Proposal talk:Attract actual experts

From Strategic Planning

I have been pondering over much the same approach. There are already a number of experts already editing Wikipedia (for instance, see w:Wikipedia:Wikipedians with articles for Wikipedians who are notable enough to themselves qualify for inclusion), but they have a degree of anonymity.

There are, however, a number of questions to be raised:

  • How do we evaluate 'expertise'?
    • Would these methods produce a slant towards or away from academia?
  • How do we make it easier for experts to edit?
  • How do we show that a user is an expert?
  • Do experts get special privileges, even if only over 'their field'?

I think an important way to attract experts is to make the editing process simpler, so that people with little to no background knowledge of coding can still easily edit articles. At present, the Wikipedia userbase seems to be best represented in the science and technology sectors which, although useful for articles of that category, means that other fields are less well-represented. There may be some stereotype of a typical Wikipedian being 'geeky' or 'nerdy' (although a number of experts will have to deal with similar stereotypes towards their field of expertise), so it may also be a matter of identity - would these people easily identify with being a Wikipedian? If so, why haven't they already joined? If not, what is preventing them from identifying?

There is also the fact that a number of experts will have a great deal of commitments, so may not be able to provide the time required to edit articles (or do not believe that they can) - this then again raises issues of ease of use, as well as how experts are best directed to their fields. I believe that 'formalising' the role of WikiProjects (for which I have a number of proposals that I shall soon add), or providing a number of features including suggested articles (see Proposal:Volunteer Toolkit for Eloquence's proposal for how these can be established) will go a long way towards making editing easier and more efficient.

Finally, there is the method by which experts will be attracted and welcomed into Wikipedia. Will we need a professional 'welcoming committee', employed to seek out and talk to experts, or will we be able to perform much the same results with a volunteer team (or even a WikiProject) for finding and talking to experts, as well as 'mentoring' them in some of the ways of Wikipedia and how they can make editing easier? How will we confirm that editors who register themselves are who they say they are, and could we use the category of 'confirmed users' (or create something similar) to create a type of user whose identity is confirmed (see also how Twitter are working on the same problem). — Sasuke Sarutobi 14:11, 30 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]


Some proposals will have massive impact on end-users, including non-editors. Some will have minimal impact. What will be the impact of this proposal on our end-users? -- Philippe 00:05, 3 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]