Wikimedia Foundation Report, September 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 Funds Dissemination Committee
- 6.2 WMF Grants
- 6.3 Participation Support
- 6.4 Individual Engagement Grants
- 6.5 Grantmaking Learning & Evaluation
- 6.6 Brazil Catalyst Project
- 7 Programs
- 8 Human Resources
- 9 Finance and Administration
- 10 Legal, Community Advocacy, and Communications Department
- 10.1 LCA Report, September 2013
- 10.2 Communications Report, September 2013
- 11 Visitors and Guests
Data and Trends
Global unique visitors for August:
- 497 million (+0.97% compared with July; +8.90% compared with the previous year)
- (comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release September data later in October)
Page requests for September:
- 17.999 billion
- (Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including mobile access)
Active Registered Editors for August 2013 (>= 5 mainspace edits/month, excluding bots):
- 76,612 (-0.34% compared with July / -2.94% 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 August 2013 at the time of this report.)
All financial information presented is for the Month-To-Date and Year-To-Date August 31, 2013.
|Grantmaking & Programs Group||$607,306|
|Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group||$533,787|
Revenue for the month of August is $2.29MM versus plan of $0.99MM, approximately $1.3MM or 133% over plan.
Year-to-date revenue is $5.41MM versus plan of $1.99MM, approximately $3.42MM or 172% over plan.
Expenses for the month of August is $3.34MM versus plan of $4.26MM, approximately $919K or 25% 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.
Year-to-date expenses is $6.06MM versus plan of $7.69MM, approximately $1.63MM or 21% 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 $38.75MM as of August 31, 2013.
22 proposals for Individual Engagement Grants submitted
The Foundation's Individual Engagement Grants support individuals or small teams working on projects that help Wikimedia's volunteers do their work. The program was started in early 2013 and its second round of proposals closed on September 30. 22 complete proposals were submitted, totaling $297,575 in requested funding. The requested sums range from $10 to $30,000. Via online community organizing, offline outreach, tool-building and research, the proposals aim to impact at least 15 different Wikimedia projects. Examples include a project for "Reimagining Mentorship on Wikipedia" and work on ensuring that gadgets that support editing are updated to be compatible with the new VisualEditor. In October, proposals are being checked for eligibility while community discussion continues, before the committee's formal review begins on 23 October.
FDC receives 11 proposals for annual plan grants, looks back on first year of operation
The Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) process is another component of WMF grantmaking, where organizations in the Wikimedia movement can request larger grants to support their annual plans. This committee, which reviews the requests and makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees consists, entirely of volunteers, supported by WMF staff. The second FDC round of 2013 was concluding in September, with 11 Wikimedia organizations requesting a total of almost 6 million US dollars. Until October 31, Wikimedians are invited to participate in the community review period of the proposals
FDC staff also worked on preparing the 2012-2013 annual report looking back at the first year of operation since the FDC was established in 2012. It includes reflections from WMF Executive Director Sue Gardner about the FDC process.
A detailed report of the Tech Department's activities for September 2013 can be found here.
- Department Highlights
Major news in September include:
- A recap on how our engineers worked with volunteers to improve language tools at Wikimania;
- A call for wikis willing to experiment with using HTTPS for all users;
- A recap on how our new image scaling system was implemented by a volunteer developer;
- A call for technical projects that could for instance be completed as part of our mentorship programs;
- Design experiments to show the community behind Wikipedia articles on mobile devices;
- Another release of the MediaWiki Language Extension Bundle, with an explanation of how it's put together;
- The completion of the sixth round of the Outreach Program for Women;
- A recap of the launch of Notifications to more language versions of Wikipedia, and their impact.
In September, the VisualEditor team continued their work to improve this visual tool to edit wiki pages, and enabled it on more wikis. The focus in the team's work this month was to continue to improve the stability and performance of the system, fix a number of bugs uncovered by the community, and make some usability improvements.
Improvements were also made to Parsoid, the program that converts wikitext to annotated HTML, and vice-versa. Bugs were fixed, performance statistics were added, and the code base was cleaned up. We planned out an implementation strategy for language variant support, and started researching and experimenting with HTML storage options, which is required for a number of projects in our roadmap.
In September, we released Notifications on more Wikipedias, such as the Dutch, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese. Notifications allow users to stay informed of changes and discussion that affect them. Community response has been very positive so far, across languages and regions. For each release, we reached out to community members weeks in advance, inviting them to translate and discuss the tool with their peers. As a result, we have now formed productive relationships with volunteer groups in each project, and are very grateful for their generous support.
