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Wikimedia Foundation Report, August 2014

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Video of the monthly Wikimedia Foundation metrics and activities meeting covering the month of August (September 4, 2014)
Presentation slides about unique visitor numbers from the metrics meeting

Global unique visitors for July:

413 million (-4.38% compared with June; -16.1% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects, not including mobile devices; comScore will release August data later in September)

Page requests for August:

21.138 billion (+2.7% compared with July; +15.3% 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 July 2014 (>= 5 mainspace edits/month, excluding bots):

76,543 (+2.67% compared with June / +1.07% compared with the previous year)
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects.)

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




Wikimedia Foundation YTD Revenue and Expenses vs Plan as of July 31, 2014
Wikimedia Foundation YTD Expenses by Functions as of July 31, 2014

(Financial information is only available through July 2014 at the time of this report.)

All financial information presented is for the Month-To-Date and Year-To-Date July 31, 2014.

Revenue 2,977,739
 Engineering Group 1,668,690
 Fundraising Group 244,409
 Grantmaking Group 183,722
 Grants 23,152
 Governance Group 63,301
 Communications Group 91,933
 Legal/Community Advocacy Group 162,117
 Finance/HR/Admin Group 547,811
Total Expenses 2,985,135
Total deficit (−7,396)
in US dollars
  • Revenue for the month-to-date and year-to-date of July is $2.98MM versus plan of $2.01MM, approximately $0.97MM or 49% over plan.
  • Expenses for the month-to-date and year-to-date of July is $2.99MM versus plan of $3.87MM, approximately $0.88MM or 23% under plan, primarily due to lower legal fees, capital expenditures, grants, outside contract services, personnel expenses, and travel & conference expenses.
  • Cash and Investments - $48.27MM as of July 31, 2014.



Lightweight version of VisualEditor becomes available for tablets


In August, a mobile-friendly opt-in version of VisualEditor was launched for users of the mobile site on tablets. Tablet users can now choose to switch from the default editing experience (wikitext editor) to a lightweight version of VisualEditor, which offers some common formatting tools (for bold and italic text, and for adding/editing links and references).

First transparency report on requests for user information and demands for alteration or deletion of content


The Wikimedia Foundation announced the launch of its first ever transparency report, which included two years of data about third-party requests for user information and for the alteration or deletion of Wikimedia content, as well as information on how WMF responded to such requests.

Global metrics for grants


The Grantmaking team introduced Global metrics, a small required set of metrics to be used in grant reporting form (e.g. the "Number of articles added or improved on Wikimedia project" as part of a grant project). They are meant to help achieving a a shared understanding of how successful programs are in expanding participation and improving content on Wikimedia projects. The team also launched a new Evaluation portal and a new Project & Event Grants (PEG) portal.

WMF Executive Director Lila Tretikov presenting her Wikimania keynote

Foundation staff report on their work at Wikimania


From August 6 to August 10, around 2000 Wikimedians from around the world came together in London on the occasion of this year's annual Wikimania conference (see also this month's movement highlights). The keynote of Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Lila Tretikov was titled "Facing the Now" (slides), and the schedule included many other presentations by WMF staff and contractors (frequently captured on video):



A detailed report of the Tech Department's activities for August 2014 can be found at:

Department Highlights

Major news in August includes:

HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine) is aimed to improve the speed of Wikimedia sites. We migrated test.wikipedia.org to HHVM in early August and saw very few issues. Giuseppe shared some promising benchmarks. Re-imaging an app server was surprisingly painful, in that Giuseppe and Ori had to perform a number of manual actions to get the server up-and-running, and this sequence of steps was poorly automated. Doing this much manual work per app server isn't viable.

Mark submitted a series of patches to create a service IP and Varnish back-end for an HHVM app server pool, with Giuseppe and Brandon providing feedback and support. The patch routes requests tagged with a specific cookie to the HHVM back-ends. Tech-savvy editors were invited to opt-in to help with testing by setting the cookie explicitly. The next step after that will be to divert a fraction of general site traffic to those back-ends. The exact date will depend on how many bugs the next round of testing uncovers.

Tim is looking at modifying the profiling feature of LuaSandbox to work with HHVM; it is currently disabled.

In August, the Mobile Apps Team focussed on bug fixes for the recently released iOS app and for the Android app, as well as gathering user feedback from Wikimania.

