Proposal talk:Community sustainability

From Strategic Planning

Proposed sub-proposal: raising profile of editors

I was thinking of submitting a proposal myself. But my idea would actually fit in very well as a sub-proposal on here, I think.

My idea is to raise the profile of Wikipedia editors such that stating you edit Wikipedia would be broadly accepted in the wider world as bona fide voluntary work and would have sufficient status that you would not think twice about mentioning it on your CV when looking for work. I see the benefit of this raised profile as a good in itself but, perhaps more importantly, this increased status will draw in more editors: aside from contributing to Wikipedia for the sheer enjoyment you get an added bonus of respect from family, friends and potential employers.

I haven't yet thought through how this would be achieved. Obviously a major part of the perception of a WP editor is a function of how WP is itself perceived as an (un)reliable reference. I don't propose we strategise anything there since that is already catered for.

What might work is a celebratory Wikipedia page that shows some of our best editors in glowing terms (and once that page has evolved, perhaps release a form of it to the press). Such a page could show off famous people who are known to have edited Wikipedia (particularly those famed for scholarship), achievements by our editors (like some of our more astonishing articles on current events where we had great articles appearing rapidly out of nowhere [was Hurricane Katrina such a case?])... other ideas?

How about a promotional video of our editors answering the question "I edit Wikipedia because..." and putting the most inspiring of those replies together as a promotional montage?

Perhaps we even have something like this already that I don't know about?

Please let me know if this should be added as a sub-proposal on the related project page, or whether you think I ought to make this as a proposal of its own. Or whether I should forget the whole thing. --Bodnotbod 16:12, 13 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Oh. I forgot to add: I feel if this "status bump" could be achieved it will bring more (and perhaps better quality) editors to Wikipedia. It would be an added reason for participation from diligent, motivated and ambitious people. That, in turn, would raise the quality of Wikipedia, which adds to the status bump, which attracts... so I see a potential virtuous spiral here. --Bodnotbod 16:14, 13 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Response to Your Query

I like this proposal because it has the potential to be revolutionary. I think you should "flesh it out" a bit, then it might be able to be a proposal of how to improve quality and respectability. Otherwise it would not be able to stand on its own and not be a part of “Community sustainabity” as it is only targeting a very small segment of the community.

First, you should address the existing role of editor’s and Wikipedia participants’ perception of them. I think that along with the perception of Wikipedia at-large, this is a major issue. Taken to its proposed conclusion as you state, I think its likely consequence is that it could also improve content quality and raise the stature of editors within Wikipedia. Consider the following;

  • is your proposal to target all editors or a select group among them;
  • how would one acquire the role of editor and would this be different than the current method;
  • would the role of a Wikipedia editor change;
  • how would you measure editor quality;
  • how would you verify editor credentials, experience, and expertise; *would you not need transparency of their identity;
  • how would you extract and/or maintain some form of long-term commitment from them;
  • would not you need a method to document their contributions;

I am just throwing out some questions for starters, but I think they might be important in an overall strategy. I have my own answers for most of these questions, but this is your proposal. {;) GMJ 21:06, 13 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Wow! Thanks for the detailed reply. Plenty to think about there. It is late here in the UK, but I will try and put two hours into this tomorrow. --Bodnotbod 23:17, 13 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Lovely idea

I would not want to see any 'new' method of editing, or some flag or status symbol that could be attained which would give some editors special privileges. I would not want to see extra friction involved in asking for commitment, requiring background checks, &c - the beauty of Wikipedia is that this is not necessary. However, there is a wealth of data about the edits and other contributions of all editors. Automatically producing a beautiful wiki-portfolio out of this, which is linked to/from each userpage, would be a great step forward.

We have tools such as HistoryFlow that help identify the extent to which an editors changes make it into later versions of an article, which don't require trying to personally assess the quality of contributions. Starting with something simple that can be generated now for all contributors, and giving that some prominence -- and also filtering up information about woh has made the most recent edit, and who the contributors are to each article (for readers of the article, as wikitravel does in their footer) could also be part of this. Sj 04:25, 14 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

What? Where can I see HistoryFlow in action on live articles? I see only very old data, and no tool source or such. Nemo 08:09, 21 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 00:06, 3 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]