Message to community about community decline

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Message to community about community decline

Ting Chen-3
Dear all:

The Wikimedia Board of Trustees just completed its two-day meeting [1]
this weekend in Berlin. We devoted the longest time to discussing
declining trends in editing activity and our collective response to it.
I encourage everyone to review Sue’s March update [2], and the editor
trends study itself [3]. It is a deeply important topic, and each report
is only a few pages long.

The Board thinks this is the most significant challenge currently facing
our movement. We would encourage the whole movement - the communities,
wikiprojects, Chapters, Board, Foundation staff - to think about ways to
meet this challenge. We know many contributors care about this and have
worked on outreach and hospitality in past years. We are considering how
we can help make such work more effective, and ask for suggestions from
the community to this problem now and to invite discussion and
suggestions [4].

Greetings,
Ting

[1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Board_meetings/March_25-26
[2] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/March_2011_Update
[3] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Editor_Trends_Study
[4] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:March_2011_Update

--
Ting Chen
Member of the Board of Trustees
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
E-Mail: [hidden email]


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Fwd: Message to community about community decline

thurner rupert-2
while i really enjoy the amount and quality of the contributions in
the strategy wiki, one could even imagine different dimensions
influencing the number of contributions:

1. what?
additional content types requires additional contribution. while
wikipedia might be considered "quasi-complete", other projects pretty
sure are not, just to name commons, wikinews, wikiversity (which is
information targetted to people of different age / education in other
words). and if you take wikinews, this one will never be complete :)


2. who?
additional people having access to wikimedia projects will trigger
some of them to contribute. this i find particularly well covered in
the strategy. one aspect would be additionally interesting, related to
the interenet accessibility timeline. in the western world internet
and computer penetration started in the 90ies, and wikipedia started
into a "penetrated world". other social / community sites like
facebook grew bit a little bit afterwards, also blogging. what is the
influence of this, i.e. does somebody who starts to edit wikipedia
_before_ facebook or a personal blog stay longer with wikipedia or
not? what does this mean in, e.g. global south, countries where
internet penetration meets an already existing facebook and
wikipediea?


3. how?
if it is easy / quick to contribute it consumes less time, and one
does it more often. this is basically a technical issue. templates,
syntax, procedures, software. questions like "is mediawiki still the
right software", "can the type of contents we want be nicely edited",
like an interactive course in wikiversity, just to name something
where we have nothing good. i would love if this would get better
coverage in the strategy - maybe even shorter coverage.


4. where?
if we extend the possibility to contribute everywhere, people might
find it easier to take a short time slot to contribute. partially i
feel this is very well covered, especially with the mobile strategy.
providing content creation examples might help in this respect. to
give an example: while travelling one can take geodata, photos, films,
audio recordings, and can store it for later upload.


kr, rupert


On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 22:18, Ting Chen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear all:
>
> The Wikimedia Board of Trustees just completed its two-day meeting [1]
> this weekend in Berlin. We devoted the longest time to discussing
> declining trends in editing activity and our collective response to it.
> I encourage everyone to review Sue’s March update [2], and the editor
> trends study itself [3]. It is a deeply important topic, and each report
> is only a few pages long.
>
> The Board thinks this is the most significant challenge currently facing
> our movement. We would encourage the whole movement - the communities,
> wikiprojects, Chapters, Board, Foundation staff - to think about ways to
> meet this challenge. We know many contributors care about this and have
> worked on outreach and hospitality in past years. We are considering how
> we can help make such work more effective, and ask for suggestions from
> the community to this problem now and to invite discussion and
> suggestions [4].
>
> Greetings,
> Ting
>
> [1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Board_meetings/March_25-26
> [2] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/March_2011_Update
> [3] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Editor_Trends_Study
> [4] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:March_2011_Update
>
> --
> Ting Chen
> Member of the Board of Trustees
> Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
> E-Mail: [hidden email]
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: Message to community about community decline

Sarah-128
In reply to this post by Ting Chen-3
On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 14:18, Ting Chen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I encourage everyone to review Sue’s March update [2], and the editor
> trends study itself [3]. It is a deeply important topic, and each report
> is only a few pages long. ...
>
> The Board thinks this is the most significant challenge currently facing
> our movement. ...
>
> [1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Board_meetings/March_25-26
> [2] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/March_2011_Update
> [3] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Editor_Trends_Study
> [4] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:March_2011_Update
>

Hi Ting,

One of the things I wondered about the editor trends study is whether
it focused only on user names, as opposed to people.

