First results of editor survey: Wikipedians 90% male, 71% altruist
Distribution of age, education and gender of Wikipedia editors participating in the survey
Reasons for continuing to edit Wikipedia, as stated in the survey
Mani Pande, the Wikimedia Foundation's Head of Global Development Research, has shared the first results from an online survey among Wikipedia contributors ("Wikipedia editors do it for fun: First results of our 2011 editor survey", the first in a series of postings about the findings). The survey had been translated into 22 languages (English version), it saw over 5000 participants.
Of the participants, 90% identified as male and 9% as female, a number even lower than the 13% found by the earlier UNU-MERIT study (which, despite some questions about its methodology, had formed the basis of widespread discussions about Wikipedia's "gender gap" earlier this year, see Signpost coverage).
The two most frequently selected reasons for continuing to edit Wikipedia were "I like the idea of volunteering to share knowledge" (71%) and "I believe that information should be freely available to everyone" (69%), followed by "I like to contribute to subject matters in which I have expertise" (63%) and "It's fun" (60%).
Last month, WMF Executive Director Sue Gardner had already highlighted another early result of the survey, concerning editors' satisfaction with the work of the WMF/Wikimedia chapters/all volunteers/themselves, in an interview with GerardM (see Signpost coverage).
Public Policy Initiative wraps up
Amount of content added by students in the Public Policy Initiative, September 2010 – May 2011
In a blog posting titled "Public Policy Initiative wraps up pilot academic year", the WMF's LiAnna Davis gave some statistics about the achievements of the now concluding Public Policy Initiative (which the Foundation had announced in May 2010, funded by an $1.2 million grant from the Stanton Foundation, see for example the brief summary in the Signpost's "2010 in review"). During the project, more than 800 students from US universities contributed 8.8 million bytes to the English Wikipedia, improving articles they worked on "from an average score of 6.88, before the project, to 16.54".
The pilot project is being generalized and extended to a Global University Program. In the US, the system of "Campus Ambassadors" and participating professors introduced by the PPI will be transformed into "Volunteer Regional Ambassadors", while outside the US, the first Campus Ambassadors have recently been trained, in Pune, India.
In a separate blog posting, Davis described the experiences of one student participant whose additions to the article National Democratic Party (Egypt), made in the fall (northern autumn) term, received unexpectedly high readership numbers during the Egyptian revolution a few months afterwards.
The PPI was the subject of an article on the blog of Creative Commons last week, based on interviews with Pete Forsyth, who as the Wikimedia Foundation’s first Public Outreach Officer had been a "key architect" of the PPI, and others.
- Russian president pushes for Creative Commons licencing: Further to his 29 April meeting with Internet representatives, including Wikimedia (Signpost coverage), Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has issued instructions to the Ministry of Culture and Mass Communications to draft amendments to Russian legislation which will "give authors the right to make their works available on a free-licence basis to the public at large (along the lines of Creative Commons, GNU FDL)". According to a 2008 letter to a Wikimedian from Natalya Timakova, the President's Press Attache, Creative Commons licencing is not currently on the statutes of the Russian Federation. As a sidenote, since October 2008, materials from the President's website at http://www.kremlin.ru have been licenced under Creative Commons Attribution Unported 3.0 licencing. Medvedev has given the Ministry until 1 August to act on his instructions.
- Wikimania program: A preliminary schedule for the upcoming Wikimania in Haifa, Israel, has been announced. It will include plenary lectures by Yochai Benkler, Sue Gardner, Joseph Reagle and Jimmy Wales.
- WMF monthly report: The Wikimedia Foundation's report for May 2011 has been published. Among other items that were previously covered in The Signpost, it summarizes the Wikimedia Research Committee's efforts to reorganize the pages about Wikimedia-related research on Meta.
- Board minutes: The minutes for the May 11 IRC meeting of the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees have been published. They mostly concern the draft for the 2011–12 annual plan, mentioning "suggestions to reduce targets for staff growth to match recent actual growth rates"; and the Foundation's operating reserve (cf. Signpost coverage: "IRC office hour with Sue Gardner and others on Foundation's financial planning"). Several outstanding minutes for earlier meetings were published: October 2009, May 2010 (mentioning early discussions about offensive content, and a rejected resolution "to strengthen the Board's earlier statement on educational content" – a different resolution about offensive content was adopted recently, see last week's "News and notes"), June 2010 and April 2011.
- Offline edition of Malayalam Wikisource: On his blog, Indian Wikimedian Santhosh Thottingal (a member of the Wikimedia Foundation's Language Committee) discussed the technical background to the first offline version of the Malayalam Wikisource. In related news, The Hindu reported on "the fourth annual meeting of Malayalam Wikimedia activists".
- New Indian newsletter: On the website of the Indian Wikimedia chapter, a new edition of "WikiPatrika" has been published – an independent monthly community-written and -edited newspaper, partly modeled after The Signpost, covering the increasing Wikimedia-related activities in the country. Last September had already seen the publication of an earlier Indian community newsletter (Signpost coverage).
- Wikimedia Österreich reports: The Austrian Wikimedia chapter has published its report for May and started its report for June. Among other activities, they describe preparations for the "Fundraiser Summit" which will bring together representatives from various Wikimedia chapters and the WMF in Vienna this week to discuss the upcoming annual fundraiser.
- Wikimedia Argentina report: The Argentinian Wikimedia chapter has published its report for May 2011. Among other activities, it describes a Wikicontest to write articles about Ibero-American women on the Spanish-language Wikipedia to counter the possible effects of the gender gap among Wikipedia contributors.
- Wikimedia Sverige report: The Swedish Wikimedia chapter has published its report for May 2011. Among other activities, it mentions talks "with parliamentarians and other institutions" about the possibilities of a digitized cultural heritage ("a potential billion-worth").
- Today's featured list debuts on the Main Page: After a formal proposal concluded with unanimous support, a new feature has been added to the Main Page: Today's featured list. Starting June 13, each Monday, one featured list will be showcased on the Main Page. See this week's "Featured content" for full coverage.
- Wikipedia learning game: User:Ocaasi and others are developing a concept for "an educational, interactive, web-game using a simulated Wikipedia interface that leads new users through a series of realistic "missions" to familiarize them with the mechanics, navigation, philosophy, and practices of actual editing", tentatively titled "The Wikipedia Adventure".
- Wikipedia for Afghanistan families: Wikimedia Trustee Sj blogged about "Introducing Afghan families to Wikipedia" with the help of the XO laptops distributed by One Laptop per Child (where Sj serves as Director of Outreach).
- IRC logs: The IRC logs for the June 10 Office hour with Sue Gardner and the June 4 general Wikimedia meeting have been published.