Wikimedia Foundation Report, May 2011
Erik Moeller <erik@...
2011-06-09 06:50:09 GMT
Please find below the WMF report for May. As always, the editable and
formatted version can be found on Meta:
* 1 Data and Trends
* 2 Financials
* 3 Highlights
o 3.1 Public Policy Initiative wraps up
o 3.2 India education programs ramp up
o 3.3 UploadWizard goes default
* 4 Technology
o 4.1 Events
o 4.2 Operations
o 4.3 Features
o 4.4 Special Projects
o 4.5 General Engineering
* 5 Research and Strategy
o 5.1 Internal Research Progress
o 5.2 Research Committee Activity
* 6 Community
o 6.1 Summer of Research
o 6.2 Data Competition
o 6.3 Fundraiser
o 6.4 WikiGuides Project
o 6.5 OTRS Analysis
o 6.6 New Account Creation Project
o 6.7 Cultural Partnerships
* 7 Global Development
o 7.1 Global Development Highlights
o 7.2 Chapter Relations and Grants
+ 7.2.1 Grants Awarded and Executed
+ 7.2.2 Chapter Relations
o 7.3 Brazil Catalyst Project
o 7.4 India Programs
+ 7.4.1 Global Education Program in India
+ 7.4.2 India Community
+ 7.4.3 India Office
o 7.5 Mobile Strategy and Business Development
o 7.6 Editor Survey
o 7.7 Offline
o 7.8 Global University Program
+ 7.8.1 Student Clubs
o 7.9 Communications
+ 7.9.1 Major stories and coverage
+ 7.9.2 Blogging
+ 7.9.3 Media contact
+ 7.9.4 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 vistors for April:
381 million (-4.8% compared to previous month / +1.6% compared to
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will
release May data later in June)
Page requests for April:
14.6 billion ( -3.4% compared to previous month / -3.7% compared to
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including
Active Editors for April (>= 5 edits/month)
86,912 (-3.1% compared to previous month / -2.6% compared to
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects except for
Report Card for April 2011:
== Financials ==
(Financial information is only available for April 2011 at the time of
Operating revenue for April: USD 0.2MM vs plan of USD 0.7MM
Operating revenue year-to-date April: USD 21.9MM vs plan of USD 18.5MM
Monthly revenue under plan primarily due to Omidyar grant payment that
is delayed until next month. YTD revenue continues to exceed plan.
Another USD 1.3MM is pending from the chapters, and is not reflected in
the April financial statements; of that, USD 630K was received and will
be recorded in May. Year-to-date revenue continues to exceed plan.
Operating expenses for April: USD 2.1MM vs plan of USD 1.8MM
Operating expenses year-to-date April: USD 15.2MM vs plan of USD 17.0MM
Expenses MTD are over due to timing of capex, internet hosting and
outside contract services, partially offset by underspending in
personnel-related expenses due to slower hiring and underspending on
travel and conferences. Expenses 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 grants, legal costs
and outside contract services.
Cash and investments as of April 2011 totaled USD $17.9MM (approximately
10.5 months of expenses).
== Highlights ==
Public Policy Initiative wraps up
University classes participating in the Public Policy Initiative wrapped
up in May. In just two semesters, student editors contributed the
equivalent of 5,800 printed pages of new text in the English Wikipedia.
Additionally, the program exposed more than 800 students to Wikipedia
editing, supported 33 professors in developing Wikipedia assignments for
their classes, and developed a community of 176 ambassadors. The
openness and inclusiveness of the ambassador program has proven very
successful. The ambassador team is made up of 46% women, and involves
both Wikipedians and Non-Wikipedians supporting student assignments.
A more detailed update will be published next month.
India education programs ramp up
The India Program recruited 22 campus ambassadors in Pune to support the
India Education Program to be launched in June 2011. This is the first
initiative of the India Program
and our first effort to extend the work of the Public Policy Initiative
to new geographies. Read more here:
UploadWizard goes default
The UploadWizard, a step-by-step tool to facilitate the upload of files
to Wikimedia Commons, was enabled as the default upload system on May 9.
