Support for our communities across India

Hello everyone,

Wikimedia projects are supported by you—a network of generous individual volunteers, groups, and organizations around the world. Together, you collaboratively enrich, grow, and advance the Wikimedia projects and free knowledge mission.

You may have heard about the Affiliations Committee’s decision to recommend the de-recognition of Wikimedia India. Some community members have asked what this means for the future of WIkimedia communities in India. We want to share more information about the AffCom decision, and reaffirm our commitment to and support for our many communities across India.

The Affiliations Committee is a community-run body of volunteers that represents and supports Wikimedia affiliates. After several years of working with Wikimedia India to bring its activities in line with chapter requirements, the Affiliations Committee recommended in June 2019 that the Wikimedia Foundation not renew the chapter agreement.

Wikimedia India was first recognized as a chapter in 2011. In 2015, it experienced difficulties meeting chapter agreement obligations. Working with the Affiliations Committee and the Foundation, the chapter developed a plan of action and returned to good standing by 2017. However, between 2017 and 2019 the chapter was unable to secure a license to act as a fiduciary organization, and is not currently legally registered as a charity in India to accept funding from the Foundation. The Foundation and Affiliations Committee both hope that this licensing and registration can be secured, and that the chapter will take all the steps needed to be eligible for recognition.

We are grateful for the vibrant, growing community in India who has shown great leadership and created significant impact within our global movement. The Foundation currently supports eight Indic language community user groups, and we expect two more to be announced by AffCom in the coming weeks. We receive more than 700 million pageviews to Wikipedia every month from readers in India, and the growth of the Indic community is a top priority for the future of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects.

The Republic of India is of great importance to the Wikimedia movement. The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to supporting volunteer editors, contributors, readers, and donors across India. We’re grateful for all of your continued and growing efforts to support Wikimedia projects and our free knowledge mission. We look forward to continuing our work with you together.

On behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation,

Valerie D’Costa
Chief of Community Engagement
Wikimedia Foundation

You can help translate this message on Meta

Tech News (2019, week 29)

The latest technical newsletter is now available at Meta. Below is the English version.

You can help write the next newsletter: whenever you see information about Wikimedia technology that you think should be distributed more broadly, you can add it to the next newsletter.

More information on how to contribute is available at Tech/News#contribute. You can also contact me directly.

As always, feedback (on- or off-list) is appreciated and encouraged.

Other languages:
Deutsch • ‎English • ‎français • ‎polski • ‎português do Brasil • ‎suomi • ‎svenska • ‎čeština • ‎русский • ‎українська • ‎עברית • ‎العربية • ‎中文 • ‎日本語

Latest tech news from the Wikimedia technical community. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available.

Recent changes

  • The mobile web will get more advanced editing tools. Seven more Wikipedias can use them now. This works for Arabic, Indonesian, Italian, Persian, Japanese, Spanish and Thai Wikipedia. You can try the tools on the mobile web and give feedback. [1]

Changes later this week

  • The abuse filter system user will soon do maintenance edits on broken abuse filters. This user is called Abuse filter and has administrator rights. This is meant to fix technical problems. It will not do any other changes. You can read more.
  • The new version of MediaWiki will be on test wikis and from 16 July. It will be on non-Wikipedia wikis and some Wikipedias from 17 July. It will be on all wikis from 18 July (calendar).


  •  You can join the technical advice meeting on IRC. During the meeting, volunteer developers can ask for advice. The meeting will be on 17 July at 15:00 (UTC). See how to join.

Future changes

  • The Wikipedia app for Android will invite users to add image captions to images on Commons. It will only invite users who have added a number of edits in the app without being reverted. This is to avoid spam and bad edits. You can read more and leave feedback[2]

Tech news prepared by Tech News writers and posted by bot • Contribute • Translate • Get help • Give feedback • Subscribe or unsubscribe.

Coming to Wikimania Stockholm? Sign up for Learning Days!

