I wrote the note below for the staff yesterday. Ordinarily I'd make a
customized version for the Announcements list, but I am running out of
time because Haifa is imminent, so please forgive me for just
forwarding this :-)
In the staff version I thank only the staff (because only they can
read it), but here I'd like to also thank all the non-staff community
members who were involved in supporting the project. They are:
Mulforel, Mike.Suro, Henni2me, Austin.dixon, Sadads, Saeed, Bburk,
Eabrockm, Etlib, Ifmicecouldfly, Awadewit, DickClarkMises, Mikechen,
Hec7, Pongr, Yowitz, Alliecat47, Epistemophiliac, D guz, Kbourq3,
Rburdette, Neoglyph, Kdibene, B.J.Carmichael, Dylanstaley, Lsukari,
McMormor, Mike Cline, Bibliomaniac15, Lisadforeman, Starvinsky,
DocTGarrett, AMDomG, Gabrielm199, Antony-22, Dominic, Pharos, Lau4de,
Epicadam, Pjthepiano, Profdrew101, HstryQT, Maximilianklein, Dcoetzee,
Saudade7, Mattsenate, Jodi.elizabeth, Rslough, Lspiro, Ligercat415,
MichChemGSI, Bonkong, C. M. at Georgetown, J. A. at Western Carolina
University, Dr Aaij, B. M. at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, A.
B. at UT Austin, Erhall, Sross, Jmh649, Guerillero, Qwyrxian, Kudpung,
Elekhh, ZooPro, Climie.ca, Smartse, GorillaWarfare, Visionholder,
Jujutacular, The ed17, Thruxton, Geniac, Protonk, Donald Albury,
Sodabottle, The Utahraptor, KrakatoaKatie, Anna Frodesiak, Skomorokh,
Fetchcomms, My76Strat, Chevymontecarlo, PrincessofLlyr, Fluffernutter,
UpstateNYer, Nikkimaria, GuillaumeTell, Piotrus, Arbitrarily0, Mike
Christie, Patrickneil, Blurpeace, Avicennasis, The Rambling Man,
Ktlynch, Sonia, Bejinhan, Ronk01, Worm That Turned, Ktr101, Dana
boomer, Airplaneman, Jarry1250, Mike Searson, Rjanag, Cullen328,
Serendipodous, Bilby, SMasters, La Pianista, Wetman, N2e, Boghog,
Maple Leaf, Neelix, Nvvchar, Noraft, DGG, WikiCopter, Cindamuse,
RHaworth, J04n, PeterSymonds, Wilhelmina Will, N5iln, Leszek Jańczuk,
TonyTheTiger, Shyamal, Alpha Quadrant, Smallman12q, Rosiestep, Chzz,
MacMed, Banaticus, Thehelpfulone, MikeBeckett, Rock drum, 1234r00t,
MikeLynch, Forty two, The Earwig, Peter.C, Dwayne, AshwiniKalantri,
Manishearth, Neutralhomer, Wcrowe, Shirik, Bearian, DiverDave,
Jaespinoza, Melicans, Ironholds, Mattgirling, Moxy, XKV8R, AndrewN,
Ssilvers, Juliancolton, Ling.Nut, Racepacket, Rodhullandemu, Basket of
Puppies, Dusti, Cryptic C62 and CutOffTies.
Thank you all :-)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sue Gardner <sgardner(a)wikimedia.org>
Date: 27 July 2011 16:40
Subject: Announcement: Wrap-up of PPI and launch of GEP
To: WMF Staff List <staff(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
The purpose of this note is to update you all on the status of the
Public Policy Initiative.
First, a little background. The PPI is a 17-month-long project funded
by a restricted grant from our friends at the Stanton Foundation, and
staffed by our colleagues Frank, Annie, LiAnna, Rod, Amy, Sage and
Mishelle. (And also in an earlier phase of the project, Pete Forsyth.)
Its purpose was to improve the quality of articles on public policy
topics in the English Wikipedia, by supporting university professors
in assigning article improvement to their students as coursework. In
running the project, the Wikimedia Foundation hoped to develop
scalable mechanisms for improving article quality on any topic in any
language, working with Wikipedians, students and their professors.
The PPI is coming to a close: it officially wraps up at the end of
September. And I'm delighted to tell you it's been a huge success.
First and importantly, the project actually successfully drove up the
quality of public policy articles, which was by no means a slam-dunk.
Over the course of the project, 800 students added 1.8 million
characters of text to Wikipedia, and the quality of articles they
worked on improved by 140%. (You can read more about that in LiAnna's
blog post here:
What's even better, though, is that the PPI successfully laid a
foundation for future activities in more countries and more languages.
The project was a solid proof-of-concept, demonstrating that
class-based university programs can be a highly successful model for
making Wikipedia articles better and for recruiting people to do
editing work. The incentives for students and professors are clear and
persuasive. (Students think Wikipedia is fun, and they like the idea
that somebody will read their work who isn't paid to do it. Professors
like it when their students are engaged, and they enjoy being
associated with something innovative and ground-breaking.) Wikipedians
are willing to do ambassador work, and they're really good at it.
There are a variety of tools and supports needed to make the model
work, and thanks to the PPI and its participants, we know what they
are, and we're equipped to provide them.
So. In this note, I want to thank the staff of the PPI: Frank, Pete,
Annie, LiAnna, Rod, Amy, Sage and Mishelle. I'd also like to thank
Sara Crouse, who worked with Frank, Pete, Erik and me to develop the
initial proposal. It was a great project.
