Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2006-12-04/One million uploads

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The Wikipedia Signpost

Wikimedia celebrates Commons milestone, plans fundraiser

By Michael Snow and Ral315, 4 December 2006

The Wikimedia Commons reached the major milestone of 1,000,000 files uploaded this past week, a little more than two years after the project officially launched. The achievement was the subject of a press release and celebrated with a mosaic of images representing the Wikimedia Foundation logo. And in other Wikimedia Foundation news, the organization plans to start its next fundraiser this coming week.

The pygmy hippopotamus exhibit at the Singapore Zoo, photograph by Terence Ong. This photograph was the 1,000,000th file added to the Wikimedia Commons.

One million pictures, sounds, and other media

The one-millionth file, uploaded on Thursday, November 30, was a photograph taken at the Singapore Zoo by Terence Ong. A picture of the zoo's pygmy hippopotamus exhibit, it was among a group of photographs Ong uploaded around the same time. Over the past year, Ong has added over 4,000 files to Wikimedia Commons.

Wikimedia Commons was started in September 2004 as a repository specifically for free content media, with no fair use arguments being applied. Some of its content existed previously on Wikipedia or other projects and has migrated to Commons, and the project has also received significant outside donations of content. And many of the files are entirely new since the launch of Commons, with the project receiving on average over 2,000 new files per week.

In honor of the milestone, Brianna Laugher had suggested creating a photographic mosaic to resemble the logo of the Wikimedia Foundation. With the help of Larry Pieniazek, a project was set up to facilitate arranging the images to form this mosaic. The photographs (along with a handful of animations) are laid out in a 30x40 grid for a total of 1200 images used. You can also watch an animation of how the mosaic was developed.

Board meeting and fundraiser

The next Wikimedia fundraiser was one of the items mentioned by Florence Devouard, reporting on a meeting of the Board of Trustees last week. She indicated that the fundraiser is planned to start on Friday, December 8, with more information to come shortly. Some preparations are still being made, so the date is not yet absolutely firm and could be delayed by a few days. The last official Wikimedia fundraising drive was held nearly a year ago.

Previous discussions had contemplated having fundraisers as often as quarterly. That has not proved necessary for the past year, while still operating on a skeleton staff, but at the same time supporting the Wikimedia projects has stretched the Foundation's technical resources of late. The upcoming fundraiser will involve prominent use of the sitenotice message, as in past efforts.

The board meeting in question was held at the Wikimedia Foundation offices in St. Petersburg, Florida, from November 29-30. Other topics discussed included expansion of the Board of Trustees, possibly up to 11 members, which will include replacing Tim Shell, along with creating a separate advisory board. An audit of the Foundation's books for its first three years of existence was completed, with a report due "very soon", and an agreement also reached on a revision of the bylaws.

Most notably, three new board members have been chosen for appointment; these members are being contacted to confirm their interest in a position. The board also decided that positions made by appointment will expire after one year or less, meaning that the terms of the new members, as well as current board members Jimbo Wales and Michael Davis will be up for re-appointment in 2007. Board Chairperson Florence Devouard's term was extended to 2008 to provide stability, with the board planning elections for up to three new board members in 2007.

The board also discussed the position of Executive Director; currently, the position is held by Foundation legal counsel Brad Patrick on an interim basis. The board is currently considering ways to handle a search process. A full report of the meeting's notes, provided by Devouard, can be found on the Foundation-l mailing list.

Also this week: Arbitration series

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