Talk:Editor Trends Study

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Summary of Discussion

Edited by 2 users.
Last edit: 00:50, 19 March 2011

Summary of Discussion[edit]

I have summarized the main points from the Talk:Editor_Trends_Study as of October 22nd, 2010. There are basically three types of issues raised.

1) More granular classification of editors

2) Definitions of a New Wikipedian and an Active Editor

3) Reinventing the wheel


Granular classification of editors[edit]

A number of people mentioned that a more granular classification of editors will give a better understanding of the different editor trajectories within the Wikipedia sites. One way of embracing this idea is that the trends analytics software allows for customization of defining different groups of editors. This means, that in case that we do not have enough time to investigate this right away then it will be relatively easy to conduct such an analysis yourself. But this point is also closely related to the 2nd point.

Definitions of a New Wikipedian and an Active Editor[edit]

Some people wondered how we have chosen the different threshold for New Wikipedian and Active Editor. First, we will use the definitions as they have been used in the past by Erik Zachte's statistical analysis at [stats.wikimedia.org stats.wikimedia.org]. This will reduce confusion and eases interpretation. However, we might want to refine these definitions if the results of the analysis suggests that we

Reinventing the wheel[edit]

Finally, some people warned us for not reinventing the wheel by starting from scratch as a lot has been done in the past. I wholeheartedly agree with that, Wikipedia has a rich history and I am very grateful for all the links / papers that have been suggested. From a software point of view, we will write some new code. The reason for this is that (and this might be a limitation of my knowledge) there are no suitable tools (yet) that can create datasets and run the analyses in a timely fashion independent of Wikipedia locale to answer the questions we are raising. We are using a schemaless database from which we can create datasets that can be read by R, SPSS and Stata.

If you want to help us[edit]

If you would like to help us, for example running the analysis for your local Wikipedia site, then you can do the following.

  • Check out the editor_trends package from Subversion and use the command-line interface to download a dump, and create a dataset. You can either help us in testing this functionality, or if you have a Python background help in improving the code.
Drdee23:13, 22 October 2010

Analysis of trends at Norwegian (bokmål) Wikipedia

Did a quick and dirty analysis of the Norwegian (bokmål) Wikipedia and posted the graphs at meta. It sems to me that the same problem that exist at English Wikipedia also exist at that wiki.

I pretty sure about several key factors that triggers new editors to leave, most of them has something to do with lack of communication or harsh environment. The most important countermeasure I think would be a direct communication channel with the new editor and a way for the new editor to have a sandbox where he can mess around without disturbing the established editors. Jeblad 16:57, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Jeblad16:57, 2 January 2012

Active admins as an example of entrances and exits

Regarding the graph showing that the number of active administrators continuing to fall: That's a good illustration of combining two things into a single graph. One matter is the activity pattern of a person who becomes an admin. For example, has anything changed between a person who became an admin in 2005 versus 2007 versus 2009? The other matter is how many people are becoming admins. You'll find (as is well known in the English Wikipedia community among those posting at the discussion page of WP:RFA) that every year sees fewer and fewer candidates being successful at becoming an admin (which requires community approval).

I raise this point because, for the larger issue of why total editing is flat to declining, the cause can be a change in behavior of those who have become contributors (say, people stopping editing more quickly) or because fewer people join (or both). And these two issues can have totally different solutions - for example, more recognition for existing editors, versus more recruiting of new editors. Or, to put it briefly: why people join is usually different from why people drop out. John Broughton 22:40, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

John Broughton22:40, 2 November 2010

Dear John, This chart has been added by User:Saeed.Veradi and I think it has been added as an extra illustration of the stagnation in participation. Hopefully, the cohort analysis that we will conduct will reveal whether people stop editing more quickly or that fewer people join.

Drdee15:47, 3 November 2010
 

"how many people are becoming admins" Stats from pl wiki are here if you want: commons:Category:Polish Wikipedia statistics - PUA.

Przykuta 08:38, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

85.202.159.5208:38, 13 December 2010

Any idea what it means? It looks like there's a correlation between more rejections, fewer applicants, and longer RFA discussions. The most obvious hypothesis is that longer RFAs are scaring off applicants and causing many to be rejected. But it's hard to know the cause-and-effect without actually reading some of the talk pages across several applicants and years. (In Polish.)

Randomran17:09, 18 December 2010

Pages with questions and discussions are here: accepted and here: rejected.

Przykuta08:50, 19 December 2010

I have some stats on the RFA situation on EN wiki where active admins dropped 12% last year. The finding that most intrigues me is that people with 1-3 years experience are rarely becoming admins. Nearly 90% of our admins on EN wiki first became editors more than four years ago. Either we have few qualified editors from 2007-2009 or they are not coming forward. My own experience, though I haven't collected stats on this is that the current de facto criteria including 4,000 manual edits and 12 months tenure are way above the criteria that applied when most of our admins passed RFA.

Comparing Polish and EN wiki experiences is interesting. Has the Polish wiki gone through an unbundling exercise? In early 2008 EN wiki unbundled the Rollback tool and gave it to non-admin vandalfighters, this coincided with a major drop in successful adminships which halved from an average of one a day to an average of one every two days. Also what is the Polish definition of an active admin? On EN wiki we have 746 admins who have done at least one edit in the last 90 days. But of them 539 are considered Semi-active in that they have done fewer than 30 edits in the last two months, leaving 207 admins who have done more than 30 edits in the last two months.

WereSpielChequers17:57, 18 February 2011

10% of admins are no active last year in pl wiki. About experience: number of edits to become an admin, number of days to become an admin. Since 2009 users "need" more than a year to be an admin. Here is a list of active and absent admins with last edits by date. Rollback is used in pl wiki by reviewers since November 2009 (~2000 users are reviewers in pl wiki). We have 170 (150 active or semi-active) admins and rather small community. 170 admins and 6k active users. It wiki: 100 admins and 9k active users. But we start "removing administrator rights" for admins no-active in last year (no active as users in main space). Przykuta 14:59, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Przykuta14:59, 10 March 2011
 

I'd be curious to ask a sample of editors from the past 3 years why they haven't decided to become an admin. Maybe compare that to the early adopters, and ask them why they decided to become an admin.

Randomran22:55, 14 March 2011
 
 
 
 
 

Things that extend a wiki career

There is a natural tendency in this sort of study to focus on the things that drive people away, but there are also things that motivate people to stay here. I would like to see some stats as to whether any of the following are true or false:

  1. Gaining an awarded user right such as rollbacker or reviewer extends ones wiki career. In the last year we have appointed many hundreds of Autopatrollers on EN Wiki as well as large numbers of reviewers. Analogies with other online communities imply that this is likely to encourage people to stay on, but it would be nice to know.
  2. Does passing RFA or RFB and becoming an admin or crat extend a wiki career and motivate people to stay longer?
  3. Conversely does losing a useright or an RFA/RFB drive a proportion of editors away?
  4. Does receiving barnstars motivate people to stay longer? Or are the sort of editors who do things worthy of barnstars the sort of editors who are motivated to stay anyway?
  5. Does physical geography and the location of our servers have anything to do with retention? Do the Amsterdam servers give us better retention rates amongst European editors and would a similar facility in India or Brazil boost our editing communities there? East Africa should be a good test for this, recently there was a major upgrade in their connection to the Internet and it would be interesting to know whether this meant:
  1. The same editors did the same sort of edits but it took them less time.
  2. The same editors spent the same time on wikipedia and did more edits because the connection was faster.
  3. We gained more editors.
  1. Does attendance at real life wiki events such as meetups, manias and Glam/Wiki editing collaborations tend to result in better retention of editors.
WereSpielChequers14:55, 18 February 2011

Hi WereSpielChequers,

You are raising a whole number of very valid questions! From a methodological point they are challenging because we can never say that someone left the community permanently, maybe they are on an infinite Wikibreak. So the challenge will be to come up with a measurement that accurately describes the lack of engagement for a prolonged period of time. Do you have any ideas on how to measure this?