And I want to announce what happens next. This is not exactly news,
because it appears in the 2011-12 plan and probably lots of other
places too, by now. But officially: I am happy to tell you that as a
result of the success of the PPI, we are launching this year a new
Global Education Program, that will be funded not by a restricted
grant, but out of the Wikimedia Foundation operating budget. Its
purpose is to support our strategic goals of growing the number of
active Wikimedia editors and improving the quality of information we
offer, by persuading professors to assign article-writing as classwork
using the PPI model. Its work will start this fall, and its priorities
in the coming year will be India and Brazil, with a lesser emphasis on
Canada, Germany and the U.K. Whereas the Public Policy Initiative had
a narrow topical focus, the new Global Education Program will
encourage participation from all disciplines. There are already people
pounding at its door :-)
The Global Education Program will be led by Frank Schulenburg, who is
being promoted into a new role of Global Education Program Director,
reporting to Barry. Annie Lin will join the staff of the Foundation as
Global Education Program Manager and LiAnna Davis will join as Global
Education Program Communications Manager. Both will report to Frank.
Rod Dunican will support the group as a consultant, leading Ambassador
training on a part-time basis.
I want to congratulate and thank everybody who worked on the PPI.
Really, it was excellent, inspiring work. You broke new ground for the
Wikimedia movement, and what you learned through your 17 months of
experimentation and building is going to be critically important as we
work towards driving up editor recruitment and retention.
And my special fond congratulations to Frank, our outreach pioneer. In
the early days of PPI planning, Frank, Erik, Sara and I had some late
nights nailing down the overall shape of the project, and I know there
were times when Frank doubted the project could succeed. He knew the
expectations were high. But through a combination of ingenuity and
sheer persistence, he made it work – really, really well. Thank you,
415 839 6885 office
415 816 9967 cell
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
Below is a note I've prepared that takes a look at the year past and
the year ahead for the Wikimedia Foundation's Global Development team.
An editable and formatted version can be found at
Year in review and road ahead
I just passed my first anniversary since I joined the Wikimedia
Foundation and we created the Global Development team. It has been a
year in which we have put the team in place and built our
understanding of the opportunities and challenges we face in achieving
Why we exist
At the heart, the Global Development team’s role is to help the
community to grow and thrive in places where we have not yet achieved
our movement’s potential. Places where the approach that worked in
the Global North has not yet taken hold in sufficient numbers. At a
time when Wikimedia’s editor community (dominated by Global North
editors) is slowly ebbing and readership on the personal computer is
plateauing, we need to be proactive in working to create strong
communities in the Global South, where more than half of Internet
users live today and an overwhelming share of future Internet users
will come from. It isn’t clear what specific programs will work, but
it is imperative that we work hard everyday alongside the community to
try new things and help scale up efforts that are promising.
The foundation has set clear goals in our strategic plan to reach 1
billion readers by 2015 and to increase the number of active editors
to 200,000 with 37% from the Global South. The Global Development
team will play an important role in catalyzing and supporting
communities to reach these goals.
The Past Year for the Global Development team
(1) Building a diverse team
When I started, we were a small team of 4 with Jay, Moka, Kul and
myself. We had very limited capacity and the team had a range of
foundation-wide responsibilities. Over the year, we have built a
diverse (and I’d say very talented) team to fulfill roles that I see
as vital. We have a mix of experienced Wikipedians on the team and
folks who bring valuable new capabilities to tackle the new challenges
we face. I’m particularly happy that we have a team that has a lot of
experience globally and brings diverse perspectives to the table. I’m
also glad that most of the recruiting work for me is finished, as I’m
ready to focus more time on getting results in our priority areas.
Our team will grow a bit in 2011/12, but it will focus mostly on
filling in the team in India and Brazil.
(2) Executing effectively
While we were building the plane, we were flying it too! We had
important accomplishments and I’m happy that all of these involved
close partnership with the community around the world and other teams
within the foundation. Some of the highlights include:
* Wikipedia’s 10th Anniversary celebration was a great success with
events in over 200 locations, many of which received special edition
T-shirts and buttons that help to bond our world-wide community. We
also garnered incredible media coverage that underscored the important
role of Wikipedia in the public imagination. I see this initiative as
a model for an initiative catalyzed by the foundation and made reality
by the community in innovative and effective ways.
* We launched our India catalyst initiative with efforts to help build
the community via visits by Jimmy and myself along with support for
community work on outreach. We met and introduced many people to
Wikimedia at meetups in many cities. We had amazing media coverage of
all of our (community and WMF) activities that added momentum to our
work. I’m also happy that we launched our first program in June - the
India Education Program.
* Our grants program more than doubled with a wide range of chapters,
like-minded groups and individuals, implementing initiatives large and
small aimed at contributing to the Wikimedia vision. In addition, we
continue to provide support for Wikimania and will be supporting a
large contingent of Wikimedians from over 20 countries to attend
Wikimania in August.
* In close partnership with community developers, we invested to
improve the tools available for offline projects with the integration
of OpenZIM into the collections tools and a usability upgrade for the
* For the first time, we have the internal capacity to start
understanding how we, as a movement, are doing and we put that
capacity to work with our first systematic survey of the global editor
community. The survey was available in 22 languages (thanks to the
volunteer translator community) and was completed by over 5,000
editors - an amazing sample! We also embarked on a research effort to
understand the needs of mobile users in India and Brazil. Results of
this work will be published soon and are already informing our mobile
* We worked closely with chapters involved in fundraising to resolve
some difficult issues regarding international funds transfers and we
improved the fundraising agreement. There is more work to do on this,
but we made a lot of progress and I’m happy that we are entering the
new fiscal year with few problems relating to funds transfers.
