Wikimedia Foundation Report, October 2013
You are more than welcome to edit this report for the purposes of usefulness, presentation, etc., and to add translations of the “Wikimedia Highlights” excerpt.
- 1 Data and Trends
- 2 Financials
- 3 Highlights
- 4 Engineering
- 5 Fundraising
- 6 Grantmaking
- 6.1 Strategic Goals Metrics
- 6.2 Annual Plan Grants (FDC)
- 6.3 Project and Event Grants
- 6.4 Travel and Participation Support
- 6.5 Individual Engagement Grants
- 6.6 Brazil Catalyst Project
- 6.7 Grantmaking Learning & Evaluation
- 7 Programs
- 8 Human Resources
- 9 Finance and Administration
- 10 Legal, Community Advocacy, and Communications Department
- 10.1 LCA Report, October 2013
- 10.2 Communications Report, October 2013
- 11 Visitors and Guests
Data and Trends
Global unique visitors for September:
- 506 million (+1.82% compared with August; +6.54% compared with the previous year)
- (comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release October data later in November)
Page requests for October:
- 27.05 billion (+4.4% compared with September; +36.6% compared with the previous year)
- (Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including mobile access)
Active Registered Editors for September 2013 (>= 5 mainspace edits/month, excluding bots):
- 76,959 (+0.76% compared with August / -5.83% compared with the previous year)
- (Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects.)
Report Card (integrating various statistical data and trends about WMF projects):
(Financial information is only available through September 2013 at the time of this report.)
All financial information presented is for the Month-To-Date and Year-To-Date September 30, 2013.
|Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group||$843,218|
- Revenue for the month of September is $2.46MM versus plan of $0.99MM, approximately $1.47MM or 149% over plan.
- Year-to-date revenue is $7.87MM versus plan of $2.98MM, approximately $4.89MM or 164% over plan.
- Expenses for the month of September is $3.33MM versus plan of $3.48MM, approximately $157K or 5% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, legal fees, and travel expenses partially offset by higher grants, payment processing fees, and outside contract services.
- Year-to-date expenses is $9.39MM versus plan of $11.17MM, approximately $1.78MM or 16% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, legal fees, grants, and travel expenses partially offset by higher payment processing fees.
- Cash position is $37.77MM as of September 30, 2013.
Pilot project for free mobile access to Wikipedia via text messages in Kenya
Wikipedia Zero, the program to provide access to Wikipedia on mobile phones free of data charges, became available in Kenya this month. The partnership with mobile provider Airtel also involves a pilot project testing free access to Wikipedia via USSD/SMS. For the first time, this service enables people who cannot afford data-enabled smartphones to read Wikipedia through SMS on low-cost basic phones ("feature phones").
Video about South African students' grassroot efforts to get Wikipedia free on their cellphones
In November 2012, the students of Sinenjongo High School, South Africa wrote an open letter on Facebook, encouraging cellphone carriers to waive data charges for accessing Wikipedia, so they can do their homework. Victor Grigas and filmmaker Charlene Music visited them and asked them to read their open letter on camera, resulting in a short video that was published this October. Help is welcome with the translation, design and promotion of this video and of the longer documentary that will be published about the students' call for the carriers to sign up to the Wikipedia Zero partnership program organized by the Wikimedia Foundation.
Planning the replacement of the Florida data center
The Wikimedia Foundation’s Technical Operations team published a detailed request for proposals (RfP), inviting offers for the location of a new data center in the United States. It will join the existing primary data center in Virginia, and replace the data center in Tampa, Florida. Wikipedia and its sister projects have been hosted in Florida since 2004.
A detailed report of the Tech Department's activities for October 2013 can be found at:
- Department Highlights
Major news in October include:
- A request for proposals for a new datacenter in the continental US, published by the Operations team (see also general "Highlights" section);
- The creation of the Autonym Font, which allows language names to be displayed properly without degrading page loading time.
|Presentation slides from the quarterly review meeting for 2013/14 Q1
of the VisualEditor (right) and Parsoid (left) teams
In October, the VisualEditor team continued to improve the stability and performance of the system, and added new features. The version of the software present on Wikimedia sites was updated five times. Beyond fixing bugs, the focus of the team's work this month was to make the system more reliable and easier to extend.
They also continued to improve usability. For example, you now need to press the "delete" key twice to delete a template, reference or image; the first time, they only become selected, to avoid accidental deletion of infoboxes and similar content. A new feature, allowing users to switch from editing in VisualEditor to editing wikitext directly without having to save the page, was also added.
In October, the Parsoid team continued to work on the conversion between wikitext and annotated HTML for unusual cases. Speed was improved by making the software run more requests at the same time. The speed of the testing server used to check for conversion errors was also improved: we can now run tests on 160,000 pages overnight. Support for private wikis was also added this month.
