March 4 – March 10

First time for national team pictures

I've asked a number people and I think we have a first. I talked to the media manager for the Australia women's national water polo team at Australian Water Polo. We got permission to take profile pictures of every single player on the team and the coach specifically for use on English Wikipedia, with the pictures taken before a test series match against Great Britain. The players were all informed as to the reason pictures were taken and the photographer was treated like any other media representative. Bidgee took these pictures. This is the first time that I believe that we have gotten permission from a national team of any kind to do this with the specific purpose of putting the pictures on Wikipedia. The gallery below includes the pictures taken.

The articles for all these players have also been improved and nominated for DYK. But yes, the important bit is the photography is a first. :D --LauraHale (talk) 09:12, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Fantastic. I'm troubled by your wording though, I hope they know that it's freely licensed everywhere, and isn't just for Wikipedia. Sven Manguard Wha? 17:21, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
No, they know the images are released with a creative commons license as I had a conversation with them about copyright. We could have gotten images from them by going through OTRS after they got permission from their photographers to change the license to creative commons. It was just easier for us to get images by having a photographer of ours take images ourselves so the copyright would be sorted at the get go. (They knew some of what had been being done, as the HOPAU project had been discussed a lot inside the Australian Institute of Sport.) So yes, they knew the value of doing this. We wanted images licensed this way so we could use them in a specific way. (As opposed to just taking pictures and the pictures sitting on Commons without being used.) --LauraHale (talk) 20:45, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
LauraHale: remember what I said about going here also. Pinetalk 09:38, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Drafted that out. Asked another user. They suggested individually over time and not as a set. :( Conflicting advice is conflicting. :( --LauraHale (talk) 10:56, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Not a set? Are they kidding? Kaldari (talk) 04:44, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Definitely go as a set. Sven Manguard Wha? 05:06, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Well, obviously I'm in the minority. Just note that there are some who will oppose set nominations on principle. Crisco 1492 (talk) 13:13, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
I asked Russavia before nominating as a set. It was two to one on that front. If it doesn't pass, it doesn't pass. (Not that i don't want it to pass. I'd like to but on the merits.) I'd still like a Signpost mention though as a first. :) Mostly because I think it would be helpful in two ways : 1) Encourage sport organisations to make pictures available using the correct creative commons license for use on Wikipedia, 2) Encouraging Wikipedians to go to a team and to ask for permission to take these pictures. If they tell the team why, can cite this particular case, mention that the Gemma Beadsworth article was improved as a result of being given a picture, taken to WP:DYK and getting 8,133 views when on the main page, it gives a nice incentive for sport teams to contribute in this way. With the Olympics coming up, these pictures will be really useful for articles. --LauraHale (talk) 02:55, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

"Predicting the news" with Wikipedia

BBC Future said on Wednesday that Peter Gloor predicted U.S. Republican presidential primary results (apparently the Iowa caucuses) by analysing edits by regulars on Wikipedia, while analysing Twitter posts made an incorrect prediction [1]. He appears to know about Wikipedia, looking at the only coverage of a paper by him in the Signpost Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2011-12-26/Recent_research#Briefly. —innotata 14:56, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Huffington Post election dashboard

At , "Wikipedia edits" is one of twelve indicators that the online newspaper tracks, for each of the four remaining Republican candidates. (Which raises the question, of course, of whether more edits are a positive or negative sign.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:54, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

News items, March 4, 2011

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:33, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Defamation lawsuit

A for-profit college has sued a former employee about edits the latter made to their article. The WMF is not directly involved AFAIK. See [2]. --NYKevin @107, i.e. 01:34, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

"The Ideology of Wikipedia" section in interview

In an interview with author Rob Levine about copyright and enforcement, there's a long section on "The Ideology of Wikipedia" - "I've taken a lot of shit for saying it, but it's important to realise Google gives money to organisations like Wikipedia. I was amazed how journalists didn't mention this - to not report on it is an abdication of responsibility. ... "Hey, I think Wikipedia is great. But I went to a Wikimania conference and I got the impression that a lot of Wikipedia people really do not like copyright ... People are being asked to give up rights they've won over hundreds of years, based on the success of ... an online encyclopaedia." (Disclaimer - his views are his own, this does not constitute my agreement or endorsement) -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 03:25, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

