The Signpost
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22 February 2010

News and notes
$2 Million donation, cybersquatting, comScore statistics and more
In the news
Macmillan's Wiki-textbooks and more
WikiProject report
WikiProject Mammals
Features and admins
Approved this week
Arbitration report
The Report on Lengthy Litigation


$2 Million donation, cybersquatting, comScore statistics and more

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By Cryptic C62, Tilman Bayer and Phoebe

Google donates $2 Million

The Wikimedia Foundation officially announced a $2 million grant from Google. The grant will be used to help pay for core operating costs and to support the initiative to make Wikipedia more accessible to the general public. According to Sue Gardner on Foundation-l, the grant is completely unrestricted.

The donation comes via the Tides Foundation, a donor advised fund that managed the donation for the Google Charitable Giving Fund. The Wikimedia press release for the donation noted past collaborations between Google and Wikimedia, such as the feature in the Google Translation Toolkit to help translate Wikipedia articles, and the Google-led Swahili Wikipedia editing contest (see previous articles: Swahili contest, translate toolkit). However, this is the first financial gift from the search engine giant to Wikimedia.

Several news outlets commented on the grant. BusinessWeek commented on the mutually beneficial relationship between Wikimedia and Google that this grant would help to foster. Among many sources, CNET was one to comment on the fact that the announcement was made publicly by Jimmy Wales in a tweet (first re-tweeting advisory board member Mitch Kapor who posted the news after an internal announcement was made). And the Wall Street Journal, along with other sources, quoted a statement in the press release from Sergey Brin who said Wikipedia was "one of the greatest triumphs of the Internet."

International commentary on the donation included commentary in Chinese from

Foundation secures cybersquatting domain

After filing a complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) in December, the Wikimedia Foundation was granted the domain name "", which had been registered by a Chinese company. The February 9 decision by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center found that the domain name was "confusingly similar" to the Foundation's "Wikipedia" trademark and that it had been used to run a website which "incorporated many of the look-and-feel elements of [Wikipedia] (including colour scheme, layout, typeface, section names and sizes, menu items, and spherical logo)". The Foundation was represented by The Gigalaw Firm, as in last year's UDRP cases, where it had secured "" and two typosquatting domains (see previous story).

New Wikimedia statistics

Stu West, a member of the Wikimedia Board of Trustees, has posted the latest comScore data on Meta. The data is donated by comScore, which measures traffic to websites and analyzes the demographics of site visitors.

ComScore estimates that in January 2010, 365 million unique visitors visited Wikimedia projects (all projects combined). This makes the Wikimedia Foundation the 5th most-visited Web content provider worldwide, behind Google (including YouTube), Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Facebook. Of those visitors, an estimated 189.9 million visited the English Wikipedia.

Other estimates provided by comScore include the age and geographical demographics of visitors, along with the projects visited: Wikipedia gets 362.2 million estimated visitors, with Wiktionary receiving 10.5 million and the other projects trailing behind. Finally, 60.1% of the visitors to Wikimedia projects are estimated to come via Google searches.

West put the comScore data together with Erik Zachte's editor statistics for December, to estimate what percentage of visitors are active editors. If both data sources are correct, only 0.025% of visitors to Wikimedia projects made more than 5 edits in that month. For the English Wikipedia, only 0.021% of visitors have more than 5 edits. The number is higher if you count visitors with any edits; according to West, "If you include all users who made at least one edit, it's about fifteen times higher at one-third of one percent." Of the languages compared by West, the proportion of active editors is lower for the Japanese, Spanish, and French Wikipedias, but slightly higher for the German and Russian Wikipedias.

West also created a map visualizing where traffic to the Wikimedia projects comes from, using data from Erik Zachte (see previous story).


This week in history


Macmillan's Wiki-textbooks and more

Macmillan's Wiki-textbooks

The New York Times reported that Macmillan Publishing is unveiling DynamicBooks, a Wikipedia-like system that allows logged-in instructors to modify textbooks online. Though customizable online textbooks already exist, DynamicBooks ups the ante by allowing fine-tuning of individual sentences without consulting the original authors. Macmillan will reserve the right to remove objectionable material. The customized textbooks will be available in various venues, often at one-third the cost of traditional textbooks.



WikiProject Mammals

WikiProject Mammals, started in February 2004 but not fully realized until December 2006, is a middle-aged project with 33 FA's and 22 GA's. Task forces dedicated to weasels and pocket pets exist, as well as a variety of child projects. The project maintains a list of their most popular pages with cat, bear, and human taking the top spots. We interviewed co-coordinators ZooPro (talk · contribs) and The Arbiter (talk · contribs) in this WikiProject report.

First, tell us a bit about yourself and your role as coordinators of WikiProject Mammals.

  • ZooPro: Well i have been an editor for sometime on Wikipedia and took on the challenge as coordinator for WikiProject Mammals mid 2009. When i first started, the project had fallen into a somewhat semi-active stage with little to no turnover of the project. The featured article from 2007 was still listed as the most up to date features article of the project. The biggest influences i had was Ucucha who showed me many new things and supported me greatly.
  • The Arbiter: As a co-coordinator of WP:MAMMAL, I have taken a more maintenance type role in the project. While I do work on expanding stubs, I have been more involved with assessment and page maintnance than anything else. I have worked heavily with ZooPro to organize and work on the project.

When did you first join WikiProject Mammals? What are some of the challenges that the project has met since you joined, and how were they dealt with?