It says: "Between 2005 and 2007, newbies started having real trouble
successfully joining the Wikimedia community. Before 2005 in the
English Wikipedia, nearly 40% of new editors would still be active a
year after their first edit. After 2007, only about 12-15% of new
editors were still active a year after their first edit."

A simple explanation is that a significant percentage of new accounts
after 2007 were not new people, but people returning with new
identities, sometimes multiple ones. Any regular editor will tell you
that this happens a lot, for various reasons. Accounts are banned;
privacy is compromised; people acquire a certain reputation with an
account and want to start over; or they want a break from being User
X, for whatever reason, and become User Y for a while.

Did the study do anything to correlate number of accounts with number of people?

Sarah

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Re: Message to community about community decline

Stephanie Daugherty
In reply to this post by Ting Chen-3
I think that somewhere along the way we lost sight of many of the qualities
that make the wiki model work.

There are certain patterns, which a wiki community needs to follow to be
successful - beyond assume good faith, there are principles such as forgive
and forget that are just as crucial to community building. instead we punish
reputation endlessly -, once you make a mistake it follows you forever or at
least until you make a clean start. most people don't want to have to start
over every time they manage to offend someone, so I think we are becoming
victims of an increasingly cynical unforgiving and hopeless culture. The
editors that are left are either the ones with really thick skin, the ones
that haven't become jaded yet by community interaction,, or the ones that
create such a hostile enviroment.

We lack an effective structure for dealing with the more persistently
hostile editors- arbitration can only work so well when the abuse is subtle
and sustained rather than sharp outbursts.

We need both technological and social fixes to this problem. Edit histories
are both necessary and harmful. Community interaction in some cases needs to
be filtered - limiting who interacts with new editors sounds extreme but it
may be exactly the sort of change that helps us to ease new editors into our
community.
All these sort of things require interface changes to accomplish the needed
social changes.
This is the sort of area where the foundation should take a very active
role, because the mission itself is jeopardized by communities that are too
hostile for new members to be comfortable in.
Sent from my mobile device.
On Mar 27, 2011 8:27 PM, "Sarah" <[hidden email]> wrote:
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Re: Message to community about community decline

Jon Davis-5
In reply to this post by Sarah-128
Wouldn't someone leaving & returning as a new username be a loss of 1 and a
gain of 1? Thereby being a net change of zero?

I'm sure there is some username churn in the stats, but I'd be surprised if
it was a significant portion (more than 1%) of tens of thousands of users.

-Jon

On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 17:27, Sarah <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Ting,
>
> One of the things I wondered about the editor trends study is whether
> it focused only on user names, as opposed to people.
>
> It says: "Between 2005 and 2007, newbies started having real trouble
> successfully joining the Wikimedia community. Before 2005 in the
> English Wikipedia, nearly 40% of new editors would still be active a
> year after their first edit. After 2007, only about 12-15% of new
> editors were still active a year after their first edit."
>
> A simple explanation is that a significant percentage of new accounts
> after 2007 were not new people, but people returning with new
> identities, sometimes multiple ones. Any regular editor will tell you
> that this happens a lot, for various reasons. Accounts are banned;
> privacy is compromised; people acquire a certain reputation with an
> account and want to start over; or they want a break from being User
> X, for whatever reason, and become User Y for a while.
>
> Did the study do anything to correlate number of accounts with number of
> people?
>
> Sarah
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>



--
Jon
[[User:ShakataGaNai]] / KJ6FNQ
http://snowulf.com/
http://ipv6wiki.net/
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Re: Message to community about community decline

Sarah-128
> On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 17:27, Sarah <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> It says: "Between 2005 and 2007, newbies started having real trouble
>> successfully joining the Wikimedia community. Before 2005 in the
>> English Wikipedia, nearly 40% of new editors would still be active a
>> year after their first edit. After 2007, only about 12-15% of new
>> editors were still active a year after their first edit."
>>
>> A simple explanation is that a significant percentage of new accounts
>> after 2007 were not new people, but people returning with new
>> identities, sometimes multiple ones.