Initial feedback shows a majority of users consider it an improvement
over the "old" upload form. More than 40,000 files have been uploaded
with the Upload Wizard since its beta deployment in December 2010. Read
the related blog post
== Technology ==
A detailed report of the Tech Department's activities for May 2011 can
be found here
Major news this month include:
* the Berlin Hackathon, where about 70 developers and engineers met to
improve our technical infrastructure;
* the deployment of the Upload Wizard as default uploader on Wikimedia
* the continued development, deployment and roll-out of the Article
feedback tool on the English Wikipedia;
* major progress in reducing our code review backlog.
*Berlin Hackathon 2011
<http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Berlin_Hackathon_2011>* — About 70
MediaWiki developers and engineers participated in this event, organized
by Wikimedia Deutschland. A lot of coding, bug squashing and discussion
happened over these three days, including on the new parser, performance
improvement, and infrastructure.
* Virginia Data Center
The delivery of our connectivity incurred additional delays, which
has prevented us from bringing services in the new data center live.
This also delayed Data Dumps & Backups.
* Router upgrade
— Due to multiple ongoing issues on several network devices, we
decided to schedule an hour of maintenance on May 24, to upgrade
software on nearly all devices, fixing multiple bugs. This operation
caused a planned downtime, but appears to have resolved the issues.
* HTTPS <http://wikitech.wikimedia.org/view/Https> & IPv6
<http://wikitech.wikimedia.org/view/IPv6_deployment> — Ryan Lane,
Peter Youngmeister and Mark Bergsma have started working on HTTPS
and IPv6 support for the wiki platforms. A new test cluster has been
set up to serve these protocols, and limited testing on a subset of
wikis has commenced.
* Visual editor 0.1 — Neil Kandalgaonkar worked with developers of
HackPad (a custom version of real-time collaborative editing
software Etherpad) on a proof of concept to integrate Etherpad and
MediaWiki. Trevor Parscal continued to work on WikiDom, a storage
structure and functionality acting as an intermediate layer between
the parser and a visual editor. This work also intersects with the
groundwork done on the new parser.
* Article Feedback <http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Article_feedback>
— Version 3 was deployed to the English Wikipedia on May 9 with new
features, like the article feedback dashboard, a summary page
showing general rating trends. The experiment was expanded to
while work continues to address key community requests (e.g. easy
ability to hide the tool, a "What's this link") and to make raw data
from the tool available.
* Editor retention — Ryan Kaldari and Jan Paul Posma completed the
first version of WikiLove 1.0
<http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/WikiLove_1.0/Design>, an extension to
encourage praise and virtual gifts between users. Brandon Harris
published initial designs for MoodBar 0.1
<http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MoodBar_0.1/Design>, a feature
allowing new users to quickly provide feedback to the community.
* Upload wizard
— The Upload wizard, a step-by-step tool to facilitate the upload of
files to Wikimedia Commons, was enabled as the default upload system
there on May 9. Initial feedback shows a majority of users consider
it an improvement over the "old" upload form. More than 40,000 files
have been uploaded with the Upload Wizard since its beta deployment
in December 2010.
* Mobile Research
<http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mobile/Research> — Parul Vora
and Mani Pande continued their interviews in India, and prepared the
parallel study in Brazil and a third study in the US.
* Mobile site rewrite
<http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Mobile_site_rewrite> — Patrick
Reilly demoed the PHP mobile extension at the Berlin Hackathon and
continued to develop the extension, notably by integrating
functionality of the WAP platform, and by expanding the device
* 2011 Fundraiser — Arthur Richards continued to streamline our
audit framework to surface missing donation transactions. He also
helped run a code sprint that gave the WMF instance of CiviCRM a
huge performance increase.
* Kiwix <http://www.kiwix.org/index.php/WMF_UX_Improvement_Effort> —
In Berlin, Ryan Kaldari, Sumana Harihareswara and Emmanuel Engelhart
conducted a usability study to improve the user experience of Kiwix,
an offline content reader application. We're also wrapping up phase
2 of development, allowing us to release our first version of the
* Code Review — The group of reviewers was doubled to reverse the
trend of increasing unreviewed commits. The backlog of unreviewed
commits slated for inclusion in the next 1.18 release is now decreasing.
* Summer of Code 2011
<http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Summer_of_Code_2011> — In May, our
eight Summer of Code students learned how MediaWiki works, as
software and as a community. On May 23, they started working on
their projects full-time.
