> Why is the team chosen to target specifically the US? I am not sure I am
> comfortable with this choice.
James and Keegan's responses to your question are good (thanks!), and
here's a bit more context.
Yes, we do have a funder that wants to help improve the quality of
Wikipedia articles in a particular subject area--US public policy.
However, we saw this as an opportunity to experiment with a focused
pilot project that will help us develop technical resources, community
roles and processes, and an overall model that could be used by the
Wikimedia chapters and other organizations to enhance using Wikipedia as
a teaching tool. Whether in the US or globally, the model would serve as
a possible method to systematically improve articles by encouraging and
enabling students and academics to contribute to Wikipedia.
Since we have never done anything like this, we will use this
experimental project to test, document, and develop an infrastructure of
base materials and tools (e.g., Bookshelf training materials, Campus and
Online Ambassador training, tools for a mentoring system, tools for
article assessment tools). The pilot project will also help to establish
a set of best practices that will be available for use by community
chapters for other topic areas, languages, and countries.
Our ongoing work is open for community input on the Outreach Wiki. At
the moment, the best opportunity to collaborate is in the area of using
Wikipedia in higher education. That's where we are collecting
information on what has worked well in the past and distilling it into a
set of best practices for use by professors we reach out to. We will
also be looking to the volunteer community for collaboration and
leadership in various capacities as we get ramped up; please watch the
announcements list for future updates.
Public Policy Initiative press release:
Public Policy Initiative home on Outreach Wiki (includes links to
more detailed project plan, and project FAQ):
Using Wikipedia in higher education page:
On a related note, thanks for all of the warm welcomes, everyone! I know
Annie, Sage, Amy, and I are all very excited to be here and be part of
Communications Associate - Public Policy
As requested, here's the weekly Pending Changes update.
We proceed boldly toward launch. The main update is that we have pushed
the English Wikipedia launch back one day to Tuesday, June 15. That will
let us avoid stepping on the WP Academy Israel event, and it means Jimmy
Wales will be available to talk to the press, which in turn will yield a
better public understanding of Pending Changes.
However, we will still be rolling the new FlaggedRevs code into
production on Monday, June 14th (circa 4 pm Pacific, or 23:00 GMT). We
hope that this, aside from some minor UI improvements, will pass
unnoticed on the project currently using FlaggedRevs. If there are bugs,
we look forward to hearing about them via the usual channels, including
#wikimedia-tech . Minor bugs will be fixed in place; any major issues
will result in a quick rollback to the existing code.
More prosaically, we had a number of bits of work verified complete this
week, including a number of little bugs. Our thanks to the German
community for their diligent testing of a labs instance of the German
If you'd like once last chance to see what's coming, try the latest code
updates on our labs site:
To see the upcoming work, it's listed in our tracker, under Current and
There have been a lot of angry words about the interwiki links being
unavailable by default. Aggressive words like "lynching" have been used. It
has been suggested that the availability is against what the Wikimedia
Foundation stands for. The fact of the matter is that it is exactly this
negative attitude that ensures that many people do not take the Foundation-l
and even Meta not serious. Given that many of these people are largely
responsible for implementing the strategy of our foundation ensures that the
community has lost a lot of influence.
Having said this, the importance of the Interwiki links is highest where
there is little information on a subject. There has to be a stub in order
for a reader of our project to be redirected by an Interwiki link. This
means that the biggest issue with these links is on the smallest Wikipedias.
I have entered an idea on the Ideatorrent to have a new keyword, I would
call it referral, and on such a page there is only the word with maybe a
definition and with the interwiki links on the main page. This will allow
people to find their way to articles in other languages.
I have asked a few developers and they estimate that it is easy to
What would be nice is if in stead of making others the villains of our
movement, we would be willing to think outside the box. We exist to bring
information to people. So we should concentrate our discussion on how we can
grow our traffic. When people consider making the interwiki link hidden by
default really problematic, we may depending on resources, study what the
difference is. Such a study will cost effort, this is an effort that can not
necessarily be expected of the WMF professionals. They are limited in what
they spend their time on.
NB I find it funny that I defend the XU team because I am a hardcore
language diversity defender. I think this is as much because I resent the
tone of some as because I am not sure how important this subject actually
is. It is not equally important on all Wikipedias and as such I would prefer
it to be configurable and leave the decision to its communities. Obviously,
the interwiki links show by default when I use Wikipedia.
The Wikimedia Foundation has hired four new staff members to guide the new Public Policy Initiative. Annie Lin, LiAnna Davis, Sage Ross, and Amy Roth will work with public policy programs at universities across the United States to incorporate improvements to Wikipedia articles into the professors' curriculum. The Public Policy Initiative will recruit Wikipedia volunteers to work with professors and students to identify topics needing attention and give professors the tools they need to incorporate Wikipedia editing into their classrooms. This pilot project will continue through the 2010-11 academic year and is funded by a grant from the Stanton Foundation.