Best, Diederik

Drdee15:36, 18 February 2011

Hi Diederik, I think a useful approach on this would be to analyse wiki breaks. It would be helpful to know of the people who have stopped editing for three months how many edit again after 1, 2, 3 or more months. Once we know that only y% of editors who have been inactive for 36 months are likely to return in a given month then we can be more robust about predicting how many future inactives will return. Of course the project is far too young to know how many will return after gaps of a decade or more. But I would anticipate that if we charted length of wikibreaks we would see a pattern and could start extrapolating and making predictions as to future returning Wikipedianss. At some point in the future we will probably get an idea of:

  1. How long a break needs to be before we can be 99% confident that the editor will not return.
  2. Whether editors of the "founder generation" (2001-2005) will have a different pattern here to later generations.
  3. Whether editors have a different reactivation pattern if they are active on other Wikimedia projects - currently we analyse each project quite separately.
  4. Whether the chance of someone returning is linked to their number of edits or usergroups
  5. How blocks, bans, exercising right to vanish or posting a retirement template alter your chance of returning.

Also I would dispute that we can never say an account is permanently closed. We know that some former editors are dead, we don't currently have an appropriate distinct flag for that though we probably need one (I would predict that by 2100 most of our current editors will be dead). We also know that some people have been caught abusing multiple accounts and even if they are unblocked usually all but one of those accounts will be permanently blocked.

WereSpielChequers01:47, 13 March 2011

Hi WereSpielChequers,

We do consider wiki breaks in the current Editor Trends Study when calculating the tenure of a Wikimedia editor but I think you raise some interesting additional questions. I think we should collect these additional questions (maybe on the page Editor_Trends_Study/Future_Research and see how we can answer these.

Best, Diederik

Drdee03:12, 19 March 2011
 
 

I found a study that shows editors who participate in talk page discussions are more likely to stay. Same with editors who participate in improving FAs. Editors who participate in both are MUCH more likely to stay.

Of course, this could be a correlation and not a cause. Someone who is engaged with improving featured articles and collaborating is the kind of person who would already find Wikipedia more interesting. But it would be interesting to see if it would help to nudge someone towards a good WikiProject that's very collaborative and interested in featured articles. I know it stepped up my participation a lot.

Randomran13:53, 22 February 2011

Randomran, can you post a link to the study you're referring to? Thanks!

Howief17:49, 22 February 2011

HazardTimeLowWithFAandTalk.png

There's a lot of good stuff in the community health recommendations. Didn't take long to dig it up. Hope it's helpful! Click on the image and it will take you to a quote I pulled from the study. It's a great, great study.

Randomran05:45, 24 February 2011
 
 

Re: 1. The editors have to ask for those privileges. I'd assume they expect them to get them, and that getting them is not a big deal; however, not getting them could be, and could lead to them leaving the community. Re: 2. Ditto, plus an anegdotical evidence that I know at least one editor who, as one of the reasons for leaving the project, mentioned that his 2nd RfA was "shut down" by his "enemies". Re: 3. I wouldn't be surprised, although this is a very rare occurrence. Re: 4. I'd think it does. See my thoughts on that in a mini-essay. Re: 5. I doubt it, speed should be the same, worldwide, controlling for end-user infrastructure. Re. 6. I'd expect it does. This needs more studies, certainly. --Piotrus 23:26, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Piotrus23:26, 4 March 2011

Hi Piotrus,

Editors don't always have to ask for privileges. We've done some interesting work on EN wiki creating prospect lists of people who should have the Reviewer Autopatroller or even I think the Rollback flag. My experience of turning up on people's talkpage, complementing their work and setting their account as an Autopatroller is that people take that very positively, and the ones I check who've recently had articles deleted or been warned about copyvio wouldn't know that I'd looked and moved on.

As for Internet speed, I'm pretty sure that it does vary around the world according not only to the speed of the local connection to the ISP but also connections further afield. Certainly my experience of editing in South America was that local sites might be OK but Wikipedia and also UK sites were much slower there than when I'm in London. My understanding is that the squid servers in Amsterdam are meant to increase speeds for editors here in Europe, and the new data centre in Virginia will speed things up by being closer to Internet hubs.

WereSpielChequers17:03, 25 May 2011
 
 

Sister Projects?

Hi All,

I'd like to say that all of the discussion here is very interesting and I agree with all of the basic points enumerated as findings in this study. However, I was wondering if any consideration had been given to editor trends on sister projects? It would seem to me that while a lot of the fun work on Wikipedia (writing new articles) has been done, the sister projects are still "greenfields" where there is a lot of scope and potential for growth. I realise that Wikipedia is the main moneyspinner for the foundation, but if sister projects have better retention numbers and growth potential than Wikipedia (which, for everywhere but commons, is my non-scientific observation), surely it makes sense to put effort into supporting increases in contributors there? If a project like Wikibooks or Wikisource can grow to have even half the editor interest that Wikipedia has, then a loss of participants on Wikipedia, while still undesirable, is at least not as disastrous as it would be now.

Of course, my view of what's going on on other projects may be total bollocks, and if there's any evidence to show that sister project activity is also declining, please feel free to tell me to go jump!

Lankiveil01:18, 24 April 2011

Dear Lankiveil,

If you are interested in replicating the Editor Trends Study then please contact me and I can give you some pointers.

Drdee19:18, 19 May 2011
 

Congratulations and Thanks to the authors

Reading over all this, I just want to say "good work" to all the authors. This study makes me feel enormously optimistic-- it's excellent that we're paying attention to this sort of thing and identifying these problems.

Speaking for me, I think the two pretty obvious, "low-hanging" fruit to get more active editors are:

  • An ultra-simple wysiwyg editor, to finally scoop up those uncomfy with wikitext.
  • A huge expansion of the scopes, content types, and methodology of our projects. If newbies can contribute NEW things to NEW projects using NEW rules, they can have the EnWiki experience anew.
StochasticOrange08:26, 25 April 2011

As to point 1, I agree. WYSIWYG would help the learning curve immensely, though I imagine some of the more complicated things would still be difficult to encode, things that hard are rare.

2 is what I don't really see. Where would you go? Between the various projects, there's a home for most kinds of information. In general terms, what sort of project do you think would be helpful?

Courcelles11:04, 25 April 2011

Nothing in particular, I just feel like we're (as a movement) too focused on 'western-academic' style content. That's my personal favorite kind of content, so I'm happy here. But if we construe our mission too narrowly, we'll miss out on the billions of people who have different personalities, different interests, and different needs.

I don't have a specific new type of content in mind, but I know lots of others do: Category:Proposals_for_new_projects has lots, and many of the other proposals for new features entail proposals for new projects/content types. There are proposals for us to do things besides just create content-- create tools for people to socialize or form communities.

I hope that in the future, we can empower people to 'be bold' in creating new projects, features, apps, etc. Right now if I have an idea for a new WM project, I can't just go create it and try it out. I assume this is for technical reasons, but I don't know for sure.

I'm encourage to see that the project ideas are being solicited, and hope all conceivably-viable proposals for "new projects" get a chance to go live and see if they add something to our movement or not.

There's a interview, I've seen, about a Malawian inventor William Kamkwamba, who at age 14 "built his family an electricity-generating windmill from spare parts, working from rough plans he found in a library book." At the very end of the interview, he talks about his first experience, years later, using google:

I say ‘OK, let’s google windmill then.’ And then when I Googled windmill, I find that there are millions of applications. And then I say ‘Where was this Google all this time?’" [1]

Ultimately, that's where we need to be stepping in. Providing 0-cost, 'open' information services to the people of the world-- especially the people who need it most, in the excellently termed "Global South". The content they create may not look anything like Wikipedia-- "where could I get some copper wiring?" may be more important to them than Biographies of US celebrities. But whatever content they create-- it will still have value to them, even if that content doesn't fit with our preconceptions of what 'western academic' knowledge looks like.

That's all I was saying. Hundreds of proposals for new projects = Awesome way to bring newbies into the fold!

