Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Suggestions/Archive 9

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Contents

March 2-8

Kevin Myers in the Irish Independent

National anthems are fundamentally irrational things. The American anthem was written during the war with Canada, which, essentially, the US lost. (So painful is this that every attempt by Canadians to put it into the historical record in Wikipedia is almost instantly corrected by Wikipedia's US monitors).

Thursday February 25 2010. --candlewicke 06:12, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Hmm, I've just spent a good 15 minutes trying to track down this perceived US bias / whitewashing of affairs, but with little result. (I'm British.) Yes, one might say that the content picks up on American senses of victory and tends to write about these more than, say, Canadian claims of victory, but there seems to be no on-going edit war. Strange. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 10:47, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Disclaimer: I've never edited War of 1812. This guy evidently thinks that wars are like sporting events, where there's always a winner and a loser. Of course no one "won" the war of 1812, but since I'm from the US, I'm probably just brainwashed like everyone else ;) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kaldari (talkcontribs) 16:23, 1 March 2010
Covered at ITN. Please notify everyone there if you find corroborating evidence. - Draeco (talk) 04:46, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia, Wikileaks and game wiki's in German program Neues

The German technology program de:Neues had a good segment on Wikipedia last week. Includes interviews with Jimbo, Wikimedia Deutschland and an editor of wikileaks. The video is here: http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/beitrag/video/983018/3sat-neues:-Sendung-am-28022010#/beitrag/video/983018/3sat-neues-Sendung-am-28.02.2010 It is fully in German, but I think many around are not too bad at German, so perhaps it deserves a small note. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:43, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Flagged Revs stir on foundation-l

A flurry of emails was recently sparked by a question recently send to the foundational-l mailing list. I suppose a short blurb about the responses and such would be beneficial for Signpost readers, since people are constantly wondering what the latest news on Flagged Revs is. Initial post can be found here: http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2010-February/056972.html. The responses are in March's archive. Killiondude (talk) 00:02, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

This link containing the entire thread on one page might be useful for someone trying to extract the actual newsworthy information from this very opinionated exchange. Regards, HaeB (talk) 13:25, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

"Mike Handel" - Hoax libel BLP, and DYK

"Dr. Handel or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Wikipedia" : "Vandalism happens all the time on Wikipedia, and much of it is not cleaned up promptly. Well, this one is just a little different. For those 3.5 hours, that article was linked from the main page of Wikipedia, one of the ten most-visited sites on the web (WebCite). During that period, it was almost certainly viewed by a thousand people or more. Second, that lovely paragraph wasn't the only BLP disaster in the article, which also labeled Handel a "murderer" and a "Nazi", and implied that he had been pressured into leaving Israel by Western intelligence agencies. Third, Mike Handel doesn't even exist except in my imagination (and now on Wikipedia). I created Mike Handel as a test and a demonstration. Wikipedia has a BLP problem, but many Wikipedians are altogether too happy to ignore it." (David Lindsey) -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 06:36, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

WP:RBI. We have various BLP problems, but completely fictional articles about fictional people with fictional references written by admitted sockpuppeting vandals are by definition not a BLP problem. I would like us to amend our policies on protecting vandals so that if someone tried to pull this off with a genuine real life victim we would cooperate with the authorities so that they could be caught and prosecuted. The interesting things I take from this article is how little vandalism we have nowadays that someone has to go to these lengths to perpetrate it, and the contrast between the online and offline worlds - where I live the local council is rightly proud of a graffiti removal team that removes that sort of obnoxious graffiti within 24 hours. This only lasted 3.5 hours online - far longer than the vast majority of vandalism - but still only 3.5 hours. ϢereSpielChequers 13:31, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

In the news

Today's Sunday Times Magazine carries a full page interview with Jimbo in which he talks (a little) about his work for the foundation. The online version can be seen here. Worth mentioning? - Dumelow (talk) 00:05, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

The article seems to have been taken offline. This and this page appear to contain excerpts, but I wouldn't want to rely on them for a Signpost article. Regards, HaeB (talk) 00:33, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

March 9-15

Proposal to auto display a unreferenced template for soccer squad templates

There is currently a a discussion on going at WP:Footy to auto display an unreferenced template when the football squad is unreferenced Gnevin (talk) 12:27, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

"10 of Wikipedia's wackiest arguments"

"10 of Wikipedia's wackiest arguments" ("Behind every page there's a battle raging for control") - pretty funny -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 00:12, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

3.26% of all web traffic in January 2010

With 154,174,390 "unique users," Wikipedia holds 3.26% of all web traffic. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8562801.stmEd (talkmajestic titan) 20:12, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

677,773,339 is the counter for "total visits". This ranks Wikipedia 7th on the most visited list. —  Cargoking  talk  20:36, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
According to the spreadsheet they gave for "unique audience":
  1. Google
  2. MSN, Windows Live/Bing
  3. Yahoo!
  4. Microsoft
  5. Facebook
  6. Youtube
  7. Wikipedia
  8. AOL
  9. Ebay
  10. Apple
In "total visits" we are 10th (AOL, Ebay and Apple are all ahead). —Ed (talkmajestic titan) 08:00, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
That research is grossly inaccurate btw. The amount of videolan traffic listed is at least double and possibly even triple the real amount of unique traffic. According to our own (i'm a former dev) Videolan statistics, Nielsen makes very bad estimations (and yes, these are estimations). —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 22:32, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Silliest wikilink of the month awards

Wikipedia talk:Linking#Announcement: Silliest wikilink of the month awards (January–February 2010), like the Darwin Awards these are edutaining in their own way. -- Banjeboi 22:06, 13 March 2010 (UTC) 1-

Evgeny Morozov review of Jaron Lanier's "You Are Not a Gadget"

There's a very interesting analysis of Wikipedia in Evgeny Morozov's book review "Techno Rebellion: Jaron Lanier's You Are Not a Gadget" : "... evangelists for its collaborative, if chaotic, editing model have argued that other industries should follow in its footsteps and embrace the crowd-sourced production of knowledge. But would Wikipedia even exist today if one of its founders, Jimmy Wales, had made a fortune with one of his earlier, less-successful start-ups, a web portal that included pictures of female pin-ups and used adult film stars in its advertisements?" (n.b. he said that, not me!) -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 03:19, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Mentioned in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-03-15/In the news‎. Regards, HaeB (talk) 20:21, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Closure of Wikiversity?

An interesting community review is going on currently on Wikiversity - here - regarding a controversial material on Ethics within Wikimedia projects. Already a lengthy discussion involving Jimbo Wales as well, which at one point resulted to the proposal of closure of Wikiversity. The discussion continues... --Gbaor (talk) 09:32, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Short version of the story: A project was set up on Wikiversity by PrivateMusings to "investigate" breaching experiments on Wikipedia, i.e. adding false content and testing Wikipedia's vandalism defenses. Jimbo deleted the pages and blocked PrivateMusings. SB Johnny undeleted them and unblocked PrivateMusings. Jimbo then redeleted the pages, reblocked PrivateMusings, and desysopped SB Johnny. Basically, it looks like the inmates have taken over the asylum at Wikiversity. Kaldari (talk) 18:03, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Also, there has been no official proposal to close Wikiversity. Jimbo "raised it as a possibility" to the Board due to Wikiversity's apparent lack of focus. Kaldari (talk) 18:23, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
One more piece of news: Gbaor has resigned his adminship at the English Wikiversity in protest. Kaldari (talk) 18:55, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Put in this week's News & Notes. It seems like a mess, and a bad idea in the first place, but Jimbo's statements are newsworthy. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 21:36, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

TFA in the news

"Thriving Cult of Greed and Power" at mediabistro.com Awadewit (talk) 02:45, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

So being on Wikipedia's front page launched it to their 2nd most popular article of the day (week? month?). I wonder what #1 was. Raul654 (talk) 05:29, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Here is the actual list (it has changed since then) = Most Popular - Complete List - TIME Not sure how to access stats of what it was at a precise point in time. -- Cirt (talk) 05:35, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Ah, compare 3 March 2010, with 14 March 2010. -- Cirt (talk) 05:38, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Covered in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-03-15/In the news‎. Regards, HaeB (talk) 20:21, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Students and Wikipedia, the research is in

An article in First Monday Awadewit (talk) 21:09, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Briefly covered in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-03-15/In the news‎. Regards, HaeB (talk) 20:21, 17 March 2010 (UTC)


March 16-22

Another Wikipedia tumblr

Not sure if it's been covered before, but just say I Love Wikipedia. Steven Walling 19:33, 17 March 2010 (UTC)


WP:ALT

WP:ALT has been going through a major revamp, Wikipedia:Alternative text for images, which began after a long discussion that has since been moved to Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/Alt text. It might make an interesting story. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 15:26, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Ryan Harris (cricketer)

There was a piece in The Courier Mail today regarding Ryan Harris (cricketer). For the past two years, the article has stated that he was born in Nowra, New South Wales, when in fact he was born in Sydney. The problem seems to have been introduced when someone used this version of his profile on Cricinfo for the birth location, which was then updated on Cricinfo but not Wikipedia. Sports journalist Mike Colman did a search and found that the only place currently drawing a link between the two was his Wikipedia article, and Harris is being constantly bugged by Nowra-area media for an interview because of it!

A relatively minor issue maybe, but perhaps interesting given the recent concern over BLPs. Unfortunately the article itself is not online. Lankiveil (speak to me) 03:14, 20 March 2010 (UTC).

Good article backlog elimination drive scheduled for April 2010

WikiProject Good Articles is scheduling a backlog elimination drive for April 2010; this comes in the wake of the GA Sweeps that was completed earlier this month which was featured in the current issue. The drive will be coordinated by Wizardman and myself (MuZemike) and will last for the entire month. The goal of this drive is to bring the number of outstanding good article nominations down to below 200. This will help encourage more users to strive for article quality in getting articles up to GA standing and ensuring that they get reviewed in a timely manner. Awards will be handed out to those who complete a certain number of reviews as well as for those who complete the most reviews. –MuZemike 23:38, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Vulva photo on German main page

On Sunday March 21, Vulva was article of the day in the German Wikipedia. After some discussion, the article was illustrated on the main page with an explicit photo (screenshot).

A lengthy and heated discussion ensued on the main page's discussion page, reaching the equivalent of about 130 printed pages and resulting in some site bans and editor retirements. Jimbo joined in, writing

Hallo! Mein deutsch ist sehr schlecht. I hope someone will translate carefully for me. I won't do anything directly here, but I beg you all to quickly remove this image from the home page and have a review of your processes to see how to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. This is not an issue of censorship, but as someone has said, a matter of the "Principle of Least Astonishment". This is my opinion, you may do with it as you wish.

On his discussion page, Jimbo referred to the insider joke WP:SPIDER. In the end, the photo stayed on the main page for the full 24 hours.

The reaction reaching the German support email address info-de@wikimedia.org was comparatively limited; by Tuesday they had received 42 emails about the illustration, all negative, ranging from irritation to horror.