* We also managed to improve our joint compliance regarding chapter
agreements. This puts the relationship between chapters and WMF on a
Not a bad year for our little team, though there have definitely been
bumps in the road. Two areas I would say we didn’t get the job done
* We did not make as much progress on our mobile work. Mobile is a
huge priority for WMF and for Global Development in particular. We
struggled to determine our strategy and then get resources aligned
behind the strategy. I take responsibility for this and have been
acting aggressively to get us off to a fast start in 2011/12, both
through additions to the team, greater focus and attention from Kul
and me, efforts to accelerate discussions with partners, and close
work with our Mobile Engineering team to quickly strengthen our mobile
* We didn’t get our new online store launched. We made amazing
progress on improving our merchandise and putting the building blocks
in place, but we didn’t get it launched. We expect to launch in July
and I’m excited to see what the community thinks.
The year ahead
Our team starts the new fiscal year with a lot of momentum across the
board...and a lot to do. We have signed up to tackle two critical
foundation-wide goals for 2011/12: Reverse the editor decline and
dramatically increase mobile. We aim to contribute significantly to
the goal of returning our active editors per month to 95,000 by June
2012 and to increasing mobile page views to 2 billion. These goals are
both part of the five-year strategy...and we need to get moving on
Global Development’s efforts to reverse the editor decline revolve
around our work with the community in the Global South and the scaling
of the Public Policy Initiative into the Global Education program. In
the next few months, we will expand the India Education Program,
launch additional programs in India, get started on work in Brazil,
support the launch of education programs in new geographies and make
grants to chapters and like-minded groups with a focus on editor
community health and growth. Our communications team will support
this effort with media and communications work that highlights
“contribution” starting in India with an [Edit] India campaign. Our
research team will capture insights from the editor survey and will
begin to generate insights from our own data to help identify
opportunities and challenges.
On the mobile end, we are beginning now to approach mobile operators
and handset makers to improve the prominence of Wikipedia in their
offerings. We would like to secure deals where mobile operators offer
Wikipedia access for free (no data charges) to their customers. We
think this will help advance our vision significantly and introduce
millions of new people to Wikipedia. In partnership with the Mobile
Engineering team, we plan to invest in creating applications for the
major operating systems and in developing features that enrich the
experience and, critically, create ways to contribute.
In addition, you will see other important work happening on the Global
* We have doubled our grants budget again to $600,000 and Asaf Bartov
will be working with chapters and other groups/individuals (with an
emphasis on the Global South) to develop grant programs that achieve
the goals laid out in our strategic plan. Specifically, we plan to
start tracking the change in active editors in the geographies where
we make grants over the next year.
* We will continue to build on our initial work on offline projects
through continued efforts to improve the tools available and through
partnerships to increase the distribution reach. By the end of
2011/12, we aim to double the number of deployments of offline
Wikipedia around the world.
* We will be supporting Wikimania in Haifa with a $100,000 grant to
support the conference as well as funding ($130,000 from our own
budget plus a contribution of $30,000 from Wikimedia Germany) to
support scholarships for over 70 attendees. We will also provide
support for Wikimania 2012 in Washington, DC.
The Year Ahead for me
My first year was a great learning experience and I feel I’ve got a
clearer sense of the opportunities challenge ahead. My greatest
challenge this past year was the sheer breadth of the Global
Development portfolio. I constantly had to juggle a range of
activities and for much of the year, people were relying on me to
handle issues since we didn’t have our team in place. This gave me a
good perspective into the needs and expectations of our team, but also
left me feeling a bit unfocused. My goal for 2011/12 is to focus more
of my time on the top priority areas of growing the editor base in
India and Brazil, and implementing our mobile strategy.
For me, success in 2011/12 will mean:
* Mobile partnerships that reduce the cost of accessing Wikipedia to
zero (or close to zero) and market Wikipedia on the mobile in key
countries in the Global South covering over 500 million mobile users
* Wikimedia’s mobile services to include quality apps on Android,
Windows, iPhone and Blackberry; first set of contribution tools
integrated into the mobile offering; our mobile site works well on a
wide range of phones
* Strong growth in the India editor community with clear results in
terms of editor growth from WMF’s India program activities
* Shift in Brazilian editor community toward healthy indicators,
return to growth in the editor community and a successful launch of
WMF’s Brazil team in the second half of the year
* The Global Development team functions cohesively as a group and
partners well with the community, other WMF teams, chapters and our
* Staff on the Global Development team grow professionally and see the
impact of their work.
The year ahead promises to again be a busy one for the Global
Development team and we’ll be partnering with many groups in the
Wikimedia movement. We will be moving forward with a clear purpose of
meeting our goals, learning along the way and collaborating with a
wide range of groups and individual in the movement. Onwards!
Chief Global Development Officer
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
I'm delighted to tell you that the Wikimedia Foundation has a new
Chief of Finance and Administration (CFA): Garfield Byrd.
As you know, the Wikimedia Foundation has been searching for a CFA
since late February, when Veronique announced she would be leaving us
to relocate her family to Texas.
We then set out to find someone with deep expertise in a non-profit
context, whose main goal is to support excellence in programmatic
activity, and who is sufficiently comfortable with change and
ambiguity to flourish in our environment. And for our CFA as with all
our roles, we were looking for someone who is passionate about the
Wikimedia mission, who has an open-minded and inquisitive personal
style, and a strong inclination towards transparency.
Because Veronique gave us lots of notice, we were able to do an
unusually thorough search, which was great. Over four months, Lisa
Grossman of m|Oppenheim surfaced hundreds of candidates resulting in a
mid-list of about 22 excellent people and culminating in in-depth
panel interviews with about 10. Garfield I believe fits all our needs,
and I expect him to do a terrific job for us.