StochasticOrange07:55, 26 April 2011
 

Dear StochasticOrange, thanks for your kind words! and as far as I know, the community is working on the two topics that you mentioned. Drdee 19:16, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Drdee19:16, 19 May 2011
 

རྒས་ཤིང་འཁོག་པའི་ང་ཚོའི་གནས་ཁང་སའི་གོ་ལ།

སྙིང་ཉེ་བའི་གོ་ལའི་སྐྱེ་འགྲོ་རྣམ་པ་ལགས། ང་ཚོའི་གོ་ལ་འདི་ཉིད་ལོ་ངོ་ཐེར་འབུམ་༤་དུང་ཕྱུར་༥དང་བྱེ་བ་༤ལྷག་གི་སྔོན་ནས་གྲུབ་སྟེ་ཕལ་ཆེར་ལོ་ངོ་ཐེར་འབུམ་གཅིག་གི་རྗེས་སུ་གོ་ལའི་སྟེང་གི་ཤེས་པ་ཡོད་མེད་ཀྱི་་སྐྱེ་དངོས་སོགས་བྱུང་སྟེ་ད་ལྟ་བར་གནས་པ་རེད། ་ནི་ང་ཚོའི་གནས་ཚང་འདི་རྒས་ཤིང་འཁོག་ནས་ཞིག་ལ་ཉེ་ཞིང་། ང་ཚོའི་འཇིག་རྟེན་འདི་མིང་དོན་མཚུངས་པའི་འདུས་བྱས་ཡིན་པའི་རང་མཚང་སྟོན་ལ་ཉེ་བར་མ་ཟད། སྲིད་པ་འདིའི་རྟེན་གཞིའི་རྫོགས་ལ་ཉེ་བ་ཤེས་གསལ་རེད། དེ་ཕྱིར་ཉམས་ལེན་གྱི་ནུས་པ་ཡོད་ན་ཞིང་ཁམས་གཞན་དུ་འཕོ་རན་པ་རེད་ལ། སྟོབས་དང་རྫུ་འཕྲུལ་ཡོད་ན་གནས་ཁང་བརྗེ་རན་ཚོད་རེད། འཕྲུལ་བཟོའི་ལག་རྩལ་ཡོད་ན་མཁའ་འགྲུལ་གྱི་གོ་ལ་གསར་པ་ཞིག་ཏུ་སྤོ་རན་པ་རེད།

དེ་ལྟར་མ་བྱུང་ན་གནམ་ས་སྟེང་འོག་བརྗེ་བའི་མེ་རི་དང་དྲག་ཆར་གྱི་བརླབས་ཕྲེང་འདི་ནས་ང་ཚོ་དུས་ནམ་ཡང་ཐར་མི་སྲིད་ལ། རླུང་གསེབ་ཀྱི་མར་མེ་ལྟ་བུའི་ང་ཚོའི་ཚེ་སྲོག་འདི་བདག་པོ་བྱེད་མི་ནུས་པའི་གཉན་འཕྲང་ཞིག་གི་སོ་ཁ་ན། ལས་དང་ལན་ཆགས་ཀྱིས་ཁུར་གྱིས་ནོན་པའི་བསོད་ཟད་ང་ཚོ་ལྟ་བུའི་འཁོས་ཆུང་དག སང་ཉིན་འཇིགས་པ་གང་ཞིག་གི་གཞན་དབང་དུ་འགྱུར་རན་ཡོད་པ་སུས་བཤད་ནུས། ཡིན་ན་ཡང་ཉིན་གྱི་ལྟས་དང་མཚན་མོའི་ཆོ་འཕྲུལ་གྱི་མཚན་མ་བརྟགས་ཏེ་རྨོངས་ཚོད་ཙམ་བྱས་ན།

ང་ཚོར་མི་དབང་བའི་འདོད་རྔམ་དང་ང་ཚོས་སྤྱོད་ཡུལ་དུ་འགྱུར་མི་རུང་བའི་དམིགས་ཡུལ་འདི་ཡིས་དང་གཙང་གི་ཆུ་བོ་འབག་བཙོག་གིས་བསྒོས་པ་དང་། སྲ་བརྟན་གྱི་ས་གཞི་ལ་གས་ཆག་བཏང་ཟིན་པ་དང་། གཏོང་བཞིན་པ་རེད་ལ། མ་འོངས་པར་གཏོང་ངེས་རེད། རྒྱུ་མཚན་དེ་ཡིས་ང་ཚོའི་རྟེན་གཞིར་འདེགས་ནུས་བྲལ་བའི་ལྕིད་ཀྱིས་མནན་པ་དང་། བཟོད་ཐབས་བྲལ་བའི་འགས་གཏོར་གྱིས་ཚོད་ལྟ་བྱས་དྲག་པའི་སྦྱོར་བ་འདིས་གོ་ལ་འདི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཕ་ལམ་ལས་གྲུབ་པ་ཞིག་ཡིན་རུང་ཞིག་རལ་དུ་གྱུར་བའི་དུས་ལ་བབ་པ་རེད་ལ། འབྱུང་བཞི་ཆ་མཉམ་པའི་གོང་བུ་དེ་ལ་མི་རུང་བའི་ནད་སྣ་ཚོགས་ཀྱིས་དཀྲུགས་དྲག་པས་འཐོར་དུ་འགྲོ་ལ་ཉེ་བ་རེད།

དེ་དག་ནི་ང་ཚོས་རྒྱུན་དུ་ཡིད་སྨོན་འཆོར་སའི་ཚན་རིག་པ་དག་གིས་བྱས་པ་རེད་ལ། མིང་དང་སྙན་གྲགས་ཁོ་ན་ལས་སྐྱེ་འགྲོའི་བདེ་སྐྱིད་དང་ཁོར་ཡུག་ལ་སེམས་པ་ཙམ་འཁོར་མ་མྱོང་བའི་སྨྱོན་པ་ང་ཚོའི་ཚེ་སྲོག་གི་དགྲ་བོ་དེ་ཚོས་བྱས་པ་རེད། དེ་དག་ནི་འཛམ་གླིང་འདིའི་སྤྱི་དགྲ་རེད་ལ། དགོས་སྲོལ་རྒྱུན་གྱི་ཆོས་ལུགས་པ་དེ་ཚོའི་དགོས་དགྲ་རེད། ཁོ་ཚོས་ཅ་ལག་དང་ཉེར་སྤྱོད་གསར་པ་བཏོན་དུས་ང་ཚོའི་གནས་ཚང་ལ་ཉེས་སྐྱོན་རེ་ཐེབས་ངེས་རེད་ལ། མིའི་ཤེས་རྒྱུད་ལ་སྔར་མེད་པའི་འདོད་རྔམ་གསར་བ་དང་སྡུག་བསྔལ་སྣོན་མ་རེད་ཡོང་ངེས་རེད། གང་ཡིན་ཞེ་ན་ཁོ་ཚོས་བཟོས་པའི་ཉེར་སྤྱོད་རེ་རེ་ལ་ཚོད་ལྟའི་བྱ་བ་དེ་དག་བཟོ་གྲའི་ནས་བྱས་དགོས་ཤིང་། བཟོ་གྲའི་སྒུལ་ཤུགས་དང་སྲེག་སྦྱོར་གྱི་དུད་པ་དེ་དག་གིས་གོ་ལའི་ཚ་ཤུགས་ཆེ་རུ་གཏོང་བ་དང་། དེ་དག་གི་རྒྱུ་འཅའ་གོ་ལིའི་རི་ངོགས་ནས་གཅད་པའམ། ས་འོག་ནས་བརྔོག་དགོས་པ་ལས་གནམ་ནས་འབབ་མི་སྲིད་ལ། ཚན་རིག་པས་སྤྲུལ་མི་ནུས། ཉེར་སྤྱོད་དེ་དག་ལེགས་གྲུབ་བྱུང་རྗེས་བརྙན་འཕྲུལ་དང་ཚགས་པར་ཁག་ནས་སྐྱེ་འགྲོའི་མིག་ལམ་ཏུ་བལྟར། དེ་དག་མཐོང་ཚོད་ལ་བལྟ་ན་སྡུག་ཅིང་ཡོད་དབང་འཕྲོག་ནུས་པ་རྐྱང་རྐྱང་རེད་དེ། དེའི་སྔ་མིའི་འབྱུང་ཁུངས་དང་ཕྱི་མིའི་འབྲས་བུ་དག་ལ་བསམ་གཞིག་ཡང་དག་པ་ཞིག་བྱས་ཐུབ་ན་གཟོད་ངོ་མ་འཆི་བདག་གསོན་པོ་ལས་གནོད་སྐྱོན་ཆེ་ཞིང་དགྲ་མི་ཤ་བོ་ལས་སྙིང་ན་ངེས་ཡིན།

123.192.184.22012:53, 16 March 2011

I don't think we have anyone who reads Tibetan (that's what this is right?), so if you could respond in another language -- preferably English, but also maybe Chinese or Hindi -- then we can help you.

Steven Walling at work18:12, 16 March 2011

Cross-posting this to the tibetan village pump, or pinging an active editor there and asking for help (or looking for the right babel boxes!) may work.

