sent on Sue's behalf. We're working through the April/May/June backlog
for historical completeness, but wanted to share this new report upon
completion. We should be returning to predicable production frequency
I'd also like to invite you to help get the word out about this
report, to start disseminating it to a wider audience. There's a wiki
which you can share, help improve, translate, wikify. :-)
WIKIMEDIA FOUNDATION REPORT - JULY 2010
1) Wikimedia community, staff and board attend Wikimania 2010 in
Gdansk, Poland. 70 travel scholarships were awarded to recipients in
2) Beginning of the new fiscal year. New hiring plan underway.
First-ever open call for community fellowship and residency
3) Catalyst grants awarded to Wikimedia chapter organizations in nine countries
4) Planning continues for new data center in Virginia
More than 300 Wikimedians gathered in Gdansk, Poland, for the sixth
Wikimania conference. The Wikimedia Foundation awarded 70 travel
scholarships to Wikimedians from 39 countries -- greatly expanding on
past years' scholarship programs. There were many side meetings in
which contributors to fledgling Wikimedia projects shared experiences,
encourgaged each other, and met with Wikimedia Foundation board and
staff, as well as like-minded organizations.
New Wikimedians, new board members, and new staff were welcomed by
Wikimania regulars. A great line up of presentations and discussions
delved into new and long standing questions about community health,
project governance, growth and new technology. Many Wikimedia
Foundation staff members gave presentations.
Our communications team carried our first major video production
effort focused on capturing the stories of Wikimedians on the
sidelines of Wikimania. They interviewed 35 people and the final
videos are forthcoming.
Wikimania 2010 program:
Community report in the Wikipedia Signpost:
DATA, TRENDS AND FINANCIALS
The monthly report card for July 2010 can be found at:
Global unique visitors:
360 million (-5% compared to previous month / + 21.9% compared to
13.1 billion (-6% compared to previous month / + 27.2% compared to
July 1, 2010 is the beginning of the 2010-11 Financial Year. The
Annual Plan can be found at:
Operating Revenue Budget: USD 20.4MM
Operating Expense Budget: USD 20.4MM
Operating revenue for July: USD 160K vs. plan of USD 188K
Operating expenses July: USD1.3MM vs. plan of USD 1.6MM
Unrestricted cash on hand as of mid August: USD 11.0MM
The underspend in July is primarily due to underspending in capital
expenditures and internet hosting (those were budgeted evenly over the
year but will actually start lower and increase throughout the year)
and underspending related to personnel. This was partially offset by
overages related to Wikimania funding and WikiSym sponsorship and
timing of Wikimania scholarships.
The review of global unique visitors and pageviews shows the normal
June/July seasonal drop during sommer months.
Wikimedia Foundation data analyst Erik Zachte has created a series of
new reports on revert trends (how frequently are changes undone),
which he also presented at Wikimania. The relevant blog post can be
The data, for example for the English language Wikipedia, can be found at:
In coming months, we hope to gain a better understanding of the
relationship between revert trends and editing trends: Do revert
ratios predict editing activity? We invite the research community to
help us in the sensemaking process.
An additional set of reports was prepared by Erik Zachte to capture
pageviews and editing activity by country-of-origin:
Particularly noticeable is the relatively high percentage of edits
from European countries, as well as the strong correspondence between
the percentage of pageviews and the percentage of edits from the
Global South, which suggests that scaling our reach in the Global
South will also help us to gain more participants in those countries.
Other notes and obervations:
* It is instructive to review the "movers and shakers" section of page
requests, which shows that Indonesian, Korean, and Russian Wikipedia
have seen the strongest growth over the last year.
* A recent data loss issue on the logging server has been fixed.
Previously logged pageview data has been corrected based on an
estimate of the data loss. Months affected by the data loss are grayed
out in the report card.
* We've received more detailed reports from PediaPress about sales of
books using the book tool (compile Wikipedia articles into a printed
book), and will share some of this data soon. Highlights: From May
through July, PediaPress shipped 1,671 printed books to 981 buyers in
46 countries. 38% of books were sold to Germany and 28% to the United
States. The feature was also used to generate approximately 85,000 PDF
files per day.
