CollegeHumor suggests "More Specific Wikipedia Warnings" Powers T 17:22, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Hehehe. ResMar 02:37, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

GLAM stuff!

"This Month in GLAM - October" is the 10th edition (and largest ever) edition! This month including detailed reports from 9 countries. Note also the busy schedule of events for November. Kudos to it's editor user:Rock drum.

As part of the weekend long m:GLAMcamp Amsterdam conference (December 2-4), Wikimedia Netherlands is also hosting a public workshop for the local cultural sector. More details at (NOTE - whilst we would like the community to know about the GLAMcamp Amsterdam event we have NO MORE places so please don't say "sign up" or "register" with regards to the weekend conference. GLAM professionals who want to come to the public workshop on the Friday are of course welcome. I hope you see what I mean :-) Wittylama 06:12, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Noted, I'll include it for N&N. ResMar 23:06, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Now in brief. An article about an article! Hehe. ResMar 03:18, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Briefly: GLAM-Wiki in Indianapolis magazine

Lori Phillips was featured in a Five Question interview, 2-page spread in the November issue of the Indianapolis Woman magazine: E-Magazine Reader (Link may not work in all browsers.) I had the opportunity to discuss my role as Wikipedian in Residence at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, QRpedia, and broader goals of the GLAM-Wiki movement. HstryQT (talk) 17:49, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Item for ITN. ResMar 02:35, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Wikispecies reached 300,000 articles

Forgot to post this, it happened almost 2 weeks ago. Details can be found at species:Wikispecies:Village Pump#Reached 300,000 articles. OhanaUnitedTalk page 04:39, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

If it happened two weeks ago, it's a little too late now to run it. ResMar 02:34, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
There was no "news and notes" 2 weeks ago (in the Oct. 24 issue) so I thought it would be covered in the next issue (Oct. 31). But you missed it in the Oct. 31 issue so I was dropping a note to inform you that you missed something. OhanaUnitedTalk page 12:59, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Appreciate the heads-up, Ohana. That was a regrettable omission on our part. Skomorokh 12:03, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Halloween at DYK

  • A sample write-up.
Eternal Silence received over 70 thousand views
This Halloween, Did You Know? (DYK) ran fourteen blurbs, among which were cemeteries, ghosts, murderers, Ghost Frogs, and a wrestler named Lucifer. One of the articles featured, Eternal Silence (depicted at right), received 71.8 thousand views while on the Main Page. This makes it the third most-viewed DYK article ever, after Paul the Octopus and Euthanasia Coaster; for comparison, the Today's Featured Article The Human Centipede (First Sequence) received 136.5 thousand hits.
Any feedback welcome. Crisco 1492 (talk) 02:55, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Good for an In brief. I'm wondering though if this could be expedited into a section, with a paragraph or so covering the day's DYK, FA, and Featured image. ResMar 03:00, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks =) ResMar 03:05, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Hodgman comments on Wikipedia

John Hodgman in an interview with Patt Morrison on KPCC: "Wikipedia, obviously, is one of my favorite sources for dubious scholarship. I really do love Wikipedia, but that is a world of self-appointed experts, many of whom are extremely passionate about their little individual fiefdoms there, but it is a self-appointed expertise that is defining our culture now." Goes on to say that being a magazine writer means you pretend to be an expert in many areas. tedder (talk) 20:46, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't find Hodgman's comments all that fresh or insightful, being honest. Skomorokh 12:03, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Featured sounds - the sound of silence?

Worth mentioning at some point that the Featured Sounds process has been tagged as inactive for a few weeks now? BencherliteTalk 12:43, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

On a personal note I'm mildly surprised anyone else noticed and not at all unhappy with the turn of events. On a Signpost note, it's probably something to be covered in the Featured content section, if it gets covered at all (it's a bit late; it's up to the author of the section to decide, I guess). Sven Manguard Wha? 14:28, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
We covered this briefly in last week's "News and notes"; is there any more worth noting? Skomorokh 19:01, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
No, it's still dead, and I've just proved I missed reading last week's SP.... BencherliteTalk 19:30, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, This breaking news just in, Featured Sounds is still dead! Sven Manguard Wha? 18:46, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

GLAM on TV :-)

Sorry to "toot my own horn" but I just found out that an interview I did ages ago has now been shown on Australian TV! all about GLAM-wiki work :-) I'm very happy with how they put it together - looks great. One interesting thing is how in the very brief part where I talk about the problems of copyright they overlay me with images of someone, presumably cuban, smoking a cigar in front of a picture of Che Guevara! Wittylama 11:58, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Ha, nice feature Liam, we'll run this in this week's "In the news". Skomorokh 12:03, 11 November 2011 (UTC)


The Independent reports on Amazon's glut of print on demand books sourced from Wikipedia content. Elsewhere, a sentence that briefly appeared on the book article, ("A book is a book.") fails to become the Sentence of the Week. Gobonobo T C 16:14, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

This is actually not that new: see Wikipedia:Potentially unreliable sources#Wikipedia mirrors. There was a humorous discussion on WT:FAC a year or so ago about the ridiculousness that Alphascript was pushing on Amazon, and more so how Amazon flatly refused to do anything about it. ResMar 01:36, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Appreciate the tip Gobonobo; it might not be all that fresh a story but it's a slow news week so we will likely cover it in this week's "In the news". Skomorokh 12:03, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

more maps

zero geography have published up to date maps of places that have geocoded wikipedia articles:

