Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

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Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Pine W
Thinking big here: popular internationalized computer games can have 10+ million unit sales. Some of the most popular online games have millions of monthly active users. I'm wondering if the research community, including Design Research, can envision a way for Wikimedia to scale up from 80,000 active monthly users to 8,000,000 active monthly users.

What would we need in order to stimulate and nourish this kind of growth?

What can we learn from popular internationalized games about design that could benefit Wikimedia on a large scale?

Pine

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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
Easy and obvious. Magnus showed the way and it is indeed in gamification. When the WMF exposes this approach and stops thinking in Wikipedia only, it will get a lot more contributions and, we can become a platform for interactive stuff that is nice to do, has a benefit and makes the time go by.

I can think of several other things that we could give a boost.
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 27 August 2016 at 09:13, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thinking big here: popular internationalized computer games can have 10+ million unit sales. Some of the most popular online games have millions of monthly active users. I'm wondering if the research community, including Design Research, can envision a way for Wikimedia to scale up from 80,000 active monthly users to 8,000,000 active monthly users.

What would we need in order to stimulate and nourish this kind of growth?

What can we learn from popular internationalized games about design that could benefit Wikimedia on a large scale?

Pine

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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

WereSpielChequers-2
In reply to this post by Pine W
We already have hundreds of millions of users. A large proportion of people who use the internet will use Wikipedia in a given month, they use it by reading bits of it. Finding out what the barriers are for the thousands of millions who don't use Wikipdia would be useful. No doubt there are some who are aware of Wikipedia but didn't feel a need to consult an encyclopaedia in the last month, and some who are not currently in the market for an encyclopaedia because they are too young, too senile, or locked up. But research into why people don't use Wikipedia would be useful. Our mission is to make the sum of all knowledge available to all, finding out how we get to the next 400 million people, and indeed what proportion of humanity would use an encyclopaedia if it was available to them would be a great use of research.

Of those hundreds of millions only a tiny proportion, perhaps 0.02% are "active editors", and that on an absurdly generous definition of active (5 edits in one month).

Theory tells us that as quality continues to improve so those readers who fix a typo or some vandalism when they see it have been editing less and less frequently. We know that the edit filters have lost us many of the vandals who used to be such an important part of the raw editing figures of the site (it never ceases to amuse me that the threshold to count as an active editor was exactly the same as the typical vandal needed to get through four levels of warnings and then get blocked). We also know that the rise of the Smartphone and to a lesser  extent the tablet has lost us editors, to most tablet users and almost all smartphone users Wikipedia is a read only website not an interactive one. But it would be good to test that as even the most obvious explanation is only a hypothesis until someone has tested it, better still some sort of quantification of those various issues would be very helpful.

How we replace typo fixing and vandalism reversion as entry level activities to editing is one of the challenges of the community, any research on that would be very useful.

On 27 August 2016 at 08:13, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thinking big here: popular internationalized computer games can have 10+ million unit sales. Some of the most popular online games have millions of monthly active users. I'm wondering if the research community, including Design Research, can envision a way for Wikimedia to scale up from 80,000 active monthly users to 8,000,000 active monthly users.

What would we need in order to stimulate and nourish this kind of growth?

What can we learn from popular internationalized games about design that could benefit Wikimedia on a large scale?

Pine

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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Federico Leva (Nemo)
In reply to this post by Pine W
Pine W, 27/08/2016 09:13:
> What would we need in order to stimulate and nourish this kind of growth?

https://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Proposal:Make_Wikimedia_projects_scale

Nemo

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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Amir E. Aharoni
In reply to this post by Pine W

The English Wikipedia alone has hundreds of thousands of items to fix - missing references, misspellings, etc. The problems are nicely sorted at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_backlog . There are millions of other things to fix in other projects. So quality is getting higher in many ways, but the amount of stuff to fix is still enormous.

What we don't have is an easy way for new people to start eliminating items from the backlogs. The Wikidata games are a nice step in the right direction, but their appeal to new participants is non-existent.


בתאריך 27 באוג׳ 2016 10:14,‏ "Pine W" <[hidden email]> כתב:
Thinking big here: popular internationalized computer games can have 10+ million unit sales. Some of the most popular online games have millions of monthly active users. I'm wondering if the research community, including Design Research, can envision a way for Wikimedia to scale up from 80,000 active monthly users to 8,000,000 active monthly users.

What would we need in order to stimulate and nourish this kind of growth?

What can we learn from popular internationalized games about design that could benefit Wikimedia on a large scale?

Pine

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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

rupert THURNER-2
On Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 11:08 AM, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:

The English Wikipedia alone has hundreds of thousands of items to fix - missing references, misspellings, etc. The problems are nicely sorted at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_backlog . There are millions of other things to fix in other projects. So quality is getting higher in many ways, but the amount of stuff to fix is still enormous.

