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November 9-15


Consensus was reached at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Four Award to create Wikipedia:Four Award.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 21:12, 9 November 2009 (UTC)


Perhaps User:Juliancolton/Project could somehow be mentioned? –Juliancolton | Talk 05:21, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Date de-linking

Firstly, to the regulars, sorry for missing my slot(s) recently, it looks as this will continue into the future as work begins to bite.

The news: a couple of days back, after trialling, I approved the date delinking bot (it was flagged shortly afterwards). It should start its activities soon (probably already). - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 17:12, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

kswahili contest


Seconded; a quite notable Google intervention, also good for WP:CSB points.  Skomorokh, barbarian  23:49, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

The QI Book of the Dead

The QI Book of the Dead mentions Wikipedia in its "Further Reading and Acknowledgements". It reads:

"It would be churlish not to mention For all its unevenness and flaws it is an invaluable tool that will only grow in usefulness the more of us that use it."

ISD (talk) 21:35, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Craig Newmark

Wikimedia Foundation Appoints Craig Newmark to its Advisory Board. -- Zanimum (talk) 17:55, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Arbitration Committee elections

As things stand, the field of candidates for the Arbitration Committee December 2009 elections is rather sparse, with a mere nine editors standing for presumably eight seats. I hope that the Signpost is intending a dedicated story each week for the elections, and suggest should the field remain underpopulated, that the focus of this weeks' article being encouraging experienced and serious editors to run, with coverage of relevant information such as the historical record, perhaps further coverage of Risker's thoughts for candidates, and fervour for reform indicated in last year's RfC to discourage complacency about the progress made by the sitting Committee.  Skomorokh, barbarian  23:44, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

November 16-22

President of Suriname visits WMF-partnered museum exhibit

The August 10 edition of Signpost reported that the Tropenmuseum of Amsterdam had partnered with WMF Netherlands and the Open Progress Foundation to hold a collaborative exhibit about the cultural history of Suriname. According to the Tropenmuseum's official Twitter feed, President Ronald Venetiaan of Suriname visited the museum to see the exhibit this past weekend.[2] First Lady Lisbeth Venetiaan came to the Tropenmuseum last Saturday and was so impressed that she returned with her husband the following day. The Suriname exhibit at Tropenmuseum is the first time a Wikimedia chapter has collaborated with a major museum to hold a joint exhibit. Durova366 01:24, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Webby Awards cite birth of Wikipedia "among the top 10 internet moments of the decade"

[3]. Cirt (talk) 07:34, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

WP:CDA (time is running out for this)

For the Discussion report: I'd like to think that the Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Administrator/Admin Recall#Main Conclusions and the now implemented follow-up at Wikipedia talk:Community de-adminship/Draft RfC are worth a mention. Ben MacDui 20:31, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

The final version of Community de-Adminship (to be put to the community at RfC) is being decided upon at the draft page - this is a chance for the community to decide what type of CDA it wants proposed.
Discussion (and poll voting) has been very been admin-heavy (as it is so much easier to solicit), wider community input is much needed, especially given the nature of the subject. Matt Lewis (talk) 15:44, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

WSJ article on declining editor participation

Wall Street Journal article on declining numbers of Wikipedia editors. The article is behind a subscription pay wall[4]. Cla68 (talk) 23:21, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Lots more articles on this now. I've (as contact for WMUK) talked to a blogger at the BBC and the Press Association; also the Daily Mirror. Google for lots more... TV is coming next, with a discussion on BBC News this evening (featuring User:Skenmy) and Charles Matthews, I believe). Mike Peel (talk) 16:30, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

November 23-29


Levitation is a new project that aims to convert the Wikipedia article database into Git format, in order to allow for decentralization and several "branches" per topic. The project resulted from recent discussions in Germany criticizing the German Wikipedia's notability criteria for being too restrictive. AxelBoldt (talk) 17:21, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

The project was already mentioned in the earlier coverage of these discussions: Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2009-11-09/German_controversy. Regards, HaeB (talk) 14:25, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia 'loses' 49,000 editors

A story from the BBC. ISD (talk) 18:12, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

There is also a blog post by the BBC's technology editior Rory Cellan-Jones. ISD (talk) 18:15, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia has now responded to the original article. Here is the story from the BBC. ISD (talk) 13:52, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

The blogosphere's top 10 websites

Wikipedia is the most linked to website in blogs. Story reported in The Guardian. ISD (talk) 18:28, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

2 million articles now assessed

A nice milestone has been reached - if you look at this page, you can see that we recently passed - two million articles have now been assessed for quality/completeness by WikiProjects. That means that around 65% of articles have been checked, though some of those assessments may now be quite old. Bearing in mind the hundreds of people in the community who are doing these assessments, they may want to see how we are making progress. Walkerma (talk) 09:25, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

wow! thanks for the update. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 15:04, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm somewhat suspicious of that number. If an article is rated "B / High importance" in Climatology and "B / Low importance" in Earth Science, then would it occur on that chart twice even though it is only one article? I suspect it is more accurate to say that 2 million assessments have been made, but that the actual number of distinct articles assessed is considerably lower because many articles can be ascribed to multiple projects. Dragons flight (talk) 17:14, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
That isn't correct; each article is only counted once. The present bot chooses between multiple ratings in a more or less arbitrary way when making the table, but it only counts each article once. The next version will choose the highest quality and importance score for each article. When I did a quick database query to count the number of distinct assessments I got 5,331,859. — Carl (CBM · talk) 18:24, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Personally, I'm at least as interested in the percentage of articles that have been assessed as I am in the raw number. Has the percentage increased, decreased, or stayed about the same in the past year or two? If not the first of these, I don't see any particular reason to congratulate ourselves. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:39, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

NYT Op-Ed "Free Speech and the Internet", by Evgeny Morozov

I'm sure folks will have seen this, but might as well note it here anyway. Evgeny Morozov has a very interesting New York Times Op-Ed, "Free Speech and the Internet". "Thus, whenever current rules and norms of the project come into conflict, Wikipedians shouldn’t shun away from asking for help. An external international panel comprising the world’s most eminent philosophers, legal scholars, historians and others can prevent challenging cases from getting ugly before they reach the courts." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 01:21, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Fixed your link above - Draeco (talk) 03:39, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

November 30-December 6

We get answers from the stars of We Need Answers

There is an article from The Guardian in which the cast of the BBC Four panel game We Need Answers are asked guests based of entries from Wikipedia. ISD (talk) 08:21, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

new SD criterion: A10

Not completely ironed out yet, apparently, but I guess it's here to stay:

WP:CSD#A10 – Recently created article that duplicates an existing topic. (Discussion)

Amalthea 14:46, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia and global warming

From "Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?", by Prof. Richard S. Lindzen: The myth of scientific consensus is also perpetuated in the web’s Wikipedia where climate articles are vetted by William Connolley, who regularly runs for office in England as a Green Party candidate. No deviation from the politically correct line is permitted. [As an aside, Professor Lindzen cites Wikipedia, in Footnote 12, as an authoritative source on another matter.] -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:36, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Features and Admins?

