Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Suggestions

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The Signpost
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Suggestions


Archives: September 2014 – Now, May–August 2014, October 2013 – April 2014, May–September 2013, January–April 2013, July–December 2012, May–June 2012, March–April 2012, January–February 2012, November–December 2011, September–October 2011, June–August 2011, May 2011, March–April 2011, August 2010 – February 2011, March–July 2010, November 2009 – February 2010, July–November 2009, January–June 2009, October–December 2008, older: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


This page is for suggesting news to be covered in the next Signpost. For general discussion, comments or questions regarding The Signpost, please see our feedback page.

Contents

Moving Wikipedia From Computer to Many, Many Bookshelves[edit]

Moving Wikipedia From Computer to Many, Many Bookshelves - NY Times article about Michael Mandiberg's art installation exploring what a print version of WP would look like. - kosboot (talk) 10:59, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done In ITM. ResMar 04:15, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
@Kosboot: Isn't "many, many" a bit of an understatement? ;-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 06:12, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
The precise quantification "many, many" is in a reliable source!--Pharos (talk) 15:42, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
If you want a quantification, well... 7600 volumes, each one probably about 6cm thick, means ~450 linear metres. (Having moved 90 linear metres of books a few weeks ago, I wince at the thought). A standard tall IKEA Billy bookcase (six shelves) takes 4.5 linear metres, so that's neatly ~100 bookcases or ~600 shelves. I leave deciding if 600 is "many, many" or "many, many, many" to the reader ;-) Andrew Gray (talk) 16:38, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

7 New Wikipeda Library Free Account Donations[edit]

All the details --Ocaasi t | c 21:52, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done In N&N. ResMar 04:15, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Atlasify: the Geography of Everything[edit]

Wikipedia researchers Brent Hecht et al have created Atlasify, which maps Wikipedia entities based on their relationship to your query. Wired Germany picked up the story. Hecht won WMF research money and he's a well-known author on Wikipedia and computer science. Not only is this a great tool, but he'd be a good interview too. It shows the power of Wikipedia to train advanced search and discovery tools. Disclaimer: I was in his lab for two years. Runner1928 (talk) 03:45, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

Pong ball in flight.svg Runner1928: I've actually been thinking about doing a round-up of good Wikipedia data visualizations on the net. You know of any other good ones? ResMar 22:01, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
There are some old collations like this http://infodisiac.com/Wikimedia/Visualizations/ (Which misses things like http://wiki.polyfra.me/ etc.) Shyamal (talk) 05:30, 21 June 2015 (UTC)


Sunshine Sachs[edit]

[NewYork Times article. I think this has been touched upon, but this is a pretty complete NY Times article. Smallbones(smalltalk) 11:57, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Started conversation at WP:COIN. Brianhe (talk) 23:31, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
This will be in the next ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 23:33, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Has been picked up by other media: Daily Mail, Fox News Latino, EFE Brasil, PR Daily. — Brianhe (talk) 23:46, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Article on Gadsby edit war[edit]

An article on the long-term edit war at Gadsby (novel) (over whether to make the article a lipogram) appears in the current issue of Word Ways: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/wordways/vol48/iss2/17/ The original PDF is subscription-only but it looks like a very poorly OCR'd copy is available for free at http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Gadsby%3a+Wikip_dia%27s+Lost+Lipogram.-a0414412559 128.100.3.43 (talk) 07:48, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

One of the many interesting moments in Wikipedian history. ResMar 02:09, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Pakistani EngVar[edit]

It may not be quite Signpost-worthy, but there's a new article out on distinctives of the Pakistani version of English. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2615663&download=yes – Philosopher Let us reason together. 21:57, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Co-op pilot and call for mentors[edit]

The Co-op is a recently-piloted mentorship space for newer editors, and was funded by an Individual Engagement Grant (IEG) from the Wikimedia Foundation. Our team has recently completed our final report (pending final approval from the WMF at this time). When compared to new editors who are not mentored, mentorship has several positive benefits for new editors in terms of remaining active, editing more, and editing more broadly. The Co-op was also successful at drastically reducing the amount of time (by a factor of several days) that an editor waits for a mentor. We also found that mentorship appears to be better for editors with a small amount of editing experience, rather than no experience whatsoever. The Co-op will reopen on July 6th for broader use, and invite editors to consider becoming a mentor. Mentoring is a positive experience for newer editors, and shows that we, as a community, are invested in educating them on building an encyclopedia together. I, JethroBT drop me a line 21:23, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Wait to finish the pilot? ResMar 13:31, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
@Resident Mario: The pilot is actually finished at this point. Do you mean you'd prefer to wait until the final report is OK'd by the WMF? I, JethroBT drop me a line 17:36, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Ah, yes. To be carried in our usual N&N reports there really ought to be something to report about, ae. something newsworthy. You can write a special report anytime, but that's work that you'd have to do (and perhaps would prefer to do, depending on what your goal is in terms of advertising). Or both, depending on the newsworthiness of what's going on that week and on my own personal time availability. You can also consider writing a post to the Wikimedia Blog, which would likely be picked up for republication here as a "Blog" entry. ResMar 01:52, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
A WMF blog post is in the works, so that may work. A special report may work better though, so thanks for pitching that idea my way. I just wanted to see if any of the writers here might be interested in checking it out, as an outsider perspective can be useful. Thanks, I, JethroBT drop me a line 17:46, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
WMF Blog post for the Co-op just went up yesterday. Could it be included in blog entries for next week? I, JethroBT drop me a line 19:12, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Hi Jethro, we will look into it. @Gamaliel: Go Phightins! 19:17, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Stub Contest[edit]

...has been given the green light to be run again in August. As before, WMUK will donate funds for Amazon vouchers for the winners. Signups are at Wikipedia:Stub Contest/Entries. Cheers, Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 22:11, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

Pong ball in flight.svg Casliber: Wouldn't it be better to mention this right before the contest begins? a.e. at the end of July. ResMar 13:30, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
Yeah probably....at least it's on the radar now anyway :) Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:48, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
@Resident Mario:...guess now would be a good time? cheers, Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 00:59, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Edits from Government of India's IP addresses[edit]

This has been picked up by several mainstream media sources in India, including Indian Express, The Hindu, The Times of India, Zee News, CNN-IBN and NDTV among others.

Edits from an anonymous IP address belonging to Government of India's National Informatics Centre were made to the articles on Jawaharlal Nehru (first Prime Minster of India), Motilal Nehru (his father) and Gangadhar Nehru (his grandfather).

The edits[1][2] related to Jawaharlal claimed that he was born in a "den of flesh trade" and that he was forced to agree to partition of India by Edwina Mountbatten, who blackmailed him with sexually explicit photos (plus, that Lord Mountabatten was gay). The first claim seems to originate from the fact that Nehru's birthplace Meergunj is now a red-light district. The second claim is based on the alleged love affair between Nehru and Lady Mountbatten (attested by her daughter, who insists that no sex was involved).

The edits[3][4] related to Motilal and Gangadhar Nehru claimed that they were Muslims. This stems from a conspiracy theory popular among certain Hindu nationalists, who accuse the Nehru–Gandhi family and their Indian National Congress of being pseudo-secular and anti-Hindu. According to this theory, Gangadhar was a Muslim who adopted a fake Hindu identity to avoid an arrest during the British Raj.

The edits are especially controversial because the current Indian government is headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has close links to Hindu nationalist organizations and is the principal rival of the Indian National Congress. utcursch | talk 19:15, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

@Utcursch: Can I incorporate your comments here into my story and add you on as co-author? A lot of this valuable context is absent from the news stories about the incident. Gamaliel (talk) 23:57, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
@Gamaliel: Sure, no problem. utcursch | talk 13:29, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
@Utcursch: Thanks! I've incorporated your background into my piece. Gamaliel (talk) 20:12, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

IN THIS ISSUE[edit]

Sometimes, I read articles in draft form if I'm curious to see what the Signpost is going to be covering in the upcoming week. But I've wondered about the IN THIS ISSUE listing of articles in the bottom right-hand portion of the draft article's page...is there a reason why the Traffic Report isn't ever listed? It's almost always published every week so it seems like it qualifies as a regularly appearing feature unlike sections like Discussion Reports which appear irregularly. I know it is a small omission but it seems like you probably have to add in the link every week so it might make sense to just add it to the template. Liz Read! Talk! 21:18, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Pretty sure it's a manual template that was written a long time ago and so doesn't list newer report options. That being said, since the page is explicitly a draft until published, and since the publication process fixes these issues, I don't see it as being a problem worth addressing—just an unfortunate quirk in the system. ResMar 21:39, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
It wouldn't be a lot of effort to add Traffic Report to the basic template...but I'm not going to edit the Signpost templates so I just left the suggestion. Liz Read! Talk! 18:18, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

The Valuation of Unprotected Works: A Case Study of Public Domain Photographs on Wikipedia[edit]

See discussion at Commons. I do hope this study is either ignored by Signpost (as the C-grade student-essay trash that it is) or is given a very critical response. Just as a serious newspaper doesn't publish junk science as though it was fact, we shouldn't lower ourselves to giving publicity to any rubbish that mentions Wikipedia. The same goes for that site "The Register", which pretends to be a tech news outlet but increasingly is just a blog for one guy's mission to write nonsense about Wikipedia. -- Colin°Talk 07:39, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

  1. If you didn't want this to get traction you wouldn't have posted it here?
  2. You seem to be taking this one personally; I agree with Lane's comments on Commons. ResMar 13:33, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
This study was discussed in the April installment of Recent Research. Gamaliel (talk) 14:54, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
I see it now, thanks. Well I suspect it was given an easy ride because the message, that what we're doing is valuable, agrees with people here. It is still junk science and as such actually has the potential to harm our message. Opponents can pick huge holes in it, call us gullible, etc. We need to use either proper science or argue convincingly. I've no idea why Resident Mario thinks this is personal: I dislike seeing junk science no matter what the domain. -- Colin°Talk 18:20, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Why Wikipedia + Open Access = Revolution[edit]

Why Wikipedia + Open Access = Revolution - article in MIT Technology Review, courtesy of User:Aubrey. - kosboot (talk) 13:55, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Larry Sanger's Infobitt is out of money[edit]

Tweet, blog post - a followup to Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2014-12-17/In the media#Sanger_launches_a_.22Wikipedia_for_news.22 - David Gerard (talk) 20:32, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

I've added this to the new ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 22:01, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

Hacking Team wikileak[edit]

HT Matthias Schindler for alerting me to [5] - Hacking Team wanted to do something about their Wikipedia article - David Gerard (talk) 20:48, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure there's enough here for a full story, but I will mention it in some way in the next ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 22:02, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedian in Residence for Gender Equity[edit]

