Press kit for Wikimania 2007
Wikimania is an annual conference that brings together international users from various Wikimedia projects, as well as individuals interested in learning about the Wiki technology, free content and free knowledge, as well as educational and social trends in the internet culture. Both a scientific conference and community event, Wikimania provides attendees with the opportunity to exchange ideas, build relationships, and report on various research and project efforts in the Open Source community.
Technology Leaders Wikimania is considered a premier event in the Open Source community. As a result, the event draws such notable technology leaders, such as Ward Cunningham, inventor of the Wiki, Mitch Kapor, Founder of the Lotus Development Co., and Lawrence Lessig, founder of the Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. In response to this, a three-day technology workshop, Hacking Days, is also held as part of the main Conference. Hacking Days attracts high profile developers interested in learning about important initiatives in both the MediaWiki software and Open Source development.
Media Coverage Wikimania attracts journalists and renowned bloggers from around the world. Needless to say, the event receives media coverage worldwide. A sample of media present in Wikimedia 2005 and 2006 included: BBC, CBS, CNET, Computer World, Die Zeit, Network World, Chicago Sun Times, New York Times, Boston Globe, Chronicle of Higher Education, Cox Newspapers, Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung, German News Radio, Global Vision, Guardian, Harvard Advocate, Popular Science, Spiegel Online, Stern, Technology Media Group, The Guardian and ZDF, among others.
Hacking Days A mini technical conference is held during Wikimania. “Hacking Days” attracts MediaWiki developers and Open Source techies. Through various presentations and workshops, attendees learn about MediaWiki and future releases, as well as about important initiatives in the Open Source movement. Additionally, developers have the opportunity to do some relaxed hacking, while catching up with their Open Source colleagues. The Citizen Journalism is mini unconference that brings together individuals from around the world to discuss the principles, techniques, tools and business models relating to citizen journalism. The event is considered an “unconference” because audience members are considered the experts, and only moderators are present to lead discussions.
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- 2005 Frankfurt Germany
- 2006 Cambridge, Massachussetts
The Wikimedia FoundationEdit
The Wikimedia Foundation is the parent organization of numerous open-source content projects, including the popular website Wikipedia. Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Wikimedia Foundation's mission is to empower ever single human being with the ability to share in the sum of all human knowledge. This is accomplished by encouraging the growth, development, and distribution of free, multilingual content, which is organized and gathered through diverse wikis.
The Wikimedia Foundation is an avid champion of the Free Culture movement, and believes that educational tools should be free and available to everyone. As a result, the Foundation supports many programs and organizations "that align themselves with the philosophies of the Free Culture movement. The primary role of the Foundation, however, is to provide projects with technical and administrative support. Since each project is self-governing, the Foundation does not involve itself with the day to day editorial tasks, nor management of any one particular project.
The Wikimedia Foundation’s assets include the servers, domain names and trademarks of the numerous Wikimedia projects, and the MediaWiki software. Additionally, since the Foundation is a nonprofit, it relies entirely on public donations and grants, and operates mostly with volunteer staff.
The Wiki Technology The key to our projects is the innovative and relatively new type of technology, known as Wiki. Invented by Ward Cunningham in 1995, a wiki allows users to make edits to a website using a web browser. The name is derived from the Hawaiian word “wiki”, meaning quick. The Wiki technology has become an effective tool for mass collaborative authoring, thanks to the ease of interaction and operation.
The Wikimedia Foundation is a pioneer in the use of the Wiki technology. The Foundation’s experience in using and developing this new technology, has helped several organizations that are now beginning to implement their own wikis. The Wiki software used by the Wikimedia projects is called MediaWiki.
MediaWiki MediaWiki is a free software wiki package originally written for Wikipedia, and adapted by other Wikimedia Foundation projects. The software is developed entirely by a dedicated core of techie volunteers and is published under the GNU General Public License (GPL). In addition to the Wikimedia projects, MediaWiki has been deployed as a collaborative knowledge management tool by international cooperation's, organizations, and universities. MediaWiki is free server-based software, designed to be run on a large server farm for a website that gets millions of hits per day. MediaWiki is an extremely powerful, scaleable software, and a feature-rich wiki implementation that uses PHP to process and display data stored in its MySQL database. Pages use MediaWiki’s wikitext format, so that users without knowledge of XHTML or CSS can edit them easily. When a user submits an edit to a page, MediaWiki writes it to the database, but without deleting the previous versions of the page, thus allowing easy reverts in case of vandalism or spamming. MediaWiki can manage image and multimedia files, too, which are stored in the filesystem. For large wikis with lots of users, MediaWiki supports caching and can be easily coupled with Squid proxy server software. For more information or to download the software, please visit www.mediawiki.org
The Wikimedia Server Farm The Wikimedia projects run on a cluster of around 250 Linux servers located in Florida, Amsterdam, and Seoul. During peak times, the servers handle 27,000 requests per second, the average is 33,000 req/s. In June 2006, the sites had 128 million unique visitors. (Source:ComScore)
Board of Trustees
The Wikimedia Foundation’s policies are set by the Board of Trustee, according the Foundation’s charter.
