The Signpost
News and notes

News and notes

New program officer, survey results, and more

Contribute  —  
Share this
By Phoebe and Sage Ross

New Program Officer chosen

Jennifer Riggs has been hired as the new program officer for the Wikimedia Foundation, according to Sue Gardner. Riggs is the first person to hold the newly created "Program Officer" role. She will be responsible for supervising the work of Jay Walsh, who manages public relations and press; Cary Bass, Foundation volunteer coordinator; and Frank Schulenberg, who works on outreach projects. According to Gardner, "as CPO, she is responsible for all non-technical program activities such as volunteer recruitment and public outreach."

Riggs has a background as volunteer coordinator for the American Red Cross Bay Area chapter, and has worked previously in Central America, the Pacific Islands and Togo. Riggs speaks French, Sango and some Spanish.

Commons Picture of the Year finals

The final round of voting has begun for the Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year 2008 competition. There are 51 finalists, many of which were created by Wikimedians. Voting is open through 30 April. Any user registered by 1 January 2009 with at least 200 edits on any Wikimedia project before 12 February is eligible to vote, but unlike in the first round, voters may only vote for a single picture.

The first round, in which eligible voters could vote for as many of the 501 Featured Pictures promoted on Commons in 2008 as they liked, was tallied by category. The top 10% of images from each category were selected as finalists, with most finalists receiving over 100 votes.

Preliminary results from the UNU merit survey

Preliminary results from the General User Survey of 2008, which was done by UNU-MERIT in conjunction with the Wikimedia Foundation, have been posted.

The survey, which ran in a central sitenotice in October and November of last year, asked questions about respondants' demographics, editing habits (whether they were a contributor or a reader), why they edited (or not), and whether they donated to the Wikimedia Foundation (or not).

The results posted last week are selected from some of the questions. For instance, the preliminary results found that only 12.8% of contributors are female, and the average age for contributors is 26.8 years. Nearly 20% of contributors claimed either a Masters or PhD degree. Among those who did not contribute to Wikipedia, 25.3% said it was because they did not know how. Finally, the question results released addressed donations to the Wikimedia Foundation; 42% of respondents who didn't donate said it was because "I don't know how to do that", while 19.7% said it was because they didn't know Wikipedia was a non-profit. 33.6% of these responses were from the English Wikipedia, with the next 33% of responses split between the Spanish and German Wikipedias.

According to the Wikimedia Foundation blog post on the survey, the published results don't include responses from the Russian Wikipedia, which was drastically overrepresented in the results; the researchers are working on figuring out why this was the case.

This is the first large-scale survey of Wikipedia readers and contributors. UNU-MERIT, who developed the survey, is a research group that studies technology innovation, including free software and collaboration; Rishab Ghosh, who heads the research sub-group that completed the survey, spoke at Wikimania 2006.[1] There has been talk of running a large-scale survey of readers and contributors for several years, with several volunteers working on a general user survey. However, the effort did not get off the ground until the agreement between the WMF and UNU-MERIT. UNU-MERIT developed a new survey, which was translated by volunteers; when the survey was posted, several contributors on the English Wikipedia felt that it was poorly implemented and that there were flaws in the questions.



+ Add a comment

Discuss this story

These comments are automatically transcluded from this article's talk page. To follow comments, add the page to your watchlist. If your comment has not appeared here, you can try purging the cache.
The article on the survey may mislead the reader: there was no cooperation between editors involved in meta:General User Survey and the UNU-MERIT survey. In other words, nobody from UNU-MERIT seems to have consulted or invited editors discussing the issue at meta, which can now be seen as dead WikiProject. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 22:17, 20 April 2009 (UTC)[reply]


The Signpost · written by many · served by Sinepost V0.9 · 🄯 CC-BY-SA 4.0