The Foundation is pleased to announce the full hiring of Carolyn Doran
to the current team in St Petersbourg office.
Carolyn is not new ! She has been our part time accountant in the past
few months, but was working through an interim agency.
Carolyn is now a full time employee, and has seen her role evolve toward
new responsabilities. She now holds the role of the COO - please see job
description below. In short, the chief operations officer (COO) is
responsible for the overall administration and business operations.
Areas of responsibility include administration, personnel and fiscal
management. For now, she will be the person in charge of Barbara and
Danny (for his administrative role), and in the future, any new employee
working in the administrative area. The WMF board looks forward working
with her in this new capacity :-)
This position will be re-evaluated upon hiring our future permanent
Executive Director. I take the opportunity to mention we are moving
nicely in the direction of finding our new ED, with the recent decision
to hire a search firm to help us find the best candidate.
Carolyn may be found on irc under the pseudonym Carolyn. Please say
hello if you run into her online :-)
Chair of Wikimedia Foundation
The board agreed upon the following job description.
I. Position summary
The chief operations officer (COO) is responsible for the overall
administration and business operations.
Areas of responsibility include administration, personnel and fiscal
This is a full-time position, hired by and directly accountable to the
or to the board of directors through its elected board chair in absence
of an Executive Director.
1. Management and administration
a. Develop and administer operational administrative policies.
b. Provide information for evaluation of the organization's activities.
a. Ensure effective audit trails.
b. Approve expenditures.
c. Provide for proper fiscal record-keeping and reporting.
d. Submit monthly financial statements to the board of directors.
a. Administer board-approved personnel polices.
b. Provide for adequate supervision and evaluation of staff with
V. Board relations
a. Assist the board chair in planning the agenda and materials for board
b. Initiate and assist in developing policy recommendations and in
VI. Public relations
a. Ensure appropriate representation of WMF by all employees.
I just came back from a 3 weeks trip to India, where I got the
opportunity for doing research for Wikimedia on two subjects:
> 1. Recruiting new volunteers for Indian languages projects, mainly Hindi
> and Gujarati languages.
My tentative to recruit new volunteers directly was not very successful,
so it leads me to look for new ways of promotion. However I had a nice
wikimeet with three Wikimedians in Ahmedadad. All three are computer
students and only edit the English Wikipedia. Hopefully direct contact
will enable us to work better together on a promotion campaign.
Instead on a bottom-up approach, I would like to try a top-down
tentative, writing to officials in universities, goovernments and
medias. I already started a page for coordinating this:
I would like to write an letter in behalf of the Foundation requesting
people to spread the word about Indian languages projects. A draft is
available on the page above. Suggestions and feedback are welcome.
I was also able to meet people from Blossom Charitable Trust, an NGO
doing computer education in rural areas (see http://blossomedua.org).
They translated computer manuals in Gujarati, the local language, which
not very common, but they still use Windows in English. They would like
to be part of the One Laptop Per Child project (see
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Home). So we talked about content, free
software and using software in local languages. Interesting developments
will certainly come here.
> 2. Contacting organisations and people who have some data which may be
> suitable for Wikimedia projects, mainly Commons and Wikisource.
I was able to get some documents on Gandhi not available outside India:
a copy of the "Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi" (100 volumes!) and
More important, I met people who might be able to give publication
permissions for these documents and others. I was confirmed that the
images and sound recordings of Gandhi published on Commons are in the
public domain and that the claims of the Gandhiserve Foundation are
Good to see it happen. :)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: foundation-l-bounces(a)lists.wikimedia.org
> [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf
> Of Jimmy Wales
> Sent: Friday, January 26, 2007 2:22 PM
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> Subject: [Foundation-l] KJ and Wikimania
> Gil, Angela and I are excited to announce that KJ will be
> spending 50% of her work time at Wikia over the next 6 months
> as a dedicated volunteer for Wikimania 2007. KJ will be one
> of the main organizers of Wikimania 2007 and is responsible
> for Wikimania sponsorship. KJ is responsible for preparing
> sponsor proposals and will be spending time visiting the
> sponsors to discuss their proposals.
> Part of my goal with Wikia is to build a commercial
> enterprise that could contribute back to the foundation and
> I'm excited to see that starting to happen.
> foundation-l mailing list
您的生活即時通 － 溝通、娛樂、生活、工作一次搞定！
If a user (like myself) happened to take it upon himself to begin work on
coding brand new wiki software based on MediaWiki, and released it under a
free license, and made it fairly easy to upgrade to on a server running a
MediaWiki database (i.e. just change all the PHP files), and it was (assume
this) in fact much better than MediaWiki 1.10a, would the Wikimedia
Foundation adopt it for its projects?
Just a question. Because MediaWiki 2.0 would be pretty sexy, but no one
seems to be proactive about it. And I'd like to be.
