Wikimedia Foundation Report, December 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.


Data and Trends

Global unique visitors for November:

533 million (+9.95% compared with October; +0.42% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release December data later in January)

Page requests for December:

18.270 billion (-4.0% compared with November; -9.4% compared with the previous year)
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including mobile access)

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

74,803 (-1.33% compared with October / -4.88% compared with the previous year)
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects.)

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



Wikimedia Foundation YTD Revenue and Expenses vs Plan as of November 30, 2013

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Expenses by Functions as of November 30, 2013

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

All financial information presented is for the Month-To-Date and Year-To-Date November 30, 2013.

Revenue 14,609,876
Engineering Group 6,589,458
Fundraising Group 1,439,053
Grantmaking Group 720,055
Programs Group 723,516
Grants 950,624
Governance Group 302,012
Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group 1,367,697
Finance/HR/Admin Group 3,029,513
Total Expenses 15,121,928
Total deficit (512,052)
in US dollars
  • Revenue for the month of November is $2.96MM versus plan of $8.83MM, approximately $5.87MM or 66% under plan.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $14.61MM versus plan of $16.71MM, approximately $2.1MM or 13% under plan.
  • Expenses for the month of November is $2.89MM versus plan of $3.73MM, approximately $844K or 23% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, payment processing fees, and travel expenses partially offset by higher outside contract services and recruiting expenses.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $15.12MM versus plan of $18.43MM, approximately $3.31MM or 18% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, legal fees, payment processing fees, staff development expenses, and travel expenses partially offset by higher outside contract services and recruiting fees.
  • Cash position is $38.8MM as of November 30, 2013.


The new “editing Wikipedia” brochure

New brochure explains how to edit Wikipedia

The Education Program team completed work on an entirely new version of the Welcome to Wikipedia brochure (now titled “Editing Wikipedia“). It is also available for translation into other languages.

“Drafts” feature provides a gentler start for Wikipedia articles

In December, the new Draft namespace was launched on the English Wikipedia, as requested by the local community. It gives all users (registered or anonymous) the option to start new articles as a draft, instead of publishing them immediately (which can carry the risk that the new article is nominated for deletion before it can be improved). Drafts are marked by a “Draft:” in the page title, and are not visible to search engines.

Paul Kikuba is leading an IEG project to set up a Wikipedia center in the village of Mbazzi, Uganda

Recipients of Annual Plan Grants (FDC) and Individual Engagements Grants (IEG) announced

In December, 11 Wikimedia organizations were awarded annual plan grants totaling $4.4M, following the recommendations of the volunteer-run Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) in the first round of requests for 2013/2014. The approved amount was lower than the overall requested amount of US$5.94M, affirming the FDC’s guidance to the organizations to be thoughtful about growth.

Also in December, the selection of seven projects for the second round of Individual Engagements grants (IEG) was announced. They focus on activities from outreach to tool-building, all aimed at connecting and supporting the community.

Successful year-end online fundraising campaign

The WMF fundraising team ran the year-end online fundraising campaign in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Roughly $18.7 million USD was raised from more than one million donors in December. During the two weeks when the campaign ran at full capacity, the team created and tested approximately 250 different banners. Banners will be run in other countries and languages throughout 2014.


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

Major news in December include:

  • a retrospective on Language Engineering events, including the language summit in Pune, India;
  • the launch of a draft feature on the English Wikipedia, to provide a gentler start for Wikipedia articles.


In December, the VisualEditor team worked to continue the improvements to the stability and performance of this interface that allows users to edit wiki pages visually rather than using wiki markup. Most of the team’s focus was on major new features and fixing bugs. There is now basic support for rich copy-and-paste from external sources into VisualEditor, and a basic tool to insert characters not otherwise available on users’ keyboards. Work also continued on a dialog for quickly adding references using citation templates.

The Parsoid team, which is developing the parsing program that converts wiki markup to annotated HTML (and back) behind the scenes of VisualEditor, continued their relentless work to eliminate bugs and incompatibilities. Problems arose during the migration to node 0.10, the platform that runs Parsoid. The team rolled back the upgrade, investigated and fixed the issue. Testing has also been improved so that similar issues are caught in the future. Last, the team created several requests for comment concerning architectural components of the MediaWiki platform.

