you can find the wiki version of our April report on Meta:
Plain text version below.
* 1 Data and Trends
o 1.1 Reach and Participation
o 1.2 Financials
o 1.3 Staffing
* 2 Highlights
o 2.1 Annual Plan 2011-12 Development
o 2.2 Editor survey
* 3 Technology
o 3.1 Highlights
o 3.2 Operations
o 3.3 Features
o 3.4 Mobile
o 3.5 General Engineering
* 4 Research and Strategy
o 4.1 Internal Research Progress
o 4.2 Research Committee Activity
* 5 Community
o 5.1 Public Policy Initiative
o 5.2 WikiGuides Project
o 5.3 OTRS Analysis
o 5.4 Account Creation Improvement Project
o 5.5 Summer of Research
o 5.6 Fundraiser
* 6 Global Development
o 6.1 Global Development Highlights
o 6.2 India Programs
o 6.3 Global Development Research
o 6.4 Mobile and Offline
o 6.5 Chapter Relations
+ 6.5.1 Grants approved in April 2011
o 6.6 Wikimania Scholarships
o 6.7 Communications
+ 6.7.1 Highlighted Media Coverage
+ 6.7.2 Other Worthwhile Reads
+ 6.7.3 Recent Media Contact
+ 6.7.4 Blog Posts through April
+ 6.7.5 Wikipedia Signpost for April 2011
* 7 Human Resources
o 7.1 Staff Changes
o 7.2 Department Updates
* 8 Finance and Administration
o 8.1 Office IT and Administration
+ 8.1.1 Finance
* 9 Legal
* 10 Visitors and Guests
== Data and Trends ==
Reach and Participation
Global unique vistors for March:
400 million (+5.4% compared to previous month / +7.9% compared to
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will
release April data later in May)
NB: Shorter number of days in February is contributing to the
Page requests for March:
15.1 billion (-2.5% compared to previous month / N/A compared to
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including
Active Editors for March (>=5 edits/month):
89,880 (+3.3% compared to previous month / -3.1% compared to
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects except for
Report Card for March:
(Financial information is only available for March 2011 at the time of
Operating revenue for March: USD 1.8MM vs plan of USD 0.7MM
Operating revenue year-to-date March: USD 21.7MM vs plan of USD 17.8MM
Monthly revenue exceeds plan due to the recognition of USD 1.4MM
representing chapters revenue share from the annual fundraising
campaign. As of May 5, all but USD 24K of the USD 1.4MM has been
received. Another USD 1.1MM is pending from the chapters, and is not
reflected in the financial statements. Year-to-date revenue continues to
exceed plan primarily due to the successful 2010 fundraising campaign,
including higher than anticipated revenue contributions from the chapters.
Operating expenses for March: USD 1.2MM vs plan of USD 1.7MM
Operating expenses year-to-date March: USD 13.1MM vs plan of USD 15.2MM
Expenses MTD and YTD are under due to both the timing of capex spending
related to the build-out of the data center, as well as to
personnel-related expenses, which were under due to slower hiring.
Underspending was partially offset by spending in outside contract
services and legal costs.
Cash and investments as of March 2011 totaled USD $20.0MM (approximately
12 months of expenses).
Total Employee Count:
Remaining Open positions to fiscal year end: 24
* 69 Total Employees (includes people considered international employees)
* 41% female employees; 4.6% increase from 7/1/10
* 29% ethnic minorities; 3% increase from 7/1/10
* 36.2% foreign nationals; 3.8% increase in U.S. hiring from 7/1/10
* 41% Wikimedians; 1.4% less from 7/1/10
* 66.7% have lived abroad; 3.3% less from 7/1/10
== Highlights ==
Annual Plan 2011-12 Development
The Annual Plan development process for the 2011-12 plan is underway.
Requests from each department were received in April and the compilation
and analysis of the data is in full swing. The overall ask reflected the
goals of the strategic plan; we are in the process of refining the
initial requests to reflect what we can accomplish given both financial
and organizational capacity. Sue Gardner has given an overview to the
Board based on the budget requests from the departments. Once the plan
is in final draft form in June, it will be provided to the Board for
their review and approval in late June.
Our first internally-run survey of editors was executed over a week in
April by the Global Development department with support from
engineering. The survey sought to get a representative sample of regular
editors and was designed to avoid an over-sample of very frequent
editors. The survey was run in 22 languages (all translated by the
Wikimedia translator community). We received over 5,000 completed
surveys out of over 31,000 total views (number of people who saw the
banner). This is a very high completion rate. We have begun to analyze
the survey, and will share the first results in May. We will also share
non-attributable datasets with the community to enable additional analysis.
