Community Insights/2018 Report/Communications Department
The Communications Department leads the Foundation's efforts to openly and effectively share information—about the Wikimedia movement, the Wikimedia projects and the Wikimedia Foundation's work itself—with a global audience including volunteer editors, site readers and other stakeholders.
For this survey, the Communications Department would like to answer the following questions:
- Which community audiences are we reaching?
- How do community audiences spread the word about the Wikimedia mission?
- How are communities engaged and stay up to date with information about the Wikimedia movement?
1. Which community audiences are we reaching?
We can understand the audiences that take part in the Wikimedia movement by their activities. Contributors spend their time adding or curating content in the Wikimedia projects. Volunteer developers help with the development of software. Program organizers put in place outreach programs and projects. Such as conferences, events, or workshops to bring more people to Wikimedia. Wikimedia affiliates are formal organizations that support local volunteers and organizing.
In general, editors take part in less diverse ways within the Wikimedia movement. Wikimedia affiliates and program organizers participate in the most diverse ways (CS01). The graph below shows the intersection of these activities in the movement by audiences targeted in the survey.
Examining the graph by audience, we observe that:
- Editors are less likely to participate in multiple ways than other audiences. However, we do see that high-activity editors appear to participate in more offline events, supporting software, and participating in Wikimedia affiliate. Changes from 2017 and 2018 seem to be small.
- Volunteer developers contribute in a variety of ways to the movement. They mostly support software development followed by participating in offline events or in a Wikimedia affiliate. From 2017 to 2018, there is reduced support for software development in this audience. This could be attributed to changes in the sampling strategy.
- Program organizers and Wikimedia organizers appear to participate in the most diverse ways. They contribute to the projects, but also participate in offline and online events.
Examining the graph by activity, we observe:
- All the audiences contribute content to the Wikimedia projects. This confirms we are reaching the right audience across the channels used for the survey.
- The activity least supported among participating audiences in this survey is conducting research. The Wikimedia Foundation identified researchers as a community audience that they aim to serve. They were not a target audience for this survey this year. We left the response in the question. There may be overlaps between volunteer developers and researchers based on the channels they report to use.
- Applying to Foundation grants and participation in offline events appear to be reported less often as activities.
2. How do community audiences spread the word about the Wikimedia mission?
Among editors, more than 50% reported not sharing anything related to Wikimedia (CS14). This finding surfaced because of a change in the question this year. We added the option "I do not usually share things related to Wikimedia projects."
In general, it seems as though program organizers, affiliate organizers, and volunteer developers are more likely to use a wider variety of channels to share their work compared with editors. For example, we observe that more than 60% of program organizers and affiliate organizers reported using social media, Editors contributed less than 18%.
Due to the nature of the data (many responses) we are unable to run statistical tests to check for differences. Due to changes in the question wording, we were unable to compare this question to the 2017 survey.
In general, it seems that low-activity editors (AE) are more likely to not share anything related to Wikimedia, while high-activity (VAE) editors are more likely to share things on Wikimedia projects (CS14). For social media, there does not appear to be a clear pattern of use. No matter the activity level it appears editors use social media less than the other audiences.
A higher percentage of men reported that they do not usually share things related to Wikimedia (CS14). In turn, a higher proportion of women reported using social media, Wikimedia project pages, and Wikimedia mailing lists to share information related to Wikimedia. Most of this difference seems to be driven by editors and volunteer developers.
3. How are communities engaged and stay up to date with information about the Wikimedia movement?
55% of Wikimedians reported looking for updates or news about Wikipedia/Wikimedia once a week or once a day. 20% reported never looking for news or updates about Wikimedia/Wikipedia (CS11). Across all the audiences, we did not detect statistically significant differences across the five audiences.
Among Wikimedia editors, 44.8% reported not using any channels for learning about features and services from the Wikimedia Foundation (CS12). From those who did report using one of the channels listed, Wikimedia project pages were endorsed the most.
Wikimedia affiliates reported a wider variety of channels for learning about updates from the Foundation. Besides Wikimedia projects, they reported using the blog, local conferences, and social media more than the other categories.
AE = Low-activity editors
VAE = High-activity editors
DEV = Volunteer developers
PL = Program organizers
AFF = Affiliate organizers
In examining this question by gender, we can observe some differences. We cannot say whether they are statistically significant. When asked about using media channels for learning about features and services from the Wikimedia Foundation we observed the following:
- 68% of males and 80% of females reported using at least one channel.
- A higher proportion of males used Wikimedia projects pages. Female editors reported a higher use of mailing lists, social media, the Wikimedia Foundation blog, and conferences.
Between 2017 and 2018, there was a statistically significant decrease in the satisfaction rating of the use of communication channels among affiliate organizers (CS22). The average response decreased from 3.71 in 2017 to 3.50 in 2018. Both between "Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied" and "Satisfied". Yet, the median response was “Satisfied” (4) in both 2017 and 2018, indicating that the change is rather small.
Most useful findings
- Audiences were targeted in different ways. Please see the survey methodology for more details.
- High-activity editors, low-activity editors, program organizers, affiliate organizers, and volunteer developers
- Due to routing errors, CS21 which asks about the effectiveness of communication channels was not asked this year.