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Wikimedia Foundation Report, March 2014

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Video of the monthly Wikimedia Foundation metrics and activities meeting covering the month of March (April 3, 2014)

Global unique visitors for February:

474 million (-4.28% compared with January; -1.83% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release March data later in April)

Page requests for March:

21.042 billion (+0.2% compared with February; -2.3% 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 February 2014 (>= 5 mainspace edits/month, excluding bots):

75,958 (-6.80% compared with January / -2.06% 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 February 28, 2014
Wikimedia Foundation YTD Expenses by Functions as of February 28, 2014

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

All financial information presented is for the Month-To-Date and Year-To-Date February 28, 2014.

Revenue 39,242,310
 Engineering Group 10,750,112
 Fundraising Group 2,739,036
 Grantmaking Group 1,078,075
 Programs Group 1,205,135
 Grants 3,887,562
 Governance Group 469,783
 Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group 2,425,548
 Finance/HR/Admin Group 4,542,676
Total Expenses 27,097,927
Total surplus (12,144,383)
in US dollars
  • Revenue for the month of February is $1.07MM versus plan of $0.01MM, approximately $1.06MM or 18,244% over plan.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $39.24MM versus plan of $45.05MM, approximately $5.81MM or 13% under plan.
  • Expenses for the month of February is $4.35MM versus plan of $4.41MM, approximately $63K or 1% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, outside contract services, and travel expenses partially offset by higher legal fees, grants, and payment processing fees.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $27.10MM versus plan of $31.80MM, approximately $4.70MM or 15% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, legal fees, payment processing fees, staff development expenses, and travel expenses partially offset by higher outside contract services, grants, and recruiting fees.
  • Cash position is $52.44MM as of February 28, 2014.


Screenshot of a Hovercard (a preview of the article en:Claude Monet displayed in en:Camille Doncieux)

New Beta feature: Hovercards show article previews


Hovercards are brief previews of a Wikipedia article or other wiki page, displayed when the reader hovers over a link to that page. The preview consists of the lead paragraph and first image of the article. Users can enable this feature by logging into their account and clicking the "Beta" link at the top right. Hovercards were inspired by the Navigation popups gadget used by many experienced Wikimedians on the English Wikipedia and elsewhere, and modify the idea to make it more suitable for casual readers.

Typography refresh: A new look for text on Wikimedia sites


At the end of March, an update to the typography on the desktop version of Wikimedia sites was announced. The typography refresh is based on four requirements: 1. Readability, 2. a consistent look across multiple devices, 3. availability of the typefaces across various platforms (Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and mobile operating systems), and 4. accessibility (even for those readers with visual impairments).

The most visible change is that headings are now displayed in a serif font instead of a sans-serif font. Among the other modifications: The text color is now a very dark grey instead of pure black, while the background color remained pure white. Also, the body font size was increased.

The changes were scheduled to be rolled out in April, with adjustments based on user feedback.

Sue Gardner discussing the WMF FDC proposal

Draft annual plan published for feedback from the community and the FDC


In March, the Foundation worked to prepare its 2014/15 annual plan for publication in draft form, as a proposal to the FDC (Funds Dissemination Committee). The feedback from the FDC and the community review period (April 1 to April 30) will be taken into account while the plan is being finalized. As part of the FDC proposal, the Foundation published a new comprehensive overview of ongoing, long-term work that WMF staff and contractors are carrying out in support of the Wikimedia projects.



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

Department Highlights

Major news in March include:

  • Hovercards now available as a Beta feature on all Wikimedia wikis, allowing readers to see a short summary of an article just by hovering over a link (see also Highlights above);
  • a subtle typography change across Wikimedia sites for better readability, consistency and accessibility;
  • a recap of the upgrade and migration of our bug tracking software.
Erik Möller explaining citation support in VisualEditor

In March, the VisualEditor team continued their work on improving the stability and performance of this visual tool to edit wiki pages. They also added some new features and simplifications, helping users edit and create pages more swiftly and easily. Editing templates is now much simpler, moving most of the advanced controls that users don't often need into a special version of that window. The media dialog was improved and stream-lined to make it clearer what the controls are for. The overall design of dialogs and controls was improved to make it flow better, like double-clicking a block to open its dialog. A new system for quickly and simply inserting and editing "citations" (references based on templates) neared completion and will be enabled in the coming month.

The Parsoid team continued with a lot of bug fixing and tweaking of this parsing program that converts wikitext to annotated HTML, behind the scenes of VisualEditor. Media and image handling in particular was improved. In the process, we discovered a lot of edge cases and inconsistent behavior in the PHP parser, and fixed some of those issues there as well.