How do we make knowledge creation truly participatory for every community on our planet? The Wikimedia movement has been growing steadily, with more volunteers joining, and new affiliate groups created every year. Affiliates represent our movement at the local level and are charged with organizing activities and events to get people and organizations involved in the creation of the sum of all knowledge. In the years between 2014 and 2019, Wikimedia movement affiliates tripled: we went from having 50 affiliates to 151 (and we keep growing!). It grew more in this last five years than it did in its first 11 years of existence.

English: Wikimedia Conference 2018 Learning Days
WmCon2018 LearningDays 26.jpg () by AWang (WMF), CC-BY-SA-4.0.

How do we ensure that this growth is sustainable? In 2013, we started the Wikimedia Learning and Evaluation initiative to build a culture of accountability and learning within the movement. After 5 years implementing Learning Days, we are now also offering a new, evolved curriculum: Training of Trainers, in-person training that incorporates our communities’ higher levels of experience. The next opportunity to receive this training will be at Wikimania Stockholm, on August 14 and 15. Learn more and sign up!

Piloting structured training: Learning Days

We at the Wikimedia Foundation had observed for several years how communities took on to adapting initiatives that were successful in different parts of the world. A good example of this is the program Wikipedian in Residence. In 2010, Wikipedian Lyam Wyattsuggested this role at the closing speech of GLAM-Wiki congress: a person that would be in charge of training the staff group in a museum, archive, library, or gallery (GLAM) on how to use the Wikimedia projects to promote their collection or archive. The idea of this program was so attractive that several Wikimedia communities replicated the model, and today, there are more than 125 Wikipedians in Residence all over the world.

English: Wikimedia Conference 2018
Wikimedia Conference 2018 – 017.jpg () by Jason Krüger for Wikimedia Deutschland e.V., CC-BY-SA-4.0.

While replication has always played a big role in our collective learning as a movement, it wasn’t sustainable or necessarily yielding the desired results for local communities. This is why in 2013, we started the program Learning Days, with this foundational question: are your activities and events helping you reach your goals? These two days of professional training included workshops on program design and evaluation, how to create a theory of change and logic models, how to measure success, and how to do storytelling for engagement, among other topics. In the course of 6 years, through 11 implementations of Learning Days, and with other learning resources developed, we have seen affiliates’ proposals and reports improve significantly in terms of setting clear program goals and targets and then executing and measuring the impact of those goals.

Throughout this journey, we identified some Wikimedia communities had more advanced learning than others, and we incorporated this knowledge as part of the curriculum: in the last iteration of Learning Days, half of the sessions were facilitated by community members. These were more experienced Wikimedians that were stepping up to share their skills with their peers.

An evolved curriculum: Training of Trainers

English: Wikimedia Conference 2018
Wikimedia Conference 2018 – 012.jpg () by Jason Krüger for Wikimedia Deutschland e.V., CC-BY-SA-4.0.

Today,  our movement finds itself at an interesting turning point: we now observe multiple specialized skills within the movement and higher levels of expertise. How can we make room for experienced movement organizers? It is time to evolve our capacity development proposal to support these needs, too. This is why we developed Training of Trainers, an in-person training curriculum to develop Wikimedia movement organizers into skilled trainers within their home communities. This new curriculum seeks to increase capacity for structured, reflective, and effective training of learners, to improve understanding of and confidence in community members’ own role and style as trainers, and to create a global network of trainers who share knowledge and best practices. The goal is to develop community leaders into skilled trainers, that can share their skills with others, in order to scale the movement in a sustainable way.

The first implementation of this new curriculum took place at the Wikimedia Summit, a conference held in Berlin earlier this year. After the training, over 71% of participants increased their confidence in their mastery of all of the training’s core skills.