In October, we enabled Notifications worldwide on about 800 Wikimedia sites, including most of the remaining Wikipedia wikis and 'sister projects'. Community members we've spoken to generally find this tool helpful, across languages and world regions. Notifications are also available on mobile devices, and seem to be adding value on these platforms as well. We now plan a final release of Notifications on the German and Italian editions of Wikipedia at the end of November.
In October, the Flow team redesigned the prototype of this new discussion system. We also continued to add basic features. We held a User Experience workshop, primarily with users new to Wikipedia, to get feedback on the usability of the new design. We're planning to demo the basic Flow product to interested WikiProjects in November to get more feedback on what's needed for a first trial on Wikipedia.
In October, the Growth team completed its sixth and final major A/B test of the GettingStarted and GuidedTour extensions for the onboarding new Wikipedians project. Data analysis results for this test were also published, making way for rolling out the winning version on non-English Wikipedias in November. This month, the team also completed background research and early designs for its upcoming work on anonymous editor acquisition and Wikipedia article creation.
Many changes were made to the iOS Commons app in October. Users can now select the license among the most common ones, and swipe to delete categories on yet-to-be-uploaded images. A number of visual and interface improvements have been made, notably for iOS 7 compatibility. Icon consistency has been improved throughout the app. The app now also has better internationalization support, as well as better landscape and iPad support.
The Wikipedia Zero team, supporting the program to give Wikipedia access to mobile users at no cost, worked on many features and enhancements as well. Part of their work focused on reducing accidental data charges, for example by adding warnings for users who don't benefit from the Zero program. They also made improvements to the settings system that allows the configuration of parameters for different mobile companies.
The mobile web team has been focusing on many new features, as well as running tests about new mobile editors. They've improved the general design for a better user experience, and started to try to integrate VisualEditor to tablets. In beta, user profiles are now available, as well as 'Keep Going', a series of calls to action for new editors.
- Department highlights
- Caitlin Virtue joined the team as Development and Outreach Manager.
- Caitlin Cogdill joined the team as Fundraising Program Associate.
Major Gifts and Foundations
- Received a $1 million grant from the Sloan Foundation.
- Worked on end of the year reports for foundations and reapplied to new foundations.
- Continued work on a proposal for the Stanton Foundation regarding mobile and flow.
- Continued work with Tarnside on finding foundation funders in Europe.
- Held event with Jimmy Wales which raised USD $220,000.
- FDC impact report submitted, letter of intent (LOI) next month
- Caitlin Virtue joined the team as Development Outreach Manager.
- The fundraising team ran campaigns worldwide throughout October. Banners were displayed to 13% of readers for 1 impression per reader. The team continued to run A/B tests of banner messages, designs, and payment flows. In the month of October, approximately USD 2.7 million was raised from 200,000 donors (preliminary numbers as donations are still settling). The team also sent email tests to past donors and experimented with mobile fundraising testing. For more information on testing, please see the 2013 fundraising page on Meta-wiki.
- Uploaded a 2-minute appeal for Wikipedia Zero from the 12A students of Sinenjongo High School in South Africa (see general "Highlights" section).
- Caitlin Cogdill joined the team as Fundraising Program Associate.
- Department Highlights
- Quarterly Review on Grantmaking in partnership with Program Evaluation and Design team, focusing on our Learning and Evaluation systems and processes. See slides on Commons (with appendix; minutes are to be published later)
- The second year of the Annual Plan Grants/FDC process kicked off with proposals from 11 Wikimedia organizations, including the first Thematic Organization (Amical Wikimedia).
- Launch of the Evaluation portal in partnership with Program Evaluation and Design; contribute a Learning Pattern!
Strategic Goals Metrics
(See the Quarterly Metrics page on Meta-wiki)
At the completion of the first quarter of FY2013-14, the Grantmaking team is currently at the following points in reaching its targets:
- Grants to Global South: 55% (namely, CIS-India) (Target: 10%)
- Grants to Individuals: 13.5% (namely, Wikimania Scholarships) (Target: 7%)
- Grants to Gender Gap work: 0.2% (Target: 1%)
- Spent: $1.2M, or 12% of total budget
Note on targets: Two of the grants programs - Annual Plan Grants and Individual Engagement Grants - are only offered 2x per year. The first round for both these programs is occuring in Q2. We anticipate these will greatly increase the proportion of grants budget that is used, as well as decrease the proportions to the Global South and to individuals.
Annual Plan Grants (FDC)
- 11 FDC annual plan grant proposals were submitted in Round 1 2013-2014 to the FDC.