In July, we added 1 permanent hire (Barry Newstead, Chief Global
Development Officer) and 2 temporary employees (Alolita Sharma,
Engineering Program Manager, and Arthur Richards, Fundraising
Engineer). Stewardship Associate Anya Shyrokova resigned from her
position with Wikimedia to attend graduate school.
The hiring of Barry Newstead as Chief Global Development Officer and
Zack Exley as Chief Community Officer was announced in June. Please
refer to the press release for more information:
Total employee count:
Plan: 51, Actual: 49
1) New Data Center
We are building out an additional data center location for safe
failover in the event that our current primary facility in Tampa,
Florida suffers a major downtime. In July, we've been collecting rough
bids from hosting vendors we met in our June visit to Ashburn, VA.
We have submitted requirements to a potential major equipment donor
and attended meetings to support their consideration of whether to
give us machines as an in-kind donation. We have enough budget
earmarked to purchase these machines, but are looking for donations so
we can repurpose any savings.
2) Project overview
A full overview of projects that the engineering team has been working
on through much of July and August can be found at:
Here are some highlights:
- Resource Loader - Planning and requirements gathering for an
support of deployment of new functionality, including the new media
upload wizard for Wikimedia Commons.
- Article Assessment, AKA "Rate This Article" - Requirements gathering
for a pilot of this capability, tied to the Public Policy Initiative
- Pending Changes - Half-way through trial deployment of this feature
for the English Wikipedia, which was formerly called "Flagged
- Liquid Threads - A new discussion system. Working on UI redesign,
which was presented at Wikimania.
- Vector Phase V - Final rollout of new default look and feel for
Wikimedia properities (already deployed on all of the large sites)
scheduled for early September. This change will complete the rollout
of the Vector project.
Wikimedians interested in what we are working on should watch the wiki
pages mentioned in the tech blog entry.
3) Visits and planned meetings
- Student contractors - Over the summer, most of our student
contractors made visits to the Wikimedia Foundation offices in San
- Hackathon - Planning a 2-day public event to get together the WMF
Tech Staff with volunteer engineers for an old-fashioned face-to-face
coding sprint. This meeting will be formally announced in September
and will take place in October this year on the East Coast of the US.
- Data Summit - Planning an invitational meeting to discuss plans
related to how data is organized, displayed, captured and analyzed on
WMF properties. Keeping the invite list small, but interested parties
should apply to danese at wikimedia dot org for an invite.
Overall, the Global Development (GD) team is still very much in its
formative stages with the CGDO coming on board in July. We are
focused on building the team with active or soon-to-be active searches
for key positions including Chapter Development Director, National
Program Director for India, Senior Research Analyst, Global Product
Merchandise, Movement Communications and Program Assistant.
In July, the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees approved the
formation of a chapter in India. The Indian team is now moving forward
to secure the legal registration of the chapter.
We did make significant progress on the first stage of chapter grant
making with grants approved for 9 chapters (Argentina, Switzerland,
Hungary, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Czech Republic,
Ukraine, New York) and a grant to support the formation of a chapter
in South Africa. We have increased our budget available for grants
this year. For more information about the grant-making process and the
submitted grants and reports, please see:
The Wikimedia blog (http://blog.wikimedia.org/blog/2010/07/) featured
postings from volunteer Liam Wyatt on his internship at the British
Museum, updates to the Google translation toolkit, changes to the
Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, the approval of the Indian
chapter, the first ever open call for community fellowship and
residency applicants, and a summary of a Wikimedia and free culture
community event in Germany called Skill Share.
The communication team carried out Foundation's first major video
production project. The project interviewed over 35 wikpedians and is
the Foundation first series of videos intended to shed light on the
Wikimedia community. The videos will debut in September 2010.
* Major issues and media-interest topics:
** Gov't edits to Wikipedia articles rattle Canadian politicians (July 29)
** Wikipedia tops in customer service (July 20)
** Wikipedia bottoms in collecting user-data (July 30)
Media contact through the reporting period:
Please also see the detailed weekly news summaries by the Wikipedia Signpost:
The Community Department launched an "open call" for submissions by
people interested in working on community-facing projects. There were
almost 2,000 submissions, many very promising, who were and are being
evaluated for fellowship and residency positions at the Wikimedia
Foundation. The open call brought us in contact with many active
Wikimedians outside of the circle of well known voices and many women
and candidates from the Global South.
