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

Yaroslav M. Blanter putevod at mccme.ru
Fri Jan 4 11:32:12 UTC 2013

On Fri, 4 Jan 2013 11:57:23 +0100, Martijn Hoekstra wrote:
> This thread may have started weird, but it seems to be going in a 
> very good
> direction: we're all very concerned about editor retention, we all 
> see
> problem areas we agree on, and we are all grasping at new ideas that 
> seem
> more or less like straws. This is bad news, but it has to remain on 
> the
> agenda, and we have to keep thinking about it or the project runs the 
> risk
> of actually failing - the very thing we all laughed away for a long 
> time
> seeing wikipedia's success.

This is a very interesting thread, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading, 
and, in particular, I was most impressed by posts of Risker and of 
Martijn. May be one think is that so fas has been out of focus and which 
should be added to their arguments is governance. All decisions are made 
by consensus (we are not talking now about office actions). Fine. But we 
see that it is more and more difficult to take any important strategic 
decision by consensus. Even passing an RfA became a problem to such 
extent that sane users fully capable of having admin tools refuse to go 
there, and, indeed, if they go often they fail to clear the barrier. 
Another example was a recent pending changes debate - which was twice 
talked out, and for the third time the decision was finally taken, but 
only because the closers agreed to take it (and note that PC was no big 
deal at all - I check several times per day if there are unreviewed 
changes pending, and the last time I was able to locate any was smth 
like Dec 25). More complex strategic decisions like introducing a new 
user group seem to have absolutely no chance to pass by consensus - 
which is understandable given that consensus is at least 66%, and no 
elections in developing countries give such high percentage for the 
winner. We just became more mature, and this basically impeded the 
governance. I am not sure what should be done in the current situation, 
but if nothing is done, we are dead in five years.


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