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.
[*] 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.