These outcomes encourage us to explore the possibilities of this new proposal even more, and we have been working to improve this curriculum in several areas. This is what we hope to offer at Wikimania 2019 in Stockholm: a combination of enhanced curriculums that can apply to a variety of  Wikimedians, and find better ways to collaborate. To participate, register to attend Wikimania, including the pre-conference days. Find more information and register by July 31st!

Originally posted on Wikimedia Foundation News by María Cruz on 2 July 2019

How to write a blog post

Matson Collection – PD

So, you’ve got something you want to share with the Wikimedia movement. Great! Where do you go? Wikimedia Space.

How does this all work?

Anyone can submit a blog post to Wikimedia Space. While we are still a prototype, the process is a few steps more than we’d like. You’ll want to join Wikimedia Space. Then login to the blog and create a new article. All new authors start with the “Contributor” role. This allows you to create and edit your own posts, upload media, and review the posts of others.

We’re using WordPress, an open-source publishing platform. It has a text editor that uses the concept of blocks for organizing content as you write. Revisions are kept automatically, and you can see all past revisions of an article. You can add photos, videos, quote blocks and more. Log in and try it out.

Once you have your draft in a reviewable state, you can submit it for review. An editor will review the content and leave notes with any questions or suggestions. If everything meets the editorial guidelines, an editor will reach out to coordinate the scheduling of your post.

Once published, all posts will have a corresponding comment section in the Discuss space.

Why write here?

The scope for the Space blog is news about the Wikimedia movement, for the Wikimedia movement. News and updates from committees and affiliates, links to interesting Wikimedia stories and discussions, interviews with movement organizers and other key players in the free knowledge movement, and announcements and requests for feedback from the Wikimedia Foundation are a few examples.

A post doesn’t have to be a 10,000 word tome. 500–700 words is a good goal. In the spirit of the movement, the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect either. Blog posts do have to have a clear impact on the Wikimedia movement and opinion articles are out of scope.

The primary objective of the Wikimedia Space Blog is to give movement writers a platform to share what is important to them. We want the Blog to reflect the richness and diversity of our movement, with stories and reports from all corners of the globe. If you have heard of something interesting happening within the movement, submit a pitch or draft article. Too much commitment? Then let us know with a new topic in Discuss and tag it with wikimedia-space-blog.

Volunteers covering news about projects that don’t yet have a larger public presence are especially encouraged to write.

Who reviews submissions?

Wikimedia Space has an editorial board that reviews submissions for publication. The editorial board is also responsible for maintaining the blog, its content, design, processes and structure. The board is open to volunteers, meaning contributors like yourself can join and help guide others through the editorial process. This process will be determined with your interest and participation. To start we’re going to try and host a meeting every two weeks on Friday to discuss upcoming posts and the editorial process. Join us.

For a more in-depth explanation of the editorial guidelines, take a look at the project page on Meta.

I have thoughts!

Great, we want to hear what you’re thinking about. Can we improve the process? Can we make something clearer or simpler? We need your voice and participation to adapt and grow this space. Leave a comment below and tell us what’s on your mind.

An updated design for the Wikimedia Foundation website

Today, we are thrilled to share an updated visual design style on the Wikimedia Foundation website (!

This updated design was developed by the Wikimedia Foundation’s Product design team. We worked on feedback from Meta-Wiki, emails, Phabricator, and hundreds of conversations paired with user testing with people in the target audiences for the website. We are incredibly appreciative of the great care that team has taken in making strategic, data-led design decisions and really helping us amplify the website’s ability to convey our story to people generally unfamiliar with Wikimedia.

We have also expanded on the information about the website on its Meta-Wiki page, and updated the public mirror of the code base to reflect the technical changes made to the site for this updated design.

Thank you to the now hundreds of people that have been involved in helping us build a website for the Foundation which we can be proud of!

-greg & the Wikimedia Foundation Communication team

A bit more about the site

How is the site doing?

