Small Wiki Editor Engagement Project/Report/Monthly (June-July 2012)
From July 4 to July 18, 2012, we ran a 2 week survey targeted at readers of Bangla Wikipedia. This helped us to understand more about the needs of the readers and editors of Bangla Wikipedia that this project aims to engage.
Background and overview of the survey
The survey was intended to gather information from the overall readership of Bangla Wikipedia, information about editors or potential editors and the status of current help and support system. We aimed to figure out the need of new editors and readers interested in becoming editors, and understand what sort of help might be useful for them to contribute to Bangla Wikipedia.
We prepared a questionnaire with around 29 questions (not every question was visible to everyone, some conditional questions only appeared to selective participants based on their answers). Although Bangla has a very small editing community, there was a high level of participation and awareness about this survey in the community, and in 2 weeks we got 1107 complete responses. There were an additional 737 unfinished responses when we closed the survey.
The questions of the survey were distributed under four sections – reading, editing, help and support, and readers’ information.
Students form the majority of Bangla Wikipedia readers, and many use it every day:
- 60.5% participants said Bangla Wikipedia is useful for their study
- At second position, 20.5% participants are knowledge seekers – use Bangla Wikipedia to gather information.
- Most of the survey participants (34.6%) said they use Wikipedia every day, while 28.8% said they use it only they find a need for it. Other participants (28.1%) use Wikipedia from a period of few times a week to few times a month. 8.4% were new readers who said it was their first time at Bangla Wikipedia.
People get to know about Bangla Wikipedia from different sources:
- Inter-wiki links on articles of other Wikipedias seem to play a key role on Bangla Wikipedia. The majority of respondents (36.2%) said they knew about Bangla Wikipedia from “other languages” links from English Wikipedia.
- Also 32.5% knew about Bangla Wikipedia from search engines and rest of the participants knew about Bangla Wikipedia from social networking websites, newspapers, blog and forum sites.
Most readers found Bangla Wikipedia to be useful, but missing important information:
- 74.7% found Bangla Wikipedia useful, 21.8% found it “somewhat” useful, and 3.5% did not find Bangla Wikipedia useful to fulfill their need.
- Those who did not find Bangla Wikipedia useful raised few reasons behind it. 80.7% participants said that “Articles do not have enough information," which is a pretty common problem for smaller Wikipedias. Other reasons include readability of articles, outdated information, lack of enough articles on various topics, incomplete articles, etc.
Most of the readers do not have an account in Bangla Wikipedia as they do not need to have an account to read. For those who do create accounts, Bangla Wikipedia has enabled automatic welcoming by bot for several months now. 62.8% of those who have an account in Bangla Wikipedia received a welcome message on their talk page, and around 80% of them found that welcome message useful.
Suggestions to improve the readability of Bangla Wikipedia gave us a total of 771 responses, most often suggesting to:
- add new articles on various topics
- complete articles
- improve the article writing
- add and update information
Many readers are aware they can edit Wikipedia:
- One fourth of the survey participants do not edit Bangla Wikipedia.
- Of those who do not edit, the majority (62.8%) have simply never tried.
- But more than half (53.5%) of total participants already know they can edit Wikipedia.
- Most of the people who did not know they can edit now expressed their interest to think about editing Wikipedia in future.
Participants pointed out following reasons they think it is complicated to edit Bangla Wikipedia.
- Most of them (33.3%) feel a need to have guidance on where they can start, as they are not familiar with this environment.
- The Wikipedia editor panel and the Wikitext/Wikicode is the second biggest issue – 26.3% said they do not understand the editor panel. The visual editor will be useful to solve this problem.
- As Bangla has its own script, there is a need of separate typing tool to write. 17.5% participants mentioned they do not know how to write Bangla in computers.
- There are also people who do not know why they should write in Bangla Wikipedia, which points us to the need of motivation and awareness about Bangla Wikipedia.
- Like other developing nations, mobile internet is growing way faster than home internet and 2.3% participants said they cannot edit Bangla Wikipedia because they are using mobile devices to read, and contributing from mobile devices is too difficult.
Help and support
Most of the survey participants need more help to edit Wikipedia:
- 56% need more help editing Wikipedia, and 44% say they don't need much help but can get it by reading through help pages.
- 63.4% do not know where they can find help about editing Wikipedia. This points to the need for a well-structured and user-friendly online dashboard for getting help.
Respondents want a variety of ways to get help in the help system. These include:
- Step-by-step help tutorials on what to do and how to do it is the most preferable (71.2%) helping structure
- 52.6% would also like wiki help pages.
- 43.7% like the idea of a forum site where they can ask questions and Wikipedians can answer them.
