I realized at the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin that many people do not know that there is a phone app that you can use on your phone that searches for places to take photos, and then provides walking directions for them. It’s still in a bit of the development stage now for the iPhone, but one of the local New England persons (Faolin42, aka John Phelan) has developed this app, and since many photography sessions are coming up all over the world, I figured it might be a good time to let people know outside of New England that this exists: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mim1999.unvisited
Let me know if you have any questions, as I would be happy to answer them. I have also cc’d John on this list if anyone wants to contact him directly.
Does anyone know of specific materials developed for teaching critical
reading skills (either in K-12 or higher education) *through* reading
I vaguely remember coming across some, but don't remember the details.
I'm thinking about things like "how to identify bias", "how to distill the
argument from a paragraph", "what are weasel words", logical fallacies, etc.
Wikimedia Foundation <http://www.wikimediafoundation.org>
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
For those interested in what's going on at Wikiconference USA, Wikipedia
Weekly podcast is back, with two episodes from the conference:
Here's a wrap-up of the first day of the conference, including summary of
keynotes and selected sessions:
In the other, I talk to James Heilman, head of Wiki Project Med Foundation,
on the recent report on the reliability of Wikipedia's medical information,
and why the study is flawed. Includes details of Heilman's correspondence
with the professor behind it.
There is ongoing Microgrants project in Wikimedia Serbia. In brief, we
asked people to give us ideas, so we could talk about them. There are
some interesting ideas and a number of not so relevant.
We've got the offer to cooperate with one of the zoos from Serbia. At
this moment of time, there is just their idea, nothing more precise.
Before I proceed with the application (give suggestion to WMRS Board),
I want your input. In reality, I don't know that any zoo is perfect in
relation to the treatment of animals. In reality, it's likely
impossible to check that, as well as animal rights are not that well
protected in Serbia like the case is in, let's say, in the most of EU
So, I am interested in prevalent opinion. What's more important to us:
free knowledge or not cooperating with an institution which likely has
issues with the treatment of animals -- the question is just about the
You raised a lot of questions that I think I might be able to help address.
I'm a research scientist working for the WMF. My research focuses on the
nature of newcomer participation, editor motivation and value production in
Wikipedia. See  and  (if you have the time) for my most seminal work
on the subject.
As you'll see in the study I referenced, my work directly addresses a
substantial portion of the questions you've raised. See also my team's
work with standardizing metrics including survival measures and my
work exploring retention trends in ptwiki. See  for an example of a
recent, cross-language study of newcomer article creation patterns. Also,
you might be interested in  since it confirms your general concerns
about the speed of speedy deletions.
A lot of the work of /really understanding Wikipedia/ is only half-way done
since it takes a long time build understanding about previously
undocumented phenomena. The academic community, other researchers at the
WMF and myself are in the middle of developing a whole field around how
open collaboration systems like Wikipedia work, common problems they have
and how they can be best supported.
While we're developing this general knowledge about engagement, production
and retention in our communities, we (the research & data team) are also
working directly with product teams at the WMF to measure their impact on
key metrics (e.g. participation) with scientific rigor and to
challenge/develop/refine theory on which product strategies lead us toward
our goals and which ones do not. See  and  for examples of such
I welcome anyone who'd like to continue the conversation about what we do
and don't know about Wikipedia(s) to raise discussions at
wiki-research-l. There are a lot more researchers on that list than
wikimedia-l. FWIW, I tend to follow that list more closely.
2. Full paper:
> > From: Rui Correia <correia.rui(a)gmail.com>
> > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] The first three weeks.
> > Date: May 29, 2014 at 5:07:45 AM PDT
> > To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
> > Reply-To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
> > Hi James
> > Do we have any figures on retention of new editors? How long does the
> > average new editor stay? What percentage of new editors stays on for 6
> > months; one year; two years? Do we have these figures for all languages?
> > New editors should be allowed space to grow. Wikipedia is so rich in
> > developing all kinds of scripts, templates etc, that it would be easy to
> > create something to inform others that someone is a new editor. Pages by
> > new editors should be left alone for a day or two. There is nothing more
> > disheartening than getting all excited about contributing only to find
> > someone comes along and either deletes your first attempt or nominates it
> > for deletion. I've have seen this happen WITHIN MINUTES of the seminal
> > version being posted, followed up by 'warnings' on the editor's talk
> > I've seen edits reverted because the formatting of the source was wrong.
> > should be a basic pillar that before reverting, we see if we can improve/
> > fix the problem. Undoing a newcomer's work and leaving something like
> > WP:MOS as an edit summary is not helpful - if you are going to cite a WP
> > policy, then do so by pointing directly to the specific page where the
> > editor can read about it. I know it is time-consuming to fill in edit
> > summaries, especially if one is doing a series of identical edits to a
> > whole lot of pages. But we can use technology to speed this up - on a
> > edit summary, a prompt will suggest earlier text and you can select an
> > applicable one. On an edit summary with a reference to the section of the
> > page this does not work - so we need to find a way around this, like
> > splitting the field.
