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Commission a national poll about Wikipedia.

Outline[edit | edit source]

The WMF has run some surveys of Wikipedia users, but they have been self-selecting and of questionable statistical validity. They also tend to be rather US-centric. I propose we commission a reputable polling agency to poll the nation about their usage and opinions of Wikipedia.

Benefits[edit | edit source]

There are two main benefits. 1) We get useful information that we and the rest of the Wikimedia movement can use to decide what to do and can use to convince external parties of things. 2) We can pick a few key conclusions from the poll and write a press release about them. Newspapers love to publish statistics, so I'm sure we would get lots of coverage and we would be able to actually have some control over what is being said about us for a change.

Requirements[edit | edit source]

I've exchanged a couple of emails with ComRes and their "Telephone Omnibus Survey" sounds perfect. They charge by the question. For a sample size of 1000, it's £450+VAT per question. A question is either a question with 4 possible responses or a series of 4 true/false statements. I expect we would want 2 or 3 such questions, so the financial requirement would be around £1000-£1500.

I've looked at the websites of a few other pollsters and one or two of them look like they might be a better choice than ComRes, but the price won't be significantly different. The pollsters all offer advice on writing good questions and most offer some analysis of the results included in the price. If we're interested in running such a poll, I can research the options in more detail.

Volunteering[edit | edit source]

None. There isn't much work involved and what there is would best be done by the board.

Discussion[edit | edit source]

What questions would people be interested in finding out the answers to? I think a question on frequency of Wikipedia use is an obvious one (we get breakdowns by demographic automatically). I think a question on people's opinions of Wikipedia would be good too, but I'm not sure of the best specific questions to ask (breadth? depth? quality? ease of use?). What else could we ask? --Tango 22:05, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

The obvious questions would be:
  • How often do you use wikipedia
  • How often do you edit wikipedia
  • How could wikipedia be improved
  • Which sister projects of wikipedia have you heard of?
  • How much would you trust what you read on wikipedia?
  • Did you know that Wikipedia is a [non-profit/charitable] organisation?
... with suitable tweaking of the phrasing, and selection of possible answers for closed questions, of course. Mike Peel 23:07, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Results from a poll run in the Nederlands in 2005: in dutch, google translate. Mike Peel 23:23, 5 August 2010 (UTC)