Romanian Wikimedia Growth Strategy 2005
This page seeks to come up with ideas for the growth of the Romanian Wikimedia projects, as well as report on overall progress at regular intervals, and establish forecasts for growth. Romanian Wikimedia is the first Wikimedia language to engage in this type of accurate reporting.
The Romanian Wikimedia community is one of the largest of the language Wikimedia communities. Additionally, it has one of the best article-to-language-speakers ratio because of the fact that the Romanian language is only spoken by around 28,000,000 worldwide. However, despite strong growth in 2004, the Romanian Wikimedia community must work to ensure more sustainable growth in the coming year, as well as a more comprehensive approach towards non-Wikipedia projects, especially Wikibooks and Wiktionary.
Why targets and modelling of growth? - Until now, Wikimedia projects have grown organically, with very little planning. Romanian Wikimedia is experimenting with a strategy plan and targets in 2005, to see whether this approach boosts growth, and, more importantly, improves the overall quality of the projects. The advantage of targets and growth modelling is that it provides a clear goal for Wikimedia projects and therefore establishes a sense of direction. The disadvantage is that too much attention can be spent on trying to attain a certain number or statistic without taking into account real quality improvement. An example of this would be the creation of multiple stub articles to reach a certain target, something which does not greatly improve overall quality. For this reason, the Romanian Wikimedia Growth Strategy 2005 is only an experiment to see the suitability of targets for enhancing the growth of Wikimedia projects.
2004 was, overall, a very successful year for the Romanian Wikipedia. The Wikipedia grew from 2,061 articles at year-end 2003 to 10,000 articles as of December 12. The prediction for year-end 2004 is currently between 11,000 and 12,000 articles. This equates to roughly 6 times more articles than at the start of the year.
It must be noted that a large number of the growth was what can be called artificial in that it was generated by geographical stub articles. This is a problem that has plagued the Romanian Wikipedia from the start, and must be rectified in 2005.
Numerous new users joined the Romanian Wikipedia in 2004. However, very few of them stayed on to become major contributors. Currently, the Wikipedia has 3-4 major contributors, 1-2 of which joined the project in 2004.
Sound progress was made in terms of internal links, though the progress was below growth in articles, signalling an increasing trend towards shorter articles. While the Romanian Wikipedia is, as of December 12, the 20th largest Wikipedia, it is only 25th when it comes to the number of internal links.
In non-measurable progress, such as quality of articles, standardisation, inclusion of images, etc, very solid progress was made. The Romanian Wikipedia now has a nicely-designed and easy-to-use main page.
2004 in numbers
|Statistic||Year-end 2003||Year-end 2004*||Change (%)||Trend|
|Articles over 0.5 Kb||48%||18%||-62.5%||negative|
|Usage (page requests per day)||520||1360||362%||positive|
More statistics can be found at Romanian Wikipedia Charts.
- Statistics as of 12 December 2004. Will be updated to 31 December 2004 when this date is reached.
Targets and Strategies for 2005
Target: 30,000 articles (13,500 articles by Jan 2005; 15,000 articles by Feb 2005; 20,000 articles by Jul 2005)
This target will be reached with a mixture of geographical stubs and "real" articles. We plan to make real articles account for 20% of this growth, which equals around 4000 articles. The only way in which this can be done is by attracting new users, and the only way to do that is by promoting Wikipedia. The promotion strategy is outlined in the section "Usage and promotion" below.
Stub articles will include, at first, city articles on European cities, and later world cities, followed by articles of general knowledge, such as the chemical elements, etc.
Part of the 30,000 article target also includes "filling in the gaps" in certain categories so that the Romanian Wikipedia becomes more comprehensive. This includes having every article specified on the List of articles every Wikipedia should have, as well as other articles users would be commonly looking for. We are also planning to develop existing articles on common knowledge topics. The reason for this is not only to boost growth but also attract new users. A detailed, well-written article about a common topic (e.g. a famous scientist) probably has 20 times more chance of increasing users than 100 geographical stubs!
In terms of date breakdown, the targets above state that 15,000 articles should be reached by February 2005. This is because we are planning on finishing our project of creating stubs on all European cities. Therefore, this should create quick strong growth leading up to February 2005, from when more moderate and sustainable growth is planned. The growth of 5,000 articles between February and July supposes 1,000 new articles per month. In the last six months of the year, the target is 30,000 articles, with a around 1,700 new articles per month. This target looks achievable provided that there are around 3-4 new major contributors.
Target: 100,000 links
It is much harder to predict and set targets for internal links than articles. For this reason, only one target is set: that we are hoping to reach 100 K internal links by year-end 2005. This would be an increase from approximately 46 K at the end of 2004.
The main strategy with which to increase internal links would be via longer and more comprehensive articles. In the middle of 2004, a project was started in which a topic area was chosen each month, and articles on that topic area were created intensively. That idea died down a few months later due to lack of interest. It would be good to relaunch that project (known as Quality Guaranteed 10+), as that would create more articles with more internal links.
More internal links would also be created by deepening articles on common topics, as well as by the creation of stub articles. However, while a good article may have as many as 100 internal links, a geographical stub will have usually around 3 internal links, and therefore it is important that many long articles are created.
Usage and promotion
Progress in 2005
As the year 2005 progresses, statistics will be added here.
Results (according to stats.wikimedia.org, July 2010; comparison end 2004 - end 2005):
- active users: 21-71
- very active users: 4-19
- internal links: 51 000-201 000
- number of articles: 11 000-17 000
- number of article, ranking among Wikipedias: 21-27