News and notes
Wikimedia Israel receives Roaring Lion award
Wikimedia Israel won one of this year's Roaring Lion awards, given out annually by the Israel Public Relations Association
Wikimedia Israel (WMIL) has won a Roaring Lion in the category of Internet and cellular for its public outreach during the tenth anniversary of the Hebrew Wikipedia in July 2013. The awards are given out annually by the Israel Public Relations Association and are modeled on the International Public Relations Association's Golden World Award.
Itzik Edri, the chairman of the board of the chapter, told us that they nominated themselves for the award after the smashing success of their planned celebrations, which included coverage in television, radio, Internet, and traditional print. About half of the coverage was pre-planned, with WMIL working with press organizations to provide accurate history and statistics: "To show the power of Wikipedia we collected a lot of numbers, such the most viewed articles of the last five years, numbers of edits, words and many others, [leading] to many items covering the history of [the Hebrew Wikipedia]", Edri said. Still, they wanted to go further.
To do so, they enlisted the help of Gideon Amichay, an Israeli advertising executive and professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Amichay went to Channel 2, one of Israel's most-watched channels, and proposed a partnership between the two. Channel 2 jumped on the opportunity, something that was unsurprising to Edri, who noted that it was a "collaborative project between the major channel news and the major knowledge website" which presented Channel 2 "as leaders—their senior staff were writing articles on Wikipedia and giving back to this huge project."
Amichay's idea manifested itself in five of Channel 2's senior reporters writing a Wikipedia article, after being trained to do so by Wikimedia Israel. The resulting five video segments, about a minute each, were broadcast over the span of a week. They received enough attention that they were shown again during the following week.
On 2 July, nearly a year after their efforts, representatives of WMIL traveled to the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv to receive their Roaring Lion. The award, which was first awarded in 2004, is given out for at least twelve categories and carries weight in the country; the Israel Public Relations Association, the organization behind the Lions, has 4000 members that represent a large majority of the PR professionals in business, the public service, and the voluntary sector. Previous winners have included the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2011, the Israeli government's Ministry of Tourism in 2012, Hassadah in 2013, and Israeli President Simon Peres' PR team in the same year.
- Foundation news
- FDC shortlist: The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) has published a shortlist of twelve candidates for the open Funds Dissemination Committee positions; four will be selected by the WMF's Board of Trustees. In its primary role, the FDC recommends funding amounts for the Wikimedia movement's largest affiliates. They have also provided feedback on the WMF's budget, though this has not come without controversy.
- WMF May report: The monthly report of the Wikimedia Foundation has been published.
- Android app: The WMF has released a new smartphone app for Android devices. Coded by the WMF's mobile team, it allows users to save pages for offline reading, editing, and buttons to share articles on social media.
- Aaron Swartz: A documentary on the life of Aaron Swartz, the Wikimedian and Internet activist who perished in January 2013, was released this week.
- Quarterly update: The quarterly update comprising all changes to the English Wikipedia's content policies has been published at Wikipedia:Update. Volunteers to restart updates of deletion and enforcement policies are requested.
- Genealogy project: A proposal for a Wikimedia genealogy project has been posted on Meta.
- French community liaison: Wikimedia Switzerland has posted a job advertisement for a French- and English-speaking community liaison. The position will act as a go-between for French-speaking Swiss citizens and Wikimedia entities. The deadline is 15 July.
- Dispenser's tools: Should the WMF give 24 terabytes of storage space—equivalent to ten billion single-spaced pages—to a volunteer to run their automated scripts and tools on Wikimedia Labs? The WMF is facing that question after the final closure of the Toolserver, which had been run by Wikimedia Germany since 2005, and the accompanying loss of the widely used reflinks tool, which automatically converted bare URL references into regular formatted references. While most of the scripts on the Toolserver were ported over to Wikimedia Labs, Dispenser's were not, as they were not released under an open source license, and he wants 24 terabytes of space devoted to his tools. The WMF's Marc Pelletier wrote that 24 terabytes is a "significant chunk of the space available to Labs", as their "disk space is somewhat constrained and expensive to increase because it lives on a highly redundant array of commercial-grade disks and not on consumer devices." Dispenser needs the space so he can store copies of all external links linked from Wikipedia, although the amount of space he wants works out to about a megabyte per link. Discussion at the English Wikipedia's village pump and the Signpost's own suggestions page is continuing.
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