(Crossposted to wikien and foundation:)
Some points about IPA on all language wikis.
1) As a rule, all language wikis should use International Phonetic
Alphabet as their standard pronunciation scheme. Very few appear to
2) All language wikis should attempt to use IPA to pronounce the
endonym of a foreign word, not the exonymic re-pronunciation (ie. Iraq
= /iːˈrɑːk/ not /ɪˈræk/).
3) With rare exceptions, IPA should be the default phonemic
transcription scheme, and
alternate schemes such as [[Wikipedia:Pronunciation respelling key]]
should be avoided or deprecated.
4) Feedback from languages about IPA should be useful. IPA is actually
quite flexible about exactness, while still being phonetically
precise. If there are flaws in IPA itself, the Wikipedia community can
help raise them for the Internation Phonetic Association.
5) Ambiguity about how it is supposed to be used is a cross-project
issue should be dealt with at the Foundation level (ie. global not
just inter-wiki policy).
As I'm sending this, I'm wondering: have we actually started an
announce-only list? If so, and if someone reminds me, I will post this
there too :-)
I'm delighted to tell you that Philippe Beaudette will be staying with
the Wikimedia Foundation following the completion of the strategy
project this summer. This makes me really happy: Philippe has been
doing terrific work, and I'm delighted he's agreed to stay on with us.
In his new role, Philippe will become the Wikimedia Foundation's
first-ever Head of Reader Relations. As such, he will act as an
advocate for readers inside the projects and within the staff. His
first focus will be to work with Wikimedia volunteers to establish and
maintain systems enabling them to provide good service to readers who
have inquiries, complaints and comments. A lot of this will involve
taking existing FAQ material, cleaning it up, and making it publicly
available to readers. That'll involve some writing and synthesizing
work, and also coordinating with volunteers to have material
translated and localized.
Philippe's background makes him ideal for this role.
He has been a long-time member of the Wikimedia volunteer community,
both as an administrator on several sites, and as a volunteer for
OTRS, where he successfully resolved some particularly difficult
complaints regarding biographies of living people. He's very familiar
with Wikimedia project policies and practices.
Outside Wikimedia, Philippe has significant customer service
experience, including running a large customer contact centre for
Convergys Corporation, a global firm specializing in relationship
management. He also helped many organizations, including two of the
world's largest insurance providers, develop customer service
environments, while working for Siebel. He also has a background in
American electoral politics, including working as Deputy Campaign
Manager, Operations Manager and Technology Director on a number of
state and federal campaigns, as well as for the non-profit Progressive
He has worked in the United States, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
All of this, in my view, makes Philippe ideal to handle reader
relations for us: he's got lots of experience managing complex
stakeholder relationships with tact and sensitivity, and creating
systems that scale.
Both Philippe and I expect his role will evolve once the Chief Global
Program Officer (CGPO) arrives. I thank Philippe for his flexibility
and trust in taking this on and relocating to San Francisco, despite
that lack of certainty :-)
Philippe will report to me until the CGPO arrives, whereupon he'll
report to that person. He's in the midst of beginning his move to San
Francisco now (with a side trip to Berlin for the chapters meeting).
You might wonder why this job wasn't posted and boarded. Generally, I
do aim to post and board all jobs; I think it helps the Wikimedia
Foundation to surface the best-possible candidates, to be fair in our
hiring, and to be seen to be fair. In this instance though, I decided
it was better not to. Philippe has done a great job over the past nine
months, we are undoubtedly going to need the kinds of skills and
experiences he brings to us, and I didn't want him to start
job-hunting as his work on the strategy project came to a close.
Given that, and given that the job may evolve when the CGPO arrives,
posting and boarding -in this particular context- seemed
Philippe has been a great addition to our team in the time he's been
with us, and I look forward to his continued contributions. Please
join me in welcoming and congratulating him.
