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[Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press

 

 

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dgerard at gmail

Aug 6, 2012, 9:02 AM

Post #1 of 16 (373 views)
Permalink
[Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press

... so I might as well tell you too. Info gathered by joggling the
elbows of the people on #wikimedia-tech actually doing the work:

This was two overland cables between Tampa and Virginia (Washington
DC, to be precise). *Both* cables were cut, near the Tampa end. The
"redundant" fibre wasn't redundant. Currently awaiting the vendor
postmortem.

The cables were broken for 1 hour 6 minutes, but it's taken another
hour to bring up basic service. Some stuff's still broken. Search and
API (hence mobile) are back now. It'll all be back in due course.

The WMF office in San Francisco should be getting into work in the
next hour or so ... should have more detail then.


- d.

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okeyes at wikimedia

Aug 6, 2012, 9:46 AM

Post #2 of 16 (367 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press [In reply to]

Verify what David said (I'm not technical, but it matches the description
I've been given). Our ops guys and girls are currently poking things, which
is slowing down a larger/more official announcement, but I'll see what I
can do.

On 6 August 2012 17:02, David Gerard <dgerard [at] gmail> wrote:

> ... so I might as well tell you too. Info gathered by joggling the
> elbows of the people on #wikimedia-tech actually doing the work:
>
> This was two overland cables between Tampa and Virginia (Washington
> DC, to be precise). *Both* cables were cut, near the Tampa end. The
> "redundant" fibre wasn't redundant. Currently awaiting the vendor
> postmortem.
>
> The cables were broken for 1 hour 6 minutes, but it's taken another
> hour to bring up basic service. Some stuff's still broken. Search and
> API (hence mobile) are back now. It'll all be back in due course.
>
> The WMF office in San Francisco should be getting into work in the
> next hour or so ... should have more detail then.
>
>
> - d.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> Wikimedia-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>



--
Oliver Keyes
Community Liaison, Product Development
Wikimedia Foundation
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dgerard at gmail

Aug 6, 2012, 9:50 AM

Post #3 of 16 (365 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press [In reply to]

On 6 August 2012 17:46, Oliver Keyes <okeyes [at] wikimedia> wrote:

> Verify what David said (I'm not technical, but it matches the description
> I've been given). Our ops guys and girls are currently poking things, which
> is slowing down a larger/more official announcement, but I'll see what I
> can do.


The "1:06" is from Reedy, the "waiting on vendor postmortem" is from
Leslie Carr.

The BBC article is ... well, I have said some of the words in those
quotes during my life. The headline is accurate ...


- d.

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jayen466 at gmail

Aug 6, 2012, 12:43 PM

Post #4 of 16 (362 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press [In reply to]

David, the BBC says you told them the following:

---o0o---

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19148151

*Donations*

Mr Gerard joked that due to the site's limited financial resources, some of
its infrastructure relied on "gaffer tape and string".

In an error message posted to the site, the Wikimedia Foundation reiterated
its reliance on donations to fund its continued operation.

"The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organisation which hosts some of
the most popular sites on the internet," the message read.

"It has a constant need to purchase new hardware. If you would like to
help, please donate."

Despite its limited funding, the site is considered to have impressive
reliability. Its last significant down time was deliberate - the site went
"offline" for 24 hours in protest at proposed anti-piracy bills in the US.

---o0o---

Compare that characterisation of limited funding to the FAQ for the
Wikimedia Foundation's Annual Plan 20122013:

---o0o---

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/2012-2013_Annual_Plan_Questions_and_Answers#How_did_2011-12_play_out_from_a_financial_perspective.3F

How did 2011-12 play out from a financial perspective?
From a financial perspective, 2011-12 was an excellent year for the
Wikimedia Foundation. The 2011-12 plan called for us to increase revenue
24% from 2010-11, to $29.5 million, and to increase spending 53% from
2010-11, to $28.3 million. In fact, we significantly over-achieved from a
revenue perspective, and we also slightly underspent, resulting in a larger
reserve than planned. We're projecting today that 2011-12 revenue will have
actually increased 47% from 2010-11 actuals, to $34.8 million. Spending is
projected to have increased 36% from 2010-11 actuals, to $27.2 million.
This means we added $9.9 million to the reserve, for a projected
end-of-year total of $27.7 million which represents 12 months of reserves
at the 2011-12 spending level.[/quote]

---o0o---

Just for comparison's sake, the 2007 fundraising report announced
contributions totaling 2.16 million for the entire year, i.e. merely
one-sixteenth of the revenue last year. And less than Wikimedia now takes
in a month. Even so, Wikipedia was up and running in 2007.

