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death of an editor

as reported on the pump. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 16:25, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Public Domain Day

On 1 January 2013 a Public Domain Day was held and also on Commons many works have been placed back to be used on articles. Files that have been undeleted on Commons are mentioned on the pages in Commons:Category:Undeleted in 2013. All these works can be added to the relevant articles where they earlier might have been deleted. Romaine (talk) 13:37, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Not sure the Signpost is the appropriate place, but I think the WMF could use the day to make a good promotional effort to get more donations to Commons or WikiSource. Like any good PR effort, it would need a tireless coordinator, but it might be worth a try. -- kosboot (talk) 14:22, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
See also commons:Commons:Village_pump#Public_Domain_Day_2013. I've been constructing a list of artists and which works by them we can now upload. Many of them are not yet on Commons. Dcoetzee 20:48, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
If going ahead with anything about this, bear in mind United States law; it's been a problem in the past. Wikimedia is a US organisation operating on US servers under US law. Not everyone realises that (even the chapters, Wikimedia UK issued a press release a few years ago that fell foul of this). The US won't have a public domain day until about 2018-19. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 21:36, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
The 2019 date is for published material. But unpublished material goes into the PD every year, 70 years after the death of the creator. Yes, this applies to the US. This year unpublished material whose creators died in 1942 went public domain. So while we can prepare for a massive celebration in 2019 (or a massive protest if Congress dares extend it again), we can have smaller celebrations each year. I'm already working for 2014 when unpublished works created by people who died in 1943 will go PD. -- kosboot (talk) 21:49, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Hi kosboot, actually, at the WMF we did publish a blog post on January 1 to raise awareness for Public Domain Day, highlighting Commons and Wikisource. However, for the reasons pointed out by AdamBMorgan (or described in this article which was linked in the post), it indeed had to stop short of celebrating growth of the public domain here in the US; instead I formulated it as "many works become available to be uploaded under each project’s copyright policies", which is true, see e.g. the discussion Dcoetzee mentioned above. We would love to support a more concerted effort next year. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 23:18, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
That post does not mention unpublished work which does go into the PD in the US every year, including this one. So the PD grows, but a tiny amount compared to what will happen in 2019. I think WMF could do a better job of publicizing this event, joining with other organizations whose interest lies in the PD (Open Access, and the academic world in general, e.g. American Historical Association). -- kosboot (talk) 23:33, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Do you know a few examples of such unpublished works that entered the PD in the US on January 1 and have now been uploaded to Commons? These might make nice illustrations if the Signpost is still interested in reporting about the activities that arose from this year's Public Domain Day. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 23:45, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
No I don't, but I could (with time) upload some items. Though by the time I finish, it might be mid-February. But if you think it's worthwhile, as in preparation for next year, I'll do it. -- kosboot (talk) 00:08, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
As mentioned, that would have been mainly useful for a more current Signpost story. In preparation for next year, it would instead be great to find out such examples - that enter the US public domain on January 1, 2014 - in advance (and upload them right on that day). Again, if anyone is interested in a contributing to a more concerted effort next year, to draw some public attention to PD-day-related activities on Wikimedia projects, feel free to contact me or others from the WMF communications team toward the end of the year. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 21:20, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
Will do. Thanks, Tbayer! -- kosboot (talk) 00:14, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
@AdamBMorgan: The US won't have a Public Domain Day for quite some time (with limited exceptions like unpublished material as mentioned), but Commons has them every year since works there have to be PD in both the US and their source country, and many are already PD in the US, either because the country had a shorter term on the URAA date, or because it was published before 1923. Dcoetzee 20:15, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia, "making it", and the self-doubt of the artist

An A.V. Club interview with aspiring but disillusioned rapper J-Zone. Relates how artists equate having a WP article and "making it". Explains some of the frustration editors see in AfD discussions. J-Zone now has an article, with the A.V Club piece as a reference.

The day after that, someone was supposed to interview me for something and they called me up and said, “You don’t have a Wikipedia page,” but I had a Wikipedia page. I didn’t make it but I remember seeing it. So I said, “I got a Wikipedia page” and they were like “We went there and it says it doesn’t exist.” [Laughs.] And I went online and it turns out that Wikipedia deleted my page because it was a spot page, and they decided I wasn’t significant enough as an artist to justify having a Wikipedia page, so they went and wiped out my page. J-Zone lost his Wikipedia page—and his interest in being a rapper The Interior (Talk) 00:30, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

The reason he has a biography is that I read the AV Club article and asked Malik Shabazz to undelete the article, which he did. [1] It had just been deleted again for a second time. I added some sources, but there are lots more. J-Zone was notable well before the AV Club article. Andreas JN466 05:06, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
You should tell that to J-Zone. The Interior (Talk) 15:41, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Upcoming WM shop sale

Hopefully just in time for this week's edition - Jalexander has posted about a proposal for a short one-day sale of WMF merchandise on 14th January (WP:VPM#Wikimedia Shop Central Notices and Sale for Wikipedia Birthday) - would it be possible to note this in this week's ongoing discussions section, as it'll be obsolete by next week?

On a more general note, I can't remember if we've covered the Wikipedia:Merchandise giveaways program before, but if not that might be good for an article in future... Andrew Gray (talk) 14:26, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

I +1 that. Cup o' Java 05:12, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

"I Get Paid To Edit Wikipedia For Leading Companies" by Mike Wood Let's hope he fact checks his Wikipedia articles better than he does in this work. In general, I don't want folks like this editing Wikipedia because they are hopelessly biased. In this case I also wouldn't want him editing here because he is incompetent. Smallbones(smalltalk) 05:26, 10 January 2013 (UTC)


VoxelBot is now automatically editing Template:Vandalism information so if people want they can put that on their user page. It's now an accurate representation for once. Vacationnine 01:18, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Illustrated Wikispecies Tree of Life

A Wikispecies editor created an interactive illustrated tree of life based on the Wikispecies data dump file. OhanaUnitedTalk page 05:18, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

I updated the link above to the project's new location. -- (talk) 16:20, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, much appreciated. OhanaUnitedTalk page 17:49, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Wow. That page has terrible WOT ratings! –Cup o' Java (talkcontribs) 01:53, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Hi, this is Noah, the author of the illustrated tree. All the content of the tree (the .svg and .jpg files) is now hosted on Amazon S3. The page on was just an entry point into that tree. I've created a duplicate version of that entry point on a more reputable server here. Hopefully this addresses your concerns? -- Clearish (talk) 03:43, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the tool! It would be nice if the labels for the respective groups could be switched to scientific names, and it would be helpful if there were a way to visualize existing pages lacking an image, so that missing images can be cared for in a more systematic manner than now. -- Daniel Mietchen - WiR/OS (talk) 20:55, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for this feedback. I'm working on creating a version of the tree that is geared specifically toward verifying and improving Wikispecies content. I'll try to implement both of the features you suggest. -- Clearish (talk) 17:11, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
I hope this item gets covered in the Signpost in next issue so more people are more aware/familiar with the project. OhanaUnitedTalk page 00:32, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Why use WikiSpecies instead of Wikipedia? The taxonomic information in Wikipedia is usually more up to date (from my experience). Kaldari (talk) 02:39, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
It may be possible to extract a similar tree from Wikipedia. For a taxon page on Wikipedia, I don't think there's any general way of determining which links on that page go to sub-taxa. So you'd be relying entirely on the upward-pointing links in taxoboxes, where they appear. If someone is able to scrape this data, I'd be interested to see how it compares to the Wikispecies version in terms of coverage and accuracy. If you can give me a list of pairs A -> B, where taxon A is known to contain taxon B, I can generate the tree and we can compare. -- Clearish (talk) 06:11, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

JSTOR free access

For editors looking for good sources, JSTOR now provides more (free) opportunities: -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:27, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

Ashburn is Wikimedia's New Home

Interesting blog post about Wikimedia's server's move to Ashburn, VA: My favorite line: "In an era when Apple can spend $1 billion on a single data center, Wikimedia spent $2.6 million on Internet hosting in 2011, with a server count measured in hundreds, not thousands." -- kosboot (talk) 01:46, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Study Shows Gender Bias in Wikipedia, Linux

Reagle study in Yahoo! News: [2]. Dcoetzee 03:18, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

It's important to note that is from Yahoo Contributor Network, which means it is the view of one particluar individual. I'm also not sure where the actual study is. The study sentence links to a Geek Feminism this blog post, which is an open letter, not a study, and not by Joseph Reagle. However, Reagle did write his own brief post on sexism that happens to link to the same Geek Feminism article. Superm401 - Talk 03:42, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm guessing this is referring to "Free As In Sexist?" Free Culture and the Gender Gap, which was published last week. Andrew Gray (talk) 10:17, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

WMF offers grants to individuals

Wikimedia is offering grants to individuals: I think that's an interesting departure from previous practice. It's also interesting that one can review the proposals, which I gather is an effort to produce really good and useful ideas. -- kosboot (talk) 13:15, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

User:Michael Barera

On January 15, 2013, User:Michael Barera became the first Wikipedian in Residence at a presidential library. See, Glenda Bullock (January 15, 2013), "SI student is first Wikipedian in Residence at presidential library", The Record. -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 13:43, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Wikivoyage offline: unofficial Android app

Two days after Wikivoyage's launch, Android app released. Open Source, trying to gather a community of developers. Disclaimer: I wrote it. Nicolas1981 (talk) 16:57, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Boston Review article on 1-year anniversary of Wikipedia Blackout Kaldari (talk) 17:48, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

How vandals are destroying Wikipedia from the inside

See article at Daily Dot, regarding the Legolas2186 affair. For on-wiki discussion see Wikipedia_talk:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_4#Legolas2186_possibly_falsifying_references, Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive780#False_references_and_BLP_misquotes:_block_user_as_hoaxer.3F, the latter leading directly to an indef block at User talk:Legolas2186 (but the user is idle since Feb 2012). Dcoetzee 05:04, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

Telegraph: Why we're about to discover more Wikipedia hoaxes Andreas JN466 16:27, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia in Residence...Paid Editor?