Garfield comes to us from being CFO at an organization called the New
Teacher Center, in Santa Cruz, California. There, he was part of the
team that spun the NTC out of the University of California at Santa
Cruz, and established it as an independent 501(c)3 with rapidly
growing revenues and operations in 50 states and three countries. He
was responsible for all accounting and grant-related activities, as
well as all administration including information technology, human
resources, and product and facilities operations. Prior to that,
Garfield was Business Manager and Treasurer for the Jesuit School of
Theology, in Berkeley, California, and before that he was Vice
President of Finance and Investments and Chief Finance Officer for the
Community Foundation Silicon Valley, in San Jose, California. Before
that he was Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Pacific
School of Religion, in Berkeley, where among other things he project
managed the building of a new IT centre, student computer centre and
multi-building LAN, as well as the building of a WAN connecting nine
schools. Before the Pacific School, Garfield worked for a library
cooperative in San Jose, and a medical school in San Francisco. He has
a B.S., Business Administration and an MBA, both from John F. Kennedy
University in Orinda, California. And he has served on a half-dozen
boards for arts and education non-profits. All in, he's got 20+ years
of non-profit experience.
There are a number of things about Garfield's work experience that
suggest he'll be a particularly good fit with us. Managing office IT
for a bunch of nerds can be kind of thankless and demanding, so I'm
happy Garfield has a fairly extensive tech background. It's great that
he has experience starting new things from scratch and supporting
growth. I very much like his experience with educational institutions.
And Garfield's former CEO describes him to me as someone with enormous
personal integrity who lifts the tone of every room he's in – which
should make him a lovely addition to our group. I'm really happy he's
As CFA for the Wikimedia Foundation, Garfield will be responsible for
all our financial and accounting functions and for all adminstrative
support. Our Controller Tony Le and our interim Head of Office
Administration Isa Munne will report to him.
Many thanks as always to Lisa Grossman of m|Oppenheim for leading this
important search. My thanks also to everyone who helped us define the
CFA role or surface or interview the candidates –- those people
include Board treasurer Stu West, Audit Committee members Renata
Stasaityte and Ad Huikeshoven, and staff and community members Erik
Moeller, Cyn Skyberg, Geoff Brigham, Zack Exley, Tony Le, Barry
Newstead, Liam Wyatt, Joseph Seddon and Veronique Kessler. And I want
to also, once again, thank Veronique for being such a terrific CFOO
during her three years with the organization :-)
Please join me in welcoming Garfield to the Wikimedia Foundation. He
doesn't yet have a Wikimedia e-mail address, so you can't actually
reach him yet, but he will start work with us August 3.
415 839 6885 office
415 816 9967 cell
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
415 839 6885 office
415 816 9967 cell
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
Please find below the WMF report for June. As always, the editable and
formatted version can be found on Meta:
* 1 Data and Trends
* 2 Financials
* 3 Highlights
o 3.1 2011-12 Annual Plan Approved
o 3.2 WikiLove deployed on English Wikipedia
* 4 Technology
o 4.1 Personnel
o 4.2 Operations
o 4.3 Features
o 4.4 Mobile
o 4.5 Special projects
o 4.6 Platform
* 5 Research and Strategy
* 6 Community
o 6.1 Summer of Research
o 6.2 Data Competitions
o 6.3 Fundraiser
o 6.4 Major Gifts and Foundations
o 6.5 Public Policy Initiative
o 6.6 Supporting and helping readers
o 6.7 OTRS Analysis
o 6.8 New Account Creation Project
o 6.9 Cultural Partnerships
o 6.10 WikiHistories Project
* 7 Global Development
o 7.1 Highlights
+ 7.1.1 Grants Awarded and Executed
+ 7.1.2 Chapter Relations
+ 7.1.3 Non-chapter News
o 7.2 Brazil Catalyst
o 7.3 India Programs
+ 7.3.1 Global Education Program in India
+ 7.3.2 India Office
o 7.4 Mobile Strategy and Business Development
o 7.5 Editor Survey
o 7.6 Communications
+ 7.6.1 Major stories and coverage
+ 7.6.2 Blogging
+ 7.6.3 Media contact
+ 7.6.4 Wikipedia Signpost
* 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 May:
411 million (+7.9% compared to April / +5.7% compared to previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will
release June data later in July)
Page requests for May:
15.1 billion (+3.1% compared to April / -1% compared to previous year)
Report Card for May 2011: The report card is currently undergoing a
redesign as a more fully-featured dashboard. The current prototype
can be seen at: http://project2.wikimedia.org/reportCard/reportcard.html
(Financial information is only available for May 2011 at the time of
Operating revenue for May: USD 0.6MM vs plan of USD 1.7MM
Operating revenue year-to-date May: USD 22.5MM vs plan of USD 20.2MM
Monthly revenue is under primarily due to a foundations grant that was
budgeted for May 2011 but will be deferred to the next fiscal year for
operating purposes. Year-to-date revenue continues to exceed plan.
Operating expenses for May: USD 1.4MM vs plan of USD 1.7MM
Operating expenses year-to-date May:USD 16.6MM vs plan of USD 18.7MM
Expenses for the month are under primarily due to the timing of capex
and personnel-related expenses, partially offset by overspending in
internet hosting, travel, and conferences. Expenses year-to-date are
under also due to the timing of capex and personnel-related expenses, as
well as volunteer development. This underspending is partially offset by
overspending in awards and scholarships, bank and legal fees, and
outside contract services.
Cash and investments as of May 2011 totaled USD 18.7MM (approximately
8.2 months of expenses based on the 2011-12 plan).
2011-12 Annual Plan Approved
The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees approved the 2011-12 Annual
Plan in its June 28 resolution:
The 2011-12 Plan calls for $28.3 million of spending and $29.5 million
of revenues with the reserve at $20.7 million at the end of 2011-12.
