Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Suggestions

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Archives: October 2013–April 2014, May–September 2013, January–April 2013, July–December 2012, May–June 2012, March–April 2012, January–February 2012, November–December 2011, September–October 2011, June–August 2011, May 2011, March–April 2011, August 2010–February 2011, March–July 2010, November 2009–February 2010, July–November 2009, January–June 2009, October–December 2008, older: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

This page is for suggesting news to be covered in the next Signpost. For general discussion, comments or questions regarding The Signpost, please use Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost.

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Requests for WikiProject features should be made at the WikiProject desk.

Not every mention of Wikipedia in the media will make it into the Signpost, but please consider adding to Wikipedia:Press coverage 2014 or Wikipedia:Wikipedia as a press source so we have a comprehensive record. Please do not post newsletters to this page; news from WikiProjects is always appreciated, but templated messages are much more likely to be ignored.


Royal Society journals[edit]

New JSTOR-like free subs offer for the Wikipedia Library - will probably formally open for applications on Monday 27th April. See Wikipedia:Royal Society journals. Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 17:09, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

Now open for applications. Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 23:32, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
Also, big news: Oxford University Press has donated 150 "Humanities Packages", including access to Grove Art/Grove Music, Dictionary of National Biography, and more. See Wikipedia:OUP for deets. The applications are open as of today. The Interior (Talk) 17:09, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Association of Psychological Science (APS) Wikipedia Initiative[edit]

I never heard of this before I saw an announcement from the Special Libraries Association: "APS is calling on psychological scientists to support the Association’s mission to deploy the power of Wikipedia to represent scientific psychology as fully and as accurately as possible and thereby to promote the free teaching of psychology worldwide."

"More than 3,300 psychological scientists and their students have joined the APS Wikipedia Initiative (APSWI) by editing and rating article quality and students, under the supervision of their professors, are using Wikipedia entries as course writing assignments. The APSWI portal helps set up a class, makes assignments, tracks individual student contributions, and supports peer review." -- kosboot (talk) 16:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

This isn't news. I've already mentored two psychology classes for WEF under this initiative. WikiProject Psychology has not been too pleased about it from what I gather. I guess I'm surprised this isn't more widely known. Chris Troutman (talk) 21:40, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
In fairness, the Psych WikiProject hasn't been too psyched (sorry) about the education program since the beginning. They've had significant problems with student editors writing in incorrect content or using unreliable sources (see WP:MEDRS). Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 14:18, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

The Best Tricks and Extensions to Make Wikipedia Awesome[edit]

The Best Tricks and Extensions to Make Wikipedia Awesome is an article in LifeHacker. The tips are stuff probably well-known to Wikipedians, but interesting that a tech journal is giving WP a spin to make it more sexy than the usual defaults. -- kosboot (talk) 21:26, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, Kosboot! I've included it in this week's edition. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 14:18, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

New Executive Director For WMF[edit] -- kosboot (talk) 17:56, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Board Meeting ; Privacy_Policy_-_Information_We_Collect_:_proposed_disclosure_is_misleadingly_incomplete[edit] and the board meeting in general. --Elvey (talk) 06:57, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

LOL. What an original suggestion, below, that we cover the Privacy Policy change. </sarcasm> --{{U|Elvey}} (tec) 23:21, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Using Wikipedia in the classroom: a cautionary tale[edit]

Not totally negative: A professor at the University of Michigan blogs about having allowed a student to do her coursework on Wikipedia: . (My issue is that people must first understand WP is a social encyclopedia. If one first makes contact with editors one has a better chance of success in editing.) -- kosboot (talk) 14:44, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

There's a massive thread on this at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Medicine#Super-spreader_student_problem Johnbod (talk) 21:18, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, included this week! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 22:15, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

New ARBCOM policies[edit]

There are a couple of new policies being finalized for ARBCOM including an important one concerning discretionary sanctions that will affect all editors working in these contentious areas. These motions have been discussed and debated since late last fall but I think they are entering in the final stretch and any changes will be minor. It would be good to give these policy changes some publicity so editors won't be surprised when they receive an "alert". You can find out more information on the arbitration noticeboard. Liz Read! Talk! 22:20, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

DS one was already in motion; which others are you thinking of, Liz? Tony (talk) 08:37, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
See this week's NAN, Liz. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 22:15, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
Nice article, Ed and Tony. Liz Read! Talk! 00:52, 10 May 2014 (UTC)


The Washington Examiner (conservative POV paper) reports that the Export-Import Bank of the United States had an intern make 50+ edits last year to the article. This looks to be correct and the apparent COI editor was definitely a SPA. One twist not in the Examiner, her 1st edit was on the talk page, laying out what she was about to do and asking for feedback on it. IMHO -if we cannot make clear to all involved that we do not accept paid propaganda directly from the US Govt (or from corps for that matter), then nobody should take our claim of being an NPOV encyclopedia seriously. Smallbones(smalltalk) 04:55, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Excellent find, @Smallbones:. This is a good case example of problematic behavior, indeed. Here's a diff link to the bulk of the user's edits. -Pete (talk) 15:34, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
Looking through the diff provided by Pete highlights some of the problems. A lot of it is arguably factual, extensive, and single sourced to the Exim bank website. Pretty hard for us to combat once it gets in the article - we need to let folks know beforehand that this is not what NPOV means. But my favorite section is the Pickle paragraph:
"Jenny Fulton, the owner of Miss Jenny's Pickles, a small North Carolina food manufacturer, used Ex-Im's export-credit insurance to export her pickles to China. After only 3 years of business, Fulton and her business partner have expanded their business to 1,000 stores in the U.S. and 40 stores in China. By putting more emphasis on exporting in China she expects her export sales to increase by 400%. She comments that: "Ex-Im Bank's export-credit insurance enables us to offer terms to our foreign buyers, so they don't have to pay for the whole order at once...Our export sales have permitted us to hire our first full-time employee and four part-time employees, and with the new orders from China supports by Ex-Im's Express Insurance we hope to turn those part-time jobs into full-timers by the end of the year." "
I draw the line at paid pickle propaganda. Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:19, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, these people are just gherkin us off. Newyorkbrad (talk) 04:02, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

New privacy policy[edit]

Please publicize in the Signpost the new (draft) privacy policy detailed at meta:Privacy policy.
Wavelength (talk) 00:43, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

Done. Thanks, Wavelength! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 22:15, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, also.—Wavelength (talk) 00:02, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Tropical cyclones reaches 1,000 good or featured articles[edit]