West Virginia University just posted this job ad: http://employmentservices.hr.wvu.edu/wvu_jobs/faculty_equivalent_academic_professionals/wikipedian-in-residence-for-gender-equity. "The primary focus of the Wikipedian in Residence for Gender Equity (WIR) will be to expand the impact of women contributors and creation of women-focused content on Wikipedia (with an emphasis on West Virginia’s context)." This goes well with the ongoing discussion of gender in our community. Runner1928 (talk) 04:26, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

Runner1928, it looks like the position was mentioned in this week's issue: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2015-07-08/News and notes. Liz Read! Talk! 18:24, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

[edit]

A while back I mentioned that with all the bad news about covert paid editing, the SignPost could use some balance on the topic. I got distracted/busy with other things and never circled back. If there is still some way I can encourage/facilitate some kind of more balanced coverage on the topic, I should have some time available next week or so to contribute. There is rarely any "news" about ethical participation - so I was thinking an interview or interview-panel or something? I get stuff like this a lot, where the editor just assumed the article was spam/promotion due to a COI author, but later passed it as GA (with no significant changes), once they actually looked at it. CorporateM (Talk) 05:24, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

I opened a ticket for you at the Special desk, let's discuss format and so on there. ResMar 13:44, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
It might be useful to review how the Signpost has covered this subject in the past: Category:Wikipedia Signpost Paid editing archives. Liz Read! Talk! 18:15, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Just to clarify, I didn't mean to imply that the Signpost itself (its editors) were incorporating some kind of bias. A while back when it was a hot topic, a lot of op-ed type articles were hosted that served as a platform for extreme views, which served as balance by hosting one extreme view one week, and the opposite view the next week. This is a problem with a lot of Wikipedia pages. Criticisms don't balance promotion, they just create junk articles that are half promotion and half attack content. In comparison, stories written by the SignPost editors are in Wikipedia style, devoid of advocacy. I quite enjoy reading them for that reason.
Anyways, I took a look at the category @Liz: provided to see if it was just me (I certainly could be just flat wrong), but the most recent articles it has is from March? Did the SignPost not cover this? Taking a look at the category, not only might I be wrong, but I would say the opposite may be true. Too many paid editors promoting paid editing - not something I want to be a part of. Maybe if anything the opposite is needed, but then I'm wondering if the categroy is accurate/up-to-date. CorporateM (Talk) 22:43, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Pong ball in flight.svg CorporateM: Please leave feedback at the special desk, where it is much more easily seen by the editors who will be responsible for editing the piece. A smartlink to a more temporally but less precisely complete listing I left there; I will reproduce it here, because it has come up: For more Signpost coverage on paidediting see our paidediting series. . Please, let us take the discussion to the ticket here. ResMar 23:15, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

Grant Shapps: El Reg says he's filed request under Data Protection Act[edit]

According to The Register, Grant Shapps has now requested, under the Data Protection Act, what information Wikimedia UK holds on him. This follows from the Arbitration finding.--A bit iffy (talk) 14:55, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

It looks more than a bit iffy; it looks like recycled attack material. If you were to publish a bit on this, you should make sure that the UK chapter gets a chance to respond. Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:53, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
You got a laugh out of me all right Smallbones... +1. ResMar 20:15, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

5 New Visiting Scholars Positions Open[edit]

Wikipedia Library and Wiki Education Foundation are announcing 5 new Visiting Scholar positions for full access to a top university library, from anywhere in the world, to you help editors write articles about the institutions' collections. The first round was a success and the next 5 schools are McMaster University, University of Washington, DePaul University, University of Pittsburgh, and the Smithsonian Institution; applications are open for the 5 new positions. See also coverage on Wikimedia Blog: [6]. Thanks! Ocaasi t | c 19:53, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done In N&N this week. ResMar 19:16, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

What's with the new look?[edit]

A number of Signpost articles (or parts of them) are presented in a fixed width & typeface. While I have no strong opinion about layout, I am unhappy that I am forced to view articles only in a sans-serif typeface. I loathe sans-serif for reasons I won't state here, & I prefer to read Wikipedia in the font of my choice. -- llywrch (talk) 18:40, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

Hi, we have been experimenting with some new layout and style options. Resident Mario can elaborate in more detail; as always, we are open to critical feedback. Thanks. Go Phightins! 04:02, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
This is all I have to say. ResMar 04:55, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Well, all I have to say is don't force your choice of fonts down other people's throats. -- llywrch (talk) 06:05, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
You're going to have to excuse me for thinking that your concern is unreasonably pedantic. There are plug-ins that you can use to force your web browser to display font of your choice if you are so inclined. ResMar 00:29, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
You're going to have to excuse me for thinking you are an asshole & ought to FOAD. I've modified my skin to default to serif fonts, after having the Foundation shove one design choice down my throat, & was more or less content. Now your changes have broken that, & your only answer is "find a plugin" & learn to love your better taste in things. You expect me to accommodate your "judgment"? That is why I find all of these graphic design experts annoying & deserving a thorough horsewhipping: they do not know better than I how I want to see what I read. I want that choice, & you have denied me that. Or maybe I ought to just edit all your formatting & see how much you like being denied that choice; after all, Wikipedia is a website "anyone can edit". -- llywrch (talk) 20:43, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
From a philosophical standpoint, change is an inevitable prerequisite to growth, and I don't think you have something against sans-serif fonts, really—you have something against the Wikimedia Foundation. Does your utter loathing of sans serif fonts mean that you refuse to use over half of the websites on the Internet? Every time you do something as simple as a Google search you use make use of a sans serif font. I would find that a curious state of existence. ResMar 03:56, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Sign language Wikipedia projects on Incubator move forward with keyboard editor[edit]

Roughly 24 hours ago, the SignWriting keyboard was enabled on Wikimedia Incubator. This allows for direct editing of written sign language within MediaWiki. Previously, Wikimedia Incubator could only view SignWriting. The keyboard is a major step forward in usability and accessibility. We expect to see increased activity now on the ASL Wikipedia. We are excited because other sign languages can start any time. Real written sign language is possible within a Wikipedia or Wiktionary environment.

The keyboard was highlighted as the first presentation of the SignWriting Symposium for 2015. “The Javascript-based SignWriting Keyboard for Use on Wikimedia and throughout the Web” by Yair Rand. Wikimedia is on track to become a major source of written sign language for all of the sign language of the world. Slevinski (talk) 03:34, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Hi Slevinski. This is interesting news. Would you possibly be interested in writing a special report on it, elaborating on the revolutionary concept? Go Phightins! 04:03, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
This part of the story begins with the Amsterdam Hackathon 2013. I was able to attend because of a scholarship. I wrote about what I did at the Hackathon and Gerard wrote an nice blog with some detail. For over 2 years, it has been possible to view sign language on Wikimedia Incubator, but it required outside editors with copy and paste.
In the early days of SignWriting, the first keyboard editor appeared in 1986 for the Apple IIe and Apple IIc. SignWriter was written by Richard Gleaves with only 128KB of memory. Later switching to DOS, Richard developed SignWriter DOS into a fully functional keyboard editor available in a multitude of languages. Development continued until 1995. Starting in 2005, drag-and-drop editors first appeared for SignWriting. With these new editors, it was no longer possible to use the keyboard to write sign language.
Immediately after SignWriting became viewable on Incubator, Yair Rand became interested in the concept. Even though Yair didn't know SignWriting nor any specific sign language, he was able to improve the scripting and styling for SignWriting on Incubator. For the past two years, he's been learning about the rules of SignWriting Text and he has been improving the Incubator experience for all sign languages. The original SignWriting Viewer had a simple idea. He has embraced the idea, built upon it, and created an environment where it is possible to write sign language directly in Wikimedia Incubator. His progress is documented throughout Incubator and the Wikimedia websites and IRC.
Yair Rand created a keyboard editor for SignWriting based on his experience and ideas, rather than the SignWriter DOS model. However, his flexible keyboard design is allowing him to support several different keyboarding styles. Currently, Yair Rand is working on the SignWriting DOS style keyboarding option.
Yair Rand believes keyboarding is necessary to improve the speed of entering SignWriting in electric form. The drag-and-drop editing style is more user friendly, but not built for speed. As the SignWriting keyboard improves and people can work with a few keyboarding styles, we will soon see people touch-type SignWriting on Incubator and quickly building Wikipedias and Wiktionaries in written sign language.
Development is not finished, but it is certainly time to expand the sign language users on Incubator. The American Sign Language Wikipedia on Incubator has 50 articles. These articles were written outside of Incubator. There are several other sign languages that are interested in starting Wikipedia and Wiktionary projects, but none of the others have started because of the lack of editors.
Now with Yair Rand's keyboard editor I expect to see increased activity on the ASL Wikipedia. If the keyboard editor works and people start writing on the ASL Wikipedia, it is entirely possible that we could have our first official sign language Wikipedia available here http://ase.wikipedia.org.
The keyboard was highlighted as the first presentation of the SignWriting Symposium for 2015. “The Javascript-based SignWriting Keyboard for Use on Wikimedia and throughout the Web” by Yair Rand. Wikimedia is on track to become a major source of written sign language for all of the sign languages of the world. Slevinski (talk) 13:40, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Is a bureaucrat's BARC worse than his bite?[edit]

Submitted by Kudpung

A recurring theme echoing through the meta corridors of the English Wikipedia has been 'Make RfA easier and make desysoping easier'. The two go hand in hand but are easier said than done, but after years of tussle between rival factions and non partisan editors over the intrinsic value of Adminship as an institution, and the vast amount of data mining and discussion at WP:RFA2011, on Friday 24 July a debate was launched addressing the major area of contention: Community desysoping. The basics, following on from a successful 2012 proof of concept by Worm That Turned were first laid down by Kudpung as a user space draft and primarily sought to relieve the Arbitration Committee of most of the process through a new, lightweight task for Bureaucrats supported by other members of the community.

In the wake of a recent flurry of renewed interest in the RfA system, always claimed to be 7 days of terror for the candidates, and a debate concerning Bureaucrat inactivity, users Worm That Turned and Kudpung are offering a compact and transparent community driven process through which instances of admin misconduct can be fast tracked, requiring recourse to the Arbitration Committee only in cases of stalemate or where privacy issues are involved. The discussion on the possible introduction of a Bureaucrats' Admin Review Committee (BARC) is at Administrators/RfC for BARC - a community desysoping process| and will last for 30 days.