== Technology ==
Detailed info about the Tech Department's activities for April 2011 can
be found at:
* Readied Article Feeback 3.0 and Upload Wizard 1.0 for May deployment
* Conducted field research in India on mobile projects, and progressed
on new mobile platform
* Worked on budget plan for 2011-2012 fiscal year
* Prepared for May Berlin Hackathon 2011
*Virginia Data Center* - We began installing connectivity between our
Tampa and Ashburn data centers, which will allow us to fully backup all
important data in the new data center. By May, we expect to complete the
installation, and have either live replication or daily backups of
*Media Storage* - In our efforts to improve media storage architecture,
we produced a test wiki that pushes new media uploads to our OpenStack
Swift cluster, as well as producing pages that fetch from it.
*Virtualization Test Cluster* - We set up production hardware and
completed the initial configuration of the software for the
virtualization test cluster, an environment to deploy temporary machines
for testing and experimentation. In late April, Ryan Lane gave a keynote
about the test cluster at the OpenStack Developer's conference (see
*Data Dumps* - We worked with Google to setup an account to copy dumps
to Google storage. We completed the April run of the English Wikipedia
dumps in just over two weeks.
*Article Feedback <http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Article_Feedback>* - We
implemented the expiration of ratings, as well as an EmailCapture
extension, which allows unregistered users who rate an article to leave
their e-mail address and later be contacted by the Community department.
We started to develop a dashboard that summarizes the highest and lowest
rated articles and surfaces general rating trends. We expect to deploy
the third phase of the tool in May.
<http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:UploadWizard/Status>* - We
prepared Upload Wizard for its deployment in May by fixing bugs and
adding new features. The tool now offers a configurable and localizable
license picker, and can recover from errors. Users can abort uploads,
and report bugs or feature requests through a simple form.
*Editor Survey <http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Editor_survey>* - We
supported the Editor Survey conducted by Global Development, by working
to integrate the survey software (LimeSurvey) with MediaWiki, and
ensuring the survey was displayed once for every logged in user, and
appropriately linked to their user login.
*Mobile Research* - We interviewed 30 Wikipedia readers and editors in
New Delhi and Bangalore to assess mobile user experience and needs.
*Mobile Site Rewrite* - We developed a PHP MediaWiki extension to
replace our Ruby-based mobile gateway, which will be demo-ed at the
Berlin Hackathon in May.
*MediaWiki 1.17 Release* - We announced the beta 1.17 release, and
prepared for the final release.
*Summer of Code 2011* - We selected 8 students and projects out of 25
proposals for Google Summer of Code. The projects include interface
improvements using AJAX, extension release management, and work on
*Analytics - A/B Testing* - We deployed extensions to test and compare
different user interface message groups related to the account creation
process, in support of the Account Creation Project by the Community
== Research and Strategy ==
Internal Research Progress
On April 16, Dario Taraborelli joined WMF's Strategy Team as a FT Senior
Research Analyst, having relocated from the UK . He continued
research with Howie Fung on data from phase 2 of the Article Feedback
Pilot, focusing on: expertise and its effects on the volume and quality
of ratings, and user engagement via call-to-action features. The
research on Article Feedback has informed the design and the strategy
for the initial roll-out of the AF tool on a larger sample of articles
(100K) of the English Wikipedia as well as the design of an Article
Feedback dashboard that will display statistics about top and bottom
The Strategy Team participated in a number of cross-departmental
activities, including: research on the effects of GUI changes for
section edit links; preparation for the summer of research program in
collaboration with the Community department; review of quantitative
analyses from the 2010 Fundraiser team. The Strategy Team started a new
initiative to develop and implement a roadmap for a shared
infrastructure and guidelines (on data preparation, data analysis,
statistical testing and reporting) for quantitative research across WMF
departments, eventually to be opened up to the external research community.
Research Committee Activity
The expert participation survey closed on April 15, 2011. The first
results will be presented as part of a collaboration with CERN (focusing
on wiki participation by physicists) and at Wikimania this summer. A
workshop proposal lead by Mayo Fuster Morell on the future of Wikipedia
research  was submitted to the Open Knowledge Conference 2011 .
Daniel Mietchen started a discussion on the mass upload to Commons of
scientific images from OA publishers .
