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Summary:Talk:Task force/Wikipedia Quality/Clay Shirky on the four primary factors motivating participation

From Strategic Planning

Sue Gardner cross-posted from Clay Shirky's talk.

She stated that like other online hobbyist activities, four main factors probably motivate Wikipedia editing. They could be used as a framework for motivation:

  1. Autonomy (nobody assigned me to do it, I wanted to do it)
  2. Competence (I am good at it, and by practicing I get better, which is fun)
  3. Feedback (I get more useful feedback than before, which helps me improve faster, which makes me happy)
  4. Reputation/respect (I can show off, and be publicly rewarded/honoured for being competent)

Comments by others

FT2 and Piotrus "agreed completely".

'Ad-hoc'racies (or adhocracies) - groups that come together without pre-planning.

Piotrus asked "what makes adhocracies work well? And what destroys them? There are answers to those issues in existing literature, and we may be well-advised to read up a little on it".

Sue Gardner noted from our existing article, the characteristics of an adhocracy:

  • Organic - highly organic structure
  • Low formalization - little formalization of behavior
  • Specialization - job specialization based on formal training
  • Functionality for housekeeping but project based for "work" - a tendency to group the specialists in functional units for housekeeping purposes but to deploy them in small, market-based project teams to do their work
  • reliance on liaison devices - a reliance on liaison devices to encourage mutual adjustment, the key coordinating mechanism, within and between these teams
  • Low standardisation and role definition - low standardization of procedures, because they stifle innovation, roles are not clearly defined
  • selective decentralization
  • work organization rests on specialized teams
  • power-shifts to specialized teams
  • horizontal job specialization
  • high cost of communication (dramatically reduced in the Networked Age)
  • culture based on democratic and non-bureaucratic work