Could you get back to the BBC, please, David, and tell them that they
somehow seem to have gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick here? And
could you drop the "gaffer tape and string" jokes next time round?

Andreas



On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 5:50 PM, David Gerard <dgerard [at] gmail> wrote:

> On 6 August 2012 17:46, Oliver Keyes <okeyes [at] wikimedia> wrote:
>
> > Verify what David said (I'm not technical, but it matches the description
> > I've been given). Our ops guys and girls are currently poking things,
> which
> > is slowing down a larger/more official announcement, but I'll see what I
> > can do.
>
>
> The "1:06" is from Reedy, the "waiting on vendor postmortem" is from
> Leslie Carr.
>
> The BBC article is ... well, I have said some of the words in those
> quotes during my life. The headline is accurate ...
>
>
> - d.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> Wikimedia-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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thomas.dalton at gmail

Aug 6, 2012, 12:47 PM

Post #5 of 16 (360 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press [In reply to]

On 6 August 2012 20:43, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
> Could you get back to the BBC, please, David, and tell them that they
> somehow seem to have gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick here? And
> could you drop the "gaffer tape and string" jokes next time round?

We operate the fifth most visited website in the world on an
operations budget of a few million dollars. It is you that has the
wrong end of the stick...

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dgerard at gmail

Aug 6, 2012, 12:54 PM

Post #6 of 16 (364 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press [In reply to]

On 6 August 2012 20:43, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:

> David, the BBC says you told them the following:


See, this is where you part ways with how the media works. These days
I count it as a win if anything in quotes uses words I've ever used in
my life.


- d.

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george.herbert at gmail

Aug 6, 2012, 12:57 PM

Post #7 of 16 (368 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press [In reply to]

On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 12:54 PM, David Gerard <dgerard [at] gmail> wrote:
> On 6 August 2012 20:43, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
>
>> David, the BBC says you told them the following:
>
>
> See, this is where you part ways with how the media works. These days
> I count it as a win if anything in quotes uses words I've ever used in
> my life.

That never happens.


--
-george william herbert
george.herbert [at] gmail

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jayen466 at gmail

Aug 6, 2012, 1:06 PM

Post #8 of 16 (362 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press [In reply to]

On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 8:54 PM, David Gerard <dgerard [at] gmail> wrote:

> On 6 August 2012 20:43, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
>
> > David, the BBC says you told them the following:
>
>
> See, this is where you part ways with how the media works. These days
> I count it as a win if anything in quotes uses words I've ever used in
> my life.



Well, glad to hear the words gaffer tape and string never crossed your
lips, then. I still think you should call them and disabuse them of their
notion that WMF is desperately short of cash.


On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 8:47 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton [at] gmail>
wrote:

> On 6 August 2012 20:43, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
> > Could you get back to the BBC, please, David, and tell them that they
> > somehow seem to have gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick here? And
> > could you drop the "gaffer tape and string" jokes next time round?
>
> We operate the fifth most visited website in the world on an
> operations budget of a few million dollars. It is you that has the
> wrong end of the stick...



$35 million is not "a few million dollars". Wikipedia was indeed run on a
budget of a few million dollars a few years ago, but that's no longer the
case. And the chapters are having to come up with creative ideas to spend
their money. One of the latest suggestions raised by a Wikimedia UK staff
member was that ...

---o0o---

We could put a volunteer or two on a specially fitted-out (and
Wikipedia-liveried?) live-aboard boat for the summer, and have them map the
canal network - taking photos of every building, every lock, and even
taking video footage of sections of the trip from a roof-mounted camera. A
GPS system would trace the entire route for Open Street Map. British
Waterways may also be interested, as we'd essentially be doing a
mini-survey of the network, including all the structures, for them. We
could fit the inside of the barge with a small supply of educational
materials and a marquis for stopping the 'wiki-barge' in towns along the
way.*What would we need?* - A narrowboat, to hire, for the summer - needs
to be quite small. Two volunteers, technically minded, at least one of whom
knows about narrowboats. GPS equipment (possibly able to loan from OSM or
British Waterways?). A 3G internet connection (wouldn't work everywhere,
but would work when near a village/town). A camera (and possibly a
video-camera). Lots of hard drive space. Expenses for the volunteers
aboard. Brochures/booklets.

---o0o---

All fine and dandy, but then let's please do our best to ensure that the
BBC don't print "gaffer tape and string" sob stories about us. The tenner
that someone in India sends us might indeed be better spent on a local
charity there that actually feeds someone, or keeps someone healthy.
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thomas.dalton at gmail

Aug 6, 2012, 1:11 PM

Post #9 of 16 (362 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press [In reply to]

On 6 August 2012 21:06, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
> $35 million is not "a few million dollars".

But not all of that is spent on site operations.

