Posts Tagged ‘english’

Wikidata logo: It’s time to pick a winner!

(You can find the German version of this entry here.)

We asked for logo proposals for Wikidata and you delivered. We have received 73 submissions. Thank you so much for all of them. There can only be one Wikidata logo however, so it is time to pick the one.

We have prepared a voting page. You can vote by going there and adding your signature to as many candidates as you want (but only one per candidate). Everyone who has an account on meta (or a global account) that was created before July 1st 2012 can vote. And now go and pick your winner! Voting is open until Thursday July 12th 23:59 UTC.

Feel also free to add comments to the proposals, on how to improve them or making them more usable as a logo. You will notice that we picked a selection for the voting. The selection is based to eliminate variants, in order to counter the decoy effect (see ). Since we also plan to produce swag like buttons, shirts, pins, etc., Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. had to make a preselection of the logos based on several criteria like that it should work in black-and-white, that it can be easily zoomed, that it is memorable, that it is squarish, that it is not culturally biased, etc. Those were long discussions as you can imagine.

The winner will be announced in the Wikidata panel at Wikimania on Friday July 13th. After that the winning logo will get a final review from legal and will be revised and finalized by a designer.

PS: In the unlikely case that we notice manipulation of the vote we’re reserving the right to exclude votes from the count. We will document all such cases.

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Wikidata applies for the Knight News Challenge and you can help

(Die deutsche Version dieses Eintrags ist hier.)

The foundation of Wikidata is currently being built and the development is well funded thanks to our sponsors [ai]², Google and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. After this year of initial development there will still be a lot that can be done so we decided to look for funding in order to continue the development of Wikidata after we finished the foundation by April 2013.

Wikidata can become a common, persistent, central repository of identifiers for the whole Web — something that the whole news industry would strongly benefit from. We have therefore submitted an entry to challenge 2 of the Knight News Challenge. A number of high-profile organisations from the news domain have already confirmed their backing of our proposal.

We’d appreciate your support for our proposal. You can express your support by clicking “like” at the end of the proposal. You can also discuss the proposal there.

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The second month of Wikidata

(Die deutsche Version dieses Eintrags ist hier.)

The second month of Wikidata development has passed really quickly for everyone here. This is a short overview of the most important things that happened during the last month.


We are making good progress towards completing the first phase. We now also have a demo where you can try out what we are working on. Right now you can see the interwiki-links there that we have been working on so far. The demo consists of two parts. One part is the part that stores the data (right now interwiki links) and one part that uses the data (this will be Wikipedia among others in the future). Feel free to play around with it and add some data to try it out. If you find bugs please report them on

Additionally to the regular development we have also attended the Wikidata/RENDER summit and the MediaWiki hackathon in Berlin. This was a great opportunity to get feedback on our work from other developers, designers, translators and the infrastructure team at the foundation. Our notes are here.

You can follow the development closely on Meta.

We need a logo

We are looking for a logo for Wikidata. Are you a skilled artist? Then you should read this and make a logo proposal before the end of the month. We’re looking forward to many great submissions.


We have created a storyboard for how linking articles between the Wikipedias should work in the future. These will have to be redone based on feedback we received and the Universal Language Selector that is being worked on by the Foundation. New storyboards will be published in the next days.

Additionally we have published a draft of how we think the infoboxes should work with Wikidata in phase 2 of the project. Based on feedback this draft has already been rewritten and seems to be widely agreed on now.


We attended a lot of events during the last month. The most notable ones are probably Linuxtag, Open Data Week, SemTechBiz, AdminCon and Berlin Open Data Day.

We have also started doing small regional intro events where I introduce Wikidata to local Wikipedians and others who are interested and answer questions. The first event in Köln was last week and more are going to follow. Currently planned are Dresden, München and Essen.

Denny and I have also held another round of office hours on IRC (logs are here) and will hold the next ones shortly after Wikimania on 19th and 23rd of July.

You can see all the events we have participated in and are going to attend on the Wikidata events page.

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Wikidata needs a logo and you can help!

(Die deutsche Version dieses Eintrags findest du hier.

We are looking for a beautiful logo for Wikidata. Are you an artist and have some serious design skills? Do you want your logo to represent the newest Wikimedia project and be seen by millions? Here is your chance.

What are we looking for exactly?

Here are some requirements for the logo that are important:

  • It should of course represent Wikidata and the idea behind it. If you’re not very familiar with Wikidata it is a good idea to read the FAQ to get a quick overview.
  • If you use a font please use a freely-licensed one that has wide unicode coverage so it can later be localized.
  • It should work well in different sizes (on a t-shirt and as a favicon for example – less detailed versions for smaller sizes are possible).
  • It should work well in color and black/white.
  • Please provide the source of your submission (SVG or similar).

How to submit a logo proposal?

