In today's WMF Metrics and Activities Meeting  Jessie Wild's
presentation starting around 1:05:00 compared the meta-level grantmaking
programs. The presentation is about 12 minutes long.
Jessie, I have two questions, and other people may want to ask questions as
1. I'm aware that Program Evaluation is examining the outcomes of
conferences this year, and Jamie and I have discussed this in at least two
places on Meta. I'm curious about if and how you plan to measure the online
impact of conferences; not just what people and groups say they will do in
post-survey conferences, but what they actually do online in verifiable
ways in the subsequent 3-12 months.
2. You said in your presentation that there is no direct correlation
between grant size and measurable online impact. From the slides at around
the 1:13-1:15 minute marks, it looks to me like the correlation is
negative, meaning that smaller grants produced disproportionately more
impact. I can say that within IEG this occurred partly because we had some
highly motivated and generous grantees who volunteered a considerable
amount of time to work with modest amounts of money, and I don't think we
should expect that level of generosity from all grantees, but I think that
grantmaking committees may want (A) to take into account the level of
motivation of grantees, (B) to consider breaking large block grants into
discrete smaller projects with individual reporting requirements, and (C)
for larger grants where there seem to be a lot of problems with reporting
and a disappointing level of cost-effectiveness, to be more assertive about
tying funding to demonstrated results and reliable, standardized reporting
with assistance from WMF. What do you think?
Arguably of more importance than the loss of unique (1 specimen only) 78
records are the loss of unique newspapers and political leaflets, which are
legion. The latter naturally had a lower "survival rate" than mass
produced-and-comparatively durable phonograph records. This is not to say
that saving ultra-rare 78s are unimportant, but there is a whole mass of
written culture out there that is one breath away from extinction.
Fanzines are another example of small circulation and thus endangered media.
The rise of the Adobe pdf format over the past decade and the crashing
price of computer storage space has been a boon to preservation of rare
written and photographic material. It's very satisfying to save something
in this way for future generations and I urge those archive rats on the
list to do their best to preserve and share when they come across unique
material in their research pursuits.
Tim Davenport /// Carrite
Corvallis, OR USA
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2014 15:53:10 +0100
From: David Gerard <dgerard(a)gmail.com>
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Rarest records
On 4 August 2014 15:11, Andy Mabbett <andy(a)pigsonthewing.org.uk> wrote:
> but the thesis that some 78rpm records constitute the only surviving
> example of a particular recording, with no master in an archive
> somewhere, sent chills up my spine.
This is surprisingly common with indie records. Frequently, a few
hundred pieces of vinyl are the *only* copies of the music in
On 27 April 2013, one of our then-Commons checkusers ran a check on my
account on that project. I only found out this information in May of
this year, after twelve months of asking the simple question -- was a
checkuser run on my account? For twelve months this question went
unanswered by checkusers on Commons. I always made it clear when I
asked that I only wanted the opportunity to discuss the issue
privately with the CU concerned.
On 14 May 2014, I had a discussion with a steward on the issue of
editors finding out whether CUs have been run on oneself and what
information, if any, should be given. It was their opinion that if
they were asked they would confirm:
1) whether a CU was done,
2) who ran the checkuser,
3) the date it was run, and
4) depending on circumstances, the reason for the CU (in some
instances divulging the reason may breach the privacy of another
editor, and it is fair enough)
I relayed this information to a Commons checkuser on the same day, and
mentioned that for 12 months neither 1, 2, 3 or 4 was ever divulged to
me. They confirmed for me that a checkuser was indeed done on me on
Commons in April 2013 and the reason for it being done was (along the
lines of) "contact me for more info". They said they would check with
other CU's whether they should divulge who ran the CU, and I
re-iterated what I was told by a steward, but agreed to wait for an
The following day (15 May 2014) I asked another CU privately on IRC
about the outstanding issue, and I was told that it was decided that
they would not tell me who ran the CU, because:
"(w)e see no advantages in telling you, only disadvantages."