©Geni 04:37, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Cheers Geni; the researchers have generously agreed to donate one of the maps and we're running the story in this week's "In the news". Skomorokh 12:03, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2011

Nominations set to open very shortly. I'm guessing it will get its own section on the Signpost by the time the next issue is published. –MuZemike 23:30, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Recent Research publication request

Hello, I don't see a "Recent Research" section in the list of upcoming Signpost sections but could you include this either this week or next week? This is research on Wikipedia editors. Thanks! Pinetalk 08:42, 7 November 2011 (UTC) (and user:LauraHale)

Thanks for the suggestion, the methodology is really intriguing! The "Recent Research" section is published on a monthly basis, doubling as the Wikimedia Research Newsletter (see the information there). It does not function as a research journal itself, i.e. does not publish full-length research papers, but rather aims at giving an overview of recent academic publications of that kind.
The next issue is planned for November 28, and we will definitely aim to run a review or summary of your research there. Regards, HaeB (talk) 09:49, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for letting us know. Pinetalk 11:18, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
I included a short mention in this week's n&n. ResMar 23:58, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

In the news possibility

Apologies if this is known and discussed already, but in the November 7, 2011 edition of the New Yorker (pp. 80-81), Daniel Mendelsohn uses WP as an extended metaphor for possible ways of looking at the Iliad. I thought it might be nice for "In the News" because it's used so neutrally, as if WP is a universally known thing in the world as opposed to a site of contention, and with a solid understanding of the way that the edit history of an article adds to its meaning. I can stick a quote up here if there's interest. I guess it's not really "In the News," since it's not about WP per se, but that makes it even more interesting to me, anyway.— alf.laylah.wa.laylah (talk) 17:59, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Great tip, thanks Alf! Skomorokh 09:22, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

ArbCom elections now to fill 7 spots

This just in; Iridescent was kicked from the committee for inactivity, so there are now 7 spots open. (announcement) Sven Manguard Wha? 05:46, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia languages

Wikipedia Signpost can publicize the article discussed at User talk:Jimbo Wales#Wikipedia languages.
Wavelength (talk) 03:30, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

It was already slated to be covered, but thanks anyways for the tip! Sven Manguard Wha? 09:12, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Fundraiser starting

The fundraiser is supposed to officially launch sometime this week. This year we are supporting lots of new currencies and payment methods. Hopefully there will be a blog post about it some time soon. Kaldari (talk) 19:37, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Great, I've stuck a note to that effect at the end of the latest iteration in the donations vs ads debate. Skomorokh 19:42, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Tips for the discussion report (Nov 21st ed.)

Anyone have any discussions they've noticed. I'm already planning on covering the discussions at:

  1. Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not
  2. Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship

Sven Manguard Wha? 08:49, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

No active RfAs? Everyone heads over to the talk page and starts arguing there. =| ResMar 14:23, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
If only. People argue at that page all the time, not just when there aren't active RfAs. It's fun to watch; cheaper than a bowl of fighting fish, but generally you get the same type of interaction as you'd get with the fish. The only thing that the fish have going for them is that they're prettier. Sven Manguard Wha? 07:55, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia wrong, but more accurate than IMDb

Eric Shirey, after using an unreferenced claim in a Wikipedia article as a source: "Unfortunately, for the first time ever (I want that noted), something I used as a source off of Wikipedia was wrong. I've had worse luck with things being inaccurate on IMDb." (from Airlock Alpha) Gobonobo T C 06:40, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Cheers Gobonobo, I'll be covering this in this week's "In the news". Skomorokh 13:37, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Tip for Technology report

After some serious discussing and hacking, horizontal lists is now mature enough to be rolled out, without having to worry about any bugs. Horizontal lists are plain HTML lists, but displayed in a horizontal fashion while retaining all semantics of a proper list, and even support nesting. This eliminates the need for resource-hungry templates like {{nowrap}} and {{}} to generate horizontal lists. It also make editing navboxes easier, as they now accept standard list wiki markup. A lot of navboxes have already been converted, see {{Prince singles}} for example. See the discussion on MediaWiki talk:Common.css#Flatlist css tweak. Edokter (talk) — 18:10, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

American Censorship Day, WMF and Wikipedia

See the discussion here. Seems like an item worthy discussion in the Signpost. Why did WMF act but Wikipedia did not? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 23:18, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

It's being discussed in the Discussion report already. Sven Manguard Wha? 02:02, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

xkcd covers a well-known Wikipedia phenomenon

Randall Munroe of xkcd has done it again:— Preceding unsigned comment added by Calvin 1998 (talkcontribs)

Mhmm. Sad but true. Sven Manguard Wha? 02:01, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
The phenomenon the comic describes is discussed on the individual comic thread in the xkcd forums. Gobonobo T C 02:10, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

possibly interesting

After being deleted in 22 of 22 previous AFDs (+10 speedy deletions) an article on wikiracing has survived AFD. JORGENEV 05:38, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Spoken Wikipedia

I've checked this since the last moment of panic regarding this. I am almost 100% certain the Chris Nunn article is the first Spoken Wikipedia version to be read by the subject of the article. --LauraHale (talk) 05:58, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

That's remarkable Laura! I've made mention of this in this week's "News and notes". Thanks, Skomorokh 13:37, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Size in volumes

We appear to have passed 1600 volumes.©Geni 14:36, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Geni, I've included this in this week's "News and notes". Skomorokh 13:37, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Where to put a briefing

I've got an 'in brief' note to promote the motto of the day project, wondering where to put it? News & Notes didn't seem to fit, neither did the WikiProject report. It goes:

In brief

Thanks. Rcsprinter (speak) 16:50, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Rcsprinter! The WikiProject report has a sidebar with items like this, I'll run it by the desk. If it's not a good fit there, we can accommodate in N&N, though perhaps with more detatched phrasing. It's always great to have submissions like this, we really appreciate it. Skomorokh 10:54, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
To echo Skomorokh, the best place for this is the WikiProject Report's sidebar news requests. We've actually run news from Motto of the Day four times since August, with most of the news items dealing with the "Motto Shop". I'll get your newest news item in the upcoming edition. -Mabeenot (talk) 19:35, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Indian students protest Wikipedia

Bharatiya Janata Party student activists protested Wikipedia's use of a map of India that excludes Jammu, Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh. Twenty students were arrested outside of Mumbai University, where Wiki Conference India 2011 is being held. Gobonobo T C 00:52, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Larry Sanger on co-founding Wikipedia and how online education could change the world

"Larry Sanger on co-founding Wikipedia and how online education could change the world" "The Next Web covered one of Larry’s new projects a couple of weeks ago, Reading Bear, which is an online phonics tutorial for kids. Two weeks on from this, we caught up with Larry for an in-depth interview on what he’s been up to post-Wikipedia, and we also discussed some of his other projects too." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 14:10, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia in Higher Education and Ambassador Program

  1. I would like to suggest presenting this current story, supported by an interview with Christopher Cheney, chair of the Ambassador Steering Committee.
  2. I would also like to to request that the Signpost staff consider providing space each week to present a report of the Global Education Program. The WMF Global Education Program is consistently covered in international media. It only makes sense that we would present this program on a regular basis in the Signpost. The allotted space would include features, successes, status, and strategies of Wikipedia's Global Education and Ambassador Program. I am willing to write this article along with WMF Global Education Program staff members and members of the Steering Committee and Regional, Campus, and Online Ambassadors. Thoughts? Best regards, Cind.amuse (Cindy) 17:51, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
I believe GLAM has its own newspaper altogether, see GLAM/Newsletter. Not sure of all the different outreach programs atm though, but they seem very similar. ResMar 17:55, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Not sure how your comment relates to the WMF Global Education Program. GLAM has nothing to do with the Education Program. The Signpost covers stories, events and reports related to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation, i.e., the Education Program, which is a global initiative of the WMF. The Education Program is receiving consistent international news coverage, yet the success and global expansion of the program is consistently unreported by the Signpost. Thoughts? Best regards, Cind.amuse (Cindy) 04:15, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Both are outreach programs. One targets museums, the other universities. I haven't looked terribly deeply at either program, but I don't think a unilateral newsletter on outreach would be such a bad idea, which is what I was suggesting. The reality of the situation is that there aren't editors eager to write any new section they can, and in fact we are understaffed as it is. If you would like to commit, or know someone who would commit, to such a section weekly, contact SMasters or Skomorokh, our managing editors, and lobby for your idea. ResMar 00:12, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Apologies for the late response, but I tend to tune out of here once the week's post is written, being a Suggestions page and all. ResMar 00:13, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. I can appreciate that you are not familiar with GLAM or USEP. Understand that they are wholly unrelated in staff, direction, and programming. A unilateral Outreach newsletter would be ineffective. I would invite you to consider reading my original suggestion a second time. You mentioned "The reality of the situation is that there aren't editors eager to write any new section they can, and in fact we are understaffed as it is," yet I offered a suggestion to enhance the Signpost with a solution to make it happen. Seems like a missed opportunity. That said, thanks for the feedback and contact info for other stakeholders. Best regards, Cind.amuse (Cindy) 10:58, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
The Education Program is quite outside of the scope of the GLAM project and newsletter (I've been involved with both communities fairly deeply). It would good IMO to start off with one EP feature by Cindamuse for the Signpost, and if that works, maybe go forward with her leading a more regular feature.--Pharos (talk) 04:48, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

The Nerdist on Wikipedia and a Wikipedian on The Nerdist.

The The Nerdist Podcast had a small edit dispute over the deletion of a list of podcast episodes, which led to a long discussion in which the show's creator Chris Hardwick, posting as Spamwick (talk · contribs) tried to defend the inclusion of the list. Wikipedian and Nerdist fan Tedder (talk · contribs) helped move the discussion toward a consensus, and was invited to be on an episode of the podcast, where many of the usual complaints about Wikipedia were discussed, such as inaccurate biographies of living persons, inclusionism vs deletionism, and so on.

Hardwick is bizarrely incensed and inexplicably obsessed with a perceived slight on the talk page by Orangemike (talk · contribs). That telling Hardwick that WP is not Facebook was condescending, and Hardwick can't seem to get over it. I don't know what to make of this aspect of it. Maybe an Onion headline: Area Man Outraged That Somebody Was Rude On The Internet. Orangemike was making a valid point, by the way, and one shudders to think how much Hardwick's anger would have boiled over had anyone in the discussion become seriously uncivil.

