News and notes
Wikimedia Foundation fundraiser a success; Czech parliament releases photographs to chapter
Wikimedia Foundation concludes fundraising campaign
Brightly colored banners detail the role of the Wikimedia Foundation in maintaining Wikipedia
On 27 December the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) announced the conclusion of their ninth annual fundraiser, which attracted more than 1.2 million donors. The appeal reached its goal of US$25 million, even though fundraising banners ran for only nine days.
This year's campaign emphasized facts about the WMF, featuring lines of text in brightly colored banners. Previous campaigns used personal appeals from Wikipedia editors and co-founder Jimmy Wales. While the WMF considers the fundraiser successful, some editors expressed concerns about the invasive banners and what they considered was the low amount of cash raised. The remainder of the WMF's funding will come from grants and donations given outside the annual campaign.
The WMF's Executive Director Sue Gardner said, "I'm grateful that the Wikipedia fundraiser was so successful. Our supporters are wonderful and without them we could not do the job of delivering free content worldwide. We're thrilled to be able to introduce our readers to the editors around the world who create Wikipedia and to invite our readers to join in editing." A thank-you banner campaign began running on Wikipedia this week for viewers in the US, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand—the five countries targeted in this campaign.
Czech Parliament releases photos of senators to chapter
The Parliament of the Czech Republic has released a total of 23 images under free licenses to the local chapter, Wikimedia Czech Republic, marking the beginning of a significant relationship. The images depict newly elected senators in the Czech parliament and will be used in biographical articles on Wikipedia projects. The images are now available on the Wikimedia Commons in this category under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
A representative from Wikimedia Czech Republic contacted the public relations department at the Czech Parliament. Their letter detailed the copyright requirements and impact of Wikipedia. The office could not release photographs of all 81 senators due to the copyright requirements of older images, but the chapter was assured that future photographs would be released for use in Wikipedia. Wikimedia Czech Republic announced the accomplishment with a blog post in both Czech and English on December 28.
- Personal data of editors and a bot subpoenaed: Neumont University is seeking the personal information of all registered editors who made changes to the article on the university, which includes the information about at least one robot, a possible first in a subpoena. The information was subpoenaed for use in a court case against a third party. However, except for users with advanced permissions, the foundation does not possess the addresses, full names, and other personal information of Wikipedia editors.
- Affiliations Committee seeks volunteer candidates: The Wikimedia Affiliations Committee has published a call for 2013 candidates and is looking for about six members. The committee is responsible for guiding volunteers in establishing chapters, user groups, and thematic organizations, and for approving them.
- Commons plans 2012 Picture of the Year contest: The Wikimedia Commons is planning its seventh annual Picture of the Year contest and has announced that Round 1 will begin on January 16, 2013. The planning committee is seeking translators.
- Milestones: Wikidata, the centralized hub for organizing data on Wikimedia projects, reached two million entries this week. At this time, the entries list only the versions of Wikipedia articles in different languages.
- English Wikipedia notes:
- Quarterly update: The quarterly update, compiling the past three months of modifications to content policy pages, is complete.
- Wikipedia's 12th birthday: Wikipedia will turn 12 on 15 January 2013 after being founded by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger on that date in 2001.
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