Sources:

AxelBoldt (talk) 17:42, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

  • I have to support this as an "interesting tidbit" with Wikipedia, but without an English translation, much of the stuff is illegible gibberish to us English speakers. It isn't April 1st YET, is it? — BQZip01 — talk 05:59, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
I would think we would have had our fun with Gropecunt Lane not too long ago ;) –MuZemike 07:06, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
On a somewhat related note, a topless glamor photo of Michele Merkin was featured on the main page of Commons on October 5 last year which also attracted complaints, including that it was "a sexual objectification of women", that it was not "safe for work", and that Commons was featuring "porn".[1] Somehow, we have yet to experience any controversies involving male nudity. Hmm, I wonder why. Kaldari (talk) 15:02, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

March 23 - April 30

Goatse.cx image deletion

There has been mediation ongoing for a while regarding whether the article goatse.cx ought to contain a screenshot of the website (Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Cases/2010-01-12/Goatse.cx). However, incident was sparked last week when administrator Prodego deleted the image File:Goatse.fr_homepage.png, prompting a flurry of activity of both criticism and praise at ANI. There was a brief (and unsuccessful) motion to deadmin Prodego. The case was taken to DRV, where three sides have emerged - those who think the image should be deleted, but feel the deletion as out of process; those who think the image should be kept; and those who endorse the deletion. The latter of these, including Jimmy Wales, are generally justifying themselves under the basis that the image fails NFCC#1, while opponents state that that is not the issue as there is no consensus that it fails, and that if it does then several other images such as the soldiers erecting a flag at Iwo Jima could just as easily be described and thus should also be deleted.

Note: the image in question has previously survived an IfD, as has the article (multiple times).

I think this is quite an interesting little problem which the community might appreciate information on. Please edit my stuff into something coherent. -mattbuck (Talk) 22:42, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

It's just another instance of a dynamic that's been recurring on Wikipedia for years: "edgy" image pushes hot buttons, assorted Wikipedians let their buttons get pushed. Reasonable arguments exist both for and against, people draw lines as discussion radicalizes, and one or more individuals push the policy envelope. Within ten days the controversy evaporates and leaves in place whatever status quo existed when people got tired of quarreling. Wait six months and a new iteration will recur with a different image. The Virgin Killer record cover controversy of late 2008 was worth covering because it had offsite dimensions, but does anyone remember the Publicgirl UK debates of 2006? The only purpose that would be served by putting this in Signpost would be to prolong acrimony between reasonable people who are on opposite sides of the fence right now. This debate is already settling down, and fortunately it's resolving without a wheel war. Durova412 23:25, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia goes down; newspapers write about it

Downtime on Wikipedia is now sufficiently rare that it's a newsworthy event when it happens! See the telegraph article. Mike Peel (talk) 23:30, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Now this is worth covering. :) Durova412 23:32, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Mentioned in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-03-29/News and notes. Regards, HaeB (talk) 13:50, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Location browser in Bing's copy of Wikipedia articles

Microsoft's search engine Bing contains enhanced copies of Wikipedia articles in its Reference section. They recently added a new location feature which presents a clickable and zoomable map displaying all locations mentioned in the article.

Source: [2]

AxelBoldt (talk) 02:24, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Is that a hoax? It doesn't work for me at all. Hans Adler 09:17, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
If I go to http://www.bing.com/reference/semhtml/The_Hurt_Locker and click on "locations" in the upper right, I get a map. Maybe it needs a newer browser and some combination of Java/Flash/Silverlight for it to work? AxelBoldt (talk) 16:34, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Working for me, Firefox 3.6 with some level of Silverlight and Flash.  f o x  (formerly garden) 19:56, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
That's not what I meant. When I go to that URL I see the same things. But the article claims that if you search for "The Hurt Locker" and then click on the Wikipedia search result, you get instead redirected to that page. That doesn't seem to be true.
When I do nothing special, I get the German Wikipedia entry among the first hits. (I am in Austria.) When I select English only, I get the English Wikipedia entry on the first page of hits. In either case, when I click a Wikipedia link I go to Wikipedia, not to that Bing page.
Sorry I wasn't clear. Now I see that the original post was only about the existence of Wikipedia pages + additional stuff, not about the redirecting of search results away from Wikipedia, so I really should have made that explicit. Hans Adler 23:27, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Every Wikipedia result returned by Bing also has a "Wikipedia on Bing" link which goes to their enhanced version. AxelBoldt (talk) 16:15, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Not for me. There may be legal or usability issues that prevent them from enabling this function for anywhere but in the US. I have a link at the top right that says "Austria". If I switch to "United States" I get the "Wikipedia on Bing" link instead of the cache link. But if I choose Canada or United Kingdom, for example, it doesn't work. Hans Adler 17:13, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm in the UK, and it doesn't do that either: but there is a link on the left sidebar (below "Images" and so on) which says "Reference", leading to the Wikipedia article. (for example, a search on Turkey.)  f o x  (formerly garden) 21:30, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Interesting. In some country settings I have the same experience, but e.g. in the New Zealand settings it's very different, and in the Austria setting the left sidebar is empty. Hans Adler 21:43, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

critical point of view

They've released a bunch of info on their presentationsGeni 23:16, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Covered in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-03-29/In the news. Regards, HaeB (talk) 13:50, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

"Wikipedia gets a redesign"

Here is an article from The Guardian about Wikipedia's redesign. ISD (talk) 12:52, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Mentioned in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-03-29/News and notes. Regards, HaeB (talk) 13:50, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

I find it very odd that we are changing the default text to improve usability yet are seemingly doing niothing to improve the prehistoric looking main page design....That pastel graphic looks so 1996,,,, Dr. Blofeld White cat 14:30, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Random Article – Daily writing by Benjamin Partridge based on Wikipedia's 'random article' button

This blog has just been completed. It is part of the "One Hundred Days To Make Me A Better Person" project created by comedienne Josie Long for the Londwon Word Festival. ISD (talk) 18:27, 29 March 2010 (UTC)


Call for participation: Survey on Wikipedian Motivations

Hi I'm Kay Kiljae Lee, a Ph.D candidate in University of Kansas. I am currently conducting a research on the motivators of online collaboration. Hereis a survey page through which I am collecting the initial data (17 Mar ~ 15 May 2010) The survey is conducted with complete anonymity and the first set of data will be analyzed for part of my research aiming for AIS (Association for Information Systems) conference 2010. You can contact me by clicking here. Your participation will be greatly appreciated.Kay Kiljae Lee (talk)


Several issues of note: first, your name doesn't appear in the People directory (there's a KJ Lee). It's not a big deal, but I couldn't find anything related to you on the KU website. The more notable concern is that there's no privacy policy attached to the survey, and no mention of data privacy or data use. Mindmatrix 19:11, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. See also Wikipedia:Ethically_researching_Wikipedia#Surveys_and_interviews. Regards, HaeB (talk) 19:17, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

New article creation at five-year low

I was looking at Wikipedia:Featured article statistics (which is a hand-recorded tally of wikipedia's number of articles by month). In November, February, and March, 30,000 new articles were created. The last time we created so few articles in a month was March of 2005. Article creation on en wikipedia has hit a 5-year low. Raul654 (talk) 15:48, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

That's not all-- participation across the board seems down ... not enough admins, not enough editors participating in content review, not enough vandal reverters. Something gives, and not in a good way. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:39, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I actually think I'm partly to blame for that. I haven't been a mass article creator for 9 months or so and I've witnessed a marked decline since I stopped creating new articles. I've noticed other previous mass creators have also stopped creating so many. 95% of my time on here is now spent improving existing content/promoting articles to GA standard. The amount of work needed to improve existing content is way beyond control. We have a responsibility to produce quality and improve content. Maybe it is dawning on people that an encyclopedia where the random page contains unreferenced/poorly written/organized text or poor claim to notability and the random article in any given category is a stub or poorly referenced with little credibility or reading enjoyment, this is very bad. Or that we only have a measly 8000 good articles out of 3,25 million... We are of course missing millions of articles from other wikipedias and many more in general which we should have articles on. But for me the number of articles is declining in signifance at this stage when you actually actively look at the proporrtions of those articles that arenot even bare minimum standard let alone a good article. I have been shocked to see the state of articles which are 9 years old and should be half decent by now. But let's not forget that many of our new articles are of a half decent standard and are very much needed and are a progression. It finding a balance I think, I just think that quality and readability is more important and that we shouldn't be concerned with article creation rates. I always used to think in the long term and think well eventually these stubs that I create will become half decent articles and are much needed and I'm doing a good thing, but actually you can't hide the workload. |Somebody at somepoint is going to have to do the hard work in bringing them up to a good standard... Dr. Blofeld White cat 14:14, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Ah yes, quality over quatity! A novel idea. I like it! 166.77.6.4 (talk) 15:17, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
From experience I can identify the possible cause of this problem: even when a short section of text meets fundamental criteria NPOV, COI, reliable sources and is the only Wikipedia content covering a topic like spiritual healing, it's still subject to the stereotype of what makes the "perfect" article even when it's embedded within an existing article.Adrian-from-london (talk) 19:10, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

An Interesting Link

Not precisely Wikipedia-specific, but http://libraryclips.blogsome.com/2010/03/25/presentation-participation-in-communities-of-practice/ is presentation on the factors involved in making goal-oriented online communities work. If this link is not appropriate for the Signpost, maybe one of the active bloggers contributing/lurking here could use it. -- llywrch (talk) 16:09, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

CheckUser and Oversight Elections

The Arbitration Committee has determined that there is a need for additional oversighters and checkusers to improve workload distribution and ensure complete, timely response to requests. Beginning yesterday, experienced editors are invited to apply for either or both of the Oversight or CheckUser permissions. Current holders of either permission are also invited to apply for the other. The last day to request an application is April 10, 2010. For more information, please see the election page.

For the Arbitration Committee - KnightLago (talk) 16:47, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Discuss this

Skin change

Starting on April 5, the default skin will change from monobook to Vector. See this Raul654 (talk) 20:38, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

I thought that was just for Commons initially and then for the wikis later in the month, but I could be totally wrong. Kaldari (talk) 01:39, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
This had already been covered in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-03-29/News and notes. Regards, HaeB (talk) 13:50, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Wikiversity - Open letter to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

Wikiversity open letter project/WMF Board March 2010: "This OPEN LETTER seeks clarification about disruption of the Wikiversity project and the censoring of Wikiversity content by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees and will be sent to the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees. The text of the letter was frozen at the end of March. Wikiversity participants will now have a week (April 1- April 7) to sign the letter." (Disclaimer - I currently have no involvement in this letter, I'm simply suggesting it as a topic) -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 22:10, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

It might be an interesting exercise to cross-reference the signatories to that letter with the list of users banned from the English Wikipedia. It is all too common for someone to get banned from the english Wikipedia and then migrate to Wikiversity, where they take advantage of the lack of a clearly defined mission and lack of oversight to continue their disruption. Perhaps it is time to write an open-letter To the Editors of Wikiversity from the Editors on All the Other Wikimedia Projects explaining why Wikiversity is a bad joke, why it hurts the credibility of all the other projects, and why it is time to shut Wikiversity down. Raul654 (talk) 22:55, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Per my above comment, I've created a Petition to Shut Down Wikiversity Raul654 (talk) 23:15, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
I continue to be astounded at the extreme emotional reactions to what was, at heart, some fairly trivial pages. It's not like someone started up "Al-Qaeda in Wikimedia", writing about improvised bomb-making. There was a real court case about a book Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors. And there's a whole area of security research. The threats against Wikiversity strike me as amazingly disproportionate -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 00:55, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
There is some personal history involved here that probably could be explained better by email. Cla68 (talk) 01:16, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
And now I've been blocked on Wikiversity for having the gall to criticize it. Kaldari (talk) 18:04, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

"Wikiversity: When Breaching Experiments Attack"

