I'm thrilled to announce that Maggie Dennis, our community liaison, has
agreed to transition to a permanent role with the Wikimedia Foundation.
You may recall that Maggie was hired on a temporary contract, with the idea
of rotating through community liaisons. We still intend to hire another
community liaison - in fact, her work has proven the value of the program
to such an extent that we'll be expanding it - but Maggie will stay on to
Maggie has been a godsend to me... she's a fount of knowledge, and
incredibly hard working. Most importantly, she is able to fluently speak
"Philippe" and translate that to "real-people talk". As
User:Moonriddengirl, she is the maven of copyright for English Wikipedia,
and has well over 100,000 edits. In short, she's a rock star.
Maggie will continue to report to me.
Head of Reader Relations
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
415-839-6885, x 6643
> From: Ilario Valdelli <valdelli(a)gmail.com>
> > Why does the Board of Trustees think that WMF should raise the ?maximum
> > possible amount of money??
> > Why not ask for what is needed and nothing more?
> I agree. A no profit association should raise the "opportune" amount
> otherwise there a "profit".
> Non profit means that the raised money will go to develop the mission of
the organization not to the pockets of its owners.
>From a mathematical point of view you can maximize the funds raised while
keeping constant the disruption or you can minimize the disruption for a
given amount of funds to be raised. But you cannot do both simultaneously.
But this is not a mathematical statement I think it transmits well the idea
of balancing both effects keeping in mind that the disruption caused is of
high importance and that the money raised is needed because we have many
ideas and opportunities to do things that need not only volunteer effort
but also some money.
I wanted to update everyone about our progress in putting up WikiConference India 2011 videos on Youtube. I did not intend to post about this until we had put all the videos online, however the circumstances are such that I thought its best to keep everyone posted.
Yesterday when one of our volunteers was working on the videos and tried to change the licensing of the ones uploaded thus far to CC in the Wikipedia Spirit, he realised that the Keynote address by Jimmy  has a Copyright Claim by Star News, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp. The video had been blocked in certain countries and we could not change the licensing to enable people to reuse freely (and there are ads next to the video).
This morning I have filed a dispute with Youtube and sent an email to Google as well mentioning that this is outrageous since it was our event and our videographer - I fail to understand how this claim is tenable! Will keep you posted on the response.
PS: Commons was not used due to file size restrictions.
Apparently, in the Sakha Republic in Eastern Russia, browsing sites
connected to the republic's network is cheap or free according to the
plan's the ISPs offers, while browsing sites outside the republic
costs more. So people often choose to read local news and forums and
request information from external sites only when necessary. This is
actually quite good for developing the local culture and fostering the
local language, but it may be detrimental for an international project
Is anybody familiar with other places in which Internet access works like this?
Would it make sense to create some kind of a local mirror of Wikimedia
Projects to facilitate participate in such areas? Creating a data
center in every such place would probably not be cost-effective, but
maybe there's some clever networking trick that could help people
overcome these costs, a proxy or some such? Or collaborating with
local Universities, Free Software groups or ISPs to host mirrors of
content in a language relevant to that area, that would be editable,
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore
*Statement from the Wikimedia Foundation regarding developments in
Washington on SOPA and PIPA*
San Francisco, CA -- January 20, 2012 -- On January 18, millions of people
called their Congressional representatives to denounce SOPA and PIPA as
attacks on the free and open Internet. This morning, leaders in the House
and Senate announced consideration of the bills would be indefinitely
postponed, after many members of Congress, including some supporters of the
bills, issued statements disassociating themselves from the legislation
over the past two days.
Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, said:
The Wikimedia Foundation welcomes these developments. This is another step
towards the ultimate destruction of these two pieces of proposed
legislation. But let’s be clear, these bills are not dead. They will
return, and when they do, they must not harm the interests of the hundreds
of millions of people who contribute to the free and open Internet.
The blackout was led by millions of ordinary Internet users, and the people
who make projects like Wikipedia possible - writers, photographers, editors
and illustrators. They sent a clear message to Congress: don’t mess with
free expression, don’t destroy the free and open Internet, don’t do the
bidding of traditional corporate interests. This is a moment in history
when the people who create and share works on the Internet as part of the
free knowledge movement, and the people who depend on access to those
works, are asking to be heard and to have their freedom of speech protected.
