The Board approves the following letter to be sent to the community:
Dear members of the Wikimedia Movement,
As you are probably aware we have been discussing the the future of
fundraising and fund dissemination for the Wikimedia Movement for almost
6 months now. After discussing fundraising and funds dissemination at
this past meeting, the board has drafted the following statement. It our
intention to discuss these matters in the coming weeks to come to a
final decision mid March.
But first we would like to thank everyone who took part in the
discussion so far and spent their valuable time providing us with their
viewpoints which we have of course taken into account in our decision
making process. We hope that you will continue to participate by giving
feedback on this letter.
The board wants to create a volunteer-driven body to make
recommendations for funding for movement-wide initiatives (Working
title: Funds Dissemination Committee, FDC). The Wikimedia Foundation has
decision-making authority, because it has fiduciary responsibilities to
donors which it legally cannot delegate. The new body will make
recommendations for funds dissemination to the Wikimedia Foundation. We
anticipate a process in which the Wikimedia Foundation will review and
approve all but a small minority of recommendations from the FDC. In the
event that the Wikimedia Foundation does not approve a recommendation
from the FDC, and the FDC and the Wikimedia Foundation aren't
subsequently able to reach agreement, then the FDC can ask the Wikimedia
Foundation Board of Trustees to request the recommendation be reconsidered.
#the FDC will be a diverse body of people from across our movement
(which may include paid staff) with appropriate expertise for this
purpose, whose primary purpose is to disseminate funds to advance the
#the WMF staff will support and facilitate the work of the FDC
#Proposals can range from one time smaller contributions for small
projects from individuals to larger financing for operational costs of
chapters or associations
The board intends to evaluate this process together with the FDC and see
if it is working.
Our thoughts on fundraising are less specific. We have come to the
following two statements which are important
* If and when payment processing is done by chapters, it should be done
primarily for reasons of tax, operational efficiency (including
incentivizing donor cultivation and relations), should not be in
conflict with funds dissemination principles and goals, and should avoid
a perception of entitlement.
* The board is sharpening the criteria for payment processing. Payment
processing is not a natural path to growth for a chapter; and payment
processing will likely be an exception -- most chapters will not do so.
The Wikimedia Board of Trustees
NB: Please note that rather than spend a LOT of time on wording at this
time, the board preferred to amend the above text if necessary when
moving towards a resolution. This letter indicates our intent, and we
may "wordsmith as needed" in our final resolutions.
Member of the Board of Trustees
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
> From: Florence Devouard <anthere9(a)yahoo.com>
> > Regarding Amical my personal opinion is that they are highly flexible.
> > First they proposed a transnational chapter operating in 4 countries,
> > they sent a mail to the board saying they would have a national chapter
> > Andorra, later they proposed a sub-national chapter in Spain. Now
> > they can fit in the Partner Organization model.
> > You know they are highly thankful to you because you find a place for
> > to participate in Wikilovemsonuments. I think Partner Organization can
> > be a solution for them like when you invented the therm ?Local area? They
> > were not interested in any name nor position in the list their only
> > interest where participating in Wikilovesmonuments with the same tools
> > same freedom than any body else.
> > They are not interested in any kind of exclusivity, they are not
> > in the name ?National Chapter?, their only interest is being able to
> > support and promote the Catalan projects with the same tools and same
> > freedom you have to promote French ones.
> I am surprised by your use of "they"
This is just an old trick to make you do this question and have opportunity
of saying that if you where so kind of accepting being a honorary member of
Amical then I could use “we”.
Reminder that the deadline to apply for a Wikimania 2012 travel scholarship
is February 16 (23:59 UTC). We encourage you to apply!
Full travel scholarships, funded by the Wikimedia Foundation and chapters
(France, UK, Israel, Austria), will cover transportation, hostel
accommodations, and conference registration. Partial scholarships are also
offered by WMF (and Wikimedia Hungary).
Wikimania 2012 will take place July 12-15 at the George Washington
University in Washington, DC. The call for participation is also open now
(deadline: March 18), and registration is open.
President, Wikimedia District of Columbia
@wikimediadc / @wikimania2012
> From: Lodewijk <lodewijk(a)effeietsanders.org>
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Movement roles letter, Feb 2012
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> Hiya all,
> It would be great if we can have this discussion without making sarcastic
> remarks like this - I know it is a sensitive topic, but I also know that
> we're in a suboptimal situation here right now. In the past discussions we
> have talked about how we should try to engage volunteers and let them do
> what they are best at - I still stand behind that. That however also means
> that we should recognize that the chapters model will not work for every
> single person or group of persons.
> This does not necessarily have to correlate with a 'shift of power' or
> disengaging chapters - it *should* be about engaging more volunteers, and
> allowing them to do great work with the best tools available. So let us
> focus on that.
> I think there are two types of organizations within the Wikimedia movement
> relevant here besides the chapters and the WMF:
> 1) Organizations that will ideally grow into a chapter some day
> 2) Organizations that explicitely do not want to or cannot grow into a
> The group 1) will probably mainly be the case because of either legal
> reasons or because there is not enough critical mass yet. I don't think
> anyone disagrees we should give them the space they need. This includes for
> example Wikimedia Croatia, Kazachstan and Georgia.