As the Campus Team Coordinator, Annie Lin will work closely with university professors, students, and Wikipedia Campus Ambassadors to facilitate our outreach and in-classroom training efforts. Annie has a degree in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, and brings her teaching and team development experiences to her new Public Policy Initiative role.
LiAnna Davis steps into the Communications Associate role with a background in online writing and editing, including experience in university communications and nonprofit issue advocacy. LiAnna will be the voice of the Public Policy Initiative, responsible for communication with professors and the Wikipedia community. She has an undergraduate degree in Communication Studies from the University of Puget Sound and a master's degree in Communication, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University.
As the former editor in chief of Signpost and a longstanding contributor to Wikipedia, Sage Ross joins the team as the Online Facilitator. He has been campaigning for academic experts to get more involved with Wikipedia since joining, and he has led several Wikipedia assignments for courses at Yale University. He is an avid photographer and Wikimedia Commons contributor as well. Sage is bringing his extensive knowledge of the platform and community to recruit volunteers and facilitate communication between the existing editors and stakeholders in the project. He holds a bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the University of Oklahoma and master's degrees in History and in the History of Science and Medicine from Yale University.
As the Research Analyst, Amy Roth will take the lead role in evaluating the process and outcomes of the project, suggesting areas for improvement along the way. Amy's extensive experience in data analysis will enable her to ensure the initiative develops best practices through feedback from students, professors, and Wikipedia's volunteer community. She received her bachelor's degree in Biology and Animal Science from California Polytechnic State University and her master's in Public Policy and Administration from California State University at Sacramento.
We welcome Annie, LiAnna, Sage, and Amy to the Wikimedia Foundation and the Public Policy Initiative.
The original intent of the UX team, as I understand it, was to help
readers find essential (frequently clicked) elements in the navigation
more easily by collapsing less essential ones.
It has been legitimately argued that the language links are essential
for many users, even if the click rate is lower than that of some
other elements, and that they are also key to surfacing our value of
language diversity. The reasonable hypothesis has also been presented
that the click rates are higher in other languages than English.
The legitimate counterargument is that the naïve link list does not
necessarily do the best job at this: by presenting the one or two
links that may be relevant to the user within a potentially (and
hopefully) very long column of foreign words in sometimes foreign
scripts, it's a reasonable hypothesis that users will not in fact
discover or understand the availability of -their- language, but
rather simply glance over the list.
Howie has presented the outlines of a new compromise approach: that by
presenting a limited number of links by default, we increase the
discoverability of the feature, while also limiting overall page
clutter. That's also just a hypothesis.
I would suggest the following approach:
1) That we return to the default-expanded state for now. If we want to
default-collapse again, we'll need some more compelling metrics that
demonstrate the actual benefits of doing so.
2) That we prototype the system above, or some variant thereof, define
key metrics of success, and A/B test it against the existing one,
provided the idea doesn't turn out to be obviously flawed.
I agree that this isn't the highest priority issue on the list of UX
fixes and changes, so by implementing 1), we can do 2) on a timeline
that makes sense without a false urgency.
The BlackBerry issue is indeed of greater importance. It only affects
a subset of BB models, apparently older ones from what I've seen.
Hampton, Tomasz and Ryan Lane have been working on getting VMs with
the BB simulators set up, so that we can a) debug Vector on different
BB versions, b) test the mobile redirect and mobile site on BB before
we enable a redirect. This was delayed by ops issues on the mobile
site, but I hope we'll get It sorted out next week.
For the record, I agree entirely that read-breakage of this type is a
critical, high priority bug.
On 6/5/10, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Jun 5, 2010 at 3:37 PM, David Levy <lifeisunfair(a)gmail.com> wrote:
>> Sue Gardner wrote:
>>> Feedback is great, but it irritates me when people start using words
>>> like "stupid" -- that's what I was responding to.
>> Perhaps you misread the context. Austin wrote the word "stupid" as a
>> hypothetical example of nonconstructive commentary that should be
>> avoided. No one has hurled an insult.
> Moreover "feedback" can itself be perceived as an insult.
> Imagine that someone cleaning your office took your important
> paperwork and dumped it in a bin. You complain— "Hey we need that
> stuff to be accessible!" and they retort "Thank you for your
> _feedback_. We'll consider it during our future cleaning plans".
> We're not just providing feedback here. We're collectively making a
> decision, as we've always done, thank you very much.
