First, let me demonstrate a case for the liveliness of Chinese Internet
users on knowledge sharing. It is the "Songshu Hui"( the
Squirrel-Organization http://songshuhui.net/ ), an new branding for
scientific knowledge sharing in Mainland China right now. So far about one
hundred of scientific-writers are working for this organization, and most of
them own a master or doctor degree. The gathering of strength of these
writers are powerful, even the top-ten official newspapers in China had
By contrast, personally I think Chinese Wikipedia is weaker in popularity in
China right now, but I never deny the usefulness of Wikipedia in all.
Since "Songhu Hui" use Wordpress, so I just propose a technical idea to
improve the cooperation between Wikimedia and "Songhu Hui". How about a
keyword-link-generator to Wikipedia for Wordpress? This new Wordpress plugin
will query Wikipedia to get a keyword list, and then make links in article
in Wordpress automatically. But some technical problems still be there, for
example, the Chinese word segmentation.
If this idea will be technically available, this kind of tool will spread
and improve Chinese Wikipedia greatlly.
Sometime in the past year I stopped posting the top posters list because it
was seen as not useful and perhaps encouraging the type of behavior it was,
in fact, meant to discourage. Even so, I thought I might post this special
edition of top posters. The numbers come from Erik Zachte's list page, and
sum posts for the top 25 posters from Jan 08 to Feb 09.
Thomas Dalton 753 GerardM 738 David Gerard 450 Ray Saintonge 405
Anthony 403 Milos Rancic 381 geni 359 Anthere 323 Dan Rosenthal 316
Chad 311 Nathan 283 Mark Williamson 276 Andrew Whitworth 273 Geoffrey
Plourde 253 Erik Moeller 229 Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 224 effe iets anders
220 Mike Godwin 197 Robert Rohde 188 Gregory Maxwell 182 Michael Bimmler
167 Michael Snow 161 Yaroslav M. Blanter 154 Brian 152
Of interest is that Thomas Dalton was the top poster in 8 of 14 months, and
GerardM in 4. That is dedication, certainly.
Your donations keep Wikipedia running! Support the Wikimedia Foundation
I'm not sure if this is the place to pose this question, if not could you
respond with the proper place.
I'm building out a social networking site centered around an "art" and
"arthistory" theme. I would like to display a real time dynamic version of
the arthistory section of the wikipedia at my domain. I would like for my
users to be able to edit this section at my domain. My domain is
arthistory.com. I am hoping to be able to provide a lot of acedemic and
specialty users to this section via my site. I think we could both benefit
from this relationship. My users have direct access to the arthistory
section of wikipedia, the wikipedia gets access to my users who are experts
in the field. I understand you can get a feed of the wikipedia, and also
a database dump, but I'm looking for a more real time and dynamic
connection (without just putting the wikipedia in an iframe.) I'd also
prefer if I could use openID or some way of repurposing my user's
registration to duel register with my site and with wikipedia, and create a
login session for both simultaneously.
I'm in the development stage so right now my efforts are exploratory. Thank
you for your time.
On Tuesday, after Kat and I had spent a couple days assisting Sue and
Erik with interviews for the CPO position (an intriguing group of
candidates, by the way), I was at the BART station on my way to the
airport. I bought my ticket from the machine, and when I pulled my
receipt out of the dispenser, I also found a 25-cent piece. Once I got a
closer look I realized why somebody might not have bothered to take
their change - it wasn't a U.S. quarter. Neither was it Canadian,
though, which is what you would typically find in that case. Of all
things, it happened to be Argentine, so 25 centavos actually.
I have no idea how 25 centavos from Argentina ended up in San Francisco,
in just the right place for me to pick them up. It was quite amusing to
me to think that later this year I'll actually be in Buenos Aires, I
suppose I should bring it with me whether I spend it or not. Anyway, I'm
looking forward to Wikimania, and seeing any of you that are able to
Report to the Board: Davos
Prepared by: Sue Gardner, Executive Director
Prepared for: Wikimedia Board of Trustees
Date: February 3, 2009
Background & Context
Every year, Jimmy is invited to Davos in his individual capacity as a
Young Global Leader, and the Wikimedia Foundation receives one
invitation to participate in the category of Technology Pioneer. Last
year, Florence represented us: this year, Michael delegated
participation to me so that I could explore Davos from a fundraising
perspective. As always, Jimmy paid his own costs, and the Foundation
The main goals of the trip were to 1) present a funding proposal to a
potential funder we've been speaking with, 2) increase awareness of
Wikipedia as a charity among attendees (e.g., media, prospective
donors, NGOs, etc.), and 3) actively move forward relationships with a
few key major donor prospects. I was also able to meet briefly with
some of the board members of the Swiss chapter, in Zurich.
>From January 27 to February 1, Jimmy and I attended the World Economic
Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
In general, I would say the trip was fairly useful. From a
fundraising perspective, Davos is not good for direct solicitation,
but it does help with prospect cultivation, stewardship and
relationship-building. It also helps us build general awareness of
Wikimedia as a serious-minded non-profit organization. And because
the WEF waives the entry fee for us, attendance is quite cheap: the
major cost to Wikimedia is my time.
In general, I am comfortable with us continuing to attend Davos,
particularly in years during which we're actively cultivating one or
more attendees. Additionally, I think we should try to get invited
to other conferences that will give us access to potential funders and
help establish us as a serious international non-profit.
Experiences and Observations
Davos is a great way to connect with a large number of people in a
short period of time. I had dozens of good conversations with past and
current funders as well as prospects and friends. There was lots of
general good will and appreciation for our work.
During Davos, I attended a dozen seminars and talks on topics ranging
from the future of media, to leveraging mass innovation, to sustaining
the nonprofit sector in a downturn, to digital Asia. I was a panelist
in the session "Youth Culture: A Heat Map." I attended a variety of
dinners and parties, including a UN Millennium Development Goals
dinner for women hosted by Wendi Murdoch and Indra Nooyi, which had as
speakers Melinda Gates and Sarah Brown.
In general, I found Davos wasn't great for direct solicitation: every
room is noisy and crowded, and it's hard to have an uninterrupted
conversation. Over the course of the conference, I experimented by
directly soliciting six random people – tablemates at dinner, etc.
The responses were neutral-to-warm, but I didn't get anything
encouraging enough to warrant follow-up.
There were some very interesting philanthropy/NGO-related panels and
interviews, with some particularly interesting comments from people
like Bill Gates and Bill Clinton. The effects of the economic downturn
on the non-profit sector was very much on people's minds, obviously,
and there was useful discussion about it.
I met with Soumitra Dutta from INSEAD, faculty director of
elab@INSEAD, INSEAD's "center of excellence in teaching and research
in the digital economy," and co-author with Matthew Fraser of Throwing
Sheep in the Boardroom: How Online Social Networking Will Transform
Your Life, Work and World. He's interested in Wikipedia and
Wikimedia, I believe particularly from an organizational behaviour
standpoint, and we're exploring whether a partnership of some kind
would make sense (e.g., a case study or research project).
Interestingly, a number of people complained to me about their
articles being overly negative. Obviously Jimmy gets this all the
time, but I was surprised how often it was the first thing a person
would say to me. All my conversations about Wikipedia were warm and
friendly and positive, with the exception of people's pain/anger about
A side note, but on the way back from Davos I was happy to be able to
meet in Zurich with three people from the board of the Swiss chapter:
Michael Bimmler, Rupert Thurner and Robin Schwab. We had a useful
conversation about (among other things) chapters development and
scope, strategy development, and the new Wikimedia Foundation chapters
funding requests process. It was particularly great to finally meet
face-to-face with Michael :-)
Fundraising: Davos seems fairly useful for 1) relationship maintenance
with current donors, and 2) relationship building with prospective
donors - particularly with regards to donors and prospects who live
outside the United States. I believe Davos is good at helping us
develop closer relationships with people we already are connected to,
but it is not suited to direct solicitation of cold prospects.
Awareness/Branding: I believe Davos is good for helping shape general
perception of Wikimedia among attendees – a group which includes
journalists, philanthropists, and Silicon Valley tech people. It
helps 1) create greater awareness that we're a charity, and 2) support
the perception of us as serious-minded, sane and responsible. This
might have a small continued ripple effect post-Davos when attendees
talk to other people.