> All fine and dandy, but then let's please do our best to ensure that the
> BBC don't print "gaffer tape and string" sob stories about us. The tenner
> that someone in India sends us might indeed be better spent on a local
> charity there that actually feeds someone, or keeps someone healthy.

Don't you think that should be up to the donor? I certainly agree that
we need to be honest in our messaging and I've been very vocal in
opposition to messaging that suggests there is any urgency for people
to donate of that Wikipedia won't survive it they don't (at least,
once we're far enough into the fundraiser that basic costs are all
covered). That doesn't mean we shouldn't be proud of the fact that we
are extremely efficient with our operations spending.

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mroth at wikimedia

Aug 6, 2012, 1:33 PM

Post #10 of 16 (360 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press [In reply to]

There is now a WMF blog post explaining the initial findings from the
Operations team:
http://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/08/06/wikimedia-site-outage-6-august-2012/

We hope to have a more detailed report soon.

-Matthew

--

Matthew Roth
Global Communications
Wikimedia Foundation
+1.415.839.6885 ext 6635
www.wikimediafoundation.org
*https://donate.wikimedia.org*



On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 1:11 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton [at] gmail>wrote:

> On 6 August 2012 21:06, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
> > $35 million is not "a few million dollars".
>
> But not all of that is spent on site operations.
>
> > All fine and dandy, but then let's please do our best to ensure that the
> > BBC don't print "gaffer tape and string" sob stories about us. The tenner
> > that someone in India sends us might indeed be better spent on a local
> > charity there that actually feeds someone, or keeps someone healthy.
>
> Don't you think that should be up to the donor? I certainly agree that
> we need to be honest in our messaging and I've been very vocal in
> opposition to messaging that suggests there is any urgency for people
> to donate of that Wikipedia won't survive it they don't (at least,
> once we're far enough into the fundraiser that basic costs are all
> covered). That doesn't mean we shouldn't be proud of the fact that we
> are extremely efficient with our operations spending.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> Wikimedia-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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richard.symonds at wikimedia

Aug 6, 2012, 1:36 PM

Post #11 of 16 (364 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press [In reply to]

Andreas,

That idea - my idea - is taken wildly out-of-context, and I feel I have to
step in and defend it. We were all asked to come up with a crazy idea that
could costs about 10k as part of a brainstorming session - the canal boat
idea was my contribution. As you know, I know a fair bit about narrowboats,
and when asked to come up with a crazy idea, it's usually where I start.
There's nothing wrong with liking boats. It's a running joke with me (and
my picture on ED is of me in a sailor suit...)

It wasn't long ago that people on the WMUK list were suggesting ideas like
funding open-source ocean-going ROVs, to take photos of shipwrecks - while
not all of these ideas are workable, I think it's fantastic that we're
having such creative ideas. Innovation is a fantastic thing: just because
something is wacky and zany, doesn't mean that it's a waste of money;
equally just because something isn't feeding African orphans, doesn't mean
it's not a charitable endeavour. There are UK charities out there that
exist just to fund donkeys, or of course charities like KCM Europe (
http://www.kcm.org.uk/) which exist for the advancement of religion. It is
a matter of personal choice for the donor as to where a donor's money goes.
I am confident that this year, we'll be raising money for some fantastic
projects - a larger version of Monmouthpedia, or a new digitization project
with the National Archives - or maybe even the next Wikidata.

To conclude, I want to share my own feelings on who I donate to: I donate
to several charities, one of which is a homelessness charity who have
helped me and my loved ones greatly in the past. The others are all
education charities. This is because it's my belief that, in the long term,
free education for all is the best way to solve world poverty, world hunger
and conflict. You might disagree - I daresay many people would - but I feel
that if only we were all as wise as a wise old owl, the world would be a
much, much better place.


Richard Symonds
(Wikimedia UK staff, but with my volunteer hat on).



On 6 August 2012 21:06, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:

