As part of the New Readers project, the Wikimedia Foundation is piloting approaches to raising Wikipedia awareness in India.
These efforts are led by community insight and direction, informing both recommended promotional channels and messaging. This page collects that community direction, summarizing the results of a survey of 321 Indian community members conducted from December 2016 through January 2017.
Just 25% of Indians polled in a 2016 phone survey had ever heard of Wikipedia. This critically low awareness threatens the future of Wikimedia projects in the region. Without recognizing or understanding Wikipedia, internet users in India cannot make habitual use of Wikipedia, advocate for free knowledge, or participate in Wikimedia projects.
Determine the best ways to explain Wikipedia and its use cases to new readers in India by asking people who live and work there.
- Statements to reliably introduce Wikipedia
- Set of clear and common Wikipedia use cases
- Guidance on imagery to explain and promote Wikipedia
- Recommended media formats for reaching and influencing people in target region
Summary of Findings
According to Indian community respondents, Wikipedia is a vast source of knowledge.
- It is an encyclopedia and filled with knowledge
- It acts like a wise, generous, know-it-all.
- It is ideal for school work, free, and in Indic languages.
- It looks like a library, filled with books, and it is made by society, for society.
Wikipedia should be promoted in schools and with social media posts.
TV advertisements and government partnerships are also recommended as ways to introduce and promote Wikipedia to Indians.
There were 3 questions in the survey about how to explain Wikipedia. In tabulating responses, we collected all words/ideas expressed 10 or more times. These collected responses are shown in the charts below:
|Smart, A know-it-all|
|A teacher, guide|
Explaining Wikipedia in 1 sentence
There was no single consensus statement used to describe Wikipedia, but many responses featured a common structure of [Collective noun] + [knowledge object] + [dimension of scale].
- Examples: "An ocean of knowledge" "Tons of information in one click" or "complete knowledge under one roof"
There were questions in the survey about how Wikipedia use cases. In tabulating results from 302 responses, we counted every word/topic expressed more than 10 times.
|It's great for school, homework, exams, and learning|
|It's filled with facts|
|It's local Indic languages|
99 participants shared web images or visual ideas to describe Wikipedia. Common visual elements that were repeated 5 times or more were tabulated to create the following chart:
|Knowledge metaphors (tree, book, site, etc)|
How to promote Wikipedia
Participants could select up to 10 recommendations from a pre-developed set. The resulting vote shows preference for school promotions, social media posts, and TV ads:
|Social Media posts|