Presentation slides from the Growth team

Editor engagement

In December, we enabled Flow to a few selected pages on (Talk:Flow and Talk:Sandbox) and collected feedback about the features and design to date from the community (read the summary). Throughout the feedback period, we worked on implementing design changes, such as a more compact view of the board and a different interface for topic and post actions, as well as different visualizations of history information, based on the comments of users testing the software.

We also began a straw poll about launching Flow as a beta trial in the discussion spaces of WikiProject Breakfast, WikiProject Hampshire, and WikiProject Video Games on the English Wikipedia. Based on the outcome of these polls, we hope to deploy Flow to those pages in January.

The Growth team spent time working on product development and research for upcoming Wikipedia article creation improvements. First and foremost, the team fulfilled a request from the English Wikipedia community to launch the new Draft namespace there (see also the general “Highlights” section). Pau Giner and others on the team simultaneously began design work on future improvements to drafts functionality, including recruiting for usability testing sessions.

Presentation slides from the mobile apps team


During the last month, the Wikipedia Zero team continued to make it easier to configure partnerships with telecommunications carriers that offer access to Wikipedia at no data cost to their mobile subscribers. They also implemented a global landing page redirector for mobile Wikipedia website access. Last, the team started working on an HTML5 webapp proof of concept as an option for rebooting the Firefox OS app.

The Mobile web projects team has been working on finishing the redesign of the overlays and mobile on-boarding. The “Keep going” feature has been changed to a workflow that asks users to add blue links and includes a tutorial. This is consistent with what we’ve learned about how guiding users helps accomplish more edits, and it fits into more of micro contributory workflow that we want to experiment with. We’ve also worked on an A/B test displaying an edit guider for users signing up from the left nav menu. This is mirroring the edit guider that displays for users signing up through the edit call to action. It also is consistent with the behavior that the desktop site will be displaying to users as a result of the OB6 A/B test.

The mobile apps team added saved pages, article navigation, and language support to the mobile Wikipedia app. During the quarterly planning meeting, it was decided to postpone photo uploads from our market release plan in favor of text editing.


Department Highlights

We completed the Big EN fundraising campaign for the 2013-2014 FY.

Major Gifts and Foundations

  • We received a $1 million grant from Brin Wojcicki Foundation.
  • We raised over $1.5 million in mid-sized gifts from family foundations, donor advised funds, and large individual donations.

Annual Fundraiser

  • The fundraising team ran the year-end online campaign in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Roughly $18.7 million USD was raised from more than one million donors in December (preliminary numbers as donations are still settling). Year-to-date, approximately $32 million has been raised from online fundraising banners. The campaign ran full blast for two weeks. In that time, the team created and tested approximately 250 different banners and sent 2.6 million emails to donors from previous years asking them to give again. The team responded to 15,000 reader emails during the month of December. A full report will be posted publicly in 2014, and we will continue to update the Fundraising page on Meta-Wiki. Banners will be run in other countries and languages throughout 2014.


Department highlights

(See also the general “Highlights” section)

  • The WMF Board of Trustees approved the recommendation of the Funds Dissemination Committee for 2013-2014 Round 1, awarding 11 annual plan grants to the 11 entities applying in this round. The overall request was for $5.94M, and the final approval was for $4.4M, affirming the FDC’s guidance to Wikimedia organizations to be thoughtful about growth.
  • At the end of the second quarter of FY2013-14, ~$6.2M has been distributed in grants spent, 25% to groups or individuals in the global south. Overall, 4% of the total spend has gone directly to individuals, and <1% has gone towards work related to redressing the gender gap. See Grants Quarterly Metrics for breakdown by grants program.
  • Conducted overview analysis of the Travel & Participation Support program. We are excited by the diversity of the program, and launching a discussion to discuss future scope of work.

Presentation slides

Annual Plan Grants (Funds Dissemination Committee)

Project and Event Grants

  • 3 grants were approved and 2 grant reports were accepted in December 2013.

Grants awarded in December 2013

Reports accepted in December 2013

Travel & Participation Support

  • A Scope of Work document is underway, for a phase 1 redesign of Travel and Participation Support program pages. Simplicity, accessibility, and publicity will be key goals of this phase. Complete plans for the redesign and accompanying process changes will begin in January 2014.
  • 3 grants were approved and 2 grant reports were accepted in December 2013.