SJ+22:34, 8 April 2011

Requested help on bowiki. (In English)

Courcelles03:20, 24 April 2011
 
 
 

Old Editors, New Accounts

One thing I did not see reference to is a topic that is mentioned extensively in one of my other discussions. I have been told by those with more experience that many people forget their log-in information and create new accounts. Discussion on this problem can be found here. I postulate to the community that one of the reasons users seem to be disappearing is that forgotten accounts go unused. If one person makes three new accounts in a year, the data here is completely skewed as to the actual number of people, not just usernames, that are part of the Wikimedia community. I am eager to hear the community's response to my hypothesis, and how it might affect our understanding of this data.

Bronsonboy00:49, 19 March 2011

I believe this happens but I do not think that this happens on such a large scale that it would skew the results of our study. best, Diederik

Drdee03:13, 19 March 2011

I think that it might. You see, it explains why certain editors might be going inactive, while at the same time new users are joining. I am not saying that this is a huge impact, but I am saying that we do need to look into it.

In any case, did you read my other thread? It is a good discussion, and I would love to see more people's input.

Bronsonboy01:38, 20 March 2011

The methodological problem is that it's extremely hard (I would say impossible) to determine whether two or more user accounts belong to the same person. So even if this is an issue then I think it's something that we cannot determine how significant it is.

Drdee14:22, 22 March 2011

Au contraire, mon ami. It's called an IP address, and I know for a fact that Wikipedia can track them, as it is the means by which guest users are identified. Did you read that thread? The last post of the linked-to segment is where I wrote my ideas. Please take the time to read them before responding again, Drdee.

Bronsonboy01:35, 24 March 2011

There is no reason to be snarky. Wikipedia only tracks IP addresses of unregistered editors not for registered editors and it is well known that an IP address does not uniquely identify a person.

Drdee22:13, 25 March 2011
 
 
 
 
 

Wikimedia in CRISIS

Edited by author.
Last edit: 12:25, 2 November 2010
look at page 10
This research is going to be replaced
you may want to turn-off Greasemonkey Reflect before reading this

Summary: As proposed using corporate life-cycle theory here, Wikimedia is entering a Participation Crisis. Number of active users will soon start to fall, as occured in mature wikis. This will almost immediately and directly damage Wikipedia-movement, starting with the fall of small wikis.

StrategyWiki has started and finished planning JUST IN TIME to both detect and solve the Issue. While the issue can only[1] be cured with a change in movement's MAIN TREND; there are still obstacles that will avoid the change to start.

Detail: You can read this table from top to bottom just like an article.

1
WikimediaStrategy1.jpg
In slide 10 of this presentation Mr. Jimmy Wales says: "Number of active contributors appear to plateau as Wikipedias mature. is this a threat to future health and growth?"
  1. Threat? yes. I have evidence
  2. Plateau? No. plateau means flattening. but the number is falling (look at page 10)
2
WikimediaStrategy2.jpg
organization maturity life-cycle or corporate life-cycle theory:

Every organization's growth from infancy to mature level is having the same challenge; the profit first slowly then rapidly grows and then slows down until it falls. this is shown in the picture.

Source:

  • 1 and 2
  • There are many books written about it.
  • please add the wikipedia article link here
3
WikimediaStrategy4.jpg
This is a practical sociology theory on which organizations world-wide, base their growth.

Examples are:

  • 1, 2 and 3 can give you a better understanding.
  • It is even true about the economy of a country; it has been used in one of the best Revolution theories before 1970. the Soviet union's economy after World War started to fall causing a revolution that has been explained using these two theories. [2]
4
WikimediaStrategy5.jpg
the corporate life-cycle theory suggests that the MAIN TREND of the corporation, if healthy, can guarantee profit for a while. but the company must start growing a new trend before the profit peak to replace the previous trend afterwards. that is in the red point; when the profit gained from the new trend is higher.
5
WikimediaStrategy6.jpg
the solution for Wikimedia is to slowly and steadily replace the current trend with a new trend that increases the number of users again and in the red point as shown in figure 5 here.

StrategyWiki has detected the maturity peak just in time. but some obstacles don't let us start solving it:

6 current priorities; with a temporary key change.

Emblem-star.svg infrastructure.

Emblem-star.svg readership.

Emblem-star.svg innovation.

Emblem-star.svg quality

Target Logo.svg participation.

1st: movement priorities aim "to Improve" the movement. not to "rescue" it.

2nd: while zero increase in readership, quality and innovation is not likely to harm Wikipedia in this 3 years, we have two threats:

  1. the upcoming definite fall in participation will immediately and directly injure Wikipedia-movement
  2. Infrastructure (money, hardware, ...) seems to be our next main challenge.[3]

Thus participation must become the main goal for 2 years. other priorities must be a tool for achieving it. this will be temporary of course. until the challenge is over.

7
WikimediaStrategy3.jpg
3rd: neither the community, nor the StrategyWiki has predicted the fall in the participation.
  • Look at the picture. the only predictions are no growth and linear growth
  • Look at this survey. It's also good to see the published reslts.
  • Look at this. it says: "the Wikimedia movement has already achieved great things. We think greater things are possible if we can"
  • Dig the site. find something about any threat. everyone is aware of the lacks. but no one has felt a threat
Wikimedia Participation Goal.png
8
ActiveWikipedians.PNG
4th: the community is not well aware of it's possible outcomes:
  • Wikimedia is not automated for many simple tasks.
  • It relies on it's users more than it's infrastructure
  • while the users don't rely on quality, innovation, and even infrastructure to continue editing. they only need ...

5th: thus the community is not even going to partially achieve it by chance. thus:

  • proposals are great, but Idealistic and focused on unimportant aspects.
  • The community is optimistic about the future.

notes

  1. As proposed by the organization life-cycle theory.
  2. I saw it on Wikipedia once; but after 90 minutes search I couldn't find it. I think it has been removed because it compares US and Russia to US's favor which is not neutral
  3. http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Call_for_action
Saeed.Veradi21:53, 10 October 2010

I think the crisis comes not because the "current trend" is exhausted, but because it was usurped by one which is damaging. Specifically, I refer to "deletionism".

Obviously the growth of Wikipedia requires that articles be created and expanded about ever more detailed information. This means creating articles about more and more obscure things. The general notability guideline should mostly allow this - the creation of articles about anything for which good sources can be found. But in practice we see articles routinely deleted despite a great number of sources, not uncommonly out of personal bias. Information is disparaged because it is "too detailed" or "too technical". Knowledge needed to actually run a commercial operation, rather than merely act as a passive consumer, is deemed unworthy if not dangerous and faces an uphill battle.

These things create the impression that the resources for continued growth - active projects where people can make a difference - have become scarce. But the scarcity is artificial. End the deletionism, and growth phase will return.

Wnt01:22, 12 October 2010

It's more complicated than blaming one small group of Wikipedians for everything. The reality is that Wikipedia has processes for organization and decision-making that work well when you have a few users, a few articles, and very little scrutiny. Once you have thousands of users, thousands of articles, and all kinds of media attention, things become more complicated. It's easy for a few editors with similar values to figure something out. It's harder for hundreds of editors to actually agree on something, let alone when you have pressure of avoiding lawsuits and embarrassing errors in the background.

It's time for Wikipedia to improve how it makes decisions and resolves disputes. It's still a powerful and idealistic model that can be used on smaller articles. But for larger issues that affect a wide range of content and behavior, we need to empower change and progress. Allowing one or two editors to hold everything back prevents the whole system from evolving.

Which goes to Saeed Varadi's point: organizations that don't reinvent themselves every few years die out. Can Wikipedia really survive if the technology is basically the same as 2001, and the policies are basically the same as 2007?

Randomran01:08, 16 October 2010

The same stuff yet again :(

Blaming one group for everything that goes bad is always the easiest solution to not assume its own part of responsibility in the situation. Do people need so much bads guys so they can identify themselves as the good guys? Joke aside, there are plenty stuffs to be written about which would also pass inclusion guidelines but no one write about them. The reason is simple as What potentially can be written about != What i want to write about. This reflects what capabilities & subjects of interest our current contributors demography can offer.


My summary of how it is de-facto:

  • Wiki initiative capability: Limited
  • Wiki reaction capability: High

Bottom line on Wiki big changes happen near-exclusively through crisis.

KrebMarkt06:51, 23 October 2010
 

Deletionists are not truly "a group of editors", but rather, the current users of bad policies and precedents. An editor is not born deletionist, and railing against them is not the same kind of thing as blaming everything on the Jews. Once policies are established which hinder deletionism, there will be fewer people trying to push things that way, and hence, fewer deletionists.