On 16 May 2014 I sent in a written complaint to the CU Ombusdman. In
my complaint I outlined what it was that required:
"With that said, I kindly request that the Commission investigate:
* (1) on what grounds a CheckUser action was performed on my account
on Wikimedia Commons,
* (2) who requested that it be performed on Commons, and
* (3) who fulfilled the request.
Given the apparently very serious breach of the CheckUser policy, I
ask that the user who performed that action be immediately removed
from their position as a Wikimedia Commons CheckUser."
On 27 May 2014 I received an email back from the OC which basically
said that because no personal information was divulged, there was no
the WMF about the case, and if I had any further information on who
"released such information" then I should contact them.
On 28 May 2014 I wrote back to the OC and informed that I was not
complaining about the fact I was given any of my CU information, but
rather I was complaining about the very fact that a CU was done. I
again asked them to investigate the case.
On 6 June 2014 I heard back from the OC and they stated that my
complaint was being forwarded to the Wikimedia Foundation and that
they had been informed about the possible running of an unnecessary
CU, in addition to the possible release of CU logs. Additionally, I
was told that the OC would relay to me once they had it from the
It should at this time be noted, that on 16 May 2014, I was forwarded
by a friendly steward the entire log of the
#wikimedia-stewards-internal channel on IRC. As part of this log, one
steward told the channel that I was complaining about a CU leak (I
wasn't) and that they had lodged a complaint with the OC. Aside from
accidentally the pertinent part of the log into the stewards private
chat window, I also informed them that there was no leak. I should
mention the fact that the stewards private channel logs had been
leaked to me also created a shitstorm in that channel (for which I was
also provided logs).
However, in private discussions with someone in the know, I was
informed about two pieces of information pertaining as to why the OC
was not able to investigate and had instead forwarded it to the WMF
Board to investigate.
1) There was indeed a leak of my CU data. An unknown Commons CU had
indeed leaked my CU data to another person who was NOT a CU on
Commons. The information given to this non-CU person included the very
name of the person who ran the CU on me; information which was so
sensitive to keep from me, but not sensitive enough that it was able
to be shared with every Tom, Dick and Harry that wasn't me.
2) The CU who ran the check is no longer participating on WMF projects
and hence the OC was not able to get answers from them. Only 5 Commons
checkusers used the tool in April 2013, and only one of these is no
longer on our projects. One CU did indeed leave all projects not long
after I started asking questions in May/June 2013.
On 15 June 2014, I contacted Legal and the WMF Board and asked for
information on where the investigation was at, and noted that given
the timeframe that this has been an ongoing issue I would appreciate a
On 2 July 2014 I was contacted by someone within Legal informing me
that it was their understanding that "the Ombudsman Commission has
finished its investigation into this matter and has already
communicated its decision to you."
On 5 July 2014, I wrote back informing the person within Legal that
they were mistaken in their belief and that the issue is not resolved
at all. I also asked them to give this issue some priority given the
length of time that it has dragged out for.
To date, I have yet to hear another word from Legal, the Ombudsman
Commission, nor the WMF Board.
Given this, I am asking very publicly the following questions:
* (1) on what grounds a CheckUser action was performed on my account
on Wikimedia Commons?
* (2) who requested that it be performed on Commons?
* (3) who fulfilled the request?
* (4) why is it acceptable for CUs to share actions related to my
account with non-CUs whilst at the same time actively keeping this
information from me?
* (5) why are complaints such as this actively ignored by the WMF Board?
Thanks for your attention and reply.
In mid-July I was advised by an editor that on 5 July 2014 they had
received via the Wikimedia mailing system an email from SatuSuro. The
editor in question, who stated that they ordinarily would not share private
communications but felt compelled to on this occasion, forwarded me the
email, along with all headers. In this email SatuSuro made the
"I am not 100% sure where you contextualise your comments from, but he is a
local, and I know his parents house quite well...."