So, we're a bit anal about our stats and record keeping, but this is something that's pretty cool. Using Category:Tropical cyclone articles by quality, we figured out that we have 1004 articles collectively that are either featured articles, featured lists, A-class, or GA-class (the total includes a GA that passed about an hour ago, that isn't reflected in the numbers listed in the category page; there should be 669 GA's). However, two of the A-class articles are lists/timelines and aren't featured, so as such they can't be good or featured. As a result, we have 1002 total. Since 1,000 is a pretty awesome number, I figured we should let you guys know. And I'm particularly excited, since the 1,000th was 2003 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, which I got to GA status and which passed on May 4th. Not sure if that's the sort of thing that belongs in the signpost, but I thought it was impressive, at least :) ♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 03:32, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

We can note it next week—this week's edition is already published! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 20:43, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

Cdtew retiring[edit]

The ed17 and Hahc21 do you remember Cdtew? He worked briefly on the Featured content report and did a good job. He posted a retirement notice on his userpage. I just gave him a barnstar. Would you like to sign it also? --Pine 07:58, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Commented there, Pine. Thanks! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 22:06, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

This page has been archived[edit]

Just a heads up that October 2013 through April 2014 have been moved to Archive 22, which is linked to above. For a page like this, anything over a few weeks old generally can be archived. Assuming no one responds to this thread, I'll just zap it next time I see it. Sven Manguard Wha? 22:41, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, Sven! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 22:06, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! We could also set up autoarchiving. Anyone for or against that? --{{U|Elvey}} (tec) 00:11, 14 May 2014 (UTC)


An update is timely; see here.--{{U|Elvey}} (tec) 00:11, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Could you clarify? I thought I kept up on this topic, but don't understand the section title. The link seems to be to a pretty old comment. Smallbones(smalltalk) 04:11, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Historians approaching Wikipedia[edit]

Steviebill83 recently wrote Improving Wikipedia: Notes from an Informed Skeptic for American Historical Association about his experience editing Panic of 1837 in the winter of 2012. @Rjensen, Tobyhigbie: Chris Troutman (talk) 16:36, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Hey Chris, you can find this in an "in brief" in this edition! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 22:29, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Media viewer launching next week[edit]

Hopefully in time for this week's issue - Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 126#Media Viewer launches next week on the English Wikipedia.

The Media Viewer functionality is going to be deployed as default for all readers on enwiki this coming week (provisionally 22 May, but may be delayed if there's performance issues). It's been a beta gadget until now, but is default for all readers on various other large projects, including nlwiki, frwiki, and (as of yesterday) Commons, so it can be trialled simply by following an interwiki link if desired. (Note that when live, it will be opt-out through preferences for users who dislike it!)

It's a fairly simple system - when clicked, images open in a lightbox over the article they're embedded in, with a footer giving basic author/license metadata, rather than going to an image description page - you can still click through to the local file description if needed, though. There's some interesting user-survey results here, which seem to indicate it has a sizable minority of people who dislike it, but broadly it's seen as useful, and the responses are tending to become more positive as it beds in. Andrew Gray (talk) 21:41, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Delayed for a week, now. Andrew Gray (talk) 18:51, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
@Andrew Gray: I included an unfortunately short IB in this week's edition. Care to add more context and background to it? :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 02:08, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Extended a little and pointed to last week (doesn't seem worth recapping the entire description!). Andrew Gray (talk) 10:18, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Perfect, thank you very much Andrew Gray! I moved it back into an IB for readability (it was a bit jarring to go from WMDE straight to a couple paragraphs on the media viewer), but otherwise left it intact. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 00:38, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
You should make it possible for ordinary people who aren't editors to stop using this thing. It's horrible.

PBS NewsHour[edit]

You can view the news report at the link, above.

Cirt (talk) 03:14, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

You can also watch this program directly on YouTube.Cirt (talk) 03:41, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
Sad and inspiring. Tony (talk) 14:07, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830[edit]

Academic journal dedicated its entire issue to Adrianne Wadewitz.
Read more at "Adrianne Wadewitz, 1977-2014", by Laura Runge.

Cirt (talk) 04:32, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Cirt! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 02:08, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Jimmy Wales and Wikipedia on NPR station[edit]

Last Saturday, after Car Talk, I didn't bother to change the radio station. So at 2:00 a program came on (TED Radio Hour, I believe) where the topic was going to be collaborative online projects, and Wikipedia was a big part of the show. I heard Jimmy Wales' voice, but I'm not sure whether that was suppoed to be an interview or a clip from years ago. And so many of the topics that we Wikipedia editors run into, such as the neutral point of view, were covered.— Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 19:59, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

You can listen to the interview/talk here. But it apparently is a replay of a 2013 segment. Liz Read! Talk! 23:12, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
Even if that is true, has the Signpost covered it?— Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 15:11, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
I believe we did, but my memory may be failing. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 02:08, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Jews and Communism[edit]

You guys ought to do something about the marathon battle over this article, recently deleted. Personally I think it's a good example, maybe even a rare example, of Wikipedia processes working well (though not smoothly), and of how one editor can make a difference.

Basically this article, as its name implied, talked about the historical association of Jews and Communism. From the beginning it was beset by accusations that it was anti-Semitic propaganda. There was an AfD which closed as "no consensus," though the majority of !voters said "delete." Acrimony continued. It went to ANI. Much screaming and hollering. I caught wind of it at ANI and raised the issue on Jimbo's page. That raised the attention given to the article, and a host of new editors arrived on the talk page. Further debate, more screaming and hollering. During this debate, it emerged that the article was copied to the anti-Semitic wiki Metapedia. This further aroused people, that anything on Wikipedia would be suitable for inclusion on such a horrible site.

A second ANI was launched, but this one was a landslide of "deletes." What made the difference is that one editor, User:Smeat75, dug out evidence that the article was largely copied from an anti-Semitic website. During the course of the debate, as in an episode of Law & Order, the chief defender of the article (User:Director) changed his vote from "strong keep" to "blow it up." The debate concluded recently. An AN discussion commenced and the article creator (User:Producer) was topic-banned. It took a long time, there were a lot of bruised feelings, but in the end the right thing was done. There is now some discussion here and there as to whether this indicates that Wikipedia policies need to be strengthened to prevent this kind of thing recurring.

My posting on Jimbo's talk page is archived here.[1] Here's the second debate, which includes a link to the first one [2]. The spirited article talk page discussion is gone now, of course, but maybe an administrator could fetch it for your perusal. The AN debate is here.[3] Coretheapple (talk) 14:50, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, but it's a bit too much for me to sink my teeth in for this edition, which I just published :-) I'll try to carve out time for next week.

