Wikimedia Foundation Report, March 2013

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Information You are more than welcome to edit the wiki version of this report for the purposes of usefulness, presentation, etc., and to add translations of the “Highlights” excerpts.

Global unique visitors for February:

483 million (-1.12% compared with January; +1.53% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release March data later in April)

Page requests for March:

21.5 billion (-1.1% compared with February; +24.8% compared with the previous year)
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including mobile access)

Active Registered Editors for February 2013 (>= 5 mainspace edits/month, excluding bots):

78,083 (-7.53% compared with January / -2.43% compared with the previous year)
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects.

Report Card (integrating various statistical data and trends about WMF projects) for February 2013:



Wikimedia Foundation YTD Revenue and Expenses vs Plan as of February 28, 2013

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Expenses by Functions as of February 28, 2013

(Financial information is only available through February 2013 at the time of this report.)

All financial information presented is for the Month-To-Date and Year-To-Date February 28, 2013.

Revenue $35,650,340
Engineering Group $9,379,205
Fundraising Group $2,411,055
Grantmaking & Programs Group $3,935,546
Governance Group $504,987
Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group $2,029,585
Finance/HR/Admin Group $3,702,999
Total Expenses $21,963,377
Total surplus $13,686,963
  • Revenue for the month of February is $1.89MM vs plan of $276K, approximately $1.61MM or 585% over plan.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $35.65MM vs plan of $30.46MM, approximately $5.19MM or 17% over plan.
  • Expenses for the month of February is $4.25MM vs plan of $4.03MM, approximately $215K or 5% over plan, primarily due to higher capital expenses offset by lower personnel expenses, internet hosting, and grant expenses.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $21.96MM vs plan of $25.94MM, approximately $3.98MM or 15% under plan, primarily due to personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, FDC grants executed, WMF project grants, and travel expenses partially offset by higher legal expenses and bank fees.
  • Cash position is $40.68MM as of February 28, 2013.


Lua speeds up pages and empowers Wikimedia’s technical contributors

On March 13, Lua was enabled for templates on all Wikimedia wikis. The existing syntax for wikitext templates is complicated and limited: it does not offer loops, for example. With Lua, editors can now use a real programming language, in which they can also contribute to programming projects outside Wikimedia. For Wikimedia wikis, Lua means a big performance gain in widely used templates, such as citations. For example, 300 citations on an English Wikipedia article now render in 3 seconds instead of 18 seconds.

The new image upload button in an article on the mobile version of the English Wikipedia

Mobile uploads launch for apps and the mobile web

On the mobile version of Wikipedia, smartphone users can now easily upload a lead image to Wikipedia articles that lack one. Also in March, the Mobile team released a dedicated app for Wikimedia Commons, allowing media uploads from Android and iOS devices.

First Individual Engagement Grants awarded to innovative community projects

The recipients of the first Individual Engagements Grants were announced on March 29. These grants fund projects by individuals or small teams for a duration of six months. Among the largest of the eight funded grants are “The Wikipedia Library” ($7500), which aims to give editors access to reliable sources, donated by publishers, “The Wikipedia Adventure” ($10,000), an on-wiki game for new editors, and a project to collaboratively define a vision for the future of Wikisource (10,000 Euros).

Wikipedia Zero wins award, reaches new users

Wikipedia Zero, which gives people around the world mobile access to Wikipedia free of data charges, won the 2013 SXSW Interactive “Activism” award, beating four other finalists. Also in March, Wikipedia Zero became available to more than 55 million additional subscribers in Russia, as part of a partnership with Beeline (VimpelCom). This was the biggest launch for the Wikipedia Zero team to date. The same month, a new Wikipedia Zero partnership with Axiata Group was announced, which will expand the program in Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh this year.

Four of the Ombudsmen during their visit at the WMF office

Ombudsmen meet, might expand mandate

In March, the Foundation’s LCA team hosted five out of seven members of the Ombudsmen Commission in San Francisco, where these community members from around the world met with each other in person for the first time. They consulted with various WMF departments and provided input regarding privacy topics and the work of administrators. Formed in 2006, the Ombudsmen Commission is currently tasked with investigating complaints of alleged Privacy policy violations on behalf of the Board of Trustees. It has been proposed that the Commission should also be allowed to handle complaints about the global CheckUser policy and Oversight policy. An RfC (request for comment) about this is being prepared.


