Stub contest

Don't think we ran an announcement for this before it opened, but the Wikipedia:Stub contest is open and running through September 30. The goal is to expand existing stubs, with prizes for number done (and importance). All welcome... Andrew Gray (talk) 12:00, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Individual Engagement Grants - Round Two

The second round of the 2014 I.E.G. cycle is open this month, it'd be great to get a brief note out to readers. Applications are being accepted Sept. 1 - 30. The Grants team is holding several Hangouts and IRC sessions to help people develop/hone their ideas. Here's the original message (with links!). PEarley (WMF) (talk) 22:48, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Wikimedia LGBT+ User Group has been approved by the Affiliations Committee

-Another Believer (Talk) 20:24, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Cascadia Wikimedians user group has been approved by the Affiliations Committee

---Another Believer (Talk) 20:25, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

About suggestions

I know that we've been behind lately in posting your suggestions; we've missed a few NANs due to my new real life obligations and several other factors. I've included a few this week, and I encourage everyone watching this page to keep submitting them or (if there's no COI) adding them into the articles. Thank you all very much! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 06:04, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

This Guy Has Edited Wikipedia More Than 1.3 Million Times — And He Doesn't Believe In The Decline Of The Free Encyclopedia

Fuzheado just posted a link to this article in Business Insider to Facebook: This Guy Has Edited Wikipedia More Than 1.3 Million Times — And He Doesn't Believe In The Decline Of The Free Encyclopedia kosboot (talk) 16:47, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

October's Featured Text at Wikisource by Adrianne Wadewitz

An article by Adrianne Wadewitz (User:Wadewitz) is the current Featured Text for October at Wikisource.

See s:Main Page and s:Wikipedia is pushing the boundaries of scholarly practice but the gender gap must be addressed.

Might be worth mentioning in The Signpost, with a brief discussion of her views about Gender bias on Wikipedia.

Thank you,

Cirt (talk) 02:58, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

India Community Consultation 2014

India Community Consultation 2014 was organised on 4 and 5 October 2014 at Bangalore, India. I suggest this story for the next Signpost. --TitoDutta 17:02, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Newsletter roundup

I'd like to propose. That the signpost include a regular "newsletter roundup " that links to all the different newsletters that the community prod use that have been published in the last week. I find it difficult to know what I'm missing and there is a proliferation of good, regular, and diverse newsletters. These include: This Month In GLAM, Education Newsletter, Bits & Bytes. (The Wikipedia library), WMF engineering report, differeent wiki project reports (e.g The Bugle from WP:military History), WMF quarterly departmental reviews, the signposts's sister publication in other language communities (e.g Kurier in de.wp) etc... It would not need to describe/duplicate the contents (although it might be nice to at least include the headlines) but it would be a very useful service to keep abreast of all the different sources of news. A note could be included at the bottom of the section calling for people to notify if any publications have been missed, as well as a link to the English wikimedia blog planet. Just a suggestion, Wittylama 12:55, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Good idea, Wiki CRUK John (talk) 12:58, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm biased, but I think this is a great idea! The Interior (Talk) 15:09, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
👍 Like ----Another Believer (Talk) 15:15, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
This is a great idea, but we're already stretched perilously thin as it is. I used to note the quarterly reviews, for instance, but now that I'm in grad school, I'm not following any of the mailing lists (my Wikimedia-l folder is already in the hundreds). So, if you or someone is willing to track and list these for us, I'm game, but adding the task on top of an already overloaded editor base isn't possible. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:03, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I was afraid this would be your response. I am curious, has Signpost ever applied for funding of some sort? Just curious. This project benefits the entire Wikimedia community... ---Another Believer (Talk) 17:30, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
If we could make a navbox for the various newsletters, and the Signpost staff could decide where to put it, it would really just be a matter of updating the links to the most recent newsletter every time Signpost runs. I could be convinced to do this, maybe if I had a helper ... my template coding has been described as "seriously screwball" in the past :) The Interior (Talk) 17:47, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Newspapers have foreign correspondents; why can't the various WM projects resolve to make reports to the Signpost on whatever regular basis suits the individual project? And I'd be really interested to read more regularly on the latest from WMDE. -- kosboot (talk) 18:23, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
That's a clever take on it. If we can convince a number of them to do this, we might be able to pull it off and still get the Signpost out the door. Gamaliel (talk) 02:23, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
I second Ed's comments. As a multiple newsletter subscriber, I love this idea, a lot. But the fact is that we can barely get the Signpost out with the people we have. We would need more people to get it out or to lighten the load on other sections so we could do this. Even just casual help, like just writing one or two "in briefs" for News and Notes or In the Media, would help us a lot. Gamaliel (talk) 02:21, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
This would be a very useful service at minimal cost. It would be good to see a subsection for foreign-language newsletters, too, since attracting more non-en.WP readers is important, I believe. Tony (talk) 03:53, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
I think the idea of putting the onus on the publisher/writer of the newsletters to update the signpost "newsletter roundup" section would be the most effective way to go. This would mean that if someone has a community publication of some sort, it is their responsability to add it to the relevant section of the next edition of the Signpost - not the responsability of the signpost to go searching. As long as there is a clear structure for where the different links and descriptions go (perhaps even as structured as in a template like The Interior suggested) it should self-compile over the week before publication. Right? Wittylama

Academic paper on Wikipedia ranks on SSRN

An academic paper entitled "Your Day in 'Wiki-Court': ADR, Fairness, and Justice in Wikipedia's Global Community", first presented in April at a conference in Georgia, and now published in SSRN, has reached the number one downloaded rank on the Political Science Network: Communications list on SSRN after being posted only a few weeks ago. See here:

The paper is an overview of Wikipedia as a beacon of modern alternative dispute resolution, and discusses modern issues with Wikipedia within that context.

I think it would be an interesting read for Wikipedians, so alerting them to this in addition to its ranking would be a great addition to the Signpost. Something a bit different than the usual barely researched press out there on the Wikipedia. (talk) 01:56, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Also on the Cyber Space law list now as well: (talk) 23:17, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

Polish statue to Wikipedia

Poland to honor Wikipedia with monument. I guess the obvious question is that, since the monument is/will be made after 1923, whether we can put a photo of it on Wikipedia. Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:38, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

yes you can - Poland has applicable freedom of panorama laws. Also, there's already an article about the statue: Wikipedia Monument! Wittylama 22:55, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Just to let you guys know, we (me and @Magalia:, that is the press team of Wikimedia Polska) plan to write a summary of the unveiling ceremony for the next issue of Signpost. Stay tuned! Also, there's plenty of pictures now on commons (2 hours after unveiling - quite a feat). //Halibutt 20:42, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Media Viewer RfC

You might want to cover Media Viewer RfC? It relates to the Superprotect incident, and it has deep significance in the community-WMF relationship. Alsee (talk) 16:39, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Just published This Fabulous Article about Wikipedia and professors!. -- Ssilvers (talk) 16:24, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Interwiki featured/good articles

A really nice little bit of information via Wikidata: which topics have the most FAs and GAs (or equivalent) across all wikis? The winner is World War II (17 FA, 9 GA), closely followed by Earth (16 FA + 9 GA); the most FAs is Mars (19). Generally speaking, core topics do pretty well. Andrew Gray (talk) 18:35, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Water resource editathons

Several Western US University Libraries are banding together to have a joint, collaborative edit-a-thon about water and water resource issues next week on Tuesday, October 21, for Wikipedia:Wikipedia Loves Libraries / Open Access Week. See Wikipedia:Meetup/Riverside/WLL/Water -- the universities are UC Riverside, Colorado State University, Montana State University, Colorado Mesa University, University of Denver, Washington State University. I'll be in-person at UCR helping to answer questions. cheers, -- phoebe / (talk to me) 23:33, 17 October 2014 (UTC)


.. is done. - Dank (push to talk) 19:51, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Bump. - Dank (push to talk) 15:02, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

A couple of Australian events you may wish to note

On 26 October the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia hosted an edit-a-thon which aimed to improve Wikipedia's coverage of female artists. The event received coverage in The Sydney Morning Herald, which reported that several artists took part in the event. The next day, the Australian Academy of Science hosted a Google+ Hangout on the topic of Women Scientists on Wikipedia. A video of the discussion is available here. Nick-D (talk) 10:46, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

Ebola at NYTimes

New York Times on Wikipedia's ebola article. Congrats to DocJames. Smallbones(smalltalk) 23:36, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

The New York Times - Wikipedia Emerges as Trusted Internet Source for Ebola Information

Agree with Smallbones, above. Added full cite for the article. Hope that's helpful, — Cirt (talk) 03:11, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

The 36 People Who Run Wikipedia

The 36 People Who Run Wikipedia by Stephen Lurie on (a kind of Tumblr for news stories) gives the general info, noting that WP is an impossible project, and profiles the one steward who answered his calls for an interview User:Trijnstel. (Notice of this story via User:Fuzheado). kosboot (talk)

WikimediaUK responds to UK's IPO orphan works licensing

It's not a long statement but a significant one: WikimediaUK's response to the UK Intellectual Property Office's proposed licensing scheme for dealing with orphan works. They're not impressed: "A real solution to the orphan works problem must await a more radical approach that goes beyond both this and the existing EU Orphan Works Directive." kosboot (talk) 17:07, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Advocacy Advisors

The Signpost regularly features interviews with WikiProjects. How about doing similar profiles for some of the groups within the WMF? For example, the Advocacy Advisors group (whose email list I joined several months ago). I find it very interesting and might be of interest to many Wikipedians as well. kosboot (talk) 18:07, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

User featured in a newspaper article

User:Neutralhomer was featured in this Northern Virginia Daily article regarding his work on Stephens City, Virginia. The article includes quotes by User:Wehwalt and User:JonRidinger. APK whisper in my ear 22:46, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

Thanks! I'll put this the next "in the media". Gamaliel (talk) 19:26, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

Russia plans alternative to Wikipedia

Deeming Wikipedia 'unreliable', the Russian government wants a home-grown alternative. News stories: Independent, BBC, Russia Today.--A bit iffy (talk) 14:12, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedians among Foreign Policy's list of 100 Leading Global Thinkers

Several Wikipedians including Pharos and OR drohowa selected by Foreign Policy as among the 100 leading global thinkers (for arranging Art + Feminism edit-a-thons). kosboot (talk) 19:27, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

And here's METRO's (one of OR drohowa's employers) analysis of why they chose her: kosboot (talk) 19:28, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Who Killed Wikipedia?

This one is really from Harej who posted it on Facebook. From Pacific Standard: Who Killed Wikipeda? A hardened corps of volunteer editors is the only force protecting Wikipedia. They might also be killing it. kosboot (talk) 20:05, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

This was a well-written and interesting article, by Virginia Postrel. I think that Signpost readers would benefit by its inclusion in the next issue. 02:32, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

The dialogue resulting the Facebook posting of this article was such that maybe the Signpost could do a "Point-Counterpoint" kind of discussion with those who feel strongly about the issues raised by Postrel. kosboot (talk) 22:23, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
User:Everymorning has volunteered to write about this for the Signpost, I've pinged them so they can chime in here. Gamaliel (talk) 22:32, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm working on a draft article now at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2014-11-19/In the media. BTW, I've never written for the Signpost before, so I might do something wrong here by accident. Everymorning talk to me 22:51, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
No worries, just write whatever you want and I'll handle everything else. This is Wikipedia, anything we mess up we can always undo. I think somebody even deleted the main page once. Gamaliel (talk) 22:57, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Honorary degree for Wikipedia

Today in the newspaper here this headline "Honorary degree for Timmermans and Wikipedia" was (In Dutch) on the front page of the newspaper.

Rough translation of a selection from the article form the newspaper:

I think a lot of Wikipedians will be there. Also we likely will have an international wikimeet that day in Maastricht. Romaine (talk) 22:20, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Wiki Loves Africa

Hi there. I propose a short piece of news about Wiki Loves Africa (commons:commons:Wiki Loves Africa and The contest will be over in less than 2 weeks. Contributions are welcome by anyone as long as it is about African cuisine. The site notice run in all African countries (and France from time to time...) but not beyond. So most editors are not aware of this contest. Running a piece about it might be the opportunity for regular editors not in Africa to realise they might contribute to it. Also... we publish a "mid-term" press release today and we launch an indiegogo campaign to fund the prizes. Would be lovely to get some visibility ;) What do you think ? Anthere (talk)

Ward Cunningham watching Wikipedia

"Who edits Wikipedia with the AutoWikiBrowser?" -- live data feed at (Note: is also home of the Mother Wiki.) -- llywrch (talk) 03:21, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Community Liaison job openings

There are currently 2 job openings in the Community Engagement team, and I was wondering if that could be mentioned somewhere in the next issue of The Signpost. Specifically:

Any mention would be appreciated. Thanks! Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 19:59, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Someone's probably already suggested this ...

