- 1 Blog team
- 2 Get your post reviewed
- 3 Schedule your post
- 4 Get the word out through Social Media
- 5 General information about the Wikimedia blog
- 6 Wikimedia blog guidelines
- 7 Draft your post
- 8 Add Copyright Notes
- 9 Add html5 video
Please see the section below for review of blog posts. For general questions, you can send an e-mail to wikimedia-bloglists.wikimedia.org, or contact someone directly. Currently, the people most involved in the blog are Matthew Roth, Tilman Bayer, Guillaume Paumier, LiAnna Davis.
Get your post reviewed
We want to be sure that every post is reviewed by at least one person on the Communications team who has been appointed to edit and review posts. A second pair of eyes helps to ensure readers will find your post appealing and informative, and helps to prevent errors. Our blog is a place of high visibility and Wikimedians are good at finding and pointing out mistakes, so we'd love to make sure there are few of them. This is the list of people who review posts:
- Matthew Roth monitors all posts in general, assisting other Communications team members where needed with editing. He is the primary editor and reviewer of posts from Communications, Legal and Community Advocacy, Fundraising, Human Resources, Finance, and external posts from GLAM, guest writers, and assorted others, etc. In general, if you have a question about posting, feel free to contact Matthew through his user page or directly by email: mrothwikimedia.org
- Tilman Bayer monitors all posts in general, assisting other Communications team members where needed with editing. He is the primary editor and reviewer of posts from the Grantmaking and Programs Department (not including Global Education Program), as well as the Editor Engagement Experiments (E3) team, and research-themed posts in general. Feel free to contact Tilman through his user page or directly by email: tbayerwikimedia.org
- Guillaume Paumier is the primary editor and reviewer of posts from the Technology/Engineering team at the Foundation. You can contact Guillaume directly by email: gpaumierwikimedia.org
- LiAnna Davis is the primary editor and reviewer of posts from the Global Education Program.
- For other queries about the blog and for technical problems, please email wikimedia-bloglists.wikimedia.org
Schedule your post
In order to avoid clobbering someone else's super-important blog post, you are encouraged to use the Calendar to schedule when you expect to make your post and coordinate with folks posting on/around the same time.
Get the word out through Social Media
The Social Media team includes the Wikimedia Foundation blog editors listed above and select other staff members whose role involves social media activity for their departments. The team collaboratively manages the @wikipedia and @wikimedia Identi.ca/Twitter accounts, the Wikipedia Facebook Page, and the Wikipedia and Wikimedia Foundation Google+ pages. Our general policy is to send every proposed dent, tweet, and posting on Facebook and Google Plus to the team email for review by at least one other member to minimize errors and typos. You can contact us with questions or comments by emailing socialmediawikimedia.org. You can also directly propose a dent/tweet or post for review at that email.
Social Media Channels
- You can see this page for a list of other Social Media channels within the Wikimedia community.
General information about the Wikimedia blog
What makes the WMF blog different?
Ours is an "official blog". That simply means that all of our posts are representative of the organization as a whole. We limit representation from personal perspectives. We can always point to our own, personal blogs for that.
- The entire Wikimedia community (readers, users, editors)
- Major stakeholders and friend organizations, including donors
- General audience (who may not understand the Wikimedia movement)
- Other bloggers
What do we post?
- Technical and programming developments / changes
- Unique stories / media angles
- Profiles of the Wikimedia community
- Project milestones
- Art and culture partnerships / GLAM-Wiki initiative
- Periodic "Did you know?" posts / sister project updates
- Appeals for assistance or support (calls for sponsors, job openings, etc.)
- Elections info, new staff/personnel
- Expert reflection on major changes in our operational environment (legal precedents, free knowledge victories, major stories in the news)
Wikimedia blog guidelines
We want to tell the Wikimedia story to the world, whether that is through the MediaWiki programming and developer community, or volunteer initiatives in various countries and languages. The Wikimedia movement is extraordinary and we want to share the people and initiatives behind it with everyone. We also want our communications on the blog to be a catalyst for encouraging new participants to join in the most extraordinary collaborative knowledge project in history.
- Individual posts are usually between 300-700 words. Rarely does a topic need more than that in the blog context, but occasionally we publish longer pieces.
- Try to use the Inverted pyramid structure, so that people get the heart of the story from the beginning.
- Use a strong lead sentence/paragraph that explains the most salient and important point of your story up front. Answering the Five Ws in the lead paragraph is usually a good practice.
