“Wikipedia is the single leading source of health care information for both providers and patients, with 50 percent of physicians reporting that they’ve consulted the community-edited, online encyclopedia for information on health conditions. A report from IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, a medical technology company that draws on data from more than 100,000 suppliers and 45 billion healthcare transactions each year, finds that Wikipedia is the single leading source of medical information for patients and healthcare professionals. Serious illnesses, especially less common ones, are among the most frequently searched topics by English-language users.” (via CBS Connecticut)
“Stephen Fry wears many hats – wit, television presenter, actor, writer and geek. He now has a new hat to wear: Wikipedia contributor.
Stephen was recently approached by Wikipedia editor Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing), who founded the Wikipedia voice intro project (WikiVIP). Although in New York at the time, Stephen willingly obliged and recorded a sample of his speaking voice for use on his Wikipedia biography. The project asks people who are the subject of Wikipedia articles – whether they are celebrities like Stephen Fry, or those notable for other activities like scientists or artists – to make short recordings of their voice, lasting around ten seconds or so. The recordings are then uploaded to the article so that Wikipedia’s readers know what they sound like and how to correctly pronounce their names.” (via Wikimedia UK Blog)
“Today (January 15th), Wikipedia is celebrating its 13th birthday! 2013 was a big year for Wikipedia. It was just in October 2011 that we were passing the 20 million article mark, now we’re well past 30 million active pages! And with 532 million users a month, the unique visitor count for Wikimedia projects is at an all-time high. Having just finished an amazing fundraising campaign – which brought us face-to-face with countless stories from supporters about the impact of Wikipedia – the Wikimedia Foundation and the entire community look forward to another year of working towards our vision of enabling every single human being to freely share in the sum of all knowledge.” (via Wikimedia blog)
“The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit which owns Wikipedia, has apparently terminated an employee who was engaged in editing for pay. The issue of editing for pay has been a hot topic among Wikipedia editors, and it resulted in hundreds of account terminations a few months ago.” (via Ars Technica)
“There are websites, and then there’s Wikipedia. The internet behemoth boasts 30 million articles written in more than 285 languages, tweaked by 70,000 active editors and viewed by 530 million visitors worldwide each month. As mountains of information go, it’s Everest. Teasing out trends from the open source encyclopedia’s archives is a task few would even attempt. Yet Erik Zachte did just that. Zachte used his statistical intuition to create “Wikistats,” an online statistics package that’s more than a trove of charts and graphs for data geeks. It’s the most direct measure yet of Wikipedia’s success in achieving its central objective: making the sum of all human knowledge available to everyone everywhere.” (via Wired.com)
“Anyone can edit Wikipedia. But the vast majority of contributors speak the languages of the world’s wealthiest, most-wired countries; though the site offers 287 languages, the only ones that have cracked 1 million articles are eight European tongues. Doesn’t seem quite fair, does it? In the next decade, however, the most dramatic growth in Internet use is expected to be in highly populous areas of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.” (via Wired)
“Sound and musical content have long trailed behind other subjects on Wikipedia, but that is beginning to change with a new musical scores extension for MediaWiki, the software running Wikipedia and thousands of other wikis. The Score extension was added to a MediaWiki deployment earlier this year and allows users to render musical scores as PNG images and transform them into audio and MIDI files.” (via Wikimedia blog)
“After three and a half months at the Metropolitan New York Library Council, I’m still figuring out what it means to be a consortium based Wikipedian-in-Residence WiR. METRO is a member-resource organization for a large and diverse body of institutions, each with their own interests in Wikipedia. METRO’s members include 150 libraries and archives in the museum, cultural, public and medical sectors in New York City. Members range from the American Museum of Natural History Library, to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, to the Cornell Weil Medical College Library.” (via Wikimedia blog)
“We’re pleased to announce Beta Features, a way you can try out new features on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites before they are released for everyone. Beta Features lets developers roll out new software in an environment where lots of users can use these features, then give feedback to help make them better.
You can think of it as a digital laboratory – where community members can preview upcoming changes and help designers and engineers make improvements based on their suggestions.” (via Wikimedia blog)