> The group 2) will in my expectation consist of groups that are indeed more
> aligned along cultural ideas. To mind come Amical (as discussed) and
> Esperantists. Now this is where things apparently become complicated,
> because somehow things can get conflicting when they start to compete with
> chapters. There are a few things relevant here in the recognition process
> by X-committee:
> * What will be the rights will determine to large extent how high the
> threshold will be
> * If there is a geographical component (explicit or not) there should,
> imho, be a consultation with the relevant other organizations overlapping
> with that component. I don't know if it is realistic to go as far as a
> veto, but it should definitely be a very serious part of the process. This
> should probably be reciprocal - if a chapter is to be recognized other
> groups in that area should be consulted, too.
> * We should have clear to what extent trademarks and fundraising rights go
> - both for chapters and non-chapter organizations.
> * We have to remain very careful about political statements. I am
> personally a bit hesistant with recognizing any organization which is
> politically oriented. Hence, this analysis should also be part of the
> recognition process of any movement organization. To give an entirely
> obvious example: I would not feel comfortable if any organization would be
> founded based on ethnically oriented principles, or would be discriminating
> in its membership based on principles that would be considered illegal in
> most countries (even if it is not illegal in that specific country).
> Another obvious example: I would feel extremely uncomfortable if any of
> these organizations would only allow men to vote in their assemblies or if
> there are religious requirements.
> * In general I would like to find a way to ensure that relations are good
> between the organization and the communities and relevant other
> organizations. I doubt we ever can formalize that into a demand, but all
> efforts should go into this of course.
> Probably there are some more criteria which are currently already checked
> upon (although not formally in a checklist) by the recognition of chapters
> that should be part of this. I think it would be helpful if chapcom can
> tackle that issue in it's berlin meeting.
> Anyway, just some thoughts. As a final remark, I sincerely hope that we
> will not fall in the trap of building policies around a single case - but
> rather focus on the big picture and then afterwards test that picture on
> the single scenario.
> Amical is a complicated case, and it would be very
> easy to loose ourselves in who's at fault, the details and what solutions
> do not work in their case.
You are disappointing me Lodewijk. You are a man who always find the way to
say things without offending but without hiding the problems. If Amical has
done something you believe is wrong please go ahead and complain. Up to now
our discussion page is empty.
It is not fair to say in a public list that we are a complicated case and
insinuate that somebody is at fault without explaining which complications
we have created to you.
Hi folks - you may have seen some media coverage recently about
Wikimedia's intentions around GoDaddy. It is true that WMF is still
planning to move 100% away from GoDaddy for all of its domain name
I've been informed that we're currently working with MarkMonitor to
carry out a full switch-over, which as many of you will appreciate,
takes time. WMF is going to post to the blog and generally share this
information as soon as the process is complete. Until then, it does
mean that you'll see in some of our DNS registrations that GoDaddy is
still listed. We're working on it :)
Thanks - and stay tuned for more news in the next week.
Head of Communications
+1 (415) 839 6885 x 6609, @jansonw
Has there been any attempt to start a Wikimedia project focusing on free 3D models?
I think, right now it would be the right timing for it. The prices of 3D printers and other computer controlled machines are coming down  and there are growing network of FabLabs around the world providing access for public to design and fabricate their own objects.
I have contacts to the European Fablab folks and we probably could start with them a project on an Incubator.
PS. FYI: We had a chat about this with Erik Möller in the Wikimania in Haifa - So, this was probably his idea originally. This came in to my mind now when I am involved in starting a FabLab in Helsinki.
+358 50 351 6796
School of Art and Design
Well as you know, Brazil is a priority, but when spending is a waste.
We have a volunteer group that operates in Brazil since 2008 in direct
contact with the problems of Brazil, know much about the free national
culture, know a lot about education in the country, and their projects, they
can tell the reasons why Brazil has poor performance on Wikipedia. Wikimedia
Foundation conducted several interviews with the group, I was interviewed
three times and had several conversations with several different employees.
Also recently a person was hired to do a search on this, already operating in
And yesterday they announced the arrival of two more employees to ask only
that, again.  They already have the answer to these interviews, what
they are asking again?
And what I find worse is the fact that there is a prohibitive message for
explanation of other Wikimedia projects. As for the local group that
Wikipedia is not central. And there will be an office of WMF, only to
activities for Wikipedia. And many Brazilians criticize the model of the WMF,
and that centralization in Wikipedia. Wikipedia is only the tenth seventh most
visited site in the country. Need better, yes, but the problem is the
community that is not healthy, and that the WMF does not interfere on that. So
it's skating, and spending resources unnecessarily.
Several staff members say the Wikipedia impact is larger than the other
Which has more impact for you?
"The Movement Wikimedia projects through education, created free
educational resources available in Wikibooks, and classes on Wikiversity,
this could change the lives of thousands of poor children" or
"The Movement Wikimedia succeeded in creating an encyclopaedia in
Portuguese high quality "
Unfortunately I live in a country that 38% of teens lives in extreme
poverty , how they want to create a program just with universities, to
share knowledge if people that never walk inside one university? Or not be
able to read the contents of Wikipedia because they were not properly
literate. I'm not talking to literate Brazilians, I'm talking to create free
educational resources, and create classes, and encourage businesses
to do that change, this is a collaborative work.
With the money spent to keep three people six days in Brazil from the U.S.A.,
we could fund a fellow to start a social work with teachers to create this
material.What is the interest of the WMF on this? "Our priority is Wikipedia
*Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment.