Requests awarded in December 2013

Reports accepted in December 2013

Individual Engagement Grants

Siko Bouterse presenting about IEG (slides)

Round 2 grantees have been announced. 7 projects were recommended by the IEG committee and approved for funding by WMF, representing a broad range of projects focusing on activities from outreach to tool-building, all aimed at connecting and supporting community. Grantees are trying out new ways of engaging with women and young Wikipedians, fostering participation in Africa, and supporting cartographers, researchers and developers to better engage with projects like Commons, Wikidata, and Wikipedia.

The selected projects for 2013 round 2 are:

  • Wikimaps Atlas, led by Arun Ganesh and Hugo Lopez, funded at $12,500. Hugo and Arun will be building a system to automate the creation of maps in standardized cartographic style using the latest open geographic data. With new workflows and scripts, they aim to make it easier for Wikimedia’s cartographers to generate and update maps for use in Commons, Wikipedia, and beyond.
  • Mbazzi Village writes Wikipedia, led by Paul Kikuba with collaboration from Dan Frendin, funded at $2880. This project is a collaboration between Mbazzi villagers, Wikimedia Sweden, and the Wikimedia Foundation to build a Wikipedia center in Uganda where volunteers can to contribute to Luganda Wikipedia, particularly focusing on articles related to sustainable development.
  • What is about – C’est quoi. A series of communication tools about Wikipedia in Cameroon, led by Marilyn Douala Bell and Iolanda Pensa with collaboration from Michael Epacka, funded at €15,000. The team in Douala, Cameroon will engage local artists to create comics, video, and other materials to raise awareness about Wikipedia and free knowledge.
  • Visual editor gadgets compatibility, led by Eran Roz and Ravid Ziv, funded at $4500. The team aims to map, organize, and surface lists of gadgets used in different language versions of Wikipedia to improve sharing of gadgets across language communities. They’ll also be piloting and documenting an approach for adapting the most-used gadgets for Visual Editor compatibility.
  • Wikidata Toolkit, led by Markus Krötzsch with collaboration from students and researchers at Dresden University of Technology, funded at $30,000. Markus’ team will develop a demonstrator toolkit for loading, querying, and analysing data from Wikidata. The project experiments with ways to give developers, researchers, and Wikimedians easier access to use Wikidata in applications, research, and other projects.
  • Women Scientists Workshop Development, led by Emily Temple-Wood, funded at $9480. Emily is piloting a model of regular, incentivized editing workshops aimed at college-aged women to encourage them to become regular contributors to Wikimedia projects and combat systemic bias with quality content. If the approach is successful, she’ll use lessons learned in order to develop a scalable kit for other groups to use.
  • Generation Wikipedia, led by Emily Temple-Wood and Jake Orlowitz, funded at $20,000 (provisional approval only, until legal dependencies can be satisfied). This project would pilot a week-long summer conference for young Wikipedians and Wikimedians from around the globe to connect, share skills and build leadership and community capacity among our newest generation of editors.

The 10 grantees from Cameroon, Uganda, India, Israel, France, Italy, Germany and the United States will begin their projects in the new year; most will run from January through June 2014. Progress and learning will be shared regularly on their meta-wiki pages.

Complete feedback from the IEG committee and round 2 proposers will be gathered in January 2014, to help us continue to improve the process for everyone. An early learning from round 2 is that we did not have as many proposals as we’d have liked to review, and as such we were not able to scale up the number of grants made beyond the pilot round. For the next round, we intend to try some new ways to publicize the program, and will shorten/simplify the review schedule to avoid losing proposers along the way.

Reports accepted in December 2013

Grantmaking Learning and Evaluation

  • First Employee Study: conducted a light analysis of trends in hiring of first employees by our chapters and thematic organizations. See the full results on Meta-wiki. We found that chapters tend to hire once the administrative work of the group becomes too much to be handled by volunteers or the board, and the first position is either an executive director or an office manager as their first employee. Regardless of job title, all jobs seemed to contain a significant amount of administrative work. Interestingly, we also saw that chapters are hiring sooner following recognition of AffCom than they have in the past.
  • Survey learning resource: Created a survey learning resource for grantees and other community members: Qualtrics. We had two IEGrantees who took advantage of the resource, and one chapter is now experimenting as well.
Usefulness for grantees …

I really enjoyed the fact that the WMF helped us with the Qualtrics software. And it struck me as a very good way to help the wider community: provide software and tools for evaluation, surveys, analytics, whatever.