The team also had unstructured time during Wikimania, in which the engineers are free to work on whatever they fancy. This resulted in numerous code quality improvements on both iOS and Android. On iOS, the unstructured time also spawned a preliminary version of the feature "Nearby", which lists articles about things that are near you, tells you how near they are to you, and points towards them. On Android, the unstructured time spawned a preliminary version of full text search, an improved searching experience which aims to present more relevant results.

This month the mobile web team, in partnership with the Editing team, launched a mobile-friendly opt-in VisualEditor for users of the mobile site on tablets (see also "Highlights" section). We also began building a Wikidata contribution game in alpha that will allow users to add metadata to the Wikidata database (to start, occupations of people) directly from the Wikipedia article where the information is contained. We hope to graduate this feature to the beta site next month to get more quantitative feedback on its usage and the quality of contributions.

In August, the Flow team created a new read/unread state for Flow notifications, to help users keep track of the active discussion topics that they're subscribed to. There are now two tabs in the Echo notification dropdown, split between Messages (Flow notifications) and Alerts (all of the other Echo notifications). Flow notifications stay unread until the user clicks on the item and visits the topic page, or marks the item as read in the notifications panel. The dropdown is also scrollable now, and holds the 25 most recent notifications. Another new change -- subscribing to a Flow board gives the user a notification when a new topic is created on the board.

In August, the team working on VisualEditor presented at Wikimania 2014, worked with a number of volunteers at the hackathon, adjusted key workflows for template and citation editing, made major progress on Internet Explorer support, and fixed over 40 bugs and tickets.

Users of Internet Explorer 11, who we previously prevented from using VisualEditor due to some major bugs, will now be able to use it. Support for earlier versions of Internet Explorer will be coming shortly. Similarly, tablet users browsing the site's mobile mode now have the option of using a mobile-specific form of VisualEditor. A greater range of VisualEditor editing tools on tablets, and availability of VisualEditor on phones as well as tablets, is planned for the future.

Improvements and updates were made to a number of interface messages as part of our work with translators to improve the software for all users, and VisualEditor and MediaWiki were improved to support highlighting links to disambiguation pages where a wiki or user wishes to do so. Several performance improvements were made, especially to the system around re-using references and reference lists. We tweaked the link editor's behaviour based on feedback from users and user testing. The deployed version of the code was updated three times in the regular release cycle (1.24-wmf17, 1.24-wmf18 and 1.24-wmf19).

Presentation slides about SUL finalization

The SUL finalisation team continues to work on building tools to support the finalisation. There are four ongoing streams of work, and the team is on track to have the majority of the work by the end of September.

The ability to globally rename users was deployed a while ago, and is currently working excellently!

The ability to log in with old, pre-finalisation credentials has been developed so that users are not inadvertently locked out of their accounts. From an engineering standpoint, this form is now fully working on our test environment. Right now the form uses placeholder text; that text needs to be 'prettified' so that the users who have been forcibly renamed get the appropriate information on how to proceed after their rename, and more rigorous testing should be done before deployment.

A form to globally merge users has been developed so that users can consolidate their accounts after the finalisation. From an engineering standpoint, this form is now fully working on our test environment. The form needs design improvements and further testing before it can be deployed.

A form to request a rename has been developed so that users who do not have global accounts can request a rename, and also so that the workload on the renamers is reduced. From an engineering standpoint, the form to request a rename has been implemented, and implementation has begun on the form that allows renames to rename users. Once the end-to-end experience has been fully implemented and tested, the form will be 'prettified'.

The project is getting close to Day 1 of a Wikimedia Phabricator production instance. For better overview and tracking, the Wikimedia Phabricator Day 1 project was split into three projects: Day 1 of a Phabricator Production instance in use, Bugzilla migration, and RT migration. Furthermore, the overall schedule was clarified. In the last month, Security/permission related requirements got implemented (granular file permissions and upload defaults, enforcing that policy, making file data inaccessible and not only undiscoverable). In upstream, Mukunda added API to create projects and Chase added support for mailing lists as watching users. Chase worked on and tested the security and data migration logic. Mukunda continued to work on getting the MediaWiki OAuth provider merged into upstream. Chase and Mukunda also worked on the Project Policy Enforcer action for Herald, providing a user-friendly dropdown menu to restrict ticket access when creating the ticket. A separate domain for user content was purchased. Chase also worked on the scripts to export and import data between the systems and support for external users in Phabricator and the related mail setup. Chase and Chad also took a look at setting up Elasticsearch for Phabricator.