Three members are elected from the Wikimedian community, who are found in all corners of the world. Elections are advertised throughout the projects, and members of the Wikimedia community can vote for as many candidates as they see fit. Terms are two years long.
- Ms. Brioschi joined the Wikimedia Board in July 2007. She has been involved in Wikipedia and other WMF projects since May 2003. In June 2005 she helped found Wikimedia Italia, a local chapter organization associated with Wikimedia, and has been president of that organization since. She currently lives in Rome where she works as a programmer.
- Mr Davis is a graduate of the Williams College and the University of Chicago. Formerly the Ceo of Chicago Options Associates, Michale is the Chief Operating Offi cer of community-focused wiki hosting service, Wikia, Inc. He lives in St. Petersburg, FL.
Jan-Bart de Vreede
- Mr De Vreede has worked for the Kennisnet Foundation promoting wiki software and the Wikimedia projects. He has been involved with Wikimedia since 2004, and was a speaker at Wikimania 2005 and 2006. He has studied Business Administration at the Rotterdam School of Management.
- Mr Möller has been an active editor of Wikipedia since 2001 and has also contributed to the underlying software, MediaWiki. Möller is a freelance journalist and author, and is a staunch supporter of the Free Content, Free Software, and balanced intellectual monopoly rights legislation.
- Currently, Ms Nibart-Devouard is the Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation. Hailing from France, she is an engineer in Agronomy (ENSAIA), and holds a DEA in Genetics and biotechnologies. She joined the Wikipedia adventure in 2002 and is known under the pseudonym “Anthere.”
- Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales is the founder of Wikipedia. Born in Huntsville, Alabama, he is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of Alabama, and worked as a Research Director at Chicago Options Associates, a future and options trading firm in Chicago. Currently, Mr. Wales is the founder of his for-profit company, Wikia.
- Ms Walsh is currently studying technology and intellectual property law at George Mason University School of Law. She is a member of Wikimedia’s Communication Committee and has served on the English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee. Walsh is a classical bassoonists, and holds a B.A. in music from Stetson University.
[Logos of different Open Source Project]
The multilingual, free content encyclopedia
- Wikimedia Commons
A repository for pictures and other media files under free licenses
A repository of primary secondary source texts
Free learning materials and activities
A project to develop free learning materials
Collaboratively written news
A free compendium of quotations
Directory of Species
Free dictionary and thesaurus
All of our projects are created entirely by volunteers, who can contribute as registered users or anonymous contributors. The projects are designed to be self-correcting over time for both content and users, and are registered under free licenses. Additionally, all content is licensed under a free content license, such as GFDL.
Wikipedia Wikipedia, by far, is our most popular project. Started in January 2001, Wikipedia is the world’s fastest growing, most current, and largest encyclopedia. Currently, there are 6 million articles in over 250 language versions. The Wikipedia logo is considered one of the top five brands in the world, and receives an estimated 7 billion page views per month.
Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons is a media repository for freely licensed photographs, diagrams, animations, music, spoken text, video clips, and other types of useful media resources. Launched on September 7, 2004, Wikimedia Commons currently has 1,676,581 files and 64,562 galleries.
Wikispecies Wikispecies is a free directory of species, with over 100,000 entries. The directory covers animalia, plantae, fungi, bacteria, protista, archaea and all other forms of life.
Wikisource Wikisource is a repository of free primary and secondary source texts. Started in November 2003, the project currently has over 260,000 text units, in various language versions. Besides content acquisition, the project is doing some fascinating translation work never before seen. For example, English Wikisource is translating manuscripts letters written by Michelangelo and Galileo, that Italian Wikisource has. Other examples of work include National Geographic articles, and 1911 Britannica encyclopedias.
Wikiversity Wikiversity offers free-learning materials and activities. Started in 2005, the project has two primary goals: to create and host free content, multimedia learning materials, resources and curricula for all age groups in all languages; and to develop collaborative learning projects and communities around these materials.
Wikibooks Wikibooks was started in 2003 with the mission of creating a collection of open-content and related non-fiction books. Currently, the project has 70,000 "modules" in a multitude of textbooks, study guides, and annotated texts in different subjects ranging from Organic Chemistry to Art History.
Wikinews Wikinews promotes the idea of participatory journalism, with collaboratively written news stories. Currently, the project has 22 language versions.
Wikiquote Wikiquote is a free, online compendium of quotations from notable people and creative works in every language. Currently the project has over 60,000 entries in over 30 languages.
Wiktionary Wiktionary is a free, multilingual dictionary and thesaurus, and the lexicon companion to Wikipedia. The project provides definitions, etymologies, pronunciations, sample quotations, synonyms, and translations. Currently, there are 1,500,000 entries in 170 languages.
Facts & statsEdit
- The Wikimedia Foundation supports 9 free information projects, including the ever popular Wikipedia. It is run entirely by volunteers, and currently has fewer than ten full-time paid employees on staff.
- Wikimedia projects are created entirely by volunteers – there are no paid editors. Additionally, projects are self-correcting for both content and users, allowing for higher accuracy.