The 2011-12 plan calls for us to develop and begin deployment of a
Visual Editor to make it easier for new people to edit the projects; to
redevelop the mobile platform (including offering new ways to
participate via phone, and launching partnerships to enable people to
use Wikipedia for free from their phones); to invest further in editor
recruitment in India and to begin investment in Brazil, to launch
experiments and initiatives aimed at improving editor retention; to
launch a Global Education Project designed to recruit editors on
campuses in key geographies; to launch the Wikimedia Labs, and to put
some cash into internationalization supporting non-Western languages.
By doing this, the Wikimedia Foundation intends to halt the decline in
active editors and begin to push the number of editors back up. We will
also more than double mobile pageviews. If we achieve both those
top-priority goals, we will consider 2011-12 a success.
To get this done, we plan to grow the staff 50% from 78 to 117, and
spending will increase 53% to $28.3 million. To pay for that and for the
rest of the plan, we will increase revenues 24% to $29.5 million,
thereby also putting a small amount of additional cash into our
The plan and Q and A were posted in early July to the Wikimedia
WikiLove deployed on English Wikipedia
The new "WikiLove" tab >
On June 30, we enabled the WikiLove extension on the English Wikipedia.
WikiLove adds an additional tab to user discussion pages which makes it
quick and easy to send notes of appreciation to other users. WikiLove
received large international media coverage, much of it inaccurate but
well-intentioned. We're analyzing who is using it, what its impact is on
social interactions in Wikipedia, and how it can be improved.
A detailed report of the Tech Department's activities for June 2011 can
be found at:
Major news this month include:
* the network setup in our new datacenter, that opened the way to
new server setup and backups;
* progress on features to encourage and facilitate participation,
like the Visual Editor groundwork, and the WikiLove button;
* productive community testing on our now mobile front-end and the
Kiwix download manager;
* the release of MediaWiki 1.17.0;
* the first commits by our Summer of Code students;
* major progress on our code review backlog.
* The engineering department continued its growth, and new positions
were opened in June. See the summary e-mail:
* Erik Möller announced a reorganization of the engineering
management team, composed of "Directors" and "Lead Architects":
* Virginia datacenter — In June, network setup in eqiad, our
facility at Equinix in Ashburn, Virginia, was finished. Two
independent transport connections between our two data centers in
Tampa and Ashburn were installed, and local IP transit (Internet
connectivity) is now available in Ashburn as well. We started
replicating our thumb server from ms5 (tampa) to ms1004 (eqiad).
All our 48 database servers are now up and running, and database
replication was about to start. Several services should come
online from eqiad in July.
* HTTPS & IPv6 — Wikimedia sites will be switching to
protocol-relative URLs in July, as part of the work to properly
* Visual editor — Work continued on the front-end of the visual
editor, and specifications for accessing the editing surface via
the API. We also worked on a demo to integrate MediaWiki and Etherpad.
* Article Feedback <http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Article_feedback>
— Additional features were added in June, like a dashboard
tracking articles receiving low ratings. The community provided
feedback and bug reports, and the development team addressed the
concerns raised, for example by implementing a user preference to
hide the tool. Tooltips were also added to provide more
information on the meaning of the star ratings. The team continued
to evaluate the data provided by the articles already showing the
feature. The incremental roll-out to all articles on the English
Wikipedia is planned to be completed by mid-July.
* WikiLove <http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/WikiLove> — The extension
was deployed to the English Wikipedia on June 30 (see announcement
* Mobile Research
<http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mobile/Research> — In June, we
completed our fieldwork in Brazil, consisting of 16 interviews in
São Paulo, Salvador and Porto Alegre. We conducted extensive
in-home interviews with three kinds of participants: readers of
Wikipedia on a mobile phone, potential mobile readers (i.e. who
currently use a computer, but could become mobile readers) and
editors (primarily of the Portuguese Wikipedia, and to a lesser
degree of the English Wikipedia). The team also received about six
proposals from US firms in response to our RfP, to conduct
research in three cities in the US. The mobile survey is scheduled
to be launched at the end of July.
* Mobile site rewrite — We issued a call for testers
to help test the prototype in English, Japanese and Hebrew. Next
steps include the integration of the extension with our caching
architecture, so that we can have the advantages of the mobile
device detection database with an acceptable performance.
* Wikipedia version tools — Work continued to port the WP 1.0 bot to
a MediaWiki extension. We implemented an assessment template
processing feature, and are now working on a WP 1.0 bot
replacement feature that will automatically include real-time
assessment statistics on project pages. A feature to filter and
select articles based on assessment criteria is planned to be
added in July.
* Kiwix UX initiative — The next beta of Kiwix was released. Users
of Kiwix can now easily download new openZim files right within
the interface. We are looking at connecting it to the Collections
extension so that anyone can easily download new books collections.
* MediaWiki 1.17 <http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_1.17> —
MediaWiki 1.17.0 was released in June. Besides many bug fixes,
MediaWiki 1.17 features a new install wizard, the ResourceLoader
improvements, and improved localization (see full release notes
* MediaWiki 1.18 <http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_1.18> —
Thanks to the efforts of the code review team, the backlog of
unreviewed commits for MediaWiki 1.18 was drastically reduced in
June. A discussion between developers on the wikitech-l list led
to a proposal of a "20% policy", according to which every eligible
Wikimedia engineer would spend 20% of their time doing service
work that directly benefits the rest of the community.
* Academic publications authentication proxy — The goal of this
project is to allow selected Wikimedians to access third-party
academic publishing sites to help with content verifiability.
* Wikimedia Report Card — We started a development sprint and worked
on the back-end infrastructure. The information stored in a
database is accessed via a new MediaWiki extension, and the
visualization part uses JQplot. The team hopes to demonstrate a
prototype for the next report card in early July.
* Summer of Code 2011
<http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Summer_of_Code_2011> — Our eight
Summer of Code students continued working on their projects
full-time, and all are now committing code. Wikimedia employees
and volunteers are mentoring the students. They are preparing for
their mid-term evaluations, to take place in mid-July.
