Wikistories for Wikipedia
Wikistories is a project, under development since July 2021 by the Wikimedia Foundation's Inuka team, that will let editors create short, visual and reliable knowledge from Wikipedia for quick consumption and easy sharing. It generates content in visual format to capture and distribute encyclopaedic knowledge that is less suitable for long form articles.
The 2030 Movement Strategy emphasises the need for equitable distribution of knowledge sharing opportunities across Wikimedia Communities around the world.
Wikistories is one of the initiatives intended to meet this need; it is focused on visual representation of content available on Wikimedia sites, and workflows that can serve contribution and discovery towards such content.
Visual content plays a big part in how Wikimedia project content is consumed. Pictures and video enhance the experience of reading articles on Wikipedia and elsewhere, and contribute immensely in preserving visual memory through the millions of multimedia files on Wikimedia Commons.
On the internet in general, visually engaging content has become the primary form of content being consumed.
The Inuka team has been exploring how to make use of Wikimedia content for a more visual experience, through design experiments and usability studies that have contributed to projects such as the Wikipedia KaiOS app and Wikipedia Preview. Wikistories is a further step in that direction, and is intended to make interacting with Wikimedia content more meaningful and inclusive for audiences across regions and demographics and their digital habits.
Goals & Objectives
The goal for wikistories is to: amplify wikipedia content in short-form, visual formats, driving readership with new audiences. The Wikistories tool would:
- allow users to engage with Wikimedia content both as consumers and creators in a way that matches contemporary internet experiences.
- be visually appealing, easy to contribute to, and meet reader needs with visual knowledge and be shareable.
- provide a way for quick contribution and consumption of visual knowledge from an information source that is reliable.
- reach a larger, newer and diverse audience, both in contributors and in readers.
The objective of Wikistories is to: support contributions that require repackaging available long-form content in Wikipedia in an experience that is image/visual led.
This form of contribution takes into account the preferences of new audiences when contributing content, and makes it easier/more welcoming to contribute to knowledge successfully through mobile phones.
Wikistories aims to help achieve the objective of increasing short, visual content that positively influences contributor & reader engagement of new audiences with encyclopaedic content. Users can create, curate, contribute and consume our content in a visually-driven experience.
- If we provide an easy way for contributors to create/curate wikistories through their phones, then we will see an increase in diverse contributors from regions, communities, and languages that have been underrepresented in digital spaces.
- Increase in visual content led experiences will lead to increased reader engagement with encyclopedic content.
- An easy way to contribute using Wikistories would motivate new GLAMs to get started in the Wikimedia movement.
A very early version of a design concept was attempted in late 2020 and then again with more details in May 2021.
- Wikistories Indonesia Concept testing research gathered feedback from Indonesian editor communities on early concepts and designs for Wikistories, focusing on the experiences of potential Wikistories creators coming from the editing community
- Wikistories Africa Concept testing user research in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa with new/potential contributors investigated the behaviour of content creators and consumers in three African countries with distinct user behaviours and context especially relating to Wikimedia.
- Early adopters survey feedback: In collaboration with Wikimedia Indonesia organised a series of workshops and trainings for Wikistories. These workshops took place in-person in five Indonesian cities (Yogyakarta, Bandung, Padang, Jakarta, and Denpasar) between July and October of 2022. This survey project gathered structured feedback from Indonesian Wikipedia editors who attended these workshops, all of whom were early creators of Wikistories.
- Early adopters moderated research: In order to more effectively conduct research with the Indonesian community, we worked with FloLab, a Jakarta-based UI consultant to help us with this project. Our aim was to understand the experiences of early Wikistory adopters, both creators and readers, focusing on their motivations and experiences creating and sharing stories. We also wanted to understand what motivated current and potential Wikistories readers and creators to engage with this feature.
- Starting July 2022, Wikistories has been in pilot under beta cluster in the Indonesian wiki ( link ).
- So far, 800+ stories have been created by idwiki members + GLAM professionals from Indonesia.
- To date, 200+ new editors have signed up on Indonesia Wikipedia & created at least 1 wikistory.
- On June 30, 2022, the very first version of Wikistories for Wikipedia with minimal features focused on story creation, discovery and story consumption, was deployed in Bahasa Indonesian Wikipedia.
- On October 5, 2022 we shared with the Indonesian community our plans to move out of beta to make stories created by contributors accessible to readers.
- The feedback here entailed feature related improvements, product related improvements and policy related feedback. From this conversation; 6 votes agreed, 6 votes disagreed and 3 votes opposed having Wikistories on Indonesian wiki completely.
- On April 6, 2023, the voting for Wikistories for Wikipedia Editorial policy kicked off.
- On April 19, 2023 the voting came to an end with 11 votes agreeing with the proposal.
- Inuka team reviewed the feedback provided by the community members on Indonesian wiki and began the definition and development of Wikistories editorial moderation features as proposed by the community.
- This work is currently in progress and anticipate release by End of June, 2023.
- Storytelling with Paperclip:
- In December 2022, the Inuka team collaborated with Indian media company The Paperclip, during which time The Paperclip created four stories relating to football and history, sourced entirely from knowledge available on Wikimedia projects. The stories were shared by The Paperclip on their website, Twitter feed, and other social media channels. You can see the stories as Twitter threads here: 1, 2, 3,4.