In August, the work to improve MediaWiki's core front-end libraries continued on two fronts. The preparation for implementing of the request for comment on refactoring MediaWiki's skin system continued, with all skins moved out of MediaWiki and into their own repos, cleaning up the old shared skins infrastructure to a better location, and improvements to the ResourceLoader to support the improvements to the skins system. The second prong of work, to create a "MediaWiki" theme for OOjs UI, a toolkit used to compose complex widgets, progressed in collaboration with Design. This work has taken longer than anticipated due to delays in agreeing the complexities of user interactions but is on target to be completed soon, after which the toolkit will switch to this theme for all users. Additionally, work to share code between the OOjs and Mantle efforts continued, with the EventEmitter interface being ready to switch over to a single shared codebase.

We published a report on mobile trends expanding the data presented at the July 2014 Monthly Metrics meeting. We started work on referral parsing from request log data to study trends in referred traffic over time.

August was mostly a month of travel and vacation for the service team. We deployed a first prototype of the RESTBase storage and API service in Labs. We also presented on both Parsoid and RESTBase at Wikimania, which was well received.

Later in August, computer science student Hardik Juneja joined the team as a part-time contractor. Working from Mumbai, he dived straight into complex secondary index update algorithms in the Cassandra back-end. At the end of the month, design work resumed, with the goal of making RESTBase easier to extend with additional entry points and bucket types.



Major Gifts and Foundations

  • The Major Gifts & Foundations team received a $500,000 grant from Mary Graham, to support Wikipedia Zero.
  • We are hosting a fundraising event at the New York Public Library in September.

Online Fundraising

  • The online fundraising team ran full-scale campaigns in South Africa and Malaysia. Low-level banner tests continued world-wide throughout August. Emails were sent to previous donors in South Africa and Malaysia. Approximately $1.4 million USD was raised in August through these campaigns (preliminary numbers as donations are still settling).
  • The team prepared translations of fundraising messages into multiple languages for upcoming international banner campaigns. If you would like to help with the translation process, please get involved.
  • We held a presentation session at Wikimania on Wikipedia fundraising A/B testing (video).
  • The Wikimedia Shop was part of the Community Village at Wikimania 2014. The Shop's presence was successful (a few items sold out!), and it was a great opportunity to connect with the community and grantees. Thank you everyone for the valuable feedback!
Wikimedia shop volunteers and staff at Wikimania
Wikimedia shop volunteers and staff at Wikimania



Department highlights

  • The Wikimedia Foundation Individual Engagement Grants program is accepting proposals for funding new experiments from September 1st to 30th. And this round we're testing out a new tool for easier proposal-creation!
  • New Evaluation portal launched at Grants:Evaluation
  • New Project & Event Grants (PEG) portal launched at Grants:PEG!
  • Launched the "global metrics," a small required set of metrics which will be incorporated into each grantmaking reporting form (see also general "Highlights" section). We are experimenting with some topline metrics for grants that will offer some measure of aggregate achievement across our movement. These metrics are not meant to replace, but to complement, each grant and grantee’s individual metrics and measures of success, both qualitative and quantitative.
  • The Education team continues to conduct outreach to education programs and has spoken with 49 program leaders around the world. The team's goal to contact 49 of the 60 programs by the end of September was met one month ahead of schedule.

Visits and Events

  • Wikimania! See details in each section of the report.
  • WMF staff visited Wikimedia Norge in August to conduct a site visit on behalf of the Grantmaking team. Programs as well as organizational strategy and direction were reviewed.

Annual Plan Grants Program

  • All 2013-2014 Round 1 grantees (except Wikimedia India) have submitted complete Q2 reports on time, and FDC staff has published a summary of financial progress. FDC staff have also reviewed the reports (except Wikimedia UK's, which was just submitted) and commented on the discussion page of each progress report form.
  • Of 14 potentially eligible organizations, ten have already become eligible to apply for funding in 2014-2015 Round 1. FDC staff will contact other potentially eligible organizations that may intend to apply before the 15 September deadline, by which all organizations must be confirmed as eligible in order to apply.
  • The FDC orientation took place at Wikimania, welcoming four newly appointed members to the FDC. The FDC members also offered an information session and participated in the Committees Training, which included members of the GAC and IEGCom as well. Also at Wikimania, several grantees participated in a Grantee Learning Day alongside many other WMF grantees to share good practice and learning.
  • Revisions to the proposal form for 2014-2015 Round 1 were completed and announced by 1 September for the impending proposal submission date on 1 October 2014.

