The Wikimedia Foundation recently visitedTunisia as part of its Arabic Catalyst initiative, expanding on an Arabic Wikipedia convention and GLAM fellow Liam Wyatt's visit to Doha last November (Signpost coverage). The city is the first stop on a regional tour focused on "kicking off the start of Wikipedia awareness activities in universities and other independent spaces ... and helping connect current editors with new enthusiasts."
During the visit, two Wikipedians (Ciphers and OsamaK) and Moushira Elamrawy, a chapters relations manager on the Global Development team, took part in a lecture at the National School of Engineering on open licenses, free knowledge, and Wikipedia in education. According to Elamrawy, "It was a good chance to answer questions and misconceptions related to the use of Wikipedia in education [and] to meet with students of open source clubs who will form a starting point of Wikipedia clubs in their schools."
They also met with the managers of the National Library of Tunisia, convincing them to start work uploading their digital archive to Wikisource and Commons, and to adopt a computer system using Wikipedia as the default search option. Elsewhere, a meeting was organized with a presidential consultant, who seemed enthusiastic about potentially releasing the presidential photographic collection under a Creative Commons license, pending their digitization. The visit was documented by Radio Maliss, which interviewed the Foundation staff. According to Elamrawy, "it was a good start with lots of promising steps that need our follow up"; Jordan is the next stop on the tour, followed by Algeria.
Where the money comes from
More than a month after the conclusion of this year's record-breaking donation campaign, the Wikimedia Foundation has posted its analysis of the donator population, based on data gathered in last April's Editor Survey 2011. The data is constructed on five broad points:
Non-profit status not well-known: Put simply, "a lot of our readers are simply unaware of the fact that Wikipedia is a non-profit entity run entirely on donations from the general public. On average, 47 percent of our readers did not know this." Awareness was lowest in Russia (64 percent), Brazil (56 percent) and the United States (56 percent), and highest in India (61 percent) and Egypt (70 percent); graduate-level and higher readers were found to be far more likely to know of our non-profit status. With more than 400 million unique visitors every month, this translates into a significant population of unaware readers. 28 percent of readers who said they have edited Wikipedia were also unaware of this.
Editors much more likely to donate: According to the survey, 26 percent of editors participated in the drive, versus just 3 percent of those who read Wikipedia. Women were more likely than men to donate multiple times (over the years). Donations to local chapters were similar to donations to the overall drive: a much higher percentage of editors participated than did those who simply read Wikipedia.
The Wales factor: An appeal from Jimbo is a popular reason for donating, but people in different regions are motivated differently. The top two reasons for donating were "I saw an appeal from Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia founder)" (34 percent) and "I felt a small donation would be welcomed" (37 percent). 61 percent of Canadian donors thought of donations "as a way of contributing since they don’t edit", whereas 75 percent of Russian donations came directly from Jimbo Wales' appeal; a total of 15 percent were motivated by appeals on social sites and elsewhere.
Regional variation: About a quarter of our respondents said they would donate; readers from the US, Egypt and India were the most likely to say they would do so. After the survey informed survey takers of Wikipedia's non-profit status, 24 percent of survey takers said they would donate. Readers from India (42 percent), Egypt (33 percent) and the US (33 percent) were most likely to support, and from Germany (13 percent), France (11 percent) and Japan (15 percent), the least. As expected, editors were more likely to donate as well, with 49 percent indicating intent to do so.
Affordability: Readers cited affordability as the biggest reason for not donating: "About 46 percent of those readers who do not donate said this is because they cannot afford to make a donation." The value of the US dollar, and possibly unawareness of the denominations, are two possible reasons for this. 68 percent of Japanese readers and 57 percent of Indian readers cited affordability for not donating, as well as 60 percent of UK participants.
Further information and discussions on donations, fundraising, and where the money will go have been collected at Meta.
Move-to-Commons drive concludes: The January 2012 Move-to-Commons drive is now closed. The participants claimed 20,000 files relocated from the English Wikipedia to Commons, and regarded it as a success, having reached double their initial upload goal.
Milestones: The following Wikipedia projects reached milestones this week: the Vietnamese Wikipedia has reached 300,000 articles, the Banyumasan Wikipedia has reached 25,000 total pages, the German Wikisource has reached 80,000 text units, and the Western Punjabi Wiktionary, Wikimedia Belgium chapter wiki, and the Veps Wikipedia have opened for editing. Veps has only about 4,000 native speakers, most of them in the Republic of Karelia, Leningrad Oblast and Vologda Oblast within the Russian Federation. Veps is one of the few languages closely related to Finnish, and has a separate literature and orthography.