We revamped our round-trip test server interface that compares the wikitext code of a page before and after it's been converted into annotated HTML, and back into wikitext. We fixed some issues in the round-trip test system, and improved our error logging system.

We also designed and implemented a HTML templating library which combines correctness, security and performance. This will notably be used to evaluate HTML templating for translation messages and eventually wiki content.

Presentation slides from the VisualEditor team's quarterly review meeting on March 26
Presentation slides from the Parsoid team's quarterly review meeting on March 28
Presentation slides from the Growth team

This month the Core Features team focused on improvements to how the new Flow discussion system works with key MediaWiki tools and processes. We made changes to the history, watchlist, and recent changes views, adding more context and bringing them more in line with what experienced users expect from these features. We released a thank feature in Flow, allowing users to thank each other for posts, and began work on a feature to close and summarize discussions. Lastly, we continued work on rewriting the Flow interface to make it cleaner, faster, and more responsive across a wide number of browsers/devices.

In March, the Growth team primarily focused on bug fixing, design enhancements, and refactoring of the GettingStarted and GuidedTour extensions, which were recently launched on 30 Wikipedias. We updated icons and button styles, rewrote the interface text, and refactored the interface to be more usable in non-English languages. We also began to refactor of the GuidedTour API, in order to support interactive tours that are non-linear. Non-linear tours will not depend on a page load to run, which will notably enable better support for tours in VisualEditor. Last but not least, we made progress on measuring the impact of GettingStarted across all wikis where it is deployed, with results for the first 30 days of editor activity expected in early April.

The Wikimedia Apps team worked on logged-out editing to logged-in editing, and table of contents refinements.

The Mobile web projects team worked on the link inspector for VisualEditor on tablets, and a switch between VisualEditor and wikitext on tablets. Both are in alpha.

During the last month, with the assistance of the Operations and Platform teams, the Wikipedia Zero team set up the upcoming Partners Portal and continued work on reducing image size for the mobile web. Additionally, the team added Wikipedia Zero detection to the Wikipedia for Firefox OS app, as well as contributory features support for users on partner networks supporting zero-rated secure connections. With the assistance of the Apps team, new features were added to the forthcoming reboots of the Android and iOS apps; proof of concept for full-text search was started on iOS.

Smart, the largest mobile operator in the Philippines, is giving access to Wikipedia free of data charges through the end of April. We arranged a meeting with local community members and Smart to explore ways to collaborate in support of education. The partnerships team started to review the 27 existing Wikipedia Zero partners, to update the implementation, identify opportunities for collaboration in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and get feedback on the program. The account reviews will continue for the next few months.



Major Gifts and Foundations

  • A longtime WMF donor and retired aerospace engineer from Colorado is leaving us his entire estate in a living trust.
  • The fundraising team coordinated completion of the WMF's FDC proposal.

Online Fundraising

MTN response by video
  • The online fundraising team ran banner campaigns in the Sweden, Thailand, Indonesia, Spain, Denmark, and Norway. Roughly $1.7 million was raised in March (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.
  • Mobile operator MTN South Africa responds to the Sinenjongo High School 'open letter' video and grants Wikipedia Zero in South Africa, publishing a video response of their own (see right).


Department highlights
  • The first impact reports for Annual Plan Grants (reviewed by the FDC), for activities in 2013, were submitted on 31 March, and an analysis will be published this May.
  • The Grantmaking Learning & Evaluation and the Program Evaluation and Design teams are integrated and will continue to focus on program evaluation and organisational effectiveness.
  • The Wikipedia Education Program team also joins Grantmaking.

Annual Plan Grants (Funds Dissemination Committee)

  • No new annual plan grants were funded this month; 3 grant reports were reviewed this month.
  • Preparations are underway for upcoming Funds Dissemination Committee Deliberations and Funds Dissemination Advisory Group Meeting in Frankfurt, Germany this May.
  • Staff summary of Q2 progress reports published, and comments on WMHU's Q4 progress report published. Thanks to all entities that submitted reports in this cycle.
  • 2013-2014 Round 2 eligibility is confirmed and announced: 6 entities are now eligible to submit proposals on 1 April 2014.
  • Impact reports for most 2012-2013 Round 1 grants submitted on 31 March, and will be analyzed before the upcoming FD Advisory Group Meeting on 25 May - 26 May

Project and Event Grants


Grants funded in March 2014

The Royal Palace of Aranjuez: One of the winning photos in Wiki Loves Monuments 2013 in Spain

Reports accepted in March 2014


Travel and Participation Support

  • 1 new request was funded and 4 reports were accepted in March 2014.
  • As part of an overall program redesign, the Travel and Participation Support reporting form has been revised: the new version of the reporting form is designed to be more lightweight and more useful to participants for sharing learning with the movement and includes an option to create learning patterns

Requests awarded in March 2014

  • Grants:TPS/Strainu/OSGEO_Cluj: a request to fund an outreach presentation in OSGEO 2014 Cluj that works toward free and open source solutions for working with geospatial data. The presentation will have a focus on gathering and verifying coordinates of monuments on Wikipedia.

