What ratio of contributors to readers should Wikimedia aim for?
What is the context for these figures? It would help to have some context to put these figures into.
What is the ratio of contributors to users for other encyclopedias, print and online?
What is the ratio of contributors to users for newspapers? textbooks? non-fiction books? I expect the ratios for these other forms of education media are also less than 1:2000, but I don't know that for a fact.
In a medium like scientific journals or other academic journals, the ratio of users to contributors is much higher, I would expect.
Knowing what other media's ratios are like might help determine what an appropriate level of contribution should be. Drvestone 19:27, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I think doubling it, to 0.1%, would be pretty ambitious. But Drvestone is right that we should set a benchmark based on what we've seen in similar projects. Randomran 19:40, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
note: I moved this content to LQT, I did not create it.
I'm not sure we can answer this question based on this slide because the scale is so small. We're talking about the difference between 0.02 and 0.04%. Perhaps the conclusion we can draw from this is that the ratio of active contributors to visitors is not a useful statistic.
I think what's more interesting are the raw numbers. Portugese Wikipedia has about 1,700 active contributors per month. Korean Wikipedia has about 600. Perhaps you need to hit 1,500 active monthly contributors before you become a sustainable Wikipedia. Note that these numbers might be different for Wikipedia than for, say, Wiktionary.
When you look at the Korean Wikipedia it has a really healthy growth. I do not see any reason to suggest that with 600 monthly editors it is not sustainable. What you are saying is that most of the really small Wikipedias are not sustainable. I wonder what this is based on.. Remember it is the road that we travel that is key, not so much the goal itself.
The ratio of contributors to readers does not seem relevant to me. If we want to expand Wikipedia, we should be looking at the number and quality of contributions. MissionInn.Jim 14:30, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
You caught me, Gerard. :-) I misspoke, and in doing so, I probably revealed an unconscious bias that many people probably share.
What constitutes a sustainable wiki? Certainly, any online community with 600 active users is tremendous. It's good to be reminded of this.
What constitutes a quality Wikipedia? Size matters, but it's not the only thing. Can we agree on what the "right" size might be? And how many active users are required to get to that size?
There are some really small Wikipedias that represent language with a REALLY small number of speakers. Some of them have exceedingly active editors that really make the language come alive. Consider Saterfrisian for instance, I would not be surprised when their Wikipedia is an important resource for the language on the Internet.
As long as people are passionate about their language in this way, I could not care less about any attempt to numerically define if it is "sustainable". Such projects prove that languages can be made to sustain.
Hausa is one of the languages that is in the top 50 in number of people speaking the language. Currently its Wikipedia has 140 articles BUT there has been activity at translatewiki.net on its localisation... The potential of Hausa is huge...
Again, do not look at Wikipedias and wonder if their goal has been achieved, consider the road towards the goals for that language. We provide infrastructure to travel the road, and as more people join, as more articles are written these Wikipedias achieve goals that are relevant to the people that speak the language. Remember for many languages Wikipedia is the first encyclopaedia EVER to be written in that language...
For me, it is strategic for us to prepare the grounds, build the equipment so that communities have their Wikipedias, and can achieve the goals that are relevant to them. A quality encyclopaedia is just one goal.
I generally agree with this. Two questions:
- When should others (the Foundation or the Chapters, for example) invest in some of these smaller wikis, and if so, what should they invest in?
- Can we quantify the cost of maintaining/supporting each Wikipedia?
Gerard, I know your answer to the first question -- localization. I generally agree with this. Where should this stand in our list of priorities, especially with the Wikimedia vision in mind? How do we evaluate these lists of possibilities more rigorously?
Well, that would not be my answer. Localisation AS A MECHANISM is there for all languages. The main reason why the WMF invests in translatewiki.net in my appreciation is because it is an investment that benefits ALL languages. The cost of identifying the individual cost per language is proportionate to the activity for that language. When you look at the statistics at translatewiki.net you will find that the languages of our biggest Wikipedias tend to do best.
As long as we provide the level of support of translatewiki.net, the cost associated with translatewiki is maintenance costs. Your question is how and what and when should we invest in languages. The first thing we should do is invest and make sure that our languages are technically properly supported. It should be a WMF responsibility that we technically support the languages we have Wikipedias in. Certainly for languages like Arabic, technical issues should be resolved as a priority particularly when issues are as basic as issues with left to right languages in general !!
When we talk about investment in languages we should prioritise. This means to me that we should first invest in technologies that benefit all languages. Then we should invest in categories of languages and finally we should make investments for the support of individual languages.
We implemented LocalisationUpdate ... it pays off. MediaWiki started by implementing Unicode, it is one of the determining factors in our success. Unicode evolves, we rely on the producers of fonts to do their work and for languages like Malayam, Hindi, Lingala and several others we find that this reliance does not fully function, we can and should invest in both webfonts and the development of fonts. One argument for us to support this is that we want to provide "the sum of all knowledge", much knowledge can only be conveyed starting in the language it is written in. The argument that these are "small" projects can be partly explained by this lack of technical support. It is a chicken and egg situation; these projects need support to grow and will be handicapped as long as they do not get such infrastructural support.
When we are to invest in measures that generate more quantity and quality content, we are doing this in our usability initiative and the follow up Commons initiative. I promote the use of statistics to single out what articles people want to read and are missing combined with a what new articles proved to be the most popular in their first month. Key in the appreciation is that it is not targeted on any individual language; all our projects benefit. I do not argue for the funding of the localisation for a language; I do not mind other parties to do so, I am afraid it will hurt our localisation effort when the WMF does fund at this stage of our development.
Eugene, I am advocating for us to do what volunteers cannot do. The WMF provides infrastructure and when the ground is fertile and prepared we can leave it to our communities to build their projects. That is imho exactly right.
What ratio of contributors to readers should we aim for? 1. Contributing in small ways should be easy enough, and Wikimedia projects should be wide-ranging enough, that everyone who uses them can also contribute in some small way. And the collaborative, participatory, free culture ethic should be widespread enough that people consider contributing to the commons part of their civic duty.
Two questions, when the editor community is healthy we do not need a specific number of editors .. compared to the readers. As long as the readers are happy, the content good should we strife for a bigger community of editors .. What is the benefit ?? I do not understand appreciate why this is relevant. Thanks