This month, we continued architecture work on Flow, the new discussion system, to integrate it with watchlists, recent changes, mentions and notifications. We also started experimenting with VisualEditor-enabled posting. We began a sprint to create a new interface for the board and discussions that will work across desktop and mobile platforms. We are aiming to implement this design next month, in preparation for several rounds of new user and experienced user feedback before the first release.
In September, the Growth team (formerly known as Editor Engagement Experiments, or E3) primarily worked on the onboarding new Wikipedians project. In particular, this included the creation and deployment of two new guided tours to teach any new user how to make their first edit, using wikitext or VisualEditor. The guided tours feature was also enabled to the following language editions of Wikipedia: Catalan, Hebrew, Hungarian, Malay, Spanish, Swedish, and Ukrainian. Along with the renaming, the team held its third quarterly review (minutes and slides are available) and published its 2013–2014 product goals. Last, in accordance with the 2013-14 goals, the Growth team began research into modeling newcomer retention on Wikipedia, anonymous editor acquisition, and article creation improvement.
The Mobile web team mostly focused on tutorial A/B testing, Notifications overlay in Beta, and adding campaign tracking to MobileFrontend.
The Revenue Team has raised $5.41 million as of August 31, 2013, which is $3.42 ahead of plan.
Major Gifts and Foundations
- Held a meeting with Sloan Foundation, one of our biggest funders.
- Prepared a proposal for the Stanton Foundation regarding mobile and flow.
- Worked with Tarnside on finding grantmaking foundations in Europe.
- Prepared for event on October 1st in NYC with Jimmy Wales.
- The fundraising team ran campaigns worldwide throughout September. Banners were displayed to 5% 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 September, approximately USD 2 million was raised from 150,000 donors (preliminary numbers as donations are still settling). The team also sent the first email tests of this fiscal year to past donors. For more information on testing, please see the 2013 fundraising page on Meta-wiki.
- Held a meeting and Wikipedia user focus group session with representatives from upworthy.com to better optimize virality of the documentary film about the 2012 class of Sinenjongo High School in South Africa and their campaign for free access to Wikipedia.
- Department highlights
- Wikimania Scholarships: Statistics and survey results about the Scholarships of Wikimania Hong Kong 2013 have been posted. In 2013, the Wikimedia Foundation sent 85 individuals to Wikimania (with some financial support from WMDE). They came from 54 different countries, and 68% of them live in the Global South. Satisfaction levels with the scholarships process (including both Scholarship Review Committee and internal WMF processes such as travel) were markedly higher in 2013 than 2012.
- 12 new grants funded and 27 reports accepted or reviewed in September 2013.
- Eligibility for 2013 - 2014 Round 1 of the FDC process confirmed on 15 September, as entities prepared to submit proposals by the deadline on 1 October.
- Both the Annual Plan (FDC) and Individual Engagement grants programs prepare to launch new proposal review periods in October 2013 as proposal submission deadlines close at the end of September and beginning of October.
Funds Dissemination Committee
- FDC staff published a summary of reports from Quarter 2 (Q2) of 2012-2013 Round 1. This document includes highlights and trends, as well as a table showing rates of spending. The FDC and the FDC staff thank Round 1 2012-2013 entities for submitting their quarterly reports.
- During September, the FDC staff held two sets of IRC office hours with two sessions each (to accommodate various timezones). These meetings focused on proposal milestones, process questions, and proposal content. Some of the chats were more active than others, and logs are available for your review.
- On September 15, eligibility for 2013-2014 Round 1 of the FDC process was confirmed, with 15 of 17 entities who submitted Letters of Intent (LOIs) confirmed as eligible to submit proposals in the upcoming round. Eligibility for 2013-2014 Round 1 was announced on Wikimedia-l the day after the process closed.
- Annual plan grant proposals to the FDC for 2013-2014 Round 1 are due October 1, 2013 at 23:59 UTC. At that time, the community review period launches. The FDC invites members of the community to review submitted proposals and share questions and feedback on the Discussion page of the proposal. If you have questions about this process, contact FDCsupportwikimedia.org.
7 grant requests funded and 11 grant reports accepted in September.