... but this Atlantic article should be mentioned in "In the media". Deor (talk) 00:25, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Yes, great stuff. Wiki CRUK John (talk) 14:23, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
This will be in the next ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 22:37, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Kickstarter campaigns by photographers

I started the [#TTTWFTW] Kickstarter campaign and was informed that there is a rash of these happening. See User_talk:TonyTheTiger#Precedent. There might be a story here.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 00:19, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Tapestry to be made of wp article about Magna Carta

According to this article in today's Guardian "a 13-metre long tapestry replicating Magna Carta’s Wikipedia page as it appeared in June this year. It will be stitched by over 200 people who have an association with Magna Carta including lawyers, prisoners, civil rights campaigners, politicians and barons. Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, has also agreed to do some stitching." I wonder which date version of the article is to be attempted and how many issues with that version will be immortalised? Note the Magna Carta will celebrate its 800th anniversary on June 15 2015 & a few of us are trying to improve it to GA (or even FA) before that date. Any help appreciated.— Rod talk 18:46, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

This will be in the next ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 00:01, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. another source: Culture 24 Cornelia Parker to create huge Wikipedia-inspired replication of Magna Carta at British Library.— Rod talk 07:33, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

New research paper on editors of health-related content on Wikipedia

Hi. Myself and User:Hydra Rain are the authors of a new journal paper coming out on 3 December in the Journal of Medical Internet Research about motivations of editors of health-related content on Wikipedia. The paper content is embargoed until Wed 3 Dec, but an earlier conference presentation on the work is here. Happy to discuss further. Bondegezou (talk) 17:46, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia's Scarcity of Women 'Wikipedians' Gets a Closer Look

Cirt (talk) 23:38, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

Harvard Doc To Wikipedia: You’re Not Playing Fair On Alternative Trauma Therapy

Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't know about this long-brewing controversy:

Fuzheado reports: Harvard Doc To Wikipedia: You’re Not Playing Fair On Alternative Trauma Therapy by Dr. Eric Leskowitz kosboot (talk) 16:39, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Best books and articles about Wikipedia

I was reading some of the recent "In the news/media" sections on Signpost, and it occurs to me that readers would love to see a short list of "the best books and articles about Wikipedia". Just a thought. All the best! -- Ssilvers (talk) 17:06, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

I like this idea, though I'd wish it could be like a continuing column (one week is not enough; maybe 10 weeks?). The entries could be eventually put on a page - would be great to have annotations/comments, too. kosboot (talk) 17:41, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
@Ssilvers/kosboot: this can always be a short list of books every two months (for instance) that lists all of the relevant citation information and links to a review in a journal or notable newspaper... we would just need someone to keep an eye out and take five minutes to prepare a citation every time they see one.
That said, the article portion of your query is covered by the research report, right? Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 00:20, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
This is fine, but I meant a short list of best books and articles "to date". -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:24, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia Is More Biased Than Britannica, but Don’t Blame the Crowd

That's a deliberately provocative title, but the article content proves the reverse. Particularly notable is that this article is in the very highly regarded Harvard Business Review. The article and the four comments are all generally supportive of WP. Y'know, recent press coverage seems to indicate that a large percentage of Wikipedians are professionals in their various fields. kosboot (talk) 00:03, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

Dubai Knowledge Conference honours internet guru Sir Tim Berners Lee, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales

Yet another headline for "In the Media" courtesy of User:Fuzheado: Dubai Knowledge Conference honours internet guru Sir Tim Berners Lee, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. kosboot (talk) 15:10, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Feature/interview re: Wikimedia genealogy project?

This conversation at Meta-Wiki regarding a theoretical Wikimedia genealogy project will pass the one-year mark in February and has had over 100 distinct authors. It is not a specific proposal, but rather a centralized discussion for people to express their support or opposition of the project, ask questions, voice concerns and discuss in detail how the project could be moved forward. I suggested on the talk page that it might be a good idea if this discussion were somehow featured in Signpost, perhaps as an interview or an article providing an overview of the discussion thus far. One contributor has already volunteered to give a medical research perspective. Just sharing here in case someone from Signpost wants to pursue. ---Another Believer (Talk) 16:57, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Slate on GGTF and other bedeviling properties of Wikipedia

In Slate, David Auerbach offers an insightful piece on the current state of Wikipedia. I think it's remarkably fair and balanced -- neither a hit piece nor overly optimistic. A quotation: "It’s ultimately up to the site’s editors to choose to learn to temper their fortress mentality, get more outside eyes and ears, listen to the most moderate and reflective among them, and perhaps even entertain the idea that they might sometimes be wrong. Wikipedia’s future may depend on it." Powers T 21:12, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

This will be in the next ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 23:09, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

More from @congressedits

Attempted removal of 'torture' from the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture article: --A bit iffy (talk) 22:38, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

New "Today's Featured Article" team

Brianboulton, Crisco 1492 and Dank have taken over from me as TFA coordinators. See WT:TFA#Proposed TFA coord team. BencherliteTalk 13:19, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

And if you want some TFA-related stats, see WT:TFAR#Some 2014 stats. BencherliteTalk 00:38, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

'Tis the Season

Will this be the first time a disambiguation page has (probably) cracked the top 10? Thanks Google. APK whisper in my ear 17:02, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Forbes mentions Wikipedia

In the Forbes article "A $40M Ad Budget Buys 'Game of War: Fire Age' Kate Upton", the author remarks "And yet, this massive ad budget is working out at least to some degree for developer Machine Zone, whose website is surprisingly scarce and neither they nor Game of War even have so much as a Wikipedia page." GoingBatty (talk) 21:17, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

The Lives They Lived: Wadewitz

On the last sunday of each year the magazine section of the New York Times has profiles of significant individuals who died. Adrianne Wadewitz gets a very well-written write-up by Virginia Heffernan. (I can't find an anchor to the specific section, so here's the entire magazine): kosboot (talk) 22:16, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Thank you, I'll add this to the next ITN. Gamaliel (talk) 22:50, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm going to try to get the full text of one of the books about which she wrote an FA finished over at wikisource, File:Original stories from real life 1796.pdf ready as a form of tribute for her. I probably won't be able to start it until late in the current week though. John Carter (talk) 00:31, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

The journalist that wrote the article is notable in her own right, as well. — Cirt (talk) 05:47, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

WMF is shutting down grantmaking for good projects for 3 months

Hi! Maybe this subject is interesting for next edition: e-mail. Romaine (talk) 10:30, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

But as you were asked on the mailing list—where is the source of this claim? Tony (talk) 11:19, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Read: this mail for that. Romaine (talk) 10:04, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I saw that. My personal view is that this is not flashing-red-light stuff. We've had two emergencies, unchecked for years: editor retention and gender gap. Other considerations are not priorities, if you ask me, given the depth of those problems, and anything that concentrates our efforts and resources on developing the means to ease them is good.

I am, however, surprised not to see a top–down and bottom–up strategy explained by grantmaking for this three-month period. I expect that will be forthcoming, although Alex is on a well-deserved break until at least 11 January.

I'm sorry that the Signpost's news coverage is now patchy, too. Tony (talk) 11:42, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't see why Signpost coverage should be decided on Tony's personal view! A more firmly sourced story on this would be a good idea. Johnbod (talk) 13:42, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
On what basis are you accusing me of writing with COI? It's a serious accusation. Tony (talk) 17:22, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
I wasn't, obviously. What conflict? Johnbod/ Wiki CRUK John (talk) 21:31, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
While I think this is a unjustified swipe at Tony, I wanted to note that the diversity of Signpost's coverage is limited by the diversity of Signpost volunteers. If you think there is a problem with Tony's coverage or mine or anyone else's, then the way to solve that would be to volunteer for the Signpost yourself or to encourage others to do so. There have been times when there were stories I felt incapable of handling properly for a number of reasons, that I didn't have the necessary background or that I was tangentially involved on-Wiki in some way. I would have loved to hand them off to someone else, and I'm sure Tony wouldn't mind some assistance now and then as well. Gamaliel (talk) 17:33, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
You were indeed suggesting that I would write with a COI. It's that kind of nastiness that discouraged me from regular contributions, @Johnbod:. People seem to think they can bully and insult as they wish—if you do too much of that, the well dries up. Tony (talk) 01:18, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
You are so pathetic. If you do actually have a COI in this matter, I can assure you I was unaware of that. You just gave, in typical fashion, your "personal view" as though that settled the matter, which I found irritating, perhaps rather unreasonably. I'm on much firmer ground finding your outraged reaction irritating. Johnbod (talk) 01:30, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
This is precisely the behaviour that turns people off writing Signpost coverage—not thanks, but insults. You need to sod off and spread your toxins elsewhere. Tony (talk) 02:05, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
er, right! Wiki CRUK John (talk) 11:15, 5 January 2015 (UTC)


A new tool is created by a news agency to track Wikipedia edits in real time (arguably better than WikiScanner). OhanaUnitedTalk page 20:34, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Indonesia AirAsia plane crash: insufficient prominence in articles?

This article in The Independent suggests there's too little information about the crash in the AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia articles, with the airline's success having greater prominence.--A bit iffy (talk) 23:48, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

It should be noted, as The Independent does, that we have an individual article on the crash Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501. Nevertheless, it seems quite odd that the crash can't be mentioned in our article on the airline company. I've asked one of the editors involved on the obvious implication, that the company is paying to clean up its article. Smallbones(smalltalk) 04:06, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
This will be in the next ITN, though I don't think nor will I suggest anyone is doing any PR work here. It appears to be just a myopic interpretation of some topic-specific style guideline. Gamaliel (talk) 22:16, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Marine Mammal WikiSprint - edit-a-thon


I am the Education Committee Chair of the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) and we will be hosting a "WikiSprint" (a short edit-a-thon) with a focus on marine mammals, their habitat, and their conservation issues between Jan. 19 - 25. As the premier international society for understanding marine mammals and their interactions with their environment and humans, the SMM is committed to providing the most up to date information about these species to the public. Experts, along with enthusiasts, from around the world will begin a week-long “sprint” to edit, update, correct, and reference Wikipedia’s pages relating to marine mammals. The goal is to increase public access to accurate information about marine mammal species; while linking this first access point to the deeper literature. We are building a community of passionate experts who believe that everyone should have access to up-to-date, and accurate, information about the amazing species with which we work.

This the the first of several WikiSprints planned by the SMM and is being run through an WikiEducation Course Page called Marine Mammal WikiSprint

Thanks for your consideration for including this in the signpost. ShaneGero (talk) 12:21, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

The 49 most entertaining articles according to HuffPost

This will be mentioned in the next ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 15:46, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
FYI, Gamaliel, HuffPo also has 13 Super-Specific Tactics To Get The Most Out Of Wikipedia, also in honor of the birthday. Powers T 01:32, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! That'll be in there too. Gamaliel (talk) 02:07, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

The Wikipedia Community is the 2015 winner of the Erasmus Prize

Max Sparreboom and Jimmy Wales shake hands after Max Sparreboom announced that the yearly Erasmus prize will be awarded to Wikipedia in 2015.