Interesting critical analysis - "Wikiversity: When Breaching Experiments Attack": "In brief, Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) board member and Wikipedia co-founder Jimbo Wales was nearly tricked, with an ease that can only be described as laughable, into shutting down the entire English Wikiversity subdomain, a wiki with over 80,000 web pages - all with the "full support of the Foundation" - by someone who had announced shortly beforehand on Wikiversity itself that he was about to try to get Wales to do just that, as an "experiment." " (Disclaimer - the preceding were the article writer's words, not mine) -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 23:59, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

MfD nominations of a large number of hidden pages

Recently, Cunard (talk · contribs) had nominated a number of hidden or secret pages, which stirred up quite a debate among users. In one nomination alone, there can be a 'keep', a 'delete', a 'weak keep' and a 'weak delete'. Some users want all of these to be deleted, while some want all to be kept. Most sub-pages of such hidden pages were deleted, and undeletion requests returned no result. Kayau Voting IS evil 04:19, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

_The Register_ : "Wikifounder reports Wikiparent to FBI over 'child porn'"

"Wikifounder reports Wikiparent to FBI over 'child porn'" "Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger has reported the site's parent organization to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, saying he believes the Wikimedia Commons "may be knowingly distributing child pornography." (Personal disclaimer - don't shoot the messenger!) -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 00:00, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

This is not news. WND wingnuts tried the same thing two years ago. Nothing came of it. Sanger's complaint is going to end up in the same circular file. Raul654 (talk) 00:24, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
I concur with your assessment regarding the unlikelihood of an FBI investigation of Wikimedia. However, that being said, I believe there is a certain (newsworthy) poignancy in Sanger's sentiment of "It bothers me that something I helped start has come to this." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 02:41, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
There's a discussion at meta about this. It appears that one of Sanger's complaints is an image that has been deleted and oversighted, but is still accessible to a few people with sufficient access privileges (ie - those with oversight, and devs with access to the machine(s) on which it the image is hosted). Mindmatrix 00:32, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Follow-up Larry Sanger reply (disclaimer - those are his views, not mine) -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 23:20, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Why did Sanger post this to a user who hasn't edited in over 2 years though? -- œ 13:24, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

already repoted Sophie(: 12:21, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

BLP case on Hebrew Wikipedia

The English Wikipedia' article on whistleblower Anat Kam currently states that

She has exerted great pressure on her supporters not to publicize her arrest or the charges against her. She successfully got Hebrew Wikipedia to remove the article about her[19], which raised controversy both within the Hebrew Wikipedia community and among free speech and free press advocates within Israel and abroad.

citing a deletion debate on the Hebrew Wikipedia (Google translation).

As this appears to be a widely discussed BLP case which might provide insights for readers from the English Wikipedia too, it would be nice if a Hebrew speaker could write a brief summary of that controversy (about the he: article, not about the whole legal case) for the Signpost.

Regards, HaeB (talk) 17:45, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

A Slate (magazine) podcast spent 3 minutes blasting me

I was blasted on a Slate (magazine) podcast from the 39:10 minute mark almost to the end of the show as a University of Michigan-crazed superuser.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 23:35, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Cuttingedge.com

Some experiences from a BLP subject. Stifle (talk) 09:02, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

I've certainly read less well informed opinions about our (IMHO great) project. Worth inclusion (the last paragraphs yield the specifics regular Wikipedians won't have heard before). - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 09:51, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm assuming, of course, that the editors referred to by name know they're being written about (which, from the sounds of it, they do). - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 09:54, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

One billion total edits on all Wikimedia projects

Total edits in Wikimedia projects according to the Wikimedia counter is expected to reach 1,000,000,000 sometime this Friday. See Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#Wikimedia_counter. -- œ 13:19, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Cpedia, an automatic encyclopedia

Cuil has recently launched an automatic encyclopedia engine called Cpedia. See Wikipedia:Village_pump_(miscellaneous)#Cpedia.2C_an_automatic_encyclopedia for more details. - hahnchen 22:48, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Wow, that thing gives you some WEIRD results. It's like asking the internet-god what something means, but instead of being answered by a giant omniscient glowing squid, it's the personalities of 2 million teenagers distilled into a single train of thought. Very scary! Kaldari (talk) 21:40, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

People at Bugzilla having too much fun over Eyjafjawhatever

The bug is 23223. I like the suggestion of moving the plume toward America best :p Circéus (talk) 16:35, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

April 2010 good article nominations backlog elimination drive already achieves its goal

GAN backlog elimination drives chart up to 18 April

Following the conclusion of the GA Sweeps in March 2010, the April 2010 GAN backlog elimination drive has accomplished its goal of the number of outstanding GA nominations to below 200 – 12 days before the scheduled end of the drive. As of 00:00 19 April 2010, from the beginning of the drive, 512 good article nominations have been reviewed so far with 379 of them passed, 67 failed, and 68 placed on hold according to the list of completed GANs by the participants; 330 GANs were reviewed in the backlog elimination drive in Spring 2009|previous GAN backlog elimination drive in February–March 2009. Here are some other statistics from as a result of the backlog elimination drive:

  • The drive started with 463 outstanding GA nominations; it is currently down to 146.
  • The WP:GAN page was at 110KB in size on 1 April. That page has almost been cut in half at 60KB.
  • At the beginning of the drive (See this GAN report from 31 March), the longest waiting times for a GA nomination have been about 13 weeks. Currently ([3]), the longest waiting times have been reduced to 2 weeks.
  • 60 Wikipedians have volunteered in this current drive and have reviewed at least one good article nomination – almost twice as many as the previous backlog elimination drive in Spring 2009.

MuZemike 01:48, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, I put it into this week's news and notes (although the Features and admins section might also be an appropriate place, once it materializes). Regards, HaeB (talk) 02:52, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Malayalam Wikipedia CD

As part of Malayalam Wikipedia Meetup 2010, the Malayalam wikipedia has released 500 selected articles on a CD ROM. This is the first time in India, a Wikipedia on local language releasing its articles for offline usage. utcursch | talk 05:55, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, added to this week's News and notes. Regards, HaeB (talk) 02:03, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Facebook to use Wikipedia content for topic descriptions

Facebook have quietly announced that the content for their new "Community pages" will be automatically scraped from Wikipedia: [4] — Pretzels Hii! 20:01, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Wikinews contest

We at Wikinews are holding n:Wikinews:May 2010 writing contest. I was wondering if you could include a little blurb. Thanks. --Mikemoral♪♫ 04:36, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

John Paul Stevens

This entry in Mark Mardell's blog gave me a chuckle. Waltham, The Duke of 18:10, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Globe and Mail article

Judges rap Wiki-evidence in immigration cases at The Globe and Mail. Mindmatrix 14:25, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

"Inner Workings of Global Encyclopedia 'Better than a Soap Opera'"

"Backstage with the Wikipedians" "Wikipedia, the world's largest encyclopedia, is a massive project, where human knowledge is collected and edited by ordinary users. But behind the scenes of the German-language version of this intellectual utopia is a group of small and dedicated volunteers. Their passion for truth at times leads to bitter disputes." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 11:31, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Wow, fantastic article. One of the best I've read in a long time. When i first saw the title I figured "people still don't know that?", but reading it, it is one of the most accessible articles I read in a long time. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:02, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
German original was apparently published in January, but not mentioned in Signpost before. Amalthea 13:18, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
No, that date ("19.01.2010") is a typo, the German article came out in the April 19 print edition last week.
Note that the end of the article [5][6] refers to the blocking of the main protagonist in February, after a Checkuser result.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 02:30, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Ah, alright, thanks. Amalthea 12:51, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Copy edit backlog drive

You might be interested in knowing that the Guild of Copy Editors is organizing a backlog elimination drive for the month of May 2010. Editors are cordially invited to participate. The Guild hopes to reduce the large number of articles tagged for copy editing issues, which currently stands at over 8,200. We would be extremely grateful if our invitation to participate can be included in the next edition of The Wikipedia Signpost. Thanks. -- S Masters (talk) 16:46, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

Peter David - "The Wikipedia Deletionists, Round 2"

There's an interesting long post on the blog of writer Peter David, "The Wikipedia Deletionists, Round 2", recounting an article deletion debate. The perspectives are illuminating, as another writer says "This is like a trip into Bizarro-land." and Peter David comments "If you ever want to get an up-close-and-personal feel for what the Mad Tea Party is like, go watch the Deletionists in action." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 14:09, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Picture of the day photo credits requests for comment

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Picture of the day photo credits might be something to include somewhere in the next edition. --MZMcBride (talk) 19:11, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Larry Sanger - "Individual Knowledge in the Internet Age"

"Individual Knowledge in the Internet Age" Larry Sanger - Interesting thoughts, e.g. "Perhaps the highest-octane criticism, quite relevant to the current discussion, is Jaron Lanier's essay "Digital Maoism." Among Lanier's well-placed points is that online collaboration in what he (along with Kevin Kelly and others) calls "hive minds" (e.g., Wikipedia) unsurprisingly tends to depersonalize and alienate us, cheapening our individuality and sapping the interest and idiosyncrasy from our writing and thinking." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 13:08, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo featured

Jimbo was/is featured as one of the commentators in the new special America: The History of Us (a redlink as of me posting this), on the history channel. I didn't see the episodes myself, but a friend also told me that he was billed as the "Co-founder of Wikipedia". Ks0stm (TCG) 20:51, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Commons blocked in Iran

Wikimedia Commons has been blocked in Iran.[7] Kaldari (talk) 20:51, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

What does that translate to? I can't tell what it says... Ks0stm (TCG) 02:17, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

NYTimes / Flagged Revisions

The New York Times claims we are using Flagged Revisions, and draws the conclusion that "the result has been a steady desertion by amateur editors and an increasing dominance by experts" ("Challenging the Limits of Open Society", NyTimes, April 23, 2010). Plain wrong on many levels. Amalthea 10:30, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Wikimania 2010

Wikimania 2010, this year's global event devoted to Wikimedia projects around the globe, is accepting submissions for presentations, workshops, panels, and tutorials related to the Wikimedia projects or free content topics in general. The conference will be held from July 9-11, 2010 in Gdansk, Poland. For more information, check the official Call for Participation. Cbrown1023 talk 00:50, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

May 1 --

Larry Sanger - "More replies about Wikimedia and the fallout of my report to the FBI"

"More replies about Wikimedia and the fallout of my report to the FBI" Larry Sanger - If Signpost is going to do a follow-up on, err, recent events in this matter, I suggest this post by Larry Sanger is much better source for his views than the Fox News article: "But I think Wikipedia must become more consistent with the somewhat higher standards of the world it is a part of, and I would think of myself as lacking courage if I did not say so. I hope others will join me." (Disclaimer - my finding his views worth examining does not mean I share them all). -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 03:42, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

U.S. National Archives announces archives wiki, calls for "Citizen Archivists"

[8] 86.41.80.244 (talk) 19:08, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo sets Sexual Content Policy

Please see commons:Commons:News regarding the sexual content purge for a complete archive of relevant media regarding this event.

By fiat, Jimbo has asserted that Commons will not include sexual content covered under the Section 2257 record keeping requirements. The exact details of what will happen are still being worked out, but this is a big change producing no small amount of conflict. Dragons flight (talk) 22:28, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

yep. And this has *blown up* on F-l. We're going to have to work hard to make a coherent story out of it, but definitely noted. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 17:18, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Unsourced BLPs

The English Wikipedia is nearing its first goal in eliminating unsourced biographies of living people, or "BLPs".

The goal is to have no more than 30,00 "old" unreferenced BLPs on June 1. There had been about 50,000 at the start of the year.