Tedder followed up with a thoughtful blog post. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 21:01, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

I've responded to the talk discussion by creating List of The Nerdist Podcast episodes. Was not aware of the podcast 142 or User:Tedder's blogpost until after page creation (which I botched a bit, not immediately recognizing I was doing splitting). I've now listened to the section of ep142 relating to what User:Dennis Bratland has said above, and I'm not sure I agree with his characterizations. I personally thought User:Orangemike was a bit over the top in talk discussion, accusing User:Spamwick of COI after he'd already twice self-identified as Hardwick. I also thought the use of "Wikipedia is not Facebook" was a little bitey. Just my opinion. I do agree with the characterization Tedder represented the pedia well both on the podcast and on his blog posting. BusterD (talk) 21:29, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
But those were classic COI arguments: Give me a free hand to edit the WP article about me because it gets more hits than my own site. My fans need this information and I don't want to do the work of providing it to them myself. The claim that removing it "stifles the free trade of truthful and relevant knowledge" implies deleting from Wikipedia suppresses knowledge -- as if knowledge starts on Wikipedia. He seemed to think he owned "his" Wikipedia page. Everything suggests the writer doesn't "get" Wikipedia. Which provoked a reasonable response from Orangemike -- though I concede the "gratification of your egos" crack was probably uncalled for, although quite prescient, given the egotistical rants and strings of personal insults that followed. It's surprising that Hardwick got away with calling so many other editors morons and officious pencil pushers and dummies. Apparently what made him so angry is that he doesn't, in fact, get Wikipedia, but he thinks he does, and takes it very personally when it's pointed out. Geek chic is very lucrative nowadays, and I don't think any of the Hollywood actors building their careers on a carefully cultivated nerd image appreciate having that undermined. Failing to understand how Wikipedia works (in 2011!) would be a huge blow to anyone's geek cred.

On a more interesting level, Hardwick keeps repeating that his motive is that "people use Wikipedia the most". It's the site with all the traffic. I would theorize that one of the fundamental reasons for Wikipedia's popularity -- why readers come here first and not straight to the .com pages operated by articles' subjects -- is that COI editors get such a chilly reception, and that makes Wikipedia more trustworthy in the eyes of the general public. All this in spite of the well known amount of error on Wikipedia. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 22:49, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

I agree with most everything Dennis has written in the comment above. My concern is the appearance of biting newcomers, even when they're clearly in violation of policy (which Spamwick wasn't). I also disagree with the table deletion on the merits, but agree that this is a matter for consensus. Hardwick may be wrong on the merits, but I still see no reason to bite newcomers, even involved parties or COI actors. Just because we're familiar with common practice, there's no reason to assume they do. Honey and vinegar. For my part I concede I've acted boldly in my list page creation. I've never created a page which I expected to face AfD, but wouldn't be surprised if this one does see such a procedure. I'm very glad Dennis posted about this here; it's important that wikipedians be aware of their cultural impact, whether in page work or in talk discussions. For good or ill, Orangemike appeared to be unreasonable; Tedder appeared more reasonable. It was the harshness of Orangemike's response which triggered resentment, IMHO; it's likely that this resentment from Hardwick and his podcast will continue, so honey and vinegar will have continuing resonance, regardless who's "right". On the plus side, he's seen that even wikipedians who disagree with him can respond in a reasonable way. BusterD (talk) 23:22, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

ASA Wikipedia Initiative Launched

Another professional association throws its weight behind Wikipedia. See more at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Sociology#ASA_Wikipedia_Initiative_Launched. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 20:00, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

This could go well together with the section below on what is wrong with expert involvement. -- Daniel Mietchen - WiR/OS (talk) 10:51, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the pointer Piotr, Daniel can we start keeping track of these initiatives on the Science WiR page on meta? --DarTar (talk) 23:39, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
At least 34 organizations are known as "ASA".
Wavelength (talk) 23:53, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Why are pornstars more notable than scientists on Wikipedia?

This could go well together with the section above on ASA involvement. -- Daniel Mietchen - WiR/OS (talk) 10:51, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, but this seems to be just wrong. If anything, the notability standards for academics have been relaxed to an unpractical degree. I would love to write articles on several of my colleagues who pass WP:ACADEMIC. But it's impossible because there are just no usable reliable sources about them as long as they are alive. (When someone dies, there is a good chance there will be an obituary with at least the most fundamental biographic information.) I am not familiar with our pornstar articles, but I would be very surprised if they had the same problem of nothing to say due to lack of secondary sources. Hans Adler 11:00, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
People in their field will know a number of sources that contain information about them - e.g. papers or conference brochures - why generally wait until someone dies or gets the Nobel prize (see also the recent comments by Harold Kroto)? -- Daniel Mietchen - WiR/OS (talk) 13:58, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Having worked quite a bit on AfD discussions I just wanted to point out that the real issue is not coverage, but what it means for a secondary source to be reputable in order to sustain a notability claim. Notability guidelines tend to be quite consistent across subjects, but they obviously aren't when they start defining what a reputable secondary source is in a given field. Having made major contributions to a scientific field (which will only result in citations in the relevant scholarly literature) is not as strong evidence to prove that something or someone is notable as having a couple of occasional mentions in mainstream media (e.g. winning some industry prize if you are a pornographic actor). Point in case: the article about this 29yo British lady survived an AfD discussion as a keep for for the simple fact that this person won the 2007 UKAFTA for Best Female Performer In An Anal Scene. The question, then, is not whether a brochure or media mention exists for a scientist, but if a large research record and measurable impact in the peer review literature can be considered as evidence for the notability of an academic. --DarTar (talk) 23:33, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
I am glad to see that Gary Martin's article survived deletion. He is deemed to be notable. While the h-index cannot solely be used for this purpose we have discussed citations etc in order to support Gary Martin. Gary's h-index is 27. Now the question about Sean Ekins deletion. His h-index is 45 with almost 6000 citations, twice the number of citations for Gary Martin. Does this support notability for Sean Ekins?