A detailed report of the Tech Department’s activities for March 2013 can be found at:
Department Highlights

“A Sneak Preview of the Wikipedia VisualEditor”, narrated by Trevor Parscal (uploaded March 1, 2013)


(Accessible introduction to what the Visual Editor is)

In March, part of the team worked on infrastructure for the major new features that they’ll be adding in the coming months. We aim for VisualEditor to be the default way all users edit our sites by July 2013, so it needs to let everyone edit the majority of content without needing to use the usual “wikitext” editor. This will mean adding support for references, (at least) basic templates, categories and images, each of which is a very large piece of work. This month the team primarily worked on draft designs and initial code to ensure users can edit categories and templates.

Slides from the VisualEditor/Parsoid quarterly review (see also slides from the monthly metrics meeting)

The VisualEditor team undertook its first ever “Quarterly Review” (minutes), whose slides detail these designs, the work done to date and expectations for the near future. The alpha version of VisualEditor on and the English Wikipedia was updated twice, adding better input and selection support, fixing a number of bugs, and restructuring the back-end so that the new features will be simpler to create.

The Parsoid team (who are creating the parsing program that translates plain wikitext into HTML annotated for easy editing, and vice-versa) continued writing specifications, fixing bugs, and improving how Parsoid deals with different human languages, newlines and whitespace, and transclusion. They wrote a blog post explaining their challenges. And late in March, C. Scott Ananian joined us as a contractor. Welcome!

Editor engagement

Fabrice Florin presenting about Notifications (slides)

In March, the editor engagement features team worked on three projects: Notifications, Article Feedback and Flow.

For Notifications (formerly code-named ‘Echo’), we developed a range of new features, including: the ‘thanks’ and ‘user rights’ notifications, as well as HTML email notifications. We also started to collect our first metrics and prepared a socialization plan for our upcoming release on the English Wikipedia later this month.

For Article Feedback, we deployed a new version of the tool on the French and German Wikipedias, for evaluation by their communities. Final features include ‘discuss on talk page’ and ‘auto-archive. The tool was temporarily turned off on the English Wikipedia, where we expect to re-deploy it on an opt-in basis as soon as practical.

Design work continued on Flow. We continued creating a “Portal” that will engage discussion about Flow at three locations (, meta, and the English Wikipedia), and performing research.

The Editor Engagement Experiments team largely placed other projects – such as guided tours, EventLogging, and others – on hold to focus on two key initiatives: the “Getting Started” process for onboarding new Wikipedians, and on making the redesign of account creation and login a permanent, internationalized part of MediaWiki core.

For the Getting Started project, the team launched a new version on English Wikipedia, which included a new landing page with additional types of tasks suggested for brand new editors to try. The list of tasks is now generated by a basic recommender system built by Ori Livneh, which gathers, filters, and delivered a fresh list of tasks automatically for every editor. This new backend paves the way for releasing the “getting started” feature on other projects, after we’ve completed data analysis and testing to understand which kinds of tasks are ideal for first time editors. Additionally, Matt Flaschen collaborated with the Editor Engagement Features team to build notifications to welcome new editors and invite them to contribute via the Getting Started.

For the account creation and login work, S Page, Munaf Assaf, and the rest of the team rebuilt our design to work with MediaWiki core, and solicited reviews from outside the team. We currently plan to launch both interface redesigns on an opt-in basis in April, to have editors test the localization and other functional aspects of the forms via a URL parameter, before we enable them as default.

