Wikimedia Foundation/Communications/Wiki Indaba 2017

This page outlines the Wikimedia Foundation Communications Department's activities at WikiIndaba conference 2017.



The Communications Department will be attending Wiki Indaba 2017 to provide capacity building, share recent user research findings, increase project awareness, and network with community members.


  Zachary McCune

Global Audience Communications Manager

  • Communications skills training
  • Best practices for social media
  • Recent research on Wikipedia awareness
  • Meetups
  • Networking



The department will be facilitating these workshops and discussions:

  • How do you explain Wikipedia? - a structured discussion about the best approaches to explaining and promoting Wikipedia to unfamiliar audiences across Africa
  • Best practices for social media - a workshop on how to use social media for Wikimedia communities

The department is also participating in these activities:



With its participation in the conference, the department hopes to achieve these objectives:

  • Help community projects expand their communications capacity
  • Network with members of the community
  • Share recent research findings on messaging
  • Discuss and identify advocacy needs of affiliates - in particular what tools affiliates would find helpful
  • Discuss strategies and opportunities for raising Wikimedia project awareness across African communities
  • Offer formal guidance on photography and digital storytelling tools
  • Discuss initiatives the department is considering

Workshops: Explaining Wikipedia across African communities


In a one hour session with 10 participants, we established a short way to introduce Wikipedia, a set of priority audiences, and a shortlist of media objects to produce. Full notes from this session are available on Etherpad.

How do you explain Wikipedia in 1 word?

  • ìtókasí (Yoruba) = reference, trust
  • Wissenshalde (German) = dump of knowledge, knowledge pile
  • ìmò (Yoruba) = knowledge
  • Fundi (Swahili) = expert
  • Nimdee (Twi) = knowledge
  • معرفة (Arabic) = knowlege

How do you explain Wikipedia in 3 words?

Free knowledge library (Note: No online, digital, or "on the internet" because some people encounter Wikipedia content offline)

Workshop participants

Top 3 audiences to introduce Wikipedia to?

  1. Students
  2. Researchers
  3. Journalists

Recommended promotions to introduce Wikipedia:

  1. Videos (e.g. comedic introductions to what Wikipedia is and why you should use it)
  2. Events (e.g. student contests such as spelling bee or trivia contests that encourage to use Wikipedia to find answers)
  3. Social media (to tell the story of how Wikipedia is made and why you should use it)
  4. Radio (wide reach channel, in native languages)
  5. TV (inspired by Cameroon ads... can we get videos on TV?)