On the Wikimedia Foundation's blog, the results of the fifth annual Picture of the Year competition were officially announced last week. 2,463 votes were cast, with all 783 pictures that were promoted to featured picture status in 2010 entered into the competition. The winning image is a photo by Yuri Beletsky, Photo Ambassador of the European Southern Observatory (ESO): File:Laser Towards Milky Ways Centre.jpg (above, Signpost readers might recognize it as "choice of the week" from the November 8 "Features and admins" section).
Reacting to the news via email, Beletsky said in thanks, "I am really honored and delighted with the results of the poll. I am happy ESO released the image under a free license." ESO (which had itself featured it as "Picture of the Week" in September) highlighted the result in an announcement on their website: "ESO Picture of the Paranal Observatory Voted Wikimedia Picture of the Year 2010".
Wikipedia data analysis challenge
Last week, the Wikimedia Foundation announced "the launch of the Wikipedia Participation Challenge, a data-modeling competition to develop an algorithm that predicts future editing activity on Wikipedia", hosted by Kaggle, a platform for crowd-sourcing predictive modeling. Based on data derived from Wikipedia's public XML dump, contestants are to "develop a model to predict the number of edits a given editor will make in six months' time", competing for $10,000 in prize money provided by an anonymous donor. The challenge was noted on various blogs, such as Revolution Analytics and New Scientist. User:Protonk noted that the dataset has been anonymized "to obscure editor identity and article identity, simultaneously adding focus to the challenge and robbing the dataset of considerable richness", and gave detailed advice to participants, especially those not familiar with Wikipedia editing processes. A blog posting by a former collaborator of the WMF's data scientist Diederik van Liere, titled "Mind. Prepare to be blown away. Big data, Wikipedia and government", compared the challenge to an earlier one on Kaggle that had significantly improved existing models from HIV research, and noted that "Within 36 hours of the wikipedia challenge being launched the leading submission has improved on internal Wikimedia Foundation models by 32.4%". By July 1st, the dataset had been downloaded more than 200 times. At the time of writing, 17 teams have submitted models.
An offensive image as it would look when hidden by the proposed personal image filter
- Referendum on offensive image filter to take place in August: Last month, the Wikimedia Board passed its long-awaited resolution on controversial content (Signpost coverage), which included the recommendation to implement a "personal image hiding feature that will enable readers to easily hide images hosted on the projects that they do not wish to view" (Signpost coverage of the design mockup for this feature: "'Personal image filter' to offer the ability to hide sexual or violent media"). Last week, it was announced that a movement-wide referendum will be held from 12–27 August on servers hosted by a neutral third party. More details will be made available on Meta.
- WikiHistories – Tagalog Wikipedia: One of the Foundation's WikiHistories summer fellows reported on her field trip to the Philippines to study the local Wikipedia/Wikimedia community, where she attended a meeting between Wikimedia Philippines and members of the official Commision for the Philippine Language, with the chapter "essentially asking for government approval of Tagalog Wikipedia’s language policies. This signals a greater tendency [...] for that body to take cues from established entities such as the government [and] universities". She said another "key difference between the English and Tagaog Wikipedia movements is that there is significant overlap between Wikimedians and Wikipedians", in that the President and Vice-President of the local Wikimedia chapter are "two of Tagalog Wikipedia’s most active editors".
- DMCA takedown despite OTRS permission: The Wikimedia Foundation complied with a DMCA takedown request for several photos from Canadian artist Gregory Colbert's "Ashes and Snow" collection recently, even though several of them carried an OTRS permission (Village pump discussion on Commons). In the takedown request, the law firm representing Colbert wrote "we have been advised by you that several years ago an administrative assistant at Ashes and Snow authorized (via the Internet) the publication and the use of certain photographs constituting Works and agreed to the terms of a Wikimedia Commons free license. Please be advised that [...] under no circumstances was the administrative assistant authorized to grant a license to Wikimedia Commons or anyone [... She] was not an authorized agent or Gregory Colbert, nor was she a manager, officer or director of any entity to which Mr. Colbert has licensed the Works, and did not have authority to grant such license."
- Good article monthly round-up: In June the number of good articles rose to 12,237. This means that for the first time at least one in 300 of Wikipedia's articles has been quality assessed as passing the good article criteria. The proportion has been steadily rising since the good articles program was launched in 2005. An additional one in 1100 articles have attained the higher-quality featured article status, although this proportion has remained relatively steady for several years. This month's increase of 194 GAs was somewhat better than May's 181, but was still well below the project's average for the last 12 months. One controversial suggestion discussed this month, as a solution to the perennial nominations backlog, was encouraging nominators to review each other's articles. This received a mixed reception from experienced reviewers due to concerns about apparent conflicts of interest during quid pro quo reviews.
- Wikimedia Mexico: A posting on the blog of the Mexican Wikimedia chapter reported in Spanish and English on some regional activities of Wikimedia Mèxico Occidente, the chapter's "regional ccordination" for the Western parts of the country.
- NARA Wikipedian in Residence interviewed by Wikinews: User:Dominic has been interviewed for Wikinews about his position of Wikipedian in Residence at the National Archives and Records Administration. See "Wikinews interviews US National Archives Wikipedian in Residence". Dominic spoke of the importance of maintaining relationships between cultural institutions and Wikipedia, saying that Wikipedia "will not only make [NARA's] holdings findable, but it will add value to them". He also emphasized the importance of organizing and taking advantage of the Wikimedia community and its resources. Earlier mainstream media coverage of the residency (including an interview with the Washington Post) had highlighted similar aspects. Also last week, a posting by Dominic on the Foundation's blog described "Bringing Ansel Adams to Wikimedia Commons", referring to a donation of public domain photographs by NARA (see Signpost coverage: "Wikipedian residency at US National Archives begins with image donation").
- The quarterly policy update is available at WP:Update. Contributors are welcome for this and future updates.
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