Maryana Pinchuk presenting mobile image uploads (slides)


We have a stable version of the mobile-optimized website, which everyone on a smartphone uses by default, and we have a beta version that logged-in Wikimedia users can opt to use to see features we’re still building. When functionality is polished enough, we promote it from the beta site to the stable site. In March, we added the ability to easily upload a lead image to articles that lack one in the stable version of the mobile site. We also helped users by giving them a temporary fix to an issue we discovered that made logging in hard or impossible for some users of newer mobile web browsers; that problem had prevented a number of users from being able to upload photos via the mobile site. We are now well on our way to reach our goal of 1000 unique uploaders/month by the end of June 2013. Check out the mobile app dashboard to see mobile contributions via the website and via apps.

Also: we’ve added thumbnails of lead images from articles in the mobile watchlist view, as well as a “last modified” timestamp on articles in the stable version of the mobile site. We are currently focusing on some performance enhancements for the mobile site. In April we will graduate the “uploads dashboard” feature from beta to stable, will further refine our photo upload features, and will let beta site users see and use a feature to identify articles on subjects near your current location.

The Mobile team that makes dedicated Wikimedia mobile apps have created an initial version of the Commons photo uploader app for Android; it is available for download in Google Play. The iOS version is still in beta, but should be available in the Apple app store next month.

In March, Wikipedia Zero added new telecom partners (such as Axiata Group Berhad), fixed some technical problems, and onboarded new staff. We also won an SXSW Interactive “Activism” award for Wikipedia Zero. (see also the general “Highlights” section)

Max Semenik, Arthur Richards and Faidon Liambotis held an OpenStreetMaps mini-hackathon at Open Source Days 2013 in Copenhagen. During the event, they agreed on an implementation strategy for a future WMF mapping cluster. The cluster would serve OSM “tiles” and thus help integrate OSM functionality better into Wikimedia sites, and help with our mobile apps which already make use of OSM data.

Other engineering news


Department highlight
  • The fundraising team ramped up testing in languages and countries that were not included in the year-end 2012 campaign, raising approximately $5 million USD.

Major Gifts and Foundations

  • Received a $250,000 grant from Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing.

Annual Fundraiser

  • The fundraising team ran banners in languages and countries that were not included in the year-end 2012 campaign (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Switzerland, Germany). Approximately $5 million USD was raised from this campaign in the month of March. Banners were taken down on March 31, 2013. Any future testing will be announced on the Fundraising 2013 page on Meta.
  • Patricia Pena visited India and researched user feedback and possible opportunities for local processing in the country. We interviewed roughly 20 donors and networked with over 20 Indian payment providers.
  • The fundraising tech team continued to add new payment options including Boletos for Brazil and Direct Debit for Spain, Netherlands, and Austria. In addition, the team added the option to make a recurring credit card donation for countries where this was not previously offered.
  • Megan Hernandez, Katie Horn, and Bryony Jones visited Japan, a top donor country, and met with 3-5 Japanese donors every day during the week of March 11. The team tested 10 different messages and designs and developed a high performing fundraising banner.
  • Victor Grigas produced brief video introductions to the VisualEditor (see above) and the Wikipedia Education Program (see below).

Grantmaking and Programs

Department Highlights
  • Launched Wikipedia Zero with Beeline (Vimpelcom) in Russia, largest single operator to date (55+ million subscsribers)
  • First round of Individual Engagement Grants (IEG) approved and announced!
  • Round 2 2012-2013 proposals to the Funds Dissemination Committee were submitted on 1 March 2013 and have been open to community review from 1 March to 31 March.

Strategic Goals Metrics

Metric Value MoM MoM% Chart
Global South Active Editors (5+ edits in main namespace) 15.5k -317 -2.0% Decrease [1]


Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC)

  • Proposals for Round 2 2012-2013 were submitted on 1 March 2013. 4 proposals were submitted (presented alphabetically) :
  • Community review: From 1 March until 31 March, members of the Wikimedia community commented on the four funding proposals submitted to the FDC (Wikimédia France, Wikimedia Hong Kong, Wikimedia Norge, and Wikimedia Czech Republic) during the one-month open comment / community review period. Comments and questions were submitted for each proposal: each proposal discussion page had at least 20 distinct authors and at most 34 distinct authors. 111 was the maximum total number of edits made on the discussion pages of any proposal, and 79 was the minimum total number. The comments addressed many topics, including expressing overall support or concern for a proposal, questioning the specifics of financial tables, stating concerns about an entity’s plans to hire staff, and requesting more information about specific programs. Questions and comments from the community will be summarized and reflected in the FDC staff assessments published on April 8, and will be considered by the FDC when it deliberates in Milan in late April.
  • The Progress report form was finalized and made ready for use by entities funded in 2012-2013 Round 1, who will submit their first progress reports before 30 April 2013. Entities may submit their reports from their proposal hub pages in the FDC portal.