Kudpung: I talked this over with a few of my Signpost colleagues, and we were wondering if you would be interested in expanding this a bit into an op-ed, rather than just an informational piece. Some guiding questions for expansion could be:
  • What does the initial community reaction to this proposal look like? Different than in the past? Why?
  • What issues remain that you and others will need to sort out?
  • What do you think of the German Wikipedia's system (see previous SP coverage: NAN Jan. 21, 2013, Special Report Oct. 22, 2012.
If you would prefer to leave it as is, that is fine -- we will figure out a good way to include it -- but we are in agreement it would be a compelling op-ed if you have time to write something up. We would need it by next Wednesday UTC. Thanks! Go Phightins! 12:53, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Go Phightins!, I can't promise but time permitting I'll try to expand it into an op-ed in time for your deadline. The RfC has only been open for a few hours but has rapidly accumulated some intersting comments which I could build on in addition to addressing your questions. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 13:31, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Sounds good. Worst case scenario we have what you already wrote. Go Phightins! 18:14, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Just to be on the safe side, I'm calling for a second opinion before I write an Op-ed because I don't want to compromise the RfC in any way. It's already one of those RfC where there are some contentious and nassty comments, but increased intelligent participation is always welcome from anyone whichever side they vote so the main aspect of the piece is the advertorial. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:38, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Kudpung, another option is having your advertisement above slightly modified and put in as the lead for discussion report, basically to outline the discussion and invite others to participate. Go Phightins! 13:14, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Forgot to @Kudpung:. Go Phightins! 21:24, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Wikimania[edit]

I know you just got an issue out (looks great, by the way), but I was archiving articles from the previous week and noticed Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2015-07-22/Wikimanía report says that it is Part I. Do you expect additional parts in the next few weeks? I see, reading News and Notes this week that there was a problem recording sessions and I don't know whether your correspondent depended on those. Thanks. Liz Read! Talk! 18:04, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

There will be a part two from Peaceray, hopefully within the next week. Go Phightins! 19:14, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for reply, Go Phightins! I look forward to the piece. Liz Read! Talk! 20:49, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

WMF staff overview[edit]

It takes years to build up trust and confidence in the WMF and this relies much on active Wikipedians who are privileged to get to know some of the staff personally and maintain relations with them. There have been some very significant changes in staff since Tretikov was appointed as CEO and while the Foundation maintains a 'Staff' page, it does not go into the details of how and why people have been reshuffled or replaced and by whom they have been succeeded, or how some of the same job titles have simply been renamed. The comings and goings of the volunteer communty by contrast are quite transparent and regular Wkipedians generally knows who's who here. Could The Signpost do some research and bring us an article that covers some of the goings and comings of staff overt the past 12 months? --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:04, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

35 names on this list alone is something to go on, all templated on or around 7 Aug as no longer being employees. That's quite a lot out of an estimated 200 or so employees. Director or Manager of something, or 'Senior' something, while several have been temporary interns. Some were indeed nevertheless very senior positions even if it may be an American tradition to liberally apply titles such as Director or Manager. Erik Möller. Deputy Director of the WMF until April 2015. User:Jorm(left Nov 2014 (Brandon Harris), User:Dario (WMF), User:Aroberts (WMF) User:Dfox (WMF), User:EWallace (WMF), User:Evan (WMF), User:DPeterson (WMF),User:Fabrice Florin (WMF),User:Howief (WMF) (Howie Fung),User:Ijon (Asaf Bartov),User:Jaredzimmerman (WMF),User:JErrett (WMF),User:JGonera (WMF), User:JHall (WMF), User:Jqadir (WMF), User:Kmenger, User:Kpulec (WMF), User:Mgrover(WMF), User:Mromanovsky (WMF), User:MBrown (WMF), User:Matthew (WMF), User:MAssaf (WMF), User:Maryana (WMF), User:Zhengan, User:Zbernard (WMF), User:Staeiou (WMF), User:SMitroff (WMF), User:Sharihareswara (WMF), User:SG (WMF), User:Rdunican22 ,User:Rdunican (Public Policy), User:Pholm (WMF), User:PBhattacharya (WMF),, User:NEverett (WMF). Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 02:27, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi Kudpung. We have significant internal discussions about staff comings and goings, and in fact just the other day I commented at the frequency with which "senior" and "manager" appear in WMF titles. You are right that WMF is not terribly transparent about explaining the comings and goings (not atypical, necessarily). We can definitely look into this further. Thanks for the suggestion. Go Phightins! 02:29, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
Oh,and there's also User:Steven (WMF) (Steven Walling) of course. Its going to be interesting to find out the reason for this sudden mass exodus. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:13, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
Pong ball in flight.svg Kudpung: I've been writing N&N for awhile now and so have been closest to this issue. I have in private and at various times:
  1. Griped about the perennial behind-ness and occasional complete wrong-ness of the staff page. I had to myself remove GYoung from the chart two months after her leave was announced.
  2. Griped about the fact that individuals' job descriptions disappear as soon as the hire is made (current hirings).
  3. Speculated on the nature of the leavings and hirings. We sometimes have additional privileged information that is non-public and therefore not publishable here. Sometimes we really know nothing more than standard editors, and are left to speculate. Employees and employers alike do not usually want to talk about why they were hired (beyond the usual business-prudent blather) and certainly not about leavings or even removals.
This is all derivative organizational stuff, though. The central question being asked is "What has Lila Tretikov meant for the WMF?"; talking to former employees is a method to approach this question, not the question itself. I did suggest at one point writing an entire piece on this specifically, and am probably the best placed of us to try to answer it, but such a deep look requires exhaustive time and research resources that none of us currently have. We know enough to speculate, but speculation isn't good journalism. Good journalism is far harder.
In short the answer is that such a piece is both highly necessary and highly unlikely to happen. There's only so much work that uncompensated volunteers will do. ResMar 19:24, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
I think what is signficant in this particular case is the sudden exodus of so many genuinely senior staff very shortly after Tretikov officially took office. It can't be a coincidence, and there's the intrigue that demands an article. I regret not being in Mexico to find out more but on the other hand I'm glad I didn't waste my time and money going because so many of the staff I knew well and trusted wouldn't have been there. It's important to us volunteers to maintain direct relations with them in spite of fundamental clashes of interest. I still think there is an article here even if it raises more questions than it answers.Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 19:56, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
As User:Kudpung says "It can't be a coincidence..." It probably isn't. But it is very typical of almost any organization that when senior management changes, often many of those under the top also feel it's time to make a change. It may be due to a fundamental and (what some may want to read as a) portentous change. But it may be due simply to wanting to work with particular kinds of people. (When one is out of a job, one thinks it's one's merit that counts; when one has the job, one can realize that's it's one ability to work with others that overrides all.) As far as the change of function, that is also very typical. For example, I work for a organization where the running joke is that by the time anyone looks at the organizational chart, it's already out of date. That's the nature of organizations today. So before anyone wants to write an investigative report, first familiarize yourself with how organizations need to run today. Only then should you compare it to WMF and see how it works. - kosboot (talk) 20:19, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
There was also a significant re-organization of the Product and Engineering groups at the WMF beginning around May. Re-orgs usually entail some turn-over. Kaldari (talk) 03:01, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

The Covert World of People Trying to Edit Wikipedia—for Pay[edit]

Article in the Atlantic: The Covert World of People Trying to Edit Wikipedia—for Pay - via User:Ocaasi - kosboot (talk) 13:50, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

Should make ITM next week. ResMar 22:37, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it will be the lead story in ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 23:27, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
I was wondering if it's appropriate to link from a navbox to a Signpost article. Specifically, should this be linked from {{COI on Wikipedia}}, or would that be weird? — Brianhe (talk) 04:12, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
Pong ball in flight.svg Brianhe: See Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Index. Specifically this link would be what you are looking for.
There are long-term plans to thread the Signpost through a lot of navigation templates using this interface, but a lot of work remains to be done before that is possible. ResMar 05:19, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
Oof, that doesn't look very pretty ... it opens an unsaved sandbox page? What if I linked to the various tagged articles instead: Is Wikipedia for sale?, Extensive network of clandestine paid advocacy exposed, etc.? — Brianhe (talk) 05:25, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
The content is auto-generated. The Sandbox thing is a hack to allow the indexing to remain on-wiki (otherwise a Labs tool would have to be written for the purpose). ResMar 06:05, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
I guess what I should have asked is, is it a permanent solution or a temporary hack until something more "normal looking" is implemented? I hesitate to link to a hacky solution from a fairly widely visible navbox. — Brianhe (talk) 06:15, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
There isn't any "normal looking" solution in the sense that you describe. In terms of presentation this is what it's going to be. The advantages of having the indexing on-wiki are utilitarian, while the advantages of doing all of this work off of a Labs tool are aesthetic. And of course, what's done already is done. ResMar 13:35, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Okay, I added the link you suggested to the navbox. Here's what it looks like now. — Brianhe (talk) 14:23, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

May I suggest that application of the #paidediting tag be double checked? For instance, Understanding shifting values underlying the paid content debate on the English Wikipedia (20 July 2014) isn't returned in the results, yet it is in Signpost's RELATED ARTICLES PAID EDITING DEBATE, 2012–15 sidebar. — Brianhe (talk) 15:32, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

As I've already said, it's still an unfinished product. ResMar 23:04, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia suddenly lost a massive amount of traffic from Google[edit]

Wikipedia suddenly lost a massive amount of traffic from Google - full article at Business Insider, via Facebook, which also mentioned that this was discussed at the WMF Metrics meeting. - kosboot (talk) 21:08, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

".music applicant caught using bogus Wikipedia page"[edit]

I've been reading some domain blogs lately and came across this:

It is recent and possibly worth mentioning. Is there somewhere where I can request editors to review the integrity and tone of the Music community article, which happens to be constructed from many sources that are not immediately accessible? I would encourage people reading this to please take a look at the article and tag appropriately and/or improve as needed. Thanks for your consideration. ---Another Believer (Talk) 17:53, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Update: I created a new section here, but please let me know if there is a more appropriate venue. I will let Signpost contributors decide if the DomainIncite article is worth including or not. Thanks again! ---Another Believer (Talk) 18:15, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
@Gamaliel: FYI Go Phightins! 04:45, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
I started looking into this, but I can't find the original document that was supposedly plagiarized from. Not much of a story without actually seeing what was allegedly copied. Gamaliel (talk) 04:46, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Article about Wikipedia[edit]

For the "in other media" section, Cracked.com has a good article about Wikipedia from a former editor and administrator. [7]. --Jayron32 15:40, 15 August 2015 (UTC)

Paper: "Content Volatility of Scientific Topics in Wikipedia: A Cautionary Tale"[edit]

