[Wikimedia-l] Editor retention implies social features

Yaroslav M. Blanter putevod at mccme.ru
Tue Apr 17 16:18:54 UTC 2012

> Consider, for example, that Zynga and Facebook have successfully 
> managed to
> get millions of people to log in at all hours of the night to milk
> virtualcows and harvest virtual beans (or whatever it is that people
> actually do in Farmville).  Could we do something similar to drive
> particpation, particularly in editing areas that don't require
> long-duration sessions (e.g. adding or verifying citations, 
> categorizing
> articles, etc.)?  Even a few percent of Farmville's user base would 
> be an
> order-of-magnitude increase of our own editor base; and if the price 
> for
> that is letting these editors display Citationville badges on their 
> user
> pages and send each other silly messages, is it not worth it?

This is actually a very good example. Imagine this happened, and we got 
for several hours a million of users who do not know anything about BLP, 
verifiability, POV, notability, and other issues. Would we be able to 
clean up their edits? I doubt it. If I remember well, when 80K landscape 
pictures of British Isles were donated to Commons more than a year ago 
(which is certainly a good thing), they were not categorized, and many 
of them (several dozen of thousands) remained uncategorized last time I 
checked. We will not just be able to digest this.

The way out obviously that we do not have a million random editors. We 
want a million of editors who understand basic principles and know what 
they want to do. I just do not see how it could happen. When I 
personally ask my friends to upload photos which are clearly needed (for 
instance, to illustrate an already existing article), my best success is 
to ask them to send a mail to OTRS, and then I upload photos myself. And 
uploading a photo is generally easier than to find a category for an 
article or to source a statement.


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