News items, March 11, 2011

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 17:55, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

March 11 – March 18

Encyclopedia Britannica goes online only

Just seen at . -- Daniel Mietchen - WiR/OS (talk) 23:40, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

This deserves to be mentioned in the article Encyclopædia Britannica.
Wavelength (talk) 00:09, 14 March 2012 (UTC)


The Britannica website is free and open for one week only beginning today.[3] Please make sure this gets out to Wikipedians immediately. (talk) 21:02, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Why? Sven Manguard Wha? 00:18, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Britannica is a good source for articles on core topics because, unlike Wikipedia, Britannica's authors actually buckled down and completed adequate and complete articles on all the boring but important topics. Cla68 (talk) 00:22, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
In particular, if we can get a concerted effort to compare Britannica to Wikipedia:Short popular vital articles there is huge opportunity for quick vast improvement. Npmay (talk) 01:41, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Analog precursor to Wikipedia and Google

See NYT piece here: [4]. The Mundaneum was a card catalogue attempt at a compendium of knowledge begun in 1895, staffed by volunteers. Was particularly intrigued by this: "This includes the card catalog, as well as sketches by Mr. Otlet in which he describes an imaginary system of “electric telescopes” that would allow users to search and browse through databases like the Mundaneum." The Interior (Talk) 16:48, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Chapter 2 of Joseph Reagle's 2010 book Good Faith Collaboration: The Culture of Wikipedia examines parallels between Otlet's work and Wikipedia. Regards, HaeB (talk) 18:17, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, interesting read. The Interior (Talk) 23:52, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Ben Yates

Unfortunately, its seems that Ben Yates passed away. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:38, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes, can this be included in a brief section somewhere? A fitting on-wiki tribute to an editor. Rcsprinter (yak) 22:01, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
I'd be glad to write up a short piece about Ben, or if someone wants to adapt my blog post for the Signpost please feel free. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 23:47, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Manjoo on Wikipedia replacing Britannica

Slate's Farhad Manjoo opines that Wikipedia is better than Britannica:

"While there are many legitimate complaints to be leveled at Wikipedia (rarely, it gets things wrong; sometimes, its entries are vandalized), the free, crowdsourced encyclopedia is better than Britannica in every way. It’s cheaper, it’s bigger, it’s more accessible, it’s more inclusive of differing viewpoints and subjects beyond traditional academic scholarship, its entries tend to include more references, and it is more up to date."

-- Powers T 01:02, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

March 19 – March 25

Profile of Jimmy Wales

In the wake of Jimmy Wales's role in UK government, BBC Radio 4 programme Profile looks at Jimmy Wales's life and the role of Wikipedia.

Or is this too late?

Simply south...... facing oncoming traffic for over 5 years 16:16, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Wikimania 2012 keynote speaker is Mary Gardiner - the first woman keynote ever at a Wikimania!

Wikimania 2012 planning team has released a press release stating that Mary Gardiner will be the opening keynote speaker for Wikimania 2012 in Washington, DC this year. Gardiner is the co-founder of the Ada Initiative and founded the first and largest Linux organization in Australia, AussieChix...and a whole lot more. Source[5] Sarah (talk) 14:24, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Suggested news items, March 24, 2012

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 18:52, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

March 26 – April 1

Wikipedian in Residence at the Smithsonain Institution Archives announced

Some self serving news, but, I'm the new Wikipedian in Residence at the Smithsonian Institution Archives. The project is here. The press release from SI is here (pdf). Thanks! Sarah (talk) 15:12, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Oh, and this was posted today as well, from the blog. Sarah (talk) 17:01, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

WikiLove works

A team of researchers at Stony Brook University showed that giving productive editors barnstars had a significant effect on increasing their Wikipedia participation. Some highlights from the study:

Kaldari (talk) 20:03, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Should we give them a barnstar, or a notice that they should use a sandbox for their experiments and that they violated WP:Point? How about a test of negative feedback on author productivity? Smallbones (talk) 23:43, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
In light of their conclusions: "A first award may thus jump-start a virtuous cycle of productivity and recognition,” said Restivo. “On the other hand, failing to receive recognition for one’s work heightened a contributor’s risk of dropping out.", I'd like to point to a new Barnstar that's been recently created specifically for new users (who probably don't get enough recognition!): {{The New Editor's Barnstar}}. I've started giving it out to deserving new users, and hopefully others will do the same. :-) Mlm42 (talk) 00:39, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
My concern about this study is that it didn't account for the fact that who awards a barnstar matters just as much as who is receiving one. To be blunt, anyone looking at the talk page of the account used to deliver these barnstars would see a whole bunch of self-directed tests of WikiLove and not much else. While I don't doubt that recognition from fellow editors really matters, I doubt many experienced editors took this person and their barnstar super seriously. Steven Walling • talk 04:59, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Ditto (the method Mako Hill and Aaron Shaw are developing to study the effects of barnstars, for one, is much more solid). We'll review this paper in the next WRN, contributions are welcome as usual --DarTar (talk) 20:33, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Scholarly journal publishes Wikipedia entry

The journal PLoS Computational Biology published an article destined to live on in Circular permutation in proteins.

New manuscript track introduced in accompanying editorial
Screenshots: article, editorial, journal homepage
Blog posts by the authors and me.
Previous coverage: Signpost, TMIG

I am involved, so won't write this up. -- Daniel Mietchen - WiR/OS (talk) 19:30, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Very cool. Kaldari (talk) 19:47, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Suggested news items, March 31, 2012

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 00:10, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Alex Bateman's article fits well with the section above that describes another way for scientists to "publish on Wikipedia". -- Daniel Mietchen - WiR/OS (talk) 01:06, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
The Intellegent Design folks managed to substantiate Godwin's Law by comparing us to Nazis in the 2nd sentence of the article. Nice! Kaldari (talk) 06:22, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Creative Commons version 4, first draft

CC has published the first draft of the next major iteration of their license suite - it is intended to be the last major change for a long time: Major elements being addressed are Database rights, copyright-like rights, moral rights, relationship to technical protection measures/DRM, and the definition of Non-commercial. They're looking for comments on the first draft. Wittylama 12:14, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedians in Residence

(Both mentioned here: )

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 18:28, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Mapping Wikipedia

Ruud 13:54, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

JSTOR requests

See Wikipedia:Requests for JSTOR access Raul654 (talk) 17:53, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Jobs on the new experiments team at WMF

Following up on News and notes from 3/26, we have posted an initial description of the team's work and the positions being hired for (Wikipedians preferred!). Thanks, Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 18:33, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Swipe plug-in (revolutionary search)

(From March 31, repeated here for convenience):

Swipe - loosely short for "searching Wikipedia by example" - is new software that aims to let users of the online encyclopedia answer complex questions that most search engines would stumble over:

More about Swipe:

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 22:08, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

The Problem with Wikidata at The Atlantic blog

The Problem with Wikidata by Mark Graham at The Atlantic blog. (IMHO, it's silly to imagine that editors at or would be required to dereference Wikidata variables to show, say, whether a town was located in the "West Bank" or "Judea and Samaria". If consensus on a Wiki is to say something at odds with Wikidata, they can just write what they want, and not use the database. Why on Earth would Wikimedia make some dumb, authoritarian policy telling those editors they must to reference the database? It's WP:BEANS. ) --Dennis Bratland (talk) 23:20, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Note that this guy is pretty well known for his research at the University of Oxford, including on Wikipedia. [6] Steven Walling • talk 00:04, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Passing of User:Slrubenstein

Steven Rubenstein, who edited under the above name, has recently passed away. Thought it should be at least mentioned here. John Carter (talk) 00:27, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Yahoo! News offers a Wikipedia-generated look at the Republic candidates Wikipedia Bio Pages

Wikipedia and the Republican primary: How the candidates’ pages changed during the nomination fight was up on the Yahoo! main page today. I thought it might make for an interesting Signpost story. - An unlogged in TomStar81 (talk · contribs). (talk) 16:09, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Wikimedians in New England