...by Adam M. Wilson and Gene E. Likens in PLOS ONE, 14 August 2015 (here). Paper says articles on politically-controversial scientific subjects attract more edits than non-politically-controversial ones, and so readers should be cautious. However, William Connolley (a one-time admin on Wikipedia) is very scathing about the paper's quality (here). --A bit iffy (talk) 22:21, 15 August 2015 (UTC)

Recent research will pick this up at the end of the month, hopefully. ResMar 02:31, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

Reimagining WMF grants[edit]

Earlier this week, a three-week consultation aimed at improving the Wikimedia Foundation's grants programs was launched on meta by the Community Resources team at the WMF. Concrete details of the proposal can be found at m:Grants:IdeaLab/Reimagining WMF grants, and relevant discussion is centralized here. Details about consultation generally can also be found here. I wondered whether this might be a good topic for a Discussion report? As the community organizer for this consultation, if there is anything I can contribute to the report, I'd be happy to help. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 18:41, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

This is the NAN main. ResMar 22:41, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

The Verge article re. Russian Wikipedia incident[edit]

Good evening. You've probably already seen this analysis piece from The Verge regarding the Russian Wikipedia's recent brush with official extinction but just in case you haven't: http://www.theverge.com/2015/8/27/9210475/russia-wikipedia-ban-censorship Ceannlann gorm (talk) 18:51, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Research Faux Pas: The Stigma of Wikipedia[edit]

paywalled article at:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01639269.2015.1062587?journalCode=wbss20

16:50, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

This looks like it might be worth covering in Research Review. Thanks! Gamaliel (talk) 18:53, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Open call for Individual Engagement Grants has begun[edit]

The Inidividual Engagement Grants (IEG) program has begun its open call for Round 2 grants yesterday, and will last until September 29th. An announcement can be found here. Of note, there were changes made to the eligibility guidelines for technical projects; proposals for new or revised software that require code review and integration are eligible for funding. Applicants will need to be able to perform those tasks independently, and also coordinate with relevant maintainers. Maybe something for N&N? Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 17:01, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

[edit]

Wikipedia blocks hundreds of paid socks (story at Arstechnica). Not something that I would personally want to write up. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:24, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Also see Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard#Orangemoody long-term abuse case and COI cases
There is mention there of "shakedown tactics", I call it racketering. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:36, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
There is lots more here starting with Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Wikipedia:Long-term_abuse.2FOrangemoody

and Wiki blog

Tech Crunch

Fusion uses the term "extortion" repeatedly, e.g. "charging prices of roughly $30 a month for what amounts to a protection and extortion racket". I would be just slightly careful here. Fusion seems as if the are quoting or paraphrasing Risker, but I don't see the exact word "extortion" in her summary Wikipedia:Long-term abuse/Orangemoody.

I'm sure there will be more soon, but probably won't report it here since I'm late for the party. Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:13, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

PC World, Ars Technica, Wired, Vice, The Independent, Le Temps, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Die Zeit Washington Post. I'd say "extortion" is a fair equivalent of "shakedowns", which was the word used at LTA. — Brianhe (talk) 19:34, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
The Independent has the best article, tracking down individuals and businesses who were scammed. It makes it quite clear that the word extortion applies. The rest are more or less summaries of the Wikiblog and other sources above, but they almost all use the word extortion or in one case "blackmail." Smallbones(smalltalk) 00:47, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
As should we. It is ridiculous that the WM Blog does not, but it's got an image to protect. ResMar 02:02, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
The Independent' used the phrase "blackmail scandal" on the front page of Wednesday's print edition [8]. Maybe a low-res version could be used in The Signpost? — Brianhe (talk) 06:04, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
Another idea for an illustration - somebody could photoshop a screen shot from WP:AfC with the crime scene tape in File:Police Line Curb Police Tape 3912300267 8c2b94756f o.jpg
Or other photos at Commons Category:Black_and_yellow_caution_tape
Just a thought. Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:44, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia Science Conference[edit]

I'm sure you'll cover the Wikipedia Science Conference, which finished yesterday. A great success, everyone there agreed. Johnbod (talk) 13:06, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

Sure. This is the first I've heard of it, but we can give it a go. An account by someone who was there would be more valuable, though, if you know of anyone who might be interested. Also, are there pictures available yet on Commons? Gamaliel (talk) 14:48, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
Commons cat - no doubt still growing. I've passed this to User:MartinPoulter, the convenor. Johnbod (talk) 15:58, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
I'm asking on social media for someone to write a first-hand account- probably best from someone more objective than the organiser. Just added to the "coverage" section of the event page: Selected tweets from day 1 Selected tweets from day 2 (the event generated over 1000 tweets). Reporters from The Guardian and Nature news and comment were present. MartinPoulter (talk) 16:20, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
We don't have the manpower to do these events justice in terms of coverage, but that coverage is invaluable. @Ijon: I think that would be a good for fit for Community Capacity Development/Communications? ResMar 23:52, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
Nature blogpost Johnbod (talk) 14:33, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! I haven't been able to find anything in The Guardian yet, I suppose it will be forthcoming. Gamaliel (talk) 15:53, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
Nor me. That will be a video only I think, & may take longer. Johnbod (talk) 18:52, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Tortle is writing up the conference coverage, so I'll ping them so they know about the discussion here. Gamaliel (talk) 22:35, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Hi Gamaliel whats up? Tortle (talk) 22:41, 9 September 2015 (UTC)
My article was not really on the coverage and just mentioned the conference without going too much into the details. Tortle (talk) 22:43, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Is The Google Knowledge Graph Killing Wikipedia?[edit]

From Andreas Kolbe: Is The Google Knowledge Graph Killing Wikipedia? by Jayson DeMers, in Forbes. Kind of a sensationalist headline, the article attributing Google's Knowledge graph to the recently-noted decline in Wikipedia use. I don't find it convincing. - kosboot (talk) 14:15, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Uptick continues[edit]

The August stats are out, and the new trend has continued of our most active editors increasing in number. I've got the percentage change at User:WereSpielChequers/100+ editors and Pine is updating his graphs. There were more editors doing over 100 edits still live this August than the edits we have left from August 2014 or August 2013, or by a whisker August 2012. It's possible that in three years time so many of our 2015 edits will have been deleted that August 2015 will have dropped below the current level of August 2012, and we aren't yet back to peak levels.


Other indicators such as new editors and editors saving more than 5 edits per month are still declining, but it is good to have at least one metric moving positively. Worth a small update in Signpost? ϢereSpielChequers 18:30, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Thanks! I've added this to News and Notes. Gamaliel (talk) 21:17, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

First wikidata-generated list article[edit]

Here is the first wikidata-generated list article in the main namespace using Template:Wikidata list, a local instance of Magnus's Listeria bot: List of paintings by Jacob van Ruisdael, featuring the same itemized list in six language Wikipedias. Corrections and additions should be made on Wikidata as otherwise the bot will overwrite them. Jane (talk) 11:08, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Thanks! I've added this to News and Notes. Gamaliel (talk) 21:17, 9 September 2015 (UTC)
Due some reactions by users, Magnus reported on his blog about this list. Magnus has introduced there a new gadget that lets you make corrections to Listeria bot lists inline without going to Wikidata. Personally I find editing WIkidata easier, but lots of people don't. Jane (talk) 08:21, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia page views a potential key to open source web trends data[edit]

From Fuzheado: Wikipedia page views a potential key to open source web trends data. "Japanese researchers have conducted research to prove that Wikipedia’s publicly-available page view data could potentially provide a better insight into web trends than the more limited statistics available from Google." - kosboot (talk) 22:02, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Wikimedia Policy site[edit]

We recently posted a Wikimedia Policy site, with statements about how issues like copyright, censorship, access, privacy, and intermediary liability matter for Wikipedia. If you have any questions, please let us know and we'd be happy to discuss! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 23:10, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Another day, another sub-website. At some point we're going to need to invest in a new website with a website matrix with which we can keep track of all of the new websites. Labs, mediawiki, WMF-wiki, meta, outreach, wikimania wikis, stategic project, public policy now...I get that meta was never really very successful, and I have no illusions that I'll be able to stop the trend now, but giving everyone their own special space just wears that intercommunal thread ever thinner. ResMar 03:01, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
@Slaporte (WMF): I found the intermediary liability writeup very useful and have referred to it in some internal enwp discussions already [9]. - Brianhe (talk) 02:41, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

Dispenser's back[edit]

User:Dispenser got their Tool Labs account back after being banned last year for having used non-Free software in a warez detection system.[10]

So it basically means I have database access again and a bunch of tools are working again. In other news WMF has asked me to use the completely proprietary Google Hangouts. — Dispenser 04:12, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Welcome back! It could be worse, at least Hangouts uses encryption during transmission. Jerod Lycett (talk) 09:51, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
This came about as part of the Community Tech team's work on the requests identified in the All Our Ideas survey. Basically, the community asked the WMF to fix some of Dispenser's tools, so we talked with the Tool Labs admins and worked out an agreement to get Dispenser back onto Tool Labs. Kaldari (talk) 18:49, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Senator admits editing own Wikipedia page, blaming 'person from gay lobby groups' for provoking action[edit]

Relevant pages are here and here. Newspaper article — Preceding unsigned comment added by 95.44.249.150 (talkcontribs) 13:38, 30 September 2015

A BHL researcher and Wikipedian[edit]

A Biodiversity Heritage Library user and Wikipedia contributor - User:Ambrosia10 - http://blog.biodiversitylibrary.org/2015/10/what-makes-citizen-science-project.html Shyamal (talk) 08:10, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

A couple of thought provoking pieces[edit]

Genetically modified organisms arbitration case[edit]

I saw mention of this on user talk-page, but have no idea where to start. Genetically modified topics are of interest to many, and I have seen many allegations that "wikipedia" is censoring articles relating to those topics. So, I am just wondering if there is anyone at the Signpost who can explain this to simpletons like me. Thanks, Ottawahitech (talk) 11:07, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

A Wikipedian in the news[edit]

In the Toronto Star today (October 13) there is an article about User:Johnny Au, and his efforts to fight vandalism on the Toronto Blue Jays article during the playoffs to decide which teams will be in the American League Championship Series. Here is the URL: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/10/12/meet-the-man-keeping-the-jays-reputation-intact-on-wikipedia.htmlAnne Delong (talk) 15:02, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for bringing this up. I am becoming a minor celebrity in my workplace. I even started a discussion on Wikipediocracy: http://wikipediocracy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6934 Johnny Au (talk/contributions) 20:56, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

ITP: Museums Open Up to Power of Wiki - WSJ article[edit]

Very nice article without specifically identifying the Wikimedia NY chapter (who is responsible for pretty much all the NY area contacts): Museums Open Up to Power of Wiki - kosboot (talk) 16:18, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

More articles ....[edit]

[11] On Women in Architecture editathon

Southeast Steuben County to offer Wikipedia workshop in the Corning, NY, Leader. Really short, but it does show how widespread the editathon is becoming. It's not just the British Museum and the Smithsonian anymore.