On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 19:17, Jon Davis <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Wouldn't someone leaving & returning as a new username be a loss of 1 and a
> gain of 1? Thereby being a net change of zero?

The conclusion of the study is that losses after one year were more
likely to happen after 2007. That could be (and almost certainly is)
because a higher proportion of accounts created after 2007 were second
accounts, which were then abandoned for third accounts, or to return
to the first one.

> I'm sure there is some username churn in the stats, but I'd be surprised if
> it was a significant portion (more than 1%) of tens of thousands of users.
>
> -Jon
>
I would dispute that, Jon, based on experience. That's why it would be
helpful to make some effort to identify how many people we're talking
about, as opposed to user names.

Sarah

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Re: Message to community about community decline

Stephanie Daugherty
I am really not sure how many of them are clean starts and socks. Probably
not a lot, but I also doubt that the number is insignificant. Given privacy
policies and people deliberately covering their tracks when using a new
identity, we probably can only guess at real numbers.

Hazarding a guess I would therorize the "returning" editor population to be
around 5-10% at any given time, at most.

Editors have a certain attachment to their identity so starting over isn't
exactly a choice taken lightly - its something done because events connected
with an old name make it more difficult to continue editing under it than it
is to break the attachment to ones identity.

Sent from my mobile device.
On Mar 27, 2011 11:06 PM, "Sarah" <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 17:27, Sarah <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> It says: "Between 2005 and 2007, newbies started having real trouble
>>> successfully joining the Wikimedia community. Before 2005 in the
>>> English Wikipedia, nearly 40% of new editors would still be active a
>>> year after their first edit. After 2007, only about 12-15% of new
>>> editors were still active a year after their first edit."
>>>
>>> A simple explanation is that a significant percentage of new accounts
>>> after 2007 were not new people, but people returning with new
>>> identities, sometimes multiple ones.
>
> On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 19:17, Jon Davis <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Wouldn't someone leaving & returning as a new username be a loss of 1 and
a
>> gain of 1? Thereby being a net change of zero?
>
> The conclusion of the study is that losses after one year were more
> likely to happen after 2007. That could be (and almost certainly is)
> because a higher proportion of accounts created after 2007 were second
> accounts, which were then abandoned for third accounts, or to return
> to the first one.
>
>> I'm sure there is some username churn in the stats, but I'd be surprised
if
>> it was a significant portion (more than 1%) of tens of thousands of
users.

>>
>> -Jon
>>
> I would dispute that, Jon, based on experience. That's why it would be
> helpful to make some effort to identify how many people we're talking
> about, as opposed to user names.
>
> Sarah
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Message to community about community decline

Sarah-128
On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 21:20, Stephanie Daugherty <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I am really not sure how many of them are clean starts and socks. Probably
> not a lot, but I also doubt that the number is insignificant. Given privacy
> policies and people deliberately covering their tracks when using a new
> identity, we probably can only guess at real numbers.
>
> Hazarding a guess I would therorize the "returning" editor population to be
> around 5-10% at any given time, at most.
>
> Editors have a certain attachment to their identity so starting over isn't
> exactly a choice taken lightly - its something done because events connected
> with an old name make it more difficult to continue editing under it than it
> is to break the attachment to ones identity.

I agree with you about attachment, but lots of editors have more than
one account, so that issue needn't arise. A new account arriving in
2007 and leaving six months later might just as easily be an
established user having set up a new account, then abandoning it, and
returning to her old one. Or continuing to use the old one throughout.
There are lots of possible combinations here.

We had the same problem trying to guess the number of women at around
13 per cent. It was unscientific, but it did at least (sort of) fit
people's experiences.

But this editors' survey leaves the number of actual people we're
dealing with completely up in the air. We really shouldn't be saying
it's the most important issue we face based on that survey alone.

Sarah

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Fwd: Re: Message to community about community decline

Stephanie Daugherty
But we do know the, number of actual editors will always be overreporrted,
because there will always be more accounts created than editors actually
using them. So noting a pattern of decline is valid, even if the extent of
it is unclear due to the masking effects of false churn.