WMF Grant requests approved in March 2013

WMF Grant reports accepted in March 2013

Contractor Kevin Gorman has published a review of the Wikimedia Foundation’s grants program from fiscal year 2009-2010 through fiscal year 2011-2012.

Participation Support requests approved in March 2013

Individual Engagement Grants

The IEG Committee completed its review, and WMF announced that all 8 recommended projects have been selected for round 1 funding.

The selected projects are:

  • Build an effective method of publicity in PRChina, led by zh:User:AddisWang, funded at $350. Addis and a small team of volunteers based in mainland China will be experimenting with social media campaigns to grow awareness of Wikipedia in China.
  • Replay Edits, led by w:User:Jeph_paul, funded at $500. Jeph is building a MediaWiki gadget that creates a visual playback of the edit history of a Wikipedia article, allowing users to see an article’s change over time.
  • The Wikipedia Library, funded at $7500 and The Wikipedia Adventure, funded at $10,000, will both be led by w:User:Ocaasi. For the Wikipedia Library, Ocaasi will be building and consolidating partnerships with reference providers donating access to reliable sources for Wikipedia editors, and improving the systems for managing these programs. The Wikipedia Adventure is an on-wiki game that will be piloted on English Wikipedia using the Guided Tours extension to determine whether this type of interactive learning is an effective engagement strategy for new editors.
  • Consolidate wikiArS to involve art schools, led by w:User:Dvdgmz, funded at 7810 Euros. The WikiArS outreach program builds partnerships with art and design schools to teach students to create images for donation to Wikimedia Commons and for use in Wikipedia articles. This grant will support focused experimentation in the existing Catalan program’s models that can allow the initiative to scale and to be sustained as an international program.
  • Elaborate Wikisource strategic vision, led by User:Micru and User:Aubrey, funded at 10,000 Euros. This project brings together the global Wikisource community and other stakeholders to define a vision for the project’s future. They’ll begin work on near-term goals that can be accomplished by volunteers on-wiki, and investigate paths forward for longer-term improvements to Wikisource.
  • MediaWiki data browser, led by User:Yaron K., partially funded at $15,000 in order to pilot the initial concept. Yaron’s project will create a framework to allow any user to easily generate apps or websites to browse sets of structured data that exist on Wikipedia and other projects running on MediaWiki.
  • MediaWiki and Javanese script, led by User:Bennylin, has been provisionally approved for funding at $3000, provided that a couple of dependencies can be satisfied. This project will provide technical support using a “train-the-trainers” model that teaches volunteers how to use Javanese script online, facilitating the transcription of Javanese texts to projects like Javanese Wikisource.

Editor Growth and Contribution Program

Logo of the Editor Growth and Contribution Program

A landing page for Geo-targeted Editors Participation was created on English Wikipedia, and an invitation to edit was displayed using the geo-targeted centranl notice to readers from the Philippines, where readers were encouraged to registed an account and were surfaced random stub articles about local topics to improve.

Wikimania Support

  • Hired Ellie Young, Contractor to take the lead on orchestrating Wikimania! Welcome, Ellie!
  • Finalizing review of Wikimania Scholarship applications. Over 1200 applicants with 660 who made it into round 2 of the review process (i.e., non-spam). Committee of 9 voting members thoroughly reviewed and scored applicants. Anticipated ~100 scholarships through WMF.


Institutional Partnerships

A debate on governance with Ação Educativa, WMF and a member of the community took place, to trigger a debate on meta. The report on the meeting has been published and is now open for debate.