Aubrey – Individual Engagement Grant grantee, Final Report
  • Overall studies by grant program: Created centralized space for all evaluations by grants program
  • Scholarship scoring system: Worked with the engineering team to develop a tool to rate applications for Wikimania scholarships (which open in January!). Thanks to everyone involved in making that happen! This is very necessary for managing the ~1200 applications that come in and are scored by a global committee.
  • Travel and Participation Support Program: finalized overview study of TPS; see: Grants:TPS/Support/Analysis. We found that 77% of these grantees are new to the grantmaking program, 49% are from the global south, and 30% are women. We are very excited about the diversity of the program and positive feedback of participants, and thankful for the great ideas that emerged from this study. We are looking forward to ongoing discussions around the scope of this program!

Results from the First Employee Study

49% of Travel and Participation Support grantees are from the Global South


Department highlights

Wikipedia Zero

  • Launched Wikipedia Zero in Bangladesh with Grameenphone, resulting in a 50% increase in mobile page views in the country in December. That brings us up to 24 launched operator partners in 22 countries. Our total free page views in December were over 47 million (note: we are missing some operator reporting in Analytics queue).
  • Airtel Kenya Wikipedia via Text pilot in progress, with over 40K unique users so far.
  • Ingrid Flores joined WMF as Partner Manager for Wikipedia Zero. Ingrid brings a wealth of experience in mobile business development and marketing from 12 countries across 4 continents. She is in charge of expanding Wikipedia Zero and increasing usage in Latin America and Asia.
  • Carolynne Schloeder, Director of Mobile Programs, and Taweetham Lim, a Thai Wikimedian, joined our Thai partner dtac for their corporate social responsibility (CSR) day. dtac is equipping computer labs and providing free internet access to schools in rural Thailand. They are promoting Wikipedia to students as part of the CSR program. This is a great model we would like to expand to other partners in conjunction with our local communities.
  • Carolynne spoke at Telenor’s Youth Summit in Oslo. Telenor selected social entrepreneurs from each of their markets for a leadership program in connection with the Nobel Peace Program. The participants had lots of ideas for Wikipedia growth in their home markets, which we are exploring. While in Europe, Carolynne also met with our partner Orange, and joined the Brussels community for a meet-up (thank you Brussels Wikimedians!).
  • Carolynne also presented Wikipedia Zero via Google hangout at an event in Yemen organized by Rashad Al-Khmisy, a local Wikipedian. Judging by the Q&A session, there is interest for the program in Yemen.
  • The dev team implemented a global landing page redirector for mobile Wikipedia website access, added support for staged configuration submittals, enhanced interstitials based on input from the field from Wikipedia Zero markets, amended compression proxies support and added general bug fixes.

Wikipedia Education Program

Global programs

At the mid-point in the fiscal year, December was a time of reflection and evaluation with a focus on strategy and next steps.

  • The Wikipedia Education Program team had a two-day strategy summit to evaluate our overall educational program and Arab World goals and activities.
  • We continued interviewing candidates for the Global Education Program Manager position.
  • Developer Andrew Russell Green and Communications Contractor Sage Ross, in collaboration with the Growth team, began planning for a more flexible suite of software to replace the current Education Program MediaWiki extension.
  • In the English Wikipedia training for students, we added a trial interactive section using GuidedTours to test its usability and potential.

Arab World Program

  • Tighe Flanagan, the Arab World Education Program Manager, took part in the Arabic Web Days Conference organized in Sana’a, Yemen via Google Hangout to talk about the education program in the region. Carolynne Schloeder, Director of Mobile Programs, also took part in via Google Hangout to talk about Wikipedia Zero.
  • The education extension was enabled on the Arabic Wikipedia. Since the current semester is winding down, it will be used for the start of the spring semester in February.


Program Evaluation and Design

The Program Evaluation and Design had a busy month, releasing a new evaluation report, participating in the GLAMout hangout, traveling, and starting our call for surveys with the community.

