Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Topics/Motivations of readers

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This page documents a topic of interest to the 2017 movement strategy process. The information it contains may come from various sources, including research and community discussions. You are invited to contribute to summarizing the sources on this page.

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Some interesting user behavior observations based on the Wikipedia reader study: Users who intend to use Wikipedia for work or school (19.5% of the participants, left table) are more frequently observed for specific topics of articles, namely war & history, mathematics, technology, biology & chemistry, and literature & arts. For the first two of these topics, users are more than twice as often motivated by work or school motivations when compared to the average Wikipedia user. While these topics cover a wide range of different areas, all of them are more related to academic or professional activities than for leisure.

Additionally, this type of motivation is more often reported by users accessing Wikipedia’s desktop version. This could be expected since many work/school activities are performed in office settings.

Furthermore, we can see that this motivation occurs more often for users who are referred by external search engines multiple times in a session, and by users who stay longer on an individual page, which can be seen as a potential indicator for intensive studying.

By contrast, users who describe their motivation as bored/random (right table), are more likely to use internal navigation within Wikipedia and to spend only little time on the individual articles.

Also, they tend to switch topics between the individual articles more often (as indicated by the subgroup with a high average topic distance).

These are telltales for less focused browsing behavior. Bored users also view more articles on Wikipedia both within the survey session and overall during the study period.

Finally, this motivation can also be observed more frequently for articles that cover specific topics, such as sports, 21st century, and TV, movies, & novels.

Clearly, these topics are more leisure-oriented and are in stark contrast to the previously discussed topics favored by users who use Wikipedia for work or school.

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