Since the site’s soft launch in July 2018, traffic has continued to increase. There has also been a significant increase in donations collected via this website. Two key audiences, potential staff and partners, have shared positive feedback on the site’s content and organization, enabling them to find jobs and contact key teams respectively. Additionally, user testing has shown a positive response to the content and overall architecture of the site.

What brought us here

The Wikimedia Foundation Communications department has been collecting feedback on the Foundation’s website since late 2016 and beginning in early 2017 has been working on addressing the backlog of issues related to the website. The original Foundation site, launched in 2004, did not have a clear audience, and as a result was not effectively serving any of the hundreds of uses people saw for it. Maintaining the site’s content beyond English had become a growing problem – leaving visitors with different information, depending on which language they were using, on basic details like our address and executive staff. Additionally, the site had over 17,000 pages – a vast majority of which were either out of date or no longer in use.

In 2017-18, the Communications department ran a “Discovery” process to help inform our decision making. This process included reviews of methods used by other organizations, assessment of our current communication channels, collecting feedback at Wikimania, and interviews with dozens of volunteers, donors, contractors, and staff. The resulting report and recommendations helped identify the objectives and audiences of the website, and were utilized throughout the initial design and development of the new website.

Shortly after the soft launch, the department began working with the Product department’s design team to perform user testing, process feedback collected in the weeks following the soft launch, and collect additional feedback to help us make informed decisions. They helped us collect and process feedback from hundreds of individuals within and outside of the movement.

Based on feedback, they conducted user testing and developed the updated design we deployed this morning. We will continue to use a data and feedback informed decision making in managing the site. Given the external audience nature of the site, it has consistently proven important to take the time to collect feedback and data from a wide variety of sources – including volunteers, press, donors, partner organizations, and readers of the projects.

What comes next

More languages! The Communications department will continue to work on content development and expanding translations to additional languages. If you are interested in our plans for translations, please check out the information shared recently about the Organization communications translators group.

Providing feedback

The Communications department will continue to monitor the talk page for the Foundation’s website on Meta-Wiki. Additionally, I will be attending Wikimania in Stockholm and available to chat with folks.

Originally posted by Gregory Varnum to Wikimedia-l on 9 July 2019.

Wikimania 2019 Update

English: Banner for Wikimania Stockholm 2019
Wikimania2019 meta banner.svg () by BFlores (WMF), CC-BY-SA-4.0.

Hi all,

After a couple of beautiful, sunny weeks of summer, the weather in Stockholm has changed to cold, grey and rainy. Fingers crossed that that means that weather in August during Wikimania will be beautiful and sunny again!

It’s not too many weeks left, and I hope the preparations for those of you who are coming are going well! We look forward to having you in Stockholm!

A couple of updates at this point:
You can still book hotel rooms at the Comfort Hotel Xpress Stockholm Central to a special discounted rate for another couple of days – last day 13 July. If you are interested in this option, don’t wait! On the accommodation page on the Wikimania wiki we have also listed some other possible alternatives, if you wish to find accommodation on your own.

The program is still under development, and you can follow the development on the wiki. We have however already published information on the welcome reception and the closing party. We are excited for these events, and hope you are so too! More information can be found here.

On the Thursday before the main conference starts, Wikimedia Sverige is arranging two culture crawls where you will be able to visit some of the best museums in Stockholm for free. If you wish to participate in those, check out the culture crawl site on the wiki! Don’t wait with signing up if interested: there is a limited amount of places!

There are also a number of other related activities happening during the week. Sign up for photo walks, museum tours and edit-a-thons with partners and friends.

Eric Luth
Conference Manager, Wikimedia Sverige

New advanced mobile contribution features coming to mobile

Wikimedia Foundation Readers Web team brings contribution tools to mobile

English: Yosemite National Park, United States
Photographing Yosemite (Unsplash).jpg () by Luke Pamer luke_pamer, CC-Zero.

