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Anniversary preparations, new Community fellow, brief news

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By Tilman Bayer and Jean-Frédéric

Wikipedians worldwide prepare for decennial celebrations

The back of a multilingual "Wikipedia" anniversary T-shirt

The annual celebrations of Wikipedia Day on January 15 will be of unprecedented dimensions this year, as Wikipedia completes its first full decade. As reported earlier ("Preparations for Wikipedia's tenth anniversary gearing up"), the Wikimedia Foundation has set up a separate wiki to coordinate events – at the time of writing, it listed over 300 events in over 100 countries – and has been supporting these by offering anniversary-themed merchandise, such as buttons and T-shirts. The wiki is currently being advertised via banners on the English Wikipedia.

Considerable worldwide media coverage of the anniversary has already begun, see this week's "In the news".

Foundation announces fourth Community Fellow

Lennart Guldbrandsson (left) and Frank Schulenburg (WMF Head of Public Outreach), with Bookshelf material

The WMF's Chief Community Officer Zack Exley has announced that Swedish Wikipedian Lennart Guldbrandsson (User:SvHannibal) has become the fourth recipient of a Community fellowship. He has joined the Outreach team and during his fellowship will work on two of its projects: the Bookshelf Project (focusing on translation and dissemination of the project's instructional material about Wikipedia) and the Account Creation Improvement Project. Guldbrandsson/Hannibal is a longtime Wikipedian, founder and first chair of the Swedish Wikimedia chapter, and author of a book about Wikipedia.

In the community fellowship program, started in September, community members are employed full-time for a limited amount of time by the Foundation's Community Department to work on specific problems (Signpost coverage). The first fellow, Steven Walling (User:Steven (WMF)), is currently coordinating celebrations of Wikipedia's upcoming tenth anniversary (see above) and is also working on the Contribution Taxonomy research project (Signpost coverage). He was followed by Victoria Doronina (User:Mstislavl) and Maryana Pinchuk, who around the end of September started an eight-week research project to develop methods for writing histories of Wikimedia projects (Signpost coverage).

In brief

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Participation of women on Wikipedia; a random thought

This isn't responding to anything in particular, but I've been commenting on some FACs recently, and it struck me that the usual figure of 15% participation by women in Wikipedia is a somewhat misleading measure. At FAC, many of the active reviewers and article creators/expanders/copy editors are women. I am guessing that if someone made a study of featured content and GAs, one would find a much, much higher proportion of female participation. Don't know why I'm posting this here, but it just occurred to me (a male). -- Ssilvers (talk) 03:46, 14 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Attracting and retaining participants

I read with interest that User:SvHannibal, the fourth recipient of a Community fellowship, will be working on the Account Creation Improvement Project. A timely announcement, since I had just listened to the podcast version of:

As that article notes:

For all Wikipedia’s achievements, however, it inspires three worries: that it contains too many inaccuracies; that it is not financially sustainable; and that it has lost touch with its founding ideal of being open to all

Read the article if you want more about the first two...its the third item that is relevant to the fellowship of SvHannibal (talk · contribs). To quote:

It is the third worry—that Wikipedia has become ossified and bureaucratic, discouraging new users from contributing—that is the greatest cause for concern. In recent years its most active contributors have become obsessed with obscure questions of doctrine and have developed their own curious jargon to describe the editing process. The number of regular contributors to Wikipedia’s English edition peaked in March 2007 and has since declined by a third; the number of new contributors per month has fallen by half. Growth in the number of articles and edits has also levelled off.

I've been contributing to Wikipedia for over seven years, mostly without logging in. The barriers to doing so have steadily grown. I understand the motivation and suspect that the reduction in vandalism is significant enough that discouraging IP editors is probably viewed by most as the price we pay. But it would be nice if the Attracting and retaining participants strategy would include a vigilant effort to continue to support the legitimate contributions of editors like me. In the past few days I've been the target of multople false positives from both User:ClueBot NG and the WP:Edit filter. For example:

I'm hoping that the latest false positives are a statistical anomaly...most month's the anti-vandalism bots and subsystems aren't quite so concerned with my contributions. (talk) 13:09, 14 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]

It's probably because of the exclamation mark in 'Yahoo!' Mostly bots do revert blatant vandalism... I don't think they're mainly the reason there are less contributors. :-) -- Mentifisto 22:48, 14 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]


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