News and notes
Wikipedians worldwide prepare for decennial celebrations
The back of a multilingual "Wikipedia" anniversary T-shirt
The annual celebrations of Wikipedia Day on January 15 will be of unprecedented dimensions this year, as Wikipedia completes its first full decade. As reported earlier ("Preparations for Wikipedia's tenth anniversary gearing up"), the Wikimedia Foundation has set up a separate wiki to coordinate events – at the time of writing, it listed over 300 events in over 100 countries – and has been supporting these by offering anniversary-themed merchandise, such as buttons and T-shirts. The wiki is currently being advertised via banners on the English Wikipedia.
Considerable worldwide media coverage of the anniversary has already begun, see this week's "In the news".
Lennart Guldbrandsson (left) and Frank Schulenburg (WMF Head of Public Outreach), with Bookshelf material
The WMF's Chief Community Officer Zack Exley has announced that Swedish Wikipedian Lennart Guldbrandsson (User:SvHannibal) has become the fourth recipient of a Community fellowship. He has joined the Outreach team and during his fellowship will work on two of its projects: the Bookshelf Project (focusing on translation and dissemination of the project's instructional material about Wikipedia) and the Account Creation Improvement Project. Guldbrandsson/Hannibal is a longtime Wikipedian, founder and first chair of the Swedish Wikimedia chapter, and author of a book about Wikipedia.
In the community fellowship program, started in September, community members are employed full-time for a limited amount of time by the Foundation's Community Department to work on specific problems (Signpost coverage). The first fellow, Steven Walling (User:Steven (WMF)), is currently coordinating celebrations of Wikipedia's upcoming tenth anniversary (see above) and is also working on the Contribution Taxonomy research project (Signpost coverage).
He was followed by Victoria Doronina (User:Mstislavl) and Maryana Pinchuk, who around the end of September started an eight-week research project to develop methods for writing histories of Wikimedia projects (Signpost coverage).
- Wiktionary's 10 million milestone: On January 10, Wiktionary reached 10 million entries across all languages (as observed by Yair rand based on the statistics at http://s23.org/wikistats/).
- "Four essays every Wikimedian should read!": On her personal blog, the Wikimedia Foundation's Executive Director Sue Gardner recommended Four essays every Wikimedian should read! from Less Wrong (a rationalist community blog co-founded by Eliezer Yudkowsky, see also the entry LessWrong on RationalWiki). As described by Gardner, the four postings are about "collaboration, dissent, how groups can work together productively". In another posting, she described her recent travels in India.
- Fundraising results from chapters: After the Foundation, some Wikimedia chapters also reported results of the recently concluded annual fundraiser. Wikimedia Germany stated that during 55 days of the fundraiser, 68,700 donors had given more than €2 million to the chapter (around 50% of which goes to the Wikimedia Foundation). Wikimedia UK received £500,000 from 30,000 donations.
- Chapter reports: Several Wikimedia chapters recently caught up with their monthly reports for the Foundation: Wikimedia Estonia (July–December 2010, starting from the chapter's founding on July 25), Wikimedia Nederland (October 2010, November 2010), and Wikimedia UK (January 2011, 2010 "catchup").
- Wikimania registration opens: The registration and scholarship application process for Wikimania 2011, to be held from August 4th to 7th in Haifa, Israel, is open. Also, the Wikimania 2012 bidding has opened.
- Look back on foundation of the Esperanto Wikipedia: User:Chuck SMITH has blogged recollections on how he started the Esperanto Wikipedia in late 2001, aided by a donation of content from the existing Esperanto online encyclopedia Enciklopedio Kalblanda.
- Toulouse image donation uploaded: In September, the Archives of Toulouse (France), in a partnership with French chapter Wikimédia France, announced they would contribute digitised photographs by its former curator, French naturalist, mountaineer, geologist and photographer Eugène Trutat. This project was presented at the GlamWiki conference in December (see Signpost coverage). A pre-process had to be done to match the extensive metadata provided by the Archives into Commons auto-translated templates and infer precise categorisation. The 200 files finally hit Commons on December 29. Help is needed to check, categorise further, geolocate and spread the files on Wikimedia projects.