There seems to be a great hurry to delete images even when permission
has been obtained from the author in question. Having uploaded many
hundreds of images you think people would assume good faith and give a
guy a couple of weeks while he is on vacations...
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
cross-posting to foundation-l & internal-l from India Community list; apologies if you've read this already.
Begin forwarded message:
> From: Hisham <hmundol(a)wikimedia.org>
> Subject: Wikimedia India Program Trust
> Date: November 11, 2011 9:55:00 AM GMT+05:30
> To: Wikimedia India Community list <wikimediaindia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
> Hi Folks,
> I'm writing to share an update with you on certain developments of relevance to the Wikimedia movement in India.
> Announcement of Wikimedia India Program Trust
> For some time, efforts have gone into creating an organization that would provide an appropriate structure to support Wikimedia program activities in India. Aspects such as the current regulatory framework (regarding funding, taxation, etc.) as well as the legal protection for the India team have been considered to determine this structure. In this context, a host of options (e.g. subsidiary, branch, Section 25) were evaluated and a determination was made towards an independent non-profit public trust. Legal advice has been taken at every stage in this decision.
> A new entity, the “Wikimedia India Program Trust”, has now been formed and registered (in Delhi.) This will be the organization that will eventually drive India programs and house the team in India.
> Why an Independent Public Trust?
> The Trust will provide an effective vehicle within India to marshal resources to support programs and partner with local institutions. The objective of the Trust is to promote the objectives of the Wikimedia movement and work closely with the Wikimedia community on various projects with an India focus. It is important to understand that the Trust will not have any editorial control over content on any of the Wikimedia projects. The Trust is a not for profit organization.
> Introduction of Trustees
> Trustees have been identified based upon their support for Wikimedia movement's principles and plans in addition to having reputations for good governance and management.
> Sunil Abraham and Rahul Matthan have been requested to be the initial Trustees. Both are friends of Wikipedia and have extensive experience.
> Sunil is Executive Director of the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS), is a long term advocate of free software and IP reform and has been supporting the Wikimedia community and movement for some time now.
> Rahul is a partner and heads the technology practice at Trilegal. He brings deep expertise and relationships that will be valuable for the Trust.
> These initial Trustees will serve for a term of three years at the maximum. All additional or subsequent Trustees will serve on rotation in accordance with a trustee selection plan that will be prepared.
> Trustees will not be compensated for their services.
> Governance, Funding, Financial Standards & Communications of the Trust
> The Trust will be governed by Trustees who will provide oversight and guidance regarding the operations and governance of the Trust.
> Since the Trust is an independent organization, it will require funding for its operations which is in compliance with the legal and regulatory framework in India. It will seek funding from private donors within India as well as external sources.
> The Trust has the support of the Wikimedia Foundation which is a United States based non-profit foundation. However, in India all non-profit organizations need to be in existence for 3 years before they can receive funding from sources outside India. In the interim, they can apply for prior-permission under the FCRA regulations to help expedite the process. As a result, the Trust will shortly be applying for approval to receive funds from the Wikimedia Foundation in the future.
> As a Trust, we are required to have an independent external auditor. We have appointed KPMG. KPMG is experienced in auditing non-profit companies and are also auditors for the Wikimedia Foundation.
> Annually, the Trust will publicly disclose it's independently audited financial statements.
> The Trust will publish a monthly newsletter outlining its current activities and future plans. This will commence in December 2011.
> Operations of the Trust
> The trust deed under which the Trust must operate clearly states that the purpose of the Trust is to independently promote the growth of volunteer activities within India in support of effective and unrestricted dissemination of free knowledge to the public.
> I will serve as the Executive Director of the Trust. Once it is possible, additional employees will be brought on to the Trust
> The Trust will eventually have an office in Delhi.
> In the interim, I have personally secured temporary office space to facilitate establishing the Trust and its mission. It is located at Top Floor, G-15, Hauz Khas, New Delhi - 110 016. It's a couple of minutes walk away from IIT Flyover and Hauz Khas Metro. Do drop in! It's a small but cozy place and we'd love to have you over!
> We continue to make progress in setting up program activities to support the growth of Wikimedia in India. We have a long way to go, but are glad that we are starting to build a solid foundation.
> The following link is for FAQs on this (and related) topics: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FAQ_India_Programs/FAQ_Wikimedia_India_Progr…
> As always, do reach out if you have any comments or questions.
> Warm Regards,
Hello Jimmy Wales and other Wikimedia Foundation members,
I'm writing you to propose a Wikimedia project (tentatively called
"WikiSolve") no less important than Wikipedia.
We know Wikipedia can teach people knowledge (in terms of concepts),
but it can't directly help people find solutions to their problems,
because it's "concept-oriented" rather than "problem-oriented".
I envision a wiki that collects virtually every known problem in the
world and their corresponding solutions, so that people with a problem
in mind can find a solution on it.