Grants awarded in September 2013
7 Requests funded in September 2013:
Reports accepted in September 2013
11 reports accepted in September 2013:
- Wikimedia CH formally joined the Participation Support Program in September. The PSP Committee is glad to welcome Charles Andrès, Wikimedia CH's Chief Science Officer, as our newest member. Along with Siko Bouterse (WMF) and Rebecca Cotton (WMDE), Charles will be working together to review requests and reports for Particiaption Support.
- We've partnered with the Learning & Evaluation team to conduct a survey of the program's user-experience and gain an overview of outcomes for these grants. We look forward to sharing results and discussing possible avenues for growth and redesign in October.
Requests awarded in September 2013
5 requests funded in September 2013:
Reports accepted in September 2013
3 reports accepted in September 2013:
Individual Engagement Grants
- Round 2's call for proposals closed on 30 September! 22 complete proposals were submitted, totalling $297,575 in requested funding. (see also general "Highlights" section)
- 7 new members joined the IEG Committee for round 2. In total, the 18 volunteer committee members now bring experience and advice to IEG from 13 countries, 10 languages and 8 Wikimedia projects. Join us in welcoming our new members:
- The committee has formed 4 working groups to coordinate proposal review by type, in order to focus committee expertise and energy on sets of proposals in a scalable manner. We'll be piloting this new approach to proposal review for round 2 of IEG. A few new specialized committee roles are also being developed for members to take on at various stages of the IEG process.
- Round 1 grantee spotlight: This month, WikiArs grantee Dvdgmz released a new assignments workflow that enables Wikipedians to request images from art and design students participating in the program.
Reports accepted in September 2013
Grantmaking Learning & Evaluation
- Grantmaking overall
- First Employee Study: Developed and distributed a survey to all the chapters to get information on their (a) decision as to whether or not to hire staff and (b) their experiences in hiring. The results will be mined in October.
- Development of the Evaluation portal: doing this alongside Sarah & Heather; soft launch is Tuesday, Oct 1. This is the portal through which we can share tools and learnings as a community, both on the programmatic and organizational sides. One important development with this is the proposal for learning Patterns, which will be one way that we capture learnings alongside the community. If this works, we may want to incorporate the patterns into the grantmaking reports.
- Working with the WMF Analytics team on the ability to gather and display information, including Limn, geo-data, and Wikimetrics.
- Wikimania Scholarships (see also Department highlights above)
- Results from the Scholarships of Wikimania Hong Kong 2013 are posted. In 2013, the Wikimedia Foundation sent 85 individuals to Wikimania (with some financial support from WMDE!), including 67 full scholarships and 18 partial subsidized scholarships. These went to individuals in 54 different countries, 68% of whom live in the Global South.
- Satisfaction levels with the scholarships process (including both Scholarship Review Committee and internal WMF processes such as travel) were markedly higher in 2013 than 2012. Besides the support work of the Scholarship Committee and Jessie Wild for the scholarships process itself, this speaks to the work of Doreen and Leslie in the travel team, of the finance team in processing reimbursements, and of Ellie Young on Wikimania overall.
- Over 1200 individuals applied for scholarships, and these applications were reviewed by a committee of 9 Wikimedians from around the world. Their ratings were used by the Wikimedia Foundation as well as chapters around the world in order to award travel scholarships.
- Grants Program evaluations
- Project & Event Grants:
- Created and deployed a post-grant survey for those grantees who have just submitted their report (but prior to the report's approval). This will allow us to better understand the overall experience for the grantee. The questions can be found on the Learning & Evaluation space on Meta. The first round of analysis of this information will occur after three months, in January 2014.
- Also working on a post-application process survey, which would be sent to all people who applied for a grant, regardless of whether or not they received funding. This is a survey similar to those sent following the rounds of applications for the Annual Plan Grants and the Individual Engagement Grants (IEG).
- Participation Support Program: For the first time, we are doing a thorough review of the Participation Support Program's process and goals. Currently, there is a survey out to all past participants to get their feedback on the program. We look forward to processing the results of this survey with our PSP community & partners throughout October!
- Annual Plan Grants:
- Aided in the development of visualizations for the annual report following Y1 of the FDC process. See Category on Commons for some examples
- Individual Engagement Grants:
- Expanded GrantsBot to automatically notify individuals who had created a proposal of the proposal deadline (which was Oct 1)
Brazil Catalyst Project
Partnership grant process
- Community review for Ação Educativa's proposal started on September 20 and ends on October 10.