In an ideal world, what features would the ideal Wiki Software have, and
what would it be like?
If we can answer this question, developmental direction is made clear. It is
easy to develop MediaWiki with view to improving it, streamlining it,
ironing out bugs - but much more difficult to look beyond it; for the future
of Wikimedia projects and general wiki success, new software must emerge
that caters for the new functions required by modern wiki users.
What functions would set MediaWiki well above all other wiki engines for
years to come?
What features would make it the most efficient wiki engine?
**What would the software be like if it generated maximal wiki success?**
To discuss this (what I find an interesting) question, I've set up a page at
Obviously the answers to these questions won't necessarily be possible to
implement; but it would be interesting to know the answers nonetheless.
Look forward to some bright ideas :)
On the English Wikipedia (but this is coming on other ones) we have a
large amount of articles about individual highschools, most of which
have nothing special and are just like the next highschool.
These articles tend:
* to lack perspective
** give name of personnel who are private persons, which is
unencyclopedic (ex: there's a teacher called foobar)
** devote inordinate length to individual, non notable incidents
(exemple: some incident because of drunk students at a party 2 years ago)
* to be a magnet for vandalism, from disgruntled or bored students
** this vandalism can give details about the personal life of some minors
** it often also is demeaning
** and sometimes contains outright libel (accusing teachers or
principals of being pedophiles etc.)
* not to be patrolled much
** they interest few people
* to lack sources
** unique source tends to be the school's own cite; in theory we should
be able to have multiple sources, including independent ones
In short, they have little encyclopedic interest, are a target for
underage vandals, create lots of work for the OTRS folks and the Foundation.
However, when OTRS folks delete such articles as "non notable", they
often face angry remarks, accusations of lack of democratic process, and
what else; often from people who apparently feel strongly enough to keep
the article, but not strongly enough to patrol it for abuse.
Other users, including admins, seem to entirely ignore
[[Wikipedia:Schools]] as applicable policy.
In fact, I'll also suggest altering the policy in a way: the simple fact
that two "celebrities" from a school have an article on WP should not be
cause to create an article about this school.
Tons of non notable schools have had a celebrity go through. That does
not make them notable.
What would be relevant is: if many celebrities have gone through it. For
instance, Eton in England is notable because many upper class British
men, in high positions, have passed through it.
In any case, I think the Foundation should issue a clear statement that
admins, especially from OTRS, can CSD:A7 school articles that do not
demonstrate notability. Otherwise it's not manageable.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jeff Raymond <jeff.raymond(a)internationalhouseofbacon.com>
Date: 25-Jan-2007 12:22
Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] [Foundation-l] school articles : enough
To: English Wikipedia <wikien-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
David Gerard wrote:
> On 25/01/07, David Monniaux <David.Monniaux(a)free.fr> wrote:
>> In any case, I think the Foundation should issue a clear statement that
>> admins, especially from OTRS, can CSD:A7 school articles that do not
>> demonstrate notability. Otherwise it's not manageable.
> The purpose of Wikipedia is not to make OTRS happy, any more than it
> is to make Articles For Deletion happy.
A7's being abused enough already, thanks.
Name: Jeff Raymond
Quote: "As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the
Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else."
- Sen. Rick Santorum on the war in Iraq.
WikiEN-l mailing list
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This post is related to the not so recent posts "Communications issues".
And especially now with the appointment of a communication manager this
The issue was raised that the communication is not so good. I would like
to explain the factors involved with the internal communication. And
some points where and how to improve it. This is my POV of things.
=== Our galaxy ===
Our community exist out over 700 wikis, 9 different projects and +/- 250
languages, +/- 70,000 people. Having real and full internal
communication in two directions is nearly impossible.
It is possible to get news to and from some of the projects in some of
Besides the community there is also the Foundation/chapters pillar and
the technical news.
=== Goal of internal communication ===
To make it possible for information to reach people on all levels of the
hierarchy including the editor on there home wiki actually doing the
work. And for information from all corners of the wikimedia digital
village to get to all other people.
The end result must be that who cares to be informed can be informed
about the most important issues that are relevant for the global
community. And also to keep the Wikimedia community together by sharing
some local information from different language community's. This to
share knowledge but also to keep the feeling of one Wikimedia family
that exceeds the different independent projects and languages.
=== Foundation level ===
News on the foundation level circulates often first in the internal
confidential channels. That is normal, not everything should be made
public or not directly. The problem is that sometimes news gets stuck at
this level and is not released even when it is not (longer) confidential.
But more often it is released but in a to late stadium so that there is
not enough time for the information to spread across the community.
Announcing something a day or two up to some hours in advance is better
then not. But it makes a wide downstream information flow nearly impossible.
In general is the information flow from this level is the best from all
levels. This is because it is the only level where any form of
=== Technical information level ===
The wikis, how those work and all supporting webbased services are after
the community the most important asset of the Wikimedia family. As a
virtual community the software and systems are our land, city's,
highways, towns and houses.