> > No amount of ink about how welcoming WP is to new editors, IT IS NOT. For
> > reference, this section has some interesting facts,
> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia#Contributors.
> > We are also losing established editors, mostly because of edit warring.
> > There are blocks coalescing around all kinds of themes and issues and
> > defend their turf.
> > Pages that contain controversial details should display a specific
> notice -
> > not difficult to do, given the array of templates already in use. Some
> > pages are the result of a compromise reached after acrimonious debate. An
> > editor - old or new - who was not involved in discussions will not know
> > this and might make an edit that detonates the powder keg and starts the
> > war all over again. It would be so easy to display a notice on the EDIT
> > PAGE saying something like "Hi, if you were planning to edit .....[ x
> > detail] ... please read (link) the discussion and resolution on this. I
> > pretty convinced it would work far better than having thousands of pages
> > locked ([semi-]protected). Some pages just require a simple message on
> > EDIT PAGE such as (example) "In the English Wikipedia we use the spelling
> > *Braganza* and not *Bragança* when referring to the House of Braganza.
> > Please do not change this.". There are 1,300 pages where Braganza is
> > mentioned, imagine how many headaches we could spare ourselves.
> > Some editors seem to derive pleasure from the constant reverting/
> > protecting - you soon get to know who the 'group' is and can read on
> > talk pages comments and jokes about a "here we go again" scenario. It is
> > if they actually lie in wait for the next unwary editor to come along and
> > make a change.
> > At the same time, there are hundreds of thousands of pages that do not
> > 20% of the quality criteria and nobody does anything to remedy them. Yet,
> > do something like move the page, change the infobox and immediately the
> > 'owners' come out of the woodwork to revert.
> > Someone cited Ukranian in this thread and I would like to pick up on
> > There is a tendency at the higher levels to equate Wikipedia with the
> > English Wikipedia and all else are something else. This includes the
> > of involvement by the Foundation etc in the non-English Wikipedias, often
> > with the justification (excuse?) that each is independent. And of course
> > each language WP will use this independence to its advantage when
> > convenient, as a reason why this or that is being done differently. In
> > same breath, content that is specifically marked as referring to the
> > is then regurgitated as if it reflects the whole WP, as here, in the
> > Portuguese WP:
> > Independence is well and good, but not when for example the Portuguese WP
> > votes/ debates/ discusses/ relaxing sourcing policies. If WP is to be
> > judged on its reliability then on a number of key elements it must be
> > to one standard with criteria that apply across the board. We can't have
> > different standards on reliability of sources, notibality, etc.
> > To shrug it off as an issue of the Portuguese WP is to bury our heads in
> > the sand, to shirk responsibility, because such issues are symptomatic of
> > the problems facing the WP as a whole and contributing to the reasons
> > make editors pack up and go.
> > Also from Portuguese WP, it is embarassing that since 2009 there have
> > all kinds of processes to arrive at a solution for what to call pages on
> > animals and plants - eg: cattle/ bull/ ox/ cow/ bos ... By the looks of
> > [[Cattle]] in the English WP has been locked for years for the same
> > This kind of thing snowballs and then other aspects come into play,
> > overflow and contaminate other areas of the WP as if by contagion.
> > James, from the link you provided, I see a reference to bias. We all have
> > our 'usual beats' but we all also edit anywhere where we might happen to
> > find something wrong. In doing that, you soon find out that just about
> > page has 'owners', usually 3 or 4 and these work as a team to preserve
> > their way of seeing it. Very worrying is that a lot of this happens on
> > pages on big corporations, which raises the spectre of the possibility
> > (already proven) of 'editors' working for money. Equally nefarious, I
> > noted a group of editos (5 or 6, plus socks [some exposed, others
> > suspected] and countless IP accounts) who are active on a few hundred
> > deleting/ sanitising negative references to CIA/ US (and 'allies')
> > involvement in right-wing coups all over the world and generally anything
> > unsavoury about the US in all pages on conflicts in which the US has
> > part.
> > In my experience, resolution mechanims for situations such as any that
> > any of the cases above tend to favour the status quo. I have investigates
> > some of these cases and it is quite apparent that in many cases the
> > taking a decision is also part of group that is trying to defend a
> > point of view.
> > Finally, I think it is time to think seriously and hard about anonymous
> > (IP) editing. We can all be anonymous, so with a username you are not
> > so. I do believe that IPs who make a few edits here and there, often
> > unconstructive, would stop if they were not serious and do not want to
> > bother registering. Conversely, one you register, it is as if you become
> > officially a member. It is unlikely that one would bother registering and
> > then engage in vandalism and unconstructive editing.
