News and notes

News and notes

New arbitrators appointed

On Friday, Jimbo Wales appointed two arbitrators to the Arbitration Committee. Mackensen, a former arbitrator who resigned in the wake of minor controversy (see archived story), will replace Dmcdevit, who retired last week (see archived story). Essjay, a checkuser, bureaucrat and former chair of the mediation committee, will claim an expansion seat on the Committee. Both positions will expire in December 2007.

CAPTCHA images enabled for account creation

Due to malicious robot account creation, CAPTCHA images are now required to register a Wikipedia account. To help users who cannot read the images, a new process, request an account, has been created. Administrators are needed to watch the page and create accounts for these users. For more information, contact Ral315.

Alexa ranks rise

Alexa ranks for Wikipedia rose again this week. The daily traffic rose to 8th for the first time on Monday, 19 February, but dropped back to 9th on Wednesday. Wikimedia sites traffic ranks (updated Friday, 23 February) include:

Site 3-month rank 1-week averages
Wikipedia 12 10
Meta/Commons/Wikispecies 351 311
Wiktionary 2,255 2,338
Wikibooks 3,286 3,357
Wikiquote 3,596 3,626
Wikimedia Foundation 5,820 14,596
Wikisource 7,007 6,995
Wikinews 11,672 16,109
Wikiversity 21,899 23,452

Wiktionary, Wikibooks and Wikiquote showed small declines in rank; Wikinews and Wikiversity showed larger declines in rank. The sharp decline in rank for the Wikimedia Foundation website can be attributed to the end of the fundraiser; indeed, the site's rank had risen to about 1500 during the peak of the fundraiser, then declined sharply.

Wikipedia again mentioned on prime-time U.S. sitcom

Wikipedia has again been mentioned on a prime-time U.S. sitcom. On 18 February, the American animated television series American Dad! episode entitled Black Mystery Month centered around the main character, Stan Smith and his son, Steve, discovering a plot involving peanut butter and the Civil War (a parody of The Da Vinci Code and other movies). Near the end of the episode, Stan says, "If only there was a place where you could make outrageous claims, without any proof, and millions of people would accept it as fact...", and the show cuts to Steve adding a Wikipedia article on The Truth about Peanut Butter. The article on Peanut butter was semi-protected shortly after the show aired to combat vandalism.

Commons Picture of the Year competition

The Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year competition has reached the second and final round. For the second round, which lasts through Wednesday, 28 February, the 321 pictures on the shortlist have been narrowed to the top 11 (due to a tie). Users with at least 100 edits on any local project or Commons can vote on their favorite of the 11 photos. The finalists can be seen below:


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