> On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 8:54 PM, David Gerard <dgerard [at] gmail> wrote:
>
> > On 6 August 2012 20:43, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
> >
> > > David, the BBC says you told them the following:
> >
> >
> > See, this is where you part ways with how the media works. These days
> > I count it as a win if anything in quotes uses words I've ever used in
> > my life.
>
>
>
> Well, glad to hear the words gaffer tape and string never crossed your
> lips, then. I still think you should call them and disabuse them of their
> notion that WMF is desperately short of cash.
>
>
> On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 8:47 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton [at] gmail>
> wrote:
>
> > On 6 August 2012 20:43, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
> > > Could you get back to the BBC, please, David, and tell them that they
> > > somehow seem to have gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick here?
> And
> > > could you drop the "gaffer tape and string" jokes next time round?
> >
> > We operate the fifth most visited website in the world on an
> > operations budget of a few million dollars. It is you that has the
> > wrong end of the stick...
>
>
>
> $35 million is not "a few million dollars". Wikipedia was indeed run on a
> budget of a few million dollars a few years ago, but that's no longer the
> case. And the chapters are having to come up with creative ideas to spend
> their money. One of the latest suggestions raised by a Wikimedia UK staff
> member was that ...
>
> ---o0o---
>
> We could put a volunteer or two on a specially fitted-out (and
> Wikipedia-liveried?) live-aboard boat for the summer, and have them map the
> canal network - taking photos of every building, every lock, and even
> taking video footage of sections of the trip from a roof-mounted camera. A
> GPS system would trace the entire route for Open Street Map. British
> Waterways may also be interested, as we'd essentially be doing a
> mini-survey of the network, including all the structures, for them. We
> could fit the inside of the barge with a small supply of educational
> materials and a marquis for stopping the 'wiki-barge' in towns along the
> way.*What would we need?* - A narrowboat, to hire, for the summer - needs
> to be quite small. Two volunteers, technically minded, at least one of whom
> knows about narrowboats. GPS equipment (possibly able to loan from OSM or
> British Waterways?). A 3G internet connection (wouldn't work everywhere,
> but would work when near a village/town). A camera (and possibly a
> video-camera). Lots of hard drive space. Expenses for the volunteers
> aboard. Brochures/booklets.
>
> ---o0o---
>
> All fine and dandy, but then let's please do our best to ensure that the
> BBC don't print "gaffer tape and string" sob stories about us. The tenner
> that someone in India sends us might indeed be better spent on a local
> charity there that actually feeds someone, or keeps someone healthy.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> Wikimedia-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
_______________________________________________
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jayen466 at gmail

Aug 6, 2012, 1:50 PM

Post #12 of 16 (364 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press [In reply to]

Richard, that is fine. But surely you can see that it's inappropriate to
have the BBC imply, on a day when we have an outage, that we're strapped
for cash to keep Wikipedia running, holding the site together "with gaffer
tape and string", and need donations, while in fact we have built up
reserves of $27.7 million, equivalent to a full year's spending at
2011-2012 levels, and Wikimedians struggle to come up with zany ideas on
how to spend 10k. Nothing against barges, and canals ... I love them.

By the way, any further ideas for a Wikimedia UK project can be added to
this page:

http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/2013_Activity_Plan/Ideas

Andreas

On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 9:36 PM, Richard Symonds <
richard.symonds [at] wikimedia> wrote:

> Andreas,
>
> That idea - my idea - is taken wildly out-of-context, and I feel I have to
> step in and defend it. We were all asked to come up with a crazy idea that
> could costs about 10k as part of a brainstorming session - the canal boat
> idea was my contribution. As you know, I know a fair bit about narrowboats,
> and when asked to come up with a crazy idea, it's usually where I start.
> There's nothing wrong with liking boats. It's a running joke with me (and
> my picture on ED is of me in a sailor suit...)
>
> It wasn't long ago that people on the WMUK list were suggesting ideas like
> funding open-source ocean-going ROVs, to take photos of shipwrecks - while
> not all of these ideas are workable, I think it's fantastic that we're
> having such creative ideas. Innovation is a fantastic thing: just because
> something is wacky and zany, doesn't mean that it's a waste of money;
> equally just because something isn't feeding African orphans, doesn't mean
> it's not a charitable endeavour. There are UK charities out there that
> exist just to fund donkeys, or of course charities like KCM Europe (
> http://www.kcm.org.uk/) which exist for the advancement of religion. It is
> a matter of personal choice for the donor as to where a donor's money goes.
> I am confident that this year, we'll be raising money for some fantastic
> projects - a larger version of Monmouthpedia, or a new digitization project
> with the National Archives - or maybe even the next Wikidata.
>
> To conclude, I want to share my own feelings on who I donate to: I donate
> to several charities, one of which is a homelessness charity who have
> helped me and my loved ones greatly in the past. The others are all
> education charities. This is because it's my belief that, in the long term,
> free education for all is the best way to solve world poverty, world hunger
> and conflict. You might disagree - I daresay many people would - but I feel
> that if only we were all as wise as a wise old owl, the world would be a
> much, much better place.
>
>
> Richard Symonds
> (Wikimedia UK staff, but with my volunteer hat on).
>
>
>
> On 6 August 2012 21:06, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
>
> > On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 8:54 PM, David Gerard <dgerard [at] gmail> wrote:
> >
> > > On 6 August 2012 20:43, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
> > >
> > > > David, the BBC says you told them the following:
> > >
> > >
> > > See, this is where you part ways with how the media works. These days
> > > I count it as a win if anything in quotes uses words I've ever used in
> > > my life.
> >
> >
> >
> > Well, glad to hear the words gaffer tape and string never crossed your
> > lips, then. I still think you should call them and disabuse them of their
> > notion that WMF is desperately short of cash.
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 8:47 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton [at] gmail>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > On 6 August 2012 20:43, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
> > > > Could you get back to the BBC, please, David, and tell them that they
> > > > somehow seem to have gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick here?
> > And
> > > > could you drop the "gaffer tape and string" jokes next time round?
> > >
> > > We operate the fifth most visited website in the world on an
> > > operations budget of a few million dollars. It is you that has the
> > > wrong end of the stick...
> >
> >
> >
> > $35 million is not "a few million dollars". Wikipedia was indeed run on a
> > budget of a few million dollars a few years ago, but that's no longer the
> > case. And the chapters are having to come up with creative ideas to spend
> > their money. One of the latest suggestions raised by a Wikimedia UK staff
> > member was that ...
> >
> > ---o0o---
> >
> > We could put a volunteer or two on a specially fitted-out (and
> > Wikipedia-liveried?) live-aboard boat for the summer, and have them map
> the
> > canal network - taking photos of every building, every lock, and even
> > taking video footage of sections of the trip from a roof-mounted camera.
> A
> > GPS system would trace the entire route for Open Street Map. British
> > Waterways may also be interested, as we'd essentially be doing a
> > mini-survey of the network, including all the structures, for them. We
> > could fit the inside of the barge with a small supply of educational
> > materials and a marquis for stopping the 'wiki-barge' in towns along the
> > way.*What would we need?* - A narrowboat, to hire, for the summer - needs
> > to be quite small. Two volunteers, technically minded, at least one of
> whom
> > knows about narrowboats. GPS equipment (possibly able to loan from OSM or
> > British Waterways?). A 3G internet connection (wouldn't work everywhere,
> > but would work when near a village/town). A camera (and possibly a
> > video-camera). Lots of hard drive space. Expenses for the volunteers
> > aboard. Brochures/booklets.
> >
> > ---o0o---
> >
> > All fine and dandy, but then let's please do our best to ensure that the
> > BBC don't print "gaffer tape and string" sob stories about us. The tenner
> > that someone in India sends us might indeed be better spent on a local
> > charity there that actually feeds someone, or keeps someone healthy.
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > Wikimedia-l [at] lists
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
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>
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thomas.dalton at gmail

Aug 6, 2012, 2:00 PM

Post #13 of 16 (364 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press [In reply to]

Who said we are struggling to come up with ideas? The page you link to
hasn't been up long and already has several good ideas on it.
On Aug 6, 2012 9:51 PM, "Andreas Kolbe" <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:

> Richard, that is fine. But surely you can see that it's inappropriate to
> have the BBC imply, on a day when we have an outage, that we're strapped
> for cash to keep Wikipedia running, holding the site together "with gaffer
> tape and string", and need donations, while in fact we have built up
> reserves of $27.7 million, equivalent to a full year's spending at
> 2011-2012 levels, and Wikimedians struggle to come up with zany ideas on
> how to spend £10k. Nothing against barges, and canals ... I love them.
>
> By the way, any further ideas for a Wikimedia UK project can be added to
> this page:
>
> http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/2013_Activity_Plan/Ideas
>
> Andreas
>
> On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 9:36 PM, Richard Symonds <
> richard.symonds [at] wikimedia> wrote:
>
> > Andreas,
> >
> > That idea - my idea - is taken wildly out-of-context, and I feel I have
> to
> > step in and defend it. We were all asked to come up with a crazy idea
> that
> > could costs about £10k as part of a brainstorming session - the canal
> boat
> > idea was my contribution. As you know, I know a fair bit about
> narrowboats,
> > and when asked to come up with a crazy idea, it's usually where I start.
> > There's nothing wrong with liking boats. It's a running joke with me (and
> > my picture on ED is of me in a sailor suit...)
> >
> > It wasn't long ago that people on the WMUK list were suggesting ideas
> like
> > funding open-source ocean-going ROVs, to take photos of shipwrecks -
> while
> > not all of these ideas are workable, I think it's fantastic that we're
> > having such creative ideas. Innovation is a fantastic thing: just because
> > something is wacky and zany, doesn't mean that it's a waste of money;
> > equally just because something isn't feeding African orphans, doesn't
> mean
> > it's not a charitable endeavour. There are UK charities out there that
> > exist just to fund donkeys, or of course charities like KCM Europe (
> > http://www.kcm.org.uk/) which exist for the advancement of religion. It
> is
> > a matter of personal choice for the donor as to where a donor's money
> goes.
> > I am confident that this year, we'll be raising money for some fantastic
> > projects - a larger version of Monmouthpedia, or a new digitization
> project
> > with the National Archives - or maybe even the next Wikidata.
> >
> > To conclude, I want to share my own feelings on who I donate to: I donate
> > to several charities, one of which is a homelessness charity who have
> > helped me and my loved ones greatly in the past. The others are all
> > education charities. This is because it's my belief that, in the long
> term,
> > free education for all is the best way to solve world poverty, world
> hunger
> > and conflict. You might disagree - I daresay many people would - but I
> feel
> > that if only we were all as wise as a wise old owl, the world would be a
> > much, much better place.
> >
> >
> > Richard Symonds
> > (Wikimedia UK staff, but with my volunteer hat on).
> >
> >
> >
> > On 6 August 2012 21:06, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
> >
> > > On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 8:54 PM, David Gerard <dgerard [at] gmail>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > > On 6 August 2012 20:43, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > David, the BBC says you told them the following:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > See, this is where you part ways with how the media works. These days
> > > > I count it as a win if anything in quotes uses words I've ever used
> in
> > > > my life.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Well, glad to hear the words gaffer tape and string never crossed your
> > > lips, then. I still think you should call them and disabuse them of
> their
> > > notion that WMF is desperately short of cash.
> > >
> > >
> > > On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 8:47 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton [at] gmail
> >
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > On 6 August 2012 20:43, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
> > > > > Could you get back to the BBC, please, David, and tell them that
> they
> > > > > somehow seem to have gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick
> here?
> > > And
> > > > > could you drop the "gaffer tape and string" jokes next time round?
> > > >
> > > > We operate the fifth most visited website in the world on an
> > > > operations budget of a few million dollars. It is you that has the
> > > > wrong end of the stick...
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > $35 million is not "a few million dollars". Wikipedia was indeed run
> on a
> > > budget of a few million dollars a few years ago, but that's no longer
> the
> > > case. And the chapters are having to come up with creative ideas to
> spend
> > > their money. One of the latest suggestions raised by a Wikimedia UK
> staff
> > > member was that ...
> > >
> > > ---o0o---
> > >
> > > We could put a volunteer or two on a specially fitted-out (and
> > > Wikipedia-liveried?) live-aboard boat for the summer, and have them map
> > the
> > > canal network - taking photos of every building, every lock, and even
> > > taking video footage of sections of the trip from a roof-mounted
> camera.
> > A
> > > GPS system would trace the entire route for Open Street Map. British
> > > Waterways may also be interested, as we'd essentially be doing a
> > > mini-survey of the network, including all the structures, for them. We
> > > could fit the inside of the barge with a small supply of educational
> > > materials and a marquis for stopping the 'wiki-barge' in towns along
> the
> > > way.*What would we need?* - A narrowboat, to hire, for the summer -
> needs
> > > to be quite small. Two volunteers, technically minded, at least one of
> > whom
> > > knows about narrowboats. GPS equipment (possibly able to loan from OSM
> or
> > > British Waterways?). A 3G internet connection (wouldn't work
> everywhere,
> > > but would work when near a village/town). A camera (and possibly a
> > > video-camera). Lots of hard drive space. Expenses for the volunteers
> > > aboard. Brochures/booklets.
> > >
> > > ---o0o---
> > >
> > > All fine and dandy, but then let's please do our best to ensure that
> the
> > > BBC don't print "gaffer tape and string" sob stories about us. The
> tenner
> > > that someone in India sends us might indeed be better spent on a local
> > > charity there that actually feeds someone, or keeps someone healthy.
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > > Wikimedia-l [at] lists
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > Wikimedia-l [at] lists
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> Wikimedia-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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richard.symonds at wikimedia

Aug 6, 2012, 2:11 PM

Post #14 of 16 (362 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press [In reply to]

Thanks for the nice reply, Andreas. You get bonus points for liking barges!
I think that in this case, the problem is due to the journalist, rather
than David's quotes. I've seen the emails he sent to our communications
organiser, Stevie, keeping him up to date, and the journalist did a rather
rushed job. Not to bad-mouth him, of course: but it's clear that he had a
deadline to work to.

We've all had things taken out of context, even by the nicest journalists -
I still remember the Wikipedia Review thread where two Wikipedia
Review-ians saw my flat on the BBC, and genuinely offered, in private, to
come round and help me fix it up, so shocked they were at the "squalor".
The fact was, I had stripped half of the wallpaper, and lived nextdoor to
Wormwood Scrubs prison - and the BBC journalist decided to emphasise those
points, rather than my immaculate cravat and waistcoat (
www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12172367)

I can't speak for the rest of the movement, but WMUK is planning to keep 6
months reserves. I believe good practice for a UK charity is anywhere from
six to twelve months reserves. Certainly, though, we need to keep an eye on
the movement's reserves, and ensure that either we shorten the fundraiser
appropriately, or fund educational outreach programmes as needed,
worldwide.