Wnt23:01, 12 March 2011

Which policies do you think are "bad"? Policies by definition represent consensus areas. I see much more damage coming from editors who try to do whatever they want, consensus be damned.

Randomran22:49, 14 March 2011
 
 
 
ActiveWikipedians.PNG

I created a graph comparing actual Active Wikipedians versus the Strategy goal. I intend to update this on a regular basis (once every three months). By the way: The number of Total active Wikipedians is rather constant since 2008, the active English Wikipedians is falling slowly.

Update 19 oct: I added lines for top 2-10 and other wikipedias, (loose interpretation of mature and emerging projects)

HenkvD14:35, 17 October 2010

Thanks. if you just remove the picture's border it will appear better in the main article. thismight help you.

Saeed.Veradi07:24, 24 October 2010
 

People who are interested in this topic can join the discussion at Editor Trends Study.

Drdee03:28, 28 October 2010

I moved it here from the Village pump. I'll delete the subpage and change the links to here. then start merging the "useful" parts in the page itself. Is it good?

Saeed.Veradi05:09, 30 October 2010
 

If there is something like a "maturity life-cycle" we should compare a large Wikipedia with a midsize and small Wikipedia. Maybe we should define "large" not in size of number of articles, but in percentage of editors to the population.

Goldzahn10:19, 23 March 2011
 

Revolutionary vs. Evolutionary Approaches to Attracting More and Better Content

The Strategic Plan/2010-2015 WMF Business Plan Draft has plenty of excellent initiatives that would address the content editor problem. Implementation planning seems now to be the goal.

Partnering with the right organizations with strengths in specialized social media (i.e., not Facebook) would improve visibility of the content provider role. Note Boomers are heading into their early retirement cycle, freeing enormous intellectual capital with tremendous professional expertise to be targeted by WMF. Creating a tiered structure with some for-profit activities that accelerate the WikiMedia mission and vision, perhaps through spin-offs, is also worthy of discussion. These discussions, in the planning and investigation phases, need to be discreet, not communal.

Tool development is also critical. Historically, free, volunteer operations have been overtaken by commercial ones eventually because the commercial ones have the resources to greatly simplify the effort required to gain the desired result. If WMF cannot create such tools, they will be overtaken by something that does.

(Btw, I would guess that this is the primary reason that more women don't contribute. Figuring out how to create content is incredibly complex for anyone who is not a programmer, and most programmers are male.)

Finally, the new tools need to facilitate Meta data; we'll never achieve our vision if we can't turn information into knowledge.

Jdietsch16:11, 13 February 2011

Yes, there are plenty of ideas. The trick is to figure out which of these ideas help us achieve our strategic goals. A lot of the focus in the coming year should be on experimentation -- trying ideas out, measuring whether they have an impact on, say participation and diversity, and then rolling promising features out on a larger scale.

I'm also interested in how larger population trends (such as the one you noted about boomers) could impact our contributor base. One thing we know is that free time (or the desire to make free time) is a pre-requisite for being a heavy contributor. These boomers could be a huge source of knowledge with the time to contribute that knowledge, though the current editing interface will no doubt be a large barrier for this group to overcome (as it is for many folks, not just boomers).

Are you part of the the Wikimedia Gender Gap mailing list?

Howief02:00, 19 February 2011
 
"Figuring out how to create content is incredibly complex for anyone who is not a programmer, and most programmers are male."

Programmers are not superhuman, and are not appreciably smarter on average than people in many other professions. The main difference is that the programming profession rapidly weeds out people who either will not or cannot read instructions and follow them. When someone with previous programming experience comes to Wikipedia, he (or less commonly, she) expects to learn the complex unfamiliar system by reading manuals.

When I came to Wikipedia I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Wikipedia has by far the best internal documentation of any system of any kind that I have ever seen. Even though reading manuals is a bit of a chore, on Wikipedia it's as good as it gets.

There is also the fact that Wikipedia is at root a software development project, and the system is inherently more open to someone who has a programming background. I can't think of a way to make this "problem" go away. Given the relentless encroachment of computers into seemingly every aspect of life, having an understanding of some basic computer science concepts gives a person an advantage in our brave new world. Knowing something about computers is a basic life skill now. It would make more sense to teach people about computers (perhaps with actual classroom training at user groups, university extension classes, etc.). Even if we could radically redesign Wikipedia to level the playing field, all the people we shield from the harsh reality of computers would still have the same handicaps with computers in every other area of their lives.

Reading manuals on Wikipedia is not much harder than reading recipes in a cookbook. Instead of thinking of manuals as this horrific obstacle, we should encourage people to think of the manuals as they think of any critical resource such as water, air, shelter, and food. Few people spend much time complaining about the expense of keeping a roof over their heads, and even those who do complain about the cost are unlikely to imagine they would be better off without the roof.

Teratornis21:06, 12 March 2011

The reality is that reading a manual takes time and energy. It's a volunteer project. If it doesn't make intuitive sense from the get go, I think we can expect them to volunteer their time elsewhere. The main people who will have enough motivation to transcend the barriers and read the manuals is someone who is highly committed to pushing a POV, or who is extremely technical (or both).

I don't think it's any surprise that Wikipedia's decline started roughly around the same time as the increasing prevalence of social networking. Social networking is fun and easy. Wikipedia has since become neither.

Randomran22:53, 14 March 2011

Wikipedia is still increasing in size and quality. That is, the deletionists have still not managed to outpace the contributors. In what sense is Wikipedia in decline? The rate of Wikipedia's growth has declined but that is not the same. The rate of growth of the US economy has also declined from the boom years of the 1950s but real wealth is higher in the US today, and there are still plenty of opportunities to innovate and get rich.

I agree that social networking is sucking up a lot of oxygen. How much of that comes at Wikipedia's expense, I cannot guess. Over on Facebook there are community pages which look like an attempt to piggyback off of Wikipedia's content. In principle this could give untold numbers of Facebook users an incentive to write articles on Wikipedia - if only we would relax our silly notability restrictions to allow more local and specialized content. Facebook is fun in part because it doesn't delete anything, it ignores copyright restrictions, and it celebrates the long tail. On Facebook, people can gather around any topic of common interest, without fear that anyone who isn't interested in that topic can deem it unworthy and delete it. On Facebook you can share any information you like without regard to copyright or licensing or any of that rigmarole. Although how long the lawyers will let that continue I don't know.

Teratornis05:36, 23 March 2011
 
 
 
 

Isn't the problem half about recruitment?

I'm taking a look at the numbers. Retention is down. But it also looks like new editors are declining too. We spend a lot of time talking about retaining editors, but we don't spend much time talking about how to get new editors to at least try Wikipedia once -- whether by converting people while they're reading, or recruiting them while they're doing some other activity. I happen to think that Wikipedia needs to see itself in competition with other websites that demand people's time, including Facebook or Twitter. The experience doesn't have to be the same, but it should be equally inviting in terms of UI / graphics / layout.

Randomran23:07, 14 March 2011

Yes, the numbers do suggest that recruitment is a problem. The number of New Wikipedians joining per month has been falling, which suggests that either fewer people are trying to make their first edit, fewer people are making it to the 10th edit, or both. Fixing the recruitment problem without fixing the retention problem is likely going to result in a lot of wasted effort. We could drive twice as many people into the editing experience, but if they all have the same difficulties (e.g., problems with wikitext, issues with reversions, etc.), then we may just burn through a lot of people who might have become valued editors under different circumstances. I personally agree with the notion that Wikipedia is in competition with other websites for people's time. At a minimum, these companies set user expectations for how a contribution-based website should behave (e.g., rich text editing, user pages, emails when relevant things happen, etc.).

I also just posted the data behind the graphs in case you're interested.

Howief01:06, 18 March 2011

I have to agree with you. Solving the retention problem without improving the new user experience is likely to lead to many more frustrated people, even if it boosts our numbers just by putting more people through the "hazing process". But I don't think this is an either-or. There are probably a few very simple things we can do to boost recruitment, which would multiply the benefits of a better new user experience.

Thanks for posting the data! Hope things are going well.

