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New stats, elections extended, strategic planning staff and more

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By Phoebe

New Wikipedia Statistics

Erik Zachte has posted new statistics about the English Wikipedia, bringing them up to date for the first time since fall 2006. While the statistics for other Wikipedias are regularly run, the English Wikipedia has proved problematic for many years because of incomplete dumps. Zachte's blog post notes that these statistics were made possible because of a new custom version of the dump of en:wp.

The statistics show a decrease then leveling off of new user accounts and active (have edited at least five times this month) Wikipedians since a peak in early 2007, but a gradual increase in the overall number of editors who have edited at least ten times since they arrived, and a large increase in the number of bots. The statistics also show a gradual increase in the article count and average size of articles, but a monthly variation and decrease from 2006 to 2007 in the number of articles created per day.

The publication of the statistics has also enabled the publication of totals for all Wikipedias combined. As of May 2009, there are 928,022 editors across all Wikipedias who have edited at least ten times since they arrived, and 13.3 million articles across all Wikipedias.

Elections deadline extended

The deadline for submitting a candidacy to the 2009 Board of Trustees elections has been extended a week, to July 27. According to a message sent to Foundation-l by Philippe Beaudette, the change was made in response to concerns that site-wide sitenotices advertising the elections have not been working since July 11, because of problems with the image server.

As of press time, there are 16 candidates running for three open positions. The elections are to elect community representatives to the Wikimedia Board of Trustees, which provides guidance and oversight to the Wikimedia Foundation. Voting begins July 28, and will extend to August 10. Questions for the candidates are also now open; any voter may ask a question.

Strategic planning staff announced

Eugene Eric Kim, a wiki developer and consultant about how people collaborate, was announced as the project manager for the Foundation-wide Strategic planning process that will take place over the next year. Philippe Beaudette, a long-time editor on en:wp and member of the elections committee was announced as the project's community facilitator. Both positions are one-year positions.

NIH Workshop

Wikimedia volunteers and staff collaborated with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to produce the first-ever United States Wikipedia Academy on July 16. According to the press release, "NIH and the Wikimedia Foundation want to increase the availability of accurate medical and health information available to the public." The workshop was all-day and covered editing techniques, policies, and suggestions for how to get started; a list of the many volunteers who helped with the Academy can be found on the Academy page. News of the workshop was also picked up by many media outlets, including the Washington Times. Three Wikimedians gave talks at the event: Tim Vickers on "Wikipedia as a Source of Scientific Information", Bill Wedemeyer on "The Art of the Article", and John Broughton on "Wikipedia's Quality". Vickers and Michael Laurent recently published an article about health information in Wikipedia, finding that "Wikipedia ranked among the first ten results in 71–85% of search engines and keywords tested" for online health information searches.

CSD A7 expanded

Section A7 of the criteria for speedy deletion ("An article about a real person, individual animal(s), an organization (e.g. band, club, company, etc., except schools), or web content that does not indicate why its subject is important or significant") has been expanded to include articles about non-notable "individual animal(s)", such as people's pets. According to the proponents of the change in the discussion, such articles occur frequently enough to make the change useful to new page patrollers.

Audit committee membership announced

The membership of the Foundation's 2009-2010 Audit Committee, which "represents the Board in oversight of financial and accounting issues, including planning, reporting, audits, and internal controls"[1] has been announced. It includes four community members with financial backgrounds (Matt Bisanz, Ad Huikeshoven, Renata Stasaityte, and Anders Wennersten); two San Francisco-area business people (Alan Bauer and Sandy Gallanter); Board member Stu West; and Director Sue Gardner and Board chair Michael Snow as observers.



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