News items not covered

No space this week for:

Perhaps next time, Skomorokh 20:49, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Google Knol shutting down

Once thought to be a competitor to Wikipedia (see article), Knol is being shut down by Google:

Although here's a claim that "Annotum" will (somehow) be replacing Knol:

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 18:02, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Some fundraising updates

See Kaldari (talk) 23:14, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Publication worth a mention in next issue?

Can PowerPoint: Wikipedia's poor treatment of its most important articles be given a mention in the next issue of the Signpost? It has sparked a number of debates throughout Wikipedia during the last day or two. Regards --Sp33dyphil ©© 10:26, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Before that happens TCO needs to unvanish; vanished users aren't allowed to edit unless they do, and really shouldn't be linked to by the Signpost, it defeats the purpose of vanishing. Sven Manguard Wha? 11:35, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
The content (in our case, the story) comes first, not the silly gameplaying. Skomorokh 12:13, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
A link to the actual Commons page is quite useful: commons:File:Wikipedia’s poor treatment of its most important articles.pdfTom Morris (talk) 12:10, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes Phil, we will definitely be covering this in News and notes, see the Newsroom. We are looking for interesting commentary, so if you spot any let us know. Skomorokh 12:13, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
I personally was exceedingly happy that TCO "vanished", I remember him as someone who made a great deal of poorly thought out comments and proposals, and who was downright belittling to anyone who did anything on Wikipedia other than write articles. This presentation is about what I've come to expect from the user, downright belittling to anyone that works outside of his exceedingly narrow list of priorities, and in many places impractical. I would be more than willing to tear the report to shreds for the Signpost, on behalf of everyone who volunteers a great deal of time and effort into working on things that interest them, and which they have an expertise in, but are not 'core' subjects. Sadly, however, there is little doubt in my mind that, having just said how very much I hold the presentation, and its author, in utter contempt, Skomorokh isn't going to want me doing the review. Oh well... when TCO speaks large portions of the community get insulted or annoyed, there are other people who would be willing to 'critically assess' the presentation. Sven Manguard Wha? 13:03, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
Sven, it's completely understandable that you have such a reaction; none of us continues editing heavily without developing a personal animus. If this analysis had not inspired any of a reaction other that dismissal, it would likely not be newsworthy – but on the contrary, it has touched a nerve within the quality-content producing community. I am not going to ask anyone to work on a story they don't want to, or don't feel they could treat objectively, however as a publication our responsibility is to our readers, not to feelings about the topics we have an obligation to cover, so we must try to be dispassionate – at least away from the opinion-essay pages! Skomorokh 13:12, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree with most of your views, Sven, but not on this one. "Vanished" editors don't need to "unvanish" to do data analysis or make recommendations. Heck, anyone can make recommendations without even registering or alternatively, open a new account and then provide the suggestions and the community will welcome him with open arms (similar to an user with the username consisting of a single Greek alphabet, wink wink, who I chose not to name the user directly so this discussion doesn't get sidetracked). I did not know TCO prior to this so my comment is strictly based on his PDF. Aside from missing x and y-axis labels, he got a lot of the points right and backed up with verifiable data to support his claims. His data analysis looks good (but it can be improved by looking for correlation, R2 or t-test). And I appreciate the time and effort he put into this. Even I wouldn't do such an in-depth data analysis if it's for marks. I don't know what sort of argument or run-ins you guys had in the past, but from a totally uninvolved person's point of view, I would encourage him to publish his findings in a peer-reviewed journal. OhanaUnitedTalk page 14:38, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

If the Signpost is going to publish this faux study, I strongly suggest at least one FA writer follow its mention with its very clear fallacies of assumption--and the just gobsmacking balls it takes to enumerate FA writers and TCO's made-up classifications. Even if I have to do it, leaving out the profanity it deserves. It has already been misused against an FA writer on the talk page of an article. Just don't allow the Signpost to promote Wikipedia's version of death panels without calling its obvious deficiencies. I'm serious. If the Signpost wants to publish this all over Wikipedia--further than TCO has posted it himself, you know--I will write a rebuttal. Just tell me the date and how many words. --Moni3 (talk) 15:47, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Moni, thanks so much for commenting. The Signpost will not be publishing the study, in the sense of endorsing it and taking responsibility for its methodology, conclusions, and so on; we are a newspaper not a journal. We will however be doing a story on it, and the reception it has had within the community, given its resounding (if largely negative) impact. Rest assured I never had any intention of promoting such a contentious piece without critical analysis. I am very glad to hear you would be interested in contributing to such an analysis, I am putting together a proposal for a collaborative Opinion piece between the study's author and their interlocutors; something along the lines of a statement and defence of the study's key points, followed by critical responses, and perhaps a third section on what important questions the affair raises. Tell your friends. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Skomorokh (talkcontribs) 15:55, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
I would like to second Skomorokh's and OhanaUnited's points about judging the text based on its content. I read through most of the PDF and it looked rather solid to me. It is understandable that it provokes very emotional reactions among some Wikipedians who have devoted a lot of time to quality work that the author argues should better have been spent elsewhere, and it seems worth to give room to a counterpoint view, but all in all this presentation is a pretty significant contribution to the debate and the Signpost can not afford to ignore it.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 14:15, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Qatar stuff

Hi guys, I've just been in Qatar doing a bunch of GLAM outreach that might be of interest to the signpost (if not, that's ok, I'm going to write it up for 'this month in GLAM' anyway. Here is the report from ICTQatar (the gov't communications ministry that sponsored the trip. Note: they paid, not Wikimedia, so if you do run this please use a phrase to the effect of "at the invitation of ICT Qatar"). One of the big announcements from that is that the Al Jazeera English Flickr feed is now CC-by-SA (used to be ND): :-) These are being steadily imported to this category on Commons by BotMultichillT Wittylama 18:24, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