==Research and Strategy==
* -1 to 100 Analysis - We continued the analysis of data produced by
the new -1 to 100 features (AFT
prepared guidelines and documentation for the release of datasets
to the general public.
* External research - We reviewed and processed several requests for
support (endorsement, funding requests, support for subject
recruitment, access to private data) that we received from
external researchers. All projects seeking or obtaining support
will now be filed under the Research project directory
* Research Committee - We organized and hosted the 5th meeting of
during which three main developments were discussed:
o the announcement of the Wikimedia Research Index
<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Index>, a project
promoted by RCom to
facilitate communication and access to research-related
resources with the external research community
o problems and a number of proposed solutions for external
surveys of WIkipedia editors (including a proposal for an
o an open data policy for WMF-supported projects
* Open Data Policy - We drafted a policy proposal
discussion) for the publication of research datasets based on
public Wikimedia data and containing editor information. We also
drafted guidelines for consent forms for Wikimedia-sponsored
interviews (in collaboration with the Community and Legal departments)
* Open Knowledge Conference - RCom member Mayo Fuster Morell
organized and animated a workshop on current challenges for
Wikipedia research at the Open Knowledge Conference
Summer of Research
The *Summer of Research*
began in earnest in June, with eight researchers from around the world
joining the Foundation either locally in San Francisco or remotely. They
produced a variety of research sprints
throughout the month,
which you're encouraged to read and comment on at Meta. Topics ranged
from how new editors ask for help to the workload of the editors who
patrol new articles.
* Kaggle Data Competition <http://www.kaggle.com/c/wikichallenge> -
Community Department researcher Diederik van Liere and Howie Fung
launched a *Data Competition*
that invites external researchers to build a predictive model of
new editor retention. After 1 week of the competition being launched:
1. more than 300 people downloaded the datasets
2. 55 teams are participating
3. 51 submissions so far
4. The best submission has improved our internal benchmarks by more
* WikiViz 2011 Challenge
To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Wikipedia, WMF and WikiSym
jointly launched WikiViz 2011, a data visualization challenge
calling for the most insightful visualization of Wikipedia’s
impact. The challenge, sponsored by El Mundo and the leading
outlets in data visualization (FlowingData, Information
Aesthetics, Visualizing.org, Periscopic), spearheads the idea of
open licensed visualizations based on open data. Dario Taraborelli
organized the challenge with WikiSym chair Felipe Ortega.
* Storytellers - Victor Grigas, Aaron Muszalski, and Matthew Roth
joined the Community team in June as Storytellers. They began
gathering new effective creative material for the 2011 fundraiser
by capturing stories from editors, readers, donors, staff and more.
* Testing <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_2011/Testing>
We began weekly testing
of fundraising messages and operational processes. We were excited
to find new appeals from WMF staff members that perform at the
same level as the founder appeal from Jimmy Wales.
* Fundraising Summit - Wikimedia Austria hosted a fundraising summit
for chapters and WMF staff to discuss the upcoming fundraising
campaign. More than twenty people attended the summit,
representing eleven Wikimedia chapters. Topics discussed included
the Fundraising Agreement, testing, messaging, CiviCRM, and
general fundraising practices.
* Production Coordination - Some of our new Production Coordinators
(the staff who will be coding banners and landing pages around the
world each day of the fundraiser) were ramped up and trained, and
started implementing great improvements such as rewriting and
cleaning the codes to the Fundraiser landing pages and banners, as
well as setting up automated currency localization. The entire
work will be soon documented on the 2011 StyleGuide.
Major Gifts and Foundations
* Completed a report to the Sloan Foundation, concluding our first
three-year grant from them.
* Began communications with three new foundation prospects.
* Received gifts from two new major individuals donors.
Public Policy Initiative
* PPI Transition to Global Education - In early June, the PPI team
had an off-site to start the discussion of how to best transition
and document key PPI activities to the new Global Education team.
* Wikipedia in Higher Education Summit - The team spent the entire
month booking travel for all 120 attendees for the Wikipedia in
Higher Education Summit, dealing with summit details (i.e. hotel,
food, venue considerations, agenda, lining up speakers and
* Quality Analysis - Amy began pulling PPI project and article
quality data and started her initial analysis.
Supporting and helping readers
* We responded to 68 urgent or emergency requests for help from
readers or editors, and worked on ways to scale volunteer systems
to handle such inquiries.
* Maggie began designing a FAQ for interested parties to answer
questions like "What does XYZ do?".
* We put in place the infrastructure to run a test implementation of
a system for sending queries to the community liaison for followup
(the system will eventually be operated by volunteers, but led by
Survey of OTRS - With collaboration from the OTRS administrators, we
designed a survey to assess satisfaction among OTRS volunteers and
identify areas for additional support. We received about 80 survey
responses so far, and will start analysis soon.
New Account Creation Project
The Account Creation Improvement Project had its final weeks during
June. It began with a test live
on English Wikipedia, with three separate versions of the account
creation process, of which two are new, and the old one is used as a
control. Preliminary results show some promising directions in which to
Fellow Liam Wyatt participated in GLAM outreach activities in the UK,
Belarus and Germany. At the invitation of Wikimedia UK Liam participated
in meetings and meetups
in Edinburgh (with Museums & Galleries Scotland), York (with the
National Railway Museum) and London (with Wellcome Trust). He then
to deliver the keynote presentation (slides
at the annual conference of EIFL, a consortium of libraries from
developing nations (official blog post [translated
At the invitation of Wikimedia Deutschland he gave a plenary and
convened the "Wikipedia lounge", with representatives from seven
Chapters, at the 2011 Communicating the Museum conference
<http://www.communicatingthemuseum.com/2011/dusseldorf> in Düsseldorf.
