CentralNotice/FAQ

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Wikimania 2014 Central Notice banner

These are frequently asked questions, when requesting the use of Wikimedia's Central Notice function.

What is a Central Notice?[edit]

A “Central Notice” is a centralized banner campaign that spreads out over (multiple) Wikimedia projects and (multiple) languages. Banners are the notices you sometimes see on the top of Wikimedia project pages, asking attention to an event in your region or language, or for instance the yearly fundraising campaign.

Some general definitions: A campaign is the general setting for a... campaign. The banner is the visual representation that is shown on the project(s). One campaign can potentially have several banners: this is an advanced and more complicated setting, mostly only used for fundraising.

What is the difference between a Sitenotice and a Central Notice?[edit]

A Sitenotice is a local banner campaign, specific to that one project and visible on every page (except for Special pages), in one language. A central notice has more options: it can target a very broad or very narrow audience, if you do not wish for everyone visiting the specific language project to see the banner.

What are the typical uses for a Central Notice?[edit]

Central Notices were created for fundraising campaigns and maintenance notices, but are now also used for calling attention to Wikimedia-specific surveys, community events, or conferences.

Who can request a Central Notice?[edit]

Central Notices are to be requested on Meta, and will be implemented by Central Notice admins. Requests can be done by Wikimedia affiliates, Wikimedia user groups, or individual Wikimedia users. Wikimedia Foundation staff can also request banners, but several WMF staff have access to the interface themselves.

How far in advance should I request a Central Notice?[edit]

You can schedule your campaign on the calendar as far ahead as you would like, so that others can be mindful of your campaign, and coordination can occur between different banners and campaigns.

When requesting the banner on the request page, please leave 7 days for CN admin & community feedback, and at least 3 days for CN admin set up. This means you would need to request the campaign 10 days ahead. For Advocacy/Payments requests, please reach out to WMF Legal Review [21 days prior to the campaign start].

What’s the process to follow to request a Central Notice or sitenotice?[edit]

Requesting a sitenotice on your local Wikmedia project[edit]

A sitenotice can be requested at your local project, and be set up by any user with access to the Mediawiki:Sitenotice page (admins or higher). Sitenotices can simply be created in wikicode. Procedure to request the sitenotice is different on every project, please ask at you local admin noticeboard how to request this.

Requesting a Central Notice banner on Meta[edit]

For a Central Notice it is important to identify the purpose of your notice, to make sure it gets tailored to your request, always keeping in mind that per the Central Notice guidelines banners should be as unobtrusive as possible, be as narrowly tailored as necessary, be consensus-driven and respect our principles. Please leave time for the community to give feedback on the banner and respect their input.

Also, we do not want too many banners showing in the same period: please check the campaign calendar on Meta to make sure your banner will not collide with other banners in the same period, targeting the same language and/or projects. If so, please contact the person in charge of this banner to help out. Banner space is limited, but should be available to everyone: please be considerate of others.

Things to consider:

  • Targeting logged-in users or also anonymous? The latter is only done in very few cases. Half of the banners we show are not relevant for users without an account and will only make them not notice the next banner (= banner blindness).
  • Targeting specific languages means you will need to translate your banner and the landing page into the targeted languages. Wildly targeting languages if you don’t offer them the information in that language is often considered very rude by the community. An English language version is always required source language.
  • The landing page must be hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation or a recognized affiliate. This can mean there is a landing page on a Wikimedia project, or a landing page in a Wikimedia-controlled domain. We do not link external websites in the banners, to protect the privacy of our users and to be able to inform them they are leaving the Wikimedia domain and will be visiting a third party website that may have different privacy protocols or protection.

If you are ready to request a Central Notice banner, you can create a request through the request page on Meta. Please do not forget to add your new request to the queue on the request page, or it will not be noticed by the admins! To date, request templates are English only but requests can also be created in other languages. However, the number of languages Central Notice administrators can understand is limited.

Which information will I need to provide?[edit]

The request page for Central Notice banners is templated for your convenience, and will ask for all information the Central Notice admin needs to create the campaign for you. Basically, next to targeting questions about the date and time and what projects and languages we should set, all the CN admin needs is the link to your landing page, a link to an image on Commons and one or two lines of text no more than 50-70 characters. You can easily create the request page by typing the campaign name in the "Enter your campaign name here" section and after this clicking on the blue "create your campaign request" button that turns on on the Meta request page.

The Central Notice will be set by default settings and only target desktop computers. If you would like a more special banner, please feel free to create a banner yourself in HTML/CSS/Java and give us the code. Do make sure to leave plenty of time to test this code in a banner on the Wikimedia projects, and on different devices if you would like to include for instance android, iPhone or tablet targeting as well.
If you choose to design the banner yourself, the testing and making sure the code works is also your own responsibility!

What is a “diet”?[edit]

Central Notice admins can decide on different settings for the campaigns (number of displays, displays per week, etc.), and they all refer to how often a banner is shown. These settings are among others the weight, impressions, cycle, etc. of a banner campaign.

Who is going to manage my request?[edit]

Once you created the request page and it is added to the request page, an admin will come back to you in due time. They will maybe ask followup questions on the request page, or if everything is clear show you a preview of the banner. If you do not respond to these questions the banner will not be activated.


Why can’t we simply display the banner all the time everywhere?[edit]

Per the usage guidelines, banners need to be as unobtrusive as possible and as narrowly tailored as necessary. Showing a banner fulltime, especially with longer campaigns, is not considered according to these guidelines.

As you can see in the campaign calendar, the amount of banners shown to our readers of the Wikimedia projects sometimes can be very high. When setting up Central Banners, we want to prevent banner blindness as much as possible, and to leave some space to the local community, because banner blindness lowers the effect of showing banners to the readers and the engagement of readers in the topics we want to bring to their attention.