Wikimedia Highlights

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The monthly Wikimedia Highlights summarize the most notable WMF activities and other movement news from the Wikimedia blog. The intention is to provide value for those readers who might not have the time to read the entire blog, and to facilitate translations.

The Wikimedia Highlights were started in 2011 as a combination of the most notable aspects of the monthly Wikimedia Foundation report and the Wikimedia engineering report (including basic financial and traffic data) with a brief selection of other important events in the Wikimedia movement during that month. Following the growth of the Wikimedia blog in scope and coverage, and with the Foundation's reporting switching from a monthly to a quarterly publication schedule, the Wikimedia Highlights now (since the October 2014 issue) focus on summarizing news from the Wikimedia blog entirely.

Each new issue is posted on the movement-wide announcement list WikimediaAnnounce-l and on the blog of the Wikimedia Foundation (RSS). You can also subscribe here to get a summary message delivered to your user talk page on any Wikimedia project right after each issue is published.

Previous issues
Read the highlights in your own language (if available) or translate them.
May 2015 (blog version)
April 2015 (blog version)
March 2015 (blog version)
February 2015 (blog version)
January 2015 (blog version)
December 2014 (blog version)
November 2014 (blog version)
October 2014 (blog version)
September 2014 (blog version)
August 2014 (blog version)
July 2014 (blog version)
June 2014 (blog version)
May 2014 (blog version)
April 2014 (blog version)
March 2014 (blog version)
February 2014 (blog version)
January 2014 (blog version)
December 2013 (blog version)
November 2013 (blog version)
October 2013 (blog version)
September 2013 (blog version)
August 2013 (blog version)
July 2013 (blog version)
June 2013 (blog version)
May 2013 (blog version)
April 2013 (blog version)
March 2013 (blog version)
February 2013 (blog version)
January 2013 (blog version)
December 2012 (blog version)
November 2012 (blog version)
October 2012 (blog version)
September 2012 (blog version)
August 2012 (blog version)
July 2012 (blog version)
June 2012 (blog version)
May 2012 (blog version)
April 2012 (blog version)
March 2012 (blog version)
February 2012 (blog version)
January 2012 (blog version)
December 2011 (blog version)
November 2011 (blog version)
October 2011 (blog version)
September 2011 (blog version)
Last issue

Wikimedia Highlights Lead Frame may 2015.jpg
Collage by Andrew Sherman, CC BY-SA 3.0. ”Kamarniso Vrandečić.jpg” by Karen Sayre, CC BY-SA 3.0. ”Revenue of donation campaigns since 2010.PNG” by Till Mletzko, CC BY-SA 4.0. ”John Oliver crop.jpg” by Maryanne Ventrice, CC-BY-2.0. ”Blog2-01.svg” by Vpseudo, CC BY-SA 4.0. Wikimedia Hackathon 2013 -Flickr - Sebastiaan ter Burg (30).jpg by Sebastiaan ter Burg, CC-BY-SA 2.0.

Here are the highlights from the Wikimedia blog in May 2015.

Meet the Inspire grantees working to increase gender diversity on Wikimedia[edit]

Inspire blog graphic. Logo by Vpseudo, CC BY-SA 4.0.

The Wikimedia Foundation announced a new group of grantees working to increase gender diversity in Wikimedia projects. In early March, we announced the Inspire campaign, an initiative to create new ideas that address Wikimedia’s gender gap. Now we’re following up on our commitment to fund a first set of 16 new projects coming out of the campaign.

Several of these projects will focus on organizing events. These projects will use social and professional communities, institutions and partnerships to increase content about women on Wikipedia. Meanwhile, two research initiatives will work to increase our knowledge about women who aren’t yet contributing, and to understand more about trends in Wikipedia’s gendered biographical content.

This campaign itself began as an experiment in proactive grantmaking. As with all good experiments, we’re learning as we go. We have shared findings and recommendations, based on a participant survey and a study of statistics for the campaign pages.