> > Best regards,
> > Rui
I wanted to share my first editing experience and ask for your help. Here
Today I have made the first edit on English Wikipedia. As I said in my
first meeting -- I believe in traveling the path of our editors, so I can
better understand them and so taht we can make their experience more
I have edited in private wikis before and I have edited the talk pages. I
used the Visual Editor, even though I am well-versed in the syntax. I had
the advantage of a very very experienced user by my side and it went pretty
smooth -- so this report is not entirely fair. Even though, I did stumble
in a few places, however, and this is a learning experience for me and for
Overall I wish I had this on video. It is a bit like an experience of a kid
making their first goal. Exhilarating.
So now I have a challenge back to you:
- Please pick a friend who has never edited before.
- Ask them to make an edit. Any edit in any language.
- Please have them write one paragraph about their experience.
- Have them send it to lila at wikimedia with the subject: #1
yesterday, Wikimedia Deutschland’s 14th General Assembly was held in
Frankfurt am Main.
In addition to the presentation of the strategic planning and several
amendments to the articles of the association’s bylaws, the agenda
included among other things reports of the Executive Director, the
Supervisory Board and volunteer auditing committee. Of course, the
transition process and the succession of Pavel Richter announced this
week were widely discussed.
We are a young association and the change in the position of Executive
Director, which has been shaped by Pavel for many years, is a new
experience for all of us. Over the coming months, the process of
succession is going to entail a lot of work and Pavel will be a part of
it. Obviously, first of all we have to mutually deliberate on the
procedure and the specific schedule – a process in which we are going to
include as many people as possible and whose opinions we are going to
take very seriously. We will report on any concrete actions as soon as
Unfortunately, Nikolas Becker, who held the Chairman position of the
Supervisory Board for the past six months, will not take an active part
in the transition process. He resigned yesterday. As a result, we
gathered as the supervisory board on this Sunday in order to elect a new
Chair. I am glad that my Board colleagues expressed their confidence in
me and as of now entrusted me with the presidency of the supervisory
board. I am well aware of the immense responsibility and, with a clear
focus on the future, accepted it yesterday.
I want to thank Nikolas for everything he has accomplished over the past
years – not only as Chair but also as a member of the Supervisory Board
and for the association in general. In the name of the Supervisory Board
we thanked him yesterday in Frankfurt.
As usual, there will also be a protocol for this general meeting of
members. I do not want to anticipate the minutes, as long as they are
being completed. Yet, I would like to give a short personal overview at
There were six requests for amendments to articles of the association’s
bylaws (a seventh has been withdrawn). All six of them were accepted
with clear majorities. The Supervisory Board’s term of office was
extended from one to two years. A leave of absence from the Supervisory
Board is now possible, as is a lump-sum for refunding of honorary
expenses according to German customs. Furthermore, it was formally
clarified that members of the Supervisory Board must also be members of
the association. In the future, it will be much easier to terminate
supporting memberships. And finally: The wording regarding the quorum to
hold an exceptional general assembly has been changed from “members” to
“active members”. Besides the amendments to articles of the association,
the general assembly confirmed the Supervisory Board’s structure
according to departments.
For more details to all these and further points I want to refer to the
minutes mentioned above, which are to be published soon.
I am convinced of Wikimedia Deutschland being in a stable position. It
is up to us to shape our association over the coming years together.
This involves self criticism, or at least the realization that a neutral
point of view is helpful in pretty much all circumstances in life. That
is why I am glad that the general meeting approved the supervisory
board’s request and that we will now start an external governance review
to gather different expertise and new insight.
Within Wikipedia, this is common practise and a strength that helps
Wikipedia get better. In my opinion, the same applies to Wikimedia
Deutschland: our willingness to improve is our strength.
Tim Moritz Hector
Chair of the board
Wikimedia Deutschland e. V.
+49 (0)160 - 36 16 234
Wikimedia Deutschland e. V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | D-10963 Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0)30 - 219 158 260
Stellen Sie sich eine Welt vor, in der jeder Mensch auf der Erde freien Zugang zum gesamten menschlichen Wissen hat. Das ist, was wir machen. Helfen Sie uns dabei! http://spenden.wikimedia.de
Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing. Help us make it reality! http://spenden.wikimedia.de
Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e.V.
Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter der Nummer 23855 B.
Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/681/51985.
I was contacted off-list about this situation by someone who wants to remain anonymous but has given me permission to forward their input to the list. I am not a copyright expert and this isn't professional legal advice. It would be interesting to hear what WMF Legal thinks about republishing emails, both from the privacy angle and the copyright angle.
Pine, why not just suggest she invite respondents to adopt a free license, instead of reinventing the wheel? Like..."I'd like to have the right to republish these stories, but it's up to the respondents. If you're willing, please explicitly state that you release these under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license; or, if you'd rather not be identified, under the CC-0 license."
We have these tools for a reason :)