To submit a logo for Wikidata, please upload it to Wikimedia Commons and add it to the category Wikidata logo proposals. All proposals in this category will be considered. Please add a note saying that you read the submission guidelines.

How are we going to decide on a logo?

By the deadline, the team doing the initial development of Wikidata will sit down and make a shortlist from all submissions with their favourites. We will then start a vote with the whole community for the best logo on this shortlist. Everyone has one vote. It will happen on Meta.


  • Submissions possible until: 30 June 2012
  • Selection of the candidates to vote on: 1 and 2 July 2012
  • Vote on possible candidates: 3 to 12 July 2012
  • Announcement of winner: 13 July 2012

I still have questions!

Contact me and ask away.

What you need to keep in mind

Because this is a contest to pick the next Wikimedia project’s logo, there are a few things the lawyers want you to know to make sure this is all going to work out fine and there are no surprises for anyone: “You must allow the Wikimedia Foundation to use your submission. Therefore, you acknowledge and agree that by submitting your proposed logo design that you grant to Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. an exclusive (even as against you), perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, fully paid-up license to use, reproduce, and exploit in any way without limitation all copyright, trademark, publicity, and any other intellectual property or other proprietary rights thereto. You also acknowledge that by submitting your proposed logo design that if your logo design is chosen as the winning adopted logo for the Wikidata project, you will be required to enter into a contract assigning and/or licensing all of your rights thereto to Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

This means that you must have the rights to the submission in order to license them. Therefore, by submitting your proposed logo design, you warrant that you are the owner of all copyright, trademark, moral, publicity, and other intellectual and proprietary rights to the proposed logo design and that it does not violate such rights of any third party.

And while we hope that there is no dispute between you and the Wikidata development team and/or the Wikimedia Foundation, we want to set some rules about how any disputes that may arise will be handled.  By submitting your proposed logo design, you are agreeing that your submission, your license of rights in it, and any dispute shall be governed by the laws of the United States of America and shall be brought in a court of competent jurisdiction in the City and County of San Francisco, California.”

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Wikipedia Academy 2012: Registration open, schedule online

Die deutsche Version dieses Artikels ist hier.

From 29 June until 1 July 2012 the Wikipedia Academy (#wpac2012) will take place in Berlin, under the theme “Research and Free Knowledge”. For the first time, Wikimedia Deutschland organises this conference in cooperation with Freie Universität Berlin and the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. This year, we lay the focus on research on, with and within Wikipedia and invite researchers who scientifically deal with Free Knowledge and its implications for research and society to participate in the conference.

The Wikipedia Academy is aimed to address an international audience. The conference language is English.

On Friday and Saturday the conference will be set at Freie Universität Berlin, School of Business & Economics, Garystrasse 21. The event venue for Sunday will be announced soon.


For participation you have to register for a participant pass in advance. The online registration is open now. The participation fee is 60 Euro (reduced price: 30 Euro).


The conference programme is yet subject to alterations. A preliminary programme schedule can be found on the WPAC2012 website.

Friday 29 June

Ahead of the conference, in the morning of Friday, we offer three workshops (tutorials) which will take place at the conference venue. The topics are Wikipedia Data Analysis for Researchers, Toolserver and GLAM Tools. You can register via the online registration form against an extra participation fee of 10 Euro.

The conference will officially be launched on Friday around 01:30 PM with a keynote speech by Benjamin Mako Hill (researcher at MIT Media Lab and the MIT Sloan School of Management, fellow at Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Free Culture Activist and Advisor der Wikimedia Foundation) introducing to the conference theme Wikipedia and Research. In the afternoon, we will provide the opportunity to get to know a number of different research topics, projects, and ideas in an alternative format during a so-called Speed Geeking. Then, we will also have our first couple of Paper Sessions! Many international researchers have followed our Call for Papers. A list of all accepted submissions is available on our website. At the Paper Sessions the authors will present their scientific works on Wikipedia and Free Knowledge in 30-minute slots each. The first conference day will close with a panel talk on Wikipedia research and the Wikipedia Community.

Saturday 30 June

On Saturday we will host paper presentations in three blocks of one and a half hours each. Apart from that, we are planning a panel on science communication applying Wikis and Blogs. The Lightning Talks in the later afternoon will offer an additional opportunity to learn about the results of recent research projects and also about proposals for future projects.

Sunday 1 July

On Sunday the Wikipedia Academy will open up for a broader public and invite Wikipedia researchers as well as all those who are interested in the various facets of Wikipedia and related projects and those who are engaged in projects in the context of free culture, free licences, open data or free software.
Following a keynote speech by Sarah Stierch (Community Fellow of the Wikimedia Foundation, consultant and expert for topics such as the gender gap and GLAM) on Wikipedia and Diversity, an extended Free Culture Brunch will allow for international and interdisciplinary exchange and cross-linking. Later on, Jeanette Hofmann (HIIG) und Sebastian Hauss (Universität Konstanz) will discuss topics such as the social aspects of Free Knowledge in a panel moderated by Matthias Spielkamp (
Around 03:00 PM the festive presentation of the Zedler Prize for Free Knowledge will round the Wikipedia Academy 2012 off. With this prize, Wikimedia Deutschland awards single persons, groups or projects for their outstanding performances in the field of Free Knowledge. All Academy participants are cordially invited to join this event.