I'm not sure where this would go, but I would love if we could mention the upcoming general meeting of Wikimedians in the New England region of the United States. It is the first meetup in the area that will focus organizational issues like a potential chapter and real-world outreach, and I would like to get the word out. I would be willing to contribute a longer recap piece about it afterward if there is interesting news to report. Dominic·t 10:07, 16 April 2012 (UTC)


Today Koavf (talk · contribs) became the first wikipedian with 1 Million edits.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 06:42, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Not just the first Wikipedian. He almost certainly became the first Wikimedian to make 1 million edits with one account on one project. Though Meta:User:Emijrp/List of Wikimedians by number of edits is currently out of date. ϢereSpielChequers 08:39, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
An illustration added to the right. The story is very dramatic and there is some important background. GreyHood Talk 11:49, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
For what it's worth, Justin emailed me today saying that he has been contacted by The Daily Dot, Gizmodo, and Vice Magazine. POST editors should be keeping up with this story.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 06:28, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Public Relations Journal study

The Public Relations Journal study is making news... it claims "60% of the Wikipedia company articles contain factual errors". Search news for "Marcia W. DiStaso". Arguably, the study is not scientific - it is based on SurveyMonkey questionnaire circulated to PR professionals of the companies. The people behind the study are associated with Corporate Representatives for Ethical Wikipedia Engagement, a pro-paid-editor group. They did not create any list of errors to independently verify the list - they simply asked the PR professionals if the articles about their company contained any errors - 60% said "Yes".

But the study does raise some valid questions - most company representatives who want to contribute positively are intimidated. The Wikipedia community needs to create better mechanisms for the companies to contribute neutral content to their Wikipedia articles and make factual corrections. (talk) 18:03, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Actually, just a peek below the surface of the article, i.e. a quick look at the numbers presented, shows that the study's conclusions are pretty much bogus. I'd be glad to provide details in some place other than here. Smallbones (talk) 01:34, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
thanks, Smallbones, you got mail, regards --Jan eissfeldt (talk) 11:07, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia's forgotten creator

"Wikipedia's forgotten creator" This a pretty interesting overview of Larry Sanger's efforts in launching Wikipedia, and briefly covers his recent work. It takes some potshots at the other co-creator, but putting that aside, it's sadly uncommon to see Sanger's perspective given its due, and that's worth considering (disclaimer - there's a link to one of my blog posts in the article, but nobody asked me to publicize this, and I'll probably get more grief than any conceivable benefit) -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 00:31, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

I don't see any reason to pay attention to Gregory Kohs or his agitprop. Raul654 (talk) 00:57, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
I guess we need to pull Kohs into a Wikipedia struggle session so that he can explain his lack of revolutionary spirit and apologize for his reactionary tendencies. Cla68 (talk) 01:06, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Anyway, the article gives some details on WP's creation that I was unaware of. Also, I found the description of Sanger's current activities interesting. Cla68 (talk) 01:08, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
The reason is that the world's a complicated place. Article written by the other side, as you perceive it, may still be true, and even valuable, despite the undeniable fact that they do not love you. Sanger's efforts have been under-recognized, in my view, and that piece makes an effort to redress the problem. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 01:17, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Keith Olbermann makes an effort to redress problems too, but shrill and one-sided screeds aren't all that helpful. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 02:02, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
I think you should apologise to Raul, Dennis. (talk) 00:00, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Huggle cyborgs

Apparently Huggle users are cyborgs according to Bots and Cyborgs: Wikipedia's Immune System, an article in Computer magazine. Gobōnobo + c 15:18, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Problems continue beyond loss of data

Continual loss of data, being logged out every few minutes, changing text font, image display problems.... WP:VPT#Having trouble staying logged in. Simply south...... going on editing sprees for just 6 years (as of 28/03/2006) 20:51, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

And it just logged me out again as soon as I clicked Save, again. Simply south...... going on editing sprees for just 6 years (as of 28/03/2006) 20:53, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

WMF looking for an English Wikipedian for a position at Harvard

See the blog post for an explanation and a link to the job description. Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 22:11, 26 April 2012 (UTC)


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