Wikimedia Foundation Report, May 2013

Video of the monthly Wikimedia Foundation metrics and activities meeting covering the month of May (June 6, 2013)

Global unique visitors for April:

517 million (-0.17% compared with March; +9.16% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will release May data later in June)

Page requests for May:

21.0 billion (+0.8% compared with April; 16.5% compared with the previous year)
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including mobile access)

Active Registered Editors for April 2013 (>= 5 mainspace edits/month, excluding bots):

82,553 (+0.86% compared with March / +4.38% compared with the previous year)
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects.)

Report Card (integrating various statistical data and trends about WMF projects):



Wikimedia Foundation YTD Revenue and Expenses vs Plan as of April 30, 2013
Wikimedia Foundation YTD Expenses by Functions as of April 30, 2013

(Financial information is only available through April 2013 at the time of this report.)

All financial information presented is for the Month-To-Date and Year-To-Date April 30, 2013.

Revenue $50,441,664
Engineering Group $11,909,113
Fundraiser Group $3,085,352
Grantmaking & Programs Group $7,894,416
Governance Group $630,123
Legal/Community Advocacy/Communications Group $2,560,446
Finance/HR/Admin Group $4,757,347
Total Expenses $30,836,797
Total surplus $19,604,867
  • Revenue for the month of April is $8.87MM versus plan of $9.78MM, approximately $908K or 9% under plan.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $50.44MM versus plan of $45.52MM, approximately $4.92MM or 11% over plan.
  • Expenses for the month of April is $5.78MM versus plan of $4.10MM, approximately $1.68MM or 41% over plan, primarily due to higher grant expenses (timing of FDC grants), legal fees, and personal property tax expenses partially offset by lower personnel expenses, internet hosting, and bank fees.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $30.84MM versus plan of $34.07MM, approximately $3.24MM or 9% under plan, primarily due to lower personnel expenses, capital expenses, internet hosting, and travel expenses partially offset by higher legal expenses, bank fees, outside contract services, and personal property tax expenses.
  • Cash position is $45.6MM as of April 30, 2013.


From the Fundraising report: The "facts" banner (listing some basic facts about Wikipedia) was tested in many different versions and eventually performed better than all previous fundraising banners

Fundraising report released


The Wikimedia Foundation's fundraising team published a report from the 2012-2013 fundraiser. The report reviews the evolution of banner design and includes data about the 2012 year-end English campaign and the 2013 multilingual campaign, which raised a total $35 million USD from over 2 million donors.

Community invited to discuss trademark practices


The Legal and Community Advocacy (LCA) team published a statement on trademark practices, which requests community feedback on the Wikimedia trademark policy, procedure, and other questions. The objective is to balance the interest in licensing the brand for mission-aligned activities, with the necessity of preventing misuse and "naked licensing" (licensing without quality control). This is the opportunity to provide ideas as the team considers updating the trademark policy and practices.

Wikipedia Zero launches in Pakistan


Wikipedia Zero, the program to give people around the world mobile access to Wikipedia free of data charges, is now available in Pakistan, in partnership with Mobilink (Vimpelcom). The company's user base of over 32 million people makes this the second largest Wikipedia Zero launch to date.

The "Nearby" feature in Vatican City. The camera icon (bottom) indicates an article which lacks images, inviting users to contribute one.

"Nearby" feature shows Wikipedia articles in the reader's vicinity


On location-aware devices (such as smartphones with GPS), a new "Nearby" page lists articles close to the reader's current location. The feature is designed for mobile devices, but also works on the desktop version of Wikipedia.

Presentation slides with the Tool Labs logo

New hosting environment for community-developed tools


The Tool Labs, an environment for community developers to provide external software tools supporting work on Wikimedia projects, is now operating. With the support of the German Wikimedia chapter, many existing tools have already migrated from the Wikimedia Toolserver to Tools Labs.