We look forward to our Guests with their various fields of research and scientific interests, stimulating talks and presentations as well as an active exchange of experiences and ideas at the Wikipedia Academy 2012.

The WPAC2012 Team ( will be happy to answer questions: Nicole Ebber, Angelika Adam, Maria Rößler and Denis Barthel

Wikipedia Academy: Research and Free Knowledge (#wpac2012)

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The first month of Wikidata

Die deutsche Version dieses Artikels ist hier.

Wikidata at re:publica (Raimond Spekking / CC-BY-SA-3.0)

The Wikidata team has been working for a bit over a month now and first results are visible. We are posting daily updates on Twitter and as well as weekly updates on Meta. I’d like to give you a short summary of the first month. It does not cover everything but should give you a good overview.

We started with a lot of introductions to Wikimedia, git, Wikidata and the ideas behind it for the part of the team that was new to it. This helped get everyone on the same page and ready to start working at full speed. Based on this we published some of the most important points that clarify our basic assumptions and requirements. The data model and the first part of the API have been published for comments too.


Coding started on the first phase of Wikidata – the interwiki links. The goal of that phase is to make it possible to store interwiki links (links in the sidebar linking to articles about the same topic in different languages) centrally in Wikidata instead of in the wiki text of each article in each language. We are developing two MediaWiki extensions that are the base for Wikidata: Wikibase Client and Wikibase Core. We have made good progress on this and are planning to have a demo system for you to try out soon. A lot of work has gone into the form-based interface for editing this in Wikidata already as well as being able to show the links from Wikidata in Wikipedia. Wikibase Core and Wikibase Client have been added to where you can help out translate the extensions.

For the second and third phase we have started collecting use-cases for infoboxes and queries. Please take a look and add any interesting existing use-cases you can think of that Wikidata should support in the second and third phase.

Since Wikidata work is done in the open you can follow the development closely and influence it on Meta and the mailing list.


We held the first two rounds of Wikidata office hours on IRC and attended quite a few events. You can find the logs and schedule for the next office hours and other future events on the events page. Some of the events we attended lately: SMWCon, WWW2012, re:publica, Wikipedia Stammtisch in Berlin and the membership assembly of Wikimedia Deutschland.

Discussions and Press

We have started collecting articles in the press and blogs. I have addressed some of the feedback in a separate blog post.

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Addressing Feedback about Wikidata

Die deutsche Version dieses Artikels ist hier.

At the beginning of the month the Wikidata development started. Since then a lot of people heard about the project, discussed it, asked questions and told us about their worries. Thanks for that! The feedback has been very valuable. We have addressed much of it in the places it popped up at like the Signpost, Kurier, the project site on Meta and various news sites already but I wanted to collect and address the main ones here again.

early Wikidata screenshot

knowledge diversity

There is a worry that with one central knowledge base like Wikidata it will not be possible to represent the differing opinions on things like the population of a country with disputed borders. These differences exist and Wikipedia deals with them. But can Wikidata deal with them too? Yes! The most popular summary of this is probably an article on The Atlantic. Denny wrote a thorough and long comment in reply to that article. I will summarize it here:

One way to solve the issue partly is to give each language edition its own Wikidata instance. We have considered doing this. However in doing so a lot of the benefits of Wikidata like shared workload would be lost. And it would mean that speakers of one language would stay in their own carefully crafted filter-bubble. Languages are probably also not a good dividing criteria when it comes to controversial content. We decided to have just one place where data will be stored. This does not mean that we expect the whole world to come to a common decision on controversial statements. That is close to impossible and would be foolish to require. Instead we are building Wikidata in a way that it is able to deal with the diversity of the world we live in. We expect it will follow Wikipedia’s spirit and require citations and references for the data. Editors might not be able to come to a conclusion about the individual facts but they should be able to agree that a certain source contains a certain statement (for example that the CIA World Factbook lists an estimated population size for Israel of 7,590,758 currently). Wikidata will collect many of these statements and their sources and the editors will be able to chose which of them they choose to display. This way these differing opinions will be collected and visible in one place.

Another important thing to consider: Wikidata is an offer, not a mandate. This means that editors will be able to opt-out of using Wikidata for certain data or articles.
All in all the development team is very aware of these concerns and has taken them into account from the very beginning in the design of Wikidata.

from data to knowledge

Another worry that was brought up was that people will focus on data instead of knowledge in the future. You will still need someone to make knowledge out of the data Wikidata will contain. Wikidata will not and does not want to change this.

