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July 1-6 2009

We've been catalogued

The state library of kansas has started includeing a selection of wikipedia articles in their catalogue. See here for the catalogue in action and this blog post for further details.©Geni 13:28, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

It's an interesting project, though they've actually been doing this for quite a while (for a while, their records weren't totally correct, either). -- phoebe / (talk to me) 05:57, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Bigipedia press release

More information has been released concerning the forthcoming BBC Radio 4 comedy series Bigipedia.

Bigipedia Ep 1/4

New series Thursday 23 July 11.00-11.30pm BBC RADIO 4

For half an hour, BBC Radio 4 takes part in a unique experiment in "broadwebcasting" as it hands over control of its output to Bigipedia – the all-round 360-degree information knowledge article-based conglomerate portal.

Inspired by Wikipedia, Bigipedia is Radio 4's The Sunday Format for the online age. It features multiple-overlapping voices to create information "pages", service announcements, discussion forums and endless upgrades...

Written and created by Nick Doody and Matt Kirshen (Armando Iannucci's Charm Offensive), everything in Bigipedia is utterly untrue.

Producer/David Tyler

BBC Radio 4 Publicity

The information is also here. ISD (talk) 19:03, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Some more coverage of Bigipedia has appeared in The Independent.

"Another upcoming Radio 4 project, written by stand-ups Nick Doody and Matt Kirshen, is called Bigipedia. "It's sort of like Wikipedia on the radio, as if Radio 4 has been taken over by this monstrous Wikipedia-style encyclopaedia of everything," says Tyler. "It's very different and I'm not sure whether the world is ready for it yet, but they're getting it whether they're ready or not." For the great archivists at Pozzitive it sounds like the perfect theme."

ISD (talk) 09:09, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikiproject Citizendium Porting

--Cybercobra (talk) 03:47, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Daily Telegraph: Wikipedia should delete the deletionists

Wikipedia should delete the deletionists Shane Richmond of the British Daily Telegraph argues why deletionists are wrong in their view of what should be allowed on Wikipedia. (talk) 22:31, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia and kidnapping

Before I actually read the article Wikipedia and kidnapping, new comedy series (a serious, interesting and complex topic), I excitedly thought that Wikipedia and kidnapping was the title of a new comedy series. This was a disappointment, as Wikipedia and kidnapping sounds like an original--even gonzo--premise, certainly with vastly more comedic potential than some rubbish like Two and a Half Men. --JayHenry (talk) 08:14, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

ha! We should clearly start it. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 05:58, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Mention in Australian media

Two Australian administrators (disclosure: myself included) speak with a newspaper about an Israeli study which suggests Wikipedians are a bunch of egocentric introverts. [1] It's probably worth highlighting that my remark about "slugging it out to the death" was referring to the behaviour of disputants at AN/I and RfAr and such places, rather than a general picture of the editing atmosphere/culture. Orderinchaos 11:28, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

This was also covered by the usual tech sites last week (eg - Ars Technica article). The paper can be accessed here (enable cookies for that site to download the PDF). (Was the paper already discussed on the Signpost?) Mindmatrix 14:40, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

See Commons:Commons:Village_pump#Legal_threat_from_National_Portrait_Gallery and Commons:User:Dcoetzee/NPG_legal_threat.

The UK's National Portrait Gallery has started legal proceedings against Dcoetzee (talk · contribs) for uploading around 3000 high-res images from the National Portrait Gallery's website to Commons, in accordance with Commons's PD-Art policy, which states that faithful copies of public domain works are also public domain, in defiance of UK copyright law.

Apparently the NPG contacted the Wikimedia Foundation in April, but they refused to bow to pressure, and so they are instead going after the uploaders, in a manner rather reminiscent of the RIAA.

-mattbuck (Talk) 00:38, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

The threatened legal action. They haven't started any actual action. Raul654 (talk) 00:41, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
My bad. -mattbuck (Talk) 00:42, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Who has the NPG not threatened legal action against? (talk) 01:48, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

The next issue is coming out in 36 hours; several editors (Wittylama, Orderinchaos78, Mathias Schindler, myself) are working to write an article quickly about archives and images that relates to this news. If it's possible to fit into the new issue we'd be delighted. Durova275 17:11, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm happy to push back the deadline this week if necessary, and despite the nominal 3:00 UTC deadline, the real goal each week is just to publish before 24:00 UTC of the official publication date. This is obviously a story that will continue to develop, so I'm sure there will be more coverage for next week and this collaborative piece would still be fresh and relevant even if it can't be finished for this issue.--ragesoss (talk) 22:04, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Issue has gone mainstream; report 2 hours ago by the Evening Standard: [2] (talk) 13:55, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Now in the Guardian as well (but no other MSM as yet judging by Google News search)-- (talk) 06:59, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Take a look at Commons:User:Dcoetzee/NPG legal threat/Coverage. -mattbuck (Talk) 13:15, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Here is another article about it from the BBC. ISD (talk) 18:41, 18 July 2009 (UTC)


The number of Good articles passed 7,000 this week. --Happy editing! Nehrams2020 (talkcontrib) 01:29, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Gropecunt Lane

Stephen Fry posted on his Twitter account that he was pleased to see the article on Gropecunt Lane was on Wikipedia's main page all day. Link to the posting here.

ISD (talk) 06:36, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Arb resignations

In the last 24 hours, Kirill Lokshin and Rlevse appear to have resigned from the Arbitration Committee. This follows the resignation of Coren a week or so ago. Orderinchaos 04:14, 12 July 2009 (UTC)


WebCite, a popular on-demand web archiving service referenced by Wikipedia over 20,000 times, went down for a server upgrade on June 24th. WebCite is currently "on-line" but a few things were broken in the upgrade and it is currently not working properly - for example, returning error messages or blank pages for most previous archives. ThaddeusB has been in contact with Gunther Eysenbach throughout the process and would like to assure the community that efforts are underway to fix the broken links. In the mean time, please do not remove, or otherwise attempt to fix, "broken links" to See this discussion for more information. --Blargh29 (talk) 05:21, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

FYI. has information regarding Wikipedia and Barrack Obama's birth location in Kenya ([]). Chris (talk) 16:28, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

"Information" is a generous way of putting it. See Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Barwick. Note that the screenshots don't have a timestamp at the top of the page, indicating that each was the live revision. Funny how WND kept stumbling across each separate revision made by the vandal. It's almost enough to make one suspicious that WND was the vandal, if it wouldn't be against all journalist ethics to vandalize the wiki and then report on the vandalism using intransitive verbs. - BanyanTree 21:50, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Related story: Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2009-03-16/In_the_news#WorldNetDaily reporter ordered Obama edits. Regards, HaeB (talk) 22:02, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Royal Astronomical Society edit wars

Over a claimed copyvio. -mattbuck (Talk) 00:14, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

notability and fiction

I've just drafted Wikipedia:Notability and fiction as a result of Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Notability and fiction, don't know if that's the sort of thing you'd like to mention? Hiding T 10:47, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

July 16-31 2009

Expansion of A7

Featured. Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2009-07-20/News_and_notes