  • Job positions of the Brazilian Wikipedia Education Program for substituting the current contractor opened! (with coverage by big media, thanks to Tom)
Data & Experiments
  • Translation of the Meta Page Research:Data into Portuguese is ongoing.
  • Prototype of the Data Center has been developed and is being debated: the proposal is to have a central page with data and tutorials for anyone to work on data creation and analysis.
  • IRC meetings to debate proposals for Analyses and Data Center page
  • Henrique’s onboarding in SF: Henrique attended the Python conference and various meetings in SF as part of his onboarding.
  • An initial proposal for data analyses and experiments has been published on Meta and is being debated.

Wikipédia na Universidade – FGV SP (direito)

Partnerships with universities
  • FGV SP (Getulio Vargas Foundation): A lecture at FGV Law School in São Paulo for about 70 people has taken place, with the participation of a WMF team and one volunteer. The university has tried to implement actitivies at Wikipedia but faced difficulties in having the content accepted. They’re restructuring the project with our support now.
  • Gama Filho: several videos to invite students from the University to engage in the translation course/partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation have been produced.
Online tutorials

We’ve catalyzed and provided a first translation version for online tutorials. The community has imported the pages and is customizing the material.

Medicin Wikiproject
  • Bot: improvements have been made and it’s ready to be tested on the real environment by the community (request for bot approval)
Community and High School


Wikipedia Zero

(see also general “Highlights” section)

  • Launched Wikipedia Zero with Beeline (Vimpelcom) in Russia, largest single operator to date (55+ million subscribers)
  • Completed partnership contract and announcement with Axiata, expanding partner base of Wikipedia Zero to 410 million subscribers
  • Wikipedia Zero received the 2013 SXSW Interactive Award for “Activism”

The Wikipedia Education Program, in video form! (narrated by Annie Lin and LiAnna Davis)

Rod Dunican presenting about the impact of the Education Program (slides)

Global Education


Egypt program celebrates end of second term

The second term of the Wikipedia Education Program in Egypt wrapped up with a celebration conference at Cairo University. Dr. Abeer Abd El-Hafez, a professor of Spanish from Cairo University, opened the conference and spoke about the spirit of the program and its importance in the lives of students and teachers in terms of skills development and new experiences. Faris El-Gwely, the education program consultant who runs the program in Egypt, shared results from the second term, and the best students and Ambassadors from the program received certificates recognizing their hard work. Students and professors also shared information about their experiences in the program. Check out photos from the event.

U.S. student shares special Wikipedia story

Jacqueline McCrory

University of San Francisco master’s student Jacqueline McCrory wrote the Wikipedia article on habitat conservation plans for her class with Professor Aaron Frank in spring 2012 — and was then astonished to discover that she’d been assigned to read the article in a different class in fall 2012! Jacqueline talks about how her Wikipedia article experience gave her additional responsibility at work and kudos from professors in her department in a post on the Wikimedia Foundation blog. Read the post.

Quebec professor’s work featured in WMF blog

Simon Villeneuve’s students

Professor Simon Villeneuve of physics and astronomy at Cégep de Chicoutimi, a college in Quebec, has been using Wikipedia as a teaching tool in his classroom since 2008. Overall, his students have created more than 150 articles on the French Wikipedia on topics related to astronomy and physics, and Simon has learned a lot about the best ways of doing Wikipedia assignments. Read a post he wrote for the Wikimedia blog about his work.

News coverage highlights Poland, Ukraine programs

An article in the Global Post highlights the work being done in Poland and Ukraine related to the Wikipedia Education Program. The Ukraine program ran a pilot last term that produced 23 improved articles. The Poland program is working with a university to replace a bachelor’s thesis with a Wikipedia article. Learn more by reading the article.

Education project improves Catalan Wikipedia

Sagrada Familia nave roof detail, an example of modernism in Barcelona.

