News and notes
Geographical distribution of Wikipedia edits; Sue Gardner interviewed; brief news
Geographical distribution of Wikipedia edits visualized
Erik Zachte, Data Analyst at the Wikimedia Foundation, has produced visualizations showing the geographic provenance of edits to various language versions of Wikipedia on a particular day, using bubble maps, heat maps and animations. For example the bubble map for the spatial distribution of edits for the Chinese Wikipedia on that day clearly indicates that most contributions came from Hong Kong and Taiwan, instead of mainland China. The maps for the Ukrainian and Turkish Wikipedias hint at noticeable diaspora communities outside the main country, in contrast to, for example, the Norwegian Wikipedia. The spatial distribution for all languages combined shows a clear predominance of edits from within Europe.
Sue Gardner and Hisham Mundol interviewed
Wikimedian GerardM celebrated his birthday by interviewing the Foundation's Executive Director Sue Gardner on his personal blog. Among other things, she discussed preliminary results of the 2011 editor survey conducted recently by the WMF, which showed a markedly higher satisfaction with the performance of the WMF than with that of chapters (on a scale from 1 to 10, respondents ranked their own performance at 6.24, that of volunteers overall at 7.14, the Wikimedia Foundation's at 7.32 and that of chapters at 4.33). She believed this result was due to the relative youth of chapters. (In March, Gardner had—somewhat controversially—warned of possible risks from the inexperience of many chapters' boards, and Deputy Director Erik Möller had earlier stated that "the very existence of chapters [was] increasingly being questioned", a statement that was questioned itself. Cf. Signpost coverage.) She also commented on recent rises in traffic for the Chinese Wikipedia (with a general rise in Chinese Internet users as the most likely explanation) and from mobile devices.
Earlier last week, GerardM interviewed Hisham Mundol, the WMF consultant for National Programs, India.
- Should grant-giving organization get observer status on the Wikimedia Board?: The Foundation's Board of Trustees published the minutes for its IRC meeting on February 21 last week. Among other topics that have already been covered in the Signpost, the minutes note that the Sloan Foundation was considering to renew the $1million/year grant it awarded Wikimedia in March 2008 (Signpost coverage: "Wikimedia receives 3-year, $3,000,000 grant"), and "had indicated an interest in having a Board observer, something not covered in our current Board protocols". The Board discussed the possibilities for such observers, or opening up meetings in general, and stated that it "was generally comfortable with having invited observers from time to time, but not at all sessions". The matter was deferred, with the Board's governance committee preparing options for the next meeting. (The minutes for two more recent Board meetings in March and April are still to be published.)
- AGK on Wikipedia over time: Anthony, a long time editor on the English Wikipedia, wrote a blog post on the Wikimedia blog to reflect on the past, present and future of Wikipedia, to give his thoughts on what it means to him to be a long-term contributor to Wikipedia and what he hopes to see happen in the coming years.
- Readability of user warnings: Hungarian Wikipedian Bence Damokos examined "the readability of user warning messages" on the English Wikipedia, calculating the readability scores according to several well-known formulae (including Flesch-Kincaid) for 105 template messages. Ranked by the SMOG readability measure, Template:Uw-aeblock came out the most difficult to read, with 18.49 years of education estimated necessary for reading it. Still, Bence Damokos concluded that "the warning messages aren’t unreasonably unreadable, although the various deletion notices, especially the ones concerned with copyright are written in a way that is too difficult to understand by the average user."
- Milestones: The Italian Wikipedia reached 800,000 articles on May 11, one day after the Polish Wikipedia had crossed the same milestone.
- Meetups: Community meetups took place this month in Washington, D.C. (May 7); Bangalore (May 8); Pune (May 14); and Hyderabad (May 15).
- Ten year anniversaries: Last week marked the tenth anniversary of various Wikipedia versions, as noted on Foundation-l.
- URL shorteners: Discussions continued last week about the domains enwp.org or wp.org as official URL shorteners for Wikipedia.
- Wikipedian in residence at Picasso museum: The Museu Picasso has announced Catalan museum management student Àlex Hinojo (User:Kippelboy) as its Wikipedian in residence. Details are forthcoming. In March, Kippelboy had been announced as "Wikimedia's first official GLAM Ambassador" (Signpost coverage).
- Joan Miró foundation experiments with Wikipedia QR codes: On his blog, Kippelboy reported on a collaboration with the Fundació Joan Miró to test QR codes displaying multilingual Wikipedia links next to 15-20 artworks in an upcoming Miró exhibition (as currently done by the Derby Museum and Art Gallery in the UK). The corresponding articles are to be created in a WikiProject, which will involve a hackathon at the museum's library.
- Board calls for openness: The Wikimedia Board's resolution on openness from last month, urging the community "to promote openness and collaboration", has been translated into various languages, forming the May 2011 Update.
- Student "sucked into" Wikipedia by Public Policy Initiative: A posting on the Foundation's Community blog described how participating in a university course within the WMF's Public Policy Initiative got UC Berkeley undergraduate User:Kgorman-ucb "hooked on Wikipedia", from making just a few anonymous edits to participating intensively in areas beyond the course, namely editing articles about mushrooms and patroling new pages. He will also teach the next version of the (student-led) course himself.
- World Heritage: Sebastian Sooth, project manager at Wikimedia Germany, posted an update on the discussions about the proposal to have Wikipedia classified as UNESCO world heritage - which the chapter first suggested in March, and presented at the Wikimedia chapters meeting in the same month ("Wikipedia as a World Heritage Site! Why should Wikipedia become a World Cultural Heritage?").
- Cooperation with Nobel Museum: The Swedish Wikimedia chapter and the Nobel Museum have initiated a partnership, according to a brief announcement (in Swedish) on the museum's website. The collaboration with Swedish Wikipedians will start this summer.