Five summer researchers (graduate students from various fields in the
humanities) began a three-month project
to study the history of selected (non-English) Wikipedia editing
communities. After a short training at the beginning of June, they
officially started their travel and research. The first blog post
from this project appeared at the end of June, with more to come
throughout the summer.
* Barry, Jessie and Carolina traveled to Brazil to meet with the
community and support the growth of Wikimedia in Brazil.
* The India Education Program launched with the kick-off of the Pune
pilot project in early June.
* The Ibero-American Wikimedia summit was held in Buenos Aires with
the support of WMF.
Participants of the "Iberocoop" summit in Buenos Aires>
Grants Awarded and Executed
* Ibero-American Wikimedia Summit held June 24-26 in Buenos Aires,
made possible through a WMF grant
* Wikipedia Challenges - In cooperation with Google and WMZA, we
began planning for a new Wikipedia Challenge in three African
languages: isiZulu, Setswana, and Afrikaans.
* Fundraising Agreements - We completed chapters 2011-2012
fundraising agreements signed with WMAU, WMHU, WMSE, WMUA.
* Reporting - We submitted WMF and chapter raised amounts for June
* Chapters Agreements - We are completing a chapters agreement
signed with Norway and are reviewing final requested changes in
agreement with the Israel chapter.
* WMF 2010 FR revenue sharing transferred from WMSE. For more
updates, kindly check the updated tracker
for 2010/2011 FR.
* Wikimedians in Kazakhstan held an inauguration event (June 16th)
to celebrate Wikimedian activity in KZ, as well as the mass-upload
of a large modern Kazakh encyclopedia to Kazakh Wikisource and
Wikipedia. Ting Chen attended and spoke at their event.
* Trademark agreement signed with Wikimedians in Kazakhstan for
their event (see above) and general outreach work.
* Trademark agreements signed with Wikimedians in Belarus and
Romania for Wiki Loves Monuments 2011.
Brazil Catalyst <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Brazil_Catalyst_Project>
* Barry Newstead, Jessie Wild and Carolina Rossini (consultant)
traveled to Brazil to meet with the community and explore ways to
support the growth of the Wikimedia projects in Brazil.
* Community meetups were held in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro,
allowing Wikimedia community members to share their experiences
and discuss future work needed to catalyze community growth.
* Held meetings with organizations (lawyers and executive search
firms) who might be able to provide services to WMF in setting up
a small team to support the community.
* Met with a few local companies who might be interested in
partnerships that would increase the reach of the Wikimedia
projects within Brazil.
* Barry and Jessie attended the FISL-12 conference in Porto Alegre.
FISL is a national conference for the free and open source
software community in Brazil. Barry gave a presentation
and Barry and Jessie gave an interview
with TV Software Livre.
* WM India was granted money to produce hardcopies of Bookshelf
materials for its upcoming series of Wikipedia Academy events.
Global Education Program in India
* Wikipedia India Education program - The program was rolled out
in 4 institutions in Pune, India - College of Engineering,
Symbiosis School of Economics, Modern College of Engineering &
SNDT Women's University. 13 teachers have signed up and more than
1000 articles will be written by about 500 students (all of whom
o Articles are going to cover engineering, software, economics
and media / communication
o Next steps: 1-on-1 meetings with faculty (to determine
potential articles), followed by student editing workshops
and actual editing.
* Started team building and issued offer letters to the first 2 of
the 4 consultants. These two will look after participation and
Indic language initiatives.
* Due to procedural delays, the setup of the proposed independent
trust is behind schedule.
Mobile Strategy and Business Development
* Research - Mani conducted user experience research in Brazil along
with Parul Vora. We conducted interviews in three cities in
Brazil: São Paulo, Porto Alegre and Salvador, with mobile readers,
potential readers and editors.
* Kul traveled to Europe (Austria, France, Sweden, Russia) to meet
with several partners and potential partners for our mobile
strategy. We are continuing conversations to secure arrangements
that would increase the reach of Wikimedia projects on mobiles.
Kul met with members of the Russian Wikimedia community in Moscow
where they did some impromptu usability testing of Wikipedia on
We have started sharing research insights from the Editor Survey with
the community and others on the blog. Mani is working on a comprehensive
research report from the survey.
Communications supported the first Campus Ambassador training in Pune,
India, which resulted in positive coverage from publications such as the
Times of India, The Hindu and Sakaal Times (a local, indic language
newspaper in Pune). Coverage was accurate and supportive of the Global
Education Program and overarching Wikimedia Foundation India initiatives.
Major stories and coverage
* The Hindu - Wikipedia to be promoted in educational institutions
* The Times of India - Online encyclopedia promotes itself as
* Indian Express - Wikipedia Campus Ambassadors Pilot Project to
begin in Pune
* The Hindu - Malayalam Wiki activists, online users make the
language lively: Ekbal
* Washington Post - Wikipedia adding ‘love’ button
* ReadWriteWeb - Wikipedia is Adding a Love Button Next Week
* The Atlantic - Wikipedia Adds WikiLove Button in Attempt to Stem
*New Permanent Position Hires*
* Siko Bouterse, Head of Community Fellowships Program (Community) –
Perm FT Employee
* Mark Hershberger – Conversion to Perm FT Employee
*New Other Position Hires*
* Victor Grigas, Storyteller (Community) – Temp FT
* Matthew Roth, Storyteller (Community) – Temp FT
* Aaron Muszalski, Storyteller (Community) – Temp FT
Summer Fellows (Community) joining Aaron Halfaker
* Stuart Geiger
* Yusuke Matsubara
* Jonathan Morgan
* Fabian Kaelin
* Melanie Kill
* Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia
* Guillaume Paumier
* Sam Reed
* Russ Nelson
* Doreen Strubhar
* Systems Engineer - Data Analytics
* QA Lead
* Product Manager (Analytics)
* Operations Engineer (Networking)
* Director of Sustainability
* Director of Features Engineering
* Director of Community Operations
* Internationalization and Localization Outreach
* Internationalization and Localization Feature Development
* Logging Analysis
* Caging Services
Total Employee Count
Remaining Open positions to fiscal year end: 18
Real-time feed for HR updates: http://identi.ca/wikimediaatwork or
* Hiring in 2011-12 - The annual plan is finished (yay!) including
the staffing plan, so we are all set for a great hiring sprint
next year. We have added a lot of firepower in the form of
temporary screeners and recruiters; so although this isn't the way
we will go forward in the future to handle our staffing, for the
next 6-9 months of heavy lifting, we will be relying on contractor
support to get the job done.