The June 1 goal is the first of series, spread over a year, based on an RFC earlier this year. Wikipedia:WikiProject Unreferenced Biographies of Living Persons is helping coordinate efforts. Project members are adding sources and removing outdated tags.

The project is also working to encourage editors to help in their areas of interest. Other Wikiprojects are being notified of unsourced BLPs that apply to each project. This is being tracked at Wikipedia:WikiProject Unreferenced Biographies of Living Persons/WikiProjects.

Some projects had been working on this effort for quite a while. Football has been running its list for almost a year -- User:Rettetast made it. The-Pope started a list for Australia in January, and India made up their lists around that time, then Rugby and a few others were done as well.

Then eventually Okip got Tim to come on board and his DASHBot made it all possible to get every project listed and regualarly updated -- we had a few hiccups along the way.

One editor, on his or her own, was addressing 1000 out of 3000 unreferenced football articles.

Working from another angle is the replacement of templates on article referenced solely or mainly to IMDB. A new tag has been made, aiming to clarify the situation of those page. For progress, see User:Doncram/IMDBzap.

Other efforts include a contest, pledge page, and the sticky prods. Maurreen (talk) 22:49, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

See section further below, including graph. --doncram (talk) 14:02, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Public policy initiative

New hires

Chapter board seats

John Cleese vandalism

It was reported on Chortle.co.uk, with visual evidence, that someone wrote on the Wikipedia article covering the comedian John Cleese saying that Cleese died. ISD (talk) 13:40, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Well this is a completely fair and balanced headline about Wikipedia

Wikipedia's Parent Company Starts Purging Porn From Its Websites. Remember (talk) 19:33, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

How is it unfair or unbalanced? What would you have had it be? "WMF re-focuses on educational priorities"? -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 00:10, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Tangential, but WP doesn't have a "Parent Company". Maurreen (talk) 06:40, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
A couple of news stories in porn industry media on the "purge": Porn Purge at Wikipedia and Wikipedia Porn Purge Includes Content of Adult Companies. Tabercil (talk) 15:14, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Poll on Jimbo's founder flag

The poll on Jimbo's founder privileges is reaching consensus:

As of this edit, 228 editors have announced their opposition to Jimbo retaining his powers. Only 74 have supported.

--Alecmconroy (talk) 01:39, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I fixed your link. Dragons flight (talk) 02:02, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
As noted on that page, Jimbo has voluntarily relinquished most of his special privileges. This is a historic event that the Signpost will naturally want to relate. Dcoetzee 03:43, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

"Wikipedia bill" in Israel

The Israeli parliament is currently debating a bill that would open up government photo archives. It was initiated by Wikipedia Israel and is also known as the "Wikipedia bill". It is however not clear how useful it would be to the project, since the bill would put restrictions on commercial use and would forbid using the photos in racist propaganda campaigns. [10] AxelBoldt (talk) 04:25, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo on why Knol failed

SF chronicle interview with Jimmy on why Knol failedTheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:53, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

"Deconstructing Wikipedia"

"Deconstructing Wikipedia" - Feature Story Reed magazine June 2010 "Larry Sanger ’91 launched a revolution. Why does he want to start over?" -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 12:50, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

That makes some stupid errors, ie "changes to [BLPs] must be reviewed by experienced editors before they are made public" is not true (not yet, at least), the "Oxford biologist Mike Handel" incident appeared on DYK, hardly "the most prominent location on the site". Also, that paints Sanger in an extremely positive light. "Sanger did his best to damp down the fires [disputes]", etc. Sure, that sounds good, but no one person can end a dispute here. It's the nature of the projcct. While it may be a true statement, it's misleading simply because that is an impossible task. I'm sure that he deserves some of the accolades, but not to that extent. —Ed (talkmajestic titan) 21:15, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
It paints Sanger in a positive light because he's a Reedie and gave the recent commencement address. Steven Walling 20:03, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Diaspora* (software)...

...is an upcoming new open-source social network that aims to be more private than Facebook. It has received quite a bit of attention, including an article in the New York Times. Their website [11] says:

We are 140-character ideas. We are the pictures of your cat. We are blog posts about the economy. We are the collective knowledge that is Wikipedia. The internet is a canvas – of which, we paint broad and fine strokes of our lives with. It is a forward extension of our physical lives; a meta-self comprised of ones and zeros. We are all that is digital: If we weren’t, the internet wouldn’t either.

I'm not sure if this means anything; I'm putting it here for others to interpret. —Ed (talkmajestic titan) 20:57, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

ITN suggested for year 2300

This item will be published in Wikipedia's ITN on 12-May-2300. World is too hot--yousaf465' 02:21, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Commons Picture of the Year - Voting has begun

First round had begun (as of May 14) and will end in one week. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Picture_of_the_Year/2009 MahangaTalk 02:31, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

CheckUser and Oversight election has now opened

The CheckUser and Oversight election has now opened. Any editor who has made at least 150 mainspace edits prior to the first announcement of the election may vote. The voting will close at one minute past 23:59 UTC on 27 May 2010.

Direct link to the voting pages

Discuss the election here

For the Arbitration Committee - KnightLago (talk) 14:48, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Malamanteau

Following the publishing of an xkcd cartoon which defined the word Malamanteau, the page was created on Wikipedia, and then redirected to xkcd with much discussion on the talk page over whether or not it should be its own article. As of 00:41, 15 May 2010 (UTC) the article itself is 66 bytes in length, while the talk page is over 200 kb. -mattbuck (Talk) 00:41, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Noted. This was discussed on 4chan's /co/ board last Friday, but I haven't seen anything on tech sites yet. Ottre 09:44, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
74,000 hits on a disputed page is pretty remarkable. It did quite well on Reddit and Slashdot, and I think there were some minor publications writing about it. — Pretzels Hii! 20:01, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Wikimedia: 'Fox News's campaign against us is nonsense'

An article from The Guardian ISD (talk) 13:22, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

X!'s edit counter reaches 1 million hits in only 1.5 years

X! has just announced that his edit counter has reached 1 million hits in only 1.5 years. Worthy of a news brief, of course. I think it also may say something about the significance of an editor's edit count to fellow Wikipedians, or maybe just an editor's interest in their own editing nature, or perhaps an editor's vanity. Maybe an article exploring this would be good. Diderot's dreams (talk) 14:30, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook blocked in Pakistan

-- Cirt (talk) 23:04, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

From the ComputerWorld article: "Some Wikipedia pages are also now being restricted.", so supposedly WP isn't entirely blocked. Mindmatrix 00:22, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
The Washington Post says "At least 450 sites, including Wikipedia, were also cut off by midday Thursday...". APK whisper in my ear 06:36, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Pakistan restricted access to Wikipedia and banned viewing of certain pages on the website in the country on May 20, 2010, according to Fast Company,[1] The New York Times,[2] Radio France Internationale,[3] The Express Tribune,[4][5] The Washington Post,[6] Computer World,[7] Newsweek,[8] Agence France-Presse,[9][10] and the Financial Times.[11] Agence France-Presse noted, "The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) extended a ban on Facebook, ordered by a court until May 31, to popular video sharing website YouTube and restricted Wikipedia."[10] The Washington Post reported, "At least 450 sites, including Wikipedia, were also cut off by midday" on May 20.[6] Radio France Internationale quoted the editor of The Friday Times, who stated, "They’ve banned not just Facebook, now you have YouTube. They’re also blocking Flickr, I’ve just heard that they’ve blocked Wikipedia ... eager beavers sitting in the PTA and in other ministries are just going on and blocking sites."[3] The New York Times reported that the ban, "also included certain pages on Flickr and Wikipedia".[2] According to Radio France Internationale,[12] and Newsweek, pages were blocked on Wikipedia by the Pakistan agency due to what the government described as "growing sacrilegious contents".[8] Ahmad Rafay Alam of the Pakistani English-language daily newspaper The Express Tribune commented, "the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has taken it upon itself to block Wikipedia, among other things."[5] Reuters reported on May 20 that "websites, including Wikipedia and Flickr, have been inaccessible in Pakistan" since the previous evening.[13] According to Agence France-Presse, a representative of the organization the Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan, Wahaj us Siraj, stated "Wikipedia had been blocked" in the country.[9]


Thank you for your time. Cheers, -- Cirt (talk) 18:57, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Democracy in Cuba

From The Washington Post - "And that's how a klezmer-playing Maryland dad wound up providing Wikipedia to Cuban Jews." APK whisper in my ear 07:04, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Unsourced BLP drive

I'm not sure whether I'm putting this in the right place. But can this or something like it run in the next issue, please? Maurreen (talk) 08:06, 19 May 2010 (UTC)


The English Wikipedia is nearing its first goal in eliminating unsourced biographies of living people, or "BLPs".

The goal is to have no more than 30,00 "old" unreferenced BLPs on June 1. There had been about 50,000 at the start of the year. As of May 19, editors had reduced the number to less than 32,000.

The June 1 goal is the first of series, spread over a year, based on an RFC earlier this year. Wikipedia:WikiProject Unreferenced Biographies of Living Persons is helping coordinate efforts. Project members are adding sources and removing outdated tags.

The project is also working to encourage editors to help in their areas of interest. Other Wikiprojects are being notified of unsourced BLPs that apply to each project. This is being tracked at Wikipedia:WikiProject Unreferenced Biographies of Living Persons/WikiProjects.

Some projects had been working on this effort for quite a while. Football has been running its list for almost a year -- User:Rettetast made it. The-Pope started a list for Australia in January, and India made up their lists around that time, then Rugby and a few others were done as well.

Then eventually Okip got Tim to come on board and his DASHBot made it all possible to get every project listed and regualarly updated -- we had a few hiccups along the way.

One editor, on his or her own, was addressing 1000 out of 3000 unreferenced football articles.

Working from another angle is the replacement of templates on article referenced solely or mainly to IMDB. A new tag has been made, aiming to clarify the situation of those page. For progress, see User:Doncram/IMDBzap.

Other efforts include a contest, pledge page, and the sticky prods. Maurreen (talk) 22:49, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Unsourced BLPs first goal met: count dropped below 30,000 by May 24, in advance of June 1 target
When is press time for the Signpost? The wp:URBLP posse is nearing its goal of 30,000; the current tally is under 31,000 now and one more push over a day or 2 or 3 could get it done, perhaps in time for a Signpost announcement, depending on the deadline. I personally think that should be pretty big news for Wikipedians, given the huge interest in the RFCs in January and onward. The unsourced BLP issue was/is of big importance. Also the Signpost could use the graph available at Graph using data from Unref BLP count. That illustrates drop, and some back and forth, from 52,760 on January 4 to now. I am one now with access to add numbers to the spreadsheet, and i would be happy to update that graph and provide a .png graphic file, at any moment most useful. About the IMDB sub-story that could be mentioned, i am one of several who worked on it. It's perhaps interesting to Wikipedia editors as many have been involved in argument previously over IMDB as a reliable or unreliable source; this effort is primarily to label clearly the cases where IMDB is used, and hopefully to then more productively involve editors into adding other sources. I'd suggest perhaps reporting one or more of the tallies from top and bottom of User:Doncram/IMDBzap, meaning perhaps the current number of articles categorized as BLP IMDB-only refimprove or BLP IMDB-sourced or the running total of IMDB-sourced articles "zapped" (labelled by one of those, and removed from BLP unsourced category), but I wasn't suggesting a Signpost article should itself link to the tally page in my userspace. I'll watch here for comment or please do advise where/how we can discuss/help. --doncram (talk) 18:26, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Update: The wp:URBLP wikiproject is working hard, is very close to meeting the 30,000 target of June 1, meaning having fewer than 30,000 unsourced BLP articles in Wikipedia by that date. Currently there are 30,350. The tally is dropping. The current count in the Category:All unreferenced BLPscategory is: 836 (which will update occasionally here, perhaps when this Talk page is edited). If it could be mentioned, that the goal is almost met, or has actually been met (possible still tonight), that would be appreciated. --doncram (talk) 00:04, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
We broke 30,000. --doncram (talk) 03:23, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Graph uploaded to commons, added here. More facts, links at wp:URBLP and discussion at wt:URBLP and its archives. --doncram (talk) 14:06, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
But we still encourage everyone's help to meet the remaining milestones in working toward zero. Maurreen (talk) 14:31, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, indeed. Much more info on recent performance by wikiproject is available in links from wp:URBLP and wt:URBLP. Also some very good further analysis by User:The Pope is available at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Unreferenced Biographies of Living Persons#What we've done. Also i remain willing to help update the chart. Live version updated daily lives at Graph is here. Total at 29,569 right now, clearly below the 30,000 target. --doncram (talk) 21:19, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

"What Do Wikipedia's Sole 35 Employees Do?"