The Wikipedia Community is the 2015 winner of the Erasmus Prize. This is announced the past evening in Amsterdam during the symposium Wikipedia as a research tool were also Jimmy Wales spoke. After the symposium Dutch Wikipedians had organized a wikimeet together with Jimmy. And after that Jimmy Wales was a guest in a Dutch talkshow what usually is seen by millions. Romaine (talk) 00:09, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

@Romaine: Thank you so much for the picture! I was going to use one of the 1992 winner instead. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 00:16, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
You're welcome! More pictures of the symposium and announcement are here: c:Category:Symposium Wikipedia as a research tool, 15 January 2015. Romaine (talk) 11:55, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
@Romaine: do you recall the name of the talk show? Maybe this? Gamaliel (talk) 00:36, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
The talk show is called RTL Late Night. Some photos made yesterday are here: c:Category:RTL Late Night.
Later today I will also make photos of the ceremony in Maastricht. Romaine (talk) 11:55, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Worth a mention, I suppose, but all a bit embarrassing. Like knighthoods. Tony (talk) 12:30, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
And here's a link to the talk show. Trijnsteltalk 14:25, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
After I was already named time person of the year and won the Nobel peace prize this was more or less expected. Still, I gratefully accept, and trust they will soon call me as to where to wire the money. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 14:42, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. I watched it today and was entertained, even if I had to have Google translate open in another window the whole time Gamaliel (talk) 22:30, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Signpost fix needed

The bot is sending the weekly Signpost newsletter across various Wikipedias and other projects. I am not sure who to write to, but the whole past year (and still) the Signpost had a bug in the code of the wikisyntax. This causes in certain browser style errors. This is caused by that there are 4 div opening tags and 3 div tags are closed, which results in that all the text (including of other messages) after the Signpost message is included in the Signpost newsletter. So if the newsletter is sent with 4 div tags opening, you also need 4 div tags to close. It is simple to solve: like this. Can anyone solve this or can you point me to the person I should ask for this? Thanks! Romaine (talk) 20:11, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

I've sent Jarry1250 an email. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 00:22, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

In the media suggestion

[1] Apparently a UK civil servant is a wiki gnome ;) Avono (talk) 22:24, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Gamaliel -- did you see this? Go Phightins! 00:09, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I thought it was the same story, so I ignored this new one, but maybe I should take a closer look. Gamaliel (talk) 22:06, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
@Avono: @Go Phightins!: @Pine: I was wrong, I've added this to the next ITM. Thanks! Gamaliel (talk) 22:28, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Another 'In the media' suggestion

Working Knowledge, the blog of the Harvard Business School, has an entry, Is Wikipedia More Biased Than Encyclopædia Britannica?. It's a summary of a working paper originally published Oct. 10, 2014, Do Experts or Collective Intelligence Write with More Bias? Evidence from Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia. The technique used was to search for key phrases associated with right- or left-leaning convictions. Based on an analysis of that search, they find Wikipedia leans somewhat toward the left. They then qualify that conclusion in two ways: 1) If they take in account that WP is much bigger than Britannica, then the bias is almost the same; and 2) the more edits an article has (they say it has to have at least 2,000), the more likely it will be balanced. (In the comments section I replied why I think the study is faulty.) kosboot (talk) 18:13, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm going back and forth if I should include this in ITM or in Recent Research. We'll see what happens. Thanks for the heads up. Gamaliel (talk) 19:04, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Since I remembered a previous comparison, I did a WP search--and whoa, over the years this has been a frequent topic. There are really enough comparison studies between Britannica and WP for there to be a separate article discussing all of them. Perhaps you can suggest that. :) kosboot (talk) 20:23, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Honorary degree for Wikipedia

Jimmy Wales received on Friday 16 January 2015 a honorary doctorate from Maastricht University. A honorary doctorate can only be received by an individual, but symbolical the whole Wikipedia community is honoured by the doctorate said the rector of the university. See the photos at: c:Category:39th Dies Natalis of Maastricht University. Romaine (talk) 01:15, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Article in The Guardian

The Guardian has taken an interest in arbcom it seems. [2] -- Calidum 23:13, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

The Signpost does Arbcom analysis regularly. They should issue a response to this Guardian article explaining what Arbcom actually does and why these remedies were issued.
It wouldn't even have to be controversial or step into the debate. This is a messy case but in the end it is similar to past contentious cases like Scientology. A bunch of editors with predetermined POVs jumped into the article as soon as it was created and yelled at each other for several weeks; Arbcom's way of resolving this is to get those editors out of the article permanently, so that others who don't have as much at stake can take a shot at improving the article.
While this appears "judiciary," in fact no position is taken on Gamergate per se. It doesn't matter what arbitrators think about Gamergate. Their only objective is to recognize what kind of user conduct has been unhelpful to collaboration and improve the editing environment so that collaboration will not be impeded.
A good statement about what Wikipedia does in cases like these can help inform the general public, the media, and future Arbcom decisions. Shii (tock) 05:28, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
PS. If the Signpost editors would like me to write such an article, they can feel free to email me -- but they certainly have competent and capable writers already! Shii (tock) 05:42, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
We can always use more competent and capable writers! If anyone has anything they want to contribute, they are welcome on board. Gamaliel (talk) 20:17, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

New WikiProject - Lede Improvement Team

Over 14,000 articles need their lede (or "lead") improving. More than 2,000 have no lede at all! The lede is the most-read part of any article. It is the introductory part that tells the reader briefly what the article is about and what it contains, so that they can decide whether to read further. So, improving ledes is one of the most important improvement tasks editors can do. And anyone can do it - normally no research is needed, as the aim is to sum up the content already in the article itself.

A new WikiProject, WikiProject Lede Improvement Team, has been launched to bring together those who want to help with this work. Simple steps:

  1. Read this guidance about how ledes are written
  2. Put yourself down as a participant on the WikiProject
  3. Pick any article from the Open task lists there and off you go!: Noyster (talk), 13:26, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
@Rcsprinter123: Can you cover this in the WP Report next week? Go Phightins! 18:29, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
I certainly can. Will start working on it soon. Rcsprinter123 (quip) @ 20:57, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

AltMetrics are now including Wikipedia citations

AltMetric are now including Wikipedia citations in their scoring. I'm quoted in their announcement. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:46, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

@Gamaliel: ITM next week? Go Phightins! 18:30, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
I've made a correction. Altmetric (singular) is the name of the company. Alt.metrics (plural) is about deriving citations from social media. kosboot (talk) 22:51, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Coverage of edit battle in Star Tribune

The Star Tribune has an article concerning a back and forth on the history of the affluent suburb of Edina, Minnesota:

Edina's racist history is focus of Wikipedia 'edit war'

Erudy (talk) 01:28, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

@Gamaliel: ITM? Go Phightins! 02:25, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
What a great story, journalistically speaking. Thanks! Gamaliel (talk) 03:48, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

I'm not generally a reader of the Signpost... maybe this has been done before, but it might make an interesting feature to interview one of the outgoing (or, by now, outgone) Arbs to see how they're enjoying life out of the frying pan. Not to dig for information on cases, but to see how leaving is affecting their Wikiexperience, and how serving changed it. Since they've only been out a mnonth now, this is something you might like to schedule for, say July or so. I'd suggest Newyorkbrad as a potential interviewee. BMK (talk) 06:59, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Already underway, actually. I am working on a set of interview questions and I expect that an article will appear this week or next. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 14:42, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Wikispecies upheaval

There was recently a big ban of species:User:stho002 (the most active admin, and possibly most active user) on Wikispecies, which might be worthy of coverage. Circéus (talk) 11:53, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

I think that would be the first time I've read any report about Wikispecies, at least in the last few years. I'd like to hear a dispassionate analysis of the state of the project as a whole - especially in the light of the growth of Wikidata (and wikipedia's infoboxes) which would seem to undermine the original point of Wikispecies... Wittylama 12:51, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Wikispecies has been a bit of a mystery for many. For one it a place where very few can really contribute meaningfully (there is a term for it - Taxonomic impediment) and for another the idea of species can be forever debated (that's got a term too - Species problem). Stephen Thorpe (User:Stho002) was the most outspoken proponents of Wikispecies on the most popular email list for taxonomists worldwide - Taxacom and it is a somewhat well-known fact that taxonomy is one of the sciences where opinion rules rather strongly and debate can be quite rancourous. Wikipedia has been routinely used as a battle ground by taxonomists before (and it's great that Wikipedia has some ICZN Commissioners as editors). The classification systems followed on (& commons) and wikispecies have never had the opportunity to come together, and even templates like the Template:Automatic taxobox which had much to offer have never had the opportunity to mature fully. It is generally accepted that the relationships between all life forms can be represented in a tree-like structure to show relationships (unless the process of horizontal gene transfer becomes more detectable causing a more reticulate graph-like form). Whether wikis / databases would be better to maintain this information (regardless of the issue that the science of determining these facts of relationships themselves has much to be desired despite advances in molecular phylogenetics) has been something much talked about by Roderic D. M. Page and it might be nice to include some background commentary from him on his blog here and elsewhere 1 (on Wikipedia with bits on the tone of debate) 2 (some interesting predictions!) 3 4. Also see commentary on OR by synthesis - - Wikidata might be indeed be an advance but the real troubles with the nature of species will not go away. Whether it improves the tone and nature of the debate is moot. Shyamal (talk) 10:19, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
From my perspective there are two fundamental problems with Wikispecies. The first is scope. It tries to cover both taxonomy (e.g., classification) and names (i.e., nomenclature). Covering taxonomy means Wikispecies overlaps with Wikipedia, and that immediately puts Wikispecies at a disadvantage (why would someone edit an obscure article on Wikispecies versus a richer, more visible article on Wikipedia?). Nomenclature, however, is another matter. This is the realm of factual statements (name x was published in this article on this date by this person). In some ways a dry topic, but still with enough scope for investigation (the is a surprisingly large literature on the exact date of publications of many taxonomic publications, for instance, and many taxonomists turn out to be fascinating individuals). Hence I think there is a niche for Wikispecies if it confined itself to nomenclature. Imagine, for example, that taxaboxes on Wikipedia transcluded the taxonomic name from Wikispecies, rather than relying on users typing in free text. A Wikipedia user could click on the name and see details on the publication of that name, how it relates to other names, etc. Likewise, it should be possible to automatically generate bibliographies and lists of published taxonomic names for the numerous taxonomists who have article sin Wikipedia (and have those lists appear automatically on Wikipedia). This brings be to the second issue, namely that Wikispecies is mostly unstructured text. There have been attempts to structure pages, but these seem not to be universally adopted. The lack of structure severely limits what people can do with the content. If people were serious about the future of Wikispecies, then moving to a platform such as Semantic Mediawiki would be worth thinking about. This would make it easier to structure the content, and a lot of content could be auto-generated by queries. species:User:stho002 was trying to do thing along these lines within the constraints of MediaWiki, but Semantic MediaWiki is more powerful. But the bigger question is whether there is a need for Wikispecies, or at least, sufficient need for the kind of restructuring that would be required to make it useful. The emergence of Wikidata also has implications for Wikispecies (especially if Wikispecies is reframed as being about names, not taxa). --Roderic D. M. Page (talk) 10:39, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
I'd very much welcome a Signpost piece on how to handle taxonomy and nomenclature across Wikimedia platforms, and on the role for Wikidata in all that. There are lots of initiatives in this area right now, e.g. d:Wikidata:WikiProject Taxonomy, and the subject will be one of the topics to be explored in a Wikidata workshop on Monday (related Signpost piece) as well as at the Open GLAM hackathon next week in Bern. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 12:17, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
From my perspective Daniel Mietchen it would be nice to cleanly separate names from taxa, which are often conflated (a taxon can have multiple names, each with its own nomenclatural history). For example, it is somewhat problematic to link a Wikipedia taxon to both a taxon id (e.g., GBIF) and a name id (e.g., IPNI) as these are different things. --Roderic D. M. Page (talk) 10:20, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
I think that Roderic D. M. Page has just given an excellent argument for why Wikispecies should be folded into Wikidata... Wittylama 15:46, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
Maybe, but there's a lot of issues to tackle before going down that route, and I'm not sure the Wikispecies community would view Wikispecies in the way that I do. --Roderic D. M. Page (talk) 10:20, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
@Circeus, Wittylama, Shyamal, Rdmpage, and Daniel Mietchen: This all sounds like the makings of a great and very interesting investigative report, but it also sounds like something too technical (and, I'm afraid, a bit too often the beaten path) for coverage by a regular (already work-harried) writer. Would any of you like to write this article, or do you know anyone that is sufficiently knowledgeable about it to report on it as a contributing writer? ResMar 18:14, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I have not been inactive on Species for a good while, so I'm not too familiar with the specifics of the case, sadly. Circéus (talk) 03:34, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I must give my two cents on species:User:stho002: My first interaction with him was a revert and block threat for what I thought was reasonable, good-faith edits (including correcting bad interwiki links) to the Homo sapiens entry. I always found him to be extremely abrasive and rude to other editors, especially newbies. He seemed to go out of his way to drive new editors away instead of, say, simply pointing them towards (what he saw as) community standards. I, for one, am very glad he's gone from that project. I might actually consider making some edits there again... - dcljr (talk) 23:23, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Europeana report

You might be interested to make a small mention of the Europeana strategic Wikimedia Task Force report that was just published - laying out recommendations for what the organisation's relationship to Wikimedia should be over the next few years. Blogpost here. The committee on that task force included many Wikimedians (see the attached PDF report document). On Monday I'l be updating the PDF that the blogpost currently points to with one that has better embedded metadata, and then uploading that version directly to Wikimedia Commons. For your background information, I (as the Europeana GLAMwiki coordinator) am in the final draft stages of a major application to the WMF for continued GLAMwiki Toolset development (grant application draft here, on Meta). This grant application draft is currently at a stage of asking for any last feedback before I submit it formally. So, you can see how these two things (the strategic report and the grant application linterlink). Best, Wittylama 12:51, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Go Phightins! and @Gamaliel: this could be a follow-up to "Institutional media uploads to Commons get a bit easier," or shortened for Twitter as "Dear museums: uploading your content to @WikiCommons just got easier." ;-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 18:32, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Go Phightins! and @Gamaliel:, due to some changes that are going to (probably) happen soon in that grant application, it's best you not mention it in any Signpost story (if you were planning to) as it would be quickly out of date/incorrect. Wittylama 14:45, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
@Wittylama: Thanks for letting us know. Shoot me a message when that's worked out and we'll find a way to work it in. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:01, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
So... this happened. @The ed17:. Wittylama 22:12, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
SO I guess that means that our reaction in this case is inaction? ResMar 04:51, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
@Wittylama: So we should wait for the new tool to be completed? That would make for excellent follow-up coverage for the story I did last July. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 01:31, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Integrating Wikipedia in Your Courses: Tips and Tricks

