Talk:Strengthen the community/en

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Analysis and survey

Analysis and survey show some serious flaws here, but they also miss some very obvious socio-cultural factors.

  1. Within the western, high-educated welfare projects, some minority groups are sorely missed, and I must name the islamitic groups in particular. If we can't integrate them, we're gonna lose very valuable sources of information - and they are going to look for themselves.
  2. Severe culture clashes should be noted outside the western world, most notably Chinese and Indian. Actually, they can't simply be directed from San Francisco. The Wikipedia formula should be flexible enough to leave those regions alone and let them go their own way. The Arabic world will, probably, also go its own way at some point.
  3. In five year's time, we might see some very different movements going, while each of them is still seeking for human knowledge - as much as humans could want to bring up - but it's not going to be one boiling pot any more.
  4. In that case, Wikipedia's best part might be to act as a conference chairman. We might be concentrating on ways to put things together, translate proposals, organize world conferences and facilitate other knowledge centres around the world.
  5. That may seem disappointing, but would actually be a great way to forward our cause. - Art Unbound 23:18, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Apart from China we have at present no major encyclopaedia competitors that I'm aware of, we might find our growth in other areas constrained by lack of Internet access, but I'm not convinced there is any substantial population where so few care about knowledge that we can't adapt our model for them. I believe we will hit the buffers of practicality on many small languages that there simply won't be enough literate Internet users in that language to successfully build an encyclopaedia, but I'm not sure that we will find out where those buffers are until we hit them. I agree that we have some groups who we are going to have more difficulty recruiting as editors than others. In particular busy people, people who live in areas with poor internet access and people who have cultural prejudice against a project that started in the US but is an international project. We have nationalists setting up rival projects like Conservapedia in the US, and I suspect that will happen elsewhere as well. But though that will tend to syphon off some rightwing editors I'm not convinced that an encyclopaedia that rejects the idea of NPOV and set out to ignore modern science on topics as fundamental as Evolution and global warming can ever wind up other than a parody of an encyclopaedia, and the risks for such POV encyclopaedias is that they could drift further and further from reality as the only people who edit them are the true believers and those sockpuppets who compete to outflank them on the right for the lulz of it. WereSpielChequers 15:58, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Comscore 000s

The graphs appear to be out by three orders of magnitude, as the Comscore stats for EN wiki unique visitors were in 000s, and I'm assuming the rest are in line with that (Us being in the top ten for Internet sites would certainly imply the higher figure as well). I've fixed the figures in text. I also suspect it would be more useful to have unique editors per month rather than, or as well as > 5 edits a month, and we need to check that bots are screened out of the editor figures as I suspect at the moment our top editors by this analysis may well all have bot in their names. Ideally it would be nice to subdivide our editing into good and bad, which might be possible if we had flagged revisions German style. However Flagged revs exacerbates one of the other problems with edits as a metric, many actions on the pedia don't count as editing. For example blocking, deleting, protecting, marking as patrolled and soon flagging are all actions on the pedia that don't necessarily count as edits. Equally edits themselves range from a few seconds work to many hours (and that's forgetting semi and fully automated stuff). WereSpielChequers 23:09, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for this catch. We've updated the chart and all its references throughout--numbers are correct, and we're using editors making 5+ edits in a given month. Unfortunately, it might take some work to screen out bots, and this graph, I think, makes the point it needs to: that editors are a very small proportion of visitors. --JohnF 23:19, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick fix. Filtering out bots has its complications - you are interested in whether an edit was made by a bot, but the botflagging process is interested in whether a bot account is currently flagged as such (deactivated bots tend to get deflagged). On EN we have en:Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by number of edits/Unflagged bots as part of the process to refresh en:Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by number of edits, but it is only really interested in bots that would otherwise be amongst our 4,000 editors with the highest editcount, so unflagged bots with fewer than 8,800 edits are unlikely to be on that list. Also there have been editors who have run bots from their main accounts, though for admin actions this is no longer acceptable and in the last few months I believe all admin bots have been separated out. WereSpielChequers 00:28, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Interesting. Have you seen any estimates of the number of editors (non-bots) making 5+ edits in a month? --JohnF 02:19, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
There are some interesting figures at [1] In particular they show how many editors do 1-4 edits per month - some of this will be vandalism but it gives an idea of the vast numbers of editors who are dabbling a toe in the waters. Also worth looking at [2] WereSpielChequers 22:34, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

A step-by-step approach

What I wrote in the topic above was about tackling this problem in one big grasp. Maybe that's not the only way to do it. What I've been doing for the past two months is a one-to-one approach towards anyone I've been able to contact. This "humble" approach might do as well in the situation we're in: Wikipedia can't boast a hype scenario anymore. It now needs a consolidiation-and-low-growth scenario.

This for two reasons: growth can only be found in more specialist regions; maintenance needs more users who are willing to dedicate themselves to maintenance.

At the same time, Wikipedia is growing outside its own realm. For instance, Dutch nl:Tropenmuseum, one of the largest collections of material about colonial history, now finds Wikipedia a perfect medium to spread knowledge about colonial history and culture. At the very point that the Wikipedia movement is dwindling, they find us to be a perfect medium to spread knowledge. Well, we are. But it can be equally difficult to find specialist volunteers on the subject (and think of other subjects too).

At this point we need to be a little humble, and a little proud as well. We have brought together a Babel Tower of human knowledge - something to be proud of - but at the same time we can't guarantee a further building of knowledge just like that. We need every single person who has knowledge about anything, to help us.

Strengthening the community, as this topic is about, will therefore need the best of several ways. We need to set out inspiring paths to make new users contribute good content; we need to transform readers to users by making them feel confortable to contribute; we need the "outer world" to convince them that their knowledge is as useful to the encyclopedia as anything there already is; we need an one-to-one approach to make them stay. - Art Unbound 23:39, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Two separate topics?

I would tend to think that this proposal is actually addressing two separate topics. The matter of admins is one of them, and admins indeed are (or should be) part of the community, and enjoy the support of the community. The matter of getting more people to contribute is a different issue, and has nothing to do with community. It is quite possible for somebody to add valuable content without feeling part of a community, or interacting with that community. Actually, in my experience "community" and "valuable content" quite often tend to be opposing forces. Communities run a risk to be proccupied by social aspects, fighting off outsiders, drawing up their own rules so as to emphasize the uniqueness of the community, making exceptions on general rules for the benefit of the community, etc.

In dealing with the issue of how to get more people to contribute, it is not helpful to think in terms of community, except to get the community to stop fighting the addition of content. A strategy to encourage more and better content requires a different approach. - Brya 07:36, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Survey of formerly active administrators?

Has anyone surveyed the formerly active enwiki administrators to find out why they are leaving? 71.198.176.22 00:56, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Glad you decided not to leave after all. I'll respond at Thread:Talk:Strategic Plan/Movement Priorities/How is administrator attrition being addressed?/reply (14) for the response. --Eekim 16:37, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Great! Please see also http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Task_force/Community_Health/Former_administrators_survey 71.198.176.22 22:32, 21 May 2010 (UTC)