From Business Insider - "Watch Jimmy reveal the mystery of the Wikipedia staff." APK whisper in my ear 06:59, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

"Oops"

WP:STOCKS#Drini for the "I missed that day at target practice" award.

FT2 (Talk | email) 16:02, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

"The Future Of Wikipedia – More Quality, Less Quantity And Less English"

From Business Insider - "Where will Wikipedia be in 10 years? How big can it get?" APK whisper in my ear 16:02, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Cockfight!

Calm down Al Gayda. (Durka Durka) It doesn't involve us. I'm talking about actual cockfighting. From The State - "That rogue juror then brought pages of Internet research from the Wikipedia Web site into the jury room and held a private discussion about the case with three other jurors, the whistleblower juror testified...But jurors who violate the rules can go to prison. And, depending on the seriousness of the misconduct, [U.S. Judge Cam] Currie could declare a mistrial and overturn the guilty verdicts against six people government lawyers called key players in major cockfights in Swansea and Williamsburg County." Déjà vu. APK whisper in my ear 16:21, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

#5 #4

Last month, Wikipedia was the fourth most popular website. "According to Google, which ranked the sites based on unique visitors,...Wikipedia came in fourth with 310 million unique visitors and 7.9 billion page views." (via the Los Angeles Times) APK whisper in my ear 05:09, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

P.S. Wikimedia was the 89th most popular website. (25 million unique visitors and 140 million page views) APK whisper in my ear 07:29, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
That page is missing Google... Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 08:06, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Bill Gates is laughing.

"Wikipedia not showing properly in Apple's Dictionary" (by Topher Kessler, CNET.com) - "Apple's Dictionary application is useful for grabbing information about items, either by looking them up in the dictionary or thesaurus, or by using online resources such as Wikipedia. Recently Wikipedia has undergone a few site and design changes, which have broken some of the way items are displayed in the Dictionary application." APK whisper in my ear 05:20, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

The Wikipedia Cult

Wikipedia sysop (User:ABC) - "Drink the Kool-Aid."
Newly registered account (User:XYZ) - "But, but, I don't wanna."
pause
ABC (talk | contribs) blocked XYZ (talk | contribs) (account creation blocked) with an expiry time of indefinite ‎ (Vandalism-only account)

Sam Vaknin, Ph.D., discusses "The Wikipedia Cult" with Global Politician (interview by Daniel Tynan). APK whisper in my ear 05:48, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Some context:
Regards, HaeB (talk) 07:15, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
The plot thickens! APK whisper in my ear 07:17, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Other Newsletters

I would like to suggest that Newsletters from Wikiprojects should be in the Signpost so that they can get more readers and possibly help promote Wikiproject-related projects. Ex: Wikiproject Video Game. GamerPro64 (talk) 14:58, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Brief WikiProject news appears every week in the Wikiproject Report. You can submit news at the WikiProject desk. — Pretzels Hii! 18:23, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't think I'm being understood. I mean that there should be a section in the signpost that has links to Wikiproject newsletters. GamerPro64 (talk) 00:29, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

"Anatomy of a Wiki-hoax"

"Anatomy of a Wiki-hoax" (Ken Jennings) - "A couple months ago, I introduced you to the Wikipedia article (now yanked) on Orange Julius namesake Julius Freed, which is full of all kinds of crazy trivia, like the fact that he invented a shower stall for pigeons. I was mostly interested in the article because (a) it had sat unchanged on Wikipedia for five years, and (b) it all seemed transparently phony to the trained eye." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 17:20, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Note that this from Ken Jennings.
Best section from that post: "...he explained that, while he chose the Orange Julius founder at random, he decided to hoax Wikipedia with a very specific purpose in mind: to demonstrate to broadcast colleagues that the site wasn’t completely reliable. That strikes me as funny for some reason: you had to create your own error to demonstrate that there are errors on Wikipedia? Doesn’t that sort of contaminate the sample? You might as well sneak into someone’s office and remove a page from their dictionary to educate them on the non-100% reliability of Merriam-Webster." Steven Walling 18:29, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
The fallacy there is in making up the aspect "had to" - it was obviously a simple "breaching experiment" -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 13:39, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

malamanteau

The Great Malamanteau Crisis of 2010 is mentioned in today's Boston Globe. (by Erin McKean) APK whisper in my ear 07:45, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

June 1-

{{tl:Good article}}

How being shown on article pages and in the interwiki links YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 06:43, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

When is consensus bullying?

I feel as though I am being bullied out of Wikipedia when all I do for the most part is qualitatively improve articles by adding citations. I have a group of malign editors that have formed a cohort against me. They have searched really hard to find a few matters of dispute out of my 20,000 or more edits that I have made to this Project. I would like to voice my concern on Signpost. Would somebody like to interview me? B9 hummingbird hovering (talkcontribs) 10:20, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Don't think this is the kind of thing the Signpost covers.  f o x  14:35, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Study: Wikipedia Accurate But Poorly Written

From LiveScience - "A new study says Wikipedia is as accurate a source for cancer information as a professionally reviewed resource — assuming you can wade through the lousy prose." (additional coverage: The Washington Post, Time, The Independent, Los Angeles Times) APK whisper in my ear 14:25, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Covered in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-06-07/In the news. Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:22, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo in the news

From The Hill - "Wiki founder Jimmy Wales criticizes broadband subsidies". (by Gautham Nagesh) APK whisper in my ear 14:34, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

And was criticized in turn (blog of Public Knowledge) -- Seth Finkelstein (talk)
Interesting, but it didn't seem particularly relevant for Wikipedia. Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:22, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Bigipedia given second series

The radio sketch comedy Bigipedia, which is show which parodies Wikipedia, has been given a second series. Source: British Comedy Guide. ISD (talk) 13:56, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Covered in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-06-07/In the news. Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:22, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

British Museum

From The New York Times - "The British Museum has begun an unusual collaboration with Wikipedia, the online, volunteer-written encyclopedia, to help ensure that the museum's expertise and notable artifacts are reflected in that digital reference's pages. About 40 Wikipedia contributors in the London area spent Friday with a "backstage pass" to the museum, meeting with curators and taking photographs of the collection. And in a curious reversal in status, curators were invited to review Wikipedia's treatment of the museum's collection and make a case that important pieces were missing or given short shrift." (by Noam Cohen) APK whisper in my ear 22:45, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Mentioned in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-06-07/In the news and covered in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-06-07/News and notes. Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:22, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Professor Wikipedia

From Brigham Young University–Hawaii's Ke Alaka'i student newspaper - "Nearly forty percent of college students trust Wikipedia over their professors, according to a recent survey." (by Richard Farnes) Interesting, but note the small survey sample. APK whisper in my ear 15:30, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Interesting, but I wasn't quite sure about the relevance of this... Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:22, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

New user-interface will be rolled out to 9 more Wikipedias on Thursday

The new user-interface is scheduled to be rolled out on the Japanese, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Russian, Polish, Portuguese, and Dutch Wikipedia's on Thursday, June 10: http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2010-June/059020.html Kaldari (talk) 03:18, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

  • Added a note to News and Notes. Kaldari (talk) 18:55, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Occam's razor

Clever Wikipedia satire from BuzzFeed: [12]. Lampman (talk) 23:42, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

"Wikipedia says fashion designer is not an artist"

From DNA - "The income-tax (I-T) department insists that fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani is not an artist and to support its claim it relies on Wikipedia -- a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit...Justice DY Chandrachud, however, asked, 'How reliable is Wikipedia? Isn't it subject to user modification?'" (by Mayura Janwalkar) APK whisper in my ear 16:57, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Covered in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-06-14/In the news. Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:22, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo = The Next Top Model?

From the Financial Times - "Of its 'models', the least recognisable but probably most influential is Jimmy Wales, who started Wikipedia on the premise that the sum of human knowledge should be available free to anyone on the web, and whose non-profit foundation that raises funds for, and develops, the site is often cited as a new business model." (by Avril Groom) APK whisper in my ear 17:08, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

"The Souls of the Machine"

From The Chronicle of Higher Education - "[Clay Shirky] figures all of Wikipedia, his gold standard for group activity online, took about 100 million hours of thought to produce. So Americans could build 2,000 Wikipedia projects a year just by writing articles instead of watching television." (by Jeffrey R. Young) APK whisper in my ear 05:11, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Sounds familiar, must have been in the last issue I guess. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 11:02, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-06-07/In the news. Shirky made this comparison already two years ago, it is also part of his new book which we should do a review of. Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:22, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Size in volumes

Depending on exactly how you measure it we've just broken 1400 volumes of text on the English wikipedia (obvious with pics it would be rather higher but no one has worked out how to calculate that).©Geni 17:00, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Tampines Junior College case

"Derogatory remarks about two Tampines Junior College (TPJC) students in a Wikipedia entry prompted one of them to file a police report."

The vandalism has removed from the public archives now.[13][14] utcursch | talk 09:05, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

This had already been covered at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-06-14/In the news at the time you wrote the suggestion - you would have been welcome to add it there directly. Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:22, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia introduces edit mechanism for divisive pages

A story from the BBC. ISD (talk) 09:51, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Additional coverage from The Daily Telegraph. APK whisper in my ear 22:38, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Mentioned in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-06-14/In the news. Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:22, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia cited by Swedish court

In a copyright case in Sweden the Tingsrätt cited Copyright aspects of hyperlinking and framing [15] as a general background for their decision. --Ainali (talk) 21:43, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Might be interesting, but needs a Swedish speaker to be covered properly. One can also add a mention to Wikipedia:Wikipedia as a court source. Regards, HaeB (talk) 22:07, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Strange

From Gawker.com and The San Francisco Appeal - "Local Writer Will Pay You $15/Hr To Create A Wikipedia Entry To Support Her Story For The NYT". (by Hamilton Nolan and Eve Batey, respectively) APK whisper in my ear 22:47, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Covered in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-06-21/In the news. Regards, HaeB (talk) 22:07, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

"Jimmy Wales: The Wiki World"

From Forbes India - "World-wide, the number of people speaking English is actually quite small;" Hmmm. See List of languages by number of native speakers. APK whisper in my ear 22:55, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Irish road trip

From The Irish Times - "A lot of scientists don't like Wikipedia because it's published to the web maybe it's not as accountable as traditional publishing material. But I think Wikipedia is proof that, for the most part, it works – and it's going to help us bring the message to a wider audience." (by Claire O'Connell) APK whisper in my ear 00:22, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

There's an app for that.

