Wikimedia Foundation Report, December 2011


Global unique visitors for November:

474 million (-0.4% compared with October; +15.6% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release December data later in January)

Page requests for December:

16.3 billion (-6.2% compared with November; +17.1% compared with the previous year)
(estimate from Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including mobile access)

Active Registered Editors for November 2011 (>= 5 edits/month):

83,444 (-1.2% compared with October / comparison data for November 2010 currently unavailable)
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects except for Wikimedia Commons)

Report Card for November 2011:

The report card is currently undergoing a redesign as a more fully-featured dashboard (integrating various statistical data and trends about WMF projects).



(Financial information is only available for November 2011 at the time of this report.)

All financial information presented is for the period of July 1, 2011 - November 30, 2011

Revenue: $14.5 million


  • Technology Group: $3,916,000
  • Community/Fundraiser Group: $1,732,000
  • Global Development Group: $1,454,000
  • Governance Group: $406,000
  • Finance/Legal/HR/Admin Group: $2,419,000

Total Expenses: $9,927,000

Total surplus/(loss): $4,573,000

Revenue was ahead of plan due to grants of $2.8 million and additional donations ahead of plan of $2.1 million.

Expenses were below plan at $9.9 million actual versus $11.6 million plan. Expenses were below planned due to lower than planned expenditures in capital expenditures, chapter grants, recruitment cost and other activities due.

Cash of $22.8 million, which is twelve months of cash reserves at current spending levels and ten months of cash per the annual plan.


Wikitext (right) and its representation in the Visual Editor (left)

Visual editor prototype


The team developing a Visual Editor for Wikipedia and our other projects presented a first prototype for testing on December 13. Its development has been one of the Foundation’s top priorities according to the 2011-2012 Annual Plan. Wiki-markup is a substantial barrier that prevents many people from contributing, and it is hoped that the Visual Editor will make editing easier.

Fundraiser ends with record-breaking donations

Tamil Wikipedia Editor Dr. Sengai Podhuvan being interviewed by Victor Grigas for a fundraiser testimonial

The 2011 annual fundraiser ended on January 1, 2012 raising a record-breaking USD 20 million from more than one million donors in nearly every country in the world. This year’s campaign highlighted staff and volunteers who help to create Wikipedia. It featured testimonials from volunteer editors in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, India, Kenya, the United Kingdom and the United States ranging in age from 18 to 76.

WMF annual report 2010-2011

Annual Report published, for the first time with translations


The Wikimedia Foundation's latest Annual Report was posted in PDF and wiki format in mid-December. This year's report focusses on the Foundation's major strategic efforts: supporting growth in India, expanding our mobile reach, improving and simplifying our software, and building our global education program. The report also highlights accomplishments within our community through the last fiscal year, and features a center spread article about the creation of the Arab Spring article on Wikipedia. For the first time, we produced 'summary' versions in seven languages.

Collaborative drafting process for Terms of Use update completed


After more than 120 days, the comment period for the proposed user agreement comes to an end with powerful and effective community participation. See the present version of the proposed user agreement and extensive discussion here.



A detailed report of the Tech Department's activities for December 2011 can be found at:
Department Highlights

Major news in December include:


