GCS Step 1

Friday, January 05, 2007

Anno Domini MMVII Week I Number LVI

Technical news
  • [For bureaucrats] - When you rename a user, you now have the option to directly move all the pages in their user space to the new name. For localization, translate MediaWiki:Renameusermove.

The fundraiser has been active for two and a half weeks, and the counter is now around 850 000 US$. That is 644 232.227 Euro, 433 850.551 British pound,   101.184 million Japanese yen, and 6.637 million Chinese yuan. Although this is an absolute success compared to earlier fundraisers, the immense popularity of the Wikimedia Foundation's projects and the poor revenue from other sources mean that even more is still needed.

The amount donated has been boosted by matching donations by an anonymous donor and Virgin Unite (a corporate charity branch). The Virgin Unite matching donation was controversial because a Virgin Unite logo was temporarily placed at the top of every page on all wikis. Some users in the community regarded the logo as the first step to allowing advertisement on Foundation projects.

A long and ongoing discussion was started about this on the Foundation mailing list. Some Wikimedians were very critical about the board's decision to make the arrangement with Virgin, but there was also strong support for the decision. Many people argued that something needs to be done to get enough money, and that matching donation is a good way to do it so that the Foundation's primary mission can continue.

Despite the opposition, the instruction to add the Virgin Unite logo to the site notices was generally carried out. The Dutch language Wikipedia was the most controversial of the top ten Wikipedias, where there was an edit war about the site notice involving several sysops; eventually the logo stayed up. On the Italian language Wikipedia, a sysop removed the notice because of disagreement, but there was no edit war. The Norwegian Wikipedia has been very active in editing there site notice but somehow the never came at the idea to include the Virgin matching notice on there wikipedia. All the other top ten Wikipedias used the Virgin logo without conflict.

At least one other matching donation action will follow some time in the near future, but will not include a logo. The name of sponsor is still not released; however, users who had a problem with the Virgin Unite notice will probably not be amused by this one either.
Request for help
  • [Year in review] - It is customary at the end of the year to look back at the past year, and also to give prizes to deserving people. This happened on the Romanian Wikipedia, where some sysops formed a jury and gave honorary prizes to the users who were present for the whole year in the project and were the best in their field of work. This was the second time they did that.
  • [Esperanza] - The English Wikipedia's infamous Esperanza organisation has been restructured after a controversial request for deletion. It has now been made historical, but many of its programs remain active as separate projects.
  • [Wiki-New-Year] - Every Wikipedia has its own particularity. The English love templates, the German love quality, the Dutch love to discuss. The Romanians find excuses to give prizes. A new year also means that changes come into effect, like political, legal or monetary changes. The Romanian Wikipedia has made a to-do list and volunteers to make a change for the new year. The first user to make one of the updates in 2007 and the first new registered user gets a prize.
If your project does not have such an initiative make sure that Bulgaria and Romania are now EU member states, Slovenia is using the Euro, and that the Secretary General of the United nations is Ban Ki-moon.
  • [nl.wp] - The Dutch language Wikipedia reached 250,000 recently and the local press was interested. Most newspapers have included an article about it. And so far as know all positive. There was also coverage about it in the national television news journal of the Netherlands and the Flemish community of Belgium.
  • [Qatar] - A oil emirate where the citizens need to think hard to grasp the concept of "taxes" made the news thanks to Wikipedia. And this with titles like "Wikipedia Bans Qatar Net Users". What happened was the on EN Wikipedia after again getting some vandalism from a specific ip address that ip was blocked for one month for anonymous users, account creation not allowed. The problem was that this one ip address was the external ip of *all* internet users of Qatar. After about 20 hours some realized that this was not a normal ip address and account creation was again allowed. Later the block was totally lifted. So the people of Qatar have again total editing freedom on Wikipedia. At least so long the state censor of Qatar does not block Wikipedia them self.
Other news
  • [Wikizine down] - currently the website of Wikizine is down. The reason is very simple; the host wikizine is using is down. No news how long it will take. The email distribution system of Wikizine and the website are totally separated. So one of both should always be available.
Was ist das?

GCF: the great chinese firewall
NP:  No Problem
NOP: Not Our Problem
SUL: Single User Login
BTW: By The Way (*not* near the road)
AFAIK: As Far As I Know


"Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing."-- Jimmy Wales, July 2004

"As for what it doesn't say:
It does not say, "Imagine an advertising-free world."
It does not say "where every single person who speaks a English or a  
European language ..."
It does not say "share freely unless the unfree content is better."
It does not say "free knowledge and links to where to find out  more/buy it."
It does not say "That's what we did.""
-- Dannyisme

"It doesnt say "let's thank our sponsers with more ads" either" -- Teun Spaans

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Corrector(s): Gary Kirk, Pathoschild , Thanks to: Romihaitza, Daveydweeb, Annabel

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