the quality of Asian topics, as well as helping the rest of the world understand more about Asia and its many cultural groups.

The online edit-a-thon will ask participants to write at least five articles related to Asia. Those who achieve this will receive a postcard from seven Wikimedian communities in Asia: Mainland China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand. Postcards from each country or region will be specially designed with a local feature. For example, Indian postcards will feature a photograph from the Wiki Loves Food initiative (first prize winner above).

Wikipedia’s Asian Community still has very high potential—of the top 25 language editions of Wikipedia, only nine are from Asia. In terms of readership, the global unique visitors of Wikimedia projects total about 374.82 million (in June 2015, not including mobile devices), but unique visitors from the Asia Pacific region total only 83.64 million, about 22.31 percent of all visitors. Considering that 32% of the world’s Internet users come from the Asia-Pacific region, Wikimedia’s communities in Asia have much room to grow.

That said, Wikimedia’s Asian communities are now starting to emerge. Since January 2013, thirteen new user groups in Asia have been recognized, and while some Asian-language versions of Wikipedia have relatively few articles, they have sizeable active communities. For example, the Azerbaijani and Thai Wikipedias both have fewer than 100,000 articles, and come in at 55th and 56th respectively on the list of Wikipedias by article count, but they rank 34th and 26th by active users.

Wikipedia Asian Month is here, and we welcome your participation. Check here if your home Wikipedia is participating in the Asian Month, or maybe become the event’s organizer on your home Wikipedia!

Addis Wang, Wikimedia User Group China

In brief

Superprotect removed: The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) announced today that the Superprotect user right will be removed from all Wikimedia sites. This move will be accompanied by a new product development process that will include much more community interaction and feedback. A short Q&A is available.

Persoonia terminalis ssp recurva, Australian National Botanic Garden, Canberra, ACT, 23-12-14 (16731755955)

The English Wikipedia’s five millionth article was Persoonia terminalis, an Australian shrub. Photo by Russell Cumming, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Five million articles: The English Wikipedia passed a symbolic yet important milestone this week! The five millionth article, as documented in our blog post, was Persoonia terminalis, a shrub native to Australia. It was written by Cas Liber, an Australian Wikipedian with almost 1,500 articles to his name. He noted that that “we still [have] loads to do,” but if this accomplishment inspires people to “edit and look at the world around them, then all the better.”
Passing on: Our condolences go to the friends and families of community members Khalid Mahmood and Piotr Domaradzki after their deaths this week. Khalid was the most prolific contributor to the Western Punjabi Wikipedia; Piotr, who edited under the username Belissarius (English), had over 100,000 edits on the Polish Wikipedia. Memorials are being left on their talk pages.
Gender gap: Following an article in the Atlantic, Wikipedian Sydney Poore (FloNight) has written a response detailing some of the community initiatives being taken to address Wikipedia’s gender gap.
Wikipedia can be used for more than writing: The Wiki Education Foundation’s blog has published a post from the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Zach McDowell, where he writes “Teaching with Wikipedia is good for everyone ­— students, teachers, and Wikipedia —­ and is getting better all the time.”
Foundation news
Team news: Updates from the Performance team, Community Tech team, Developer Relations, VisualEditor, and Reading Strategy are available.
C-level: Interim Chief Operating Officer Terry Gilbey is leaving the WMF; Vice President of Human Resources Boryana Dineva is joining the C-level team; the search for a Chief Financial Officer is still in progress. More information is available in Executive Director Lila Tretikov’s announcement.
Android app: The Wikipedia Android app is currently featured in Google Play’s “New and Updated Apps” section.
Of note: The Washington Post published “The most fascinating Wikipedia articles you haven’t read” on 5 November. It includes such luminaries as List of list of lists, demon cat, and the Communications team’s favorite, extreme ironing. If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry—we didn’t either. A quote on its Wikipedia article defines it as “the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.”

Welcome to your community digest! This is a weekly feature for the blog, and we would like to invite you to take part in putting it together. This digest of Wikimedia community news will pull together items from around the globe to provide a venue for your updates and a diverse roundup of events. It aims to emulate and supplement already-existing community news outlets.

Contributions are welcome! If your Wikimedia community has a milestone, cool new project, or quirky occurrence, please leave a message on our tip line, send me an email, or drop a message at my talk page.

Ed Erhart, Editorial Associate, Wikimedia Foundation