I'll keep imagining, and having to push myself very hard to see this world.
That will never be reached by Wikipedia alone.Especially in Brazil.
If it were to promote Wikipedia as a site, it would be best to hire a company,
not a Foundation, if that way selected, do things as a Foundation.
Sorry for my English, I'm tired and I didn't review.
Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton
+55 11 7971-8884
please find below the WMF report for January 2012, in plain text.
As always, the editable and formatted version is on Meta:
and the reports are posted on the Wikimedia blog, too:
Since a few months, we have been publishing a separate "Highlights"
summary. Please consider helping non-English-language communities to
stay updated, by providing a translation:
Many thanks to those who translated last month's "Highlights" into
Danish, German, Finnish, French, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian
(Bokmål), Dutch, Polish, and Vietnamese!
While still focussing on WMF activities, the "Highlights" include a
small selection of the most noteworthy events from the whole movement.
Suggestions for the upcoming Febuary issue are welcome at
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Highlights (until March 1).
= Wikimedia Foundation Report, January 2012 =
Video of the monthly Wikimedia Foundation metrics and activities
meeting covering the month of January (February 2, 2012)>
* 1 Data and Trends
* 2 Financials
* 3 Highlights
o 3.1 Foundation supports historic anti-SOPA Wikipedia blackout
o 3.2 San Francisco Hackathon
o 3.3 Mobile announcements: Official Android app, and Orange
partnership for free Wikipedia access in Africa/Middle East
* 4 Technology
o 4.1 Events
o 4.2 Operations
o 4.3 Features Engineering
o 4.4 Mobile
o 4.5 Platform Engineering
* 5 Research
* 6 Community
o 6.1 Projects
+ 6.1.1 Editor Retention
o 6.2 Fundraising
+ 6.2.1 Fundraiser
+ 6.2.2 Major Gifts and Foundations
o 6.3 Fellowship Program
+ 6.3.1 Program Activities
+ 6.3.2 Fellowship Projects
o 6.4 Community relations
* 7 Global Development
o 7.1 Announcements
o 7.2 Grants
+ 7.2.1 Policy Discussions
+ 7.2.2 Wikimedia Grants Approved
+ 7.2.3 Participation Grants Approved
o 7.3 US Cultural Partnerships
o 7.4 Research
o 7.5 India Programs
o 7.6 Brazil Catalyst
o 7.7 Arabic Language Initiative
o 7.8 Global Education Program
o 7.9 Mobile
o 7.10 Communications
+ 7.10.1 Major news
o 7.11 Press releases
o 7.12 Blog posts
o 7.13 Wikipedia Signpost
o 7.14 Media contact
* 8 Human Resources
o 8.1 Staff Changes
o 8.2 Statistics
o 8.3 Department Updates
* 9 Finance and Administration
* 10 Legal
* 11 Visitors and Guests
== Data and Trends ==
Global unique visitors for December:
457 million (-3.7% compared with November; +15.6% compared with the
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will
release January data later in February)
Page requests for January:
18.0 billion (+10.4% compared with December; 16.4% compared with the
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including mobile
Active Registered Editors for December 2011 (>= 5 edits/month):
83,293 (+0.1% compared with November / +1.6% compared with the
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects except for Wikimedia
Commons) Report Card for December 2011:
The report card is currently undergoing a redesign as a more
fully-featured dashboard (integrating various statistical data and
trends about WMF projects).
== Financials ==
(Financial information is only available for December 2011 at the time
of this report.)
All financial information presented is for the period of July 1, 2011 -
December 31, 2011
Revenue: $25.6 million
* Technology Group: $4,801,082
* Community/Fundraiser Group: $2,501,444
* Global Development Group: $2,154,912
* Governance Group: $464,533
* Finance/Legal/HR/Admin Group: $2,916,686
Total Expenses: $12,838,657
Total surplus/(loss): $12,784,247
Revenue was ahead of plan due to grants of $2.8 million and additional
donations ahead of plan of $2 million.
Expenses for the month is $2.9MM vs plan of $2.6MM, approximately 11%
higher than plan. Year-to-date is $12.8MM vs plan of $14.2MM,
approximately 10% lower than plan.
Underspending YTD is due to timing of capital expenditures ($989K -
budget was spread evenly over 12 months), internet hosting ($64K),
volunteer development ($142K), travel and conference expenses ($233K),
personnel expenses ($584K), recruiting expenses ($124K), and IT desk
equipment ($77K) offset by higher awards and grants ($261K) budget was
spread evenly over 12 months), legal and accounting fees ($81K),
professional services ($293K), and bank fees ($248K).
Cash of $30.6 million, which is thirteen months of cash reserves at
current spending levels and fourteen months of cash per the annual plan.
== Highlights ==
WMF staff preparing for the anti-SOPA blackout>
=== Foundation supports historic anti-SOPA Wikipedia blackout ===
On January 18, the community of the English Wikipedia made history
with its decision
to black out its entire project for 24 hours in protest of two proposed
US laws — SOPA and PIPA — that would have seriously damaged the free and
open Internet, including Wikipedia. The communities of over 30 other
Wikimedia projects supported the protest
Many Foundation staff assisted in the effort, handling the technical
side of the blackout as requested by the community, providing code and
design, facilitating discussions, contributing legal analysis and
handling an unprecedented amount of press coverage.