Section A7 of the criteria for speedy deletion (the most used criterion) has been expanded to include articles on individual animals (link to discussion). This is intended to cover articles on people's pets and the like, which fail to make any claims of importance and significance, and does not rope in any article on an animal class, such as a species.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 14:33, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Statistics on English Wikipedia updated

Featured. Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2009-07-20/News_and_notes

For the first time since October 2006, Wikipedia Statistics is updated for English Wikipedia. Erik Zachte blogs about it here and here.--ragesoss (talk) 15:34, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Judges use Wikipedia

Not sure if there is enough info to warrant adding it to the signpost, but news sources have picked up that Sonia Sotomayor said in an interview, "... you think about a foreign law the way judges think about all sources of information, ideas. And you think about them as ideas both from law review articles and from state court decisions and from all the sources, including, Wikipedia, that people think about ideas." [3]. --Odie5533 (talk) 22:45, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Demands to remove the North Korean calendar from MediaWiki

See Bugzilla:19809. Jidanni (talk) 02:00, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Academic article plagiarizes Wikipedia

We discovered this about a month ago, but I think nobody thought to notify Signpost then. Details are at Wikipedia_talk:Reliable_sources#Circularity_issue and Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_35#Is_a_resource_still_acceptable_if_it_contains_sentences_taken_verbatim_from_WP_itself.3F. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 15:52, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia May Be a Font of Facts, but It’s a Desert for Photos

[4] -mattbuck (Talk) 21:19, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

I've written to Noam Cohen and asked that he might add a correction to the article with a link to Wikipedia:Contact us/Photo submission, which was designed for *exactly* these purposes. Raul654 (talk) 22:59, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

This link is now present in the "related" section of the NY Times article. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 18:23, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

A year ago Jerry Avenaim came to the attention of WP:FPC with this nomination, which was nearly speedy closed

*Comment Recommend closing as does not meet size requirements by a wide margin. Papa Lima Whiskey (talk; todo) 12:38, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

I noticed that the photographer was an active editor and contacted him to explain the featured content standards. Mr. Avenaim supplied a larger version that met the size requirements. Following resubmission it was still a difficult promotion because some editors wanted to move the goalposts beyond what was stated in the official criteria. This went back and forth for a while, but a snippet:

*Oppose' the original and edit 1. Neutral for edit 2. It's not that big, and for professional, commercial celebrity portraiture I feel that we shouldn't settle for the bare minimum; maybe somebody wants to make a poster based on the image. On the other hand, encouraging this kind of contribution is good, and we can also raise our standards later if free licensing of this type of image becomes common.--ragesoss (talk) 05:52, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, that's the Signpost editor-in-chief in the debate. And if I may say so, not taking the long view on the matter. Last week in the aftermath of the legal threat from the National Portrait Gallery I was talking to Noam Cohen, who loved the idea that a leading professional portrait photographer was donating part of his work to the public through Wikipedia. Now the story is on the front page of Slashdot.[5] It's important to recognize that some of the people who edit this project bring a lot to the table, and to encourage them so that their example inspires their colleagues to join us as volunteers. Durova280 13:42, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing to the that discussion, Durova. Cohen did a nice job, and it's good that person articulating a forceful position against the way we do things (Avenaim) is also someone who has contributed to our projects. As for my part in the discussion, I want to point out what I said later on so it doesn't give the wrong impression: "Regarding Durova's comment about fairness... that's why I'm not opposing it. The main reason I commented at all was to note my preference for edit 2, while intending to remain agnostic about whether any version should be promoted."--ragesoss (talk) 17:06, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough, Sage. One thing worth pointing out if Signpost covers this is that notable Wikipedians do contribute, although their offsite careers often keep them so busy that they don't learn all our site processes inside and out. A modest amount of friendly outreach can yield wonderful results when they do join us. Durova280 18:38, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't think there will be anything more than the brief coverage in "In the news" this week, but a piece that explores the contributions of notable Wikipedians (maybe limited to image contributions so it's not too voyeuristic) would be a welcome followup down the line. --ragesoss (talk) 19:05, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
That could be worth exploring. Durova280 19:16, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Publication of half-year summary of arbitration activities

Dropping a note off here to let you know that a half-year summary of arbitration activities has been published at January to June 2009 report. Comments and feedback are being invited on the talk page. I also mentioned the Signpost series of TROLL reports at the end. I'm a subscriber to the Signpost, and while I'm here, I'd like to thank the editors who write and prepare the TROLL reports. Hopefully this half-year report will give even more insight into the type, range and volume of work that is done in arbitration, plus the major changes that have taken place this year. Carcharoth (talk) 05:06, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Bigipedia: Series begins 23rd July

The article for Bigipedia has been created and the series begins tomorrow. Pozzitive Productions, the company behind the series, has released a YouTube clip of the first episode. ISD (talk) 08:22, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

An big interview has been published with the creators of Bigipedia by the British Comedy Guide. ISD (talk) 13:54, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Bigipedia itself is also online, with its own website here. ISD (talk) 19:28, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
For those who didn't listen to it when it went out, Bigipedia is now on the BBC iPlayer. Listen here. ISD (talk) 08:11, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm going to write a review of the series, which I will write up after all four episodes has been broadcast. Clips from episode two can been seen here. ISD (talk) 20:46, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia and the NIH

From Wired: Wikipedia Teaches NIH Scientists Wiki Culture. Mindmatrix 16:30, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Two Dutch museums partner with WMF

Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam and Spaarnestad Museum of Haarlem are partnering with WMF to provide content. Tropenmuseum has committed to uploading 100,000 images to Wikimedia Commons. Spaarnestad has plans to upload an undisclosed number of images. Gerard Meijssen (User:GerardM), who heads the Open Progress Foundation, has been instrumental to the progress, working in cooperation with the WMF Netherlands chapter.[6][7] Durova281 19:02, 22 July 2009 (UTC)


Featured. Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2009-07-20/News_and_notes

-- featured briefly, a followup report (results? participants?) might be good

Might be worth writing something about Wikipedia:The Great Wikipedia Dramaout. –Juliancolton | Talk 03:14, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Commons' Bundesarchiv images have all been categorized

Featured. Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2009-07-27/News_and_notes

As of 22 July 2009, all of the (roughly) 100,000 images that the German Federal Archive (Bundesarchiv) donated to Wikimedia Commons in December 2008 have been categorized. Now that this categorization project has been completed, perhaps you can direct those who are interested to the similar Deutsche Fotothek project, which now has just under 16,000 images (of about 250,000) still needing categories. Thanks! TFCforever (talk) 14:03, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

NYT nod to Wikipedia article

The article List of fictional books from non-print media got mentioned in a New York Times piece last week, see here [8]. The mention is at the end and it's short, but still a nice nod :) --Bookgrrl holler/lookee here 14:10, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

The "Great Repeal Bill"

Someone from the blog created a Wikipedia page entitled Great repeal bill, with the intention of repealing multiple decisions by the UK government (details). The bill itself was a Wikipedia page, and designed with the intention of getting people all over the UK to work on it. Of course, after a couple of moves and one full protection, it was deleted by our admins. Because it was in the Telagraph's blog, could we get a mention in ITN, perhaps? Might be an interesting story. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 14:13, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