Grantee highlights from the Q2 progress reports

Photograph taken by volunteers using WMSE's technology pool
WMNL volunteers collect images in protected areas in the Netherlands
Image collected in a tour of Ben Shemen Youth Village, organized by WMIL
Visit backstage at the Joan Miro Global Challenge, organized by WMCAT
  • Wiki Loves Earth has been a popular program for many grantees this quarter!
  • Amical Wikimedia reports a 54% increase in readership on Catalan Wikipedia over last year.
  • Wikimedia Österreich supported more than 19,000 media file uploads in Q2 (6,534 of them were through Wiki Loves Earth). One image was acknowledged as featured picture by the Commons community, 218 images were designated as quality images by the Commons community and three images were featured pictures on the German language Wikipedia.
  • Through FemWiki, Wikimedia Serbia has been working to increase the number of women who edit Wikipedia in the Serbian language, and to increase both the quality and quantity of articles on gender issues, feminist terminology and biographies of women. WMRS has been working with activists from feminist organizations to editing and has held a series of workshops and debates with prominent organizations on the topic.
  • Wikimedia Sverige ran the Umepedia Challenge (on articles about the Swedish town of Umeå), leading to 600 articles in 46 languages.

Project and Event Grants Program

Wikimedia Mexico and PEG staff discussing chapter plans at Wikimania
Tamil Wikipedia 10th year celebration
Telugu Wikipedia meeting in Vijayada
  • 7 new requests were funded and 5 reports were accepted in August 2014.
  • PEG program staff met with over 50 past, current, and future grantees at Wikimania. We're excited to support such inspiring folks from around the world!
  • Some Grant Advisory Committee members participated in a cross-grant committee workshop focused on strategic priorities, participatory grantmaking, organizational effectiveness, and impact analysis.

Grants funded in August 2014

  • Wiki Loves Monuments Romania 2014: To support the organization of Wiki Loves Monuments in Romania.
  • AdaCamp 2014: To support AdaCamps in Bangalore and Berlin, promoting women's participation in open technology and culture.
  • Workshop Facilitator Training: To support a train-the-trainers workshop for edit-a-thon organizers across the United States.
  • Shared Knowledge Annual Plan: To support the Macedonian community's annual plan, including GLAM, education, photo, and outreach activities.
  • Wikimedia Armenia Annual Plan: To support Wikimedia Armenia's annual plan, including weekly WikiClubs in seven cities, education and GLAM programs, writing competitions, and participation in movement conferences.
  • Wiki Loves Monuments Colombia 2014: To support the organization of Wiki Loves Monuments in Colombia.
  • Wiki Loves Africa 2014: To support a continental photo competition across Africa with a focus on cuisine. Teams in South Africa, Tunisia, Egypt, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Malawi will promote the contest locally.

Reports accepted in August 2014

  • Tamil Wikipedia 10-Year Celebration: The Tamil Wikipedia community celebrated 10 years of the Tamil Wikipedia with a 2-day meet-up and a year-long writing competition, engaging new and experienced Tamil Wikimedians from around the world.
  • Telugu Wikipedia 10-Year Celebration: The Telugu Wikimedia community celebrated 10 years of the Telugu Wikipedia with training workshops, an article sprint, and celebration event attended by over 400 people.
  • Spanish National Free Software University Contest: Members of Wikimedia Spain helped judge student projects and spread the word about Wikimedia through an edit-a-thon held during the conference.
  • Batak Script: A Batak script font and input method was developed. Let's put it to use on Wikisource, Wikipedia, and Wikibooks!
  • Wikimedia Conference 2014: Wikimedia Deutschland published their survey results and financials from this year's Wikimedia Conference.

Individual Engagement Grants Program

  • We've launched the round 2 2014 open call for proposals, which runs September 1-30! Communications have gone out to over 500 village pumps as well as via community distribution on mailing lists, and a blog post.
  • IEG proposal forms have been revamped for this new round. A new Probox has been implemented to better handle structured data and include clearer calls to action to invite more community participation and input, some less-useful proposal sections have been removed to save proposers' time, and Global Metrics have been included. See this example proposal for the new format.
  • We're beta-testing a new tool to make proposal creation easier! Our new Form Wizard will be tested alongside the old creation-method, and if successful it will replace the old method in future rounds.
  • IEGrantees, committee members and staff gathered at Wikimania in early August to connect both over current projects and future ambitions. The Grantee showcase and IdeaLab mixer were both well-attended and allowed us to connect grantees across projects and programs.
  • At the Wikimania IdeaLab Workshop, we alpha-tested the new Form Wizard and Add-me gadget in real-time with about 30 participants who created 10 Ideas on-wiki. Participant feedback has been incorporated into these tools to improve them in time for the IEG Form Wizard's launch. Since the workshop, an additional 16 ideas have been created in the IdeaLab between August 10th and September 3rd.