During the blackout, more than eight million US-based readers used the
CongressLookup tool to find their political representatives. A blog post
by Sue Gardner received more than 13,000 comments, with the overwhelming
majority supporting the blackout. Google News listed over 11,000 media
stories about the Wikipedia blackout and the other Internet protests of
January 18, and #wikipediablackout was tweeted almost 1 million times.
Support for both SOPA and PIPA has since dwindled. Observers expect that
they will not become law in their proposed form.
=== San Francisco Hackathon ===
Participants at the San Francisco Hackathon>
The first San Francisco Hackathon was attended by 92 participants, many
of them complete newcomers. They attended training sessions about
Wikimedia technology, followed by team work on demo projects which were
then presented in a showcase session and judged by a jury. The first
prize went to "SMSpedia", which allows the user to text a page title to
a phone number, who is then called back by the service and can listen to
the Wikipedia entry read aloud.
=== Mobile announcements: Official Android app, and Orange partnership
for free Wikipedia access in Africa/Middle East ===
In the first partnership of its kind, mobile operator Orange and the
Wikimedia Foundation will provide more than 70 million Orange customers
from 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East (AMEA) with mobile
access to Wikipedia
— without incurring data usage charges. Also in January, the official
Wikipedia Android app was announced
It was installed more than half a million times within the first two weeks.
== Technology ==
A detailed report of the Tech Department's activities for January 2012
can be found at:
Major news in January include:
* Tech support for the black-out protesting SOPA & PIPA
* The release of the official Wikipedia Android app
* A new beta cluster
for Wikimedians to test upcoming software before it's deployed to
=== Events ===
* *English Wikipedia anti-SOPA blackout
— The engineering team
supported this online protest by developing and deploying the
blackout code and design, including the CongressLookup extension for
helping people find and contact their representative. The Operations
team disabled editing during the 24 hour time period, and helped
keep other systems up and running, including the temporarily
overloaded Wikimedia blog.
* *San Francisco hackathon
More than 90 participants learned and hacked during this
outreach-focused developers week-end. The teams of participants
demonstrated more than a dozen projects.
* *October 2011 Coding Challenge
<https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/October_2011_Coding_Challenge>* — The
winners of the coding challenge
were announced. They include an Android app
uploading to Wikimedia Commons, a user script
<https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Schnark/mostEdited> for surfacing
pages with a lot of recent editing activity, and a user script
<https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Phiarc/October2011/> for displaying
relevant images in an article as a lightbox slideshow.
=== Operations ===
* *Data Centers* — Work continued on building up the EQIAD datacenter
in Virginia. We added new servers and upgraded the database servers
with a new chained replication topology and a heartbeat-based
replication monitoring. We have also successfully tested the new
thumbnail system and the text squid implementation, that we'll start
rolling out fully in February. At the same time, we have retired 40
old servers from our Tampa datacenter, which will be available for
* *Wikimedia Labs* — To keep up with project growth, we doubled the
filesystem storage available and allowed Labs to grow by up to
another 30 instances. A number of projects were added or moved to
Labs, including incubator, ganglia, deployment-prep,
globaleducation, a number of mobile projects, and a bunch more. A
number of projects were also created, implemented, and demoed using
Labs during the San Francisco hackathon.
=== Features Engineering ===
* *Visual editor* — Plans for the second phase of the editor project
were formulated. The team investigated a possible use of
contenteditable to help with input methods and text selections on
mobile devices. The parser was also extended with the ability to
fetch and expand templates in a parallel and asynchronous fashion.
The parser now supports most parts of the English Wikipedia Main Page.
* *Article feedback* — The next round of Article Feedback Tool v5
features was developed, including a new feedback page. The teal
continued to collect valuable data from the community about the
usefulness of comments coming in from each of the three forms
launched in December. A survey to get comments from readers about
the effectiveness and attractiveness of each design was also
launched. The target date for the full feedback page is Feb. 15 for
pre-deployment testing on en-labs, then full deployment on Feb. 22.
* *Feedback Dashboard* — We implemented a leaderboard of recent top
responders on the feedback dashboard. New editor feedback is now
added to a dedicated log. When feedback is marked as helpful, that
fact is displayed on the feedback dashboard itself. Other than a few
other smaller changes, we're now moving the project into maintenance
mode to focus on article creation workflow
<https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Article_creation_workflow> and New Page
=== Mobile ===
* *Android Wikipedia App* — The Mobile team released the first version
of the Wikipedia Android application
<https://market.android.com/details?id=org.wikipedia> into the
Android Market. In just over three weeks, we've had over 900,000
downloads, became the #1 search result for "Wikipedia", became the
#1 trending app, and received a consistent 4/5 stars in the Android
Market. We released two minor updates to fix bugs, and are
processing user feedback to guide our next version.
* *FeaturedFeeds* — We deployed the first version of FeaturedFeeds
to production. Wikimedia communities can now make use of these RSS
feeds to better surface their content to other applications.
=== Platform Engineering ===
* *MediaWiki 1.19* — A new Beta cluster, replicating the production
environment, was set up to allow Wikimedians to test upcoming
software (including MediaWiki 1.19) on Wikimedia Labs before
deployment. A preliminary schedule was drafted, according to which
deployment of MediaWiki 1.19 will start on February 13th and
complete on March 1st.