And if necessary, I have the content of the bill before it was deleted. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 14:19, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
It got reinstated at Wikiversity... Sfan00 IMG (talk) 22:40, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Rorschach inkblots

The New York Times has a story about the Rorschach test inkblot images appearing on Wikipedia (and the kerfuffle that has ensued since they were added). It has been picked up by other news outlets (eg - Toronto Star version). Mindmatrix 14:46, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

here too Calvin 1998 (t·c) 02:42, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Since the Signpost has gone to a do-it-yourself format, I started the page at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-08-03/In the news with this story. It would be far more efficient if people with suggestions wrote them directly in the relevant draft article, and just added their name as a co-author, rather than drop a note here and hope someone else has the time to move it into an article. - BanyanTree 23:54, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
It has also been discussed on Newsnight tonight, they mention it on the blog from the producers, but there is no video yet. Darrenhusted (talk) 22:32, 3 August 2009 (UTC)


Featured. Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-08-17/Discussion report

A poll has opened to resolve a long-standing and contentious dispute over the names of several articles related to Ireland, most recently dealt with by the ArbCom. Polling is by PRSTV (aka instant-runoff voting in American English); the chosen solution will be enforced for a period of two years. Compare the well-known case of the vote which took place in a similar dispute over the name of the article Gdańsk. --Kwekubo (talk) 21:58, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Tropenmuseum to host partnered exhibit with WMF

The Tropenmuseum has announced plans to host a partnered exhibit with the Wikimedia Foundation and WMF Netherlands. This will be the first collaborative exhibit where Wikimedians work with a major museum. The Tropenmuseum is an anthropological museum in Amsterdam; the partnered exhibit will be about the Maroon people of Suriname. It is scheduled to run in the museum's physical space from November 2009 through May 2010.

Wikimedians will assist the exhibit through article building, translation, categorization, and media restoration.

The Tropenmuseum-WMF partnered exhibit was announced by WMF Netherlands and covered by two Dutch newspapers: Brabants Dagblad[9] and Parool.[10] Durova294 20:14, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedian writes opinion piece about TFA and local history

Here. Awadewit (talk) 22:05, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Fast Company: "Is Wikipedia in Decline?"

August 4, 2009 magazine article is here. The article cites a blog posting, dated July 22, by the Augmented Social Cognition (ASC) Research Group at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC): "PART 1: The slowing growth of Wikipedia: some data, models, and explanations". -- John Broughton (♫♫) 13:10, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Occasional editors experience high levels of reverting

In "PART 2: More details of changing editor resistance in Wikipedia", researchers at PARC conclude that there is "evidence of growing resistance from the Wikipedia community to new content, especially when the edits come from occasional editors." In total, 5.8 percent of all edits in 2008 were reverted for reasons other than vandalism, or by a bot, double the percentage in 2005 (2.8 percent). As for occasional editors: By the end of 2008, this revert rate (again, non-vandalism) was close to 25% for editors making only a single edit during a given month, and was more than 15% for editors making 2 to 9 edits in a given month. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 19:59, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

"Wikipedia enters a new chapter"

There is an article about Wikipedia in The Guardian approaching it's 3,000,000th article, as well as looking at inclusionists and deletionists. ISD (talk) 14:25, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

I wrote an editorial in response to this (and the numerous other similar stories). I'm not sure if Signpost publishes editorials though. What's the policy on that? Kaldari (talk) 16:27, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
In the past, the Signpost has avoided editorials; the first one I know of is the "open letter" following the NPG threat. I've discussed with a few other people (e.g., those who attended the Signpost workshop at Wiki-Conference New York) the possibility of making more room in the Signpost for that type of content, but I haven't mooted the subject more broadly on-wiki yet. I welcome thoughts from other readers and writers: is Kaldari's editorial the type of thing that's appropriate for the Signpost?
My own view is that such content can be valuable, but the danger is that freely allowing editiorials could turn the Signpost into a platform for rants about particular disagreed-about aspects of how various areas of Wikipedia work (there's no shortage of such rants, but putting them in the Signpost would up the ante and might hijack other, more productive forms of discussion). On the other hand, tight editorial control of which editorials/opinion pieces to publish would put me and/or other Signpost editors in a position of being the arbiter of valid opinion—also not good.
One possibility would be to accept editorials/opinion pieces, but only for broader, outward- or future-facing issues. The line would then be drawn between something like Kaldari's piece here which reacts to reports of Wikipedia's decline (ok) and something like a piece arguing that process x is broken and ought to be fixed in such-and-such a way (not ok).
Another possibility is to have a more structured and topical approach to editorials: have broad topics (like: the decline in article creation and edit rate, and what that means) and solicit pieces from multiple viewpoints to be published altogether. So in the case of Kaldari's piece, we can imagine a number of other interpretations: the decline in article creation is the outcome of a shift to deletionism; as wikimarkup has gotten more complex, it's harder and harder for newbies to get started; the community has become more insular and more hostile to newcomers; the public now has a better understanding of Wikipedia's flaws and general enthusiasm is less; editors have a natural "lifetime" as contributors and so the activity levels are more an issue of demography than anything else; etc. And a whole set of pieces on the issue would be published together, once other people besides Kaldari had put together their arguments.
Thoughts?--ragesoss (talk) 17:14, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
If it seems like it might be controversial, I can shop it around to some blogs instead. Then maybe it could just be linked to when we mention the Guardian story. That way we aren't setting any problematic precedents. Kaldari (talk) 22:17, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm not necessarily worried about precedents; as I said, including opinion content is something I've thought about before. I'm just not sure whether the community thinks it's a good idea, and if so, how it ought to be done.--ragesoss (talk) 00:54, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
I'd love to see a series of 'opinion + review' pieces that were backed by data, had meaningful visuals and linked citations to the various camps that were being compared, lauded, lambasted, &c. More like a NYRB style of editorializing than a typical ref-less news editorial. +sj+ 10:05, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
I would love to make a graph showing the rate of article creation for a finite category like movies and comparing it against the curve of article creation for all of Wikipedia, to show that they are similar (at least I imagine they would be). Alas, my technical skills are not up to the task. Too bad Dragon's working on his PhD thesis :P Kaldari (talk) 18:00, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
I think Kaldari's editorial would be appropriate if we could manage to get together a special section about the research in question -- e.g. someone analyzes the PARC research and writes about that neutrally in depth, we cover the news stories, etc. It would also be great for something like this if there were a counterpoint editorial. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 17:27, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
In other words, maybe only run editorials when there's a lot of other content to give context and it's a big issue, as with the NPG issue. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 17:28, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
This would likely be a major responsibility of the editor-in-chief, who I would expect to vet potential op-ed contributors to those who have proven that they can write well-reasoned arguments and then set the parameters of the piece. I would have no interest in allowing editors to use the Signpost to vent; that's what WP:ANI is for. - BanyanTree 04:55, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
OK, so what's the verdict? I'm perfectly fine with the piece not being included in the Signpost, but I would like to know one way or the other. Kaldari (talk) 17:38, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Not this week, at least. You should feel free to post it somewhere else, and if we do end up doing a set of opinion pieces around the issue later, yours could still be included. I'm starting an RfC and writing a "From the editor" for the upcoming edition to try to get more input about opinion pieces and editorials in the Signpost.--ragesoss (talk) 17:47, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. Kaldari (talk) 20:11, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