* Parser —There was a lot of activity and discussion in Berlin
around the parser and the general direction we should follow. Brion
Vibber consolidated the output around the parser plan, the abstract
syntax tree and parser test cases. We generally agreed on keeping
the current syntax as intact as possible, to allow for easy and
clean migration. A syntax reform, though popular among alternative
parser writers, is left to the future.
* Wikimedia Report Card 2.0 — The team laid down the requirements
and groundwork of the next version of the Report Card. Erik Zachte's
scripts will be modified to enter the data into a database, which
can then be accessed with a dedicated API to automatically generate
the report card and other charts using a visualization framework.
== Research and Strategy ==
Internal Research Progress
on the Article Feedback project: after the rollout of the tool to a
sample of 100K articles on the English Wikipedia, we monitored the
quality and volume of ratings and Call-to-Action responses. We also
completed a number of tests to check whether displaying the expertise
checkbox affects the number of ratings submitted (it does not).
Research Committee Activity
The 4th meeting of the Wikimedia Research Committee took place on
May 19, 2011:
During the meeting the Committee proposed creating a new home
<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:2011_overhaul> for Wikimedia
research projects (the Wikimedia Research Index), including WMF-run
research, research projects by community members and projects by external
Various RCom members participated in the finalization and initial
implementation of this proposal, whose official announcement is due
this month. We also discussed a new, lightweight procedure to review
requests on subject recruitment; a review of open data platforms
for Wikimedia projects, and a proposal to match support requests for
research projects and openness requirements. An open access
and open data policy for WMF research was drafted and it will be
presented at the forthcoming Wikimania 2011 conference, pending
== Community ==
The Community Department had several important hires this month: a
Community Operations Manager (Pats Peña), a Community Liaison (Maggie
Dennis), and two Fundraiser Production Coordinator contractors. We also
wrapped up recruitment for the Head of Community Fellowship Program
position and the Storyteller postion. This month, we finalized contracts
for eight summer research fellows, who will be joining us in SF from
June until August, and processed grants for five summer research
fellows, who will be attending a three-day conference in SF prior to
setting off on their grant-related research. The Public Policy
Initiative's classes mostly wrapped up in May (see highlights).
Summer of Research
In the first week of the month, Maryana Pinchuk and Steven Walling
published the last entry in a blog series about their pre-summer test
research. Their findings were titled, "Study Suggests Majority of New
English Wikipedians Edit in Good Faith"
Additionally, Maryana, Diederik van Liere, and Steven finished planning
for the arrival of the eight summer fellows
<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WMF_Summer_of_Research>, and welcomed
their first participant at the end of the month -- Aaron Halfaker from
the GroupLens research lab at the University of Minnesota.
The Wikimedia Foundation is organizing in collaboration with
Kaggle.com the Wikimedia Participation Challenge. The
Wikimedia Participation Challenge is a data prediction competition
(similar to the Netflix competition). We have taken a random sample from
the August 2010 dump file and asked teams to predict the number of edits
in the main namespace by February 1, 2011. The scheduled launch date for
the competition is June 16.
The fundraising team posted an in-depth report
the 2010 campaign, which includes main highlights from the fundraiser,
as well as comprehensive statistical analysis on key tests on which
types of banners and landing pages performed well.
After experimenting with various ways for the Wiki Guide volunteers to
protect newbies, James Alexander and Philippe Beaudette decided to focus
on identifying the more promising potential Wikipedians. They did
intensive looks into various sets of data, including the percentage of
contributions by new users that were helpful, and whether subject area
edited impacts retention.
Work on a customer service scorecard is progressing; Christine
Moellenberndt has been analyzing tickets in various OTRS queues for
frequency, resolution, time to close, and a number of other factors,
with an eye towards a publicly distributed report. She is looking
closely at areas such as recruitment and agent/customer satisfaction.
New Account Creation Project
Fellow Lennart Guldbrandsson worked with Frank Schulenburg and a group
of volunteers to complete two new account creation processes, for
release at the end of May. Developers in the tech department have
completed a tracking system that will allow for AB testing of the
account creation process.
