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June 2011


An extension for the Google Chrome browser called WikiPreview allows users to mouseover wikilinks in Wikipedia articles to display the first sentence or two of the article linked to. Reported by Lifehacker. Gobonobo T C 03:50, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Washington Post wikipedia test

Wikimedia staffer Jay Walsh posted a link to a quiz about Wikipedia at Washington Post. Brilliant communitymaker and former Wikimedian User:Pete Forsyth got an 85%, which was my score too. Jay hasn't posted his score, but it's a neat little 14-question quiz. tedder (talk) 18:43, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

The quiz was already covered in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2011-05-30/In the news (and tweeted earlier by @wikisignpost, via Tinucherian). But thanks for making me aware of your Twitter account, following you now ;) Regards, HaeB (talk) 19:34, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Argh- I missed the 'quiz' part of that coverage, my bad. I mainly tweet snarks and cat pictures, it isn't specific to Wikipedia. You've been warned. tedder (talk) 19:37, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
That quiz is too easy. 100% and I didn't even break a sweat :) Kaldari (talk) 22:38, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

xkcd covers Wikipedia, again

XKCD 906. Wikipedia-style references in advertising. tedder (talk) 19:39, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

New WMF research project

See announcement here and community invitation here. :) Steven Walling at work 23:08, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

The Wikimedia Foundation has assembled a diverse and multinational team of researchers to investigate issues of "Openness and Participation". The team of eight researchers will be working with the community department through June, July and August.

Areas of investigation include:

Contributed by ϢereSpielChequers who is currently on a short term fellowship in the community department. 14:45, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Dmitry Medvedev pushes for Creative Commons licencing

Further to his 29 April meeting with internet representatives, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has issued instructions to the Ministry of Culture and Mass Communications to draft amendments to Russian legislation which will "give authors the right to make their works available on a free-licence basis to the public at large (along the lines of Creative Commons, GNU FDL)". According to a 2008 letter from User:Russavia/Natalya Timakova, the President's Press Attache, Creative Commons licencing is not currently on the statutes of the Russian Federation. As a sidenote, since October 2008, materials from the President's website at have been licenced under Creative Commons Attribution Unported 3.0 licencing.

The President has also instructed the Ministry "to discuss with media representatives, including internet and broadcast media, other information copyright holders, authors’ organisations, and Russian and international experts the use of works protected by copyright laws, taking into account modern methods for their reproduction, and analyse global practice in order to develop models that would expand and facilitate public access to material of cultural value, including for information, scientific and educational purposes, and draft proposals for discussion at international forums based on the conclusions reached" and "to draft proposals on procedures for giving nationally accredited intermediate vocational and higher professional education establishments access to audiovisual materials in the state mass media archives".

Medvedev has given the Ministry until 1 August to act on his instructions.


--Russavia I'm chanting as we speak 14:38, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Could you clarify the relationship of the 2 Russavias?Smallbones (talk) 18:24, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
There is some good analysis of Medvedev's order at --What's the difference between a straight and bisexual man? Two pints of lager 21:35, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion - it's a topic worth covering, but I didn't get around to include it in this issue, will consider it for the next one. Regards, HaeB (talk) 01:17, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Good article monthly roundup for N&N

Since this was suggested as a possible brief monthly feature, here's my roundup for May 2011:

This May the number of good articles crossed the 12,000 mark for the first time. However, the monthly increase of 181 GAs was the smallest since July 2010, and was less than half the rise achieved this March. The number of articles awaiting review has risen to 380, with a backlog dating to March in some categories. A shortage of reviewers, and fatigue from a backlog reduction drive earlier this year, have been blamed for the current slow progress. Reviewers are urgently sought, particularly for the lengthy queue of music articles and in connection with a university assignment project on several sociology topics.

Use/edit away if useful! TheGrappler (talk) 03:02, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, I've put it into Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2011-06-06/News and notes. Regards, HaeB (talk) 10:34, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia goes to class

Washington Post article, mentions a specific editor, mean as custard and very positive coverage of the use of Wikipedia in a classroom.--SPhilbrickT 13:19, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, but this was already covered in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2011-05-30/In the news. Regards, HaeB (talk) 13:38, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Oops, sorry, I checked to make sure it wasn't in the suggestion list, but forgot to scour the Signpost itself. Double oops, because I remember reading the Brenna Gray item, and the Xkcd item, so I should have seen it.--SPhilbrickT 13:59, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
My wild suggestion is that if students benefit from Wikipedia community, it should be considered acceptable to have some grants coming from those who benefit(directly or indirectly) and may be larger community like state too perhaps, on arguments such as the independence and encyclopedic nature of Wikipedia benefits & reinforces overall social understanding in clearer manner, etc. Given that Wikipedia is free and works on donations, it would be better to see to these facets that are so beneficial without losing its core qualities like independence, enforcing of standards, etc. Just my 2 cents. ..असक्तः सततं कार्य कर्म समाचर | असक्तः हि आचरन् कर्म.. Humour Thisthat2011 16:36, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia in Ibis