  • At the beginning of December, we launched our second Program Evaluation report about Editing Workshops. Findings from this ongoing evaluation include poor retention and recruitment successes, but a lot of room for experimenting with workshop program design. Community discussion has been taking place on the talk page, and we encourage your participation.
  • Our Program Evaluation Community Coordinator Sarah Stierch participated in the December GLAMout. GLAMout brings together GLAM professionals and Wikimedia community volunteers active in GLAM, to discuss the latest GLAM-Wiki news and projects. Stierch discussed the Program Evaluation and Design teams evaluations about edit-a-thons and workshops, and how the GLAM-Wiki community can partner with our team to evaluate and develop program design.
    • An outcome of the GLAMout is a new pilot project with Wikimedia DC, who will be working with our team to develop evaluation and design techniques, including survey design, in their upcoming 2014 strategic plan.
    • View the video here.
    • Programs Director Frank Schulenburg visited Wikimedia UK and Wikimedia Switzerland offices alongside representatives from Grantmaking. The goal of Schulenburg’s visit was to answer questions about evaluation and help these two chapters further examine their evaluation goals and programmatic activities.
  • Our interns, Edward Galvez and Yuan Li, have been busy developing methodology research about the value of inputs for Wikimedia programs. This includes extensive research into the dollar value of volunteer work (to implement a program, not make edits), the value of volunteering gained from not contributing to employee benefits, and into the standardization of purchase power of Wikimedia grants across countries. This research work will impact our look at returns on investment, and the value of the work that Wikimedia volunteers put into program implementation. This report will soon be moved to meta, and used for future evaluative work. We’re excited about this research: as far as we know it’s the first of its kind in the Wikimedia movement.
  • We put out a call for surveys to the community (“Have you created or collected surveys for your program implementations?“). This ongoing collection asks that Wikimedians who have developed surveys related to programs send them to our team so we can get a good idea of what and who the community is surveying. This allows us to see how we can support the community, survey-wise. We have been receiving surveys via wiki and email, and so far have collected 21 surveys from 14 chapters, organizations, and individuals. We are providing feedback to program leaders about their surveys, when requested, and will continue to collect surveys as we move into the survey support phase.
  • The team continues to evaluate other programs, with pending evaluation releases about: WIki Loves Monuments, other photo upload initiatives, GLAM content donations, and the Wikipedia Education Program, to be released in January and February.

HR presentation slides

Human Resources

Conducted Executive Director and Chief Communications Officer interviews, hosted the annual holiday gathering’ in coordination with the Administration department, completed benefits open enrollment for United States employees, year-end payroll for US employees was wrapped up, employee engagement survey results are in, though they need to be analyzed and published. Supported the Community Advocacy side of LCA with an FBI training session, and the upcoming employee handbook underwent another round of legal review. Ongoing heavy work in immigration, contractor renewals, hires, and recruiting continued, rolling into 2014.

Staff Changes

New Requisitions Filled
  • Ingrid Flores, Partner Manager (Programs)
  • Jeff “Gage” Gerard, Operations Engineer (Engineering)
  • Nuria Ruiz, Data Engineer (Engineering)
  • Sherah Smith, Software Engineer (Engineering)
  • Moiz Syed, UI Designer (Engineering)
  • David Chan, Software Engineer (Engineering)
  • Marc Ordinas, Software Engineer (Engineering)
New Volunteer
  • Janet Go (Engineering)
New Contractors
  • Manprit Brar (Legal)
  • Ryan Lane (Engineering)
Contracts Extended
  • Antonella Amatulli (Fundraiser)
  • Michael Beattie (Fundraising)
  • KaMan Bhattacharya (Fundraiser)
  • Emily Blanchard (Human Resources)
  • Patrick Earley (Engineering)
  • Andrew Garrett (Engineering)
  • Sandra Hust (Fundraiser)
  • Bryony Jones (Fundraiser)
  • Erica Litrenta (Engineering)
  • Sahar Massachi (Fundraising)
  • Heather McAndrew (Human Resources)
  • Kartik Mistry (Engineering)
  • Keegan Peterzell (Engineering)
  • Kristie Robinson (Fundraiser)
  • Sage Ross (Programs)
  • Sherry Snyder (Engineering)
  • Moriel Schottlender (Engineering)
Contracts Ended
  • Alice DeBois-Froge
  • Joey Hess
  • Stefan Petrea
  • Yuko Sakata
New Postings
  • VP of Engineering
  • Software Engineer- Growth (Features)
  • Software Engineer- VisualEditor (Features)
  • Software Engineer- Languages (Internationalization)
  • Software Engineer (Mobile)
  • QA Automation Engineer (Platform)
  • Software Engineer Data Analytics (Analytics)
  • Full-Stack Developer (Analytics)
  • Operations Security Engineer (Technical Operations)
  • Governance Administrator (Grantmaking)
  • Senior Recruiting Manager (Human Resources)
  • Sr. Operations Engineer (Tech-Ops)
  • Operations Engineer (Tech-Ops)