* *Volunteer coordination and outreach* — In preparation for the San
Francisco hackathon, the team prepared training materials and
documentation on gadgets and the MediaWiki API. Nine developers got
commit access in January, among which seven volunteers.
* *Wikimedia blog maintenance* — The new WMBlog plugin (which brings
functionality specific to the Wikimedia blog independently of the
theme) was deployed in January, as well as tweaks to the theme. Due
to the SOPA/PIPA blackout-related traffic, the Operations team moved
the blog to a newer, more powerful server and added caching layers
(Varnish & Memcached).
== Research ==
* Daniel Mietchen lead the drafting and submission of a response
to the White House RFI on Public Access to Scholarly Publications.
* The open data consultation
we launched in December closed with 100 responses. The results will
be published this month.
* Several Research Committee and community members worked on the
English Wikipedia article for the Research Works Act
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_Works_Act>, a proposed bill that
would undermine open access mandates for publicly funded research in
the US. The bill would affect our research policy as it would make
it hard for RCom to enforce any OA and open data requirements for
research collaborations. The article made it to DYK on January 15, 2012.
* Dario Taraborelli gave a podcast interview
with Michael Cervieri for the Future Journalism Project, discussing
what Wikipedia can do to support data journalism.
* Dario Taraborelli co-hosted with APS cognitive psychology professor
Greta Munger a session on Scientists and Wikipedia
at Science Online 2012 <http://scienceonline2012.com/> in Raleigh,
* We set up a Wikimedia group <http://thedatahub.org/group/wikimedia>
on the /DataHub/, an open data repository powered by CKAN
<http://ckan.net>. The repository is for testing purposes but all
data deposited will be preserved and migrated once we've finalized
the configuration of the repository.
* Mayo Fuster Morell circulated a call for papers
<http://www.onlinecreation.info/?p=474> calling for contributions on
"Academic research into Wikipedia: Beyond English Wikipedia and
towards comparative perspectives". The submission deadline is March
* Tilman Bayer led the publication of the first 2012 issue
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Newsletter/2012-01-30> of the
Wikimedia Research Newsletter.
== Community ==
* Lots of clean up/ wrap up work from the fundraiser; Lots of planning
work already done for the 2012 fundraiser
* 23 fellowship project proposals and suggestions received for the
* Community & reader relations team supported SOPA work and
fundraising and funds dissemination discussion.
* Wrapping up template testing pilot project, beginning analysis of
=== Projects ===
==== Editor Retention ====
* Other than new community requests to test on the Wikimedia Incubator
and Commons, the majority of template A/B tests have been wrapped
up. Ryan Faulkner, formerly part of the fundraising team, has joined
our group as the Community Research Analyst to further understand
template testing results, and the group is now publishing test
results on Meta as they come in.
* The Community Dept. is hosting the first 2012 meet-up of California
Wikipedians at the Foundation offices on Saturday, Feb 4 —
coinciding with the Board of Trustees meeting. 
* We are planning a series of meet-ups with Brazilian editors in early
March to better understand their community and its dynamics, and
give those authors a place to voice issues that the Foundation may
be able to assist with. 
* Collecting resumes and scheduling preliminary screenings of
candidates for the 2012 Community Summer Analysts, whose work will
focus on providing working data and actionable recommendations for
community change programs. 
* Wrapping up a proof-of-concept analytic project with Odiago, who has
provided some insight into authorship questions with big data
analysis of our diff data.
=== Fundraising ===
==== Fundraiser ====
* Gathered all fundraising staff and contractors in San Francisco for
the 2011 Fundraiser Retrospective. We recapped accomplishments, and
identified pain points and successes in communications and process
so that the next fundraiser can be run more smoothly with a leaner team.
* Began writing the 2011 Fundraiser Report which will be publicly
posted in 2012.
* Held a planning session for the 2012 Fundraiser. Over two days, the
team set priorities for this year and focused on mapping out a
division of responsibility, communication and tracking processes,
ways to improve localization, testing, donor experience, and
* In conjunction with the Brazilian author meet-ups, we are planning
focus groups and storyteller interviews in both Brazil and Argentina.
* Created a testing calendar to plan out regional tests throughout the
year. These tests will focus on the localization of our forms and
appeals in different countries.
* Started our global research on currencies, payment methods and
personal information fields to integrate to the regional tests.
* Began researching new payment methods requested by Wikipedia users
during the 2011 fundraiser.
==== Major Gifts and Foundations ====
* Received a 3-year grant from the Teterev Foundation
* Completed a new grant proposal for our mobile work
=== Fellowship Program ===
==== Program Activities ====
* Fellowship recruiting continues - the community generated 23
fellowship project ideas  in January and applications have been
submitted by candidates from 18 countries. The deadline to apply for
this round of fellowships has been extended until February 15th, and
review of existing applications is underway.
==== Fellowship Projects ====
* The fundraising translation project report is complete, and Jon
Harald Søby hosted a brown bag presentation at WMF to discuss
lessons learned. A survey of the fundraiser translators is also in
progress, with nearly 300 responses so far. Feedback will be
incorporated into future fundraisers as well as an upcoming project
to improve the meta translation request process, which is in the
* The Teahouse project has recruited 23 Wikipedians to serve as
Teahouse hosts - they'll be inviting new editors to the space,
answering questions, and facilitating discussions during the
pilot. Design of the space is in progress.