  • Data Centers — The team deployed the puppetmaster dashboard, and a new UDP-based profiling tool to better identify potential performance issues. Some database servers were moved to newer hardware, including OTRS.
  • Media Storage — As part of our preparation for the migration of our media service to Swift, a distributed storage back-end, we need to keep the current system afloat a bit longer. We reclaimed some space by purging thumbnails not newly generated and not in use on any of our projects. We also performed Swift thumbnail integration and stress testing.
  • Wikimedia Labs — 15 projects and 36 instances have been created and 46 people have been given Labs accounts so far. OpenStack Nova was upgraded from cactus to diablo. A GlusterFS filesystem was added on all compute nodes via puppet, to act as storage for the instances.
  • Visual editor — The team deployed a developer prototype of the visual editor sandbox to for public feedback and testing: . Work continued on the parser test runner and the parser pipeline including the tokenizer and its grammar and template expansions.
  • Internationalization and localization tools — The WebFonts extension was deployed to select Indic languages and projects, making it possible to read content in languages using non-Latin fonts without installing fonts manually. The deployment uncovered bugs and issues that were addressed by the team, like cross-site font loading. The team also improved the Narayam and Translate extensions, and the latter was enabled on to facilitate the translation of software documentation.
  • Article feedback — The team launched three test versions of the new feedback forms on a sample of pages on the English Wikipedia, and began evaluation of feedback comments.
  • MobileFrontend — We quietly launched mobile user login and better support for tiered JavaScript. We also fixed long-standing issues like the locked viewport and we updated image description pages. Finally, we deployed HTTPS support on mobile for Wikipedia, with plans to enable it for sister projects soon.
  • Android Wikipedia App — Several release candidates were released over the month and we're nearing completion of the first version of the app. Nightly builds are available for testing.
  • MediaWiki 1.19 — As of December 31st, about 600 revisions remain to be reviewed in trunk before a new release can be deployed. Brion Vibber proposed a feature freeze in trunk, to catch up on code review and get the backlog down to zero in preparation for full adoption of continuous integration.
  • Continuous integration tools — The TestSwarm package was Debianized and its configuration almost entirely entered into Puppet. TestSwarm was then deployed to production and is now running at:
  • Volunteer coordination and outreach — Eleven developers got commit access, all from the non-staff MediaWiki community. Sumana also prepared for the January San Francisco hackathon and the February Pune hackathon and recruited participants. Partly in preparation for these coding events, Sumana and Guillaume Paumier continued to consolidate training documentation to facilitate the onboarding of new developers.


  • The Research Committee held an extraordinary meeting [1] to review the implications of the Berkman study – a large-scale online experiment which was launched in December and recruited participants among enwiki editors for a few hours [2] – and to discuss the way forward to support subject recruitment for research purposes.
  • We launched a public consultation to understand how to best serve the research and developer community with open data from our projects [3]. The consultation will remain open through January and the full set of responses will be released at the end of the month under a CC0 license.
  • We continued reviewing, supporting and documenting research projects and collaborations. We concluded the first six months of existence of the Wikimedia Research Index with a total of 81 projects (including the 2011 Summer of Research sprints) documented in the project directory [4].
  • We published the 6th issue of the Wikimedia Research Newsletter [5]. In the past half year it has covered a total of 93 references from the recent scholarly literature on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.


Department highlights
  • Sarah Stierch joined as WMF's first Community Fellow focused on the gender gap (see fellowships section below for more info)
  • Over 1600 volunteers translated the banners and appeals for the annual fundraiser into 112 languages, helping reach hundreds of millions of people.


Editor Retention
  • Karyn Gladstone joined the team as Director of Community Operations. She will drive the operational agenda of the Community Department; take initiative to relieve the CCO of detail work and create a central coordination of activities so that we can achieve our primary goals.
  • Maryana Pinchuk and Steven Walling have continued their A/B testing of the content of user warning template notifications to new users. In December, they concluded tests for Huggle and XLinkBot, and began new tests for SDPatrolBot, ImagetaggingBot, and shared IPs [1]. Together with Stuart Geiger, Aaron Halfaker and others, work was completed on an automated analysis infrastructure for template tests, with publishable results expected early in January.
  • Basic planning is underway for our first "community convenings" — meetups for community members interested in solving specific editor retention issues. We're reaching out to the community for participants for convenings of bot herders (users who manage applications that take care of automated tasks - like adding a template to an article), convenings about policy simplification, and convenings focused on learning from the good governance decisions of growing Wikipedias.
  • Recruitment is underway for 2012 Community Summer Analysts, building off of last year's Wikimedia Summer of Research. This summer, analysts will focus on tackling practical analytic questions for answering longstanding editor retention questions to help us determine our next projects [2].
  • See also Teahouse Project below



Boiler room banner analysis during the fundraiser
Life in the boiler room



(see also general "Highlights" section)

  • The 2011 annual fundraiser ended on January 1, 2012 raising a record-breaking USD 20 million from more than one million donors in nearly every country in the world.
  • This year’s campaign highlighted staff and volunteers who help to create Wikipedia. It featured testimonials from volunteer editors in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, India, Kenya, the United Kingdom and the United States ranging in age from 18 to 76, explaining why they edit Wikipedia and why they think readers should support the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Daily testing of messaging, form optimization, and payment methods continued throughout the campaign. [1]
  • A full report of the 2011 fundraiser will be posted in 2012.
  • The fundraiser was translated by over 1600 volunteers into more than 100 languages. See fellowships section below for more info on the translation project.