If adminship really is no big deal, then why does the Signpost feature new admins so prominently in this section? I think it might make more sense to rename the section to simply "Features", and drop the reporting of new admins. Or, at the very least, move the announcement of new admins to the end and focus on the articles. The section could alternatively be modified to interview a user that is making important contributions to editing articles as well -- as in, actually editing, as opposed to the minor and mundane janitorial tasks that supposedly is all adminship is really about. Just a though,. . . Dr. Cash (talk) 23:07, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Wikimedia ordered to disclose IP address of user

A judge at the High Court in London ordered the Wikimedia Foundation to disclose the IP address of an editor who had added some sensitive information to the article of a business woman, also involving the woman's young child. The information has since been removed from the article. The woman had previously received threatening anonymous letters. The woman cannot be named in relation to this case. The Wikimedia Foundation said it would comply with any order it receives. [5] [6] AxelBoldt (talk) 18:22, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Covered in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-12-07/In the news. Regards, HaeB (talk) 06:03, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

David Gerard / ArbCom scandal in "The Register"

"Wikisupremes eject UK Wikispokesman from inner circle" -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 23:00, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Un-decline of Wikipedia

Google limits free news online

Why google had to be involved, I'll never know. Surely the newspapers can put paywalls up themselves? Either way, this news is going to have its impact on article creation and referencing efforts.

Try googling for other examples while you still can...- Mgm|(talk) 08:54, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Bigipedia Series 1 available to download

The entire first series of Bigipedia is now available to download from ISD (talk) 19:04, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

For those interested, the article on Bigipedia is currently an FAC. ISD (talk) 11:54, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Bacon Challenge 2010

If it's deemed appropriate, it would be great to have something noted about the Bacon Challenge 2010 event that is just kicking off. It seems to have gained quite a following (yes there was a previous one! see Bacon Challenge 2009 and the results that include Snake 'n' Bacon, Stegt Flæsk, National Pig Day, bacon vodka, Mitch Morgan, and the peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich). For the 2010 event participants are competing to win the much coveted Bacon WikiCup.

There's also a Doughnut Days 2009 Doughnut Drive to 2010 event that is ongoing and finishes up at the end of this month. Some interesting articles have been added including mandazi, potato doughnut/ "spudnut", Dutchie (pastry), adhirasam, zippuli, quesito etc. etc. and some nice photos brought in as well. Both events have a distinctly international aspect and are meant to be fun as they don't deal with the most hard-hitting of article issues. Still, there's something to be said for the importance and significance of bacon and doughnuts... although I'm not sure just what that something is. ChildofMidnight (talk) 21:37, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

lol. thanks. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 20:35, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

"The Myth of Wikipedia Democracy"

An uncovering of We, the Cabal, that has had some play in the blogosphere.  Skomorokh  10:14, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Covered in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-12-07/In the news . Regards, HaeB (talk) 11:32, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

December 7-13

Status of Collaborations

Would anyone be interested in writing a story about the state of collaboration projects on Wikipedia? I recently updated the list of collaborations and found that the number of inactive and semi-active COTFs and COTMs continues to grow while very few new ones seem to be starting up (the Typeface list collaboration is new and the Universities COTM has just recently been revived after nearly a year of inactivity).

There seem to be very few regularly updated collaborations. Is this because editors are too busy, have short attention spans, or don't find collaborations to be rewarding experiences? Could it be that most collaborations fail when the moderator begins to neglect the collaboration and nobody take the initiative to step in and keep the collaboration alive? Is the idea of collaborating on a single article for weeks simply a flawed method of accomplishing substantial improvements?

I think it could make for an interesting story. -Mabeenot (talk) 07:59, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

WMF fundraising campaign parodied on CollegeHumor

CollegeHumor writer Jason Michaels takes the WMF funding campaign banners to their logical conclusion: Powers T 15:33, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

For "In the News"

(copied over from general talk page)

The use of Wikipedia by the U.S. government mentioned here. Badagnani (talk) 20:30, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Law review article about use of Wikipedia in court

Wikipedia in Court: When and How Citing Wikipedia and Other Consensus Websites is Appropriate, by Hannah B. Murray and Jason C. Miller.--Blargh29 (talk) 04:47, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Man with fatherhood soon to be thrust upon him turns to Wikipedia

WP:NOT#HOWTO.  Skomorokh  10:28, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Someone got us confused with wikiHow. It's the first (non-video) hit for the described Google search, and the instructions mentioned correspond exactly to their steps 6 and 7. Hans Adler 12:08, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Looks like the article's been corrected. Kaldari (talk) 00:53, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I guess the people behind wikiHow were quite annoyed when they realised we were getting their free publicity. Hans Adler 02:20, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Shortage of Christmas hooks at DYK

Not sure if this is right place for a suggestion of this nature, but a note in the next Signpost asking for DYK submissions with Christmas themes might be useful as we currently only have a small number. Gatoclass (talk) 16:09, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

I've offered a few suggestions for those that are interested on expanding such articles. Mindmatrix 17:57, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
And, of course, I think I can say that there is a very real chance that the DYK people would be perfectly well justified in awarding the Holiday Barnstar, which I have currently requested, to those they think merit it. I can say that, dependent on the kind of article it is, the Christianity Barnstar might be awarded to deserving editors as well, particularly if they can get more than one relevant DYK included. John Carter (talk) 18:27, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

The next phase of the Tropenmuseum partnership

Curators at Tropenmuseum have selected six more historic photographs of special importance for restoration. Staxringold and I are working on images from that group. Additional volunteers are welcomed to improve relevant article texts about Indonesian culture. The first completed work from that project is provided below. Durova379 04:27, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Bacon WikiCup 2010

Information about the Bacon WikiCup 2010, a bacon-themed version of the Ordinary WikiCup, including mention of the points table scores, significiant bacon-related additions to Wikipedia, such as Cirt's recent DYK, the fact that it is not too late to sign up, and that people can begin immediatley, as well as the intention of a grand debut of bacon articles on the ending day (March 1, 2010) and the participant interviews from the first two weeks of the event.--Sky Attacker the legend reborn... 05:04, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Wikinews writing competition

Could you please write a blurb on Wikinews's upcoming writing contest? Thanks! Benny the mascot (talk) 02:25, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

yes -- lets run it closer to when the contest is due to start, next week or the week after. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 03:58, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Ok, thanks! Benny the mascot (talk) 06:27, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
It's been a few weeks, the contest will start on Jan 25. Any chance you could look at this again? Cheers. Tempodivalse [talk] 02:12, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

December 14-21


Not sure if anyone at the Signpost is aware of this and following it, but this case in Manhattan Criminal Court could actually have some potentially interesting ramifications on Wikipedia. --JayHenry (talk) 04:55, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Interview with Chinese censor

This excerpt from an interview with a Chinese government official gives some insight into China's thinking with respect to Wikipedia. “Knowledge and culture has many ways to progress; they will not be halted just because Wikipedia is blocked. But state security is a different matter. ” AxelBoldt (talk) 15:40, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Rail Transport