  • ZooPro: Mid 2009, The biggest challange i faced was bringing the project inline with other animal projects, i created the Navbox that is used on all the mammals pages and cleaned up the old articles. I made some changes here and there to assist in the projects flow and renovation. I created a number of templates that are now used Wikipedia wide in relation to Mammals. The unrated articles list was a nightmare with some 500+ unrated articles, it took me sometime however i managed to rate almost every single one.
  • The Arbiter: Hmmm, I joined WP:MAMMAL late 2009. One of the greatest challenges I have met is...well, I haven't really had any great challenges. I guess the greatest challenge was deciding what color scheme to use in the userbox.

What aspects of the project do you consider to be particularly successful? Has the project developed any unusual innovations, or uniquely adopted any common approaches?

  • ZooPro: I think the project in itself is a success, and valued among all its members, the project itself is very similiar to the other Animal related projects wich i think is fantastic as it proved consistency among Projects.
  • The Arbiter: Any project which has ZooPro leading it is bound to be a success. :) I think it's great that this project looks similar aesthetically to the others. ZooPro and I developed a bulletin board for members to watchlist, which we hope will create some kind of communication breakthrough that we can alert members to new developments.

Have any major initiatives by the project ended unsuccessfully? What lessons have you learned from them?

  • ZooPro: Well the merge between WikiProject Mammals and WikiProject Monotremes and Marsupials has been as yet rather disappointing in response. I hope this changes in the near future.
  • The Arbiter: I suppose what ZooPro says is correct. I think part of the problem is high membership, but low actual participation. I, ZooPro, Calisber, Innotata, Ucucha, and some others that I can't quite recall at the moment are the most common people I see on the project. We hoping for higher actual participation.

What experiences have you had with the WikiProjects whose scopes overlap with yours? Has your project developed particularly close relationships with any other projects?

  • ZooPro: Well i have alot of interaction with the other projects, I am a Coordinator for WikiProject Animals, and WikiProject Zoo also. I like to involve myself in as many animal related projects as possible to assist in our ultimate goal of bettering Animal related articles. WikiProject Rodents is another project i have enjoyed working with, I recently inacted a request for the other projects to help me update our council listing and the response was overwhelming and fantastic.
  • The Arbiter: I don't know much about relationships developed with other projects. The main Projects I work on are Zoo and Mammals (as Co-coordinator), Animals (as a regular member), and Userboxes (which is completely unrelated).

What is your vision for the project? How do you see the project itself, as well as the articles within its scope, developing over the next years and future mammal discoveries?

  • ZooPro: To become bigger and better, i hope to this year sometime develop a collaberation department (members willing) to develop stubs and the like into GA or FA articles. I would love to see more enthusiasm from members be put into actual article development and less into procedures and red tape rubbish.
  • The Arbiter: I would like to see the same. :)

Anything else you'd like to add?

  • ZooPro: Come and Join us for a great time, and if your not interested in Mammals take a look at some of the other animal related projects and consider joining one of them.
  • The Arbiter: Yes, please join, we can always use new members, and there is always something that needs doing.

Well, on behalf of everybody at the Signpost, thank you ZooPro and The Arbiter. You'll want to hold onto your hats for the next WikiProject, and stay firmly in your computer chair, even belt yourself down if needed. Until then, breeze through our previous reports in the archive.

Reader comments


Approved this week


No editors were granted admin status via the Requests for Adminship process this week.

Featured pages

Nineteen articles were promoted to featured status this week: Tropical Storm Marco (1990) (nom), What Is and What Should Never Be (Supernatural) (nom), Ratanakiri Province (nom), Lightning Bar (nom), Voyage of the Karluk (nom), The Disasters of War (nom), Anthony Roll (nom), Theoren Fleury (nom), Like a Rolling Stone (nom), Mono-Inyo Craters (nom), 1910 Cuba hurricane (nom), Inauguration of Barack Obama (nom), Geastrum triplex (nom), Noronha skink (nom), Admiralty Islands campaign (nom), Court of Chancery (nom), Elvis Presley (nom), Wendell H. Ford (nom) and Aliso Creek (Orange County) (nom).

Seven lists were promoted to featured status this week: List of American League pennant winners (nom), List of Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim first-round draft picks (nom), List of places of worship in Worthing (nom), List of San Francisco Municipal Railway lines (nom), List of Major League Baseball managers (nom), List of TNA Women's Knockout Champions (nom) and List of National Treasures of Japan (castles) (nom).

No topics were promoted to featured status this week.

No portals were promoted to featured status this week.

The following featured articles were displayed on the Main Page as Today's featured article this week: Master Juba, Stereolab, Vkhutemas, Old Trafford, The Battle of Alexander at Issus, Panzer I, Halley's Comet, Columbia Slough and Castle.

Former featured pages

No articles were delisted this week.

No lists were delisted this week.

No topics were delisted this week.

No portals were delisted this week.

Featured media

The following featured pictures were displayed on the Main Page as picture of the day this week: Vide of plasma globe, "The Gerry-Mander", An engraving of action from Act I, Scene 1 of The Tempest, Phaon iridipennis, "The Journey", Pharyngeal jaws of a moray eel and Siegmund "Zishe" Breitbart.

One featured sound was promoted this week:

The flock call for the Masked Lovebird (blue mutation)(nom)

No featured pictures were demoted this week.

Sixteen pictures were promoted to featured status this week.

Reader comments


Arbitration Report

The Arbitration Committee opened three cases this week and closed none, leaving three open.

Open cases


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