* Document Redesign - The team did a thorough review of our internal
docs and templates to get them up to snuff, and has rolled out a
brand new set of clean ones for the staff to use. They are more
lightweight and easier to use, so we're pretty happy.
* HR Management Tool - We have had to (reluctantly) abandon our use
of OrangeHRM as our internal HR managment tool; the security and
development ability is just not up to the professional standards,
as we need to keep our data confidential and effectively manage
benefits and other personnel data. We have decided on a new
product called EPICOR, which has more firepower than we need right
now, but will grow with us as we develop the organization. It will
certainly help us with recruiting as it has a really nice module
that helps track and schedule prospects.
* Hiring Manager Training - We had our first hiring manager training
at the end of June in anticipation of the annual review process
that takes place at the beginning of each fiscal year. It was a
good meeting, and we are looking forward to working with that team
in the future.
==Finance and Administration==
* The 2011-12 annual plan was completed and forwarded to the Board
for approval; the plan was approved unanimously.
* Audit timing was set for the 2010-11 audit.
* Wikimania travel bookings are substantially complete.
* Joined EFF brief in Golan v. Holder (along with American
Association of Libraries, Association of College and Research
Libraries, Association of Research Libraries, and the Internet
Archive). See blog post
1. Contracts/agreements signed in June : 14
2. Trademark requests in June : 13; approved: 5; denied: 4; pending: 4
==Visitors and Guests==
1. Phoebe Ayers (Board member)
2. Lydia Mazzie (Senior Manager - New Business Development, Google)
3. Udi Manber (VP of Engineering, Google)
4. Jeff Cordova (CTO/Co-Founder, GLM)
5. Nicole Buckberg (Agile coach)
6. Mike Schwartz (Senior Vice-president, Engineering, Wikia)
7. Inez Korczyński (Engineering Manager, Wikia)
8. Felipe Ortega (Researcher, Project manager at GSyC/Libresoft &
Co-coordinator of WikiSym)
9. Andrew Maguire (InternMatch)
10. Heather Ford (former Advisory Board member for WMF and a CC activist)
11. Naomi Norman (Director of Learning, Epic)
12. Edo Navot (PhD student, University of Wisconsin)
13. Kaliya Hamlin (Personal Data Ecosystem)
14. Jason Heidema (TalentBin)
15. Peter Kazanjy (TalentBin)
16. Chris Yates (Device Anywhere)
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
*The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation renews $3 million commitment to Wikimedia
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – July 11, 2011 – The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a
philanthropic grantmaking institution that supports science, technology and
economic institutions, announced today that it will award a grant of $3
million (USD) to the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that operates
Wikipedia. This is the second grant of this amount awarded to the Wikimedia
Foundation from the Sloan Foundation’s Universal Access to Knowledge
component of its Digital Information Technology program. The Wikimedia
Foundation is delighted to have received this vote of continued confidence
in its work.
The Sloan Foundation’s first grant of $3 million, awarded from 2008 through
2010, is the largest single grant ever received by the Wikimedia Foundation.
These funds bootstrapped the organization so that it could grow its core
operations to support and sustain Wikipedia as a high-quality free knowledge
resource. The new funds will support Wikimedia's strategic plan that focuses
on increasing Wikipedia’s quality, increasing the number and demographic
diversity of its editors, and reaching more readers, particularly in the
“Three years ago, at a time when cultural elites were ambivalent about
Wikipedia, the Sloan Foundation took a risk by supporting us. I will always
be grateful to Sloan for its courage in doing that,” said Sue Gardner,
Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “Today the academic
community in particular has begun to appreciate Wikipedia, and is starting
to work closely with us to make it even better. I’m grateful to Sloan for
sending an important signal that helped make that happen, and I’m thrilled
at this renewed expression of confidence in our work.”
"We are delighted to support Wikimedia in developing and sustaining its
educational mission while continuously improving quality, diversity and
access to knowledge for people everywhere," said Doron Weber, Vice
President, Programs at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. "Wikipedia embodies
the ideal values of the world wide web and we are proud to be part of this
bold endeavor to use the wisdom and the altruism of the crowd to create the
biggest, most up-to-date and most open global encyclopedia in human
*About the Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization which operates
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix,
Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation
receive more than 390 million unique visitors per month, making them the 5th
most popular web property world-wide (May, 2011). Available in more than 270
languages, Wikipedia contains more than 18 million articles contributed by a
global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San
Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3)
charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.
*About the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a New York based philanthropy founded in
1934, makes grants to support research and education in science, technology,
engineering, mathematics and economic performance. Sloan's program in
Digital Information Technology/Universal Access to Knowledge aims to
increase access to human knowledge and the fruits of human culture in an
open, non-exclusive manner for the benefit of all. The program has supported
the Digital Public Library of America, the Library of Congress, the Internet
Archive, Lyrasis, and on-demand books to help achieve the goal of universal
For more information, contact:
Head of Communications
+1 (415) 839 6885 x 6609
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body or subject of the email.)*