Could there be any stories or interviews on any transport projects e.g. WP:RAIL, WP:UKT, WP:NZR, and other related ones? Simply south (talk) 19:34, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia is communism protosocialism, says US Senate candidate

Andy Martin, a Republican candidate for the US Senate and self-described "Internet Powerhouse", is filing a fraud lawsuit against Wikipedia/WMF. He calls Wikipedia "nothing more than a tax-exempt division of Barack Obama’s political operations" Press Release the wub "?!" 14:48, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Well, I guess the jig is up, then.--Pharos (talk) 15:34, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia on BBC's Poster of the decade

The launch of Wikipedia and Jimmy Wales have made it onto the BBC's Poster of the Decade. ISD (talk) 15:47, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia says I'm dead - well, that's news to me

There is a story by Alexander Chancellor about how his own Wikipedia article said that he was dead. The story is in The Guardian. ISD (talk) 16:33, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

article about open access encyclopedias

interesting: [7] phoebe / (talk to me) 22:25, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Climategate and Wikipedia

Cirt (talk) 07:57, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Petition Opposing Flagged Revisions

Citizens of Wikipedia are building a petition against Flagged Revisions as the example project ( DE Wikipedia) after 12 months of trial running still fails to provide clear statistics about the impact on this project, secondly We would like immediate clarification of who is to be the judge of the Trial's success - The reviewers, User:Jimbo Wales, the technical staff. Join Wikipedia:Petition Opposing Flagged Revisions now, and spread the news to others, (for every 10 passed messages you get one barnstar of choice), T-shirts are in the making (I supported the end of flagged revisions). Mion (talk) 10:09, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

There's nothing wrong with indicating that a petition exists, but please don't use the Signpost Suggestions mechanism to canvas other users to join. Mindmatrix 18:39, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
There is everything wrong with a petition as from now on we do one sided actions, I support you in that a petition is canvassing Wikipedia_talk:Flagged_revisions_petition#What_is_a_petition.3F, however it seems allowed looking at the discussion there. Mion (talk) 20:32, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
And following the spirit of the petition, this news has to be written one-sided as well. Mion (talk) 21:14, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Considering this petition is currently endorsed by a grand total of 6 editors, I think covering it in The Signpost would be premature. Kaldari (talk) 21:41, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
That problem is solved after covering it in the signpost.Mion (talk) 22:14, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Mary Rose press release and suggested collaboration

There's an upcoming image donation from the Mary Rose Trust scheduled for January 3. It's going to be accompanied by a DYK update of Mary Rose andAnthony Roll. There has been a suggestion that it could be made into an extended Tudor England/naval theme for DYK at Wikipedia talk:Did you know#Scheduling a DYK date. Is this something that can be announced through the Signpost?

Peter Isotalo 23:41, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

sure, will put this in next issue. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 00:08, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

New Page Patrollers now have more options

New Page Patrollers now have more options: Special:NewPages now has the option to view unpatrolled new pages which are 1 hour, 1 day, 5 days, 10 days, and 15 days old. Previously, they could view new articles from the front or back end of the log. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 02:42, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

186 wikipedians now support the Wikipedia:Flagged revisions petition

Partly in response to the journalist Alexander Chancellor, falsely being listed as dead by wikipedia, (see his Guardian piece here), and partly as a response to the ridiculous delays in rolling out flagged revisions, I began a petition last week at Wikipedia:Flagged revisions petition. This has now collected 167 signatures (and still growing) including the endorsement of founder Jimbo Wales - that puts it in the WP:100.

In comparison, readers may also be interested that a petition opposing flagged revisions has currently garnered only 9 signatures. Wikipedia:Petition Opposing Flagged Revisions.

Further evidence of the need for this can be seen in several other biographies which were edited this month to falsely allege the death of the subject, and in the fact that in each case several days elapsed before the abuse was spotted and reverted. See Mark Sinker [8] (7 days); Dania Krupska [9] (6 days); Pat Hutchins [10] (7days); John Keay [11] (8days); and Frank X. Gaspar [12] (9days). While this may be evidence of someone's breaching experiment, it rather makes the point.

I've also begun a discussion of how flagged revisions might be deployed in a limited way to address this problem, hopefully moving us towards a compromise between supports and opponents. (See User:Scott MacDonald/Limited Flagging). Indeed, significantly, the creator of the anti-flagged petition user:BarkingFish has indicated his support for my compromise.[13]

--Scott Mac (Doc) 12:05, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm not clear on what flagged revisions are, but I know how biographies remain vandalized for long periods of time. Add on to your list Mir Ghalib Hussain Domki, a Pakistani politician who was called a "crook" and other names, on his page for nine days. MajorStovall (talk) 20:28, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Add A. R. Penck, dead for 15 days. -- (talk) 13:13, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Any Signpost article would be incomplete without linking to or at least mentioning background stories, histories, and this proposed compromise and probably others as well. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 13:16, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

December 22-28

Mock the Week

A Christmas special of the BBC Two panel game Mock the Week featured a scene which covered Wikipedia, including inaccuracies on the articles about regulars Russell Howard and Dara Ó Briain, as well as other discussions about the show. The episode is currently on the BBC iPlayer (relevenet scenes, 1m 50sec in). ISD (talk) 07:49, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Public access to U.S. federally funded science

Please run something like this:

If you're in the U.S., or are a U.S. citizen, please read and respond to this Request for Public Comment from the Office of Science and Technology Policy regarding enhancing public access to archived publications resulting from research funded by Federal science and technology agencies. All are urged to respond to this pivotal opportunity, as individuals and on behalf of institutions and organizations. Your input will be critical in helping the administration form a deep and balanced view of stakeholders' interest in ensuring public access to publicly funded research. Please email or post comments to this blog no later than January 21, 2010 (the deadline was extended two weeks) answering the nine questions in the Request Please be sure to include your name, title and affiliation if applicable, city, and state. Thank you for making these important comments.

