[Foundation-l] Comparison of new user welcome efforts across projects

Brianna Laugher brianna.laugher at gmail.com
Mon Feb 5 02:10:44 UTC 2007

On 05/02/07, Samuel Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, 5 Feb 2007, Brianna Laugher wrote:
> > Then it becomes bureaucracy: the templates become overloaded with
> > "essential" info, they divide and multiply in versions, and... I'm not
> > sure what next.
> When they start warning you, and edit pages lead off with all the things
> you SHOULD NOT do... and people feel that scaring newbies away is good
> because who needs all these contributors anyway if they're not going to
> fight vandals?  This is the defensive stage of wiki growth.

Mm. I think if I was starting up a wiki now, I'd avoid using the term
'vandal' or 'vandalism' at all.I see a lot of edit summaries that are
like 'rv vandal' or '{{speedydelete|vandal}}' when it's really only
experimenting with the wiki software as it was designed to be
experimented with. 'Vandal' should suggest a malicious intent towards
the wiki community. 'Test' edits are not malicious. Page blanking is
probably not malicious.

I guess since English Wikipedia has always led the way in terms of
user growth and sheer size, it is up to other projects to choose if
they consider that a good path to follow, and let it continue, or try
to intervene to avoid some of the conclusions that EN.wp has reached.
Reactions from users at DE.wp, FR.wp, JA.wp, PL.wp would be
interesting in this regard.

BTW, on the topic of research: there is a lot that could be done with
existing projects, tracking new projects from creation onwards,
basically seeing which project namespace pages they choose to create
in what order, and who they choose to model themselves on (the
majority of welcome messages I have seen so far have been modelled on
EN.wp or FR.wp)
It would also be possible to track two same-language projects such as
EN.wq against EN.wp. (This would be a lot easier if you had a minority
lang speaker to help out as well...)


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