What we don't have is an easy way for new people to start eliminating items from the backlogs. The Wikidata games are a nice step in the right direction, but their appeal to new participants is non-existent.

 
there is a backlog? after 15 years contributing you tell that on the research mailing list :) i used wikidata games for a couple of minutes and great pleasure when i see the link flying by in an email. but i am never able to find that link again in my life. maybe that is the problem? rename the "donate" link to "contribute" and then have "money" and "time" which links to code and content. just my 2c ...

rupert


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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Dario Taraborelli-3
Nice, thought-provoking post, Pine.

Here's my take on two ways to attract a population of good-faith contributors 1 or 2 orders of magnitude larger than the current one, based on what I've seen over the last couple of years:

Gamified interfaces for microcontributions à la Wikidata game
(per GerardM) there's absolutely no doubt this model is effective at creating a large volume of high-quality edits, and value to the project and communities. So far these tools have been primarily targeted at an existing (and relatively small) population of core contributors and the only attempt at expanding this to a much broader contributor base (WikiGrok) were too premature. I do expect we will see more and more of lightweight distributed curation in the next 5-10 years. In my opinion Wikidata is ready to experiment with a much larger number of single-purpose contributory interfaces (around missing images, translations, label evaluation, referencing etc) 

Ubiquitous outreach, supported by dedicated technology.
I called out in my Wikimania 2014 talk the fact that the single, most effective initiative ever run to attract new contributors has been WLM (I am intentionally not including initiatives like WP in the classroom as they target a pre-defined population such as students, but they are probably the most advanced example in this category). Creating tools such as recommender systems and todo lists tailored to the interests of particular, intrinsically motivated contributors as well as the analytics dashboards to measure the relative impact and best design of these programs, is the most promising venue to expand the Wikimedia contributor population.

My 2 cents. How making the edit button 10x larger is not a solution to this problem is a topic I'll reserve to a separate thread.

Thanks for starting this thread.

Dario

On Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 5:32 AM, rupert THURNER <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 11:08 AM, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:

The English Wikipedia alone has hundreds of thousands of items to fix - missing references, misspellings, etc. The problems are nicely sorted at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_backlog . There are millions of other things to fix in other projects. So quality is getting higher in many ways, but the amount of stuff to fix is still enormous.

What we don't have is an easy way for new people to start eliminating items from the backlogs. The Wikidata games are a nice step in the right direction, but their appeal to new participants is non-existent.

 
there is a backlog? after 15 years contributing you tell that on the research mailing list :) i used wikidata games for a couple of minutes and great pleasure when i see the link flying by in an email. but i am never able to find that link again in my life. maybe that is the problem? rename the "donate" link to "contribute" and then have "money" and "time" which links to code and content. just my 2c ...

rupert


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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Edward Saperia
In reply to this post by Pine W
I had a famous game designer talk about this at Wikimania 2014: http://www.raphkoster.com/games/presentations/wikipedia-is-a-game/

Edward Saperia
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On 27 August 2016 at 08:13, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thinking big here: popular internationalized computer games can have 10+ million unit sales. Some of the most popular online games have millions of monthly active users. I'm wondering if the research community, including Design Research, can envision a way for Wikimedia to scale up from 80,000 active monthly users to 8,000,000 active monthly users.

What would we need in order to stimulate and nourish this kind of growth?

What can we learn from popular internationalized games about design that could benefit Wikimedia on a large scale?

Pine

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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Dario Taraborelli-3
Hoi,
You are absolutely right. Both approaches have promise. It is however a marketing job, not a research job to realise their potential. Marketing is where the WMF sucks.
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 27 August 2016 at 22:49, Dario Taraborelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
Nice, thought-provoking post, Pine.

Here's my take on two ways to attract a population of good-faith contributors 1 or 2 orders of magnitude larger than the current one, based on what I've seen over the last couple of years:

Gamified interfaces for microcontributions à la Wikidata game
(per GerardM) there's absolutely no doubt this model is effective at creating a large volume of high-quality edits, and value to the project and communities. So far these tools have been primarily targeted at an existing (and relatively small) population of core contributors and the only attempt at expanding this to a much broader contributor base (WikiGrok) were too premature. I do expect we will see more and more of lightweight distributed curation in the next 5-10 years. In my opinion Wikidata is ready to experiment with a much larger number of single-purpose contributory interfaces (around missing images, translations, label evaluation, referencing etc) 

Ubiquitous outreach, supported by dedicated technology.
I called out in my Wikimania 2014 talk the fact that the single, most effective initiative ever run to attract new contributors has been WLM (I am intentionally not including initiatives like WP in the classroom as they target a pre-defined population such as students, but they are probably the most advanced example in this category). Creating tools such as recommender systems and todo lists tailored to the interests of particular, intrinsically motivated contributors as well as the analytics dashboards to measure the relative impact and best design of these programs, is the most promising venue to expand the Wikimedia contributor population.

My 2 cents. How making the edit button 10x larger is not a solution to this problem is a topic I'll reserve to a separate thread.

Thanks for starting this thread.

Dario

On Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 5:32 AM, rupert THURNER <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 11:08 AM, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:

The English Wikipedia alone has hundreds of thousands of items to fix - missing references, misspellings, etc. The problems are nicely sorted at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_backlog . There are millions of other things to fix in other projects. So quality is getting higher in many ways, but the amount of stuff to fix is still enormous.

