Re: [Wikimedia-l] FY1718 Fundraising Report now published

2018-09-29 Thread James Salsman
Ah, I see, it's the Endowment Advisory Board member Peter Baldwin and
his wife Lisbet Rausing.

https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/09/25/wikimedia-endowment-matching-gift/

Was the donation from the individuals or the Arcadia Fund?

On Sat, Sep 29, 2018 at 4:38 PM James Salsman  wrote:
>
> What or who is "Arcadia," listed in the Endowment Benefactors as
> having given more than $5 million?
>
>
> On Sat, Sep 29, 2018 at 3:16 PM Thea Skaff  wrote:
> >
> > Hi everyone,
> >
> > I am writing to share with you our fundraising report for fiscal year 2018
> > . This report
> > is a collaborative effort on behalf of many teams: fundraising tech, ops
> > and donor services, major gifts, online fundraising, legal, communications,
> > and more.
> >
> > The fundraising report offers us an opportunity to pause and reflect on
> > learnings from last year and also consider where we're headed, particularly
> > as we approach one of our busiest times of the year for fundraising. It's
> > also an inspiring reminder of how many people across the world support the
> > work of the community and WMF staff.
> >
> > We welcome your questions and feedback.
> >
> > Thank you,
> > Thea
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > *Thea Skaff*
> > Fundraising Program Manager
> > Wikimedia Foundation
> > 1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600
> > San Francisco, CA 94104
> > ___
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> > 

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] FY1718 Fundraising Report now published

2018-09-29 Thread James Salsman
What or who is "Arcadia," listed in the Endowment Benefactors as
having given more than $5 million?


On Sat, Sep 29, 2018 at 3:16 PM Thea Skaff  wrote:
>
> Hi everyone,
>
> I am writing to share with you our fundraising report for fiscal year 2018
> . This report
> is a collaborative effort on behalf of many teams: fundraising tech, ops
> and donor services, major gifts, online fundraising, legal, communications,
> and more.
>
> The fundraising report offers us an opportunity to pause and reflect on
> learnings from last year and also consider where we're headed, particularly
> as we approach one of our busiest times of the year for fundraising. It's
> also an inspiring reminder of how many people across the world support the
> work of the community and WMF staff.
>
> We welcome your questions and feedback.
>
> Thank you,
> Thea
>
>
>
> --
> *Thea Skaff*
> Fundraising Program Manager
> Wikimedia Foundation
> 1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600
> San Francisco, CA 94104
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and 
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 
> 

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[Wikimedia-l] FY1718 Fundraising Report now published

2018-09-29 Thread Thea Skaff
Hi everyone,

I am writing to share with you our fundraising report for fiscal year 2018
. This report
is a collaborative effort on behalf of many teams: fundraising tech, ops
and donor services, major gifts, online fundraising, legal, communications,
and more.

The fundraising report offers us an opportunity to pause and reflect on
learnings from last year and also consider where we're headed, particularly
as we approach one of our busiest times of the year for fundraising. It's
also an inspiring reminder of how many people across the world support the
work of the community and WMF staff.

We welcome your questions and feedback.

Thank you,
Thea



-- 
*Thea Skaff*
Fundraising Program Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600
San Francisco, CA 94104
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Call for Proposals to Host Wikimania in 2020

2018-09-29 Thread Chris Keating
Hi Andrew,

I think your conclusions are largely the same as the points I'm trying
to make, so all is good! Don't get me wrong, I do think Wikimania has
an important impact, and don't actually want to stop having it every
year, I'm just curious about the silence that has followed that WMF
consultation.

I do think though that of everything that happens in the movement,
Wikimania is (usually, largely) the thing where there is the least
clarity about goals and the least thinking about impact. There are
grant proposals to the WMF for much less expensive (and indeed, less
*important*) things that have gone into significantly more detail
about expected impact and ways of measuring it than Wikimania ever
has. In this way, Wikimania is usually very much an outlier from the
process of learning and evaluation that the rest of the 'organised
part' of the movement is taking part in. So far as I can tell, there
are some good reasons contributing to this (the desire to keep things
flexible for whoever is volunteering to organise it in the host
country, and the relatively short planning cycle for such a massive
event) as well as some not so good.