Medical articles in the news[edit]

A recent study of Wikipedia articles on medical subjects has just hit the news media:

"Trust your doctor, not Wikipedia, say scientists". BBC News. 27 May 2014. 

The original journal article is here:

Hasty, R.; Garvalosa, R.; Barbato, V.; Valdes, P.; Powers, D.; Hernandez, E.; John, J.; Suciu, G.; Qureshi, F.; Popa-Radu, M.; San Jose, S.; Drexler, N.; Patankar, R.; Paz, J.; King, C.; Gerber, H.; Valladares, M.; Somji, A. (2014). "Wikipedia vs Peer-Reviewed Medical Literature for Information About the 10 Most Costly Medical Conditions". The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 114 (5): 368. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2014.035.  edit

And also covered here:

Julie Beck (7 May 2014). "Can Wikipedia Ever Be a Definitive Medical Text?". The Atlantic. 

-- Impsswoon (talk) 12:21, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Another one with long threads at the project, at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Medicine/Archive_48#Poor_paper_.5B4.5D_on_Wikipedia, plus Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Medicine#Paper, Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Medicine#Medical_articles_in_the_news and Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Medicine#do_not_let_wp_stop_your_ethics. It was also on the Daily Mail, and Daily Telegraph blog. Plus I should have a blogpost tomorrow on the Cancer Research UK science blog([4]) on it. The study design has considerable issues, and the data is only summarized. Are we sure we haven't covered it before - the story was revived by an interview Hasty gave. Wiki CRUK John (talk) 00:26, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
My CRUK blogpost now up Wikipedia – is it fit for patient consumption? Wiki CRUK John (talk) 12:14, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Another, better, story in The Independent today. Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 16:16, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Best media story so far, from the news section of NHS choices (ie the National Health Service (England)) "Wikipedia 'not a reliable source' of health advice". They go into considerable detail on the study. And Hasty has done a short video Wiki CRUK John (talk) 21:58, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
How would it help Wikipedia to compare its articles against a set of peer reviewed articles that where skewed in favor of a certain treatment ? [5] Mion (talk) 22:45, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Coverage of WikiConference USA[edit]

Hey Ed, are you going to have anyone report on this weekend's WikiConference USA 2014? Points of particular interest (to me, at least): a session dealing with the recently spun-off Education Foundation, and a good number of board members from the Wikimedia Foundation are attending and/or giving presentations. -- kosboot (talk) 13:53, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Some slides and many photos are now up at commons:Category:WikiConference USA 2014, and I've uploaded a transcript of my opening keynote (in which I spoke in my personal capacity, not as a Wikimedia Foundation employee). Sumana Harihareswara 14:38, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't want to directly write up the education related sessions myself, but have notes related to a good number of sessions from the conference, and will be writing up a number of things over the next few days about the conference as I can, which will end up signposted or elsewhere around in some capacity. Kevin Gorman (talk) 20:53, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

The Speaker of the House of Commons in the UK is asking Wikipedians for advice[edit]

See the project page on meta. It is hoped that the response to his questions will be answered collaboratively, similar to the way Wikipedia articles (and policies) are written. At the end of the process, the idea of using a wiki-approach to parliamentary policy and evidence will be reviewed. Seems appropriate for the Signpost. Mark M (talk) 19:22, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Mark L MacDonald! I'll note it in an in brief this week. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 18:09, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Wiki Loves Pride[edit]

A quick plug for Wikipedia:Wiki Loves Pride 2014 would be much appreciated. The campaign runs throughout the month of June, culminating with a multinational edit-a-thon on June 21 and surrounding dates. --Another Believer (Talk) 15:19, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Another Believer, I'll put it in an IB. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 18:09, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Much appreciated! --Another Believer (Talk) 18:12, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

U.S. National Archives Open Government Plan[edit]

I'm biased (as I helped in writing it), but I think this might merit some major coverage. The National Archives' updated Open Government Plan was just published on Wednesday with this announcement. It places a lot of emphasis on how the National Archives plans to work with the Wikimedia community in order to help fulfill its mission, especially the "Make Access Happen" goal.

From the executive summary, the document notes: "Over the next two years we will work to increase the number of National Archives records available on Wikimedia Commons, continue our work to engage local communities of volunteer Wikipedians with on-site events, and collaborate on the development of the GLAM-Wiki U.S. Consortium." On pages 19-20, there is a fleshed out section about the agency's strategic approach to Wikipedia:

Expand Wikipedia Efforts
NARA has been engaging the Wikipedia community since 2011, when we welcomed a Wikipedian in Residence and began holding events to build awareness of the records of the National Archives. In 2013, we welcomed a full-time employee devoted to engaging the Wikipedia community along with NARA staff members to promote greater access, reuse, and context for our records on Wikipedia.
Our work strengthening digitization and description fuels our ability to make records available on external platforms like Wikipedia. In 2012, we shared 100,000 digital images from our holdings to Wikimedia Commons. This work enabled digital copies of our records to be incorporated into Wikimedia projects and Wikipedia articles. The 4,000 Wikipedia articles featuring our records received more than one billion page views in Fiscal Year 2013. Over the next two years we will work to increase the number of National Archives records available on Wikimedia Commons, which furthers our strategic goal to “Make Access Happen” and expands re-use of our records by the public.
We are continuing our work to engage local communities of volunteer Wikipedians with on-site events, including skills-building workshops and “edit-a-thons” for improving Wikipedia content related to our holdings. In addition, we are establishing a model for “scan-a-thons” to enable citizen archivist stakeholder groups to digitize our records for access.
We have worked to develop policies and best practices for NARA staff and other professionals to contribute to Wikipedia articles and NARA staff members regularly engage in sharing our experiences and insights about Wikipedia with other cultural institutions. We are also collaborating on the development of the GLAM-Wiki U.S. Consortium, which brings together archivists, librarians, museum professionals, and Wikipedians to work on building skills and shared understandings.

The rest of the document touches on other open government, crowdsourcing, and "citizen archivist" initiatives that may also be of general interest to Wikipedians. It even cited Simple English Wikipedia's definition of "API". As far as I know, this is likely the most prominent policy document from a cultural or government agency to enshrine collaboration with Wikipedia in institutional strategy (though the previous NARA Open Government Plan from 2012 comes close), and I think we succeed in talking about Wikipedia engagement in a way that Wikipedians will find ethical. Dominic·t 17:14, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Hey Dominic, we're putting the finishing touches on this edition and won't be able to include it ... but let's get in touch later this weekend, and I'll do a story on it for next week. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 18:09, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Sounds great! Dominic·t 18:34, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Wikidata Game[edit]

I don't think we've covered this, but could be wrong...

