[I am crossposting this announcement to two mailing lists, feel free to
pick up the topic on either of them.]
I am--yet again!--delighted to announce that Wikimedia Polska, the
Polish chapter of the WMF, is organising a travelling exhibition of the
winning POTY contest pictures. 16 images chosen by Wikimedians from all
over the world in the annual POTY contests from 2006 onwards are going
to be shown at exhibitions in various places around Poland.
As some of you may recall, the exhibition premièred during the 10th
anniversary of the Polish Wikipedia conference, having been visited by a
few hundred visitors in just two weeks; some images from the pubic
viewing of the exhibition are available on Wikimedia Commons at
Our first stop is Przystanek Książka (a Polish wordplay for "Book
Break"), a media library of the Public Library of the district of Ochota
in Warsaw. The exhibition starts on Monday, November 28, and will remain
until the end of the year. 16 pictures, the best of the best of the
Wikimedia movement, will be shown in an exhibition open for the public,
with descriptions available in Polish, English and German.
For those of you currently living in Warsaw or going to visit the
capital in the upcoming weeks: the library is located at 42 Grójecka
Street, just two tram stops (and 8 minutes) away from the Warsaw Central
railway station (tram lines "9" and "25"), and is open on working days
from 10 AM until 7 PM (2 PM-7 PM on Wednesdays).
We are still looking for more organisations and institutions willing to
hold the exhibition--if there's anyone from the neighbouring (European)
countries willing to get involved or just looking for some information,
feel free to approach me at <tomasz.kozlowski @ wikimedia.pl>.
We hope to have a great event, and even if you can't visit the
exhibition, please keep your fingers crossed that it goes well, and
spread the news!
PS For those going to take a peek at the exhibition _in real life_,
there's also a Facebook event:
Tomasz Kozłowski | [[user:odder]]
There are an increasing number of organisations which have indicated
that their output is Creative Commons by default, however there are
not as many that have a public IP policy which clearly allows staff to
publish "their" work.
i.e. We have moved from the IP policy being the stick used to prevent
openness, and the "work for hire" and "publish process" are the next
A few staff at University of Canberra (UC) have written an IP policy
proposal which clearly gives staff ownership of their work, and
requires CC licensing if their staff use organisational infrastructure
to create their work.
Otago Polytechnic adopted an IP policy like that in 2007.
Are there other examples, within or outside academia, where the
organisation empowers its staff by providing a policy which clarifies
when "work for hire" principle is enforced in this murky world of
Does the WMF have an intellectual property policy for works created by
Employees edit and upload using free licenses under their own name,
but does the copyright belong to the employee or to the WMF?
Is anyone in our community going to:
Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest
Washington College of Law
American University, Washington, DC
August 25-27, 2011
Remember there was MSN Explorer (desktop software) that let you browse MSN
and use MSN services such as Hotmail?
Remember Google Earth (desktop software) that lets you browse the Earth and
provides additional services based on the Earth?
We can also make a "Wikipedia Explorer" (desktop software) that lets you
browse Wikipedia AND provides an added layer that enables users to:
* Chat/discuss with other users interested in the same topic (Wikipedia
* Announce/find resources related to a topic (products, books, jobs,
I intend to see such a "Wikipedia Explorer" developed, or personally
develop it. Any comments?
I just want to send a note to celebrate the enormous success of the
2011 fundraiser. It used to be the case that I was pretty involved in
the annual campaign. For the last two fundraiser, Zack Exley's been
running the show, and I'm enormously impressed by and proud of what he
and his team have been able to accomplish.
When we prepared the budget for 2011-12, I worried that we'd need to
cross new lines in order to generate that much revenue. The 2010
campaign already felt like we were hitting the ceiling of how much can
be raised from a large number of individual donations. Last year, we
were showing Jimmy's face and appeals in many different variations
through much of the fundraiser. We had tried some pretty aggressive
banners, like these ones:
Jimmy certainly didn't crave this level of attention, but he was a
good sport and gave his approval. The campaign was tremendously
successful. But after it was over, we weren't just worried that our
readers might be feeling "Jimmy fatigue", we were all feeling it,
including, I'm sure, Jimmy himself. But it simply remains true that
people strongly identify with him, and that his appeals tend to
motivate people to give more clearly than anything else.
