“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)
“An algorithm that assesses the quality of Wikipedia articles could reassure visitors and help focus editors on entries that need improving, according to the computer scientists who developed it. The result is many high-quality articles on a huge range of topics in more than 200 languages. But there are also articles of poor quality and dubious veracity. This raises an important question for visitors to the site: how reliable is a given article on Wikipedia?” (via Mashable)
“Today Airtel and the Wikimedia Foundation announced a partnership to launch Wikipedia Zero, an initiative to provide free access to Wikipedia on mobile phones. This partnership with Airtel will help provide Wikipedia access to 70 million new users in sub-saharan Africa, starting in Kenya. One exciting aspect of this partnership is that we are reaching a group of people we’ve never been able to reach before: mobile phone customers who don’t have internet access.” (via Wikimedia blog)
Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Sue Gardner’s response to paid advocacy editing and sockpuppetry
“Editors on the English Wikipedia are currently investigating allegations of suspicious edits and sockpuppetry (i.e. using online identities for purposes of deception). At this point, as reported, it looks like a number of user accounts — perhaps as many as several hundred — may have been paid to write articles on Wikipedia promoting organizations or products, and have been violating numerous site policies and guidelines, including prohibitions against sockpuppetry and undisclosed conflicts of interest. As a result, Wikipedians aiming to protect the projects against non-neutral editing have blocked or banned more than 250 user accounts.” (via Wikimedia blog)
“When Wikipedia decided to roll out an aggressive fundraising effort a few years ago, the free encyclopedia came with a remarkably effective battle plan. For the entirety of the campaign, co-founder Jimmy Wales stared visitors down from the top of every page, making you feel guilty every time you viewed an article without paying a dime. It worked. From 2011 to 2012, Wikipedia’s fundraising arm, the Wikimedia Foundation, pulled in $38.4 million. It was a major increase from the $5 million raised from 2007 to 2008, one that occurred even as editorial involvement with Wikipedia was on the decline.
But where does all this money go?” (via Mashable)
“Medical students at the University of California, San Francisco, will be able to get course credit for editing Wikipedia articles about diseases, part of an effort to improve the quality of medical articles in the online encyclopedia and help distribute the articles globally via cellphones. While professors often incorporate Wikipedia work into classes, hoping that student research can live on online, the university and others say this is the first time a medical school will give credit for such work.” (via New York Times)
“For all its efforts, Wikipedia has been unable to attract more women to its ranks of contributors. Wikipedia has come a long way since its inception in 2001, but the proportion of female contributors at the online encyclopedia remains stubbornly low. Men still account for an overwhelming 87% of Wikipedia’s contributors, co-founder Jimmy Wales said recently while in Hong Kong for the organization’s annual Wikimania conference.” (via WSJ)
“Have you ever looked up something quickly on Wikipedia on your phone, noticed a small mistake, and wished you could fix it on the spot? Or maybe you didn’t realize that you could contribute? Now you can help keep Wikipedia and its sister projects up-to-date and accurate when you’re on the go by editing from your phone. Wikipedia’s quality content is built by ordinary people all over the world watching and editing articles every day. Anyone with a computer can edit, but with over 15% of our users accessing Wikipedia on mobile devices and growing, the Wikimedia Foundation had to do more to let anyone with Internet access contribute to the sum of all human knowledge. For this reason, we’ve just released a new feature: editing for mobile.” (via Wikimedia blog)
“Wikipedia, the encyclopaedia that anybody can edit, is one of the more extraordinary collective efforts of the crowd. Wikipedia’s own estimate is that it has some 77,000 contributors working on more than 22 million articles in 285 languages. The largest edition, the English version, alone offers over 4 million articles. So it’s not surprising that disputes arise over the wording of these articles. Indeed, the controversy can sometimes reach war-like proportions with one editor changing the wording and another immediately changing it back again.” (via MIT Technology Review)