The key problem in designing such a wiki is how such a wiki can guide
the user to the problem page he wants. I believe a hypertext-based
mechanism called "troubleshooting wizard" is the answer. A good
example of a troubleshooting wizard is
http://support.hubris.net/dialup/wizard/ . As you can see, this is a
way for the user to locate his problem in a wiki without knowing
keywords used to name or describe that problem, just like Wikipedia
allows a user to locate a concept without knowing its name or any
keywords used to describe it.
There is actually more background to this idea. I strongly recommend
you read the following article that compares how AI and a wiki tackle
two old problems differently: knowledge representation and problem
(A formatted version of the following article is at
>From formal to semi-formal: knowledge representation and problem
solving in the AI way and the wiki way
1. Failure of the formal way to represent encyclopedic knowledge
Big thinkers like Leibniz, Dijkstra and John McCarthy all dreamed
about an encyclopedia written in formal language and an automated
reasoner that could solve a problem by reasoning on this formal
knowledge base. Unfortunately attempts at this like the Cyc project
still have a long way to go.
2. Success of the semi-formal way to represent encyclopedic knowledge
In contrast, Wikipedia is a big success. Most stuff on Wikipedia is
written in natural language, but Wikipedia does have some formal
elements. Most fundamentally, each concept on Wikipedia has a unique
formal name, and there are hyperlinks between related concepts,
enabling the user to navigate to a target concept without initially
knowing its name (which makes Wikipedia an important "global
positioning system" (GPS) for concepts).
3. What would be the wiki (semi-formal) way to problem solving, then?
When it comes to "problem solving", there are actually two kinds of
3.1. Wiki-based solution sharing
The first kind is when you have a problem already solved by experts,
and these experts want to create a wiki as a "solved problem base"
where you can easily find your problem and consequently see the
corresponding solution written by these experts. Now the question is:
how can such a "problem base" wiki be organized so you (the user) can
find your problem easily?
What I want to say is "troubleshooting wizard". Do a Google search for
[ troubleshooting wizard ], and the first result is a good example of
what it is like: http://support.hubris.net/dialup/wizard/
As you see now, a troubleshooting wizard uses a series of questions to
let you specify your problem's characteristics (or "symptoms"), and
eventually leads you to a solution to your specific problem. You will
find this immediately familiar because you probably already saw this
kind of thing in Windows XP's Help System.
Now you can realize that a wiki as a hypertext system can surely
implement a troubleshooting wizard that walks the user to his problem
in a "problem base" wiki.
3.2. Wiki-based problem solving
The second kind is when you have an open problem that doesn't have a
known solution (otherwise you're supposed to find its solution in a
"problem base" wiki as discussed in Section 3.1). Now if you want to
attack this open problem on your own, creating a wiki may help, for
the following reason.
During your problem-solving process you may need to divide the
original problem into subproblems, or apply certain strategies such as
"generalization", "specialization" and "analogy" to the original
problem to obtain some "derived problems", whose solving may help you
solve the original problem (this is what George Polya's famous book
"How to Solve It" talks about). To keep track of these "subproblems",
"derived problems" and other kinds of middle results, a wiki would be
a great organizer.
Not sure if this is appropriate for this list, but just for lulz. A
finnish member of
parliament just got caught for his speech being a word for word piece of
snippets from a Finnish Wikipedia article. No intervening binding lines, just
the Wikipedia text. Way to go!!!
Jussi-Ville Heiskanen, ~ [[User:Cimon Avaro]]
I've tried to compile some of the old messages and discussions about
this topic, which has been put in light time to time, notably (as far as
I know) three times on this mailing list from 2005 to 2010 (see below).
I am a French wikipedian, and would like to tell you about this pretty
old project: a wiki encyclopedia designed for and partly maintained by
The idea of a equivalent of Wikipedia for children was discussed in
particular in 2005-2006 on this page :
Although it had no continuation as a Wikimedia project, wikis with such
a feature were launched first in Dutch: WikiKids
http://wikikids.wiki.kennisnet.nl ; in french a few month later: Vikidia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vikidia ( http://fr.vikidia.org/ ) and then
in Spanish ( http://es.vikidia.org ) for 8-13 years old children. I
WikiKids.nl and Vikidia in French are doing well and are quite alike in
size and activity, they are both 5 years old now, whereas Vikidia in
Spanish doesn't make it so well. (If you are Spanish speaker or if you
know people that would be interested in it, please tell them about this
On Vikidia in French, we currently have a guest-book opened, and the
comments left on it
http://fr.vikidia.org/wiki/Vikidia:Livre_d%27or/Automne_2011 are quite
encouraging (Google translation: http://bit.ly/vfPP4m ). Children say
they appreciate the articles to be more readable for them than on
Wikipedia, their main reserve being that some article are not developed
enough, or that there isn't articles on every subject they would like to
know about... They clearly expect (and claim) some substantial content,
though it has to be easier than the Wikipedia's content.
We have yet a bit more than 10,500 articles in Vikidia in French, and
about 250,000 unique visitors a month.
