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Let's talk about how to increase traffic to Wikipedia, of both readers and writers--that is now going to become one of the main focuses of my Wikipedia work. So I want your help! How can we increase "membership" in Wikipedia--both readers and new writers?

Let's brainstorm. Please, add an idea below, or help develop ideas. (Sometimes, a really great new idea is a slight variation on a just-OK old idea.)

Also, if you do any work that you think someone else might inadvertently replicate, can you please write it down here somehow (as on the Encyclopedia links solicited page)? Thanks! --Larry Sanger


  • And be sure to offer a link back, at least from Friends of Wikipedia--you can point out that they can put in links, themselves, on other pages, if they wish.

  • for individual articles, solicit links from:
    • related resources (particularly if we mention them in external links)
    • directories like Open Directory Project and ...

  • Approach websites that might want free content, and help them to get their hands on Wikipedia's; this is something Bomis programmers and volunteers could work on. Maybe after we're running Magnus' PHP code?

  • Post announcements on mailing lists. But of what sort? Obviously, we want to avoid spam.
    • Start and continue discussions about Wikipedia articles (for this, the help of Wikipedians will be necessary)
    • Simply announce the existence of Wikipedia, soliciting help. I think this is actually plausible.
    • Recruit fans for specific areas of Wikipedia. For example, someone could drop by a Star Trek newsgroup and mention that our pages need work. I bet we'd have a huge Star Trek section in no time...

  • Post announcements on newsgroups. But try to be careful to go slowly through them--make sure the post is specially-tailored to whatever group you post to. A good strategy is to pick a Wikipedia article, point out a few problems with it, and post a link to the article, inviting people to make changes. If you have posted an announcement to a newsgroup, will you please list it here: Newsgroups. If yu don't know much about newsgroups, go to http://groups.google.com.

  • Create a Friends of Wikipedia page: an external link back can be added if we spot a link by them to us. (Done. Please add your own webpages to that page!) Similarly, create a "Friend of Wikipedia" logo that webmasters can proudly display on their sites.

  • Contact webmasters who have content-rich sites. Get them excited about Wikipedia, and invite them to make their content part of something great.

  • Increase production of pages that are of interest to the search engines. Look at the Lycos 50 (http://50.lycos.com/) and the Google Zeitgeist (http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist) and make sure that there are articles on all those topics. I would say that writing some simple short biographies of famous people would help. It will help when we have reliable and regularly updated stats on what is popular. One interesting thing about this is that other people may follow suit so that there is a "trend" on the site.

  • Increase the standing of Wikipedia with Bomis. (There is a bug in the system which means that Wikipedia articles are not returned as often as they could be. We're working on this.)

  • Write a scholarly article about "Empirical studies in social epistemology" and get it published.

  • Write to authors of good books on subjects we need help on and invite them to write an article on Wikipedia.

  • Schools. Speak to any teachers you know and have them set up an exercise where their students write on various topics that are untouched. Students get school credit for their work, obviously and also get excited about participating. I've told my mother (who teaches grade 4), and her students are planning to do articles about australian mammals, some as-yet-untouched countries, etc.

  • Promote free content: Whenever you make a post on other content sites, include a statement that your content is GFDL, public domain, or whatever...

(The above is just a start! Please add to the list!)


Moved from Wikipedia:Village pump on Tuesday, November 26th, 2002:

Wikipedia Evangelism Hi, I've mentioned this before and thought I'd mention it again. As I'm browsing the pedia I find articles that might interest friends/coworkers. I pop them a link in a quick hello message and ask them if they confirm the accuracy of the content...the response so far has been first one of wonder, then awe, then enthusiasm! And it's been a nice way to relate to some folks I'm not often in contact with. Anyway, I searched for evangelism and came up with nada around the 'pedia. Is there a place for sharing an evangelical/ 'help us' message of wikipedia? --dgd

There's some stuff at Wikipedia:Building Wikipedia membership. (Hint which wouldn't help here but may in general: after searching, go to the "Power search" box at the bottom of the screen and check the box for the 'Wikipedia' namespace. You'll get various about, help, documentation, etc pages that aren't supposed to show up when you're searching for encyclopedia articles.) Also check the Meta-wikipedia where we keep general project discussion and misc stuff. --Brion 20:42 Oct 22, 2002 (UTC)

How about doing what a lot of news web pages do? They have a box at the bottom, "Send this article to a friend" with some kind of java mailer to ship it off and a box for you to add a signed message. Ortolan88

I like that idea too. Especially, and I know this would require more overhead, but a way to keep my list of folks in memory so I don't have to open my email client (which may not be available esp, as I'm a student and working on diff. machines).
How about mailto:root@localhost?Subject=Main%20Page&Body=Look%20at%20http%3A//www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page] ? The text needs to be changed, but it takes no more work than the Edit this page link to add at the bottom. Use a form with input text or a JavaScript inputbox() to an e-mail, then add subject=<title>&body=Look%20at%20<url-to-title> to the mailto. Geoffrey 23:27 Mar 21, 2003 (UTC)

Invitations requesting permission to re-use somebody else's content in Wikipedia:



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