"University of Michigan Ford Presidential Library hires intern to enhance its presence on Wikipedia" discusses the hiring of a long time wikipedian by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. According to the article, "Wikipedians in residence are essentially employed Wikidpedia editors compensated to elevate an organization's profile on Wikipedia." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Erudy (talkcontribs) 10:26 20 January 2013 (UTC)

That is indeed a criticism of the Wikipedian in Residence program by its opponents. Back at the start of the program we took advice from uninvolved editors via the Conflict of interest noticeboard. People taking part in this program would do well to read Wikipedia_talk:GLAM/BM/Archive_1#COI_.2F_paid_editing and make sure they comply with the advice there. Anyone criticising the program might also start by reading that advice, and then be clear as to whether you think that advice should be changed or that some collaborations with Galleries, Libraries, Archives or Museum’s (GLAMs) should be criticised for not following that advice. What I'd suggest is not helpful is when opponents of the schemes talk about this sort of expert outreach as if the COI advice didn't apply; Or when those who disagree with that advice criticise editors for following it instead of reopening the debate at the COI noticeboard and seeking consensus for a different set of advice. In this particular case the Wikipedian is "elevating the library's presence on Wikipedia by enhancing articles with information from the Ford library." Whether or not it enhances the libraries presence on Wikipedia, "enhancing articles with information from the Ford library" is something we'd like to happen with every GLAM.
Of course that sort of deal goes wider than the GLAM sector, any paywalled site that gives free accounts to active Wikipedians is arguably increasing its presence on Wikipedia. My worry is that potentially we could find ourselves unwittingly promoting paywalled info above non-paywalled info, and if that happened I'd like to see some extra safeguards. ϢereSpielChequers 12:48, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
What would you say if an institution like the Volkswagen AutoMuseum hired a Wikipedian in Residence, and started recruiting and rewarding volunteer editors for expansion and improvement of Wikipedia's articles on Volkswagen products? This is a genuine question: I am not entirely sure how I would view the issue. Andreas JN466 02:16, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
Well it is a GLAM and under the current rules it arguably qualifies for a WIR. If the articles were only on museum pieces then it might even be legit. If the articles included VW products that were currently on sale then obviously they would have crossed a line, maybe not one that we considered at the time when we were talking about Roman pepperpots and the British Museum. In that case I'd argue for a change to the WIR guidance. Presidential Libraries and museums associated with particular companies are not in my view the core of the GLAM project. We have sufficient general interest GLAMs out there that we could exclude a chunk of them without too much pain, but we'd need to formulate a clear and simple bright line, and I'm struggling to formulate one. For example "excluding GLAMs whose primary purpose is to promote a currently active entity or brand" would exempt Presidential libraries of former US presidents, but cause problems for galleries dedicated to artists whose work was still in copyright; Whilst "excluding GLAMs whose primary purpose is to promote a particular entity or brand" would exclude the Stalin museum in Gori, but what about the many house museums whose collection is heavily focussed on a particular person or family who once lived in that house? That wouldn't be too onerous a restriction for me as a Londoner, but for many people it would mean that the only museum or gallery in their town was excluded - in some cases just because it was inevitably focussed on the famous event that their town is associated with. Can you suggest a simple litmus test, or a way to rephrase "excluding GLAMs whose primary purpose is to promote a currently active entity or brand" that would tolerate the inevitability that every curator has more enthusiasm for their area of professional expertise or interest (not unlike Wikipedians), whilst not putting up a barrier between us and the experts we want to collaborate with in the GLAM sector?
There is also an issue in who recruits and vets the Wikipedians in Residence, even if the movement doesn't contribute to the pay we should have some standards as to the use of the title. Especially in your hypothetical example of a WIR in a museum connected to a currently trading company, as there the COI issues will be closer than say in a gallery dedicated to an artist who is so long dead that their work is out of copyright. ϢereSpielChequers 10:25, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't have ready answers; my thinking on these issues is quite unsettled. On the one hand I have no doubt that someone from Volkswagen would have the knowledge and specialist sources to improve our pages, and that it would be better if they disclosed their affiliation openly rather than working under the cover of anonymity. But on the other hand, if more and more such contributors join Wikipedia to contribute, or sponsor competitions and prizes for topic improvement drives, eventually volunteer editors may feel that they have no place here any more, among paid editors, and would rather use the time they have to volunteer for a different project. If paid and incentivised editors achieve a critical mass, then what Wikipedia is, and how it will be perceived, may change completely, and irreversibly. I think that whatever decision is made (or not made) will have very far-reaching consequences for Wikipedia.
As you may know, a German editor, Dirk Franke (aka User:Southpark), is just starting a Wikimedia-funded project to analyse all the various implications of paid editing. He is interested in hearing from anyone with an opinion: (if you understand some German, the comments to date make interesting reading). I am quite confident he is happy to hear from people in English as well (and indeed, it might be an idea to announce his project in the Signpost, if it hasn't as yet).
Note that the German Wikipedia has so-called verified users – these are users who have provided verification of their employment, to prevent impersonation. See [3] (in German). As that piece says, groups contributing via verified users include "einige Parteien, Autohersteller, zahlreiche Gemeinden und Städte und viele Banken. Zu den Unternehmen, die mit einem verifizierten Benutzer in der Wikipedia arbeiten, zählen auch große Marken wie 3M, Bertelsmann, Daimler, Coca-Cola, Electrolux, Lindner Hotels, Rockstar Games und die Otto Group. Mit Microsoft Deutschland ist auch einer der ganz großen Software-Konzerne dabei." (I.e., groups contributing via verified users include "several political parties, car makers, numerous communes and towns and many banks. Among companies who work with a verified user in Wikipedia are major brands like 3M, Bertelsmann, Daimler, Coca-Cola, Electrolux, Lindner Hotels, Rockstar Games and the Otto Group. Microsoft Germany, one of the biggest software companies, is also among them.") See for example These users may be incurring a legal risk if they work on articles about their employers, per the recent frankincense decision, but all of this is a very unsettled area.
Sorry not to have provided an answer to your narrower question, but right now I am struggling to arrive at a general view of where all the implications lead. I do think Dirk's project will be useful though in getting an overview of the various alternatives and their likely consequences. Andreas JN466 11:28, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
I see a huge gulf between the sort of GLAM things that I'm comfortable with and paid editing in general. The boundary areas such as museums that are associated with current organisations such as car makers are in my view a minority that we should handle well but where if we bungled we could survive. Commercial organisations in general are another kettle of fish, obviously the rules for GLAMs should be no tougher but otherwise I'd keep the discussions separate. Or does his remit also include GLAM? ϢereSpielChequers 14:47, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
He has mentioned GLAMs as part of his remit. [4] [5] Andreas JN466 19:50, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
The more I think of it, the more I difficulty I find in faulting an organization for adding "in good faith" to Wikipedia. I see no reason to make a distinction between for-profit an non-profit. I suppose this is really more for the discussion section of the proposed article, but it clearly is an issue which needs airing and discussion - and what better place than The Signpost. -- kosboot (talk) 21:28, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't say the important dividing line is profit/nonprofit, there are plenty of charities out there that are very image conscious and marketing focussed, and even some companies that are prepared to take a long view and or cultivate experts who are seen as thought leaders in their industry. For the last few years we've differentiated on the very different criteria of GLAM/notGLAM - I suppose GLAMs are more likely to be non profit than the average, but there are such things as for profit GLAMs. As for the best place to discuss this, I'd suggest not the Signpost - that should be for reporting discussions elsewhere. meta:User_talk:Dirk_Franke might be better. ϢereSpielChequers 15:26, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
Or, if you would like, we could run competing op-eds from the point of views represented here, should you all be interested. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 22:22, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
I would be up for that – more or less a summary of what I said above about what the key challenges are. How about you, WSC? Perhaps it could be combined with a piece on Dirk's project. Andreas JN466 04:13, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
This article is rather shoddy. The newspaper didn't even bother interviewing the Wikipedian in Residence or mentioning that the Ford Library is part of the National Archives (which has had Wikipedians in Residence before). The description of Wikipedians in Residence as simply paid editors isn't very accurate as the primary purpose of position is to act as a liaison between the institution and the Wikimedia community, not to simply promote the institution. Kaldari (talk) 23:07, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
Kaldari, please note how the University of Michigan itself described the Wikipedian's function two days prior to the Ann Arbor article: Michael Barera will enhance the library's presence on the Internet's largest and most widely visited general reference work. The Ann Arbor article was only repeating their own understanding of why they were doing this, as reported by Ms Bullock, marketing and communication specialist for the U-M School of Information. Andreas JN466 02:33, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
There's also an article with many negative responses at the Chronicle of Higher Education. My response is one of those taking the Chronicle to task for not having more articles on Wikipedia and its activities. The thing this whole incident shows me is that much of the world - or at least the press -- is amazingly ignorant about Wikipedia. It could be a great teaching moment. -- kosboot (talk) 14:31, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
It looks like the AnnArbor article has been corrected to state that Michael is a volunteer and not being paid to edit Wikipedia. Kaldari (talk) 21:20, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Yep. Andreas JN466 22:19, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