Two-three weeks ago, Magnus Manske released the Wikidata Game, which takes certain small tasks for Wikidata (defining if someone is a "person", entering gender, birth-death dates, etc) and lets users set the information through a simple interface. By Tuesday, this had hit over 350,000 individual contributions by ~850 editors, which is pretty remarkable both in terms of what it means for Wikidata's usefulness and what it might mean for future tools to help with Wikipedia maintenance. Definitely worth highlighting! Andrew Gray (talk) 12:31, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

I just found our about this from another user. It's a very easy way to contribute to Wikidata. Chris Troutman (talk) 17:42, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Good article nominations[edit]

The signpost may like to cover:

  • There is what must be one of the highest amounts of simultaneous good article nominations ever at WP:GAN, currently 463 nominations (408 waiting for a review).
  • The drought of reviewers and lack of knowledge about how to review
  • The 'topic nominators' who have been assiduously getting swathes of articles up to GA standard, including SabreBD regarding Scotland, Hildanknight and Singapore law-based articles, and ChrisGualtieri with an extraordinary amount of parks and houses.

Cheers, LT910001 (talk) 09:17, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for mentioning my efforts. If SignPost wishes to cover them, I would be more than happy to contribute to the writeup. To clarify, I am polishing and nominating many Singapore-related articles that are close to GA standards. These articles were written by others, including the SMU Law Programme, the NTU Linguange Programme, Aldwinteo, AngChenrui and Sengkang (all former editors who focused on Singaporean architecture). Please support my 2014 Singapore GA drive to counter systemic bias, as the work is too much for one editor! --Hildanknight (talk) 10:33, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks to you both! We aren't going to cover GAN this week, as we have quite a bit of other news to get through, but I'm going to try for next week. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 07:04, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
@The ed17: Since the last SingPost, er, SignPost, two architecture nominations (and one more law nomination) have passed, prompting me to nominate nine more articles; topics represented include transport and Buddhism in Singapore. Will GAN be covered in the coming week? Do let me know so I can contribute if necessary. --Hildanknight (talk) 13:57, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Longest disambigation page[edit]

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 00:55, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks John, this will be included this week! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 07:04, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Recent news from Wikimedia-l and Education email lists[edit]

  • Wikimedia Bangladesh received government approval after 2 years of waiting
  • Education announcement from Israel
  • Education announcement from Serbia
  • FDC Advisory Group recommendations announced
  • PR firms make pledge regarding Wikipedia conduct

--Pine 07:58, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Pine! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 07:04, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia's most influential people[edit]

An algorithm-driven investigation of Wikipedia has found a Swedish botanist from the 18th century to be more influential than Jesus.Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:26, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Not considering the effect of {{taxobox}} will tend to do that ;-) Andrew Gray (talk) 22:24, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
When I first saw this on my watchlist, I was hoping that I could use this as another way to pay homage to our beautiful, glorious User:Bishzilla. I am so disappointed. John Carter (talk) 22:50, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Getting to Philosophy.—Wavelength (talk) 22:54, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, this will be included this week! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 07:04, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Wiki Loves Pride, Cascadia Wikimedians, Wikimedia LGBT[edit]

First of all, another plug for Wiki Loves Pride would be much appreciated. We are mid-way through the campaign, and the June 21-ish edit-a-thon is yet to come! (Results thus far.)

Also, it might be worth noting that the groups currently known as Cascadia Wikimedians and Wikimedia LGBT both decided to apply for Wikimedia user group status in the immediate future. See both talk pages for ongoing discussions. Discussions have been taking place for some time, but decisions were made at WikiConference USA to move forward, plus allow time following the conference for people not present to participate in the discussions and add on as user group founders, if they wished. Thanks for your consideration. --Another Believer (Talk) 00:05, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Hey AB, we noted it last week and we don't normally repeat IB topics. Please let me know when the Cascadia and LGBT groups apply, and I'll put it in an IB! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 07:04, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
Discussion is underway with the Affiliations Committee (Cascadia). Not sure if you wanted to know when discussion began, or when it ended. Feel free to mention it whenever you think is best, but in general, people might be interested in knowing about developing user groups. No formal submission for the LGBT group yet. -Another Believer (Talk) 20:03, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Ended is better -- I'll tie in a new user group with those that are also developing. Makes it much more of a story. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:48, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

LaTeX Versions of Wikipedia Articles[edit]

There is a website on the WikiMedia Foundation Labs that lets you create PDF Versions of Wikipedia articles. The PDFs are generated by xelatex which is the same technology as the one used for the print on demand versions you can buy using the book generator, with the advantage that you can actually access the PDF document as well as the xelatex file for free instead of just the printed book for a fee. Dirk Hünniger (talk) 18:04, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Dirk. I missed it for this week, but I'll include a note next week! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:48, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Academics Continue Flirting With a Former Foe: Wikipedia[edit]

Academics Continue Flirting With a Former Foe: Wikipedia -- article by Avi Wolfman-Arent in the Chronicle of Higher Education. I like the first line of one of the comments: "Academics are, unfortunately, the last ones to embrace innovation and democratization of knowledge." -- kosboot (talk) 13:05, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

This is also something for "In the media" (see the section you started below for an important question I've asked you :-) ) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:48, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Proposal that all 2-letter language identifiers used for the language versions of Wikipedia be released by ICANN[edit]

The domain registry Top Level Design has proposed that all 2-letter language identifiers used for the language versions of Wikipedia be released by ICANN. This request is being made with support and on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation. "We [Wikimedia] hope to host URL shorteners on [2 character language identifiers], thus URLs would redirect to, to, and so on". Outlined public benefits include "lowering barriers to online, educational access", especially for users in developing nations where shorter URLs and bypassing search engines (which can incur data fees) allow greater access, and "catering to local language communities and proliferating the use of non-English resources".[1]

Furthermore, the application states, "These 179 SLDs will be given to the Wikimedia Foundation free of charge, as a charitable donation".[2] A letter by Erik Moeller Deputy Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, begins on page 15: ICANN Registry Request Service (PDF). Community input re: "Introduction of Two-Character Domain Names in the New gTLD Namespace" can be left at this ICANN forum link.

  1. ^ "ICANN Registry Request Service" (PDF). p. 2. Retrieved June 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ "ICANN Registry Request Service" (PDF). p. 5. Retrieved June 16, 2014. 

