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Wikimedia Foundation - Wikipedia

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Wikimedia Foundation

Nke enwetere na Wikipedia ndi Igbo.

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit charitable organisation based in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, and organized under the laws of the state of Florida. It operates several collaborative projects including Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks (including Wikijunior), Wikisource, Wikimedia Commons, Wikispecies, Wikinews, Wikiversity, and Meta-Wiki collaborative projects.

Its existence was officially announced by Wikipedia co-founder[1]Jimmy Wales, who was hitherto running Wikipedia within his company Bomis, on June 20, 2003. Its approval by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, by letter in April 2005, as an educational foundation in the category "Adult, Continuing Education" means all contributions to the Wikimedia Foundation are tax deductible for U.S. federal income tax purposes.


[edit] Foundation goals

The goal of the Wikimedia foundation is to develop and maintain open content, wiki-based projects and to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of charge.[2]

In addition to the multilingual general encyclopedia Wikipedia, the Foundation manages a multi-language dictionary and thesaurus named Wiktionary, an encyclopedia of quotations named Wikiquote, a repository of source texts in any language named Wikisource, and a collection of e-book texts for students (such as textbooks and annotated public domain books) named Wikibooks. Wikijunior is a subproject of Wikibooks that specializes in books for children.

The continued growth of each of the Wikimedia projects is dependent mostly on donations but the Wikimedia Foundation tries to increase its revenue by finding alternative means of funding such as grants and sponsorship.

The Wikimedia Foundation is a 501(c)(3) with a vision to bring a free and accurate encyclopedia to every single person on the planet. This includes people who currently do not have electricity, computers, or Internet access. All proceeds from donations, as with all proceeds from all Foundation fundraisers, are fully dedicated to that charitable purpose.

[edit] Foundation history and growth

The name "Wikimedia" was coined by Sheldon Rampton in a post to the English Wikipedia's mailing list in March 2003.[3] The name has been criticized for its similarity to the name of Wikipedia and the software it runs on, MediaWiki; this sometimes leads to confusion among people new to the project.

With the Foundation's announcement, Wales also transferred ownership of all Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Nupedia domain names to Wikimedia along with the copyrights for all materials related to these projects that were created by Bomis employees or Wales himself. The computer equipment used to run all the Wikimedia projects was also donated by Wales to the Foundation. The domain names wikimedia.org and wikimediafoundation.org were secured for the Foundation by Wikipedia contributor Daniel Mayer. Wikimedia's bandwidth and power are covered by donations to the project from various companies and individuals.

In January 2004, Jimmy Wales appointed his business partners Tim Shell and Michael Davis to the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation. In June 2004, an election was held for two user representative Board members. Following one month of campaigning and two weeks of online voting, Angela Beesley and Florence Nibart-Devouard were elected to join the board; they were re-elected in July 2005. Wales and Beesley later launched a startup company, Wikia, which is affiliated with neither Wikimedia nor Bomis, though it donates to Wikimedia. Several individuals who worked with Wikia including Brad Patrick and Tim Starling have been subsequently employed by the Foundation.

Later, other official positions were developed: Tim Starling was appointed Developer Liaison to help improve the organisation of the development of the MediaWiki software, and Daniel Mayer was appointed Chief Financial Officer to help keep a budget and coordinate fund drives. Erik Möller had been the Chief Research Officer, but resigned in August 2005 due to differences with the board.[4] James Forrester was subsequently appointed to the position. Template:Wikinewscat On June 16, 2006, Brad Patrick, theretofore a practicing attorney engaged in some pro bono work with the Foundation starting in the fall of 2005, was named as general counsel and interim executive director; in the latter capacity, Patrick was designated to assist the Board in its search for a permanent executive director[5]. Template:Wikinewscat On July 1, 2006, Angela Beesley resigned from the board effective upon election of her successor, expressing concern about "certain events and tendencies that have arisen within the organisation since the start of this year," but stating her intent to continue to participate in the Wikimedia projects, and in the formation of an Australian chapter.[6] After her resignation, a special election was held and the winner, Erik Möller, will finish Angela Beesley's term, ending with the ordinary 2007 election.[7] Kat Walsh and Oscar van Dillen were appointed to the Board on December 8, 2006. Jan-Bart de Vreede was appointed to replace Tim Shell from December 15, 2006.

On December 11, 2006 the Wikimedia Foundation board acknowledged that the corporation could not become the membership organisation intially planned but never implemented due to an inability to meet the registration requirements of Florida Statute. Accordingly the bylaws were amended to remove all reference to membership rights and activities. The decision to change the bylaws was passed by the Board unanimously.