A dark side of comedy: John Oliver asks TV viewers to vandalize Wikipedia articles on U.S. politicians[edit]

John Oliver crop.jpg
When comedian John Oliver called on the Internet to edit the Wikipedia biographies of United States congressional representatives, the Internet answered. Photo by Maryanne Ventrice, CC-BY-2.0

John Oliver‘s Last Week Tonight is a popular satirical late-night television show in the United States. In an episode aired on May 19, Oliver criticized United States politicians for voting against a whistleblower law that would protect independent chicken farmers from retaliation when they speak up about problems in the poultry industry. He called on his viewers to edit the biographies of these congressional representatives on the English Wikipedia, to include a vulgar statement about their relation to chicken.

This required Wikipedia’s volunteer editors to quickly coordinate on noticeboards, cleaning up vandalism on a wide range of articles. The incident shows the impact a comedian's tongue-in-cheek message can have on the Wikipedia and its volunteers.

Fundraising made in Germany: lessons learned by Wikimedia Deutschland[edit]

This chart shows the revenue of Wikimedia Deutschland's fundraising campaigns from 2010-14, and each increase rate based on the previous year. Graph by Till Mletzko, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Fundraising at Wikimedia Deutschland – and across the entire Wikimedia movement – not only helps us achieve financial goals, but also helps to raise awareness for our mission. In less than five years, Wikimedia Deutschland’s yearly fundraising efforts grew from €700,000 to €8,200,000.

Wikimedia Deutschland's goal for the future is to persuade donors to become long-term supporters of free knowledge and the Wikimedia movement. This report provides a glimpse into their strategy on how to maintain and consolidate their donor relationships. Looking ahead to future challenges, there are calls to intensify donor relationships, to focus on donors’ needs, and to further diversify fundraising communications.

Editing the Uzbek Wikipedia: Kamarniso Vrandečić[edit]

Kamarniso Vrandečić.jpg
Chemistry student Kamarniso Vrandečić started editing the Uzbek Wikipedia with some simple tasks, such as translating articles, and is now a major contributor. Photo by Karen Sayre, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Kamarniso’s Wikipedia editing adventures began when she discovered the Uzbek Wikipedia in 2007. Realizing the vast potential of what was a small project at the time, she tried her hand at creating and editing articles with no specific interest in mind. She translated articles from Russian Wikipedia to the Uzbek Wikipedia, and soon after, from the English Wikipedia as well, improving her Russian and English language skills in the process. There are now over 127,000 articles on Uzbek Wikipedia, many of which Kamarniso helped to create and improve.

First ever WikiArabia conference gathers Wikipedians in Tunisia to connect and share experiences[edit]

Contributors to the Arabic Wikipedia met for the first ever WikiArabia conference in Monastir, Tunisia. Photo by Habib M’henni, CC BY-SA 3.0.

The Wikimedia movement in Tunisia has grown actively over the past few years. Nearly forty Wikipedians, from around the Arab region and beyond, gathered last April in Monastir for WikiArabia 2015, the first Arabic Wikipedia community conference. The three day conference was a huge success, having included practical sessions prepared by community members, a session on the Wikipedia Education Program, and a Q&A opportunity with Lila Tretikov, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Active community members also shared their personal experiences with Wikipedia, as well as some of the offline projects and case studies they led from around the world. While no consensus was reached on whether to host another WikiArabia conference next year, most spoke of the value of this in-person regional event, and there was an infectious excitement for the potential of this growing segment of the Wikimedia community.

Wikimania and the differences between online and offline cultures[edit]

Wikimedia Hackathon 2013 - Flickr - Sebastiaan ter Burg (30).jpg
Wikimedians sometimes interact both online and offline – and these experiences are very different from each other. Hackathon photo by Sebastiaan ter Burg, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0.

Belgian anthropologist Lionel Scheepmans observes the differences between online and offline participation in the Wikimedia movement, based on a visit to the Wikimania 2014 conference in London. In his essay, he identifies some of the disparities between the values, ethics and organizational structures of online Wikipedia projects, and offline conferences and gatherings.

Andrew Sherman, Digital Communications Intern, Wikimedia Foundation