Summary:Talk:Task force/Wikipedia Quality/A bullet list of quality thoughts

From Strategic Planning

Some quality points raised by FT2 and various comments by others.

  1. Newcomers - there is a pyramid effect (fewer expert editors, many new/inexperienced editors. Observations:

    Guidance and basics for newcomers is significant (affects a significant proportion of users and edits, and may improve the efficiency of established users)

    Piotrus says "Addressing newcomers (with tools such as the article creation wizard) is important as we do need more editors, and I think at this point we have tapped the pool of those who can and want to master the current wiki syntax".
  2. Established editors - obseervations:

    Personal improvement and development is self-initiated and self-guided. There are no quality related classes, courses, or masterclasses in anything. It's "pick it up for yourself". Users can edit for years and not be exposed to some ideas. Exposure to better working methods or (good) new ideas used by others, would probably be well received and adopted, and improve quality considerably.

    Also we need to ensure editing stays enjoyable for these users, by looking at ways it can cease to be fun. As in the real world, it's easier to retain people who like you, than attract newcomers, and they have a higher motive to work to a high quality. If it stays enjoyable, they'll mostly continue editing (subject to real-world constraints).

    Piotrus says "Ensuring that editing stays enjoyable, by looking at ways it can cease to be fun" is a KEY ISSUE [emphasis in original].
  3. Patrolling - an important quality tool. The same principle could apply wider; if we could generate some kind of feed or list of that. This might be the most effective way to cover missing content, for example automatic or user-originated feeds for "stuff to add", "facts to reference", or "sections and topics to write", in small doses so patrolling is interesting, or encourage patrolling generally.
    Piotrus says bots can ultimately only do a few things better than people.
  4. Interwiki efficiency/mobility - If content was quality rated, could editors on an article/topic on one wiki be kept informed if the same article/topic on another wiki is better written or referenced in some areas, so wikis can cherrypick the best of other projects' work, and so that good work or updated information can migrate easily between wikis.
    Woodwalker is in favour of exchange of ideas, but cautions against reducing diversity, and fragmenting the experts and content discussions on a topic. Some projects don't want rating systems - nlwiki recently deleted and forbad the rating of articles. [Note: find out more]
    Yaroslav Blanter would not translate all content, but in some cases (eg an article on a US state copied from enwiki or Paris metro from frwiki) it is an obvious approach. But users should be aware that even so their quality is not always good.
    Piotrus adds information on this from the Polish Wikipedia: "I know pl wiki for example has a way to add mini-templates to interwiki links to indicate articles in other languages have been FAed or GAed. This could and should be improved to reflect the entire spectrum of quality changes, from stub to FA, and possibly a flag to indicate something like 'this article has been recently edited'."
  5. Ratchet effect - it's easy for edits to reduce good quality rather than improve it. Ideally we want a kind of ratchet effect, where if something's decent quality then its next step is better quality (eg peer reviewed against older versions). Can we achieve this?
    Woodwalker agrees and notes "flagged revisions" is a way to do this, but more needs to be known before any use since it has potential drawbacks too: "There are some other similar systems too, like patrolled revisions, which is used at wp-nl a couple of years now, or the systems used at external projects like Citizendium. It's not simply a choice between two options, there's a whole spectrum of systems available."
    Piotrus says "perhaps" but it's too close to flagged revisions, which he doesn't endorse.
  6. Other areas - problem editing (deliberate or wanton poor editing), social efficiency (disputes, arguments, resolving differences of opinion, and other matters that arise between editors), automation (where we can better use automation or technology to help editors).
    Woodwalker notes flagged revisions would solve problem editing.
    Piotrus says problem editing "seems under contol" but social efficiency is important; the key issues are enforcing civility and a good editing environment.