The public policy initiative held several in-person meetings, events
and trainings around the country of professors, student volunteers and
Wikimedians to build out the organization for the first semester.
Community staff working on the fundraiser established a volunteer
fundraising committee of Wikimedians from around the world to help
drive the 2010 fundraiser, as well as working through many other
preparations for the fundraiser.
FUNDRAISING, GRANTS, & PARTNERSHIPS
During July, the Wikimedia Foundation received 762 donations, with a
combined total value of USD 64,292. July is the beginning of the
Wikimedia Foundation's fiscal year; this year's Community Give and
Major Gifts target is USD 16,500,000. Combined with the USD 3,500,000
goal for Partnerships and Foundation related activiteis brings the
total Fundraising related goal for the year to USD 20,000,000.
Mike conducted ongoing work identifying and interviewing legal
resources for Wikimedia UK, to support the process of obtaining
We've been in contact with both the Apple and Android app stores to
ask their assistance in policing trademark-infringing apps. We're also
working independently with Apple to conclude a pre-existing legacy
agreement and develop a new contractual relationship regarding
Wikimedia trademark use in Apple products.
In July we re-engaged a charity-specialist attorney, first to help
identify the right path to organizing fundraising and other activities
in India, and later to help with other fundraising/chapter issues. We
confirmed that there are ongoing structural issues, particularly in
Europe, with transferring charitable funds to WMF -- we're looking for
holistic, comprehensive ways of resolving these issues.
VISITORS AND GUESTS
In July, the following people visited the Wikimedia Foundation offices
for meetings and talks: Kathy Nicholson, Program Officer with the
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Travis Kriplean and Jonathan
Morgan, HCI Researchers at the University of Washington, Craig Newmark
of Craigslist, and 20 attendees from a conference on direct democracy,
most of whom were visiting from Europe.
Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Sue Gardner launched her
personal blog in July, starting with two blog posts:
"Why Wikimedia’s new revenue strategy makes me happy"
"If You Have These Five Characteristics Wikimedia Wants to Hire You"
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
Recently we've been having some internal conversations regarding transparency for our hiring, recruiting and contracting. In efforts to be more proactive about sharing this information we're moving to a system of tweeting short bursts of announcements. This will be done in a "bot" style voice not unlike the WMF tech feeds. The idea is that we'll get the information out on new hires and new contractors and consultants working with us along with new job openings etc. Basically the streams will recap the comings and goings in a short and sweet format.
I invite you all to see these data streams - http://identi.ca/wikimediaatwork/all or http://twitter.com/wikimediaatwork. Eventually we also hope to find more ways to use this feed for recruiting and reaching out to a larger candidate pool and audience. There will also be times where we link the streams or feeds to longer and more detailed blog postings.
Gerard writes: >>The trouble is that attempts to make something that lures experts but
keeps idiots out of their faces have so far failed and/or attracted no
attention, even from the experts (Citizendium, Scholarpedia). That is,
they sound like a good idea; but in practice, Wikipedia has so far
been the least worst system.
True. But is there not some way of making Wikipedia just a little more attractive
to people who have studied the subject? I used to propose things like credentials
based on trust earned on Wikipedia (which would require getting trust from other
trusted editors, much like in financial markets). These all naturally got shot down,
and silly of me to have tried. But is there not some way of just making it a little
The problem is that until someone sits up and notices the serious errors that
are propagated through Wikipedia (and which are now becoming part of the
folk wisdom of the internet), no one will be bothered. The problem is that no one
*knows* there are problems, and so no one can be bothered. I've started documenting
the problem in a small way, e.g. here http://ocham.blogspot.com/2010/06/william-of-ockham.html
and here http://ocham.blogspot.com/2010/06/avicennian-logic.html , but this is only
in my own area of expertise.
What is the very smallest thing that could be done, I wonder?