[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 15:57:22 UTC 2013

On Fri, 04 Jan 2013 16:41:06 +0100, Nikola Smolenski wrote:

> I guess I could write much more. But at the end, I have no solution.
> I could imagine some partial solutions for some of the problems, but
> nothing that could really bring Wikipedia to days of old.

Certainly, it will not. For the very same reason you mention: less not 
covered topics, more complexity, higher editing standards.

We just have to live with that. I personally found a niche (or rather 
several niches) which I am covering. If nobody else gets interested 
(which seems to be the case), I have enough to do for the next ten years 
or so.

This is not bad and not good. This is a fact.

The question of editor retention I believe is not to return to 
Wikipedia as of ten or five years ago (this is largely impossible - 
remember the first day on Wikidata! This is why everybody went there for 
just a day). The problem is how to create an atmosphere in which those 
who are interested in writing encyclopedic articles could write them and 
not be afraid that tomorrow one idiot would take and article for speedy 
deletion when you are still sleeping, and another idiot with 
administrator tools would delete it because they do not understand the 
language of the references. And those who came here not primarily to 
write articles or at least to maintain the place clean, but to solve 
their personal problems, should be shown the door. And this is a real 
problem, because those who came to solve their personal problems for 
obvious reasons are more persistent and more aggressive.

As I said in one of the previous posts, I do not know how this could be 
solved. But before solving the problem one needs to formulate it. Just 
saying "edirot retention" or "creative atmosphere" is just pronouncing 
buzzwords. Retention of which editors? Of all editors? On what 
conditions? Are we ready to sacrifice the civility a bit? And there are 
many questions like this which were not even been put on the agenda.


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