Total Requisitions Filled
December Actual: 161
December Total Plan: 182
December Filled: 7, Month Attrition: 0
YTD Filled: 29, YTD Attrition: 13
Remaining Open positions to fiscal year end

Department Updates

Real-time feed for HR updates or

Finance and Administration

  • Continuing work on the new design of the sixth floor space. The goal is to optimize the space for both capacity and functionality.
  • With the Grantmaking team, KPMG completed the site work for our grantmaking evaluation. The purpose of the voluntary evaluation is be able to report to the Audit Committee on the status of the WMF grantmaking program from a compliance, controls and best practices perspective. The final report will be presented to the Audit Committee at one of its meetings by KPMG.
  • Working on completing the insurance renewal process. The goal of this renewal cycle is to continue to improve coverage on an incremental basis.
  • For the month of November our investment fund had a market value of $12.8 million. It had an estimated annual return of 3.2% and estimated annual income of $413,863.

Legal, Community Advocacy, and Communications Department

LCA Report, December 2013

  • December has been a busy month highlighted by the public release of the WMF Board’s updated governance handbook, a document prepared through extensive collaboration between the Board of Trustees, the Board Governance Commitee, and the legal team. The handbook incorporates many broadly applicable governance best practices and is publicly available under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0 license in order to further the Foundation’s commitment to transparency and to serve as a useful resource for the community generally and for other like-minded organizations.
  • December also saw the legal team continue to engage with community consultations on the new draft Privacy Policy and Access to Nonpublic Data Policy. The Privacy and Access to Nonpublic Data Policies discussions have grown to more than 150,000 words – not yet ready for the List of Longest Novels but getting there! Some of the privacy discussion also expanded beyond the Meta talk pages, with the legal team responding on the Foundation blog to an appeal from the German Wikipedian community about data protection.
  • We also continued to deeply engage with the public consultation on the Trademark Policy, which is nearing 50,000 words. In addition, based on a 75 day community consultation on Meta, concluded on December 8th, the legal team recommended to the Board that the Foundation withdraw trademark registration and protection for the Community logo.
  • Feedback has been invaluable in improving both Trademark and Privacy Policies, and so we encourage additional comments before end of the consultation period (January 15th for the Privacy Policy and January 18th for the Trademark Policy).
  • Following a call for input from the European Commission on modernizing European copyright laws to allow greater access to online content, we launched a project to draft a response on Meta. We invite interested community members to collaborate in drafting a response to the Commission’s questionnaire before January 27th. European chapters, led by Dimitar Dimitrov, will also be drafting and submitting a response.

Contract Metrics

  • Submitted : 30
  • Completed : 23

Trademark Metrics

  • Submitted : 10
  • Pending : 7
  • Denied : 2
  • Approval not needed : 1

Domains Obtained,,,,,,,,

Coming & Going

  • We are sad to say farewell to Elaine Wallace, who has been advising the Foundation on a pro-bono basis since April 2013. She will become the general counsel of Benetech, a technology non-profit, so we look forward to continuing to work with her.

Other Activities

  • Community Advocates came together in the office in San Francisco with most of the community liaison team from Product to talk about ongoing and upcoming major product deployments and community engagement.
  • Community Advocacy took part in training related to its work with the emergency email system.

Communications Report, December 2013

December was a relatively quiet month for Communications. The annual fundraising campaign kicked off, accompanied by steady social media and light media/blog traffic through the month. The team was pleased to share the news about WMF ED Sue Gardner’s receipt of the first ever Knight Foundation Innovation Award. A slew of end-of-year media and blog posts around the world covered a range of Wikipedia topics, including most controversial and most-read articles, as well as a round of new ‘listicle’ style posts.

Major announcements

Wikimedia Foundation launches tenth-annual online fundraising campaign (3 December 2013)

The online fundraising campaign aims to raise $20 million, while the remainder of the Wikimedia Foundation’s funding will come from individual gifts given outside the year-end campaign, and from foundation grants.

Major Storylines through December

WMF launches its annual fundraiser (throughout December)

Coverage of this year’s annual fundraiser (largely positive) ran the gamut – from encouragement to donate, lists including WMF as a cause of choice, and praise for Sue Gardner’s donation Thank You letter.