An upcoming issue of the ornithological journal Ibis calls for scientists working with birds to contribute to Wikipedia and to set improving the articles as class assignments. You can see the early-bird article here, helpfully made free to view! This is actually quite a nice acknowledgement of the importance by one of the top journals in the field, and hopefully will lead not only better articles in birds but also other scientific fields too. It also explains some aspects of wiki-culture and points out some drawbacks and failures in Wikipedia, although not in any mean way. Sabine's Sunbird talk 00:41, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Massimo Pigliucci's blog

The philosophy professor Massimo Pigliucci has a blog post up called What do I think of Wikipedia?

(And I've got a response. Just sayin'.) —Tom Morris (talk) 06:24, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Book review of "Critical Point of View: A Wikipedia Reader"

As reported in the Signpost, the Amsterdam-based Institute of Network Cultures recently published "Critical Point of View: A Wikipedia Reader" (PDF download), collecting research papers from the CPOV research initiative's conference series about Wikipedia last year, edited by Geert Lovink and Nathaniel Tkacz. (See also the Signpost interview with Tkacz and Johanna Niesyto from the CPOV initiative.)

Summarizing and (critically ;) reviewing these papers should make for a very interesting Signpost article. Because the whole book might be a bit much for one person, I suggest splitting the review up, with each reviewer covering one chapter (or maybe two). Depending on how long the reviews get, we can publish them in several Signpost issues. The papers are grouped into five chapters, with the following themes:

  1. Encyclopedic Knowledge p.14-77
  2. Computational Cultures p.78-164
  3. Interventions p.165-235
  4. Politics of Exclusion p.236-295
  5. Governance and Authority p.296-371

If you are interested in covering a chapter, please sign up at the Signpost review desk and indicate when you intend to submit the review (preferrably before the end of July). Ragesoss has already agreed to do chapter 4 (but would also be prepared to do chapter 1 if someone else wants to do chapter 4). I myself would cover chapter 2 (or, if someone else wants to do that, chapter 1).

Two papers which had already been published elsewhere have been covered previously in the Signpost, and can therefore safely be left out of the review: Heather Ford's "The Missing Wikipedians" in chapter 4 (Signpost coverage), and Tkacz' interview with Edgar Enyedy ("‘Good luck with your wikiPAIDia’: Reflections on the 2002 Fork of the Spanish Wikipedia", chapter 2 - Signpost coverage).

Regards, HaeB (talk) 20:52, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Signpost writers, editors and enthusiasts may want to keep track of the discussion at Talk:Main Page#Formal proposal to put Featured Lists on the main page from 13 June. It's a remote possibility that Today's Featured List could go live this Monday, but 13 or 20 June seem far more likely. Either way, I figured that a new section on the main page would be worthy of coverage in this week's edition. I'd be very happy to attempt to write a piece on it, or give a more talented/neutral writer any help they might need. —WFC21:20, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Actually, it is almost certain that Today's featured list will go live this monday, June 13. Edokter (talk) — 21:01, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

GPs using Wikipedia

I'm not sure whether it's redundant to list something here that's already at Wikipedia:Press coverage 2011, but see this. There's an interview with a West Yorkshire GP with this BBC report that I found a little scary, given the history of CoI editing by pharmaceutical company reps. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 10:09, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Wiki-books project with PediaPress on

Hi there, last week I launched the aforementioned project, aimed to collect 35 new community books based on featured and quality articles as a way to celebrate wp10. It's a first on our project, so I thought you might be interested. You can read more on Wikilove's blog, on my blog (in Italian, but there's a button to Google-translate it), while the project itself is here. Regards, --Elitre (talk) 06:24, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Paul Revere and Wikipedia

"The past is never dead, Sarah Palin edition", Politico, June 6

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:00, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

The story was also picked up by the AP and others. NBC Nightly News came by the WMF office in SF, (video) and we tried to explain that it was mostly business as usual editorially, but unfortunately even though they said Wikipedians are volunteers, their B roll seemed to imply that we actually edit articles from the office. Not a disaster when it comes to vandalism stories, but still not great. Steven Walling 06:13, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Naturally, WikiProject Oregon is proud of Steven. tedder (talk) 03:29, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
NYT article for which I was interviewed --CutOffTies (talk) 15:33, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

FAC, MILHIST A, Spotchecking sources for copyvio, plagiarism, close paraphrase and supporting their facts

