In the media
Sue Gardner interviewed by the Australian press
Sue Gardner's visit to Australia sparked a number of interviews in the Australian press. An interview published in The Daily Telegraph on 12 February 2013, titled "Data plans 'unnerving': Wikipedia boss", saw Gardner comment on Australian plans to store personal internet and telephone data.
The planned measure, intended to assist crime prevention, would involve internet service providers and mobile phone firms storing customer usage data for up to two years. Gardner commented:
||The ability to store massive amounts of data and retain it for long periods of time ... is unnerving. ... It could be sold. It could be used for commercial purposes. We haven't yet figured out as a society how to use that information well and be responsible custodians of it, and that's really unnerving."
Voicing concerns about efforts to introduce government regulation of the internet, Gardner recalled the 2012 blackout of the English Wikipedia, saying: "Would I support them in doing it again? I would. I'm not sure we'd ever do it again, but I'd certainly be open to doing it again."
Gardner also discussed the deletion discussion concerning the Wikipedia article about the death of Melbourne ABC employee Jill Meagher (see Signpost coverage). An Australian female librarian had mentioned to her the possibility that male bias might have led to the article's being proposed for deletion, as "she felt that men were more likely to say that it was not a notable event. [She thought] there was a gender factor, which is really interesting."
Another interview appeared on ABC News on 13 February, under the headline "Wikipedia flush with funds, short on volunteers". Gardner discussed the financial health of the Wikimedia Foundation, which now had annual takings of $40 million—up from around 1 million in 2007—and a healthy cash surplus. She also touched on the editor decline:
||We don't know how serious of a concern that should be. There's a school of thought which suggests that after you've written the article about Saturn and accounting and France, that you don't need as many editors as you used to—once you have a solid base of articles inside Wikipedia, really at that point you're just making small improvements and you're just keeping things up to date. I don't know if that's true or not—when I read Wikipedia I find lots missing and I think that there's lots of new material that wants to be added to Wikipedia that's not there yet.
The interview further covered Wikipedia's competition, third-world expansion, and how the availability of information online is changing the way people think.
An almost hour-long interview with Gardner, recorded in front of a live audience at the State Library of Queensland, was broadcast by the ABC on 15 February 2013, as part of the series "Conversations with Richard Fidler". Among the topics discussed in this in-depth interview were Wikipedia's origins, reliability and mission, its donor structure, its contributor demographics and the gender gap and their effect on Wikipedia content, the lack of editorial control of Wikipedia content by the foundation, contributor anonymity, censorship and handling of controversial content, the editor decline and the visual editor, as well as Gardner's personal background.
- Towards closing the gender gap: A piece on the gender gap by Netha Hussain appeared in the HuffPost Tech UK Edition on 9 February 2013.
- WikiExperts offers free evaluation of corporate Wikipedia pages: A PR Newswire piece by paid editing service WikiExperts (the "premier Wikipedia visibility agency") appeared on a number of media websites on 11 February 2013, offering companies a cost-free evaluation of their Wikipedia entry.
- Watchlists for mobile phones: Engadget and SlashGear were among tech sites reporting on 13 February 2013 that mobile phone users will in future be able to use Wikipedia's watchlist function.
- Larry Sanger in new crowdsourcing venture: As reported in the Daily Dot on 13 February 2013, Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger is apparently preparing a new crowdsourcing project.
- The Register, again: Andrew Orlowski, a frequent critic of Wikipedia, has published two more articles in the Register on the topic in the past week, focusing on the Did you know... project's continued allowance of Gibraltar-related hooks and Wikimedia UK's governance review, which the Signpost covered last week.