Barriers to Quality at Wikipedia (and potentially other Wiki projects)

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I'm actually really sympathetic to your vision. But as someone who has tried to fix policy and fix the culture, I think you have to recognize just how hostile that Wikipedia has been towards authority, and it's a more than a significant minority. There are already numerous people who feel that we shouldn't have administrators, let alone arbcom... or at least that we shouldn't entrust them with very much power. Arbcom is absolutely terrified of tackling any content or policy issue, aside from enforcing the behavioral norms that already exist. And they're elected by the Wikipedians! Can you imagine their reaction if a few random Wikipedians on an unelected task force got to change the rules to whatever they thought would work? There's no way that the trustees would back it. For better or for worse, it's a non-starter. (And I honestly believe it's for the worse.)

So knowing that the trustees are not going to make Wikipedia a markedly more authoritarian place... what can we get the trustees to do? Maybe empower some administrators? Create some processes that will let the community settle issues more effectively, so that true believers will have a harder time obstructing the process? Change the organizational structure a little?

We have to take a surgical approach. Can we achieve a big impact with something small and strategic?

Randomran02:51, 7 December 2009

Once again, Randomran says what I mean better than I do. :-)

~Philippe (WMF)02:59, 7 December 2009