Grants:IdeaLab/Bored with Boards: Attract Pinterest Users to Wikipedia

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Bored with Boards: Attract Pinterest Users to Wikipedia
Initiate a match-making program between Wikipedia articles and women who are actively engaged in content creation and evaluation on female-dominated social networks, such as Pinterest.
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created on19:02, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Project idea


What is the problem you're trying to solve?


The future of the informational internet depends on crowdsourced knowledge and volunteer stewardship. Wikipedia is perhaps the most prominent example of a crowdsourced project, with 18 billion page views and nearly 500 million unique visitors each month.

Women, however, are severely under-represented as Wikipedia editors. Estimates of the percentage of Wikipedians who are female range from 8.5 to 22.7 percent. Elsewhere online -- on social networks, such as Pinterest -- women are over-represented as content creators, sharers, commenters, and curators.

It is imperative that women contribute to projects like Wikipedia, so that their knowledge is not missing from the sum of all information online. To date, however, few initiatives have been dedicated to specifically targeting women who are actively engaged in content creation and evaluation on social media and examining the appeal and practicality of their participation in crowdsourced endeavors like Wikipedia.

What is your solution?

  1. Determine the status quo of women's participation in crowdsourced projects online.
  2. Identify possible barriers to women’s participation.
  3. Initiate a match-making service between active female Pinterest users and Wikipedia articles, catering to the needs and interests of those currently abstaining from participation in Wikipedia-editing.



Pinterest serves as a personalized media platform that allows users to upload, save, sort, and manage images (referred to as "pins") in collections called "pinboards." Users can browse one another's pinboards and "repin" items of interest to their own collections. Like Wikipedia, Pinterest is a resource, but one that is steeped in consumerism. This project is dedicated to identifying barriers to female Pinterest users' participation in crowdsourced projects like Wikipedia, and then encouraging this untapped well of prospective Wikipedians to shift away from consumerist resources and spend more time contributing to resources dedicated to general knowledge accumulation and the sharing of expertise.

Get Involved




Project Manager: Hahahammond (talk)

  • Developer I think, I can add some value this project. Pinterest do provides some APIs, using them one can fetch boards, fetch board pins. There is an app which connects instagram and pinterest, one can directly pick their instagram images and pin them to their pinterest boards.

There can be a similar app which connects Wikimedia and pinterest and creates an easy interface to directly port their stories/pins (relevant for Wikimedia, can be approved before posting) into Wikimedia. This can definitely increase number of women contributers in Wikimedia Commons as well. This is a proposed sketch for how this service can be. Relevant suggestions are invited. Simmimourya3107 (talk) 11:55, 26 September 2015 (UTC)


  • I am an enthusiastic Pinterest user, as CuriousEllie. I think this is a wonderful idea, although I'm not certain how to implement it. I endorse this idea, and would consider volunteering. FeralOink (talk) 03:28, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
  • yes. i would suggest some mentoring help like teahouse Slowking4 (talk) 18:29, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Solves the problem of no pictures. Actually gets women into Wikipedia in a way that they're already experienced with. I don't think that pushing them into editing the articles is a good idea, as Pinterest is primarily image based.

To be honest, Commons also needs to have women, and this is the perfect way to do it. Chess (talk) 04:05, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

  • I like the "Analytic frame" behind the project. I strongly suggest to focus only on wikimedia commons as a target. I hope we won't be flooded by "useless" images but it is worth a shot.--Alexmar983 (talk) 00:02, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I support the idea of utilizing social media to expand our audience. Pinterest has a large userbase, and seems like a logical target for some of those efforts. Varnent (talk)(COI) 01:18, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Project plan




Step 1: Determine the status quo of women's participation in crowdsourced projects.

  • Analyze data related to women’s activities online, drawing on publicly available information and site-specific information requests.
    1. Compare the rate of participation by men in crowdsourced projects to the rate of participation by women, further broken down by sub-demographics (age, race, marital status, etc.).
    2. Compare women’s participation in crowdsourced projects to their consumption of those same projects, which would serve as a measure for women’s baseline interest in a given resource.
    3. Determine whether and how existing engagement in social media relates to gaps in crowdsourced resources like Wikipedia. For example, certain sub-demographics may post comments or media related to particular topics on commercial social media, but fail to contribute their ‘knowledge’ of those same topics to crowdsourced projects.

Step 2: Identify barriers to women’s participation in crowdsourced projects.

  • Design and implement a questionnaire for active female Pinterest users to examine socioeconomic determinants that may inform their motivation for engaging in particular activities online. Topics will include:
    1. Consumerism: Why are women on Pinterest more likely to create posts related to the categories “Food and Drink,” “DIY and Crafts,” and “Home Decor” than they are to create posts about categories like “Film, Music, and Books”?
    2. Women’s sense of selfhood and subjectivity: Is there a cultural precondition that explains why women share personal experiences but stop short of contributing objective ‘knowledge’ online? If so, why do women choose to exercise their subjectivity in this way? At present, why are they favoring sites, venues, and visual modes of expression that allow the free expression of their personal lives and aspirations?
    3. Economic conditions and women’s leisure time: How do women conceive of free time? How much free time do women have? According to (former executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation) Sue Gardner’s blog post, “Some women don’t edit Wikipedia because they are too busy… It’s true that study after study after study has found that around the world, women have less free time than men.”

Step 3: Initiate a match-making service between active female Pinterest users and Wikipedia articles.

  • Based on the research conducted in Steps 1 and 2, prepare onboarding documentation that introduces prospective Wikipedians to editing procedures, emphasizing any techniques or practices utilized on Pinterest that are translatable within the Wikimedia ecosystem.
  • Re-think what ‘participation’ means: How can we cater to the needs and interests of sub-demographics currently abstaining from participation in crowdsourced projects? For instance, are women more likely to participate in crowdsourced projects if they are asked to provide or evaluate images, as opposed to text?
  • Find communities of interest on Pinterest and encourage them to edit Wikipedia articles on topics related to their pins.
  • Identify active Pinterest users to serve as case studies. Case study participants will keep a two-week diary, logging their online sharing activities and experiences, including any hurdles or challenges they encounter.
    1. During the first week they will record their normal activities on Pinterest.
    2. During the second week they will abstain from using Pinterest, and instead engage themselves in editing Wikipedia. (Whenever they would normally use Pinterest, they edit Wikipedia articles instead.)
  • Solicit feedback from case study participants, which will inform and direct future outreach efforts.


  • Project Manager $12,000 ($25/hour, 10 hours/week, June 2015 - June 2016)
  • Research Assistant: $2,000 ($12.50/hour, 10 hours/week, September 2015 - December 2015)
  • Research Assistant: $2,000 ($12.50/hour, 10 hours/week, September 2015 - December 2015)
  • Stipends for case study participants (20): $2,000 ($100/participant)
  • Incentives for completion of questionnaire: $2,000



The match-making program would continue after the grant period via volunteer outreach to active female Pinterest users orchestrated by existing Wikipedians.

Measures of success


The project team will track the success rate of outreach efforts, based on resulting participation of targeted groups in Wikipedia-editing.

Project team


Project Manager: Hahahammond (talk)

Community notification


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