- Learnings from this collaboration have been summarised in this diff blogpost.
Engagement & Activities
|ACTIVATION (July 2022-Dec 2022)|
|Community||Inuka team collaborated with Wikimedia Indonesia with a reach of 14 local Wikimedia communities in Indonesia were the target. WMID organized both offline and online events to reach the community members including five offline workshops, one online workshop, Instagram live session, and a giveaway activity. Below are the details for the activities. See full report here
We invited the community members to attend the Wikistories workshop. The participants were existing contributors in the Wikimedia project.
We published blog posts about Wikistories in Indonesian.
There are 357 stories created by the community members from July–December, 2022. Below is the top three contributors.
|GLAM||Inuka team partnered with Wikimedia Indonesia to introduce Wikistories to several GLAM institutions and GLAM communities in four cities, namely Medan, Yogyakarta, Makassar, and Banjarmasin. The choice of cities was based on the locations of GLAM entities that WMID have partnered with and also new cities to visit as part of engaging new GLAM institutions. Wikistories was also socialized online via Zoom and YouTube “Bincang GLAM” livestream to reach more entities which cannot be visited in person. More than 50 people participated in all these outreach activities and 400+ new Wikistories have been created.
A Wikistories contest for GLAM was held as a way to enrich Wikistories on the topic of GLAM institutions in Indonesia. 386 stories were created by GLAM competition participants; below are the top 3 contributors:
The introduction ended at the Indonesia Open GLAM Conference 2022, which was held over two days in November.
|ADOPTION (Jan 2023 to date)|
|Policies & Guidelines||On April 6, 2023, the voting for Wikistories for Wikipedia Editorial policy kicked off; with 11 votes agreeing with the proposed policy to be implemented.|
|Moderation features||Inuka team reviewed the feedback provided by the community members on Indonesian wiki and began the definition and development of Wikistories editorial moderation features as proposed by the community.
The work is currently in progress and anticipate release by End of June, 2023.
|Share feature||Part of the community feedback received included the addition of a Share feature that allows wikistories to be shareable for readers to consume.
Community conversations and co-creation begin on the 20th May, 2023 which will guide the scoping and development.
|Community||Inuka team will be partnering with Wikimedia Indonesia affiliate to re-engage the community members through various online and offline meet ups starting end of May, 2023. These activities will be focused on shedding light to all enhancements and capabilities added between April-June e.g. Moderation features, Share functionality, Improved text selection etc.
There will be a wikistories campaign at the end of these engagements to commemorate Indonesia’s Independence Day. After these set of activities, evaluations through surveys and analytics to determine the impact on engagement and retention with the tool.
Wikistories has been in pilot under beta cluster in the Indonesian wiki since July, 2022.
|July,2022 - June,2023||Notes|
|Contributions (story creations)||431||428||32||55||946||
|Contributors (new editors)||146||57||18||23||244|
|Consumption (story reads & shares)||feature is still in beta||Once the Share feature is released, consumption metrics will be available|
|Readers (anon & return readers)|
|Summary of the feedback received across various channels|
|Out of Beta RFC||
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CO-CREATION/ COLLABORATION: by partnering with the Indonesia affiliate and community members, we were able to uncover 2 dynamics:
- Speed of Testing: experimenting and testing the new content format at different stages took time to reach a consensus with the community; working with them unfolded other unexpected needs for the tool. One of them which was a must-have, was to have an approved, editorial guideline in place, a process that we had to navigate at the community's pace.
- Targeted approach towards editors: identifying different types of editors/creators that preferred snackable content formats would have helped with editor motivation along with adoption & retention strategies. Wikistories Indonesia Early Adopters Research (Creators/Editors Segment) by FloLab highlighted 5 personas who we could have identified within the idwiki community to better understand editor motivations.
STORY CREATION PROCESS: by partnering with Paperclip, we aimed to understand how:
- Long-form, encyclopaedic content can be made into bite-sized content i.e. through curation.
- Repurposing content can happen with proper attribution.
- Content sourced & curated exclusively from wikipedia sources would be perceived by readers.
This case study uncovered 3 things:
- Curation: Curating from multiple article sources takes time and effort to dig deep and put together a compelling storyline; in comparison to a single sourced article. Curation was not heavy in the single-sourced thread (Indian roller) as compared the multiple-sourced thread (Football unheard series).
- Story creation: We saw that story creation could also take a text-first approach with images being used later in the creation journey to complement the narrative. Wikistories tool has taken an image-first approach similar to how most social platforms are designed.
- Reader Engagement: Stories that were relatable to readers received better engagement levels on Twitter.
CONSUMPTION/ READERSHIP: by hosting wikistories on Indonesia Wikipedia under beta cluster, we were able to uncover how testing readership would look like.
- Speed of Testing: pursuing different approaches to evaluate readership and consumption while still in Beta would have been an ideal strategy to ensure quick learnings. One possibility could have been, performing a controlled experiment with readers as soon as the product was launched.
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