Reports accepted in March 2014


Individual Engagement Grants


Grants started in March 2014


Learning and Evaluation


The month of March (and we expect the next few months) involved the incorporation of the former "Program Evaluation and Design" team into the former "Grantmaking Learning & Evaluation" team. We are now acting as one cohesive team, with clear workstream areas carved out -- the largest of which is program evaluation. We are thrilled about the opportunity to coordinate more effectively on the integration of program and organizational effectiveness.

We spent a lot of time this past month prepping for the months ahead: annual planning for FY14-15, Wikimedia Conference 2014, Wikimania submissions, interviews for the new community coordinator, and strategy sessions with the new team. We are looking forward to the return on these planning investments over the months ahead!

Program Evaluation


In addition to the work collaborating within grantmaking around our organizational shift and annual planning (see above), in the month of March the program evaluation team has also been:

Grants Programs

Annual Plan Grants
  • Contractor Kacie Harold joined us near the end of the month to help launch research to support the FDC Advisory Group convening, taking place in May 2014. She will be pulling together the quantitative and qualitative information from the first two years of the FDC.
  • Results from a cost-benefit survey following Round 1 deliberations (November 2013) are posted. Major takeaways are that people spend on average just over 90 hours on the application process, but primarily no financial costs are incurred. One recomendation is to eliminate the redundancy in the process (lots of the same Q&A).

Org effectiveness

  • Led Strategy, planning, and evaluation for the Boards training workshop: a session hosted by WMUK in London focusing on capacity building for board members of Wikimedia organizations.
  • Developed org effectiveness research and workplan to bring in information around how other organizations think about organizational effectiveness and design their movement structures.


  • Ran training and implemented pilot of new grants administration tool, "Fluxx"
  • Brainstormed and implemented ideas for the microgrants pilot
  • Prepared a prototype dashboard for Wikipedia geo-data visualization

Wikipedia Education Program

  • The Global Education team (also known as the Wikipedia Education Program) is now a part of the WMF Grantmaking team.
  • Anna Koval joined the Global Education team as a Global Education Program Manager, transitioning from her role at the Wikimedia Foundation as a Community Advocate.
Global Education Cooperative kick-off meeting in Prague
Global programs
  • The Global Education Team traveled to Prague, Czech Republic, to kick off a Global Education Cooperative. The Coop includes Wikipedia Education Program leaders from Mexico, Nepal, Serbia, Armenia, Catalonia (Amical), Ukraine, the Czech Republic, the Arab World, Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. Areas of focus identified are mentoring, resources, communications, and recognition for programs and participants. Watch for more information soon.
Education program leaders at the EduWiki conference in Belgrade
  • Rod Dunican and Anna Koval traveled to Belgrade, Serbia, for EduWiki 2014 in Belgrade, Serbia. Education program leaders from 4 Wikimedia chapters (Macedonia, Czech Republic, Germany, and the U.K.) joined hosts Wikimedia Serbia for a learning day and a regional conference for high school and university educators and students.
Arab world programs
  • Results from the fall 2013-2014 term in Jordan showed a growth in student participation and overall on-wiki contributions with 88 students contributing a total of 1.2 million bytes of new content to the Arabic Wikipedia.
  • Tighe Flanagan joined Dr. Nidal Yousef in Jordan to support local Wikipedia Education Program outreach and present the previous term's results at a celebration conference at Isra University.
  • Results from the fall 2013-2014 term in Egypt showed a drop in the amount of students but an increase in overall student activity on-wiki with 109 students contributing a total of 7.8 million bytes of new content to the Arabic Wikipedia.
  • The Training Center for Wikipedia Translation at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, welcomed a new faculty leader, Dr. Majid Al-Humaidi, where students and professors are working to get their Wikipedia Education Program pilot up and running.
  • The Education Program Extension was piloted by the Arabic Wikipedia community and did not result in any objections and courses may begin to use this tool in the spring 2014 term.