Major Gifts and Foundations
  • Secured a $100,000 grant from the Kaphan Foundation
  • Brought in $500,000 in $5000+ individual donors and family foundation gifts during the annual fundraiser
  • Received $400,000 installment from the Hewlett Foundation

Fellowship Program

Program Activities
  • Launched a recruitment drive for 2012 Community Fellowships.[1] We're using various communication channels to get the message out around the world, including chapter outreach and the Global Message delivery system to post an open call to over 500 on-wiki community spaces.
  • Liam Wyatt's Cultural Partnerships Fellowship wrapped up this month. Many thanks go to Liam for his year spent building enthusiasm, awareness, and working models for cultural institutions to partner with Wikipedians in producing open content for the public.[2]
  • Sarah Stierch began work as our first Community Fellow focused on gender gap projects, visiting the Community Department towards the end of the month to plan her first project (see also Teahouse, below).[3]
Translation Project
  • Over 1600 volunteers translated the banners and appeals for the annual fundraiser into 112 languages, helping reach hundreds of millions of people. [4] 19 batches of text containing 7663 total source words have resulted in 567 completed translations. The final report is in progress.[5] The Community Department hosted Fellow Jon Harald Søby is to wrap up this project and begin planning the next translation project for 2012.
Teahouse Project
  • Community Department hosted Fellows Jonathan Morgan and Sarah Stierch were in San Francisco this month to continue planning for the Teahouse Project, an initiative to reach out and offer help to promising new editors, particularly women, in a many-to-many peer support environment.[6]







Community Relations

  • Working with the tech team, we were really pleased to be able to help get Corensearchbot, which is a heavily used bot on the English Wikipedia, back up and back to its job detecting copyright violations. The same work supports other bots on several different language projects.
  • Of the emergency reports, 28 were passed on to law enforcement (33%). Of these, two are confirmed to have been life saving telephone calls. While we don't often receive outcome data from local police, we know that several others resulted in successful welfare checks.
  • Approximately 30% of the cases were either returned to the community for their handling or rejected as something the Foundation would not interfere with. 51 are still actively being worked.

Global Development

Department highlights

Grants Program


Grants Awarded and Executed


Brazil Catalyst [6]

  • Education Program: Contractor Everton Z. Alvarenga will lead the education work for Brazil. He has been working with the community to restructure the "standard" GEP to fit with Brazil and its needs / intricacies. The pilot is planned to start this upcoming academic year, in March 2012.
  • WMF branch in Brazil: Contracted with executive search firm Michael Page to work on hiring a country program director in Brazil.

Arabic Language Initiative

  • Finalizing preparation for Cairo Wikipedia Education pilot, including staff, campus ambassador and on-line ambassador recruitment
  • Supported a series of Arabic Wikipedia community events in Cairo, including celebration the Arabic Language International day in collaboration with Engineering students of Cairo University, and a Wikipedia editing session for Cairo geophysics community. WMF staff gave Wikipedia talks in language schools in Cairo university.
  • Currently preparing for community gathering in Tunis from January 26 to January 31 to include tabling and sessions at the national school of engineers ( and gathering with FOSS and CC community. (One WMF staff member will be accompanied by three active Arabic Wikipedia admins.)
  • Barry Newstead will visit Cairo and Beirut next February, when he will participate in public talks and meetings with community folks and like-minded organizations.

Wikimania Scholarships


Travel and accommodation scholarship applications open in the beginning of January 2012. Stay tuned to the mailing lists for more information!

Mobile and Business Development

  • Continued project planning with partner operators in India, Africa, Middle East and Southeast Asia for Q1 2012 launch of programs focused on mobile accessibility.
  • Worked on implementation plan and testing for Wikipedia Zero (Mobile Wikipedia access without data charge) to roll out for Q1.
  • Began discussions and contract process with new potential partners in same priority regions with launch potential of Q2 2012 and later.
  • Set plans for launching Android app publicly and with partners in mid-January.

Global development research


Successfully concluded the second Wikipedia editor survey. (After data cleaning we have about 7,000 completed responses - a big increase from the 5000 responses we had last time.) Data analysis is in progress.

