The Signpost

From the editor
Wikipedia, our Colosseum
In the impersonal, detached Colosseum that is Wikipedia, people find it much easier to put their thumbs down. As such, many people active in the Wikimedia movement have witnessed a precipitous decline in civil discourse. This is far from a new trend, yet many people would agree that it all seemed somehow worse in 2012.
In the media
Is the Wikimedia movement too 'cash rich'?
A recent, poorly researched and poorly written story in the Register highlighted the perceived "cash rich" status of the Wikimedia movement. ... The Telegraph and Daily Dot, among others, have alleged that there are multiple links between the WMF, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, and Kazakhstan's government, which is, for all intents and purposes, a one-party non-democratic state.
News and notes
Wikimedia Foundation fundraiser a success; Czech parliament releases photographs to chapter
On 27 December the Wikimedia Foundation announced the conclusion of their ninth annual fundraiser, which attracted more than 1.2 million donors. The appeal reached its goal of US$25 million, even though fundraising banners ran for only nine days.
Technology report
Looking back on a year of incremental changes
In the first of two features, the Signpost this week looks back on 2012, a year when developers finally made inroads into three issues that had been put off for far too long (the need for editors to learn wiki-markup, the lack of a proper template language and the centralisation of data) but left all three projects far from finished.
Discussion report
Image policy and guidelines; resysopping policy
Current discussions on the English Wikipedia include ...
Interview with Brion Vibber, the WMF's first employee
Brion Vibber has been a Wikipedia editor for nearly 11 years and was the first person officially hired to work for the Wikimedia Foundation. He was instrumental in early development of the MediaWiki software and is now the lead software architect for the foundation's mobile development team.
Featured content
Whoa Nelly! Featured content in review
At the beginning of the year, we began a series of interviews with editors who have worked hard to combat systemic bias through the creation of featured content; although we haven't seen six installments yet, we've also had some delightful interviews with people who write articles on some of our most core topics. Now, as we close the year, I would like to present some of my own musings on the state of featured content—especially as it pertains to systemic bias and core topics.
WikiProject report
New Year, New York
This week, we're celebrating the New Year from Times Square by interviewing WikiProject New York City. Since December 2004, WikiProject NYC has had the difficult task of maintaining articles about the largest city in the United States, many of which are also among the the most viewed articles on Wikipedia. The project is home to 22 Featured Articles, 7 Featured Lists, 32 pieces of Featured Media, and a lengthy list of Did You Know? entries.
Recent research
Wikipedia and Sandy Hook; SOPA blackout reexamined
Northeastern University researcher Brian Keegan analyzed the gathering of hundreds of Wikipedians to cover the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. ... A First Monday article reviews several aspects of the Wikipedia participation in the 18 January 2012, protests against SOPA and PIPA legislation in the USA. The paper focuses on the question of legitimacy, looking at how the Wikipedia community arrived at the decision to participate in those protests.
Single-page edition


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