Survey: Editors see technical operations and features as most important expenses

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Technical operations (more operations staff, new caching servers, performance metrics, uptime) were chosen as the most important use of donation money by respondents to the December 2011 Editor Survey, followed by the development of technical features for new and experienced editors. On average, respondents felt that 26.7 dollars out of every 100 donated to Wikimedia Foundation should be spent on technical operations, almost twice as much as the next major expense.
a. Technical operations and features for editors seen as most important expense
b. Almost half of the respondents are unaware of Board elections
c. Slight dip in overall performance ratings since April

a. Technical operations and features for editors seen as most important expense

To get an idea of where the Wikipedia community feels money should be spent, we asked Wikipedia editors to tell us how they would allocate funds received by the Wikimedia Foundation.  We observed a high degree of variance around grantmaking to Wikimedians/non-profits and community work aimed at the Global South.

Q30. We are interested in your opinion on how the Wikimedia Foundation should spend money. If you donated 100 dollars to the Foundation, how would you like the foundation to allocate money for the following? (Please ensure that all the responses add up to $100.) (base: 6,702)

b. Almost half of the respondents are unaware of Board elections

Similar to the April 2011 Editors Survey, we found that the majority of editors neither interacts with the foundation nor participates in the elections of it Board of Trustees. A little less than three-fourths of editors (72 percent) had never sought or received information from the foundation. However, among those who did, 82 percent were happy with the quality of information they received. In the April 2011 survey, we found that 87 percent of editors had never voted in the Board of Trustees elections, and this number remains steady at 88 percent (within the margin of error).
Awareness of and interest in the Wikimedia Board of Trustees remains fairly low. 47 percent of editors said they haven’t heard of the Board elections. 41 percent said they weren’t interested in voting, and we asked them why – responses are outlined below. 68 percent said they aren’t interested in standing for Board elections (see here for the reasons they gave). Interestingly, among the respondents with 5000+ edits, an even higher percentage (over 80 percent) said they weren’t interested in standing for Board elections.

Q32a. Why have you never voted in the elections for the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees? Please choose all that apply. (base: 2,714)

c. Slight dip in overall performance ratings since April

We asked editors to rate the performance of Wikimedia volunteers, Wikimedia Chapters, Wikimedia Foundation as well as their own contributions to Wikimedia projects. Like in the previous iteration of the survey, editors were humble in assessing their own contributions. Also, the Wikimedia Foundation again received more favorable ratings than the Wikimedia chapters. It is important to note, however, that knowledge of and involvement with chapters is low. 45 percent of respondents didn’t know whether there was a local chapter in their country or residence, and among respondents that knew of a local Wikimedia chapter, 85 percent pointed out that they are not a member of it. Their top reasons for not being a chapter member were: only being interested in editing (31 percent) and not having enough information about the chapter (32 percent). There was a slight dip in performance ratings from the April survey, but it wasn’t statistically significant, especially given the fact that we had a lower response rate last time.

Q35a-d. On a 0­‐10 scale with 0 being NOT AT ALL GOOD and 10 being EXTREMELY GOOD, how would you rate the performance of each in contributing to the Wikimedia movement? (different bases)

D6. Is there a Wikimedia chapter in the country where you live? (base: 6,660)

Ayush Khanna, Data Analyst, Global Development
Mani Pande, Head of Global Development Research 

In December 2011, we conducted an online survey of Wikipedia editors in 17 languages. This is the fifth in a series of blog posts summarizing our findings. If you are interested, you can find out more about the methodology of the survey here.

Archive notice: This is an archived post from, which operated under different editorial and content guidelines than Diff.

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Hi, Ayush. I’d like to know if you could show us the first (where the money should go) and last two graphs (performance ratings and if they are aware of a chapter in their country) per language. I would like to compare the difference among volunteers in developing and other countries, if possible. Or even by language, which can be not that good in the cases we have speakers from developed and developing countries almost equally distributed. For me it would be interesting, for instance, to, although I am not sure if about 100 people would be enough for having… Read more »