The system administrators are the ones who prevent the heavens from
failing down (wikidown). And also are working almost constantly on the
system to modify and improve the system. Some changes are noticeable for
the end users, some are not.
All changes who have a noticeable effect for the users of the system are
relevant news for the internal communications structures. Getting
(timely) information about planed changes is nearly impossible. Getting
information about implemented changes is not always easy.
Internal reporters know where to look and can find most changes done to
the systems. But from own experience I can tell that the information
found is sometimes cryptic. It is difficult to explain something if it
not clear to yourself how something works exactly.
And also a fair amount of luck is necessary to discover by accident some
changes. Not everything is listed where it is supposed to be listed.
Luckily the changes are mostly changes that are not extremely important
so it is not a disaster if its discovery is delayed.
The problem is that if there is something important that will change it
is very doubtful of the community will be informed timely. The because
of lack of information well in advance or even after the facts.
Better reporting or reporting at all of changes who have an impact for
the end users by the technical staff would be useful. And providing
information in advance for larger changes.
=== The community ===
This is the most difficult one. There is not one community. There are
language community's and those are divided in to different projects.
Even between one language the information does not flow good between the
different projects in those languages.
To get news from a wiki out to the wikimedia-community there are several
- - someone of those community's reports it to the internal media
- - someone who works for a internal news media (1) is active on that wiki
and so can notice it
In practice this goes very difficult. The internal news media staff is
very small and can only pick up news from a few wikis and languages.
Reports of news from the community's itself to the internal news media
are (very) rare.
The only way to improve the upstream information flow from the wikis is
if people from those wikis are interested in reporting news from there
People who especially can help with this are the ambassadors (2) of the
wikis who have them, (who until now are very inactive regarding this),
people from the chapters about the wikis who fall under there natural
field of interest. And the readers of the internal media publications
(in practice wikizine for now) who can report news about there home wiki.
=== Spreading the news ===
Finding news is one thing. Then the information must be filtered and
presented in a form suitable for distribution to the community. This can
take a written form like the Wikipedia Signpost (3) (wiki-based) and
Wikizine (4) (email/blog) or audio (WikipediaWeekly) (5).
Because of the editing process necessary to get a newsbuiliton ready
news must be known in advance to give time to be discovered and included
in a bulletin. Also the publication date is a factor. It is difficult to
spread news when there is just a news builiton send out.
When created the news builtion must try to reach as much of the
community as possible. Distribution can be done by posting the news on a
website/blog, reading by email or RSS/Atom-feed.
But first people must know of its existence. For Wikizine I have some
numbers about its audience; 590 email subscribers and 300 a 350 readers
weekly on the website. For the RSS feed it could be 1200 a week but I do
not trust those figures.
let assume the numbers are correct then there is an audience for
wikizine of 2140 readers weekly. There are +/- 70,000 active wikimedians
(at least 5 edits a month) and 10,000 very active (at least 100 edits a
This gives a reach of 21,4% of the very active wikimedians. Without the
RSS readers it drops to 9,4% of the very active wikimedians.
But the ethnic diversity is limited. A very large part of the email
subscribers come from the US and a large part of the visitors of the
website from Italy.
=== Babel ===
A major problem in internal communication are the language barriers. The
can stop or slow down communication. And can also created mistakes
because of translations mistakes or confusion.
Until now internal communication is done in English. This is the
language that gives the best hope of being useful as a bridge language
between many wikis. Nevertheless English is far from universal usable to
inform everybody. It excludes communication with large parts of the
Currently there is no multi-lingual internal communication channel
active. The only one "Wikimedia Quarto" (6) is long dead.
Several people have made attempts to create translations of Wikizine in
the last year. The all failed after a couple of weeks to continue the
translation work. Just today a new attempt is done to make a
translation. This time in German by [[w:de:Benutzer:Mbimmler]]. (7) If
it will fail or not will depend of the perseverance of this user and
(lack off) support from the DE community.
The only wiki where is a form of systematic translation of Wikizine is
the Italian Wikipedia. There is posted every time there is a new edition
of Wikizine a notice in there village pump about it with the translation
in Italian of the topic keywords and link to the English language
version. Even this minimalistic form of translation has a large impact
in exposure to the information according to the visitor stats.
Creating systematic and durable translations done by dedicated people is
probably the best hope to inform as many people as possible of the
global community. This will also increase the flow of upstream
information from those community's.
That is all.
Internal communications subcommitte
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We have Spanish-language media requests piling up. Is there anyone
from es: who feels confident doing Spanish language media speaking as
a volunteer for the wiki and/or Foundation? Press and radio. Sandra,
our new communications staffer, is fluent in Spanish, but has only
been here a week ... and volunteers who know the wikis' inner workings
are good to have on hand.