Local content

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Problem description

To increase the use of and participation in local Wikimedia projects it is important that the projects provides material that is of importance to the people in that region. The material provided on e.g. the English Wikipedia might in some regions not be of much interest, even if it would be translated into the local languages. Even increasing the topic coverage on sites such as the English Wikipedia could have some results as it could increase the use of Wikimedia projects by english speakers in a region, giving an increased awareness of the usefulness of these projects and in turn stimulating the use of the projects in the local languages as well.

To stimulate creation of material that is of interest in different regions it is important to know the latest up-to-date happenings in that country. For example in the Wikipedia section, articles relating to research in that country can be shown, and in the wikinews section current news about that country could be given priority. Also in the Wikibooks, Wikispecies and other Wikimedia projects up-to-dates in that particular country, relating to the particular project, should be given priority.

Some analysis of country-specific content in Wikimedia projects

One indication of a strong local community is strong content about those communities. Some interesting research and visualizations at a country scale is at this web site. The author writes:

The country with the most articles is the United States (almost 90,000 articles), while most small island nations and city states have less than 100 articles. However, it is not just microstates that are characterised by extremely low levels of wiki representation. Almost all of Africa is poorly represented in Wikipedia. Remarkably there are more Wikipedia articles written about Antarctica than all but one of the fifty-three countries in Africa (or perhaps even more amazingly, there are more Wikipedia articles written about the fictional places of Middle Earth and Discworld than about many countries in Africa, the Americas and Asia).

User:Aprabhala posted something in a similar vein over at Talk:Task force/India. Note that this research is only from English Wikipedia.

The following images offer another view on this:

Surface of the earth at night Imageworld-artphp3.png Geonames4.png

The first image is the surface of the earth at night. The second image shows the number of articles about the area. The third shows the number of named places in the world.

These images suggest that there's a correlation between places with lights and places with Wikipedia articles. It also shows the potential for new content about local areas.

Strategy for dealing with local content issues

Automatically collect data from the wikimedia projects taffic logs, search engines, alexa and so on about what people in different regions want to read about. Then present the data easily accesible from the main page of the different wikimedia projects and in a format that is easy to read and understand. The statistics could be collected in different cathegories such as current research, news, hot topics (topics that has a rise of intrest for a couple of days, weaks or months, e.g. a wedding of importnat persons in the region or a season long tv show), cultural intrests (e.g. dance might have a higher number of searches in some regions than others) and so on. Further encourage creation and expansion of articles about content that occurs on the list. It would be good if topics that allready has articles of pretty high quality could be filtered out of the list so that the list only containes topics that are not well covered and need to be improved.

Also make sure that topics of higher interest in the given region is highlighted on the main pages of the different Wikimedia projects. Even if there is a very well written article about Denmark in Tajik, there might be other articles that are better suited to be a featured article on the Tajik main page.