- Community review of these proposals took place during the month of October. Comments, feedback and questions from the community were shared on all 11 proposals, though some proposals received much more feedback than others.
- Quarter 3 progress reports from Round 1 2012-2013 and Quarter 1 progress reports from Round 1 2012-2013 were submitted on October 30.
- The FDC face-to-face deliberations on these proposals will be held from November 17-21 in San Francisco, and they will publish their recommendations to the Board by December 1, 2013.
(More about the FDC process and timeline can be found on Meta on the FDC portal, and as always, staff support is available at FDCsupportwikimedia.org .)
Project and Event Grants
- Asaf Bartov participated in Iberoconf 2013 - Mexico City, and gave a talk on funding in the context of Iberocoop, as well as funding for international events.
Grants awarded in October 2013
Three project and event grants were awarded in October: to Wikimedia Philippines for Wiki Loves Monuments, Wikimedia Czech Republic for their media work and to Wikimedia South Africa, to support their organizational development (matching external funding secured by WMZA).
Reports accepted in October 2013
- Grants:Kannan Shanmugham - Malayalam Wikipedia/10th Birthday Celebrations/Report
- Grants:WM US-NYC/Events Grant Reapportionment/Report
Travel and Participation Support
This program supports Wikimedians to actively participate in non-Wikimedia events.
Requests awarded in October 2013
Reports accepted in October 2013
Individual Engagement Grants
- The IEG round 2 selection process kicked off this month. 21 proposals were marked eligible for round 2 review, with funding requests ranging from $40 to $30,000 for proposals to build tools, conduct research, and lead online community organizing and offline outreach and partnerships. A community discussion period encouraged comments and input from across the movement, in order to help the IEG committee make recommendations.
- 2 proposals withdrew after passing eligibility, so ultimately 19 proposals went into the committee's official review, which began on Oct 23. Scores on each proposal have been submitted by committee members, and these will be shared back with proposers on Meta-wiki in November. Funding decisions will be announced in December.
- Round 1 IEG projects continue. Grantees are beginning to prepare their final reports, which will be available in November-January.
Brazil Catalyst Project
- Contracts analyses, wrap up of partnership process between Ação Educativa and Wikimedia Foundation.
- Onboarding activity at Ação Educativa: about 20 people participated in the onboarding activity about the Wikimedia project at Ação Educativa. Gustavo Paiva, from Ação Educativa, and our team presented our project proposal in detail to representatives from departments other than the one hosting our project.
- Opened a discussion page about Microgrants strategy on Meta-wiki
Outreach & tutorials publishing
- Work in progress: production of complete tutorial on how to participate and engage in Wikimedia Projects
- Finalized review on Basic principles brochure made by students from Faculdades Integradas Rio Branco
- Projeto Reflora: offered partnership to Reflora's project (public archive of plants species collected in the 19th and 20th centuries). There was progress until the top directors, but it didn't succeed in end.
- Instituto Butantan: offered partnership to Instituto Butantan, but didn't have much progress so far either.
- Based on those two unsuccessful experiences we started re-designing the GLAM approach strategy in order to either get, even by force of law, content in public domain collected with public funding, or to change dramatically the approach and communications.
- Engaged in the community discussion about a photographic contest, to support and work together on this programmatic activity planned in our project proposal
- Brazilian Education Program presentation on Iberoconf 2013
- Advances in partnership negotiations with universities: UFF, Passo Fundo University, BandTech, UFRJ, USP
- Meetings and discussions with the local community of contributors
- Meetings at Wikimedia's office in San Francisco with Asaf, Anasuya, Rod and LiAnna about the education program in Brazil and the next steps
- Education Extension tests, updates, translation and wiki pages creation around the extension
- Event participation planning at Passo Fundo University
- Partnership conversations with UFMA (Federal University of Maranhão)
- Localized the L2 Research Portal.
- Organizing the Inaugural L2 Research Hackathon in Rio de Janeiro.
- Helped community designing an evaluation system of the AbuseFilter on ptwiki.
- Helped designing the i18n of the Evaluation Portal.
- Translated Beta Features documentation.
- Adding daily access data from dumps to tool labs
- Developing a non-tech interface to add events on the PT Wikipedia timeline through editing Wikipages, so that any editor can help improve it in the future.
- Localizing the anti-vandalism tool STiki to ptwiki.
- Debating an experiment with welcome messages.
- Setting up tracking for ptwiki guided tours.