Human Resources

Metrics meeting presentation slides

Much of March has been spent supporting the ED and VPE searches, and the first draft of the department annual plans and staffing to feed into the Wikimedia Foundation's FDC proposal submission. Routine work around benefits administration, immigration, continues. Onward.

March Staff Changes

New Requisitions Filled
  • Chase Pettet (Engineering)
  • Kevin Leduc (Engineering)
Conversions (Contractor to Requisition)
  • Anna Stillwell (HR)
Requisition Department Changes
  • Janice Tud, HR to Grantmaking
  • Carolynne Schloeder, Grantmaking to Engineering
  • Adele Vrana, Grantmaking to Engineering
  • Dan Foy, Grantmaking to Engineering
  • Jaime Anstee, Programs to Grantmaking
  • Rod Dunican, Programs to Grantmaking
Requisition Departures
  • LiAnna Davis (Programs)
  • Ken Snider (Engineering)
New Contractors
  • Alex Monk (Engineering)
  • Kacie Harold (Grantmaking)
  • Teresa Cho (Grantmaking)
  • Siebrand Mazeland (Engineering) (was previously requisition)
Contracts Ended
  • Dashiell Renaud
  • Sahar Massachi
  • Jon Søby
  • Steven Bernardin
  • Stefan Petrea

March Statistics

Total Requisitions Filled
March Actual: 163
March Total Plan: 184
March Filled: 3, Month Attrition: 3,
FYTD Filled: 41, FYTD Attrition: 23
Remaining Open positions to fiscal year end
33 → reflects 4 total out of plan req#s 193-196 (for finance)

Finance and Administration

  • The investments of the Wikimedia Foundation of $15.4 million, have an estimated annual income as of 2/28/14 of $462,000.
  • Application was filed with the County of Loudoun, home of the Virgina data center, for an exemption from personal property taxes. If our application for exemption is approved, it will save the Wikimedia Foundation $70,000 per year.
  • Completed version one of the Wikimedia Foundation FY 2014-15 budget for the FDC application.

Legal, Community Advocacy, and Communications Department


For LCA, March was focused on a variety of ongoing projects, including litigation and community consultations.

LCA Report, March 2014


Contract Metrics

  • Submitted : 28
  • Completed : 26

Trademark Metrics

  • Submitted : 20
  • Approved: 4
  • Pending : 4
  • Denied: 2
  • Request withdrawn: 1
  • Approval not needed : 9

Domains Obtained


wikimedia.voyage, wikivoyage.voyage, winkipedia.com

Coming & Going

  • LCA says goodbye to Dashiell Renaud, one of our legal interns. We wish him the best of luck as he continues his legal career.
  • LCA welcomes Jessica Tam, a new legal intern and recent graduate from Santa Clara Law.

Other Activities

  • Michelle attended a Patent and Trademark Office forum on the DMCA Notice-and-Takedown System to ensure Wikimedia's interests in protecting and improving the current system were heard.
  • Yana and Luis did a panel presentation on open trademark licensing at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, focused on explaining our new trademark policy and the historical and legal background behind it.
  • Manprit Brar, a fellow in the legal team, published a blog post titled "Celebrating women and change in IP". This blog post highlighted relevant legal issues, and Yana's participation in a panel discussion.
  • Community Advocacy continues to build out tools to improve and speed up common workflows, including a DMCA takedown tool that cuts the time needed to handle a report by about 75%, and another for reporting to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children with similar performance improvements.

Communications Report, March 2014


March saw the announcement revealing the Foundation's new Chief Communications Officer, Katherine Maher. Katherine will take on her new role in mid April. The Communications team tracked some complex issues through the month, including efforts by a Greek politician to sue a Greek Wikipedian and fundraising issues in Finland, and also worked on change management issues with Foundation leadership. And we supported the Fundraising team in the preparation of the publication of the draft 2014/15 annual plan in form of the WMF FDC proposal, including an appendix titled Ongoing work areas of the Wikimedia Foundation which for the first time gives a comprehensive overview of recurring, long-term work that staff across the organization carry out in support of Wikimedia projects (see also general "Highlights" section). We also pitched out the unveiling of the new typography, leading to two stories in Fast Company magazine.