I was very pleased to see David talking about the impact of Wikimania
at the metrics meeting, and hear about some interesting ideas about
looking at its impact on South Africa - which is great, and
significantly more than Wikimedia UK managed after Wikimania 2014
(another story there) - and it would be wonderful to see some kind of
reflection about how we can measure the impact of Wikimania on the
global Wikimedia community.

Equally, I can't say that I have a clear understanding of who is
responsible for what regarding Wikimania. The last thing I heard from
the Wikimania Committee was the idea of a three-year rotation between
North America, Europe and Everywhere Else, which now seems to have
been quietly abandoned (like... has it?)

Thank you for engaging in this conversation,

Chris
On Sat, Sep 29, 2018 at 4:28 PM Andrew Lih  wrote:
>
> On Sat, Sep 29, 2018 at 4:31 AM Chris Keating 
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Lodewijk,
> >
> > If Wikimania was an entity rather than an event, it would be in the
> > top 5 entities in the movement - a smaller budget than WMF, Wikimedia
> > Deutschland and the Wiki Education Foundation but larger than anything
> > else...
> >
>
> Chris, you seem to have a particular angle determined through fitting
> particular data to your conclusion. A point by point breakdown will be
> mired down in bickering, so let me address some misconceptions while also
> embracing and agreeing with some of your feedback.
>
> Since I've been to every single Wikimania and serve on the steering
> committee, obviously I don't share your existential doubt about Wikimania's
> role in our movement. But read on for things I do agree with you on
> regarding the future of the conference. Again: I'm not speaking on behalf
> of the commitee. This is just me.
>
> - "If Wikimania was an entity rather than an event" - But it's not. The
> goals, format and audience is completely different and makes for a
> problematic financial comparison. But even if you get past that, I would
> argue that annual Wikimania is indeed one of the "top 5" occurrences in our
> community each year, even if it's not universally accessible to all
> volunteers. It's where ideas and experiences are exchanged and the only
> systematic way WMF openly interacts with the community in a face to face
> format. Recall - WMCON/Wikimedia Summit is casting off the "learning and
> capacity-building" and will be capped at 200 participants. This makes
> Wikimania even more crucial in this role.
>
> Important initiatives of our movement started at Wikimania. You state in
> your user page you took part in one of the first GLAM engagement with the
> British Museum in 2010 with the Hoxne Challenge. Did you know that the GLAM
> movement had its genesis with Wikimania 2008 in Alexandria, Egypt, when
> Liam Wyatt and the Wikimania organizers had the first "backstage pass" and
> meeting with their staff? [1] [2]
>
> - "it doesn't have any objectives" - But it does if you read the Wikimania
> page, even if it is not down to the level of detail of an academic
> conference or a board retreat. Wikimania is intentionally wiki-like in this
> aspect, which may be what is perceived as a lack of objective. By design,
> the ability of each team to run with a new concept is part of dynamic. One
> of Wikipedia's pillars is "we're here to build an encyclopedia," and people
> fill it with meaning. Similarly, the goal of Wikimania as "an annual
> gathering of the Wikimedia community" is filled differently with meaning
> from year to year with a BE BOLD ethos with different visions and
> parameters of the organizing team. Some years there is an experimental idea
> like 2016 Esino Lario.[3] Sometimes there is a button-downed public sector
> co-conference like 2012 Tech@State. [4]
>
> - "online discussion that reached a conclusion that no-one appears 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia in an abstract language

2018-09-29 Thread Samuel Klein
I just saw this on the conference program!  It looks wonderful. Curious
about the estimated magnitudes :)

Thank you for sharing.

