Press releases/Craig Newmark announcement Nov 2009

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Wikimedia Foundation Appoints Craig Newmark to its Advisory Board

SAN FRANCISCO November 13, 2009 -- The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization behind Wikipedia, today announced the appointment of Craig Newmark to the Foundation's Advisory Board. Newmark is the founder of craigslist.org, a site where users connect to find and exchange goods and services, including housing and jobs. He currently works as a customer service representative for the site. Over the past 30 years, Newmark has worked in the technology industry with companies such as IBM, GM, Charles Schwab & Co, and Bank of America.

“Craig’s experience as an innovator and evangelist, coupled with his knowledge of online communities and cultures of trust, will make him an invaluable adviser to the organization,” said Michael Snow, chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. “His deep understanding of customer service and his dedication to fostering an enormous and engaged community of users will be a tremendous asset as we strive to be responsive to our readers and volunteers.”

The Wikimedia Foundation, which operates the volunteer-written encyclopedia with a staff of just over 30 people, created its Advisory Board in January 2007 as a mechanism for input from leaders and thinkers in fields such as education, technology, and free culture. Advisory Board members convene with Wikimedia's leadership once a year at the annual Wikimania conference, and also support the organization in their specific areas of expertise.

"We’ve known Craig as a longtime friend and supporter of our projects and we’re deeply grateful for that,” said Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia. “Craigslist is a like-minded organization with values similar to ours and we’re excited to incorporate his energy and understanding of online communities into our work.”

“Wikipedia is the first draft of history, and is becoming a preeminent tool for grassroots democracy. It's a great example of people working together, professionals and citizens, for the common good,” said Newmark. “The Wikimedia Foundation strives to ensure Wikipedia has high-quality content, but it does share the accuracy and reliability issues common to all media. In my day job, I've learned a little about that, and about general customer service. I figure one of the best things I can do with my life would be to help apply the few things I've learned for the greater good via Wikipedia. I’m excited to dive in."

The Wikimedia Foundation is in the midst of the sixth annual annual fundraising campaign, aiming to bring in over $7.5 million in community contributions to finance operations for the upcoming year. For more information, visit http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/Wikimedia_launches_2009_annual_giving_campaign

The current Advisory Board membership includes:

  • Angela Beesley Starling (Chair, Wikimedia Advisory Board; co-founder, Wikia)
  • Ward Cunningham (Developer of the first wiki)
  • Melissa Hagemann (Open access and open education advocate, Open Society Institute/Soros foundations)
  • Mitch Kapor (Founder/Co-founder Lotus Development, EFF, Mozilla Foundation)
  • Neeru Khosla (Co-founder, CK-12)
  • Teemu Leinonen (Professor, Media Lab, Aalto University)
  • Rebecca MacKinnon (Journalist; founder, Global Voices Online)
  • Wayne Mackintosh (Education specialist, Commonwealth of Learning)
  • Benjamin Mako Hill (Author, free software advocate)
  • Roger McNamee (Venture capital, musician)
  • Trevor Neilson (Partner, Global Philanthropy Group)
  • Craig Newmark (Founder, Craigslist.org)
  • Florence Nibart-Devouard (Former Chair, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees; Consultant in Collaborative Media)
  • Achal Prabhala (Researcher and writer)
  • Clay Shirky (Associate Teacher, Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU)
  • Ethan Zuckerman (Research Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School)


About the Wikimedia Foundation
http://wikimediafoundation.org
http://blog.wikimedia.org

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization which operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 300 million unique visitors per month, making them the 5th most popular web property world-wide (June, 2009). Available in more than 265 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 12 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.


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