Randomran02:32, 18 March 2011
 
 

རྒས་ཤིང་འཁོག་པའི་ང་ཚོའི་གནས་ཁང་སའི་གོ་ལ།

སྙིང་ཉེ་བའི་གོ་ལའི་སྐྱེ་འགྲོ་རྣམ་པ་ལགས། ང་ཚོའི་གོ་ལ་འདི་ཉིད་ལོ་ངོ་ཐེར་འབུམ་༤་དུང་ཕྱུར་༥དང་བྱེ་བ་༤ལྷག་གི་སྔོན་ནས་གྲུབ་སྟེ་ཕལ་ཆེར་ལོ་ངོ་ཐེར་འབུམ་གཅིག་གི་རྗེས་སུ་གོ་ལའི་སྟེང་གི་ཤེས་པ་ཡོད་མེད་ཀྱི་་སྐྱེ་དངོས་སོགས་བྱུང་སྟེ་ད་ལྟ་བར་གནས་པ་རེད། ་ནི་ང་ཚོའི་གནས་ཚང་འདི་རྒས་ཤིང་འཁོག་ནས་ཞིག་ལ་ཉེ་ཞིང་། ང་ཚོའི་འཇིག་རྟེན་འདི་མིང་དོན་མཚུངས་པའི་འདུས་བྱས་ཡིན་པའི་རང་མཚང་སྟོན་ལ་ཉེ་བར་མ་ཟད། སྲིད་པ་འདིའི་རྟེན་གཞིའི་རྫོགས་ལ་ཉེ་བ་ཤེས་གསལ་རེད། དེ་ཕྱིར་ཉམས་ལེན་གྱི་ནུས་པ་ཡོད་ན་ཞིང་ཁམས་གཞན་དུ་འཕོ་རན་པ་རེད་ལ། སྟོབས་དང་རྫུ་འཕྲུལ་ཡོད་ན་གནས་ཁང་བརྗེ་རན་ཚོད་རེད། འཕྲུལ་བཟོའི་ལག་རྩལ་ཡོད་ན་མཁའ་འགྲུལ་གྱི་གོ་ལ་གསར་པ་ཞིག་ཏུ་སྤོ་རན་པ་རེད།

དེ་ལྟར་མ་བྱུང་ན་གནམ་ས་སྟེང་འོག་བརྗེ་བའི་མེ་རི་དང་དྲག་ཆར་གྱི་བརླབས་ཕྲེང་འདི་ནས་ང་ཚོ་དུས་ནམ་ཡང་ཐར་མི་སྲིད་ལ། རླུང་གསེབ་ཀྱི་མར་མེ་ལྟ་བུའི་ང་ཚོའི་ཚེ་སྲོག་འདི་བདག་པོ་བྱེད་མི་ནུས་པའི་གཉན་འཕྲང་ཞིག་གི་སོ་ཁ་ན། ལས་དང་ལན་ཆགས་ཀྱིས་ཁུར་གྱིས་ནོན་པའི་བསོད་ཟད་ང་ཚོ་ལྟ་བུའི་འཁོས་ཆུང་དག སང་ཉིན་འཇིགས་པ་གང་ཞིག་གི་གཞན་དབང་དུ་འགྱུར་རན་ཡོད་པ་སུས་བཤད་ནུས། ཡིན་ན་ཡང་ཉིན་གྱི་ལྟས་དང་མཚན་མོའི་ཆོ་འཕྲུལ་གྱི་མཚན་མ་བརྟགས་ཏེ་རྨོངས་ཚོད་ཙམ་བྱས་ན།

ང་ཚོར་མི་དབང་བའི་འདོད་རྔམ་དང་ང་ཚོས་སྤྱོད་ཡུལ་དུ་འགྱུར་མི་རུང་བའི་དམིགས་ཡུལ་འདི་ཡིས་དང་གཙང་གི་ཆུ་བོ་འབག་བཙོག་གིས་བསྒོས་པ་དང་། སྲ་བརྟན་གྱི་ས་གཞི་ལ་གས་ཆག་བཏང་ཟིན་པ་དང་། གཏོང་བཞིན་པ་རེད་ལ། མ་འོངས་པར་གཏོང་ངེས་རེད། རྒྱུ་མཚན་དེ་ཡིས་ང་ཚོའི་རྟེན་གཞིར་འདེགས་ནུས་བྲལ་བའི་ལྕིད་ཀྱིས་མནན་པ་དང་། བཟོད་ཐབས་བྲལ་བའི་འགས་གཏོར་གྱིས་ཚོད་ལྟ་བྱས་དྲག་པའི་སྦྱོར་བ་འདིས་གོ་ལ་འདི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཕ་ལམ་ལས་གྲུབ་པ་ཞིག་ཡིན་རུང་ཞིག་རལ་དུ་གྱུར་བའི་དུས་ལ་བབ་པ་རེད་ལ། འབྱུང་བཞི་ཆ་མཉམ་པའི་གོང་བུ་དེ་ལ་མི་རུང་བའི་ནད་སྣ་ཚོགས་ཀྱིས་དཀྲུགས་དྲག་པས་འཐོར་དུ་འགྲོ་ལ་ཉེ་བ་རེད།

དེ་དག་ནི་ང་ཚོས་རྒྱུན་དུ་ཡིད་སྨོན་འཆོར་སའི་ཚན་རིག་པ་དག་གིས་བྱས་པ་རེད་ལ། མིང་དང་སྙན་གྲགས་ཁོ་ན་ལས་སྐྱེ་འགྲོའི་བདེ་སྐྱིད་དང་ཁོར་ཡུག་ལ་སེམས་པ་ཙམ་འཁོར་མ་མྱོང་བའི་སྨྱོན་པ་ང་ཚོའི་ཚེ་སྲོག་གི་དགྲ་བོ་དེ་ཚོས་བྱས་པ་རེད། དེ་དག་ནི་འཛམ་གླིང་འདིའི་སྤྱི་དགྲ་རེད་ལ། དགོས་སྲོལ་རྒྱུན་གྱི་ཆོས་ལུགས་པ་དེ་ཚོའི་དགོས་དགྲ་རེད། ཁོ་ཚོས་ཅ་ལག་དང་ཉེར་སྤྱོད་གསར་པ་བཏོན་དུས་ང་ཚོའི་གནས་ཚང་ལ་ཉེས་སྐྱོན་རེ་ཐེབས་ངེས་རེད་ལ། མིའི་ཤེས་རྒྱུད་ལ་སྔར་མེད་པའི་འདོད་རྔམ་གསར་བ་དང་སྡུག་བསྔལ་སྣོན་མ་རེད་ཡོང་ངེས་རེད། གང་ཡིན་ཞེ་ན་ཁོ་ཚོས་བཟོས་པའི་ཉེར་སྤྱོད་རེ་རེ་ལ་ཚོད་ལྟའི་བྱ་བ་དེ་དག་བཟོ་གྲའི་ནས་བྱས་དགོས་ཤིང་། བཟོ་གྲའི་སྒུལ་ཤུགས་དང་སྲེག་སྦྱོར་གྱི་དུད་པ་དེ་དག་གིས་གོ་ལའི་ཚ་ཤུགས་ཆེ་རུ་གཏོང་བ་དང་། དེ་དག་གི་རྒྱུ་འཅའ་གོ་ལིའི་རི་ངོགས་ནས་གཅད་པའམ། ས་འོག་ནས་བརྔོག་དགོས་པ་ལས་གནམ་ནས་འབབ་མི་སྲིད་ལ། ཚན་རིག་པས་སྤྲུལ་མི་ནུས། ཉེར་སྤྱོད་དེ་དག་ལེགས་གྲུབ་བྱུང་རྗེས་བརྙན་འཕྲུལ་དང་ཚགས་པར་ཁག་ནས་སྐྱེ་འགྲོའི་མིག་ལམ་ཏུ་བལྟར། དེ་དག་མཐོང་ཚོད་ལ་བལྟ་ན་སྡུག་ཅིང་ཡོད་དབང་འཕྲོག་ནུས་པ་རྐྱང་རྐྱང་རེད་དེ། དེའི་སྔ་མིའི་འབྱུང་ཁུངས་དང་ཕྱི་མིའི་འབྲས་བུ་དག་ལ་བསམ་གཞིག་ཡང་དག་པ་ཞིག་བྱས་ཐུབ་ན་གཟོད་ངོ་མ་འཆི་བདག་གསོན་པོ་ལས་གནོད་སྐྱོན་ཆེ་ཞིང་དགྲ་མི་ཤ་བོ་ལས་སྙིང་ན་ངེས་ཡིན།

123.192.184.22012:53, 16 March 2011

index(1).php error causing editors not to contribute?

. . .

Greetings all,

First of all, I am way impressed by the new, simple toolbar atop this input box. Just as I had dreamed years ago, there is now a simple interface, with an advanced tab. If only all software came like this.