In the last week or so a two review page controversy developed about the quality of source checking at FAC and MILHIST A class review. This follows from earlier plagiarism panics at FAC, and long standing concerns with the research quality of MILHIST articles. While both FAC and MILHIST A have seen improvement, the spot checking of sources for copyvio, plagiarism, close paraphrase and supporting their facts is a slow manual process needing advice. As a result of a recommendation I provided a loose description of the process I used. It was suggested that this go either to Signpost or MILHIST's Bugle. Before proceeding to condense and improve language, I wanted suggestions from editors here about how to approach the writing task, and if editors here could see publishing this report as a useful contribution. Fifelfoo (talk) 03:50, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

movement roles

who writes wikipedia? TLDR edition: "About half of the top 50 contributors are bots". Also, "The more you edit Wikipedia, the more your edits are valuable to Wikipedia. There might indeed be Good Samaritans, but their efforts seem to be outweighed by fly-by vandals." Note this flies in the face of Wikimedia's recent blog entry. Naturally, Wikimedia is very interested in the data. Also, Nat Torkington blurbed it, saying "The top bots are doing things ... which could be done by humans but which it would be a scandalous waste of human effort if they were." tedder (talk) 03:28, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, I'm emailing with the guy now. The only caveat I'd put forth about the research is, that while the numbers look very sound, when he says "good" and "bad" edits he means whether edits were reverted or rewritten. Steven Walling at work 17:14, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Nearly 10 million Wikipedia accounts have never made a single edit

Check out Wikipedia talk:List of Wikipedians by number of edits#Users with zero edits - nearly 10 million of our 14 million registered EN WP users have never actually made an edit to EN WP (even deleted edits), almost double the number of users who have. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 04:17, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

It's actually pretty much always been a fact that most accounts never edit, and the same trend holds true for other social sites. For instance, around 60% of Twitter accounts never tweet. Steven Walling 04:21, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that's easily explained by the fact an account registered on any other WMF wiki automatically creates one here through SUL. Raul654 (talk) 15:47, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

The Rio Grande SUN

had an article in it's May 26th edition (page A13) with the headline (all the way across the page) Website Reignites Spelling Debate: Tilde or No Tilde? The website cited is wikipedia. Are you interested in more? Einar aka Carptrash (talk) 15:38, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Sounds interesting (I see you already described some more details here); can you provide a concise, neutral summary of the article's content, in particular the Wikipedia-related aspects? Regards, HaeB (talk) 16:24, 13 June 2011 (UTC)


An editorialist in last week's BMJ (British Medical Journal, doi:10.1136/bmj.d3387) has written about the work of WikiProject Medicine. She also picked up on doi:10.2196/jmir.1589, an article in the Journal for Medical Internet Research that was written by members of the WikiProject earlier this year. JFW | T@lk 08:43, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

I can't see the full text, but the introduction alone seems worthy of at least a brief mention. There are many fields where Wikimedia is either ignored or actively shunned by professionals, and medicine is a very interesting exception. There may well be lessons to be learnt by other WikiProjects. —WFC16:29, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't know who will be writing this up for the Signpost, but I'm sure arrangements can be made to see full text. tedder (talk) 16:35, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Summarized in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2011-06-20/In the news. Regards, HaeB (talk) 08:06, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Larry Sanger returns to Citizendium

He ran for Management Council and has been voted in - David Gerard (talk) 11:52, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

I wonder what the ratio of Charter Amendments to article edits is on Citizendium. Kaldari (talk) 19:48, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

The Register: Wikipedia awash in 'frothy by-product' of US sexual politics

Wikipedia awash in 'frothy by-product' of US sexual politics "Famously, Rick Santorum – the former Pennsylvania Senator and a Republican candidate for president of the United States – has a Google problem. But he also has a Wikipedia problem. And the two go hand-in-hand." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 18:29, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

 Done but not by me. —Tom Morris (talk) 22:59, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Odd credibility effects observed in children

From the executive summary of the new Flanagin and Metzger et al. (2010) Kids and Credibility: An Empirical Examination of Youth, Digital Media Use, and Information Credibility (MIT Press) cited here:

I hope this is of interest. I've seen a lot of Signpost reports on such mentions. (talk) 22:25, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, this is quite an interesting result, and yes, we do cover that kind of thing (example). However, it seems that the book was already published one year ago, so one would need to find some good excuse to shoehorn it into a story for the Signpost, which is basically a news publication... maybe the recent mention in Education Week provides one. Regards, HaeB (talk) 08:56, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Arbcom mailing list leak

Will need to mention this. Onwiki stuff starts here:


©Geni 22:24, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Great American Wiknic was on June 25