Search for new Executive Director begins


The job opening for the Wikimedia Foundation's new Executive Director has been posted. This starts the search for a successor for Sue Gardner, who will step down later this year. Board of Trustees chair Kat Walsh asked Wikimedians for help in finding the best possible candidate, by spreading the news in their networks.



A detailed report of the Tech Department's activities for May 2013 can be found at:
Department Highlights

Major news in May include:

In May, the VisualEditor team worked to complete major new features. The objective is for VisualEditor to be the default editor for all Wikipedia users, capable of letting them edit the majority of content without needing to use the wikitext editor, in July 2013. The team has focused on four areas of new functionality: references, templates, categories and media items. Editing of references and templates has been implemented in experimental code; category editing is nearly complete and should be made available very soon. The deployed alpha version of VisualEditor was updated twice (1.22-wmf4 and 1.22-wmf5), adding a number of user interface improvements, including further work behind the scenes to better support the new features, and fixing a number of bugs.

VisualEditor relies on Parsoid, the program that serves as translator between wikitext code and annotated HTML. The Parsoid team implemented several new features, particularly around the handling the inclusion of images (and their parameters). Improvements were also made to support editing of templates within extensions. This lets editors modify and add templated citations in VisualEditor, an important feature to improve the quality of articles in Wikipedia. In addition to new features, the team implemented important performance optimizations as well, in preparation for the July VisualEditor milestone. For example, the processing of expensive templates, extensions and images is now reused in order to avoid reprocessing identical code. This is necessary to avoid overwhelming the servers when tracking all edits on Wikimedia projects. A cache infrastructure with appropriate purging was set up and will be tested at full load through June. Last, at the Amsterdam hackathon, the team helped other developers use Parsoid's annotated HTML for other projects, such as a Wikipedia-to-SMS service or the Kiwix offline Wikipedia reader.

Indicator for new user talk page messages in the Notifications tool
A thanks notification

In May, the Editor engagement team (E2) activated new features and bug fixes for Notifications on the English Wikipedia and In collaboration with community members, a 'new message indicator' was developed to inform users when someone posts on their talk page. The team also released a new 'Thanks notification' that lets editors show their appreciation to users who make helpful edits, and offers a quick way to give positive feedback on Wikipedia. Messages are now marked as read when you visit your talk page, and talk page notifications link directly to their sections. Work continued on the metrics dashboard and HTML email notifications.

A few final features and bug fixes were added to Article feedback, a quality assessment feature. As requested by community members, a new opt-in feature now makes it easier to enable or disable feedback on a page; UI improvements were also developed to simplify the feedback page. The team activated new feedback links and tested the auto-archive feature on prototype. Feature development has now ended for this project, and next steps will be determined based on the upcoming community vote on the German Wikipedia in coming weeks.

Discussion portals about Flow, a feed-like interface to enable users to better interact with their projects, were announced and opened on three wikis: the English Wikipedia, Meta-Wiki, and An interactive prototype was released to the public for discussion, now ongoing.

Update on the Mobile team's work (presentation slides)

As for the Editor engagement experiments team (E3), they launched their new account creation and login forms, after numerous bug fixes and working with local communities to customize the interface. Complete deployment as the default for all Wikimedia projects was enabled by early June. The team also launched and tested a new version of the "Getting Started" interface for onboarding new Wikipedians. The results of A/B testing of this new version showed the largest increase in click-through rates for the landing page. Last but not least, the PostEdit extension was moved to MediaWiki core, making it available to all wikis.

This month, the Mobile team launched Wikipedia Zero with Mobilink in Pakistan. They improved code quality and configuration of Zero programs, and fixed bugs.

