[Wikimedia-l] Editor retention (was Re: "Big data" benefits and limitations (relevance: WMF editor engagement, fundraising, and HR practices))

George Herbert george.herbert at gmail.com
Fri Jan 4 04:19:11 UTC 2013

On Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 8:13 PM, Tim Starling <tstarling at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> On 03/01/13 22:46, Martijn Hoekstra wrote:
>> Editor retention programmes have some data there. Check wp:wer on en.wiki.
>> how the data for the other projects match up I don't know.
> Yes, that page describes the problem in detail. But the suggestions
> they offer under "how you can help" are along the same lines as
> policies that have been in place on Wikipedia since 2002 or earlier.
> It's been tried, it didn't work.
> The problem is, some people want to feel powerful more than they want
> Wikipedia to grow. Or even if they want Wikipedia to grow on a
> cerebral level, exercising power over another user is immediately
> pleasurable, and they don't have sufficient impulse control to stop
> themselves from doing it.
> It should be obvious that what is missing is discipline. An
> arbitration committee with expanded scope, with full-time members
> funded by the WMF (at arm's length for legal reasons), could go a long
> way towards solving the problem. Some users will be reformed when
> their technical power is threatened (be that editing or admin access),
> others will just leave as soon as their reputation is at stake.
> There is risk, because the editor population will probably be reduced
> in the short term, and it's hard to know if it will ever recover. I
> don't know if there is anyone with the power to save Wikipedia who
> also has the required courage.
> -- Tim Starling

I took a moderately long break from ENWP for most of this year,
precipitated by work / firewall issues but just taking some time
mostly away helped clear my mind.

In the interim, arbcom case filings and acceptances dropped like a
stone, and it seems like several major conflict areas have been "baked
in" as insoluble.

If you believe that the problem is the conflict over a perceived
problem, this is a good development.

If you believe that the problem is the underlying problem at issue,
then this is a horrific development.

I don't currently know...

-george william herbert
george.herbert at gmail.com

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