In association with WM-NYC and the NY Public Library, Fellow Liam Wyatt
convened GLAMcamp NYC,
a cross-disciplinary unconference dedicated to improving relationships with
cultural institutions. Across the three days, approximately 30 Wikimedians
attended from eight countries as well as 50 culture sector professionals
attending a free workshop. Outcomes included improvements to Commons
mass upload systems, and documentation of past successful projects. More
== Global Development ==
Global Development Highlights
* Began Editor Survey data analysis and continued Mobile research.
* Ramped up program work in India with the recruitment of 22 campus
ambassadors to support the India Education Program, which will be
launched in June 2011.
* Continued preparing Mobile work for primetime by collaborating with
the WMF Engineering mobile team and partnering with mobile carriers
and manufacturers around the world.
* Started formation of Grant Advisory Committee to support WMF
Chapter Relations and Grants
* Asaf Bartov, Head of Global South Relationships, joined WMF at our
San Francisco Office.
* Ran a call for volunteers to support our new Grant Advisory Committee.
* Congratulations to Wikimedia Canada for becoming an officially
* Chapters' collective report:
* Published FR raised amounts beginning 2011 here
* As of May 31, WMF has only received revenue or grants from 6 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 Awarded and Executed
* Wikimedia Canada Start-up grant approved.
* Grant Advisory Committee being formed.
* GLAMCamp successfully executed in NYC (see above).
* Compiled a chapters overview page on meta, helping chapters
provide a glimpse of their activities and partnerships:
* Created a template for 2011/2012 chapter plans
(especially the ones signing chapter fundraising agreements with WMF
Brazil Catalyst Project
* Prepared for Barry and Jessie's trip to Brazil. They will be
visiting Sao Paulo and speaking at the FISL conference in Porto Alegre.
* Mani and Parul will be visiting Brazil in June to conduct the next
phase of Mobile Research.
Global Education Program in India
Commenced outreach to education authorities and faculty for Wikipeda
India Education Program in preparation for its launch in India.
* Concluded Campus Ambassador selection (22 out of 70 applicants from
Pune selected, and more than 700 enquiries received).
o Frank, Hisham, and Annie arrived in Pune, India, and have been
meeting with university professors and community members to move
the education program and Ambassador program in India forward.
o One of the India Fellows and community member, Sikreit
Tadepalli, joined us for meetings on Wednesday.
o Fellow PJ Tabit, who's served in various leadership roles in the
U.S. Wikipedia Ambassador program will be joining us in Pune today.
Community meetups in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Pune: Hyderabad
meeting helped get the community together after months of low activity
and hopefully will encourage more regular meetings.
* Worked with KPMG & Trilegal (legal counsel) to finalize legal
documents and the corporate structure in India.
* Recommended NCR (Delhi area) as the office location.
* Started process of recruiting India team: job postings for
Participation and Indic Initiatives have resulted in more than 100
applications for both initiatives.
Mobile Strategy and Business Development
* Completed field work in India, started analysis of data.
* Planning to do research in Brazil in June 2011.
* Continued to recruit for the Mobile Partner Manager/Senior Manager
position. We are still looking for additional candidates.
* Continued negotiations with mutiple Mobile partners to launch pilots
of our new Wikipedia Affiliate Partner Program.
* Continued porting of the mobile gateway and testing.
Started analysis of the editor survey and will start sharing results on
the foundation/global development blog starting June 10. Our plan is to
release a series of blog posts to highlight insights from the survey. We
will also share a compendium of the data for researchers and community
members to work with.
* Continued advancements on Kiwix, the offline Wikipedia software.
* Performed usability testing of Kiwix at the the Hackathon in Berlin.
Global University Program
Began encouraging the creation of Student Clubs
groups of students at different universities and colleges around the
world. The goal is to create a network of students around the world, who
can organize relatively informally and virally. For a map of current
clubs and interested volunteers, see map
* Increased communications support for emerging India program
activities as WMF staff prepared to kick off Wikipedia India
Education Programs, starting with the first campus ambassador
training in Pune.
* Continued hiring process for the Movement Communications Manager and
* Continued research and prototyping on a line of volunteer-focused,
Wikipedia-oriented apparel. Efforts also continued around
refinements to the upcoming Wikimeda storefront.