Wikipedia Education Program

Wikipedia Education Program staff meet with Arabic Wikimedians in Cairo, Egypt, in December 2011.
  • In the first half of December, Frank Schulenburg and Annie Lin traveled to Cairo, Egypt, and met with professors, students and local Wikipedians. The trip was part of the preparation for a small pilot for the Wikipedia Education Program to be conducted during the spring 2012 semester. Supported by Moushira Elamrawy and Essam Sharaf, Annie and Frank had a number of in-person meetings with professors from Cairo University and Ain Shams University. Frank and Essam also gave Wikipedia presentations at Cairo University and at the German University in Cairo. As a result, six professors have been identified as participants of the pilot that will start in early February 2012. More information about this trip on the Wikimedia blog:
  • KALW, a public radio station in San Francisco, California, covered the Wikipedia Education Program on its "Crosscurrents" show. The journalist, Nicole Jones, interviewed University of California at Berkeley Professor Brian Carver, some of his students, and Wikipedia Education Program Communications Manager LiAnna Davis. The segment discusses the benefits of using Wikipedia as a teaching tool in higher education classrooms:
  • On December 17 and 18, Frank Schulenburg led the first train-the-trainer event for the new Wikipedia Education Program in Germany. Ten longterm Wikipedians were trained as "Referenten", who will support professors and teaching assistants to integrate Wikipedia into the classroom at German Universities. The training slides (in German) are available on Wikimedia Commons:
  • On December 20, the third monthly Wikipedia Education Program Metrics and Activities Meeting took place. Representatives from the programs in the U.S., Canada, India, Egypt, and Germany all spoke about their plans for the forthcoming term. The meeting notes are available on the Foundation's outreach wiki:
  • As the U.S. branch of the Education Program wrapped up the fall 2011 semester, LiAnna Davis started to document its success stories. A blog post published on the Wikimedia Foundation blog ( describes the experiences of undergrad Karl Wahlen, enrolled in a University of Pittsburgh class called Sociology of Marriage, taught by longterm Wikipedian Piotr Konieczny. Another blog post tells the story of Katy Lederer (, who is in her final year of school at Alverno College, a women’s college in Milwaukee. As part of her Advanced Media Studies class, Katy created a video of the Milwaukee Art Museum's brise soleil, which appeared as the Wikimedia Commons Media of the Day on November 26.
  • Jami Mathewson continued working with Regional Ambassadors in the U.S. and Canada to organize the in-person training for Campus Ambassadors in January 2012. This will be the last iteration of in-person trainings in North America, before the training will be transitioned to an online training model.

India Programs


Indic Languages


Concluded a series of discussions with a host of Indic language Wikimedians across the India (and indeed the world) to try and understand, document and share their experiences and thinking and suggestions for Indic languages in order to cross-pollinate ideas, encourage greater community conversations, and help identify community initiatives or community-endorsed pilots for India Programs through a series of suggestions that have been shared and conversations we are trying to foster on respective village pumps.

India Outreach

  • Initiated work on supporting general outreach efforts of the community by documenting and sharing best practices and tips as well as presentation material and guidelines.
  • Planned out outreach efforts across the country to kick-start outreach.

India Education Program


v 1.0 of the pilot has concluded and we are in the process of analysing results to determine next steps. This includes internal analysis, Ayush's data analysis, and Tory Read's evaluative report, which are likely to be in place after mid-January, after which we will start a collaborative exercise to determine v 2.0. (We already know of many problems, such as scale, faculty selection/involvement, Campus Ambassador/student selection/training, engagement with the global en-WP community, but we want to make sure we capture everything before we attempt anything further.)


  • Subhashish Panigrahi was selected for Consultant, Community & Program Support. Welcome, Subha!
  • Provided ad hoc support to number of communities on local initiatives like the Pune and West Bengal outreach efforts.
  • Continuing work on the right legal and regulatory framework / structure to operate within India.



The communications team finalized the Foundation's 2010-11 Annual Report in December, both the print/PDF version and a wiki version (see general "Highlights" section above). Communications also provided major support to the annual fundraising campaign team, though much of our efforts by mid-December were focussed on press strategy around WMF's opposition to SOPA in the US, including responses around the Wikipedia community's discussion of a Wikipedia site block and coordination with many of the Foundation's NGO and mission-supporting partners.

