[Wikimedia Announcements] October 2010 Wikimedia Foundation Report

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Thu Jan 13 04:39:31 UTC 2011

This version is for e-mail consumption. Formatted, living version:


All best,


* Wikimedia Foundation projects serve more than 400 million unique visitors
* Events: Hack-a-Ton in Washington, DC; Inside the Globe event in New York
* Board meeting in San Francisco

==Data and Trends==

:The monthly report card for October 2010 (partial data) can be found at:

: Global unique visitors:
: 408 million (+2.6% compared to previous month, +18.5% compared to
previous year)
: (comScore data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects)

: Page requests:
: 14.5 billion (no change compared to previous month / +18.6% compared
to previous year)
: (Wikimedia Foundation data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects
including Wikipedia mobile)

: Note: Page request data now includes all projects (previous months
only reported Wikipedia pageviews), including the mobile site. Source
data can be found at
and http://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/TablesPageViewsMonthlyMobile.htm .

:Full community metrics for the month of October are not available as
of this writing due to an extended outage of the database dump
production server that provides the underlying source data.

==Financials ==

:Operating revenue for October: $3.2MM vs plan of $750K
:Operating revenue year-to-date: $3.6MM vs plan of $1.4MM

The MTD and YTD overages were due to unrestricted gifts including an
anonymous $2MM gift and several hundred thousand dollars of revenue
related to community gifts as a result of pre-fundraiser testing.

:Operating expenses for October: $1.4MM vs plan of $2.0MM
:Operating expenses year-to-date: $4.6MM vs plan of $6.5MM

For MTD, underspending was due to:  timing of capital expenditures and
internet hosting ($180K-capex and internet hosting-amounts were
budgeted evenly over 12 months rather than reflecting the timing of
the data-center build-out and consequent increased hosting costs),
timing of office expansion ($250K-costs incurred in Nov and Dec) and
underspending in staff-related costs ($218K-salaries, taxes and
benefits due primarily to hiring delays as well as staff development
partially offset by immigration expenses).  Overspending for the month
primarily in travel and conference expenses ($50K).

For YTD, underspending is also due to above items of timing of capex
and internet hosting ($1.3MM) and staff-related costs ($0.7MM) as well
as outside contract services and volunteer development ($0.2MM
combined).  Overspending YTD is primarily in travel and conference
expenses ($80K) as well as grants and awards ($165K) related to
Wikimania scholarships, grant to Wikimania Poland and sponsorship of
WikiSym Poland (scholarships were budgeted over 12 months instead of 1

Cash and investments as of October 31 totaled $11.6MM.

==Board of Trustees Meeting==
In October, the Board of Trustees met in San Francisco.  This was the
first time the full 10-person board met in San Francisco, and included
new board member Phoebe Ayers.  The meeting was chaired by our new
chair, Ting Chen.

Major agenda items included:
*'''Governance Committee update and board member evaluation
process:''' The board was joined by Jim Schwarz, a consultant from
BoardSource who is helping with board development work.  Major
outcomes included (1) extending the terms of appointed "expertise"
seats to two years from one year, and (2) a plan to run a
self-evaluation process, in which all board members, as well as Sue
Gardner, fill out detailed questionnaires assessing the performance of
the individual board members. The assessments are meant to allow
individual board members to strengthen their performance, as well as
provide Ting and the governance committee with a more holistic picture
of the board.

*'''Chapters, financial controls and movement-wide transparency:'''
The board was joined by staff members Erik, Barry, Veronique and Zack
to discuss the legal status of the chapters, current fundraising
practices, and the current state of chapters’ reporting mechanisms for
both activities and financial reporting. The board passed a resolution
that you can read here:
. It essentially called for the Wikimedia Foundation to ensure that
agreements with chapters for money transfers coming out of the 2010
fundraiser be based in sound legal frameworks and be vetted to ensure
they're legally valid, enforceable and responsible. It also called for
adherence to donor privacy policies and high standards of transparency
and accountability, and it amended the audit committee's charter to
add responsibility for ensuring transparency WRT how donations are
used by all Wikimedia entities, including chapters.

*'''Controversial content:''' The board was joined by consultants
Robert Harris and Dory Carr-Harris.  Robert and Dory's observations
and recommendations can be read here:
.  To move the work forward, the Board appointed a working group led
by Jan-Bart (as group chair), Phoebe and Kat, to work with Robert and
Dory to figure out next steps, which will include communications with
the Wikimedia community as well as specific discussions with the
Commons community and development of a draft specific for the proposed
new feature.

