The team will write updates here at least monthly about what we've been working on. You can find ways to participate at each of the focus area pages (awareness, affordability, offline) and see our active quarterly goals at New Readers/Quarterly goals.
May 16, 2019Edit
- The WOMP team on the ground was able to facilitate trainings with 50% of the participating facilities.
- We are working with the Kiwix team to figure out their funding for the next fiscal year. Meanwhile, Kiwix has launched their Kiwix Hotspot 2.0, which allows anyone to make an SD card for a Raspberry Pi with just a few clicks.
Our marketing campaign extensions have reached over 28 million views, with weeks left to go during the campaign.
This is now being tracked in Audiences SEO program.
The concepts that were previously tested with individual users in India are now being built into clickable prototypes with a cricket focus to launch alongside the Cricket World Cup starting June 1, 2019. See more on the retention page.
This effort is paused.
April 13, 2019Edit
- The project team for WOMP has completed the training manual and evaluation plan that they will use in the field. Our hope is that these materials will be able to be repurposed for future offline deployments as well. Meanwhile, all 20 devices have been deployed to the field.
- We are working with the Kiwix team to understand their funding needs for the upcoming year.
- We are redistributing the videos that were produced for Iraq, Nigeria, India, and Mexico to reach more people. This has just begun and will continue through May.
- The inspire campaign and grants have been summarized in a blog post by Maria Cruz. We're really excited to see what communities do with this new grant type!
- Working with the Education team on the initial stages of a collaboration to promote the value of reading Wikipedia in the classroom. Target regions have been identified and an initial survey is being designed.
- This is now being tracked in Audiences SEO program.
- Product experiments for retention have been continuing in India. The team there has been testing the ideas in front of user matching the Sukhwinder persona. So far, the winning ideas are focused around "snackable" content (rather than long form), voice search, and language switching.
This effort is paused.
March 18, 2019Edit
- WOMP: 14 devices have been successfully deployed. It will take 2-3 weeks to distribute the remaining 6 devices due to second round of Governor elections in Nigeria. Locations include private and government owned hospitals with range of staff 25-30 to 600-700. Successfully deployed in 5 of the 6 geopolitical zones so far. The feedback has been positive and people are excited when they learn it is FREE. Project Manager is using a training manual to teach staff in the locations how to use the devices. 1 rejection for far since the facility felt that “Wikipedia is not medical authority” and had concerns about the content and lack of constant updating. There will be more in-depth detail in the quarterly report due April 10, 2019.
- Stephane from the Kiwix team joined our Global Reach & Partnerships team at Mobile World Congress, looking for more opportunities to support offline learning with Kiwix.
- The report for the Mexico campaign is still in progress. We've received the endline phone surveys which indicate no change in awareness among internet users after the video. 13% of internet users surveyed indicated that they had seen the video.
- We will be extending all of the video campaigns (Iraq, Nigeria, India, Mexico) through additional, wider promotion in the coming months. Where possible, we will be promoting to a broader geography than in the first round. For example, the Hindi video was promoted only in Madhya Pradesh, a single state in India. This time, we will promote to Hindi speakers across India.
- The new Rapid Grants have launched! We're excited for communities to build on what we've learned through the first round of grants and the Community Marketing Experiments. Check out the new grants (and submit a proposal!) here: general awareness and video
The Audiences department is analyzing the impact of SEO changes made in Q2 (Oct - Dec) to understand their impact. If effective, we will roll out these changes to additional wikis for further analysis.
We have signed with an agency in India for developing concepts and prototypes. Angie Muigai, Runa Bhattacharjee, Prateek Saxena, and Toby Negrin spent a week doing a "design sprint" with the agency to kick off the process. Concepts are being iterated and tested now. We're exploring short form content, supporting multilingualism, social sharing, delightful experiences, and brand perception, among other things.
This effort is paused.
January 9, 2019Edit
- Satdeep Gil will be transitioning out of his role as Community Coordinator for New Readers into a new role as a Program Officer for GLAM and Underrepresented Knowledge. Zack McCune is transitioning into a new role, leading Brand efforts for the Communications team as the Senior Global Brand Manager. We're sad to see them go, but excited for what they'll each bring to the movement in these new roles!
- Angela Muigai started as Senior Product Manager, leading product experiments for New Readers. She is based in Nairobi and has experience with offline internet solutions as well as working with Google in Kenya. See more about her work under "Retention" below.
- Kiwix has submitted a draft strategy for internal review.
- WOMP's 2nd quarter report is in and under internal review.
- We are in the process of analyzing the impact of the Mexico campaign, which ended in December and reached 5.5M video viewers. Phone surveys are in progress to survey the change in brand awareness (this campaign's target) and traffic analysis is in. We'll release a final report later this quarter which rolls up all of this information.
- Marketing work will be paused pending the hire of a Director of Marketing as Zack transitions fully to his new role.
- The Community Marketing Experiments have concluded, with campaigns completed in Bengali for Wikisource and Tamil for a contest. Analysis is in process, and a report will be completed in the next few weeks. We'll integrate what we learned from these experiments into the templates for the upcoming awareness grants.
- The report for the Inspire campaign and associated grants has been published! We're excited to share what we learned and will be launching rapid grants for awareness soon.
- SEO is being executed by Audiences, outside of the New Readers program.
- Angela Muigai will be leading product experiments to increase retention of readers in emerging markets. We're currently in the process of selecting a design agency to support this work.
- This effort is paused.
December 12, 2018Edit
- Jack Rabah and Anne Gomez accepted the African Excellence Award in the category of NGOs & Associations for the Nigerian campaign.
- We launched the Mexican awareness campaign on November 14 and video has garnered 5.1 million views so far.
- We have published the Impact Report of the Hindi awareness campaign on Commons and it is available here.
- We have completed the first Community Marketing Experiment for Bengali Wikisource. Post campaign Bengali Wikisource saw an 18% increase in main page pageviews and 35% increase in overall pageviews as of December 12, 2018.
- We will be creating templates that will have guidelines, based on Inspire New Readers campaign, about different grant activities we will be funding.
- Anne Gomez is working with Kiwix to develop a strategy for re-users with a draft due before the end of the calendar year. See their goals here.
- See Audiences plan for SEO here. This work is now being tracked in New Readers, but executed elsewhere.
- Our new product manager starts in January, who will focus on increasing retention. Anne Gomez and Runa Bhattacharjee are seeking an agency to support this work by building concepts and prototypes.
