Hi Erik,

Thank you for your work!

When I first came across Wikistats, it completely blew my mind. Such a
huge collection of raw data turned into digestible information. It's
amazing, stunning, and above all: enlightening.
I've spent countless hours digging through Wikistats in awe.

But besides the gargantuan effort that Wikistats represents, I even
more value your passion for the data and information it holds, your
second-to-none expertise on it, and your willingness to go through the
details and numbers with each and everyone, regardless where they come
from, your openness, your unbiased-ness, your constructive approach,
and your never-shying-away from discussions about the numbers and

Enjoy your retirement from WMF, and seeing your blog post and your
tree mapping project, I'm sure it'll be an amazing "Unruhestand" :-)

Have fun,

On Wed, Feb 06, 2019 at 01:17:48PM -0800, Dario Taraborelli wrote:
> “[R]ecent revisions of an article can be peeled off to reveal older layers,
> which are still meaningful for historians. Even graffiti applied by vandals
> can by its sheer informality convey meaningful information, just like
> historians learned a lot from graffiti on walls of classic Pompei. Likewise
> view patterns can tell future historians a lot about what was hot and what
> wasn’t in our times. Reason why these raw view data are meant to be
> preserved for a long time.”
> Erik Zachte wrote these lines in a blog post
> <https://web.archive.org/web/20171018194720/http://infodisiac.com/blog/2009/07/michael-jackson/>
> almost
> ten years ago, and I cannot find better words to describe the gift he gave
> us. Erik retired <http://infodisiac.com/back_to_volunteer_mode.htm> this
> past Friday, leaving behind an immense legacy. I had the honor to work with
> him for several years, and I hosted this morning an intimate, tearful
> celebration of what Erik has represented for the Wikimedia movement.
> His Wikistats project <https://stats.wikimedia.org/>—with his signature
> pale yellow background we've known and loved since the mid 2000s
> <https://web.archive.org/web/20060412043240/https://stats.wikimedia.org/>—has
> been much more than an "analytics platform". It's been an individual
> attempt he initiated, and grew over time, to try and comprehend and make
> sense of the largest open collaboration project in human history, driven by
> curiosity and by an insatiable desire to serve data to the communities that
> most needed it.
> Through this project, Erik has created a live record of data describing the
> growth and reach of all Wikimedia communities, across languages and
> projects, putting multi-lingualism and smaller communities at the very
> center of his attention. He coined metrics such as "active editors" that
> defined the benchmark for volunteers, the Wikimedia Foundation, and the
> academic community to understand some of the growing pains and editor
> retention issues
> <https://web.archive.org/web/20110608214507/http://infodisiac.com/blog/2009/12/new-editors-are-joining-english-wikipedia-in-droves/>
> the movement has faced. He created countless reports—that predate by nearly
> a decade modern visualizations of online attention—to understand what
> Wikipedia traffic means in the context of current events like elections
> <https://web.archive.org/web/20160405055621/http://infodisiac.com/blog/2008/09/sarah-palin/>
> or public health crises
> <https://web.archive.org/web/20090708011216/http://infodisiac.com/blog/2009/05/h1n1-flu-or-new-flu-or/>.
> He has created countless
> <https://twitter.com/Infodisiac/status/1039244151953543169> visualizations
> <https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/10/27/new-interactive-visualization-wikipedia/>
> that show the enormous gaps in local language content and representation
> that, as a movement, we face in our efforts to build an encyclopedia for
> and about everyone. He has also made extensive use of pie charts
> <https://web.archive.org/web/20141222073751/http://infodisiac.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/piechartscorrected.png>,
> which—as friends—we are ready to turn a blind eye towards.
> Most importantly, the data Erik has brougth to life has been cited over
> 1,000 times
> <https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=stats.wikimedia.org>
> in the scholarly literature. If we gave credit to open data creators in the
> same way as we credit authors of scholarly papers, Erik would be one of the
> most influential authors in the field, and I don't think it is much of a
> stretch to say that the massive trove of data and metrics Erik has made
> available had a direct causal role in the birth and growth of the academic
> field of Wikimedia research, and more broadly, scholarship of online
> collaboration.
> Like I said this morning, Erik -- you have been not only an invaluable
> colleague and a steward for the movement, but also a very decent human
> being, and I am grateful we shared some of this journey together.
> Please join me in celebrating Erik on his well-deserved retirement, read
> his statement <http://infodisiac.com/back_to_volunteer_mode.htm> to learn
> what he's planning to do next, or check this lovely portrait
> <https://www.wired.com/2013/12/erik-zachte-wikistats/> Wired published a
> while back about "the Stats Master Making Sense of Wikipedia's Massive Data
> Trove".
> Dario
> -- 
> *Dario Taraborelli  *Director, Head of Research, Wikimedia Foundation
> research.wikimedia.org • nitens.org • @readermeter
> <http://twitter.com/readermeter>

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