Esther Solé from Amical Viquipèdia wrote a post for the Wikimedia Foundation blog about the “Viquimoderisme” project to improve articles related to modernism on the Catalan Wikipedia. Around 100 art history students at the University of Barcelona are working with researchers to create new articles on Catalan modernism, a topic important to the cultural history of Catalonia. Esther’s report highlights their learnings from the initial phase, and they’re currently embarking on the second phase, in which a museum in Barcelona will also offer students access to resources they can use in their articles. Read more about the project.

Online student trainings deemed a success

A post on the Wikimedia Foundation blog highlights the successful development of an online training for students piloted on the English Wikipedia with the United States and Canada programs. In the post, author Sage Ross describes how early feedback and user testing has led to iterative improvements to the content of the training. This term, more than 400 students (about one third of all students participating in the program) have successfully completed the training. Read more about the online training.

Education Program featured in video

Wikipedia Education Program Communications Manager LiAnna Davis and former Program Manager Annie Lin were featured in a video describing the basics of the education program. In the short video, Annie and LiAnna describe how the program works and talk about the impact the program has had in the last three years. Watch the video.

Professor Ruy de Queiroz

Brazil professor featured on Wikimedia blog

Professor Ruy de Queiroz of Brazil is one of the pioneers of using Wikipedia in his classroom. In 2005, he was browsing the Portuguese Wikipedia in logic and theory of computation — his study areas — and found the Portuguese version lacking in comparison to the English version. Over the last seven years, he and his students have added content to more than 125 articles on the Portuguese Wikipedia in an effort to improve access to information. Read more about his work.

Learning & Evaluation

  • Working with the Analytics and E3 teams to expand the UserMetrics API tool to address the needs of the G&P partners at large
  • Plagarism study along with the Wikipedia Education team, working on tools to be able to query based on article categories, editor type, and contribution types
  • Program mapping study, creating database of all funding mapped to programs. Thanks to volunteer Rosie Lewis for this awesome work!

Human Resources

Gayle Karen Young presenting about hirings in the first quarter (slides)

In March, HR has made some changes to our benefits providers, namely a broker change and a flexplan provider change. HR also hosted the second remote employee task force meeting with a focus on improving in-office technology for better remote participation, which Office IT has been assiduously improving. We have also been working on analyzing our compensation structure, and our 401k committee has been working to add new low fee index funds and find a new plan advisor.

Staff Changes

New Requisitions Filled
  • Adam Baso, Senior Software Developer (Engineering)
  • Yuri Astrakhan, Senior Software Developer (Engineering)
New Contractors
  • Dan DeJarnatt (HR)
  • Kristan Johnson (Fundraiser)
  • Meron Kristos (Finance)
  • Andrey Valkov (Fundraiser)
  • Ellie Young (Grantmaking & Programs)
Contract Extended
  • Oona Castro (Grantmaking & Programs)
  • Jeroen DeDauw (Engineering)
  • Peter Gehres (continuing as contractor)
  • Svetlana Istrati
  • Patrick Reilly
Contracts Ended
  • Zoe Bernard
  • Darrin Fox
  • Aaron Halfaker
  • Ian Poirier
  • Jawad Qadir
  • Mike Wang
  • Anita Whites
New Postings
  • A/P Clerk
  • Communications Volunteer
  • Development Associate
  • Software Engineer | Language Engineering
  • WordPress Developer (Contract)


Total Requisitions Filled
March Actual: 134
March Total Plan: 175
March Filled: 2, Month Attrition: 3,
YTD Filled: 43, YTD Attrition: 21
6 Position canceled for FY
Remaining Open positions to fiscal year end
34 (8 of which are on hold)

Department Updates

Real-time feed for HR updates or

Finance and Administration

  • Review of FDC round 2 proposals for the FDC.
  • Completed Wikimedia Argentina site visit report which will be presented to the WMF Audit Committee at their summer meeting.
  • Completed Version 1 of the WMF annual plan, which is now being reviewed by the WMF Senior Level Team and the WMF Board of Trustees.
  • Reviewing options for Foreign Exchange management beyond the big international banks to receive and distribute funds for the global movement.