In early 2018 the trend was clear: more people were accessing Wikipedia from a mobile device than desktop. This helped our team recognize the importance of improving the mobile editing experience in order to provide access to necessary tools for editors – particularly for people where a mobile device is their only device. Seeing that the needs of new editors are different from those of existing editors we decided to break the work up by audience and focus on advanced editors – editors that were familiar with the tools and would benefit from easier access on the mobile web.

For the last year, the Readers web team has been focused on empowering existing editors to be able to do more on the mobile web version of Wikipedia. We began our work at the Wikimedia Hackathon 2018 in Barcelona and Wikimania 2018 in Cape Town, where we interviewed editors in order to learn what features would (and wouldn’t) be helpful for them on mobile. We then created a prototype of a mobile website with additional editor features and collected feedback on it via our MediaWiki project page.

We tested our prototype with more than 60 editors. The response to the design was overwhelmingly positive, and included some great suggestions as well as raising some valid concerns. We collected the feedback and integrated it into our final designs.

Based on initial research, past requests from communities, and this prototype feedback, the team decided to focus on the navigation of the site and access to special pages.

We began with introducing the Article/Discussion tabs at the top of the page.

Wikipedia and Alex Hollender – Licensed CC BY-SA 3.0

The feature was first released as an opt-in setting on Arabic, Indonesian, and Spanish Wikipedias due to their relatively large populations of existing mobile editors.

These links provide more visibility to the discussions that take place around article creation. Previously a link to the discussion page was a small link at the bottom of the article page.

You can see edits being made by contributors with this mode enabled by selecting the #Advanced mobile edit tag on Recent changes (Example from Spanish Wikipedia).

Recently the team released a second set of features and included additional Wikipedias for testing and feedback (Italian, Japanese, Persian, and Thai).

These new features include:

  • Article and Discuss tabs at the top of all pages.
  • An enhanced toolbar (at the top of article and user pages), with a link to page history, and a new menu that contains other useful actions and links such as page information, wikidata item, permalink, what links here, Special:Cite, and more.
  • An updated main menu with links to Special pages and the Community portal.
  • Fully featured history pages, formatted for mobile screens.
Wikipedia/Alex Hollender – Licensed CC BY-SA 3.0

There are more features to come, including a new user menu, an improved Recent changes page, and other small bug fixes.

We plan to release these features to all wikis in the near future. If you’re an editor on one of the seven listed Wikipedias, you can enable the Advanced mobile contribution setting and try the features out for yourself.

So far the feedback on these features has been positive. The opt-out rate has been very low. This means that the people who have tried it do like and use the improvements. We hope you’ll be one of them too! Try it out and please tell others about these features. If you have any questions you can find out more on the project page. Feedback is welcome.

A forthcoming book about Wikipedia’s first 20 years

Wikipedia @ 20 is a collection of essays where seasoned Wikipedians share their lessons learned during Wikipedia’s first 20 years online. It is edited by Joseph Reagle and Jackie Koerner, who envision anyone interested in Wikipedia as potential readers of this work. The print publication is planned to be available in early 2020 with CC-BY-NC licensing.

This collaborative work has received more than 20 contributions and runs on PubPub, MIT Press’ online collaboration tool. The essays published there are open for public feedback and comment. If you’d like to contribute your views, please do so by July 19!

About the essay collection

As Wikipedia’s twentieth anniversary approaches, many of the site’s early peers have fallen by the wayside; those that survived have been overrun with ads and misinformation. Wikipedia—the free encyclopedia founded on radical collaboration and reliable sourcing—persists. What was once a scrappy experiment has become the world’s most popular reference work. Recently, Wikipedia was even enlisted by its peers (unknowingly) to counteract their problems with fake news.

Yet, the online encyclopedia was not always looked to as the grownup of the web. Within its first ten years, some labeled the project a fad bound to fail, others claimed it as a harbinger of the Web’s future. Wikipedia did not fail, but the open collaboration it exemplifies has also not become the norm.