Business development/Partnerships: If we were a start-up wanting to
aggressively initiate deals, Davos's broad exposure to potential
partners would be terrific. But we have no trouble getting people to
return our calls, and 99% of the ideas pitched to us we do not want to
move forward. So I am not convinced that, from a biz dev perspective,
Davos is useful to us.
During the coming year, we'll continue to evolve and finetune our
thinking about fundraising, and particularly major donor / foundation
cultivation. By the next Davos, we'll be in a good position to know
whether attendance continues to make sense for us, and if so, who's
best to go. For the time being, I am comfortable with us making the
assumption that we'll continue to participate, particularly if we're
actively cultivating one or more other attendees.
Dear all,I was wondering if any of you know of cases where there has been
any (official) connection between members of the public sector and projects
of Wikimedia (or other independent projects under free licences).
I would be interested in cases, when for example
* the local government has used for example Wikisource to publish its
statutes or provided other kinds of content for it
* the legislative has included material from Wikipedia in the explanatory
section of their bills
* members of the public sector approached the WMF (or its chapters) for
advice on free licences and their use in the public sector.
I would be interested in cases outside Wikimedia, where a government has
chosen open content licences to publish their data.
I have heard of some cases that would fit one of the above categories (e.g.
the Dutch government releasing some photos) but I have not found a
comprehensive list to judge the extent of the possible cooperation that
might be going on.
I am sadly behind on the reports to the board – I am late sending them
to the board, and therefore also to you. My apologies, and my thanks
to those of you who are asking me about them off-list: it's nice to
know they are valued and missed.
I hope to get caught up later this week. Meanwhile, here is a special
report that I wrote for the board documenting a visit Jimmy and I made
to India in December. Later today I'll send you a second special
report, documenting the World Economic Forum at Davos last month.
For confidentiality reasons, I've redacted specifics about major
donors and major donor prospects. (As you know, we don't reveal
individually identifying information about donors/prospects.)
Everything else is intact from the original.
Report to the Board: India Trip
Prepared by: Sue Gardner, Executive Director
Prepared for: Wikimedia Board of Trustees
Date: December 30, 2008
Background & Context
>From December 9-15, Jimmy and I visited India. The purpose of the
trip was to create some excitement and interest about Wikipedia inside
India among editors and potential editors, media, and potential
donors. We were there to accept a gift from the Kerala government of
a Malayalam encyclopedia, which Kerala was releasing under a free
license, as well as to carry out a variety of outreach and media
Please note that as always, Jimmy paid for his own travel: the
Foundation only paid for mine. Also: we owe a huge thanks to advisory
board member Achal Prabhala. Achal's advice, arrangements and
introductions made the trip worthwhile: it wouldn't have been nearly
as successful without his help :-)
In general, I would characterize the trip as productive and useful.
The staff continues to rapidly evolve our thinking about media, public
outreach, volunteer self-organization and major donor fundraising:
this trip helped advance our thinking on all those fronts. There are
no major conclusions or big directional changes in this report: it's
just a quick summary of what happened.
* December 10 and 11: Trivandrum. Jimmy and I attended the Free
Software Free Society conference. Jimmy was a keynote speaker; I met
Richard Stallman for the first time; the conference arranged a press
* December 12: Chennai. Press conference and individual interviews.
We attended a Wikipedia Academy staged by local blogger Kiruba, and
met briefly with representatives from the Knowledge Foundation, a
* December 13: Bangalore. Lunch with representatives of the Centre
for Internet and Society < http://cis-india.org/ >, a new Bangalore
NGO funded by Indian billionaire Anurag Dikshit, which has been
described as the Indian equivalent to the Berkman Center. We are
hoping to partner with CIS informally on a variety of initiatives. We
also got a basic briefing on the work of the Akshara Foundation,
Pratham Books, Argyham and e-Gov. Jimmy spoke at the Bangalore
* December 14: Bangalore. We facilitated a meeting between CIS and a
number of Bangalore-area Wikipedians, at which the CIS offered
Wikipedians meeting space in Bangalore as well as advice on how to
navigate the Indian regulatory context when setting up a chapter.