--Another Believer (Talk) 20:24, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

I was a bit confused at first - have I got this right? This is all two-letter domain names in the .wiki top-level domain - no new TLD would be created. The .wiki TLD is already run by Top Level Domains but their agreement with ICANN currently prevents registering two-letter domain names. Top Level Domains are thus a) asking for this to be waived for a certain set of domain names; b) planning to immediately assign these to WMF. Andrew Gray (talk) 20:40, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, you are correct that this refers to the .wiki TLD, not the creation of a new TLD. This is a joint request by Top Level Design and WMF. --Another Believer (Talk) 21:20, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
It means though that no one else will be able to create a domain called - precisely the turn of events that the ICANN prohibition on two letter domain names was intended to prevent. Hawkeye7 (talk) 22:09, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Yes, the WMF goes to some pains to be clear that they won't be intending to do this either. Andrew Gray (talk) 19:20, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
That is not what they said. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:07, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
It's in the proposal (p. 7) and Erik's letter (p. 16) - WMF undertake not to create any subdomains. Andrew Gray (talk) 21:09, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
True, but it does not mean that anybody else can create subdomains either! The way the internet works, all traffic to will be routed to WMF's servers. It is up to them to forward from there. Hawkeye7 (talk) 22:28, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
Hi Another Believer, Hawkeye7, and Andrew Gray, I included this in this week's "News and notes". Could you all check it to make sure what I've written is accurate? Thanks, Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:48, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Looks fine to me. When I was an undergraduate, Australian domains were run by Kevin Robert Elz, a graduate student whom we called kre, as this was his userid on the system. If he liked you, your requests went to the top of the pile. If he didn't, they went to the bottom of his pile. If he thought that you were trying to domain squat or something like that, he'd toss your request in the bin. This did not sit well with the top end of town, so a few years later the and domains were taken off him, and given to Melbourne IT. He remained in charge of and until the early noughties. Well, one of the first requests to Melbourne IT was for a site called Melbourne IT issued it. And all the traffic in Australia then went to that company's server and crashed it. Melbourne IT had to quietly take it back. Robert thought it was a hoot. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:33, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia pops up in bibliographies, and even college curricula[edit] -- article by Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times. -- kosboot (talk) 20:46, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Hello again, kosboot! This is something for "In the media", which will be out in the first edition of next month. Any chance you'd be willing to pitch in? We have a good number of writers, but not all of them are available each month. If you'd like, I can email you the Google doc where the planning and writing is done. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:48, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
The ed17 - Unfortunately I'll be away at a conference (beginning in a few hours) until after the 1st of the month. But for future editions, I would be very interested -- thanks! -- kosboot (talk) 20:59, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
The ed17 Unless you've already assigned this, I'd be happy to write something up discussing it. How many words do you want and by when? Chris Troutman (talk) 01:45, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Hey Chris troutman, it hasn't been claimed yet, but I can offer you the feature spot for "In the media", which will be published on its monthly schedule in the coming week. Can you keep it within reason, say under 700 words? Willing to up the limit if you want to do a full-on special report on it. Your call. Send me an email and I'll give you the link to the ITM Google doc. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:08, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia credited in Think Like a Freak[edit]

In the next Signpost, you might want to mention that Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (the authors of 2005's Freakonomics) state the following in their 2014 book Think Like a Freak: "Let's also raise a glass to Wikipedia. It has improved immeasurably over the years that we have been writing books; it is extraordinarily valuable as a first stop to discover primary sources on nearly any topic. Thanks to all those who have contributed to it intellectually, financially, or otherwise."

  • Levitt, Steven D.; Dubner, Stephen J. (2014). "Notes". Think Like a Freak. William Morrow. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-06-221833-9. 

Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 23:40, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

👍 Like --Another Believer (Talk) 23:54, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Added in this week's "News and notes", GoingBatty. Thanks for the tip! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:48, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Freakonomics was an extraordinary piece of work. Tony (talk) 14:08, 23 June 2014 (UTC)�

Lamest edit wars makes NPR's Ask Me Another[edit]

NPR trivia show Ask Me Another pulled questions from WP:LAME for a quiz: [6] (talk) 13:50, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks IP! This sounds like something for our "In the media" section, which should be out in the first issue of the coming month. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:48, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
I can't find anything related to WP:LAME at that link. Kaldari (talk) 04:23, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia Library[edit]

Lots of new resources now available for signup - see here. Andrew Gray (talk) 11:54, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Or indeed here, though not all seem to have been added yet. Wiki CRUK John (talk) 13:34, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
New ones now added to the journal page. So, new donations are from Keesings, British Newspaper Archives, and British Medical Journal. The JSTOR donation has been extended and expanded from 100 to 500 (!!!!) accounts. Happy days! The Interior (Talk) 13:58, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks all (Andrew Gray, Wiki CRUK John, The Interior), you'll notice that this is in the first IB this week. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:48, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Slate article on Wikipedia bureaucracy, by a bureaucrat[edit]

Polish Wikipedia bureaucrat Dariusz Jemielniak has had an article published on Slate that suggests ways to reduce red tape and bureaucracy on Wikipedia.

Hey LtPowers, thanks! Would you be interested in writing up a short summary of it for "In the media"? A few lines will do, if that's all you'd like to write. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:08, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

-- Powers T 13:33, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Yank Barry and Daily Dot posted in Slashdot[edit]

The so-called furor over Yank Barry has been written about in Daily Dot and presumed Wikipediocracy denizen Andreas Kolbe has posted same to Slashdot. I guess the lesson is, you really don't want your biography on Wikipedia if you can't control it. Chris Troutman (talk) 17:36, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

We have a brief note in "In the media", set to come out this week. Thanks, Chris! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:08, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Longest plot summaries[edit]

Slate looks at the longest plot summaries on Wikipedia. Powers T 13:33, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, LtPowers. Same offer as above? :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:08, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Someone beat me to it! Powers T 11:47, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

New android app[edit]

See [7]. It wasn't covered in this week's Signpost - might be worth a mention in the next one? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 18:16, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

I'm the product manager for the app and I'm available for comment, if that's wanted. Just send me an email or leave me a talk page message. --Dan Garry, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 19:34, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks to you both; I'm looking into this! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:08, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Mobile device bug?[edit]

Why can't I see the Signpost on my mobile device? I can see the rest of Wikipedia. —Neotarf (talk) 16:21, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Now this is odd. If I access the Signpost via google search ( or with the internal search function (looking for WP:Signpost), I get a completely unreadable page with oddly spaced down-arrows and a tiny rectangle that is the front page photo. And it says I last edited the page several hours ago. So I think it's accessing this URL. But if I use this link at the top of Keilana's user page, I get a display for the Signpost similar to the display for other Wikipedia pages. Some problem with transclusions? —Neotarf (talk) 23:45, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
@Neotarf: It's a problem with how the Signpost's front-page columns work on the mobile version. It isn't pretty. Jarry will be working on a fix at some point. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:08, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Reflinks is dead[edit]

