Wikimedia Foundation Medium-term plan 2019/Worldwide readership

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Wikimedia Foundation Medium-term plan 2019
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The relevance, sustainability, and stature of the Wikimedia movement relies on the users of the Wikimedia projects, and more specifically the readers of Wikimedia content. The relationship of readers to sustainability is relatively well understood within the Wikimedia community. The sheer volume of readership is an essential aspect of maintaining Wikimedia’s trust and reliability, as the accuracy and quality of the content relies on many people visiting and engaging with the projects everyday. Similarly, our dominant small donor model relies on a wide group of people reading and finding value from Wikipedia.

Less well-explored is the importance of readership to Wikimedia’s ability to advance a broader free knowledge agenda, in line with our mission and vision statements. As the projects have grown in popularity, Wikimedia’s community has grown in global stature, influence, and convening power. The popularity of the projects gives the Wikimedia community a platform to address a wide range of values and mission-aligned issues. This includes partnership with other knowledge institutions, including cultural, educational, and research communities, and the advancement of related cultural and civic rights, such as freedom of inquiry, association, privacy, and creator’s rights.  

For Wikimedia to continue to advance free knowledge on our own platforms and through the broader movement and mission, we will need to maintain and grow our readership globally. This means holding steady in places of high engagement, and increasing engagement in places of low Wikimedia awareness and use. By 2030, 80% of the world’s population will be in Asia and Africa – regions with today’s lowest Wikimedia readership representation. We must close this gap if we are to advance our mission of free knowledge, built for and by the world.

This priority is aimed at making substantial progress in closing this gap between population growth and Wikimedia readership in regions where we are not widely known, while staying relevant in our core markets where the majority of our content and our donations come from today. It uses product development broadly but also has a substantial brand and marketing component – we will not be able to reach our goals without building out these key capabilities.

Outcomes[edit]

1. Make incremental but meaningful changes to our core products.

Priorities supported: Thriving Movement, Brand Awareness, Global Advocacy

  • For the first 12–18 months the priority will lay down the basics. It will work with the brand program to make significant design changes that will signal to the world that Wikipedia is a modern, mobile, delightful, useful trusted source of knowledge. It will require the Foundation to continue to improve our data capabilities, making strides in understanding consumption patterns, both on the projects and where our content is re-used as well as our efforts to drive awareness and traffic to our sites. We will continue our experiments to design new formats and build content for emerging communities and invest in those that are effective with our new readers.

2. Substantially extend our core product experiences.

Priorities supported: Thriving Movement, Brand Awareness, Global Advocacy

  • This priority will focus on deeper evolutions to the core product – integrating content from Commons, Wikidata, Wikisource and other projects into Wikipedia. This will be accompanied by powerful authoring tools and content creation mechanisms for editors that build upon new capabilities in AI-based content generation, structured data, and rich media to augment the article format with new, dynamic knowledge experiences. New content formats will come to life here as the outcomes of earlier experimentation. We will showcase these developments in a launch for Wikipedia’s 20th birthday in 2021.

3. Change the paradigm of free knowledge.

Priorities supported: Thriving Movement, Brand Awareness, Global Advocacy

  • Wikipedia will always be the engine of our mission and movement. We will build on its strength as a platform that disseminates knowledge for anyone to use, anywhere on the internet, in a clear, easy, identifiable manner. We will further develop the interfaces for our technical ecosystem, in order to enable people, institutions, sites, and machines to create, share, and access the sum of all knowledge, on and off the Wikimedia sites, in order to truly become the “essential infrastructure of free knowledge”.

Metrics[edit]

Increase Readership by approximately 20% over the next 5 years as measured by page interactions and unique devices (our proxies for content consumed and number of visitors). As the outcomes will be implemented sequentially, we have mapped them to yearly targets:

1. Make incremental but meaningful changes to our core products.

  • In years 1 & 2 we will increase the average monthly content interactions by 7%
    • Total: ~16.6 billion to ~17.8 billion (7%)
    • Core markets: ~12.2 bn to ~12.8 billion (4.5%)
    • Emerging markets: ~4.4 billion to ~5 billion (14%)
  • And average monthly unique devices by 9%  (We believe our awareness work will bring slightly more users/interaction)
    • Total: ~1.5 billion to ~1.6 billion (4.6%)
    • Core markets: ~1.01 billion to ~1.06 billion (5%)
    • Emerging markets: ~517 million to ~608 million (17%)
  • We will also begin to measure our external re-use and formulate appropriate target metrics

2. Substantially extend our core product experiences.

  • In years 3 & 4 we will increase the average monthly content interactions by 9.3% (We believe our new product features will drive consumption)
    • Total: ~17.8 billion to ~19.4 billion (7.7%)
    • Core markets: ~12.8 bn to ~13.5 billion (6%)
    • Underrepresented markets: ~5 billion to ~5.9 billion (18%)
  • And average monthly unique devices by 7% percent
    • Total: ~1.6 billion to ~1.8 billion (7%)
    • Core markets: ~1.06 bn to ~1.12 billion (6%)
    • Underrepresented markets: ~608 million to ~670 million (10%)
  • We will seek to increase our external reuse by 10%

3. Change the paradigm of free knowledge.

  • In year 5 we will increase average monthly content interactions by 7.7%
    • Total: ~19.4 billion to ~20.3 billion (4.5%)
    • Core markets: ~13.5 bn to ~13.8 billion (2.5%)
    • Underrepresented markets: ~5.9 billion to ~6.4 billion (13%)
  • And average monthly unique devices by 5% percent
    • Total: ~1.8 billion to ~1.9 billion (5%)
    • Core markets: ~1.12 bn to ~1.15 billion (2.5%)
    • Underrepresented markets: ~670 million to ~731 million (9%)
  • We will seek to increase our external reuse by 20%