415 839 6885 office
415 816 9967 cell
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
A quick reminder that this year's Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) is
taking place in London on 24th April 2010 - in 10 days time! There are
still tickets left - and you can register at the following link:
Speakers and sessions include:
* 'State of the Nation' Keynotes:
- Matthias Schindler, Wikimedia (Germany) on 'Bibliographic Data
and the Public Domain'
- Glyn Moody, on the 'Post-Analogue World'
- Peter Murray-Rust, on 'Recent Developments in Open Science'
- Chris Taggart, on 'Open Local Government Data'
- Sören Auer, on 'Linked Open Data'
- Jordan Hatcher, on 'Open Licensing for Data'
* Ideas and Culture with talks on analyzing 'Dickens Letters' and
'Making the Physical from the Digital'
* Open Bibliographic Information with talks on 'The Itinerant Poetry
Library' and the 'Journal Commons'
* Community Driven Research with talks on 'Climate data' and 'Open
* Civic Information with talks on 'Using Open Government Data to
Profile Politicians' and the 'Straight Choice'
* Open Government Data and PSI in the EU which looks at the current
state of play in France, Norway, Germany, the UK and elsewhere
* Tools with talks on 'Large-scale data handling and revisioning'
with the Genome, Ontowiki, CKAN and more
* Open Data and the Semantic Web with talks about South Korean
DBPedia and Thesaurus Management Tool ‘Pool Party’
* Open Data in International Development including talks from
PublishWhatYouFund and on OpenStreetMap in Haiti
Further details are available at:
* Main conference page: http://www.okfn.org/okcon/
* FAQ: http://www.okfn.org/okcon/faq
If you have any questions please email Sara Wingate-Gray at sara.gray(a)okfn.org.
We look forward to seeing people there!
All the best,
The Open Knowledge Foundation
The next strategic planning office hours are:
Tuesday, 6 April, from 20:00-21:00 UTC, which is:
-Tuesday (1-2pm PDT)
-Tuesday (4-5pm EDT)
Office hours will be a great opportunity to discuss the work that's
happened as well as the work to come.
As always, you can access the chat by going to
https://webchat.freenode.net and filling in a username and the channel
name (#wikimedia-strategy). You may be prompted to click through a
security warning. It's fine. More details at:
Thanks! Hope to see many of you there.
Facilitator, Strategy Project
Imagine a world in which every human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
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I've been reading the survey.
a) In my opinion, one of the things that make the learning curb steep to
start editing is the fact that most of the essential concepts of
Wikipedia are discussed through accronyms: ie, NPOV.
If a bot could automatically add an explicitation, visible when hovering
the mouse on the acronym, then the discussions pages would be self
b) Currently, the edition mode shows a different page with a different
syntax than the article page which immediately rebukes the would-be
editor. A WYSIWYG edition mode coupled with an AJAX technology would
leave the editor in familiar grounds.
c) A synthesis and a link to the main rules for writing an article
should be present when in edition mode. Currently, if you want to know
how to respect the conventions, you have to search for them by yourself.
d) The notices that state one or other way that an article doesn't meet
the wikipedia standard (ie, "this article needs clean up") assume that
the reader knows what the standard is. A link to an example of what is
expected from the editor would clarify things: ie, an example of a
"before clean up article/ after clean up article".
e) I think there are two main psychological steps required for editing
and sharing knowledge.
I - You notice that something is wrong or incomplete. That is, you know
something that is not in the article.
II - You find a way to pour your knowledge. You must be confident and
comfortable with this way.
Currently, step II can be achieved through two options: you edit the
article or you start a discussion. This requires time, confidence,
experience and will. Sometimes you just want to point out an obscure
passage or an external link, without editing the article or leaving
I think those procedures should be assisted so that the editor can
contribute with a single click or a link, leaving the rest of the task
f) I think that some potential editors are afraid of their first
contribution. Once they're engaged and lost their a priori and fears,
they should be more proactive. So I think small and easy participations
should be made available to them. For example, right-clicking a word and
correcting it's spelling with an integrated dictionary instead of going
through the editing interface could be a determining step.
g) Youth. There is no data on youth in the survey. I think they have
specific patterns of thoughts and behaviours. Wikipedia should be
adapted to them too. They're the future.
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I have been reading the recent report about the 2008 survey. It is
divided into some parts, but the most interesting (for me) is that about
We know about the Wikimedia Usability Initiative, which wants to measurably
increase the usability of Wikipedia for new contributors (new toolbar, new
upload form, new skin, ...). But I want to share with you two paragraphs
about the survey:
[...]The primary reason non-contributors would consider contributing is if
they “knew there were
specific topic areas that needed [their] help” (34-41%). Almost as important
an incentive, (31-37%)
for all groups, is a clear indication “that other people would benefit from
[...]We can expect contribution to increase if explanations of the technical
aspects of contributing were
made more readily accessible to readers; if it was made more explicitly
clear that readers'
contributions are welcome, and that people can contribute in many ways
including those that don't
require domain expertise, such as, for instance, correcting language or
obvious errors. The single
biggest incentive to increase contribution is probably making more clear
what topics and what
articles need editing. Wikipedia already has notices on pages which do not
meet quality standards,
need clean-up, etc. However, these notices are perhaps not explicit enough
in addressing and
engaging readers who are not yet part of the Wikipedia contributor
community. Clearer, explicit
identification of topics where readers might contribute, perhaps through
notices and requests not
limited to single articles, are likely to increase contribution: e.g., if a
reader is looking at several
articles on psychology, he or she could be presented with a request to
contribute to other articles on
As you can read, non-contributors want to know where they can help, so, a
new toolbar or a new upload form only would be used if they know what to
write and what image is needed to upload.
