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Submissions/Wikipedia article traffic as a mirror of media exposure

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

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 2013 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no.
Subject no.
Title of the submission

Wikipedia article traffic as a mirror of media exposure

Type of submission


Author of the submission

Marek Blahuš

Country of origin

Czech Republic


Esperanto and Free Knowledge, Education@Internet, Wikimedia Czech Republic, Wikimedia Poland scholarship

E-mail address




Personal homepage or blog

Everytime a particular issue appears in the news, people look it up in Wikipedia. Therefore, Wikipedia's article traffic statistics are a very representative measure of a topic's overall popularity. Stakeholders may use them to assess the effect of media campaigns or even identify previously unnoticed media exposure of their relevant topics. Increased awareness in Wikipedia's importance in informing the public may increase the willingness of these experts to contribute to Wikipedia about their field of expertise. I will be presenting a web tool that monitors a topic's hourly popularity and can link peaks to external events.

Detailed proposal

Use of Wikipedia as a tool for monitoring the impact of public exposure of a given topic: Everytime when a particular issue is brought up in the news and it suddenly receives wide public attention – as is routinely the case of breaking news, anniversaries, discoveries, deaths of famous people or Google Doodles – many people go and look it up on-line. Very commonly, such people end up reading a Wikipedia article. Therefore, at least as far as the digitally-literate world is concerned, Wikipedia's article traffic statistics prove to be a very representative measure of a topic's overall popularity. Such information may be of particular importance to stakeholders interested in a certain topic, such as civil society (NGO) activists. The numbers of readers at specific time intervals can be used with advantage to monitor a topic's popularity in both the short and the long term and the derived observations can serve as valuable feedback for assessing the effect of media campaigns or even help identify periods of media exposure that would otherwise have passed unnoticed. Social activists share a common goal with the Wikimedia community, namely that Wikipedia serve high-quality information on the topic of their interest. A web tool that helps stakeholders monitor the popularity of relevant articles increases the willingness of experts in the field to help improve those articles, so that the incoming public eventually receives high-quality information about the subject. In course of the talk, I will present such a tool that continuously collects information from Domas Mituzas' pagecount data, shows hourly trends for select topics and enables the users to crowd-source identification of any peaks and to link them to external events. An early example showing the popularity of the "Esperanto" article on English Wikipedia, linked in time to possibly relevants observations (such as anniversaries, events, news articles) marked in pink, may already be seen at [1].

  • Analysis and Public Engagement
Length of presentation/talk

25 Minutes

Language of presentation/talk


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  1. Please add some detail on how you intend to approach the topic, what kind of traffic data you have looked at etc. I am particularly interested in articles on newly described species. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 22:38, 22 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:55, 3 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Add your username here.