"Five-year targets": Noting that the strategy project (Signpost coverage) was "nearing conclusion", the Board adopted the summary targets for the five-year plan. (According to the April meeting minutes, it had been planned to review the full plan at last week's meeting, too. According to the Foundation's August report - see below - a professional writer had been hired to help "distilling the material on the strategy wiki into a high-level document that could easily be shared with Wikimedia partners and supporters", followed by some vetting and refining, in order to present the strategy document at last week's meeting.)
"Trustee terms and evaluation": After the July meeting had heard recommendations by the Board's Governance Committee - aided by the Omidyar Network - about terms and evaluation of Board members, accompanied by "robust discussion" (see Signpost coverage), the Board now accepted part of the committees recommendations, namely to extend the term of appointed Board members to two years, and asked the committee to develop further detailed recommendations until the end of the year.
"Movement Roles October 2010": In this vote, the Board "approves the direction" of the recently formed "Movement Roles" working group (see earlier Signpost coverage: October 4, September 27, etc.), and "encourages all interested parties, particularly chapters and other stakeholders" to become involved in the process. The vote has been interpreted as a formal approval of the group's draft proposal.
The minutes for the meeting have not yet been published.
In response, Head of Reader Relations Philippe Beaudette and the wider Fundraiser team have announced a challenge to editors: find the banner that will beat Jimmy. Beaudette explains:
There's no doubt about it: the appeal from Jimmy Wales is a strong message. We've tested it head-to-head against other banners, and the results are unequivocal - especially when you also compare its performance last year and the year before.
But nobody wants to just put Jimmy up on the sites and leave him up for two months!
Wikimedia also organized a donor survey, inviting 20,000 individuals from the much larger international Donor group, who contributed less than $1000 between 1 November 2009 and 30 June 2010. They were invited to participate in a 29-item survey of about 70 questions, conducted in August 2010, which attracted 3,760 responses. The tech team have also been making progress with two new tools; geotargeting and a simplified, one-step donation process.
Foundation report for August
The Wikimedia Foundation Report for August 2010 has been published. Apart from highlighting several developments that have been already covered in the Signpost, it contains a statistics update: Collectively, the Wikipedia projects received a total of 373 million unique global visitors during August, marking a 3.7% monthly increase and 21.4% increase over the past year. Page requests reached 13.4 billion, a drop of 1% from the previous month but still a 23.9% increase on the previous year. One hypothesis for the unusually large drop – greater than the expected seasonal drop in traffic during the northern summer – is that the 2010 World Cup in South Africa may have been responsible for drawing attention from Wikipedia. Starting from August, traffic levels are returning to expected levels. The monthly report card for August is available here.
The number of good articles surpassed 10,000 this week.
Ten thousand good articles
In a major milestone, the English Wikipedia reached 10,000 good articles this week. Good articles are required to be well written, well researched, complete, accurate, as well as following Wikipedia guidelines. Although they are not as "well written" as Featured articles, they are nonetheless an important standard.
Although good articles still represent less than one percent of the encyclopedia, it is an amazing achievement to bring the number of GAs to this level while also maintaining scrutiny of quality for individual articles. (Please keep contributing to WP:GAR to ensure that weak GAs are improved or delisted.)
The Wikimedia Italia "introduction to Commons" video. Note: captions only display on Commons.
Introduction to Commons videos: Wikimedia Italia has released, on Commons and YouTube, a video introducing users to Wikimedia Commons. The video has English subtitles, and explains how to upload pictures to Commons. It covers project goals, sourcing, the upload page, how to register, the copyright process, OTRS, discussion and the help desk, featured image processes, and donating to the Wikimedia Foundation.
Wikipedia and trust: Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, has posted an entry on her personal blog titled "People trust Wikipedia because we tell them not to". Inspired by a joint talk of Timothy Garton Ash and Tobias Wolff, she discusses how the various cleanup tags are used to indicate required improvements on Wikipedia pages, saying that "people know they can trust it not to be aiming to manipulate them – to sell them something, either a product or a position. Wikipedia is just aiming to tell people the truth, and it’s refreshingly honest about its own limitations."
Research consultant hired: Diederik van Liere has been hired by the Foundation as a research consultant. He will work on research involving user trends and change patrolling tools.