== Community ==
The Community Department made progress on several community organizing
and research projects in April, in addition to doing considerable work
on the 2011-12 budget plan. The hiring process continued for several
positions including "Head of Community Fellowship Program", "Fundraiser
Production Coordinator(s)", "Storyteller" and "Community Liaison". Aaron
Halfaker, a PhD candidate who has published extensively on Wikipedia,
began working with us part-time and will be joining us full-time on our
summer of research. James Alexander (Jamesofur) officially joined us as
a Community Fellow and began working with Philippe Beaudette on the
Public Policy Initiative
To maximize our "Wikipedia in the classroom" learning before the PPI
classes wrap up the spring semester, Annie Lin visited six universities
in three states. She met with professors and ambassadors, held focus
group sessions with students, and helped to recruit professors for the
Fall 2011 semester. In April, the PPI team also selected Simmons
College—an all women's undergraduate school in Boston—as the host
partner for the first-ever "Wikipedia in Higher Education Summit" to be
held July 7, 8, 9. We are in the process of inviting 120 professors,
Wikipedia Ambassadors, students, and select international educational
2.9 million bytes of content were added by PPI students to the article
namespace in April -- the equivalent of 1,944 printed pages. This was
double the record set in March by PPI editors.
WikiGuides is an experiment by a group of volunteers in focused,
targeted mentoring and sheltering of new editors. Collaborating with and
providing data to the volunteer guides, we have iterated through several
approaches to encouraging the most promising new editors. We continue to
revise our approach, and look for new and creative ways to involve
people in this process. James Alexander moved to San Francisco to begin
his fellowship, and we are thrilled to have him here.
We have begun to create a community scorecard for OTRS, the
volunteer-run ticketing system for inquiries. It will include both pure
metrics of the number of tickets processed, and qualitative scoring on a
representative sample of the tickets processed. Once we are confident
with the scorecard, we will publish it and create historical scorecards.
We can then determine if we have enough OTRS agents, and what areas we
should focus our training efforts.
Account Creation Improvement Project
Lennart continued to iterate through new versions of the account
creation process. The tech department finished a new AB testing system
that will help determine which account creation process changes make a
difference in both registrations and editing.
Summer of Research
In planning for the summer of research project, Maryana Pinchuk, Steven
Walling, and others in the department did qualitative sampling of
several years of data related to new editors and the quality of their
first edits. This research expanded into sampling of hundreds of user
talk page interactions, focusing on the tone and type of messages given
to new editors in their first 30 days. (The blog post for late April's
work was published early in May.)
The samples investigated showed a very strong increase in templated
warnings from 2007 forward. They also showed that even though vandalism
and other undesirable edits have increased over the years, the vast
majority of new editors' work is still in good faith, and there is a
very large volume in absolute terms of good faith edits by new editors.
The fundraising team finished a report on the 2010 annual fundraiser
that will be shared publicly in May. This includes comprehensive
statistical analysis on key tests that informed us which types of
banners and landing pages performed best. The interview process began
for several 2011 fundraiser staff positions.
== Global Development ==
Global Development Highlights
* Conducted our first internally managed editor survey targeted at
active editors. The survey was posted between April 21 and 28, and
received over 5,000 completed surveys (an excellent response rate),
which are now being analyzed. First results will be shared later in May.
* Set our India campus program pilot for Pune. A national call for
volunteers to serve as Campus Ambassadors generated over 500
applications. The initiative will launch officially in June with
university and college partners in Pune.
* Initiated Campus program pilot to encourage Wikipedia contributions
in university and college courses in India. The initial pilot will
be held in Pune with expectation that the program will expand to
other cities later in 2011.
* Launched Campus Ambassador recruitment drive through Geo/ Central
Notices and received an excellent response with ~500 respondents
from across India and ~70 from Pune; will be interviewing candidates
in May and will create opportunities for participation in the
Wikimedia community for all interested applicants.
* Conducted field visit to Pune to meet with students, teachers, and
education authorities to gather inputs and insights to inform the
design of the India Campus program:
* Started engaging the community on how to integrate all those who
responded to Campus Ambassador calls as regular editors (for student
clubs, for wiki clubs, etc.).
* Supported discussions within the community for a potential Wikimania
2013 bid from Mumbai / Bombay, and for a relatively more immediate
Wikimedia India conference in late 2011.
* Continued work on legal structure for India program team with
* Initiated work on program team organzation for India; first 2 of 4
positions posted here:
Global Development Research
* We are working with a partner in India to conduct qualitative
research of mobile users to inform our mobile development strategy.