*'''Movement Roles II:''' The board was joined by consultant John
Huggett, and long-time Wikimedian, Austin Hair. The purpose of the
Movement Roles II project is to draft a "Wikimedia Charter" clarifying
the roles of different parts of the Wikimedia movement – basically,
roles-and-responsibilities among the various organizational entities
such as the Wikimedia Foundation, the chapters, and less-official
associations such as wikipods, wiki-projects and student groups. The
board voted to approve this resolution:
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Movement_Roles_October_2010 .
 Read more about Movement Roles II here:

*'''Strategy update and review:''' At the board meeting, Sue Gardner
gave the board a near-final version of the strategy document, which -
once finalized - is intended to be published as a booklet which will
be given out to chapters, foundations, partners, donors, and anyone
else who wants it. The board voted to approve the final text, which
means the document itself will be printed as soon as the final design
is completed and approved.

*'''Community health:''' The board held a broad discussion, led mainly
by Samuel Klein, about community health.  This included a discussion
about development of a policy prohibiting both on- and off-wiki
harassment of Wikimedia project participants, and responding to it it
with global locking-out from the projects.  Currently, board member
Phoebe Ayers is working with Steven Walling to develop the draft
policy, and hopes to have a near-final version of the policy available
for the board to review in early November.


Critical improvements were made to fundraising infrastructure in
preparation for the 2010 fundraising campaign. The features team
geared up for a deployment of the new upload wizard for Wikimedia
Commons, and continued testing the Article Feedback tool (which
enables readers to assign star ratings to articles) on a subset of
Wikipedia articles. We've also been aggresively testing new versions
of both the ResourceLoader (which will reduce page load times) and
Pending Changes in preparation for production deployments this

We're in the final phase of selecting a new primary data center
location in Virginia. The new data center will mitigate our Tampa data
center as a single point of failure for all Wikimedia Foundation

The technology department ran a Hack-A-Ton (
http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Hack-A-Ton_DC ) in Washington, DC. This
event was a great success for getting our volunteer development
community together and squashing lots of bugs.

We also began interviewing for the Director of Technical Operations
position, as well as preparing a number of new job openings.

:For more information, please read the October engineering update:

== Research and Strategy ==

A new research project, the Editor Trends Study, was launched to
better understand patterns of growth and change in Wikipedia's
communities. Diederik van Liere was contracted to undertake this
study, and its results as well as code will be made available at:

A canonical list of Wikimedia research projects which are underway was
launched at:


October included frenetic preparations for the 2010 fundraiser. We
picked up the pace of our testing to improve messaging and the
efficiency of our forms. The tech team assigned to fundraising solved
several critical problems to enable fundraising and testing at a
larger scale and higher speed than in years past.

Our Community Fellows studying the Russian Wikipedia completed the
first draft of their narrative history of the project. The team has a
plan for releasing the history to the Russian and Meta communities
soon and have moved on to a new phase of the project involving
one-on-one interviews and a Russian community discussion.

===Public Outreach===
October saw lots of continued activity in the development, pilot and
research plans for the new Article Feedback Tool. We began the Public
Policy Initiative weekly newsletter, communicating updates on key
project and related activities. To help with in-class teaching
support, we finalized several brochures (e.g. "Evaluating Wikipedia
Article Quality," "Introduction to Free Licenses," "How to Cite
References on Wikipedia") and completed two Wikipedia screencast
tutorials ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Ambassadors/Resources
). We continued travel to universities, participating in workshops,
recruiting new professors and checking with our current PPI

The Initiative launched a scaled-up version of its portal on Wikipedia
that includes information about all of the different classes whose
students are participating in the Public Policy Inititative.

===Inside the Globe Event===
On October 7th, more than one hundred Wikipedia editors, donors, and
readers gathered in New York City for Inside the Globe, a celebration
of the dynamic community that has helped build the world’s largest
free-knowledge resource.
Wikipedia editor and Wikimedia Foundation fellowship recipient Steven
Walling presented a talk regarding the identity and culture of the
most involved editors, highlighting the motivations and methods behind
their amazing accomplishments. Founder Jimmy Wales also spoke about
the enormous impact of Wikipedia and the importance of  continued

== Global Development==

===Capacity building===
The new Global Development department continued building capacity (see
HR update below). Interviews were held for the positions of Program
Assistant, Chapter Development Director, and National Program Director
for India.

===Offline and Mobile strategy focus===
October was spent assessing the state of the offline and mobile work
across the communities, and building on the strategic planning task
force work in these areas in order to develop a scalable, strategic
direction for investment.

*Offline: We worked on strategy for the Wikimedia movement with a
focus on scalability: i.e., how to get the best offline product
available to the largest number of people. Some strategic direction is
built out at http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Offline

*Mobile: Based on secondary research, we developed some strategic
directions for Wikipedia's mobile platform. The strategy is being
developed at http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mobile

===Data Analytics===
Mani Pande helped set into motion data analytics and key metric
tracking for different geographies and key programs.