What we don't have is an easy way for new people to start eliminating items from the backlogs. The Wikidata games are a nice step in the right direction, but their appeal to new participants is non-existent.

 
there is a backlog? after 15 years contributing you tell that on the research mailing list :) i used wikidata games for a couple of minutes and great pleasure when i see the link flying by in an email. but i am never able to find that link again in my life. maybe that is the problem? rename the "donate" link to "contribute" and then have "money" and "time" which links to code and content. just my 2c ...

rupert


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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Federico Leva (Nemo)
In reply to this post by Dario Taraborelli-3
Dario Taraborelli, 27/08/2016 22:49:
> How making the edit button 10x larger is not a solution to
> this problem is a topic I'll reserve to a separate thread.

You might want to include screenshots of the popups which are currently
run to point people to the edit button.

Nemo

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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Edward Saperia
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
WMF sucks at marketing because it has no marketing department. Every other company on the planet has a marketing department. We assume because we get SEO for free that somehow we don't need one.

Marketing departments don't just make adverts - they also do market segmentation and research to try and figure out what causes conversion (e.g. readers -> editors), and then act on these insights.

Wikipedia could absolutely have 100x the number of editors it has now.

Edward Saperia
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On 28 August 2016 at 06:37, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hoi,
You are absolutely right. Both approaches have promise. It is however a marketing job, not a research job to realise their potential. Marketing is where the WMF sucks.
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 27 August 2016 at 22:49, Dario Taraborelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
Nice, thought-provoking post, Pine.

Here's my take on two ways to attract a population of good-faith contributors 1 or 2 orders of magnitude larger than the current one, based on what I've seen over the last couple of years:

Gamified interfaces for microcontributions à la Wikidata game
(per GerardM) there's absolutely no doubt this model is effective at creating a large volume of high-quality edits, and value to the project and communities. So far these tools have been primarily targeted at an existing (and relatively small) population of core contributors and the only attempt at expanding this to a much broader contributor base (WikiGrok) were too premature. I do expect we will see more and more of lightweight distributed curation in the next 5-10 years. In my opinion Wikidata is ready to experiment with a much larger number of single-purpose contributory interfaces (around missing images, translations, label evaluation, referencing etc) 

Ubiquitous outreach, supported by dedicated technology.
I called out in my Wikimania 2014 talk the fact that the single, most effective initiative ever run to attract new contributors has been WLM (I am intentionally not including initiatives like WP in the classroom as they target a pre-defined population such as students, but they are probably the most advanced example in this category). Creating tools such as recommender systems and todo lists tailored to the interests of particular, intrinsically motivated contributors as well as the analytics dashboards to measure the relative impact and best design of these programs, is the most promising venue to expand the Wikimedia contributor population.

My 2 cents. How making the edit button 10x larger is not a solution to this problem is a topic I'll reserve to a separate thread.

Thanks for starting this thread.

Dario

On Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 5:32 AM, rupert THURNER <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 11:08 AM, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:

The English Wikipedia alone has hundreds of thousands of items to fix - missing references, misspellings, etc. The problems are nicely sorted at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_backlog . There are millions of other things to fix in other projects. So quality is getting higher in many ways, but the amount of stuff to fix is still enormous.

What we don't have is an easy way for new people to start eliminating items from the backlogs. The Wikidata games are a nice step in the right direction, but their appeal to new participants is non-existent.

 
there is a backlog? after 15 years contributing you tell that on the research mailing list :) i used wikidata games for a couple of minutes and great pleasure when i see the link flying by in an email. but i am never able to find that link again in my life. maybe that is the problem? rename the "donate" link to "contribute" and then have "money" and "time" which links to code and content. just my 2c ...

rupert


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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Stuart A. Yeates
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
I completely disagree with this criticism of the WMF.

It seems to me that the main barriers to getting gamification happening in relation to en.wiki are cultural / organisational issues not marketing ones.

If the editing communities genuinely wanted huge influxes of complete newbie editors, I have no doubt that the commercial partners who benefit from wikipedia could send them our way pretty trivially. What the editing communities want / need is new minimally-competent editors, and crafting them from complete newbies (typically called on-boarding) is very costly. 

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onboarding for an overview of the complexities.

cheers
stuart

--
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On Sun, Aug 28, 2016 at 5:37 PM, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hoi,
You are absolutely right. Both approaches have promise. It is however a marketing job, not a research job to realise their potential. Marketing is where the WMF sucks.
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 27 August 2016 at 22:49, Dario Taraborelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
Nice, thought-provoking post, Pine.