November 14, 2018Edit
- We have hired a New Readers product manager, who will start in January 2019. We plan to hire an agency to work with her for first concepts and prototype development.
- Satdeep Gill will be joining the Community Programs team as Program Officer, GLAM and Underrepresented Knowledge. He will continue working 20h per week with the New Readers until mid-January 2018, finishing the Community Marketing Experiments and reporting for the Inspire campaign for awareness.
- We have launched the Mexican awareness campaign. You can watch the video on Commons, Youtube or Facebook.
- We were thrilled to learn that the Nigerian campaign won the African Excellence Award in the category of NGOs & Associations.
- We are running our first Community Marketing Experiment with the Bengali community to promote videos produced by them as a part of the Inspire New Readers Campaign in order to increase awareness of Bengali Wikisource.
- We will be a publishing a report on the Inspire New Readers campaign before the end of December.
- 20 devices have been sent to Nigeria for the Wikipedia Offline Medical Pilot (WOMP).
October 10, 2018Edit
- Hiring is still open for a product manager for New Readers! See the job description here for more information.
- In Mexico, the video shoot happened in the second weekend of October! The awareness campaign will likely be launched in November.
- We are expecting to receive the reports from the 8 rapid grants projects funded as a part of the Inspire New Readers campaign by 30th October. We will starting working on creating templates to request awareness grants in November.
- We have kicked off Community Marketing Experiments. We will be working with different Indic Wikimedia communities to help them expand their outreach with small social media ad campaigns.
- The Project Manager for Wikipedia Offline Medical Pilot (WOMP) has been hired and the person will coordinate all on-the-ground activities which will include deployment and monitoring.
September 12, 2018Edit
- We still looking for a product manager for New Readers! See the job description here and please pass along to anyone you think would be a good fit. We're looking for someone located in GMT to GMT +5:30 who has experience launching digital products in emerging markets.
- In Mexico, creative pre-production will begin next week and the shoot will take place in October, pending confirmation of main actress for the video. We are expecting to launch the campaign in early November.
- In India, the awareness campaign saw 1.37M views during the broadcast of the final match of the Indian Premier League, bringing total video views to 4.37M.
- Wikipedia's Android application campaign in Nigeria has yielded 61,000 clicks and 17,600 app downloads so far.
- Reports of 4 out of 8 projects funded during the Inspire New Readers campaign have been received. We will be creating templates to request awareness grants once all the reports are in.
- Wikipedia Offline Medical Pilot (WOMP) will be a rural heavy pilot based on research by CDC, Nigeria. There are 12 devices available now and we are expecting to have 360 devices, 10 for each Nigerian state.
August 8, 2018Edit
- ZMcCune (WMF) and SGill (WMF) presented a session at Wikimania 2018, Introducing Wikipedia to New Readers. Three inspire campaign grantees, Biplab Anand, Jamie Tubers and Wikilover90, also joined the session as panelists.
- We are hiring a product manager for New Readers! See the job description here and please pass along to anyone you think would be a good fit. We're looking for someone located in GMT to GMT +5:30 who has experience launching digital products in emerging markets. Down the line, we will also be hiring a designer and engineers.
- In Mexico, we are working with an agency in Mexico City and the community team includes Wikimedia Mexico and other Iberocoop members. Lyrics and music are finalized, with vocals being recorded and mastered now. We intend to launch the song in October 2018. Baseline survey for Mexico will be happening soon.
- In India, the awareness campaign saw a reach of 3M users with an increase in awareness among internet users from 33% to 40%. We are still waiting on view data from television
June 30, 2018Edit
- Wikimania 2018 is going to be held in Cape Town, South Africa from 20th to 22nd July 2018 and ZMcCune (WMF), JVargas (WMF), User:JRabah (WMF) and User:SGill (WMF) will be representing New Readers at the conference. We are holding a session on Introducing Wikipedia to New Readers on 22nd July 2018.
- In Mexico, we are working along with Wikimedia Mexico to develop an awareness campaign for Latin America. Creative concept has been finalized and we plan to start producing the video in August 2018. A review committee from Iberocoop will be set up to ensure compatibility will local markets.
- In India, the awareness campaign has ended and we are waiting to receive data on TV views from BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) India.
- In Nigeria, we are working with Anakle to promote Wikipedia mobile application on Play Store.
- Wikipedia Offline Medical Pilot (WOMP) Grant agreement has been signed by The Africa Center (TAC) and the Wikimedia Foundation. This project will distribute offline medical content through wifi hotspots to medical clinics in Nigeria.
- We have signed the partnership agreement with Kiwix to support them through this fiscal year. The partnership will help create a strategy for third-party reuse of Kiwix, fix technical debt, improve usability, and more. Learn more on the blog.
May 29, 2018Edit
- The bug which caused issues with Opera Mini traffic IP assignment has been resolved.
- In India, the Hindi Wikipedia promotional video was aired on Doordarshan Sports, right before the starting of the Final match of the Indian Premiere League. We will share more data regarding tv viewership soon. One the other hand, the video under-performed on facebook and we have not been able to reach our goal of 5M views on the web yet.
- In Mexico, the agency has been finalized and a contract has been signed. Creative ideas will start coming around mid-June 2018.
- Kiwix will receive direct funding from the Wikimedia Foundation from the next fiscal year and the contract should be finalized in the next 2 weeks.
- Wikipedia Offline Medical Pilot (WOMP) Grant agreement is pending signature by The Africa Center (TAC).
April 11, 2018Edit
- Opera and WMF's Analytics team are collaborating on a bug in Opera Mini traffic IP assignment that is causing traffic for some countries to be incorrectly located or lost.
- Q4 Goals for Wikimedia Audiences (including the New Readers program) have now been published. See it here: 2017-18 Q4 Goals
- In India, the video campaign for Hindi Wikipedia launched on April 3, 2018. The campaign targets young potential readers in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Additionally, styling of the mobile main page of Hindi Wikipedia has been updated after consultation with the Hindi community.
- In Nigeria, the awareness campaign ended in October 2017. Awareness of Wikipedia has increased dramatically in the country since 2016, when 28% of internet users knowing Wikipedia. At our most recent survey in February, awareness of Wikipedia among internet users had increased to 42%.
- In Mexico, we plan to launch the awareness campaign in May 2018. Of all of the surveyed New Readers target countries, Mexico has the highest rate of awareness among internet users - over half of those surveyed had heard of Wikipedia. This will inform the creative strategy for this campaign. The team includes Ivan Martinez from Wikimedia Mexico along with Jorge Vargas and Blanca Flores from the Foundation.