From The Boston Globe - "AllOfWiki Offline is a $10 app for iPhones and iPads that does something very simple and powerful. It downloads all the text content of Wikipedia, and stores it in your device's memory." (by Hiawatha Bray) APK whisper in my ear 00:30, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

My first reaction was "How is that possible?" The article says that all the text in Wikipedia is 6 gigabytles - is that really true? Smallbones (talk) 01:04, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

"35% of World’s Internet Population visiting [Wikipedia]"

From the Nielsen Company - "The popularity of social media is undeniable – three of the world's most popular brands online are social-media related (Facebook, YouTube and Wikipedia) and the world now spends over 110 billion minutes on social networks and blog sites." APK whisper in my ear 08:10, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

The Wikipedia Cult, Part Deux

See above. From Global Politician - "Is Wikipedia a Cult? Wikipedia strikes back" (by Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.) APK whisper in my ear 16:12, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Looks like some run-of-the-mill off-wiki trolling. Doesn't look notable enough to cover, IMO. Kaldari (talk) 23:59, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
It was covered in the most recent issue, so I thought it was worth mentioning here. APK reports. You decide.APK whisper in my ear 01:34, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
At least that was a real article. This one just seems like a guy airing his personal complaints and making off-wiki legal threats. Kaldari (talk) 18:59, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
Me-ow. APK whisper in my ear 20:58, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the tip. I have written a reply here, I don't think it is worth another article.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:22, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

password = lipstick?

From the Knoxville News Sentinel - "Kernell figured out the answer to Palin's password security account courtesy Google and Wikipedia, changed the password, gained access to the account and boasted about it on a popular Internet discussion board." (by Jamie Satterfield) APK whisper in my ear 03:48, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Is that really news? I vaguely remember reading it last year. Regards, HaeB (talk) 22:07, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Koman Coulibaly

He's...popular? From USA Today - "Users get creative with Wikipedia page of USA-Slovenia referee". (additional coverage - Politics Daily, The Atlantic, NBC News, San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post) APK whisper in my ear 21:32, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Covered in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-06-21/In the news. Regards, HaeB (talk) 22:07, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Britain Loves WIkipedia pictures

The pictures from Britain Loves Wikipedia are now available on Commons, and are in need of categorization and adding to articles. See the WMUK blog post for details. Mike Peel (talk) 15:56, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-06-21/News and notes. Regards, HaeB (talk) 22:07, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Sounds "fun"

From the Star Tribune - "Wikiracing, a new game played using the online encyclopedia, is an increasingly popular distraction during late nights in the library or long days spent in classrooms for many young people. In Wikiracing, competitors try to get from a predetermined starting page on the website to a predetermined destination as quickly as possible." (by Ben Jones) APK whisper in my ear 22:48, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Covered in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-06-21/In the news. Regards, HaeB (talk) 22:07, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Sister projects

The WT:POST discussion seems to show that the Signpost would like more news on sister projects published, so here's some random bits I've picked up, if anyone wants to write about them: Wiktionary revamped hideable content and introduced hideable quotes a couple days ago, WT enabled the Flood Flag (though that was on June 11, so I don't know if that's recent enough), wikt:WT:EDIT had nested translations enabled (June 7), the Wiktionary policy on "Names of specific entities" has been replaced following a vote, and one new bot was approved on Wiktionary (see wikt:Wiktionary:Votes/bt-2010-06/User:Diego Grez Bot for bot status). Also, wikt:Wiktionary:WikiProject Medicine was started. Wikibooks added 5 namespace aliases, 'WB:' to 'Wikibooks:', 'WJ:' to 'Wikijunior:', 'CAT' to 'Category:', 'COOK:' to 'Cookbook:', and 'SUB:' to "Subject:'. WB also imported {{WPBannerMeta}} from Wikipedia, (now used only on b:Wikibooks:WikiProject Languages, I think). --Yair rand (talk) 02:58, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the tips. It seems no one has picked them up yet, so maybe some general remarks: The sister project news have mostly been either in the form of one-off reports (or interviews) that presented the basics of a project and summarized important developments on that project over a longer time - or in the form of a roundup summarizing major events from several projects (over the span of a few months, they don't need to be very current either). To take the example of Wiktionary, we covered the logo contest in this roundup.
The hideable content might be interesting (specifically for Wikipedians, in the light of recent discussions whether controversial images should be hidden in that way). The approval of a new Interwiki bot, frankly, does not seem very relevant for projects where that bot is not operating. What is interesting for outsiders is the way Wiktionary handles different language versions, which why something was said about that in the Wiktionary interview.
The creation of a namespace shortcut (SUB) is not interesting - what is interesting is the existence and purpose of the Subject: namespace itself, which is why that was explained in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-05-19/Wikibooks interview.
I hope these remarks are helpful for someone who might be trying to collect the above news into a Sister project roundup. In general, writing about news from other projects one has to assume much less (average) previous knowledge and direct involvement, but that also means that information is valuable which might seem basic/boring to the regulars of that project.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 22:07, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Cuban propaganda

From Firmas Press via The Miami Herald - "The situation is very dangerous, because Wikipedia is also a field of ideological battle where there's no shortage of lies or a biased selection of information to distort the image of the adversary someone wants to destroy. Wikipedia has many collaborators who are healthily devoted to the spread of knowledge, but it also has many warriors intent on destroying the reputation of those whom they consider their enemies. I learned this first-hand when a former student warned me that my biography in Wikipedia described me as a terrorist in the service of the CIA, the culprit of the murder of priests and a thousand other delirious fantasies." (by Carlos Alberto Montaner) APK whisper in my ear 06:06, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

JMIR Open Peer Review - Wikipedia as a global tool for public health promotion

The Journal of Medical Internet Research has recently started an Open Peer Review process in which any registered user can review articles which have been submitted for consideration for publication. Top of the List at http://www.jmir.org/reviewer/openReview/abstracts is a submitted manuscript "Wikipedia as a global tool for public health promotion". Those with expert knowledge of this area on wikipedia may wish to contribute.— Rod talk 13:03, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Copied (with small modifications) to Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-06-21/In the news. Regards, HaeB (talk) 22:07, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Outside news

I think the wikipedia signpost should have a section reporting information on sister projects. --sillybillypiggytalk to me sign! 16:32, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

"Don't tase me, bro!"

From the Toronto Sun - "When a writer took him to task asking what if the armour got into the hands of criminals, the blog writer responded: 'My explicit goal is to put it in the hands of criminals, real and common alike, and anyone else who wants it for that matter.' Also, the blog site is linked to a Wikipedia page that showed how to make an electro-magnetic device 'that could be easily carried by a person, can produce pulses in the millions of amperes and tens of terrawatts, exceeding the power of a lightning strike by orders of magnitude.'" (by Rob Lamberti) APK whisper in my ear 04:34, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

An interesting milestone in NFCC compliance

As of just now [16], the project is as close as possible with current detection methods to being in compliance with WP:NFCC #9. Prior to BJBot_3 coming online in January of 2008 (see BAG approval), there were more than 2000 violations in userspace alone. When DASHBot_5 came online in January of this year (see BAG approval}, there were more than 1000 violations (I routinely saw in excess of 1400). The daily report of NFCC 9 violations showed 76 violations as of 20:00 UTC 24 June 2010. All of those violations have been removed. There are certainly a few remaining violations, but they are all new violations since yesterday. So far as I'm aware, this is a first. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:53, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Bill Thompson - "What to do on the web when you are dead" (WP:BLP vandalism)

"What to do on the web when you are dead" (Bill Thompson) - "The reports of my death on Wikipedia were not merely, as Mark Twain famously put it, exaggerated - they were entirely fictional but plausible enough to be taken seriously by the average Wikipedia visitor. ... Perhaps someone read the many articles I've written about Wikipedia and decided I was an enemy of the people who needed to be executed without even the benefit of a show trial. But I've decided I don't really want to know who did this or why and can't see that anything good would come of being aware that someone I know thought it was a good idea to do something that had the potential to cause many people I love and care for pain and distress." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 17:06, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

"Pedophiles Find a Home on Wikipedia"

From Fox News - "Wikipedia has become home base for a loose worldwide network of pedophiles who are campaigning to spin the popular online encyclopedia in their favor and are trying to lure more people into their world, an investigation by FoxNews.com confirms." (by Jana Winter) APK whisper in my ear 20:32, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo's response. APK whisper in my ear 03:39, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
That response has quite extensive personal attack. I'd recommend the editors treat it carefully, if they use it at all. While I'm not taking a stance on the specifics of the article, I would caution to regard such a response with the appropriate skepticism. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 16:51, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
The story was mentioned in The Times of India and TechEye. APK whisper in my ear 03:53, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

"Has Wikipedia been overrun by Left-wing trolls and junk historians?"

From The Daily Telegraph - "Written under the cowardly shield of a mere IP address (67.82.179.2, near Allentown, NJ) the contributor clearly wanted to label – in fact, libel – me as a Holocaust denier presumably because of my attack on Simon Wiesenthal in my book Hunting Evil." (by Guy Walters) APK whisper in my ear 20:45, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Bing Wikipedia

From GeekSmack - "Bing has approached the search engine market very differently than most others. Bing is quite popularly known as an decision-engine, rather than a search engine. Bing offers a vastly different approach to finding and displaying information than the norm. Among the the features is one called Bing Wikipedia." (by Patrick Laughner) APK whisper in my ear 03:32, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

It's All about the Benjamins

From Network World - "Hey, look, someone donated a million dollars to Wikipedia - anonymously, no less." (by Paul McNamara) APK whisper in my ear 03:57, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

"Ninth World Tamil Internet Conference 2010 concludes"

From The Hindu - "Some of the subjects covered at the conference were: e-governance, wikipedia, blogs, search engines, character recognition and Tamil domains." (by M. Soundariya Preetha) Further info. APK whisper in my ear 04:07, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Pizzle lookizzle for duizzle on Wizzle (translation - "Perry looked for duet on Wikipedia")

From the World Entertainment News Network (via the Toronto Sun) - "Katy Perry used the internet to research which rapper she wanted to collaborate with on her new single - and chose Snoop Dogg after reading his entry on Wikipedia." APK whisper in my ear 19:59, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

"PSA: Don’t believe everything you read on the Web"

From Yahoo! News - "Did you know that the founder of Orange Julius once invented a shower stall for pigeons? It said so on his Wikipedia page — for five years. So it has to be true, right?" (by Christopher Null) APK whisper in my ear 23:13, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

July 1

"Is Globally Democratized Learning Always a Good Thing?"

From The Chronicle of Higher Education - "At the Wilson Center discussion, former University of Michigan president James Duderstadt ticked off a long list of transformative technologies and modes of learning that seem destined to reshape postsecondary instruction globally...Along with open courseware initiatives, ranging from iTunes University to Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative, he cited Google’s Library Project; Wikipedia; Facebook and Twitter; virtual environments such as Second life; immersive games like World of Warcraft; and much more." (by Ben Wildavsky) APK whisper in my ear 18:33, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

"The Trouble With Wikipedia" - James DeLong

"The Trouble With Wikipedia" (James DeLong) - "As far as web traffic goes, Wikipedia diverts the stream from those sources to itself, which cuts off most possible revenue-generating links for the original sources. So Wikipedia will prosper as long as the other sources are there to be lifted, and as long as it has an ideologically-committed base of volunteer workers (or a base of contributors who see personal advantage, just as Linux, the other great flagship of free culture, rests on the money supplied by IBM, HP, and other large companies).