Participation in events
- Participation in TEDx event led by Dante Alighieri School: explaining Wikimedia projects, the education program and discussing access to knowledge (video of the presentation)
- Participation in Iberoconf 2013 - Mexico City
- Participation in Mozilla Summit 2013 - Santa Clara
Grantmaking Learning & Evaluation
- Launch of the Evaluation portal! See the "Program Evaluation and Design" section for more updates
- Learning & Evaluation community: In addition to the portal, we were invited to speak at Iberoconf 2013 in Mexico City, to update the Iberocoop community members about what tools are available for evaluation as well as the need and purpose for evaluation/learning. Much time was spent going over the Wikimetrics tool, with which most were unfamiliar. See the presentation links in Spanish and English on the evaluation portal.
- Developed Learning Patterns, a new way of capturing "key learnings" for mission-aligned projects and programs. Learning Patterns are a new type of resource that will be featured in the Evaluation Portal (see "Program Evaluation and Design" for more info). They are in a simple page format, based on design patterns, that allow us to easily document and share actionable solutions to common problems we encounter when we plan, participate in, and evaluate the impact of events, online initiatives, and other programmatic activities. A learning pattern is structured around a problem statement (which can also be phrased as a question, an instruction, or a short scenario) and a description of the solution to that problem. Patterns can also include examples, links to related resources, general considerations, and media such as images or embedded videos. Anyone can create a pattern around a piece of advice or set of instructions that they think would benefit others who may be performing a similar activity in the future. We intend to encourage grant recipients to write patterns to capture what worked (and what didn't work) when they report on their activities. As the Learning Pattern library grows, the Grantmaking & Program teams can use this resource to identify common challenges that grantees face, successful strategies they have developed, and to help identify types of activities that have a high potential for impact. Some examples of patterns we have so far: "Let the media know", "Cookies by the exit", "Short reports go a long way", "Photographic evidence."
- Grants Program evaluations
- Annual Plan Grants: worked on financial analysis of the different applicants to Round 1 of the Annual Plan Grants. Also helped collect and administer feedback from the FDC.
- Travel & Participation Support Grants: Launched survey and collecting feedback for the Travel & Participation Support Program. Results will be posted in November, with a call for continued community conversation at that time.
- Wikimania Scholarships: Published a blog post summary of the Wikimania Scholarships 2013 program, which funded 95 individuals from 54 countries.
- Results from First Employee Study survey
- Results from Travel & Participation Support Program survey
- Updated grants pages on Meta
- New management tool for grants (Fluxx)
- External research projects, looking at organizational methodologies for other movements
- IEG impact assessment design
- IEG post-award survey development
- Conversations around impact evaluation for gender-related work at the diversity conference, hosted by our community in Berlin!
- Research hackathon
- Translation opportunities on Evaluation portal
- Further development of learning patterns
- Department Highlights
- The Wikipedia Zero team launched its first USSD/SMS pilot in Kenya. Airtel Kenya mobile subscribers now have free access to Wikipedia through text messages for the first time. The service targets mobile subscribers who use low-cost basic phones ("feature phones") that are not internet-enabled. See also the general "Highlights" section, and for more information, see below and our blog post: "Airtel Wikipedia Zero partnership to pilot Wikipedia via text".
- Wikipedia Education Program Communications Manager LiAnna Davis and Communications Contractor Sage Ross put together draft text for a completely redone version of the Welcome to Wikipedia brochure for newcomers, now titled Contributing to Wikipedia.
Program Evaluation and Design
- Data Collection Survey updates
Program Evaluation and Design has been knee-deep in reviewing the results from their data collection survey. The survey, which opened at the end of September and closed on October 7, received responses from 23 program leaders. Those who responded are associated with chapters, affiliates and usergroups. Some program leaders who responded identify as individuals, producing and evaluating programs without chapter support. Respondents, whom will remain anonymous in the end report, reported data for edit-a-thons, workshops, online editing contests, GLAM content donations, photography competitions, and the Wikipedia Education Program. The report will feature two showcase reports about edit-a-thons and Wiki Loves Monuments. Through the beginning of November, the team will be producing a report, requesting community feedback, and then it will be presented to the FDC, and the broader Wikimedia community in mid-November on Meta.
- Two interns join the Program Evaluation and Design team
The Program Evaluation & Design team has brought on two paid interns to assist with the Data Collection Survey. These two interns, Edward Galvez and Yuan Li, bring well-honed skills from John Hopkins University and the University of Cincinnati, respectively. They are primarily assisting Program Evaluation and Design Specialist, Jaime Anstee, with mining, cleaning, checking and examining the data voluntarily provided by the Wikimedia community during the recent Data Collection Survey. Through their internship, they will be learning skills like wiki mark-up, the basics of contributing to Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, and Meta, gain an understanding about the way the Wikimedia community works and the programs they are doing to engage the public, how to use WikiMetrics, and extended evaluation data skills.