- We have funded 8 proposals from Inspire New Readers campaign. These projects will run from mid-April 2018 till the end of June 2018. We are also planning to improve some of the usability issues surfaced during this campaign in Q4 and will be hiring a contractor shortly. Keep an eye on the Wikimedia Foundation's job board if you're interested in helping!
Our work to support access is narrowing focus coming into the next fiscal year, to focus on a few potential high-impact projects moving forward:
- Pending board approval of the Foundation's annual plan, we are planning to directly fund Kiwix in the next fiscal year. Kiwix is central infrastructure to the offline ecosystem. Their work supports both individual offline users and institutional re-users who bring Wikipedia into classrooms, clinics, and other places worldwide.
- We are hoping to launch the Wikipedia Offline Medical Pilot in May 2018 across Nigeria.
- The caching center in Singapore is up and running, with traffic being routed there incrementally. We hope to see decreases in page load times for users in the region.
March 14, 2018Edit
Jack Rabah, Kacie Harold, and Zack McCune went to WikiIndaba in Tunisia to learn from African communities and share our work.
There is a bug in Opera Mini traffic IP assignment that is causing traffic for some countries to be incorrectly located. This is particularly visible in countries where Opera Mini is a heavily used browser, such as in Nigeria.
Our annual plan for next fiscal year, running July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019 is now published. See it at New_Readers/Annual_Plan_1819.
The deadline to submit grant proposals for Inspire New Readers campaign was March 15th 2018 and we have received 9 proposals and out of which 4 are from India, 3 from Nigeria, 1 from Peru, and 1 from Nepal. We are excited to see what these communities do to raise awareness where they live, and expect these grants to be completed sometime Q1 (July-September 2018).
In India, the Hindi video is ready to launch and we are going to launch the awareness campaign for Hindi Wikipedia by the end of March 2018. The Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is going to be our target region for video promotion, but the video will be available worldwide. A baseline survey has been completed and results will be released after some processing. We're also working with the Hindi community to update the styling of their mobile main page to help new readers understand what Wikipedia is when they arrive.
In Mexico, we beginning conversations with WMMX to conduct a video campaign for awareness, which should run sometime around June 2018.
Wikipedia's Android application was updated with the ability to download ZIM files. We are going to promote the app's offline functionality in Nigeria to help us understand if offline features are a major driver for app usage.
Wikipedia Offline Medical Pilot (WOMP) will run from April 2018 to June 2018 in Nigeria in partnership with The Africa Center. It will distribute wifi hubs (Raspberry Pi) with offline medical content from Wikipedia and other freely licensed sources to clinics in all 36 states in Nigeria, and will serve as a pilot for possible expansion. The wifi hubs are created by Internet-in-a-Box and based on Kiwix.
January 10, 2018Edit
Satdeep Gill attended Bengali Wikisource anniversary on 10th December 2017 in Kolkata. The Bengali community showed interest in producing a promotional video for Bengali Wikisource.
The core team will be meeting in person later this month to make plans for the upcoming fiscal year and reflect on what we've done so far.
Inspire New Readers campaign has been successfully launched on January 8th, 2018 and the campaign will run till February 4th, 2018. The New Readers team will be organizing two online workshops to enhance an understanding of awareness and how to plan a pilot project. There will be a round of Rapid Grants following the campaign. As of the writing of this update, we have already hit our participation targets with 220 ideas and 340 participants!
In India, first full draft of the video to generate awareness of Hindi Wikipedia was presented by the agency. Certain minor changes have been suggested and the agency will share the next draft in a few weeks. We hope to launch the campaign in February!
In Mexico, we are in communication with Wikimedia Mexico and hope to launch an awareness campaign at the end of this fiscal year.
For these campaigns, as well as the Nigeria and Iraq campaigns, we will be producing reports to better understand the impact of the campaigns.
GSMA's Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit (MISTT) has been initially launched in Tanzania and is expected to grow into other markets.
We are also looking forward to produce a promotional video for Wikipedia's Android application in Nigeria, building on the momentum from the videos produced earlier this year.
We have signed an MoU with ONEm to provide free access to Wikipedia in Iraq via text and SMS. If successful, we hope that ONEm will roll this out in other countries as well.
Wikipedia's Android application will soon be updated with the ability to access ZIM files, but we are not promoting this feature at the current time. If you have ZIM files on your device, which you can get from Kiwix, you may turn on the feature in the "Settings" menu to access it.
Users can now download PDFs while accessing Wikipedia on Chrome web browser on an Android device. We're seeing a 7x increase in printing from mobile, with around 120,000 daily prints!
Kiwix grant to develop a desktop application has been funded. We will advising the team and will help them find design support.
November 8, 2017Edit
We held a brainstorming session with the Education Team at the Foundation last week. We don't yet know if there will be any projects that come out of this, and are looking forward to continuing to explore. Let us know if you have ideas!
Jack Rabah and Kacie Harold attended WikiArabia in Egypt this month. They learned a lot from the communities represented there. They also shared about our work to raise awareness in Iraq, Nigeria, India, and through the upcoming Inspire campaign. We are excited to see some communities showing interest in this work!
Satdeep Gill attended Hindi Wikimedians Meet in Jaipur, India on 11-12 November 2017. He shared about our work to raise awareness in Nigeria and India and our upcoming Inspire campaign.
We have started the planning for an Inspire Campaign around raising awareness of Wikimedia Projects and a subsequent round of Rapid Grants. We expect to launch the inspire campaign in January and award grants by March 2018.
In India, the script for the awareness campaign in India has been finalized with the support of the Hindi community and we will be moving into production shortly. Thanks to the volunteer committee for their feedback and support!
In Nigeria, the awareness campaign has ended with 12 million views on the web videos in 6 weeks! The campaign has also helped the Wikimedia User Group Nigeria to bring in new editors and to forge new partnerships in Nigeria. We are working on a phone survey and report to summarize the campaign and its impact.
In Mexico, we will be starting an awareness project in December 2017 and the project is expected to run till June 2018.
The Egyptian community has submitted a rapid grant request to create awareness videos in order to raise awareness of Wikipedia in Arab countries. We are excited to see the idea of raising awareness catching on in communities.
The design of Wikipedia module in GSMA's Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit (MISTT) has been finalized and it will be showcased in Rwanda and Tanzania soon. We are excited to reuse the materials created there for future projects and plan to make them available as possible for communities to repurpose.