As for new knowledge — the situation is reminiscent of the Dark Ages, when the inhabitants of Europe used the stone from the great buildings of the fallen Roman Empire as a handy quarry." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 03:26, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Interesting take, thanks Seth. I'm not sure I've seen much of the "Wikipedia scavenges its sources" line before beyond "the death of news" debate, is there more of this? Skomorokh 08:05, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
I think he's approaching the general problem that Wikipedia is a massive centralization, against individuality, from his own viewpoint (which is that of "pro-commerce"). Many, many, Wikipedia critics have examined the overall issue, from their particular perspective. But his sort of property ideologue isn't usually exchanging ideas with the average Wikipedia contributor. But I think his side has a point versus Free Culture, that all the stuff which is remixed and mashed-up (or here, summarized and referenced) has to come from somewhere in the first place. And rather than a grassroots movement, often there is another big business (maybe spelled "Google") somewhere. I should disclaim that my suggesting his post doesn't mean I agree with everything he says (I've actually disputed with DeLong in a few threads in various places). However, I've seen that "diverts" effect in operation myself, and it's quite real, even if he's just thinking of it in terms of "revenue-generating links". It's like Wal-Mart driving out small shopkeepers - who are then told they can become janitors and stockroom temps for Wal-Mart! -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 09:51, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
Don't you mean Walls-Mart? APK whisper in my ear 11:03, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
Others would suggest that reliable works will see honest traffic driven to them by interested parties, because they are used in Wikipedia. Perhaps Google ranking isn't everything. It are two sides of a medal and it is hard to tell which one is the correct one. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:59, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, I don't want to be accused of violating WP:NOTSOAPBOX, but the above is not a difficult question. The traffic from a reference or mention is trivial compared to the traffic of the spot itself. And Wikipedia is quite miserly in terms of outward topic links, and deliberately doesn't pass Google-juice (with very minor exceptions). It's a bit like saying "Some lottery players will see huge wins, and perhaps money isn't everything, so it's hard to say whether playing the lottery is good or bad", to show the logical fallacy. There's possible counter-arguments to DeLong's point, such as e.g. arguing centralization was going to happen anyway, and Wikipedia is relatively benign compared to some possible alternatives. But the empirical aspect of the centralization is as plain as the average Google search. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 03:53, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
I've always tried to include extensive bibliographies, including further reading sections, in the articles I work on. I've often wondered if doing so has helped increase sales of the books listed therein. I hope so. Cla68 (talk) 04:29, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

"Wikipedia back online after global outage"

From The New Zealand Herald - "The outage struck down one of the world's most popular websites, the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, is now over. Earlier today its administrators said via Twitter that it was working on the problem, which is affecting users around the globe, and would provide more details when they were available. The administrators later issued an update in which it said Wikipedia was "slowly" coming back online after a power outage affected its data centre in Florida." APK whisper in my ear 14:07, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

On a related note... APK whisper in my ear 14:08, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

"Phishing under the name of Wikipedia"

From The H - "A large number of spam emails are currently prompting their recipients to verify an alleged Wikipedia account by clicking on a link that appears to point to the official Wikipedia site. The emails contain such texts as "Someone from the IP address 112.135.3.205 has registered the account 'iamjustsendingthisleter' with this e-mail address on the English Wikipedia", where the IP address corresponds to that of the spamming computer (bot), and the alleged Wikipedia account is the spam recipient's email account." APK whisper in my ear 14:13, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

"Wikipedia Bias – Jimmy Wales does the right thing"

In response to last week's Signpost, James Delingpole from The Daily Telegraph writes the following:

"Well I never expected anything to come of this. I thought we lived in world modelled and run by Warmists and that there was nothing much we realists could do to defend ourselves against such injustices.

But lo! Who should come to save me than the great man himself, as you'll see from this edition of the Wikipedia news bulletin Wiki signpost."

On the article’s talk page, Jimmy Wales said that 'Delingpole's particular complaint here about his entry is without question valid', observing a violation of WP:UNDUE. The section has since been removed.

So, thanks Jimmy Wales. Much appreciated. You’re a gent."

APK whisper in my ear 10:00, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Editorial: "Hey, Wikipedia, we're not a bunch of crazies"

From the Muskegon Chronicle - "Chronicle reporter Megan Hart stumbled across some interesting information about Muskegon while she was researching story ideas using Google. One of the first things that came up in her Muskegon search was Wikipedia. The entry said some residents had unsuccessfully campaigned to secede from both Michigan and the United States. The section acted like it was a major part of city history." APK whisper in my ear 11:28, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

The secession claim was added in January 2007. APK whisper in my ear 12:11, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Editorial: "Wiki-Arabi: not a far-fetched idea"

From The National - "The developers of Wikipedia are troubled. How could the popular website have fewer articles in Arabic – a 3,000-year-old language spoken by more than 250 million people – than Esperanto, a 100-year-old language spoken by fewer than 1,000?" APK whisper in my ear 22:38, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

On a related note, "Wikipedia may have answer for Arabic advertisers" (by Ben Flanagan), also from The National. APK whisper in my ear 23:10, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

"Wikipedia to Add Meaning to Its Pages"

From Technology Review - "As a global resource built from the spare time of millions of volunteers, Wikipedia may be the epitome of Web 2.0. But the Wikimedia Foundation, a nonprofit organization that runs Wikipedia, among other projects, is now thinking about how to make it a linchpin of Web 3.0, or the semantic Web." (by Tom Simonite) APK whisper in my ear 06:54, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

"Wikipedia’s Labor Squeeze and Its Consequences"

From the University of Colorado Law School's Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law - (by Eric Goldman) APK whisper in my ear 13:18, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

"New face joins Wikimedia board"

From iTWire - "The new lineup of the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees was announced at the Wikimania conference this week. Ting Chen was appointed chair of the board, Stuart West was appointed Vice-chair (and continues as board treasurer), and Samuel Klein was appointed board secretary." (by Stephen Withers) APK whisper in my ear 04:01, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Phoebe Ayers was also appointed as a chapter representative, and Arne Klempert was re-appointed. Raul654 (talk) 04:10, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Headline of the day via Polskie Radio - "Wikipedia lovers to meet in Gdansk". APK whisper in my ear 00:07, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
In response to Raul654: Phoebe is not a chapter representative. She was selected as a trustee via the chapters, but is not there as a representative. Also, the best source for this is probably the WMF press release. Mike Peel (talk) 16:03, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

"Australia delays plans to block 'inappropriate' websites"

From Pink News - "Australia will delay plans to block 'inappropriate' websites, including gay porn sites, the government's communications minister has said...Although the government said the law would stop online child pornography, only around half of the 2,395 blacklisted sites were associated with abusive images of children. Others included online poker portals, YouTube links, gay and straight porn sites, Wikipedia entries, euthanasia pages and the homepages of private companies and medical practitioners." APK whisper in my ear 16:11, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

"Wikipedia's occasional errors are more dangerous than ever "

From The Daily Telegraph - "'In what way are you Anglo-Irish?' a grand lady asked me at a constituency function. 'I'm not, as far as I'm aware.'.....She continued to glare suspiciously at me. And then the penny dropped. For some reason, a section on my Wikipedia entry reads 'Hannan was born of Anglo-Irish parents living on their farm near Lima, Peru...' Although we all claim not to, we increasingly treat Wikipedia as definitive. In this instance, the woman I was talking to (who was, as far as I could make out, slightly déclassée Anglo-Irish) was convinced that I was responsible for my own Wiki-page. And, in fairness, several politicians do indeed appear to have written their own Wiki-entries." (by Daniel Hannan) APK whisper in my ear 10:49, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

"Wikipedia’s Foundation Plans Expansion"

Noam Cohen reports in The New York Times Bits blog on Sue Gardner's opening keynote from Wikimania. Steven Walling 11:52, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

"How Can Wikipedia Grow? Maybe in Bengali"

From The New York Times - "Rather than look to experts to get its mojo working, the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that operates the Wikipedias in more than 250 languages, is aiming at the underserved populations of the globe to meet its ambitious goals for growth." (by Noam Cohen) APK whisper in my ear 02:20, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

"Turning off the comment demon"

From The Jakarta Post - "Someone defaced my Wikipedia page the other day. Yes, it’s absurd that I have a Wikipedia page — ask my, er, fans, about that — but even more absurd that someone should bother enough to deface it." (by Jeremy Wagstaff) APK whisper in my ear 05:37, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Interesting youtube vid

Despite the somewhat forumlatic title HIST459-Spring2010-Student-Reflections-on-Wikipedia-Assignment.mp4 contains some interesting commentary on a student? project to edit wikipedia (history stuff apparently) and how they felt about the project.©Geni 20:07, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Discussion report AfD

This looks to be a controversial AfD, with no real consensus. Might be good in a Discussion Report next week. I'd write it but I have too big of a COI. mono 23:07, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

"Wikipedia’s Jewish Problem"

From FrontPage Magazine - "Wikipedia is used by 68 million people a month. Google Jerusalem, Israel, the Holocaust, jihad – the first reference to come up is Wikipedia. Most users mistakenly think it is an encyclopedia. Actually it is a special sort of blog, self-styled 'the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.' Open an article, click on the edit tab, add or remove what you like. Everyone in the world writes Wikipedia." (by Karin McQuillan) APK whisper in my ear 14:35, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

You might want to be a bit more selective about what you post here. Just listing what comes up on google news every day is of limited use since people who want that are probably already looking.17:22, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
If I listed everything that comes up on Google News, this page would be 10x as long. An article by FP Mag was previously mentioned (which I didn't suggest on this page), so it wouldn't be the first time. There is no harm in mentioning the article here. I'll keep posting as I see fit, but thanks for your concern. APK whisper in my ear 17:30, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

"What Working for Wikipedia Taught Me About Collaboration"

From the PBS MediaShift blog - "A little over three years ago, I started working as the communications manager for Wikipedia. I had just moved to St. Petersburg, Fla., and was ecstatic to hear that this quirky website, which had begun to pop up in many of my web searches, was based there." (by Sandra Ordonez) APK whisper in my ear 20:59, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

"Whither the Wikis?"