- Ação Educativa's proposal has been translated into Portuguese.
- The Educacao-br mailing list was created as a hub for discussions about the Wikimedia Education Program in Brazil, building connections, having experiences and strategies shared and allowing joint activities.
- All teachers involved in the program and members of the Brazilian community were invited to join the mailing list (20 professors joined the list).
- Translation and creation of all pages around the Education Extension has been completed (following the USA/Canada example).
- Rodrigo Padula has traveled to the USA to meet the education team and scheduled/participated in meetings at the Wikimedia Foundation's office.
- The team has advanced in the conversation with BandTec, UFRJ, UNIRIO, UFPF universities regarding the Education Program.
- Discussed partnership with the editors of Nova Escola magazine (the major magazine targeting professors in Brazil): The proposal includes a new blog on the magazine website written by Wikipedians and the Brazil Catalyst Program team, videos, hangouts and events.
- Developed a script to get daily pageview data about the Portuguese Wikipedia from dumps and make them available in graph form on Tool Labs
- Started efforts to localize the vandalism detection tool STiki to ptwiki.
- Helped community evaluating the usage of gadgets on ptwiki.
- Under development: a non-technical interface that allows to add events on the PT Wikipedia timeline through editing wiki pages, so that any editor can help improve it in the future.
- Made contact with researchers from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (pt:UFRJ) and Faculdade de Tecnologia Bandeirantes (BandTec) that research behavior on wikis and are willing to use ptwiki data in their work.
Participation in events
- Oona in Fórum da Internet: see detailed report in Portuguese. Oona presented a lecture on Education, Culture and copyright, featuring Wikimedia projects, the education program and raising aspects to be considered in the new legislation on copyright. About 120 people attended the presentation. Major outcomes were:
- Partnership with UFPA: meeting with the Federal University of Pará, in the north region of Brazil, whose International Relations rectory department wants to develop projects in partnership with the Wikimedia movement, in order to publish content about the state of Pará on Wikisource, Wikiversity, Commons and Wikipedia. They want to get a formal contract with a Brazilian institution (possibly our future partner) to be able to have expenses with the project (organizing a seminar, paying flights and hotels for speakers, etc).
- Started discussing a hackathon on MediaWiki and data analysis to happen just before the International Forum of Free Software (FISL) for 2014
- Created a page at Wikimedia Brasil website to be a hub to keep track of documents and references on the Internet Civil Rights bill developed by civil society and researchers.
- Rodrigo Padula organized and participated in the 4º Seminário de Educação e Tecnologia, an event that is part of the Piraí Digital project. He presented a 2-day workshop for the teachers of the local schools, teaching strategies and methodologies about how professors can effectively apply Wikimedia's projects on the classroom.
- During the event he had meetings with the event's organizers starting to plan a partnership with the local Pirai schools.
- It has been proposed (and is under evaluation) the next activity including a workshop for all the teachers of the Pirai Digital project.
- Henrique participated in Dev Brasil at Rio Info 2013 (on September 19), an event targeted at software developers aiming to create networks for learning activities and technical knowledge sharing. Entitled "Colaboração, Comunidade e Compartilhamento", Henrique Andrade's presentation showed how to collaborate with the Wikimedia community by offering technical contributions. The debate brought up the possibility of creating a WikiProject at Wikibooks to write tutorials in Portuguese for recently launched programming frameworks.
- On September 25, Henrique gave a presentation on "Hacking Wikipedia" at the Centro de Competências em Software Livre of pt:Universidade de São Paulo (CCSL-USP) - the free software center at the University of São Paulo. About 50 people (students, researchers and veteran Wikipedians) attended the presentation. The debate was focused on the development and localization of tools to combat vandalism as well as on academic research opportunities. Those presentations aim at engaging more developers and data analysts in the Wikimedia community in Brazil.
- On September 22, the 19th community meet-up in São Paulo took place at CCSP. Twelve people attended the meeting and they debated the participation of Brazilians at Wikimania 2013, the relationship with PR people at Wikipedia, tools to combat vandalism and ways of organizing the community work. It's expected that monthly meet-ups will be set up, hoping WikiSampa 20 will happen in October.
- Department highlights
- Communications Manager LiAnna Davis kicked off an overhaul of the "Welcome to Wikipedia" brochure. Community members are encouraged to leave feedback on what they like and don't like about the current version of the brochure, and offer suggestions of things to include in the next edition. Over the past three years, the "Welcome to Wikipedia" brochure has been used far beyond the Education Program. The first version of the brochure has been translated into 12 languages; more than 8,000 copies of the English version have been distributed by the Wikimedia Foundation.
