Hi folks,

I wrote the note below for the staff yesterday. Ordinarily I'd make a
customized version for the Announcements list, but I am running out of
time because Haifa is imminent, so please forgive me for just
forwarding this :-)

In the staff version I thank only the staff (because only they can
read it), but here I'd like to also thank all the non-staff community
members who were involved in supporting the project. They are:
Mulforel, Mike.Suro, Henni2me, Austin.dixon, Sadads, Saeed, Bburk,
Eabrockm, Etlib, Ifmicecouldfly, Awadewit, DickClarkMises, Mikechen,
Hec7, Pongr, Yowitz, Alliecat47, Epistemophiliac, D guz, Kbourq3,
Rburdette, Neoglyph, Kdibene, B.J.Carmichael, Dylanstaley, Lsukari,
McMormor, Mike Cline, Bibliomaniac15, Lisadforeman, Starvinsky,
DocTGarrett, AMDomG, Gabrielm199, Antony-22, Dominic, Pharos, Lau4de,
Epicadam, Pjthepiano, Profdrew101, HstryQT, Maximilianklein, Dcoetzee,
Saudade7, Mattsenate, Jodi.elizabeth, Rslough, Lspiro, Ligercat415,
MichChemGSI, Bonkong, C. M. at Georgetown, J. A. at Western Carolina
University, Dr Aaij, B. M. at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, A.
B. at UT Austin, Erhall, Sross, Jmh649, Guerillero, Qwyrxian, Kudpung,
Elekhh, ZooPro, Climie.ca, Smartse, GorillaWarfare, Visionholder,
Jujutacular, The ed17, Thruxton, Geniac, Protonk, Donald Albury,
Sodabottle, The Utahraptor, KrakatoaKatie, Anna Frodesiak, Skomorokh,
Fetchcomms, My76Strat, Chevymontecarlo, PrincessofLlyr, Fluffernutter,
UpstateNYer, Nikkimaria, GuillaumeTell, Piotrus, Arbitrarily0, Mike
Christie, Patrickneil, Blurpeace, Avicennasis, The Rambling Man,
Ktlynch, Sonia, Bejinhan, Ronk01, Worm That Turned, Ktr101, Dana
boomer, Airplaneman, Jarry1250, Mike Searson, Rjanag, Cullen328,
Serendipodous, Bilby, SMasters, La Pianista, Wetman, N2e, Boghog,
Maple Leaf, Neelix, Nvvchar, Noraft, DGG, WikiCopter, Cindamuse,
RHaworth, J04n, PeterSymonds, Wilhelmina Will, N5iln, Leszek Jańczuk,
TonyTheTiger, Shyamal, Alpha Quadrant, Smallman12q, Rosiestep, Chzz,
MacMed, Banaticus, Thehelpfulone, MikeBeckett, Rock drum, 1234r00t,
MikeLynch, Forty two, The Earwig, Peter.C, Dwayne, AshwiniKalantri,
Manishearth, Neutralhomer, Wcrowe, Shirik, Bearian, DiverDave,
Jaespinoza, Melicans, Ironholds, Mattgirling, Moxy, XKV8R, AndrewN,
Ssilvers, Juliancolton, Ling.Nut, Racepacket, Rodhullandemu, Basket of
Puppies, Dusti, Cryptic C62 and CutOffTies.

Thank you all :-)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sue Gardner <sgard...@wikimedia.org>
Date: 27 July 2011 16:40
Subject: Announcement: Wrap-up of PPI and launch of GEP
To: WMF Staff List <st...@lists.wikimedia.org>

Hi folks,

The purpose of this note is to update you all on the status of the
Public Policy Initiative.

First, a little background. The PPI is a 17-month-long project funded
by a restricted grant from our friends at the Stanton Foundation, and
staffed by our colleagues Frank, Annie, LiAnna, Rod, Amy, Sage and
Mishelle. (And also in an earlier phase of the project, Pete Forsyth.)
Its purpose was to improve the quality of articles on public policy
topics in the English Wikipedia, by supporting university professors
in assigning article improvement to their students as coursework. In
running the project, the Wikimedia Foundation hoped to develop
scalable mechanisms for improving article quality on any topic in any
language, working with Wikipedians, students and their professors.

The PPI is coming to a close: it officially wraps up at the end of
September. And I'm delighted to tell you it's been a huge success.

First and importantly, the project actually successfully drove up the
quality of public policy articles, which was by no means a slam-dunk.
Over the course of the project, 800 students added 1.8 million
characters of text to Wikipedia, and the quality of articles they
worked on improved by 140%. (You can read more about that in LiAnna's
blog post here:

What's even better, though, is that the PPI successfully laid a
foundation for future activities in more countries and more languages.
The project was a solid proof-of-concept, demonstrating that
class-based university programs can be a highly successful model for
making Wikipedia articles better and for recruiting people to do
editing work. The incentives for students and professors are clear and
persuasive. (Students think Wikipedia is fun, and they like the idea
that somebody will read their work who isn't paid to do it. Professors
like it when their students are engaged, and they enjoy being
associated with something innovative and ground-breaking.) Wikipedians
are willing to do ambassador work, and they're really good at it.
There are a variety of tools and supports needed to make the model
work, and thanks to the PPI and its participants, we know what they
are, and we're equipped to provide them.

So. In this note, I want to thank the staff of the PPI: Frank, Pete,
Annie, LiAnna, Rod, Amy, Sage and Mishelle. I'd also like to thank
Sara Crouse, who worked with Frank, Pete, Erik and me to develop the
initial proposal. It was a great project.

And I want to announce what happens next. This is not exactly news,
because it appears in the 2011-12 plan and probably lots of other
places too, by now. But officially: I am happy to tell you that as a
result of the success of the PPI, we are launching this year a new
Global Education Program, that will be funded not by a restricted
grant, but out of the Wikimedia Foundation operating budget. Its
purpose is to support our strategic goals of growing the number of
active Wikimedia editors and improving the quality of information we
offer, by persuading professors to assign article-writing as classwork
using the PPI model. Its work will start this fall, and its priorities
in the coming year will be India and Brazil, with a lesser emphasis on
Canada, Germany and the U.K.  Whereas the Public Policy Initiative had
a narrow topical focus, the new Global Education Program will
encourage participation from all disciplines. There are already people
pounding at its door :-)

The Global Education Program will be led by Frank Schulenburg, who is
being promoted into a new role of Global Education Program Director,
reporting to Barry. Annie Lin will join the staff of the Foundation as
Global Education Program Manager and LiAnna Davis will join as Global
Education Program Communications Manager. Both will report to Frank.
Rod Dunican will support the group as a consultant, leading Ambassador
training on a part-time basis.

I want to congratulate and thank everybody who worked on the PPI.
Really, it was excellent, inspiring work. You broke new ground for the
Wikimedia movement, and what you learned through your 17 months of
experimentation and building is going to be critically important as we
work towards driving up editor recruitment and retention.

And my special fond congratulations to Frank, our outreach pioneer. In
the early days of PPI planning, Frank, Erik, Sara and I had some late
nights nailing down the overall shape of the project, and I know there
were times when Frank doubted the project could succeed. He knew the
expectations were high. But through a combination of ingenuity and
sheer persistence, he made it work – really, really well. Thank you,
Frank :-)


Sue Gardner
Executive Director
Wikimedia Foundation

415 839 6885 office
415 816 9967 cell

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge.  Help us make it a reality!


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