- Several (30.3%) also preferred direct online help via online chats (like IRC help, Google Talk or Yahoo chat), and some (2.5%) prefer help in person.
Most of the participants (77.7%) would like to get help from Wikipedians, just 22.3% think help pages are enough. More than half or the participants (55.1%) do not know any Wikipedians to ask help in person.
People mentioned asked for editing help on several basic topics including:
- writing new articles
- translating articles from English Wikipedia (it is major source of information to small Wikipedias)
- adding references
- uploading images
Some also showed interest in learning intermediate skills including:
- writing articles with help of contents from external websites and understanding about copyright
- dealing with the the editor panel and wikimarkup
A significant number (44.7%) of participants are not sure about what they need or where they can start so they would like to have a guidance on what to work on, and where and how to start.
As internet connection and speed an issue is an issue to many readers, they also expressed the need of short video and PDF tutorials so they can easily download the help materials and watch/read offline.
Majority of participants are from Bangladesh
In male-female comparison, only 5.6% participants were female. As pointed out in the reading section, people between the ages of 16 to 26 cover the largest portion (62.2%) of the readers. Most of the readers are students and they use Bangla Wikipedia for their study. Service covers 24.8% of the participants.
38.6% participants have a university graduation, 29.8% are college graduates, 19.8% have masters degree or above.
On the country comparison, the majority of the users are from Bangladesh.
- 81.2% of the survey respondents are from Bangladesh. Bangladesh has 160 million Bangla speakers, which is more than half of the total Bangla-speaking population (around 280 million) in the world.
- 16.3% of participants are from India. With around 80 million Bangla speakers, India has the second largest group of Bangla speakers in the world. Most of them live in the West Bengal state of India.
- 2.5% of participants read Bangla Wikipedia from other countries, and the United States is first among them, although United Kingdom has the third largest Bangla population.
Compared with 1024 responses from male readers, we got just 62 responses from female readers of Bangla Wikipedia:
- The majority of them are students and need it for their studies
- 66.1% of them are between 16 to 26 years in age
- Most of the female readers (33.9%) are college educated and 29% are university graduates
- 79% of the female readers are from Bangladesh, 14.5% are from India, 6.5% are from rest of the world
- 21% of the female respondents said they edit Bangla Wikipedia. If those who did not, after learning that they can edit, most of the women expressed their interest to contribute.
- 50% female participants clearly expressed their willing to edit, while in overall response, majority (56.6%) said they will think about it, and 37.9% directly said they will edit.
- Female readers emphasize wanting more step-by-step help.
Overall response statistics
The questions in bold are the questions from the survey. All questions and the breakdown of responses (minus free text responses) are listed below.
- Why do you read Bangla Wikipedia?
- 60.5% said they are students and they find Wikipedia useful for their study
- 20.5% said they use Wikipedia as it is their hobby
- 10.0% said they find Wikipedia useful at their work
- 09.1% said they read Bangla Wikipedia after being forwarded by search engines
- How frequently do you read Bangla Wikipedia?
- 34.6% use Bangla Wikipedia almost every day
- 28.8% use Bangla Wikipedia when they have a need
- 17.9% use Wikipedia few times a week
- 10.3% use Wikipedia few times a month
- 08.4% said it was their first time in Wikipedia
- How do you know about Bangla Wikipedia?
- 36.2% knew about Bangla Wikipedia from other languages link of English Wikipedia
- 32.5% knew about Bangla Wikipedia from search engines
- 11.3% knew about Bangla Wikipedia from social networking sites (i.e., Facebook, Twitters, etc.)
- 10.8% knew about Bangla Wikipedia from newspapers and magazines
- 09.2% knew about Bangla Wikipedia from blog or forum sites
- Do you find Bangla Wikipedia useful?
- 74.7% find Bangla Wikipedia useful
- 21.8% think Bangla Wikipedia is more or less useful
- 3.50% did not find Bangla Wikipedia useful
- What is that you did not find useful in Bangla Wikipedia?
- 80.7% find not having enough information in articles is the main reason of not being useful
- 32.5% think articles are not well written
- 24.6% think information are outdated
- 14.6% mentioned other reasons that include (prioritized list):
- Lack of enough articles and topics
- Lack of detail information on a topic and incomplete articles
- Wrong or biased information
- The way the articles are written, mixing up with English and Bangla texts
- Contradiction of Bangla of Bangladesh and Bangla of West Bengal, India
- Do you have an account on Bangla Wikipedia?
- 78.4% do not have an account in Bangla Wikipedia
- 21.6% have an account in Bangla Wikipedia
- After creating the account, did you receive a welcome message on your talk page?
- 62.8% received a welcome message after creating the accounts
- 31.4% do not know if they got a welcome message or not
- 5.90% did not receive a welcome message
- Did you find the welcome message helpful?