As we've been working on Offline and Affordability as barriers, we've learned that it makes sense to cluster this work together under the barrier of "Access" since many solutions address both barriers. We'll still be looking into Offline and Affordability, but it makes more sense to think of them together.
We are still planning to release a version of "sideloading" ZIM files into the Android app (T177655).
The download button for mobile PDFs is now live for Android devices using the Chrome browser. For technical reasons, we'll start with just these users and will expand to add the feature for more users later, if all goes well (T179914).
No other updates at this time.
October 11, 2017Edit
New quarterly goals for the New Readers program have been determined and are published on mediawiki.org. There are some changes in the timeline for grant round and the plans for the android app have also changed.
We have hired Satdeep Gill as Community Outreach Coordinator (India). He will be working along with the members of the New Readers team to support collaboration with communities in India, starting with the awareness campaign in India and rapid grants to raise awareness. Besides this, he will ensure that gaps in documentation are addressed.
The impact report for Iraq awareness campaign and Zero launch has been published. You can see it embedded to the right.
We are working on a strategy for fully offline Wikipedia and will present it internally next week.
Design research in the offline Android app showed that the content packs already available in Kiwix's library won't work for reader needs. While we investigate and test possibilities to meet this need, we will deploy the feature for people who already have ZIM files or "sideload" them to their phone.
We are starting work to plan an Inspire Campaign and a round of Rapid Grants to support communities in raising awareness about Wikipedia in their regions. This will happen in Q3 (January - March), so stay tuned for more information.
In Nigeria, we launched two web videos to increase awareness 3 weeks ago and we have surpassed 10M aggregated views on the videos. Check the blog post to learn more about the Nigerian community, their leadership on the campaign, and links to watch the videos.
In India, we are working along with the Hindi Wikipedia community and are currently in the third round of creative review for awareness campaign in India.
We have been working with GSMA's Mobile for development team to add a Wikipedia module in their Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit (MISTT). It is being finalized to be shared with them this week. A pilot training workshop is going to happen in Tanzania in the near future.
The Readers Web team is looking into a new mobile website that would significantly decrease the cost of loading a page. The project is currently exploratory, with plans to bring it to Tech Com for review soon.
September 21, 2017Edit
New quarterly goals are being determined for the New Readers program ahead of the second quarter of the 2017–18 fiscal year. You can see the drafts on mediawiki.org. We're also working on ways to better communicate annual plan goals on this project page.
We're in the latter stages of hiring a India community coordinator.
We'll be discussing as a team later this week about Wiki Arabia to see if we should send people to the conference. Jack Rabah is planning to attend.
Work on the offline Android app is more complex than expected, as the app will need the ability to download files for the feature to be really usable. This is a complex challenge that we're working through. We anticipate this will cause delays in its development.
Deployment of a button to download mobile formatted PDFs, referred to in a previous update, is being postponed to the second quarter of 2017–18. You can already download these PDFs using the print function in your browser.
In Nigeria, we have launched two web videos to promote and explain Wikipedia. The videos target two audiences. For young internet users (students) we have "Emmanuella goes to school" featuring the popular Nigerian comedian 'Emmanuella'. For older internet users (professionals) we have "Things comes together" featuring the actor Peter Edochie reprising his role in Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart". You can watch the videos and learn more about the Nigerian user group that directed the videos here.
In India, phone surveys are now completed, and summarised on Meta-Wiki. There is also documentation for these surveys. These will help to support ongoing work with the Hindi Wikipedia community. Separately, following discussions with this community, we've mutually decided to continue work on an awareness project in Hindi; we plan to review this script in the coming days.
In Iraq, a community blog post is in final editing and will support ongoing awareness campaigns in the country.
A set of Cameroon-produced videos are, we've discovered, free to reuse! Zack connected with Iolanda Pensa about our rights to re-use them, and we have full rights (plus raw files) to re-edit and re-publish these. These could be good to use across Francophone West Africa; we're investigating what the next steps might be involving these videos. This might be a great first step towards an archive of videos that we can use in multiple contexts.
We're working with the GSMA's Connected Society to introduce a Wikipedia module on their Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit (MISTT). We are exploring pilots in Rwanda with Tigo and training workshops in Tanzania. The New Editors Experiences research may help with this, highlighting the misunderstandings that exist even among new editors. For example, it could be interesting down the line to develop an understanding of how content is created in addition to how you can use it (without necessarily pushing for editing).
We're also kicking off planning for awareness rapid grants this week.
Our ongoing Wikipedia Zero partnership with Smile Nigeria is leading to more awareness-pushing on social media. They're currently working on animated Wikipedia series.
We're also working with ONEm, a global mobile service company based in the UK, on an MOU to provide mobile network operator subscribers with interactive access to Wikipedia content via voice and SMS, free of charge. They recently signed a partnership with Asiacell Iraq, so the MOU will reflect providing free Wikipedia via SMS to Asiacell subscribers.
September 5, 2017: Conference UpdateEdit
We missed our August update in the preparations for Wikimania. We'll be updating here in early September (soon!) with what we're working on, but wanted to share about our time at Wikimania and the offline hackathon as soon as possible.
The New Readers team was glad to attend Wikimania and lead a number of presentations and discussions. We are always eager to connect with community members to share our research, build collaborations, and learn from local expertise.
In our first session, "Free knowledge for complete beginners: introducing Wikipedia to new readers," we shared a high-level overview of what we've learned so far and discussed among the attendees what more we could and should be doing from these findings. (slides, notes)
We also led a session about raising awareness in low awareness regions, "How to raise awareness for Wikipedia: lessons from Iraq & Nigeria." Unfortunately, our co-presenters Sarmad and Shola were denied their visas. We recorded a discussion with Sarmad in advance and Shola called in from Lagos, Nigeria. At this presentation, we also premiered the videos from the Nigerian awareness campaign! (slides, notes)
The final session, "Knowledge for everyone: making access affordable" was about access. We invited people who have been working on access from a number of different angles to have an open panel discussion about what we've been doing and what we should be doing going forward. The panel was hosted by Jorge Vargas (Wikimedia Foundation) and included Anne Gomez (Wikimedia Foundation), Stephane Coillet-Matillon (Kiwix), Adam Holt (Internet in a Box), Florence Devouard (Wikifundi + Wiki Loves Women), and James Heilman (Wikimedicine Project + Wikimedia Foundation board).(slides, notes)
Anne from New Readers and Subbu from the Parsing team attended the off.network hackathon in Potsdam, NY immediately following Wikimania. The meeting was attended by around 30 people from a number of organizations interested in supporting access to knowledge for people without the internet. This included: Kiwix, Internet in a Box, Wikimedicine Project, Learning Equality,
Anne presented about the importance of supporting offline learning and how the critical work of this group relates to the draft Wikimedia Movement Strategy.