In the process of Toolserver's retirement, Dispenser's tools (including Reflinks) have been lost. Dispenser needs 24 terabytes and WMF won't oblige him that on WMFlabs servers. I'd like to hear from Magnus Manske, Whatamidoing (WMF), Philippe (WMF), et al. Chris Troutman (talk) 00:00, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't know anything about this, except what you say here: Dispenser has reportedly said that he does not choose to port his tools unless he is given far more space than he (or anyone else) has ever had access to. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:58, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Likewise, this is the first I'm hearing about this... it's a shame. I'm surprised to hear that we won't oblige him with space - space is cheap. I will ask around. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 03:21, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Chris troutman, these are the sorts of things you should email me about. ;-) I will review this again before the next edition to see if there's something here after the WMF (presumably) replies. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:08, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Does anyone know what he needs 24 terabytes for? Kaldari (talk) 20:09, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Kaldari, it looks like caching the links? See [8]. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 03:14, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Not knowing much about what this tool did, 24TB seems ... excessive. 200M URLs with, say, five fields (URL, date, title, author), 100 chars each field, comes to 100GB. As a MySQL DB, there will be overhead, but 100 chars is a high estimate, so say 120GB. That should not be an issue; I don't think you'd even have to ask for that, just start a tool, create the database, and let the storage people handle it ;-) Would love to help, but am a little busy right now. --Magnus Manske (talk) 12:30, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
To make matters a bit clearer, Dispenser's current Reflinks tool (and all his other) does not need 24T of storage (nor would toolserver have that storage to give him, even if it were possible). His demands for the storage are for a new version of the tool he is yet to write that is meant to actually cache the external link's webpages – a request he has yet to actually make to WMF Engineering. He was never told no; he was told (by me, inter alia) that he'd need to make a proposal with explanation and rationale before we would commit several thousand dollars of resources towards an unspecified, future project of his (especially one that is likely to need Legal to look into).

That he has not in fact moved his existing tools to Tool Labs is unrelated to this; there is no technical impediment to him running his tools in Labs today if he chooses to. — MPelletier (WMF) (talk) 15:32, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Forgive my naiveté, but does it make sense to work with Internet Archive on this, since they already have an initiative to cache pages and to guard against link rot [9]? They're also an organization that doesn't mind adding 24 terabytes in one shot. Visit their lobby in San Francisco and you'll see the remnants of hundreds of 4 TB external hard drive casings. :)-- Fuzheado | Talk 16:03, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
@Fuzheado: There were some fruitful talks 5 years ago or so, about developing a system in which citations are automatically cached by the Wayback Machine when they are added to Wikipedia. It was my understanding that there were no dealbreakers, IA was prepared to move forward, but that interest flagged on the WM end. Definitely seems like something worth reviving if possible! -Pete (talk) 16:14, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
In 2011, we did a Summer of Code project, ArchiveLinks, partnering with the IA. There was a convenient RSS feed of new reflinks and the wiki pages were modified with JavaScript to have secondary links to the IA, if I recall correctly. The student had difficulty completing work up to publishable quality, and I stopped working for the WMF the next year, so unfortunately it got dropped. I keep hearing that maybe it will be revived, so perhaps something has happened. Anyway, it really wouldn't be hard to do this. NeilK (talk) 20:35, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
@Fuzheado:, that's a good point. IA is already automatically caching all links in citations today. They are spidering pages regularly to look for new links; it is not automatically happening the moment a new reflink is saved. This has pros and cons; a pro is that it doesn't archive a link that is immediately reverted. A con is, well, instant gratification. The only thing missing on the WP editorial side is updating citation templates to automatically link to the wayback machine's cache (and on the IA side, perhaps providing a RESTful way to deterministically generate a link to said wayback machine page, given the URL of the wikipedia article). I'm not sure how well this is working in all languages. – SJ + 23:28, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
At the risk of asking a silly question, what's majorly wrong with IA archiving a reverted link? I understand that these are probably a bit more likely to be low-value, but it presumably picks up a lot of dross in any case on its routine crawls. Andrew Gray (talk) 19:43, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I was wondering the same thing -- they already archive all kinds of links that never get used in Wikipedia, what's the harm in a handful of additional ones getting caught in their system? Seems more like a (tiny) net positive than a (tiny) net negative to me. -Pete (talk) 19:52, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Quarterly content policy update[edit]

... at WP:Update is done. - Dank (push to talk) 02:27, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Dank, I'll put it in an IB like normal. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:08, 1 July 2014 (UTC)


User:Natureguy1980 has expressed interest in being the subject of an exit interview for Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost.
Wavelength (talk) 23:06, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Interview here would probably be views of a disaffected content person from the Birds project who is unhappy at the behavior of the MOS-obsessed sorts with regard to bird name capitalization. Many userboxes on the editor's page but he has only managed to ring the bell twice with 100 or more edits to mainspace in a month in his entire WP career, dating back to July 2006 — so maybe not the most compellingly authoritative speaker for such views. Which is not to say the MOS fundamentalists aren't a problem to content writers, because they are. Carrite (talk) 12:40, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
{{Which makes me wonder: Is there a MOS simplification committee? Perhaps this issue can be mentioned in the Signpost article? -- kosboot (talk) 13:04, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
There is Wikipedia:Simplified Manual of Style.—Wavelength (talk) 15:05, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I've seen that, but that's not what I meant. I meant an effort to revise the rules and rewrite them so that there are fewer of them. "The rules" are often cited in the press as a major stumbling block for newbies who want to edit. -- kosboot (talk) 18:33, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
{{citation needed}} Press criticism of WP does frequently focus on it having convoluted rules, but not style rules in particular, more often notability and sourcing rules. Our style rules do not actually impede noob contributors, since there is no requirement to comply with them to add content. You don't even have to wikify anything at all, as long as what you add is reliably sourced; someone else will fix it later, even if people try to educate you on your talk page how to contribute more helpfully. Notability and verifiability/RS rules, however will often get noobs' contributions speedily deleted before they can even make a revision to improve what they're adding.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:39, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I'm sure the Signpost is eager to promote one-sided stories at the behest of people threatening to quit the project simply because they did not prevail in an argument they won't let go, and who need to resort to labeling those with opposing views in that debate as "obsessed" and "fundamentalists". That'll be nice neutral coverage and not at all a pile of useless psychodrama.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  13:17, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps Carrite might be more interested in an administrator with six FA's to his name? Feel free to ping me questions via the email function on my user page. And by all means grab some of the alternative view by SMcCandlish. His little post here belittling his opponents demonstrates the problems we've had and the contempt for our contributions that drove us away far more eloquently than anything I could write. (talk) 20:03, 7 July 2014 (UTC) (Sabine's Sunbird)
I didn't belittle anyone, I objected to Carrite verbally attacking an entire class of editors (those who work on MOS), and the suggestion to abuse the Signpost to foster WP:DRAMA in furtherance of the kind of "give me my way or else" emotional hostage-taking covered by the WP:DIVA and WP:5THWHEEL essays. Just the fact that you can write a sentence beginning "His little post here belittling..." without realizing the hypocrisy of it indicates a spiteful, retributive approach. I.e., you're engaging in an irrational rant, and Signpost has no business running that as news or even entertainment; it's divisive and anti-collegial.