- All projects can be freely downloaded by anyone in the world. Most recently, for example, Wikipedia has been used to help schools in disadvantaged socio-economic communities.
- Wikipedia is the world’s fastest growing, most current, and largest encyclopedias. Currently, it is one of top five brands in the world, and receives an estimated 7 billion page views monthly.
- The English, German, and French language versions of Wikipedia are the largest. The English and Spanish versions receive the most traffic.<--Check this
- Ward Cunningham, the inventor of the wiki, is on the Advisory Board to the Board of Trustees, as well as Mitch Kapor, founder of the Mozilla Foundation.
- All content is licensed under GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). This means individuals can copy, distribute and modify each other’s work, as long as it maintains these freedoms.
- The Wikimedia Foundation has chapters in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, to support and promote the projects on a national level.
- In June 2006, the sites had 128 million unique visitors.<--UPDATE PLEASE
- More than a third of North American, adult internet users (36%) consult Wikipedia, according to nationwide survey conducted by the Pew internet and American Life Project in 2007. 50% of those have a college degree.<--Check for updates
- MediaWiki, a free software wiki package originally written for Wikipedia and developed by a dedicated core of techie volunteers, has been deployed as a collaborative knowledge management tool by international cooperation's, organizations, and universities.
- The Wikimedia projects run on clusters of around 250 Linux servers located in three different locations worldwide -- Florida, United States; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Seoul, Korea. During peak times, the servers handle over 30,000 requests per second, and average about 19,000 requests per second.<--Check/Update
Statistics as of April 2007Edit
- 7 million articles, in over 250 languages
- Edited 275 million times
- 66,000 articles in over 120 languages
- Edited 1.8 million times
- 120 different languages.
- Articles 2.1 million articles, in over 172 languag
- Edited 11.2 million times
- 34,000 articles in 22 languages
- Edited 1.0 million times
- 200,000 articles in 52 languages
- Edited 1.6 million times
- 60,500 articles in 87 languages
- Edited 1.3 million times.
- 1.4 million media files
- Edited 5.5 million times
Contacts & materialsEdit
Wikimania organization team
Frances Huang Public Relations Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org +886 928755187
Sandra Ordonez Communication manager email@example.com +1-727-231-0101 Wikimedia Foundation Inc. 200 2nd Ave. South #358 St. Petersburg, FL 33701-4313 USA
More information about Wikimania 2007: http://wikimania2007.wikimedia.org (detailed schedule, speakers, accomodation, etc.) More about the Wikimedia Foundation: http://www.wikimediafoundation.org High-resolution logos and photos about Wikimedia: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Press
"I spend part of my free time each day revising and expanding Wikipedia's coverage of dinosaurs, working within Wikipedia:WikiProject Dinosaurs. My work editing Wikipedia's dinosaur images helped me land a more lucrative job". - Wikipedia User and Professional
"I have a child who was born with a rare medical condition, a teratoma. I began reading English Wikipedia while searching for technical information relevant to my child's condition. By following interwiki links to other language wikipedia, I discovered the existence of a clinical research consortium in Germany that leads the world in knowledge about teratoma. I found much information that I needed on Wikipedia, and much elsewhere too. My notes grew and grew. Then one day I began to edit wikipedia pages as a means of organizing my notes. Then I helped to found a support group for parents of babies and children with teratoma and other kinds of germ cell tumor, TFD" - Wikipedia User and Parent
"...I think the philosophy that underlies Wikipedia, and all the other MediaWiki-based web resources, gives me an opportunity to discuss with my students how information per se can be evaluated for accuracy, recency, and completeness. Also, my students have come to understand that, while allowing anyone to edit any page on Wikipedia can have some obvious disadvantages, one of the huge advantages is that Wikipedia is currently, by far, the most comprehensive encyclopedia ever created. And, it is totally free to anyone with an Internet connection." Wikipedia User and Teacher
"I used Wikipedia extensively when writing several papers for my high school classes including Freshman year biology. After my freshman year, I was asked to move all the way up to College biology because of the knowledge, versatility and writing skills I had shown in my papers. I believe some of that success is only due to Wikipedia and its subsidiaries. Without it, I would not have even achieved such an honor of only being a second year high school student and being placed in a post-secondary school science class. I have now finished that class with honors as well and have even received the highest possible grade achievable in that class" Wikipedia User and Student
"My son, in 4th grade here in California, was assigned a research report on the California Gold Rush...Of course, my son read the Wikipedia California Gold Rush page. It had a paragraph on the routes, but it didn't include the route through Mexico. It did point us to a detailed article on the California Trail. Because it was rather limited about the routes, my son added a sentence about the route through Mexico and added the Map to the Wikimedia Commons and added the map to the article and added a link to the collection of maps on the topic. Now 4th graders doing the same project will be able to find that same wonderful primary source. It's actually somewhat rare that a 4th grader has a primary source like the map, so it's quite a nice little legacy to leave behind. Actually, I don't remember having anything as cool as that to study when I was in school. It's quite remarkable when I think about it." Wikipedia User and Father.