From the editor
After thirteen months as the Signpost's editor-in-chief, I am now stepping down. I think that the Signpost serves a very important role in informing the community, and it has been an incredibly rewarding experience working to fulfill this with the members of the Signpost's core team and the many more people who are constantly helping us with occasional tips, contribute one-off stories, make suggestions on how to improve the Signpost, or just do some copyediting and fact-checking. Jarry1250 is overseeing the publication of this issue (besides his regular duty on the "Technology Report" beat), while discussion about the future organization of the Signpost's editorial process continues.
The reason I am resigning as editor is that I am taking up work for the Wikimedia Foundation, supporting movement communication activities as part of the WMF's communications team. While I see this work as ultimately directed toward the same goal of informing the community (and an opportunity for myself to devote more consistent and sustained activity toward it), it would make it too much of a conflict of interest if I were to continue to make final editorial decisions for a community-run publication. To cite my predecessor Ragesoss' remarks when he left last year for similar reasons: "Holding the powerful to account is a core purpose of the broadsheets we've tried to emulate. I've always viewed the Signpost's independence from, and constructively critical stance toward, the Foundation as a key part of the Signpost's identity—if at times an underdeveloped one." As a regular writer for the Signpost's "News and notes" section, I have tried to provide that kind of independent coverage, now it is other writers' turn. However, I will continue to support the Signpost both as a WMF employee and as a volunteer, offering to write from an explicit Foundation perspective or about non-COI issues.
Around a year ago when I took up the editorship, we had many discussions about the Signpost's direction, and a consensus emerged to increase coverage beyond the English Wikipedia, symbolized by a slight rename from "Wikipedia Signpost" to "The Signpost". I think we have managed to follow through, while staying strong in our reporting about the English Wikipedia, e.g. in the revamped Featured Content section. The global Signpost subscriptions on other Wikimedia projects that we introduced last September have been a success, and the global message delivery service set up by MZMcBride for this purpose has now found numerous other uses for movement-wide communications. Another testament to the Signpost's enduring popularity is that its publication process and template system were adapted by two other movement newsletters founded this year, WikiPatrika and This month in GLAM.
Another important trend is the role of social media (outside the wikis), especially microblogging, which appears to be taken up by more and more Wikimedians. The Signpost's Identi.ca and Twitter presences have proven important to gather and disseminate timely news (with the latter currently approaching 2000 followers).
A recent first for the Signpost is having one of our writers attend a conference as a dedicated Signpost correspondent, in this case at the invitation of the Foundation's Public Policy Initiative – you can read the resulting coverage in this issue and the upcoming one.
Thank you for reading and contributing to the Signpost.
Regards, Tilman Bayer