- In September 2013, we launched Wikipedia Zero in Jordan and Madagascar, giving an additional 3 million people access to Wikipedia on their mobile phones free of charge. The most recent launch with Umniah, a mobile phone company in Jordan, has been our fourth Wikipedia Zero launch in the first quarter of our fiscal year 2013/14.
- The Program Evaluation and Development team started the first round of data-gathering among program leaders. People responsible for organizing and executing programs will submit self-evaluations for their programmatic activities, covering September 2012–August 2013. This is the first time people across countries participate in an effort to gather data that will be used to analyze the impact and effectiveness of programmatic activities in our movement. The deadline for submitting self-evaluation reports is October 7th.
- The team launched Wikipedia Zero in Jordan with mobile phone company Umniah, giving Umniah's 2.4 million customers access to Wikipedia on their mobile phones free of charge. Umniah promoted Wikipedia Zero on Facebook andgot a lot of positive feedback. For the Wikipedia Zero team, this is the fourth launch in the first quarter of our fiscal year 2013/14.
- The team launched Wikipedia Zero through Orange in Madagascar. Orange Madagascar is the ninth affiliate operator to launch under our group agreement with Orange, the first partner we signed back in 2012. Orange is a big supporter of Wikipedia Zero, and they are going to work with us to launch in the remaining markets in Africa and the Middle East. Plus we're going to go back into the countries where Wikipedia Zero is live and work with the local communities on spreading the word about free access to Wikipedia on mobile phones.
- Kul, Dan and Adele traveled to Africa to work on upcoming launches and to meet with new prospective partners.
- Wikipedia Zero is gaining momentum in the mobile industry! We're getting a lot of inbound requests from smaller carriers, so it is a huge priority for the Mobile Programs team to scale our internal capacity to meet the demand. That includes setting up clear processes, creating resources and hiring two more people for the Wikipedia Zero team. (Please see the first job description on Jobvite.)
- We're working on a self-service portal to guide our operator partners through the process from pitch to contract to marketing to implementation. There are many steps we can automate, and having a central resource will make it a better experience for everyone. We will deliver requirements and design in November.
Wikipedia Education Program
- Global Education Program Manager Sophie Österberg visited the San Francisco offices for two weeks and engaged in strategic planning for the future of the Wikipedia Education Program globally. Sophie is working on a plan to identify high-potential opportunities where some targeted assistance can grow programs at scale.
- At this point in time, education efforts are underway in more than 60 countries globally. As part of her work in creating an idea about the state of educational efforts globally, Sophie has created pages on the Outreach wiki detailing the activities taking place in each country, and program leaders are encouraged to update the wiki with additional activities.
- United States/Canada Program
- We have shared initial results of research on plagiarism among student editors and other English Wikipedia editors. Results show (with some caveats) that students plagiarize less than other new editors, and slightly more than administrators and top article editors on the English Wikipedia.
- Classes began at all universities for the Fall 2013 term. Professors and Ambassadors have created 70 Course Pages on the Education Program MediaWiki extension to document the activities students are asked to do on-wiki. Already, more than 1,000 students have created user accounts and enrolled themselves on course pages. Ambassadors have introduced Wikipedia editing to students in classroom visits, and nearly 50% of students enrolled this term have already completed the student online orientation, a significant percentage for this early in the term. A few Ambassadors and professors have also facilitated workshops about teaching with Wikipedia.
- The Wiki Education Foundation completed steps to receive support for their grant from the GAC to transition the oversight of the programmatic work in the United States and Canada program from the Wikimedia Foundation to the Wiki Education Foundation.
- Arab World Program
- Arab World Education Program Manager Tighe Flanagan visited San Francisco to work with colleagues on developing a strategic plan for the next term in the Arab World. Classes were just getting started toward the end of the month in Egypt and Jordan. Faris and student volunteers led an Ambassador training workshop and did outreach to new professors.
- Tighe and Arab World Education Program Consultant Faris El-Gwely finished final arrangements for an end of term celebration conference in Cairo (which had been scheduled for this summer but delayed because of political unrest). Tighe will visit Cairo in early October for this conference and to have meetings with program participants.
