Risker wrote:
>Given the mission is sharing information, I'd suggest that if we have a
>95% drop in readership, we're failing the mission.  Donations are only a
>means to an end.

I think this assumes a direct correlation between pageviews and sharing
information and I'm not sure such a direct correlation exists.

When you do a Google search for "abraham lincoln", there's now an infobox
on the search results page with content from Wikipedia. This could easily
result in a drop in the number of Wikipedia pageviews, but does that mean
that Wikipedia is failing its mission? The goal is a world in which we
freely share in the sum of all human knowledge. If third parties are
picking up and re-using our free content (and they are), I think we're
certainly not losing. We may even be winning(!).

We offer bulk-download options for our content, as well as the ability to
directly query for article content on-demand via the MediaWIki API. Both
of these access methods very likely result in 0 pageviews being
registered (XML dump downloads and api.php hits aren't considered
pageviews, as far as I'm aware), but we're directly sharing content.

As a metric, pageviews are probably not very meaningful. One way we can
observe whether we're fulfilling our mission is to see how ubiquitous
our content has become. An even better metric might be the quality of the
articles we have. Anecdotal evidence suggests that higher article quality
is not really tied to the readership rate, though perhaps article size is.


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