I'd like to suggest a short report on our national wiki-meetup-a-thon that was the Great American Wiknic on Saturday.--Pharos (talk) 21:24, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Here's a write-up by the LA Weekly about ours in SoCal. howcheng {chat} 04:59, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
And here is the Washington Post article that came out pre-Wiknic.--Pharos (talk) 04:41, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

POTY on BuzzFeed

Ten thousand people checked out Wikimedia Commons' Picture of the Year on BuzzFeed: [1] Lampman (talk) 06:05, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Media Coverage of WikiLove deployment

Here's the list so far: Media coverage of WikiLove deployment. Kaldari (talk) 06:23, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Some reminiscing on Ye olde Main Page deletions

Spotted in Reddit: How I became an administrator on Wikipedia and inadvertently deleted its main page. --wwwwolf (barks/growls) 19:51, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

July 2011

comedy sketch

Green 960 has a comerdy sketch based around the "The Super-Secret Conservative Wikipedia Modification Committee". Placed on youtube here

©Geni 04:08, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Shell Kinney resignes and retires from Wikipedia

User:Shell Kinney has left Wikipedia. Count Iblis (talk) 21:18, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Bigipedia 2.0 begins on 12th July

The second series of Bigipedia, or Bigipedia 2.0 begins on 12th July at 23.00 on BBC Radio 4. The BBC website says: "At last, the long-awaited release of Bigipedia 2.0 - the infallible, ever-present cyberfriend is back! Now with all errors mistake." ISD (talk) 16:38, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Who is David Rose?

Very interesting blog post by David Allen Green about a 'David Rose' editing in support of Johann Hari:

More by Nick Cohen at

Picked up by Telegraph at

--A bit iffy (talk) 23:35, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Yep, am planning to put it in the 'In The News' section for this week. —Tom Morris (talk) 00:29, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia and GLAMDerby discussed at LocalGovCamp and in Amazon book review

GLAMDerby, Wikimedia UK's first collaboration with a smaller museum, Derby Museum and Art Gallery, kicked off with a backstage pass event in April. There was lots of talk about the 95% of artefacts that are not shown in museums, but only one Wikipedia editor Andy Mabbett actually wrote an article on the day: The King of Rome, about a famous racing pigeon, the only pigeon to survive a 1000 mile race. The pigeon's skin is preserved in Derby Museum and the bird is also the subject of a folk song, made famous by June Tabor.

At the recent LocalGovCamp unconference in Birmingham, Andy spoke about the GLAMWIki project, the relevance of Wikipedia for Local Government, his challenge to local councils to start articles about themselves, his interest in becoming a GLAM Ambassador or Wikipedian-in-residence (he's since been appointed Wikipedia Outreach Ambassador to ARKive) and a certain dead pigeon.

One of the people who attended the event was Tom Phillips, who later wrote about Andy's session, in, of all places, a related Amazon book review, in which he said:

I'm very emotional about this. The June Tabor version of the song "The King of Rome" made its way onto my personal Desert Island Discs some years ago. I even had it sung for me by [her] as a birthday request at a concert. I got lost in a blizzard back country skiing in the wilds of Norway once and found myself singing this loudly to myself for hours until I found my way home. I think the navigation/homing connection was lost on me at the time. It only dawned later.

Cut to many years later. I am at a conference listening to someone talk about Wikipedia, and how museums can use it to give virtual access to exhibits they have no room to display. His presentation slide was...the Wikipedia page on The King of Rome! And do you know? All that time I'd known and loved the song, it had never dawned on me that it was based on a true story. I must be pretty dull, but the discovery hit me like a brick!

I found this book from a link on the Wikipedia article. I ordered it immediately, sight unseen. And when it arrived, I was captivated. Hans Saefkow's artwork is a bit like that of Raymond Briggs, but the whole thing was just like the video that has been playing in my head all these years. I would love to see this turned into a short piece of animation. It would propel the song and the book right up there where it belongs. If there any copies of this left, buy one at once, and play the movie in your own head. This is lovely, and deserves to be so much better known.

Thank you Dave [Sudbury], Hans [Saefko], Joan [Sic: June Tabor] and Andy [Mabbett]. You have brought me much joy.

We're pleased to say that since April over 40 editors around the world have written or translated nearly 800 articles about objects in Derby Museum - including a dozen translations of The King of Rome - as part of the Wright Challenge. It's still two months until that ends, so we're hoping this pigeon is the first of a thousand.