Thank you. (talk) 03:48, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Daily Mail article

Brothel football boss named on Wikipedia - but the press still can't reveal his identity --Pmsyyz (talk) 20:24, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Is this signpost-worthy? I'm sure such things happen all the time, with little notice. It's signpost-worthy if it's on-wiki impact is significant. I'm not sure what a good cutoff-definition of significant is, but it's somewhere between "only a handful of editors even noticed" and "for 48 hours, every 10th edit in the recent change log was related to this issue." davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 21:43, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Well the article in question is currently protected as 3 or 4 attempts to include the information in it were made, so it was locked due to BLP issues. It's certainly not the first time information which is under UK censorship has been added to articles, the most recent case being the Tiger Woods injunction (preventing the UK press from reporting that naked/sexual photos of him may exist) and even the Royal sex blackmail case from 2007 (which caused the relevant article to be protected for well over a year and any information relating to the subject in relation to this case is still not allowed to be published in the UK press). Nanonic (talk) 01:02, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

WPArkansas Bot

I would really appreciate if you could mention this bot. It's recently been approved to help tag any WikiProject. It does 2 tasks: First it scans a stub category that is relevant to the project (for example, for the Album project: Category:Album stubs) and makes sure that each article is added to the project and assessed as a stub; then it scans the unassessed articles (again an example for WPALBUM: Category:Unassessed Album articles) and automatically assesses the article based on the highest rating given to the article by another project (if there isn't a rating, it skips that article). If any project wants it to run on their articles, they can leave a note at my talk page. Cheers, --Coffee // have a cup // ark // 04:56, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks! I've been getting several requests now. Happy New Year, Coffee // have a cup // ark // 18:07, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Book namespace

A new book namespace has been created as a result of this discussion. The books currently in project space will be moved into the space, and it will be used for all future books. Ks0stm (TCG) 06:15, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

working on a longer story about this for 1/11 -- phoebe / (talk to me) 16:30, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Technical news

Is there some reason why there hasn't been a technical section (bug fixes and so on) lately? Has this section been discontinued, or has there simply been nothing to report? Is this something to do with there being no CTO at the moment (if so, I'm sure people would be interested to know what the status is regarding the appointment of a new CTO...) --Kotniski (talk) 08:02, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Aude, who normally very good at writing it, is on an unofficial wikibreak, it would appear. At the same time, Brion used to do the majority of the blogging which gave many of the interesting leads, and now he's gone, there's been a lot less. And nothing interesting on the mailing list either :( - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 10:54, 4 January 2010 (UTC)


I'm sure it won't have been missed by the Signpost team, but the WikiCup starts on the 1st. Worth thinking about in terms of how the Signpost is going to cover it. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 19:33, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Backlog at Special:NewPages completely cleared

The backlog of unpatrolled new articles at Special:NewPages has been completely cleared, just about single-handedly, by User:Ironholds. The backlog, normally a permanent fixture in the huge list of backlogs on Wikipedia, usually lingers for 30 days or more, resulting in many new articles not getting looked at to make sure go glaring problems are present. –MuZemike 04:22, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

FT on the state of the wiki

[14].  Skomorokh  03:38, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Newspaper profile of a really good WP editor

Can I suggest my own articles? Sure I can! This piece [15] ran in the Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph on Sunday, Jan. 3, discussing User:Ken Gallager, who patrols the New Hampshire page, and how he's an example of why wikipedia does more things right than wrong. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 12:08, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

December 29-January 4

Mary Rose Trust donation

Wikimedia UK made a press release[16] on January 3 about an image donation from the Mary Rose Trust (pics here). Wikimedia Sweden did the same here since a member of WMS (me) did the negotiating. Mary Rose Trust is the first UK organization to make such a donation, which is a nice contrast to the NPG debacle.

It was accompanied by an update of the articles Mary Rose and Anthony Roll, which were both featured as DYKs today. Articles for Mary Rose Museum and Mary Rose Trust were also created and the latter has been submitted for DYK approval.

One instance of media coverage so far: [17]

Peter Isotalo 22:21, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

January 5-11

FAC Spoof

This deserves a mention in the next issue: [18]. It's a brilliant video spoof about FAC which has already spawned a discussion here and lightened up many an editor's day. :-) Colds7ream (talk) 11:26, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

LOL yeah definitely worth a mention. Of course, reviewers and the copyedit non-cabal aren't anything like how they are portrayed... or are they??? davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 01:12, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

"Civility" And Its Discontents

I'm not sure if you folks are going to cover the recent "Civility" Op-Ed, but there's some interesting and Wikipedia-related [ pushback] on World Net Daily. Yes, yes, I know, it's World Net Daily. But, all the same ... it makes some points that more, err, "civil" sources aren't able to say, because that would be, well, uncivil - "Wales created and presides over what may be the biggest and most blatant example of systematic, carefree and reckless defamation in the history of the world. ... If Wales isn't able to control his own hate site's content without new laws, how does he propose to do it when those laws are enacted?". That's a question worth pondering, instead of echoing we-should-be-polite. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 05:57, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

I had no idea we were part of an "institutionalized jihad against [World Net Daily]", LOL. Kaldari (talk) 18:36, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia cited in 809 patent applications

According to this posting, citing Michael White (librarian for research services in the Engineering and Science Library at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Canada), there were 809 patent applications using references to Wikipedia in 2009. Mindmatrix 23:33, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

I wonder how many of them referenced a specific version of an article, and how much of the referenced content was put there by "interested parties"? The world may never know. It's good to see that at least one major patent office won't allow it. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 00:40, 9 January 2010 (UTC)


"Social networking among jurors is trying judges' patience", by Del Quentin Wilber, The Washington Post. - A juror looked up the definition of "lividity" on Wikipedia, resulting in a first-degree murder trial conviction being thrown out, and a new trial. APK whisper in my ear 01:52, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia = BADSITE?

"Schoolchildren told to avoid Wikipedia", by Graeme Paton, The Daily Telegraph - Beware, English schoolchildren. Teachers may become suspicious when research papers include the following words/phrases: "ya'll", "organization", "two cents' worth". APK whisper in my ear 02:16, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Organization is perfectly acceptable in British English, and is preferred by both the OUP and DuncanHill (talk) 04:34, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Note that the US language bit is separate from the Wikipedia bit, afaik. This was also covered by the Daily Mail, and the Telegraph also put a second piece out with comments allowed [19] (see my comment right at the bottom of that page). Expect something about this from the Times Educational Supplement some time soon, too.
If you look at the actual guidance rather than the media coverage, Ofqual have actually given some really good advice on using Wikipedia as a starting point for research - essentially the same advice as Wikipedia gives. I'm mystified by where the Telegraph and Daily Mail have gotten their headlines from... Mike Peel (talk) 08:34, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, the WikimediaUK-l list discussion is an interesting one. Obviously, you must have copied that from somewhere Mike: no-one uses 'gotten' in this country. Oh wait a minute... - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 12:39, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

January 12-18

New blog

Josh Fruhlinger (aka the Comics Curmudgeon) and Conor Lastowska (a writer for RiffTrax) are collaborating on a new blog called "[citation needed]"; it culls choice quotations from Wikipedia articles. Powers T 13:46, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

The Richard Dawkins stamp of approval

Reading this year's Edge question I was surprised to see a ringing endorsement of the encyclopaedia by Richard Dawkins. Dawkins had struck me as an elitist sort, and had an unhappy experience as a BLP subject a while back, but here is what he had to say:

And then there is the perennial problem of sorting out true information from false. Fast search engines tempt us to see the entire Web as a gigantic encyclopaedia, while forgetting that traditional encyclopaedias were rigorously edited and their entries authored by chosen experts. Having said that, I am repeatedly astounded by how good Wikipedia can be. I calibrate Wikipedia by looking up the few things I really do know about (and may indeed have written the entry for in traditional encyclopaedias) say 'Evolution' or 'Natural Selection'. I am so impressed by these calibratory forays that I go, with some confidence, to other entries where I lack first-hand knowledge (which was why I felt able to quote Wikipedia's definition of the Web, above). No doubt mistakes creep in, or are even maliciously inserted, but the half-life of a mistake, before the natural correction mechanism kills it, is encouragingly short. Nevertheless, the fact that the Wiki concept works, even if only in some areas such as science, flies so flagrantly in the face of all my prior pessimism, that I am tempted to see it as a metaphor for all that deserves optimism about the World Wide Web.