===Media contact===
Through October, WMF reported media contact with Swedish Educational
Broadcasting, BBC World, Wired Magazine, MSNBC, BBC Arabic Services,
and The Ubyssey.  While in India, Barry Newstead and other Wikimedia
figures, including Board member Bishakha Datta met with a number of
local media, including CIOL.com, Economic Times of India, Hindustan
Times, and Asian News International.

For more: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_room/Media_Contact#October_2010

===Valuable reads===

===Ten Year Anniversary===
Communications worked on a special global global branding design
concept for Wikipedia 10 in October, and began work on related
merchandise to help celebrate the anniversary.  See more at
http://ten.wikipedia.org. On a related note, the Wikimedia Foundation
has begun to explore the needs and requirements for a Wikimedia
merchandise storefront.  We also supported the work of the multimedia
upload team with coordination of design strategy.  Work also kicked
off on global communications and media strategy planning for the
annual fundraiser and for Wikipedia 10.

===Other Communications Topics===

:Blog posts for October 2010

Major issues and media-interest topics:


==Human Resources==

:Total Employee Count:
:Plan: 72, Actual: 61
:Remaining Open positions to fiscal year end: 31
:Process improvements should speed up the hiring over the rest of the
fiscal year.

:Real-time feed for HR updates: http://identi.ca/wikimediaatwork or

In October the Wikimedia Foundation added 2 permanent hires (Jessie
Wild - Special Projects Manager, Global Development and Mani Pande -
Senior Research Analyst, Global Development) and 4 temporary hires
(Christine Mollenberndt - Community Associate, Dan Rosenthal -
Community Associate, Ryan Faulkner - Research Analyst, Community
Department, and Michelle Paulson - Associate Counsel).

Also in October the following employees left the Wikimedia Foundation;
Rand Montoya - Head of Community Gifts, Aradhana Ravindra - Bookshelf
Project Manager, and Mike Godwin - General Counsel. An announcement by
Sue Gardner regarding Mike Godwin's departure can be found here:


Wikimedia organized an overnight offsite all-hands in Half Moon Bay.
Board member Phoebe Ayers gave the opening presentation. We had two
days of meetings, with an evening dinner and social events. The venue
donated meeting space to us and reduced fees for the rooms; the entire
event came in significantly under the established budget.

Following the departure of Mike Godwin, we engaged Alisa Key as
interim General Counsel.  Alisa has worked with us extensively in the
past, and brings a broad-based knowledge of our particular legal
challenges. She is working with Michelle Paulson, who has done pro
bono legal work for the Wikimedia Foundation; Michelle is running our
daily triage and more tactical engagements, and Alisa is overseeing
Michelle and determining our interim strategy, as well as taking care
of any legal challenges during this interim timeframe.

We opened a General Counsel search this month, working with
m|Oppenheim recruiting. The process included a reworking of the job
description by Sue, Cyn, Erik and Lisa Grossman, recruiter. We will
engage with several candidates in a few rounds of interviewing that
will include the C-level  team and a few board members. We are
regarding this both as a process for finding a GC, and as an
opportunity to engage with the legal community.

==Finance and Administration==

Audited financial statements were approved by the audit committee and

The Question and Answer sheet was also posted on the Foundation wiki at:

In October, work began on the office expansion to the 6th floor.
Admin provided support for the Hack-A-Ton (
http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Hack-A-Ton_DC ) in Washington D.C. and
the All-Staff Retreat.

===Office IT===
A beta help desk ticketing system was launched. There were 186 tickets
open during the month, and by the end of the month, 166 were resolved.
 This system is going to be expanded to include general administration
needs as well.

We continued to work on a Google calendar migration and LDAP central
authentication.  We also created a local Ubuntu repository.

===October 2010 Visitors to the San Francisco Office===
#David Peters (Bolt|Peters)
#David Weir
#Phoebe Ayers (Board member)
#Jimmy Wales (Founder/Board member)
#Samuel Klein (Board member)
#Jan-Bart de Vreede (Board member)
#Kat Walsh (Board member)
#Arne Klempert (Board member)
#Matt Halprin (Board member)
#Ting Chen (Board member)
#Bishakha Datta (Board member)
#Jeff Gray, Andrew Clarke, & Cassie Shum (ThoughtWorks)
#Jeff Wishnie
#Tom Taylor
#Craig Newmark (Advisory Board)
#Audit Team (KPMG)
#Steve Crocker
#Jim Schwarz (consultant from BoardSource)
#Robert Harris, (consultant for Board Meeting)
#Dory Carr-Harris (consultant for Board Meeting)
#Jon Huggett (consultant for Board Meeting)
#Austin Hair (consultant for Board meeting/long-time Wikimedian)

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