- Links are very important: use links in text to point a reader to the relevant source, rather than describing elements in length. Where possible, use links to previous blog posts and to Wikimedia projects.
- Use pictures to tell the story more effectively. Some people only look at the pictures and their caption, so be mindful of the power of images.
- Being succinct doesn't prevent you from structuring your post. On the contrary, if you structure it well, it'll be even faster to write.
- Don't try to oversell it. Let the facts speak for themselves. Puffery makes us look unprofessional and will often come back to bite you later. This is particularly risky with Wikimedians, who are used to NPOV and can spot buzzwordy fluff pieces instantly.
Make yourself understood
- In the interests of translation and global audience, avoid complex words, contractions, and slang.
- If you're talking about complex financial or technical issues, provide links with more information (and hopefully in different languages).
- Avoid inside references that may be specific to North America (or any specific culture to the exclusion of others) that may not translate well.
- Sign your post with your name and your title (or a reference that makes it clear who you are). Consider including a link to your user page on the Foundation wiki or another Wikimedia wiki.
- Speak inside your area of expertise/knowledge: if General Counsel is posting, topic should be related largely to legal matters etc.
- The broader your work, the broader your topic can be.
Choose a good title
- The title of your post should always be a brief (fewer than 8 words, if possible) descriptive and summarize your whole story.
- Avoid the blanket "Update on X" title.
- Use the present tense whenever possible.
- Edit the "slug". WordPress automatically generates a simplified URL for your post, but the URL may be a bit long. You can edit the "slug" to shorten it, but keep it specific, and keep hyphens for legibility.
Select the blog you're publishing on
The Wikimedia blog is structured with child blogs: as of January 2012, these are: the Tech blog, the Community blog, and the Global blog, with an additional Fundraiser blog during the annual Wikimedia fundraiser. They are directly accessible in the blog sidebar. The "Highlights" section contains high-profile news and announcements. You'll want to publish your article in one, at most two, child blogs.
Behind the scenes, the child blogs are managed through the parent categories, i.e. top-level categories that include the more detailed ones.
In general, publish your article in the parent category that bears the name of the Department of the Wikimedia Foundation you belong to, if you're an employee. If you're not, someone from the blog team will handle this step for you.
(add guidelines and examples)
- Choose one or more relevant categories (only create new categories if absolutely necessary - less is better).
- If you're adding more than 2 categories, 3 at most, you're doing something wrong.
- Tags are used as mini-categories and search terms for SEO. Use 1-3 keywords for tags that describe your post. Do not add a tag that is the same as a category. Very specific keywords are best.
- Use images from Wikimedia Commons when possible
- Don't hotlink images from non-Wikimedia sites
- Some prefer uploading a local copy in WordPress to make sure the image doesn't go away in case it is renamed or deleted on Commons. Make sure you appropriately credit the author and fulfill the license requirements, and link back to the original image page on Commons.
- To generate a thumbnail for a Commons image to use in a blog post (either for uploading it locally to the blog, or for including it directly via "Add Media" -> "From URL" -> "URL"):
- Edit any wiki page in preview mode
- Insert "
[[File:Example.jpg|600px]]" (with desired file name and width in pixels)
- In the preview, right-click on the thumbnail to get the thumbnail's URL or save it to your harddisk
- Add a caption; some people only skim through the text, but they look at the pictures and read the caption. The caption(s) should summarize the information developed in the article.
- Add links to the words that they explain, or expand on.
- Avoid links labeled "click here" or "use this link".
- If possible, use specific keywords that describe what you are linking as your link. IE. "The results of the mobile design testing... " This helps with SEO.
- Check all the links in your post before publishing it.
- Try not to send too much traffic to wikitech.wikimedia.org, which is a single VM on a Linode instance and does not scale very well.
Add an excerpt
Excerpts are manually curated summaries of your post; they can be added using the appropriate field under the edit window.
If the introduction of your post follows the guidelines and you used the inverted pyramid, you can usually copy/paste your intro in the excerpt field. Links and formatting will be removed in the excerpt.
Draft your post
You can prepare a draft post right here on Meta-wiki. If you prefer or need to do it in Wordpress instead, proceed as follows:
- Do you have an author/contributor account? If not, see the paragraph below.
- Visit http://blog.wikimedia.org/wp-admin/ (or login at http://blog.wikimedia.org).
- Go to the
- Use the visual editing system - write and apply mark-up as needed.
