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Comments about my theories about why readers are discouraged from editing
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For me, some of those hit the mark, and some of them don't. The ugliness of Wikipedia, for example, doesn't deter me to contributing. (Actually, I find it utilitarian, not ugly at all.) These are what I consider my top barriers to entry:
- Formatting is hard to understand and poorly explained, particularly for references.
- Getting Started materials are overwhelming and unhelpful. Wikipedia needs a quick-start guide that leaves out comprehensive in favor of comprehensible.
- I don't feel that I am sufficiently expert to contribute to Wikipedia in most areas; in the areas I am an expert in, I feel I am too biased to be allowed to contribute.
- Wikipedia etiquette is scary and obscure; there are a lot of policies and procedures, and knowing which ones to follow for any given question is difficult. This makes the risk very high of doing something wrong when you first start out, and discourages from bother.
- And an extra bonus: Why I made my first (and only) substantive contribution to Wikipedia: The page of a very notable ARG developer had been deleted for non-notability. And then he died of leukemia. I put together a new page for him as a part of various memorial activities on behalf of his family and the community, to correct an injustice before the right moment passed and we all forgot about the whole thing.
Hope this helps. And excuse my bad formatting, if bad formatting there is. Andrhia 12:37, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Sorcycat: If you are going to add social interactions to wikipedia, you might suggest a reputation system like stackoverflow.com has for editing entries.
AliceBentley: I was an interested editor when Wikipedia first started up, but after the third or fourth time my extensively researched pages were dumped for some fanboy's screed I just stopped trying.
Dd-b: A few things I've been severely annoyed by over the years:
- I've felt that the people with advanced editing privs are crazily rule-bound; this is very frustrating, in a zero-tolerance sort of way. They happily embrace absurd outcomes. I think that the attempt to get things on a more rules-based basis (which is understandable and possibly even necessary) has, however, resulted in a process that rewards and promotes the rules-lawyers. And you KNOW how much real players hate rules lawyers.
- Fast deletion of new articles. There is NOTHING that discourages new contributors more than having their new article marked for deletion before they're even finished with it.
- Arguments about notability. While articles should have actual content, the question of what is sufficiently notable to deserve an article is stupid. This is not a paper encyclopedia, there is essentially no cost to having an article that's not terribly important around. In fact, it SAVES resources -- right now lots of admins are spending time trying to find things to delete, instead of doing something to actually improve articles.
- Lack of email notification. I don't go to places to poll for messages.
- However, I actively disagree that Wikipedia is ugly. I find the clean and rather elegant design quite attractive. I also have had no real trouble integrating images (much of what I've done is adding photos to articles).
- Admins throwing their weight around who obviously do not have a good knowledge of the subject area.
Ah, venting! Dd-b 02:36, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
- I agree about lack of email notification. I only found out one of my articles had been nominated for speedy deletion because I happened to go to my watchlist. The person who nominated it for deletion had not even bothered to add a comment on my Talk page about it. It would have been very frustrating to just come back later and find it gone.
- I also agree about too much and too arbitrary deletion. I think there could be topics that are not notable, like "The mole in my left armpit" but that is not the sort of articles that are being deleted in ways that discourage people. Netmouse 03:24, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Comments from facilitators
-- Philippe 01:03, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Increase contributions from readers and underdeveloped groups
- Hi, thanks! I expect it may take a little while to settle into the best way to locate/manage this discussion. Thanks for engaging! Netmouse 00:21, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Hi I read the mandate task force/reader conversion. As a college student studied inter cultural communications. And I've learned a lot about attempts made by companies to bring in a diverse group of people to work for them. You should read up on this subject. I can't it stress enough! Get a critical socially (they are the ones who want to get a diverse work force) book on intercultural communication. There is so much helpful information you could learn and apply to helping reader conversion in Wikipedia.184.108.40.206 19:57, 20 January 2010 (UTC)