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Brazil Program/Portuguese Wikipedia community pilot

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This page exists to document actions the Community Department has undertaken to improve editor retention and openness in Portuguese Wikipedia by working with the editing community within that project.



By cultivating better relationships with editors and learning from them about the challenges and successes in that project, our goal is to collaborate with editors to make improvements in the environment on Portuguese Wikipedia. Together, we will determine small but important systematic improvements or changes to the policy, practice, and technology of the project to make it easier and more fun for everyone to participate. These changes are aimed at an improvement in the retention of all editors who participate constructively in the project.

Questions to be answered by this pilot

  1. Can Wikimedia Foundation staff, Lusophone Wikipedians, and Wikimedia Brasil work more closely as partners to improve editor retention?
  2. Are there relatively small adjustments we can make (through a consensus process) to the software, policy, or practices of Portuguese Wikipedia that can measurably improve the number of new editors becoming very active contributors?



Portuguese Wikipedia is a top ten Wikimedia project in terms of size, and is of critical importance to The Wikimedia Foundation's strategic plans. In association with Global Development and soon-to-be-hired Brazilian National Program Director, the Community Department will travel to Brazil to discuss with local editors and authors the challenges and opportunities that are unique to Portuguese Wikipedia. This pilot will also share resources with the Fundraising team, who will also be in Brazil to hold donor focus groups and interview Brazilian editors for Fundraiser banners and stories.

  • Portuguese Wikipedia trends. Some key facts:
    • The influx of new contributors making their first 1-5 edits (chart) has remained relatively stagnant, as has the total number of editors (chart)
    • The number of new Wikipedians who are very active in their first 3 months has declined dramatically (Charts: 1, 2, 3)
    • The core community making more than 100 edits a month has remained extremely stable at 190-250 (stats.wikimedia.org)
    • Throughout 2011, the number of editors a month who make 10+ edits is 16-22% of the number making at least 5+ edits/month. The number making 10+ edits is roughly equal to the number making more than 100. (stats.wikimedia.org)

Current or planned programs affecting Portuguese Wikipedia

  1. Wikipedia Education Program pilot in Brazil, which will begin in March
  2. Soon-to-be hired: National Program Director for Brazil
  3. Community Department staff -- Maryana, Steven, Megan Hernandez, and Victor Grigas -- will be traveling to four cities in Brazil (as wells as conducting interviews) to speak with active Portuguese Wikipedians about their editing experience and what can be done to improve that experience in collaboration with the Wikimedia Foundation. This trip will generate a shortlist of activities that could be done with the help and leadership of Portuguese Wikipedians.

What success could look like

A growing community of editors
This could be either: A) a numerical target for growth in active editors B) a target for an improved rate of retention (or decrease in decline) for new editors. Note: current rates would need to be more diligently measured and reported
A strong working relationship with the community
The ability to work with editors in Portuguese Wikipedia and members of the chapter to successfully execute on any plans. This requires a greater degree of trust and close collaboration using the consensus decision making process of Wikipedia.
Positive change in the nature of Portuguese Wikipedia
We will have completed a specific list of reforms in policy, practices, and technology that community members are happy to see occur and that the Foundation can assist with.

Topics/questions we're interested in


The following a list of things we're interested in discussing with community members. We're specifically interested in issues that are...

  1. decided by the Portuguese Wikipedia community through consensus
  2. unique to the project
  3. can be fixed without developing an extension or needing code review
  4. are relatively small (e.g. we're not looking to change notability or other core policies)
  5. will significantly improve how easy it is to contribute to the encyclopedia and become a Wikipedian

Now that the community-oriented meetups in Brazil have been completed, discussion of these topics has begun on Portuguese Wikipedia on the Esplanada, via the following posts:

List of participants

  1. Oona Castro, WMF National Program Director, Brazil
  2. Steven Walling (Wikimedia Foundation Community Department)
  3. Maryana Pinchuk (Wikimedia Foundation Community Department)
  4. Megan Hernandez (Wikimedia Foundation Community Department)
  5. Victor Grigas (Wikimedia Foundation Community Department)

Meetups and notes


In early March 2012, staff from the Community Department, along with Oona Castro, the newly hired WMF National Programs Director for Brazil, traveled to four cities in Brazil and met with 37 Brazilian editors of Portuguese Wikipedia. These meetups included a mix of long-time Wikipedians and brand new editors.

Notes from all the meetups, in both English and Portuguese, were published on Portuguese Wikipedia's Esplanada. These include issues that we were interested in learning more about and brought up specifically, as well as topics brought up by the community.