> foundation-l mailing list
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Sent from my mobile device
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
subject was: Re: [Foundation-l] hiding interlanguage links by default
is a Bad Idea, part 2
On Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 6:18 PM, Gerard Meijssen
> The WMF has as its strategy to invest in what has the highest impact.
Where is this stated?
Who decides what has the highest impact?
>From the 2009-10 Annual Plan and it's FAQ, we see that strategy
development (the "five year plan"), outreach and communications were
key areas of investment.
I assume we can expect a new Annual Plan shortly, which will outline
the investment strategy for 2010 and 2011. Will it be based on the
"Emerging strategic priorities" page on the strategy wiki?
I think the idea that Aryeh Gregor brought up is incredible. We should
follow the strategy use by IBM in helping develop Linux. Open all
discussion to the Wikimedia community will bring the power of Wikipedia's
collaborative process to the operations of of Wikimedia. Volunteers would
get involved in all aspects of Wikimedia from advertising to programing. We
have build the greatest encyclopedia in the world now we can build the
greatest non profit.
> I recall reading that IBM improved its
> participation in the Linux kernel community by getting rid of all
> internal communications among its kernel developers, meaning they had
> to use the public project lists to bounce ideas off anyone.
James Heilman, MD
It is my pleasure to introduce our new member and Chief of Office of
Wikimedia Serbia, Juliana Da Costa José.
Juliana is one of the organizers of Wikimania in Gdansk. She lives in
Berlin, and if things go according to plan, she will move to Belgrade.
She doesn't know Serbian (although she knows English, German and
Hungarian), but she will learn it.
Juliana's first and most important task will be fundraising. She will
start with her job after Wikimania, around the middle of July. She
already has the draft of the plan, but she will focus on it once she's
done with Wikimania.
It is important to note that she became the Chief of Office without
salary and that her move to Belgrade depends on successful fundraising.
Along with Miloš Rančić as Secretary-General, she is now a part of the
Wikimedia Serbia Secretariat.
Jussi-Ville Heiskanen wrote:
> David Gerard wrote:
>> This is what I have so far, off the top of my head:
>> "Some of our pages are locked from *anyone* editing them. With this,
>> we can open those up so people can edit the draft version, which then
>> goes live. Should be on the order of minutes, if it's over an hour
>> it's too slow. The trial's starting with locked pages about living
>> people. We'll see how it goes."
I would be most happy to be proven wrong, but my first
inclination is that the attitude of "We will start with BLP
and expand from there." won't be well recieved. The fight
to even get a consensus around that was hard enough; and
some of the resistance pretty pointedly considered it as the
thin end of the wedge. Legitimizing that form of opposition
by explicitly arguing that BLP's are merely the first to go
under the system, I don't know if that is too wise...
subject was: hiding interlanguage links by default is a Bad Idea, part 2
On Sat, Jun 5, 2010 at 10:03 AM, Howie Fung <hfung(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
> The Usability team discussed this issue at length this afternoon. ...
> Regarding the data behind the decision. First, let me apologize for the
> tardiness. The engineer who implemented the clicktracking of the left
> nav recently returned from vacation, so you can probably imagine how
> things might be a little difficult to find after being away for a
> while. Please see  for more details, but a quick summary is that we
> measured the click behavior for two groups of English Wikipedia users,
> Monobook and Vector (Vector users are primarily those who participated
> in the beta). Of Monobook and Vector users, 0.95% and 0.28% clicked on
> the language links (out of 126,180 and 180,873 total clicks),
> respectively. We felt that fewer than 1% of Monobook clicks was a
> reasonable threshold for hiding the Language links, especially when
> taken in the context of the above design principle and the
> implementation (state persists after expanding).
> Thank you for your input.
> Howie, on behalf of the User Experience Team at WMF
>  http://usability.wikimedia.org/wiki/Left_Nav_Click_Data
When can we expect the clicktracking data to be available? You
mention "users"; do you mean registered users? Were anonymous IP's
considered to be a separate class of users, or were they lumped into
the "monobook skin" numbers? It should be obvious that hiding
interwikis for users who are not logged in should be based on data of
users who are not logged in and thus do not have a preference they can
Also, I am interested in what clicktracking is occurring, whether the
data is being anonymised before being put into the hands of the
usability team, whether appropriately anonymised data will be
available to other researchers, etc.
This was mentioned briefly on wiki-research-l.
I recall similar functionality being _explicitly_ deactivated on
English Wikipedia as soon as Matt Bisanz brought it to the attention
of the English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee, yet the above says
that the data was taken from English Wikipedia!
The UsabilityInitiative extension is enabled on most wikis; e.g..
Is clicktracking now occurring on all WMF projects?