Wikipedia’s legacy is an opportunity to reflect on this project and online communities more generally. That is, what insights are available from Wikipedia’s twenty years of history? What does this history tell us of expectations fulfilled or disappointed, opportunities seized or missed, myths confirmed or busted, lessons learned, or the probable future?

About the call for proposals

The call for proposals ended November 1, 2018. In order to understand what insights we can draw from Wikipedia’s first 20 years, we asked researchers and Wikipedians three questions:

  1. What initially attracted your attention to Wikipedia?
  2. What has changed since then?
  3. What do these changes portend for the future of Wikipedia, online community, and beyond?

We hope that across the domains of communitycontributorsecosystem, and meaning we’ll find compelling and accessible insights to more specific questions, such as:

  • How has Wikipedia changed? How much of this is unique to Wikipedia and how much is common across online communities?
  • Did the precipitous growth and plateauing of contributions represent as large of a problem as was once thought?
  • What has come of efforts to increase contributor diversity, increase its global reach, counter systemic bias, and recruit newcomers?
  • How did Wikipedia succeed or fail to meet the early expectations of proponents and critics alike?
  • Is Wikipedia the heart of a new data ecosystem or the lone survivor of an older and better web?

Get involved

Community feedback is priceless. To share your views and comments please use the PubPub platform. The public review period closes on July 19. Your views will provide the contributors with valuable community perspective.

Changes to Rapid Grants

As you know the Rapid Grants Program has played an important role in helping our communities to grow. The number of grants we have given outgrew by 30% between FY16 -17 to this fiscal year, and they grew by 55% when measured by the total amount disbursed. (See the spending analysis for reference.*) 

While communities have valued these flexible funding opportunities, on our part, it hasn’t been easy to measure and track their impact. We, therefore, will be implementing a number of changes in Fiscal Year 19/20, starting August 1, 2019, to sharpen the focus and impact of rapid grants, whilst at the same time maintaining the quick and flexible funding options for community: 
1) In the months specified below, we will prioritize support to contests and campaigns which have been an exciting source of growth in editorship, innovative participation and content generation by communities. These months will be solely dedicated to different contests and campaigns throughout the year:

  • August: only receiving proposals for Wiki Loves Monuments
  • September: only receiving proposals for Awareness Grants (campaign)
  • December: only receiving proposals for Wiki Loves Africa
  • January: only receiving proposals for Art + Feminism (campaign)
  • March: only receiving proposals for Wiki Loves Earth

2) Outside the months specified above, proposals are welcomed in all other categories: edit-a-thons, contests, photowalks, general promotion campaigns, and video campaigns. For added flexibility, we will also consider proposals outside of these categories, such as software development. However, we will no longer be providing rapid grants for travel support, equipment purchase or meetups.
3) We will evaluate each batch of grants once a month and accept the best proposals in alignment with the Wikimedia Foundation’s medium-term goals.

We will share the evaluation for the Rapid Grants Program that led us to sharpen the focus for the program once the evaluation is completed by September 30, 2019. In addition to these changes, we’ve also considered comments around Wikimedia Foundation Rapid Grants eligibility criteria and have clarified these criteria. Please take the time to re-familiarize yourselves with the Wikimedia Foundation Rapid Grants Guidelines and Criteria page. 

The Wikimedia Foundation’s Medium-term plan goals are set out here for information. 

If you have any questions, please email us

How do blog comments work?

English: Friends in conversation after Holi Calcutta Kolkata India
India – Kolkata chat group – 4231.jpg () by Jorge Royan, CC-BY-SA-3.0.

At the end of every post, like this one, you may see comments. Every time a blog post is published, a corresponding topic thread is created in the Discuss section of Wikimedia Space. From there you can discuss the topic in a thread, show your appreciation for other comments with a like, flag comments for attention, and see the other discussions around the movement.

Check out the About Wikimedia Space category for more How To’s and feature requests. Ask any questions you have pertaining to posting and interacting with comments there.