There's a really nice article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Adeline Koh: Integrating Wikipedia in Your Courses: Tips and Tricks. She offers 5 steps for instructors, and then solicits feedback from readers for additional ideas on using Wikipedia. kosboot (talk) 21:17, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

Added this to the next ITM. Thanks! Gamaliel (talk) 00:53, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Crowdfunding campaign for a macro lens for Jeevan Jose (User:Jkadavoor)

Is it possible to mention this week the Indiegogo campaign to fund a macro lens and other equipment for Wikipedian Jeevan Jose (User:Jkadavoor). Jee's wildlife photographs illustrate over 500 Wikipedia articles, and nearly 300 on English Wikipedia. The campaign was coordinated by a team on Commons before launching this Sunday 22nd February. Taking lessons from earlier crowdfunding campaigns that failed to meet their target (and therefore get hit with penalty fees), this campaign set a modest initial target. This was surprisingly rapidly met met by the generosity of friends on Wikipedia and Commons. That target was sufficient to purchase macro lens, but it would be great to raise more for other essential small-wildlife photography equipment such as a macro flash, camera bag and travel tripod. You can contact any of the campaign team (see Commons page) if you want more information. Jee is currently, and unexpectedly, off-wiki for a few days due to family reasons. The campaign continues till the 24th March. -- Colin°Talk 19:35, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

 Done. Running in this week's N&N; thanks for making it easy on me by writing all the necessary text yourself! ResMar 05:03, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks very much Resident Mario. I had a look. Can I suggest a couple of tweaks.
  • Change "launched this week" to "launched last week".
  • Change "launching on the" to "launched on the".
  • Change "goals ... have been" to "target ... has been" -- it was singular, but now aims for more.
  • I'm not sure "surprisingly" should be in quotes. Perhaps you are quoting me, but it also looks like you are being ironic. Can we just change ""surprisingly" rapidly met" to "rapidly exceeded".
  • Change "trpod" to "tripod".
  • Since I wrote the above request, the funds have continued to grow and so can we add "and improving Jee's digital darkroom (computer/software)" to the end of the further equipment list. The "digital darkroom" is wikilinked as it is an idiom people may not know.
Thank-you once again. I'd offer to edit directly but didn't think that would be allowed. -- Colin°Talk 14:30, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
 Done Surprisingly is in quotes because the Signpost maintains neutral POV in N&N. I've changed the wording. And yes you may edit drafts directly! ResMar 14:40, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Resident Mario. I've made a couple of other tweaks. The "digital darkroom" involves more than just software as his five-year-old computer needs upgraded before he can install the appropriate software. -- Colin°Talk 14:49, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

e-mail from the White House promoting our editathon

I got an e-mail this morning on White House letterhead from Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, asking me (and likely a few million others) to join in Wikipedia:Meetup/DC/African Americans in STEM.

I was a bit surprised, probably just because I haven't before seen such a prominent organization promoting an editathon. Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:16, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

PS - the editathon starts at 5 pm.

 Done This is being covered as the lead story in this week's ITM. Thanks for the tip, ResMar 02:53, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Strategy consultation

Can we please tell readers about the consultation on the future of Wikimedia?

Per Philippe's email on 2/23 to Wikimedia-l: "The discussion is on meta, at

For more background on this consultation, check out this blog post:"

Thanks! -- phoebe / (talk to me) 23:32, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

 Done This is this week's N&N. Thanks for the tip, ResMar 18:15, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Board wants feedback on board composition

Another consultation to tell readers about is the one being run by the WMF Board, per Alice's email to Wikimedia-l of Feb 16:

"during our last meeting the WMF Board started to discuss its composition and how to ensure diversity and bringing in the necessary variety of voices and minds to serve our mission and to support the Wikimedia Foundation.

We want to listen to your thoughts and ideas about Board composition before we take the dicussion further with concrete bylaw changes. Please take a look at where you find our first thoughts and comment, amend and discuss."

I didn't see it covered last week. Thanks! -- phoebe / (talk to me) 23:35, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

 Done Included in this week's N&N. Thanks for the tip, ResMar 14:16, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

The Core Contest rides again in March

Casliber says: .... is being run again in March - see Wikipedia:The Core Contest for details. Cas Liber 11:20, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

A mention please - ideally a story, which I could help with. This is an important initiative which isn't as well known as it should be. This is the 6th contest, a year after the last. Amazon voucher prizes by Wikimedia UK, as in recent years. Johnbod (talk) 20:29, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

@Casliber and Johnbod: I have included this as a brief item in this week's News and notes. The surest way to generate traffic for your cause is to submit a full report; if you feel sure enough to do so send us a line at the newsroom. Thanks for the tip, ResMar 02:51, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Yeah can do that. Gimme a day or two. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 05:59, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
@Casliber: I've created a ticket for you at the special desk (we're doing a reorganization at the moment). ResMar 18:21, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

ArtAndFeminism Writing Challenge

The first official 72-hour long international multilingual challenge for Wikipedians takes place this weekend. See Wikipedia:Meetup/ArtAndFeminism/Challenge. The goal is to improve the project awareness of people writing articles about female artists and their artworks, so points will be awarded for work on any language Wikipedia, Wikidata, and Wiki Commons. Most women artists on Wikipedia either do not have Commons categories, or their categories are sadly neglected - for example, I just added this category to Commons this morning: c:Category:Paintings by Constance Mayer in the Louvre. For most great artists, there are various unwritten conventions about how to anchor their artworks, memberships, awards etc. in Wikimedia projects, but this is apparently not happening for most female artists. I am not sure why, but hopefully this challenge will help set the record straight one artist/artwork at a time. Thanks, Jane (talk) 13:10, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

@Jane023: Have you considered perhaps proposing an op-ed (or special report) at the Signpost on this topic (with reference to the quote in particular)? That would be one of the best ways to bring attention to this project. I think the challenge is too small to be run as an in-brief in this week's edition of News and notes; this would usually be the sort of thing we'd sidebox in the WikiProject report, but that particular section is not running this week.
As an aside, two days seems like a brutally short time-span if you want to have an impact. ResMar 00:51, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
ResMar, go ahead and include an in brief in NAN since WP Report isn't running this week ... it can just be a sentence if you like, but since, as you said, we would normally cover this in the WP report, there is no reason we can't include an NAN in brief. Go Phightins! 02:22, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
 Done. ResMar 02:33, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! Brutally short yes, but it is also meant as an extra outlet for all of the Wikipedians helping out at this weekend's various "ArtandFeminism" edit-a-thons taking place around the globe this Saturday. We will be holding a continuous Google hangout (as a series since I think they max out at 8 hours) to answer questions and help people out. Last year's edit-a-thon brought in lots of articles on women artists of the 20th-century, but there were lots of women artists before that who won gold medals at the Paris Salons of the 19th-century, except they are now locked away in the cellars of the Louvre, Uffizi, the Met, and other "National Galleries" of the Western world. Yes it would be useful to do an Op-ed on this, and probably better after the weekend is over and I have analyzed the results - I expect over 80% of the contributions to be to the enwiki and hope desperately that I'm wrong. Jane (talk) 08:21, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I am trying to get a feeling for "the state of the sum of all women's art" in a "before" snapshot - some interesting factoids: There are no works by women in List of most expensive paintings, and until recently, there were no lists of works by women in Category:Lists of works of art. It doesn't help that the names that stick in people's brains often include terms like brotherhood though women contributed to such art movements. I have updated Wikipedia:WikiProject Women artists to include their artworks and it would be good to get a few more active members. Jane (talk) 08:53, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Great, if you go through with it be sure to list the proposal at whichever desk you end up leaning towards. Thanks, ResMar 17:32, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
OK Got it - you mean News & Notes vs. WP Projects - I'll think about that. Jane (talk) 00:54, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
@Jane023: Semi-interesting, A+F is getting a mention again in this week's N&N. =) ResMar 03:28, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
A write up in Artnet: Art + Feminism Edit-A-Thon Adds Over 300 Wikipedia Pages on Female Artists - kosboot (talk) 19:31, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Business replacing dead links with spam

FYI see: Wikipedia_talk:Sockpuppet_investigations#Replacing_dead_links_with_spam Ottawahitech (talk) 15:12, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Botswana Wikipedia Project: A 3-phase study

I think this would be a great edition to Signpost-let me know if you have any questions! If you would like to feature it in the next edition, I can provide a more detailed article if necessary. Thanks!

In 2013, the cellular provider Orange extended mobile access to Wikipedia, an online Internet encyclopedia written and edited by volunteers around the globe, to all their customers in the Middle East and Africa by waiving data charges for users. In response to this exciting new avenue for free online information, the Botswana-UPenn Partnership (BUP) Health Informatics Program and the University of Botswana (UB) have partnered in a 3-phase study investigating Wikipedia as an mHealth tool.

Phase I was carried out during the 2013/2014 academic year by Elizabeth Park, a US medical student from Boston University SOM, UB Faculty of Medicine (UBFOM) public health specialist Dr. Tiny Masupe, UB librarian Joseph Joseph, and UBFOM medical officer intern Dr. Swetha Jammalamadugu. Thirty-one focus group discussions were conducted throughout rural Botswana to identify rural healthcare worker’s information needs and perceptions on web-based informational resources such as Wikipedia.

Afton Chavez, US medical student from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, has joined the UB team to help drive Phase II of the project. The purpose of Phase II is to evaluate the quality and content of Wikipedia articles related to HIV/AIDS topics and update those pages so that medical students, healthcare professionals, and the general public will have access to online information that is not only accurate, but also relevant to low-resource settings such as Botswana. The Wikipedia article evaluations and revisions will be conducted by volunteer medical students, residents, and healthcare professionals (MDs, PhDs, and MPHs) from Botswana during a full-day workshop on Saturday, March 28. The team is exploring offering continuing professional development (CPD) credits, the equivalent of US continuing medical education (CME) credits, for participants as well.

In addition, UB and BUP researchers have been working with UB librarians to found "Wikipedia Wednesdays," a bi-monthly occurring extracurricular organization in which volunteer Batswana librarians, faculty, and students edit and upload articles to Wikipedia. The launch date of Wikipedia Wednesdays is Wednesday, March 11 and will begin with librarian training on how to edit and upload articles to Wikipedia. Subsequent sessions will focus on training volunteers, uploading the revisions from the Wikipedia Article Evaluation Workshop, creating a Wikipedia page and links for medical terminology Setswana translations, and translating Wikipedia pages to Setswana.

Phase III will take place at a later date and will aim to provide healthcare worker training on the appropriate use of Wikipedia and other online resources and assess Wikipedia's utility Botswana healthcare facilities.

For more information on the Botswana Wikipedia Project, or if you or someone you know is interested in participating, please contact Afton Chavez (, 26774050010).

User:Abchave1 17:31, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Some more details here and here. ResMar 17:38, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
In email correspondence, on hold for now, whether we place this in N&N or ITM depends a bit on how things turn out. ResMar 14:48, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Kyra Kennedy looks up her sister's birthday on Wikipedia to try to gain illicit entry to a nightclub

Very amusing story in the New York Post in which a drunk Kyra Kennedy tells a nightclub doorman "I am a Kennedy, Google me" and then tries to use her sister's passport to get in, is unable to remember her sister's birthdate, and tries to look it up in Wikipedia on her phone.

Very amusing. Because Kennedys and bars are a smooth, smooth mixture.... - Nunh-huh 22:33, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Yep. She's that age. This is unlikely to be published though—mostly tabloid material. ResMar 22:47, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Real-time tracking of cited DOIs

Details here. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 13:21, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Ping @Tbayer (WMF):. ResMar 19:48, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

Hashtags in edit summaries now picked up by Listening to Wikipedia

Details. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 13:22, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

I'm really not sure how to treat these two items; in the past they'd have been fodder for the tech report, but that doesn't run terrifically regularly anymore. ResMar 03:18, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't know either but think it would be neat to have them covered. Perhaps under "in brief" somewhere? -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 03:34, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
After the editathons last weekend, we have a list of the edits that used #artandfeminism (total of 343, as of last weekend). I am still looking into other instances of hashtags in edit summaries, so if you see any, let me know! Stephen (talk) 22:56, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

One for the April Edition!