On another note, the French parliament has apparently rejected an attempt to bring Freedom of Panorama to France: (google translate)

Oh, and here's Wikimedia France's blogpost on the topic (google translate) Wittylama 18:24, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for all the help on this Liam. Any leads on material about Glamsterdam? Skomorokh 17:42, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Danny Sullivan - The Closed, Unfriendly World Of Wikipedia

"The Closed, Unfriendly World Of Wikipedia" - "Right now, Wikipedia is busy asking for donations to stay afloat. Here’s a thought. If it wants donations, maybe open things up so that outsiders feel like they can contribute expert knowledge without wasting their time." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 17:23, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Excellent, great synergy with the Death Spiral story. Thanks Seth, your tips are always appreciated. Skomorokh 17:26, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
and here's a good rebuttal to that piece: Wittylama 18:27, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
Please do not highlight Danny Sullivan's self-important rant UNLESS this excellent rebuttal is also included and given equal weight. --Hobbes Goodyear (talk) 21:31, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
In spite of all the misconceptions about Wikipedia, and the self-serving nature of Sullivan's tantrum, there is a bit of truth there: It would be a good goal to have an uncluttered and well-tested graphical wizard for tasks that Wikipedia novices often find themselves attempting, such as disputing an article deletion. Something much like the Commons Upload Wizard. We've probably reached a point where the process is unlikely to change much so it would be worth while to bake in a friendly interface. (I won't hold my breath for any of the world's many nose-out-of-joint "subject experts" to make a contribution like that. If it ever gets done, it will be coded up by Wikipedia's of humble, non-expert volunteers. Which is more than fine by me.) --Dennis Bratland (talk) 20:24, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
"I am a subject expert in the field of search marketing."
Wikipedia needs more experts in search marketing like it needs a hole in the head. Kaldari (talk) 21:08, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
Kaldari, it's not accurate to deride him based on bad behaviors by others. Danny Sullivan is, in the jargon, a "white hat". A while back, he published articles on his (extremely prominent) search site written by respected Wikipedians giving advice on how to work properly with Wikipedia - see, e.g. these fix inaccuracy and ethical SEO. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 23:07, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
You're welcome. FYI, I wrote a blog post on the aspect of Wikipedian anti-expert sentiment. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 00:27, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
Great follow up post by the head writer at ReadWriteWeb, who wrote the article Fubonn Shopping Center. Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 19:08, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

I just want to express deep gratitude for all you tipsters here. When I was drafting this issue, I had a hunch that there was a major story here, but all the other stories seemed to have a lot more attention. Your tips here gave us the material to write a prominent and lengthy article that has attracted a great deal of critical thought and discussion. Much appreciated, Skomorokh 17:41, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Maltese Minister of Justice and Home Affairs comments in the RFC about "not truth"

See here. Count Iblis (talk) 17:46, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the tip, Count Iblis. While it's interesting the Minister would take time to give a pretty accurate summary of Wikipedia, it isn't really anything our readers didn't know five years ago, so we didn't include it last week. Skomorokh 17:22, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Cite Sign

You guys might want to do a story on a fairly new citation template, Template:Cite_sign. I created it after finding that there was no good way to cite museum placards and signs that were erected by local historical societies and the like. It is now being used in over 40 different articles, but I think it has wide application and really could use some exposure, if someone from The Signpost saw fit to cover it. Thanks for your time. ɳorɑfʈ Talk! 01:04, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

To clarify, "fairly new" means "about one and a half years old", and there already was this article draft proposed in June 2010. Regards, HaeB (talk) 01:56, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

November 28 – December 4

Blog post about experimentation on templates

Hi, Maryana and I have published a blog post asking for involvement in the ongoing work at WP:UWTEST and globally in other languages. Link: [1]. Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 20:21, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

The AfC UWTEST is being covered in this week's discussion report, although it's not depth coverage, it's a mention in connection to the AfC decline template discussion. Sven Manguard Wha? 17:27, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

News tip for Meta proposal on badges

This was brought up for discussion on Foundation-l, and the concept has been discussed in the New York Times.

Pinetalk 09:45, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Please note that it's just a brainstorming page, not a proposal or anywhere close to implementation. It'd be great if people added ideas etc. though. Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 19:09, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
I think we'll hold off on this until it gets to the proposal/launch stage, but worth watching, thanks guys. Skomorokh 17:23, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

FYI - Special edition of the DR

For the last edition of the year, I'll be doing Wikipedia:Village_pump_(miscellaneous)#What were the most important discussions of the year?, assuming I get enough feedback. Sven Manguard Wha? 04:17, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Recent paper on interpretation of "non-commercial" clauses

And the problems it causes with biological databases and their reuse. Gregor Hagedorn, Daniel Mietchen, Robert A. Morris, Donat Agosti, Lyubomir Penev, Walter G. Berendsohn, Donald Hobern (2011). "Creative Commons licenses and the non-commercial condition: Implications for the re-use of biodiversity information". ZooKeys (150): 127–149. Bibcode:2011ZooK..150..127H. doi:10.3897/zookeys.150.2189. {{cite journal}}: |author= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) notes decisions taken by Wikipedia and (potential) problems with biodiversity databases that have gone with NC clauses. Shyamal (talk) 12:30, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Shyamal, this should make interesting reading for the compilers of our monthly research report. Skomorokh 17:31, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Reference in a novel

