There has been a long discussion, with a certain lack of good faith,
after Seddon posted a geonotice intended to attract last minute
applicants from the UK Wikipedia community for the position of WM-UK
Chapter CEO. It would be helpful if someone from the Foundation could
confirm whether guidelines that might result from such discussions
would be considered binding in the future for WMF and whether the
geonotices service as supported by the Foundation might have
restrictions on how it can be used or expectations for how it should
be used and who ought to have final responsibility for the nature of
the content of such geographically related notices.
Guide to email tags: http://j.mp/faetags
A quick update on the oral citations project.
1) We have now posted sample articles in all 3 project languages,
Malayalam, Sepedi and Hindi:
2) A full English subtitle track for the film is now available on
Wikimedia Commons (the previous one only covered non-English speech):
There are a couple of things yet to come, some of which are
intrinsically linked to the suggestions and comments coming in from the
discussion on the previous thread. These are:
a) A few more articles in development, which will be posted when done
b) Transcripts of the audio interviews in Hindi, Sepedi and Malayalam,
each accompanied by an English transcript (in development)
c) An FAQ, where we can begin thinking collaboratively about ways in
which an exercise like this could work/be made to work under existing
policies within the Wikimedia movement, and Wikipedia specifically; as
well as ways in which this project could be extended to think about
sources and citations generally.
Lastly, if you haven't had a chance to see the work of the project, you
can do that here:
...and if you would like to watch the film made during the course of the
project, please check it out:
on Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:People-are-Knowledge.ogv
or on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/26469276
I'm really pleased to send out this email welcoming the first 2 new members of the India Programs team. Just before I introduce them, I thought I'd share with you the background of their selection.
As you might be aware, the Foundation had decided to undertake a catalyst operation in India to promote the growth of the community and projects here. The team is expected to be a small, nimble 5 person group. We had put out 2 job postings - for Indic Initiatives and for Participation. (Please refer: http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaindia-l/2011-May/003007.html) We posted them on linkedin and on the Indian FOSS community list as well as announcing them on various Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.
The response was wonderful. >110 applications for Indic Initiatives and nearly 175 applications for Participation. These were short-listed to 10 (3 for Indic Language and 7 for Participation.) These were a mix of existing & previous Wikipedians, Wikipedia newbies and open source advocates.
In June, the shortlisted 10 were interviewed and further down-selected to 4. These 4 were then further interviewed by a group of other staff members from the Foundation. I am pleased to inform the community of the final selected 2.
Shiju Alex - Indic Initiatives
Most of you already know Shiju. For those who don't, Shiju is a long-time Wikipedian [User: shijualex] and is active on Malayalam Wikipedia, English wikiprojects and Wikimedia Commons, as well as Wikisource and offline. He has been passionately involved with the establishing and building of Indic language Wikipedias. He's participated in a series of outreach activities and is also (jointly) undertaking a grant from the Foundation for outreach across India. He's a regular member of the Bangalore community.
Shiju is from Palakkad, Kerala and is married with a 2 year old baby. He currently works as a Senior Technical Writer with ABB in Bangalore.
Even those of you who know him might not know the following 2 things that I was lucky to discover during the selection process. Shiju is an MSc in Physics with a specialisation in Astronomy and Astrophysics - and he retains a deep interest in anything astronomical. Feel free to quiz him vigorously on this! He also enjoys trekking and misses his time in Pune where he could be up & close the gorgeous Sahyadri Hills.
Shiju is going to lead our work on promoting Indic language projects across India. The challenges are enormous - from technical constraints to low levels of awareness of these projects to vibrant but nascent communities. However, these only point to the massive size of the opportunity for Indic language projects - which is the joint top-2 strategic priority of the movement in India. After he joins, he'll collaboratively put together a plan for Indic language projects and work towards quality execution of high-impact initiatives.
Shiju is currently serving out his notice period so will be able to join us only around September - October.
Nitika Tandon - Participation
Nitika [User:nitika.t] is relatively newer to the community - and has been brushing up her editing. She's been immersing herself in the Wikimedia world and attended community meet-ups as well as reviews of the Wikipedia India Education Program. She is from Delhi - and is currently based in Mumbai - where she works as a Strategic Partnerships Manager with Directi. (If you're not aware, they are one of the most prominent internet domain & solutions providers in India.)
Nitika has an MBA and has also worked on research analytics. A fascinating detail I discovered about a previous assignment of hers - and you must ask her about it - is how African drums can be used for management coaching! She also reliably informs me that there are 7 Spanish dance forms and she instructs in all of them!
Nitika is going to be working on Participation - which is primarily focussed on increasing the contributor base of non-Indic language projects, primarily Wikipedia. One of her first tasks will be to expand the Wikipedia India Education Program from the Pune pilot to a more national footprint. She'll also work on other initiatives to promote participation - and I can foresee Wikimedia Commons being a potential initiative.