COI declaration: I wrote a substantial part of the article. 14:38, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

It's not April yet ;). We'll cover these things then. ResMar 03:38, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Jezebel skewers Wikipedia article

The "St. Louis Cuisine" Wikipedia Page is Goddamned Hilarious. -- Calidum 21:37, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

This will be in the next ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 21:43, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Excellent, thanks. -- Calidum 03:14, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure this isn't more of a provincial attack on St. Louis than a commentary on the article, even if there are a couple of surplus commas... All the best: Rich Farmbrough23:18, 14 March 2015 (UTC).

ITM: Wikipedia's medical errors and one doctor's fight to correct them

Article on the "wiki doc": "Wikipedia's medical errors and one doctor's fight to correct them" kosboot (talk) 23:14, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

This is in the current ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 21:38, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Rising number of female editors?

Could there be an increasing number of female editors? This information from Fuzheado, referring to a long discussion (with graphs) on Jimbo's talk page: User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#Gender_balance - kosboot (talk) 16:46, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

@Kosboot: Yes, there has been a measurable increase in the movement's female editor retention. This is a good idea for a special report at this point in time, I'll talk to Rich about presenting his data and implications here. ResMar 19:46, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
It's best to look at the longitudinal data to see variance over a long period of time. I'd like to see some information on how this data was collected...that should be included in any discussion of the findings. Liz Read! Talk! 20:20, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
@Liz: Exactly right, at which point it jumps from N&N to a Special report lengthwise. ResMar 15:27, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
I'll see what I can do. All the best: Rich Farmbrough20:37, 14 March 2015 (UTC).
 Rich Farmbrough: I created a ticket for you at the special desk, feel free to use the special desk proposal domain for drafting purposes! I'm hoping to time this with closing reporting on WikiWoman's Month end-of-March. ResMar 21:47, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Edits to Wikipedia pages on Bell, Garner, Diallo traced to 1 Police Plaza

Another from User:Fuzheado. Talk about COI....apparently the NY Police Department edits Wikipedia: Edits to Wikipedia pages on Bell, Garner, Diallo traced to 1 Police Plaza - kosboot (talk) 17:06, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

Oh, this one is going to be fun to write about. Thank you. Gamaliel (talk) 17:22, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Oh yes. Also, here are the reporter's notes on her research. Google Docs - [3]. Also, we have a session at SXSW on this exact thing of COI editing. [4] -- Fuzheado | Talk 18:31, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
It's in the NY Daily News and public radio today and will probably be in the NYTimes tomorrow. Liz Read! Talk! 20:16, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I'm quoted in this NY Daily News piece [5] - Fuzheado | Talk 13:11, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

2011 Wikimedian of the Year makes good!

Okay, so maybe I'm trolling just a little — but this promotion does make the criticism of WMF's 2011 infatuation with the Kazakh WP ring a little more truly, does it not? Carrite (talk) 18:18, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

We are pretty much set for this issue, but will look into this for the next one. Not sure if there's a story here or not; we shall see. Thanks. Go Phightins! 19:07, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
If this received independent news coverage it could be covered in ITM. Unless there's more development or an in-wiki response this is not enough to make an N&N post. N&N and ITM are reflexive sections, not accusative or developmental ones. That would be the domain of a special report, one covering the situation from the beginning, which is a larger undertaking. ResMar 19:42, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Pinging User:Jayen466 since I think he has some knowledge of these events. Gamaliel (talk) 20:27, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Note this from yesterday: PR firms at the service of human rights abusers. While it mentions Kazakhstan's PR efforts in Wikipedia, it does not mention Rauan's and WikiBilim's involvement in Wikipedia, nor Rauan's Wikipedian-of-the-Year award. It does however mention the Eurasian Council on Foreign Affairs (ECFA) as one of the alleged PR arms of the Kazakh government, and that is an organisation of which Wales' 2011 Wikipedian of the Year is the founding director. See [6] from last November, which mentions Rauan's role in WikiBilim, as well as his role in running the ECFA – so there is no doubt it is the same person. Last month, yet another Labour politician – Jack Straw – was slammed by human rights activists for providing paid consultancy services to the ECFA. [7][8] That's all I am aware of at the moment. Andreas JN466 00:20, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Have I got this right? Jimmy (a friend of Tony Blair's) awarded 2011 Wikipedian of the Year to a Kazakh bureaucrat who was running a Kazakh government-funded Wikipedia "chapter". Blair at the time had (and still has) a multi-million dollar per annum contract with the Kazakh government to improve that government's international image. Jimmy banned you from his talk page for raising the issue there. That bureaucrat has been promoted to deputy governor of a Kazakh region and has established a turd-polishing operation to improve the international image of Kazakhstan and some other despotic Central Asian regimes. No one from the WMF has responded to your comments about this on wikimedia-l, but a former employee (now employee of Quora - is Jimmy involved on Quora somehow?) has accused you of trolling.
If that's what happened, I think it would be very appropriate for the Signpost to recognise the successful career trajectory of our 2011 Wikipedian of the Year with a succinct summary of the on- and off-wiki background. After all, it's not every day a Wikipedian of the Year becomes deputy governor! Would you consider writing an opinion piece, Andreas? --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 08:24, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
The off-wiki background includes more than this. In the discussions of the Belfer Center paid editing scandal [9][10][11] it transpired that the Stanton Foundation, which in October 2011 was reported to have given the Wikimedia Foundation a record-breaking $3.5 million grant, is linked to the Belfer Center by the fact that Liz Allison of the Stanton Foundation and Graham Allison, the Belfer Center's Director, are married.
Graham Allison, in turn, is a past recipient of a special medal of friendship from the President of Kazakhstan. Allison also wrote the introduction to President Nazarbayev's book, Epicenter of Peace.
In the wake of Jimmy Wales' recent $500,000 UAE award, it transpired that Wales had previously been reported on the World Economic Forum website to have contributed to a "Guide to Good Government and Trust-Building" compiled "in cooperation and with the support of the Government of the United Arab Emirates". When Wales was pointed to the UAE government's human rights violations on Twitter and asked why he had lent his name to the effort, given the UAE government's signal lack of credentials in this field, Wales replied that he had been asked to contribute by Prof. Nye of Harvard. According to the Belfer Center website, Prof. Nye, too, is a Belfer Center board member. Together with the Belfer Center paid editing scandal, this marks two occasions where Wikimedia Foundation leaders took some action at the request of Belfer Center leaders that later attracted a degree of opprobrium.
The question on my mind now is whether the reported friendship between the Belfer Center's Director and the Kazakh government, and the fact that the Belfer Center Director is married to the the Wikimedia Foundation's contact at the Stanton Foundation, a major donor, may in some way have influenced dealings between Wikimedia and Kazakh government officials involved in the Kazakh Wikipedia effort.
Jimmy Wales said at the time [12] that the Kazakh Wikipedia effort was not politicized, that there was merely "a great group of volunteer editors - just like you - who are working in a nonpolitical way with their own government to transition an older encyclopedia into Wikipedia, as well as to recruit quality volunteers". Given Rauan's stellar government career both before and after his Wikipedia work, the idea that he should be merely a Wikipedia volunteer like the rest of us, as promoted by both the Wikimedia Foundation and Harvard at the time, seems to have little plausibility. I note for example that the linked pages described Rauan as a "Wikipedian from Kazakhstan", a Harvard student inspired to participate by a "class assignment" who had "worked in civil service in Kazakhstan for several years", all of which sounds innocuous. The recent report in the Independent, on the other hand, described him as a "former Kazakh diplomat".
WikiBilim's website says they "administrate Kazakh Wikipedia", and for years featured a photograph of the Kazakh Prime Minister on every page. [13] That photograph now seems to have been removed. [14]
Jimmy Wales' announcement of the award, by the way, can be seen here, in the video of the Wikimania 2011 closing ceremony: [15]. It mentions "happy puppies and kittens".
Rauan became deputy governor of the Kyzylorda region of Kazakhstan last December. The governor of Kyzylorda Region is Krymbek Kusherbayev, who was in charge of the Mangystau_Region at the time of the Zhanaozen massacre. [16] Andreas JN466 12:54, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
@Jayen466:: outreach:Education/Countries/Kazakhstan. ResMar 14:54, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Astonishing. Note the chirpy talk page comment by a WMF staffer. Andreas JN466 16:40, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Covered in Eurasianet: Wikipedia Founder Distances Himself from Kazakhstan PR Machine, Eurasianet, April 2. --Andreas JN466 23:48, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

WMF adopts open-access policy

I'll cover this in next week's issue. ResMar 04:01, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
@Daniel Mietchen: I've read up a little bit on this issue. However, I am a little confused about this initiative. Was there anything in the past that prevented such a stance from being taken by the Wikimedia Foundation? I confess that I've always been under the impression that research projects conducted by way of Foundation funding or support have been extremely strongly encouraged to publish their findings publicly; this mandate seems like it's been long overdue to me, in fact it's verging on why-wasn't-this-done-five-years-ago territory. Could you give me a little more background on the internal discussions that went on in the lead-up for this? The requisite blog post for this was unhelpful. ResMar 14:51, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
There has not been much internal discussion that I am aware of. The corresponding page on meta was indeed started five years ago, and a draft policy presented at Wikimania 2011. While both the Foundation and the editor community have long been in favour of a strong OA policy, researchers have pushed back on it (as many of them do when asked by anyone about OA to their own papers, even if they are supportive of OA more generally, which is not a given either). You can get a glimpse of the respective arguments by looking at the grant applications for the WikiSym/OpenSym conference, where the topic has been discussed repeatedly (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012), with some improvements over the years. In the meantime, it's not as if there were no OA-related activities on the WMF end. For some examples, see here or here or here or here. For an overview of the interaction between Wikimedia and OA, see here. There have been multiple other Wikimania sessions on OA (and the OA submissions for this year include one on the OA policy) as well as many dozens of talks (e.g. here or here) or blog posts (e.g. here or here) on the interaction between Wikimedia and open access, as well as a few Signpost stories (e.g. here or here). Happy to dig deeper on any of this. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 23:54, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
@Daniel Mietchen: Thanks for the links, they've been extremely helpful. It's written now, please check the draft :). ResMar 04:18, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I want to do a Schultz call-out but I'm not yet sure how. I'll think about it. ResMar 04:55, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean with the "Schultz call-out", so don't have suggestions on that. Just went through the draft and have the following comments:
  • was around before the early 2000s
 Done ResMar 12:46, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
  • the Budapest Open Access Initiative is not a "venue". Perhaps worth mentioning that it was signed by WMF (after WMDE and WMPL)
 Done -> initiative, word choice swap. ResMar 12:46, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I would argue that these do fall under this umbrella. I think that you're right that we could more directly reference the what in that sentence, but an immediately obvious wording with which to do so doesn't immediately come to mind for me. ResMar 13:11, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
  • the sentence on "conflicts and resistance"/ "stepping its toes" sounds way too dramatic to me. It probably just boils down to not enough people pushing for an OA policy. Keep in mind that WP:OPENACCESS has only been around since 2012 and that quite a few academic institutions do not have OA policies yet.
I find that surprising, because from appearance alone it seems that the Foundation has maintained a bullish stance on this for a long time. I've dropped the sentence, then. ResMar 12:46, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd drop the "very clearly", since that distinction is actually a bit fuzzy and we're working on a better system
Done. ResMar 12:46, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
  • the sentence on WikiSym is unintelligible; perhaps decompose to make clear who did what to whom
CE'd. ResMar 12:46, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd replace "has never yet generated" with "has not yet accrued"
checkY. ResMar 12:46, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
  • session proposals for this year's Wikimania can hardly go under "have been" now
So maybe link to this or this? ResMar 12:46, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't think WMF is"fully aligned ... with the open access movement" now. Perhaps replace with "more closely".
Oh! What remains to be done, then. ResMar 12:46, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
  • The WMF policy is unusual in several ways, which may merit inclusion into your post:
    1. It covers publications, data, software and multimedia
    2. It stresses the importance of open licensing, which facilitates and broadens the scope of reuse
    3. It is itself under an open license, so it can easily be adapted (e.g. translated).
    4. It avoids embargo periods and provides an opt-out instead (rather than in addition to embargoes, as most other policies do)
    5. The opt-outs are documented in public, which helps collect data on edge cases.
-- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 12:07, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
@Daniel Mietchen: I've replied. ResMar 13:12, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
These six points are of great interest, Daniel. I think they'll need fleshing out for readers ... in which case your assistance/suggestions off-wiki would be much appreciated. Can this be prepared in a gdrive doc? Tony (talk) 14:08, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I've made some further modifications, hopefully it'll flow better. ResMar 14:52, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia Day in NYC

Are you going to have any coverage of Wikipedia Day in New York City, being held Sunday, March 22? - kosboot (talk) 12:48, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

@Kosboot: I mean, I'm attending, so I imagine so, yes. ResMar 21:04, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Wikimedia Lawsuit regarding surveillance