- Communications update
- The Program Evaluation Portal on Meta launched on October 4. The portal, which was designed by Program Evaluation and Design in partnership with the Learning & Evaluation team, provides a unique and friendly environment to learn about evaluation and design. The portal features four main components: the library, full of resources about evaluation and design, the machine shop which features resources related to tools like WikiMetrics, the parlor, a social space for program leaders to introduce themselves through easy to create profiles and to ask questions for crowdsourced support and help, and the printing press, which features the latest news related to evaluation. The portal also contains a work space for the two teams to develop reports and resources on Meta-wiki, before launching them formally in the portal. This space is called the Boiler Room. The portal's front page is automatically updated by a bot with the latest changes and activity.
- Facebook continues to be a popular space for program leaders to seek help and socialize regarding evaluation and design. As of October 31, the "Program Evaluation & Design" Facebook group had 101 members.
- The Program Evaluation & Design Announcement List hits 73 members. (October archives)
- Jaime and Sarah hosted an open office IRC sessions on October 7 in the Program Evaluation and Design IRC channel (#wikimedia-ped). They spent a total of four hours, split into two sessions (morning/afternoon), in the room allowing for casual conversation, questions and assistance regarding evaluation and design between them and the community. Approximately 10 participants.
- Quarterly Review took place on October 25, in partnership with the Grantmaking department. Program Evaluation & Design presenting about their work, goals and blockers from the teams inception in April until the present.
- Wikipedia Zero partnerships delivered 39M free mobile page views in 20 countries in October.
- We launched Wikipedia Zero with Airtel in Kenya, along with our first USSD/SMS pilot. Airtel Kenya customers now have free access to Wikipedia through text messages. With this partnership, the Wikimedia Foundation for the first time delivers access to Wikipedia through SMS free of charge. The service targets customers who use low-cost basic phones ("feature phones") instead of data-enabled smartphones. From the lessons learned in this pilot, we hope to eventually make this service widely available to reach the billions of people who have mobile phones, but cannot afford access to the internet. See also the general "Highlights" section, and our blog post: "Airtel Wikipedia Zero partnership to pilot Wikipedia via text".
- We got great news coverage of the Wikipedia via Text pilot, validating the importance of text messaging as a channel to reach the many mobile users whose older phones do not support mobile internet access. We are collecting usage data and also qualitative user feedback during the three-month pilot, so we can refine the service. We intend to do multiple pilots this year, then plan for a wider rollout next year, depending on the trial results.
- We launched Wikipedia Zero for the first time in Bangladesh. Our partner Banglalink did a press release and is seeing a great response in the market. Bangladesh brings our total number of launched Wikipedia Zero markets to 20.
- Our carrier partners love the story of the school kids from Joe Slovo township in South Africa, documented beautifully by Victor Grigas, WMF Storyteller, in the two-minute video released this month (see also general "Highlights" section). Orange, our first Wikipedia Zero partner, is particularly proud because the kids heard about free access to Wikipedia in Orange Uganda and Kenya. Hearing the value of free access to Wikipedia straight from the kids should inspire new partners to support our mission.
Wikipedia Education Program
- The Wikipedia Education Program team has begun working with developer Andrew Russell Green on fixing bugs and usability problems in the MediaWiki extension for course pages. Several vexing bugs have been patched, and some small but much-requested features have been developed. We're now turning to planning out the longer term roadmap for our course page technology.
- United States/Canada Program
- The US and Canada Education Program has begun its transition from being led by the Wikimedia Foundation staff to the volunteers and new staff of the new nonprofit, the Wiki Education Foundation. The program should be completely coordinated by the Wiki Education Foundation by the end of November.
- More than 1,200 new student editors on English Wikipedia created user accounts this semester and enrolled in their classes on the education extension. Many of them spent October completing the online student training before creating sandboxes and beginning to edit in the article namespace.
- Arab World Program
- Arab World Education Program Manager Tighe Flanagan traveled to Cairo to support the end of term celebration conference hosted by Ain Shams University. The conference was attended by more than 50 students and professors who participated in the third term of the Wikipedia Education Program in Egypt. Tighe also met with professors and administrators at Ain Shams Al-Alsun (Languages) Faculty, Ain Shams Arts Faculty and Cairo University, to get feedback from the past semester and set goals for the upcoming term.
- Tighe represented the Wikipedia Education Program at the 2013 World Innovation Summit for Education in Doha, from October 29–31. This annual conference brought together more than 1,000 education professionals to present, discuss, and debate the future of education. This event was part of a larger regional visit to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.
- Meetings were also held with the Qatar Computer Research Institute (QCRI) and Qatar University to discuss the potential for the expansion of the Wikipedia Education Program in Qatar. QCRI is eager to support the initiative, and formal proposals will be sent to initiate the process. Hamid Bin Khalifa University in Doha, Qatar, is also interested in the program, although they were not able to attend any meetings.