A major focus in May was the activation of 'Nearby' view on the stable version of the mobile site (see also general "Highlights" section above). Now, with a location-aware device, users can easily identify articles close to their current location. Improvements were also made to photo uploads and the photo upload experience, including improved messaging around image quality and copyright requirements for new uploaders in the beta version of the mobile site. The upload features in general have been a great success, with over 1000 unique uploaders over the last two months. Experiments continue in the beta version of the site with improvements to article editing, an improved reorganization of site navigation, Echo notifications, talk pages, and simplifying discovery of article actions (like editing and watching). These beta features are expected to be released in June.

Students from Sinenjongo High School with Victor Grigas



Major Gifts and Foundations

  • Completed our transition to a new caging service, i.e. mail and check processing service
  • Began planning for a New York event

Annual Fundraiser

  • Posted the 2012-2013 fundraiser report (see general "Highlights" section)
  • Tested a new banner design with the donation form in the banner. Updates with results are posted on Meta-wiki.
  • Held a week-long communication workshop with the entire fundraising team.
  • Victor Grigas and filmmaker Charlene Music filmed a short documentary about Sinenjongo High School, South Africa and their grassroots efforts to get Wikipedia free on their cellphones.


Department highlights

Strategic Goals Metrics

Metric Value MoM MoM% Chart
Global South Active Editors (5+ edits in main namespace) 15.7k -235 -1.4%   [1]

Funds Dissemination Committee


WMF Grants

  • The WMF Grants Program is experiencing record numbers of open requests this May, and the GAC is working hard to encourage discussions around these many open requests. There are currently 11 open requests.
  • In numbers: 4 grants approved and 9 reports accepted

Grants awarded in May 2013


Reports accepted in May 2013


Participation Support

  • In numbers: 8 participants funded (6 requests) and 3 reports accepted
  • Participation Support selection criteria and eligibility requirements have been updated on the Participation Support landing page. We encourage anyone interested in receiving travel support for a non-Wikimedia event to review the new criteria.
  • Please note that the PSP will only consider requests for WikiSym-OpenSym submitted before 10 June.
  • If you are planning an event and will need funding for scholarship participants, the event organizers should apply through the Wikimedia Foundation Grants Program for a scholarship grant or for a portion of an event grant that may be used for scholarships rather than sending individual participants to the PSP. Please contact grants at wikimedia dot or with questions.

Requests awarded in May 2013


Funding for 5 volunteers to attend Open Source Bridge 2013:

Reports accepted in May 2013


Individual Engagement Grants



  • We've been iterating on program pages and the proposal review process and timeline in preparation for round 2, in response to round 1 feedback.
  • A work sprint is underway in the IdeaLab. Enhanced functionality is intended to boost dynamic activity in the space in preparation for the next IEG open call.



Learning & Evaluation

Internal Performance Monitoring
Grantmaking Programs Feedback
  • Created feedback surveys for IEG and the Grants Program (draft); refined feedback surveys for FDC, to be distributed in June.
  • Executed first feedback surveys for IEG and filtered feedback (people liked the program!)
  • Administered survey for feedback from FDC for the deliberation process
Grantee tools

Brazil Catalyst Project




Our potential institutional partner in Brazil, Ação Educativa, has been finalizing a project's proposal to be submitted to WMF.

Data & Experiments

  • Research in the planning phase:
    • Medicin Wikiproject: The activity of users that were invited to the project by the Wikiprojetosbot will be tracked to measure the effectiveness of the invitations.

Staff & Community work

  • IRC meeting with community: agenda covered vandalism research, consensus on Wikipedia, mismatching disambiguations, education program job positions, ptwiki research center history and future, medicin wikiproject and ptwiki timeline.


Oona Castro speaking at the UFGRS outreach event in Porto Alegre

Medicine Wikiproject

  • Wikiprojetosbot started dispatching invitations for users to join the wikiproject.
  • Despite its preliminary stage, this strategy is already showing some results such as community engagement on the Wikiproject talk page and an increasing number of new editors.

