Grants:IEG/Build an effective method of publicity in PRChina/Midpoint
This project is funded by an Individual Engagement Grant
Welcome to this project's midpoint report! This report shares progress and learnings from the Individual Engagement Grantee's first 3 months.
The Social Media Account at Weibo.com has 6600 followers from zero in these three months. Based the social media, we held several offline activity in four different city and the biggest one in Dalian, China had more than 60 people attended. The postcards which designed and made by ourslfves were done and ready to go. The first around "Prize for Post" was held which provide the important experience for following online activity. We are still looking for different way and better way to outreach around Social Media to achieve the effective way on publicity.
Wikipedia is more popular than before in China. But millions of people still have no idea about it or confused Wikipedia with WikiLeaks. So what kind of content will attract people to follow the social media account about Wikipedia and repost it for better dissemination. Also, all these content should be ruled under the basic requriement decided by Wikipedia itself such as being serious and taking Neutral point of view at the first place etc.
The post about current affairs is attractive. People who get news from Internet or Newspaper don't the background and details of it. But this is Wikipedia's strong point. In April 30, we posted many thing related with 2013 Lushan Earthquake which provide a different information sources and knowledge with news and got the good feedback.
Next thing for the content is that we know the people's interest who follow us. So rather than posting summary of biology articles, the military content gets more reposts.
But before people follow the account the repost the content, they need to know you at the very first time. It's easy if find some other social media account which has lots of followers and same direction. That how our account finish the earlier accumulation.
The "Prize for Repost" and "Sending Postcard" activities can not only maintain the healthy of group of readers of Wikipedia and followers of the account, but also help to encourage people repost the content which can help tp get more focus.
- Meetup in Shanghai (April 14): 5 people attended;
- Meetup in Beijing (May 25): 3 ZHWP admin attended; development of social media, better way to outreach
- Meetup in Songjiang, Shanghai (June 1): 8 people attended; In this biggest university town of Shanghai, some students shared their idea about possibility of school club and outreach in university based on Social Media.
- Meetup in Minghang, Shanghai (June 1): 9 SJTU students attended including many active editors of Shanghai JiaoTong University; Eric Song shared his experience of designing new main page of Chinese Wikipedia, User:Flsxx told how he wrote a good articles, and we also discuss the knowledge database and Wikipedia.
- Meetup in Yinchuan (June 9): 6 people attended; discussed with a local students' charity organization about how to connect Wikipedia with students' charity and the project which organize Arabic major students to write their hometown in Arabic and translate feature content in Arabic Wikipedia to Chinese Wikipedia.
- Experimental "Prize for Repost" activity: get experience on how these kinds of thing going and the things need to take care in the further activity.
- Wikimedia Tour in Dalian, China (July 6-7): 60 people attended; Detail and photos see HERE.
The current followers of the account is 6600, the statistic map by month is on the right.
So, what is 6600 means? For every post we pubilsed, 4000 people will read it without any repost. If the content is attractive enough, there may be 100,000 people read it.
The social media account plays as a bridge between Wikipedia to readers. We got many questions about why HTTPS can not use or how to deal with it. Without social media account, it's hard for them to ask and get result. The account often reposts the post who publish his donation to Wikipedia which helps people to kown how to donate Wikipedia and why. Also if the account belong to notable, it can also encourage people to do the same thing.
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So far the funds still are spent based on plan, but the postcard thing may need to change the budget since the minimum amount of making postcards. Postcards are cheap to made, but postage bring with might be a lot. And I underestimate the terrible posting service in China. So I may have to change the shipment method which might be little experience or pay by receiver if they want faster and more convenient method.
"Catching the core and leave others alone" is very important thing that I learned from this project. There are many different ways to help develop the social media account, but only a few of them can achieve amazing affect. Others, in sometimes, are assisting methods. But in limited time and energy, it's important to make sure the key method even give up those assisting methods.
What is working well
- The offline activities work well. The large population is the only advantage we have when holding Wikipedia activity. And we also have more than two-year experience about organizing offline meetings and activities. So The Wikimedia Tour in Dalian attract 60 people attended even held in a dinning hall. But compared with offline activity, social media can cover much bigger people all over the country. So the development of account will still take the first seat.
What are the challenges
- Frankly the increase of followers of the account is the challenge right now. Although we did good job on development and got the result which is not bad. But it still has some difference with the result we expect. We will put more focus on the account rather offline activities, and look for better way to outreach.
Next steps and opportunities
- In next three month, we will hold many different online activities on social media including "Prize for Repost" and "sending postcard".
- We will try to get cooperation with other NGO and knowledge share organization to help the account.
IEG do provide a great chance to me and to my group to realize our dream. We works on outreach of Wikipedia since spring of last year but is low efficiency. But our project seems small which hard to apply the grant of Wikimedia. But IEG welcomes the creative idea whatever the scope. It also provide a amazing chance for individual or a small group to do what they want to do for Wikipedia but can not to do by financial reason.