The ten millionth file was uploaded to Wikimedia Commons at 23:12 on Friday night, determined as a photo of a waterfowl observation platform in Poland that was taken last July by Leinad as part of a photo expedition organized by the Polish Wikimedia chapter. The file history of the photo showcases the collaborative aspect of Commons, as the original upload received brightness and color corrections by two other users.
The community-written press release on Commons noted that "the 5 millionth uploaded file was attained on September 9, 2009, so the project has doubled in size in only eighteen months." The Wikimedia Foundation's press release mentioned planned technical improvements that should increase the growth rate further: The new upload tool (Signpost coverage: "Upload Wizard release expected shortly") and better support for video.
Quality of newbie contributions decreases since 2004, but majority still constructive
As part of the ongoing discussions about improving participation and newbie friendliness in Wikimedia communities (also topic of last week's IRC Office hour with WMF Executive Director Sue Gardner), specifically the WikiGuides project, the Foundation's Community Department tried to answer the question "How much do new editors actually improve Wikipedia?", by analyzing a random sample of "155 new registered users on the English Wikipedia who made at least one edit in mid-April of this year" and assessing the quality of their first edit on a five-level scale from "vandalism" to "excellent". They found that
most new editors made contributions worth retaining in some way, even if they weren’t perfect. More than half of these first edits needed no reworking to be acceptable based on current Wikipedia policy. Another 19% made good faith edits but needed additional help to meet standards defined in policy or guideline.
A comparison with an analogous sample from 2004 indicated that the ratio of vandalism has multiplied since then, while the ratio of acceptable or better quality edits has declined. However, the blog posting focuses on a positive aspect of the result: "The key thing to note in comparing the two samples is that the percent of acceptable edits made by newbies did not dramatically decrease from 2004 to 2011."
German chapter offers €200,000 "community project budget"
The German Wikimedia chapter has set aside €200,000 for a "community project budget", which will fund "the realization of ideas from the Wikimedia communities for the Wikimedia projects", according to the announcement in the "Kurier" (the Signpost's sister publication on the German Wikipedia). The selection of projects to fund, with a minimum budget of €5000, will be based on the recommendation of a seven-member budget committee, consisting of the chapter's treasurer, three members elected by chapter (Verein) members, and three members elected by the community.
The idea is a reaction to a blog posting by longtime Wikipedian Southpark. In January, during the run-up to a non-regular general meeting of the chapter that had been prompted by a motion of distrust against the chapter's board (signed by more than 60 members, based on criticism of the board's unilateral decision process while restructuring the chapter – Signpost coverage -, but ultimately unsuccessful), he observed:
The Problem: Wikimedia Deutschland is sitting on a whole lot of donation money. No one really knows what to do with it, and the opinions about spending it efficiently are diverging, to put it mildly. Particularly few money is flowing directly back into the projects. Part of the reason is that no one knows where to spend it there in a sensible way.
To solve this part of the problem, Southpark started an open call for ideas in his user space, which received a lot of suggestions, some of which might now get a chance of being realized.
Some months ago, the Wikimedia Foundation's grants process, funding mission-related projects from US$500 upwards, was expanded from chapters "in a limited way, to volunteers and like-minded organizations."
In September, the German chapter had announced a "contest of ideas" dedicated to promoting free knowledge, aiming to include non-Wikimedia projects (Signpost coverage). Eight winning projects (each funded with a sum between €500 and €5000) were announced in December, among them the purchase of high-resolution aerial images for 500 German cities for use by the OpenStreetMap community, and a "motivational video for Creative Commons", encouraging artists, authors and others who create content to release it under a free license.
Adminship required for higher access levels?: A request for comment started last week asked "Should adminship, obtained via WP:RFA, be a requirement for being granted checkuser or oversight rights by the arbitration committee ?" A related RfC proposed to remove the technical necessity for adminship when carrying out these roles (as well as bureaucratship), by adding the right to view deleted revisions to the checkuser, oversight and bureaucrat roles, and the right to move pages without redirects to the latter.
Wikimedia Spain report: The Spanish Wikimedia chapter published a brief report for January–March 2011, including its approval by the WMF in February.
Catalan report: The "Amical Viquipèdia" ("Friends of Wikipedia") association of Catalan Wikimedians has published its report for March 2011, mentioning among other things "great impact in the media" generated by press releases about the Catalan Wikipedia's tenth anniversary, and the presentation of a book titled "Wikipedia", 150 copies of which were distributed to schools by the department of linguistic policy of the government of the Balearic Islands (a part of Spain).
British Wikimedia conference: Wikimedia UK hosted their first WikiConference in Bristol on Saturday, combining the annual general meeting of the chapter with talks on a number of aspects of Wikimedia including the GLAM collaborations like the rollout of QR codes pointing to Wikipedia in Derby Museum and Art Gallery, the role of wikis, Wikipedia and Wikiversity in education, and Wikipedia Campus Ambassadors. Audio of the event was recorded and will be released in the next few weeks, and the slideshow presentations are available on the UK chapter wiki. It was announced that the chapter intends to run the event annually in a different city each time.
Tools to extract data sets from Wikipedia: On the Wiki-research-l mailing list, Mohamad Mehdi posted a compilation of links to "online tools used to extract Wikipedia articles and ... pre-compiled Wikipedia articles data sets", inviting additions.