Ward Cunningham, one of the additional faces featured during this year's fundraiser
The Wikimedia Foundation has posted an update on the Wikimedia Foundation's 2011 annual fundraiser. The update featured images and short biographies of twelve faces that were selected for use during this year's fundraiser. As fundraising chief Megan Hernandez explained, "these past few weeks, we’ve rotated through a couple dozen appeals with people from different parts of the world with unique Wikipedia experiences and personal stories to tell. ... Right now and for the next few days, we have all the appeals up live together." As of time of writing, all twelve appeals that made it through the selection process are still in active rotation, along with Jimmy Wales' own personal appeal.
The annual fundraiser is the Wikimedia Foundation's biggest single source of income, and has been growing with the project since early efforts from 2004. As with last year's drive, this year's event kicked off with Jimbo Wales' "personal appeal", which consistently received the highest feedback in previous drives and has again this year (see previous Signpost coverage), with a change to a green banner curiously gathering increased contributions. The appeals featured then shifted their focus to the community, turning the spotlight on appeals from individual Wikimedians. As of 26 December, according to the fundraiser statistics, a total of $16.9 million has been raised, just surpassing last year's goal of $16 million.
Banner of the "I GP Wikimedia Brasil"
Grand Prix Brasil: Wikimedia Brasil is holding an editing "Grand Prix" to prepare and develop an offline version of the Portuguese Wikipedia. The Grand Prix is a race to develop 5,000 core articles, to be packaged with computers manufactured by Brazilian company Grupo Positivo. According to the Wikimedia Brasil community, this would mean this small part of the Portuguese Wikipedia would be installed on "approximately 13% of the national market of personal computers and with a greater penetration lower-income strata." The event starts in January 2012 with a registration deadline of 7 January; the goal is to have 100 participants in 15 teams, and potential contributors are encouraged to sign up. Prizes are available for contributors, including "buttons, stickers, notebooks and t-shirts".
Wikimedia Israel targets unfulfilled government promise: On 25 December, Wikimedia Israel used a post on its blog (automatic translation) to publish a letter addressed to several figures within the Israeli government. The letter, headed "Re: failure to implement the government decision regarding the release of Government Press Office photographs to the public", noted that although "on 8 May, Independence Day, the government decided to make the אלבום התמונות הלאומי ['national photo album'] and GPO-published images accessible to the public free of charge" (an "important" decision "accompanied by interviews and many articles in the media"), "more than half a year has passed and the government's decision has not yet been implemented". In unrelated news, Wikimedia France posted a summary of their December 9 ceremony at the Musée de Cluny for the winners of Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM) competition. The event also featured a private tour of the museum.
New mailing list created: Stuart West, the Foundation's treasurer, recently founded a new treasurers'mailing list, to disseminate financial and auditing best practice among those responsible to financial transparency within both the Foundation itself and its many affiliated chapters (West was keen to stress, however, that "the list is public and anyone interested in financial reporting and transparency is welcome"). Its members are currently "meeting and greeting"; West took the opportunity to write a detailed post describing the current] governance structure of the Wikimedia Foundation.
Office hours: Philippe Beaudette, the Wikimedia Foundation's "Head of Reader Relations", held an office hours session on 21 December along with Maggie Dennis (moonriddengirl). The discussion focussed on the team's response work, including work emergency, BLP, legal and technical tickets. For example, Beaudette noted that "one of the things that we hear over and over again ... is that readers want a Share/Like button. Some of our experienced editors are opposed to it, but readers really want it". Beaudette held a similar office hours meeting on 22 December.
Two temporary wikis closed: The Tenth Anniversary and ReaderFeedback wikis were both closed this week. The 'ten' Wikipedia was an organizational wiki to facilitate celebrations of Wikipedia's 10th anniversary; the ReaderFeedback wiki served as a testbed for the ReaderFeedback extension. The extension, which has similarities to the ArticleFeedback extension currently being used on the English Wikipedia, has not been in development for some time. In related news, the Indonesian Wiktionary has reached 60,000 entries and 100,000 total pages, the French Wikisource reached 150,000 text units, the Serbian Wikinews reached 70,000 articles, and the Occitan Wikipedia has reached 100,000 total pages.
New administrators: The Signpost welcomes Slon02 as the English Wikipedia's newest administrator.