No QRpedia deal in sight

Latest developments in the QRpedia matter are not encouraging. [6]. The deal, first promised in 2011 if memory serves, has fallen through again. Andreas JN466 23:12, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

IMHO this is overdrawn at this point, and if it's not overdrawn then it's not a story. - Jarry1250 [Deliberation needed] 01:23, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
For what it's worth, Jon Davies has made a statement. Perhaps that at least is reportable. I understand these negotiations have been ongoing since summer 2011, with repeated promises that resolution is just around the corner. Meanwhile, WereSpielChequers opines that the Wikimedia movement should use the technology (which is free), but should stop using the QRpedia name (which is not). --Andreas JN466 01:36, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
Could you be any less specific? Encouraging to who? The question the signpost should be asking is why qrpedia -- as best I can tell an independent company that must receive payment for some services -- gets to advertize on Wikipedia for free. It seems if you're close enough to wikipedia (see also Veropedia some years ago), you can create independent organizations and make wikiprojects and banners advertizing your "business"(?) on this site. For shame that the community doesn't shut this monkey business down. You don't get to advertize simply because you're a "vested contributor". Verophile watch (talk) 01:28, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
That's a weird point of view. This is about a site that, at the moment at least, exists solely to help visitors access the best Wikipedia page for them. No charge is, at present, made for that service at any level, and the present owners have committed to keeping it that way. Now, as Andreas points out, those owners do not wish to sign over the domain name, and there is some potential in the long term for a conflict of interest to arise. But we're nowhere near rant level yet.
In any case, "discussions ongoing" hardly merits a story. There will be a story soon, I think, but it is not a story yet. - Jarry1250 [Deliberation needed] 12:24, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes it's such a "weird point of view" that a member of the Wikimedia UK board resigned because of her concern about the conflict of interest of the board member who co-owns QRPedia. Groupthink alert! Obviously there is a financial interest, however indirect, and a clear failure by wiki-drones to admit it. Your use of the word "solely" is laughable. Verophile watch (talk) 05:00, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm not party to the negotiations, but judging from the various statements by both sides "has fallen through again" might be jumping the gun. Jon's statement, and in particular "What I can assure you is that the trustees understand the need to reach an agreement soon or disassociate the charity from any involvement in QRpedia. We will let the community know as soon as we have something to report." Sounds to me like they haven't given up on the possibility of a deal being concluded, though they are explicitly acknowledging the possibility that a deal might not happen. As far as I'm aware the possibility of a deal not being concluded is a first so might be newsworthy, but I'd be inclined to hold the Signpost report until a deal has been concluded or negotiations have actually fallen through. ϢereSpielChequers 10:39, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
As far as I know (and I'm not totally current on this) QRpedia is not an "independent company" but a collection of two domains & IP rights (but for open content stuff) owned by two individuals. Use of the service as such generates no income or "payment for some services", though talking about it, implementing it, or training may. Johnbod (talk) 15:15, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Lance Armstrong and the Wikipedia Edit Wars

Lance Armstrong and the Wikipedia Edit Wars about our response to his Oprah interview, Only discussion I could find on-project is at Talk:Lance_Armstrong#Oprah_interview. Dcoetzee 00:39, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Jezebel story on gender gap

[7]. Quotes Sarah Stierch and Joseph Reagle. Whimsically titled "Wikipedia’s Editors Are 91 Percent Male Because Citations Are Stored in the Ball Sack", with corresponding illustration. Dcoetzee 03:04, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Outreach Program for Women internships underway; interview?

The Outreach Program for Women internships (six women working on MediaWiki) are underway; perhaps Jarry1250 or another reporter would like to interview them as he did the Google Summer of Code students? Sumana Harihareswara, Wikimedia Foundation Engineering Community Manager (talk) 12:44, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

News & Notes: Wikipedian in Residence

The Natural History Museum and Science Museum in London are currently looking for a Wikipedian in Residence for a four-month period in the spring/summer - applications are open until 10th February. Any chance of listing this as an "in brief" entry in News & Notes? Andrew Gray (talk) 17:41, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Done, thanks very much. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 21:26, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! There's a couple more WiR posts likely to come up in the next few months - I'll let you know about them as and when. Andrew Gray (talk) 22:28, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Perfect - please do! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 22:59, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

IdeaLab for Individual Engagement Grants

We'll be launching the IdeaLab on Jan 29, as part of WMF's ongoing open call for Individual Engagement Grants proposals. IdeaLab is an incubator on meta for people to collaboratively build grant proposals, and get help and input from the community on ideas for new projects that could be developed into grant proposals. WMF and the committee (still taking new candidates for this too) will be looking at community input on each proposal, so input on ideas in the IdeaLab is one way to get involved early on. I'm hoping to take the "under construction" sign off before Signpost goes out tomorrow, just in case you find it News & Notes-worthy :-) Siko (WMF) (talk) 22:52, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Halfaker study on editor retention

Entitled "The Rise and Decline of an Open Collaboration System: How Wikipedia’s Reaction to Popularity Is Causing Its Decline". See [8], press release, press coverage at PopSci. Dcoetzee 01:49, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

See also the review of this study in the Wikimedia Research Newsletter = the Signpost's "Recent research" section in September. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 03:26, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the link, Tilman. Given that, I don't think we'll cover this, but thanks for all of the news stories you post here! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 21:26, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
I've added a short write-up to the "In brief" section of In the media. Andreas JN466 11:17, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

COinS and Wikipedia

For many years now Zotero, Endnote and other bibliographic tool users found Wikipedia a great place to pick up research references or even add to it (Zotero generates filled in citation templates after a user has downloaded references from journal sites) Zotero - Wikipedia - perfect together (see also no longer holds - apparently a change was made in December 2012 but does not appear to have been communicated (I thought it was a bug and had a rude shock when I discovered Template_talk:Citation/core#Removing_COINS_metadata). It may be good to update users about this via the signpost. Shyamal (talk) 03:48, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

You could also simultaneously announce that page rendering speed has been increased by 25%, thanks to the removal of COinS metadata. Kaldari (talk) 05:16, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Now being restored. See #Cite templates updated. --  Gadget850 (Ed) talk 22:56, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia and encyclopedic production

Loveland and Reagle have written an article "Wikipedia and encyclopedic production" arguing that the way Wikipedia in produced reflects in many ways the way historical references were produced (by extension of existing works by "obssessive compilers"). See article in The Atlantic, "What If the Great Wikipedia 'Revolution' Was Actually a Reversion?". Dcoetzee 21:12, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

This is covered in this week's "In the media." Thanks! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 21:26, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
As usual, there will also be a review in the February "Recent research"/"Wikimedia Research Newsletter" (focusing more on the paper itself and its academic aspects than the media echo). Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 02:04, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Meetup/Ann Arbor/Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library Edit-A-Thon

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and the Michigan Wikipedians are hosting an edit-a-thon at the Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor next Thursday, February 7 from 5-7pm local time (EST). The two aims of the edit-a-thon will be to help new Wikipedians learn the basics of editing Wikipedia and to create new or improve existing content related to the life, career, and presidency of Gerald Ford. Everyone is welcome, regardless of Wikipedia experience: we're hoping to connect the Ford, University of Michigan, and Ann Arbor-area communities with this event. It would be wonderful if next week's Signpost could carry a brief note about this event in the "news and notes" section (or wherever else may be deemed more appropriate). Thank you! Michael Barera (talk) 15:30, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

This is mentioned in this week's "News and notes." Thanks! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 21:26, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Evgeny Morozov review of Steven Johnson "Future Perfect"

"Why Social Movements Should Ignore Social Media" (Evgeny Morozov) - Wikipedia factors heavily in this discussion, for example: "In Johnson's world, such transfers of power happen smoothly. It's not hard to see why: his Internet-centric theory of politics is shallow. Wikipedia, remember, is a site that anyone can edit! As a result, Johnson cannot account for the background power conditions and inequalities that structure the environment into which his bright reform ideas are introduced. ... Once those background conditions are factored in, it becomes far less obvious that increasing decentralization and participation is always desirable. Even Wikipedia tells us a more complex story about empowerment: yes, anyone can edit it, but not anyone can see their edits preserved for posterity. The latter depends, to a large extent, on the politics and the power struggles inside Wikipedia." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 11:54, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

China and Japan's Wikipedia War, an article in Foreign Policy magazine

Wikipedia Dispute Index heat map (Mercator projection)

Many thanks to Hcobb for mentioning this article on the talk page of Senkaku Islands dispute. It's a rather good summary of a classic rip-snorting edit war, but more soberly it's a reminder of just how important the English language Wikipedia has become for that first reach for information at large. kencf0618 (talk) 23:06, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Interesting! If you need to point out the islands in a map, I suggest to put a red circle on this one (and thereby give some background to the topic):
--Atlasowa (talk) 07:40, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks to you both; this will be included in this week's "In the media". Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 21:32, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

