2008/11/3 Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell(a)gmail.com>om>:
On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 4:18 PM, David Moran
What we SHOULD be
talking about is not social media, but more robust tutorials and
walkthroughs for new users as they go through their first edits, and their
first created articles, &c.
And moreover, this is important because *quality* not *quantity* is
what we should be most concerned about. With umpteen million
articles in across many languages Wikipedia has already reached
"mission accomplished" level from a pure quantity measure.
Making it easier to contribute won't just help quantity, it will help
quality by reducing some forms of bias, and bringing in a broader
range of knowledge. If Wikipedia is only easy for techno-geeks then
editors will be mostly techno-geeks, and their edits may not
representative. (The [[Warp drive]] vs [[Ice pick]] effect).
Tutorials and walkthroughs are useful only after you have got that
first click. We need to get better at getting that first click.
Perhaps even just making the edit button bigger or a different colour.
We also need to get better at highly our different ways of attracting
that first click. Luring people onto talk pages or the like. A system
which went "you have view 100 pages why not try editing one" would be
too annoying to allow for live use but perhaps some smarter way to
target those likely to edit.
I agree, this is a problem. I've corresponded with people on OTRS who,
despite the edit button on every page, the "anyone can edit" on the main
page, and the "you can improve this" on various maintenance templates,
really had no idea that they could edit articles. I don't recall how
many of the survey questions asked about this, but hopefully the survey
results will give us some reasons on why people don't edit and hopefully
we can address them.
I agree with David and Greg though as well. Wikitext is /supposed/ to be
simple. Unfortunately, several years of adding more and more
complexities through complex templates, parser functions, and tag
extensions has changed this somewhat. Its still easier than a
programming language or raw HTML, but many articles are well past the
point where one can look at the wikitext and easily figure out how the
basics of editing work.
A while ago (more than a year now) I started work on
designed to help
new users write articles. I eventually got distracted by other things
and stopped working on it, but its still there if others want to work on
it. The Slovenian Wikipedia seems to have a slightly more developed
they also link to in the various system messages shown when creating a
new article; the en.wikipedia version never quite got that far.