The Signpost's goal is to provide readers with essential information about the Wikimedia movement and the English Wikipedia – both of which have become large and extremely complex institutions that require timely, balanced and in-depth coverage. The movement has now evolved into a tripartite structure with three interacting layers: the foundation, almost 300 language-based editor communities, and a growing number of chapters that currently number 39. To this must be added the recent innovations of thematic organizations and user groups.
The international importance of the movement is shown by the record levels of monetary donations at a time of economic uncertainty in most of the world. For the coming financial year, the foundation's budget is US$42 million, about a quarter of which will be allocated to eligible entities, including chapters, through the movement's experiment with the Funds Dissemination Committee. This extraordinary growth and the willingness of the movement to develop its methods and structures is further reason that providing clear, concise reportage is essential.
As part of the Signpost's goal, we are trialing a new front page. It is our hope that the new design will give the Signpost a more modern look while retaining the simplicity of the previous version. The new design was launched two weeks ago, and after modifications based on readers' feedback, we hope to keep it on a permanent basis. Before we do so, we invite you to comment on it on our feedback page. Other constructive suggestions for improving the readability of our stories are welcome.
Last week's Special report focused on the new Wikimedia Chapters Association and the controversy around the selection of its first chair, who was the subject of a recently closed arbitration case on the English Wikipedia. The story attracted an unusual number of negative comments on the talk page, including the labeling of the report as a "hatchet job" and as an article worthy of the National Enquirer. The Signpost treats talk-page feedback as a valuable part of our role as journalists, particularly for controversial coverage, but I do not accept the hyperbole directed at the Signpost in these latest comments. The topic was one that the Signpost deemed of interest to a wide segment of our readership, and of sufficient importance to deserve a separate investigative piece; nevertheless, we will keep the comments in mind as we continue to cover the movement as it matures.
In short closing notes: the Signpost inadvertently caused EdwardsBot to be blocked on the German Wikipedia when the automated publishing process was run twice. This was a mistake that will not happen again, and I apologize to the bot operator (MZMcBride) and inconvenienced editors of the German Wikipedia. The promised second Wikimania special, focusing on some of the prominent sessions, will be published when videos of them are uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons.