Open main menu

User:CKoerner (WMF)/Embedded reach

Noto Emoji Pie 1f4c4.svg This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

One of the directions described for the Wikimedia Foundation in our 2016-2017 annual plan is the idea of "Reach".

"Reach; everyone should be able to freely share in the free knowledge on our projects. We are making it a priority to reach new readers and contributors around the world and improve the experience for all, including those on mobile devices. To do this, we will better understand and respond to the needs of our global readers and contributors through research, new technologies, effective programs, strategic partnerships, and more."

From the mission statement:

“The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.”

There is one achievable way to both further this direction and the mission that has not been strongly considered. There needs to be a consistent, easy way to embed and reuse Wikimedia content outside of WMF-supported wikis. The ability to embed content has been incredibly successful for other online resources of media - Flickr, Soundcloud, YouTube, TED, Instagram and more. Exposing the content within our movement outside of our corner of the world can draw more people back to our projects.

What would this look like?Edit

Imagine you are working on an online project that utilizes Wikimedia contributions. Say a journal, new report on a topic, or even a casual blog post. You want to reference information on Wikipedia, but you want something more than a hyperlink. You have to:

  1. Copy and paste the content
  2. Copy and paste the wiki URL
  3. Write up the proper attribution
  4. Implement that in whatever technical solution (like a CMS) you or your organization uses

All of this, every time.

This is a pain, inconsistent, and you're not 100% sure you'll get the attribution correct. What if you could easily copy a common wiki URL and something like this would appear:

Rough example mockup of an embedded article link

And what about images from commons?

Mockup of what an embedded commons image might look like (comically large to show detail, real embeds would be all different sizes)

Embedded in a content management system (CMS) you might see something like this:

Mockup of an embedded Wikipedia article in a blog

What would this work with?Edit

  • Articles - Providing a link to and the first freely licensed image (with the option to remove the image if it's not relevant)
  • Images - Commons images with attribution and a link to the file page.
  • Maps - Maps could have a link to the fullscreen map (similar to how maplink works)
  • Graphs - Ditto
  • Article excerpts - Just a few sentences or a section - think Wiktionary definitions for a word.

Where would this work?Edit

Everywhere that can ingest the meta data schema to present a rich interface to content. Content management systems, social media, even other MediaWiki wikis could be a consumer.[1]

How would this work?Edit

There are many existing ways to implement from a tech standpoint, and nothing preventing us from building a solution on our own (although "not invented here" is a concern). A few possible APIs to investigate:

Note on CommonsEdit

Imagine if we were unable to embed images from Commons on Wikipedia. That our only access to that information was a hyperlink. That would be insanity. Now imagine that we don't make it easy for other sites outside of our own to do the same. Integration with WordPress alone would enrich our content to nearly 25% of the web. [2]

Concerns to addressEdit

  1. The biggest is attribution. Our implementation would need to ensure that reuse would include proper attribution for all media types.
  2. Open vs. proprietary - I propose we do consider adopting schemas that are popularized by for-profit organizations - specifically social media services such as Facebook and Twitter. We've seen good success elsewhere in the movement with using these services to further awareness of the work being done. The cost is minimal, the reach is great.

See alsoEdit

Related Phabricator tasksEdit


  1. MediaWiki could be its own generator and consumer of metadata from itself and other systems.
  2. "Usage Statistics and Market Share of WordPress for Websites, August 2016". Retrieved 2016-08-11.