Here's my take on two ways to attract a population of good-faith contributors 1 or 2 orders of magnitude larger than the current one, based on what I've seen over the last couple of years:

Gamified interfaces for microcontributions à la Wikidata game
(per GerardM) there's absolutely no doubt this model is effective at creating a large volume of high-quality edits, and value to the project and communities. So far these tools have been primarily targeted at an existing (and relatively small) population of core contributors and the only attempt at expanding this to a much broader contributor base (WikiGrok) were too premature. I do expect we will see more and more of lightweight distributed curation in the next 5-10 years. In my opinion Wikidata is ready to experiment with a much larger number of single-purpose contributory interfaces (around missing images, translations, label evaluation, referencing etc) 

Ubiquitous outreach, supported by dedicated technology.
I called out in my Wikimania 2014 talk the fact that the single, most effective initiative ever run to attract new contributors has been WLM (I am intentionally not including initiatives like WP in the classroom as they target a pre-defined population such as students, but they are probably the most advanced example in this category). Creating tools such as recommender systems and todo lists tailored to the interests of particular, intrinsically motivated contributors as well as the analytics dashboards to measure the relative impact and best design of these programs, is the most promising venue to expand the Wikimedia contributor population.

My 2 cents. How making the edit button 10x larger is not a solution to this problem is a topic I'll reserve to a separate thread.

Thanks for starting this thread.

Dario

On Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 5:32 AM, rupert THURNER <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 11:08 AM, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:

The English Wikipedia alone has hundreds of thousands of items to fix - missing references, misspellings, etc. The problems are nicely sorted at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_backlog . There are millions of other things to fix in other projects. So quality is getting higher in many ways, but the amount of stuff to fix is still enormous.

What we don't have is an easy way for new people to start eliminating items from the backlogs. The Wikidata games are a nice step in the right direction, but their appeal to new participants is non-existent.

 
there is a backlog? after 15 years contributing you tell that on the research mailing list :) i used wikidata games for a couple of minutes and great pleasure when i see the link flying by in an email. but i am never able to find that link again in my life. maybe that is the problem? rename the "donate" link to "contribute" and then have "money" and "time" which links to code and content. just my 2c ...

rupert


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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Edward Saperia
I get where you're coming from, but a great way to inspire the projects to improve their onboarding processes would be an endless influx of newbie editors.

Edward Saperia
[hidden email]  facebook  twitter  07796955572
133-135 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG

On 28 August 2016 at 11:03, Stuart A. Yeates <[hidden email]> wrote:
I completely disagree with this criticism of the WMF.

It seems to me that the main barriers to getting gamification happening in relation to en.wiki are cultural / organisational issues not marketing ones.

If the editing communities genuinely wanted huge influxes of complete newbie editors, I have no doubt that the commercial partners who benefit from wikipedia could send them our way pretty trivially. What the editing communities want / need is new minimally-competent editors, and crafting them from complete newbies (typically called on-boarding) is very costly. 

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onboarding for an overview of the complexities.

cheers
stuart

--
...let us be heard from red core to black sky

On Sun, Aug 28, 2016 at 5:37 PM, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hoi,
You are absolutely right. Both approaches have promise. It is however a marketing job, not a research job to realise their potential. Marketing is where the WMF sucks.
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 27 August 2016 at 22:49, Dario Taraborelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
Nice, thought-provoking post, Pine.

Here's my take on two ways to attract a population of good-faith contributors 1 or 2 orders of magnitude larger than the current one, based on what I've seen over the last couple of years:

Gamified interfaces for microcontributions à la Wikidata game
(per GerardM) there's absolutely no doubt this model is effective at creating a large volume of high-quality edits, and value to the project and communities. So far these tools have been primarily targeted at an existing (and relatively small) population of core contributors and the only attempt at expanding this to a much broader contributor base (WikiGrok) were too premature. I do expect we will see more and more of lightweight distributed curation in the next 5-10 years. In my opinion Wikidata is ready to experiment with a much larger number of single-purpose contributory interfaces (around missing images, translations, label evaluation, referencing etc) 

Ubiquitous outreach, supported by dedicated technology.
I called out in my Wikimania 2014 talk the fact that the single, most effective initiative ever run to attract new contributors has been WLM (I am intentionally not including initiatives like WP in the classroom as they target a pre-defined population such as students, but they are probably the most advanced example in this category). Creating tools such as recommender systems and todo lists tailored to the interests of particular, intrinsically motivated contributors as well as the analytics dashboards to measure the relative impact and best design of these programs, is the most promising venue to expand the Wikimedia contributor population.

My 2 cents. How making the edit button 10x larger is not a solution to this problem is a topic I'll reserve to a separate thread.

Thanks for starting this thread.

Dario

On Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 5:32 AM, rupert THURNER <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 11:08 AM, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:

The English Wikipedia alone has hundreds of thousands of items to fix - missing references, misspellings, etc. The problems are nicely sorted at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_backlog . There are millions of other things to fix in other projects. So quality is getting higher in many ways, but the amount of stuff to fix is still enormous.