Grantee updates

  • In ongoing efforts to experiment with support-systems that scale, grantees from round 1 2014 participated in the first-ever IEGrantee Hangout. Participants deemed the call useful, and the group plans to meet again once monthly. This cohort of grantees has also offered to help support new proposers in the upcoming open call, and serve as project advisors for the next cohort of grantees.
  • The reimaginging mentorship team blogged about their project this month - we're excited to see the vision for this experiment coming together, and plans moving forward for a December launch of the space.
  • The Open Access Reader project began work in August. This project will be experimenting with better ways to encourage citation of open access research in Wikipedia.

Travel and Participation Support Program

  • 2 new requests were funded and 2 reports were accepted in August 2014.

Requests awarded in August 2014

  • RashiqAhmad’s participation at the volunteer-run, non-profit 2014 Selenium Conference, where his 2-day workshop and talk will focus on writing automated tests for open source projects, in particular projects for the kiwix project.
  • Himeshi’s participation at GSoC Reunion 2014, where she will actively promote MediaWiki development, while also sharing her experiences as a Google Summer of Code Student and Google Code-In mentor.

Reports accepted in August 2014


Wikimania Scholarships

  • Of the 1170 scholarship applications WMF received, 118 scholarships were offered and 112 of these were formally accepted by the recipients. In August, 97 actually attended Wikimania. Most of the 15 who did not ultimately attend dropped out due to visa rejections.
  • For the first time, Wikimedia scholarship recipients are systematically reporting back on outcomes from their attendance at Wikimania!
  • A survey of scholarship applicants has also been deployed in August, to collect feedback on the scholarships process from the perspective of both rejected and accepted applicants.
  • Data from both the reports and survey will be used as inputs for future improvements to the scholarship system.

Learning and Evaluation


Overall, the month of August was spent in preparation for heavy awareness building and capacity building at Wikimania (see below for training materials for grantees, grant committees), followed by the introduction of the global metrics, a small required set of top-line metrics that will be incorporated into each of the grantmaking reports. See Highlights section above.

Outreach and community support

  • The series Beyond Wikimetrics, hosted by Jonathan Morgan, was completed at the end of August. These three virtual meet-ups intended to give community members more resources to evaluate the online impact of their actions, and are now available online for consultation:
    • Beyond Wikimetrics I: video, presentation, reported 13 viewers during the hangout, and 17 views on Youtube.
    • Beyond Wikimetrics II: video, presentation, reported 8 live viewers during the hangout, and 57 views, 1 like on Youtube.
    • Beyond Wikimetrics III: video, presentation, reported 3 live viewers during the hangout, and 12 views on Youtube.

The series also generated a new information page on the Evaluation portal on Meta, facilitating as well a space where community members, grantees, and program leaders can discuss these resources, ask questions and get guidance.