Upon reading it, I was absolutely gobsmacked. Firstly, the comment was
wildly out of place in the context of the email, and secondly, this is how
the email ended.
One will note that he states that he doesn't say that he knows me nor knows
my family, but that he knows my parents' house quite well. This obviously
made me quite squeamish, because it's not my home that he states he knows
well, but the home of my parents.
I have never met SatuSuro (T.H.) in real life, and have had no reason nor
great desire to meet him. So he is not known to me on a personal level in
any way, shape or form.
With this in mind, I sent an email to my folks asking them if they knew
T.H. or if they recognised him from his photo. I told them that the guy
had stated "I know his parents house quite well....".
They were concerned. My old lady, especially so, who looked at his comment
the same way I did. I won't divulge what sort of search terms I found in
her Google search history, even after I showed them the email which was
sent by T.H.. Both my old man and old lady confirmed that they do not know
T.H. by name nor by photo, and have no idea how he could know their house
I informed them that if they should see him near their home that they
should contact the police. My folks, who are enjoying their retirement and
have their four young grandkids at their house every other day, also took
the grandkids aside and showed them T.H.'s photo and said that if they see
this man that they should tell them or their parents straight away - a much
needed lesson in "stranger danger" I guess.
It doesn't stop there, but I was informed the other day at a family get
together, that they had shelled out a fair amount of money for multiple
infrared cameras which are situated around their residence (in the open and
hidden), recording equipment, added security monitoring and installation.
This is so not cool. Absolutely not cool. One may expect to deal with
creepy stalker cunts as a result of participating in sites such as 4chan (I
dunno, never participated, but it has that rep perhaps), but one should
absolutely not expect to have to deal with such things from their
participation in Wikimedia projects. And especially not from someone who is
a member of a WM Chapter (WMAU) and the recipient of a scholarship from the
WMF to travel to Wikimania next week.
There is no reason at all that would have required T.H. to attempt to stalk
me in real life, and there is absolutely zero reason or excuse for him to
be stalking, not my home, but the home of my parents, which has resulted in
them upgrading security, as great cost, to their castle.
A message to SatuSuro -- stop stalking the home of my parents you creepy
It is an honor to announce that the Affiliations Committee has resolved
 recognizing the Egypt Wikimedians User Group as a Wikimedia User
Group; their main focus areas are supporting the Wikimedia projects in
Egypt as well as their fellow Egyptian Wikimedians, and becoming
eventually the recognized chapter in the land of the Pharaohs and the
Nile. Let's welcome the newest member of the family of affiliates -and
the second one from the Arab World!
"*Jülüjain wane mmakat* ein kapülain tü alijunakalirua jee wayuukanairua
junain ekerolaa alümüin supüshuwayale etijaanaka. Ayatashi waya junain."
Carlos M. Colina
Vicepresidente, A.C. Wikimedia Venezuela | RIF J-40129321-2 |
Chair, Wikimedia Foundation Affiliations Committee
Please find below the text of an announcement that was just posted at
Today we’re excited to announce the relaunch of the Wikimedia blog, with a
new design and new features intended to make it easier for people to
participate in sharing knowledge about the Wikimedia movement. We also hope
this relaunch serves as a very public reminder: today is always the day you
can–and should!–contribute a blog post.
The Wikimedia Foundation blog was started in 2008
<https://blog.wikimedia.org/2008/04/11/welcome/> as a place for staff of
the WMF to share their work. Early blog posts often focused on the work of
the Engineering team, including updates about the MediaWiki platform. News
from the technology team remains a significant portion of the content
shared on the blog today, but it has been joined by a riotous mix of
content from every corner of the Wikimedia world.