What we don't have is an easy way for new people to start eliminating items from the backlogs. The Wikidata games are a nice step in the right direction, but their appeal to new participants is non-existent.

 
there is a backlog? after 15 years contributing you tell that on the research mailing list :) i used wikidata games for a couple of minutes and great pleasure when i see the link flying by in an email. but i am never able to find that link again in my life. maybe that is the problem? rename the "donate" link to "contribute" and then have "money" and "time" which links to code and content. just my 2c ...

rupert


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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Stuart A. Yeates
Hoi,
I respectfully disagree. There are two issues here. The most important one is that marketing may have multiple objectives and gaining more people as editors is not restricted to any of our projects. Secondly it is not restricted to editors it also applies to readers. It should be glaringly obvious that both Commons and Wikisource are a treasure trove of material that is hardly used.

We should not be beholden to "commercial partners" for our marketing. We have our own objective; sharing in the sum of all knowledge and we could do so much better. Commercial partners do not necessarily share our objectives and it is therefore silly to suggest their cooperation. Also yes, we need more competent editors but in many of our projects we need editors first and make them competent later. 

We do need marketing because we mostly suck at reaching out and giving proper attention to the people we so desperately need. One obvious point is that in order to grow the "other" projects and languages we need to realise that Wikipedia is English oriented. I am only heard, if at all, on meta matters when I use English.
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 28 August 2016 at 12:03, Stuart A. Yeates <[hidden email]> wrote:
I completely disagree with this criticism of the WMF.

It seems to me that the main barriers to getting gamification happening in relation to en.wiki are cultural / organisational issues not marketing ones.

If the editing communities genuinely wanted huge influxes of complete newbie editors, I have no doubt that the commercial partners who benefit from wikipedia could send them our way pretty trivially. What the editing communities want / need is new minimally-competent editors, and crafting them from complete newbies (typically called on-boarding) is very costly. 

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onboarding for an overview of the complexities.

cheers
stuart

--
...let us be heard from red core to black sky

On Sun, Aug 28, 2016 at 5:37 PM, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hoi,
You are absolutely right. Both approaches have promise. It is however a marketing job, not a research job to realise their potential. Marketing is where the WMF sucks.
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 27 August 2016 at 22:49, Dario Taraborelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
Nice, thought-provoking post, Pine.

Here's my take on two ways to attract a population of good-faith contributors 1 or 2 orders of magnitude larger than the current one, based on what I've seen over the last couple of years:

Gamified interfaces for microcontributions à la Wikidata game
(per GerardM) there's absolutely no doubt this model is effective at creating a large volume of high-quality edits, and value to the project and communities. So far these tools have been primarily targeted at an existing (and relatively small) population of core contributors and the only attempt at expanding this to a much broader contributor base (WikiGrok) were too premature. I do expect we will see more and more of lightweight distributed curation in the next 5-10 years. In my opinion Wikidata is ready to experiment with a much larger number of single-purpose contributory interfaces (around missing images, translations, label evaluation, referencing etc) 

Ubiquitous outreach, supported by dedicated technology.
I called out in my Wikimania 2014 talk the fact that the single, most effective initiative ever run to attract new contributors has been WLM (I am intentionally not including initiatives like WP in the classroom as they target a pre-defined population such as students, but they are probably the most advanced example in this category). Creating tools such as recommender systems and todo lists tailored to the interests of particular, intrinsically motivated contributors as well as the analytics dashboards to measure the relative impact and best design of these programs, is the most promising venue to expand the Wikimedia contributor population.

My 2 cents. How making the edit button 10x larger is not a solution to this problem is a topic I'll reserve to a separate thread.

Thanks for starting this thread.

Dario

On Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 5:32 AM, rupert THURNER <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 11:08 AM, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:

The English Wikipedia alone has hundreds of thousands of items to fix - missing references, misspellings, etc. The problems are nicely sorted at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_backlog . There are millions of other things to fix in other projects. So quality is getting higher in many ways, but the amount of stuff to fix is still enormous.

What we don't have is an easy way for new people to start eliminating items from the backlogs. The Wikidata games are a nice step in the right direction, but their appeal to new participants is non-existent.

 
there is a backlog? after 15 years contributing you tell that on the research mailing list :) i used wikidata games for a couple of minutes and great pleasure when i see the link flying by in an email. but i am never able to find that link again in my life. maybe that is the problem? rename the "donate" link to "contribute" and then have "money" and "time" which links to code and content. just my 2c ...

rupert


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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Mark J. Nelson
In reply to this post by Dario Taraborelli-3

Dario Taraborelli <[hidden email]> writes:

> *Gamified interfaces for microcontributions à la Wikidata game*.
> (per GerardM) there's absolutely no doubt this model is effective at
> creating a large volume of high-quality edits, and value to the project and
> communities.

I agree on these interfaces, but at least in my use of them, and that of
the other people I know who use them, the 'gamification' part is a red
herring and not why we use them: the important part is the interface and
its functionality. The confusing point/leaderboard system (which I never
check) isn't really a draw, but the tools are actually useful to do
things that are tedious otherwise, and at least somewhat enjoyable to
use. It's useful that it tries to find e.g. new articles that might
match an existing Wikidata topic but are unlinked, and presents
side-by-side information that helps quickly eliminate some false
positives, with a fast interface where you just press '1', '2', or '3'
on the keyboard to move on.