I think his method for calibrating accuracy is of particular interest.  Skomorokh  16:15, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

I agree, regarding "of particular interest", though not with the conclusions he draws. In fact, what he says basically is part of my critique as to why I think Wikipedia tends to dangerously deceive people as to its reliability - finding a good article (often written by one or a very few topic experts, and almost certainly defended by them against ongoing vandalism) can give an unwarranted halo on everything else, plus there's tremendous marketing to encourage that fallacy. But I think he's outright wrong to claim "the Wiki concept works", he fell into a trap there. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 03:05, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
It's true, he was probably better served with the well-maintained evolution articles than many other sorts of experts would be peeking into their area of expertise. But do you really think this problem is particular in any way to Wikipedia? The problem of reliability of different information sources is one of the Big Problems of a large, specialized society and Wikipedia, on balance, is making people more aware of the epistemological conundrums of the modern world, opening eyes to the ways that all kinds of other knowledge systems are fallible human creations as Wikipedia transparently is.--ragesoss (talk) 20:31, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
We have "marketing" now? Thank god, I was getting tired of all the bad press. Kaldari (talk) 21:32, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

2010 Haiti earthquake article development, and articles spawned from event

What do you think of an analysis of the growth and changes to this article as the event unfolds, the articles that were spawned from it, and a story basically about the community efforts to add to it and keep quality, including the questions that arose during ongoing coverage? --Moni3 (talk) 13:45, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

The Huffington Post published a piece about Web coverage of the earthquake that was complimentary toward Wikipedia's article.[20] Durova401 20:40, 15 January 2010 (UTC) COI disclosure: I'm quoted in it.
So far as I can tell, this event has been the reason for the creation of the following articles: Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault zone, Casualties of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Zilda Arns, Georges Anglade, Jimmy O. Barikad, Raymond Joseph, National Palace (Haiti), Christopher Hotel, Hôtel Montana, Septentrional-Orient fault zone, 1907 Kingston earthquake, International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, Timeline of rescue efforts after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Port international de Port-au-Prince, and Michel Gaillard. I may have missed some. I started the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault zone article. Other editors, clearly, have been involved in this effort as well. --Moni3 (talk) 20:56, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
On a related note, this InfoWorld article by Paul Krill – via the San Francisco Chronicle – includes the following paragraph: "Panelst [sic] Krishna Bharat, who holds the title of distinguished researcher at Google, objected. Wikipedia, for example, has offered a long, growing account of the Haiti earthquake disaster. 'The [print journalism] industry could learn a lot from Wikipedia,' he said." APK whisper in my ear 11:14, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Sweet. I've never waded into a current events article like for fear of the chaos. I've summarized what I've learned here: User:Moni3/Disaster. I intended it to be an essay, or perhaps a guideline on how to edit during the first week of the disaster. If it's better as a signpost thing, feel free to discuss it. --Moni3 (talk) 16:53, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

"an army of Indian wiki foot soldiers"

"Can Wikipedia fuel growth of vernacular content online?", by Deepa Kurup, The Hindu. I'm not sure if this article relates to the English Wikipedia, but just in case... Random observation by APK: The Hindu has a higher circulation than The New York Times. Wow-zah. APK whisper in my ear 11:28, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

It's an interesting piece, but primarily about Wikipedias in Indian languages other than English. DuncanHill (talk) 03:03, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

BBC's website includes content from Wikipedia

Have you seen this? . Wow. Example: Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 05:09, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

I see they've specified the wrong license in their FAQ. Powers T 13:26, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Covered, albeit late. - Draeco (talk) 02:22, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

NY Times going subscription

The New York Magazine is reporting that the New York Times is going to cease providing free content and will install a "metered" payment system. Please see Wikipedia:Using WebCite for information on how to archive NY Times articles in Wikipedia before they disappear behind a paywall.--Blargh29 (talk) 22:41, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

NYT announced it today [21], paywall starts in 2011. Nanonic (talk) 16:09, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
And also a quick note to say that not all paywalls end up enriching the publisher. Nanonic (talk) 23:54, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

January 19-25

Wikipedia in the news

[22] Brief mention of our article on the Jewish Chronicle :) ╟─TreasuryTagconstablewick─╢ 12:47, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Durova's blog

One of Durova's blogs,, was featured in blogspot's "Blogs of Note" selection for 13 January 2009. —Ed (talkmajestic titan) 20:37, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Jimmy on CNN

And he shaved his beard without consensus. ;) Steven Walling 22:28, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Hmm, a couple of the images are rather out of date. At 1:07, you can see "1,600,718 articles in English", but at the time of this post, there were 3,165,365 articles. :) —Ed (talkmajestic titan) 02:53, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Don't mention: the ever-impending implementation of flagged revisions. Do mention: WP:BEARDMUSTGO.  Skomorokh  02:57, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Covered - Draeco (talk) 03:02, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
I cannot believe that I didn't know about WP:BEARDMUSTGO until today. Zomg. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 04:40, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

The joys of Wikipedia plot synopses I found this a mildly interesting and entertaining look at a low-profile corner of the wiki, and perhaps the last bastion of the anyone-can-edit-original-research free-for-all early spirit of the project.  Skomorokh  16:56, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Huffington Post and Haiti

Jose Antonio Vargas wrote a followup story about online responses to the Haitian earthquake. His discussion of Wikipedia notes that our article received over 1 million page views and that 49 different language editions of Wikipedia have an article about this earthquake. Again, he mentions that I researched the statistics.[23] Durova403 17:24, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Sephiroth BCR returns

Former FLRC delegate User:Sephiroth BCR returned yesterday after a 7-month unannounced wikibreak. Relevant "welcome back"/"I'm back" threads: Wikipedia talk:Featured list candidates#I'm baaaaaaaaaaack!, User talk:Sephiroth BCR#Welcome back, User talk:AnmaFinotera#Hello again --Dinoguy1000 (talk · contribs) as (talk) 05:03, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

that's cool, welcome back to them. Editors do come and go with some frequency, though; not totally newsworthy imo. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 04:40, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
but I guess I don't know how active they were/what they were doing before? could be worth a quick mention. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 04:46, 1 February 2010 (UTC)


Should the petition on WP:IAR be mentioned? The petition is located at Wikipedia:Petition against Ignore All Rules abuse? Simply south (talk) 00:20, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

hrm. I wish we had someone to cover the discussion report. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 04:41, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Shouldn't it be someone who isn't involved? Simply south (talk) 18:38, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