Also, I am aware that the deadline has passed here. But I came here in my search for an easy to find project dealing with Wiki errors, and have yet to find anything. As I am a journalist with online search experience going back to 1996, I am fairly practised at hunting stuff down, but the Wiki errors project eludes me, apart from an apparently nascent effort ... in Polish ... called www.wikierrors.org. I wonder how widespread my own particular experience is? Anyhow, to my error. This page is one of the few that I have been able to access. Mostly, clicking on edit results in a PHP file downloading from the various Wiki to my computer. The file always reads thus:

index(1).php

If I click again I get

index(2).php and so forth.

I have not been able to edit my own profile for years now. Some pages let me in, most don't. My edit history will attest to the former. But probably won't show up the PHP incidents. Suffice to say, the same error occurs across browsers, computers, locations, cafes, universities, etc etc.

I have previously raised this with another editor Grey_Knight but have not been able to move beyond initial discussions:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Avaiki#.22index.php.22 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Grey_Knight#wikipedia_index_php_error

Many other topics to raise, but for now let's keep this a single issue post and see where we go from here.

thanks a plenty,

jason

. . .

Avaiki reporting wiki wide error - barrier to more positive editor trends ?01:25, 14 January 2011

Dear Jason,

I would advice you to ask for some help on either IRC or the different Wikimedia mailinglists.

Best, Diederik

Drdee22:31, 20 January 2011
 

Activity by experienced editors over time

What I am interested I guess is the activity of "inherited wisdom" I guess. The number and activity of editors in a given month with larger numbers of edits under their belts, and how that has spanned over time. I am not sure what counts as "experienced" but I guesss some stats on those with >5k, 10k, and 25k edits might be revealing.

Casliber01:37, 4 November 2010

Hi Casliber,

We can definitely create some charts that focus on the top 1% active editors.

Drdee01:04, 10 November 2010
 

All edits are not equal - so counting them as such can be misleading

A graph from 2007 shows an ever-increasing percentage of edits that are either reverts (reversing, say, vandalism) or the edits that were reverted. The implication is, hopefully, obvious - what we should be interested in, in terms of trends, is constructive edits - that is, edits that improve Wikipedia. If an increasing percentage of edits are vandalism, and/or fixes (reverts) for vandalism, then trend analysis that ignores this (as in, "total edits counts are roughly flat from 2007 to the present") is misleading, because it misstates whether Wikipedia is attracting and keeping editors who improve Wikipedia.

I'm fully aware that some edits are reverted as part of edit wars, or by over-zealous editors who want to protect articles, but I'd guess that this percentage hasn't increased over time. In any case, the matter is empirically testable: take samples of 100 reverted edits from (say) January 2007, January 2008, January 2009, and January 2010, and categorize them as vandalism, constructive, etc. That should only take a couple of hours.

But the larger point remains: reverts and reverted edits aren't simply minor background noise - they are a very significant (and, as of late 2007, increasing) percentage of Wikipedia editing activity, and treating them like other edits is misleading. John Broughton 23:04, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

John Broughton23:04, 2 November 2010

Dear John,

Thank you for your constructive thoughts. I agree with you that not all edits are equal and that ideally we should discard such edits. I have been reading a number of papers [1][2] about how to detect reverts and I will try to add such functionality to the Editor Trends Study/Software.

Drdee15:42, 3 November 2010
 

Exponential growth, followed by a plateaue phase.

Initial exponential growth followed by a plateaue phase starting about three years ago. The figure shows the number of active contributors normalized against the number of active contributors in January 2010 for Wikipedia in the following languages: en,ja,de,es,fr,it,pl,pt,nl,zh,tr,sv,fi,cs,id,he,no,da
Projects in phase of exponential growth. The figure shows the number of active contributors normalized against the number of active contributors in January 2010 for Wikipedia in the following languages: ru,ar,hu,vi,ko,th,ro,uk,fa,hr,bg

I intended to make some analysis of how the amount of active contributors historically had been affected by the introduction of new projects. I therefore used octave and statistics for the first 29 languages on http://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/TablesWikipediansEditsGt5.htm and plotted the amount of active contributors normalized against the amount of current active contributors. I have not been able to see effects of the introduction of new projects on the amount of contributors to Wikipedia, but there was a striking similarity between the growth of the different projects. So I thought I better share it here.

First there was one class of projects (en,ja,de,es,fr,it,pl,pt,nl,zh,tr,sv,fi,cs,id,he,no,da) which all have gone through an exponential growth up until about three years ago, when they all more or less plateaued.

And second there was one class of projects (ru,ar,hu,vi,ko,th,ro,uk,fa,hr,bg) that stills seems to be in the initial exponential growth phase.

I guess this is just the normal growth curve for pretty much any system you study that is given space to grow. But I think this division of projects into two classes might signal that there is two different approaches that needs to be considered. For the projects that has plateaued it is important to consider what can be done to make the plateaue value of active contributors as high as possible. how can the growth space made as large as possible. For the other class of projects it probably is more important to consider how the current growth can be maintained or fueled.

Dafer4518:11, 17 April 2010

Daefer -

I really love this. I want some time to digest it, but thanks for putting it together... I'm going to pass it around here and see what folks think and try to get some feedback on it.

~Philippe (WMF)18:55, 17 April 2010

I did some further analysis from which I would like to group the projects into the following four cathegories.

Have had exponential growth, but plateaued about three years ago: en,ja,de,es,fr,it,pl,pt,nl,zh,tr,sv,fi,cs,id,he,no,da,sk,el

Are in exponential growth phase: ru,ar,vi,ko,ro,uk,fa

Has grown linearly, and is growing linearly: hu,hr,bg,ca

Ambiguous. Most seems to have been at a plateaue since the data I used started being collected: lt,eo,sl,ms,sr,et,simple,eu,bs,ka,gl,hi,mk,cy,te,nn,lv,ml,br,af,la,mr,ta,bn,tl,az,zh_yue,is,sq,be,sh,lb,an,be_x_old

The first two classes seems healthy to me, and shows growth that can be expected. If we want to do better we can however ask what can be done to rise the plateaue level. The third class does also show growth, which is good. But I think a realy healthy growth should show a period of exponential growth, so this class might be a problem class. The bigest problem as i see it is the fourth class that seems to have been stuck at a low level (these projects has a couple of hundred active editors or less), and for many of these projects I think there is opportunity for exponential growth. But what are the problems that has not made them grow?

For the languages I havn't included in this analysis there is a lack of data, but most of them (if not all) is doing worse than those in the fourth class. So these do all belong to the problem class as well.

Dafer4521:29, 17 April 2010
 

Hoi, the new presentations of Erik Zachte show nicely where a language is at. I blogged about this as well.. http://ultimategerardm.blogspot.com/2010/04/anonymous-coversion-rate.html The message is that the conversion from unregistered to registered will not happen for several languages..

It is likely that this has everything to do with the lack of support for the languages involved. Thanks,

   GerardM
GerardM13:32, 26 April 2010

Hi!

I checked the graphs on your blog. But I wonder if the absence of anonymous edits on the Hindi Wikipedia really is strikingly low? Comparing the number of anonymous and registered edits in Janurays, the quotient is 3.64 (61%/19%) and 6.14 (43%/7%) for the Russian and Hindi Wikipedia respectively. That is, they agree within a factor of 2.

It is true however that the ratio was much higher for the Hindi Wikipedia during most of 2009. But according to the graph, the high number of registered edits seems to be the anomaly rather than the low amount of unregistered edits.

To me it seems much like a vissual illusion that the graphs signals low amount of unregistered edits on the Hindi Wikipedia. The high peak in the cumulative curve presses all other curves closer to the bottom, and the high amount of bot edits does the same for the registered and unregistered curves. If bot edits would have been excluded and the normalization would have been done against the cumulative value in January instead of the peak value, then the curves would not seem to be as different.

By the way, is there anyone who knows what happened about three years ago when so many projects seems to have plateaued.

Dafer4519:05, 26 April 2010

Thanks for this analysis! It's mirrored some of the work that PARC and others have done, some of which is on this wiki. Philippe is currently undertaking the Herculean task of merging all this work into one place, and I hope he'll include this as well.

Regarding your question about plateauing project participation: This is the great unanswered question. The best hypothesis I've heard so far: the worldwide economic downturn.

Eekim22:00, 26 April 2010
 

Have a look at the Malayalam Wikipedia, its contributions by anonymous editors is even lower..

