- Be as unobtrusive as possible.
- Be as narrowly tailored as necessary.
- Be consensus-driven and respect our principles.
- Avoid constant use, to prevent banner blindness as much as possible, and to leave some space to the local community.
Every central notice (or group of them) must be added on due time to the CentralNotice/Calendar, which is the key tracking and coordination tool. It must also have a contact person/responsible who asks it on behalf of the promoters and defines its specifications.
All banners need a comment period of at least 7 days. The target wikis should be notified of the Meta-Wiki discussion, see Distribution list or whatever venue is most suitable to efficiently reach most interested users.
- Standard banners
Standard movement-wide banners relating to Wikimania, steward elections, board elections, other general Wikimedia votes and surveys, maintenance notices, do not need wide discussion.
- Controversial cases
Some campaigns are controversial whatever their implementation, simply because their content is uncommon or because they are not yet clearly established as compliant with our principles. As examples, consider the promotion of initiatives involving a non-Wikimedia organization, project-wide protest, advocacy initiatives.
Depending on how potentially controversial the notice is, such additional issues should be discussed with the global community in a visible venue such as Wikimedia Forum, wikimedia-l or Requests for comment. Local notifications per above should be checked with additional scrutiny; a small banner notification can help increase the visibility of the discussion for the most affected audience within editors.
Decisions to partake in advocacy also require approval from the Wikimedia Foundation.
- Relevant targets - Target only the needed languages and avoid showing banners in languages different from the users' if at all possible (e.g. avoid English banners for anonymous users on non-English projects or for logged in users with non-English interface language). Banners relating to content generation should target content projects, avoiding governance and project support projects like Meta.
- Campaign weighting - Wherever possible, campaigns should be kept below 50% traffic unless express community consensus exists to do otherwise.
- Impression limiting - Impression limiting and named campaign cookies should be used for all campaigns. Typically 5 impressions, resetting after minimum of 7 days. Campaigns running on multiple wikis or for long periods will need stricter limits.
- Campaign length - Campaigns should typically be less than 2 weeks in length. Only in cases where proven success exists or explicit community consensus prevails will exceptions be made for campaigns of 1 month.
- Limit - Hard limit of 2 campaigns for any one language/geography/project combination per month.
- Alternatives - Smaller banners, local notices and mass-messaging campaign should be used as alternatives to CentralNotice.
- Freely licensed - All content including text, background images or logos must be free content.
- Wikimedia only - Banners must link to Wikimedia-controlled domains (owned either by Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia affiliates or Wikimedia volunteers identified to the Wikimedia Foundation). Banners should not contain any trademark owned by a for-profit.
- Secure links (From October 2019) - All links from CentralNotice banners must use https connections.
Banners for fundraising and external surveys should be discussed at least 21 days and requires approval from Wikimedia Foundation in all instances. For these please contact Joseph Seddon.
Online fundraising banners are run by the Wikimedia Foundation, however it is now common practice to coordinate timing of fundraising campaigns for all countries (except for US, UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia) with local affiliates. The aim is for this to be done around 4-5 months in advance although significant changes in fundraising periods can be discussed anywhere up to 9 months in advance.
Online fundraising banners run by affiliates are approved via legal agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation and again do not need additional approval.
The Wikimedia Foundation and affiliates who run fundraising or tax deductibility campaigns must adhere to the WMF Board Fundraising Principles.
This guidance applies to all Wikimedia requests for surveys is also duplicated for the reference of WMF staff internally
Software: In interests of privacy of our users. Individuals running campaigns with surveys or forms used to collect information via CentralNotice are strongly encouraged to request and use a Qualtrics account via User:RMaung (WMF). This protects the privacy of our users to a much greater degree compared with SurveyMonkey or Google Forms.
Metrics: It's really important to think about how many replies you would like and expect (they are not the same), including breakdowns across languages. It is encouraged all requests for surveys consider about what would be a useful amount of data to collect rather than, which we are all often too guilty of, simply as much as possible. Setting expectations allows CN admins to adjust a campaign to be more or less intensive depending on how on target we are. It's all in the name of efficiency.
Size of audience: Our largest surveys across the whole movement reach thousands of editors. Set realistic expectations about how many responses you will get. As a survey gets narrower in focus, you should not expect nor demand response levels on par with those largest of surveys. You might only get hundreds or even tens of replies. If it's representative of your target audience, small size is not inherently a bad things. You also might want to consider deliberately under-representing certain languages (English or German) to allow the voices of other communities to be louder and positively biased towards.
Is central notice the right tool?: Although applicable to all campaigns, it is particularly important to consider who your audience. Consider other means of communication. Send out surveys to user talkpages, user email, mailing lists, social media, appropriate notice boards/talk pages and village pumps BEFORE any CentralNotice campaign if you are targetting editors.
Banners for maintenance windows are set as they are needed, usually by WMF staff. They use a dedicated banner (please translate). They are identifiable by they syntax:
- CentralNotice/Request can be used to receive assistance to comply with the present guidelines.