Nitika will join us on August 1st.
I'm going to be scheduling the August Monthly India Programs IRC on Thursday August 18th @ 9pm IST to introduce them both to the community. Please do join us. Also, needless to say, they'll be attending a series of community meet-ups over the next months.
In the meantime, please do join me in welcoming them onboard. I'm really excited because this means that we will now have the capacity and capability to dramatically accelerate our activities in India.
Wikimedia India Programs
skype : hisham.wikimedia
gtalk : hmundol(a)wikimedia.org
twitter : @mundol
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
Just a reminder we'll be in #wikimedia-office shortly. We'll also be joined
by Maggie Dennis (AKA Moonriddengirl from English Wikipedia) our newly
minted Community Liason. :)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Steven Walling <swalling(a)wikimedia.org>
Date: Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 8:35 PM
Subject: IRC office hours this week with Sue Gardner
Just some advance notice that there will be an IRC office hours in
#wikimedia-office this week with Sue Gardner, on Thursday at 17:00 UTC. We
haven't set a topic, but considering it's just a few days before Wikimania
it might be nice to chat about that. Instructions etc. about office hours
are in the usual place on Meta.
Fellow at Wikimedia Foundation
Fellow at Wikimedia Foundation
I've been following this with some interest and I think I'm beginning to
see how this is like nesting dolls. In the kernel is the actual
interview in the native language - the primary source(s) which is
actually a video or audio recording. The next layer is the interviewers
transcription layer - a secondary source that may or may not compare &
contrast various primary sources to create a collective composite which
others who can read the native language are free to comment, modify,
That's great - don't monkey with success. So far all that has been done
is to convert one or more oral sources into a written condensation that
is now open to all native readers (or listeners if you use text to
speech technology) and that information is coherent within the context
of that culture.
Where all this seems to fall down is that some insist on forcing? this
material into English so a researcher will not be inconvenienced with
the task of learning the native language. That doesn't make much sense,
as the ethnographer or other researcher needs to understand that culture
enough to access the primary source and understand the cultural context
- which means they must know the native language anyway.
Work based on this cultural collection of material that will ultimately
be published in English should be written by this researcher or a
translator who can make it make sense in English. Running the original
material through a mechanical translator is fraught with errors and
Over the past two months, the fundraising team has started testing new
messages from WMF staff members, donors, and editors. We're really excited
that we've found new messages that perform at the same level as the "founder
appeal" from Jimmy Wales. This year, the fundraiser will rely as much as
possible on voices of many different members of our community.
Doing in-person interviews and then writing appeals using people's exact
words is the key to making these appeals work as well as the Jimmy appeal.
Victor Grigas, Aaron Muszalski, and Matthew Roth -- three Storytellers
working on the 2011 Fundraiser -- are doing the interviews. They will be
attending Wikimania to interview attendees who would like to have their
personal appeal run during the fundraising campaign. While on this story
gathering mission, they will also be taking photos to be used in fundraising
We would like to feature editors for as much of the fundraiser as possible.
But we've found that editor appeals are the hardest to make work. So we're
really looking for people who think they can explain in their own words why
donating to WMF or a chapter is important. If you'd like to get involved,
please get in touch by emailing wikistory(a)wikimedia.org. We'll be
interviewing throughout Wikimania, so please come talk to us about the
importance of Wikipedia and tell us your own personal story of how you're
connected to the Wikimedia movement.
You don't have to attend Wikimania to get involved. We will be interviewing
people from all different areas of the world over the next several months.
If you're interested in sharing your story, please send a message to
If you'd like to see a review of our weekly testing and read the new
appeals, check out our test updates page:
Looking forward to seeing you next week and hearing your stories,
God forbid that someone should have an opinion contrary to the fashion of
the day (in this case, oral citations)!
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 12:21:18 -0700
> From: "M. Williamson" <node.ue(a)gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> What is your intention here, Elizabeth, besides trolling?
We have written a page on wikimediafoundation.org that clarifies how the
Wikimedia Foundation treats user feedback from new tools such as
The intention of this page is to clarify for users that their
contributions through these (and future) tools are equivalent to
made through the wiki. The new "Feedback" page is user-facing (linked from
within these new tools) and is intended to complement the Wikimedia privacy
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the new
149 New Montgomery Street
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On Sat, Jul 23, 2011 at 2:41 AM, Barry Newstead <bnewstead(a)wikimedia.org>wrote:
> Dear all,
> Below is a note I've prepared that takes a look at the year past and
> the year ahead for the Wikimedia Foundation's Global Development team.