So a different way of looking at this category is: interfaces to make
microcontributions non-tedious, and easy to curate in a
"dashboard-style" way. Those interfaces might or might not have some
gamification layer too, but I don't think that's the important part.

Best,
Mark

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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
That is you and, it is not important to you, a well established editor. The question however is how do we get more people on board and what does it take. We do not need to win you, you are already there.
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 28 August 2016 at 13:12, Mark J. Nelson <[hidden email]> wrote:

Dario Taraborelli <[hidden email]> writes:

> *Gamified interfaces for microcontributions à la Wikidata game*.
> (per GerardM) there's absolutely no doubt this model is effective at
> creating a large volume of high-quality edits, and value to the project and
> communities.

I agree on these interfaces, but at least in my use of them, and that of
the other people I know who use them, the 'gamification' part is a red
herring and not why we use them: the important part is the interface and
its functionality. The confusing point/leaderboard system (which I never
check) isn't really a draw, but the tools are actually useful to do
things that are tedious otherwise, and at least somewhat enjoyable to
use. It's useful that it tries to find e.g. new articles that might
match an existing Wikidata topic but are unlinked, and presents
side-by-side information that helps quickly eliminate some false
positives, with a fast interface where you just press '1', '2', or '3'
on the keyboard to move on.

So a different way of looking at this category is: interfaces to make
microcontributions non-tedious, and easy to curate in a
"dashboard-style" way. Those interfaces might or might not have some
gamification layer too, but I don't think that's the important part.

Best,
Mark

--
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The MetaMakers Institute
Falmouth University
http://www.kmjn.org

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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Andre Engels
In reply to this post by Mark J. Nelson
That really depends on how you define 'gamification'. To me, the
gamification is not the leaderboards, but exactly the elements you
mention - the splitting of the whole into simple microtasks plus
giving out those microtasks to users for a large part at random. In
fact, I usually play the 'distributed' version of the wikidata game,
and as far as I know there is no scoring or leaderboard there at all,
but I would still say the whole is gamified.

Andre Engels


On Sun, Aug 28, 2016 at 1:12 PM, Mark J. Nelson <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Dario Taraborelli <[hidden email]> writes:
>
>> *Gamified interfaces for microcontributions à la Wikidata game*.
>> (per GerardM) there's absolutely no doubt this model is effective at
>> creating a large volume of high-quality edits, and value to the project and
>> communities.
>
> I agree on these interfaces, but at least in my use of them, and that of
> the other people I know who use them, the 'gamification' part is a red
> herring and not why we use them: the important part is the interface and
> its functionality. The confusing point/leaderboard system (which I never
> check) isn't really a draw, but the tools are actually useful to do
> things that are tedious otherwise, and at least somewhat enjoyable to
> use. It's useful that it tries to find e.g. new articles that might
> match an existing Wikidata topic but are unlinked, and presents
> side-by-side information that helps quickly eliminate some false
> positives, with a fast interface where you just press '1', '2', or '3'
> on the keyboard to move on.
>
> So a different way of looking at this category is: interfaces to make
> microcontributions non-tedious, and easy to curate in a
> "dashboard-style" way. Those interfaces might or might not have some
> gamification layer too, but I don't think that's the important part.
>
> Best,
> Mark
>
> --
> Mark J. Nelson
> The MetaMakers Institute
> Falmouth University
> http://www.kmjn.org
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l



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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Mark J. Nelson
Ah if it's just semantics that's fine, as long as someone is actually
researching that part of it. :-) In my area (which is actually games
research), 'gamification' usually means something more specific,
although the definition keeps shifting admittedly. But more often the
trend of adopting explicitly 'game-mechanic' type elements such as
points, level progression, competition, etc. into non-game tasks, which
are seen as having a motivational quality (with somewhat mixed research
results, obscured by a whole mass of charalatan gamification consultants
pushing it). What you describe I'd associate more with concepts like
'microtasks', 'dashboards', and generally UX, which can be pared with
gamification but are a separate cluster of ideas.

Best,
Mark

Andre Engels <[hidden email]> writes:

> That really depends on how you define 'gamification'. To me, the
> gamification is not the leaderboards, but exactly the elements you
> mention - the splitting of the whole into simple microtasks plus
> giving out those microtasks to users for a large part at random. In
> fact, I usually play the 'distributed' version of the wikidata game,
> and as far as I know there is no scoring or leaderboard there at all,
> but I would still say the whole is gamified.
>
> Andre Engels
>
>
> On Sun, Aug 28, 2016 at 1:12 PM, Mark J. Nelson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Dario Taraborelli <[hidden email]> writes:
>>
>>> *Gamified interfaces for microcontributions à la Wikidata game*.
>>> (per GerardM) there's absolutely no doubt this model is effective at
>>> creating a large volume of high-quality edits, and value to the project and
>>> communities.
>>
>> I agree on these interfaces, but at least in my use of them, and that of
>> the other people I know who use them, the 'gamification' part is a red
>> herring and not why we use them: the important part is the interface and
>> its functionality. The confusing point/leaderboard system (which I never
>> check) isn't really a draw, but the tools are actually useful to do
>> things that are tedious otherwise, and at least somewhat enjoyable to
>> use. It's useful that it tries to find e.g. new articles that might
>> match an existing Wikidata topic but are unlinked, and presents
>> side-by-side information that helps quickly eliminate some false
>> positives, with a fast interface where you just press '1', '2', or '3'
>> on the keyboard to move on.
>>
>> So a different way of looking at this category is: interfaces to make
>> microcontributions non-tedious, and easy to curate in a
>> "dashboard-style" way. Those interfaces might or might not have some
>> gamification layer too, but I don't think that's the important part.
>>
>> Best,
>> Mark
>>
>> --
>> Mark J. Nelson
>> The MetaMakers Institute
>> Falmouth University
>> http://www.kmjn.org
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wiki-research-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l