[edit] Employees

The functions of the Wikimedia Foundation are executed almost entirely by volunteers. As of October 4, 2006, the Wikimedia Foundation had 5 paid employees: interim executive director Brad Patrick; two programmers (software manager Brion Vibber in California and server administrator Chad Perrin in Tampa); grants manager Danny Wool; and, "to answer the phones", administrative assistant Barbara Brown.[8] As of December 8, 2006, the Wikimedia Foundation's list of current staff also names three other technical independent contractors (part-time hardware manager Kyle Anderson in Tampa, full-time MediaWiki software developer Tim Starling, and part-time networking coordinator Mark Bergsma). In January 2007 Carolyn Doran was named Chief Operating Officer and Sandy Ordonez came on board as Communications Manager.[9]

[edit] Advisory board

  • Angela Beesley
  • Ward Cunningham
  • Heather Ford
  • Melissa Hagemann
  • Danny Hillis
  • Mitch Kapor
  • Joris Komen
  • Rebecca MacKinnon
  • Wayne Mackintosh
  • Benjamin Mako Hill
  • Erin McKean
  • Trevor Neilson
  • Achal Prabhala
  • Jay Rosen
  • Clay Shirky
  • Peter Suber
  • Raoul Weiler
  • Ethan Zuckerman

[edit] Wikimedia coordination and projects

[edit] Wikimedia projects

The launch dates shown below are when official domains were established for the projects and/or beta versions were launched; preliminary test versions at other domains are not considered.

Encyclopedia containing more than 5 million articles in 250 languages (launched 2001-01-15).
Dictionary cataloging meanings, synonyms, etymologies and translations (launched 2002-12-12).
Collection of free educational textbooks and learning materials (launched 2003-07-10).
Collection of quotations structured in numerous ways (launched 2003-07-10).
Project to provide and translate free source documents, such as public domain texts (launched 2003-11-24).
Wikimedia Commons
Repository of images, sounds, videos and general media, containing more than 700,000 files (launched 2004-09-07).
Wikimedia Incubator
Used to test possible new Wikimedia projects and new languages for existing projects.
Directory of species data on animalia, plantae, fungi, bacteria, archaea, protista and all other forms of life (launched 2004-09-13).
News source containing original reporting by citizen journalists from many countries (launched 2004-12-03).
Courses, course materials, tests. Announced to go into beta testing, little has been officially decided on its structure (launched 2006-08-15).

[edit] Project coordination

Wikimedia project coordination (launched November 2001).

[edit] Recent project history

  • September 7, 2004: The Wikimedia Commons was launched.
  • December 3, 2004: After a brief demonstration phase in November, the English beta version of Wikinews became operational. Wikinews is meant to be a free content news source which allows anybody to report news on a wide variety of subjects.
  • April 2005: 501(c)(3) non-profit status granted by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service with the NTEE Code: B60 (Adult, Continuing Education).
  • November 2005: Wikimedia awarded membership in the World Technology Network.

[edit] Board of Trustees

  • Jimmy Wales
  • Erik Möller
  • Michael E. Davis
  • Florence Nibart-Devouard
  • Oscar van Dillen
  • Kat Walsh
  • Jan-Bart de Vreede

[edit] Communications committee

The Communications committee (ComCom) is one of several committees within the Wikimedia Foundation. It was authorized by a resolution of the Wikimedia:Board of Trustees in January 2006, and its initial members were confirmed in February.

  • Angela Beesley
  • Michael Snow
  • Nicholas Moreau (zanimum)
  • David Gerard
  • sannse
  • mindspillage
  • Walter Vermeir

[edit] Scope

The initially published scope of the ComCom was:

  • Coordinating communications with the press, including press releases, interviews, and inquiries.
  • Supporting communication between the Wikimedia Foundation and project communities.
  • Organizing and coordinating publicity and outreach.
  • Supporting and overseeing communication with the general public.
  • Maintaining a Wikimedia style guide.
  • Reporting on core Wikimedia statistics.

[edit] References

  1. [1][2][3]
  2. Wikimedia mission statement
  3. Wikipedia English mailing list message, March 2003.
  4. Wikimedia Foundation mailing list message, August 2005.
  5. Wikimedia Foundation press release
  6. Wikimedia Foundation mailing list message, July 2006
  7. Wikimedia Foundation mailing list message
  8. See Google video
  9. Current staff from the Wikimedia Foundation

[edit] External links


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