Pete Bartlett wrote:
Why is de: better than en: is a great question. They appear to have
covered classic encyclopedic topics much better than en: and
their proportion of Exzellente Artikeler is double that of our FAs, despite
standards. How to learn from de would be a great thing to discuss.
In a word: "Ordnung".
The full range of connotation is not easily translated into English,
but the disambig for de:'s [[Ordnung]] connects to lots of telling
things, such as en:'s [[social structure]] and the like. At the risk
of playing amateur sociologist and offending everybody, I'll opine
that while the German cultural liking for "Ordnung" sounds to USians
and Brits an awful lot like a compulsion to "follow orders", in
the WP context I think it translates to a greater sense of duty to
help achieve communal goals.
For instance, while I will likely will get tired of writing about a
proper topic like fish anatomy and impulsively shift over to something
trivial like old D&D modules, the German editor will tend to feel
bound to finish with the fish anatomy first. Multiply that by
thousands of editors, and you can see where the one would end up
with lots of good articles, and the other with lots of new articles.
So I think the difference is reflective of some deep cultural
differences, and not easily changed. Still, it wouldn't hurt to
use de: as a real-life example of how en: can do better - it's not
the wiki software or process that is limiting us, but our own lack