--
Mark J. Nelson
The MetaMakers Institute
Falmouth University
http://www.kmjn.org

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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Bob Kosovsky
In reply to this post by Dario Taraborelli-3
I've been active with Wikipedia since 2006. My impression (which corresponds with data) is that 2008 was the year with the highest number of editors on English Wikipedia. While it may sound good on paper, in some ways it was a mess because of the frequency of vandalism. Nowadays I know there are more automated techniques for detecting vandalism, but if you want to increase the number of users just to make the stats look good, you're going to get more dubious data into the encyclopedia as well as frustration from editors who dislike spending their time on so much maintenance (although I'm sure there are some editors who would jump at the chance to make corrections all day).

I suspected from the outset of Wikipedia's creation that the project would mirror the well-known "life cycle of email lists" as I've always believed Wikipedia is a "social encyclopedia."  I feel this well-known meme accurately reflect's Wikipedia's evolution so I repeat it here as a tool from which to learn:

1. Initial enthusiasm (people introduce themselves, and gush a lot about how wonderful it is to find kindred souls).

2. Evangelism (people moan about how few folks are posting to the list, and brainstorm recruitment strategies).

3. Growth (more and more people join, more and more lengthy threads develop, occasional off-topic threads pop up).

4. Community (lots of threads, some more relevant than others; lots of information and advice is exchanged; experts help other experts as well as less experienced colleagues; friendships develop; people tease each other; newcomers are welcomed with generosity and patience; everyone -- newbie and expert alike -- feels comfortable asking questions, suggesting answers, and sharing opinions).

5. Discomfort with diversity (the number of messages increases dramatically; not every thread is fascinating to every reader; people start complaining about the signal-to-noise ratio; person 1 threatens to quit if *other* people don't limit discussion to person 1's pet topic; person 2 agrees with person 1; person 3 tells 1 & 2 to lighten up; more bandwidth is wasted complaining about off-topic threads than is used for the threads themselves; everyone gets annoyed).

6a. Smug complacency and stagnation (the purists flame everyone who asks an 'old' question or responds with humor to a serious post; newbies are rebuffed; traffic drops to a doze-producing level of a few minor issues; all interesting discussions happen by private email and are limited to a few participants; the purists spend lots of time self-righteously congratulating each other on keeping off-topic threads off the list).

OR

6b. Maturity (a few people quit in a huff; the rest of the participants stay near stage 4, with stage 5 popping up briefly every few weeks; many people wear out their second or third 'delete' key, but the list lives contentedly ever after).



I feel Wikipedia is at stage 6 (both a and b). Unless there's a significant change in functionality and design, the days of 2008 will never return, and we should stop bothering to think it's possible to replicate them (because their existence was due to the novelty of the project).

Instead, I think Wikimedia projects should cultivate those individuals with specialized knowledge.  A lot of these people are in specialized communities (for example educators, medical professionals, researchers/scholars, devoted amateurs).  These are communities which formerly looked down on Wikipedia but now are reconsidering their formerly negative opinions of the encyclopedia. I feel the as-yet small successes in the medical and GLAM communities (I am sure there are others) show great promise. Being part of the GLAM community, I know there are outreach efforts underway to others within that community. Being part of WM NYC, I know there's a lot of librarians involved in chapter activities--and most of those activities take place in libraries or museums (often museum libraries).

Until this year, the WMF showed no real interest in continuous engagement and dialogue with the community that edits the projects. I totally agree with the person who said WMF needs to have a marketing department.  This is especially true for the kinds of research which marketers report on and are typical of any organization, profit or non-profit. That would be a first step: Understanding who are the variety of its users/editors from which it can then create action items to determine how it can increase the number of users by going after specific market segments.  This would not eliminate the "anyone can edit" ethos, but could be a more effective means to increasing users rather than appealing to a broad public.

Bob



Bob Kosovsky, Ph.D. -- Curator, Rare Books and Manuscripts,
Music Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
blog:  http://www.nypl.org/blog/author/44   Twitter: @kos2
 Listowner: OPERA-L ; SMT-ANNOUNCE ; SoundForge-users
- My opinions do not necessarily represent those of my institutions -

Inspiring Lifelong Learning | Advancing Knowledge | Strengthening Our Communities 

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Re: Thinking big: scaling up Wikimedia's contributor population by two orders of magnitude

Amir E. Aharoni

I agree with pretty much all that Bob says here, except one important point: This is probably correct for Wikipedia in English, and maybe a few other very big languages.