Sent from my mobile device.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Sarah" <[hidden email]>
Date: Mar 28, 2011 1:40 AM
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Message to community about community decline
To: "Stephanie Daugherty" <[hidden email]>

On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 21:49, Stephanie Daugherty <[hidden email]>
wrote:
> Actually because duplicate accounts can only skew results in one direction
> over the long term I think the warning signs raised are just as valid even
> if the exact numbers are questionable, because the actual situation can
only
> be worse than the numbers presented.

I don't see how that would follow, Stephanie.

Imagine 500 people create an account in 2005. They create a second
account in 2007 (because banned, or in trouble with the first account
in some way, or because they want a break from editing with that
account, or because they want a second account to run in parallel).
Six months later, they abandon the second, and create a third, or
return to the first.

That will show up as (a) 500 accounts created in 2005 edited for more
than a year; and (b) 500 accounts created in 2007 left after six
months.

So the results of the survey are meaningless unless we know how many
people are behind the user names.

Sarah
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Re: Message to community about community decline

Jan-Bart de Vreede-2
In reply to this post by Ting Chen-3
Hi Everyone,

It seems that our natural reaction is to immediately question the numbers and the underlying studies. We are Wikimedians and will not rest until we are sure that we are looking at 100% accurate numbers.

We could also look at this another way. Looking around me and talking to people about Wikipedia (and sometimes the other projects) I hear a lot of stories which demonstrate our inability to welcome everyone and motivate them to become regular contributors. The data strongly suggests the same thing. Instead of doubting the numbers, lets just assume that we are not doing well enough in this department. As one "old timer" told me last week: "Over the past years I have seen the community become more inward focused, more unfriendly to newcomers and more rigid.... and there was nothing I could do to stop it... "

While discussing this at the board meeting I heard examples of people that are doing great work in this area, but we need to do more. At a past Wikimania I asked someone what they did within the projects, her answer was: "not much"...."I just welcome new people and help them find their way". At that time (and I think this still persists on some level) we seem to value "true editors" more than those that perform other tasks. I don't have enough insight to see if this still the case, but my view is: helping new users find their way potentially has an impact that is way higher than editing...

While encouraging those that are doing this hard work now, I invite others to stop doubting the data, and simply focus on the fact that we have a lot of work to do and lets try to solve this together. It could be something simple like really helping out a new user once a week or sharing a great idea which we can execute together. Our projects are growing, and our contributor numbers are not growing with them. That is hurting quality, and at the end of the day... thats what we are judged on.

Jan-Bart de Vreede
Member of the Board of Trustees
Wikimedia Foundation

PS: Copied to Talk page on Wiki
> [4] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:March_2011_Update




On 27 mrt 2011, at 22:18, Ting Chen wrote:

> Dear all:
>
> The Wikimedia Board of Trustees just completed its two-day meeting [1]
> this weekend in Berlin. We devoted the longest time to discussing
> declining trends in editing activity and our collective response to it.
> I encourage everyone to review Sue’s March update [2], and the editor
> trends study itself [3]. It is a deeply important topic, and each report
> is only a few pages long.
>
> The Board thinks this is the most significant challenge currently facing
> our movement. We would encourage the whole movement - the communities,
> wikiprojects, Chapters, Board, Foundation staff - to think about ways to
> meet this challenge. We know many contributors care about this and have
> worked on outreach and hospitality in past years. We are considering how
> we can help make such work more effective, and ask for suggestions from
> the community to this problem now and to invite discussion and
> suggestions [4].
>
> Greetings,
> Ting
>
> [1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Board_meetings/March_25-26
> [2] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/March_2011_Update
> [3] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Editor_Trends_Study
> [4] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:March_2011_Update
>
> --
> Ting Chen
> Member of the Board of Trustees
> Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
> E-Mail: [hidden email]
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l


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Re: Message to community about community decline

Nathan Awrich
The bar for contributing is higher. Whether because editing is more
technically challenging, or because the rules and standards are more
complex, or simply because more of what people know is documented than
it was 4 years ago... it's harder in a variety of ways for people to
contribute significantly on a regular basis (i.e. become regular
editors, as opposed to making several contributions and not
returning).