Major announcements

A statement on Wikimedia Foundation’s fundraising delivered to the National Police Board of Finland (03 March, 2014)

Major Storylines through March

Wikimedia and Bitcoin
Jimmy Wales at the forefront of the Bitcoin discussion - hints that the Foundation might start to accept the digital currency, but assures a consultation with the Board of Trustees before any final decision is made. (04 March, 2014).
Mashable [1]
The Telegraph [2]
Wikipedia on Crimea
An edit war has ensued on Wikipedia after disputes between Ukraine and Russia have put the Crimean region's status as an autonomous republic of Ukraine up for debate - triggering constant edits and a spirited debate (19 March, 2014).
ABC News [3]
HNGN [4]
Talk Radio News Service [5]
The Voice of Russia [6]

Other worthwhile reads

"UC Berkeley hires first Wikipedian-in-residence" (04 March, 2014).
Mercury News [7]
SF Gate [8]
Dallas morning news [9]
"Greek politician tries to use defamation lawsuit to gag Wikipedia, is rewarded with Streisand effect." (06 March, 2014).
Tech Dirt [10]
"Study finds thousands of academic papers include Wikipedia citations" (18 March, 2014).
Academica Group [11]
"Warming up to the culture of Wikipedia" (19 March, 2014)
NY Times [12]
"Wikihistory – Finding the World’s Leaders through the ages through Wikipedia Social Networks" (19 March, 2014).
Knight News Challenge [13]
"The Wikipedia gender gap" (19 March, 2014).
Literacy teaching and teacher education [14]
"The Geography of fame" (22 March, 2014).
NY Times [15]
The Bill Fold [16]
Jimmy on holistic medical practices
Jimmy Wales rejected a change.org petition to allow more positive discussion of holistic medicine on Wikipedia, defending Wikipedia's policy to rely on respectable scientific journals (24 March, 2014).
TIME [17]
Business Insider [18]
Ars Technica [19]
Slate Magazine (blog) [20]
The Daily Banter [21]
International Business Times [22]

WMF Blog posts


Blog.wikimedia.org published 26 posts in March 2014. Two posts were multilingual, with translations in Spanish.

Some highlights from the blog include:

Wikimedia participates in EU Copyright Consultation (March 17, 2014).
Wikimedia-RU changes Russian Civil Code (March 17, 2014).
For Rexford Nkansah, Wikipedia represents the future of education for his country (March 19, 2014).
Hovercards now available as a Beta Feature on all Wikimedia wikis (March 26, 2014).
Typography refresh: A new look for text on Wikimedia sites (March 27, 2014).

Media Contact


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

Communications Design


The Wikipedia Teahouse had its second birthday - still going strong, now run by the community. We worked with Grantmaking to create a prototype for the new Wikipedia Library pilot on Arabic Wikipedia, and began a sprint to make the IdeaLab more flexible and reusable for developing projects. Brena Monteiro finished her FOSS Outreach Program for Women project with mentors Quim and Heather.

Wikipedia Signpost


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

Visitors and Guests


Visitors and guests to the WMF office in March 2014:

  1. Deji Olukotun (PEN)
  2. Jason Douglas (Google)
  3. Denny Vrandecic (Google)
  4. Francesco Radicati (Informa)
  5. Nathan Knight (Informa)
  6. Pat Reed (Global Collect)
  7. Tom Staudt (Global Collect)
  8. Loida Veroes (Global Collect)
  9. Stormy Peters (Mozilla)
  10. Alexis Rossi (Internet Archive)
  11. Jake Johnson (Internet Archive)
  12. Kevin Gomez (Internet Archive)
  13. Jesse Johnson (Internet Archive)
  14. Valerie Ball (KPMG)
  15. Regina Prince (KPMG)
  16. Ana Akhir (KPMG)
  17. Dwight Wilson (Collabriv)
  18. Katrina Walker (Collabriv)
  19. Alan Bird (W3C)
  20. Glenn Turner (Advanced Mobile)
  21. John Sebastian Gomez (Infusion)
  22. Juan Vanegas (U Caldas)
  23. Cristian Perez (U Caldas)
  24. Gautam Chandna (Opera Software)
  25. Andreas Bovens (Opera Software)
  26. Randy Abreu (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)
  27. Tim Seeger (TJSL)
  28. Skye Anderson (TJSL)
  29. Robert Wasserman (TJSL)
  30. Daniel Hasson (TJSL)
  31. Michael Goodman (TJSL)
  32. Sean Russel (TJSL)
  33. Yana Loboda (TJSL)
  34. Owen Davis (Wikia Inc.)
  35. Katherine Kuhns (SVIC)
  36. Javier Vallaure (All Pago)
  37. Phillip Bock (All Pago)
  38. Tom Hehir (CCSC Inc.)
  39. Richard Millington (feverbee.com)
  40. Tyson Polski (USCIS)
  41. Astrid Wichmann (OpenSym)