- Tighe also made travel plans to attend the WISE Summit in Doha, Qatar, at the end of October, and to travel to Saudi Arabia in November to kick off the Saudi edition of the Wikipedia Education Program.
- Wikipedia Education Program Communications Manager LiAnna Davis kicked off an overhaul of the "Welcome to Wikipedia" brochure. Community members are encouraged to leave feedback on what they like and don't like about the current version of the brochure, and offer suggestions of things to include in the next edition.
- Blog posts:
- Wikipedia Education Program expands throughout Arab World (5 September)
- Why the student learning aspect matters in the Wikipedia Education Program (10 September)
- Nepal kicks off Wikipedia Education Program pilot (18 September)
Program Evaluation and Design
- First Wikimedia Evaluation Capacity Survey completed in early September. PE&D surveyed 114 program leaders from chapters, affililates, and leading as individuals in the Wikimedia movement about what they are, aren't, and wish to be evaluating regarding programs. 61% completed the survey and early analysis of the results show that a good amount of data is already being collected, with room to grow. A blog reporting on this has been published and a more detailed report of the results will be posted on meta.wiki later this year. Blog post: "Survey shows strong culture of evaluation in the Wikimedia movement, with room for growth"
- The Program Evaluation and Development team started the first round of data-gathering among program leaders. People responsible for organizing and executing programs will submit self-evaluations for their programmatic activities, covering September 2012–August 2013. The results of this effort will help us with getting a first high level view of the impact and efficiency of programmatic activities across countries. A report will be produced and released by mid-November.
- Released a new evaluation of two edit-a-thons from 2012. This self-evaluation, developed by PE&D Community Coordinator Sarah Stierch, features a replicable template for edit-a-thon evaluations.
- PE&D teams up with Grantmaking's Learning & Evaluation team to develop a shared portal for evaluation resources. This portal is in the final development stages, set to be launched Friday, October 4.
The primary September activities for HR included ongoing support of three executive searches (ED, VP of Engineering, Chief Communications Officer), organizing and facilitating a 2-day AllHands where all staff come together to build alignment and teambuild, supporting Engineering's two tech days, and hosting a Bring Your Kids to Work Day. HR also hosted a leadership roundtable for hiring managers on hiring well for the Wikimedia Foundation, and a course on meditation, as well as another one on stress busting. We also conducted a compensation audit with Finance, launched a search for a new Manager of Recruiting, we have a new recruiting intern, and we've done more back-end work on our 401k plan for new fund selections and upgrades for 12/1/2013.
- New Requisition Filled
- Kaity Hammerstein, Associate UX Designer (Engineering)
- Aaron Halfaker, Research Analyst (Engineering)
- Anna Lantz, Administrative Assistant (Administration)
- New Legal Interns
- Dashiel Renaud
- Jorge Vargas
- New Contractors
- Daniel Garry (Engineering)
- Joel Krauska (Administration)
- Carlos Monterrey (Legal & Community Advocacy)
- Contracts Extended
- Mark Bergsma (Engineering)
- Celio Costa (Grantmaking & Programs)
- Patrick Early (Engineering)
- Zeljko Filipin (Engineering)
- Pau Giner (Engineering)
- Erica Litrenta (Engineering)
- Antoine Musso (Engineering)
- Rebecca Neumann (Legal & Community Advocacy)
- Rodrigo Padula (Grantmaking & Programs)
- Keegan Peterzell (Engineering)
- Ken Snider (Engineering)
- Sherry Snyder (Engineering)
- Andrey Valkov (Fundraiser)
- Nick Wilson (Engineering)
- Asher Feldman
- Contracts Ended
- Saumya Chopra
- Michael Ray
- New Postings
- Software Engineer - Growth
- Software Engineer - Core Features
- QA Manual Tester for the VisualEditor (contract)
- Dev-Ops Engineer | SRE
- Software Engineer Data Analytics (Back End)
- Ops Engineer | Labs Contractor
- Total Requisitions Filled
- September Actual: 152
- September Total Plan: 174
- September Filled: 3, Month Attrition: 1
- YTD Filled: 15, YTD Attrition: 8
- Remaining Open positions to fiscal year end
- Real-time feed for HR updates
Finance and Administration
- FrontierMEDEX services are available to all travelers who are traveling on WMF or Community business and have their travel booked via the Wikimedia Foundation or its designated agency. This applies to staff, contractors, volunteers and scholarship recipients.