So it was with some anxiety that we approached the 2011 campaign. Zack
isn't the kind of person who makes a grand master plan and then sticks
to it, so until it played out, I really didn't know what the 2011
campaign would look like. Instead of dreaming up plans, though, Zack
and team had spent the months leading up to the fundraiser A/B testing
and experimenting with ways to shorten the fundraiser and reduce our
reliance on a single message/message-bearer. And so they learned tons
of stuff: How long an appeal needed to be to work, what kind of
photo/lighting/background was effective, what payment process would
work, etc. And there was the usual usability testing, optimization of
donations forms, etc.
This, by the way, told us that we didn't need graphically obnoxious
banners -- the simple text on plain white with a photo worked just
fine. (But it needed to be the right kind of photo, and yes, moving it
to the left helped as well.)
And Zack hired storytellers, not an uncontroversial idea at the time,
whose job it would be to go out there and collect the most compelling
personal stories from people in our movement, wherever they may be and
whatever role they may play. This allowed us to share lots of those
stories, both through the testing and then through the actual
There's more -- prior to the campaign, the tech team worked enormously
hard to integrate a new payment system, GlobalCollect. This would
allow us to accept payments not just in all major currencies, but also
through bank transfer, direct debit, and country-specific payment
This, too, in combination with more effectively organized efforts by
hundreds of volunteer translators, meant that banner impressions that
were previously wasted (because people had no way to actually donate)
were now going to turn into support for our work.
All the testing and infrastructure improvements meant that the first
day of the fundraiser was our most effective day ever, by far. And it
meant that we could raise our goal in less time than before. We've
also turned off the banners for registered users in record time, and
for the first time disabled banners for anyone making a donation. But
most importantly it allowed us to share appeals like these:
These letters help people understand what Wikimedia is about through
many different voices, metaphors and experiences. The story of an
editor like Sengai Podhuvanar from India, or of a donor like Akshaya
Iyengar, or Ward Cunningham's own story. The storytellers worked hard
to capture the essence of these voices, so that they would be heard
loud and clear.
The team could have chosen to use that time to show more effective
Jimmy banners, or to pick one or two other banners and focus the
entire campaign on them. Instead it sacrificed short term revenue
impact for a more diverse and interesting campaign.
Years ago, we used to worry that people wouldn't/didn't understand
that Wikimedia is a non-profit, that it's created by volunteers, that
it's international/multilingual. Many misconceptions still exist, but
for anyone paying attention, we've demolished them.
I know that everyone involved is enormously proud of working their
butts off for Wikimedia and making this endeavor successful. I am, in
turn, really pleased and grateful with where we are as we enter the
new year. Not only do we have more resources at our disposal than ever
to succeed -- we've firmly established that Wikimedia is a new kind of
organization, a new kind of movement. With more than a million people
joining this year to support us, we're continuing to make history
Thanks to everyone involved in making it happen (including, not to
forget, the participating Wikimedia chapters), and to all who've
supported Wikimedia this year. :-)
> Message: 1
> Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2011 01:52:03 +0100
> From: Jan Ku?era <kozuch82(a)gmail.com>
> Subject: [Foundation-l] Wikimedia's secret wikis
> To: foundation-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> I see following wikis hold secred information:
> Imagine a world in which every single human being can NOT freely share in
> the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment.
Having access to some of these "secret" Wikis, let me assure you that
the content of most of them is banal, dull, and there are no juicy
chunks of conspiratorial information in there. But they also contain
the sort of information that can't go into the public sphere, such as
private contact details and other information.
But then again, I suppose that's just what I *would* say, right?
