[WikiEN-l] Unused userboxes

Stan Shebs shebs at apple.com
Mon Feb 20 14:46:30 UTC 2006

Steve Bennett wrote:

>On 2/19/06, Stan Shebs <shebs at apple.com> wrote:
>>We're not like a provincial university where the local legislature
>>has decreed that that everyone has to be accepted in regardless of
>>ability. Given that we now have a surfeit of volunteers, perhaps we
>>should be thinking about ways to gently raise the bar, rewarding
>>the good editors while inducing the poor ones to find another wiki
>>more in line with their talents.
>We have a surfeit of volunteers? Maybe badly utilised volunteers, but
>I see evidence of a lot of work to be done and not enough people to do
If you look at RC, new articles, etc, you'll see thousands of editors
working away. A great many of them are just rambling on about their
boring high schools and deservedly-obscure garage bands (or adding
userboxes), and there are quite a few who never go on to do anything
more substantive. So we have plenty of participants, just not enough
of the kind that add much value to the project.

To some extent it's unavoidable - there will always be more high
school students than experts in quantum mechanics - but it's not
clear to me that large numbers of the very average is an adequate
substitute for smaller numbers of the scholarly-minded. To abuse
an analogy, the bazaar only works when people actually bring
goods and money.


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