- Wikipedia Education Program Communications Manager LiAnna Davis and Communications Contractor Sage Ross put together draft text for a completely redone version of the Welcome to Wikipedia brochure for newcomers, now titled Contributing to Wikipedia. They are currently seeking community feedback and refining the text, while designer David Peters has begun developing the layout of the new brochure. The former "Welcome to Wikipedia" brochure ranks among the most widely distributed learning materials for newcomers to Wikipedia.
- Following the research on plagiarism completed last month, Communications Contractor Sage Ross created a new video to explain to student editors the ins and outs of plagiarism and close paraphrasing on Wikipedia.
- Two newsletters:
The primary October activities for HR included ongoing support of three executive searches (ED, VP of Engineering, Chief Communications Officer), organizing a 3-day off-site group facilitation training, researching and testing of a new ergonomic program, coordinating initial work on role calibration (levels of jobs throughout WMF and what these levels look like between departments), and kicking off the prep work and renewals for the annual US benefits open enrollment (more to come in December). HR also helped the new WMF Aliens expat group with their first (and fabulous!) pot-luck. We are also in the middle of conducting our annual employee engagement survey, as well as an ongoing search for a new Manager of Recruiting.
- New Requisitions Filled
- Caitlin Cogdill, Fundraising Program Associate (Fundraiser)
- Gergő Tisza, Software Engineer (Engineering)
- Caitlin Virtue, Development Outreach Manager (Fundraiser)
- Christian Aistleitner, Systems Engineer (Engineering)
- Dan Garry, Product Manager – Platform (Engineering)
- New Interns
- Edward Galvez (Programs)
- Yuan Li (Programs)
- Angelica Tavella (IT)
- Gina Vasyanina (IT)
- New Contractors
- Andrew Green (Engineering)
- Kunal Mehta (Engineering)
- Moriel Schottlender (Engineering)
- Rummana Yasmeen (Engineering)
- Contracts Extended
- Steven Bernardin (Engineering)
- Emily Blanchard (Human Resources)
- Arlo Breault (Engineering)
- David Chan (Engineering)
- Dan DeJarnatt (Human Resources)
- Michelle Grover (Engineering)
- Oliver Keyes (Engineering)
- Andre Klapper (Engineering)
- Niklas Laxström (Engineering)
- Erica Litrenta (Engineering)
- Heather McAndrew (Human Resources)
- Matthias Mullie (Engineering)
- Marc Ordinas (Engineering)
- Sherry Snyder (Engineering)
- Jay Walsh
- Contracts Ended
- Henrique Andrade
- Oona Castro
- Celio Costa
- Faris El-Gwely
- Jan Gerber
- Joanie Hjulmand
- Kristan Johnson
- Kirsten Menger-Anderson
- Sarah Mitroff
- Rebecca Neumann
- Sophie Österberg
- Rodrigo Padula
- These changes stem from the November launch of the Brazil 'partnership grant' from WMF, funding Ação Educativa (a Brazilian education non-profit) to support Wikimedia communities and related activities in Brazil. Oona, Henrique and the rest of the current Brazil team (Celio and Rodrigo) are joining Ação Educativa as part of this grant, increasing the October attrition number by three.
- New Postings
- Chief Communications Officer
- Recruiting manager
- Software Engineer Mobile
- Sr. Data Engineer Analytics
- Total Requisitions Filled
- October Actual: 153
- October Total Plan: 179
- October Filled: 5, Month Attrition: 4,
- YTD Filled: 20, YTD Attrition: 12
- Remaining Open positions to fiscal year end
- Real-time feed for HR updates
- http://identi.ca/wikimediaatwork or https://twitter.com/wikimediaatwork
Finance and Administration
- Completed a review of the WMF bond fund with Rockefeller & Company. As of September 30, 2013, WMF has $13.5 million in this fund with a current yield of 2.67% and estimated annual income of $359,967.
- Garfield is beginning a conversation with potential investment advisors for the Long Term Reserve Fund that is under consideration. One of the criteria that are current being looked at is capabilities in providing a Socially Responsible portfolio.
- Garfield is working with our insurance brokers on the renewals of the WMF insurance policies.
Legal, Community Advocacy, and Communications Department
LCA Report, October 2013
It has been a big month for community consultations by LCA, with 4 simultaneous consultations occurring during October. One of the most active discussions occurred in the community consultation about the trademark registration of the Community logo as a collective membership mark to allow community members to use the mark without a trademark license while preventing abuse of the mark by others.
- Submitted : 37
- Completed : 35
- Submitted : 10
- Approved : 2
- Pending : 8
Coming & Going
No new arrivals or departures for LCA in October 2013.