*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 474 million unique visitors per month, making them the
fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, November 2011).
Available in 282 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
Head of Communications
Tel. +1 415 839 6885 x 6609
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Wikipedia crashes Google chrome every time it logs me out. It appears
to log me out every hour even though I have requested that it keep me
logged in for 30 days. Has anyone else had this problem and does
anyone know how to get it fixed. I posted to couple of places on Wiki
a few months ago with little response.
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
Apparently tor has been having some issues dealing with filtering software that repressive regimes have been importing from the west
Here they discuss the ethics of making filter software, from their in-the-trenches perspective.
(from tor talk at CCC)
The entire video is a fascinating discussion on how censorship works, and how these guys are working to fight it.
I'm really impressed by what they do and how they think.
As always I wish we could cooperate with tor more.
I would normally start by floating this on wikien-L or on-wiki at the
usual places, but the time for that has passed and thus I am going to
drop this on the Foundation, who I believe are responsible for the
particular problem here.
On the English language Wikipedia, there has been a longstanding
discussion / dispute / evolving consensus on how long is appropriately
long for major site policy discussions. For varying areas, there are
no limits to discussion period, a week or longer, 3 days, 2 days, 24
hrs, and so forth.
It's generally held - in my opinion - that major events or changes
should be on the order of a week or longer.
I bring this up because I left town on the 10th aware of various SOPA
discussions but unaware of an organized intention to blackout on the
18th, and returned to editing today to find that it's tomorrow and
that it's all decided now, thank you very much, your opinion no longer
It appears that this was done to match the other organizations'
pre-announced Jan 18th blackouts. It also appears that this was
instigated on or around the 13th by Foundation staff.
In the intervening days, someone appears to have decided without
seeking consensus that 3 days was enough time to discuss and decide,
announced such, had the discussion, called a consensus (with,
admittedly, most of the active editing community participating) and
It's not clear from reading stuff who decided that 3 days was enough
time for the final formatted discussion and consensus to be valid. It
is clear that the timing that led up to it was discussions the
Foundation initiated in detail, with specified date etc, less than a
week from the proposed date.
I do not see in any of that which came before an awareness of
length-of-policy-discussion issues or preferences, a meta-discussion
about how long to discuss, etc. It appears and seems likely (much
less, assumptions of good faith) that this was simply overlooked.
That said, this is a Big Deal, and it appears that the Foundation
collectively blew it on that aspect. Elements of the community also
The community has been trending downwards in acceptance of shorter
discussions on things. To a degree this is useful - we need the
ability to make timely decisions. To a degree this is harmful - lack
of ability for all involved to see and participate due to timings;
lack of depth of discussion and reflection. It's a dynamic and
evolving standard. But it's a standard, and should not be casually
I would like to bring this point to the Foundation - staff and board -
and ask that you understand that on the occasion that you want to push
for a content or onwiki policy change and ask for community consensus
on things, that you need to make proper allowances for time for
discussion. Ideally, it should be enough time to frame a discussion,
have a discussion within the framework amounting to a week or more,
and then find consensus and implement. This would normally amount to
something approximating 2 weeks of lead time or longer. This was not
a policy or operational emergency, justifying either
fix-first-then-discuss or a much shortened discussion. Everyone knew
back in December that people at other sites were planning or
discussing the 18th. If the Foundation had any inkling it was going
to intervene and drive this, it should have been planning ahead of
-george william herbert
[crossposted to Foundation-l and WikiEN-l]
Can someone please change "zip code" to "ZIP code" again? (This error
was corrected in the blackout notice yesterday.) I haven't managed to
get anyone's attention via the IRC channels. Thanks!
[crossposted to Foundation-l and WikiEN-l]
Can someone please correct the following errors in the English
Wikipedia's blackout notice?
internet -> Internet
zip code -> ZIP code
(I apologize if this message appears twice. My fist attempt appeared