On Sat, Sep 29, 2018, 2:32 PM Denny Vrandečić  wrote:

> Semantic Web languages allow to express ontologies and knowledge bases in a
> way meant to be particularly amenable to the Web. Ontologies formalize the
> shared understanding of a domain. But the most expressive and widespread
> languages that we know of are human natural languages, and the largest
> knowledge base we have is the wealth of text written in human languages.
>
> We looks for a path to bridge the gap between knowledge representation
> languages such as OWL and human natural languages such as English. We
> propose a project to simultaneously expose that gap, allow to collaborate
> on closing it, make progress widely visible, and is highly attractive and
> valuable in its own right: a Wikipedia written in an abstract language to
> be rendered into any natural language on request. This would make current
> Wikipedia editors about 100x more productive, and increase the content of
> Wikipedia by 10x. For billions of users this will unlock knowledge they
> currently do not have access to.
>
> My first talk on this topic will be on October 10, 2018, 16:45-17:00, at
> the Asilomar in Monterey, CA during the Blue Sky track of ISWC. My second,
> longer talk on the topic will be at the DL workshop in Tempe, AZ, October
> 27-29. Comments are very welcome as I prepare the slides and the talk.
>
> Link to the paper: http://simia.net/download/abstractwikipedia.pdf
>
> Cheers,
> Denny
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[Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia in an abstract language

2018-09-29 Thread Denny Vrandečić
Semantic Web languages allow to express ontologies and knowledge bases in a
way meant to be particularly amenable to the Web. Ontologies formalize the
shared understanding of a domain. But the most expressive and widespread
languages that we know of are human natural languages, and the largest
knowledge base we have is the wealth of text written in human languages.

We looks for a path to bridge the gap between knowledge representation
languages such as OWL and human natural languages such as English. We
propose a project to simultaneously expose that gap, allow to collaborate
on closing it, make progress widely visible, and is highly attractive and
valuable in its own right: a Wikipedia written in an abstract language to
be rendered into any natural language on request. This would make current
Wikipedia editors about 100x more productive, and increase the content of
Wikipedia by 10x. For billions of users this will unlock knowledge they
currently do not have access to.

My first talk on this topic will be on October 10, 2018, 16:45-17:00, at
the Asilomar in Monterey, CA during the Blue Sky track of ISWC. My second,
longer talk on the topic will be at the DL workshop in Tempe, AZ, October
27-29. Comments are very welcome as I prepare the slides and the talk.

Link to the paper: http://simia.net/download/abstractwikipedia.pdf

Cheers,
Denny
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[Wikimedia-l] Strategic planning for conferences

2018-09-29 Thread Pine W
 Mindful of the ongoing discussions about conferences, I think that it
would be helpful to have a big picture understanding of the goals, plans,
and budgets for conferences collectively.

As far as I know, these are the types of recurring conferences:

(1) Wikimania, which seems to be a multi-purpose international conference,
with somewhat open admission if someone can afford to attend, is willing to
attend, and can get the necessary legal permissions;

(2) the Wikimedia Summit (which I hope will get a name change to reflect
its actual scope, because it's not an all-Wikimedia summit) which will
focus on WMF, WMF committees that work with WMF affiliate organizations,
and WMF affiliate organizations;

(3) thematic conferences, such as the Wikisource Conference;

(4) regional conferences, such as WikiConference North America;

(5) organization-specific meetings of various kinds, including affiliate
organizations' annual general meetings and WMF All Hands, and

(6) the Wikimedia Technical Conference.

I believe that WMF intended to do some strategic planning for the
collection of conferences as a part of the larger WMF-led strategic
planning process. Is this type of planning underway for conferences, and if
so can we get an update from someone who is familiar with the situation? If
the person who will respond is a paid staff member, then please feel free
to wait to respond until a convenient workday next week. In the meantime,
other people may wish to comment or ask questions.

Thanks!

Pine
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Call for Proposals to Host Wikimania in 2020

2018-09-29 Thread Andrew Lih
On Sat, Sep 29, 2018 at 4:31 AM Chris Keating 
wrote:

> Hi Lodewijk,
>
> If Wikimania was an entity rather than an event, it would be in the
> top 5 entities in the movement - a smaller budget than WMF, Wikimedia
> Deutschland and the Wiki Education Foundation but larger than anything
> else...
>

Chris, you seem to have a particular angle determined through fitting
particular data to your conclusion. A point by point breakdown will be
mired down in bickering, so let me address some misconceptions while also
embracing and agreeing with some of your feedback.

