Submissions/Social Media: The Power of Grass Roots

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2014 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no. 1066
Title of the submission

Social Media: The Power of Grass Roots

Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)


Author of the submission

Addis Wang

E-mail address



Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

The China Social Media Project started in May 2013, funded by an Individual Engagement Grant from the Wikimedia Foundation. In half a year, we gathered over 12 thousand followers on, China's Twitter-like website, and the number is growing over a thousand every month. Due to China's situation, most people have low access to Wikipedia's open content and culture, and the Wikipedia Community has had really low influence outside of Wikipedia. But social media is becoming a great platform to spread the idea of Wikipedia, and to encourage people to use and even edit Wikipedia.

Comparing average views for 3 days before and after the link was posted; Credit: Jonathan Morgan

In more than two thousand posts our account posted, some of these brought lots of traffic to Wikipedia (as high as 14 times), In the sample analysis, average pageview change is over 200%. With the help of social media, we successfully ran a offline activities called "Wikimedia Tour", in a middle size city Dalian. There were more than 60 people attended, which is more than any offline activities we did in China, because of the huge influence of social media.

Some online activities based on weibo also gained huge success. For example, we designed and made thousands beautiful postcard as gift for online campaign. In really cheap way (around $0.20/person include postage) but meaningful way especially some of them sent from Hong Kong during Wikimania. This provide a chance for Wikipedia fans to show their interest to their friends and family, and extend the influence like a spark can burn the whole prairie.

This grass-roots based project empowers Chinese Wikipedians to bridge the gap in China, providing a new method to engage readers and volunteers that doesn't rely on Wikipedia itself. Although most of World has access to Twitter or Facebook, where Wikipedia and other projects have official accounts, this is still a new area for small communities to extent their influence, maintain community health and promote the Wikimedia Movement in their own country and own language.

The session will also include the idea of self-publishing, the opportunity and strategy of social media, findings from our social media experiments, and how support from the Wikimedia Foundation makes things different. These experience sharing will encourage Wikimedians all over the world to start building their own influence, to gathering more attention about Wikimedia Movement, and to help improving the coverage of the idea of Wikimedia movement.

  • WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)

30 minutes

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  1. Sbouterse (WMF) (talk) 23:53, 10 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
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