The Alphascript-Amazon-Wikipedia book hoax

Read more at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(miscellaneous)/Archive_20#The_Alphascript-Amazon-Wikipedia_book_hoax. This may not be new (June) but seems pretty major and I don't recall this being covered in the Signpost. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 04:18, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

See User:PrimeHunter/Alphascript Publishing sells free articles as expensive books for something that may be useful as a draft. Dcoetzee 05:18, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
  • No, although their business practice is rather questionable, starting with the fact that they are hiding the information that they offer Wikipedia compilations - it is not available on the amazon buy-the-book page, only in the book itself. They may not be breaking the letter of the law, but they are not very friendly to the spirit... --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 19:57, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia reaching 3,000,000

News that Wikipedia has reached 3,000,000 has been reported by The Guardian. ISD (talk) 08:17, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

It has also been reported by The Daily Telegraph. ISD (talk) 14:42, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Most viewed articles in 2008 & 2009

There is an article in the Daily Telegraph about the top 50 most viewed articles on Wikipedia in 2008 and 2009. ISD (talk) 17:58, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

As wikipedians may garner some insight into growth/evolution of wikiprojects via interviews, so perhaps wikipedians may also be interested to know the challanges and successes editors/contributors experience in attaining featured consensus from reviewers and the process/evolution of an editing an article, list, media to attain feature status via an interview process. To see if there were plausible questions, I searched a few of the existing WP interviews published on Signpost, and some of their questions could be modified for Featured article, feature list or feature media contributors....interview question beginnings. Such an interview may give further interest to wikipedians who may wish to view to the items reaching feature status, to understand why the featured items which were chosen for main page status, and to appreciate the efforts of the contributors who worked on bringing the items to featured status. Something similar has been done where contributors who have successfully brought several articles to featured status have been interviewed, (FL FA interview in the past) but it may be helpful to interview a fledgling or new editor/team of editors who has/have just attained their first featured item status in various fields. Kind Regards SriMesh | talk 01:50, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

We have the Dispatch for these things, but nobody has kept up with it since SandyGeorgia (talk · contribs) stopped pushing it along. Dabomb87 (talk) 16:21, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Bigipedia series to download

According to the Twitter account belonging to David Tyler, the producer and director of Bigipedia the series will be made available to download from sites like audible and iTunes in a few months time. ISD (talk) 07:52, 19 August 2009 (UTC)


This should be in the next Signpost IMO.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 13:11, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Official iPhone app

The Wikimedia Foundation has released an official reader app for the iPhone. [11] Many third-party apps exist, and indeed have more advanced features, but WMF's is open source. Official documentation has been limited, but the app is already in the top 50 free apps.--HereToHelp (talk to me) 15:38, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

It took a good deal of searching, but I finally found this. Kaldari (talk) 16:16, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

New vandalism study

Regards, HaeB (talk) 19:50, 20 August 2009 (UTC)


You should mention Wikipedia:WikiCup/2010 Signups.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 00:01, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia survey

Featured. Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-08-24/Discussion report

Hm, just something I recently stumbled upon.. this may be old news already but I thought it might be worth a mention depending on what the results will be of this survey. Here's a quick excerpt:

In April, our research group gathered together several editors and asked them what they would like to find out about fellow Wikipedians when interacting with them. As our end goal is to create an embedded application that helps people quickly know more about others' history and activity on Wikipedia, we felt our design would be much more useful if it were based on insights from Wikipedians. Our participants gave generously of their time and provided us with lots of interesting possibilities for our application. Based on those editors’ feedback, we created a few different images designed to quickly communicate the pattern of someone's various activities on Wikipedia. We are now looking for your feedback on how useful these images are to you.

It can be found at this userpage. -- œ 21:09, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

AP reports on flagged revs

Wikipedia testing new method to curb false info Powers T 18:22, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

It seems NY Times started it, BBC jumped on it, and then all the rest, "165 news articles" on google news at the moment.[12] (from what I saw, AP had the most factual and least hyperbolic coverage though.) More info at WP:AN#Wikimedia UK announces flagged_revisions. Siawase (talk) 18:33, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Also Citizen Media Law Review and El Reg. -mattbuck (Talk) 22:22, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
The CBC has an article about this, and an accompanying video which appeared on newscasts last night. The video includes a brief interview with SimonP. Mindmatrix 13:30, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
And CNNEd (TalkContribs) 18:40, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia ends unrestricted editing of articles

There is an article about this in the Daily Telegraph. ISD (talk) 07:48, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

There is coverage about this on the BBC flagship news programme Newsnight under the article "Is the philosophy of Wikipedia now dead?" ISD (talk) 12:28, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Wow, the presenter had a thesis and she wasn't going to let it go, didn't she? Powers T 13:45, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. Also, I've found this article in The Independent. ISD (talk) 15:53, 27 August 2009 (UTC)


Digital Copyright, a session of Visual Web Meetup.

This session will address some of the prevailing issues in Digital Copyright that companies, and information orgs, face bringing creative assets online. Our speakers have litigated on a range of copyright cases, and generously bring their expertise to bear for the benefit of Visual Web Meetup members.

Simon Frankel [13], Partner with Covington & Burling LLP, has broad litigation experience and specializes in Intellectual Property Litigation. He is Chair of the Copyright Society, USA.

Fred von Lohmann [14] is Senior Staff Attorney with Electronic Frontier Foundation, specializing in intellectual property matters. In 2008, Fred was named one of the 50 leading intellectual property lawyers in California by the Daily Journal.

Mike Godwin [15] is General Counsel for Wikimedia Foundation and the author of Cyber Rights: Defending Free Speech in the Digital Age

Wednesday 2 September, 18:30.

Covington & Burling, LLP, One Front Street, San Francisco.

Free but must RSVP at [16].

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Lgm123 (talkcontribs) 2009-08-25t20:34:20z

On the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are? last week, Wikipedia was used as a research tool. The programme followed Martin Freeman of The Office as he tried to find information about his paternal grandfather. He used our article on the Dunkirk evacuation to look at the dates near the top of the article and discovered that it was possible the grandfather died just before the evacuation. Subsequent research confirmed this to be the case.