A rarely remembered fact: most people don't know English.

In other languages there's much work to do in writing articles on math, history, geography, medicine and what not (and dictionaries and textbooks and public domain works), but a lot of potential people who would do it fall into two categories:

1. People who know English and can read the English Wikipedia article and don't notice that an article in their language is missing.
2. People who don't know English and can neither translate from the English Wikipedia nor other English-only sources.

The upcoming Task List feature in Content Translation ( https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T96147 ) will try to address this by giving people a more convenient way to see the gaps and fill them, although it will be only a technical tool, which cannot solve everything by itself. As Bob notes, targeted outreach to experts will be needed as well.


בתאריך 28 באוג׳ 2016 22:27,‏ "Bob Kosovsky" <[hidden email]> כתב:
I've been active with Wikipedia since 2006. My impression (which corresponds with data) is that 2008 was the year with the highest number of editors on English Wikipedia. While it may sound good on paper, in some ways it was a mess because of the frequency of vandalism. Nowadays I know there are more automated techniques for detecting vandalism, but if you want to increase the number of users just to make the stats look good, you're going to get more dubious data into the encyclopedia as well as frustration from editors who dislike spending their time on so much maintenance (although I'm sure there are some editors who would jump at the chance to make corrections all day).

I suspected from the outset of Wikipedia's creation that the project would mirror the well-known "life cycle of email lists" as I've always believed Wikipedia is a "social encyclopedia."  I feel this well-known meme accurately reflect's Wikipedia's evolution so I repeat it here as a tool from which to learn:

1. Initial enthusiasm (people introduce themselves, and gush a lot about how wonderful it is to find kindred souls).

2. Evangelism (people moan about how few folks are posting to the list, and brainstorm recruitment strategies).

3. Growth (more and more people join, more and more lengthy threads develop, occasional off-topic threads pop up).

4. Community (lots of threads, some more relevant than others; lots of information and advice is exchanged; experts help other experts as well as less experienced colleagues; friendships develop; people tease each other; newcomers are welcomed with generosity and patience; everyone -- newbie and expert alike -- feels comfortable asking questions, suggesting answers, and sharing opinions).

5. Discomfort with diversity (the number of messages increases dramatically; not every thread is fascinating to every reader; people start complaining about the signal-to-noise ratio; person 1 threatens to quit if *other* people don't limit discussion to person 1's pet topic; person 2 agrees with person 1; person 3 tells 1 & 2 to lighten up; more bandwidth is wasted complaining about off-topic threads than is used for the threads themselves; everyone gets annoyed).

6a. Smug complacency and stagnation (the purists flame everyone who asks an 'old' question or responds with humor to a serious post; newbies are rebuffed; traffic drops to a doze-producing level of a few minor issues; all interesting discussions happen by private email and are limited to a few participants; the purists spend lots of time self-righteously congratulating each other on keeping off-topic threads off the list).

OR

6b. Maturity (a few people quit in a huff; the rest of the participants stay near stage 4, with stage 5 popping up briefly every few weeks; many people wear out their second or third 'delete' key, but the list lives contentedly ever after).



I feel Wikipedia is at stage 6 (both a and b). Unless there's a significant change in functionality and design, the days of 2008 will never return, and we should stop bothering to think it's possible to replicate them (because their existence was due to the novelty of the project).

Instead, I think Wikimedia projects should cultivate those individuals with specialized knowledge.  A lot of these people are in specialized communities (for example educators, medical professionals, researchers/scholars, devoted amateurs).  These are communities which formerly looked down on Wikipedia but now are reconsidering their formerly negative opinions of the encyclopedia. I feel the as-yet small successes in the medical and GLAM communities (I am sure there are others) show great promise. Being part of the GLAM community, I know there are outreach efforts underway to others within that community. Being part of WM NYC, I know there's a lot of librarians involved in chapter activities--and most of those activities take place in libraries or museums (often museum libraries).

Until this year, the WMF showed no real interest in continuous engagement and dialogue with the community that edits the projects. I totally agree with the person who said WMF needs to have a marketing department.  This is especially true for the kinds of research which marketers report on and are typical of any organization, profit or non-profit. That would be a first step: Understanding who are the variety of its users/editors from which it can then create action items to determine how it can increase the number of users by going after specific market segments.  This would not eliminate the "anyone can edit" ethos, but could be a more effective means to increasing users rather than appealing to a broad public.

Bob



Bob Kosovsky, Ph.D. -- Curator, Rare Books and Manuscripts,
Music Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
blog:  http://www.nypl.org/blog/author/44   Twitter: @kos2
 Listowner: OPERA-L ; SMT-ANNOUNCE ; SoundForge-users
- My opinions do not necessarily represent those of my institutions -

Inspiring Lifelong Learning | Advancing Knowledge | Strengthening Our Communities 

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