- Remember: link when relevant, and when it saves time.
save draftand have another admin/editor check the copy before posting (remember, once posted it immediately hits RSS feeds; we don't want to repost).
Preview postto see the results of your work.
Convert wiki pages into blog posts
The blog team can take care of importing draft postings from a Wikimedia wiki into the blog. If you want to do so yourself, have a look at the instructions at Wikimedia Blog/Converting wiki pages to blog posts.
If you don't have contributor rights yet
Add Copyright Notes
- Open a link from the list of posts containing images
- Identify the images, follow the links to Commons if there are any, see if the post's text already credits the author
- Fill out the template on the office wiki to generate the HTML:
- Click here for CC-by-sa pictures, follow the instructions and copy the HTML you generated
- Click the "Edit this entry" link at the bottom of the post
- Add a new custom field: Select "Copyright notes" in the drop-down menu.
- In the "Value" field, paste the HTML you generated on the office wiki.
- If there are several images, add a template for each one of them, but all in the same custom field.
- Click "Add custom field"
- Click the big blue "Update" button to update the post
- Check the result on the post.
- Rinse and repeat
We're adding copyright information for images and other media in a "Custom field", i.e. a special metadata field for each post. This allows us not to mix the metadata with the post's content, and also to style the copyright notes consistently across all posts.
Custom fields are added through the "Custom fields" box displayed under the edit window when editing a post. If you don't see the box, click "Screen options" in the top right corner of your screen, and check that "Custom fields" is checked.
Creative Commons pictures
<a href="LINK">"PHOTO NAME"</a> by <a href="LINK">AUTHOR</a>, under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode">CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported</a>, from Wikimedia Commons
<a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Golden_Gate_Bridge_seen_from_the_Presidio_in_San_Francisco_42.jpg">Golden Gate Bridge seen from the Presidio in San Franciswco</a> by <a href="LINK">Guillaume Paumier</a>, under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode">CC-BY-SA 3.0</a>, from Wikimedia Commons
- Copyright notes: Golden Gate Bridge seen from the Presidio in San Francisco by Guillaume Paumier, under CC-BY-SA 3.0, from Wikimedia Commons
<a href="LINK">"PHOTO NAME"</a> by <a href="LINK">AUTHOR</a>, under <a href="https://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode">CC-BY-SA 2.0 Generic</a>, from Wikimedia Commons
CC-0 1.0 Universal
<a href="LINK">"PHOTO NAME"</a> by <a href="LINK">AUTHOR</a>, under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/legalcode">CC-0 1.0 Universal</a>, from Wikimedia Commons
<a href="LINK">"PHOTO NAME"</a> by <a href="LINK">AUTHOR</a>, in the public domain, from Wikimedia Commons.
Add html5 video
You can now add html5 video to blog posts. It's pretty straightforward; here's how to do it:
- Go to the file page on Commons for the video you want to use. For example: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AThe_Impact_of_Wikipedia_Poongothai_Balasubramanian.webm
- Hover your mouse over the video to see the controls at the bottom.
- Click Menu (lower right corner) > then the Share icon (the one with the 3 silhouettes).
- Copy the code starting with
<iframe src="//commons...etc. (you may have to copy it manually; the "copy code" button doesn't work in some browsers including Firefox).
- Open your blog post in WordPress, in HTML mode ("HTML" tab instead of "Visual" on the upper right corner of the post edit window).
- Find where you want the video to be placed and paste the code snippet you copied there.
- Return to the "Visual" tab: you should see a yellow placeholder at the dimensions of the video.
- Preview the post: after a few seconds, you should see the video loading, with all the same controls.
- If necessary, resize the video; for example, if the video is currently 800 × 450 pixels (the usual preview on Commons). This translates to
width="800" height="450"in the code snippet. 800px is too wide for our current blog layout; the max width is 700px or so, depending on whether you add a gray frame around it.
- Edit the code snippet (in HTML mode) so that the width of the video is 700px, and cross-multiply to get the correct height (in this case, 394).
- If you want the usual gray frame around the video, and a caption, you have to add them manually. Use the following code around the video code snippet:
<div class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 702px;"> Insert Your <iframe ... code snippet here <p class="wp-caption-text">Add your caption here</p> </div>
alignrightto something else if you want your frame aligned differently (
alignleft) and change the width of the div (
702in the example above) to the width of your video plus about 2 px or so.
Alternatively, a newer version of the wiki -> blog conversion script handles most video embedding automatically without the need for further manual edits, although they are still useful for cleaning up the HTML code.