Tipster's note: Even though I have last week's TV guide here I can't for the life of me find the transmission date of the show as first broadcast. However, I currently have the repeat on which started at 19:00 UTC on BBC2, Tuesday 1st August. --bodnotbod (talk) 18:26, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

another defamation lawsuit (talkcontribs) 01:08, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

I have checked the court filing. The description in the above article is a bit misleading. The lawsuit is basically against the specific editors. The Wikimedia Foundation itself is included as a "nominal Defendant only" (quoting the lawsuit directly). I believe that's so the Wikimedia Foundation can be compelled to turn over any identify information it has about the editors (e.g. IP addresses). -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 06:13, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Not enough for a story, but perhaps a mention that we crossed the 1500 FL mark with the promotions on 29 August. Dabomb87 (talk) 12:31, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Combining semantic search with Wikipedia gives interesting health advice. (talkcontribs) 13:10, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Wounded Knee Massacre discovery enters official Library of Congress and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts record

The Wikipedian discovery of human remains during restoration of an image of the aftermath at Wounded Knee has entered the official Library of Congress record.[17] The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has incorporated this factual update into its program notes for the current exhibit "Expanding Horizons: Painting and Photography of the American and Canadian Landscape 1860-1918". An unedited version of the Wounded Knee print is number 76 in the catalog.[18] Durova310 17:41, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Congrats to our restorationists, well done.  Skomorokh  17:47, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Thank you very much! Durova310 18:35, 3 September 2009 (UTC)


Perhaps the Signpost could include a humor section with some funny clips from discussions around Wikipedia, or with a humorous interpretation/editorial on something going on around the encyclopedia. An example of something that could be put in the section is this clip I found on User:Harej:

From Talk:Carbomb (beer cocktail), where it was recommended to rename the page to Irish Car Bomb.

Thanks, Ks0stm (TC) 16:34, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Funny to whom? Adolescent boys? Kaldari (talk) 21:59, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Being 16 years old, and thus an adolescent boy, I guess so! Ks0stm (TCG) 20:42, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

WikiCup nearing a close...

It might be an idea to report on the overall achievements of the cup when it ends at the end of October. Obviously this report will announce the winner and other results as well as note the signup which are taking place right now. I'd be happy to write this myself, actually.  GARDEN  20:26, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Great!--ragesoss (talk) 14:03, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Top-importance article selection

WP:POST might find it interesting that WP:CHICAGO chooses Category:Top-importance Chicago articles by a consensus vote of its members.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 13:35, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Another half-million celebration

More than 500,000 articles now provide geographic coordinates based on the {{coord}} template, according to the template transclusion counter. WikiProject Geographical coordinates, however, knows of at least another 169,000 articles which ideally should have coordinates; these are listed in the category tree Category:Articles missing geocoordinate data by country. Wikipedia:How to add geocodes to articles refers. --Tagishsimon (talk) 00:23, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

The Onion

We got a mention:

©Geni 17:00, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

10 ugly truths about modern journalism

There is blog post by The Guardian's Roy Greenslade about things jounalists do. It includes:

6. Some journalists use Wikipedia Although its use is frowned upon in many newsrooms, because of its perceived unreliability, many reporters do rely on Wikipedia as a source. So unverified facts sometimes make their way into news stories.

ISD (talk) 08:30, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Pastor Theo desysopped & blocked

See this and this, along with relevant discussion here. TML (talk) 15:27, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

PediaPress wants to hire a Wikipedian

I don't know whether this is within the scope of Wikipedia Signpost and if you can help us with this. PediaPress aims to hire a "Community and Communications Assistant". Since we assume that this is a perfect job for a Wikipedian, having this mentioned in Signpost would be helpful. If this is not possible, any other advise how to spread the word within the community is also welcome. Thanks! --He!ko (talk) 08:51, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

sorry, I missed this for the last issue, but will make a brief mention in this issue. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 21:40, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, but we already had plenty of promising applications and prefer not to have it mentioned in Signpost anymore - at least for now. Thanks, --He!ko (talk) 18:55, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Should we split Leeds?

Featured. Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-09-28/Discussion report#Briefly

There has recently been a revival of a long running discussion at Talk:Leeds. The argument boils down to whether there should be (as at present) a single article covering the local government district "City of Leeds" which contains an urban area commonly known as "Leeds" as well as its surrounding hinterland, or whether (as existed prior to a merge earlier this year, about which there is currently no consensus about whether there was consensus for it or not) there should be two articles. This is just the latest round in a debate that has been going on for months (it goes back to at least November last year). This round was precipitated by a table, now at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject UK geography/How to write about districts#List of districts named from settlements, that showed Leeds was the only such settlement/district that had a single article where the settlement/district did not meet six criteria that are common to almost all other settlements/districts that have the same name and a single Wikipedia article. The opposite case, where two settlements/districts with the same name and two articles each, but which do not meet any of the criteria shared by other such settlements/districts with two articles (Poole/Poole (borough), Bournemouth/Bournemouth (borough)) have not proved anywhere near as controversial - see Talk:Poole (borough) and Talk:Bournemouth (borough).

I am involved in this empassioned discussion (although not as much as some others) regarding Leeds, and so I do not feel capable of writing an NPOV article about it. Thryduulf (talk) 13:53, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

"No Country for Old Men": article about Wikipedia

This is a couple of months old (but I just read it today), and it might be worth mentioning/discussing: There's an unflattering article about experiences editing Wikipedia in the June 2009 issue of OR/MS Today, the INFORMS magazine. You can read it here or download the whole magazine here. It ends with

Yet, their ways of manhandling authors of new entries suggests that creating entries there is something to avoid although I did read a newspaper story about a high school dropout who created 400+ entries posing as a classics professor. Overall, my experience of Wikipedia was like that dealing with a gang of marauding young men roaming around the countryside looking for victims — yup, no country for old men.

The writer seems to be generally confused about what's going on (I don't understand what his allegations of malice are), and the attempted article is (almost surely) Six Sigma Pricing (AfD). The magazine is sent to all INFORMS members (everyone working in Operations Research and related areas); the article has been mentioned in e.g. blog comments here. Shreevatsa (talk) 16:05, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Cite update

See Wikipedia talk:Footnotes#cite.php update. Dragons flight (talk) 16:18, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Arthur Rudolph and Anne Dallas Dudley have been converted as examples. This is big news and deserves a dedicated Signpost article. Kaldari (talk) 23:03, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
Can someone who knows something about this elaborate? thanks :) -- phoebe / (talk to me) 17:35, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, don't have time this week, but check out Wikipedia:Footnotes#List-defined references and Help:Footnotes#List-defined references for more info. Kaldari (talk) 15:54, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Jimbo commented in New Scientist

The science and technology journal New Scientist has an ongoing 4-part series called "Blueprint for a better world". Jimmy Wales has a comment on page 35 of the 19 September issue, stating that:

"The most important thing we can do as individuals is to think. Instead of responding with your gut reaction, get the facts, get a complete picture of the problem and the possible solutions. As an exercise, take one of your strongly held opinions and challenge it. Spend a week, or better a month, researching it. You may find that you were mistaken. And if it turns out that you were right, then so much the better."

I think we should include this as both good advice and as a message from our founder. -- EA Swyer Talk Contributions 23:27, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Major revision of WP:AIRCRASH now live

Featured. Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-09-28/Discussion report#Briefly

The notability guidelines for aviation accidents and incidents, WP:AIRCRASH, have been significantly reworked over the past few months by myself and other editors. Following consensus on the talk page the new guidelines are more focused on actual notability and merging moderately notable incidents to an apropriate place, as the old guidelines were often criticised for encouraging articles on the most minor of incidents. The new guidelines are now live for beta testing and comments are requested on the talk page. Thryduulf (talk) 11:41, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Jonathan Zittrain talk at TED.