- A "Duty of Care" protocol is now in place at the Wikimedia Foundation. Any travel that has been booked via the Wikimedia Foundation or it designated agency will be reviewed for travel to high risk areas. If travel to a high risk area is reported, the Travel Office of the Wikimedia Foundation will make sure that the traveler is informed of the risk of travel to their destination and will work with them to have a safe journey.
- The grants compliance team has completed all OFAC SDN and other review of all applicants who submitted a "Letter of Intent" for the FDC process. All applicants passed this screening.
- The Wikimedia Foundation Audit is complete. The audit report and the corresponding FAQ will be published by the end of October.
Legal, Community Advocacy, and Communications Department
LCA Report, September 2013
- Submitted : 29
- Completed : 34
- Submitted : 12
- Approved : 3
- Pending : 9
Coming & Going
We are happy to welcome two new legal interns joining us for the fall semester - Dashiell Renaud joins us as a recent graduate from Vanderbilt Law; and Jorge Vargas joins as a practicing trademark attorney from Baker McKenzie’s Bogota, Colombia office and recent graduate from Universidad de Los Andes. We say farewell to one of our summer interns, Lukas Mezger, as he returns to Germany. We wish him all the best!
- In addition to the ongoing community discussion on trademarks, LCA launched a request for consultation on protection for the community logo. We invite community members to provide their input in this discussion.
- LCA worked on reaching an agreement with Airtel to offer mobile users in Kenya free access to Wikipedia.
- LCA is continuing to coordinate on the VisualEditor rollout and is working with engineering to help with challenges in communicating change to a widespread, multinational community.
- Lukas Mezger prepared a blog post about the legal department’s internship program. The blog post was translated from English into three languages (German, French, and Spanish).
- LCA published a blog post announcing the results of August’s Wikivoyage logo contest.
Communications Report, September 2013
Special thanks to outgoing Senior Director of Communications, Jay Walsh. After nearly 6 years at the Wikimedia Foundation, Jay Walsh announced that he was transitioning away from the organization in a full-time capacity. He will continue with two projects through the end of the year, but his departure marks a significant change for the Communications team and the Foundation as a whole.
At a send-off event, Executive Director Sue Gardner gave a heartfelt speech about Jay’s impact on the Wikimedia Foundation as it has grown from a budding non-profit with fewer than 10 staff in St. Petersburg, Florida, to the significant organization it is today. According to Sue, when Jay began working in early 2008, the organization wasn’t nearly as robust as it is currently, and every little press and media concern seemed capable of derailing its growth. She complimented Jay for his excellent judgment and his calm in navigating the most challenging media scenarios. She credited him with keeping the organization focused on the importance of its mission, while building capacity for managing an international media ecosystem with the many Wikimedians around the world entrusted with communicating our story to the public.
Over the next few months, the Foundation’s leadership team will conduct an international search for the new Chief Communications Officer. In the meantime, we’d like to express our thanks for all of Jay’s hard work. He will be missed.
There were no Wikimedia Foundation press releases or significant announcements in September.
Major Storylines through September
- HTTPS by default for editors (late August, early September)
The Wikimedia Foundation has enabled HTTPS default browsing for nearly all Wikimedia project editors. Notable exceptions include readers from some countries that routinely block HTTPS. WMF Deputy Director Erik Moller shared some thoughts on the rationale for not having HTTPS default for all editors: "If we accommodate [China]'s or Iran's censorship practices, we are complicit in their attempts to monitor and control their citizenry. If a privileged user's credentials (e.g. Checkuser) are misused by the government through monitoring of unencrypted traffic, for example, this is an action that would not have been possible without our exemption. This could potentially expose even users not in the affected country to risks."
- The Next Web - Wikimedia begins testing encrypted HTTPS browsing by default for all internet users
- TechDirt - Should Wikipedia Force All Users to Use HTTPS?
- The Next Web - Wikimedia Begins Testing Encrypted HTTPS Browsing by Default for All Internet Users
- Chelsea Manning (end of August, early September)
Wikipedia editors move the Bradley Manning article to “Chelsea Manning” and change use of pronouns to feminine after she declares she identifies as a woman, which resulted in great praise in the press. After an RfC and heated debate, article is moved back to Bradley Manning, though feminine pronouns remain, which resulted in lots of condemnation in the press. In the debate, many people accuse Wikipedia editors of being insensitive to transgender issues.
