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New Readers/Messaging for India

As part of the New Readers project, the Wikimedia Foundation is piloting approaches to raising Wikipedia awareness in India.

These efforts are led by community insight and direction, informing both recommended promotional channels and messaging. This page collects that community direction, summarizing the results of a survey of 321 Indian community members conducted from December 2016 through January 2017.

ChallengeEdit

Just 25% of Indians polled in a 2016 phone survey had ever heard of Wikipedia. This critically low awareness threatens the future of Wikimedia projects in the region. Without recognizing or understanding Wikipedia, internet users in India cannot make habitual use of Wikipedia, advocate for free knowledge, or participate in Wikimedia projects.

ObjectivesEdit

Determine the best ways to explain Wikipedia and its use cases to new readers in India by asking people who live and work there.

  • Statements to reliably introduce Wikipedia
  • Set of clear and common Wikipedia use cases
  • Guidance on imagery to explain and promote Wikipedia
  • Recommended media formats for reaching and influencing people in target region

Summary of FindingsEdit

According to Indian community respondents, Wikipedia is a vast source of knowledge.

  • It is an encyclopedia and filled with knowledge
  • It acts like a wise, generous, know-it-all.
  • It is ideal for school work, free, and in Indic languages.
  • It looks like a library, filled with books, and it is made by society, for society.

Wikipedia should be promoted in schools and with social media posts.

TV advertisements and government partnerships are also recommended as ways to introduce and promote Wikipedia to Indians.

Detailed FindingsEdit

Introducing WikipediaEdit

There were 3 questions in the survey about how to explain Wikipedia. In tabulating responses, we collected all words/ideas expressed 10 or more times. These collected responses are shown in the charts below:

Explaining Wikipedia in 1 word
Word Responses
Encyclopedia
47
Knowledge
43
Information
25
Awesome
9
Amazing
7
Library
5
Helpful
5

Several fictional characters were named as well, including Jarvis the AI from Iron Man, Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, Sheldon Cooper, and Sidhu-Jetha.

If Wikipedia were a person it would be
Characteristic Responses
Smart, A know-it-all
53
Humble, wise
18
A teacher, guide
17
Nerdy
14
Friendly, kind
11


Explaining Wikipedia in 1 sentence

There was no single consensus statement used to describe Wikipedia, but many responses featured a common structure of [Collective noun] + [knowledge object] + [dimension of scale].

  • Examples: "An ocean of knowledge" "Tons of information in one click" or "complete knowledge under one roof"

Using WikipediaEdit

There were questions in the survey about how Wikipedia use cases. In tabulating results from 302 responses, we counted every word/topic expressed more than 10 times.

Try Wikipedia it's great for
Use Responses
Knowledge
60
Learning
41
Everyone/everything
32
Information
19
You
13
One thing for a new user to know about Wikipedia...
Thing Responses
It's great for school, homework, exams, and learning
26
It's free
25
It's filled with facts
14
It's local Indic languages
11

Visualizing WikipediaEdit

99 participants shared web images or visual ideas to describe Wikipedia. Common visual elements that were repeated 5 times or more were tabulated to create the following chart:

Describing Wikipedia in imagery
Themes Responses
Books/libraries
20
Knowledge metaphors (tree, book, site, etc)
19
Wikipedia icons
17
Cartoon
12
Schools/universities
5
World map/globe
5
Sun/Sky
5

How to promote WikipediaEdit

Participants could select up to 10 recommendations from a pre-developed set. The resulting vote shows preference for school promotions, social media posts, and TV ads:

Recommended approaches to promoting Wikipedia in India
Approach Responses
School promotions
197
Social Media posts
168
TV advertisement
159
Government partnerships
148
Videos
147
Newspaper articles
132
Celebrity ambassadors
128
Posters
84
Radio announcements
64
Wiki pages
38