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

WereSpielChequers werespielchequers at gmail.com
Wed Jan 9 04:16:42 UTC 2013

On Fri, Jan 04, 2013 at 04:48:57PM -0800, George Herbert wrote:
> > I almost wonder if having a "warning flag" for highly sensitive or
> > contentious article, encouraging editors without some threshold of
> > edits (500?  ... some number) to ask about contributions on the
> > article talk page first, rather than going directly to editing the
> > actual article...
> Note: Adds a threshold, thus negatively influences editor retention.
> sincerely,
>         Kim Bruning
> <scratches head> Maybe we need some sort of course/book "wiki-process
> design for
> dummies".
> Yes a blanket edit notice that simply tried to deter edits would most
likely simply deter some goodfaith edits, focussing it at newbies would
seem to me to be institutionalised newby biting. Targeted bespoke edit
notices however are I hope a different kettle of fish
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Editnotice It is also possible to
add a hidden comment that only editors see. For example "Please don't
change this person's religion unless you have evidence that they have
identified themselves as belonging to that particular religion - please see
the talkpage for past discussions about this person's alleged religion".

At their crudest such edit notices can bring people's attention to policies
that regularly get contravened on this page - "this article uses a
non-american version of English" or that this article is part of a
controversial area with special rules such as Israel/ Palestine. They can
also alert people that one aspect of an article is settled and unlikely to
change without debate whilst other aspects are subject to normal editing.
It would be good to see some research into the effectiveness of these edit
notices and comments, my limited experience of them is that they are very
useful and I believe a good way to alert people to very specific things
that are contentious. My suspicion is that some may be being misused by
those who WP:Own an article. Perhaps if someone wants to run an editor
engagement experiment they could revisit a bunch of these templates and add
a closing phrase such as  "You are very welcome to expand and improve other
aspects of this article in the same way that you may edit any normal
article on Wikipedia". Then see if the articles subsequently get edited
more frequently than under the previous notice.


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