January 26-February 1

Britain Loves Wikipedia launch event

Britain Loves Wikipedia will be launching next Sunday (the 31st January) at the Victoria and Albert Museum - see [24] for more details. More info will be coming out later this week in the form of a press release, but given that the Signpost comes out on Mondays I thought this was worth mentioning now. ;-) Mike Peel (talk) 16:20, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Full details about Britain Loves Wikipedia are now out: see the WMUK blog post, and . :-) Mike Peel (talk) 23:24, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Covered at ITN, though it's maybe more suitable at News and Notes. - Draeco (talk) 04:01, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Probably, yes; moving to N&N if there are no objections. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 04:33, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
None - Draeco (talk) 04:56, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia day

How about we write something about thw 'wikipedia days' in New York and that other place? Would that be a good news piece? Rock drum (talk·contribs·guestbook) 19:56, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Certainly, it'd be great to have a piece on these celebrations.--ragesoss (talk) 22:38, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to write a piece on them but I have two problems
  1. I havn't written for the wikipedia signpost before
  2. I didn't go to the celebrations
If anybody could give me a link to information about them and/or give me a hand with writing it, I'd be much obliged. Many thanks Rock drum (talk·contribs·guestbook) 12:41, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
We ran a brief note that they were happening/had happened a couple weeks ago. A followup report from any attendee would be most welcome. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 04:35, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
I didn;t attend though. Did anybody here go? Rock drum (talk·contribs·guestbook) 17:15, 1 February 2010 (UTC)


Everyking's re-sysopping deserves coverage as a not-inconsequential bit of en history (especially as regards Wikipedia Review). --Gwern (contribs) 04:07 26 January 2010 (GMT)

if someone's been following this and wants to write it up for N&N that would be awesome (or F&A or whatever). I agree, worth a mention for the en: history annals. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 04:37, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia 0.7

Has Wikipedia:Version 0.7 been released? It appears that this version was about to be released but then nothing happened. If it has been released, then that would be worthy of mention. Remember (talk) 15:00, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia "bigger than Jesus"

The Beatles famously got in trouble for stating they were "bigger than Jesus". According to Google Insight, Wikipedia can now claim the same. It was actually true as early as 2005 but I don't know of anyone ever mentioning it. Worth putting in Signpost? --bodnotbod (talk) 00:08, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Funny, but not news-worthy in my opinion. Others might boldly add it. - Draeco (talk) 03:36, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
... I was going to say, that's been true for a while.. I remember that joke making the rounds circa 2006 or so. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 04:35, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia and Lost

[25] But its intellectual sheen has the whiff of Wikipedia, not of an actual library, Irish Independent.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

From the same paper: BLP vandalism delights subject.  Skomorokh  01:11, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up, but it's probably not publishable. The first is just a passing jab at WP, and the second concerns a celeb giggling about vandalism to her article. - Draeco (talk) 03:28, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

In the news - BBC Virtual Revolution

Just saw this great program on BBC - presented by Aleks Krotoski, The first episode focuses on the power of the internet to create a level platform for all people. Thought I'd write a quick draft for you in the news .. but might be a bit beyond me - the program covered a lot of ground, WP is talked about at the start, then how the internet developed - alongside the philosphies that shaped it - freedom vs commercialization, how they seem to take turns and what sate it is in now and the future. Interview clips with Tim Verners Lee, Bill Gates, Jimmy Wales, Einer Kvaran, Stewart Brand, John Perry Barlow, the list goes on ... Way too much information and views for my poor self to summarize aptly and I suspect someone has heard / written about this already or programs aren't included - but just in case this is the pointer and here's my inadequate attempt at a first draft ! Lee∴V (talkcontribs) 03:00, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

The great leveller

The first episode of the BBC documentary 'The Virtual Revolution' discusses the WWW origins and ideology, from it's libertarian roots to the constant battle between freedom and commercialization. Wikipedia is held up as the current champion for freedom of information with creating a level field for people to share ideas and creativity. There are several interviews with internet pioneers including Jimmy Wales. Mention is made of elitist systems developing on the internet in general although the program speculates that hierarchical systems may be inherent to human nature. bbc program link

Covered briefly at ITN. - Draeco (talk) 03:24, 1 February 2010 (UTC
There's a review of the programme in The Guardian, which includes this quote from critic Lee Siegel: "I despise Wikipeda. I loathe Wikipedia. I'm appalled by ­Wikipedia. I use it throughout the day." Ty 02:53, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Heh. I guess the feeling is mutual (except for the last bit). We were going to review Siegel's anti-web book Against the Machine for the Signpost, but it was just too awful, like an unprovocative simulacrum of Andrew Keen.--ragesoss (talk) 02:59, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Anyone who eats food that was likely produced in inhumane and miserable conditions, which despite being tasty, is arguably unhealthy for both the person and for the planet, can sympathize. Hmm ... that might not be a bad analogy. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 04:31, 2 February 2010 (UTC)


It also included an interview with User:Carptrash I think. I hope this fact is of some use. Rock drum (talk·contribs·guestbook) 19:37, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

February 2-8


The conference Critical Point of View: Second international conference of the CPOV Wikipedia Research Initiative will be held 26-27 March in Amsterdam. "The overarching research agenda is at once a philosophical, epistemological and theoretical investigation of knowledge artifacts, cultural production and social relations, and an empirical investigation of the specific phenomenon of the Wikipedia." AxelBoldt (talk) 22:51, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Note that the first half of CPOV was held in India recently. I think the Signpost may have covered it already. Steven Walling 23:32, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Over 6 million files on Wikimedia Commons

Surprised no-one's mentioned this already: Wikimedia Commons is now over 6 million files due to a mass upload of 250,000 images from Geograph British Isles. I'm collating information/details on this at wmuk:Blog posts/Geograph images for a WMUK blog post about this some time soon (I mention this as I don't know of a better single information source for this at the moment...). Mike Peel (talk) 10:11, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

thanks. I'll start a N&N story, if you could help that would be awesome. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 17:59, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

McGill University student Wikipedia club

This news might be worth mentioning. Students at McGill University have formed an official student club: Students Supporting Wikipedia. --ElKevbo (talk) 21:55, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Covered at ITN. - Draeco (talk) 17:52, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Facebook group for 1 billion edits to Wikimedia

A new Facebook group celebrating that we're nearing a billion edits across Wikimedia. Steven Walling 22:14, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Covered at ITN - Draeco (talk) 17:54, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Super Bowl Ad

Google's Super Bowl ad featuring a French love story, also featured Wikipedia - at least for a little over a second. During the 3rd quarter Google's ad played, showing how a bi-continental love affair might play out with the help of Google searches. At one point the search was for Francois Truffaut, with the no. 1 result being Wikipedia's article. At $3 million for a 30 second ad, this comes out to about $100,000 free publicity for Wikipedia. Smallbones (talk) 03:07, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Covered at ITN - Draeco (talk) 03:40, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Jaron Lanier - "The Serfdom Of Crowds"