Wow, great story! Kaldari (talk) 19:55, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks very much Andy, I've included a condensed version of the above in this week's News and Notes (with credit). Skomorokh 21:49, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Australian music metadata preservation project

A new Wikipedia-related project to preserve metadata around Australian indie music. Sumanah (talk) 21:27, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

As interesting as this project is, it does not seem to have been deemed relevant enough for inclusion last week, unfortunately. Skomorokh 21:48, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

IndyCar zooms into Wikipedia

IndyCar has started to utilize Wikipedia as a way to share it's high quality content and resources related to IndyCar racing. This project was inspired by the work taking place in the GLAMWIKI program and stemmed from meetings with User:LoriLee, Wikipedian in Residence at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. Let's hope this is a start of a long relationship that involves partnering with WikiProjects, archival research out of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, content donations, and beyond.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by SarahStierch (talkcontribs)

To clarify, it seems that the project so far consists mainly of an intern mass-adding links to their website and YouTube videos, raising some concerns at the corresponding WikiProject. It might be worth mentioning the larger context of discussions about such efforts to "utilize" Wikipedia, cf. earlier Signpost story: "Experts and GLAMs – contributing content or "just" links to Wikipedia?". Regards, HaeB (talk) 23:25, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Walters Art Museum & Baltimore Heritage sponsor GLAM Baltimore

The Walters Art Museum and Baltimore Heritage are sponsoring a gathering of the Wiki and GLAM minds in Baltimore, Maryland, July 22-23. SarahStierch and Aude are presenting. The weekend launches with the Young Preservationists Happy Hour where Sarah is presenting about GLAMWIKI, and is followed by an afternoon of talks by Sarah and Aude followed by break out sessions with GLAM representatives and Wikimedians. Photos will be taken, a report perhaps can be summarized in the Signpost if there is interest. =)

SarahStierch (talk) 14:53, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks again Sarah, have included an edited version of the above (with credit) in this week's News and notes. Skomorokh 23:46, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Smithsonian hosts first Backstage Pass for Wikimedians

July 29 the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art will host 10 Wikimedians for a day of behind the scenes activities and an edit-a-thon. Further details afterwards!

SarahStierch (talk) 15:03, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Sarah, covered. Skomorokh 21:41, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikimedia UK is advertising for a chief exec

See [2], with more info/background at [3]. Mike Peel (talk) 17:27, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Hm, there's some journalists I know looking for new jobs in the UK. Are surveillance and interception skills useful here?--Scott Mac 17:54, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Got it, cheers Mike. Skomorokh 21:34, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

BBC rules prohibit sanitisation of Wikipeida

BBC staff have been told: "Don't surreptitiously sanitise Wikipedia pages about the BBC", per which also says "It follows the disclosure that employees had made anonymous edits to a Wikipedia article entitled 'Criticism of the BBC' removing references to an internal report which found the corporation was seen as 'out of touch with large swathes of the population'."

Covered at Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2011-07-18/In_the_news, thanks! Skomorokh 18:52, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Xeno was a double agent on Encyclopedia Dramatica

See here. Count Iblis (talk) 23:58, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Would like a more substantive source before slinging mud at volunteer contributors. Skomorokh 18:52, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
I guess we'll have to wait until one of Rupert Murdoch journals publishes something on this. Count Iblis (talk) 03:44, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Update on Feburary's gender stats

| old_gender | new_gender | 20 March | 17 July  |
| unknown    | unknown    |   461669 |   459312 |
| unknown    | male       |     1197 |     3111 |
| unknown    | female     |      222 |      464 |
| unknown    | bot        |     -    |      201 |
| male       | unknown    |       46 |       95 |
| male       | male       |    34802 |    34746 |
| male       | female     |        1 |        2 |
| male       | bot        |     -    |        6 |
| female     | unknown    |        9 |       12 |
| female     | male       |        3 |        7 |
| female     | female     |     5108 |     5101 |

Since I had the old dataset laying around I decide to see what's changed. Note: I had inserted new data into the set until mid-march. — Dispenser 02:52, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

It turns out I was joining against an old database, re-ran everything with the newly implemented bot detection. — Dispenser 13:26, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Screwed up the JOINing marking the bureaucrat as the bot. Manually looking I still see error, but that's because they were never given a bot flag. — Dispenser 17:46, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
If we can get useful output from these stats, this week offers a good opportunity to run the story, as the Foundation's data analysis of female editors will be covered. Skomorokh 14:35, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

LWN coverage of Semantic MediaWiki, discussion of whether it'll run on WMF sites in near future

LWN ran a story by Koen Vervloesem about Semantic MediaWiki. It ended:

Towards a semantic Wikipedia
Some academics have already proposed using SMW on Wikipedia to tackle the problem of the many lists that have to be created manually, but according to Wikimedia Foundation Deputy Director Erik Möller it's still unclear whether SMW is up to the task of supporting a web site on the scale of Wikipedia. So while Semantic MediaWiki already powers a lot of web sites and is quite user-friendly, it remains to be seen whether it will eventually bring semantics to the ultimate wiki, Wikipedia.
The SMW project has a fairly detailed roadmap. Some of the interesting tasks are an improvement of the usability of the semantic search features (part of Google Summer of Code 2011), a light version of SMW without query capabilities, improvements for the Semantic Drilldown extension, and so on. It's already quite usable, as many of the active SMW wikis show, but to really reach the vision of the semantic web and be able to link various semantic wikis and other content management systems, Semantic MediaWiki needs to become as easy to use as Wikipedia.

