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

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 92 Nigerian Wikimedians conducted from December 2016 through January 2017.

ChallengeEdit

Just 23% of Nigerians 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 Nigeria cannot make habitual use of Wikipedia, advocate for free knowledge, or participate in Wikimedia projects.

 
Presentation summary of Wikimedia Nigeria community feedback on how to best explain and promote Wikipedia in Nigeria.

ObjectivesEdit

Determine the best ways to explain Wikipedia and its use cases to new readers in Nigeria 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 Nigerian community respondents, Wikipedia is a free online library where you can learn almost anything.

  • It is an encyclopedia.
  • It acts like a generous know-it-all.
  • It will help you learn about the world and grow as a person.
  • It looks like a library, and it is made by people (like you).

Wikipedia should be promoted in schools and explained with videos.

Social media and radio are also recommended as places to introduce and explain Wikipedia to Nigerians.

Detailed FindingsEdit

Introducing WikipediaEdit

There were 3 questions in the survey about how to explain Wikipedia. In tabulating results, we tallied answers that appeared more than 2 times (for specific word) and 5 times (for specific topics). These collected responses are shown in the charts below:

Explaining Wikipedia in 1 word
Word Responses
Encyclopedia
30
Knowledge
21
Information
5
Facts
2


If Wikipedia were a person it would be
Characteristic Responses
A know-it-all
24
Generous
11
A teacher
5

Explaining Wikipedia in 1 sentence

There was no single consensus statement used to describe Wikipedia, but many responses featured a common structure of [Cost] + [technology detail] + [knowledge object] + [user benefit / user participation]

  • Example: "A free online library where you can learn almost anything"


Wikipedia use casesEdit

There were 2 questions in the survey about how Wikipedia use cases. In tabulating results, we tallied answers that appeared more than 2 times (for specific word) and 5 times (for specific topics). These collected responses are shown in the charts below:

Try Wikipedia it's great for
Use Responses
Learning
36
Information/answers
24
A teacher
12
One thing for a new user to know about Wikipedia...
Thing Responses
Information & answers
20
A place to learn
19
It's made by people
14
It's free
5

Visualizing WikipediaEdit

33 participants shared web images 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
13
Wikipedia icons
9
People collaborating
7
Computers
2

How to promote WikipediaEdit

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

Recommended approaches to promoting Wikipedia in Nigeria
Approach Responses
School promotions
65
Video
59
Social Media posts
41
Radio announcements
34
Posters
33
Government partnerships
33
Newspaper articles
31
TV advertisements
26
Wiki pages
25
Celebrity ambassadors
11