I don't think it's available online yet in a copyright-OK form, but Jaron Lanier has a new article in Harper's Magazine, "The Serfdom Of Crowds", in which he uses Wikipedia as one of the examples: "A significant number of AI enthusiasts, after a protracted period of failed experiments in tasks like understanding natural language, eventually found consolation in the hive mind, which yields better results because there are real people behind the curtain. Wikipedia, for instance, works through what I call the "oracle illusion," in which knowledge of the human authorship of a text is suppressed in order to give the text superhuman validity." "The most tiresome claim of the reigning digital philosophy is that crowds working for free do a better job at some things than antediluvian paid experts. Wikipedia is often given as an example." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 13:47, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Here's the link: --ragesoss (talk) 01:45, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Covered at ITN. - Draeco (talk) 03:41, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Russian Wikipedia

Have a look at this and this. SkyBonTalk/Contributions 22:36, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks. This is worth keeping an eye on, although I don't think we have a clear enough picture to run anything yet.--ragesoss (talk) 01:44, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
I will try to collect some stuff on this topic and post here, okay? SkyBonTalk/Contributions 14:18, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Ole Førsten was blocked due to some violations. The validity of the block is now considered by arbitration committee. There are administrators who believe that he must have been blocked for other reasons. He created the page with the sock puppet Leeland Palmer. Description of changes was this: "Author - Ole Førsten". Administrator has decided that such action is actually a bypass blocking and deleted the page. Ole Førsten recreated the page with description "Idiot! The author still Førsten". Lately it was restored with authorship attribution. Maybe page will be removed again, I do not particularly watch for this situation. Accept or not the texts of the users, limited in editing with attribution - this is a problem. An anonymous contribution of these users exist without any issues.·Carn !? 18:14, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Another situation with same person. Outside of Wikipedia there is a steady group of indefinitely blocked users (SA ru and Serebr are their leaders), who are constantly taking a variety of destructive actions like harassment of other participants. Ole Førsten joined this group. ·Carn !? 18:14, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

I was banned in Wiikipedia due some mythical insults in LiveJournal, don't seems strange? Why, answer me, why quality articles must be deleted only because author blocked? This is absurdly reason. Wikipedia is encyclopedic project, and this actions of administrators just contradicts to original idea. Now I talking not as Ole Førsten, I talking as man, who came to create encyclopedia, as simple man. In encyclopedia, nothing can justificate deletion of quality neutral non-vandal articles, nothing. My name is Oleg Golubkin, and this became my personal problem.--Rock It! (Prime Jive) (talk) 20:28, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
One of sysops asked me once: "If they so care about the content — why they don't create articles without attribution?". I don't know the answer.·Carn !? 22:20, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
This is not the place to discuss this. To answer the ru sysop's question, the attribution is required by Wikipedia:Licensing, specifically the CC-BY-SA's attribution condition. Now please find somewhere else to discuss this. Ks0stm (TCG) 00:17, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
You should have stopped on "This is not the place to discuss this." dude.·Carn !? 10:45, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Philosopher's research

"My source of information is books, not Wikipedia." Good thinking! AxelBoldt (talk) 15:07, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Covered at ITN - Draeco (talk) 03:45, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

February 9-15

Continuation of Biographies of living people discussion

As a follow up to Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-01-25/BLP madness, Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment/Biographies of living people has gone into phase II. Comments are welcome. Okip (the new and improved Ikip) 15:23, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Bug 20757

For the technology report, bug 20757, which caused many revisions from early 2005 to appear blank, has been fixed in the English Wikipedia. Graham87 08:26, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

2010 US Census

Might mention Wikipedia:2010 US Census as needing brainstorming and suggestions on it's talk page. Ks0stm (TCG) 03:51, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Eric Goldman - "Wikipedia's Labor Squeeze and its Consequences"

Law Professor Eric Goldman has a revised version of his paper "Wikipedia's Labor Squeeze and its Consequences" - "This Essay explains why Wikipedia will not be able to maintain a credible website while simultaneously letting anyone freely edit it.". Also a long blog post "Catching Up With Wikipedia" - "However, I remain baffled by the folks who are so enraptured by Wikipedia's mystique that they believe the site will defy gravity. ... More structurally, Wikipedia has followed an entirely predictable evolution of progressively tighter editorial policies, and I anticipate even tighter editorial controls are come (to be accompanied by shocked public outcries each time)." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 17:49, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Covered at ITN. - Draeco (talk) 03:11, 16 February 2010 (UTC)


"Lawrence Solomon: Who am I?", National Post – The subject of a BLP discusses his Slanderpedia Wikipedia entry; more precisely, the pathetic battle surrounding the inclusion of "environmentalist" to describe his career. APK whisper in my ear 20:25, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Covered at ITN - Draeco (talk) 02:56, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

February 16-22

Google donates $2 million to Wikimedia Foundation

Announced by Mitch Kapor and Jimmy Wales on Twitter, full details to come tomorrow. Covered on Mashable. — Pretzels Hii! 03:29, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

It was actually first announced by Sue Gardner on Foundation-I, then on Twitter. More coverage at TechCrunch. Steven Walling 09:06, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Full text below. — Pretzels Hii! 11:06, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Full announcement text

Hi all,

I am delighted to tell you that Google is giving Wikimedia a grant of USD 2 million. It will come to us via the Google Fund at the Tides Foundation, which handles all of Google's philanthropic activity, and it is completely unrestricted.

We'll be putting out a press release tomorrow, but I wanted to tell you beforehand. This is really great news. It's important to us financially, of course, but I see it as equally important from a symbolic perspective. I believe that Wikimedia and Google are natural allies and partners --- we both want to help provide people everywhere around the world with information. It seems natural to me that Google would want to support Wikimedia's work, and I am happy they are doing it.

You probably know that Google and Wikimedia -- both editors and Wikimedia Foundation staff -- have, from time to time, collaborated on projects together. (For example, the Google team has created functionality inside the Google Translate Toolkit that enables editing and uploading of translated articles to Wikipedia.) This grant will not be channeled specifically towards Google-related activities: it will go into our general operating revenues. Having said that, I look forward to Google and Wikimedia continuing to do good work together.

The press release is below. It will go out tomorrow morning , but you don't need to keep this news confidential. Feel free to tell your friends :-)

Thanks, Sue Gardner

Wikimedia Foundation announces $2 million grant from Google

Donation will support capacity investments in Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects

EMBARGOED UNTIL 8:00AM PST, February 17 2009

SAN FRANCISCO, CA February 17, 2009 -- The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that operates Wikipedia, today announced that it has received a $2 million (USD) grant from the Google Inc. Charitable Giving Fund of Tides Foundation. This is the Wikimedia Foundation's first grant from Google. The funds will support core operational costs of the Wikimedia Foundation, including investments in technical infrastructure to support rapidly-increasing global traffic and capacity demands. The funds will also be used to support the organization's efforts to make Wikipedia easier to use and more accessible.

"Wikipedia is one of the greatest triumphs of the internet," offered Google co-founder Sergey Brin. "This vast repository of community-generated content is an invaluable resource to anyone who is online."