Jimmy Wales was on a segment of On The Media radio program, discussing, what he could, about the WMF lawsuit against government surveillance. Since it's this weekend's program, you need to go to the general program page and hit the Wikipedia icon at top to hear the segment. I assume once this week's show is archived, you can find the segment included on the list that runs down the page. In case you want to listen to the entire show (it's a great program), Wales interview occurs around 0:15 into the episode. Liz Read! Talk! 19:32, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Here is a direct link to the segment. Liz Read! Talk! 12:51, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Early draft of wikisource column

OK, having no freaking clue myself how to put together such a thing, I have started a probably laughably poor sample of what might become in the hands of others a competent set of questions for an interview of a few of the more active editors there at User:John Carter/Wikisource column. Anyone want to look it over and make it a bit less embarrassingly silly? John Carter (talk) 18:53, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Why Wikisource, specifically? We're unlikely to run a regular column outlining going-ons on one project, specifically. If you are interested in writing a column about sister wikimedias see the dormant discussion report instead.
If you want to instead to very specifically write an irregular feature or a series of irregular features on the Wikisource project, they would be (individually) run as a special report or an interview instead.
See further here. ResMar 21:02, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
First answer, I actually do something there. Second, probably would be interested in trying to get some sort of column involving the other WMF entities as well, but personally don't know much about them, so starting with the one I know. Maybe later this week I can try to figure out some basic questions for some of the other WMF entities in English, and maybe including the Simple English wikipedia, as well. John Carter (talk) 21:10, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, we can always figure out the best section later. Let's start with Wikisource and see where it goes. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 22:28, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
There was some previous discussion, I have no idea where at this point, about maybe using such a column as for the fourth week of the month of the Signpost, in roughly the same place as the technical report and education report and I forget what all else. Granted, it is probably a bit late (hah hah) for the fourth week for the current month, but I don't know how quickly I'm going to get responses anyway, so maybe allowing for some time lag for next month might not be unreasonable. John Carter (talk) 22:51, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I think that was with me (if I remember right ... but I can't find the discussion anywhere). I'm happy to get content from the other projects when possible; it reminds us all here that the English Wikipedia and Commons aren't the only two out there. John, would you be okay with us holding this when it's done for a week where we have little else to run beside it? I don't think it will be too time-sensitive. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 22:57, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
No objections whatsoever. In fact, I think it probably makes sense, because I don't know how quickly any of the editors I might contact will respond. John Carter (talk) 23:00, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Newsweek on Wifione

Newsweek has just come out with a story on the Wifione arb com decision. It might seem a bit late, but it does cover the real-world side of the story (e.g. in India) very well and quotes a few Wikipedians.

One quote, from an Indian publisher, brings the case down to the nitty-gritty, “In my opinion, by letting this go on for so long, Wikipedia has messed up perhaps 15,000 students’ lives,” Peri says.

Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:21, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

We'll be covering this in some fashion in ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 03:23, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Also covered here: Wikipedia bans editor for consistent bias in favour of Arindam Chaudhuri's IIPM. Andreas JN466 13:33, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

cover the "thanks" feature

I notice the process to "thank" another editor has just changed: the word "public" has been added, and it now reads "Send public thanks for this edit? Yes No". When the "thank" feature came out I assumed "thanks" were private messages. I've since seen one example of some report of an editors' thanks sent out. If "thanks" are going to be kept and are public, then it's best to make that clear. But what's been going on, what changes are still coming if any, where is this feature's development discussed? What quantitative info could be reported? Was there some blow-up about thanks being intended to be public all along, but some/many/most editors not understanding that? Has there been a change in this, and should the "thanks" given up till now be kept private? I suspect "editor engagement team" persons could be interviewed.

At wp:Thanks there's no mention of thanks being public or any changes pending; it includes 2013 dates of introduction and some changes, but nothing more recent. Help:Thanks redirects to that page. So I think more than just me have not understood how it was to work. I for one would be happy to read an article about it in Signpost.

Never mind if there's been coverage that I missed. Thanks! And, by the way, there were 27 instances of "thanks" on this Suggestions page when I started this edit. :) --doncram 07:41, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Where do I get the list of thank-yous? And @Quiddity:. Proper documentation is important!
I hope this doesn't become yet another !vote rationale at RfA—doesn't thank other users often enough, clearly not civil enough. ResMar 13:26, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
I think it has to do with the thank information being available via API, as per these stats and this thread. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 14:00, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for those comments and links. In some Signpost issue in 2013, I found just a one-sentence notice of the Thanks feature having been introduced.
The feature is still experimental, and overall I think it is great. But I think it's really not clear what information is saved and can already be accessed, and what ways may it be reported in the future. Like when I saw that report somewhere, I think it provided a way to search on who thanked any given editor, and who any specific editor thanked, and if i recall correctly also the times of those items. I'd like to know whether the saved/public data has or will include the specific edits that a person is thanked for. It could get creepy, if it's possible to browse or search and see that A thanked B for some edit mentioning C in the edit summary or D in the changed text. I rather assume the wp:Editor Engagement Team(?) is considering some of the issues that could arise, including by observation of the ongoing experiments in En.wikipedia and some other wikis. Perhaps some "thanks" given are actually harassing, or violate interaction bans, or have other negatives. And there might have to be some way for them to be redacted, say. Again overall i really think the feature is very positive, and I probably could adjust to understanding everything included in a thank is going to be saved permanently and publicly available forever. When i think about it, that's most likely. I have liked how "thanks" seemed genuine, as private messages. Public messages wouldn't be the same. Anyhow, the biggest issue I see now, is how much difference there is between what people have thought would be done with their data when they chose to send "thanks" during the experiment up to now, vs. what the actual deal is, and whether that's a problem. I suspect it's not really a problem in practice. And maybe i/we should just chill and let it go on without speculating and then manufacturing issues. Never mind.... :) --doncram 17:14, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
I found the new phrase with "public" odd too and guess we're not the only ones. So I would be in favour of having it covered in some fashion. Some more details are here. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 19:04, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
As far as I know, there has been a log for thanks notifications since they were introduced. The addition of "public" just makes people more aware of it... Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 20:04, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
If we ran tech news we could have slotted this into the briefs, otherwise it's just too minor a point, I think, to do much with. ResMar 20:13, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
When you hit Edit Count on an editor's contributions and go to the tools page (which is not operating correctly right now, unfortunately), one stat that is listed is how many thanks an editor has given out (but not how many have been received). I think part of making thanks public means including this stat in the edit count. Liz Read! Talk! 21:05, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
It was changed after discussion in phab:T90486, which was created somewhere amongst the links given above by Daniel. Nothing else has changed - some editors simply weren't aware that Special:Log/thanks exists, and requested a change of wording to the default message-strings, at all wikis.
(Personally, I agree that it is minimal change, and does not warrant coverage in The Signpost. It was just this and this.)
@Doncram: it is not publically logged, what edit or action the thank was given for, for precisely the reasons you mention (see also phab:T51087 (from July 2013) for prior discussion about that). HTH. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 00:28, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

A tribute from Private Eye

The latest edition of Private Eye has this in a book review. Lamenting the poor quality of editing of the book it says "The book is littered with egregious howlers that wouldn't last more than half an hour on Wikipedia." "Tragedy of Errors". Private Eye. No. 1388. 20 March 2015. p. 29. Nthep (talk) 13:38, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

@Nthep: Thank you. Private Eye is hard to find in my part of the US. Gamaliel (talk) 23:33, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

A couple of news items

"The local" in France says that a French lawmaker copied and pasted from our (likely French) article Assyrian genocide and left in the indexes (probably footnote numbers). I doubt she noted the text was CC-By.

Search Engine Roundtable (likely not an RS) has an article entitled "Did Wikipedia Take An Organic Hit In Google Search?" I've seen some on this topic before, from completely disreputable sources. It questions whether Wikipedia's search rankings are going down because of knowledge graph. My reaction is "if google puts a Wikipedia link at the top of the page in its knowledge graph, and bumps the regular link to Wikipedia down a couple of places, won't this actually increase the number of folks who click the WP link?" Perhaps all these SEO people are measuring something other than click-thrus, like real estate prices perhaps. Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:07, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

The first one I've added to the next ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 20:53, 31 March 2015 (UTC)


The Signpost used to mention the quarterly content policy updates; I think it didn't last quarter, and possibly the quarter before, I don't recall. If you guys don't want to mention it this time, let me know so I can discuss adding a link directly to the core content policy pages. - Dank (push to talk) 17:37, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Hmm. It's not that we don't or won't cover it it's that, well, I wasn't aware this page even existed. I can put it in next week's N&N. ResMar 18:25, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Great, thanks. It has run in the Signpost every quarter for a long time, until recently. I think when the historians get interested in Wikipedia, the history of the content policies will be one of the things they talk about. - Dank (push to talk) 19:20, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
@Dank: You may find something I'm working on atm, Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Index, interesting. I was thinking, since we haven't run Discussion report in a long, long time maybe we could issue a quarterly recap of discussions leading up to policy changes based on this page. Since you update the page anyway maybe you'd like to pull that trigger: kind of like how the current traffic report is sourced from/to WP:TOP25. What do you think? ResMar 19:28, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
That would have been exciting (for me) in 2007–10 or so, when everything was up in the air ... these days, most of the content policies have stabilized, so a column that focused just on the recent changes wouldn't have that much to talk about. It may be that some of the people who have had more of a hand than I have in the discussions and the changes might want to use the recent changes as a springboard to talk about the evolution of the policy pages. - Dank (push to talk) 20:29, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
@Dank: Broadly speaking, unless we specifically approach people to do these things they generally don't. With guidelines especially there's always such a circus behind everything.
There are a lot of different series ideas I'd like to see but nowhere near enough interest in writing them to make them a reality :) ResMar 00:01, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
@Dank: Only tangentially related. I've rebuilt the resources we use for N&N reporting; are there any goodies I should add to User:Resident Mario/tracker, by your estimation? Pages like this one that summarize past or present breaking changes. ResMar 04:22, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
That's very nice, it covers a lot more than I knew about. - Dank (push to talk) 18:10, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Flickr improves tools to mark images PD/CC - SpaceX puts its images into PD

Via EFF. Including a shoutout to how this helps Wikipedia with illustrations. --MASEM (t) 23:43, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

New government logo actually taken from Wikimedia Commons

[17] -- (talk) 15:27, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

That's not too surprising. The govt of Belize has been using the Commons image of the coat of arms of Belize for years. Kaldari (talk) 01:05, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

February Signpost Survey

I was clearing my browser history and found a URL for a survey you ran in February. Did any surprising results come out of it? Did you get enough respondents? Might be good material for an article. ;-) Liz Read! Talk! 21:47, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

It's a little late to publish an article on the results, but the results were decently interesting. A surprising number of people didn't know of the WM Blog. Assessments of our directional needs varied pole-to-pole (more controversy! less controversy! more en-wiki! less en-wiki!), which I figure means we're doing a good job, broadly. You can see the results yourself here. ResMar 00:57, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Interesting to see that the two news sections are the most appreciated pages. Of course, the optional, fill-in answers are the most challenging to consider but it did seem like, reading through the responses, there is definitely a sense that the Traffic Report can be too snarky and condescending and ignorant about the world outside the U.S. And I'm a huge fan of the page myself. It is probably the most idiosyncratic section but also helps those of us who focus in on a specific area of the project know which articles are drawing a lot of page views. Any way, thanks for sharing the stats, they were interesting to look over. Liz Read! Talk! 17:48, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Alternative medicine advocates advocating an alternative encyclopaedia "'Unbiased'"

Mike Bundrant, NLP practitioner and contributor to NaturalNews, is heading a Kickstarter project to produce "Unbiased", an alternative to Wikipedia which he and others consider is biased against alternative medicine. The Kickstarter is here. A response from David Gorski is here.--A bit iffy (talk) 19:42, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

For those unfamiliar with the acronym NLP, in this context it means neuro-linguistic programming. Mindmatrix 20:23, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Quack, quack, quack, quack.
My response at right. This one's in Gamaliel's court. ResMar 20:40, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
That's pretty much my response too, but I will look into it for ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 23:26, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
@Resident Mario: do we have an SP category for this sort of thing? There have been a lot of complaints from the alternative medicine world about Wikipedia, I'm wondering if we have prior Signpost coverage. Gamaliel (talk) 23:27, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
See: medical. Tagging on this one could be better, but that's what we got. @Gamaliel: ResMar 00:57, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Alternative wikis are always fun, though perhaps the less narrowly focused ones are more successful. Broader alternative venues for the alternative medics could include Conservapedia, Wikipedia Watch, Citizendium, and Rationalwiki. Jim.henderson (talk) 14:36, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

m:Requests for comment/Confirmation of stewards

This RFC has global implications and might be worth a mention. (There are others like it at m:RFC, though some of them are probably not worth mentioning in the Signpost). --Rschen7754 22:12, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

 Done Late response—was done in the relevant issue. ResMar 20:20, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

University Challenge winner Ted Loveday: I learned my answers on Wikipedia

For In the Media brief items (do I suggest these somewhere else?)