- LCA is finishing up a community consultation on our Trademark Policy and practices and is preparing to launch a new Trademark Policy draft for a two month community consultation period.
- The community consultation for the Access to Nonpublic Information Policy draft also continued into its second month (out of a 4.5 month-long period). The discussion was particularly active in October, with many serious concerns raised by community members. LCA has posed a question to the community about whether such a policy is still in line with the movement’s needs and whether it should be retained.
- LCA participated in two legal design workshops at Stanford Institute of Design and the Embassy Network to visualize the new trademark policy draft, as described in a blog post: "Designing a user-friendly trademark policy for some of the world’s most recognizable marks".
- Yana gave a talk about Wikimedia at Yale ISP, as described in a blog post: "Speaking about free knowledge and the law at Yale ISP".
- LCA continues to coordinate closely with engineering on socializing the VisualEditor product deployment and is further engaged in discussing best practices for rolling out change.
- LCA worked with the Wikipedia Zero team on implementation of the partnership with Airtel.
- Luis discussed open licensing, along with a panel from Creative Commons, Public Library of Science, and University of California, at an Open Access Un/Conference at San Jose State.
- Creative Commons announced the conclusion of the Creative Commons 4.0 drafting process. LCA participated in this process throughout, has begun analyzing the final license, and congratulates CC on the completion of a successful process.
- LCA analyzed licensing questions for the Multimedia team, including copyright license questions for the Media Viewer, open source questions related to our video player, and patent questions around the recent Mozilla-Cisco H264 announcement.
Communications Report, October 2013
The Communications team has been learning to function well without Jay Walsh at the helm. We were treated to a very busy month with numerous high-profile storylines converging to keep us occupied. The sockpuppetry and paid advocacy editing investigation dominated the month. There were also a number of reports following the MIT Technology Review story “The Decline of Wikipedia,” and a flurry of press around U.S. Senator Rand Paul, who reportedly used Wikipedia content in a speech without proper attribution.
The Wikimedia Foundation is recruiting a Chief Communications Officer to succeed Jay. The recruitment effort kicked off in late October and will continue through November into the middle of December. Please share the announcement with your networks and help us find good candidates: https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/10/31/wikimedia-foundation-chief-communications-officer-search/
- Statement from Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, in response to paid advocacy editing and sockpuppetry (21 October 2013)
Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Sue Gardner denounces paid editing for promotional purposes, or paid advocacy editing, which she describes as a "black hat" practice that violates Wikipedia’s core principles.
- Airtel joins Wikipedia Zero partnership with pilot in Kenya (24 October 2013)
Airtel is partnering with the Wikimedia Foundation to bring free access to Wikipedia to 70 million people in 17 countries. The partnership also introduces a pilot initiative to provide free access to Wikipedia via text messages (SMS and USSD).
Major storylines in October
- (For a detailed list of press clips about Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation in October, see the list on Meta-wiki here.)
- UCSF Medical School incorporates editing Wikipedia for class (late September, early October)
The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical School announced that it will offer an medical elective course that will assign editing Wikipedia as part of the curriculum for the class. UCSF claims to be the first medical school in the United States to do so.
- New York Times - Editing Wikipedia Pages for Med School Credit
- WebProNews - Doctors Decide They Need to Be the Ones Editing Medical Wikipedia Articles
- Nonprofit Quarterly - Medical Students Offered Course Credit for Editing Wikipedia
- Sockpuppetry and paid advocacy editing investigation (all of October)
On October 8, the technology news site Daily Dot published a story by Simon Owens that chronicled an investigation by English Wikipedia editors. It detailed allegations that sockpuppet accounts may have been linked to a paid public relations firm working to create and manage Wikipedia articles on behalf of corporations and other organizations. As the story developed, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Sue Gardner released a statement condemning sockpuppetry and paid advocacy editing as “black hat” practices. The story resulted a couple hundred articles in many languages.
- Sue Gardner’s statement on the Wikimedia Blog: https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/10/21/sue-gardner-response-paid-advocacy-editing/
- For an extensive list of press clippings on this topic, see the Meta-wiki page here
- Select coverage here:
- The Daily Dot - The battle to destroy Wikipedia's biggest sockpuppet army
- VICE - Is the PR Industry Buying Influence Over Wikipedia?
- Wall Street Journal - Wikipedia Probes Suspicious Promotional Articles
- PRWeek - New Wikipedia editing furore provokes CIPR ire
- The reported “decline” of Wikipedia (mid and late October)
The MIT Technology Review published an extensive story, “The Decline of Wikipedia,” which examined the declining active editor trend across Wikipedias and highlighted some of the work the Wikimedia Foundation was doing to try to reverse the declining numbers. Though the story was well-written and thoroughly researched, subsequent coverage in other media outlets played up the sensational title and often didn’t carefully represent the issue in its historical context. One article from November in Newsweek tried to take a more balanced view and showcased various examples of initiatives to retain new editors, particularly women.