Wikipedia Goes GLAM: Strategies for Nonprofit Arts Institutions from the Non-Profit Quarterly. Might be related to the WSJ article. Definitely related to the Tech Times article, which has all the junk pop-up nonsense needed to make it unreadable.

In short, the editathon is now part of the establishment. Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:34, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Grants:IEG/Wikipedia likes Galactic Exploration for Posterity 2015[edit]

Dear fellow Wikipedians,

I JethroBT (WMF) suggested that I consult with fellow Wikipedians to get feedback and help to improve my idea about "As an unparalleled way to raise awareness of the Wikimedia projects, I propose to create a tremendous media opportunity presented by launching Wikipedia via space travel."

Please see the idea at meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG/Wikipedia_likes_Galactic_Exploration_for_Posterity_2015. Please post your suggestions on the talk page and please feel free to edit the idea and join the project.

Please can this announcement or a discussion of the project be included in an upcoming issues of the Signpost?

Thank you for your time and attention in this matter. I appreciate it.

My best regards, Geraldshields11 (talk) 14:27, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

Suggestion[edit]

Dear Signpost,
I read in the description that it is possible to use Signpost to advertise events that are occurring, and I hope you will consider posting this information about an Edit-a-thon occurring on November 4, 2015:
In remembrance of Adrianne Wadewitz, the Aphra Behn Society is organizing a five hour Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. The Edit-a-thon is a pre-conference event for the Aphra Behn Society Conference 2015, but anyone interested in Wikipedia editing is encouraged to participate. From 2011-2012, Wadewitz worked with the journal ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830, which is an open access, scholarly journal created by the Aphra Behn Society.
In a 2007 interview for Wikipedia:WikipediaWeekly/Episode35, Wadewitz commented that her work on Wikipedia is a “public service” that is an integral part of being a scholar. More information about her work in the English Wikipedia, her integration of Wikipedia into the classroom, and her efforts to to build bridges between Wikipedia and the Digital Humanities can be found in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2014-04-09/Special report. With a grant from the Wikimedia Project and Event Grants (PEG) from the Wikimedia Inspire Campaign, the organizers of this event will continue Wadewitz’s efforts in increasing three areas: 1) the representation of women in Wikipedia, 2) the number of female Wikipedia editors in order to address gender disparity, and 3) overall academic interest in Wikipedia.
This five hour Edit-a-thon will occur on on November 4, 2015, between 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM EST. The Aphra Behn Society welcomes all Wikipedians to participate in this event, and encourages interested parties to sign their usernames on the event page Wikipedia:Meetup/Aphra Behn Society Editathon. For those new to Wikipedia editing, the organizers have supplied a list of helpful links about editing and will provide live online support through social media on the day of the event. It is the hope of the Aphra Behn Society that participation in the Edit-a-thon will further Wadewitz’s goals of feminist activism on Wikipedia during the event and in the months to follow.
Beachmirage (talk) 22:30, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Google Books decision[edit]

Relevant I think as many editors (myself included) rely on GBooks searches for finding sources. 10 year litigation closed.

In the news[edit]

I saw this article on The Most Prolific Editor on Wikipedia although the blog it's on isn't the most professional. Still, it's a nice portrait of a devoted Wikipedia editor. Liz Read! Talk! 16:09, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

News and Notes[edit]

Could you include a link to this debate on the 5M article logo? Wikipedia:Requests for comment/5 millionth article logo. I'm not a big fan on the options but it would be nice to see more participation. It's just a fluke I had this page on my Watchlist. Liz Read! Talk! 20:53, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

The Atlantic - How Wikipedia Is Hostile to Women[edit]

Suggested image for Signpost report. William Hanna, Iwao Takamoto, User:Scalhotrod, and Joseph Barbera

Suggested source. — Cirt (talk) 18:30, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Nothing new. "cut-and-paste journalism". Rehashing old news. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:44, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Whether you agree or not, it is Wikipedia in the Media. The Atlantic is a well-respected publication. Liz Read! Talk! 23:21, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Since 2011 (the date mentioned in the article), the issue has been raised and to some extent addressed on WP. There have been quite a number of edit-a-thons devoted to adding/enhancing women in WP that I wish someone would do a new survey to indicate the level of progress that has been made. - kosboot (talk) 00:01, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
Why do Wikipedians automatically denigrate any outside article that is critical? Cla68 (talk) 00:51, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
Any article that begins with the statement that Eric Corbett is an admin here is unlikely to impress. Johnbod (talk) 04:18, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, basic fact checking seems to be missing from the article. I'm not aware that Eric has ever been an admin. It renders the rest of the conclusions suspect. They may be on to something, but it's really not worth reading further than that, because I have no confidence in the ability of the writer to do basic journalism. --Jayron32 14:56, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Two job openings at WMF[edit]

Hi. There are 2 new job postings that might of interest to Signpost readers (or someone reading this page):

Please also pass it along personally, if you know someone who might be interested or a good fit. Thanks. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 19:59, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Mention on the Big Bang Theory[edit]

The article Mexican Standoff was mocked in a recent episode of the Big Bang Theory for having a grammatical error in the lead, which led to the error in question being fixed. The [talk page goes into more detail. I thought that this would be an interesting "In Brief" for the In the Media section. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 04:58, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

HIV/AIDS Article Evaluation Workshop[edit]

Hello! I am a medical student from Dartmouth and I have been working on a three phase Wikipedia project in Botswana, and we are proud to announce that tomorrow (Friday, October 30), the University of Botswana, Orange, and the Botswana-UPenn Partnership are co-hosting an HIV/AIDS Wikipedia Article Evaluation Workshop.

Botswana physicians and residents will come together in the morning to assess Wikipedia HIV/AIDS articles for accuracy, currency, comprehensiveness, verifiability, style, and relevancy to Botswana, and in the afternoon they will make edits and recommendations for the articles.

The event is sponsored by one of the major telecommunications providers of Botswana, Orange, and participants will receive Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits from the Botswana Health Professional Council (BHPC) (this is the Botswana equivalent of USA Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, which is huge because it is a statement to the medical community that contributing to Wikipedia is part of our professional responsibility.

This is a great step in increasing awareness surrounding Wikipedia in southern Africa, and in improving the content of online health information that is accessible to the Batswana people. Would love to get some coverage of this! afton.chavez@gmail.com Abchave1 (talk) 20:49, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia a Conspiracy? Common Myths Explained[edit]


Suggested source.

Cirt (talk) 07:30, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

New Big Dog interview[edit]

In the shadow of the 5 millionth article, WP may have overlooked its new #1 editor. On November 1, Ser Amantio di Nicolao surpassed Koavf according to the diff at the WP:NOE subpage. This might be cause for an interview. We would all like to know this person.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 23:11, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

John Bourn[edit]

Private eye No.1404 reported that a bunch of critical material had been removed from his article (and it had here https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=John_Bourn&diff=680706162&oldid=680704178 )

The information was reinserted here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=John_Bourn&diff=687895623&oldid=687818135

by an IP that traces to a rather obscure privacy focused ISP Brass Horn Communications

©Geni (talk) 08:47, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia: The Game[edit]

Boldness in copyviol would be unexpected at Barnes & Noble

I wasn't sure if this had been written about yet or not. Did anyone know that there's an actual Wikipedia board game out there? It's actually not bad, either. I played it with a family member recently and they seemed to dig it. Tokyogirl79 (。◕‿◕。) 01:59, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

I notice that they use the WMF symbol in their instruction manual. @Moonriddengirl: do you know if the WMF has approved of this game? Using the foundation's symbol is controlled right? Maybe the legal dept. should look at this.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 02:13, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I got the impression that they had, but it'd be interesting if they hadn't. Tokyogirl79 (。◕‿◕。) 05:08, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't know. I'll contact the trademark team in case they have not. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:41, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Wow, glad I brought this up then. I suppose that now would be the time to mention that I saw three cards with typo-type errors? Tokyogirl79 (。◕‿◕。) 14:35, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
There's a copy of the game floating around the WMF office. Apparently someone saw it for sale at the Walgreens across the street and picked it up. FWIW, I doubt that the WMF approved this as a trademark use. Kaldari (talk) 04:39, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
@Moonriddengirl: I recall that someone posted an image of a similar (or the same?) game at Target a few months ago. This isn't a one-off! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 06:07, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Katherine Maher and Cetacean needed[edit]

See Awesome nerd joke hidden in Wikipedia’s “List of Cetaceans” from Deep Sea News and List of cetaceans. No, nothing about Jimbo here. Smallbones(smalltalk) 00:21, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Also see the half-hour interview with Kathereine Maher, WMF Communications Director, at WOUB-FM, [12] Smallbones(smalltalk) 00:39, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Maybe Cory Doctrow reported this first in Boing Boing? Cory Doctrow, August 7, 2013 Brianhe (talk) 00:56, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Larry Sanger - no strong claims made, but ...[edit]

In the Independent titled "Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger says website has been 'taken over by trolls'" and the original interview at Vice.com, titled "Wikipedia's Co-Founder Is Wikipedia's Most Outspoken Critic" (headline seems exaggerated)

Probably the most interesting part is: "But I do think it [Wikipedia] has a root problem that's social. People that I would say are trolls sort of took over. The inmates started running the asylum."

Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:46, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

Sounds like he is sucking on sour grapes. If this statement were true, "Larry Sanger said that he walked away from the internet phenomenon just one year after it began life in 2001 because it quickly became “taken over by trolls”. then why would his opinions on the site matter now? Why would they listen to him about the Wiki of now? "“I don’t want to be in the business of Wikipedia-bashing anymore. But I do think it has a root problem that’s social. People that I would say are trolls sort of took over. The inmates started running the asylum.” <== This is a hanger-on that is worthy of denying.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 00:40, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
See Sanger's own blog; he denies these "biggest critic" headlines as exaggerations himself, and his criticisms of the project are cogent. [13]  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:43, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

The 100 Most-Edited Wikipedia Articles[edit]

From Five Thirty Eight: The 100 Most-Edited Wikipedia Articles - which used WM data dumps to make the determination up to November 2013, and excludes edits to Wikipedia help articles. The most edited article as of November 2013: George W. Bush at 45,273 edits. Frustratingly, the author repeats that 2011 study to claim only 9% of editors are women. - kosboot (talk) 00:15, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

Jimmy Wales's take on starting a new business[edit]

"CEO Secrets: Five tips from tech titans", at BBC Online. Waltham, The Duke of 07:35, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

ITM: November 2015 Paris attacks[edit]

ITCW (Inspire To Change the World) reports on the peculiarity of an ample Wikipedia article before much information was confirmed and disseminated by news organizations, including a tweet about the attack 2 days before it happened. - kosboot (talk) 22:16, 16 November 2015 (UTC) - although the sources suggest that the ultimate purpose of the attack is to foment anger at Muslims. - kosboot (talk) 22:21, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

This is total bullshit; in the UK (where the Wikipedian was) there are four 24-hr tv news channels even without an subscription, and they were between them reporting all the various details mentioned before the time stamps stated, and all devoted several hours of solid coverage to the story, ignoring all other stories. He mentions "the newspapers" (presumably US ones) but who looks at those for breaking news? The Wikipedian is clearly a fast writer, but some people are. Johnbod (talk) 01:58, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Notable Tea Room invitee[edit]

This is an odd one in the New Indian Express

Hyderabad Boy's Chai Pe Charcha with Wikipedia

"HYDERABAD: Hyderabadi boy and software engineer (name removed) just got invited for the prestigious Wikipedia Tea House. That means he gets to rub shoulders with veteran editors and writers online, which itself is a rare honour. A Tea House is a friendly place to help new editors become accustomed to Wikipedia culture, ask questions, and develop community relationships. His contributions to the free encyclopedia (written collaboratively by the people who use it) is what fetched him the special invite.
... His contribution was acknowledged and he was recently invited for the prestigious Wikipedia Tea House. Today, he has his chin up as the Wikipedia biography and state member."

Well, it's a bit different in any case. Smallbones(smalltalk) 05:41, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Yikes. This is a hard one. I think I've written about three different versions of my reply because I want to be careful about how I phrase things. I don't want to assume bad faith here or seem like I am. However... the news article was very promotional and clearly the NIE didn't do any research on his claims. It was fairly easy to find out who this editor is, given that they names some of the stuff he's written. Also, the Teahouse invite is the standard one given to editors who are new and/or make problematic edits, telling them that they could seek help at the Teahouse. His userpage is borderline promotional on its own, but becomes even more promotional when you take the NIE article into consideration, given that he's puffing up things that aren't accomplishments at all... and especially given that his edit history is problematic. Seven out of twelve of his articles have been deleted and he's had one warning for removing speedy tags. The other problem is that his professional website features his Wikipedia editing fairly prominently, which wouldn't necessarily be an issue except that part of what he does for a living is social media and digital marketing. That actually has to make me question if there's a COI here (ie, paid editing or trying to encourage people to approach him for paid editing). His page could probably be nominated for MfD because it does run the border of being promotional, but I don't want to discourage him if his edits here are all meant in good faith and his comments to the NIE were made out of non-malicious ignorance of how Wikipedia works. But how to approach him without scaring him off but also ensuring that he has a firm grasp of policy? There might be a pretty good piece in this if anyone can find a good angle. Tokyogirl79 (。◕‿◕。) 09:28, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Maybe an article on how we need to be careful of newspaper sources? I know that several people have commented that there have been multiple cases of newspapers writing biased, unresearched articles, sometimes even in exchange for remuneration of some sort. I'm not saying that this is a case of that, but if it was I wouldn't be surprised. Tokyogirl79 (。◕‿◕。) 09:30, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
I completely understand that this is complicated, and had second and even third thoughts about whether I was biting a newbie - which is why I removed the name in the quote. There's no way I will ever assume that the New Indian Express is a reliable source. That said, there are real issues here about personal puffery, possible paid editing, even relationships with the press, that could do with some consideration/exploration. That is consideration and exploration of the issues, not the individual editor. Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:24, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm going to assume good faith and take this as a positive article (although it might also be The Onion-style sarcasm). It certainly is puffery (reminding me of Babbitt (novel)), but rather than see it negatively, I take it as a good-natured if overblown baby-step. If more news venues celebrated new editors' first edits, that could be a good thing, showing that WP is not inpenetrable and is, in fact, the "encyclopedia that anybody can edit." - kosboot (talk) 19:08, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
My biggest concern though is that the article isn't really talking about him as a new editor, but rather like he's an experienced editor that has been nominated for adminship or was just hired to the WMF. Tokyogirl79 (。◕‿◕。) 05:07, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

I think this matter is fascinating. I wonder if we could use this as a springboard to explore different perspectives on Wikipedia. Anyone interested? Gamaliel (talk) 19:11, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Bravo, Gamaliel - to do such a topic justice, it would need a lot of work, interviewing various people from various places around the world (to get away from the English language bias). India is an interesting case since there are so many languages spoken there and, despite their colonial history, English appears to be a main source of communication. - kosboot (talk) 20:32, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Has anybody thought about actually writing the newspaper and explaining to them the new editor process, for example, what the Tea Room actually is and what degree of prestige is associated with being invited to it? – Brianhe (talk) 08:12, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Brianhe, I've thought about that but if the article was one that was purchased (which unfortunately can happen) then writing them won't make much difference. Still, I suppose it's worth a try. Tokyogirl79 (。◕‿◕。) 15:31, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • At least we now have another RS about Teahouse.... All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 23:17, 24 November 2015 (UTC).

"How Addicted To Wikipedia Are You?"[edit]

This Buzzfeed quiz should be mentioned in "In The Media". Amusingly, I got "somewhat addicted" despite being a rather active editor with functionary status (Perhaps because I didn't check off any of the vandalism questions, like "You have edited a Wikipedia page just so you could win an argument. " Daniel Case (talk) 02:52, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

News & Notes[edit]

There hasn't been a N&N column recently but I just hope that you do welcome the three new admins we have when it returns to being a regular feature. Liz Read! Talk! 21:29, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

Harassment consult on Meta[edit]

Hi Signpost, it would be great to let en.wiki editors know about the Harassment consultation 2015, currently ongoing on Meta. Best, Patrick Earley (WMF) (talk) 16:55, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

'The Hunting Ground' edits scandal back in the news[edit]

Wikipedia founder considers updating policies following 'The Hunting Ground' controversy (The Washington Examiner) - More fallout from this particular cannery of worms. Ceannlann gorm (talk) 22:36, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

ITM: The New Rosetta Stone (Wikidata)[edit]

The New Rosetta Stone by Wikipedian Kippelboy about Wikidata appears in the current issue of CCCBLAB: Research and Innovation in the Cultural Sphere. - kosboot (talk) 15:25, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

@Kosboot: Thanks! I've arranged to have this run in the next issue of the Signpost. Gamaliel (talk) 21:42, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

NEH announces Chronicling America Data Challenge[edit]

Not sure this is appropriate for The Signpost, but I wanted to share with the community: The press release NEH announces Chronicling America Data Challenge.

"The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today launched a nationwide contest, challenging members of the public to produce creative web-based projects using data pulled from Chronicling America, the digital repository of historic U.S. newspapers...NEH encourages contestants to develop data visualizations, web-based tools, or other innovative web-based projects using the open data found at Chronicling America.."

Wouldn't it be nice if WMF more overtly encouraged similar experimentation of Wikipedia, Wikidata and other Wikimedia projects? - kosboot (talk) 04:09, 27 November 2015 (UTC) P.S. Might it foster and encourage deeper experimentation and engagement that could lead people to realize that Wikipedia (and associated projects) is much more than just an encyclopedia? - kosboot (talk) 12:20, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

@Kosboot: Not quite the same, but there is the Google Summer of Code. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 07:50, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia as a science art magazine[edit]

https://www.behance.net/gallery/30737207/eins-und-null-the-wiki-mag

©Geni (talk) 00:16, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia vandalism leads to backstage meeting with band[edit]

Fan gets backstage after editing band's Wikipedia page to list himself as family at The Independent. Mindmatrix 18:06, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

[14] is a higher-quality story on this (more detail and not written in click bait language). Nick-D (talk) 06:45, 5 December 2015 (UTC)

Around the World in X Wikipedia Articles[edit]

https://github.com/kevandotorg/nanogenmo-2015 - "generating a 50,000 word novel using Wikipedia's API to pull out location coordinates and descriptions. Written for NaNoGenMo 2015." Amusing stuff! Quiddity (talk) 21:03, 5 December 2015 (UTC)

Researchers store, edit, retrieve Wikipedia pages encoded in DNA[edit]

"[University of] Illinois scientists were able to encode parts of the Wikipedia pages of six universities, then select and edit parts of the text written in DNA corresponding to three of the colleges."

Brianhe (talk) 11:18, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

Link to story is broken; try this. I think Wikipedia is only incidental to this story, though. Mindmatrix 18:08, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia article business[edit]

This may be a subject that has been brought up and rehashed many times before, just unnoticed by me. If so, please commit this post to bin. It seems like the number of COI related posts and questions at the Teahouse has increased since I started hanging out there, with company representatives being surprised/angry/pissed off that their company can't get there "own" page. So I decided to take a look at what's going on on the net. I Googled the phrase "Do you want a Wikipedia article written" and got an astonishing 105 000 000 hits. Every marketing strategy page for companies seems to list 'create a WP article for your company' high on their to do lists, along with getting a Facebook page and a Twitter account (examples "If you have an established or a historical inn or bed and breakfast, there shouldn’t be any reason why you can't be on Wikipedia." or "Any company is technically eligible to have a Wikipedia page."). The search also unearthed all the pages that offers to write articles (examples [15] [16] [17]) for money. Has it always been this bad or is it just getting worse. Apparently the going rate for an article is $400 to $800. Is this of interest to the Signpost or is this discussed on some other forum? w.carter-Talk 10:55, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Started discussion at WP:COIN#Bed and breakfasts about that one topic. The larger question is one we've been struggling with for some time now. See User:Doc James/Paid editing and WP:WikiProject Integrity for starters. – Brianhe (talk) 22:46, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Article in Digital Trends[edit]

Digital Trends has an article on the editing of politician's articles [18]. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm quoted in it, but I think it's worth a mention in the media section. Calidum T|C 21:53, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

"After 15 years and some 37 million articles it's time to admit that we all use Wikipedia, and it's good"[edit]

Farrelly, Elizabeth (9 December 2015). "Don't fall for Wiki-denial: there's nothing wrong with using Wikipedia". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 December 2015.  Hawkeye7 (talk) 22:02, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

New Wikipedia Library Access Donations[edit]

Check 'em out!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:The_Wikipedia_Library#New_Wikipedia_Library_Signups.21

Jake Ocaasi (WMF) (talk) 02:34, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

New arbitration clerk[edit]

Hi, folks,
Could you mention in next week's Arbitration Report or News & Notes that the Arbitration Committee has a new trainee clerk, Kharkiv07? That would be much appreciated, thanks! Liz Read! Talk! 19:27, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

Was planning on doing so anyway, Liz. GamerPro64 05:41, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

"All hail Wikipedia"[edit]

This was the sub-head given to a letter in today's The Times from the eminent popular historian John Julius Norwich. It was a riposte to a comic piece (actually very funny) there by Giles Coren which expanded on the list of people who should be banned from entering the UK, as well as Donald Trump. Coren's commented list included Jimmy Wales, because "With the invention of Wrongopedia this man made people think it was okay not to be educated, because now anyone can pretend to know anything just by getting it off a website. Then by ensuring that everything on it was wrong, he basically killed knowledge itself ....." I can't be bothered to retype the whole letter, but Norwich says:

"Sir, I am — as he knows — an enthusiastic admirer of Giles Coren, but he is badly misinformed about Wikipedia (“Why stop at Trump?”, Dec 12). As a writer of history I resort to it at least a dozen times a day. I could never have written my last two books without it, and I have never caught it out yet, which is more than I can say of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Its range is astonishing: it is almost impossible to find a person, place or subject that it has left uncovered (end of my preview).... a work of reference as useful as any in existence..."