GerardM01:16, 29 April 2010
 
 
 

Previous analysis

I did some numerical analysis on the number of active contributors on the largest Wikipedias in April. The most interesting thing I noticed was that there was two groups of Wikipedias. First there was one group that grew exponentially until somewhere around 2007, and then plateaued (some peaked before they plateued, and some may be in decline but its not obvious to tell). Then there was a second group of Wikipedias that still are in an exponential growth phase.

I think it is striking how similar the growth patterns shows to be once they have been normalized against the current number of active contributors.

Back then I posted my results in this thread.

Dafer4521:08, 29 October 2010

Dear Dafer45, Thanks for your link, I have added it to previous research on Editor Trends Study.

Drdee03:10, 30 October 2010
 

I know that your study had already started and that you will not change your study.

Part two of your research will be "New Wikipedians at different points in time and how the age of the cohort affects their likelihood of staying with Wikipedia" That is something that interests Wikipedians, because if we would know who will stay more than a few days at Wikipedia, we could care more about them. I asked myself, if we could do a en:Cluster analysis to distinguish new editors. (By the way, if all editors could be clustered, we might find different groups of editors which need different things (maybe a different mediawiki-skin? (that is the software) Or we should change our help-system?). At the moment we distinguish only active and very active editors. (that is a quantitative analysis. I propose a qualitative analysis) I´m sorry that I couldn´t do that on my own.

Although I did some research on my own. I asked myself if there is a connection between the number of reader of the mainpage and of all pages and the number of new editors. My result was, that the mainpage has no influence on the number of new editors. Another question was how much time is between logging in as new user and the first edit. I looked into one day (24 hours, June 8. 2009, a Monday) and counted the numbers by hand. I found interesting, that a lot of new editors took a lot of time (..., more than 15 minutes, more than one hour, some even more than 24 hours) before they start editing.

As a Wikipedian I don´t see those editors. They do a few edits and never come back, but they are the majority of editors. And those people who logged in, but never did one edit at all are a even larger group. (Maybe that is the reason why the foundation start looking into the logg-in process.

Well, thanks for being a research consultant at the Wikimedia Foundation.

Goldzahn16:56, 26 October 2010

Dear Goldzahn,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I think doing a cluster analysis is indeed a great idea and it could help us in detecting different types of editors as some of the other discussants have observed as well. Do you have a link to your results?

Drdee22:21, 27 October 2010
Edited by author.
Last edit: 04:33, 28 October 2010

Sorry, but they are written in German. Another point is, that you have to be aware that there are a lot of editors that are logged in via en:Wikipedia:Unified login. In my findings from 267 new editors, coming in via Unified login, 255 never ever edited. At "Account Creation Improvement Project" you will find, that in the German WP there are 579 new user accounts average per day. That means, half of them are Unified login editors which are indeed experienced users from another project (not new editors).

Goldzahn23:15, 27 October 2010

That was me who deleted my link of the list on the frontside of this page. Sorry, I forgot to login.

Goldzahn04:14, 28 October 2010

No problem, and I will ask around to see what the implications of Unified Login are (I assume that it means your userid will be identical across Wikipedia's but let me check).

Drdee13:36, 28 October 2010

Maybe bots that are linking articles between different project have an implication on this study. You could detect them via Unified Login, because there you can see which is the home wiki. Or you are able to see if a user has a bot flag, but I don´t know if every bot has a bot flag.

By the way, in your definition of New Wikipedians and Active Editors you don´t say anything about bots and editors with a different home wiki.

Goldzahn14:21, 28 October 2010
 
 
 
 
 

I have some questions about that:

  • What limits quantity of projects most of all?
  • Why all of projects are selected from biggest 10 WPs only?
  • Will research toolkit (software etc.) be available for use by any group who will be interested to run same datamation/numbercrunching process for their 'native' (or beloved :) ) project?
pavlosh00:39, 19 October 2010

The limit on the number of projects is a matter of resources. Right now, we only have one research consultant working on this, so we chose to limit the number of project to something that we thought might be manageable. We chose the larger projects as they are the ones that have a large number of active editors, which should lead to a better statistical result.

Diederik should be publishing the scripts he uses for this project, so people should feel free to use them once their available to conduct analysis on their own projects. If you're interested in doing this analysis for the projects you're involved with, please let us know and we'll make sure to keep you updated.

Howief05:43, 19 October 2010

Statistical presentations at Wikimania suggested that there are different "kinds" of activity on different WP language editions. So it might be interesting to take WP's from a few "types" of editions, rather than just the 10 most active. You're right that the lowest volume WP's by contributions will not be amenable to study in this way; but those are ripe for content analysis and interviews (some of which I think may have already been done)--which might complement this work.

Jodi.a.schneider11:42, 19 October 2010
 

Yes, I'm really interested in doing analyses like that (I'm dreaming about many different things in this wikidemography direction) for ukWP (Ukrainian) which is my native so beloved :) .

So I'd appreciate a lot if you will keep me posted.

pavlosh20:00, 19 October 2010
 

In addition to posting by Jodi.a.schneider above I'd support the idea to explore different 'patterns' in editor trends and I doubt as well that it's wise to hope for some very universal conclusions on the base of 10 largest projects.

pavlosh20:11, 19 October 2010

Yes! I think it's a great idea to look at different WPs with different editor patterns. In fact, that was one of the reasons why we included ruwiki -- they've had a very different growth trajectory than the other large WP projects, so we wanted to compare their editor composition (and how it changes over time) to other wikis such as enwiki that have a very different growth trajectory.

We could very much use the help in analyzing the editor patterns beyond the top 10 wikis. Can we sign the two of you up?  :)

Howief18:28, 20 October 2010

If I'm not mistaken in understanding this expression ("…sign the two of you up") :) I would be glad to become signed up.

pavlosh19:16, 20 October 2010
 

Have you considered including one or two non-Wikipedia Wikimedia projects in the study?

Ningauble15:26, 27 October 2010

Yes, and if time permits, we will certainly do that. If we do not have the time then you will be able to DIY as we will make the software available to all.

Drdee18:59, 27 October 2010
 
 
 
 

Because Smaller wikis have not grown mature. see: Corporate life-cycle theory

Saeed.Veradi22:09, 27 October 2010
 

Deleted Edits?

Are you just analysing undeleted edits or do you also have access to deleted ones?

Among newbies with less than ten edts deleted edits are likely to be article creation, amongst longer term editors it is also likely that deleted edits would also have been tagging articles for deletion as well as creation of articles or editing of new pages created by others.

WereSpielChequers20:02, 20 October 2010

We are using the stub-meta-history.xml files and they contain meta information about all edits, as far as I know, included the reverted edits. Thus we are not biasing the results by excluding people whose edits have been removed (and thereby raising the bar to become a new_wikipedian or active editor).

Drdee00:49, 21 October 2010

Reverted edits are still available to all and I'm sure you would be using them. But deleted edits can normally only be accessed by admins, hence my question as I suspect you won't be including deleted edits and that would give you a completely different picture re the newbie who comes along creates an article or two and leaves after their article is deleted. I don't know what the stub-meta-history.xml files contain, but if they generally available and are a copy of the edits rather than a count of edits by userid then I would be surprised if they contained deleted edits.

WereSpielChequers13:44, 21 October 2010

Thanks for pointing this out to me. Let me ask about this and let's see how to address this.

Drdee13:46, 21 October 2010

Dear WereSpielChequers:

Yes, you are right: the stub-meta-history.xml file does not contain deleted edits and hence deleted articles do not count as edits. In this regard, we try to stay as close to the numbers reported on stats.wikimedia.org to avoid creating confusion. In addition, what I understand is that the deleting of pages is a more recent trend: it rarely happened in the beginning days but has become more profound recently (see also http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Deletionism).

If time permits and data is readily available we might include this to see how it would affect our analyzes. Thank you very much for bringing this to my attention.

Drdee21:29, 22 October 2010

Thanks, I think we will find that there are several ways in which people start editing Wikipedia, and that creating a new article is one route that has becoming increasingly problematic. Another way to identify these editors is from messages on their user talk page, as usually they will get a templated message when their article is tagged for deletion. The messages vary somewhat, in my view the ones for vandalism, attack pages and spam are usually accurate and I'm not greatly concerned if those editors leave. But many of the others are "good faith" potential contributors even if their first edits weren't necessarily ideal.

WereSpielChequers16:14, 27 October 2010
 
 
 
 
 
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