- MIT Technology Review - The Decline of Wikipedia
- The Atlantic - 90% of Wikipedia's Editors Are Male—Here's What They're Doing About It
- Business Insider - Lots Of Internet Industry People Are Suddenly Worried About The Future Of Wikipedia
- Newsweek - Wikipedia Wobbles But Doesn't Fall (Citation Needed)
- U.S. Senator Rand Paul reportedly copies Wikipedia entries without proper attribution (late October and early November)
MSNBC’s news show host Rachel Maddow accused conservative U.S. politician and 2016 presidential hopeful Rand Paul of plagiarizing portions of a speech he gave from the Wikipedia article on Gattaca, a sci-fi movie from the late 1990s. Following her segment, numerous other outlets discovered plagiarizing in Senator Paul’s speeches and writing. The scandal expanded so far, there has been talk of the Senator not running for president in 2016.
- New York Times - Senator Rand Paul Is Accused of Plagiarizing His Lines From Wikipedia
- Buzzfeed - Rand Paul Has Given Speeches Plagiarized From Wikipedia Before
- MSNBC - More Wikipedia copying in Rand Paul speeches
Other worthwhile reads
- Wikipedia’s Economic Value | Infojustice | October 3
- Wikipedia pilots articles-via-SMS service aimed at Africans | BBC | October 25
- Wikipedia China Becomes Front Line for Views on Language and Culture | New York Times | October 27
Wikimedia Blog posts
Blog.wikimedia.org published 33 posts in October 2013. Six posts were multilingual, including Arabic, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish. Some highlights from the blog:
- Scientific multimedia files get a second life on Wikipedia | October 21, 2013
- As Arab countries participate in Wiki Loves Monuments for the first time, stakes are especially high in Syria | October 24, 2013
- Airtel Wikipedia Zero partnership to pilot Wikipedia via text | October 24, 2013
- Designing a user-friendly trademark policy for some of the world’s most recognizable marks | October 29, 2013
Media contact through October 2013: wmf:Press room/Media Contact#October 2013
For lots of detailed coverage and news summaries, see the community-edited newsletter “Wikipedia Signpost” for October 2013:
- Volume 9, Issue 39, 02 October 2013
- Volume 9, Issue 40, 09 October 2013
- Volume 9, Issue 41, 16 October 2013
- Volume 9, Issue 42, 23 October 2013
- Volume 9, Issue 43, 30 October 2013
Visitors and Guests
Visitors and guests to the WMF office in October 2013:
- Sameer Verma (SF State University)
- Arash Ghassemi (Union Bank)
- Obie Howe (Adaptive)
- Kenji Nasahashi (Internet Archive)
- Lani Van Dusen (FCG Global)
- David Spach (FCG Global)
- Alina Mierlus (Mozilla)
- Taylor Keep (VITAL)
- Stefan Priebsch (thephp.cc)
- Sebastian Bergmann (thephp.cc)
- Danielle W. (Fluxx)
- Evan Powell (Stack Storm)
- Dimitri Zimine (Stack Storm)
- Val Aurora (TAI)
- Darla Ling (Paylocity)
- Peter Dwyer (Liturgical Press)
- Rian Wanstreet (Access Now)
- Brett Solomon (Access Now)
- Kimberly Smith (Morningside Translations)
- Ana Almeyda-Cohen (Morningside Translations)
- Dara Ling (Paylocity)
- Ta-Tanisha Henry (SFIPCA)
- J. Jaffe (W3C)
- Prakash Advani (Canonical)
- Toni Maraviglia (Eneza)
- John Nichols (Nation)
- Bob McChesea (Nation)
- Craig Aarc (Free Press)
- Doug Hessel (Johnson & Dugan)
- Cathy Christie-Patton (Johnson & Dugan)
- Jove Oliver (Minassian Media)
- Arzhel Younsi (Mozilla France)
- Josie Ramos (PRN)
- Kaylah Sterling (acupuncturist)
- Ellen Pao (Reddit)
- Jason Ricci (Fluxx Labs)
- Graham Ulvestad (Fluxx Labs)
- Philip Solis (Target CW)
- Cindy Hawley (Arthur J. Gallagher)
- Patrick Chew (Change.org)
- Ariana Younai (LinkedIn)
- Holly Procter (LinkedIn)
- Chris Kohler (World Pay)
- Kevin Hennessy (World Pay)
- Mike Schwartz (Wikia)
- Owen Davis (Wikia)