> An editable and formatted version can be found at
> Year in review and road ahead
> Barry Newstead
> I just passed my first anniversary since I joined the Wikimedia
> Foundation and we created the Global Development team. It has been a
> year in which we have put the team in place and built our
> understanding of the opportunities and challenges we face in achieving
> our goals.
> Why we exist
> At the heart, the Global Development team’s role is to help the
> community to grow and thrive in places where we have not yet achieved
> our movement’s potential. Places where the approach that worked in
> the Global North has not yet taken hold in sufficient numbers. At a
> time when Wikimedia’s editor community (dominated by Global North
> editors) is slowly ebbing and readership on the personal computer is
> plateauing, we need to be proactive in working to create strong
> communities in the Global South, where more than half of Internet
> users live today and an overwhelming share of future Internet users
> will come from. It isn’t clear what specific programs will work, but
> it is imperative that we work hard everyday alongside the community to
> try new things and help scale up efforts that are promising.
> The foundation has set clear goals in our strategic plan to reach 1
> billion readers by 2015 and to increase the number of active editors
> to 200,000 with 37% from the Global South. The Global Development
> team will play an important role in catalyzing and supporting
> communities to reach these goals.
> The Past Year for the Global Development team
> (1) Building a diverse team
> When I started, we were a small team of 4 with Jay, Moka, Kul and
> myself. We had very limited capacity and the team had a range of
> foundation-wide responsibilities. Over the year, we have built a
> diverse (and I’d say very talented) team to fulfill roles that I see
> as vital. We have a mix of experienced Wikipedians on the team and
> folks who bring valuable new capabilities to tackle the new challenges
> we face. I’m particularly happy that we have a team that has a lot of
> experience globally and brings diverse perspectives to the table. I’m
> also glad that most of the recruiting work for me is finished, as I’m
> ready to focus more time on getting results in our priority areas.
> Our team will grow a bit in 2011/12, but it will focus mostly on
> filling in the team in India and Brazil.
> (2) Executing effectively
> While we were building the plane, we were flying it too! We had
> important accomplishments and I’m happy that all of these involved
> close partnership with the community around the world and other teams
> within the foundation. Some of the highlights include:
> * Wikipedia’s 10th Anniversary celebration was a great success with
> events in over 200 locations, many of which received special edition
> T-shirts and buttons that help to bond our world-wide community. We
> also garnered incredible media coverage that underscored the important
> role of Wikipedia in the public imagination. I see this initiative as
> a model for an initiative catalyzed by the foundation and made reality
> by the community in innovative and effective ways.
> * We launched our India catalyst initiative with efforts to help build
> the community via visits by Jimmy and myself along with support for
> community work on outreach. We met and introduced many people to
> Wikimedia at meetups in many cities. We had amazing media coverage of
> all of our (community and WMF) activities that added momentum to our
> work. I’m also happy that we launched our first program in June - the
> India Education Program.
> * Our grants program more than doubled with a wide range of chapters,
> like-minded groups and individuals, implementing initiatives large and
> small aimed at contributing to the Wikimedia vision. In addition, we
> continue to provide support for Wikimania and will be supporting a
> large contingent of Wikimedians from over 20 countries to attend
> Wikimania in August.
> * In close partnership with community developers, we invested to
> improve the tools available for offline projects with the integration
> of OpenZIM into the collections tools and a usability upgrade for the
> Kiwix reader.
> * For the first time, we have the internal capacity to start
> understanding how we, as a movement, are doing and we put that
> capacity to work with our first systematic survey of the global editor
> community. The survey was available in 22 languages (thanks to the
> volunteer translator community) and was completed by over 5,000
> editors - an amazing sample! We also embarked on a research effort to
> understand the needs of mobile users in India and Brazil. Results of
> this work will be published soon and are already informing our mobile
> decision making.
> * We worked closely with chapters involved in fundraising to resolve
> some difficult issues regarding international funds transfers and we
> improved the fundraising agreement. There is more work to do on this,
> but we made a lot of progress and I’m happy that we are entering the
> new fiscal year with few problems relating to funds transfers.
> * We also managed to improve our joint compliance regarding chapter
> agreements. This puts the relationship between chapters and WMF on a
> stronger footing.
> Not a bad year for our little team, though there have definitely been
> bumps in the road. Two areas I would say we didn’t get the job done
> * We did not make as much progress on our mobile work. Mobile is a
> huge priority for WMF and for Global Development in particular. We
> struggled to determine our strategy and then get resources aligned
> behind the strategy. I take responsibility for this and have been
> acting aggressively to get us off to a fast start in 2011/12, both
> through additions to the team, greater focus and attention from Kul
> and me, efforts to accelerate discussions with partners, and close
> work with our Mobile Engineering team to quickly strengthen our mobile
> * We didn’t get our new online store launched. We made amazing
> progress on improving our merchandise and putting the building blocks
> in place, but we didn’t get it launched. We expect to launch in July
> and I’m excited to see what the community thinks.