WCA and WMF developments

See meta:Talk:Wikimedia Chapters Association and the discussion on Wikimedia-l. --Pine 23:17, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, this will be included this week as an IB, with a possibility for more coverage next week. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:42, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedian retention

Interesting citation on Infodocket summarizing/editorializing the findings of the Pew Internet study about the voluntary breaks Facebook users take. To me this greatly explains Wikipedia's editor retention issue. I see the exact same phenomenon on email lists: people begin to participate with enthusiasm, do so for about 2 years, and then drop off, the majority of which never resume participation with the same intensity (if at all). -- kosboot (talk) 21:23, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Wikimedia UK governance review

Andreas JN466 21:54, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

You seem to be angling to write this section yourself (Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2013-02-11/In the media). That would be absolutely inappropriate given that you have an enormous conflict of interest - you were and are directly involved in the controversy, you have been one of the loudest voices campaigning on- and off-wiki on this issue, you have actively prolonged the controversy by leaking information to the media, and you have run a frankly dishonest and vindictive campaign of intimidation and harassment against multiple editors and an entire WikiProject, in concert with your troll friends from Wikipediocracy. You should have no involvement whatsoever with writing a Signpost piece on this matter. Prioryman (talk) 20:05, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps Andeas could write one half and User:Victuallers could write the other half? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:10, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I assume that's a joke, though it's in rather poor taste. There's simply no way that anyone involved with this issue should be writing anything in the Signpost on it. Prioryman (talk) 20:13, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Actually it was making a serious point, though you weren't the intended audience for it. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:27, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Bluntly, if the Signpost has any credibility whatsoever, it should steer clear of having someone up to his neck in a controversy trying to write a news report relating to it. It has no chance whatsoever of being seen as unbiased - it will amount to an undeclared op-ed by a partisan. Prioryman (talk) 20:53, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, but so long as it's openly and transparently declared as such, there's nothing wrong (I think) with the Signpost having an opinion piece by Andreas as one of the parties involved in the events, just as there'd be nothing wrong with the Signpost having an opinion piece by User:Victuallers or the current WMUK chair or the governor of Gibraltar about their viewpoints on it all. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 22:39, 8 February 2013 (UTC) (that's assuming the governor is actually directly involved in these events as all the others I mention are - I can't remember if he actually is, or if it's only at a lower level of govt) --Demiurge1000 (talk) 22:42, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
A couple of the ministers, I think, though I couldn't say who they are. Opinion pieces are OK as far as they go, as long as they're marked as such and are appropriately balanced (i.e. it would be wrong for only one side of an issue to be given a say). But a partisan acting as a supposedly neutral reporter is not OK, and I don't think people are likely to see it as credible or appropriate. Prioryman (talk) 22:55, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
In what way is Jayen466 "one of the parties involved in the events"? I'm not even certain that they are a member of WMUK. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:52, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Quite. It's not as if he's spamming DYK articles on something his mates are being paid for. That would be wrong, and I'm sure no one would do that. (talk) 10:18, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Haven't some of the sources reporting on the Gibraltarpedia issue named Jayen466 as having been banned from Jimbo's talk page due to his behaviour in the dispute? Sounds like involvement to me. Perhaps you think I'm using "involved" in a different sense. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 17:14, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
I was taking the word "involved in the events" to mean, well, involved in the events that lead to the governance review. Jimbo banned Jayen466 from his talk page for reasons entirely unrelated to Gibraltarpedia. I have no doubt that any article written by Jayen466 on the subject will be thoroughly vetted and edited before appearing in the Signpost. This is a news item which will undoubtedly appear somewhere in the Signpost, and while I would prefer to see it written by someone less associated with the issue, I am sure that Jayen466 will accurately represent the report. Perhaps if someone volunteered to take over at this point we could avoid a lot of unnecessary discussion. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:25, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

WikiMiniAtlas - new 3D building models

New 3d buildings in WikiMiniAtlas (video)
New 3d buildings in WikiMiniAtlas (still image)

WikiMiniAtlas, the interactive map plugin behind the blue globe icon, now displays solid 3D buildings on the map at high zoom levels. This feature requires a browser with WebGL support (all modern browsers except IE). For modern IE a wireframe view acts as a fallback. For browsers that do not support the canvas element (older IE <=8 and obsolete browsers) nothing is shown (it should degrade gracefully). Building geometries are extracted from OpenStreetMap data. Check out the Petronas Towers, or the buildings in Hong Kong and Lower Manhattan.

For your consideration. I'm not sure if the signpost ever ran a story on the meta:WikiMiniAtlas. It could use a bit of publicity. --Dschwen 00:36, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Definitely an interesting topic. Something about the upcoming work to integrate better with OSM (which we hear vaguely about every now and again) would also be worth covering. Andrew Gray (talk) 12:06, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
My plate is full this week, but if an interested editor would like to cover this and the OSM-Wiki ties (past, present, and future), I would certainly be happy to run it as a special report or an op-ed, depending on the author's framing. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 02:41, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I might bite, although not at this exact moment. It's definitely an interesting topic. ResMar 03:13, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
There are a lot of ways the WMA is conencted to OSM. For one, I am an OSM contributor myself :-). The Map is rendered using OSM data, I display OSM object outlines through the WIWOSM project (check Argentina, the country is highlighted red on the map). The Wikimania 2012 talk I gave on the WikiMiniAtlas is available at . It highlights a few more things like the display of embedded KML data Mojave Desert. The size comparison feature, which lets you drag an arbitrary outline across the map (see how the are of Alaska compares to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa). And of course WikiMiniAtlas goes beyond earth, showing globes of the Moon, Mercury, Mars, Titan, Io, and Venus. I think there is quite a bit of material to write about here and of course I'd be happy to help. --Dschwen 16:22, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
If you'd like to write a story, please feel free to go ahead. While you're closer to the story than I'd normally like, I don't really have problems when it's a completely uncontroversial topic like this. ;-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 07:46, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Ok, I started something at Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2013-02-18/Technology_report (hope that was the correct place). I'm not that good with words and stuff ;-) so copyediting is highly appreciated. --Dschwen 18:52, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, I was thinking more of a special report-style article on it, examining how it's used, where it's used, what the context is behind OSM-Wiki collaboration, etc., if that would be possible. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 07:39, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
How about we do an OSM report after the Map Hackathon in Copenhagen in two weeks? In the meantime I think the WikiMiniAtlas is a topic that deserves a (short) update on its own. --Dschwen 21:58, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Nice. Kaldari (talk) 22:06, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
That sounds ideal. Thanks! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 07:03, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Citations on Wikipedia and discussion at meta:WebCite

Could a note be added to the News and notes section regarding the discussion at meta:WebCite regarding our citations on Wikipedia? Our citations are sole basis for valid content and critically important to our readers. It seems a sentence or two about this would be relevant to all the Signpost's readers. Thanks in advance. (talk) 10:58, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

This is in this week's discussion report. Thanks! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 07:44, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Thank you (talk) 13:51, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia as predictor of box office success

Ehrenberg, Rachel (7 February 2013). "In Hollywood, buzz beats star power when it comes to predicting box office take". Retrieved 13 February 2013.

Daily Dot - Wikipedia cofounder Larry Sanger on his next revolution

"Wikipedia cofounder Larry Sanger on his next revolution" - Interesting recap of Sanger's relationship to Wikipedia, with a hook that he's starting a new project. "Larry Sanger helped launch a revolution when he cofounded Wikipedia in 2001. Now he may be ready to start another." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 23:32, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

I fail to see why we should be covering this. Aside from the fact that Sanger has gone out of his way to alienate this community, and we generally discourage reconnection of trolls, there is a lack of actual information to report on. Sven Manguard Wha? 04:35, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
My view is that the summarizing of Sanger's dissatisfaction with Wikipedia made the article worthy of coverage for _Signpost_. While I do not agree with everything he says, I would contend he is sincere and is arguing in good faith as he views the world. Name-calling of "troll" to avoid dealing with criticism is one of the most dysfunctional aspects of the Wikipedia community (tedious: of course not all uses of "troll" are illegitimate, but there is definitely a significant amount of such usage). And, note, topics such as the anti-expert attitude, or sexual material, are not going to be "discourage[d]" depending on whether or not the Wikipedia Signpost mentions a little article discussing them or not. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 07:06, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

News & Notes: another Wikipedian in Residence

Another UK Wikipedian in Residence post - Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums, Newcastle. It's a funded post, part-time through spring and early summer, based in Newcastle (so may well suit a student). Applications are open until 4th March. They're particularly interested in the prospect of someone wanting to work with the shipbuilding & industrial history collections, and digitising some of the material they have in their archives. Andrew Gray (talk) 16:59, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Individual Engagement Grants: Community discussion week

Round 1 of the Individual Engagement Grants process is officially underway. The proposal deadline was February 15th and now there is a week of open discussion and community comment where all are invited to ask questions, support, endorse, refine, or otherwise weigh in on the grants. A list of proposals is available here: and every proposal has an endorsements section as well as a discussion page. Thanks! Ocaasi t | c 21:00, 18 February 2013 (UTC) Ryan Kaldari (talk) 21:44, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