From Inside Higher Ed - "Of all the Web 2.0 tools that have become de rigueur on college campuses, wikis fundamentally embody the Internet's original promise of pooling the world’s knowledge — a promise that resonates loudly in academe. And yet higher education's relationship with wikis — Web sites that allow users to collectively create and edit content — has been somewhat hot-and-cold. Wikipedia, the do-it-yourself online encyclopedia, vexed academics early on because of its wild-west content policies and the perception that students were using it as a shortcut to avoid the tedium of combing through more reliable sources. This frustration has been compounded by the fact that attempts to create scholarly equivalents have not been nearly as successful." (by Steve Kolowich) APK whisper in my ear 10:36, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Whither the wikis be hot, or whither the wikis be cold.... -mattbuck (Talk) 11:15, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Sepp Blatter

From The Daily Telegraph - "Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, received an award from the South African government under an unwelcome nickname after his Wikipedia entry was apparently sabotaged." (by Murray Wardrop) APK whisper in my ear 09:35, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

"Google finds perks in its Wikipedia translations"

From CNET.com - "Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible, but not necessarily to create it outright. This makes Wikipedia a natural partner...Specifically, Google is helping Wikipedia with translation, so subject matter documented in one language needn't be created from scratch in another." (by Stephen Shankland) APK whisper in my ear 13:52, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

"The secrets of changing the world"

From BBC - "Outrageous optimism". --candlewicke 03:57, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia as an encylopaedia of life

http://iphylo.blogspot.com/2010/07/wikipedia-paper-out.html http://precedings.nature.com/documents/4242/version/1 may be of interest. Shyamal (talk) 04:54, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

"Wikipedia, growing local"

From The Indian Express - "The Internet, we know, is deeply skewed towards content in English and other languages of the global North. Wikipedia is not immune to these inequalities, and this was a topic of fervent discussion at this year’s Wikimania, which recently concluded at Gdansk in Poland." (by Gautam John) APK whisper in my ear 00:56, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

given that we have a large number of people who were actualy at wikimania and we can find out first hand what happened there I'm failing to see why the news report is of any significance. It looks like rehased wire report.©Geni 12:43, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
This page is titled "Suggestions" for a reason. If you don't like the article, don't use it. APK whisper in my ear 13:00, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
However you can save people effort by prefilitering the less useful stuff.©Geni 13:44, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
You can save yourself the agonizing trouble of reading a short suggestion by taking this page off your watchlist. APK whisper in my ear 16:52, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
It's never been on my watchlist. The point of what was in the day called the tip line is to dig up at least somewhat significant stuff that would otherwise be missed. A rehash of a wire article about an event that we have a fair number of first hand accounts of lacks significance. It is also unlikely that stuff related to wikimania is going to be missed.©Geni 18:46, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh, my bad. From now on I'll seek your condescending input before I add any further suggestions. APK whisper in my ear 19:57, 17 July 2010 (UTC)


Acehnese language wikipedia

The Muhammad image issue has flared up in a big way. http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/ace.wikipedia_and_Prophet_Muhammad_images probably has the closest to a comprehensive description of what is going on.©Geni 20:31, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Would have saved me wading through the foundation-l thread. Link added to the existing story. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 22:23, 18 July 2010 (UTC)


Call for community staff

http://blog.wikimedia.org/2010/work-at-wikimedia-community-department-open-call/ The WMF is launching an open call to find people who are interested in working at Wikimedia -- phoebe / (talk to me) 03:17, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

MediaGuardian 100 2010: Jimmy Wales in 47th place

Jimmy Wales has appeared as a new entry in The Guardian's top 100 most powerful people in the media. He is listed in 47th place. Details are here. ISD (talk) 06:40, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Written this up, will be published next Monday. WackyWace you talkin' to me? 18:29, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Audit committee volunteers

The Wikimedia Foundation audit committee is looking for community volunteers with financial literacy to join the 2010-2011 committee. According to Board of Trustees member Stu West, the committee reviews Wikimedia's financial statements and audit documentation, meeting with staff and the Foundation's independent auditors. Members are required to disclose their real names and undergo a background check. To volunteer or for more information, please contact Stu at stu <at> wikimedia.org. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 14:47, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia Online Ambassadors program now accepting applications

The Wikipedia Online Ambassadors program is now accepting applications from Wikipedians who want to help improve the way we nurture newbies. Its main focus is a concerted effort to do mentorship with students who are assigned to edit Wikipedia in their courses; it's part of the Wikimedia Foundation's Public Policy Initiative right now (see Wikipedia:WikiProject United States Public Policy and the Signpost article about it), and will hopefully be the basis for a longer-term and broader program going forward.--Sross (Public Policy) (talk) 17:19, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Customer satisfaction of Wikipedia higher than that of Facebook

See this article. Wikipedia scored 77 out of 100, facebook 64, myspace 63 and youtube 73 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index, developed by the University of Michigan’s business school. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 18:02, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Foresee report. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 00:59, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Interesting ANI thread

There is a ban discussion on AN that's quite unusual and interesting. The subject is a user who posted a userpage of some of the vilest hate speech I've seen on-wiki [17], and yet the AN thread is tending to oppose and is quite revealing of community attitudes. A rare chance to see the community's high-held principles actually in action and how users and admins see such things. "General interest" news.

Disclosure - I was the admin who warned this user, but this is all about the wider community's beliefs and views, on which this thread provides a quite exceptional eye-opener. FT2 (Talk | email) 16:55, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Spam attacks

There is a rather interesting story developing which involves recent heavy spam attacks (penis enlargement etc.) and a possible connection with a U.S. university [18][19] [20][21][22][23]. I am noting this here in case someone is working on this (usually the news articles should have been covered in the last ITN or in this week's) - I think it is advisable to wait for an issue or two [24].

Regards, HaeB (talk) 00:54, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

possibly dead people

I've drafted something for you at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-07-26/Sister projects. Any use? ϢereSpielChequers 17:06, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, I think it is an interesting item which is a valuable addition to this week's issue. The "Sister projects" beat has a bit of a different scope (portraits/interviews about one specific sister project, or important events on one) and in any case it is a bit short for a separate section. It makes a very nice lead story in this week's "news and notes", though, I am going to move it there. Regards, HaeB (talk) 19:41, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Uncategorised backlog cleared

After hitting 8,000 a few months ago, the backlog of Category:Uncategorized_pages has been falling, and in the last few days has dropped below 200. ϢereSpielChequers 19:26, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Interesting. Are the historical statistics documented somewhere? And were there any organized activities to clean up the backlog (e.g. some kind of categorizing drive)?
Regards, HaeB (talk) 20:08, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but I'm not sure they are. I've had a look and I'm afraid I can't see anything more organised than the edits made to subdivide the uncategorised backlog. ϢereSpielChequers 22:06, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Slate - "This Interview Is A Stub: Wikipedia Co-Founder Larry Sanger on Being Wrong"

"This Interview Is A Stub: Wikipedia Co-Founder Larry Sanger on Being Wrong" (Slate, Kathryn Schulz) - "There is, however, a great deal of argument—and consternation—about the accuracy of Wikipedia entries. (A headline in the Onion made the point nicely: "Wikipedia Celebrates 750 Years of American Independence.") That's why I went looking for Larry Sanger, who co-founded Wikipedia along with Jimmy Wales, then quit the project over disputes about its governance and the quality and credibility of its content." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 16:48, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Sanger, since I've paid attention to him since 2004 or so, has been absolutely consistent that the lack of expert vetting of articles is a fatal flaw to Wikipedia as a reference source, recently going to the extent of accusing Wikipedia of distributing child pornography in a report that managed to include a surprising number of mentions about the awesomeness of Citizendium. Yet, as the Signpost pointed out last week, the vetting process is killing Citizendium, as it killed Nupedia. I think Marshall Poe had it right: "Sanger made two great contributions to Wikipedia: he built it, and he left it." I find this Slate article interesting largely because Sanger's entire persona seems to revolve around his actions in 2001, with his decisions and apparent problems over the past few years at Citizendium, which was meant to fix the mistakes he thought he made at Wikipedia, not even worth an aside. - BanyanTree 09:30, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't see your characterization of the article as correct - it does discuss Citizendium. An alternative reading of the overall philosophical situation is that Sanger thinks extensively about the problems of knowledge, and his experiences with both Wikipedia and Citizendium have made strong impressions on him (which seems quite reasonable) - however, the media is generally not interested in analyzing Citizendium, but rather Wikipedia. There is much hype and hucksterism around Wikipedia, for many reasons, and I would not fault Sanger for using his status to puncture some of the bubble-blowing. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 11:31, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
I think Sanger came off pretty well here, passing up several opportunities to cast aspersions on Wikipedia, and in fact shouldering some of the blame for the problems that even Jimmy Wales has to admit persist. Toward the end, he got a little predictable, but c'est la vie. Powers T 15:38, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
I thought The Onion was satire, have we had a recent external survey checking our quality? I'm pretty convinced that the overall quality of Wikipedia is high and rising, one of the reassuring things about Wikipedia:Database reports/Living people on EN wiki who are dead on other wikis is how few anomalies we found, considering we were comparing nearly half a million bios here with I suspect a much larger number across 70 other languages.
Where Sanger is interesting is when he discusses Conservapedia, but he is somewhat dated when it comes to Wikipedia. Take his comment "one thing that Wikipedia could do that would not spoil the system—except in the sense that it would cause a huge ruckus among Wikipedians—is simply create a program in which articles are reviewed or rated by experts". Presumably this means he's unaware of the Wikipedia:GLAM/BM/Hoxne challenge - as part of the outreach project to museums a group of us worked with a group of British Museum curators to improve a number of articles about objects in the British Museum. The results are currently filtering through the FA process. It happened, it hasn't caused a ruckus, it has helped create some great work, and I think it will be a model for the future. What it wasn't was a Citizendium/Nupedia style program whereby everything had to be signed off before release. ϢereSpielChequers 17:35, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, I don't speak for Sanger, but I believe it's clear he was talking there about a widely applied general system, not special projects. That is, concepts I've sometimes seen called "Stable Versions" or "TAGGED Revisions", where an expert would sign-off on reviewing a particular version of an article. Implementing this on Wikipedia would indeed "cause a huge ruckus", because it would place an expert's view over vested editors in all cases. The situation you described is an instance where the vested editors want and respect expert opinion. But, let's put it this way - that's not a universal case. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 04:34, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't say it was clear from that interview, but yes the reason why Nupedia and others failed is usually considered to be that sort of bureaucratic bottleneck. I think the Nupedia/Citizendium model has done a lot of damage to the cause of getting more expert opinion into Wikipedia, partly by distracting attention from methods that might be viable, and partly because their proponents sometimes reinforce urban myths about Wikipedia's quality, friendliness to experts and of course Randy and his sword wielding skeletons. My experience from reviewing at FA, as well as from the British Museum collaboration is that Wikipedians generally welcome expert critique and contribution. However even experts need to be willing to cite sources, otherwise information cited to an out of date or non mainstream source will get preference over an unsourced revision. One of the myths that someone should test out is the one that good data tends to drift out of articles, I suspect this is based on the number of FAs being demoted, but my experience is that this is due to FA standards rising and early FAs not being subsequently improved not to good quality content degrading over time. As for universality, there are a number of controversial areas where experts do struggle here, but I doubt if any scientist working on hominid evolution, global warming or middle eastern history would be particularly surprised at what happens in those areas. But in my experience those areas are the exceptions and most of our writers are happy if they can get expert opinion on their work. ϢereSpielChequers 13:36, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm wary of going on too long, so let me just say you only need one sword-wielding-skeleton crank to make an expert think that his or her time is better spent elsewhere (particularly if the crank is prone to slinging lots of wikijargon and wikilawyering). -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 07:56, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't dispute that it would be a problem if it happened, I'm just making the point that if it happens it is rarer than some of our critics imply. If one of our critics withdrew or substantiated an allegation against us that might well be a good story for the signpost. "Urban myth actually has some basis" would be a news story, as would be a survey comparing academics expectations of this problem with their actual experience of it. But "Urban myth still in circulation" is not my idea of a news story. ϢereSpielChequers 12:24, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia tracks it's users the least from the 50 most popular US websites.

The wall street journal did a study into tracking technologies used on the top 50 major US websites, and Wikipedia was the only one to score 0 (not tracking anything at all). wikipedia.org scorecard methodology. The highest scoring was dictionary.com with 234 trackings. Of course dear mr. Kohs has to jump right in on the comments... When will that guy allow himself to return to his own life, you wonder. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:59, 31 July 2010 (UTC)



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