> The year ahead
> Our team starts the new fiscal year with a lot of momentum across the
> board...and a lot to do. We have signed up to tackle two critical
> foundation-wide goals for 2011/12: Reverse the editor decline and
> dramatically increase mobile. We aim to contribute significantly to
> the goal of returning our active editors per month to 95,000 by June
> 2012 and to increasing mobile page views to 2 billion. These goals are
> both part of the five-year strategy...and we need to get moving on
> Global Development’s efforts to reverse the editor decline revolve
> around our work with the community in the Global South and the scaling
> of the Public Policy Initiative into the Global Education program. In
> the next few months, we will expand the India Education Program,
> launch additional programs in India, get started on work in Brazil,
> support the launch of education programs in new geographies and make
> grants to chapters and like-minded groups with a focus on editor
> community health and growth. Our communications team will support
> this effort with media and communications work that highlights
> “contribution” starting in India with an [Edit] India campaign. Our
> research team will capture insights from the editor survey and will
> begin to generate insights from our own data to help identify
> opportunities and challenges.
> On the mobile end, we are beginning now to approach mobile operators
> and handset makers to improve the prominence of Wikipedia in their
> offerings. We would like to secure deals where mobile operators offer
> Wikipedia access for free (no data charges) to their customers. We
> think this will help advance our vision significantly and introduce
> millions of new people to Wikipedia. In partnership with the Mobile
> Engineering team, we plan to invest in creating applications for the
> major operating systems and in developing features that enrich the
> experience and, critically, create ways to contribute.
> In addition, you will see other important work happening on the Global
> Development team:
> * We have doubled our grants budget again to $600,000 and Asaf Bartov
> will be working with chapters and other groups/individuals (with an
> emphasis on the Global South) to develop grant programs that achieve
> the goals laid out in our strategic plan. Specifically, we plan to
> start tracking the change in active editors in the geographies where
> we make grants over the next year.
> * We will continue to build on our initial work on offline projects
> through continued efforts to improve the tools available and through
> partnerships to increase the distribution reach. By the end of
> 2011/12, we aim to double the number of deployments of offline
> Wikipedia around the world.
> * We will be supporting Wikimania in Haifa with a $100,000 grant to
> support the conference as well as funding ($130,000 from our own
> budget plus a contribution of $30,000 from Wikimedia Germany) to
> support scholarships for over 70 attendees. We will also provide
> support for Wikimania 2012 in Washington, DC.
> The Year Ahead for me
> My first year was a great learning experience and I feel I’ve got a
> clearer sense of the opportunities challenge ahead. My greatest
> challenge this past year was the sheer breadth of the Global
> Development portfolio. I constantly had to juggle a range of
> activities and for much of the year, people were relying on me to
> handle issues since we didn’t have our team in place. This gave me a
> good perspective into the needs and expectations of our team, but also
> left me feeling a bit unfocused. My goal for 2011/12 is to focus more
> of my time on the top priority areas of growing the editor base in
> India and Brazil, and implementing our mobile strategy.
> For me, success in 2011/12 will mean:
> * Mobile partnerships that reduce the cost of accessing Wikipedia to
> zero (or close to zero) and market Wikipedia on the mobile in key
> countries in the Global South covering over 500 million mobile users
> * Wikimedia’s mobile services to include quality apps on Android,
> Windows, iPhone and Blackberry; first set of contribution tools
> integrated into the mobile offering; our mobile site works well on a
> wide range of phones
> * Strong growth in the India editor community with clear results in
> terms of editor growth from WMF’s India program activities
> * Shift in Brazilian editor community toward healthy indicators,
> return to growth in the editor community and a successful launch of
> WMF’s Brazil team in the second half of the year
> * The Global Development team functions cohesively as a group and
> partners well with the community, other WMF teams, chapters and our
> * Staff on the Global Development team grow professionally and see the
> impact of their work.
> The year ahead promises to again be a busy one for the Global
> Development team and we’ll be partnering with many groups in the
> Wikimedia movement. We will be moving forward with a clear purpose of
> meeting our goals, learning along the way and collaborating with a
> wide range of groups and individual in the movement. Onwards!
> Barry Newstead
> Chief Global Development Officer
> Wikimedia Foundation
> Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
> the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
> Please note: all replies sent to this mailing list will be immediately
> directed to Foundation-L, the public mailing list about the Wikimedia
> Foundation and its projects. For more information about Foundation-L:
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Oops, my karma ran over your dogma.