=== Community relations ===
* Supported the Fundraising/Funds Dissemination discussions on meta .
* Actively supported SOPA, and all the madness that came with it (see
also general "Highlights" section. More SOPA pictures:
* Developed job descriptions for new hires (new "Maggies") from around
the world to support our global capacity.
== Global Development ==
* Communications supports WMF's blackout on 18 January (see also
general "Highlights" section)
* Mobile: Partnership with Orange was announced on 24 January to
supply free access to Wikipedia to more than 70 million customers
across 20 countries in the middle east and Africa.
* Arabic-speaking Initaitive: Arabic-speaking Wikipedians met in
Tunisia this month beginning a regional outreach effort to create
new connections in the Arabic Wikimedia community..
* India program: Six outreach workshops in January in partnership with
the community as part of an effort to increase outreach and improve
conversion to editing
* Education Program: Published program plan for Cairo pilot and new
standards for participation in the global education program are put
* The Global Development team midyear report is now available:
=== Announcements ===
* Wikimania Scholarships are open! *Encourage your networks to apply!*
=== Grants ===
==== Policy Discussions ====
* Ongoing discussion of proposed procedure and criteria for
unrestricted operating grants based on annual plans
* Ongoing discussion of Grant Advisory Committee's membership terms,
appointment procedures, and form of review
==== Wikimedia Grants Approved ====
* Additional $1000 for scholarships for
==== Participation Grants Approved ====
=== US Cultural Partnerships ====
* US Cultural Partnerships Coordinator begins work
* Preparation has continued for the Wikipedia session and table at the
*American Association of Museums conference
<http://www.aam-us.org/am12/>* in April. The Wikipedia session will
now also be part of the exclusive online conference as well.
* *GLAMcamp DC <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/GLAMcamp_DC>*, which
will take place in early
February, is in its final stages of preparation. This has included
establishing a proposed framework for GLAM:US collaboration, which
will be presented at GLAMcamp and finalized as a goal of the event
alongside other documentation and tool development.
* Initial coordination talks have begun with Europeana and others who
will be collaborating on GLAM tools over the coming year.
* There has been ongoing follow-up on leads and expressions of
interest from GLAM institutions, as well as consolidation of
interested parties and contacts into a single, master list. This
streamlining of information will continue at GLAMcamp DC.
* In February, the US Cultural Partnerships Coordinator will be
publishing a number of GLAM-related blog posts for various
organizations , including the Center for the Future of Museums
<http://www.futureofmuseums.org/>, the Open Knowledge Foundation
<http://okfn.org/>, and the New Media Consortium <http://www.nmc.org/>.
=== Research ===
* Kicked off work on the outreach tool. Further details can be found
(early-stage UI mockups will be added soon)
* Read more about the mobile readers survey analysis here:
* Successfully completed the second editor survey, data cleaning to
Mobile page views across the last few months>
* Completed work on getting a more reliable estimate of mobile page
views. Work to get reliable estimates of mobile page views by
geography is continuing.
* Continued blogging about the readers survey:
* Find the wiki version of the India-Brazil user experience research
* Read about India Education Program quantitative analysis here:
=== India Programs ===
* We concluded an exercise on distilling learnings from all Indic
communities and started the process of seeding ideas with
communities. All ideas are centred around community building (and
not content creation or improvement), the rationale being that
content will follow community.
o Ideas have been customised by the community and are a
combination of what individual volunteers or volunteer groups
can do indepedently as well as potentail pilots that the India
Program team can build and run collaboratively with local
o There appears to be interesting progress in at least 6
languages : Hindi, Odia, Assamese, Kannada, Tamil & Malayalam.
* The India team is supporting outreach by sharing best practises as
well as making a central repository of outreach material. In
addition, the team is personally taking part in out outreach
sessions to provide additional momentum to existing community
* The team is analyzing the findings of the study and quantitative
analysis of the India Education Program and listening to additional
feedback from the community.
* We are finalizing a contract for Communications consultancy, which
closes the loop on the India consultancy team.
=== Brazil Catalyst ===
"Wikisampa 11" meetup in São Paulo>
* We have been working hand and hand with the community to hire the
Brazil National Program Director. The recruiting process has been
innovative in that we have engaged with an unprecedented level of
1. We posted the role in November, and in parallel with an
executive search firm which was screening applicants, we asked
the Brazilian community to nominate two community members to
participate in the interviews with us. They selected two great
folks - Everton and Castelo - to interview 10 finalists on a
panel with Barry in Sao Paulo.
2. The next phase for the top 4 finalists was a unique assignment
to be done on the br.wikimedia.org wiki: /engage the Brazilian
community and your fellow candidates on the wiki to address the
question of how to grow the PT:WP community/? The assignment
went well and was a great learning experience for the candidates
and for us.
3. Following the assignment skype and interviews with Jessie, we
brought in a top candidate to SF at the end of the month and are
in the final stages of of the process.
* We are also starting a small *Brazil Education Pilot*
in March 2012. We are targeting about 5 professors (one of whom -
Juliana - pioneered this program in Brazil in 2011). Contractor
Everton Zanella Alvarenga is leading this effort from Sao Paulo.
=== Arabic Language Initiative ===
* Visited Tunisia as part of our outreach regional program, more
details are found here: 
* Updated and localized some of our bookshelf material. (Printing is
currently in process.)