"Simetrical" responded in a comment:

FWIW, the problem with deploying SMW on Wikimedia sites like Wikipedia has always been that it's a big codebase (tens of thousands of lines), which shares few to no active developers with MediaWiki proper, and which has had never had thorough review by core MediaWiki developers for security or performance. It would need a great deal of resources to review, and it's certain that large parts would have to be rewritten or disabled to meet Wikipedia's performance requirements and MediaWiki coding standards. From the perspective of the people making decisions on this sort of thing for Wikimedia, it would probably be less effort to rewrite from scratch.
If Erik Moeller said it was "unclear" whether SMW is up to to task of running on Wikipedia, he was either being polite or didn't ask core developers who have looked at it. It's not. I don't say this to be negative -- it's an awesome project, and its functionality is absolutely make-or-break for countless small to medium MediaWiki installs. But it's not possible for a project of this scale to be usable on a site as large as Wikipedia unless it was written that way to begin with, and (like almost all software) it wasn't. Even if it were, the kind of general-purpose data-munging that makes some SMW-related extensions so valuable is just not possible to do on very large datasets.
So I can pretty confidently say that awesome though it may be, SMW is not going to be enabled on Wikipedia at any time in the foreseeable future.

GLAM extra

Couldn't squeeze into this week, but: Imperica Fae interview. Skomorokh 23:40, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikimedia Foundation joins the Unicode Consortium

The Wikimedia Foundation is now an official liaison member of the Unicode Consortium.[4][5] Kaldari (talk) 18:43, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Added, thanks. Skomorokh 12:41, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Michael Kühntopf

Interesting story that seems to have developed on the German Wikipedia (The articel here has been deleted but still exists on simple). A prolific editor on deWiki de:Benutzer:Michael Kühntopf just got banned for publishing wiki-derived books without adhering to the licence - claiming copyright. Agathoclea (talk) 12:08, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

see sisterarticle de:Wikipedia:Kurier#Ein kühnes Plagiat. Agathoclea (talk) 16:40, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
and details of the published books involved at this noticeboard Agathoclea (talk) 18:52, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Probably bad idea

But maybe my list of image suggestions can be mentioned? Bulwersator (talk) 18:20, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Nice project! I've added a note about it here; could you take a look and check that it's accurate and if anything should be added? Thanks, Skomorokh 14:29, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Someone "leaked" all papers published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society before 1923 (aka the public domain ones)

The Signpost just has to jump on this. Feedback from the WMF would be nice too. There's probably something at Wikisource about this too. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 18:02, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Bravo! (to the "leaker" of public domain documents) - anything we can do to publicize or support this should be done. Smallbones (talk) 18:30, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
It looks like the "leaker" was User:Gmaxwell. Kaldari (talk) 19:22, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
See also Kaldari (talk) 19:33, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Great story, ties in well with the Aaron Schwartz case. Appreciate any further relevant links on this, particularly Wikimedia angles. Skomorokh 14:02, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

I would point out that (leaving aside the controversial Corel vs. Bridgeman caselaw), some of these works will still be copyrighted in the UK (where the law is death+70 years) and hence uploading some of these to Commons (which respects both the US and and local copyright laws) et al. will still clearly breach copyright law. Plus, this sort of behaviour really isn't constructive, and actively destroys the potential for positive relationships with the organisations affected by these actions. Mike Peel (talk) 22:54, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
They're documents. They'll be mainly uploaded to Wikisource, not Commons (which is only interested in US copyright). Dcoetzee 21:19, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Mike's point about this being unconstructive. While it may have been effective as a means of protest, it isn't effective towards our long term goal of getting more content released through partnerships with institutions. Kaldari (talk) 21:37, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia disputes reflect country's stability/instability?