We look forward to continued collaboration with this group!
July 20, 2017Edit
New Readers goals for the new financial year – July 2017 through June 2018 – are now published as part of the Wikimedia Foundation's annual plan. These are split into the three "segments" we've been using for the New Readers program – offline, awareness, and affordability. We spoke about these in the Audiences quarterly checkin (QCI) on July 20 – link to come. The goals will be replicated on the New Readers pages themselves to make tracking progress made on these much easier and more transparent.
Publication of the New Readers data corpus should be completed within the next three months as part of the team's goals for this quarter.
The team is tangentially working on addressing issues involving the abuse of Wikipedia Zero in a small number of our partner countries. We're looking into technical solutions on our end to address what is feasible and realistic, as well as investigating decisions the Commons community has already discussed. To this end, we're working with several teams from the Technology department to identify if technical solutions might help to alleviate the burden on volunteers having to clean up.
We're closely tracking Mozilla's NSF Wireless Innovation Challenge. Big internet properties are focusing on grassroots efforts to solve connectivity issues, and contests and challenges form part of that effort. We're tracking as this is relevant to what we're thinking on how to introduce us in the access conversation. For Mozilla, they're focusing on community networks and disaster relief. The Internet Society (ISOC) is focusing on community and education.
We tested RACHEL, an offline internet provider, in the wilderness this weekend. It's not quite ready for mobile use yet, but is an interesting concept and is easy to setup and use. We'll be keeping an eye on this project moving forward.
The Android beta, which has the ability to read ZIM files, is almost ready to roll out! As we mentioned last month, this is a major step towards making Wikipedia accessible to those without access to mobile data.
Iraq ads have now reached 5.1 million Iraqis on Facebook – that's about 18% of the population of Iraq. We are now producing reports on the impact of this ad and on the impact of wider Wikipedia Zero press and SMS "blast" marketing efforts through this quarter.
Nigerian ads are drafted, shot, and in editing. We should see the first full drafts this week, and we're looking to publish by early August.
An Indian awareness pilot has been launched, with an eight-person community team and agency called Happy under contract. Creative review was on Thursday, July 13, and we're working to set a creative direction by the end of July.
The Foundation's Regional Manager of Strategic Partnerships for the Middle East and Africa, Jack Rabah, presented on a panel at the GSMA Mobile 360 Series in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The panel, “Catalysing mobile internet use in Africa: new models to drive adoption”, helped to showcase work done by the Foundation on reach, especially on the part of the Partnerships and Global Reach team.
There are partial results in on the Iraq follow-up phone survey. With one-fifth of the result in, there seems to be some evidence of an increase in awareness. We are splitting the survey between 1,500 Asiacell subscribers and 1,000 subscribers to other carriers for finer-grained analysis later. Some technical problems are pushing back the completion date further than we expected; we’re presently working with our partner to resolve the issues to be able to wrap up the data collection.
Smile launched as a Wikipedia Zero partner in Nigeria in July. Smile's network specifically focuses on students, education, and youth. Over 250,000 people in Nigeria can now access Wikimedia projects without data costs.
Other research around affordability solutions is on pause for the interim due to the limited bandwidth of the New Readers team. We plan to focus more on the other two areas of this program in the meanwhile, recognizing that work towards offline solutions also address some affordability issues.
June 30, 2017Edit
We reported our high-level status at the Reading quarterly checkin for Q3. Individual projects are reported in their teams' quarterly checkins. Starting for Q4, in a few weeks, we will be reporting on the program as a whole with more detail.
We are working on releasing the research data from last year's ethnographic research in Mexico, India, and Nigeria according to our open access policy. We'll update here when that's completed.
The follow up phone survey for Iraq is almost ready to launch. Translations are complete, and it is going through a final round of debugging. We look forward to getting the results and will share them alongside an analysis of the accompanying campaign when we have the data shortly.
We also received feedback from the FDC on the annual plan with criticism about our work's connection to community members. We are eager to demonstrate how incorrect that understanding is. It is critical to us to work hand in hand with local communities, and we're actively defining how we do that - you can see more of that reasoning here in our response to the FDC. If there is more you think that we can do to collaborate with community members in the countries we are working in, please let us know!
The last month has also been a big month for travel across the New Readers team...
- Zack and Jack were in Nigeria, both for work supporting the movement strategy, and also to connect with the Nigerian marketing committee and agency for the awareness campaigns. For the movement strategy, they met and collected direction from 21 participants. They were also lucky to attend a Wikimedia Nigeria community event in Lagos to mark Democracy Day- a national holiday- meeting 28 local Wikimedians.
- Jorge attended Iberocoop in Buenos Aires, and led strategy track with Marco from Wikimedia Chile. Iberocoop community shared their thoughts and concerns with WMF, reflected in a letter to Katherine. The letter describes in detail their requests and thoughts, which overall reflect a need to be better served by WMF across different topics.
We completed a heuristic evaluation for the Wikimed app to improve usability. The Kiwix development team has started to incorporate this feedback, and plans to continue to use it to fuel improvements in the coming year.
You can almost read ZIM files in the beta Wikipedia Android App! This is a big step to providing more complete offline support in the app, and we're excited to continue this work. We'll share here once the build is out for you to investigate and give us feedback.
Mobile print styles are out for the web. This means that from any mobile phone, if you choose to print as PDF you will have a mobile-formatted PDF to save the article offline. Check out an example to the right.
The video campaign in Iraq launched, with the video being available in Arabic and Kurdish, with more than 2.7 million views so far. The engagement rate on content (computed as actions taken on the content divided by total impressions) is currently around 0.8% which is 1.6x the industry benchmark of 0.5%. You can also add subtitles in your language to this blank version to share! This was done with the direction of the Iraqi Wikimedians, who wrote the titles, suggested the Wikipedia articles for inclusion, and pushed for the videos to show life in Iraq that is not war or destruction. We're really happy with the result, and we'll be sharing more about this, including results from a follow up phone survey, at metrics soon.
The first video in Nigeria has been filmed! Check out a still embedded to the right. This short ad is inspired by Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” and includes the actor famous for portraying “Onkonkwo” in the 1971 Nigerian film adaptation. The second ad will be filming soon. All creative direction has been conducted in collaboration with 5 members from the Nigerian User Group. We'll share both final versions when they're completed.