Program Development

Department highlights
  • The Mobile team launched Wikipedia Zero in Pakistan. With over 32 million mobile customers, this is the second largest launch for Wikipedia Zero to date.
  • Program Evaluation and Design staff is getting ready for the first evaluation workshop in Budapest (June 22–23). Participants from more than 15 countries will meet in Hungary to gain a basic shared understanding of program evaluation, work collaboratively to map and prioritize measurable outcomes, and gain increased fluency in a common language of evaluation. Wikimédia Magyarország kindly supports this workshop, which will afterwards also be available online through videos and slides on Commons. More information is available on Meta.
  • The Education Team presented strong numbers in its mid-year review. For the current fiscal year, the team expects to be on track for a total goal of 25 million bytes of new content contributed to Wikipedia's article namespace by students. Classes participating in Egypt showed a particularly high percentage of female editors (~ 85%); one of the Arabic Wikipedia's current administrators and now top-editors coming out of the Egypt Education Program.

Program Evaluation and Design

  • In May, the team worked on organizing the upcoming Budapest workshop (June 21–23). Adele Vrana provided support with the logistics of the meeting, Sarah Stierch communicated with participants and the Hungarian Chapter, and Jaime Anstee started her work on presentation slides and the agenda of the meeting. Interest in the workshop exceeded our expectations by far – more than 50 chapters representatives and unaffiliated volunteers applied to be part of the event. The team is working on preparing all materials in a way that they can be published online; it is also planning on documenting parts of the meeting on video so people who won't be able to attend the workshop in person will have the opportunity to follow the discussion.
  • Also in May, Jaime worked on a glossary of terms around evaluation and program design. Having a shared language in these two areas will help people from different countries understand each other better – which we consider a key advantage given that our movement is so diverse and most people come from countries where English is not a native language. The team is planning to publish a first draft of the glossary on Meta prior to the June event in Budapest.
  • In early May, the team had a one-day offsite team retreat. This event served to build a better team cohesion and to work on shared team vision and goals. The event was facilitated by Liz Williams, an outside contractor that also provides coaching services to the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Frank Schulenburg and Anasuya Sengupta worked on a detailed plan that outlines how the Grantmaking and the Program Evaluation and Design teams will work with each other in the future. Part of this plan is a roles and responsibilities grid that got shared with members of each team in late May. The work on this document was an important step for getting better clarity about the scope of each team's work and also for setting the stage for future collaboration.

Wikipedia Zero

  • Launched Wikipedia Zero with Mobilink (Vimpelcom) in Pakistan. This is our second largest launch to date (in terms of userbase, which is over 32 milion people)
  • Refactored legacy codebase to move configuration to an improved format which will act as the foundation of a web portal system.
  • Updated code to handle recent changes to the mobile site correctly for Wikipedia Zero
Slides from the Mid-Year Review of the Wikipedia Education Program

Wikipedia Education Program

  • The team prepared for and participated in a Mid-Year Review with Sue and Erik. Minutes and slides from the meeting are available on Meta.
  • Reviewed resumes and interviewed candidates for Global Education Program Manager position.
  • Documented Education Program training infrastructure for easier porting and translation.
  • Followed up with professors from Spring 2013 to reflect on learnings, brainstorm potential blog posts to feature those learnings or great experiences from student contributions, and get feedback for needed support for Fall 2013.
  • Began creating official list of classes that will participate in Fall 2013 and connecting those classes to Ambassador support and assignment design advice
  • Developed priorities for Education Extension redesign to improve the user interface for Fall 2013 semester
  • Volunteers creating the new non-profit (to run the US/CA program) requested start-up funding from GAC and Thematic Organization affiliation via the Affiliations Committee
  • Implemented "Did You Know box" content for the Special:MyCourses feed on English Wikipedia.
Arab World
  • Classes have started editing the Arabic Wikipedia in Jordan, Algeria, and Egypt.
  • Faris planned travel to visit Dr. Yahia Fares University of Médéa in Algeria in hopes of expanding the program beyond one class there.
  • Reviewed resumes for Arab World Education Program Manager.

