News and notes
Commons grant, license change, new chapters, usability and more
Ford Foundation grant for Commons
The Ford Foundation has awarded a $300,000 grant to the Wikimedia Foundation with the aim of "improving our [Wikimedia's] interfaces and workflows for multimedia uploading", particularly with respect to Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. According to a press release, the grant will "fund a project team to study challenges faced by new participants in Wikimedia Commons, as well as to identify best practices from other media sharing websites. Following a research phase, the team will design and implement a simple upload work-flow, enabling users to easily upload files, select licenses, and provide descriptions." Erik Moeller, the Deputy Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, notes in a blog post, that Wikimedia has "also been having initial discussions with some of the Wikimedia chapters about possible models for working together on the execution of this project". The grant proposal in full.
Licensing changes rolled out across projects
While the English Wikipedia's sitenotices were updated on June 15 to reflect the licensing change (see previous articles), the update was not made on all Wikimedia projects until June 30. Projects like WikiProject Citizendium Porting have sprung up after this development that allows material from CC-BY-SA sites to be imported. Editors on Wikimedia sites that now dual-license, such as on the English Wikipedia, are reminded that new content can no longer be imported from sites only licensing under the GFDL. Blog post.
Three new chapters have been approved by the Wikimedia Board, according to a message from Michael Snow on Foundation-l. The new chapters are Wikimedia Danmark (Denmark), Wikimedia Portugal (Portugal) and Wikimedia Ukraine (Ukraine). Wikimedia Denmark and Wikimedia Ukraine were both founded this year, while Wikimedia Portugal has been in development since 2008.
New skin, redesigned search page available from Usability project
Parts of the first release from the Wikimedia Usability Project, codenamed Acai, have begun to appear on the English Wikipedia this week. The first of these changes was an improved search page, featuring a simplified layout for searching and creating pages where an appropriate result is not found. The new search page also features links for searching different namespaces.
A new skin, named "Vector", is also available to registered users via their preferences. The new skin features redesigned tabs, a search box in the right-hand corner, and a redesigned search page, among other changes. An enhanced editing toolbar is also available. Both of these aim to be less confusing to a new editor, but these are yet to be rolled out on a large scale. The short and long term plans for rolling out these changes were documented earlier this week on the Wikimedia Techblog.
Update: Following performance issues, some or all of the above may no longer be available. For the latest information, consult the technical village pump.
- A Three-millionth topic pool has been started in anticipation that the three-millionth article will soon be reached. The page was originally created—and deleted—in 2006.
- A job for Project Manager for the "Bookshelf Project" has been posted by the Wikimedia Foundation. The job, which will be filled in July 2009 and has a duration of August 2009 – September 2010, will manage the bookshelf project to produce educational materials about Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. The job is located at the San Francisco office.
- As a leadup to the Wikimedia Australia conference "GLAM Wiki" on August 6–7, Wikimedia Australia is running the GLAM Challenge, an editing challenge open to all editors. According to the page, "the idea is to pick your own editing theme and submit it, along with the edits you make related to it." Prizes will be offered; see the Meta page for more.
- Liam Wyatt has posted a video of a presentation he gave at Australian history conference: "Wikipedia: The Endless Palimpsest".
- On his blog Infodisiac, Erik Zachte goes into more detail about the traffic surge following the death of Michael Jackson (see earlier coverage).
- Wikizine #110 came out this week, recapping Wikimedia-related goings-on.
- Wikipedians held a meetup in Bangalore, India, hosted by Tinu Cherian.
- Includes milestones for the last two weeks