Wikipedia founder and Wikimedia Foundation board member, Jimmy Wales, also commented on the Google gift. "We are very pleased and grateful. This is a wonderful gift, and we celebrate it as recognition of the long-term alignment and friendship between Google and Wikimedia. Both organizations are committed to bringing high quality information to hundreds of millions of individuals every day, and to making the Internet better for everyone."

The two organizations have a long-standing working relationship. Most recently, Google and the Wikimedia Foundation have partnered to support translation of Wikipedia content into key languages with relatively small Wikipedia editions. Google's Translation Toolkit supports direct online translation of Wikipedia articles, and has been used by Google in Wikipedia translation pilot projects with speakers of Arabic, Hindi, and Swahili.

Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, offered: "It is wonderful that Google has stepped forward as a major supporter of a global, non-profit information commons. With this generous grant, we will be able to fund additional operations and development work to increase access and contributions to our free knowledge projects globally."

Wikimedia's support comes primarily from individual donations made by regular users of Wikipedia. The Wikimedia Foundation completed its 2009-10 fundraiser in January. During the drive, 240,000 individuals donated more than $8 million, representing three quarters of its planned revenue for the fiscal year.

-- Sue Gardner Executive Director Wikimedia Foundation

415 839 6885 office 415 816 9967 cell

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!

Covered at N&N - Draeco (talk) 04:58, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Academic Study of Wikipedia's Reference Desk

The paradox of expertise: is the Wikipedia Reference Desk as good as your library? by Pnina Shachaf, Journal of Documentation v. 6, 2009.

Finds that the reference desk is similar to or better than traditional library services on most quality measures, except that we tend to rely on Wikipedia for our references and hence provide fewer and less varied references than library services typically do.

See also: IU website, RD Talk discussion

Dragons flight (talk) 19:39, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

See [[26]]. --Tango (talk) 19:50, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Merging with above section, since I was beaten to it! --Tango (talk) 19:54, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
I'll cover this at N&N, or maybe write a sep story if I have the energy -- phoebe / (talk to me) 06:11, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Have you been able to get the full paper? I can't get it online, but emailed the author to ask for a copy; I'll send it along if she sends it, if you want it.--ragesoss (talk) 12:43, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Got it from Uni proxy connection. Whoever wants it can send me a message via Special:EmailUser/Circeus with their email address. Circéus (talk) 14:19, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
  • I lied, I don't have time to write about this for this week. But I'd still like to do it; it's not time-sensitive so I'll try for next week. If anyone else wants to have a go feel free, though. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 07:19, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I'll bow to your enthusiasm and expertise in the area, phoebe - Draeco (talk) 05:00, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

AL story

More library stuff: short column in American Libraries about Wikipedia by Joe Janes (a former professor of mine!): [27] I left a long comment, we'll see if they publish it :) -- phoebe / (talk to me) 01:02, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Covered briefly at ITN - Draeco (talk) 05:11, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

100th WP:FOUR

WP:FOUR achieved its 100th award today. You could mention that in milestones.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 21:37, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

February 23-March 1

An important proposal up for "Request for comment": Community De-Adminship

Wikiproject Administrator has presented us with what is a huge RfC regarding administrator recall. The whole community should be involved in its discussion. Why? Because it is a proposal, which, whether chosen or rejected, is sure to be a decision that affects the entire community. The proposal, or its rejection decides the level of control the community has over the administrators it appoints.

Why does this proposal exist? Administrator recall, as a general idea, was initially proposed to solve several perceived emergent problems in the wikipedia community. The most popular and easy-to-understand (though not necessarily representative) outline of these perceived problems and concerns is at: Five Problems with a Single Solution. This is simply a page illustrating some of the basic motivations for the admin recall process, but for a more complex view of those who are against admin recall in general (it's important they get heard too for a balanced perspective; However, it's important a proposal like this have some kind of clear-cut page or comments presenting its "motivation" because a CDA process would represent a change from where we are now, and thus requires justification). As stated though, both views for, against, sideways, etc, should _all_ be made available. The best place to find these are probably the discussion page:

It is the discussions, and not any particular editor's essay or commentary which shed the most light on differing perspectives about the functioning or need for a community de-adminship process.

Full disclosure: I am a supporter of the CDA process, but more generally a supporter of direct community involvement in everything, and minimization of representatives and proxies for the editing community's will when it comes to large, controversial issues, so that is my interest. I think it is, in general, an acceptable thing for either supporters or detractors of this proposal to get as many people in the community involved in it as possible. But I'm not sure I could write a whole story on it, without it being biased, or at least having a strong potential to be biased (which can be just as important). --Lyc. cooperi (talk) 15:26, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

OpenStreetMap and Haiti relief

An interesting feaure on the BBC website about the allied project OpenStreetMap ("The Free Wiki World Map"), and its role in helping with aid efforts with the recent crisis in Haiti.--Pharos (talk) 20:54, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Covered at ITN - Draeco (talk) 22:54, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
Great story, but no relevance to Wikipedia - Draeco (talk) 23:05, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

WikiProject Oregon fast approaching zero unreferenced BLPs

In early February, Tedder (talk · contribs) suggested on WikiProject Oregon's talk page that we take a crack at eliminating all unreferenced BLPs in our project, along with a list of 76 such articles. A number of project members have since taken a crack at it; in most cases, we have added several high-quality reliable sources to articles; in a few cases, we have listed articles as possible candidates for deletion; and in one or two, we have simply removed the Oregon project tag due to tenuous connections to the state.

Peregrine Fisher (talk · contribs) has been by far the most active participant; others pitching in include Esprqii (talk · contribs), Tesscass (talk · contribs), Katr67 (talk · contribs). Look through the page history for a more complete/less subjective list; most edits to the talk page in the last couple weeks have related to this project.

As of this writing, there are only 18 unreferenced BLPs left in the list. I'll try to post another note here when we hit zero! -Pete (talk) 16:51, 25 February 2010 (UTC)


lots of people are reporting hitting 15M global articles:

would be nice to report this with historical context if poss -- when did we hit 10M? -- phoebe / (talk to me) 16:53, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

The Museum of Curiosity

The co-host (curator) for the third series (gallery) of the BBC Radio 4 comedy series The Museum of Curiosity was announced via Wikipedia. Co-host and co-producer Dan Schreiber made the announcement a competition via Twitter saying: " We have announced the name of our new Museum curator on his wiki page. Anyone who can find it will win a prize." (see here). The person co-hosting is Jon Richardson. ISD (talk) 17:26, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Covered at ITN - Draeco (talk) 22:55, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Mark Titus (4th nomination)

The discussions section like to poke fun at articles that have been around the AFD block a few times. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Mark Titus (4th nomination)] is such an article.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 23:19, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia in the news

These seem worthy of inclusion even if they are a bit after the fact, given the publishers of the stories. The second one even features a picture of our very own Jimbo! Ks0stm (TCG) 03:51, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Covered at ITN - Draeco (talk) 22:57, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

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