Human Resources


In May, HR completed extensive preparatory work to kick off the June annual review cycle for the participation of all employees, including some light redesign of last year's templates, a redesign of the format and timing to work in a sprint-like approach, and training for new managers. HR also contracted with Radford to conduct a thorough analysis of the utility and application of existing salary bands, and in comparison with market data, and working to update our compensation philosophy. We have also transitioned 401k retirement funding advisors, and did research with the 401k committee to select new index funds to make available for staff. Time was also spent streamlining data with two of our providers and process in coordination with F&A, namely around ADP and oDesk. HR also kicked off a group, self-named the "aliens" club, to support our expat employees and contractors with settling into life in the United States. We also completed the first year of the WikiLead pilot, a program for Directors and other WMF management on leadership skills training, and ran a pilot negotiations training to help people engage constructively in expectations setting and coming to shared agreeements. Overall, it has been a month of heavy hiring and other activity for HR, which also continues to support the search for the new Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation (with a newly redesigned jobs page at

Staff Changes

New Requisitions Filled
  • Nik Everett, Senior Software Engineer (Engineering)
  • MunMay Galloway, Visual Designer (Engineering)
  • Alexandros Kosiaris, Operations Engineer (Engineering)
  • Meron Kristos, Staff Accountant (Finance)
  • Heather Walls, Communications Design Manager (Communications)
  • Yana Welinder, Legal Counsel (Legal)
  • Jared Zimmerman, Director of UX (Engineering)
New Legal Interns
  • Jennifer Bloom
  • Matthew Collins
  • Tiffany Li
New Contractors
  • Anna Lantz (Human Resources)
  • Robert Smith (Engineering)
  • Ram Ramanath
  • David Schoonover
Contracts Ended
  • Ashok Misra
  • Kraig Parkinson
  • Vanessa Sanchez
  • Joseph Seddon
  • Peter Gehres
New Postings
  • A/P Clerk
  • Arab World Education Program Manager
  • Fundraising Donor Services Associate
  • Global Education Program Manager
  • Product Manager | Platform
  • Recruitment Team Intern (Undergrad/Student)
  • Research Analyst
  • Wikimedia Foundation: Executive Director


Total Requisitions Filled
May Actual: 143
May Total Plan: 174
May Filled: 7, Month Attrition: 2,
YTD Filled: 58, YTD Attrition: 27
4 Canceled Requisitions for FY, as of May 31
Remaining Open Requisitions to fiscal year end
27 (reflects 4 canceled requisitions for FY)

Department Updates

Real-time feed for HR updates or

Finance and Administration

  • Continued work on the Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan with a final draft version presented to Stu West (Chair of the Audit Committee).
  • Have begun to rebalance the reserves of the Wikimedia Foundation so that more of the reserve is being held in bonds instead of certificates of deposit. This is being done to improve the real rate of return of the portfolio.
  • The Wikimedia Foundation - IRS Form 990 for FY 2011-12 was posted on the Wikimedia Foundation web site.
  • In addition to holding and paying in a group of currencies, we have begun work on reducing the cost of converting USD to other curriences when sending funds for payments or grants.

Legal, Community Advocacy, and Communications Department


LCA Report, May 2013


Contract Metrics

  • Submitted : 20
  • Completed : 19

Trademark Metrics

  • Submitted : 13
  • Approved : 2
  • Pending : 9
  • Denied : 2
Yana Welinder explaining "naked licensing" in a presentation about trademarks (slides)

Coming & Going

  • Yana Welinder joined the LCA team as legal counsel.
  • Four legal interns joined for the summer: Jennifer Bloom (Harvard), Matthew Collins (Columbia), and Tiffany Li (Georgetown).

Other Activities


Communications Report, May 2013


May's major news focused on the announcement of the ED search process for WMF, and some considerable residual attention paid to the issue of the women American novelists category on EN Wikipedia. In May we also welcomed Heather Walls as the communications team's first Communications Design Manager.