This "Wikikids" question was mentioned again in the Wikimedia scope one
year ago firstly on this mailing list, and on the 2010 Wikimedia Study
of Controversial Content there:
Recommendations: Controversial Text
Because of the considerations outlined above, our recommendations
surrounding text in WMF projects are the following:
It is recommended:
3. That, however, the Foundation investigate the creation of a
“WikiJunior” version of the Wikipedias, aimed at children under the age
of 12, either as a stand-alone project or in partnership with existing
and appropriate educational institutions.
Recommendations 2 and 3
(...) Much more successful, in our opinion, is a project specifically
targeted to children, and to the quite different needs of children in
different age groups. Some projects of this nature have already been
begun in the WikiJunior section of WikiBooks, but it is our feeling that
the scope of such a venture might necessitate the formation of
partnerships with institutions who have experience and resources already
devoted to this area.
I of course agree, except on those points :
* /"a project specifically targeted to children, and to the quite
different needs of children in different age groups"/ I would warn
against the idea of dividing the content for age group as restricted as
each year of age, following the pattern of school class. That point
could be expounded.
* /"the scope of such a venture might necessitate the formation of
partnerships with institutions who have experience and resources already
devoted to this area."/ Thats quite a conservative point of view, kind
of those that, if followed by Wikipedia, wouldn't have permit its
developpment. I mean that in such a project, one should try to
communicate with institutions, publicize what they do, share some points
of view, competence and so on, but he shouldn't wait for those
institutions as if they would have to approuve the project and its
methods, as if only them could tell what is good for the project, since
it deals with children.
Another feature of WikiKids/Vikidia is of course that it let children be
involved in building the content, and does not "only" aim to produce and
offer content for children, for the same benefits that you can find in
Wikipedia-editing workshops for students. There is both some school
projects and volunteer (and often enthusiastic) children editing on
Vikidia along with teenagers, students and adult writers.
This project is not the same as Wikijunior. It is a Wikipedia-like
project, which Wikijunior isn't.
I do have in mind that there is Simple English Wikipedia, whom no other
equivalent have been created in any other language. I guess that it
would make less easy to create a wikikids in english, as it would be
partly similar to simple. I would also say that the fact that this wiki
is not so big and hasn't been created in other language may show that
its aim would not be so clear, mobilizing and justifying. By the way, on
Vikidia, we do hope to be usefull not only to children but to people of
any age that would like a simple approach of a subject, or a shorter one
than on Wikipedia. We beleive that if its content were not relevant to
older people, it wouldn't be good either for children.
Another thought, one may even link this projet with an article of the
convention on the Rights of the Child
is the following:
Article 13 http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm#art13
1. The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right
shall include freedom to seek, receive *and impart* information and
ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing
or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the
2. The exercise of this right may be subject to certain restrictions,
but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:
(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; or
(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre
public), or of public health or morals.
I'm afraid that the main objection may be the opinion I can read on the
2010 discussion on this list, which is to assume that anything that
deals with children should be exclusively conducted by certified
professionnals, and thus can not be an open collaboration project. Since
I can't see any legal grounds to it (do you need a licence to write a
book for children ?), I guess it has some sociological or cultural
However, the point of this message is to address the "I don't think it
can work well" objection, associated with issues such as vandalism,
censorship, defining the appropriate content, children motivation and
ability to edit articles... since it does work well at least in two
language, where there is children, teenagers and adults working together
to better the wiki. And thousands of readers every days.
Previous discussions on this mailing list :
On the wikis :
and July 2010
49 rue Carnot
00 (33)4 57 09 10 56
00 (33)6 27 13 65 51
*Brin Wojcicki Foundation Announces $500,000 Grant to Wikimedia*
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – November 18, 2011 – The Brin Wojcicki Foundation,
started by Google co-founder Sergey Brin and 23andMe co-founder Anne
Wojcicki, awarded a $500,000 grant to the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs
Wikipedia and its sister sites. The Wikimedia Foundation kicked off its 8th
annual fundraiser on November 16, 2011.
The Wikimedia projects currently reach more than 477 million unique
visitors around the world every month (comScore, October 2011), making
Wikipedia the fifth most-popular web site in the world.
“This grant is an important endorsement of the Wikimedia Foundation and its
work, and I hope it will send a signal as we kick off our annual
fundraising campaign this week," said Sue Gardner, executive director of
the Wikimedia Foundation. "This is how Wikipedia works: people use it, they
like it, and so they help pay for it, to keep it freely available for
themselves and for everyone around the world. I am very grateful to Sergey
Brin and Anne Wojcicki for supporting what we do.”
The Brin Wojcicki Foundation has funded such organizations as the Michael
J. Fox Foundation, which is researching a cure for Parkinson’s disease. The
principals of the Brin Wojcicki Foundation are Sergey Brin, who co-founded
Google in 1997, and Anne Wojcicki, who co-founded 23andMe, a personal
*About the Wikimedia Foundation*
The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix,
Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation
receive more than 477 million unique visitors per month, making them the
fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, October 2011).
Available in more than 280 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 20
million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than
100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia
Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily
through donations and grants.
Head of Communications
Tel. +1 415 839 6885 x 6609
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