Jake Orlowitz presenting his lightning talk on Gamestorming Wikipedia
  • Wikimania 2014 was the perfect scene this year to enhance conversation around program evaluation. Different meetings took place to engage in conversations about evaluation:
    • Learning Day. This event was a private session held with grantees and program leaders to share experiences and insights from applying evaluation to different programs. During the day, program leaders had a chance to give lightning talks on different approaches to Wikimedia programs and programs. The group also got to work more on logic models and theories of change, followed by group activity and discussion. The day came to a close with a live IdeaLab mixer and poster session, where program leaders had a chance to showcase their work. Participants in Learning Day completed a pre and post survey so that learning might be assessed. Significant improvement was reported in participant understanding of key terms (Logic Model**, Theory of Change**, Inputs*, Outputs**, Outcomes*; where ** p < .01, * p < .05). These gains were demonstrated to the extent that the majority of workshop participants reporting applied or expert understanding grew from 52 percent at pre- to 85 percent at post-survey time, meeting the 80% post-survey comprehension target. Similar gains were seen in comprehension of the core concepts of evaluation targeted by the workshop activities that day, including: understanding that evaluation is an iterative process, theory of change is a cause and effect chain of outcomes, and logic models are a useful tool for mapping theory of change. At exit, 78% of participants felt mostly (56%) or very (22%) prepared to implement their next steps in evaluating their projects and programs, the majority of which (72%) planned to next complete their visioning and mapping of their program or projects impact goals and theory of change path.
    • Grants committee training: helped to host committee training at Wikimania for a subset of the grants committee members. See materials on Meta for access to the training materials, which include focusing on strategic initiatives, participatory grantmaking, organizational effectiveness, and impact.
    • Growing the Awesome in your Programs session. This open workshop offered program leaders a review of ways to track and report data from programs. The team also offered a Wikimetrics overview, an opportunity for those interested to test their users cohort on the tool
    • Good practices for the evaluation of GLAM-Wiki cooperations. Jaime Anstee joined Beat Estermann and Maarten Brinkerink in a GLAM strategy workshop to co-develop systematic measures for community members engaged in GLAM initiatives.
      The Grantmaking booth
    • Grants, Programs and Learning booth. This space, located in the Community Village and built in cooperation with the larger Grantmaking team, offered a context to have meetings, engage in conversation and reach out to community members who wanted to learn more about the programs operated by the department.
    • The session Human Centered Design for Free Knowledge demonstrated one methodology for approaching problems both within WMF and the movement at large, hosted by Jonathan Morgan and Jessie Wild Sneller from Learning & Evaluation, and Yana Welinder from the WMF Legal team.
  • An overview blog post was published with our team's learnings from Wikimania London, which reported 1,263 total page views so far. Read here.

Grants programs

  • Travel and Participation Support: Prepared and launched a survey targeting Wikimania 2014 Scholarship applicants to learn more about their motivation for applying to the scholarship, and get their feedback on the overall process.
  • Individual Engagement Grants: Completed the data collection and analysis of the IEG 2014 round 2 participants survey (results to be published soon).

Grants operations and tools

  • Fixed a major bug in payments processing, and other minor bugs in Fluxx to make it more reliable for the Grantmaking internal operations.
  • Developed new gadgets for the IEG and PEG application processes

Grantmaking overall

  • Began forming an initial draft of the Global South User survey, working across the Wikimedia Foundation. These questions will help guide our strategy towards different language communities going forward.
  • Published results from the board governance survey. See results on Meta; next steps to be determined.
  • Launched survey on org effectiveness for organizations with TCC; results coming soon
  • Launched white paper study on participatory grantmaking with The Lafayette Practice

Program Evaluation & Design

  • See above for examples of outreach directly associated with building program leaders evaluation capacity.
The new Evaluation portal on Meta has 6 sections to interact.
  • Looking back a year ago, the Wikimedia Foundation Program Evaluation & Design team started talking about evaluation in the movement. The team made resources available for community members to evaluate their efforts, and are now better organized and easier to find on the Evaluation portal on Meta.
  • We also shared how the redesign happened on the Wikimedia blog, explaining how to engage on the 6 sections. The blog post reported 497 page views thus far. Read the blog post here.
  • First analysis of Wikimania conference through launch of the Wikimania 2014 evaluation survey
  • Hiring for an intern to help in the program evaluation reporting process, to launch in September/October
  • Social Media efforts: Twitter: 96 tweets (287 total), 26 new followers (145 total followers), 224 total engagements (retweets, favorites, replies), 34 URL clicks; Facebook: 14 posts (1 by a non-team member), 562 views, 35 likes, 7 comments; Youtube: 114 views (735 total views); Google+ page 673 post views, 37 profile views, 30 total engagement actions, 18 new followers (87 total followers).
  • Portal Space Metrics: In August, 100 edits were made by 13 non-WMF users to the portal main space (87 edits, 9 users), portal talk pages (8 edits, 7 users) and to Grants:Learning_patterns (238 edits, 20 users, 9 endorsements). For page views, there were 1467 total views of the portal's main pages Portal landing page (1684) , /News (343), Connect (158), and Grants:Learning_patterns (454).
Upcoming next month

Wikipedia Education Program

Wikipedia Education Program poster session poster for Wikimania 2014.

The Wikipedia Education Program team continues to conduct outreach to education programs and has spoken with 49 program leaders around the world. The team's goal is to have contacted 49 of the 60 programs by the end of September. The team has met that goal one month ahead of schedule.