More Gibraltar on the main page

The Register. I like the suggestion from the comments section that the word "gibbing" be used to describe efforts to use Wikipedia to promote tourism in Gibraltar. I guess, then, that I'm guilty of trying to gib The Signpost today. Cla68 (talk) 22:56, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

More on Wikipedia's gibbing problem. Cla68 (talk) 23:06, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
irrelevant pissing contest
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
[REDACTED] --Demiurge1000 (talk) 23:56, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
We need to come up with another word similar to "gibbing" to describe the customary reactions Wikipedians have to journalists who criticize or report on negative aspects of Wikipedia. Cla68 (talk) 00:54, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry that my humour is not to your liking. Although I do wonder why it bothers you so. Does it cut a little too close to some bone? Why? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 02:52, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Demiurge1000, I know that your comments are meant as humour, but they are in violation of our policies. Andrew Orlowski, Jimmy Wales, and Andreas Kolbe are living persons and WP:BLP applies on this page just like anywhere else. I'm removing the image and redacting your remarks. Feel free to edit war, call me names, and take this to AN/I to have me blocked. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 04:16, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I should have removed them myself, but I guess I'm so used to seeing Wikipedians attack critics that I'm jaded to it. Cla68 (talk) 05:06, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
My comments aren't in violation of WP:BLP, and nor is the image - unless you think having it on Orlowski's own page is also in violation of WP:BLP. However, I don't see anything serious enough to "have you blocked" - I do see some level of hypocrisy in suppressing criticism, though. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 07:45, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Daily Dot story. Includes a statement by the WMUK. Cla68 (talk) 23:24, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Last call for Wikimania scholarships

One last thing for this week - the applications for Scholarships for Wikimania 2013 close on Friday 22nd at 23.59 UTC. Andrew Gray (talk)

We included this in last week's edition. Thanks! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 10:24, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Salon article on economics edit war

See "How Paul Krugman broke a Wikipedia page on economics", describing edit war at Austrian School. Dcoetzee 03:20, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

This is in this week's "In the media". Thanks, Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 10:24, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Opinions, Conflicts, and Consensus: Modeling Social Dynamics in a Collaborative Environment

New research from Physical Review Letters. See also press release with visualizations. Dcoetzee 17:44, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

I assume this will be covered in next month's research report. Thanks! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 10:24, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Eagles on the Main Page

I have no idea how newsworthy this funny little aside might be considered (perhaps it might be mentioned in passing in the Featured content page?), but all four TFAs from 17 to 20 February were about eagles of some sort, and all four TFPs in the same period had the word "eagle" in the blurb. Some people have noticed, as one can see here. Waltham, The Duke of 16:29, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Following the recent Signpost story about WebCite, one editor brought back to relevance the ArchiveLinks extension, which appears to offer a surprisingly effective solution to a major part of one of our project's greatest long-term threats. I would really like to see this topic get headlined while there is still a movement to address the associated problem, considering its magnitude.   — C M B J   12:52, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

I've added a sentence on this into this week's discussion report. Thanks! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 10:24, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Twinkle vandalism revert gets less bitey

[9]. The Twinkle "revert vandalism" tool now no longer uses "vandalism" in the edit summary.  little green rosetta(talk)
central scrutinizer
23:00, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, but we won't be covering this. Regards, Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 10:24, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Lua deployment

Now that Lua is live on English Wikipedia it'd be great if the Signpost could do a story on it and what's been done with it here so far. Further info at Wikipedia:Lua, existing modules at Special:PrefixIndex/Module:, see histories for active contributors who might give an interview. I'm also trying to publicize a new forum at Wikipedia:Lua requests where ordinary users who can't write Lua can request Lua scripts from others. Thanks! Dcoetzee 01:24, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Also, since there are several templates that have been (or are in the process of being) converted to Lua, would a comment in future "In Brief" sections be appropriate, such as "This week, the following templates have been converted to Lua: __________"? This way the Wikipedia community at large could know to keep an eye out for changes to their articles and know what might be causing it. Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 01:46, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Hi, I've left a note for the technology report editor, and I'll let him decide on this—I don't have the expertise. :-) Thanks! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 10:24, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for forwarding this along! GoingBatty (talk) 17:20, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
So we've done a fair amount of coverage on the basics of Lua, though not so much on the process of Lua-ification. It might be a nice idea, though I'm a little pushed at the moment. Particularly in relation to your latter point, I'd point out that if it's difficult for the community to track which templates have been (or will be) converted, then it's equally difficult for me :P - Jarry1250 [Vacation needed] 23:29, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Some have been explicitly marked: Category:Lua-based templates Dragons flight (talk) 23:35, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
LUA also promises to bring back COinS in the new citation templates - which would affect 1.7 million articles - see discussions on the experimental version at Module_talk:Citation/CS1 Shyamal (talk) 04:28, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Study Finds Most Teachers Use Wikipedia, Are Hypocrites

See Forbes article on a Pew Research Center study finding 87% of teachers use Wikipedia. Dcoetzee 12:36, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Students Are Urged to Stay Away from Wikipedia and Google for Research (article)

For the brief mention section: Students Are Urged to Stay Away from Wikipedia and Google for Research is a new article with a sensationalist headline. "Wikipedia is an excellent place to start research but you can’t stop there,” said Erin Ellis, the Head of Libraries Instructional Services at Anschutz Library. “A lot of times, those entries will have really good bibliographies at the end. Those are the resources that students should be looking at." Sorta makes me think that the WikiProjects should devote some of their time to beefing up bibliographies in addition to article creation/editing. -- kosboot (talk) 14:03, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Nothing "sensationalist" about it - as far as colleges are concerned that's WP & WMF official position too. Hardly news. Johnbod (talk) 14:27, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Mentioning Wikipedia on Chinese Skype triggers surveillance

The paper for this BusinessWeek article ("Skype's Been Hijacked in China, and Microsoft Is O.K. With It") refers to this Usenix paper (slides) which links to these Chinese Skype censorship stoplists and surveillance triggers, which in 2011 contained:

中文维基百科 ("Chinese-language Wikipedia")
维基百科 ("Wikipedia")
中文维基百科加密版 ("Encrypted version of the Chinese-language Wikipedia")

While "中文维基百科加密版" occurs in the most recent 3/8/2013 version of the surveillance trigger list, the other two do not. (talk) 20:43, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

WP and Libraries

This article by John Mark Ockerbloom: From Wikipedia to our libraries (Everybody's Libraries blog), discusses some interesting approaches to closing the divide between WP and the local library. Might be worth a longer piece at some point; figuring out a relationship with WP is a hot topic among librarians at the moment. Blog post was picked up by Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing. The Interior (Talk) 17:18, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Oh, I see this in my Facebook feed, looks like you folks were already aware. Still would like to see a longer piece about the WP/Library divide. I could help out, if anyone else is interested. The Interior (Talk) 17:44, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, picked it up on Twitter and posted it on Facebook too. :-) Would you be interested in writing an op-ed on it? Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 00:40, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
I think so. Very busy this week, so maybe not for the next edition. I'll be in touch, Ed. The Interior (Talk) 22:24, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Sounds good. Thanks! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:34, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

The Economist, and wikipedias in various languages

It might be a good idea to discuss this briefly, perhaps? bobrayner (talk) 12:50, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Wikipediocracy added, then removed, from MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist

It's probably worth mentioning the addition and then removal of A-Site-That-May-Not-Be Linked-Though-Its-Name-Can-Be-Spoken, i.e. Wikipediocracy, to MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist, as well as the failure of the Village Pump proposal for blacklisting it. Discussing the latest WP:BADSITES eruption might also lengthen the time until the next one. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 05:38, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Has anyone thought to create an article on Wikipediocracy? -- kosboot (talk) 12:14, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, the idea does come up from time to time. But though The Site Of Unlinkability (on some days) inspires much fear and loathing among certain Wikipedia editors, and is certainly a notable topic of Wikipedia internal discussion, it's not obvious if it is a notable topic for a Wikipedia article. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 03:14, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Recent DMCA takedowns and implications for War memorials and other public art

Sorry, I can't find anything on the status of this: DMCA take down request and its implications for sculpture-falling-under-FOP in Europe. I believe this should be mentioned, as in the Netherlands we have had to stop actively supporting a photo contest of war memorials due to this new ruling on "FOP in NL is no longer FOP on Wiki Commons". Jane (talk) 11:37, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

This is somewhat of a misapprehension. Policy on Commons hasn't changed - such works can still be uploaded but should be tagged with {{Not-free-US-FOP}}. Dcoetzee 20:34, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
What does Not-free-US-FOP mean exactly? Not free sounds like it shouldn't be on Commons. Jane (talk) 01:02, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
It means it might not be free, but is legally untested and would really depend. Click and read the template for all the details. Dcoetzee 02:27, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
I respectfully submit that this template looks insulting when it is used in combination with a WWII monument. Jane (talk) 09:03, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Chronicle article on the women of Wikipedia

Nothing really new in Prikipedia? Or, Looking for the Women on Wikipedia - but anything that can highlight the disparity of women (and seemingly the apparently difficulty of creating articles on notable women) is a good thing to me. Perhaps it merits a "brief mention." -- kosboot (talk) 12:16, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