In addition, we will be conducting a brief reader survey focused on
mobile in late May/early June.
* New team member: Nimish Gautam is transitioning into a new role as
Data Analyst and Researcher in the Global Development team. He will
focus on developing more accurate and timely geographic data and
analysis of critical metrics. He will also provide analytical
capacity to assess program effectiveness and to help WMF better
understand opportunities and challenges within the global projects.
Mobile and Offline
* Worked on recruiting a Mobile Partnerships Manager (or Senior
Manager). This process is expected to continue through May.
* Continued progress in offline work, with constant updates to Kiwix
(the open source reader application for offline materials).
* Increased efforts to measure the scope of distribution for offline
Wikipedia. Since focusing on offline projects last November, Kiwix
has seen a 97% increase in number of downloads!
* Wikimedians in Kenya just finished a big distribution effort
(Wikipedia for Schools) into some pilot regions throughout Kenya.
They are waiting to hear back on use and success before scaling more
* Worked on creating a library of offline materials for people to view
* Worked with volunteers on developing a Spanish version of Wikipedia
* Chapters' collective report:
* Published FR raised amounts beginning 2011:
* As of April 30, WMF has only received revenue or grants from 4 of 11
chapters who have fundraising agreements with WMF for 2010/11. These
payments were due on April 1, 2011. Full status of chapter
fulfillment of commitments under the 2010/11 fundraising agreement:
Grants approved in April 2011
* GlamCAMP NYC to be held in May 2011:
* Scholarship selections were made for full sponsorship for Wikimania
2011 in Haifa: 70 people from around the world were offered full
scholarships, and about 60 were offered partial scholarships.
April was a relatively quiet month for media coverage in communications.
Wikimedia Commons hit a major milestone with 10 million media uploads,
which received some coverage in tech/free culture blog spaces. A
significant feature in the UK Guardian's education supplement
highlighted Wikimedia's recent and longstanding efforts to involve
Wikimedians in the academic world.
Communications also worked on two important recruitments in April:
* Movement Communications Manager for which applications have now closed
* Wikimedia Merchandise Manager:
Highlighted Media Coverage
* Wikimedia Commons hits 10 million media (April 19)
* How much do new editors improve Wikipedia? (April 15)
* Wikipedia on campus (april 5)
Other Worthwhile Reads
Recent Media Contact
Blog Posts through April
Wikipedia Signpost for April 2011
== Human Resources ==
* Aaron Halfaker, Research Fellow (Community) – Summer Fellow
* Leslie Harms, Office Assistant (Finance/Admin) – FT Permanent
* Dario Taraborelli, Sr Research Analyst, Strategy (Product
Development) – FT Permanent
* Patrick Reilly, Senior Software Developer, Mobile (Technology) – FT
* Asher Feldman, Performance Engineer (Technology) – FT Permanent
* Dario Taraborelli, Senior Research Analyst, Strategy (Product
Development) – FT Permanent
* Patrick Reilly, Senior Software Developer, Mobile (Technology) – FT
* Asher Feldman, Performance Engineer (Technology) – FT Permanent
* Melanie Brown role changed from Office Assistant to Admin Asst –
CTCO, CFOO, GC (Finance/Admin)
* Isa Munne, Interim HOA
* Deputy General Counsel
* Product Manager (Features)
* Software Developer RTE
* Wikimedia Merchandise Manager
No Contracts Ended
Real-time feed for HR updates:
http://identi.ca/wikimediaatwork or http://twitter.com/wikimediaatwork
In April, we continued to streamline the hiring process and get better
outreach of open positions to qualified candidates. We helped the
department hiring managers make several hires.
We continued work with the Community Department to unveil a J-1 Student
Intern visa program. These programs will allow the Foundation to engage
international interns for specific project work that will enable them to
obtain real life experience directly related to their education. The HR
department has been building the framework to prepare for these programs
over the past year. With the framework in place, the Community
Department will be rolling out two programs this summer: (1) a History
Writing Program (focused on researching the social structure of
different Wikipedia communities, with an emphasis on structures that
have aided or hindered new editor retention) and (2) a Community Summer
Intern Program (focused on understand major editor trend challenges that
are affecting the growth and health of the community).
Work continued on the annual strategic plan for the 2011/12 fiscal year
with all the departments.
== Finance and Administration ==
Office IT and Administration
* *Office IT*: The migration to Google Apps (primarily for email and
calendaring) was completed.
