Proposal:Dual system reporting and logged-in editing only

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Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

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  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation


There should be (1) a reporting system for the occasional contributors and (2) forced registration for those who actually want to edit an article.

Problem and overview

Editing Wikipedia appears to be very difficult to new people, and we have seen that unregistered users and newbies meet a lot of "resistance". Unregistered users even do not realize that some Wikipediands are hostile to them because of being unregistered, being someone with out contribution history. These Wikipedians have in fact re-interpretated the rules: Every one is accepted to edit, but only if he has already internalized our rules and wiki behavior and is registered.

Wikipedia editing should be in future possible only to registered users, who should get more attention. Those, who do not wish to register or learn Wiki syntax and Wikipedia rules, should have the possibility to simply report errors in articles.

Dual system I: Reporting errors

Make it easy to report an error: pl.Wikipedia has a system where readers can simply report an error in an article. These comments can consequently be dealt with by volonteers, similar to the OTRS. Polish Wikipedians told me how useful this tool turned out to be. So, everyone who ones to help can do that without having to learn Wiki syntax.

Dual system II: Allow only registered users

Someone who likes to edit himself should have to register because unregistered editors meet a lot of resistance if not hostility. If you are registered you build up a kind of "Wikipedian identity", and you become more trustworthy as time goes on. Then, a newly registered editor should be approached by experienced users, saying hello and welcome and asking what the newbie would like to do in WP. This would scare off many vandals but encourage the good willing newbies. They have the opportunity to ask questions, and if they feel that they do not need guidance, that is OK, too. It is not about controlling new people but showing them that we (take) care. A newbie might tell at that occasion that he is going to write an article about his company, and the experienced user could warn him that that is not such a good idea.

Benefits

The dual system will lead to:

  • less work for Wikipedians
  • less vandalism
  • keeping more of the newbies
  • filtering out people with problematic intentions earlier
  • lower treshold for occasional contributors (reporters)

Work force needed

The dual system here proposed will need a group of Wikipedians who watches the reported errors, and a group who welcomes new registered users. As many reports (fakes, vandalism) can be ignored and many newly registered people have no questions to welcomers, this should not create too much work.

On the other hand, we will need less people (or labor) at the Support team, the vandalism fighters and the mentoring programme. In language versions with flagged revisions, the sighting people will have less work to do because IP users will be able only to report.

Possible criticism

Some Wikipedians will say that the forced registration is a huge treshold that will prevent many people from editing. But registration is something absolutely common in the internet. And those who want to help occasionally can simply report.

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