See if interested. Jo3sampl (talk) 21:00, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Very interesting. Can include the paper as well at doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020902
Great story, thanks. Covered here. Skomorokh 11:56, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

North Korean propaganda

According to the Daily NK, the Korean Wikipedia is full of North Korean propaganda. Cla68 (talk) 01:11, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

I came across this, but looking at the source, am wary of reporting partisans' accusations against opposing partisans about questions of bias; had been waiting to see if this got picked up by more mainstream publications. Skomorokh 10:43, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

North American Cultural Partnerships List

Not sure if list announcements can be placed here, but, due to the increasing outreach efforts of North American GLAM-WIKI volunteers, a North American Cultural Partnerships mailing list has been created for those interested in activities in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Greenland and the Caribbean. The new list! SarahStierch (talk) 17:09, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia Search Design Contest

Social search engine Greplin is sponsoring a Search Design Contest for Wikipedia. TechCrunch has a short piece about it here. Gobonobo T C 21:44, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

TMIG August

On August 1, hopefully the next edition of This Month In GLAM will be out at outreach:GLAM/Newsletter/July 2011. Just popping it here in case I forget to add it to N&N. Not that I'd ever forget anything (cough cough). —Tom Morris (talk) 10:48, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

4 Vesta

4 Vesta has been filling up with pics since the arrival of the dawn spacecraft. Compare the article pre dawnGeni 15:07, 29 July 2011 (UTC)


National Maritime Museum Collaboration

Can I point you in the direction of: Wikipedia:GLAM/NMM - many thanks. :-) The Land (talk) 16:05, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia doesn't track visitors the way that almost all other websites do

According to a new study of user privacy and tracking, summarized here (with link to the full study), "Combined, Google has a presence on 97 of the top 100 websites. This includes popular government websites such as,, and Only,, and lacked some type of Google cookie." [That's from the full study document itself, not the summary, and is the only mention of Wikipedia.] -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:17, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

This isn't particularly new news: it's been publicly known for a long time that Wikipedia visitors aren't tracked as they are on pretty much any other website. Mike Peel (talk) 22:31, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Its very interesting, but has already been published at [[6]]. jorgenev 22:49, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Article about Wikipedia in IEEE Spectrum

Article here:

(Full disclosure: I'm quoted in the article.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:19, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm pretty suspicious about an article concerning English literature appearing in a an Engineering publication. Seems like a red flag that someone has an axe to grind, and couldn't grind it in a relevant place, so use their weight as an engineer to publish something that does not concern engineering in the least. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 21:32, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Foundation/Chapter fundrasing deals


Has effectively thrown a grenade into the situation.©Geni 23:35, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

A better starting point in the thread, I think, is this. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 22:06, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Note that a lot of the feedback from chapters with regards this topic has taken place on internal-l, and hence I'm worried that the discussion that is publicly visible may not represent a neutral and complete point of view. Mike Peel (talk) 22:30, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Instructions on how to "game" Wikipedia . . .


GeorgeLouis (talk) 21:59, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

You have to go to No. 19 on that page, or go directly here: and read the stuff in the right hand column. GeorgeLouis (talk) 22:01, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Looks like pretty standard WP:CANVASSing. Since it was in January and it doesn't seem to have worked out, I'm not sure how newsworthy that would be but it is interesting to note that an actual web designer was doing the canvassing. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:29, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

WikiLove is counterproductive?

I thought I remembered seeing a snippet of a research paper indicating WikiLove is actually counterproductive. I can't find it now, but I'm posting here in case anyone else remembers seeing this in the last week. tedder (talk) 23:35, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

We need an source. ~~Ebe123~~ talkContribs 18:18, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Considering that WikiLove was just deployed 1 month ago, I find that hard to believe. Kaldari (talk) 00:16, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Galina Voskoboeva article

There was an interview done with this tennis player where part of her article was brought up for comment... turns out to have been vandalism. Excerpted from the interview:

Q. I don't know how accurate this is, but the Wikipedia biography, it says that you hunt pigs. Do you hunt boars?
GALINA VOSKOBOEVA: (Laughter.) Yes, you know, I found that probably it's not interesting anymore to go to the cinema or to read books, so I decide to change something. You know, when I have free time I just go hunting pigs. Why not? For Russians it's normal when we have free time just, you know, go for hunting pigs.
Q. What's the biggest one that you've been able to snare down?
Q. What's the biggest pig or boar that you've been able to hunt?
GALINA VOSKOBOEVA: No, of course not. No, it's a joke.
Q. How did that get started?
GALINA VOSKOBOEVA: Being serious, we just found it out recently with my ‑‑ actually, she read that. I didn't read it before. So probably it was somebody's joke. No, because other ‑‑ it also says that I like to play chess, yes, with Alex, so actually I also don't know who is Alex.
Q. But do you play chess?
GALINA VOSKOBOEVA: No. I like to play more cards.