Great video. Also happens to mention Wikipedia (begins on 9 minute mark). Link: [19]. Calaka (talk) 14:46, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

On the subject of TED, Dan Pink uses WP as a proof in his theory of motivation: [20] from 16 minute mark. Gwinva (talk) 08:46, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Secretary Rumsfeld and the Wika-wakka

Lulzy aside from a screenwriters book previewed by HuffPo:

Might be worth a quick mention :)  Skomorokh  20:00, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

HTML5 discussion on Google

An introduction to HTML 5 has been posted on the Google Developers YouTube channel, and it briefly mentions plans for MediaWiki to add support for some nifty new SVG stuff (starts at the 20:29 mark). ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 17:52, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

NPR discusses last weeks TIME article (talkcontribs) 02:02, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia graph used in UN report (talkcontribs) 20:43, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

October 05-11

Missing FT

  • Apologies, that's my goof. I was filling in for Seresin, I'd never done it before and the archives and logs for the featured pages are not the easiest places to work out what happened, in my defence. I take my hat off to Seresin. I'm not happy at having to fill in again this week. Expect more goofs. Hiding T 21:45, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

not sure if this is a good fit?

and nor am I sure how far the signpost is interested in stretching towards what might be rather close to wiki-investigative reporting (probably not such a good thing, or at least something to be careful of, I guess) - buy anywhoo... Peter Damian (who I think is currently a banned user) alleges that FT2 ran a 'sock puppet' ages ago, and should admit it - my layman's reading of the situation does make it look like a few direct simple questions to FT are in order - though there's the additional problem that FT feels he can't talk about it at all because he's been instructed by arbcom not to talk about PD at all, anywhere - candidate for the 'drama' column? see here for my chat with Jayvdb about it too.... Privatemusings (talk) 14:42, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Death of a Wikipedian

[21] It appears that User:Fg2, a prolific contributor to Japan-related topics, has passed away. Cla68 (talk) 21:33, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Fg2 uploaded a lot of Japan-related photographs- [22]. Cla68 (talk) 04:51, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
It appears one of his colleagues made a WMF donation in his memory: [23].--Pharos (talk) 16:20, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Someone could attempt to contact Shirley Tamura since she may have more information about the death. Link to faculty listing for Tamura. Her email address appears to be at least based on this [24]. Remember (talk) 17:18, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
His real name was Frank J. Gualtieri Jr. according to the obituary. Kaldari (talk) 19:24, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
I know this might seem silly, but I'm going to ask it anyway. Does anyone familiar with the subject know if there were any particular topics which most interested him? If there were, I think that, if anyone were interested in helping improve that article, and maybe trying to get it to FA, that might be the best memorial possible. God knows I do probably less real article work than anyone here, but if it were a subject about which I could at least find some information I'd be willing to do so, and I could work on copyediting or similar if requested. But I think maybe doing that, and maybe adding some sort of memorial template to the article talk page, might be among the best ways in general we could memorialize any of our fallen editors. John Carter (talk) 20:03, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Some of the more accessible articles he was recently working on include Takayama Festival and Osaka. It also seems he had a strong interest in Buddhist and Shinto temples of Japan. Kaldari (talk) 21:11, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Finest images among his images could be nominated for WP:Featured pictures since he left a great collection on Japan-related pictures.--Caspian blue 00:00, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Wow, improving one of his favorite articles seems like an outstanding memorial. Bravo - Draeco (talk) 01:42, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
I recently added this discussion to the FP discussion page. Hopefully, they will be able to find a picture that has a chance of becoming a FP. Remember (talk) 14:05, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Has anyone contacted Shirley Tamura yet? I want to help - Draeco (talk) 01:53, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I have, and left her the email of the Signroom. I also asked in the message I sent her the same questions I asked here. I hope she will be contacting the Signpost and giving them a few ideas about appropriate memorials shortly. John Carter (talk) 15:12, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
It looks like he uploaded almost 2,000 photographs to Commons! All of which seem to have been released to the public domain. Kaldari (talk) 18:24, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
I received a response from Ms. Tamura. There is an online guestbook here where anyone so inclined is welcome to leave a message. It is my sincerest hope that those of you who did any substantial work with him sign it. I very much regret that I myself cannot remember any direct association with him. Also, she indicated that she believes working on an article in his honor would be a meaningful tribute. I hope we can decide on a page to collaborate on there. Lastly, I have in the past seen special pages created in memory of the departed. If we do go around to an article collaboration, I think it might not be a bad idea to maybe include a link in the possible template to a page where those who knew him could leave messages. I think such a visible, permanent memorial might be the best possible way to go here. If anyone who did know him wants to start a page at, for instance, User:Fg2/Memorial, I for one wouldn't see any objections. John Carter (talk) 23:00, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

I also informed WP:ACID of this idea, they might be interested in collaboration. - Draeco (talk) 02:40, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

His Japanese account has a memorial here: ja:利用者:二八/Obituary WhisperToMe (talk) 19:35, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
I've started an article here by compiling all the linked info above. Please add whatever you can, or remove anything you think inappropriate. I included everything for completeness, but some might object to things like his real-life name or quoting edit counts. - Draeco (talk) 03:17, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I might change the ending to something like "a group of editors is considering choosing a article to collaborate on as a memorial. Interested parties should feel free to take part in the discussion at (x), which might be the talk page of the article you just created or somewhere else. John Carter (talk) 03:25, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
The ending certainly needs plenty of revision as we find out what the article/picture will be, and how the collaboration is tackled. Feel free. - Draeco (talk) 03:33, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

I found out that Fg2 created Portal:Japan. Kaldari (talk) 15:42, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

I added the notice of his death to the Commons account and to his Japanese Wikipedia account (both in English) - I also updated the English meta list of deceased Wikipedians, which is located here: meta:Deceased_editors WhisperToMe (talk) 18:25, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Article selection

Fg2 fairly thoroughly covered all things Japan, from history, to culture, to arts, people, and much more. So it is difficult to single out any one in particular. However, one area that I noticed that he had a particular interest in was in Japanese jidaigeki, period dramas focusing on samurai and rōnin stories. He created a number of articles on various series, the actors staring in them, and the historical characters and events that appeared in them. This alone is too vague, but perhaps it may begin some ideas or discussion. Bendono (talk) 15:47, 9 October