No one has, that I know of, ever expressed any contempt for your or anyone else's contributions to bird or other articles. "Didn't win every single demand we ever made" and "held in contempt" are not synonymous. Being a good content editor, even a valued expert contributor, doesn't mean all rules are suspended for you. The fact is, the pro-capitalization camp among the birds editors simply did not succeed at an RfC about imposing an off-WP style from ornithology journals onto all WP editors when they mention a bird by name. You, personally, didn't even participate in it. You quit something like a year ago, and are now seem to be back to make a big show of quitting again. In general, this "I'm going to quit because I didn't win this style debate" stuff is precisely like threatening your boss with a lawsuit, or giving your lover a "do everything I say or I'm leaving" ultimatum. People who make unreasonable demands in such a format need to get used to not getting what they want, and sadly shown where the door is. You also explicitly stated (on my own talk page no less, as well as WT:BIRDS) that you'd left for other reasons, and were only kind of considering coming back, and that now you've decided not to. "Seriously though, thanks for reminding me why I've come to hate this place. I look forward to coming back when people remember we're supposed to be writing... Oh, who am I kidding?"[10] Also: "I always knew they were going to win eventually...[this] has been coming a long time, and this was the line in the sand I drew that represented as far as I was going. ... I realise this is a rather drama-ish exit, but then Wikipedia was always about the drama as much as the writing."[11] Maybe for you it was.... Don't retroactively try to make this be, for public consumption, all about some style issue suddenly making you want to quit.

It really is a loss for the project that you seem to genuinely want to leave, but no one is making you leave. People leave convoluted, time-consuming projects all the time for all sorts of reasons, and inter-personal stress is often chief among these, followed closely by disagreement over changes in procedure and direction. Both of these are dissatisfaction claims you explicitly make in both of these departure posts. You're actually reacting to a change in WP's organizational life cycle from stage 2 to stage 3, and are yourself a stage 1 editor; it's normal for early-adopter/founder-era participants in projects to have an adapt-or-leave crisis during the stage 2-3 transition. I am sorry to see you go, really, especially over something like this. No one could reasonably question you resigning over a matter of personal principle (I did for a year myself, over false accusations by an admin acting under color of ARBCOM authority whom ARBCOM refused until a few months ago to correct). But WP using its own (lower-casing) style guide instead of one (upper-casing) from ornithology journals, when virtually all other non-ornithology-specialist sources like WP (dictionaries, encyclopedias, newspapers, general zoology/ecology/biology/evolution/science journals, etc.) also use lower-case, is not likely to be interpreted as such a matter of personal principle. No one has besmirched your honor, challenged your credentials, accused you of an ethical lapse, called you stupid, blocked you for trumped up reasons, or anything else personal. It's simply a matter of a wiki-political difference, in which you do not believe in MOS but in wikiprojects having autonomous authority over "their" content. But these days we have two formal policies against that idea (WP:OWN and WP:LOCALCONSENSUS). I'm sure you or Carrite or NatureGuy1980 or whomever will simply call this another "rude dismissal" or something to this effect, but I can't control any of your emotions. I've said calm, reasoned things here that do not attack or make bad faith assumptions, even where they're critical of your reasoning and approach, e.g. belittling me in the same breath you say I'm the belittler. Anyone else reading this knows that.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:39, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is getting a little out of hand, no? First, I'm not doing an exit interview. While I'm amenable to the idea (good thinking, Wavelength), I'm not so keen on being used to further one of two partisan agendas (pro or con). Having said that, should the Birds Project want to craft an op-ed proposal, let's hear it. If both sides can write clear, focused, and non-shrill argumentative pieces, I will run them both. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:55, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Thank you, Ed, for your reply. Although I mentioned the problem to SMcCandlish, I did not intend to aggravate tensions. I had anticipated that disagreements with points made in the published exit interview could be expressed under "Comments", but your idea of publishing "clear, focused, and non-shrill argumentative pieces" from both sides seems better. Readers can still express themselves under "Comments", but I am wary about how that would turn out. (What would you like me to keep in mind if I decide to suggest an exit interview with a different editor in the future?)
Wavelength (talk) 01:07, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
See, I too once thought that the comments could be enough, but the reality is that the published text is what gets the most attention, and just placing comments on the talk page isn't always enough (cf. (The tragedy of Wikipedia's commons"). That also has the benefit (well, possibly) allowing for outside comments from readers, rather than the same people rehashing the same arguments over and over. :-) As for exit interviews in general, I'm happy to try one if there isn't a major partisan axe to grind. If someone's leaving because of RL pressure, sure—but if they're leaving after an Arbcom case and just looking to lash out at other editors, I'm less inclined! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:49, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply.—Wavelength (talk) 23:04, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure I see what point such editorials could serve, other than to perpetuate bad feeling, entrenchment and an "us vs. them" behavior pattern. There are no new issues, opinions or insights it would raise. The RfC on this "bird caps" issue was the longest, most detailed and most heavily sourced of any in recent memory, and covered it all (repetitively). It was also closed as against capitalization despite being started and steered by a pro-caps admin and closed by another pro-caps admin. Have you actually read the shamelessly attacking, insurrectionist and conspiracy-theory-mongering stuff the more vociferous among the pro-caps crowd are posting lately? (Well, not even lately; this stuff has been going on for years.) Giving another publishing platform to this sort of WP:BATTLEGROUNDing cannot possibly be a good idea, and will only encourage other entrenched wikiprojects to sputter forth piles of "us too" anti-MOS invective. If this were any other guideline (and policy) but MOS (and WP:AT, when style affects article names), the idea of giving Signpost editorial space to people who want to ignore it would never have even been contemplated. Bashing MOS/AT is a hip fad right now; please don't pander to it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:55, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
It's been a "fad" for at least 5 years. I wonder if there could be a reason for that? Johnbod (talk) 16:21, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Wikimedia genealogy project[edit]