University Challenge: The Telegraph reports that Ted Loveday, an "internet star" after leading the victorious team in the University Challenge final, learned the answers to the show's questions from Wikipedia.

Arthur goes shopping (talk) 12:27, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Yes this is pretty amazing. The final question was on Hapax legomenon. Suggestion for the final question on the next show Dis legomenon. Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:08, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Also mentioned as a boxed quote in the London Evening Standard of 15th April, although confusingly the same newspaper on the 14th April mentions Loveday saying on Twitter that the credit for the Hapax legomenon answer and many others was due to his teachers at his former secondary school in London. Maybe the teachers encouraged him to read Wikipedia? Arthur goes shopping (talk) 11:04, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Washington Post on Wikipedia Hoaxes

Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post, 15 April 2015, The story behind Jar’Edo Wens, the longest-running hoax in Wikipedia history.

Covers a number of other hoaxes as well, including the vandalism experiment described here. Andreas JN466 15:48, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

It should be mentioned that a significant portion of the article is devoted to the words of Gregory Kohs. When someone writes this up for ITM, I hope they'll note it's a poor article - one-sided, superficial reporting, barely worthy of a college freshman. - kosboot (talk) 18:15, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
An even more significant portion of the article is devoted to the words of Newyorkbrad. I guess this might fit the definition of "one-sided" in some people's book, as NYB also contributes to Wikipediocracy, but I think most readers of the Washington Post article would actually discern a difference in the positions taken by these two in their respective sections. Andreas JN466 19:04, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
A quick look at Wikipediocracy's message board indicates that Kohs has an ongoing experiment to deliberately enter false information in WP: - kosboot (talk) 19:26, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
I haven't read the article yet but Dewey is usually a solid journalist who really understands new media and social media. That's her beat. I'm sure if you're inclined to contact her, through a link at the article or on Twitter, she'd be open to hearing any concerns you have. Liz Read! Talk! 21:23, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
As far as I am aware, the experiment is concluded. (The Washington Post article is, in fact, reporting on its results.) Andreas JN466 22:29, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Having read the article, I have to say that Australian aboriginal religions, and, for that matter, religions of a large part of the world which is underrepresented by editors here, can be freaking impossible to find sources on, and it is in no way surprising to me, as someone who may have even looked at the bloody article once or twice, it wasn't seen as a hoax. There aren't many sources, most of them are under copyright and not really necessarily easily available on the net, and, well, frankly, there are so [expletive] many gods in so [expletive] many religions that even if it were said to have been a Graeco-Roman god there might be a reasonable chance that it might not have been caught as a hoax, depending on how obscure or rarely-discussed the article might indicate the subject of the article is. John Carter (talk) 21:53, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
For more Signpost coverage on hoaxes see our hoaxes series.
ResMar 00:53, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
The Telegraph is also getting in on the act, with yet another hoax disclosed today: [18]. Andreas JN466 17:44, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
"The online encyclopedia might be fine for swotting up on specific subjects, but if you want real knowledge you'd best open some books." We've been saying this for years. Wikipedia is a starting point. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:20, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Queers Online

I was an author in a Wiki-chapter of a book. Can this be noted in The Signpost? Please cut and present in whatever way is customary.

Queers Online: LGBT Digital Practices in Libraries, Archives, and Museums, published March 2015, contains a "Queering Wikipedia" chapter.

The chapter on Wikipedia is authored by Rachel Wexelbaum (RachelWex), Katie Herzog (Cccitizen), and Lane Rasberry (bluerasberry). The entire book is compiled and edited by RachelWex. It covers the establishment of Wikimedia LGBT+ and Wadewitz's support for Tom of Finland Foundation partnerships including an editathon in 2012. Interested persons can buy the book on Amazon, read the Wikipedia chapter online till the end of May 2015, or read it in digital form on Wikisource after summer 2016.

Cite the chapter on Wikipedia using this citation, perhaps at Adrianne Wadewitz or Wikipedia community.

Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:56, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Small world, I'm putting the finishing touches on a (non-Wikipedia) book review of a recent Litwin book. I might be able to fit this into ITM, though NAN may be more appropriate. Gamaliel (talk) 22:22, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I smell a book review. No? ResMar
Litwin's going to think I'm scamming him if I ask him for another book so soon. ;) But seriously, it doesn't seem researchy enough for Recent Research, so a review might not be a bad idea. Gamaliel (talk) 22:45, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

WikiProject Hillary Rodham Clinton

On the off chance there is a report about newly-created WikiProjects, or any articles about Hillary Clinton appear in the section for the most popular articles, etc., it might be worth noting the creation of WikiProject Hillary Rodham Clinton, which was launched on the day she announced her campaign for the U.S. presidential election. Note: Project participants are not endorsing HRC or her political positions; they are merely expressing an interest in improving Wikipedia articles related to her, and all are welcome to participate. Thanks for your consideration. ---Another Believer (Talk) 15:10, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Why a whole WikiProject? This seems suitable for a task force of a WikiProject, not an entirely new one that's going to inevitably be left rotting on the vine in two year's time or less.
Our WikiProject reporter is out for the foreseeable future. This might be N&N IB worthy...maybe. ResMar 20:25, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Why not? Consider it an experiment. (Speaking of which, I've notified WikiProject X participants of this project and have offered to test new ideas/tools.) Worst case scenario: the project dries up and we convert it to a task force. Wikipedia will survive. :) ---Another Believer (Talk) 20:50, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
And if she becomes president, there'll be a lot of work. - kosboot (talk) 21:04, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
But she hasn't won yet. Re WikiProject X, WikiProjects -> WikiNoticeboards, in my mind. ResMar 22:16, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Wikirap / Harvard professor wants Wikipedia in schools

Hi all,

I would like to suggest two recent youtube videos. Two weeks ago this German Wikirap was posted [19]. And on a more serious note. Last week a harvard professor posted this [20]. Specially look at the comment section, which is particularly positive for youtube standards.

All the best, Taketa (talk) 16:15, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Grant Shapps - sockpuppetry

The Guardian has a long report on sockpuppetry by Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps. The sockpuppet report is Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Hackneymarsh and the Guardian report is here. Interestingly, as the UK is in the middle of a general election campaign, the allegation is not that Shapps was using socks to attack the opposition but used the accounts mostly to attacks rivals within his own party. Nthep (talk) 20:29, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

It was on Channel 4 news tonight - a somewhat garbled account by Michael Crick, talking about him editing "websites" (rather than articles). Johnbod (talk) 20:55, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Every administrator and bureaucrat on ps.wikipedia was removed - see posts starting at [21]. --Rschen7754 01:09, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

I saw this, but, doesn't strike me as particularly important. Wouldn't mind running an op-ed from a steward on how managing small wikis goes, though... ResMar 20:19, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

An item on PM

Anyone want to follow up on this , in the best objective and neutral reporting that Signpost is known for?

(There's also the matter of the recently Arbitration case concerning a high-profile block. The block is controversial because of certain allegations being made about an alleged account holder.) ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 20:03, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

See 2 items up for this Johnbod (talk) 02:08, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Signpost Single Page

Note the post to [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] The Signpost -- Volume 11, Issue 16 -- 22 April 2015 has a corrupted line for Single Page. It looks like a slash is missing.



You are the fifth or sixth person to report this; the bot is unmaintained. Also, please, this page is for story suggestions, not general feedback. ResMar 14:46, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Wiktionary hits 4 mill

Over at Wiktionary, we've just hit 4 million entries. The entry in question is cundidos, a particularly uninteresting one. We have announced it on our Milestones page. I just so happen to have been the entry's creator. --Type56op9 (talk) 10:11, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

That second link should be Wiktionary:Milestones. Mindmatrix 11:53, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
 Done In this week's draft, thanks for the tip! ResMar 20:17, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

I've noticed quite a few anti-paid editing posts as of late. There was an op-ed about articles that are made to look well-sourced, but the sources are actually brief mentions and press releases re-posted on credible publications. There's the recent news of covert editing by Sony and universal support of mandates to disclose a COI. It's a known problem that the paid editing that is problematic tends to draw the most attention, both on Wikipedia and in the presses.

Most of these articles are quite good and part of a healthy discussion, but it's worth reminding folks that there are good-faith paid editing participants making useful contributions. I am most probably Wikipedia's single most prolific author of GA company pages, and most of those are done in a sponsored capacity.

If there is something I can contribute to offer a more balanced discussion that reminds the community how nuanced of an issue it is, I'd be interested in contributing. CorporateM (Talk) 16:50, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

You are welcome to contribute an op-ed on this subject. I've long wanted to present this viewpoint, not because I agree or disagree with it, but I think it is an aspect of the debate that we don't hear enough of. Gamaliel (talk) 17:21, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
That's how you know the project is, for lack of better words, mature—both our biggest foreground issues are about people being knowingly perverse, while in the background the gears of the decaying core community grind on, impeded, arguably, but not stopped, by efforts of the by now well-heeled organization running it. ResMar 03:52, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Another hoax

[22] Is the new longest hoax, having been created by/at " 20:26, 11 February 2005‎ (talk)". Thanks, 1Potato2Potato3Potato4 (talk) 19:46, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

@Anthony Bradbury: ResMar 20:14, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Apparently, not a hoax. Mentioned in a 1918 book that retells the creation myth. So it looks like an obscure subject taken out of context. Renata (talk) 15:18, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
@Renata3: great find. @1Potato2Potato3Potato4: is that reference enough to recreate the article? Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:18, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Don't think so. Need context, etc. The ref proofs only that it existed. Can't squeeze out an article out of that. Renata (talk) 00:40, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

An article in Strategy+Business, Using Wikipedia to Your Firm's Advantage, says that it's a summary of a published paper by European business school professor Andreas Kaplan. The author says the most effective technique offered by Kaplan for a firm to "manage its presence on Wikipedia" and "safeguard their reputation" is to "to send PR specialists to court Wikipedians at one of their many offline gatherings". This in addition to more usual paid editing tactics (cooly referred to as "crisis management") such as burying bad news later in the article, "sandwich[ing] positive content around downbeat material", or spelling out the amount of a large loss to make the number harder to read.

I wonder if this advice is worth mentioning in Signpost? Should we be on the alert for trenchcoat-wearing PR hacks at meetups? — Brianhe (talk) 22:36, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Wait, really? Because Wikipedians have so many in-person meetings? This is ... amusing. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:15, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
The paper was published last fall: Gamaliel (talk) 23:20, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I just realized this same paper was discussed by Piotrus in Signpost last year. Oddly enough, there's been a fair amount of sockpuppetry on the article Andreas Kaplan. — Brianhe (talk) 23:35, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I've gone to WP meetings as well as events where there are PR folks and they would be bored to death at a Wiki meetup. And they'd stick out like a sore thumb. Liz Read! Talk! 23:42, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

While the topic is fresh, I'd like to ask: would it be appropriate or not to add a mention of the Strategy+Business review, and the techniques discussed there, to the article Andreas Kaplan? It's kind of hard for me to remain neutral in considering this. — Brianhe (talk) 02:09, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

We could have 50 PR pros attend a Wikipedia conference and it would still be a tiny fraction of the 200,000+ professionals in the field.[23] However, the last Wikipedia conference I went to had at least six or so paid editors besides myself (and besides GLAM-types). There have been many panels on paid editing at Wikipedia conferences where most of the participants were themselves paid editors, or volunteers that were chosen by paid editors due to their supportive viewpoint. The end result was not a healthy debate, but a quiet audience listening to a panel that gave the appearance of universal support that does not actually exist. The session was then recorded and used for marketing to make it appear as though they had the support of the wider community and no controversy existed, where there is in fact one.
Even as a paid editor myself, I am concerned that volunteers don't have the same professional capabilities as professional journalists to be objective under the influence of a more organized corporate interest. Many of our volunteers don't have the time or finances to attend Wikipedia conferences, while paid editors do, which leads to a disproportionate representation in speakers. That's not to say we paid editors shouldn't respectfully be a part of a healthy discussion, but I don't think the concern that the influence is too great is entirely un-warranted.
CorporateM (Talk) 22:55, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia client for the TRS-80 Model I computer

An impressively retro method of accessing wikipedia:

©Geni (talk) 13:51, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Oh, this is hilarious. Thank you. Gamaliel (talk) 17:17, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

British politician David Coburn blocked indefinitely for edit-warring

David Coburn, a UKIP Member of the European Parliament, has been blocked indefinitely for edit-warring on the article about himself. This actually happened on 6 April, but has only now been picked up by a mainstream news organisation (The Guardian — see here). According to the Guardian, Coburn had asked a member of his staff to edit the article, but the edit summaries from the account in his name often use the first person singular.--A bit iffy (talk) 15:24, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

This is in the next ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 23:06, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Same general topic area: The Register, "Is Grant Shapps being naughty on Wikipedia – or did a Lib Dem stitch him up?" (30 April) --Andreas JN466 22:25, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Update: Shapps was demoted yesterday. Reports mention the Wikipedia story as one factor in that context.