* Preparing for upcoming events in Egypt and Jordan
* Helped develop the Cairo education pilot - see Global Education
=== Global Education Program ===
* Frank Schulenburg published the program plan for the Cairo pilot to
start in spring 2012. The document outlines the core design elements
as well as the success criteria and the questions the pilot project
is supposed to answer:
* Frank Schulenburg and Annie Lin documented the measures put in place
based on the learnings from the pilot project in Pune, India. (More
than 10 different actions have been taken in order to immediately
apply the learning points to the Cairo pilot. Among others, these
include a longer preparation phase, a heavy involvement of the local
community of Wikipedians, a strict limit on the number of
participating students, and mandatory professor orientations. More
* Professors joining the Wikipedia Education Program in the spring
2012 term are finding a new set of participation requirements in
place, designed to ensure that all participating professors and
students receive adequate support on Wikipedia.
o These new participation requirements are largely based on the
feedback given by members of the English Wikipedia community.
o The requirements set standards for the maximum number of
students per Wikipedia Ambassador and the number of Wikipedians
involved in the program, and they require instructors to go
through a faculty orientation.
o Currently, the requirements affect the programs in the U.S., in
Canada, and in Egypt during spring 2012, although individual
programs may enact stricter requirements as well (for example,
the Cairo Pilot will have an even smaller ambassador to student
o So far, community reactions to these new requirements have been
very positive. More information:
Faculty workshop for the Cairo pilot (more photos on Wikimedia Commons
* Volunteers from the Arabic Wikipedia - supported by Education team
members Frank Schulenburg, Annie Lin and Georgetown University
professor Rochelle Davis - kicked off the Cairo pilot with workshops
for faculty members and Campus Ambassadors. These workshops were
almost 100% in Arabic.
* In late January, seven community members of the Arabic Wikipedia
completed an Online Ambassador orientation organized by other
Arabic-speaking Wikipedians and supported by Annie Lin.
* LiAnna Davis worked with Leigh Thelmadatter, who is an English as a
foreign language teacher in central Mexico, to document her
learnings with advanced English students who edited Wikipedia as
part of their class. Read more:
* Rod Dunican published three online training modules for instructors
who are planning to participate in the Wikipedia Education Program:
o (1) Global Education Program Overview:
o (2) About Wikipedia:
o (3) Syllabus and Assignment Design:
=== Mobile ===
* We announced a partnership with Orange on January 24 — free
Wikipedia access (i.e. no mobile data fees) for 70+ million
customers across 20 countries in the Middle East and Africa
o The announcement of the partnership got a lot of positive press
attention: 50+ articles including Mashable, GigaOM, Wired UK,
o There is much work ahead to implement these partnerships from a
technical and marketing standpoint: helping define how the
service is marketed by operators and how we measure it.
* "Selling in" free Wikipedia continues to be the main objective, and
we plan to announce another big partner — and new countries — in
* Project planning on further USSD/SMS testing in Africa with the
Praekelt Foundation began.
=== Communications ===
The Wikipedia blackout is January 2012's standout story, possibly the
story of the year for WMF and Wikipedia, and maybe the most important
story in our history. The days before and after January 18, 2012 were
almost exclusively focussed on supporting WMF's work around the
community mandate to bring about a blackout, including consulting on
messaging, design, implementation, community outreach and media
relations. January also saw the cap-off of our most successful
fundraising campaign ever, and saw the introduction of Matthew Roth to
the Communications team as Manager, Global Communications.
==== Major news ====
The English Wikipedia as seen by readers during the blackout>
Wikipedia blackout (January 18)
Undoubtedly one of the biggest stories in the US and the world in
January 2012 was the Internet protests on January 18, which largely
centered around the Wikipedia community decision to blackout English
Wikipedia internationally for one day. Aside from publishing three
separate press releases leading up to and after the blackout, the
Communications team worked closely with Jimmy Wales on both advance
press interviews and a deluge of interview requests the week of January 16.
In total, WMF responded to over *260 separate media inquiries* from
around the world. News.google.com reports over *11,000 media stories* on
the topic of our blackout and the Internet protests, many of which
focussed primarily on Wikipedia. Jimmy Wales had over a dozen television
appearances, effectively positioning the blackout story as the leading
story around the world on January 18. Major newswire stories were
syndicated interntaionally and in dozens of languages.
*Social media* activity around the blackout was extraordinary. Users
followed the CongressLookup system and tweeted their Representatives to
urge action around SOPA/PIPA. #WikipediaBlackout and #SOPA were trending
topics for the day. #wikipediablackout was tweeted almost 1 million
times, and SOPA was mentioned 2.3 million times.
Media interest continued well after the week of January 16 and
Communications continues to support inquiries. We're also working on a
series of feature stories about the blackout in major magazines and
placed OpEd stories in either the NY Times or Washington Post.
Wikimedia's global network of chapters also fielded dozens of requests
in their own regions and languages, further augmenting the world-wide
footprint of the blackout. Media coverage was largely positive and
supportive of the efforts of Wikipedia's community. The bill supporters
have since withdrawn both SOPA and PIPA, shelving them indefinitely,
based largely on a historic level of constituent reaction and
Congressional contact in the US.