Major announcements


(No major press announcements in December)

Major Storylines through December

WMF's 2010-11 Annual Report launched (December 17)

(cf. general "Highlights" section above)

Wikipedia visual editor (December 13)

Following the news (of a demo) of a new visual editor interface for Wikipedia (see general "Highlights" section above) global press eagerly reposted and shared the news of what may be the "most significant change in Wikipedia's short history." Most coverage of the news was favorable and positive.

WMF opposes SOPA / WP shut down?

Global attention was drawn to discussion of the Stop Online Piracy Act before a congressional committee in Washington in December. WMF opposes the bill ( ), which would hurt the open and free web, and significantly hamper global projects like Wikipedia. A straw poll on Jimmy Wales' talk page regarding the possibility of a Wikipedia shutdown in protest of the bill drew significant international media attention as well. Much of the coverage (and social media response) has been critical of the bill.

Other worthwhile reads

edit (on Bell Pottinger and PR editing)

Wikipedia Signpost


WMF Blog posts


Media Contact


Human Resources


Staff Changes

New Contractors
  • Everton Zanella Alvarenga
  • Erek Dyskant
  • Yuvaraj Pandian
  • Maxim Semenik
  • Lori Byrd Phillips
Contract Extended
  • Karen Chelini
  • Jeroen De Dauw
  • Andrew Garrett
  • Roan Kattouw
  • Niklas Laxstrom
  • Siebrand Mazeland
  • Gerard Meijessen
  • Neel Punatar
  • Angela Robeson
Contract Ended
  • Greg DeKoenigsberg
  • Christine Moellenberndt
  • Rebecca Neumann
  • Linda Pennington
  • Stark Thom
New Postings
  • Interaction Designer
  • Office IT Support Specialist
  • Summer Community Analytics
  • Executive Dashboard – Analytics



Total Employee Count

December Plan: 109, December Filled: 0, December Attrition: 0,
YTD Filled: 24, YTD Attrition: 8, Actual: 90

Remaining Open positions to fiscal year end: 27

Department Updates


We have a new CTCO (Chief Talent and Culture Officer) - Gayle Karen Young - and we're in process of hiring a Director of HR and restructuring roles until the HR director comes on board. We have vision of an effective, smooth, and supportive department. As Gayle gets her feet under her, we will be identifying our key priorities and communicating to the organization about them.

Jeanie Mayall started last September, gracefully taking on a great number of tasks when Daniel left. She is accepting a position as a Manager of HR with a start-up down the street. In the last few months, she has handled open enrollment with great success, immigration issues, contractors and the contracting process, compliance, and non-California tax issues. She has agreed to be accessible on an ongoing basis and we are working to proactively transition open issues.

Real-time feed for HR updates: or

Finance and Administration


Isa will be transitioning, in the month of January, out of her role as Interim Head of Office Administration. Many thanks to Isa for all of her good work during her time at WMF.

We are continuing our search for a new Head of Office Administration and a Senior Accountant.

We completed a review of internal security systems and began implementing recommendations.

  • Continued support of community during its review of SOPA and IP Protect. For the community discussion page (to which we contribute), go here. Geoff's blog post is here.
  • IRC office hours on legal strategy took place with this summary.
  • Consideration of legal strategy for challenging Loriot decision on stamps in Germany. For the legal and community discussion, go here
  • Ninth Circuit - which decides case law applicable to the Wikimedia sites - affirms DMCA safe harbor in an excellent decision. You can find a summary of the decision and a copy of it here. Andrew, our legal intern, prepared for Geoff a summary of the decision here.


  • # contracts signed - 11
  • # trademark requests - 8
    • approved - 3
    • denied - 1
    • approval not needed - 1
    • pending - 5

Visitors and Guests

  1. Deborah Bezona (D. Bezona & Company)
  2. Valerie Ball (KPMG)
  3. Diane Peters (Creative Commons)
  4. Hana Yariv (Wikimedia Israel)
  5. Jan-Bart de Vreede (WMF Board of Trustees)
  6. Kat Walsh (WMF Board of Trustees)
  7. Chris Bishko (Omidyar Network, Investment Director)
  8. Eric E. Johnson (Affiliate Scholar, Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society, Associate Professor of Law, University of North Dakota School of Law)
  9. Carol Reed (National Sales Manager, Travel and Transport)
  10. Christie Goodfellow and Denise Truong (Triton Hotel)
  11. Lori Byrd Phillips (The Children's Museum of Indianapolis)