Two Wikipedians were granted CheckUser rights this week. Ambi and Essjay were both granted the status after Arbitrator James Forrester requested the move, citing a discussion on the private Arbitration Committee mailing list. Ambi is a former Arbitrator who served from January 2005 to July 2005, while Essjay is the chairman of the Mediation Committee, making him the first non-arbitrator on the English Wikipedia to be granted checkuser access. There are now a total of 12 people on the English Wikipedia with CheckUser status.
Voting on a proposed redesign of the Main Page concluded this week, with the poll attracting significant participation. Nearly 700 Wikipedians supported the redesign, approximately 200 opposed it, and another 50 remained neutral. Following the closure of the poll, the main page was changed accordingly.
The Chinese Wikimedia community has chosen its location for the 2006 Chinese Wikimedia Conference; it will be held in Hong Kong in late August. The choice of the city was announced on March 14th, coming from a selection of six finalist cities. Taipei finished second in the voting, with Shanghai and Beijing tying for third. The judges noted Hong Kong's facilities as a key reason for their choice; the University of Hong Kong is expected to provide accommodation along with the conference facilities.
The Hockessin Community News continued their series on Wikipedia and Wikipedians, reporting on the February meetup in Newark in the March 16 issue (page 6). There were eight Wikipedians attending the meetup: Stilltim, CComMack, Mrowlinson, Grenavitar, Rydia, Gmaxwell, Mindspillage, and Raul654. The article, written by staff reporter Kevin Barrett, who attended the meetup as well, briefly highlighted each person. The series on Wikipedia is expected to continue next week.
Two new Wikimedia projects were proposed this week: Wikikernel and One Encyclopedia Per Child. Wikikernel would be an independent wiki where new ideas could be proposed and developed, similar to the existing Meta-wiki, but with more emphasis and freedom in testing ideas and proposals. One Encyclopedia Per Child, meanwhile, would develop a set of basic articles, written in simple English, that could be distributed globally in conjunction with the proposed "One Laptop Per Child", involving the distribution of simple laptops to children around the world.