Lombardy during Expo 2015, Wiki Loves Monuments 2015 and Wikimania Esino Lario 2016

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Lombardy and its provinces.

Common problem among the Wikimedia movement[edit]

Which is the number of people who can actually enjoy writing an enciclopedia as an hobby?

Aims of this proposal[edit]

  1. We want to improve content related to Lombardy because this Italian region will host Wikimania Esino Lario (and it makes sense that content on Wikipedia about the territory is well developed), because in general content about territories is relevant for readers and schools, and because 2 million people are expected to visit Expo in Milan in 2015 and it would be nice they find relevant articles about the territory they will or can visit on Wikipedia.
  2. We need to get the job done and who can do it are the Wikipedians.
  3. Since we are already here we would like to increase the number of contributors in Lombardy.


Getting the job done and – since we are already there – let's try to get new people in.

Activity Description Metrics Indicators
Targeting a specific territory Lombardy 1'500 potential Wikipedians, 30% success rate = 450 Statistics about edits and contributors on Wikipedia in Italian
  • we expect a general increase in the number of editors and edits (it is expected to be visible on the general statistics; we do not plan to use IP and geographic information to avoid privacy issues). We are aiming at quadruplicate the number of editors in Lombardy; it is reasonable to expect that – if it happens – this increase will be visible in the general statistics.
  • looking at the 1'500 articles we are focusing on (see below), we expect to be able to identify a series of committed contributors and what they have been contributing to beyond our list of 1'500 articles. We expect this selection of articles highlighted through communication to trigger contributions by the current active users and by new users.
Asking people to contribute to specific content they can probably relate to Municipalities of Lombardy 1'500 improved articles. Statistics about articles (these 1'500 and related ones - in the same category): number of edits, timeline of edits, quality of the articles, number of contributors, number of articles in related categories and their growth through time.
Tapping on large scale communication (the most inexpensive) Local media, Facebook and high school assemblies
  • to let people know about Wikipedia and that they can contribute
  • to link the communication to Wiki Loves Monuments 2015 and Wikimania Esino Lario 2016
  • and to ask people to help us involving Wikipedians
We do not expect Wikipedias to use Facebook and to be main consumer of local media but we consider these two communication tools as the most efficient, economic and with the best penetration rate. The large majority of people tend to consume local media and Facebook is more efficient for the general public in Italy and in villages than twitter. It is reasonable to expect that with this communication we reach around 500'000 people (something like 1/3 of the members of libraries in Lombardy). We do expect wikipedians to be in high school and we expect to communicate Wikipedia in 10 high school assemblies (around 1'000 students per high school = 10'000 people) Articles published (with related number of readers of the newspaper), and statistics on Facebook
Focusing on libraries (where we expect Wikipedians to be) Sending libraries a welcome kit composed of two posters (inviting anyone and communicating to Wikipedians where they can find us and find support) and some free bookmarks Libraries in Lombardy are 1337. We expect to successfully contact 400 libraries (30%) through the existing library system with their distribution systems. Members of libraries in Lombardy are 1'500'000 and we expect to reach with our communication 5% of the people they involve = 75'000 Welcome kit distributed and follow up on the links and addresses.

Resources needed[edit]

Proposal for a bachelor thesis about "Communicating Wikipedia", SUPSI, 24/03/2015 (Italian).
Result of a bachelor thesis about "Communicating Wikipedia" by Alessandro Serravalle, 2015.

The project is developed between January 2015 and April 2017.

  • Communication costs: 4'000 euro (estimate for 2 posters in 1500 copies each and 30'000 bookmarks is around 2'000 euro + 50 euro per 40 library networks for other materials - brochures, books related to Wikipedia)
  • Meetings and site visits 2'000 euro (50 euro per 40 visits/meetings - travel and allowances)
  • Project executive (Dario Crespi)

Explanation about the solution proposed[edit]

A specific relevant target[edit]

Lombardy is an extremely relevant target to experiment Wikimedia outreach.

  • It has a population of around 10 million inhabitants (around half women and half men; 1/6 of the Italian population, more than Switzerland and similar to Sweden), distributed in 12 provinces with 1'500 municipalities (20% of the 8'000 Italian municipalities). Among the 20 Italian regions, Lombardy is the most populous and the richest.
  • It will host Expo in Milan in 2015 with 2 million expected visitors.
  • It will host in Esino Lario in 2016 our conference Wikimania (aiming also to have an impact on its territory).
  • It has 1.337 libraries with 1.5 million members[1]. Libraries are organized into around 42 systems[2] which manage the borrowing of books and eerie distribution (with a van taking books and other materials to libraries – even the remote ones – at least once a week). Many libraries in Lombardy are part of the Rete biblioteche digitali MLOL and rete Indaco; rete MLOL has uploaded 800 texts from Wikisource with links to Wikipedia.
  • It has already an active group of wikimedians (estimated between 50-100 active and regular editors), it is the region where the Wikimedia Italia office is located.
  • There are already initiatives organized in municipalities and libraries: Sestopedia, Wikibrugherio, Bustopedia, lessons to librarians and libraries.
  • It has a population of around 500'000 young people (15-19) and round 70'000 tablets have been distribution in hight school (progetto Generazione web)
  • It is one of the regions where the contest Wiki Loves Monuments is organized.
  • Part of its territory is a mountain alpine territory (connected to the activities promoted by Wikimedia CH - Alps Portal
  • The Lions Club (lead by the Riviera del Lario and involving the district) is interested in supporting an initiative related to improving content about Lombardy. We are discussing the organization of a contest ("Adotta un comune" - Adopt a municipality, an initiative which was already organized in the past by Kaspo.
Population Provinces Municipalities Libraries Members of libraries Population between 15-19
Italy 60.000.000 8.000
Lombardy 10.000.000 12 1.500 1.337 1.500.000 500.000
Lombardy/Italy 17% 19%
% Lombardy 15%


  • The communication of Wiki Loves Monuments 2015 and Wikimania 2016 can boost interest and participation in the Wikimedia projects, both among people and among administrations and institutions. These initiatives are currently under development with volunteers and resources activated.
  • Considering the population of Lombardy (10 million) and the number of people members of a library (1.5 million), it is possible to estimate that the potential number of wikipedia contributors in Lombardy (not occasional ones, but committed ones) should be around 1'500.
Population Success rate
1 Wikipedian per Lombardy 30%
7.000 1.429 429
3.000 3.333 1.000
per municipality 1.500 450
Members of library Success rate
1 Wikipedian per Lombardy 30%
7.000 214 64
3.000 500 150
per library 1.337 401
  • People who can enjoy as an hobby writing an enciclopedia
    • tend to be around the local library (and if they are 19-27 they are likely to be in a city to study at university)
    • do not like Facebook. But people on Facebook might know them.
  • We know that out there there are people who can enjoy contributing to Wikipedia and they do not need too much support. We are not targeting people who will need support because
    • wikipedia is a jungle. If they survive the entrance point they can survive and contribute longer.
    • we do not have much support to offer and after-sales service is a pain.

The real question is: wouldn't it be easier to just ask 10 very active Wikipedians to contribute to improve 1'500 articles and more? Can they do it? Would they be willing to do it? Do we actually need new people in or are we fine with the people we already have? Is the outreach producing more than we can do ourselves?


Why the proposal is relevant for Wikimedia Italia[edit]

  • It contributes to Wiki Loves Monuments 2015.
  • It contributes to Wikimania Esino Lario 2016.
  • It focus on a region in Italy.
  • It takes advantage of Expo 2015.
  • It focuses on libraries which are at the core of GLAM activities in Italy (and with the highest successful rate).
  • It reinforces media contacts, communication, links with libraries and it uses communication tools already used by Wikimedia Italia.

Why the proposal is relevant for Wikimedia Foundation and the movement in general[edit]

  • It experiments a methodology (which can be replicated in other territories if it works).
  • It addresses a relevant questions for the moment and it contributes to provide an answer.
  • It contributes to Wiki Loves Monuments 2015.
  • It contributes to Wikimania Esino Lario 2016.