Work for a video campaign in India is beginning, with recruitment of 3 Hindi-speaking community members to join Bishaka Datta and a representative from CIS-A2K on the creative committee.
No updates around affordability at this time - stay tuned.
May 16, 2017Edit
The team presented a status update at the Wikimedia Foundation's monthly metrics and activities meeting in April. Check out the video if you'd like a snapshot of our activities and how we're thinking about next steps.
The follow-up phone survey for Iraq is undergoing final design review by different members of the New Readers team, and is nearly complete. The focus of the follow-up survey is to measure Wikipedia awareness changes and identify how well both the Asiacell marketing campaigns and our own branding updates on the mobile web may have contributed to any growth. The phone survey contract is currently going through internal approvals, and the phone survey itself is expected to start in June and be completed by the end of that month. The Global Reach team will share those results when they're completed.
We're working to systematize our consultations with communities so that we can be sure to get their expertise. Check out how we're thinking about approaching this.
Under the umbrella of the Movement Strategy, there are 2 additional research trips (to Brazil and Indonesia) being conducted this month with a similar line of questioning to what we investigated in Mexico, India, and Nigeria last year. Members of the New Readers team are participating in both trips, and we're excited to incorporate these findings into our work.
The new mobile print styles are set to roll out soon. These came from the research finding that people are downloading content and sharing it between devices. From there, we followed up with evaluative research globally, with a special focus in India.
The video for the campaign in Iraq to coincide with the launch of a Wikipedia Zero partnership is almost ready, and we're excited to share it soon. We'll also be presenting on this work in July at the Foundation's monthly metrics meeting.
In India, we are in the process of selecting an agency to work with. Once the agency and pilot language(s) are selected, we will build the volunteer marketing committee.
We've started looking into what other organizations and movements are saying about access to knowledge and the internet in order to better understand the context in which we fit. See our initial research here, and let us know what we're missing.
April 24, 2017Edit
Our quarterly goals for April - July are now set. You can view them here.
We'll be presenting a general update at the Foundation's monthly metrics meeting on Thursday, April 27 as well as a specific update about the campaigns and surveys in Iraq.
Much of the New Readers team attended WMCON in Berlin. It was a great opportunity to connect more with affiliates and chapters and participate in the discussions for the Movement Strategy process.
The second round of research is completed for online-to-offline prototypes on the mobile web. We have decided, in collaboration with the Reading Web team, to pursue the prototype for "Wikilater" that creates a mobile-optimized print style for PDFs. Our testing showed that this option was most useful and understandable to the readers we tested with. For the time being, we will not pursue implementation of the other prototypes.
The Android team continues to investigate an implement ZIM file reading in the app. This means that readers will be able to import and read packaged offline content, like Kiwix creates.
The Reading Web team launched a new header to the mobile web which shows the wiki's wordmark more prominently. This should help people visiting Wikipedia and the other projects know where they are on the internet. The first phone survey in Iraq is complete and results are posted on meta. We're preparing for the second round of surveys following collaborative awareness raising efforts by Asiacell, community members, and Foundation staff. Comparing the two surveys and analyzing site and social media traffic will allow us to understand the effectiveness of different methods of awareness raising. We'll use this to inform our approach to other awareness campaigns globally.
In Nigeria, the partnership with Smile will launch in May. It will include creative approaches to "how to use Wikipedia." Smile has 200,000 active members.
Also in Nigeria, we're working to develop a video marketing strategy in partnership with local community members and a local vendor. The brief for the project was built from a survey of Nigerian Wikipedia readers and the video production will be done in close partnership with 5 community members from Nigeria: Olushola Olanyian, Blossom Ozurumba, Sam Oye, Kayode Yusuf, and Tayo Alimi.
The same process is beginning in India, and we'll update here as it evolves. In the meanwhile, Zack McCune has released results from a survey that he ran with 321 respondents from India to help shape our approach to messaging. The input ranges from how we should describe Wikipedia, to what channels, and priority messages. Check it out!
In Afghanistan, Roshan will launch Wikipedia Zero.
Wikipedia Zero programs in Nepal and Bangaladesh are ending. Community members from both countries have reached out for alternate solutions, reinforcing the need for us to address this barrier both for readers and contributors.
Jorge Vargas attended RightsCon Brussels, where the need for solutions to address affordability was a theme.
Our investigations into approaches for addressing affordability are still in early stages. Please let us know on the program's talk page if you have ideas!
March 8, 2017Edit
- Annual planning for the cross-departmental New Readers program is done, and we look forward to hearing your feedback when the plan is made public on April 1.
- Q4 planning:
- Our Q4 goals are in the process of being finalized, and will be made available here. We will share more detail as we get into planning.
- Increasing awareness in Nigeria will be a focus. Smile Nigeria’s Wikipedia Zero launch and Eskimi Wikipedia Fan Club, are two excellent opportunities to push the needle for awareness. Smile Nigeria is working on confirming the launch date. Eskimi has shared a template agreement that is currently being reviewed by the legal team. We will be tracking metrics before, during, and after these campaigns to establish baselines for expectations of impact.
- We are working to get our work documented and updated on Meta, so expect to see updates throughout this hub in the coming weeks.
- As a follow up to Mobile World Congress 2017, Jorge will be meeting with Brazilian partner (Positivo) on the offline pilot. Kiwix integration on a Linux-based hardware similar to Kiwix-plug still ongoing. Other opportunities with them are in the pipeline.
- We completed an analysis of the offline industry around Wikimedia content. This incorporates our understanding of what is happening with Wikimedia content offline globally. If you have comments, additions, or suggestions, please let us know!
- Anne, Jorge, and Toby are advisors for the offline medical grant for Kiwix. We're offering support for design, usability, strategy, and product. As part of this, we're figuring out how their work and ours fit together.
- Concept and usability testing for the offline prototypes for the mobile web are wrapping up - we'll share those results shortly.
- The Android team is committed to implementing richer offline functionality in the app. Specifically, they're planning to be able to import and display ZIM files, which Kiwix produces. This next quarter will be focused on the investigation of technical and product considerations for this work.
- We had a Launch Event in MWC Barcelona for Wikipedia Zero - Iraq. This is a first of its kind press conference for a global reading program backed by the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. One good learning from this initiative is that we need to lead the partnership with corporate launches. We screened a video in which community members from Iraq urge everyone to contribute to Wikipedia and welcome the launch of Wikipedia Zero by Asiacell. The video was received well by attendees. We have earned more than 100 news stories in 31 countries from the launch announcement.