- and other nice things. It's paywalled, but perhaps someone with a sub could quote the whole thing. Johnbod (talk) 17:25, 14 December 2015 (UTC)

@Johnbod: Thank you! I pulled the full articles off Lexis/Nexis and wrote it up for ITM. Gamaliel (talk) 01:00, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

English Wikipedia Top 100[edit]

English Wikipedia Top 100. "The most-visited English Wikipedia articles, updated daily." And the #1 top entry is....B. K. S. Iyengar??? This list is automatically generated by Stephen LaPorte and Mahmoud Hashemi. They also give the top lists for Arabic, Catalan, Estonian, French, German, Hindi (I think), Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Swedish Wikipedias. Don't shoot the messenger (me), but I note that B. K. S. Iyengar seems to be the top of each of the lists. - kosboot (talk) 16:49, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

@Milowent: @Serendipodous: What do you make of this? Gamaliel (talk) 17:18, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

The person you should really be pinging here is @West.andrew.g:, who runs the program we use to gather our data. The discrepancy seems pretty intense, but then, it may be simply more up to date; our dataset ends on the previous Sunday. Serendipodous 17:21, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
18,273 views on the 13th, normally 100-150 per day. Evidently more on the 14th, which is his birthday. Lots of articles get odd blips - ignore, and please check first before posting. 2 day jumps aren't interesting; see if it lasts. Johnbod (talk) 17:22, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

@Ironholds:, who is our contact on the WP analytics team, may be worth contacting too. Serendipodous 17:23, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

  • Thanks for the ping, I always find these sites fascinating. This site is based on very recent data, not weekly data like we use for WP:5000 and WP:TOP25. B. K. S. Iyengar has had a slew of edits since 18:03 on 13 December, the first confirming that a Google Doodle appeared for him. The Doodle had a close to global use by Google. It will have been very popular. I am sure he'll be in the top 10 in the Top 25 Report next week (which will cover Dec 13-19 data). Stats.grok.se last reports the Dec 13 data, which is only capturing the very beginning of the Doodle views (and doesn't include mobile views). BTW this new website is being automatically generated, so it WILL include articles not truly popular but driven by bots, such as Web scraping, currently listed at #6. The last WP:5000 shows that article was the most popular by raw views last week, but Seren and I exclude because it has 0.13% mobile views - an obvious bot.--Milowenthasspoken 18:34, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
  • The effect of bots is also seen in this hatnote guy's tweet [19]. At least 2 of those top 3 are bogus. Dulce Maria is not authentically popular, its been pumped up a bots for awhile now. Fourier transform (something very few people would willingly read) had a short bot burst on 10-11 Dec.--Milowenthasspoken 18:46, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I get why people would want to game the results with bots for publicity, but I wonder why anyone would want to artificially boost an article like Fourier transform. Gamaliel (talk) 19:09, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
@Milowent: Fourier transform was created in 2002 and the creator of this article, user:Gareth Owen is still active at wikipedia. The article has seen 2434 edits donated by 909 Different users . It is one of only 239 articles rated Top importance at wp:WikiProject Mathematics. It is watched by 452 and 74 watchers who visited recent edits. Not too shabby? Ottawahitech (talk) 15:55, 6 January 2016 (UTC)please ping me forgot to mention it is linked from more than 1000 other articles at wikipedia. Ottawahitech (talk) 16:00, 6 January 2016 (UTC)please ping me
  • This is a mystery I've never understood, but it is very common. I think many of them are inadvertent. Cat anatomy was excluded from the Top 25 report for months in 2013. BTW, I did get a little more information from Hatnote on their new Top 100. "We display data for the full day in UTC, it's updated a few hours after midnight."[20]. They don't remove bot articles since stats are reported as received.[21]. Since this is a daily report, I assume their "streak" notation (2 days to 9+ days when noted) means how many days the article has appeared consecutively on the report. This appears to be a very useful report, and could also help Serendipodous and myself in easily seeing daily viewcounts (including mobile views, I believe).--Milowenthasspoken 14:20, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

Wikimania - Scholarships, and discussion on the future of Wikimania[edit]

Hi Signpost, passing along two items from the Wikimania team:

Regards, Patrick Earley (WMF) (talk) 21:17, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

In case you don't take a Christmas break[edit]

This something like a medical article might be interesting, but I think you'd need to bridge some gaps. Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:57, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

And the 10 best articles wikipedia deleted this week is an interesting take on AfD. But I think they mean the 10 worst articles. That irony thing, don't you know, Smallbones(smalltalk) 05:08, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
@Smallbones: Yes I agree they chose the wrong articles. There are lots of articles deleted that should not be, but those who care about it here simply vote with their feet (leaving wikipedia). See: Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#AfD_culture. Ottawahitech (talk) 15:19, 6 January 2016 (UTC)please ping me

Wikipedia helps Santa[edit]

Apparently Google's track Santa gadget is linking the cities Santa visits to associated Wikipedia articles or so I saw when I checked Pittsburgh. That may be worth a story. TomStar81 (Talk) 06:41, 25 December 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Take the lead![edit]

New competition with amazon vouchers up for grabs that is running over the month of January. I got the idea when looking at articles in the mobile format on my phone...then noticed there are over 2000 articles either lacking in or having an inadequate lead. Furthermore, clicking through the 'random' button (and how often an article lacking a decent lead comes up) leads me to think this number might be a large underestimate. Hence this competition - just focussing on leads. Let's see if we can buff a few and see how we go. We'll give a voucher to the lead that impresses us the most and put the rest in a raffle/lucky dip for vouchers - each valid entry counting as a 'ticket' Anyway, visit the page for the rules. Cheers, Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 10:14, 26 December 2015 (UTC)

Languishing content in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/WikiProject desk[edit]

Would it be possible to manually copy the outstanding items in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/WikiProject desk into an upcoming edition of the Signpost? Thanks in advance. -- DanielPenfield (talk) 22:42, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

Before user:Mabeenot left Wikipedia the wikiproject report was one of the best things going for the Signpost AND for Wikipedia where many editors are floundering and not being able to connect with like-minded editors. Places like the wikiproject council are deserted and wp:WikiProjectX is attempting a takeover without sharing knowledge with editors. At least this is what I see. Ottawahitech (talk) 15:11, 6 January 2016 (UTC)please ping me
On behalf of WP:RRTF, I heartily second User:DanielPenfield's proposal. -- 2ReinreB2 (talk) 00:52, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

New WMF board member Arnnon Geshuri[edit]

Was the WMF board fully aware of Arnnon Geshuri's central role in a major anticompetitive scandal at Google when they approved his appointment? In 2010, the Justice Department shut down the illegal collusion between Google and five other Silicon Valley corporations. Geshuri helped manage that collusion for Google. A class action lawsuit settled in September, 2015 forced those companies to pay $415 million in compensation to 64,000 employees whose careers were damaged by the conspiracy that Geshuri was part of. Geshuri was directly involved in the ugly and humiliating termination of a woman who did not comply with the illegal scheme. He was chastised by federal judge Lucy Koh for attempting to pull Facebook into the conspiracy, and threatening retaliation if they didn't. Details can be found at User:Cullen328/Arnnon Geshuri. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 07:09, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

Plagiarism[edit]

I recently noticed a an article that has pretty much plagiarized parts of the War tourism article that I have co written.They have not cited the article in any way.--Catlemur (talk) 16:28, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

Seems to be a common occurrence, despite the fact that the content is free and only requires attribution. I'm not sure why this happens, perhaps ignorance of the terms of use, perhaps the "author" wants to take credit for authorship. I just found another occurrence by Modiano (company); the article how to play Briscola is an edited version of the Briscola Wikipedia article, parts of which I wrote many years ago (including the table and game play description included in the company's article. Mindmatrix 22:59, 16 January 2016 (UTC)
Unfortunately this is all too common. ResMar 02:43, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

RfA reform[edit]

I was surprised to see that the recently passed reforms to RfA were not even given a passing mention in the last issue. Surely this is important news; we've been discussing this for years and this is probably the first time that we actually got anything done. Biblio (talk) 22:39, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

Good point, but it was a busy week. Maybe next week - people are used to anything to do with RfA reform taking forever. Johnbod (talk) 03:40, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
The 30 days runs on the 3rd RfC in the series on Wednesday. Maybe all 3 together will be worth a mention. - Dank (push to talk) 22:24, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

Rawstory article[edit]

Sidebar[edit]

Lots of articles this week! Congratulations! But could you fix the sidebar on Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2016-01-13/Community view? There might be other articles where this needs to be fixed, I haven't had time to read everything yet. Liz Read! Talk! 17:01, 16 January 2016 (UTC)

I'm seeing this issue for Tech, but not for Community view. I'm not sure how to fix it... ResMar 02:44, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

PR problem[edit]

Wikipedia has a PR problem by Taha Yasseri of the Oxford Internet Institute. Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:27, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

This appears to be a republication of a 2015 article from The Conversation. That said, The Conversation always publishes interesting and provocative stuff about Wikipedia. Gamaliel (talk) 15:44, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

Glenn Frey and the band with the anomalous name[edit]

Glenn Frey and the band with the anomalous name states "So Frey was trying to make Eagles stand alone as the sole plural proper name in the language. No wonder he failed to get the world to go along with him. Ignoring his insistence, nobody ever talks about the band without naming them incorrectly. Even their Wikipedia article, though entitled Eagles, repeatedly uses a definite article before the name to remain in compliance with syntactic constraints." Would this be worth mentioning in a future "In the Media" section? Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 18:39, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

Quarterly reviews[edit]

Does the Signpost ever post about the WMF Quarterly reviews? I was just reading a few, and some of them look pretty informative. --Yair rand (talk) 07:12, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

Why The Hell Is Corbin Bleu Such A Huge Deal On Wikipedia?[edit]

"Why The Hell Is Corbin Bleu Such A Huge Deal On Wikipedia?