Also CIS staged a free culture lunch in our honour with local
Wikipedians and other free culture advocates. In the evening, we spoke
at a dinner.
Observations and Analysis
(in no particular order)
1.Despite the fact that we had done very little preparation and had no
major announcements to make, there was plenty of media interest.
During the trip, there were about two dozen media stories generated,
including (I believe) all/most major Indian national and regional
outlets (see list later in this report). It's pretty obvious, but
worth saying, that there's lots of general media interest in
Wikipedia, and India is no exception to that.
2.The coverage was across-the-board positive, but also full of (mostly
small, inconsequential) errors. Jimmy, Jay & I have discussed this:
upshot is, we believe that although we could choose in future to
manage the message much more tightly on trips like this, it would
probably not be worth the effort – especially given that the stories,
albeit full of mistakes, are generally positive.
3.Multi-event international trips are administratively expensive: they
are a lot of work.
4.During the trip, Jimmy and I noticed that we were often not working
from the same basic information base. I've asked Jay to start making
all the basic info available on one of the wikis -including our
standard powerpoint- so you should please feel free to
reuse/adopt/adapt whatever you like. I'll share the URL, or Jay will,
once he knows it. Also, Jay is now regularly disseminating global
comScore usage stats to the staff: I will ask him to CC the board as
well. FYI, we have standardized on comScore "monthly global uniques"
as our core metric for both raw numbers and rankings.
5.In general, I would say that South India seems well-positioned to
create either a national or sub-national chapter – I would guess there
will be one within six months. We made some critical introductions to
help get things off the ground, and we offered practical support – I
told them the Foundation will pay to send a rep to the chapters
meeting in April in Berlin, and will ensure they get scholarships to
Wikimania if they apply. I introduced them to Andrew Whitworth of
the chapters committee, and to Mike Godwin. They have also asked for
a local established chapter "mentor" - I advised them to wait and pick
their own mentor group in Berlin.
Appendix: Media coverage
Below are headlines from Indian newspapers that appeared via Google
News Alerts. There was also lots of TV coverage, and probably also
stories not picked up by Google.
* Stallman, Wales to star Intl Free Software meet
* CM to open free software meet
* Wikipedia Academy Launched
* India a major attraction for Wikipedia
* Wikipedia fares well in India - Wales
* Wikipedia's launches WikiAcademy in Chennai
* Interview With Wiki Founder Jimmy Wales
* Wikipedia founder scouting for R&D alliance in India
* Mobile Version launched by Wikipedia
* Wikipedia launches 'academy'
* Wiki-community strives to extend eastward
* Darwinian or Marxist?
* Wikipedia Finds a Home in Chennai
* Wikipedia needs more contributors from India
I would like to draw Wikimedians' attention to the problem of expiring .yu top
As is known, .yu top level domain ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.yu ) is
being replaced with .rs and .me TLDs. This means that all web pages under .yu
domain will stop working, including all 46102 that are linked from various
Wikimedia projects: some will stop as soon as March, while all will stop in
October. This further means that readers of Wikimedia projects will not be
able to access information that is now available to them, either if a domain
is used as an external link or if it is used as an article reference.
Especially the latter is very important since, with massive link loss, a
large number of references could no longer be evaluated by the readers and
To solve this problem, I have made a statistics of .yu domain use on Wikimedia
projects ( http://toolserver.org/~nikola/yustats.tar.bz2 ) and, with its
help, replaced at least the most common links on Serbian Wikipedia with their
However, given that I am not able to do the same on other projects, I would
like to attract attention of people who are willing to help and can do
necessary botwork to fix as many soon-to-be broken links as possible. Please
reply if you can help in any way or have any other advice. If you are a bot
operator, you can do it easily with the standard pywikipediabot. Here is a
sample command I used:
replace.py -weblink:webrzs.statserb.sr.gov.yu "webrzs.statserb.sr.gov.yu" "webrzs.stat.gov.rs"
This is a list of domains that are already search/replaced on Serbian
Wikipedia. This list includes most of the most common domains and covered
perhaps a quarter of all links (even while not counting
webrzs.statserb.sr.gov.yu that was included via a few templates).