Major announcements

‘’The Wikimedia Foundation announces search for new Executive Director to lead the Wikimedia movement ’’(22 May 2013)

The Wikimedia Foundation has begun a global search for a new Executive Director to lead the organization through its next phase of innovation and growth. The new Executive Director will lead a thriving international organization that operates the number five most-popular web property in the world.

Major Storylines through March


Quite a bit of coverage through the month, largely focussing on local/regional Wikipedia articles and topics of interest to niche audiences.

‘’Can Wikipedia predict the stock market?’’ (May 8)

Many outlets covered a May 8 Scientific Reports study that suggests Wikipedia can be used to predict the behavior of the stock market, specifically openly available page view stats for articles can predict decreases in relevant stock prices. Coverage was predominantly positive or neutral in tone.
Mapping of live, anon edits on WP makes headlines (May 13)

A popular visualization tool ( by WMF's own Stephen LaPorte of current anonymous edits on Wikipedia received substantial coverage through mid-May:
WMF launches its ED search (May 22)

We publicly launched our search for the next Executive Director of the WMF in late May. Coverage was not extensive as the original announcement of Sue's departure, although social media sharing was substantial.
WMF Blog post
Economist Job posting

Other worthwhile reads

Wikipedia's 'Nearby' Feature Pulls Up Articles Related to Your Location | Mashable | May 30
Wikipedia’s anti-Pagan crusade | Salon | May 24
Wargaming supports open source | develop | May 24
Wikipedia to Appear in Shughni | Global Voices | May 12

WMF Blog posts


Thirty-nine blog posts in May, with bilingual posts in Arabic, Catalan, French, German, Russian, Japanese, Serbian, Spanish and Swedish. The Wikimedia blog is moving rapidly towards more than 50% content available in a language other than English. Some highlights from the month:

Media Contact


Wikipedia Signpost


For lots of detailed coverage and news summaries, see the community-edited newsletter “Wikipedia Signpost” for May 2013:

Visitors and Guests


Visitors and guests to the WMF office in May 2013:

  1. Sarah Pearson (Creative Commons)
  2. Sara Crouse (Creative Commons)
  3. Eric Steuer (Creative Commons)
  4. Elliot Harmon (Creative Commons)
  5. Kellie Brownell (The Ada Initiative)
  6. Peter Coopr (Paul Hastings)
  7. Rishi Sharma (Paul Hastings)
  8. Virginia Sutton (J&D)
  9. Deb Wolter (Red Bamboo Consulting)
  10. Rudy Rucker (Monkey Brains)
  11. Michael Stella (McCladrey)
  12. R. Schmidt (McCladrey)
  13. Lisa Grossman (m|Oppenheim)
  14. Mike Schwartz (Senior VP Engineering, Wikia)
  15. Jennifer Garvey Berger (Cultivating Leadership)
  16. Jim Nelson (executive director, Yorba)
  17. Chaz, Eric, Lucas, Clinton (Engineers, Yorba)
  18. Leif Johanssen (SUNET)
  19. Valter Nordh (SUNET)
  20. Simon Phipps (MariaDB Foundation)
  21. Somnath Ray (Timescape)
  22. Kathy Reich (Packard Foundation)
  23. Anna Stillwell (Human Project)
  24. Alex Gladstein (Oslo Freedom Forum)
  25. R.P. (Open Knowledge Foundation)
  26. Nash Hurley (Vital)
  27. Taylor Keep (Vital)
  28. Kathy Ramsey (TAI)
  29. Aloka Archige (Forte)
  30. Sarah Nagel (IIE)
  31. Audrey Milo (C & RE)
  32. Brian Lee (Forte)
  33. Jan Ainali (WMSE)
  34. Valerie Aurora (TAI)
  35. Mary Gardiner (TAI)