News and notes
Footnotes updated, WMF office and jobs, Strategic Planning and more
Reference system updated
The cite.php extension, which drives the footnote system of references, has been updated by Dragons flight so that references can be defined within the references list instead of the body of the article. Under this system, the <ref> is named in the body of the article, and the corresponding named reference in the references section contains the full reference. Help:Footnotes#List-defined_references explains these "list-defined references".
The articles Arthur Rudolph and Anne Dallas Dudley have been converted to the new system as examples.
A long-standing complaint has been that inline references disrupt the wikitext and make it difficult to read. This change may help alleviate that problem. Extensive discussion about the change took place in July of this year, along with a straw poll about the change. This new method of referencing is strictly optional.
New WMF office
Foundation staff have reported that the Wikimedia Foundation office in San Francisco will be moving to a new location on New Montgomery Street in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco. The current office is not large enough for the size of the staff, many of whom have been hired since the Foundation moved to San Francisco; according to Daniel Phelps, "we've been over capacity for several months now." The new office, which will be located at 149 New Montgomery Street, will be large enough for the entire staff (including the usability team, which is now in a separate office) and will also have room for community meeting space. There is still some time on the lease at the current office; plans are to sublease this space by the end of November.
WMF staff changes, job opening
There were a few staff changes at the Wikimedia Foundation announced this week, and there are several new and continued job openings at the Foundation.
Anya Shyrokova, Development Associate for the Foundation, was promoted to a newly created role of "Stewardship Associate," who will work with donors that give from $500 to $10,000 to the Foundation. This leaves open her role of Development Associate; the job is open until 30 September.
There are also two jobs associated with the Ford grant for Multimedia Usability (see previous story) that are currently open. One is a project manager position; the other is a software developer for the project. Both jobs are temporary, lasting until July 2010. The project manager job is open until 30 September, while the software developer job is open until 2 October.
Erik Möller gave an update on Foundation-l on the status of the CTO job (see previous story); a firm has been engaged to help look for a suitable candidate and the job should be posted early this week.
Finally, Sue Gardner announced that Jennifer Riggs, the Chief Program Officer for the Foundation, has left the WMF; her last day was 18 September. Gardner wrote that "... Jennifer and I have agreed that despite [her] contributions, she ultimately will not be a good fit for the Chief Program Officer role." Gardner wrote that it would likely "take at least three months, and possibly more" to replace Riggs.
Strategic Planning Call for Participation
The formal Call for Participation in Strategic Planning processes and projects launched today with a project-wide sitenotice. Several ways to participate are listed, including serving on task forces. According to the call for participation in task forces,
Task forces will be the backbone for the strategic planning process. They will be given a specific topic and questions to answer related to emerging strategic priorities. Task forces will be responsible for engaging in in-depth research, analysis, and dialogue in order to produce recommendations for the community and the Wikimedia Foundation on their topic. Over the next few months (from October to mid-December), task force members will be asked to commit a substantial amount of time to this work. Each task force will have a core group of 5–10 members who will be asked to volunteer up to 10 hours per week or 100 hrs in total preparing, researching, and consolidating the group's work.
Applications will be taken at http://volunteer.wikimedia.org/, where those interested can indicate their skills and areas of interest.
There is also a need for experts on many subjects; people who are interested in being called upon for specialized expertise (rather than being on a task force) should also submit their name through that form.
The next strategic planning office hours will be held on 04:00–05:00 UTC, Wednesday 23 September, in the #wikimedia-strategy IRC channel; questions about the task force process can be asked here.
- Italian Wikimedians are reporting that Wikimedia Italia (the Italian local chapter) and former chapter president (and former Wikimedia board member) Frieda Brioschi are being sued for €20 million over alleged defamation in a (now-deleted) biography on Italian Wikipedia. There is discussion of the lawsuit on the writeup talk page.
- Due to the success of the strategic planning office hours and the recent board member chat, Wikimedia staff are now holding regular office hours featuring a Wikimedia Foundation staff member. The first chat will be this Friday, 25 September 2009, between 15:30 and 16:30 PDT (UTC 22:30 to 23:30), with Sue Gardner, the Wikimedia Foundation's Executive director. The IRC channel is #wikimedia-office on the Freenode network, which is also accessible through http://webchat.freenode.net/, typing in the nickname of your choice and choosing wikimedia-office as the channel.
- English Wikizine #117 came out on 17 September.