GCS Step 1

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Year: 2007 Week: 02 Number: 57

Technical news
  • [Mailing lists] - The Wikimedia mailing lists were moved to a server in the Kennisnet cluster in Amsterdam. For users, this means that all the posting email addresses have changed to the format "<name_of_list>@ lists.wikimedia.org". The old posting address formats "@ wikipedia.org", "@wikimedia.org" or "@ mail.wikimedia.org" should still work as a redirect.

    Using the new posting address is recommended. If you are using messages rules to organize your email, they will need to be updated. A benefit of the move is that a system failure in the Florida cluster will not disable the mailing lists (if you send the posting to the new posting address). Another benefit is that mailing lists can be created without system administrator intervention, which will make it much quicker to create them from now on.
  • [Backup] - Wikimedia Deutschland bought a RAID system with a capacity of 12 terabytes. It arrived in Amsterdam this week, and will be used to make a back-up of the project's data. [source: Arne
  • [OTRS] - The software used for answering the emails send to the Wikimedia foundation and projects is updated. This is important because the like everybody the received a lot of spam and now it is mush easier and faster to remove spams. Now can the volunteers working on the emails spend more time working on the emails instead of sorting out the real question between the spam. If you like to help with answering emails contact the queue contact person or for starting a new queue contact a OTRS-admin.
Request for help
  • [Fundraising] - Anthere announced good and bad news about the fundraising this year. The good news is that the current fundraiser is the most successful ever in our young history. Unfortunately, it was not successful enough to do everything that was planned; certain things will have to wait. This fundraiser also had Wikimedia's first matching donations over, but there will be no more matching donations this year. The protest of certain members of the community played a role in that decision, but the Chair writes that it was only a factor. The fundraiser will end next week on Wikipedia day, the 6th anniversary of the founding of the very first Wikipedia.
  • [Big donors] - The bulk of the money comes from small donations from many people. In the past the average donation was around 22$US, But there is also small group of big donors. The largest donor this year was the 'anonymous friend' matching donation that raised the counter by 286,800$US. The big donations are done by private persons, a few companies, and other foundations.
  • [EN Wikinews RSS] - The English-language Wikinews provides a RSS-feed of their news articles. According to statistics from Feedburner, the service used for the feed, it is very popular. At the start of December it had just over 5,000 daily subscribers. That increased to 20,000 by December 12 and reached 36,000 on December 20. It has dropped slightly since then, with now just over 30,000 subscribers reading the latest news from Wikinews every day—At least according to the statistics. In any case, many people seem to read the news from the English-language Wikinews.
  • [YO!] - The Yoruba Wikipedia has reached 500 articles. That may not look very impressive, but it is. This wiki is one of many that was created a long time ago, in 2002, but for many years there was very little activity. Yoruba is a language of Nigeria; although they do have Internet access in Nigera, working on their wiki is not popular. The increased activity on this wiki is mostly the work of one user, [[w:yo:User:Loadewole]], who has written most of the articles in a few weeks. They are a native from Nigeria working at a local university. One person can make the difference between the failure or success of a wiki.
  • [Catalan Wikipedia] - They reached 50,000 articles on the 4th of January 2007. The Catalan Wikipedia is a very old Wikipedia, being the 3th Wikipedia created after the English and German wikis.
  • [Romanian Wikipedia] - They reached 50,000 on the 5th of January 2007. The milestone article was about "w:ro:Peştera Urşilor ", a cave in Romania, written by w:ro:Utilizator:Roamata. Unfortunately, on the 7th they fell back to 49978 articles. Something wikis should remember when announcing a milestone: do not delete so many articles that you drop under the milestone, because that looks very strange when you send out a press release and the media looks at your wiki.
Other news
  • [Clarification] - Regarding the last weeks item about Esperanza and the sentence "The English Wikipedia's infamous Esperanza organisation has been restructured ...". Despite the clearly negative meaning given by the dictionary, it was not intended in that meaning. The use of 'infamous' was intended in the sense that it had a lot of impact and was well-known, not that it caused any trouble. The word "infamous" will no longer used in Wikizine. My apologies on behalf of Wikizine. Walter, Editor-In-Chief. 

Fund drive quotes

"Thank you for expanding our knowledge." -- naoyuki takayanagi
"I like watching Wikipedia." -- KAZUHIRO MIMURA
"No wikipedia, No life" -- Takuya Fujino
"Macht weiter so" -- David Völker
"May the Wikipedia be with you!" -- Anonymous
"Let's keep wikipedia advertising-free" -- Zauder Castro
"Merci Wikipedia. Continuons a se partager les informations!" -- Anonymous ('Thank you Wikipedia. Let's continue sharing information!')

Number of subscribers: 580 , Unique Visitors website last week: 326 , Editor(s): Walter, Pathoschild , Corrector(s): Pathoschild , Thanks to: Romihaitza, CE, Dan100


  1. Although I will admit to confusion at the time, "infamous" is such an excellent, descriptive word that it's unfortunate you're forsaking it forever.

  2. "infamous" is a word that was not supposed to be used in Wikizine anyway because it is in violation of the Wikizine concept and style guidelines. I have now only made that clear regarding that specific word.

    Many of the readers are natively English-speaking, but the intended target audience is multilingual. The language is a tool, a bridge to communication. The form of English used must be easy to understand for all, also for people who have learned English from watching American movies (like Walter, the editor-in-chief).

    Do not use difficult words, or explain them when they are necessary. Write the words in full; do not contract words like we're or don't (write we are or do not). When writing numbers, use common words like one thousand million instead of words like billions (which is confusing with milliard anyway).

    Some dry humor or sarcasm can make writing and reading fun, but it must be relative subtle. The quote section is the place for less subtle inclusions.

  3. P L E A S E correct the spelling of "receive" on the Wikizine left-hand column about subscribing!!! You preach about making English understandable for non-native-speakers, so let's all remember...." "i" before "e", except after "c" "! I am so glad that it is my native-language.

    And don't forget the difference between "infamous" and "notorious".

    Apart from these whinges....keep up the good work!


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