Fri, 16 Dec 2011 15:29:51 -0800, Jay Walsh <jwalsh(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
> The Wikimedia Foundation is happy to announce the release of the 2010-11
> Annual Report, which is now posted on the WMF Wiki at
Thanks for this beautiful Annual Report :) Much appreciated also the
I have two points I would like see to happen in the process of the
creation of this report:
* a proofread by the community before the final issue; perhaps I missed
it, but I didn’t find anything on foundation-l; for example it has been
remarked a typo on the second page "Jean Javier" -> "Jean Janvier",
corrected in the wiki version
* a proofread of the translated versions; I didn’t noticed anything on
translation-l; I noticed a couple of translation errors in the French
version (example: "155 millions of edits" -> "155 millions de textes", but
"textes" = "texts", "edits" = "éditions")
I know it’s quite difficult to synchronize PDF versions and wiki versions,
but I find it’s worth trying.
On Incubator we have in this year for the first time compiled an
end-of-the-year review in order to inform people about what is going on on
Incubator / new wikis.
The version on-wiki can be found on
Incubator (http://incubator.wikimedia.org) is a wiki of the Wikimedia
Foundation which serves as a platform where anyone can build up a a new
language edition of a Wikimedia project (Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikibooks,
Wikinews and Wikiquote) that does not yet have its own subdomain, provided
that it is a recognized language. These so-called "test wikis" on Incubator
can be used like (nearly) any other real wiki. When the community desires
so and there is enough activity, they can request to move to an own
subdomain through the requests for new languages process.
Wikisource and Wikiversity are not mentioned above, as their tests belong
to Old Wikisource (http://wikisource.org) and Beta Wikiversity (
http://beta.wikiversity.org). Regarding test wikis, this report will
however focus on Incubator mainly.
The Language committee reviews these requests, deciding about the
eligibility of languages and determining whether test wikis are deemed
active enough to sustain activity on an own subdomain.
As it is widely known, the 10th anniversary of Wikipedia was celebrated on
January 15th; but this year was also the fifth birthday of Incubator, which
was created on 2 June 2006.
12 new language subdomains of Wikimedia projects were created in 2011.
In January, Rusyn Wikipedia has been created, and in March Latgalian
Wikipedia, Kabardian Wikipedia and Albanian Wikinews. Three Wikisources
were also created, in Sanskrit, Yakut and Esperanto, after a successful
testing phase on Old Wikisource. Greek Wikinews got its own subdomain in
April. In July, the Mingrelian Wikipedia and from outside of Incubator
Arabic Wikiversity have been created. In September, Oriya Wiktionary was
re-opened; this was the first time that a closed wiki became so active
again on Incubator, so that the subdomain could be opened again. The last
wiki created in this year was the Northern Sotho Wikipedia in November,
which was interestingly the largest indigenous South African language
Wikipedia even though it was the only one still on Incubator.
Upcoming projects are Veps Wikipedia and Western Punjabi Wiktionary, which
were approved and are currently waiting for creation, while Tachelhit and
Lezgian Wikipedia are still awaiting content verification.
See http://incubator.wikimedia.org/wiki/Incubator:Site_creation_log for
links to the projects.
'''Closing projects''' SPQRobin made a proposal for a Policy on closing
projects in February. Proposals for closing projects (
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Proposals_for_closing_projects) had no fixed
rules before, but were more or less simply votes; sometimes users came by
and made a "decision" by counting the votes and filing a bug accordingly.
After the policy proposal had been elaborated further, it was adopted by
Langcom and the Board of Trustees in May/June. The "Closing projects
policy" now defines several reasons for closing as either valid or invalid.
The decision on closing projects is now within the responsibility of the
Langcom and Board.
First Langcom actions about closing projects in happened in August; and
currently the 2nd round is ongoing. See the proposal page on Meta for
'''Kichwa language''': On Incubator, a group of users started building a
test Wikipedia in Kichwa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kichwa_language), an
Ecuadorian standard of Quechua. This "Unified Kichwa", however, is not
included in the ISO 639 standard which Wikimedia uses for determining
whether a language is acceptable or not. A temporary code is used now; a
solution is pending.
