This week, the Wikimedia Foundation put a blog post about QRpedia on the Foundation blog (QR Codes + Wikipedia). QRpedia is being used by a number of GLAM institutions including Derby Museum, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis and the National Archives at Kew to link exhibited objects to the Wikipedia pages about them. Unlike simply placing a QR code link, QRpedia uses content negotiation to direct the user to the most appropriate language version of Wikipedia if there is a version of the article in the language of the user's phone. So, if you scan the code pointing to an English article but your phone is set on Hebrew, if there is a Hebrew article, you'll be directed to that in preference to the English version.
Jimmy Wales on why Wikipedia won't "like" Facebook anytime soon
So it turns out that people are social. They’re basically friendly. They get into fights and arguments, and they make up. And there are ways to help communities manage those things. So that human insight and also seeing how Wikipedia was functioning meant it was easier to really give genuine community control—to say, "Look the communities don’t need to be managed in a top-down fashion. They need support—they need some tech support, they need some social support."
The Huffington Post interviewed Jimmy Wales at the recent OMMA Global conference in New York City. In an article titled "Wikipedia Co-Founder Jimmy Wales Describes The Site's Hold-Out On Social Media", Wales is quoted as stating that Wikipedia has no plans to increase any integration with social media firms: "We’ve never been particularly good at partnering with people. Our community strives for neutrality in all respects: this applies to what is contained in the encyclopedia, but our community is also passionate about being vendor neutral.” Wales was skeptical towards the notion that Wikipedia users would want to publicise their activities on the site to their peers, arguing that browsing the wiki is a personal activity that ought not be broadcast on sites like Facebook. Wales spoke on related topics to AdWeek, who published the interview as "Fast Chat: Jimmy Wales: Wikipedia founder on engagement and why the ‘like’ button isn't enough". It focused on engagement with social technology and hyperconnectivity as well as the core importance to wikis of harnessing contributors passionate about the topic – and to advertisers of reaching these same enthusiasts.
Fungi conservationists learn to edit Wikipedia: In the first issue of Fungal Conservation (PDF, see page 54–60), David Minter has written an article titled "Raising the profile of fungi on the Internet: editing Wikipedia". It discusses how mycologists and others interested in fungus conservation can edit Wikipedia and asks members of the International Society for Fungal Conservation to improve articles and send examples of article improvement back to the Society ("Our aim should be to make it look strange on Wikipedia if biodiversity is being discussed without fungi being mentioned"). The article also gives some sound practical advice on editing including to avoid getting involved in edit wars, to not create sockpuppet accounts, to not edit pages "in pursuit of a personal agenda or vendetta", and, specifically, to contribute to increase coverage of fungi topics rather than to evangelise for fungi conservation (an echo of WP:NOBLECAUSE!).
Australian MP becomes Jack Russell terrier: The Herald Sunreports that the Wikipedia article about Australian MP Bill Shorten was vandalised: his photo being replaced by that of a Jack Russell terrier.
A dissenting voice on gender and social media: Amy Senger of "Changing the Ratio" kicked off Part III of her series on "Wikipedia's Battle for Diversity" for 1x57.com by declaring her derision for half of Sue Gardner's "Nine Reasons Why Women Don’t Edit Wikipedia" post, scoffing at such notions as women being too busy or conflict-averse to contribute to the project on an equal footing with their male counterparts. Demonstrating her priorities as a hypothetical leader of efforts to close the gender gap, Senger proposed increasing awareness of just why a dearth of contributions from women was harmful to the project, the addition of social media links to publicise female contributors' efforts (contra Jimmy Wales, see lead story above), and educating women to become familiar and adept at the MediaWiki interface. Senger rounded the post off with a link to her very own Seven Essential Steps to getting started with Wikipedia.
Tumblr not outranking Wikipedia after all?: Wikimedia Foundation staffer Mani Pande wrote a blog post criticising TechCrunch's recent claims that Tumblr was now getting more pageviews than the Wikimedia Foundation websites. TechCrunch based their story on ComScore ratings which claimed Wikimedia sites were only getting 5.6 billion page views per month, while page view statistics from actual use shows 14.6 billion page views per month of Wikimedia-hosted sites. TechCrunch have not yet updated their story...
MENA marginalized?: The University of Oxford's Oxford Internet Institute has initiated an effort at mapping contributions to Wikipedia from the predominantly Arabic-speaking Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Characterising Wikipedia as the region's "most visible and most accessed source of content...widely considered the first point of contact for most general topics", the researchers hope to ascertain the region's role and importance in the production of the site's knowledge. Specifically, they are looking to test the hypotheses that there is an underrepresentation of the MENA region compared to the rest of the world, that editors from MENA are underrepresented among contributors to these articles, and that "the centralized political structure of Wikipedia undervalues new contributors from MENA". The initial results are to be released on the Zero Geography blog. Wikipedia's Global Reach, a new initiative by Datatelling visualising Wikipedia statistic, may help shed light on the matter.
Push to improve Greek Wikipedia: EMG reports that a new initiative has started that hopes to reach out to libraries, schools and universities in Greece to improve the Greek edition of Wikipedia.