- 79.3% find the welcome message useful
- 18.0% find the welcome message more or less useful
- 2.70% did not receive the welcome message useful
- Do you edit in Bangla Wikipedia?
- 75.3% do not edit Bangla Wikipedia
- 24.7% edit Bangla Wikipedia
- Have you ever tried to edit Bangla Wikipedia?
- 62.8% did not start editing Bangla Wikipedia yet
- 31.4% tried to edit Bangla Wikipedia but they were not sure where to start
- 05.8% tried to edit Bangla Wikipedia
- Have you ever edited Wikipedia in another language?
- 87.6% did not edit any other Wikipedia
- 12.4% edited other Wikipedias which most of the edited English Wikipedia
- Do you know that including you anyone can edit this Wikipedia and write articles like the ones you are reading?
- 53.5% know that they can edit Bangla Wikipedia
- 24.7% said they sort of know this fact
- 21.8% do not know that can edit
- As you now know that you can edit, would you like to start editing Bangla Wikipedia?
- 56.6% will think about editing Bangla Wikipedia
- 37.9% want to edit Bangla Wikipedia
- 05.5% prefer not to edit
- Why do you think you cannot edit Bangla Wikipedia? (please select all that apply)
- 33.3% do no know where to start
- 26.3% do not understand the editor panel
- 17.5% do not know how to write Bangla in computer
- 10.5% do not know why they should write in Bangla Wikipedia
- 09.9% specified other reasons that include:
- Slow typing speed and Bangla is hart to type as it has more characters than English
- Editing from mobile devices which make editing complex
Help and support
- Do you need any help to edit Bangla Wikipedia?
- 56.0% need help to edit Bangla Wikipedia
- 44.0% do not need much help to edit and they can figure things out with help pages
- Do you know where you can find help about editing Bangla Wikipedia?
- 63.4% do not know where they can find help
- 36.6% know where they can find help about editing Bangla Wikipedia
- What kind of help would you most like to have as you're editing Bangla Wikipedia? (choose all that apply)
- 71.2% would prefer to see step-by-step tutorials that teach them what to do
- 52.6% would prefer Help pages with information that they can read
- 43.7% would prefer online help forums where they can ask questions and experienced people will answer
- 30.3% would prefer one on one help from another experienced Wikipedia user online
- 02.5% would prefer one on one help from another experienced Wikipedia user in person
- 05.9% would prefer other kind of ways of helping that include:
- Video tutorials
- Offline tutorials, like PDF tutorials in Bangla
- Have you ever asked any Wikipedia user to help you understand how to edit Wikipedia?
- 14.2% asked Wikipedia users for editing help
- 55.1% did not ask for editing help as they do not know any Wikipedia user
- 30.7% did not ask any Wikipedia user
- Do you want a Wikipedia user to help you online about editing Bangla Wikipedia?
- 34.2% would like to have a Wikipedia user to help them
- 43.5% would like to have on-call help from a Wikipedia user
- 22.3% would like to see some help pages as enough
- What do you need help with? (please select all that apply)
- 59.9% would like to have help on how to write new articles
- 57.3% would like to have help on how to translate articles from English Wikipedia
- 53.6% would like to have help on how to add references
- 51.5% would like to have help on how to write with help from other websites and deal with copyright
- 48.8% would like to have help on how to upload images on Wikipedia
- 48.3% would like to have help on how to write in Wikipedia editor, help with understanding the code used for writing
- 44.7% would like to have some guidelines on something to work on
- 06.6% would like to have help on other matters that include:
- How to write in Bangla
- How to take participation in discussion
- Where to report about articles
- How to add images on articles
- How to maintain article's reliability
- What is your gender?
- 92.5% are male
- 05.6% are female
- 01.9% preferred not to disclose their gender
- What is your age?
- 42.1% are between 21-26 years
- 20.1% are between 16-20 years
- 15.1% are between 27-30 years
- 11.2% are between 31-40 years
- 06.0% are between 41-60 years
- 03.3% are in below 16 years
- 01.7% preferred not to disclose their age
- 00.5% have the age 60 years or above
- What is your profession?
- 60.1% are students
- 24.8% are in service
- 05.8% are in business
- 05.6% are in others categories which include:
- Web developers, programmers, and IT professionals
- Retired persons
- Freelance workers
- and several others
- 03.7% are unemployed
- What is the highest academic degree do you have?
- 38.6% have bachelor degree
- 29.8% have graduated from college or finished diploma
- 19.8% have masters degree or above
- 11.8% have high school degree
- Which country are you from?
- 81.2% are from Bangladesh
- 16.3% are from India
- 02.5% are from other countries that include:
- United States
- New Zealand