We can try to relax some of these barriers, but they grew naturally
along with the project; the needs of the project have evolved over
time, so winding back the clock to 2006 may not be beneficial in as
many was as some might think.

Nathan

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Re: Message to community about community decline

Fred Bauder-2
> The bar for contributing is higher. Whether because editing is more
> technically challenging, or because the rules and standards are more
> complex, or simply because more of what people know is documented than
> it was 4 years ago... it's harder in a variety of ways for people to
> contribute significantly on a regular basis (i.e. become regular
> editors, as opposed to making several contributions and not
> returning).
>
> We can try to relax some of these barriers, but they grew naturally
> along with the project; the needs of the project have evolved over
> time, so winding back the clock to 2006 may not be beneficial in as
> many was as some might think.
>
> Nathan

That's right. We are expecting a lot more quality than we once did,
perhaps forgetting that it took some of us years to acquire our current
skills, such as they are. I think we need some less punishing way to
learn; although books like How Wikipedia Works, if consulted, are part of
the solution. Another is not going ballistic when mistakes are made by
newbies, or your "enemies".

Fred



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Re: Message to community about community decline

???
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
On 28/03/2011 18:35, Nathan wrote:
> The bar for contributing is higher. Whether because editing is more
> technically challenging, or because the rules and standards are more
> complex, or simply because more of what people know is documented than
> it was 4 years ago... it's harder in a variety of ways for people to
> contribute significantly on a regular basis (i.e. become regular
> editors, as opposed to making several contributions and not
> returning).
>

Ah there is the reason, the sum of all human knowledge is approaching
completion. Well done to all.

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Re: Message to community about community decline

Virgilio A. P. Machado
Best post I have read in a long time.

At 20:10 28-03-2011, you wrote:

>Ah there is the reason, the sum of all human knowledge is approaching
>completion. Well done to all.


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Re: Message to community about community decline

Michael Snow-5
I'd have to say the enjoyment of cutting sarcasm is an important way in
which the community fosters the atmosphere we are concerned about.
Certainly it's something where I would admit some personal guilt.

--Michael Snow

On 3/28/2011 3:17 PM, Virgilio A. P. Machado wrote:
> Best post I have read in a long time.
>
> At 20:10 28-03-2011, you wrote:
>> Ah there is the reason, the sum of all human knowledge is approaching
>> completion. Well done to all.

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Re: Message to community about community decline

Virgilio A. P. Machado
Don't worry, I'm sure everybody forgives you, even if some might
never forget. It's all in the archives and in your contributions,
right? Or have you been able to have "oversighted" some of the more
compromising material? That seems to work for a lot a folks.

At 23:32 28-03-2011, you wrote:

>I'd have to say the enjoyment of cutting sarcasm is an important way in
>which the community fosters the atmosphere we are concerned about.
>Certainly it's something where I would admit some personal guilt.
>
>--Michael Snow
>
>On 3/28/2011 3:17 PM, Virgilio A. P. Machado wrote:
> > Best post I have read in a long time.
> >
> > At 20:10 28-03-2011, you wrote:
> >> Ah there is the reason, the sum of all human knowledge is approaching
> >> completion. Well done to all.


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Re: Message to community about community decline

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Jan-Bart de Vreede-2
Jan-Bart de Vreede wrote:
> While encouraging those that are doing this hard work now, I invite others to
> stop doubting the data, and simply focus on the fact that we have a lot of
> work to do and lets try to solve this together. It could be something simple
> like really helping out a new user once a week or sharing a great idea which
> we can execute together. Our projects are growing, and our contributor numbers
> are not growing with them. That is hurting quality, and at the end of the
> day... thats what we are judged on.

Hmm, really? Most of the concern seems to be about a faltering "movement,"
not about article quality. I'm not sure when it ever became popular to refer
to editing an online wiki site as some sort of movement; perhaps it's a
byproduct of the strategy sham or perhaps it predates it. In any case, I
think it's a bit weird, creepy, and unnecessary.