I will say that the comments to this article - like that of other recent articles - put Wikipedia in a very poor light. I'd even go as far and say that the general audience consensus of Wikipedia is a negative one, mostly because people perceive editors to be nasty and antognistic of good-faith efforts. Sounds like Wikipedia really needs to do something to counteract this image. -- kosboot (talk) 19:18, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia can be horribly merciless towards first-time good-faith edits. This has nothing to do with the gendergap however, and is more the result of the "improved" anti-vandalism tooling of the last 3 years or so. The image problem you see reflected in those comments is a good example of one of the more serious hurdles to take in convincing readers to become editors. Jane (talk) 06:48, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
It won't be our anti-vandalism tooling that is at fault here. She was complaining about the tagging of new articles for deletion almost as fast as they were submitted, and I'll bet they weren't tagged as vandalism or by bots - much more likely newpage patrollers tagging them as A7 "not asserting importance or significance". Newpage patrollers are usually pretty accurate when they tag vandalism pages as G3 and attack pages as G10. But as we've known at least since wp:NEWT in 2009 we have some taggers who will tag articles as A7 within minutes of creation and often despite content that some would regard as asserting importance or significance. I've even encountered taggers who stretch A7 to articles that credibly assert importance but that in their individual judgment would be deleted by consensus at AFD, or that regard "unsourced" as a speedy deletion criteria. This is especially going to be a risk where we have a group of people who are less well covered in the history books due to past sexism. Now the past sexism isn't something we can counter directly - if an article fails the General Notability Guideline then it doesn't belong on Wikipedia. Those women who have been written out of the history books need to be written back into the history books and other secondary sources before we can cover them here in our tertiary source. But our endemic problem of heavy handedness at newpage patrol (and sometimes an even heavier hand at AFC) means that a subject area that is skewed towards people who are borderline under our Notability criteria is likely to get a poor experience of us. Someone who concentrated on making sure we cover every woman who has won a Nobel prize, National level election or Olympic medal would probably not have their articles tagged for deletion. The Chronicle writer wants to have Wikipedia articles about women who participated in various events but who weren't prominently recorded at the time, and that isn't a recipe for uncontentious new Wikipedia articles. ϢereSpielChequers 10:59, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Though I agree with all of what you say here, I believe the comments under the article still illustrate a growing image problem. All GLAM-related edit-a-thons usually have some version of the experiences related in the article, and probably for the reasons you suggest. The *comments* by posters under the article reflect another issue entirely however, which is a poor image problem unrelated to the suitability factors of new submissions (again, for whatever subject - not just women's subjects). Jane (talk) 10:08, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

effect of trolls on public discourse

When trolls come out from under their bridges, it's bad news for scientific discourse NE Ent 20:36, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Discussion report suggestion

There is an RFC at Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(people) that has a few dozen respondents. Please be clear that this is a discussion about whether to format birthdate uniformly when it is used in disambiguation and not a discussion about when birthdate should be used nor about what uniform solution should be employed.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 23:02, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I am requesting that the RFC remain open until one week after the first Signpost discussion report. There are currently nearly 30 respondents (17 support, 7 oppose, 3 neutral, and 2 neutral leaning oppose). It is very close to being consensus support, but I think a run in WP:POST would broaden the set of respondents and make things clearer.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 04:35, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
If we do not have a discussion report next week, I will add it as a news and notes "In brief". Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 15:42, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

new GLAM project

This Portrait of Olivia Boteler Porter was on the front page yesterday and is good publicity for WP:Yours. I launch an editting contest with the Public Catalogue Foundation to create biographical articles on artists, but this article on an artwork shows a new approach, like what we do for smarthistory. Jane (talk) 16:19, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Where's the video? Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:36, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
They have no video, but like Smarthistory, they have material that we cannot host ourselves: 250,000 paintings with the vast majority created by artists born after 1900. We could potentially create short articles for all of them (depending on the notability on a case-by-case basis)

Lua on Wikipedia in the press

Wikipedia crowdsources site performance: Speeding up 488,731 templates with a little Lua to go (VentureBeat). See also The H. Dcoetzee 20:36, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Now at Wired. Dcoetzee 20:55, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

"Nice" paid editing

This may be something for your "discussions" round-up.

A paid editor from BP is writing up material for the BP article and for the BP environmental section in particular.

He does pay attention to the letter of the rules, but I don't think it is anywhere near the spirit, e.g. he checks with his higher-ups before responding to any questions.

Please see


Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:41, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

And then you go here. Wow. I guess you're the one that's determined to actually make this a "negative for BP" thing. How long until you're contacting the newspapers yourself? SilverserenC 03:54, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
I do think a little transparency in this matter will solve this entire mess. I'd guess that 99% of all Wikipedia editors do not believe that BP should write the environmental section of the BP article. And please do not suggest that there is anything wrong with putting a suggestion on the Signpost's suggestion page. Smallbones(smalltalk) 04:20, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
You know full well that putting it in the Signpost is going to get it mentioned from news sites. And, thus, you worded the suggestion above as if Arturo was doing something wrong without actually giving any specifics. In fact, you seem to be doing that a lot. I seriously have yet to see anyone look at the content being suggested and say what's wrong with it. Is it really that hard to do? SilverserenC 04:31, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
And I think 99% of Wikipedia editors would say that the editor doesn't matter, all that matters is the content. If the content is neutral, then everything is fine. SilverserenC 04:31, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
If everything's fine, why are you worried about the press covering it? Kaldari (talk) 19:55, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm not worried about them covering it, i'm concerned about it being presented in a one-sided light. SilverserenC 22:24, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
I think it's worth covering since many editors will take an interest in it, but please do investigate the full story if you do. The paid editing debate remains very contentious and polarised. Dcoetzee 20:58, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree this is worth covering. It's controversial, meaningful, and novel debate, relevant to our community. Indeed, I was interested in interviewing the talk page participants myself. If this happening makes it into the broader press, that's just the reality of working transparently, and we can't hope to advance a model of transparent engagement if we don't accept its consequences: the possibility of public discovery is precisely what may encourage more neutral contributions. It's just the other side of the coin of working openly with corporate representatives. There's a risk that public pressure will drive paid editors underground to edit in secret, but I think that's just a risk we have to take to explore this model further. I do suggest a full and fair investigation and presentation of sides and arguments (in the context of current COI guideline recommendations) is needed for this report, but I'd still like to see it. Cheers, Ocaasi t | c 21:35, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

In case the details are of interest, I've compiled a list of BP's drafts, when they were posted, and when they were added to the article. See BP's drafts. It seems that at least 4,055 words written by BP were added to the article between 5 July 2012 and 1 March 2013, which is 44 percent of the current length of the article. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:38, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Shouldn't you also add comparison diffs to what the sections in question read like in the article before the drafts? To show how the wording was changed, whether it was improved or not, whether it was made more one-sided or if it was made more neutral. SilverserenC 22:24, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Looks like it is getting some coverage already [10]. It is a very important question. Basically do we want people writing the articles about themselves or companies writing the articles about their products? I stand firmly in the "generally no" camp. We at Wikipedia strand for independence. We are dealing with companies that often control the entire "supply chain" for knowledge. We need editors to read critically and independently or else harm will result, not just harm to our reputation as an encyclopedia but potentially harm to our readers. If editors are paid by industry or if industry begin editing themselves accuracy will be hurt. Per Upton Sinclain "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it." Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 01:45, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
The most instructive part of that article for me was: "BP's image cleanup cleverly skirts Wikipedia's editorial rules ... while Wikipedia editors, as usual, argue and attack each other over editorial policy ..." SlimVirgin (talk) 02:08, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