Legal, Community Advocacy, and Communications Department

LCA Report, March 2013

Contract Metrics

  • Submitted : 17
  • Completed : 20

Trademark Metrics

  • Submitted : 26
  • Approved : 2
  • Pending : 20
  • Denied : 3
  • Approval not needed : 1

Domains Obtained


Coming & Going

  • Two legal interns’ spring internships are coming to an end. Thanks to Ava Miller and Megumi Yukie for all of their help this semester!
  • One of our contract attorneys, Ian Poirier, left the Foundation for a permanent opportunity and we wish him the best in his new job!
  • We welcome Elaine Wallace, a talented and experienced attorney who will be volunteering her time with us over the next few months.

Other Activities

  • Community Advocacy hosted a meeting in the office of 5 out of 7 of the Ombudsman Commission both to facilitate their work with each other and their assistance with various staff on WMF initiatives (see also general “Highlights” section)
  • Community Advocacy set up the first of a series of phone calls for WMF management with highly connected community members around the world.
  • Legal continues to work through the trademark registration process to protect our marks around the world.

Communications Report, March 2013

In March we successfully issued another major announcement for Wikipedia Zero, highlighting a partnership with Axiata that will bring WP Zero to countries in Southeast Asia. We also worked closely with the executive team on news of Sue Gardner’s upcoming departure from the Foundation. The team is also rotating our group of Communications volunteers, and hoping to bring in about four new volunteers to help us with day to day media monitoring and reporting.

Major announcements

Axiata partners with the Wikimedia Foundation to offer free mobile Wikipedia access through Wikipedia Zero

18 March 2013 – Axiata Group Berhad and the Wikimedia Foundation today announced a partnership to offer Wikipedia on mobile devices free of data charges to Axiata customers throughout Asia.

Major Storylines through March

WMF ED Sue Gardner to leave Foundation (Mar 27, 2013)

This month’s major news story focused on Sue Gardner’s announcement that she would be stepping down later this year once a successor for her position has been identified, to focus on defending the free and open Internet. Mostly positive-tone coverage of the news largely followed a highly visible story published by the NY Times shortly after Sue made the announcement on the WM Blog and on public and community mailing lists.

(blog post)
BP Edits to WP make headlines (Mar 20, 2103)

A flawed CNET story from mid-March sparked substantial coverage of a BP staffer’s presence on English Wikipedia. The original story accused the staffer of rewriting a number of BP related articles. Subsequent coverage was mostly critical of BP for its actions. Some coverage speculated that the BP staffer may have operated within the approved ‘policies’ around COI editing.
Wikipedia Zero / Axiata / SXSW (Mar 8, 2013)

In early March Wikipedia Zero was honored with its first major accolade, the SXSW Interactive award. Later in March Wikipedia Zero launched its first major initiative in southeast Asia, further extending the number of global customers who will be able to access WP without data charges into the hundreds of millions.

Other worthwhile reads

How Jimmy Wales’ Wikipedia Harnessed the Web as a Force for Good | Wired | March 2003

Jane Goodall apologizes for plagiarizing Wikipedia | March 22

Wikipedia, meet Lua! | March 18
(blog post)

WMF Blog posts

Thirty-two blog posts in March, with bilingual posts in German, Dutch, Portuguese, Catalan, Czech, and French. Some highlights:

Media Contact

Wikipedia Signpost

For lots of detailed coverage and news summaries, see the community-edited newsletter “Wikipedia Signpost” for March 2013:

Office of the Executive Director

Sue Gardner announced that she plans to leave her position as Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, to focus on defending the free and open Internet. She will remain fully engaged as Executive Director until her successor has been recruited, which is expected to take at least six months.