Since I've been to every single Wikimania and serve on the steering
committee, obviously I don't share your existential doubt about Wikimania's
role in our movement. But read on for things I do agree with you on
regarding the future of the conference. Again: I'm not speaking on behalf
of the commitee. This is just me.

- "If Wikimania was an entity rather than an event" - But it's not. The
goals, format and audience is completely different and makes for a
problematic financial comparison. But even if you get past that, I would
argue that annual Wikimania is indeed one of the "top 5" occurrences in our
community each year, even if it's not universally accessible to all
volunteers. It's where ideas and experiences are exchanged and the only
systematic way WMF openly interacts with the community in a face to face
format. Recall - WMCON/Wikimedia Summit is casting off the "learning and
capacity-building" and will be capped at 200 participants. This makes
Wikimania even more crucial in this role.

Important initiatives of our movement started at Wikimania. You state in
your user page you took part in one of the first GLAM engagement with the
British Museum in 2010 with the Hoxne Challenge. Did you know that the GLAM
movement had its genesis with Wikimania 2008 in Alexandria, Egypt, when
Liam Wyatt and the Wikimania organizers had the first "backstage pass" and
meeting with their staff? [1] [2]

- "it doesn't have any objectives" - But it does if you read the Wikimania
page, even if it is not down to the level of detail of an academic
conference or a board retreat. Wikimania is intentionally wiki-like in this
aspect, which may be what is perceived as a lack of objective. By design,
the ability of each team to run with a new concept is part of dynamic. One
of Wikipedia's pillars is "we're here to build an encyclopedia," and people
fill it with meaning. Similarly, the goal of Wikimania as "an annual
gathering of the Wikimedia community" is filled differently with meaning
from year to year with a BE BOLD ethos with different visions and
parameters of the organizing team. Some years there is an experimental idea
like 2016 Esino Lario.[3] Sometimes there is a button-downed public sector
co-conference like 2012 Tech@State. [4]

- "online discussion that reached a conclusion that no-one appears willing
to support" - As Lodewijk mentioned previously, there were significant
issues with the way the consultation was run so that the conclusion was
dubious. If you asked me to find the least desirable time period to do a
consultation, it would be exactly the one chosen – "15 December 2015 to 19
January 2016" when globally, most folks in the professional world and
academia are disengaged or removed from a computer screen. Additionally, it
is hard to produce useful dialogue around strict voting for three rigid
options. [5] Chris Schilling of the Foundation who oversaw the process was
clear in Esino Lario's meeting that the consultation was not binding as was
but one part of the discussion.

- Here's what I agree with you on:

-- Better reporting on results and evaluation of effectiveness - We do have
reporting on the outcomes on meta wiki, including detailed stats and
figures for each conference, as they need to be compared with the original
bid. But the long term analysis is often lacking, with folk knowledge being
more influential in decisions than explicit reporting and strategy. This
year's Wikimania evaluation by Douglas Scott was presented at the September
activities meeting and can be seen on the Youtube video. [6] But we rarely
get a chance to evaluate long term trends or effectiveness.

-- Diversity in the Wikimania Committee - We should go beyond the existing
practice of tapping previous Wikimania leads to be members. I was brought
on as part of that trend, but it should be continued to expand the size and
diversity of backgrounds of the committee. To be fair, it's a rather
thankless job that was cobbled together over the years out of necessity
rather than by design. But we should do better here.

- My overall view - Wikimedia/Wikipedia is a multibillion dollar brand that
is consistently in the top 10 most visited web sites in the world. It
shares that rarified air with companies in the hundreds of billions of
dollars in valuation. Wikipedia is built on the efforts of volunteers, and
it is vitally important we nurture that community or we die. Think about it
– 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Call for Proposals to Host Wikimania in 2020

2018-09-29 Thread Chris Keating
Hi Lodewijk,

If Wikimania was an entity rather than an event, it would be in the
top 5 entities in the movement - a smaller budget than WMF, Wikimedia
Deutschland and the Wiki Education Foundation but larger than anything
else...

