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Wikipedia at 15: Millions of readers in scores of languages

(Pew Research, 1/14/16)

PNConnect Insight – Wikipedia is without question one of the most successful endeavors ever undertaken online. It averages 18 billion page views per month, a staggering number — and boasts an editorial community of more than 100,000. As the Washington Post put it, “It’s hard to overstate how influential Wikipedia has been, not just as a free alternative to traditional knowledge sources, but as a vanguard for maintaining and delivering up to date information.”

That said, the site and concept are very likely to undergo significant changes in their next 15 years. Wikipedia’s integration with Google’s Knowledge Graph has unquestionably been a huge boon for exposure. But it also dings the site’s overall traffic, because Google is answering more questions and providing more information directly on the results page for a search. Wikipedia’s overall traffic does seem to be plateauing for the first time ever, and this integration is likely a big reason why. This integration may also harm Wikipedia’s
ability to draw in new editors to the full site.

The transition to mobile also makes it harder to draw in editors — editing isn’t very easy on mobile — but could help the site collect more multimedia content, especially video and other more complex/interactive resources. This evolution beyond text makes sense — it might even be imperative for Wikipedia, given the rise of video on most other social platforms, from YouTube to Facebook to Vine to Twitter.

At PNConnect, we’re huge Wikipedia fans; we joined many other communications firms in signing a pledge to participate in the site ethically and within Wikipedia’s guidelines, and we’ve put together an introductory guide to how brands can get involved in the site, should they wish to do so. At age 15, Wikipedia’s biggest growing pain is growing its editor base to keep up with its rapidly expanding catalogue of articles. As the gap between the number of edits and the volume of content broadens, the site’s overall QA, particularly on niche topics, may suffer, and this is where brands will sometimes need to step in and help Wikipedia’s organic community ensure that the information about them is accurate and up-to-date. Reach out to your PNConnect representative to learn more.

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Via TheDrum


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