Over the past six years, the blog has evolved and taken on a character
closer to the movement of which it is a part. In April 2012, only 5 percent
of blog posts were from authors who were not employed by the Wikimedia
Foundation. Today community-authored posts often make up more than half of
the total posts in a given month. The blog has become a platform for the
movement, with more contributors, more languages, and increasingly diverse
subjects and geographies. The volume of posts has grown tremendously: we
frequently publish two or more posts a day. We long ago stopped referring
to it as the Foundation blog — instead, it is a blog for the entire
Today’s relaunch is designed to reflect some of these changes. We’ve
dropped the word Foundation from the blog’s logo: visually, it is now the
Wikimedia blog. The design changes offer more space to highlight stories
and updates from across the movement, as well as different types of
content. (For example, the big, beautiful images from initiatives like Wiki
Loves Monument and Wiki Loves Earth will be right at home here.) Blog posts
that attract lots of comments and discussion will be automatically featured
on the homepage, making it easier to see what people are talking about.
Posts in languages other than English will be easier to find and read,
offering more opportunities to engage with other language communities.
Some other notable updates include:
- Direct comment publishing with no moderator delay, thanks to a custom
privacy-friendly captcha solution.
- A responsive design that works better on varying screen sizes: Catch
up with the movement as you commute.
- The code for the theme will be released on Github: We’re looking
forward to your pull request for bug fixes.
- Easier and faster updates thanks to dedicated tech support.
- An admin tool for simple transfer of licensing information for images
from Wikimedia Commons, to easily and correctly attribute the work of
- Enabling multi-author bylines, reflecting the collaborative production
process of many posts (such as this one)
With all these changes, it’s still a work in progress. In the year since we
embarked on a redesign process (implemented by Exygy <http://exygy.com/>, a
San Francisco software firm) we have continued to learn about how the
community uses the blog; there are additional tweaks we may add to the look
and feel in the future. We’re still working on how to best categorize posts
in a way that works for longtime community members, as well as people new
to the movement. In the spirit of Cunningham’s Law
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Cunningham%27s_Law>, we thought we’d start
with Movement, Technology, Events, and Foundation as the main navigation
categories, and learn from the feedback about how they work for readers.
You will probably find other features you’d like to nominate for continued
evolution. Please do. (And point out any bugs in the comments… we’re still
In planning this relaunch, we had extensive conversations with members of
the WMF Operations and Engineering teams about whether we should continue
to host the blog on our servers, or move to a third-party host. We
reconfirmed that the mission of the Operations team is to operate one the
world’s most popular websites. Rather than staff up to support the blog, we
jointly concluded that it made sense to work with a third-party host,
Automattic, that has particular expertise in this area and understands our
needs and values, including a commitment to free software. They have been a
strong partner, working to meet our privacy standards, disabling some of
their standard analytics tools and clarifying how they handle certain
information. They have also altered their WordPress VIP Terms of Service
<http://vip.wordpress.com/hosting-tos/> to accommodate Creative Commons
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s taken the care and attention of many people to
seamlessly move so much movement history from one platform to another. We’d
like to thank the many members of the community who have been–and no doubt
will be–providing suggestions and bug reports for the blog platform (with a
special thanks to Jeremy Baron). A very big thanks to former WMF
Communications team member Matthew Roth, who spearheaded this process and
led the redesign work in 2013; to Terry Chay, who provided invaluable
technical advice on the process; to the WMF Legal, UX and Operations teams,
in particular Luis Villa and Rob Halsell; and to the teams at Exygy (in
particular Justin Carboneau and Zach Berke) and at Automattic.
A final reminder: Like the Wikimedia projects, the blog is created by you.
You can draft posts directly on Meta, and the Communications team will work
with you to edit and publish, according to a transparent editorial process:
it’s now common for posts to be created in full view of anyone who is
inclined to read or participate. This blog is a platform for the movement,
and we’re here to help you share your message
<http://vip.wordpress.com/hosting-tos/> with the world.
*The WMF Communications Team*
*Katherine, Tilman, Carlos, and Heather*
Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)
IRC (Freenode): HaeB