Tuesday, May 03, 2011

#Wikipedia traffic numbers are sobering

The non-mobile traffic for the English Wikipedia went down with a staggering 17% on a yearly basis.

The mobile traffic presents a different picture. This is one of vigorous growth; 227% for the English Wikipedia and 248% for all Wikipedias together.

To help you appreciate all this, there are combined statistics..

Our goal is to double traffic in five years. With many of the top 10 Wikipedias pretty anaemic, this is a challenge.

What makes me hopeful is that studies are indicating that the underlying cause for the lack of influx of new Wikimedians is social. The problem with social issues is to make people take this personally and seek and accept solutions that involves them.

There are partial solutions developed elsewhere like the Russian incubator for newbies. There are technical developments that may make a difference; we can include some of the best aspects of the social media, we can make our user interface more like what people are used to elsewhere.

The issue as I see it, we have to regain more wiki aspects and become less elitist. The notion that an article has to have great quality from the start results in many non-starters. The notion of quality is also increasingly academic and sadly  unreadable. Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia and should be first and foremost readable.
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