And another one, saying that Contribsx edited the article of Shapps' new boss: --Andreas JN466 09:59, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Sneaking around sneakers

Thanks again to User:Fuzheado who uncovered this story: What Sneaker Companies Are Hiding on Wikipedia. - kosboot (talk) 16:11, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

This is in the next ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 23:07, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Listen to the soothing sounds of Wikipedia being edited

--Skr15081997 (talk) 05:45, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

This is indirectly included in this week's N&N. ResMar 14:05, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

New Wikiproject

Hi, I just started a new Wikiproject, the Cross-language Editing and Learning Exchange, designed to help people editing in a second language. I'm not sure if new projects are appropriate for a Wikiproject of the Week article, but if they are, I sure would appreciate it being featured on the Signpost, since people who might participate are probably scattered around the wiki. Many thanks, Tdslk (talk) 22:11, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

There goes the library!

Interesting article

Smallbones(smalltalk) 01:02, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia Magna Carta page as an embroidery

Not sure if this has been covered: 14 May 2015 BBC

Very interesting! Art by Cornelia Parker, with people like Julian Assange and Germaine Greer ad Edward Snowden and Philip Pullman contributing their stitchwork!


"Startup Beams the Web’s Most Important Content from Space, Free", MIT Technology Review. Arthur goes shopping (talk) 10:50, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Pakistani diploma mills on p1 New York Times

The NYT story on Axact was at the top of page 1. I have no idea why a non-US diploma mill would be on p.1, but I'd guess this story has legs. It did remind me of something that happened on Wikipedia with an Indian diploma mill, so I checked just a bit. There is some Wikipedia connection with Axact, but clearly sorting it out will take more than the 30 minutes I put into it. You might start with User:TallMagic, and Belford University. But nobody has mentioned Wikipedia in relation to the story (yet). Smallbones(smalltalk) 05:32, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure what connection there is, other than there was some on-Wiki controversy about our articles on diploma mills. Gamaliel (talk) 17:36, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

WMF legal department wins award

Congratulations to Geoff Brigham & the team. I've no idea how much prestige this carries, but it can't be none. As the piece says, they are tiny by US corporate legal department standards, so I think this is a real achievement. Johnbod (talk) 16:33, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

@Johnbod: Thank you, this will be in the next ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 23:46, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

references live feed

A live feed of new references although it only covers those with DOIs:

Limited explanation at:

©Geni (talk) 20:51, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

@Geni: It appears to now be suspended, but I'm watching this. ResMar 18:54, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Interesting graphs

User:Dragons flight has updated a number of interesting graphs about Wikipedia, including one about retention of editors and numbers of newcomers. I think they are listed at User:Dragons flight/2015 editing analysis, through for the analysis is only available in Commons caption. Perpahs Dragon flight would like to write up a short story based on them, to bring his useful work to the larger audience? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 01:17, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Wikistalking much?  ;-) Yes, I've been collecting some new plots that I've made. I plan to do at least a couple more, and perhaps others if I have some new good ideas. Eventually I'll probably write any overall summary of them, similar to reports I written in the past (e.g. log analysis, AFD 100 days), though I'm pretty busy right now so I'm not sure what my timeline for doing so is likely to be. Dragons flight (talk) 06:06, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
@Dragons flight: Let us know when you've got it put together, then. We have a similar technical article running just this week. ResMar 18:53, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Removal of negative facts from UK politicians' articles

Yet another story on politicians' articles being whitewashed. The Telegraph reports that edits from IP addresses in the UK parliament before the recent election removed negative facts from many articles on UK politicians, especially in regards to the expenses scandal which the Telegraph broke a few years before.--A bit iffy (talk) 10:03, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

See also "UK election editing" in Signpost of 20 May 2015.--A bit iffy (talk)
This will be in the next ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 03:24, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

"Aboriginal language Wikipedia faces cultural hurdles, say researchers" article

I presume this is the right place to submit [Aboriginal language Wikipedia faces cultural hurdles, say researchers this article] on researchers looking at setting up a Nyungar language Wikipedia who say the site "will have to change if it is to accommodate cultural differences", including greater flexibility in uploading audio and video. If the Nyungar language (spoken by the Noongar people of southwestern Australia) Wikipedia goes ahead, it will supposedly be the first Wikipedia in an Indigenous Australian language. --Roisterer (talk) 00:23, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

@Roisterer: Is there a link of some sort for further context? We are aware of some thoughts about V amongst some members of the community, but I've not seen this particular story. ResMar 18:56, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, forgot the link! here it is. --Roisterer (talk) 03:17, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
This will be in the next ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 03:23, 28 May 2015 (UTC)


Please be aware that there is currently a deletion discussion regarding the above-named new Hillary Rodham Clinton WikiProject, which was announced previously at this talk page.Anythingyouwant (talk) 14:33, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

@Anythingyouwant: While I'm not a fan of worsening the WikiProject sprawl even more with questionably topical projects (based on these voting patterns I seem to be in the minority, ho hum), just as when the project was founded I don't think a debate about its closure is newsworthy enough to deserve coverage. ResMar 18:59, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, it looks like I'm in the minority too on this one. I think this is the first time that a WikiProject has ever been started primarily for election purposes to focus on only one candidate. I'm not optimistic that it will be a useful precedent. There is an Obama WikiProject but it was started after the 2008 election. We already have a guideline that says: "If your area fits neatly within an existing group with a larger scope (e.g., your favorite video game vs WP:WikiProject Video games), then please join that project, rather than starting yet another WikiProject." And we already have "WikiProject United States presidential elections". But the majority thinks it's unimportant that this WikiProject was started on the day the candidacy was announced, because this person is already notable whether she is running for president or not.Anythingyouwant (talk) 19:53, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Please stop accusing me of starting this WikiProject "for election purposes". That is not true. Nor is the project's deletion nomination worthy of Signpost inclusion. I merely posted about the project's creation here in case there was a section dedicated to new WikiProjects or other projects. ---Another Believer (Talk) 20:02, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm sure it was started for other purposes too. I'm also sure that her announcement of candidacy had something to do with it. You're denying that it did?Anythingyouwant (talk) 20:06, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
For the record, my opposition is apolitical: moreso a lack of faith on my part that the continual growth of the WikiProject cottage industry is desirable. ResMar 04:57, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
I guess it might be useful for me to say, for the record, that my opposition is not just to overgrowth of WikiProjects but also to the idea that any candidates, Republican, Democratic, or whatever, should have WikiProjects created just for them instead of for the whole elections.Anythingyouwant (talk) 16:33, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

London Tube Map

User:Sameboat got a fantastic write-up on his tube map. animated version.

In an article - Tube_map#Beck.27s_maps.

And in the press "This amateur London Tube map someone posted on Wikipedia is far better than the real thing"

Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:11, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

This will be in the next ITM. Thanks. Gamaliel (talk) 17:57, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the notice :D -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 22:50, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Signpost Contributors

I was working in the archives and came across this article, Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-11-24/From the editor, which was a piece written to celebrate the Signpost's 200th edition. In it though, all contributors to previous Signposts are mentioned, by range of contributions they made. I think it would be really interesting to see an updated version, either 2009-2014 or up to the present issue.
I'm pretty sure, since the earlier years had a different format than today's Signpost, that there will be fewer writers on a list from the past five years as in those first four years. This is especially so since there have been beats assigned to a single writer or team of editors. But I think it would still be nice to see who the past and present contributors have been and are as well as being a great acknowledgement of their work. But I don't think you need to list every editor who ever made an edit to a Signpost page, that list would be quite long! Liz Read! Talk! 21:48, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

@Liz: An interesting project; I've not seen this article previously. I have to capacity to (re-?) write such a script, yes, but likely not the time at this immediate juncture.
There are a lot of interesting metrics that can be taken of the Signpost. Why stop at contributors? Why not monitor word length? Lexicographic complexity? Topicality (via tags)? Total issue length? Pageviews?
I don't quite have the time to do all this, sadly. I suggest you bring it up at WP:BOTREQ: the requisite script is simple to write, and I'm sure many readers would find the data interesting. ResMar 18:52, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, I haven't taken on a project like you describe because I am really a novice coder and while the script might be simple to you, I wouldn't know where to begin. There is really no deadline for something like this, an acknowledgment of contributors for the past few years...obviously, it hasn't happened since 2008 so it's not urgent. I just think it would be a nice gesture and I don't think it would be that complicated to do. Plus, I think it's interesting to see the names of editors who were once quite active and contributed a lot to the Signpost...some of them are still around but not all.
Right now, my efforts have been to categorize all of nearly 10 years of articles. Going into further analysis by, say, reading over the technology reports from 2005-2015 to see how the Wikipedia infrastructure has evolved or examining 10 years of Arbitration Reports, I leave up to others. These tasks require a human analysis and assessment though, it's not number-crunching. It would be really valuable for a long-time editor to take this on because they can put all of this information into a historical context.
By the way, I'm still having a problem with the single page issues automatically containing categories for all of the articles they contain but I brought this up before and it sounded like it was too complicated a problem to resolve. It's not every issue, it's not every year of publication! I don't know why it sometimes happens and sometimes doesn't. But it makes the categories a little less useful to have them filled with single page editions. Liz Read! Talk! 19:44, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
 Liz: Please read this...I've been trying to tell you that the categorization work isn't necessary because we're on the cusp of a much more robust system that works much as you describe. ResMar 04:14, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

Persondata template deprecation

An RfC has been approved to deprecate and eventually remove the {{Persondata}} template from over one million articles. The functionality that it provided has been migrated to Wikidata. --Bamyers99 (talk) 14:57, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

For some background, the Persondata template was created back in 2005 as an early attempt to incorporate structured metadata into Wikipedia. Kaldari (talk) 16:10, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
@Bamyers99 and Kaldari: Can you give me the name of someone familiar with Wikidata who is available to write some technical notes on the nature and reasoning behind the swap? ResMar 18:43, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
@Resident Mario: User:Pigsonthewing is quite knowledgeable on these things. The discussion on Wikidata is here. Kaldari (talk) 19:07, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

I'm currently writing about this in the Discussion report. After a message by our editor-in-chief. Still a work in progress. (tJosve05a (c) 23:06, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Viewership on medical articles

User:Doc James and myself (User:West.andrew.g) recently published Wikipedia and Medicine: Quantifying Readership, Editors, and the Significance of Natural Language. We summarized it in a blog post. Crucially, we retained all rights to that post in the hope the Signpost might be interested in publishing it in the form of a special report. Let us know. West.andrew.g (talk) 19:00, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

@West.andrew.g: Yes, we are. Do you have the rights to the graph images as well? Gamaliel (talk) 00:15, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Yes the whole thing is under a CC BY SA license with us as the authors. That includes the images except of course the Wikipedia logo at the top. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:40, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! We'll be setting it up at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2015-06-03/Special report. Gamaliel (talk) 19:01, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

An anonymous Wikipedia user designed a London Tube Map that's better than the real one

Might be interesting for "in the news". (talkcontribs) 09:09, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Was in last week - Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-06-03/In_the_media. Nanonic (talk) 14:37, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

"How Hosting an Edit-A-Thon Made Me Trust Wikipedia" in National Geographic

How Hosting an Edit-A-Thon Made Me Trust Wikipedia - a nice blog post from a staff member of National Geographic -- courtesy of Fuzheado -- kosboot (talk) 19:11, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Moving Wikipedia From Computer to Many, Many Bookshelves

Moving Wikipedia From Computer to Many, Many Bookshelves - NY Times article about Michael Mandiberg's art installation exploring what a print version of WP would look like. - kosboot (talk) 10:59, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

 Done In ITM. ResMar 04:15, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
@Kosboot: Isn't "many, many" a bit of an understatement? ;-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 06:12, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
The precise quantification "many, many" is in a reliable source!--Pharos (talk) 15:42, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
If you want a quantification, well... 7600 volumes, each one probably about 6cm thick, means ~450 linear metres. (Having moved 90 linear metres of books a few weeks ago, I wince at the thought). A standard tall IKEA Billy bookcase (six shelves) takes 4.5 linear metres, so that's neatly ~100 bookcases or ~600 shelves. I leave deciding if 600 is "many, many" or "many, many, many" to the reader ;-) Andrew Gray (talk) 16:38, 19 June 2015 (UTC)


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