- Slate - Wikipedia Beats Major News Organizations, Perfectly Reflects Chelsea Manning's New Gender
- The New Statesman - Chelsea Manning gets put back in the closet by Wikipedia
- Sue Gardner - How Wikipedia got it wrong on Chelsea Manning and why
- Konkani Wikipedia (early and late September)
Goa University worked with The Center for Internet and Society in India and Wikimedia India to license the Konkani vishwakosh (or encyclopedia) under Creative Commons. The Konkani encyclopedia is planned to be the basis for the Konkani language Wikipedia, which will be developed over the next 6 months. The university also hosted a workshop over several days where roughly 40 people created new articles in Konkani Wikipedia.
- DNA - Konkani Wikipedia climbing up the Indian language ladder
- Times of India - Konkani Wikipedia from Goa University in 6 months
- The Hindu - Konkani Wikipedia in the making
- The Navhind Times - Goa University announces plan to upload Konkani encyclopedia on Wikipedia
- South Africa “Wordathon” (mid to late September)
Academics from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa organized an event with journalists from Lead SA to create and edit content on Wikipedia in an attempt to expand and improve the content about South Africa on the online encyclopedia.
- University of the Witwatersrand - Adding to SA's digital footprint
- Lead SA - Lead SA hosts Wikipedia Wordathon
- Daily Maverick - Wikipedia: The Empire writes back
- IT Web - Lead SA boosts SA's digital footprint
Other worthwhile reads
- Meet a 74-year-old Wikipedia wiz | Philadelphia Business Journal | September 5
- DC lawyer pursues suit to unmask authors who changed her Wikipedia page | ABA Journal | September 16
- Editing Wikipedia Pages for Med School Credit | New York Times | September 29
WMF Blog posts
Blog.wikimedia.org ran 20 posts in September 2013. Six posts were multilingual, including Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Nepali, and Spanish. Some highlights:
- Your privacy, your policy - a call for Wikimedia community input | September 3, 2013
- Wikipedia Education Program expands throughout Arab World | September 5, 2013
- Wikivoyage has a new logo | September 5, 2013
- VipsScaler implementation by volunteer developer improves image handling on Wikimedia sites | September 12, 2013
Media contact through September 2013: wmf:Press room/Media Contact#September 2013
For lots of detailed coverage and news summaries, see the community-edited newsletter “Wikipedia Signpost” for September 2013:
- Volume 9, Issue 35, 4 September 2013
- Volume 9, Issue 36, 11 September 2013
- Volume 9, Issue 37, 18 September 2013
- Volume 9, Issue 38, 25 September 2013
Visitors and Guests
Visitors and guests to the WMF office in September 2013:
- Nancy Rose (KPMG)
- Robert Brownstone (Fenwick & West)
- Michael S. (Grupo Vida)
- Rick Gerard (Stride Search)
- RJ Dawson (Stride Search)
- Dave Sherman (The Energy Collaborative)
- Nigel Thomas (InkTank)
- Neil Levine (InkTank)
- Jason Asbahr (Monstrous)
- Kelly Smith (Travel and Transport)
- Saad Saleem (United Layer)
- Julie Simpson (TCC Group)
- Gerardo Capiel (Benetech)
- Volker Sorge (U of Birmingham)
- Rebecca Konker (JP Morgan)
- Dana Ledyard (Girls Who Code)
- Lisa Groover (Accounting Principles)
- Brendan Corrigan (JP Morgan)
- Ana Akhtar (KPMG)
- Valerie Ball (KPMG)
- Ning Wang (Alipay)
- Jeffrey Zlotnik (The Meditation Initiative)
- Kassie Wilner (Chaloner)
- Tom Callahan (Vantage Partners)
- Julie Locke (Vantage Partners)
- Ramon Yvarra (CyberAntics) (ChickTech Social attendant)
- Mayte Garcia-Salgado (ChickTech Social attendant)
- Angelica Tavella (ChickTech Social attendant)
- Janice Levenhagen (ChickTech)
- Dani Gellis (ChickTech Social attendant)
- Steven Lau (Law Office of Steve Lau) (ChickTech Social attendant)
- Kevin Gorman (ChickTech Social attendant)
- Evelyn Hammid (ChickTech Social attendant)
- Kristen Duvall (Applifier) (ChickTech Social attendant)
- Jen Laloup (PLOS) (ChickTech Social attendant)
- Jen Davidson (ChickTech)