And, to those critics and supporters lurking around: we could really use
your help coming up with crazy, unusual, innovative ways to spend 10k.
This year, we launched Monmouthpedia - bringing an entire town together to
write about where they live. It wasn't without faults: but the idea, and
the project, were a complete success. Next year, we might shorten the
fundraiser by a few hours - or we might come up with a completely
off-the-wall project that shows what crowdsourcing can really do. Put your
ideas up at http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/2013_Activity_Plan/Ideas, no
matter how daft they are. The WMUK board will look at them, love them, and
laugh at them, as appropriate. WMUK might not approve any of them: but
Monmouthpedia was started when one man stood up at the back of a museum and
said, "why not do that with a whole town?". And we did, and we generated
worldwide media coverage, spread the idea of Monmouth around the world, and
won 'Best Chapter Project' at Wikimania 2012. *Add your ideas, folks!* Please
:-)

Richard Symonds
Wikimedia UK
0207 065 0992
Disclaimer viewable at
http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia:Email_disclaimer
Visit http://www.wikimedia.org.uk/ and @wikimediauk



On 6 August 2012 21:50, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:

> Richard, that is fine. But surely you can see that it's inappropriate to
> have the BBC imply, on a day when we have an outage, that we're strapped
> for cash to keep Wikipedia running, holding the site together "with gaffer
> tape and string", and need donations, while in fact we have built up
> reserves of $27.7 million, equivalent to a full year's spending at
> 2011-2012 levels, and Wikimedians struggle to come up with zany ideas on
> how to spend 10k. Nothing against barges, and canals ... I love them.
>
> By the way, any further ideas for a Wikimedia UK project can be added to
> this page:
>
> http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/2013_Activity_Plan/Ideas
>
> Andreas
>
> On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 9:36 PM, Richard Symonds <
> richard.symonds [at] wikimedia> wrote:
>
> > Andreas,
> >
> > That idea - my idea - is taken wildly out-of-context, and I feel I have
> to
> > step in and defend it. We were all asked to come up with a crazy idea
> that
> > could costs about 10k as part of a brainstorming session - the canal
> boat
> > idea was my contribution. As you know, I know a fair bit about
> narrowboats,
> > and when asked to come up with a crazy idea, it's usually where I start.
> > There's nothing wrong with liking boats. It's a running joke with me (and
> > my picture on ED is of me in a sailor suit...)
> >
> > It wasn't long ago that people on the WMUK list were suggesting ideas
> like
> > funding open-source ocean-going ROVs, to take photos of shipwrecks -
> while
> > not all of these ideas are workable, I think it's fantastic that we're
> > having such creative ideas. Innovation is a fantastic thing: just because
> > something is wacky and zany, doesn't mean that it's a waste of money;
> > equally just because something isn't feeding African orphans, doesn't
> mean
> > it's not a charitable endeavour. There are UK charities out there that
> > exist just to fund donkeys, or of course charities like KCM Europe (
> > http://www.kcm.org.uk/) which exist for the advancement of religion. It
> is
> > a matter of personal choice for the donor as to where a donor's money
> goes.
> > I am confident that this year, we'll be raising money for some fantastic
> > projects - a larger version of Monmouthpedia, or a new digitization
> project
> > with the National Archives - or maybe even the next Wikidata.
> >
> > To conclude, I want to share my own feelings on who I donate to: I donate
> > to several charities, one of which is a homelessness charity who have
> > helped me and my loved ones greatly in the past. The others are all
> > education charities. This is because it's my belief that, in the long
> term,
> > free education for all is the best way to solve world poverty, world
> hunger
> > and conflict. You might disagree - I daresay many people would - but I
> feel
> > that if only we were all as wise as a wise old owl, the world would be a
> > much, much better place.
> >
> >
> > Richard Symonds
> > (Wikimedia UK staff, but with my volunteer hat on).
> >
> >
> >
> > On 6 August 2012 21:06, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
> >
> > > On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 8:54 PM, David Gerard <dgerard [at] gmail>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > > On 6 August 2012 20:43, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > David, the BBC says you told them the following:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > See, this is where you part ways with how the media works. These days
> > > > I count it as a win if anything in quotes uses words I've ever used
> in
> > > > my life.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Well, glad to hear the words gaffer tape and string never crossed your
> > > lips, then. I still think you should call them and disabuse them of
> their
> > > notion that WMF is desperately short of cash.
> > >
> > >
> > > On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 8:47 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton [at] gmail
> >
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > On 6 August 2012 20:43, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 [at] gmail> wrote:
> > > > > Could you get back to the BBC, please, David, and tell them that
> they
> > > > > somehow seem to have gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick
> here?
> > > And
> > > > > could you drop the "gaffer tape and string" jokes next time round?
> > > >
> > > > We operate the fifth most visited website in the world on an
> > > > operations budget of a few million dollars. It is you that has the
> > > > wrong end of the stick...
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > $35 million is not "a few million dollars". Wikipedia was indeed run
> on a
> > > budget of a few million dollars a few years ago, but that's no longer
> the
> > > case. And the chapters are having to come up with creative ideas to
> spend
> > > their money. One of the latest suggestions raised by a Wikimedia UK
> staff
> > > member was that ...
> > >
> > > ---o0o---
> > >
> > > We could put a volunteer or two on a specially fitted-out (and
> > > Wikipedia-liveried?) live-aboard boat for the summer, and have them map
> > the
> > > canal network - taking photos of every building, every lock, and even
> > > taking video footage of sections of the trip from a roof-mounted
> camera.
> > A
> > > GPS system would trace the entire route for Open Street Map. British
> > > Waterways may also be interested, as we'd essentially be doing a
> > > mini-survey of the network, including all the structures, for them. We
> > > could fit the inside of the barge with a small supply of educational
> > > materials and a marquis for stopping the 'wiki-barge' in towns along
> the
> > > way.*What would we need?* - A narrowboat, to hire, for the summer -
> needs
> > > to be quite small. Two volunteers, technically minded, at least one of
> > whom
> > > knows about narrowboats. GPS equipment (possibly able to loan from OSM
> or
> > > British Waterways?). A 3G internet connection (wouldn't work
> everywhere,
> > > but would work when near a village/town). A camera (and possibly a
> > > video-camera). Lots of hard drive space. Expenses for the volunteers
> > > aboard. Brochures/booklets.
> > >
> > > ---o0o---
> > >
> > > All fine and dandy, but then let's please do our best to ensure that
> the
> > > BBC don't print "gaffer tape and string" sob stories about us. The
> tenner
> > > that someone in India sends us might indeed be better spent on a local
> > > charity there that actually feeds someone, or keeps someone healthy.
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > > Wikimedia-l [at] lists
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > Wikimedia-l [at] lists
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> Wikimedia-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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delirium at hackish

