WikiWomen's History Month—meetups, blog posts, and "Inspire" grant-making campaign: The community has arranged a number of commemorative initiatives focused on the gender gap, under the banner "WikiWomen's History Month".
Concurrently, the Wikimedia Foundation has announced that this month's Foundation blog is focusing on gender diversity in the Wikimedia movement. The communications team is asking for community suggestions on "your favorite, high-quality Wikipedia articles about notable women ... we're looking for factual, well-written and insightful articles, from the wiki of your choice." The winning articles, selected by the communications team, will be written into a report to be posted in the Foundation blog sometime after March 15. The blog will also be publishing profiles, research overviews, program reports, and best practices during the month.
Most significantly, the WMF rolled out their "Inspire" grantmaking campaign on March 4, an open invitation to the community for thoughts and opinions on possible ways to address the gap. The best of the ideas, drawn from the IdeaLab and endorsed by community, will be matched to long-term advisors. When necessary, funding is also available, and is likely to be disseminated by a new committee of existing committee members from the two grantmaking volunteer bodies, the IEG and GAC. If the pilot project is successful (signs so far indicate a high level of activity) it is likely to be broken off entirely into a new, third grantmaking scheme, Inspire Grants. The two next major dates will be April 1–15, when the funding committee will make its final recommendations to the Wikimedia Foundation, and April 30, when winning grantees will be announced by WMF staff. The hope is for 20 new grant-supported gender gap-focused projects and an (ambitious) five- to ten-fold increase in IdeaLab traffic; as of writing the project has attracted some 200 participants and 40 IdeaLab submissions.
The maximum budget for the campaign is US$250,000, funded by withdrawals from the IEG and PEG programs, currently on hold for non-time-sensitive proposals for the three months from February to April. This, and the timing of the announcement, has been a source of controversy. In communications on the community mailing list, the director of community resources Siko Bouterse stated in January that the campaign is an experiment in proactive grantmaking, "to see if we can provide meaningful community support and significantly increase impact on Wikimedia projects in a single strategic area". If successful, she said, the campaign will serve as a pilot for other single-issue campaigns. Experimental thematic campaigns are a new organizational theme that was included in this year's annual plan (albeit see previous Signpostcoverage) and planning for the Inspire campaign has been in progress since last December. The event is the first such experiment by the WMF. It is likely to be a part of the recent Foundation pivot towards a grantmaking focus on more and smaller projects than in the past. R
An article was deleted on March 3 this week which is ostensibly the longest-lasting hoax article found on Wikipedia to date. The article, Jar'Edo Wens, was created on May 29, 2005 by an IP address originating in Australia. At its creation, the article, in its entirety, read "In Australian Aboriginal mythology, Jar'Edo Wens is a god of earthly knowledge and physical might, created by Altjira to oversee that the people did not get too big-headed, associated with victory and intelligence." It remained largely unchanged until its deletion; the same editor also added a link to Jar'Edo Wens to the article Australian Aboriginal mythology.
The link was removed from that higher-traffic page in 2007, though the original hoax article remained. In November 2014, an IP editor added a hoax template to the article, which automatically placed it in Category:Wikipedia suspected hoax articles. Snowager told the Signpost that he regularly patrols that category and found this article there. On March 1, Snowager submitted the article to Articles for Deletion. In the resulting discussion, Calamondin12 noted that Jar'Edo Wens was "perhaps derived from the actual English name Jared Owens". The article was speedy deleted by Newyorkbrad "as a blatant and indisputable hoax", making it, as of time of writing, the longest-lived discovered hoax on Wikipedia: nine years and nine months, a half month longer than the previous record-holder, Pikes on Cliffs, a fake historical structure in Spain.
Though this may now be the longest-lived hoax ever in the pages of Wikipedia, it is not the highest profile one, since the article was orphaned throughout much of its existence. G, R
Wales wins another award: The long list of honors bestowed on Jimmy Wales in recent months now includes the 2015 Deutscher Vordenker Preis (German Thought Leader Award), presented at the March 5 Munich Leadership Conference. The award includes prize money of €25,000. See the acknowledgment from Wales and an interview with him. G
Game of Drones: Wikimedia South Africa, in conjunction with the 2015 FPV Fest South Africa, is running the Wiki From Above 2015 contest from March 1 to April 30. The contest offers over R 10,000 in prizes for aerial photographs and video of African landmarks. It notes that "Photographs and video can be taken from on top of mountains, tall buildings (above 10 floors), aeroplanes, drones, hot-air-balloons, helicopters, or any other type of flying craft." G
Wikimedia Conference 2015: Registration for Wikimedia Conference 2015closes this week. For a list of participants see here. The Wikimedia Conference is a specialty conference organized for the benefit of chapter members and other volunteers involved in the organization of the Wikimedia movement; for more information on previous conferences see Signpost coverage of the 2014 event. R