I was actually concerned for a moment until I read that the author was Violet Blue. This isn't media at all. She writes attack pieces on Wikipedia all the time, largely because of her past incidents of trying to control all the information in the article on her and us telling her no. Actually, that makes this whole thing pretty funny, since she DID try to make all the information in her article only the positive stuff. SilverserenC 03:22, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Silver seren, I know that it is a Wikipedia tradition, but if you are going to try to discredit the media reports by attacking the author rather than the facts presented, you should seek advice from some of the past masters of this tactic. I'm not one of those but can I suggest that instead of "he writes attack pieces on Wikipedia all the time" you say "she has written negative pieces about Wikipedia in the past"? That way, if someone checks and finds out that in fact Blue has only written a few pieces about Wikipedia, you don't look like a lying weasel. And when you say "she DID try to make all the information in her article only the positive stuff", you say instead "she took issue to how our anonymous contributors larded her biography with negative information to make her look bad on one of the most widely read sites on the internet and the first one to show up in almost any search for her name"? On second thought, you shouldn't say that last part. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:13, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
The facts presented are so inaccurate, where do you even start? Arturo has perfectly followed our rules, even the further restrictions requested by Jimbo. He hasn't gotten into arguments about the content, only presented properly sourced material for review. The title alone is a complete lie, as Arturo's drat didn't even deal with any of the controversy sections. It instead added material from the 90's that should have been in the article already, if the article itself wasn't so biased toward recent events. And the subtitle is patently false (as was SlimVirgin when she stated it), as the vast majority of Arturo's draft didn't change the wording of the sections, instead either rearranging them or just adding a sentence or paragraph. So, it's ridiculous to consider material written by other editors to be written by Arturo when all he did was rearrange the material. Does that mean if he moved around all the paragraphs in the article, that he then rewrote 100% of it? SilverserenC 17:03, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Let's start at the beginning. The title of the piece is "BP accused of rewriting environmental record on Wikipedia". I would say that is a legitimate summary of the situation for a headline, although it may not have been written by Blue herself. What part of that is a "lie"? The subhead is "A British Petroleum representative allegedly rewrote 44 percent of the oil giant's Wikipedia page, including the environmental sections. Some Wikipedia editors are crying foul". Again, that seems like a legitimate interpretation of what has been said here and elsewhere. SlimVirgin's estimate may or may not be correct, but there is no disputing that she made it and that it was a reasonable estimate. What part of the subhead is "patently false"? You can argue with SlimVirgin's estimate, but Blue is merely referencing it, not making the claim herself. That is what journalists do, after all. You started this off by attacking the journalist rather than what she reported. Now you have added to this by accusing Blue of lying in her reporting, which wouldn't bother me that much, but journalists take that ind of charge quite seriously. I suggest you apologize before you dig yourself any deeper (and I should remind you that WP:BLP applies here as well). Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:33, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Twisting the truth is the same as lying. "Allegedly" on the word of one editor, who has been thoroughly rebuffed by several other editors. Things like "Angry Wikipedia editors estimate" when you're talking about one person, or "skirts direct page editing prohibitions" when an accurate statement would be that he follows expected COI guidelines on how to edit. Violet Blue seems to be of the opinion that the aritcle on BP shoul dbe about the Deepwater Horizon incident and that only, as if the entire hundred year history of the company never happened. The article is already completely biased by the fact that more than half of it is just about controversies, almost all of which are stuff from just the past ten years. SilverserenC 17:50, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, you don't get off the hook that easily. What part of the headline is a "lie"? What part of the subhead is "patently false"? We can discuss your theories about what Violet Blue is thinking after you address the questions. Otherwise, retract the statements. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 18:01, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Adding in the alledgedly doesn't get you off from your statement. "rewrote 44 percent of the oil giant's Wikipedia page" This is not true. It is extremely not true. Oh, and secondly, no. SilverserenC 18:08, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
First off, I'm not Violet Blue, so it isn't "my statement". Secondly, you don't seem to understand what reporters do - they report things. SlimVirgin made that estimate (albeit with a caveat). Blue took that estimate and added the word "allegedly" (note the correct spelling) likely to make clear that she (Blue) was not saying it and that it was not proven. Blue provided a link to the discussion page where SlimVirgin made the allegation (note how similar that word "allegation" is to "allegedly") so that people were able to view the context for themselves. What you seem to be taking issue with is that the estimate of 44% may not be accurate. That is really a whole different discussion. So, can we agree that Blue did not "lie" in the headline and that there is nothing "patently false" about the subhead, or are you going to keep trying to digging this hole you put yourself in? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:02, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
That's fine, it wasn't a "lie", but it was very directly not meant to be truthful. I think i'll just agree with Jimbo on this one, "I think that accusing Arturo of "skirting" Wikipedia's rules in this case is fairly ludicrous - unless "skirting" means "going above and beyond what is required in order to be very clearly in compliance with best practice". So, I would consider that a blatant factual misrepresentation." SilverserenC 20:18, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Financial Times cites Wikipedia as good example of structure

Not sure if this is of any interest but I though I'd mention this article. EdwardLane (talk) 14:08, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Behind a paywall, or you have to register anyway. Since I don't want to be bombarded with Spam for ever after, what does it say? Johnbod (talk) 14:12, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
It says, to summarise, that the millennium development goals (being top-down like Britannica) were misplaced and should be (and to some extent are being) replaced with a bottom-up, Wikipedia-like framework where countries' citizens choose their own goals. - Jarry1250 [Vacation needed] 14:50, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! Of course, after 12 yrs of bottom-up, we really need some top-down to fill the manifest content weaknesses. Johnbod (talk) 15:13, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Jane Goodall book "borrows without attribution" from Wikipedia

From the Washington Post: Jane Goodall’s ‘Seeds of Hope’ book contains borrowed passages without attribution: "“Seeds of Hope” contains language from Wikipedia in its discussion of 18th-century Philadelphia botanist John Bartram..." Erudy (talk) 11:08, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Gizmodo readers select weirdest articles

They've found some good ones. Gizmodo, "What’s the Weirdest/Most Bizarre Wikipedia Page You’ve Ever Found?" The Interior (Talk) 05:51, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Please apply for Wikimedia hackathon scholarships by 20 April

To request a scholarship, please register for the event and request a scholarship by 20 April. Thanks! Sumana Harihareswara, Wikimedia Foundation Engineering Community Manager (talk) 20:11, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

This is in this week's edition! Thanks, Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:40, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Results available from Dutch editor survey

The Dutch Wikimedia association (WMNL) conducted a broad reader/editor/member survey and the results were handed out at the association meeting last Saturday. Biggest news: the Dutch gendergap in WMNL is worse than on the English Wikipedia, with women making up only 6% of all respondents claiming to be both member of WMNL and editor of Wikipedia. Other surprising news is that of the editors on the Dutch Wikipedia, 27% is dissatisfied with the work climate and 19% is dissatisfied with communication among Wikipedians. This dissatisfaction may be related to the demographics; Of the respondents who claim to be editors, 19% is under the age of 24, and 28% is over the age of 55. Among the general public, only 4% claim not to have heard of Wikipedia, and of the 25% who have only heard of Wikipedia and claim never to have used it, these are more often women. Over half of all respondents use Wikipedia at least once a week, but have no idea what the activities of WMNL are. 26% of the respondents of the general public think that the primary activity of WMNL is to check the quality of Wikipedia articles. On May 4th a special meeting will be held to discuss the results. Jane (talk) 14:10, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the note, we'll keep an eye on this. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:40, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

New Wikivoyage Main Page

I don't whether this is something The Signpost would be interested in covering, but Wikimedia's newest project, Wikivoyage has just launched a new Main Page and not long before that opened a reference desk, the 'Tourist Office'. --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 16:14, 27 March 2013 (UTC) PS I'm quite new here, but I do enjoy reading every new edition of The Signpost! :)

Added in this week's edition! :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:40, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Thank you! :) --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 22:07, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Sue Gardner to resign from WMF

I assume this will be the lead article. Here's the email message: and here's how it was picked up by InfoDocket in LibraryJournal.

Yes, this is part of the reason why we're so delayed this week. ;-) Thanks for the note! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 00:44, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Flickr Commons

This is a little beyond our scope, but Flickr Commons is a major source for material on Wikimedia Commons, and it's an interesting read: Shared history: The Commons initiative celebrates its fifth anniversary (British Journal of Photography). Andrew Gray (talk) 13:31, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

It's a bit too far beyond our scope, but we could possibly include it in the Wikizine next week. Thanks for the tip! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:40, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Quarterly policy update

is done. - Dank (push to talk) 00:58, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

April 1st on Wikipedia

How about coverage for Wikipedia's annual sense of humor on April 1st? Here are some examples so far.

User:IXavier/hehe/Main Page

Wikipedia:Requests for foundership/FrigidNinja

Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Example

The large link to ? on the main page.


Category:Wikipedia April Fools' Day 2013

--Pine 04:30, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Hebrew Wikipedia editor discovers that a clandestine immigrant ship never existed

There's a lovely story in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz about the work of user 158a on Hebrew Wikipedia concerning Aliyah Bet, the clandestine effort by Jews to immigrate to Palestine before the creation of the State of Israel. Apparently, many sources, including an atlas of Haganah history and the website of the Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum, list two ships, the Astir and the Astia, which sailed from Europe in March 1939. User 158a discovered that, in fact, the ship Astia never existed. The ship Astir appeared in some records as Astia due to a typographical error, and that error was repeated in documents and historical records until the present day. The article [11] is paywalled, but here is a nice quote:

How did Wikipedia discover the mistake? Wiki editor 158a’s research was serious and thorough, and included an examination of newspapers from the time, as well as British government documents and other sources. He relied heavily on The Historical Jewish Press, a joint project of Tel Aviv University and the National Library of Israel’s Digital Library, which lets users browse and search newspapers from the period that were not previously easily accessible.