- Iraq video ad production starts next week. We are working closely with a community member there, who is helping us to reflect the cultural direction of Iraqi community members. We have commissioned an original piece of music for this ad featuring Iraqi instrumentation, following the creative direction of our same community contact.
- We have started interviewing Nigerian marketing agencies for awareness program work. The search is directed by the with the results from the community survey focusing on video production that can explain Wikipedia in schools and on social media. Check the marketing briefs for Nigeria and India.
- First phone survey results are coming in from Iraq. They are a good benchmark for the effectiveness of awareness campaigns. The second survey will be launched soon after consultation with New Readers team to build content for that. Data from phone surveys is appealing for the international press. This is a good story opportunity.
- Grace, Adele, and Abbey are working to build and execute the third and last workshop for Affordability. We are excited to act upon solutions that are identified through these workshops.
February 10, 2017Edit
- Wiki Indaba was a great experience for our team, we are thrilled to keep working with the communities that we met there. Some highlights:
- Introduced New Readers, the phone surveys, and Partnerships to the attending community members
- Built messaging for upcoming campaigns with conference attendees
- We learned a lot more about what's happening with offline, most notably with regards to Kiwix (thanks to Stephane) and WikiFundi (thanks to Isla and Florence)
- Taught attendees how to apply for RapidGrants
- And of course, we enjoyed an amazing sweets table from some 20+ countries
- Annual Planning is starting. We're working on a draft to define the scope of New Readers work for the annual plan. We will have the full draft of the cross-departmental program soon, and you'll be able to see it with the rest of them when the annual plan is submitted.
- As mentioned in previous updates, we have been working on developing a new list of target countries to replace the "global south." We defined the process and the scope of the project in October 2016, and kicked off a discussion to find the best classification. After some months of conversation, we will put this project on hold. We believe the Movement Strategy conversations that will take place this year will provide a deeper insight and define prioritization, that can be complemented by the work we did. We will remain focused on the pilot countries: Mexico, India, Nigeria.
- Our first round of evaluative design research on 3 prototypes for offline web support is now complete. Check out the presentation with the results!. We will conduct another on the ground in India this month.
- Jorge and Anne continue to work on understanding the entire offline space as well as identify user needs that have come up. This will help to define how we might best reach people with offline content.
- Toby, Anne, and Jorge kicked off the advisory board meetings with Stephane and Emmanuel from Kiwix, as part of the Offline Medical grant. These meetings will continue on a monthly basis, with the goal of coordinating a strategic conversation on the best collaboration between the Foundation and Kiwix along the process.
- To support the grant, Abbey is starting a heuristic evaluation of the Kiwix Android Wikimed app.
- The results of the messaging surveys led by Communications with support from Abbey are finished, and the results are really interesting. You can read more about the Nigeria messaging survey here.
- The objective of these two messaging surveys was to learn how Wikimedians in India and Nigeria describe and promote Wikipedia. A messaging survey for Mexico is still planned and to be discussed on how and when to launch it.
- With the publication of these surveys, the next step is to form "marketing committees" with local communities in Nigeria and India.
- The Communications and Global Reach teams are working on an event announcing the Iraq Wikipedia Zero partnership in Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The event will take place on February 28th with the campaign slogan: امنح المعرفة (“Share the knowledge”). This event will be the official kick-off of the partnership, to be followed by the the awareness campaign.
- The Naiim TV box project for India is ongoing: 1) the partnership agreement is under WMF legal review, 2) we are waiting for Naiim to provide the first guidance on the user interface, 3) we have shared the WM API information with Naiim and waiting on them to start the tech implementation.
- We will be running 2 phone surveys in Iraq to support the Wikipedia Zero launch there. The first is running now and should be finalized by the end of the month. The second survey (post-launch) should take place 6-8 weeks after the first one is finalized so that we can see if the awareness campaign has impact.
- The Nigeria phone survey full data set is now published on Meta.
- The first affordability workshop, lead by Abbey, Adele, and Grace, took place Feb 3. We discussed personas, user needs, design principles, and alignment on current solutions and how they meet user needs or not. Rounds 2 and 3 of the workshop are already designed and will be taking place this month.
- The text of the Wikipedia Zero case study being produced by GSMA is now final/locked. GSMA is working on design of the case study and plan to release it in early March.
January 25, 2017Edit
Several members of the New Readers team are attending Wiki Indaba in Ghana this week! Kacie, Jack, Anne, and Zack will participate in lots of different activities and panels. We're looking forward to connecting with Wikimedians supporting Africa.
- The Global Reach team continues to explore different third parties that are delivering Wikipedia content offline. One of them is Endless Mobile, with whom they've had preliminary conversations to understand how they operate and include Wikipedia in their devices. Endless Mobile is using Wikipedia content but not branding it (calling it Encyclopedia instead of Wikipedia). The team talked to them at their HQ (SF) and Jorge met their country manager in Mexico - a country where they're currently expanding operations.
- As the first round of testing online to offline prototypes is now complete, we're working on finalizing the reports, which will be ready in the following weeks. In February, we will be testing prototypes with readers in India.
- As mentioned in prior updates, the Global Reach team continues to explore opportunities to connect with local fan bases in Nigeria, which has been moving along. New opportunities to promote Wikipedia via TV households in India are also starting to be explored.
- The Communications team concluded the two messaging surveys to learn how Wikimedians in India and Nigeria describe and promote Wikipedia. They're now processing responses and will be sharing results when such is finished. We have plans to run the survey in Mexico this quarter, with the support of Wikimedia MX.
- The Communications and Global Reach teams are working together on the awareness campaign for the new Wikipedia Zero partnership in Iraq.
- The Global Reach team is in the process of signing another Wikipedia Zero agreement in Burundi.
- The Iraq phone survey will be conducted later this quarter - translations are in progress. The exact timing for the follow-up/second phone survey is still TBD.
- Workshops are scheduled to develop our efforts around affordability starting January 27th.
December 23, 2016Edit
The target countries consultation is complete. We will now begin to develop a list of countries from the criteria selected and run metrics against them going forward. We do not plan to deprecate the "global south" metrics yet. See the linked page for more information. [note to reviewers, I need to write up that report before this goes out]
Several members of the New Readers team will be attending Wiki Indaba in Ghana to support community efforts, learn from people who live in Africa, and share what we've learned so far. Kacie, Jack, and Zack are currently confirmed to attend.