I don't know if you have seen this before. I was looking for references for articles relating to Eugen Fischer and Shark Island Concentration Camp. I found this novel, which seems to be a conspiracy-fantasy novel of the Dan Brown genre. [2]. I hope that link comes out OK for you. Tom Knox, The Marks of Cain is the novel. It refers to "the online biography" but it is obviously our article. I was particularly impressed with "Eradicated? Usefulness? Concluded? The words were all the more powerful for being so dry and antiseptic." I read that as a strong endorsement of the value of reporting verifiable facts objectively. Itsmejudith (talk) 09:35, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

December 5-12

Community Fellowships open call

Hi! I was hoping the Signpost might publish this open call in the News and notes section (sorry, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to add it myself or just put a suggestion here). Suggested text is below, and more info is also in the blog post):

WMF is now seeking fellowship applicants and project ideas for the Community Fellowships Program. Community members from all Wikimedia projects and all languages are strongly encouraged to apply by the deadline of January 15th 2012.

Wikimedia Community Fellows are spearheading community projects, undertaking research, and piloting new models to help scale and increase sustainability of volunteer work in the Wikimedia movement. The Foundation provides intensive, time-limited financial and logistical support for fellows to focus on projects of strategic importance. Submissions for Spring 2012 are encouraged to focus on the theme of improving editor retention and increasing participation in Wikimedia Projects.

If you'd like to work with WMF on projects to boost participation and retention, or know someone who should be recommended for a fellowship, or if you've got ideas for a fellowship project WMF could support, we'd like to hear from you! Please visit the Wikimedia Fellowships Program page for more information.

Sbouterse (WMF) (talk) 18:10, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

DMCA counter-notice filed

By myself, on Texas Instruments signing key controversy, content now restored. DMCA takedown was issued by Texas Instruments in October 2009, and the WMF complied in this diff. I think it's an interesting case study since so few DMCA takedowns against Wikipedia have had counter-notices filed. Dcoetzee 05:12, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

The only other successful counter-notice was to restore the logo of the Nationalist Movement way back in 2006. Kaldari (talk) 01:23, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Run to Mommy?

Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2011 November 15, section Wikipedia:Run to Mommy raises some interesting questions about whether Jimbo Wales is just another editor with administrative rights or whether he is allowed to perform an out-of-process deletion because he is Jimbo Wales.

Note: I am not particularly anxious to have my name widely publicized as being associated with this suggestion. Put my name on it if you must, but please leave it off if you can. --Guy Macon (talk) 09:06, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

I think one could write an interesting piece on "what is Jimbo really allowed to do." Some are contesting his current holding of an RfC on his user page (although I don't really have a problem with that). Related past story: Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2010-05-10/Commons_deletions. He also, long ago, unilaterally imposed new policy on enwiki in the form of CSD T1. Dcoetzee 13:19, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I've just discovered Wikipedia:Role of Jimmy Wales which covers what I was imagining. Recent developments may still be newsworthy. Dcoetzee 18:33, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

CC begins 4.0 revision process

Detailed in this CC blog entry. They are just beginning the requirements-gathering process and input from the Wikimedia communities is wanted. See also my foundation-l email. Kat Walsh (spill your mind?) 20:46, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Danny Sullivan on Wikipedia "blackout" copyright bill protest

If you write anything about the Wikipedia copyright bill ("SOPA") protest discussion, this Twitter comment from Danny Sullivan might be worth including:

Wikipedia might hold blackout to protest SOPA. I'm so disillusioned with Wikipedia I'm for the blackout SOPA or not (Danny Sullivan)

Comedy gold. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 02:08, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Are you Danny Sullivan's press agent or something? Kaldari (talk) 06:30, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Danny Sullivan (technologist), notable individual when it comes to the Internet. Cla68 (talk) 06:39, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Critic known for taking potshots at Wikipedia takes potshot at Wikipedia, as reported by critic of Wikipedia. No substance, so nothing to see here. Sven Manguard Wha? 08:40, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
It's called comic relief. The humor is in the inversion of the assumed reaction to the blackout. And I'm not his press agent, but given that he has 205,021 followers on Twitter and is a prominent search expert, he does have a significant audience (for better or worse). By the way, he wasn't "known for taking potshots at Wikipedia". He's previously published material by prominent Wikipedia editors on proper use of Wikipedia. He simply recently wrote about a bad experience, and that activated the Wikipedia defensive mechanism of nastiness and personal attacks against critics of Wikipedia (one I know well :-(, which is a reason for my sympathies). I'd make a joke myself here about welcoming him into the fold, but I suspect someone would not understand the intended point of implicit criticism of the reaction, and would take it literally (low-key humor, especially sarcasm, does not work well on the net). -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 12:11, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
The basic reason why it's not funny is that normally, when a person dislikes a web site, they simply don't visit that web site. End of story. But when a guy keeps grumbling about a web site, it's because he wants something from that site that he can't have. In the case of Sullivan, he wants -- and believes he has earned! -- the power to manipulate content on that site to promote subjects he favors. Knowing all that... well. It's not funny. Just sad. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 16:26, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't like World of Warcraft. As a self-styled World of Warcraft critic, mean nasty WoW players keep persecuting me!Tom Morris (talk) 16:46, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
You're proving my point. Among too many Wikipedians (tedious - "too many", not "each and every"), there's apparently a view that nobody could ever sincerely point out a flaw with Wikipedia, especially impolitely. So when that happens, the defense mechanism kicks in, to attribute a malignant motive ("the power to manipulate content") or to explain why there's no (social) right for that criticism. The most grotesque version of this (tedious - not appearing here, yet) is that the critic is at fault for not fixing the flaw ("sofixit"). I'm tempted to suggest that Danny Sullivan's evolution towards Wikipedia critic may be a noteworthy story itself. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 17:17, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Seigenthaler did a good job criticizing Wikipedia. He's one of the few critics of Wikipedia I know of that hasn't had an obvious conflict of interests. Kaldari (talk) 18:25, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Here's your story, IIRC: Sullivan became a critic after a friend of his was deleted under WP:N and he couldn't figure out how to contest this (he misread WP:DRV and behaved rather belligerently towards people who could have helped him). I feel that while he has a valid criticism relating to bureaucracy, his experience would have been significantly better if he had behaved himself. I strongly agree that this was a failure for us. But it was also a failure for Sullivan, and I have little sympathy for him. -NYKevin @883, i.e. 20:12, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Let's try not to flamewar on this page - the question is whether the tweet is newsworthy. I think a brief mention in the context of the story about the SOPA RfC would be fine, as a general representative of our most embittered critics' reactions (I've seen similar comments from readers of news stories, etc). Dcoetzee 00:22, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
The phrase "most embittered" strikes me as too extreme to be accurate. It's just a joke. Here's another example, retweeted from Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger "heh RT @ajkeen best reason to support SOPA Jimmy Wales will take Wikipedia down if it's passed." (Sanger is saying "heh", the rest of it is ajkeen's words). -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 04:43, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
The comment is funny, but the point of the comment is not about SOPA, so doesn't fit well in an article about SOPA.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 22:10, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Citizen Archivist Award

