The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.
In order to know how well we are doing with our mission, we invest a lot of attention in metrics about visits and contributions to Wikimedia sites. However, our web APIs also contribute to this mission by enabling community and third party developers to spread and improve our free knowledge via software. So far, we don't seem to have metrics about the use of our web APIs, and we don't seem to have any ongoing or planned initiative to address this problem.
Let's define what API metrics we need, and what would it take to produce them.
The reasoning for this request is simple: we are measuring how many readers and editors we have based on the activity performed directly on Wikimedia websites. However, our web APIs allow to access, create, and modify Wikimedia content through other ways, andwe are not measuring the volume, percentages, and trends of these activities.
The goal is to measure the activities performed through our web APIs in order to know
- better numbers about readership and contributors, counting web + API
- any numbers about the use of our web APIs, so we can plan better to improve them and increase their impact on readership and contributions.
It would be useful to have an identification of domains, at least to have data about the activity originated in Labs (community tools) versus the activity originated in third party servers. All the better if we can identify the main third party services using our web APIs.
Specific metrics requested, and the stakeholders requesting them:
- Number of user agents coming from Labs or third party services, on a monthly basis + all time (DevRel, to check whether our APIs are increasing adoption)
- Volume of API requests coming from Labs or third party services, on a monthly basis (DevRel, to check the trend of usage of our APIs)
- Ranking of user agents coming from Labs or third party services with a highest activity, on a monthly basis + all time (DevRel, to help identifying the services making intensive use of our APIs)
- Ranking of most requested actions/parameters, on a monthly basis + all time (DevRel, to help identifying usage of our APIs and check against our documentation, APIs we should promote...)
- Counts of errors (T113672) by action and user agent, in order to identify problem areas and proactively reach out to API clients getting errors (DevRel and documentation)