According to the wikimedia tool, his most edited articles were: 362 - Tokyo, 265 - Japan, 117 - Mount_Fuji, 112 - Shinto, 108 - Hiroshima, 107 - Osaka, 101 - Great Hanshin earthquake, 99 - Tokugawa Ieyasu, 97 - Housing in Japan, 88 - History of Japan. These are very broad topics, but if we were able to get one up to even GA status, that would be amazing. From my limited work with him, he seemed to have an interest in Shinto and Shinto shrines. Unfortunately, considering the language barrier, getting a Shinto article to FA status will be very difficult. --TorsodogTalk 16:02, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I think selecting a broadly accessible topic is key; his top three articles, for instance. - Draeco (talk) 22:29, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
The easiest one to bring up to GA might well be the Great Hanshin earthquake. Beyond that, I would think Osaka, Mount Fuji, and Tokugawa Ieyasu would come next. Personally, given its religious implications, and this is a kind of religious act here, I'd maybe make Mount Fuji my second choice after the earthquake. But let me look to see if I can find sources first. If we can, maybe contacting the relevant WikiProjects for help might not be a bad idea. John Carter (talk) 23:28, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm most partial to Mount Fuji because it would allow wider collaboration. - Draeco (talk) 23:41, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Fuji seems like a great choice to me, too, since it has so many connections across topics and cultures and is likely to attract a wide range of contributors.--ragesoss (talk) 01:23, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

I also think we need to have a selection made by the next Signpost release (12 Oct) so everything can be set up to garner the maximum response. - Draeco (talk) 23:41, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Alternately, we could nominate these articles for WP:ACID, include reference to the ACID nominstions in the Signpost and on the talk pages of the Japan project, portal, and wherever else people who might have known him might frequent, and see which if any get the requisite four votes. Considering there are already three people interested, I think that might not be that hard, actually. ;) John Carter (talk) 15:40, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
I would welcome help with the Hiroshima article, which I worked on some with Fg2. Though, I can only get so far with English-only sources and assume there are some better sources in Japanese. Hence, help is required. The article covers a broad timespan and all aspects of the city. --Aude (talk) 22:55, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
I like Mount Fuji. It needs lots of work and there are decent English language sources. Kaldari (talk) 21:33, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

I count three votes for Mount Fuji, one for the earthquake (with Fuji as second-place), and one for Hiroshima. I hesitate somewhat because I didn't know Fg2 in real life, but I think a pretty clear concensus is emerging, and we have to act now if one article is to appear in this issue of the Signpost. I'm boldly going to name Mount Fuji as the collaboration. Please anyone revert my changes on the Signpost article (back to an ongoing discussion) if you disagree. - Draeco (talk) 00:15, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Notability wording change

I recently proposed a wording change to the Notability article here, basically from "required" to "should", and considerable debate has ensued. I realize this is just one of countless notability or inclusion vs deletion debates, but it might merit a sentence in your current discussion subsection. Do with it what you please. - Draeco (talk) 01:48, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Added to the upcoming discussion report. - Draeco (talk) 22:26, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

October 12-18

Arbcom email difficulties

One of the things thrown up during the Law/undertow case was the email filter which was impeding communication with Arbs. I think that this could be an interesting story. DuncanHill (talk) 12:45, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

A correction here. The e-mail filter problems were nothing to do with the Law/undertow matter (and while I'm correcting things here, the Sandstein/Law/ChildofMidnight RFAR request was also nothing to do with the Law/undertow matter - the timing was pure coincidence there). The spam filter problems were mentioned by me on the arbitration noticeboard talk page while discussion of the Law/undertow matter was raging, but there was no connection. As my statement indicated, I first noticed things were wrong due to problems encountered during the Abd-WMC case, and during an amendment request to the ADHD case. Only two people who had e-mails go astray have been positively confirmed. I do have a list of the yahoo e-mail domains that were included in the filter, if that would be useful (it would be useful to us if people with e-mail addresses from those domains reported that they had tried to contact us and failed). was not one of the domains being filtered. The main points are that we have no way of knowing when the filters were configured this way (it could have been years ago), nor of knowing how many people were affected (minimum of two so far), but it has been fixed now. And to give more balance, if you want a report (with stats) on how handling of the mailing list has improved this year, that might be possible as well (there are time constraints that might not make that possible). Carcharoth (talk) 02:55, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I never said that the filter was part of the Law case, just that it was thrown up during it, so I don't know what you imagine you are "correcting". DuncanHill (talk) 19:47, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

notes for next week

Openmoko offers offline WikiReader

Openmoko has just launched a small, handheld reader for Wikipedia. $100, runs on AA batteries, no pictures, and has been filtered for use by kids. Official site, TechCrunch review. Steven Walling 18:04, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Covered - Draeco (talk) 05:58, 19 October 2009 (UTC)


Here is a link which we would like to bring to your attention regarding the Choctaw Nation tribes of Florida.

We had posted information to you website which has been deleted. Can you assist us with a webpage too, we would appreciate your assistance

Their many tribes which consist of the Choctaw Nation. Thank you in advance for your help.

The article linked above doesn't seem related to Wikipedia, so I don't see why it should be covered in the Signpost. If you're having issues adding content to the Choctaw article, then the Choctaw article talk page is the place to start discussing it. We also can't help you start a website, but you can learn about starting a new article here. - Draeco (talk) 07:14, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Suggested lighter feature - edit summary of the week

Having seen today one of the most amusing edit summaries I've seen in a while, I was thinking that a lighter note on perhaps the DRAMA page would be to note some interesting or amusing edit summaries seen around the wiki during the week.

The edit summary that sparked the idea is "I've moved the word "and" so it no longer looks like Trevor McDonald is the duchess of cornwall. Sorry." [25], written by user: Thryduulf (talk) 21:32, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

"Wikipedia Co-Founder Speaks Out Against Jimmy Wales"

There's some informative - and quite harsh at times - examination of early Wikipedia history, in the article "Wikipedia Co-Founder Speaks Out Against Jimmy Wales". There's extensive quotes from Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales, while entrepreneur Jason Calacanis weighs in on a business (Wikia) angle. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 21:42, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Covered. - Draeco (talk) 05:31, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Discussion to deprecate the use of /Comments subpages

There is a discussion ongoing at WP:PROPS#Talk_page_Comments_subpage regarding a proposal to deprecate the use of /Comments subpages that are created by the WPBannerMeta template, and used by many WikiProjects for assesment purposes. The proposal would seek to move these comments to the regular talk pages for greater visibility. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 21:51, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia in Private Eye

Wikipedia gets a mention in the current edition of long-running British satirical/investigative journalism magazine Private Eye. (Issue 1247, 16-29 Oct 09, page 11):

Is this worthy of note? (talk) 07:31, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

it happened. :-) Privatemusings (talk) 18:35, 17 October 2009 (UTC)private eye make semi-regular mention of wiki stuff, although this is quite a funny one
Covered - Draeco (talk) 05:52, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

A Complete History of Nickelback Wikipedia Page Vandalisms


I don't know if anyone has ever done anything like this before, but this is quite fascinating, and more than a little bit funny. Someone made a video documenting the complete history of vandalism to the Nickelback page, all set to Nickelback music. Besides from the oft-repeated assertion that they are all gay, we also learn that SpongeBob SquarePants and Adolf Hitler were former members. One editor poignantly asks "Why did God give me ears when this band exists?"