This week Dominic (user:Dominic), Wikipedian in Residence at the US National Archives (NARA) was given the second-ever "Outstanding Citizen Archivist" award for "outstanding leadership as a citizen archivist and Wikipedia in Residence" (image on commons of the award and event program). How cool is that! Relatedly, here's the video of his lightning talk at GLAMcamp Amsterdam last week describing his work, successes and setbacks [3] Wittylama 04:42, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Man, that's a cool award. I want one :) Kaldari (talk) 06:18, 14 December 2011 (UTC)


The Economist's Babbage blog reports developments here. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 10:01, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

about free services

hellow i am from india. i suggest that you should give all services free not only enclopidia.

Wha? Sven Manguard Wha? 06:37, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Free haircuts would be a good start, then maybe branching out to free car washes. Kaldari (talk) 23:24, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Sounds like a great idea, and even better, it looks like we've got an anonymous volunteer above who seems like xe might be enthusiastic enough about it to get it started off. ("I am giving free haircuts/whatever in the name of Wikimedia" :) ) --Yair rand (talk) 23:57, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Hello to India. Well we do have an image library, a dictionary and several other free services in addition to the pedia. All of our services are free to use. Did you have any specific service you thought we should add? If so remember for us to get involved it needs to be related to the spreading of knowledge and it needs to be something we can recruit volunteers to do. ϢereSpielChequers 01:43, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Cut and Paste politics, Australia

This SMH Article details a member of parliament inappropriately "plagiarising" wikipedia content. Fifelfoo (talk) 23:49, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Suggestions for 26 December editon

Shameless plug x2

I regenerated my list (was mentioned in Signpost what resulted in adding images to multiple articles):

from Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2011-07-25/News and notes:

And I requested list that is potentially interesting for people moving images to commons: list of files flagged with {{Mtc}} containing at least one mainspace link and 'eligible' for transfer to commons - as I think that moving used files is way more productive (there are many people on other wikis confused that file copied from enwiki article is not working on their home wiki) and interesting than running through files that are unlikely to be used in next 20 years and nominating half for deletion as "Orphaned File, Unencyclopaedic, no use to keep". Bulwersator (talk) 09:11, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

CSBot back in action

This is more than simply a notice, it required some real work by a number of participants. I don't know the whole story, but would like to read about it.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 22:07, 17 December 2011 (UTC)


Can you mention WikiWomenCamp in the next newsletter? :) --LauraHale (talk) 23:24, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia has this new file at
Wavelength (talk) 23:48, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
This isn't so much about changing the ratio. (There is a second gender gap related conference on the Saturday and Sunday immediately follow the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday conference. We're debating the name still: WikiWomenConference, WikiWomenNetwork or another option. It will be open to people of all genders, and follow a more traditional conference model.) It is more of an opportunity for Movement women to get together and develop a support network to help them realise their own goals inside WMF, get assistance with projects, gain an international perspective, etc. --LauraHale (talk) 01:59, 20 December 2011 (UTC)


For each article, please add the feature "number of views" (just like youtube has it)

Milestone for quality articles

I think it's a bit of a milestone that quality articles (GAs, FLs & FAs) now make up one in 200, or 0,5%, for the first time ever. Lampman (talk) 14:28, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Sko added it in. ResMar 03:07, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Wikimedia UK is looking for an events organiser

The job description's at wmuk:Events Organiser job description, application deadline 10 Jan. This might be of interest to some of the Signpost's readers - either in terms of applying themselves, or for general interest. I'm not sure whether this sort of thing is usually covered by the Signpost though...? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 16:02, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Should be fine for a brief note, probably in the next issue though. ResMar 03:07, 21 December 2011 (UTC)


The Signpost · written by many · served by Sinepost V0.9 · 🄯 CC-BY-SA 4.0