Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2020-03-01/Special report

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More participation, more conversation, more pageviews: A statistical insight into the English Wikipedia's very own online community newsletter.

The Signpost in 2019, our fifteenth year of publication, contained twelve issues and 155 articles, compared to the thirteen issues of 2018. This article reports data on articles, contributors, pageviews, and comments from 2019 and compares them to data from the first twelve issues of 2018 as previously reported in the December 24, 2018 Special report.

There were two fewer articles in 2019 than in 2018. These 155 articles, created by 87 Wikipedia users,[a] received a total of 465,360 pageviews.[b] Adding in views from the first page and the single-page edition, the total pageviews reached 508,549. This is an increase of Increase 120,065 views from last year. The twelve issues have seen a total of 1,694 comments, totaling 124,776 words.[c] This also is an increase from last year by 38.6% for comments and 29.3% for the word count.

Methodology and caveats

One warning on interpreting these figures: three articles, which received 39,359 pageviews, must be considered outliers. Removing this number from the article totals gives 426,001 as the total pageviews, an increase Increase of 80,706 (20.6%) from 2018.

The raw data for these calculations are available at Signpost Statistics 2019 and Signpost Statistics 2018.

Article pageview totals, both one week totals as well as full-year totals. Each dot represents an article, Dot 1 is Vol. 15, Issue 1, Article 1 and so on. A total of 155 articles are covered through Issue 12. Correlation between one week totals and all time totals is 0.69, 0.14 Decrease less than last year. (Full-year pageviews counted through 20 January 2020)

Three articles are considered to be outliers for this analysis:

  • The Signpost article with the highest full-year pageviews in 2019 is "Opinion: The Curious Case of Croatian Wikipedia". Out of the 155 articles it is the only article to have crossed 19,000 views this year (and perhaps in the history of The Signpost). We consider this article to be an outlier because 12,000+ pageviews happened 101 days after it was published, apparently due to an article on the Croatian website titled (transl.) "Croatian Wikipedia is such garbage that its owners even raised their hands" on 8 December 2019. Also a still ongoing Meta-Wiki RfC about the same subject had more than 75,000 pageviews.
  • The article with the highest number of pageviews for the first week after publication was "Humour: Pesky Pronouns" with 7,857 pageviews. This article was highly controversial and discussed on multiple fora. At Miscellany for deletion (MfD), editors decided to blank, rather than delete, the article.
  • Another article, Did Fram harass other editors?, was deleted within one day of publication. Its talk page received 5,241 pageviews.

Which individual articles got the most pageviews?

Excluding the outliers, the article with the highest full-year pageviews in 2019 is "A constitutional crisis hits English Wikipedia" with 7,261 pageviews.

On average, an article in 2019 got 1,002 pageviews in one week (an increase of Increase 154 views from 2018) in one week,[d] and 2,804 full-year page views (an increase of Increase 417 views from 2018).[e]

Comparing full-year page views per article for SP 2018 & 2019.png
The graph compares 2018 (orange) and 2019 (blue) article distribution according to pageviews. Note the shift towards the left (towards the larger values) for blue representing the gain in 2019's viewership as compared to 2018.
  • Eight articles in 2019 received at least 4,000 pageviews (full-year).[f] Some of the articles with the highest pageviews are listed below.
2019's most viewed articles (through 20 January)
Date Article title Pageviews (full-year)
30 Aug The Curious Case of Croatian Wikipedia 19,728[g]
28 Feb Humour: Pesky Pronouns 14,390
30 Jun A constitutional crisis hits English Wikipedia 7,261
30 Jun Did Fram harass other editors?*(talk) 5,241
30 Sep Where do we go from here? 4,805
30 Sep Post-Framgate wrap-up 4,476

Which categories of articles got the most pageviews?

  • "From the editor" articles in 2019 continued to have the highest average pageviews as in 2018. However, in 2019, Discussion reports displaced Op-ed with the second highest average pageviews. Op-ed fell from number 2 in 2018 to number 6 in 2019.
  • The five categories with the fewest pageviews remained the same for 2018 and 2019: Technology report, From the archives, Gallery, Featured content, and WikiProject.
From the editor(s) and Discussion reports have the highest average pageviews this year.

How many users have contributed to The Signpost in 2019?

The top 10 contributors to The Signpost (Vol. 15) amount to 55% of the total byline mentions, with the remaining 77 contributions accounting for the remainder.
  • 10 Signpost contributors in 2019 account for around 55% of the total byline mentions, with the remaining 77 users accounting for the remaining byline mentions. (This includes bylines for Essays, From the archives, and News from the WMF.)
  • 98 articles out of the 155 have only one name in the byline; that is, 65.6% have either been written or compiled by one user. The remaining 54 articles have two or more names in the bylines.
  • Collaboration on individual articles has increased since 2018 according to byline mentions.

How many comments did The Signpost get in 2019?

  • In 2019, The Signpost saw an increase of Increase472 comments and Increase28,303 words as compared to 2018.
2019's most commented-upon articles (till 20 Feb 2020)
Article Title No. of Comments Total Words
Humor: "Pesky Pronouns" 141 12,039
Special report: "Did Fram harass other editors?" *(deletedtalk) 91 7,842
Op-ed: "Random Rewards Rejected" 81 7,665
Op-Ed: "We couldn't have told you this, but Wikipedia was censored" 57 4,902
Special report: "Administrator cadre continues to contract" 52 4,127
Opinion: "The Curious Case of Croatian Wikipedia" 42 4,018
From the editors: "Where do we go from here?" 36 3,706
From the editors: "Caught with their hands in the cookie jar, again" 32 3,431
Using a small data sample, The Signpost appears to be still mainly viewed from desktops, as compared to Wikipedia articles which are seeing a shift towards mobile viewership. Next year we plan to investigate this phenomenon with a larger data set.

How many users subscribe to the The Signpost?

The first outlier of 2020

The Signpost in 2020 has already seen its first outlier in the In Focus article "Cryptos and bitcoins and blockchains, oh no!" David Gerard has a good following in this area which may help to explain how the article has already crossed 10,000 pageviews since going live on 27 January 2020 as Editor-in-chief Smallbones explains:

In 2019, issues had an average of 38,803 full year page views. Issue 1 of 2020 has about 49,000 through February 29.


  1. ^ If you count the authors of two essays which were selected for publication in SP, the users reaches 205
  2. ^ From 31 January 2019 to 20 January 2020
  3. ^ Excluding signatures
  4. ^ Including all 155 articles
  5. ^ 152 articles removing outliers
  6. ^ Not counting the outliers
  7. ^ The RfC for this topic has over 75,000 views