Major stories and coverage
*WP for World Heritage (17 May)* Wikimedia Deutschland launched the
community-driven "Wikipedia for World Heritage" campaign this month with
an aim to have Wikipedia recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Global media coverage followed, focusing on the significance and
uniqueness of the action (as well as speculating on the probabilty of
the venture), should UNESCO issue the designation:
*Bacon lawsuit (and super injunctions)* A high profile defamation suit
from US hedge fund manager Louis Bacon, which named Wikipedia alongside
Wordpress and the Denver Post, received considerable coverage in early
May. The case was followed by a round of stories further highlighting
the rise in UK 'super injunctions' and included POVs from Jimmy Wales.
Other worthwhile reads:
Jimmy <at> EG8
"Wikipedia and the death of the expert"
"Not Twitter's moment, it's Wikipedia's"
Wikipedia goes to class (Washington Post)
Critical POV: A Wikipedia Reader
In May 2011 the Wikimedia blog family expanded to include four main
sections: Technology, Community, Global Development, and a general
'Highlights' section. Guillaume Paumier led the technical integration of
the blogs, which now expand in an effort to increase the number of
bloggers from both inside and outside of WMF.
== Human Resources ==
* Pats Peña, Community Dept. Operations Manager (Community) – FT employee
* Asaf Bartov, Head of Global South Relationships (Global Development)
– FT employee
* Katie Horn, Software Engineer – Community R&D (Technology) – FT employee
* Maggie Dennis, Community Liaison (Community)
* Welcome, Aaron Halfaker (first of the Summer Fellows to arrive;
worked PT in April; FT in May).
* Sumana Harihareswara, Volunteer Dev Coordinator – Technology
* Peter Coombe, Production Coordinator (Community)
* Joseph Seddon, Production Coordinator (Community)
* Andrew Shields, Ops Engineer (Technology)
* Nimish Gautam joins Global Development, effective 5/1/2011
* RFP - Consultant, Indic Languages - India Programs
* RFP - Consultant, Participation - India Programs
* Operations Engineer - Special Projects
* Software Developer Backend (General)
* Software Developer Frontend (General)
* Partner Manager/Senior Manager - Mobile
* Rebecca Handler
Total Employee Count
Remaining Open positions to fiscal year end: 19
Real-time feed for HR updates: http://identi.ca/wikimediaatwork or
* Continued to recruit heavily for the remaining openings for 2010-11,
tried out some new methods for internal referral, including a beta
site called TalentBin that allows us to find potential internal
referrals more proactively.
== Finance and Administration ==
* Office Admin wiki and Office IT wiki updated.
* Provided more ergonomic-friendly seating via purchase of stability
balls and kneeling chairs.
* Completed cork implementation for "Wall of Love" (donor letters!).
* Completed input to annual plan model; began draft of annual plan
* Worked with legal to get Wikimania donation letter completed for
== Legal ==
* Draft legal policies were circulated and are open for comment:
* Matt Becker (Harvard Law '13) joined us this summer as a legal intern.
* Improved contract process.
* Continued search for Deputy General Counsel.
* Continued daily support of WMF initiatives (trademark approvals,
UDRP challenges, cease and desist letters, contracts & advice).
== Visitors and Guests ==
1. Kevin Gorman (student, UC Berkeley)
2. Alex Gravely (Hackpad)
3. Igor Koffman (Hackpad)
4. Hampton Catlin (UK Contractor)
5. Reuben Smith (Engineer, WikiHow)
6. Ashley Rubin (PhD student, UC Berkeley)
7. Doug Spencer (PhD student, UC Berkeley)
8. Matt Salganik (Assistant Professor of Sociology at Princeton University)
9. Thierry Coudray (WMFR's treasurer)
10. David Greenberg (CiviCRM.org- CiviCRM code and test sprint)
11. Brylie Oxley (Woolman- CiviCRM code and test sprint)
12. Coleman Watts (Woolman- CiviCRM code and test sprint)
13. Adam Wight (Giant Rabbit LLC- CiviCRM code and test sprint)
14. Peter Haight (Giant Rabbit LLC- CiviCRM code and test sprint)
15. Donald Lobo (CiviCRM code and test sprint)
16. Micah Lee (Electronic Frontier Foundation- CiviCRM code and test sprint)
17. Jeff Gray (ThoughtWorks, SF)
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
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