And yet it doesn't have any objectives (or at least, not consistent
ones), the governance of it is that there's one staff member, a
committee with an ill-defined role that you can only get appointed to
by organising a Wikimania, and the only serious discussion about what
it's for was one online discussion that reached a conclusion that
no-one appears willing to support. And there is very little formal
followup and attempting to build on the results (something WMCON, for
instance, has been very good at).

This isn't to criticise everyone involved in making Wikimania happen,
I know it's a huge amount of effort and responsibility and often not
very well-supported. And I know there *are* innovations aimed at
making the conference more effective (for instance, this year we
finally had poster sessions, which are a great idea for sharing
thoughts and making connections, because you can fit a lot more into
one room and an hour than if you have someone giving an hour-long
presentation...) - but I can't help but feel that there would be more
things like that happening if there was a clearer idea of purpose and
objectives.

In a different thread I'm being quite critical of the direction
WMCON/Wikimedia Summit is taking. But that's only possible because
there *is* a direction, and therefore it's possible to think about
whether it's the right direction or not.

Chris
On Fri, Sep 28, 2018 at 9:55 PM effe iets anders
 wrote:
>
> Perhaps stating the obvious, but please remember there were some
> significant flaws with the consultation by the WMF that you refer to
> (especially with regards to the way questions were phrased and options were
> limited beforehand, if I recall correctly).
>
> Wikimania's purpose is mostly pluriform and suits different needs for
> different people. That makes it particularly hard to evaluate - I grant you
> that. But given the diverse directions that we're trying to bring together,
> ranging from individuals to highly professionalized 100+ employee
> organizations, this is to be expected. To reduce costs, we have squashed
> more and more activities into this one annual event. That further
> reinforces the pluriform nature of the event(s). At this point it's hard to
> see Wikimania as an event, and it has more become like a piece of
> infrastructure that is being used by many events - including the main
> conference, but also tons of meetups, preconferences, committee meetings,
> strategy processes, consultations and side conferences.
>
> Lodewijk
>
> On Fri, Sep 28, 2018 at 5:36 AM Chris Keating 
> wrote:
>
> > > > So it seems that the main rationale for an annual Wikimania brought up
> > in
> > > > the 2016 meeting was that Wikimania was vital for movement governance
> > and
> > > > accountability. Which wasn't particularly stressed in the WMF's
> > > > consultation, but I can see why that kind of issue was very fresh in
> > > > peoples' minds in 2016.
> > > >
> > >
> > > As the facilitator of the 2016 session discussing Wikimania, I don't
> > recall
> > > the "main rationale" of the discussion being about "governance and
> > > accountability" and instead remember many more issues that stood out.
> > >
> > > For example, the prominent phrases from the first part of the meeting
> > > include the following, with most of the notes echoing these themes:
> > > - inspiring, and connecting
> > > - opportunity for different communities to meet
> > > - important to use opportunity to do outreach
> > > - empower important volunteers
> >
> > Sorry, previous email sent half-finished.
> >
> > Sorry, don't think I expressed myself particularly well. Yes, those
> > themes appear to have been present in the meeting, but they were also
> > very much present in the WMF's consultation, which concluded that they
> > could probably be fulfilled just as well by moving to a
> > one-year-in-two rotation between Wikimanias and other regional
> > gatherings.
> >
> > The thing that was present in the in-person meeting, but not from the
> > consultation exercise, was the statement from all the chapter chairs
> > saying that Wikimania was vital for movement governance and
> > accountability.
> >
> > Then of course there was a lot of enthusiasm about the idea of
> > continuing Wikimania from people attending Wikimania who have attended
> > many previous Wikimanias. Putting a load of people present at an event
> > in a room and saying "should this event continue to happen?" is not
> > great for rigorous decision-making.
> >
> > (BTW, I'm not saying I favour the other option - the regional
> > conferences seem to be happening anyway)
> >
> > > 2. The Wikimedia Conference (WMCON) has pivoted to become the Wikimedia
> > > Summit. In the process, they announced "learning and capacity-building
> >