Venture Beat [1]
Digital Nirvana (on Sue’s letter) [2]
Engadget [3]
Network World [4]
Researchers list most significant historical figures, thanks to Wikipedia (10 December 2013)

Author/researchers Skiena and Ward made headlines after publicizing their new book “Who is Bigger?” [5] which lists the most significant figures in history, and leans largely on Wikipedia as a source. With Jesus Christ as the leading figure, mostly favorable coverage spread widely via Christian bloggers and media outlets.

Daily Mail [6]
PS Mag [7]
Christianity Today [8]
Draft feature makes for a gentler start for new Wikipedians (20 December 2013)

A blog post by Pau Giner and Steven Walling outlining a new draft article writing feature for Wikipedia received significant and positive coverage in late December. Coverage highlighted that new users should benefit by building better, new articles that are less likely to be rapidly deleted.

WMF blog post [9]
Wired UK [10]
Engadget [11]
IB Times [12]
TheNextWeb [13]
Vandalism on EN Wikipedia makes news (27 December 2013)

Some briefly visible template vandalism on English Wikipedia caused a flurry of social media and mainstream media coverage speculating that Wikipedia may have begun to offer sponsored content. The vandalism featured a racially charged message about the U.S. president, but was likely visible for less than 30 minutes. [14]
The Atlantic [15]
Wikimedia’s Erik Zachte profiled in Wired magazine (27 December 2013)

The December issue of Wired Magazine features Wikimedia’s own stats guru Erik Zachte in its pages. The lengthy profile discusses Erik’s history with the projects and his motivations and tactics for crunching the Wikimedia project’s numbers.

Wired magazine [16]
WMF’s Sue Gardner receives Knight Foundation Innovation Award (16 December 2013)

Sue Gardner received the first-ever Knight Foundation Innovation Award at a ceremony hosted by CUNY in New York in December. As part of the award, Sue named open government platform startup MuckRock the recipient of a $25,000 grant.

Poynter [17]
Knight Foundation [18]
WMF Blog announcement: Sue Gardner to receive first Knight Innovation Award

Other worthwhile reads

Wikipedia’s Secret Multilingual Workforce
MIT Technology Review [19]
Royal Society appoints a Wikipedian-in-Residence
BoingBoing [20]
Wikipedia to debut at Kolkata Book Fair
Times of India [21]
Israeli Wiki hackers help out ‘the family’ at Hackathon
Times of Israel [22]

WMF Blog posts published 25 posts in December 2013. Seven posts were multilingual, including versions in German, Spanish, Swedish, Chinese, Arabic, and Polish.

Some highlights from the blog:

In legal victory, German court rules Wikimedia Foundation need not proactively check for illegal or inaccurate content (December 2, 2013)
Using social media to engage Wikipedia readers and editors in China (December 4, 2013)
The Winner of Wiki Loves Monuments 2013 Is… (December 10, 2013)

Media Contact

Media contact through December 2013: wmf:Press room/Media Contact#December 2013

Wikipedia Signpost

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

Visitors and Guests

Visitors and guests to the WMF office in December 2013:

  1. Roselyn Lima (PRN)
  2. Ben Knight (Loomio)
  3. Vivian Maidaborn (Loomio)
  4. Tommy Schroder
  5. Roselyn Lima (PRN)
  6. Brian Noguchi (Lever)
  7. Ana Akhtar (KPMG)
  8. Caitlin Durling (KPMG)
  9. Kathy Reich (Packard Foundation)
  10. Taylor Keep (Vital)
  11. Fangjin Yang (Metamarkets)
  12. Deep Ganguli (Metamarkets)
  13. Cindy Hawley (Gallagher)
  14. David Peters (Exbrook)
  15. Dwight Wilson (Collabriv)
  16. Pam Dannenberg (EK Health)
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Most months, you list “Visitors & Guests”, but for some past months, these were not published. Is there an ongoing policy about the publication of monthly visitors and guests? Also, is there any willingness to answer questions such as, “Why was the WMF meeting with representatives of the Arthur J. Gallagher company”, for example?

Hi Greg, I’m not sure which past months you mean; I checked all 12 reports for 2013 and they all contain this section. This is the current version of the instructions to WMF admin staff on whom to include on the visitors and guests list: “People to list on the log: volunteers, Chapters members, Board members, advisory board members, visiting staff and contractors, Brown Bag speakers, press People to not list on the log: job candidates, job recruiters, building/facilities contractors, friends of staff not here on business” I don’t think there is capacity for adding a description to each entry… Read more »