Also, maybe this article would be a good candidate for flagged revisions, when that time comes? Lampman (talk) 19:14, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Covered - Draeco (talk) 17:06, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Jimbo interviewed in The Guardian

British broadsheet The Guardian today published a short interview with Jimbo Wales as part of a feature on how the internet has changed the world this decade. Not sure how helpful this is, but thought I'd tell you guys anyway. There's also a column from Alan Rusbridger (the editor) which explains how Wikipedia shouldn't work but does. Worth a shifty perhaps. Might be on the Guardian's website.  GARDEN  19:52, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Here and here respectively. --PretzelsTalk! 22:35, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
Covered - Draeco (talk) 05:43, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

October 19-25


I see the deadline is 03:00 UTC on Monday. For the Discussion Report, what would be a good working deadline for me to get you guys a list of the policy pages that are seeing the most action this month? Or should I just add that to the working page of the Discussion Report myself? Since August, I've been doing a monthly update in roughly the 4th week of the month and then again on the 1st, and I'd like to get notice out about which pages are seeing the most "action" and what the changes are in a Discussion Report before the end of each month. - Dank (push to talk) 14:38, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Feel free to just add content to the page, or you could speak to User:Hiding who usually does the report. PretzelsTalk! 14:41, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

New Foundation Hire

Pete Forsyth has joined the Foundation as the new Public Outreach Offficer, working under Frank Schulenberg (sp?). Also see the blog post from the WikiProject he has been active in. Steven Walling 23:02, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

GAN report notice

Wikipedia:Good article nominations/Report is back up and running after a seven month hiatus. Is there a way to get an announcement that people can again see how to best help WP:GAC by viewing the daily report. See details at Wikipedia_talk:Good_article_nominations#Report_Bot_Req.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 21:23, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Maybe it might belong to bugs repaired because the bot was malfunctioning during the hiatus. You can talk to the StatisticianBot creator, Dvandersluis (talk · contribs), for more details.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 23:08, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Tangential WP remark by Wired

In the article France Convicts Scientology of Fraud, the author mentions the WP ban of Scientology editors, and takes a swipe at WP in a tangential conclusion to the article:

"The church itself was banned by Wikipedia in May from making editing any articles — a punishment for repeated and deceptive editing of articles related to the controversial religion. Wikipedia’s decision was served up by the inner circle of a site that prides itself on being open and inclusive."

Not sure it warrants mention on the signpost, but figured I'd mention it. Mindmatrix 02:22, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

ICANN domain names

... can now be in non-latin characters. [26], also lots of news stories. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 23:40, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia song

Library of Congress reference librarians have confirmed that Roger Davies spotted an error in their bibliographic records on a British World War I recruitment poster. A restored version of the poster was recently promoted to featured picture at Wikipedia. The correction to the Library of Congress website should appear within one month. The Library of Congress is also correcting mistakes in its records regarding a portrait of John Surratt, a Confederate spy who conspired to kidnap Abrhaham Lincoln in 1864 and was suspected of conspiracy in Lincoln's assassination. Full details are available at my blog.[27] Would gladly fill in details upon request for Signpost staff. Regards, Durova355 19:15, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia used as part of bullying campaign

[28] First female member of the Tower of London's Beefeaters was bullied and harrassed, including having her Wikipedia entry vandalized. Cla68 (talk) 21:06, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Here's the article in The Sun referenced by Yahoo! Powers T 21:47, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

October 26-November 1

November 2-8

Long discussion over something minor

TLDR discussion over a single space in an article's title: Talk:To Aru Majutsu no Index#Requested_move --Cybercobra (talk) 00:29, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Ant images

I think the decision by to release images under CC and the bot upload of Ant images might be an interesting news item. Shyamal (talk) 05:11, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

BTW: the Commons AntWeb category linked above currently lists nearly 32,000 items. Mindmatrix 14:59, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Awesome! of particular interest to me as I'm fighting an ant infestation in my kitchen atm :P -- phoebe / (talk to me) 20:54, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Tech's Forgotten Co-Founders

There's an interesting short article in Business Insider about less-known co-founders (buggy site, may have to turn off ad-blockers). They cover among others "Larry Sanger: Wikipedia" -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 04:35, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

New essay at WP:Linkrot

I'm new to Signpost, but here is a submission for the next edition. Feel free to edit it in any way and to place it in the proper section:

Over the last week, several editors have rewritten Wikipedia:Linkrot into a comprehensive "how-to guide" on ways to prevent the phenomenon known as link rot, where where external links, often used as references and citations, gradually become irrelevant or broken. The essay has describes strategies to prevent or mitigate link rot through the preemptive use of web archiving services or by judiciously using the quote= parameters in citation templates.

--Blargh29 (talk) 06:44, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks! I'll add it in. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 08:05, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Boston Review article Nov/Dec 2009

Covers a lot of old ground, but worth a mention: link.  Skomorokh, barbarian  17:07, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Jimmy Wales on what's next for Wikipedia

link.  Skomorokh, barbarian  17:48, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Maintainer for SAPR

A new maintainer/programmer is being sought to adopt the automated peer review suggestion script.

I hope this will attract interest from someone who doesn't normally hang out at FAC, GAN, or PR. The name probably should be change from semi-automated peer review (SAPR) to something like Simple Article Procedural Review. — Dispenser 22:37, 6 November 2009 (UTC)


I'm not sure I should write this up as I've been the main driver on this. But we've been running a little mystery shopping project on the speedy deletion process.

In September 2009 Gene McKenna wrote about bullying of newbies on Wikipedia. He challenged any newbie to write an article and see if would last seven days on Wikipedia, and added "Guaranteed, your article will be marked for “speedy deletion” within about two minutes of its creation."

A month later user:Casliber responded by starting Wikipedia:Requests for comment/new users, which started various threads of discussion about the many pitfalls we now put in the path of newby editors. Including an invitation by User:WereSpielChequers to Lets all create an extra account, take up the challenge to write an article as a newbie, see if it lasts 2 minutes without being speedied and whether it survives seven days.

Thus was born Wikipedia:Newbie treatment at CSD known to its friends as wp:NEWT. Starting with Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus, twenty articles have been analysed at Wikipedia:Newbie treatment at CSD#Results, and technically we've passed the challenge posed by Gene McKenna, as only Wolfgang Stumph was both tagged within 2 minutes and deleted within 7 days. But this was a Pyrrhic victory, as three were tagged for deletion within the two minutes, three were deleted in the seven days (one of them twice). Eleven out of twenty were either tagged for deletion or deleted. And were our newbies made to feel their contributions were valued? Only one, User:Stormie's sock User:Force1995 author of Haig Sare had no deletion tags, no deletion and a welcome, an experience that really ought to be the norm for new wikipedians who submit articles that don't meet our deletion criteria.

My thanks to those who've participated so far, lets hope the next twenty fare a little better. ϢereSpielChequers 01:27, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

this seems like it would be a fine short article, if anyone wants to write it up? -- phoebe / (talk to me) 18:58, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Incidental mention

Pretty trivial, but in this video from The Onion, at 0:45 the following scrolls across the bottom of the screen: "Report: Wikipedia ushering in a golden age of Holocaust revisionism." bibliomaniac15 05:08, 7 November 2009 (UTC)


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