* *Administration*: Snacks for staff have been improved to reflect
cultural diversity. :-)
* Obtained tax exemption certificate for the state of Virginia, which
will allow future capex purchases that are utilized in Virginia to
be free of sales tax. Renewed similar certificate in Florida. (Note,
California does not extend this benefit to non-profits.)
* Obtained U.S. taxpayer certificates needed to obtain future payments
from Telefonica free of tax witholding.
* Continued work on the annual plan for 2011-12.
== Legal ==
* Continued focus on site compliance
* Supported key initiatives, such as India and fundraising agreements
* Won UDRP case for the domain names wikkipedia.org and wekipedia.org,
which were two domain names being used by a cybersquatter in
connection with a Wikipedia-related survey scam.
== Visitors and Guests ==
1. Kathi Fletcher (Shuttleworth Foundation)
2. Dan Huttenlocher (Cornell University- Computer Sciences)
3. Sumana Harihareswara (tech contractor from New York City)
4. Mike Schwartz (Senior Vice-president, Engineering, Wikia)
5. George Kirkburn (Product Manager, Wikia)
6. Inez Korczyński (Engineering Manager, Wikia)
7. Eugene Kim (Principal, Blue Oxen Associates)
8. Alex Selkirk (Founder & Board Member, The Common Data Project)
9. Peter Kempinski (Social Text)
10. Diana Strassmann (Rice University)
11. Lucky Gunasekara (Chief Innovation Officer, Global Viral Forecasting
12. Lalith Polepeddi (Global Viral Forecasting Initiative)
13. Kat Walsh (WMF Trustee)
14. Mitch Muroff (Linden Lab)
15. Tory Read (Tory Read Studios)
16. Dr. Bryan Lewis (Kent State)
17. Alex Graveley (Hackpad)
18. Erik Olin Wright (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
19. Achim Bode (Engineer, Twoonix)
20. Andreas Weigend (Lecturer at Stanford University, Director of Social
21. Quim Gil (Nokia)
22. Marc Kleinmaier (Nokia)
23. Forood Houman (Nokia)
24. Mano Balasubramaniam (Nokia)
25. Peter Kazanjy (Honestly.com)
26. Anya Shyrokova
27. Aakash Desai (Product Manager, Mozilla)
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
[Version of this message with links:
I’m happy to welcome two new members in the Wikimedia blogs family:
the Community blog < http://blog.wikimedia.org/c/community/ > , and
the Global blog < http://blog.wikimedia.org/c/global/ >.
As the Wikimedia Foundation grows, so does our need to communicate
with the rest of the community. Our blogs are a major communication
channel to share news and accomplishments of our staff and volunteers.
Recently, we’ve started to publish more often, to increase
transparency, understanding and collaboration. These new dedicated
blogs are a way for us to structure the conversation with our
community, much like we did in the past with the Tech blog.
Rather than creating completely separate blogs, we’ve decided to build
on the existing Wikimedia blog. For those familiar with WordPress, it
means the community & global blogs are categories that we’re simply
showing more prominently than regular categories. More details are
available in the history of the [[m:Wikimedia Blog/2011 overhaul]]
page on meta.
The new blogs also have shortcuts that you can bookmark:
The Techblog, which was living separately, is now fully integrated
with the Wikimedia blog; from now on, our readers will be able to find
all our news in one central place.
If you’re only interested in a specific topic, you can still subscribe
to the dedicated RSS feed available at the top of each blog, or in
your browser’s URL field. You can subscribe to the “Main
blog/Highlights” section to be notified only of major news.
We’ve also taken this opportunity to upgrade the software and fix a
few bugs in the theme.
We’ll continue to improve the blogs incrementally over the next few
months. We already have a few ideas, but we’d love to hear your
opinions in the comments of the blog post or on [[m:Talk:Wikimedia
I'm pleased to announce that the 2011 Board Election now accepts candidates.
The candidacy submission phase lasts from 00:00 UTC May 2nd to 23:59 UTC May
22nd. The election will fill the three community-elected board seats that
are currently held by Ting Chen, Kat Walsh and Samuel Klein. More
information on what it means to be a board member, who is eligible to be a
candidate and how to submit your candidacy can be found on the election
pages on Meta: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Board_elections/2011 .
As always, help with translation is very much appreciated. The translation
coordination page can be found at
Please feel free to post a note about the election on your project's village
pump. Any questions related to the election can be posted on the talk page
on Meta, or sent to the election committee's mailing list,
On behalf of the Election Committee,
Jon Harald Søby <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jon_Harald_S%C3%B8by>