News and notes
Jackson's death, new data center, more
The King of Pop vs. Wikipedia
Michael Jackson's hospitalization and death on Thursday, June 25 was immediately picked up by news sources and widely broadcast through online social networks, which in turn caused a vast number of people to turn to the Wikipedia article on Jackson. According to the Wikimedia Techblog, the number of people checking the Jackson article caused a load spike that briefly took Wikipedia offline. Developer and member of the Board of Trustees Domas Mituzas described what happened.
This story was in turn picked up by CNN, which also discussed the effects of Jackson's death on other major websites: Twitter and Google News also reported problems. Noam Cohen of The New York Times also reported on the traffic to Wikipedia in the wake of Jackson's death, with nearly a million visitors to the article in the space of an hour, which Jay Walsh of the Foundation said may be the "most in a one-hour period of any article in Wikipedia history." According to Henrik's statistics server, the Jackson article received 5.9 million views on June 26, more than the main page this day, with 12.5 million views total this month so far. William Beutler in a blog post compared this spike to the 2.5 million visitors that the article on Sarah Palin received in the wake of McCain's announcement of her as his running mate in the 2008 United States presidential election, and speculated that the traffic to the article on Jackson may be unprecedented.
web server load spike for Wikimedia sites following news of Michael Jackson's death
Data center donation
The Wikimedia Foundation announced that it has signed a contract with EvoSwitch, a carbon-neutral data center based in Amsterdam. The data center will become Wikimedia's European hub. According to the announcement, EvoSwitch is offering over €300,000 of in-kind support in bandwidth and hosting. There will be around 50 servers installed at the EvoSwitch site.
The Wikimedia Usability project is soliciting feedback on a possible "donation button" to go in the left-hand sidebar. Mockups are available for comment on Meta. The Usability Project also continues to seek feedback on their prototype sites.
"Bookshelf" volunteer sought
The public outreach group at the Wikimedia Foundation is seeking a volunteer to help with the "bookshelf" project to develop short educational materials (such as fliers) about Wikipedia. The volunteer will lay out documents in Scribus, a free desktop publishing program. More information is available on Meta.
Algae articles created, deleted
Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Anybot's_algae_articles resulted in the deletion of 4077 articles, which is possibly the largest number of deletions ever from a bulk AfD. According to the AFD, "Anybot created 4092 algae articles by scraping information out of the AlgaeBase database, and formatting it into articles. In doing so, it introduced numerous serious errors into more-or-less every article." An attempt was made to correct the errors by bot, but it was unsuccessful.
Explore Wikipedia history by browsing The Signpost archives