"The High School Musical star has Wikipedia bios in more languages than anyone except Jesus and President Obama — and we have no idea why. Help us solve this baffling mystery!" (from BuzzFeed News)

The major contributor to the English language article was banned as a sockpuppet. IMHO, this suggests that many of the articles were paid for. The structure of many of the articles in other articles is similar (sections, tables, notes), but that's not completely unusual - people just use Google translate. Other articles are just one-liners. BTW, I never heard of Corbin Bleu before.

I did a quick check and if the page views on the English language article were 10 time higher, the article wouldn't quite get into the top 1,000 articles by page view.

Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:01, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

The data is from Pantheon at MIT, which looks like a pretty interesting project, with lots of freely available data - but after looking for 30 minutes I couldn't find the data on Bleu. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:07, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

A good article on notability[edit]

See Writing a Wikipedia Page for San Francisco Anchor Natasha Zouves

Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:57, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

See User talk:Peter Reynosa 1000 for the usual welcoming committee. Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:02, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

NY Times: On Wikipedia, Donald Trump Reigns and Facts Are Open to Debate[edit]

On Wikipedia, Donald Trump Reigns and Facts Are Open to Debate - I'm surprised at how much the article gets right, like: "For a website with no paid writing staff that is still overcoming an out-of-date reputation for inaccuracy, Wikipedia punches above its weight." - kosboot (talk) 12:40, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

The Telegraph: Scientific journal retracts research copied from Wikipedia entry[edit]

via Fuzheado: Scientific journal retracts research copied from Wikipedia entry - article in The Telegraph, mentioning Doc James. My favorite sentence: "Wikipedia gets a bad reputation for being inaccurate. But in fact polls show we now trust it more than the BBC." - kosboot (talk) 15:26, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

I am a Canadian doctor not a US one. The OUP textbook did not copy our definition of Ebola but they had copied a couple of paragraphs of text pertaining to Ebola. In one survey people trusted us 64% versus BBC at 61%. I doubt the difference is statistically significant so would really describe it as equal. Otherwise not too bad :-) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:06, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

A reseach on the topic of governance in wikimedia sphere[edit]

Hi ! Here is a recent essay about Questions of democracy and social responsibility within the Wikimedia movement. Maybe it could be interesting for the Signpost ? Best, Lionel Scheepmans Contact (French native speaker) 23:36, 3 February 2016 (UTC)


Longest running hoax[edit]

Don't know if this has been covered previously, but Wikipedia's longest hoax ever gets busted after more than 10 years was uncovered and deleted in September. Newspaper article new though. Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:54, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for this and the other suggestions, Smallbones. Whenever the In the Media page looks like a building site – a clear work in progress – feel free to dump links like this straight into it. Andreas JN466 00:07, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Randomonium[edit]

From the Washington Post Gene Weingarten: On Wikipedia, pure randomonium. Random articles for fun.

"I conclude that Wiki random is genuinely random, because it seems to make no effort to be interesting: Roughly 20 percent of the pages I was sent to were about species of moths."

He's exaggerating of course, it should be less than 8% moths. See [22]

Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:53, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

The Wiki Playlist[edit]

@Go Phightins!, Jayen466, and Gamaliel: Possibly for notes:

"I came to Wikipedia long before the days of social media, back when sharing an article meant crafting an email if you cared whether someone actually read it, or writing a blog post if you just wanted to put your thoughts out there (because even then, no one read your blog). And why share an article anyway? Wikipedia was just this strange website where you sank thousands of hours. Things have changed since 2004. Science blogging became a thing, and then withered as Facebook and Twitter became the place to share interesting articles about science, politics and religion. And oddly, people started sharing Wikipedia articles. Not just to win arguments and prove points, but to say “here’s something cool you should read about”. Still, the nature of social media is to share single articles — collections are difficult to share. But the nature of communication means that knowledge or understanding rarely comes in a single link, and even in a hyperlinked environment, there’s no easy way to tell people “read this, and then that”.

Enter the Wiki Playlist, which is launching Monday, February 8.

When I first heard about the idea from my colleagues at the Wiki Education Foundation who developed the tool, my thought was "why?" Having played with it a bit, it now makes sense to me. Here's a cool thematic collection. Here's what you should read if you want to understand why David Bowie mattered. Here’s my best guess of what that plant might be. Here are the featured articles I wrote. Here are the articles we created for class — isn’t that cool, grandma?

The Playlist is fun. It's a nice communication tool. It's not a killer app that’s going to change the world. But it’s a tool that can let you share what's cool on Wikipedia. Because in 15 years, we’ve created an amazing amount of cool content."

Ian (Wiki Ed) (talk) 23:34, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

"WP:Buy one, get one free" stance derails an adminship after conflict at AfD[edit]

I've already written about this in short form in my wiki-newsletter, here (top item, as of this writing): User:SMcCandlish/On the Radar#BOGOF
 — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:37, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Item for News & Notes[edit]

The report about Wikimania had some interesting conclusions including the fact that this annual conference will now be held every other year. You might find other insights in the report and discussion page. Liz Read! Talk! 23:54, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Having had a role in this consultation, I'm also available for questions that Signpost writers might have about the consultation and/or its outcomes. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 09:05, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. We'll cover this in the upcoming issue. --Andreas JN466 23:19, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Jeb Bush on BLP[edit]

[23] "Wikipedia biographies are written by unemployed young people living in the basement of their parent's house wearing a Cheetos-stained T-shirt." At 8:44. Cla68 (talk) 20:05, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Hey Cla68, checked link and time code. One of them must be wrong, because at 8:44 he talks about "little Georgia" being a Rotarian. Could you check? Andreas JN466 21:26, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
There's a story about Wikipedia at about 5:00 but I don't think I heard the Cheetos comment there. Gamaliel (talk) 21:36, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
It's there, at 6:10. He points out that Wikipedia made him out to be an avid rock climber and to be harbouring secret desires to become a movie star, neither of which he says is true. The cheeto comment follows after that. Andreas JN466 21:41, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Ah, I didn't listen long enough. Gamaliel (talk) 21:49, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Mentioned on the WSJ blog here as well. The Interior (Talk) 22:48, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, Patrick. It turns out the fake information about Bush being an avid rock climber was in the article from December 2008 to July 2012. Haven't checked for the movie star bit yet. --Andreas JN466 23:11, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, at least it is inclusive of gender. It's usually "unemployed teenage boys". Liz Read! Talk! 00:30, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Doritos, sure. But, Cheetos? No. ---Another Believer (Talk) 22:55, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Face-smile.svg --Andreas JN466 23:13, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
BTW, if Signpost is going to include a quote, I would recommend transcribing an exact quote based on the audio. The above quotation is not quite right. ---Another Believer (Talk) 23:20, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, it needs transcribing. Andreas JN466 23:57, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Looks like Bush will finish 4th in New Hampshire. Will he then be living in his parents basement and eating cheetos (or doritos?) Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:56, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I knew at least one Wikipedian would be unable to resist the temptation to respond with a snarky comment. WP'ers never fail to come through. Cla68 (talk) 13:55, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
The attempted response snark is actually a pretty funny comment in an "own goal" sense. That is, Jeb Bush says "Wikipedia editors are (low income, low status)". Wikipedia editor tries to riposte "Jeb Bush failed at (high income, high status) task, does that make him (low income, low status)?". Structurally, it doesn't work as snark, since one needs to be (high income, high status) to even attempt such a task, and failing doesn't reduce your income or general status. Thus it in fact ends up reinforcing that Jeb Bush is (high income, high status), and makes the would-be heckler look bad by sounding purely rude and churlish, i.e. (low income, low status). Basically, is someone reading that response likely think it's a good zinger, versus that Jeb Bush really nailed the characterization? -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 01:40, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia History[edit]

I wrote this about my experiences a few years ago with Wikipedia, the insight is important to how/why Wikipedia works. Please consider for The Signpost: Openness vs Authority Thanks BooksXYZ (talk) 02:58, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Science Students Are Writing Wikipedia Articles Instead of Term Papers[edit]

Via Eddie Erhart of WMF: Science Students Are Writing Wikipedia Articles Instead of Term Papers by Meghan Neil is a very nice article summarizing the Wiki Education Foundation's activities and provides reasons why academia should embrace Wikipedia. - kosboot (talk) 18:20, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

The 'Wikipedia Search Engine' (Knowledge Engine project spin-off)[edit]

Yesterday (February 11th), The Register posted a article on this, entitled Move over, Google. Here’s Wikipedia's search engine – full of on-demand smut. Ceannlann gorm (talk) 19:45, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia developers have sketched out designs for a Wikipedia Search Engine, which would give users a one-click replacement for Google search. The search engine could also be embedded in devices such as the Kindle, or smartphones.

It’s an fascinating strategic option, and an aggressive one. Google’s site scraping algorithms and front page Info Box have made visiting Wikipedia’s page superfluous, if all the user wants quick facts, or a factoid. Instead of finding Wikipedia through Google, you could bypass Google completely.

The concepts were revealed after much sleuthing by Andreas Kolbe, board member of Wikipedia’s Signpost and occasional Reg contributor.

Wow, that is the 2nd worst job of tech journalism I've ever seen. Kaldari (talk) 22:50, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
A slightly more coherent follow-on article can be found here. Ceannlann gorm (talk) 11:54, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

Siko Bouterse announces departure from the WMF[edit]

See the announcement on wikimedia-l. Siko is the Director of Community Resources, an exceptional leader, and an all-around fantastic person. In both my capacity at the WMF and as a volunteer, it is distressing that she is leaving for the reasons she has stated. From her announcement:

Transparency, integrity, community and free knowledge remain deeply important to me, and I believe I will be better placed to represent those values in a volunteer capacity at this time. I am and will always remain a Wikimedian, so you'll still see me around the projects (User:Seeeko), hopefully with renewed energy and joy in volunteering.

I, JethroBT drop me a line 22:21, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Where is the *dislike* button when you need one? Sad news, but I think Siko for her contributions and wish her the very best! Signpost has many staff departures to cover lately. ---Another Believer (Talk) 22:30, 12 February 2016 (UTC)