Meta-wiki consolidation of the major coverage:
(and great quotes about the blackout)
Social media stats:
Orange/WMF partnership for free Wikipedia mobile (January 24)
WMF returned to one of its early business partners in January,
announcing a major partnership to make Wikipedia available at no charge
to mobile subscribers in dozens of their territories throughout Africa
and the Middle East. This was the first major partnership announced
regarding WMF's efforts to dramatically increase access to Wikipedia
through mobile channels around the world. Coverage was largely positive
and supportive of the effort.
==== Press releases ====
Orange and the Wikimedia Foundation partner to offer Wikipedia in Africa
and the Middle East at no extra cost, 24 January 2012
Statement from the Wikimedia Foundation regarding developments in
Washington on SOPA and PIPA, 20 January 2012
Wikipedia blackout affirms overwhelming support for free and open
Internet, 18 January 2012
English Wikipedia to go dark January 18 in opposition to SOPA/PIPA, 16
Wikimedia Foundation Rings In New Year With Record-breaking Fundraiser,
2 January 2012
==== Blog posts ====
==== Wikipedia Signpost ====
==== Media contact ====
== Human Resources ==
=== Staff Changes ===
* Fabrice Florin, Product Manager – New Editor Engagement (VP of
Engineering & Prod Development)
* Joady Lohr, Director of Human Resources (Human Resources)
* Christopher McMahon, Quality Assurance Lead Engineer (Engineering)
* Gayle Karen Young, Chief Talent and Culture Officer (Human Resources)
New Other Roles Filled/Conversion
* Subhashish Panigrahi, Consultant Community & Program Support (India)
* Jon Robson, Contractor Software Developer-Mobile (Engineering)
* Matthew Roth, Global Communications Manager (Global Development)
* Christian Aistleitner
* Andreas Engels
* Andrew Otto
* Lori Phillips
* Sarah Stierch
* Pavel Andreev
* Jeroen de Dauw
* Erek Dyskant
* Roan Kattouw
* Niklas Laxstrom
* Yusuke Matsubara
* Diederik Van Liere
* Susan Walling
* Neil Kandalgoankar
* Cyn Skyberg
* Farhan Chaudhary
* Aislinn Dewey
* Tracey Fleming
* Stacey Merrick
* Heather O'Malley
* Neel Punatar
* Senior Software Engineer Frontend
* Operations Engineer (Labs)
* Recruiting Engineer
* Mobile QA
=== Statistics ===
Total Employee Count
January Plan: 110, January Filled: 7, January Attrition: 2
YTD Filled: 29, YTD Attrition: 10
Remaining Open positions to fiscal year end: 22
=== Department Updates ===
Joady Lohr has joined us as the new Director of Human Resources. Joady
handles aspects of human resources as related to compensation, benefits,
policies, etc. and is already an indispensible part of our team. She
comes to us with years of experience at IDEO and Business for Social
Responsibility (BSR), both of which speak to her experiences working in
HR with global organizations.
In recruiting, we are iterating changes to http://jobs.wikimedia.org ,
and hosting a focus group with community members to ensure that the page
communicates that we welcome community members applying for roles with
the Foundation. Feedback on the page is welcome. We are also rolling out
Jobvite as our recruitment and applicant tracking software to streamline
our recruiting process.
We have also begun redesigning some of our internal processes, such as
onboarding and hiring, including a revision of our hiring contracts and
agreements with heavy and wonderful support from Legal.
Real-time feed for HR updates: http://identi.ca/wikimediaatwork or
== Finance and Administration ===
Chip Deubner joined our Office IT team and Nathan D’Annibale joined our
We are continuing our search for a Head of Office Administration and
will begin interviews next week.
Work was completed on an update to conference room R 33 to improve its
usability for the Tech team. Our thanks to Leslie for facilitating this
== Legal ==
* Like the rest of the WMF office and community, Legal provided strong
support to the SOPA/PIPA blackout strategy, including advising the
community on the SOPA Initiative page, helping coordinate
cross-functional issues, and reviewing various legal issues
associated with the blackout. We are now engaged in post-blackout
strategy with other departments. Our present thinking is to leverage
the positive response following the blackout to support messages
that explain and advocate the open and free knowledge movement as it
applies to Wikimedia values.
* White paper on ACTA ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Legal/ACTA )
and OPEN ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Legal/OPEN_Act )
* Filed challenge against German Loriot injunction, which we will post
* Strong support of global development: India and Brazil.
* Strong daily contract, trademark, community, governance,
international, and content-defense support.
o # contracts signed - 10
o # trademark requests - 11
+ approved - 4
+ denied - 2
+ approval not needed - 1
+ pending - 4
== Visitors and Guests ==
1. Daniel Long (Community member)
2. Wendy Hanamura, Cassie Gruenstein, Merin Mathew, Taylor Hadfield,
Andrea Jones, Lili Polastri (Link TV)
3. Philip Neustrom (LocalWiki)
4. Julian Nachtigal (pariSoma)
5. Victor Lobo and two colleagues (ADP)
6. 30 Harvard/Stanford students for cross dept talk
7. Steve Devetter (KPMG)
8. Daniel Kinzler (Wikimedia Germany)
9. MetaMarkets CEO Mike Driscoll and team, for a brown bag presentation
10. Product Design Guild (hosted meet-up)
11. Derk-Jan Hartman
12. Various visiting engineering contractors
IRC (Freenode): HaeB
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