'''Berber languages''': Several Berber languages have their test wiki, and
there is also effort to start a Standard Berber test wiki, which also lacks
a valid code. There are also technical issues because in addition to Latin,
the Tifinagh script is used which lacks proper software support. Having two
scripts also requires script conversion.
In May, the Language Committee held its first real-life meeting in Berlin.
We discussed a lot of topics, including linguistic issues, simple projects,
... We also made some decisions: the LangCom's activities are now more open
by allowing observers. Robin volunteered to write monthly reports for the
In November, several LangCom members who also work for WMF and/or are a
developer (Amir, Robin, Gerard, Santhosh) went to the Hackathon in Mumbai,
India (https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/India_Hackathon_2011). Software tools
(Narayam input method and WebFonts) were improved for Indic languages, but
can also be used for other languages; they make it possible to type
non-Latin scripts without having an appropriate keyboard available.
Wikimedia Australia and Wikimedia Indonesia are collaborating with the
language committee to organise a 2012 Languages Conference in Indonesia.
A new MediaWiki extension has been developed for Incubator, aptly called
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:WikimediaIncubator). It was
enabled for the first time on 6 June, allowing users to set a test wiki
preference (similar to the language preference), and to view a number of
special pages, including Special:RecentChanges, on a per-test-wiki basis in
order to make this more convenient and less confusing. The extension is
continuously being improved. Some other features which should be mentioned
are: Checks to help users create pages (correctly) according to the
"sorting system" of Incubator and the introduction of automatic "Welcome
pages" for every possible project of every valid language. These pages
contain information for people how they can start a new Wikipedia language
version there & are adapted to each language and project and are
This last function is synergetic with a new feature added in December:
Instead of showing a 404 error page, the red links on Special:SiteMatrix
now redirect to the respective Welcome page on Incubator, e.g.
http://ss.wikiquote.org. Interwiki links are also possible e.g.
<nowiki>[[xyz:Page]] on en.wikipedia links to</nowiki>
====Plans for 2012====
For 2012, we hope to simplify the processes for requesting a new subdomain
and to improve Incubator's usability. Therefore it will be easier for
people to contribute here, resulting in an increased participation in new
language versions. Unfortunately, our documentation is very poor at the
moment, so that will be in our focus very much. It is also planned to gain
more feedback from users about how the Incubator phase and wiki creation
process could be made easier and more attractive.
Erik Moeller, 30/11/2011 07:03:
> On Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 3:42 PM, Nathan wrote:
>> * The budget includes a whopping $14 million on staffing costs (at the
>> planned 117 number of staff, that is nearly $120k per staff member)
> The 2010-11 staffing budget is $13.3M.  Staffing costs include
> payroll taxes, recruiting costs, and benefits, and of course pay bands
> for different roles vary significantly, but are consistent with
> similar non-profit organizations, i.e. below the market rate paid at
> for-profit companies.
> More background about the guiding principles of Wikimedia's
> compensation practices can be found in .
Thank you for mentioning this (and thanks to people who worked on it
too), I found it very interesting.
What I don't understand, especially given the nature of the WMF staff
(at large), is that there is no mention at all of international
differences; I heard that they're somehow taken care of, but it would be
very nice to have them briefly documented. As it is, this document would
seem to be only about San-Francisco indefinite employees.
For instance: «benefits package for all staff, which includes medical,
dental, vision and life insurance» doesn't apply to non-USA based
staffers, I guess (they might not even need one), but it's not said what
happens to them; «Staff receive an annual vacation allotment, which
ranges from 5-20 working days», but no mention of whether this is
adjusted to local vacation/public holidays laws; there's nothing about
notice periods for termination or non-renewal of contracts (another
thing which varies a lot across countries).
P.s.: I hope you'll be forgiving of my English terminology mistakes.