The interview can be read at (note: DOC format file at the other end) and also in an HTML version at Tabercil (talk) 23:50, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Sue Gardner on cover of American Libraries

A photo of Sue Gardner speaking at the June American Library Association conference graced the cover of the July/August 2011 issue of the association's news magazine, American Libraries. There is also a 1-paragraph summary of her talk in the conference coverage, on p. 50. Libcub (talk) 00:09, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

See link. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 04:43, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
And direct link to p.50 with the above mentioned paragraph. Still remarkable that she beat the "celebrity speakers" such as Dan Savage, Daniel Ellsberg and David Simon to the cover ;) Regards, HaeB (talk) 15:28, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

WikiChix Lunch Summary from Wikimania

Fresh off the presses: WikiChix Lunch 2011 SarahStierch (talk) 13:34, 12 August 2011 (UTC)


-- John Broughton (♫♫) 13:10, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Presentation as a Wikipedian

On August 27, 2011, I will be speaking as a wikipedian at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in conjunction with the August 28 Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial dedication ceremonies. The theme of my presentation will be "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"—Martin Luther King, Jr. Does this deserve a mention in WP:POST.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 00:38, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

I'd read it :-) Smallbones (talk) 01:09, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm not really expecting suggesting a big story. Just maybe one of those one-liners because I just have a small role.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 02:50, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Regarding Skomorokh (talk · contribs)'s query on my talk page. The dedication was postponed by Hurricane Irene. My Saturday speech was cancelled/postponed with no clarity on whether the Saturday events will be rescheduled along with the Sunday dedication.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 16:12, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Two suggestions

Wikipedia survival guide

Haven't seen any news articles, just the press releases, such as this:

but seems worth a mention. Here's the "survival guide":

Wikipedia-like abstracts

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:04, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the tips! They will be looked into! jorgenev 21:06, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Four more suggestions

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 13:47, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia vandalism quoted in the Toronto Star

See this article from The Province, which explains the situation. I also summarized it at Talk:Rick Rypien. Basically, a vandal modified (diff) a Mike Gillis quote about Rick Rypien, in Rypien's Wikipedia article in July.. and at the time of Rypien's death earlier this week, the vandalism hadn't been found, and the Toronto Star published the vandalized quote in their print newspapers. The Toronto Star has since apologized, but Mike Gillis is apparently considering legal action.. I'm not sure if these kinds of incidents normally go in the Signpost, or if there's someone else I should be telling. Mlm42 (talk) 01:17, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

I just noticed this news item is also linked in the preceeding section via a Toronto Star article; sorry for the repetition. Mlm42 (talk) 01:20, 21 August 2011 (UTC)


I've been having a look around FAs on other Wikipedias and found hundreds of articles that we don't cover at all. Not sure if a story/short could be written about this but I thought it was quite interesting. violet/riga [talk] 09:47, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

I'd be interested in doing a story on this for whenever we're short on stories like we almost were this week. It's interesting but I'd like to hear what the resident featured content writers have to say first. Strange Passerby (talkcont) 10:25, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

One thing that it's just highlighted for me is the woeful Maritime history of the Netherlands compared to the beautiful Featured Article on Sure, the Dutch are obviously going to write quite a bit about themselves but surely this is a significant historical topic? violet/riga [talk] 21:29, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Meredith Perry, uBeam

According to NPR, inventor-entrepreneur Meredith Perry has come up with a wireless battery charger called uBeam, which is in the first stages of commercialization. The point that surprised me was - "Perry has no background in electrical engineering. She's self-taught by reading online, mostly Wikipedia." Smallbones (talk) 12:14, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

WP:FOUR milestones

WP:FOUR recognized its 100th editor and 250th article on August 21 and 24 respectively.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 05:38, 24 August 2011 (UTC)


What previously seemed unachievable by a mortal wikipedian has been achieved necessitating the renaming of the Ultimate Triple Crown as the Marco Polo Centurion Triple Crown. The new unachievable WP:CROWN level (the level at which one "eats Jimbo Wales for lunch and takes over Wikipedia") is now 250, which is called the Ultimate Triple Crown.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 05:41, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Suggestions, August 24th

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 20:57, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

New or already covered?

A user has suggested this might be newsworthy. Has it been covered before? User:Pine is offering to write it up in ITN for next week. Tony (talk) 08:07, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikisym scholarships

I'm not sure if this is of use/interest or not, but Wikimedia UK's offering two full scholarships to enable UK researchers to attend Wikisym this year - see wmuk:WikiSym Scholarships for more info. Mike Peel (talk) 15:06, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Washington Post writeup of the making of the article 2011 Virginia earthquake

And probably off-point, but I found it curious that there was a fight to delete this article, because it wasn't important, as earthquakes go, while the article was simultaneously being added to the "In the news" section of the Main page. (Basically, confusion over "notability", which is measured by press coverage, versus "importance", which is subjective, and isn't the same thing at all as "notability", as used in Wikipedia policy.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 17:07, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Suggestions, August 28th

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 03:45, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

end of Google Summer of Code projects

I'm working on some wrapup posts/mail about the Google Summer of Code students. I hope to have it ready this week. It would be neat if a Signpost person interviewed one or two of the students! Sumanah (talk) 19:25, 29 August 2011 (UTC)


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