There's a theory that doing something like editing a free online
encyclopedia is a niche activity, with a finite amount of people who will
ever be willing to participate. If we accept this theory, it makes the very
strong focus on increased participation look rather silly.

I wonder if you've tried explaining how to use MediaWiki to anyone lately?
It's a fairly horrible experience that requires paragraphs to explain simple
concepts such as category addition or referencing. Going along with this
theory that we've brought in a majority of the people who are willing to
work on these free projects already, perhaps the focus should shift to
making their lives easier? And maybe from there, the pool of those willing
to get involved might grow a bit.

As I see it, the majority of editors don't interact with the hostile parts
of the community in any real way. Maybe some new editors receive a rude talk
page template, but most of them don't understand or bother to read these
templates.[*] New editors do, however, interact with the editing interface
quite a bit though, which is more hostile than any person could ever be.

MZMcBride

[*] I know I certainly didn't understand the talk page messages concept when
I first started editing. You see the orange "new messages" bar, you figure
out a way to make it go away, and then you move along with your editing.



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Re: Message to community about community decline

Sarah-128
In reply to this post by Jan-Bart de Vreede-2
On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 11:10, Jan-Bart de Vreede <[hidden email]> wrote:
> It seems that our natural reaction is to immediately question the numbers and the underlying studies. We are Wikimedians and will not rest until we are sure that we are looking at 100% accurate numbers.
>
> We could also look at this another way. Looking around me and talking to people about Wikipedia (and sometimes the other projects) I hear a lot of stories which demonstrate our inability to welcome everyone and motivate them to become regular contributors. The data strongly suggests the same thing. Instead of doubting the numbers, lets just assume that we are not doing well enough in this department.

Similarly, regular editors will tell you there's a serious problem of
established editors leaving, because the quality of editing is still
too low. The problem with the survey is that it highlights the need to
attract new editors, based on some doubtful figures, without
addressing that experienced editors are becoming disillusioned.

Sarah

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Re: Message to community about community decline

Sarah-128
In reply to this post by MZMcBride-2
On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 18:20, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Going along with this
> theory that we've brought in a majority of the people who are willing to
> work on these free projects already, perhaps the focus should shift to
> making their lives easier? And maybe from there, the pool of those willing
> to get involved might grow a bit.

It's been a regular theme since I joined in 2004 that people have
minimized the contribution of established editors. We highlight
research emphasizing the percentage of edits made by anons; or studies
showing the real problem is that newbies don't stay long. And we
emphasize an ideology that ignores creativity and talent by saying it
doesn't matter who writes articles -- which amounts to saying that
people don't matter as individuals. All are replaceable.

But I believe that when the history of Wikipedia is eventually
written, we'll be astonished by the very small number of people who
created, wrote and maintained this project. And every time one of
those people leaves, real damage is inflicted on Wikipedia's future.

I wish the Foundation would focus on nurturing those people. The
difference that would make would be truly amazing.

Sarah

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Re: Message to community about community decline

Marc Riddell

> On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 18:20, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Going along with this
>> theory that we've brought in a majority of the people who are willing to
>> work on these free projects already, perhaps the focus should shift to
>> making their lives easier? And maybe from there, the pool of those willing
>> to get involved might grow a bit.
>
on 3/28/11 10:19 PM, Sarah at [hidden email] wrote:

> It's been a regular theme since I joined in 2004 that people have
> minimized the contribution of established editors. We highlight
> research emphasizing the percentage of edits made by anons; or studies
> showing the real problem is that newbies don't stay long. And we
> emphasize an ideology that ignores creativity and talent by saying it
> doesn't matter who writes articles -- which amounts to saying that
> people don't matter as individuals. All are replaceable.
>
> But I believe that when the history of Wikipedia is eventually
> written, we'll be astonished by the very small number of people who
> created, wrote and maintained this project. And every time one of
> those people leaves, real damage is inflicted on Wikipedia's future.
>
> I wish the Foundation would focus on nurturing those people. The
> difference that would make would be truly amazing.
>
Exactly! Nicely said, Sarah. One of the things that has made the Wikipedia
Project so powerful is the emotional commitment that has gone into its
creation and maintenance. Technology cannot do that - only persons can.

Marc


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