[WikiEN-l] Unused userboxes

Steve Bennett stevage at gmail.com
Mon Feb 20 16:25:21 UTC 2006

On 2/20/06, Stan Shebs <shebs at apple.com> wrote:
> 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.

Ok, so there are two possible scenarios:
Wheat and chaff: 1 in every X contributors is a useful contributor. If
we want more useful contributors, we need more contributors overall,
and put up with the chaff, and develop strategies so it doesn't get
too annoying (with respect to any chaff reading this list :))
Amateurs and professionals: If you host a karaoke night, Pavarotti
doesn't show up. Useful contributors and pokemon fans are two
fundamentally different beasts (with respect to Pokemon fans).
Attracting more amateurs won't bring in more pros, and may even drive
them away.

Who wants to offer their opinion on which model is more accurate?


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