Personal image filter referendum highlights polarization
The results of the image filter referendum were released this week. In this "largest exercise of its type for the Wikimedia Foundation", some 24,000 votes were cast, more than 7000 of them accompanied by comments, which are still being analysed. The referendum featured a small number of questions, each asking voters to attach importance to a number of potential features; as such, it attracted considerable criticism for those who felt it was unclear how voters would signal their dissatisfaction with the whole idea of a filter.
The results are unlikely to calm the rhetoric on either side of the debate. With mild support shown overall—the most general question had a median result of 6 (on a scale from 0–10, where 5 was "neutral")—there is probably enough encouragement to ensure that the proposal is not abandoned altogether, and some useful results were gathered with regard to priorities. On the other hand, about 3750 respondents (16% of the sample) gave a score of zero to the broadest question, "It is important for the Wikimedia projects to offer this feature to readers", the clearest indication yet that a significant body of editors would oppose the implementation proposed by the Foundation regardless of its features. (This result looks set to be endorsed by a poll run in parallel on the German Wikipedia which currently indicates that about fourth-fifths of Wikipedians there are opposed to the measure as stated.) A third group consider the referendum to have been badly mismanaged in a way that would render the result meaningless.
As British Wikimedian Michael Peel commented, the poll probably points towards a "no consensus" result. As a result, the next move of the Foundation is unclear. In all likelihood it will choose to alter the proposed implementation to build a new consensus, since it is dubious as to whether the Foundation could now meaningfully proceed without convincing at least a small proportion of those currently skeptical to the idea. One possible compromise would be on whether or not there was a single global implementation of the filter. User:FT2 added that "enabling on some wikis and not on others" may yet be a good way to "leave more people feeling fairly satisfied".
Index of editor satisfaction released
Mani Pande, Wikimedia Head of Global Development Research, has revealed on the Foundation's blog a new metric as a tool for analysing community health: the Wikipedia editor satisfaction index (WESI). The WESI is based on the answers to two questions.
Editors are asked to select two adjectives from a list of eight—four positive (Collaborative, Intelligent, Helpful, Friendly), four negative (Arrogant, Unfriendly, Rude and Dumb)— that described their perception of the editing community.
Editors are asked if feedback through other editors had helped them become a better editor or not.
The two options from Question 1 are scored for one point each: +1 if the response was a positive adjective, and −1 for a negative. The response to Question 2 is scored as +2 for helpful, and −2 for feedback having been "a bad experience". Added together, they span a range from +4 to −4, which is normalized to a 0–10 scale.
The initial results of compiling the index were greeted by Pande as "encouraging": around 47% of respondents gave a score of 10/10, and about 77% of the editors surveyed scored 7.5 or higher, which she took to indicate that "the majority of our editing community is very satisfied with their experience" of the project and have "a healthy assessment of fellow editors". Delving deeper into the breakdown of the findings, Pande isolated three factors critical to determining an editor's satisfaction with their contributing experience: being offered help, enjoying the respect and recognition of their peers, and receiving adequate explanations for when their contributions are reverted. It is expected that the WESI will be established as an ongoing metric for measuring satisfaction, to yield further insights into the self-reported experiences of Wikimedians in the future.
WikiHistories – the Armenian Wikipedia: Lusine Grigoryan, one of the Foundation's WikiHistories summer fellows, reported from Armenia about possible efforts from Armenian educational instutions to invigorate the country's Wikipedia. Last week, research Patricia Sauthoff wrote a second article about the coverage of articles about the Indian subcontinent.
Ukrainian Wikipedia's growth noted: The Ukrainian Wikipedia now ranks 14th amongst all language Wikipedias in terms of the number of articles, a fact which was reported by a Ukrainian news agency. The article notes that the country's former education minister has previously encouraged Ukrainian scientists to contribute more to Wikipedia.
Online quiz reveals knowledge of sister projects: Sporcle, a trivia quiz website, published a game asking participants to name the ten Wikimedia Foundation projects. The results can be used as a very rough index of the relative knowledge of the sister projects. 99.2% of more than 7000 participants (at the time of writing) managed to enter Wikipedia, which unsurprisingly ranked first. Wiktionary came second with 37.1% recognition, followed by Commons at 33.4%, and Wikiquote at 29.5%. Wikibooks had 19% recognition, Wikinews had 16%, Wikisource 13.7%, Wikiversity 11.6% and Wikispecies 10.6%. MediaWiki, rather a trick entry, had 7.1%. The quiz also accepted Meta and Incubator as extra answers. The actual numbers may not be very accurate (participants are only one click away from the answers) but the relative ranking is of more interest.
New edition of Wikizine: A new edition of Wikizine was published on September 2. Founded in 2005, the "independent internal news bulletin for the members of the Wikimedia community" has recently been relaunched after a long hiatus, at the initiative of User:Millosh.
The last week saw the following milestones among WMF-supported projects:
The Hindi Wikipedia reached 100,000 articles (attracting a blog post from new WMF member of staff Gerard Meijssen).
The Persian Wikisource has reached 20,000 text units.
The Occitan Wiktionary has reached 20,000 entries.
The Armenian Wikisource has reached 2,000 text units.