Visitors and Guests

Visitors and guests to the WMF office in March 2013:

  1. Teemu Leinonen (Aalto University)
  2. Ken Collier (Thoughtworks)
  3. Dan Garry (Ombudsmen Commission)
  4. Lev Gloukhenki (Ombudsmen Commission)
  5. Leif Larsen (Ombudsmen Commission)
  6. Thomas Goldammer (Ombudsmen Commission)
  7. User:Erzbischof (Ombudsmen Commission)
  8. Erin Reading (NPS)
  9. Gershon Bialer (EventLogging Workshop)
  10. Mlitn (EventLogging Workshop)
  11. Piotr Bablok (EventLogging Workshop)
  12. Jonathan March (EventLogging Workshop)
  13. Valerie Ball (KPMG)
  14. Gour Lentell (BiNu)
  15. Ton Chookhare (UC Berkeley Haas MBA Tour)
  16. Franzi Mare (UC Berkeley Haas MBA Tour)
  17. Nikita Kiselev (UC Berkeley Haas MBA Tour)
  18. Thomas Malec (UC Berkeley Haas MBA Tour)
  19. Julio Santil (UC Berkeley Haas MBA Tour)
  20. Joseph Zhou (UC Berkeley Haas MBA Tour)
  21. Vishel Shah (UC Berkeley Haas MBA Tour)
  22. Lauren Fernandez (UC Berkeley Haas MBA Tour)
  23. Abigail Feuer (UC Berkeley Haas MBA Tour)
  24. Sarah Walker (UC Berkeley Haas MBA Tour)
  25. Adi Rubinovich (UC Berkeley Haas MBA Tour)
  26. John McLear (Etherpad Project)
  27. Idoia Valencia (Mondragon Unibertsitatea)
  28. Mikel Garcia (Mondragon Unibertsitatea)
  29. Borja Pinedo (Mondragon Unibertsitatea)
  30. Patrizia Varela (Mondragon Unibertsitatea)
  31. Eneko Sieso (Mondragon Unibertsitatea)
  32. Asier Lopez (Mondragon Unibertsitatea)
  33. Beñat Egaña (Mondragon Unibertsitatea)
  34. Lucia Vazquez (Mondragon Unibertsitatea)
  35. Goio Arana (Mondragon Unibertsitatea)
  36. Tomas Tamayo (Mondragon Unibertsitatea)
  37. Jon Jimenez (Mondragon Unibertsitatea)
  38. Kim Dodson (consultants)
  39. Randall Benson (consultants)
  40. Mark Oppenheim (m|Oppenheim)
  41. Mikel Gazzia (SMASH co-op)
  42. Christine Cavanaugh-Simmons (CCS Consulting Inc)
  43. Deb Wolter (Red Bamboo Consulting)
  44. Mary Gardiner (TAI)
  45. Simon Turkalj (Simon Turkalj Associates)
  46. Patrick Dippery (COO and Co-Founder, Collabriv)
  47. Nimish Gautam (visitor)
  48. Thomas Shaffer (
  49. Patrick Chen (
  50. William Adams (Full Circle Group)
  51. Glenn Turner (Advanced Mobile Notary)
  52. Simon Cross and guest (Praekelt foundation)
  53. Drew Paroski (Facebook)
  54. Grant Joung (Thoughtworks)
  55. Brian Bocchino (Gravity People)
  56. Roman Garcia (User:Blurpeace)
  57. August Wissmath (volunteer)
  58. Philip Steele (Pension Architects)
  59. Michael Rom (Pension Architects)
  60. Kunal Mehta (User:legoktm)
  61. Brian Behlendorf (Cofounder of the Apache Software Foundation and Board Member of the Mozilla Foundation)
  62. Liliana Bounegru (, European Journalism Centre)
  63. Mat Dryhurst (Director of Public Programming, Gray Area Foundation for the Arts)
  64. Jonathan Gray (Director of Policy and Ideas, Open Knowledge Foundation)
  65. Jay Nath (SF Mayor’s Chief Innovation Officer)
  66. Timothy Vollmer (Manager of Policy and Data, Creative Commons)
  67. Gregg Servis (Full Circle Group)
  68. Brett Victor (guest speaker)
  69. Andrew Lih (Author and guest speaker)
  70. Doug Hessel (Johnson & Dugan)
  71. Virginia Sutton (Johnson & Dugan)
  72. Linda Lam (Johnson & Dugan)
  73. Andrea De Ville (Radford)
  74. Zachary Osman (Radford)

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