- [Michael Jackson Kills WP] – Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop”, died this week and nearly took Wikipedia down with him (as well as many other websites). Wikimedia sites were unresponsive for a whole due to the large number of page hits. The Michael Jackson article got nearly 6 *million* hits on June 26, more than the Main Page.
In the evening of the 2th July (UTC) Wikipedia&Co was virtually down because of power outage of the European servers. The remaining servers choked on the additional traffic routed to them.
- http://stats.grok.se/en/200906/Michael_Jackson — page hit statistics
- http://techblog.wikimedia.org/2009/06/current-events/ — techblog explanation of issues
- http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/News_of_Michael_Jackson’s_death_overloads_Internet_sites_and_sparks_hoaxes — wikinews article
- http://techblog.wikimedia.org/2009/07/power-outage-in-wikimedias-european-servers/ — wiki down
- [Usability] – the Usability team has released its first set of usability improvement (the “acai” release) for testing. As of press time, the new “vector” skin has been made available on all wikis for users who select it from their preferences, please help test the new features!
- http://techblog.wikimedia.org/2009/06/first-usability-release-is-coming-up-soon/ — blog post
- http://usability.wikimedia.org/wiki/Releases#Acai — “acai” release description
- [Usability BIS] – one aspect is already live by default; the new design of the search results. Just use the internal search and see.
Request for help
- [Fundraising 2009] – the Wikimedia Foundation is preparing for its next fundraiser and would like feedback from the community on some of the pages it has developed so far. In addition to the creation of a new survey that they would like comments on, the Foundation is also trying to enhance the visibility of the donate button. The new buttons will be placed on the skin and will be viewable on every page. There are also several design proposals that need community input!
- [Licensing] – The “licensing update” changes have now been rolled out to all languages and projects, with the new license being featured in the footer and new interface items to translate for your wiki.
- http://blog.wikimedia.org/2009/06/30/licensing-update-rolled-out-in-all-wikimedia-wikis/ — blog post
- http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/translators-l/2009-June/000959.html — translation steps
- http://tinyurl.com/LU-interface-trans — betawiki trans interface
- [Board election] – Once again an election for the board of trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation is coming up. It is for 3 seats this time. But before there can be elections there must be someone to vote for. Submissions of candidacy are open between 6th and 20th July.
- [New grant: Commons] – the Wikimedia Foundation was just awarded a US$300,000 grant that will research problems with and design new tools/fix current tools for uploading files to the global Wikimedia image repository, the Wikimedia Commons.
- http://blog.wikimedia.org/2009/07/02/ford-foundation-awards-300k-grant-for-wikimedia-commons/ — blog post
- http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/Wikimedia_Ford_Foundation_Grant_July_2009 — press release
- http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/File:WMF_Ford_Multimedia_Participation_Project.pdf — full grant proposal
- [Job: “Bookshelf”] – as a further development from the “Scribus operator” volunteer position noted in Wikizine a few months ago, a new job opening has been posted for project manager of the “Bookshelf” project. The “Bookshelf” project strives to develop a slate of basic educational materials (print, online and video) to attract new authors and editors to Wikipedia.
- http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Job_openings/Project_Manager_Bookshelf — job opening
- http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Public_outreach/Get_involved — volunteer position, scribus operator
- [David Rohde] – it turns out that Wikipedia, along with tons of other media outlets, kept the kidnapping of journalist David Rohde out of its article on him. This has caused a few Wikipedians and Wikipedia critics to note this and either scream censorship or just point out the fact that it was unsourced information that could help save someone’s life by erring on the side of caution.
- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/technology/internet/29wiki.html?ref=media — nytimes article
- http://features.csmonitor.com/innovation/2009/06/29/was-wikipedia-correct-to-censor-news-of-david-rohdes-capture/ — blog post about censorship
- http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/06/29/2120257/Wikipedia-Censored-To-Protect-Captive-Reporter — slashdot discussion
- [A reliable article?] – A new tool tries to help make scholars feel better about using Wikipedia by telling how reliable an article seems to be by using “wikibu-points”. These points are based on statistical criteria and represent only possibilities, the creators hope that warnings will help people think to look at the discussion pages or article history. Wikibu is only available on the German Wikipedia at this time.
- http://www.wikibu.ch/ — site/tool
- http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wiki-research-l/2009-July/000833.html — mailing list post
- [EN Wikibooks] – is now using Meta’s unified “user language” template. It will enable greater collaboration on the textbooks that teach foreign languages.
- [enwp AFD] – An interesting AFD (deletion discussion) on the English Wikipedia was recently closed — it resulted in the deletion of 4077 articles, probably the most ever from a single AFD on enwp!
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Anybot’s_algae_articles — deletion discussion
- [No tourists] – an article by a New Zealand newspaper tells that “references to gang violence and crime on Palmerston North’s Wikipedia page have seen overseas investors and professionals shy away from the city”!
- [bn.wp] – The Bengali Wikipedia (bn) has reached 20,000 articles.
- http://bn.wikipedia.org/wiki/আন্তর্জাতিক_প্রকৃতি_ও_প্রাকৃতিক_সম্পদ_সংরক্ষণ_সংঘ — 20,000th article
- [Who owns transit schedules?] – Only marginally related but interesting nevertheless, the subject of a recent battle has been pretty simple: who owns the copyright to bus arrival times? Public transportation agencies are trying to assert that they own the times and stop people from making iPhone apps (and similar items) off of the content, so that they can do it themselves and charge people. Not very FOSS of them!
- [Wikizine@Foundation-l] – Wikizine will now be featured on foundation-l too! Thanks to Milos for proposing it and the list members for agreeing.
- [Firefox 3.5] – … is finally out. This main stream browser supports natively Ogg Theora and Ogg Vorbis, the media file formats our projects are using.
“Programming languages are like cats. It is easier to get a new cat than to get an old cat fixed.” — Douglas Crockford