Education was a major topic at Wikimania this year with a number of well-attended events, including pre-conference workshops, panel presentations, educator and ambassador trainings, and meet-ups. Read a synopsis of the sessions, with links to documentation, in the education newsletter.

Wikipedia Education Collaborative


The Wikipedia Education Collaborative welcomed 3 new members, all of whom replaced founding members from their country/region. Filip Maljković replaced Ivan Matejić as Serbia's representative. Mariona Aragay replaced Àlex Hinojo as Catalonia's representative. Samir El-Sharbaty will represent Egypt.

Plans are underway for our next meeting in Edinburgh, UK, following WMUK's EduWiki Conference in October.

Arab world programs

  • Professors and Wikimedians in Jordan met to discuss the establishment of a committee to guide the Wikipedia Education Program locally in Jordan. The meeting was hosted at Isra University. The working name for this group is the Wikipedia Education Program Jordan Committee (مجلس برنامج ويكيبيديا للتعليم الاردن).
  • A teacher's strike in Jordan postponed a workshop scheduled for secondary school teachers in Jordan. The workshop will be held later in September.
  • Summer editing continues through September in Egypt for some student-run Wikipedia Education Program courses. So far, students have added nearly six million bytes of new content to the Arabic Wikipedia since March. Numbers from all terms are posted on the Wikipedia Education Program Dashboard.
  • Representatives from the Wikipedia Education Programs in Egypt and Serbia discussed a potential collaboration between the two countries during Wikimania 2014 in London.


Wikipedia Education Program sticker in Wikimedia red.

Human Resources


In August, HR - soon to be named Talent and Culture - facilitated a strategy offsite meeting with the WMF executive and management teams to talk about iterating strategic direction and processes for the organization. We also have changed our HSA vendor, and supported the organization in that transition. We are migrating from Jobvite to Greenhouse as our job applicant tracking system, and conducted a payroll audit. The 401k investment committee is undertaking review of our 401k vendor, and ongoing work in hiring, immigration, and other core services continues as needed.

HR presentation slides from the metrics meeting

August Staff Changes

New Requisitions Filled
  • None (due to Wikimania slow-down)
Conversions (Contractor to Requisition)
  • None (due to Wikimania slow-down)
Requisition Departures
  • Matt Walker
New Interns
  • Clare Lakewood - Legal
New Contractors
  • Hardik Juneja - Engineering
  • Morten Warncke-Wang - Product/Strategy
Contracts Ended
  • Eric Holmes - Legal
  • Roshni Patel - Legal
  • Mark Verstraete - Legal
  • Chuck Roslof - Legal

August Statistics

Total Requisitions Filled
August Actual: 186
August Total Plan: 211
August Filled: 0, Month Attrition: 1
FYTD Filled: 9, FYTD Attrition: 1
FY positions planned: 233

Finance and Administration

  • Completed Wikimedia Norway site visit.
  • Completed modifications to the 6th floor by additing additional meeting and phone rooms.
  • RFP for Investment Advisory Services is still in process with a decision to be announced by September 8, 2014.

During a press conference held by Lila Tretikov, Jimmy Wales, and Geoff Brigham at Wikimania this year, WMF announced its position and response to the recent right to be forgotten notices it had received about Wikimedia webpages that would be censored from Google search results. At the same time, WMF announced the launch of its first ever transparency report, which included two years of data regarding third-party requests for user information and for the alteration or deletion of Wikimedia content, as well as how WMF responded to such requests.

Contract Metrics

  • Submitted : 56
  • Completed : 26

Trademark Metrics

  • Submitted : 10
  • Pending : 5
  • Approval not needed : 4
  • Denied: 1

Domains obtained


getawikipedia.com, getonwikipedia.com, onwikipedia.com (see also blog post), wikipediapagecreators.com, wikjpedia.org, wmfusercontent.org

Coming & Going

  • Eric Holmes (2L from NYU), Mark Verstraete (1L from Harvard), and Chuck Roslof (2L from Harvard) concluded their summer internships with the WMF legal team. We thank them for all of their hard work and wish them the best as they return to law school!