There has been a request for comments over at Meta-Wiki regarding a Wikimedia genealogy project. Mentioning this in The Signpost might attract additional participation in the discussion. Thanks for your consideration! --Another Believer (Talk) 19:55, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

This would probably interest members of Wikipedia:WikiProject Genealogy.
Wavelength (talk) 20:43, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Oh, thanks. It would still be great to see in The Signpost, but I will post a message there as well. --Another Believer (Talk) 20:50, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, AB! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:51, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Interesting job opening[edit]

Of more interest to than, but still perhaps worth mentioning: WMCH want to fund a French community liaison. The job description is interesting, as it explicitly deals with the broader community as well as the local chapter/regional community: it accomplishing projects and get in touch with Wikimedia entities and officials. It helps the community by gathering requests and ideas, communicating them to all relevant parties and translating information wherever needed. This includes support to bring formal requests and motions to WMCH by helping to prepare them, translate them and present them to the board.
In the same manner the FCL communicates activities of the Wikimedia entities to the community by writing reports, blog posts and mails, translating information from WMCH to the community's language.
It's her/his responsibility to make sure the community voices are heard inside the association and that activities and communications of Wikimedia movement entities are also replicated into the communities.

Definitely a worthwhile project, and good to see chapters funding this sort of thing! Andrew Gray (talk) 21:23, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

[[12]] for the job description, if i understand that well its a paid for job at the chapter for lobbying, with in depth information here [13],[14] Mion (talk) 10:50, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_a_soapbox_or_means_of_promotion point 1 recruitment also includes the WMF and the chapters, The institutionalisation from the chapters, most of it is described in this blogpost[15] in German might be worth an article if we include the october 2013 entry from Sue Gardner from List_of_Wikipedia_controversies#2013.Mion (talk) 14:10, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
...I think you've got the wrong end of the stick in both cases. Firstly, this is a community support role (they currently support similar posts focused on German and Italian) not a "lobbying" one. It's entirely appropriate for us to list Wikimedia-related recruitment in the Signpost, and we've been doing it for years. Secondly, a content policy has absolutely no bearing on what we can do in community discussion forums like the Signpost. Andrew Gray (talk) 17:38, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Posted in an IB -- thanks, Andrew. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:51, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Forbes' Massive copyright problem[edit]

Forbes has a massive copyright problem. Thousands of these are CC-BY-*-licensed photos used without permission, as there's no proper attribution. I wonder if any RS have reported on it...or if there's any case law yet. --{{U|Elvey}} (tc) 17:17, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, Elvey. Looking into this. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:51, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't know if it's citable, but we recently had a presentation on this topic from Jonas Öberg at the Shuttleworth Foundation, "Image by Wikipedia" at WikiConference USA (a colleague helped present in his stead here), and also scheduled for Wikimania. I could put you in touch with Jonas Öberg if desired.--Pharos (talk) 18:02, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
I'd say it's an "attribution problem" rather than a copyright problem -- they obviously weren't trying to imply it was their content. The problem is -- our documentation stinks. Look at the page we have commons:Commons:Reusing_content_outside_Wikimedia and it's kind of an unintelligble mess. Compare that with the much clearer page from Creative Commons [16]. -- Fuzheado | Talk 19:49, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Second that. Have we ever complained to Forbes, assuming most of these are from Commons? Johnbod (talk) 16:19, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Let’s get serious about Wikipedia[edit]

Blog post by Martin Poulter of Wikimedia UK on the JISC website discussing his WP outreach activities to educational institutions. -- kosboot (talk) 22:40, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Plot of number of notable people by birth year[edit]

Someone's done a plot of the number of articles on people, per thousand million births, against year of birth here, based on tbe Wikipedia archive of 2 May 2014. They remark on selection bias, and note there's a curious dip around 1700.--A bit iffy (talk) 15:20, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

"The birth categories turns out to be far better curated than the machine-readable PersonData field." Heads up to those who include PERSONDATA. -- kosboot (talk) 16:27, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
The year 1700 is also a general cut-off year at I suggest a connection with biographical publishing.
Wavelength (talk) 16:47, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Then why would there be more notable births in 1600 than in 1700? Kaldari (talk) 18:01, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm going to make a very ill-informed speculation here, and guess that the spike in births around 1600 is possibly due to the wealth of personalities that came of age around the English Civil War!-Pharos (talk) 03:43, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

"Judging from the spikes every decade prior to about 1800, it seems that Wikipedia generously applies birth year categories when birth decades would be more appropriate." This is probably a variant of a well known census taking phenomenon, who's name temporarily escapes me, where people self report their age to be a multiple of 5 or 10 years. All the best: Rich Farmbrough03:03, 12 July 2014 (UTC).

Here's some notes on the same question from a few years ago. (and the Signpost article that kicked it off) Andrew Gray (talk) 13:33, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
On closer examination, note that this is (while not explicitly stated) almost certainly drawn from the English Wikipedia only, judging by the numbers. There are systemic differences in coverage between the projects (most noticeably, German births plateau in the seventies rather than rising through the eighties), and so it may well be that the skew in the 17th/18th centuries is Anglosphere-oriented in some way rather than global. Andrew Gray (talk) 13:45, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
To many (perhaps significantly including User:Charles Matthews) the 17th century is just more interesting and eventful (indeed fashionable) than the 18th. Fields where this is the case include religious and art history and English literature. Johnbod (talk) 16:16, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, this is what I suggested above with the English Civil War hypothesis; though maybe that was too specific, I think most of the leading middle-aged people around that time would have been born 1600-ish.--Pharos (talk) 16:28, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
The other hypothesis might be that (for whatever reason) a larger chunk of the notable people in the 18th century didn't have well documented birth years; if they're more likely to be recorded as "1720s" or "unknown" they won't show up in that chart. I doubt this is likely, but worth considering... Andrew Gray (talk) 18:47, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
My first thought was the change to the supputation of the year in 1752, which means that people born between 1600 and 1750 tend to have dual birth years, but the methodology should have smoothed this effect out. There is an apparent cultural bias here, but I cannot see 17th century religious and art history being richer than the 18th. Hawkeye7 (talk) 23:38, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Well you are unusual in that, as the viewing figures show. Caravaggio or Rembrandt versus François Boucher or Pompeo Batoni? Johnbod (talk) 01:01, 13 July 2014 (UTC)