MZMcBride, I agree with you, but let me split out one thing:

On 20 August 2014 04:09, MZMcBride wrote:
> the one complaint I _never_ hear is that
> Wikipedia has a readership problem.

Then you'll hear it from me.

First, let's make one thing clear: the reader doesn't exist; it's just a
rhetorical trick, and a very dangerous one. For more:

Page views, however brute a concept, exist; and I think they're telling
us we do have a readership problem. For, in the last year I see
a suspiciously similar decrease in desktop pageviews and editing
activity (possibly around –20 %). It would *seem* that every user
converted to the mobile site is a step towards extinction of the wiki.
Long story:
        The page above is just a collection of pointers that I probably won't
be able to pursue in the coming months, to study an unprecedented
collapse of editing activity and active editors on However,
there /are/ several things worth looking into and we do have a huge
problem (or several).
        Can anything be done about it? I don't know. In its brief history, WMF
software development has always been irrelevant for the increase of
editing activity and reach. Let's hope for a counterexample.


P.s.: Yes, this message is focused on one small thing only. That's just
about what we are/were already doing, while most opportunities lie in
what we're not doing, see the sister projects and [[strategy:List of
things that need to be free]]; we like to think otherwise, but our free
culture projects are still very marginal.

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