News and notes

News and notes

Report from the Estonian Wikipedia

Recently, Estonian Wikipedians celebrated their 45,000th article and 6,500th user (27, or 0.41% of them have administrator tools). The Estonian Wikipedia also had their 4,700th media file uploaded this week.

The Estonian Wikipedia still has no approved administrator election policy; this lack of definitive policy could be one of the reasons why only one administrator was proposed in 2007. The first administrator candidate in 2008 had the most "for" votes in the history of the Estonian Wikipedia, and was made an administrator, regardless of the lack of approved election rules.

In April and May 2007, the Estonian Wikipedia received a wave of vandalism caused by the Bronze Night. In the English Wikipedia, the Estonian flag was briefly replaced by the Nazi flag; the Estonian Wikipedia had attacks like this for almost a week in the wake of the unrest.

Media in Estonia has quoted the Estonian Wikipedia more and more every month. Its editors had their first meetup in December 2007, something that was reflected in the media.

This month, there has been a media debate on two big paper encyclopedias along with their on-line versions about to be published, and as a result, Vikipeedia has had more attention from media than usual.

Picture of the Year

The 2007 Commons Picture of the Year contest has concluded, with Broadway Tower taking 1st place, with 84 votes. The top 3 finalists are below:

Working group on ethnic/cultural edit wars

The Arbitration Committee has created a working group on ethnic and cultural edit wars. In the words of arbitrator FT2,

As part of the recent arbitration case on Palestine-Israel articles, a working group is being appointed to look freshly and with a completely open and wide remit at the kinds of nationalistic, ethnic or cultural based editorial conflicts which came to the fore in 2007, which often reflect deep feelings, advocacy, and unreconciled viewpoints in the real world. The aim of the group is to:

# Gain a detailed understanding how such conflicts occur, and the structures and approaches administrators and experienced users face in trying to obtain stability, appropriate conduct, and a neutral point of view.

  1. Generate ideas to cover different aspects of these.
  2. Report their findings and conclusions within 6 months of appointment.

Parties interested in joining the working group should read the working group guidelines first, and then email any arbcom member or the Arbitration Committee's private mailing list, Application is open to any editor in good standing, meeting the tentative criteria (broadly interpreted and subject to improvement). Applications are due 29 January; the group's membership will be announced by 2 February.

Wikipedia first to create a confusion about the death of last German WWI veteran

The death of the last German surviving veteran of World War I on January 1 went unnoticed, until an anonymous editor changed the article, linking to the death notice on the talk page. The edit was made on January 5, and the death was not noted in the press until last week. "Der Spiegel magazine noted that 'the German public was within a hair's breadth of never learning of the end of an era' until someone who had read Kaestner's death notice in a newspaper figured out who he was and updated a Wikipedia entry on the Internet." [1]

It turns out that it was a confusion in names: Erich Kästner died, but Franz Künstler seems to live on. A possible reason of misunterstanding is that while Künstler lives in Germany (and has German citizenship), he was born Hungarian German in Austria-Hungary, while Kästner was Germany-born German.


Also this week:
  • From the editor
  • 2007 in review
  • John Broughton interview
  • New parser
  • WikiWorld
  • News and notes
  • In the news
  • Tutorial
  • WikiProject report
  • Dispatches
  • Features and admins
  • Technology report
  • Arbitration report

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