Closely related to this is the expectation that editors are going to add data to articles without being able to put them in context and knowing what is behind the data they found. Wikidata will help address this by being able to add additional pieces of information to a piece of data. This includes references, timestamps and so on. This provides some limited form of contextualization. But indeed the data in Wikidata, by design, will not be able to be as richly contextualized as it would be in human language text. Nor is that our goal. But we still hope that we will improve the factual accuracy and the recency of the Wikipedias, especially for languages with smaller editor communities.

discussions in Wikidata

One problem that will always arise in a place of global collaboration is the language barrier. Wikidata is no exception. Wikidata will have the advantage that it will not deal with prose but instead small chunks of data. The interface of Wikidata will be translated and it will be possible to show data localized as well.

The problem arises in discussion pages. In the end this will probably work similarly to how it currently works on Wikimedia Commons.

permissions and visibility of changes in Wikidata

A very important point that was brought up is who will actually be able to edit the data in Wikidata. Since the data will be used in a lot of places in the Wikipedias and beyond it will be a place prone to vandalism, just like Wikipedia is. It will be possible to restrict editing in the same way it is currently possible on Wikipedia. The exact rules for this however will have to be decided on by the community. The team doing the initial development will not decide on whether and how to restrict editing access.

A related point that was brought up is how editors are actually going to be able to keep up with edits in Wikidata. Wikidata itself will have the recent changes system editors are already familiar with. We are also trying to make these changes visible in the history of the individual articles that use specific data from Wikidata. Because of this it is also our goal to grow Wikidata slowly (by for example initially not importing large amounts of existing data). By growing the community around Wikidata along with the amount of data in it we hope that Wikidata will grow into a healthy project, with a strong community to decide on its future development.

I hope this clarifies some of the initial questions that were raised.

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Meet the Wikidata team

Die deutsche Version dieses Artikels ist hier zu finden.

In my introduction I promised I would introduce the great people I will be working with to make Wikidata reality over the next year. So that’s what I will do now that the project has started for real.

The Wikidata Team: John Erling Blad, Abraham Taherivand, Tobias Gritschacher, Jeroen De Dauw, Henning Snater, Lydia Pintscher, Daniel Kinzler, Markus Krötzsch, Silke Meyer, Denny Vrandečić, Katie Filbert, Daniel Werner, Jens Ohlig (fltr, photo by Phillip Wilke. CC-BY-SA-3.0)

The project is lead by Denny Vrandečić. He founded Semantic MediaWiki together with Markus Krötzsch and has since been looking forward to bringing some of its potential to Wikipedia. Denny is going to oversee the whole project and make sure everything is running smoothly and going as planned.

Abraham Taherivand is the project manager and responsible for removing all impediments that are blocking the team from reaching their goals. He has more than ten years experience as a consultant, project lead and manager in various IT industry fields.

Daniel Kinzler is the lead software architect. He is going to decide how we are going to achieve what we set out to achieve on a technical level. Daniel has been working for Wikimedia Germany since 2008 already.

Daniel Werner, one of the developers, is the developer of a number of MediaWiki extensions like RegEx Fun and HashTables, and has worked on the RPG-Dev wiki, a wiki used for the authoring of role playing modules.

Henning Snater, another one of the developers, has been working as a web developer for more than a decade, studied media technology in Nuremberg, and has been working as a GUI developer and journalist .

Jens Ohlig is one of the developers. Before he became a software developer he studied translation and languages (Korean and English). He was on the board of the Chaos Computer Club and helps out in the hackerspace movement.

Jeroen De Dauw is another one of the developers. He has been active around MediaWiki, and in particular Semantic MediaWiki, since 2009 when he was a Google Summer of Code student. Jeroen has since created about a dozen extensions, among them Maps and Semantic Maps, as a volunteer, consultant or contractor for the Wikimedia Foundation.

John Erling Blad is one of the developers. He is from Norway and has a formal background in programming. A couple of years ago he has worked with media in digital archives and various knowledge management projects, often based upon wikis.

Tobias Gritschacher is one of the developers. He previously worked on the Catroid project, a creativity platform as well as a crowd-funding platform.

Katie Filbert is one of the developers. She is from the United States and has been involved with the English Wikipedia since 2004. She hacks on MediaWiki and OpenStreetMap and is one of the organizers of Wikimania 2012. Outside MediaWiki she is a geographer and web developer and has worked in academia and government.

The whole team is supported by Silke Meyer, our assistant. Previously she has done research on common practices in Free Software projects and knowledge sharing.

How about you? Will you join us on the journey? Subscribe to the Wikidata mailing list and join the IRC channel #wikimedia-wikidata on freenode!

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