News and notes
$2 Million donation, cybersquatting, comScore statistics and more
Google donates $2 Million
The Wikimedia Foundation officially announced a $2 million grant from Google. The grant will be used to help pay for core operating costs and to support the initiative to make Wikipedia more accessible to the general public. According to Sue Gardner on Foundation-l, the grant is completely unrestricted.
The donation comes via the Tides Foundation, a donor advised fund that managed the donation for the Google Charitable Giving Fund. The Wikimedia press release for the donation noted past collaborations between Google and Wikimedia, such as the feature in the Google Translation Toolkit to help translate Wikipedia articles, and the Google-led Swahili Wikipedia editing contest (see previous articles: Swahili contest, translate toolkit). However, this is the first financial gift from the search engine giant to Wikimedia.
Several news outlets commented on the grant. BusinessWeek commented on the mutually beneficial relationship between Wikimedia and Google that this grant would help to foster. Among many sources, CNET was one to comment on the fact that the announcement was made publicly by Jimmy Wales in a tweet (first re-tweeting advisory board member Mitch Kapor who posted the news after an internal announcement was made). And the Wall Street Journal, along with other sources, quoted a statement in the press release from Sergey Brin who said Wikipedia was "one of the greatest triumphs of the Internet."
International commentary on the donation included commentary in Chinese from 163.com.
Foundation secures cybersquatting domain
After filing a complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) in December, the Wikimedia Foundation was granted the domain name "softwarewikipedia.com", which had been registered by a Chinese company. The February 9 decision by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center found that the domain name was "confusingly similar" to the Foundation's "Wikipedia" trademark and that it had been used to run a website which "incorporated many of the look-and-feel elements of [Wikipedia] (including colour scheme, layout, typeface, section names and sizes, menu items, and spherical logo)". The Foundation was represented by The Gigalaw Firm, as in last year's UDRP cases, where it had secured "visualwikipedia.com" and two typosquatting domains (see previous story).
New Wikimedia statistics
Stu West, a member of the Wikimedia Board of Trustees, has posted the latest comScore data on Meta. The data is donated by comScore, which measures traffic to websites and analyzes the demographics of site visitors.
ComScore estimates that in January 2010, 365 million unique visitors visited Wikimedia projects (all projects combined). This makes the Wikimedia Foundation the 5th most-visited Web content provider worldwide, behind Google (including YouTube), Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Facebook. Of those visitors, an estimated 189.9 million visited the English Wikipedia.
Other estimates provided by comScore include the age and geographical demographics of visitors, along with the projects visited: Wikipedia gets 362.2 million estimated visitors, with Wiktionary receiving 10.5 million and the other projects trailing behind. Finally, 60.1% of the visitors to Wikimedia projects are estimated to come via Google searches.
West put the comScore data together with Erik Zachte's editor statistics for December, to estimate what percentage of visitors are active editors. If both data sources are correct, only 0.025% of visitors to Wikimedia projects made more than 5 edits in that month. For the English Wikipedia, only 0.021% of visitors have more than 5 edits. The number is higher if you count visitors with any edits; according to West, "If you include all users who made at least one edit, it's about fifteen times higher at one-third of one percent." Of the languages compared by West, the proportion of active editors is lower for the Japanese, Spanish, and French Wikipedias, but slightly higher for the German and Russian Wikipedias.
West also created a map visualizing where traffic to the Wikimedia projects comes from, using data from Erik Zachte (see previous story).
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