The complete data from the phone survey in Mexico is now publicly available! We are excited to share this with you and will continue to publish data from the other surveys conducted.
The first round of testing online to offline prototypes is now complete, and we will be delivering a report early in 2017 with what we learned. Thanks to everyone who participated on meta and otherwise!
The New Readers team advised on grants related to offline access during this quarter's Project Grants cycle. Several members of the team, to be confirmed, will be serving as advisors on the Offline Medical grant with Kiwix. We are excited for closer collaboration with the the Kiwix and WikiProject Med teams.
Members of the Global Reach team participated in the UN's Internet Governance Forum, where much of the focus was about bringing the next billion online and sharing relevant content with those that are new to the internet.
The Global Reach team has been investigating potential media partnerships in India with the goal that people discover Wikimedia content, know that it's coming from Wikimedia, and understand what Wikimedia is.
Global Reach has also been looking into opportunities to connect with local fan bases in Nigeria.
The Communications team has launched two messaging surveys to learn how Wikimedians in India and Nigeria describe and promote Wikipedia. The surveys collect data on messaging tactics, key words, and recommended media formats for promoting Wikipedia.
They are also developing an awareness campaign to launch alongside the new Wikipedia Zero partnership in Iraq.
The Global Reach team is launching a Wikipedia Zero partnership in Iraq this quarter. We will be conducting phone surveys before and after the launch in order to understand a benchmark and impact of the awareness campaigns and Zero program there.
As mentioned in the last update, workshops are scheduled to develop our efforts around affordability in January/February 2017.
December 1, 2016Edit
The core team have been working on defining the scope of work for New Readers as well as the theory of change across the 3 focus areas (offline, awareness, and affordability) using a Log Frame. We hope to have this completed for Offline and Awareness this quarter, with Affordability following in Q3FY1617. We will be using this space to update about what we're doing specifically under New Readers as well as related work that we're tracking in the Wikimedia movement.
The target countries consultation is ongoing, and has been seeing some engagement. This will help us focus our metrics in a broader sense than in the 3 pilot countries. Will close and draw conclusions before holiday break in a few weeks.
Phone surveys from Global Reach are complete and the team is working on releasing the raw data, in compliance with our open access policy. This is ongoing and there will be a presentation in Q3 (Jan - Mar 2017) to share this further.
The team is researching and mapping all of the offline use cases and solutions that we're aware of across Wikimedia movement projects and bringing those into the theory of change for the project in order to help prioritize our efforts. This includes conversations with the team behind Kiwix, the Wikipedia Medical Apps, and others. We're also keeping an eye on the Community Tech Wishlist proposals related to Offline.
For the "online to offline" use case, where readers have internet access some of the time and want to have content available when they're not connected, we are currently testing prototypes with both readers and community members. See the prototypes and tell us what you think. We'll close this round of comments December 16, 2016 and will share a summary the following week.
Digging into one use case that's fully offline, Jack Rabah visited a Jordanian refugee camp and found there was a lot of demand for offline solutions. As soon as he walked into the camp, there was basically no cell reception and little access to knowledge. Further exploration of providing support for this use case is on hold until we can map out solutions and make sure we're providing something effective.
The Communications team is working on developing repeatable approaches to marketing and advocacy for raising Wikipedia awareness around the world. This process begins by consulting communities on messaging: how do people explain Wikipedia? What are powerful use cases to tout for potential new users? We then examine high visibility and influence channels to share these messages: where do people learn about new products, services? What types of media (e.g. video, posters) are most popular and persuasive? Finally, the Communications team develops complete timeline and system to publish and measure the impact messages.
We are currently prototyping this for an awareness campaign in conjunction with a new Wikipedia Zero launch in Iraq. We have consulted Wikipedia users in Iraq for their key messages and determined that digital videos are the most popular media formats for raising awareness. We have also drafted a script for the video, and worked with our Wikipedia Zero partner to set wide distribution for the video across Iraq. Building this plan and process in a smaller market will allow us to optimize before India and Nigeria messaging pushes in early 2017.
Workshops for concept generation and defining the theory of change around affordability are scheduled for end of Jan/beginning of February.
The Global Reach team is launching new Wikipedia Zero partnerships in Iraq and Nigeria next quarter (Jan - Mar 2017).
August 8 2016Edit
Zack McCune and Dan Foy gave a presentation of the research at the WikiConference India 2016 this past weekend to around 20 attendees. The presentation specifically focused on what we've been learning in India. The deck is available here and embedded to the right.
June 22, 2016Edit
I got to talk to some members of the research team in India on Friday and have followed up with them since then.
As of Friday, they had already conducted about 30 interviews, a number which has increased. They started with 2 days of interviews in Delhi. After Delhi, they moved to Jaipur and started interviews there on Friday, remaining until Monday. They met with a good range of respondents within the target profile in the protocol (age ranges, genders, wiki awareness, internet access, occupations). They're meeting people in all sorts of different locations - places of work, parks, stores, universities, etc. On Saturday, they conducted an all day analysis, creating a few personas, user journeys, and diving deeper into analysis of observations moving toward patterns.
As opposed to Nigeria, instruments have been adjusted to be in Hindi and Tamil (in addition to English) to support more translation and understanding of needs around multiple languages.
We're really excited to share the findings in full from both this and the trips to Nigeria and Mexico soon.
May 24, 2016Edit
I spoke with Abbey Ripstra and Jack Rabah this weekend from their hotel in Epe, Nigeria. We had some trouble with the internet connection, so we were only able to talk briefly.
The research team has been in Lagos, Epe, and is now in Benin City. They’ll be continuing to interview participants from rural areas before going back to Lagos to wrap up the research and plan for our next sprint in June in India. They’ve been learning a lot from a lot of people - as of Saturday they’d already conducted around 60 interviews! At the end of every day, they’re debriefing on the interviews so that they can learn collectively as they go. By doing synthesis daily, it becomes clear when some questions are answered, allowing the team to dive deeper into another line of inquiry. They’re adjusting research instruments and lines of questioning as they go. They have already started developing user journeys and some personas, which we will be sharing publicly when they return.
The team has been learning about how the education system in Nigeria works for people as well as how technology plays a part in their lives. They’ve been seeing lots of people using low-end smartphones for social media, and there’s not a lot of recognition for the Wikipedia globe or name.
We’ll be sharing out the findings in full later.