Aug 6, 2012, 2:42 PM

Post #15 of 16 (362 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press [In reply to]

On 8/6/12 6:50 PM, David Gerard wrote:
> The BBC article is ... well, I have said some of the words in those
> quotes during my life. The headline is accurate ...
>
I sort of like the idea that the BBC might be maintaining a database of
Genuine David Gerard quotes that are randomly retrieved and attached
together (with gaffer tape?) as needed, whenever a Wikipedia-related
story comes up.

Do they know about your Slashdot account? It'd be a gold-mine of Genuine
Quotes from a Wikimedia UK Spokesperson!

-Mark


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jayen466 at gmail

Aug 6, 2012, 6:15 PM

Post #16 of 16 (361 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press [In reply to]

On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 10:11 PM, Richard Symonds <
richard.symonds [at] wikimedia> wrote:

> Thanks for the nice reply, Andreas. You get bonus points for liking barges!
>


There are some very homey ones here in Cambridge ... with pot plants
(bananas ...) and hanging baskets and everything, and a mown patch of grass
on the bank, in front of the hatch.



> We've all had things taken out of context, even by the nicest journalists -
> I still remember the Wikipedia Review thread where two Wikipedia
> Review-ians saw my flat on the BBC, and genuinely offered, in private, to
> come round and help me fix it up, so shocked they were at the "squalor".
>


:)) I didn't know that, but it kind of makes me glad to hear it.



> The fact was, I had stripped half of the wallpaper, and lived nextdoor to
> Wormwood Scrubs prison - and the BBC journalist decided to emphasise those
> points, rather than my immaculate cravat and waistcoat (
> www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12172367)
>


I specifically noticed the cravat and waistcoat. ;) I guess it would have
helped if they had allowed you to mention that you had started redecorating.



> I can't speak for the rest of the movement, but WMUK is planning to keep 6
> months reserves. I believe good practice for a UK charity is anywhere from
> six to twelve months reserves. Certainly, though, we need to keep an eye on
> the movement's reserves, and ensure that either we shorten the fundraiser
> appropriately, or fund educational outreach programmes as needed,
> worldwide.
>


That sounds good.

Andreas
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