Wikimedia Highlights, March 2013

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Highlights from the Wikimedia Foundation Report and the Wikimedia engineering report for March 2013, with a selection of other important events from the Wikimedia movement

Wikimedia Foundation highlights

Lua speeds up pages and empowers Wikimedia's technical contributors

On March 13, Lua was enabled for templates on all Wikimedia wikis. The existing syntax for wikitext templates is complicated and limited: it does not offer loops, for example. With Lua, editors can now use a real programming language, in which they can also contribute to programming projects outside Wikimedia. For Wikimedia wikis, Lua means a big performance gain in widely used templates, such as citations. For example, 300 citations on an English Wikipedia article now render in 3 seconds instead of 18 seconds.

The new image upload button in an article on the mobile version of the English Wikipedia

Mobile uploads launch for apps and the mobile web

On the mobile version of Wikipedia, smartphone users can now easily upload a lead image to Wikipedia articles that lack one. Also in March, the Mobile team released a dedicated app for Wikimedia Commons, allowing media uploads from Android and iOS devices.

First Individual Engagement Grants awarded to innovative community projects

The recipients of the first Individual Engagements Grants were announced on March 29. These grants fund projects by individuals or small teams for a duration of six months. Among the largest of the eight funded grants are "The Wikipedia Library" ($7500), which aims to give editors access to reliable sources, donated by publishers, "The Wikipedia Adventure" ($10,000), an on-wiki game for new editors, and a project to collaboratively define a vision for the future of Wikisource (10,000 Euros).

Wikipedia Zero wins award, reaches new users

Wikipedia Zero, which gives people around the world mobile access to Wikipedia free of data charges, won the 2013 SXSW Interactive “Activism” award, beating four other finalists. Also in March, Wikipedia Zero became available to more than 55 million additional subscribers in Russia, as part of a partnership with Beeline (VimpelCom). This was the biggest launch for the Wikipedia Zero team to date. The same month, a new Wikipedia Zero partnership with Axiata Group was announced, which will expand the program in Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh this year.

Four of the Ombudsmen during their visit at the WMF office

Ombudsmen meet, might expand mandate

In March, the Foundation's LCA team hosted five out of seven members of the Ombudsmen Commission in San Francisco, where these community members from around the world met with each other in person for the first time. They consulted with various WMF departments and provided input regarding privacy topics and the work of administrators. Formed in 2006, the Ombudsmen Commission is currently tasked with investigating complaints of alleged Privacy policy violations on behalf of the Board of Trustees. It has been proposed that the Commission should also be allowed to handle complaints about the global CheckUser policy and Oversight policy. An RfC (request for comment) about this is being prepared.

Data and Trends

Global unique visitors for February:

483 million (-1.12% compared with January; +1.53% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release March data later in April)

Page requests for March:

21.5 billion (-1.1% compared with February; +24.8% compared with the previous year)
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including mobile access)

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

78,083 (-7.53% compared with January / -2.43% compared with the previous year)
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects.)

Report Card (integrating various statistical data and trends about WMF projects) for February 2013:

http://reportcard.wmflabs.org/

(Definitions)

Financials

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Revenue and Expenses vs Plan as of February 28, 2013
Wikimedia Foundation YTD Expenses by Functions as of February 28, 2013

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

All financial information presented is for the Month-To-Date and Year-To-Date February 28, 2013.

Revenue $35,650,340
Expenses:
Engineering Group $9,379,205
Fundraising Group $2,411,055
Grantmaking & Programs Group $3,935,546
Governance Group $504,987
Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group $2,029,585
Finance/HR/Admin Group $3,702,999
Total Expenses $21,963,377
Total surplus $13,686,963
  • Revenue for the month of February is $1.89MM vs plan of $276K, approximately $1.61MM or 585% over plan.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $35.65MM vs plan of $30.46MM, approximately $5.19MM or 17% over plan.
  • Expenses for the month of February is $4.25MM vs plan of $4.03MM, approximately $215K or 5% over plan, primarily due to higher capital expenses offset by lower personnel expenses, internet hosting, and grant expenses.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $21.96MM vs plan of $25.94MM, approximately $3.98MM or 15% under plan, primarily due to personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, FDC grants executed, WMF project grants, and travel expenses partially offset by higher legal expenses and bank fees.
  • Cash position is $40.68MM as of February 28, 2013.

Other movement highlights

Phase 2 of Wikidata is becoming available on Wikipedia

The Wikidata logo

On March 27, Wikidata's central data repository became available for use on the first 11 Wikipedias. Example: In a Wikipedia article about Yahoo!, the wikitext "{{#property:p169}}" will return "Marissa Mayer", as she is the chief executive officer of the company. A launch on the English Wikipedia and all other language versions is expected later in April.

Vyšenské kopce, a national nature reserve area in the Czech Republic

Evaluating the success of the "Mediagrant" project to document nature reserves

Wikimedia Czech Republic has published an evaluation of the success of its "Mediagrant" project, which is financed by a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation. Since 2011, this project been funding the travel expenses for photo trips of volunteer Wikimedians to protected nature areas in the Czech Republic. The purpose is to document rare plants or animals, and the area itself. 74 such trips have taken place so far, to 298 localities, and the chapter calculates the average funding cost per photo as 3.08 Kč (around US$0.16 / 0.12 €).

The WikiAfrica space in Douala, Cameroon

WikiAfrica offers physical space for Wikimedia contributions in Cameroon

In an art centre in Douala, Cameroon, a computer room with high-speed internet has been set up for local people who want to contribute to Wikimedia projects. A lack of computers and online access are believed to be a reason for the low coverage of African topics in Wikipedia. Visitors to the WikiAfrica space are assisted in editing Wikipedia by trained staff. The WikiAfrica Cameroon project also involves a Wikimedian in Residence and various workshops, and is supported by the Orange Foundation.