I can email the Signpost editors the full text of the Haaretz article if you'd like to mention this story. GabrielF (talk) 15:40, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Hi, I'd love to have the text of this story to write up for next week's edition. Would you happen to know if 158a speaks English? Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 16:05, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
I've sent the article via email. Here is 158a's user page: [12]. He has an infobox saying that he can communicate at an advanced level of English. GabrielF (talk) 16:11, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Lovely! Thank you very much. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 00:09, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Cite templates updated

The update of Citation Style 1 templates to use the newly added Lua programming language is progressing nicely. The five most-used templates— {{cite book}}, {{cite encyclopedia}}, {{cite journal}}, {{cite news}} and {{cite web}} —have been updated and debugged and work continues on the rest. These templates now invoke Module:Citation/CS1. [more] --  Gadget850 (Ed) talk 19:56, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Article on BLP issue

See The Dangers of Trusting Wikipedia With Your Life regarding Michael C. Moynihan. User:Gobonobo already responded to the feedback (see Talk:Michael_C._Moynihan#Moynihan_on_Moynihan). Dcoetzee 22:16, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Involvement of oil company employees in their Wikipedia articles

The involvement of a BP employee in rewriting their article here was noted in an earlier section ("Nice" paid editing) but the story has progressed since then. Violet Blue published a piece in CNet on March 20 which talked about BP ("BP accused of rewriting environmental record on Wikipedia"). In a follow-up piece published a week later on ZDNet, Blue identified two other oil companies which had employees involved in either proposing changes or directly editing their articles ("Big Oil's Wikipedia cleanup: A brand management experiment out of control"). That report also identified some issues with one section of our BP article (although it is not clear to me if anyone has addressed the specific concerns, or reviewed the other eight sections written by the BP employee). At the moment, those reports are included in BP#Public_relations_efforts, but there is some discussion on the talk page about whether or not such a section is appropriate. There were also a number of discussions on Jimbo's talk page. I think this would be a good subject for the Signpost, since it touches on the paid editing issues that have been given a lot of space there in recent months. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:58, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Roger Ebert dead

Mr. Ebert was one of the first known celebrities to have edited Wikipedia. My favourite edit was actually a citation of his own article, used in "inherently funny word". The account was never confirmed, but likely; he did cite Wikipedia in 187 of his movie reviews. -- Zanimum (talk) 00:12, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

In his July 16, 2004 review of I, Robot: "According to the invaluable Wikipedia encyclopedia on the Web," -- Zanimum (talk) 00:14, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

French intelligency agency attempts to get article deleted

Story on Wikimedia-l --Tobias (Talk) 22:59, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Statement by WMF legal is at Wikimedia Foundation elaborates on recent demand by French governmental agency to remove Wikipedia content. Cheers. (talk) 11:45, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
See updated statement with fixed links at fr:Wikipédia:Bulletin_des_administrateurs/2013/Semaine_14#Wikimedia_Foundation_elaborates_on_recent_demand_by_French_governmental_agency_to_remove_Wikipedia_content., Dcoetzee 22:34, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
And the statement by Christophe Henner, Wikimedia France. Cheers. (talk) 20:38, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Now hitting third party sites: Geekosystem, Battleground Blog. Dcoetzee 22:28, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Now on fr and de Wikinews: [13], [14]. Dcoetzee 00:39, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Thank you all for the links. We will be covering this topic in a collaboration with the French RAW. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 00:42, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
See also the references at Military_radio_station_of_Pierre-sur-Haute#Attempt_to_remove_Wikipedia_article, including several links to French online news. Dcoetzee 01:08, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Now in Ars Technica and ZDNet. Dcoetzee 03:57, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Now spread to The Guardian, Boing Boing, RT, FRANCE 24. Dcoetzee 23:48, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Canadian news coverage

Samw (talk) 23:38, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

It's a piece distributed by The Canadian Press and published in numerous sources. CBC, Macleans, etc. Mindmatrix 13:48, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Russian article blacklist published

The list of Wikipedia articles blacklisted in Russia has been published. The big surprise is that it includes articles on the English Wikipedia as well: Vaporizer (drug) and Suicide methods. Kaldari (talk) 20:03, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Wikizine Wikisource suggestions

As Wikizine is now covering the rest of Wikimedia as a new feature, it would be nice if some Wikisource content could be included. However, I'm not sure what kind of thing would be interesting to Signpost readers. How about low-concept, policy discussions, for example? I can think of two off the top of my head (both ongoing):

  1. RfC on annotations and derivative works: About adding wikilinks and original footnotes to works, as well as wholly original constructions such as user-created translations. (Similar to original research, in Wikipedian terms.) Translations have largely survived, although they will get their own namespace (to keep them separate) and some new rules will be applied. Selected annotations seem to be accepted in theory but consensus on the exact application has yet to be reached. Some wikilinking will be allowed, pending a separate, future discussion on acceptable wikilinking policy. Some already annotated works will probably be exported to Wikibooks if they'll take them. Comparison pages (eg. between different versions of lines in the bible) are likely to be either exported as well or deleted.
  2. Government Edict licensed works: Possible copyright violations (one of two AfD equivalents for Wikisource) discussion about a whole licence (because Wikisource has lots of different licences, like Commons, unlike Wikipedia). We are probably misapplying PD-EdictGov. It gets used to cover political speeches from around the world, treaties, statements, and so forth (as if it were the international version of 17 U.S.C. 105, aka PD-USGov). First, it only covers laws and court opinions. Second, it may not actually cover any international documents at all. Lots of documents might be deleted as a result of this.

On the other hand, would notes about high-concept stuff, like featured texts, milestones and new WikiProjects, be more Wikizine appropriate?

  1. For example: This month's featured text is A Jewish State by Theodor Herzl, a foundational document in Zionism timed to coincide with Israeli Independence Day. Next month will be Amazing Stories (vol. 1, no. 1), the first issue of the first science fiction magazine, timed to coincide with the Nebula Awards. (The timing doesn't usually happen but its nice when it does.)

Which is preferred for Wikizine? I don't know where you intend to go with the page but I hope it can look beyond the usual Wikipedia/Commons/GLAM sphere, even if it's just pointing out the featured text. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 22:17, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Santiago Swallow

A hoax, now deleted and redirected to its creator: Santiago Swallow.

Got media coverage in today's Metro: Meet Santiago Swallow… the biggest social media star you’ve never heard of. Also see How to become internet famous for $68.

I'd like to think that it would have been caught by new page patrollers and deleted under WP:BLPPROD... but it is quite amusing nonetheless. —Tom Morris (talk) 09:15, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Draft of plan for the Toolserver

A plan has been published for the future of Toolserver/Tool Labs. More details here. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 10:46, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

The Global Women Wikipedia Write-In

I didn't know about The Global Women Wikipedia Write-In which is to take place this Friday, April 26. Perhaps a heads-up might be warranted? -- kosboot (talk) 00:01, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

I mentioned it in this week's "News and notes". Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 12:09, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Deployment of Echo Notification system to English Wikipedia

The new notification system is tentatively scheduled to be deployed to English Wikipedia on Thursday Tuesday. Kaldari (talk) 18:50, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the note, this is in this week's tech report! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 12:09, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedian in Residence: National Library of Scotland

Hopefully in time for this week's issue - the National Library of Scotland is recruiting for a Wikipedian in Residence, a four-month full-time paid post based in Edinburgh. Details here. Andrew Gray (talk) 19:21, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

...and on the BBC News. Andrew Gray (talk) 10:36, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Since there's been a few of these lately, I've pulled together a blog post summarizing all the ones I'm aware of that are still recruiting. This includes a recently announced tended from JISC for someone to help lead training programs for academics. Andrew Gray (talk) 11:46, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Andrew, as always! :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 12:09, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Let there be music...

Copying from Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Score !!:

After many years, one of the most voted and oldest feature requests has been solved. As of today, Wikipedia finally has a renderer for music notation. See Mark's sandbox for an example. Congrats to the original filer xmlizer ! And a thank you to all who helped write the various generations of the extension and those that reviewed the code. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 08:35, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

More at Help:Wiki markup#Musical notation. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:18, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Really good news (and a neat tool). Worth a mention! Andrew Gray (talk) 16:04, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Please refer folks to for instructions on how to use it. Kaldari (talk) 05:36, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the tips! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 12:09, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Categorisation of American women novelists

New York Times article (later picked up in The Guardian) re Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2013 April 24#Category:American women novelists on whether American women novelists should be in dedicated category. I don't recall any media discussion before about categorisation.--A bit iffy (talk) 11:10, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the tip! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 12:09, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
This issue should not be limited to American novelists. See, for example, this edit, by an editor deeply involved in the current controversy. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 03:59, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
Really good article here: . Mentions that the editor responsible for the current furor did in fact do categorization work on women novelists of nationalities other than American, and that "he recreat[ed] the defunct category American 'actresses,' a word that others felt belongs in the same dustbin as 'poetess.'" [He not only recreated the category, he did massive amounts of moving women out of "actors" and into "actresses".] -- John Broughton (♫♫) 00:08, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

What's got to be the most amazing thing about this is that one of those really grungy Wikiprocesses (is it Categories for deletion?) is being debated in the pages of the New York Times and the New York Review of Books by the likes of James Gleick, with tweets added in by Joyce Carol Oates. Whatever else comes out of this, the Wikielves with their slop buckets should know that their work is important. Or at least sort of important; I've been around here for about 7 years and don't think I ever did anything with article categories. I have messed with categories for photos over at Commons - now that's important. ;-) Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:22, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

On projects in which I'm involved I've noticed that this is part of WP's maturation process: that as article creation becomes more burdensome (one has to really do research!), editors seem to be focusing on (what I sense are) micro-issues - templates and categorization (and over-categorization) being among them. I'd love to read a Signpost article on the characteristics of WP's evolution into the teens. -- kosboot (talk) 18:47, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Some good follow-ups from clueful people:

Kaldari (talk) 20:02, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

The Reagle article makes a point no one else makes: That if WP's categorization (i.e. programming) was more flexible, akin to "tagging," there would be no need to create these strings of categories. One could pick whatever key terms one wanted and search on them to find the desired articles. -- kosboot (talk) 21:17, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Video Tutorials Project funded by WMF Grant

I am developing video tutorials for a variety of Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects. I have been directed to seek community input in as many ways as possible, as this project is being funded by a WMF grant. Additional details are available at Please help with publicizing this! --Jackson Peebles (talk) 14:40, 25 April 2013 (UTC)


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