Other Activities




In the slow month of August, the media got up to some monkey businesses. The month started with carry-over stories on the Foundation’s acceptance of Bitcoin and the launch of the new Wikipedia iOS app. At Wikimania, the WMF held a press conference announcing the launch of its first ever transparency report and the Foundation’s position and response to the European Court of Justice’s ruling on the “Right to be Forgotten.” These generated dozens of articles and opinion pieces in the first two days before being overtaken by stories about the so-called “monkey selfie,” a Wikimedia Commons image of a monkey self-portrait that was featured in the transparency report as an example of a declined take-down request. The “monkey selfie” lingered in the news throughout August in the form of parody pieces, legal analyses, and critiques. The end of August closed with the re-emergence of transphobic vandalism from a U.S. Congressional IP address, another ban, and a resultant wave of press coverage.

Major announcements

  • Transparency Report launch and press conference
  • Right to be Forgotten press conference

Major storylines through August


The Wikimedia Foundation accepts Bitcoin

The Wikimedia Foundation began to accept Bitcoins and raised $140,000 in its first week.
Daily Tech (11 August, 2014) [1]
Tech Crunch (07 August, 2014) [2]
Tech News (07 August, 2014) [3]

Transparency Report

The Wikimedia Foundation released its first ever transparency report.
TIME (06 August, 2014) [4]

"Wikipedia’s first transparency report shows it doesn’t give up much to the government"

Washington Post (6 August, 2014) [5]

"Wikipedia Details Government Data Requests"

The New York Times (6 August, 2014) [6]

Right to be Forgotten and Wikipedia

Europe’s controversial ‘Right to be Forgotten’ censors its first Wikipedia page. The Wikimedia Foundation vows to fight the ruling.
The Guardian (06 August, 2014) [7]
Reuters (06 August, 2014) "Wikipedia fights back against Europe's 'right to be forgotten'"
New York Times (06 August, 2014) "Wikimedia Wants You to Remember the Links Europe Wants You to Forget"
Daily Mail (06 August, 2014) [8]
Tech Times (05 August, 2014) [9]
Gizmodo (04 August, 2014) [10]
The Telegraph (04 August, 2014) [11]
BBC News Technology (04 August, 2014) [12]

Monkey selfie

British photographer David Slater asked the Wikimedia Foundation to take down a photo of a monkey which he claims to have rights to - the Foundation holds he does not have rights to the photo because he did not take the picture himself.
BuzzFeed (August 6, 2014) [13]
The New Yorker (08 August, 2014) [14]
NPR (07 August, 2014) [15]
Amateur Photographer (11 August, 2014) [16]
The National Law Review (07 August, 2014) [17]
Gizmodo (06 August, 2014) [18]
Ars Technica (06 August, 2014) [19]
Huffington Post (06 August, 2014) [20]
New Yorker (26 August, 2014) [21]

CATO, Congress and Wikipedia

The CATO Institute, an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington D.C., told lawmakers that Wikipedia should be a tool utilized by members of Congress and their staffs.
The Washington Post (18 August, 2014) [22]
Voice of America (19 August, 2014) [23]
The Hill (18 August, 2014) [24]
CATO Institute (06 August, 2014) [25]

Wikipedia Congress ban

An IP address pertaining to a computer in Congress was banned for 30 days for transphobic vandalism.
Boing boing (22 August, 2014) [26]
NY Daily News (21 August, 2014) [27]
Business Insider (20 August, 2014) [28]
BuzzFeed (21 August, 2014) "Anti-Transgender Wikipedia Edits Appear To Originate On Capitol Hill"
National Journal (19 August, 2014) [29]

Other worthwhile reads


See also the August press clippings

Why you probably trust Wikipedia more than the BBC
The Telegraph (12 August, 2014)
Wiki wars: Do Wikipedia’s internal tiffs deter newcomers?
BBC News Technology (05 August, 2014)

Wikimedia blog posts


Blog.wikimedia.org published 16 posts in August 2014. Three posts were multilingual, with translations in Spanish, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, French, and German. Some highlights from the blog include:

Profile of Anne Kingsley, a professor at a community college who has integrated Wikipedia into her curriculum. (August 18, 2014).
New so called ‘open licenses’ fail to meet the basic standards set out by the Freedom Definition and the Open Knowledge Definition (August 07, 2014).
The Wikimedia Foundation releases its first ever transparency report (August 06, 2014).

Media contact


Media contact through August 2014: wmf:Press room/Media Contact#August 2014

Wikipedia Signpost


For detailed coverage and news summaries, see the community-edited newsletter “Wikipedia Signpost” for August 2014:

Communications Design


Began working with the Fundraising team to create donor gifts and envision a new direction for the Wikimedia shop and merchandise.