Also, non-contributors choice "I would be much likelier to contribute if...
the technology was easier to use" with a very low percent (compared to the
Perhaps, we need a Wikipedia Edit Campaign (similar to the famous annual
Wikipedia Donation Campaign) with a sitenotice asking people to edit where
they might contribute, using their navigation preferences or
As requested, here's the weekly Flagged Protection update.
Thanks to the developer meetup in Germany and mid-term exams for Aaron,
there has been no significant change since last week. However, the lack
of new requests suggests we're pretty close to something releasable.
If you'd like to verify that for yourself, start here:
To see the upcoming work, it's listed in our tracker, under Current and
We expect to release to labs again next week, and each week thereafter
until this goes live on the English Wikipedia
My name is David Castor and I am known on Swedish Wikipedia (and less known
but somewhat active on Commons and a few foreign language Wikipedias) by the
user name dcastor. I am one of the users who have been pushing for a change
in the way we handle the copyrighted WMF logos. I would like to clarify and
announce a few things on the way the dilemma is presently being handled.
First off, we have not yet made any final decisions; the topic is still open
for discussion at the Swedish village pump. No changes have yet been widely
As a background it is important to know that there is an almost unchallenged
consensus on Swedish Wikipedia not to allow fair use imagery, in part
because the "fair use" concept is not applicable in Swedish law, Sweden
being of course home soil for a majority of the users. It's been years since
we blocked local media upload, now depending solely on Commons. This means,
as far as I am aware, that the WMF logos are the only pictures used on
Swedish Wikipedia that are not being spread under a "free" license, free in
this case concerning copyright of course, and not trademark or personality
rights (making comparisons to proper names irrelevant to the discussion).
The use of these logos are thus the only thing standing in the way of
stating that all material from Swedish Wikipedia can be freely reused,
without any further permission. (The license template on the WMF logos
reserve all rights and call for specific permission for use.)
The argument is not, and has never been, whether or not we are allowed to
use the logos. Some users on Swedish Wikipedia as well as in this thread
have given replies suggesting that they think that is what the issue is
about. It is not. The issue is whether it is compliable with the principles
of Wikipedia to include copyrighted material, which may not be re-used by
others. I suppose that this dilemma is less problematic in jurisdictions
that implement a "fair use" system, but where such are not present a
copyrighted picture may not be freely redistributed.
The current discussion on Swedish Wikipedia is divided into three main
1. Should we keep even the Wikipedia logo in the top left corner?
2. Should we keep the WMF logos of navigation templates placed in
3. Should we illustrate articles on the Wikimedia projects with the
The discussions have, as far as I can tell, led to a near consensus "yes"
for question 1, with the rationale that the picture is part of the GUI
rather than of the article, and a near consensus "no" for number "3". Most
of a lengthy debate has been over discussion number 2.
The opinions on how to relate to number two diverge greatly. Some of us,
including myself, would prefer to have all WMF logos removed from article
space, including template use, making it free to redistribute printouts and
PDF:s from Wikipedia articles. Some argue that since WMF will not pursuit
any copyright breaches, we don't need to bother. This viewpoint is supported
by those who think that the usability of the logos is too important to let
the copyright issues take effect. A few have, in support of status quo,
stated that there may be more to it, legally, than we know, but such claims
have yet to be supported.
For some users a main perspective is that of NPOV. They argue that since no
other external links are supported by pictures, neither should the links to
sister projects be. Also, since no other copyrighted logo are allowed,
neither should WMF:s logos be. To some of these users, the use of the logos
in well framed templates is agreeable, since this implies that the links are
part of the GUI rather than of the article itself.
Right now it seems like one of two suggestions will be the result of the
discussions. Either (1.) to allow the WMF logos in a few specific navigation
printouts and PDF:s. This has been tested and seems to work. The second (2.)
solution discussed is to implement a separate section for sister project
links, including logos, in the GUI menu section on the left.
I hope that I, despite having made rather clear stands on the issue, have
managed to convey a fair description of the discussion.