Wikimedia Highlights, February 2012

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Highlights from the Wikimedia Foundation Report and the Wikimedia engineering report for February 2012, with a selection of other important events from the Wikimedia movement

Wikimedia Foundation Highlights

Legal and Community Advocacy department launched

We announced the formation of the new Legal and Community Advocacy group. Community consultation is ongoing, and everything is up for discussion, even the name of the new department. Help us brainstorm about how it can support the community, such as helping administrators and functionaries, and facilitating non-English participation in WMF initiatives (like policies and key projects).

Teahouse project kicks off

Logo of the "Teahouse"

On February 27th we launched the Teahouse, a peer support space designed specifically for new editors on the English Wikipedia. This pilot project is testing various social approaches to new editor support, to see if these methods improve our ability to retain more new editors and more female editors in particular. The project organizes a group of Wikipedians called “hosts” to reach out to new good-faith editors and invite them to a place where they can meet other new editors and experienced Wikipedians, build community relationships, find projects to participate in, and ask questions about Wikipedia. The pilot is scheduled to run with 25 trained hosts for 3 months. During this time we'll be working with the community and new editors to refine the experience and measure the project's impact.

MediaWiki 1.19 deployed

Version 1.19 of the MediaWiki software was gradually deployed to Wikimedia sites in February. It brings many new features and bug fixes. Some are back-end, behind-the-scenes changes, for example infrastructure work to support our ongoing move to Swift as our media storage platform. There are also more visible improvements, like better diff readability for colorblind people, and better support of the user's gender and language (internationalization) in the interface.

Video of the monthly Wikimedia Foundation metrics and activities meeting covering the month of February (March 1, 2012)

Data and Trends

Global unique visitors for January:

482 million (+5.5% compared with December; +16.5% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release February data later in March)

Page requests for February:

18.1 billion (+0.5% compared with January; +16.2% compared with the previous year)
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including mobile access)

Active Registered Editors for January 2012 (>= 5 edits/month):

88,548 (+6.7% compared with December / -3.2% compared with the previous year)
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects except for Wikimedia Commons)

Report Card for January 2012: http://stats.wikimedia.org/reportcard/RC_2012_01_detailed.html

The report card is currently undergoing a redesign as a more fully-featured dashboard (integrating various statistical data and trends about WMF projects).

Financials

(Financial information is only available for January 2012 at the time of this report.)

All financial information presented is for the period of July 1, 2011 - January 31, 2012.

Revenue: $ 29.4 million

Expenses:

  • Technology Group: $ 5,720,105
  • Community/Fundraiser Group: $ 2,828,009
  • Global Development Group: $ 2,459,774
  • Governance Group: $ 535,925
  • Finance/Legal/HR/Admin Group: $ 3,375,754

Total Expenses: $ 14,919,567

Total surplus/(loss): $ 14,455,334

Revenue for the month is $ 3.8MM vs plan of $ 1.3MM, approximately 178% over plan. Year-to-date is $ 29.4MM vs plan of $ 24.4MM, approximately 21% over plan.

Expenses for the month is $ 2.1MM vs plan of $ 2.5MM, approximately 16% lower than plan. Year-to-date is $ 14.9MM vs plan of $ 16.7MM, approximately 11% lower than plan.

Underspending MTD is due to timing of capital expenditures ($ 160K - budget was spread evenly over 12 months), personnel expenses ($ 170K), recruiting fees resulted from timing of staff hiring ($ 176K), cash awards and grants ($ 45K – budget was spread evenly over 12 months), and volunteer development ($ 28K) offset by higher bank fees ($ 42K) and higher professional services ($ 168K).

Underspending YTD is due to timing of capital expenditures ($ 1.1MM - budget was spread evenly over 12 months), internet hosting ($ 50K), volunteer development ($ 169K), travel and conference expenses ($ 251K), personnel expenses ($ 754K), recruiting expenses ($ 300K), and IT desk equipment ($ 89K) offset by higher awards and grants ($ 217K – budget was spread evenly over 12 months), legal and accounting fees ($ 58K), professional services ($ 458K), and bank fees ($ 290K).

Cash of $ 32.6 million, which is fifteen months of cash reserves at current spending levels and fourteen months of cash per the annual plan.

Other movement highlights

Informal conversations at the Finance Meeting

Chapters and Foundation discuss finances

On February 17-19, 39 delegates from 19 movement organizations (Wikimedia chapters and Amical), from the Foundation staff and from the Board of Trustees met in Paris to discuss fundraising and funds dissemination. The conference was hosted and facilitated by Wikimédia France. The participants produced an unofficial collaborative statement, which reports about improved trust and understanding, and the proposal for a Chapters Council.

Wikimedians at a demonstration against ACTA in Serbia

Wikimedians concerned about ACTA

After January's blackout of the English Wikipedia (a successful community protest against the SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy bills in the US), Wikimedians in several European countries joined the protests against ACTA, a controversial international treaty concerning intellectual property enforcement. At a rally in Berlin, a representative of Wikimedia Germany gave a short speech advocating for free knowledge and the necessity of copyright reform. The Foundation's Legal and Community Advocacy department continued to work on a preliminary analysis of ACTA.

German "community project budget" results announced

The German chapter announced the results of the second round of its "community project budget", where a committee that is partly elected by the editing community decides about the allocation of up to 200,000 Euros. Out of 62 proposed ideas, six projects will be funded with a total sum of 123,420 Euros: "Wiki-TV", which aims to enrich Wikimedia Commons by professionally produced videos, three projects concerning free maps, a project exploring the possibility of resolving conflicts between editors by professional mediation, and "WikiJournal", which has the goal of enhancing collaboration between Wikipedia and scientific journals.