I don't think Jonathan was saying we should buy a full page adin the NYT and declare editor retention solved. I share his cautious optimism. The rate of the editor decline has decreased along several metrics, and we're seeing an intriguing uptick in 100+ editor activity. 

Back in 2011, when he and I (and several others on this list) were participating in the Summer of Research, the month-over-month metrics were decreasing at a rate that was kind of alarming. Some combination of factors seems to have changed that pattern. Worth looking into.


On Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 9:35 AM, Oliver Keyes <okeyes@wikimedia.org> wrote:
"Until we can prove it is good data we should treat it as good data"
is not how data works.

Absent exactly that analysis it is almost certainly a bad idea for us
to declare this to be good news; validate, /then/ celebrate.

On 24 August 2015 at 12:26, WereSpielChequers
<werespielchequers@gmail.com> wrote:
> 100 edits a month does indeed have the disadvantage that all edits are not
> equal, there may be some people for whom that represents 100 hours
> contributed, others a single hour. So an individual month could be inflated
> by something as trivial as a vandalfighting bot going down for a couple of
> days and a bunch of oldtimers responding to a call on IRC by coming back and
> running huggle for an hour.
> But 7 months in a row where the total is higher than the same month the
> previous year looks to me like a pattern.
> Across the 3,000 or so editors on English wikipedia who contribute over a
> hundred edits per month there could be a hidden pattern of an increase in
> Huggle, stiki and AWB users more than offsetting a decline in manual
> editing, but unless anyone analyses that and reruns those stats on some
> metric such as "unique calender hours in which someone saves an edit" I
> think it best to treat this as an imperfect indicator of community health.
> I'm not suggesting that we are out of the woods - there are other indicators
> that are still looking bad, and I would love to see a better proxy for
> active editors. But this is good news.
> On 23 August 2015 at 19:31, Mark J. Nelson <mjn@anadrome.org> wrote:
>> WereSpielChequers <werespielchequers@gmail.com> writes:
>> > Could you be more specific re "In general I'm not sure the 100+ count is
>> > among the most reliable." What in particular do you think is unreliable
>> > about that metric?
>> The main thing I have questions about with that metric is whether it's a
>> good proxy for editing activity in general, or is dominated by
>> fluctuations in "bookkeeping" contributions, i.e. people doing
>> mass-moves of categories and that kind of thing (which makes it quite
>> easy to get to 100 edits). This has long been a complaint about edit
>> counts as a metric, which have never really been solidly validated.
>> Looking through my own personal editing history, it looks like there's
>> an anti-correlation between hitting the 100-edit threshold and making
>> more substantial edits. In months when I work on article-writing I
>> typically have only 20-30 edits, because each edit takes a lot of
>> library research, so I can't make more than one or two a day. In months
>> where I do more bookkeeping-type edits I can easily have 500 or 1000
>> edits.
>> But that's just for me; it's certainly possible that Wikipedia-wide,
>> there's a good correlation between raw edit count and other kinds of
>> desirable activity measures. But is there evidence of that?
>> --
>> Mark J. Nelson
>> Anadrome Research
>> http://www.kmjn.org
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Oliver Keyes
Count Logula
Wikimedia Foundation

Wiki-research-l mailing list

Jonathan T. Morgan
Senior Design Researcher
Wikimedia Foundation