Wikipedia editor count down by a third




While I understand the demographics and how that would impact the editor count, couldn’t this also be because many of the pages are ‘finished’ (in the sense that any knowledge is final and complete)?

ETA: I didn’t get through the whole article, had to stop and think when I read 90% male


A crushing, abrasive editorial bureaucracy doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, certainly better than a editorial bandwagon of every single jackass on the internet.


Revert the article. A single online source is not notable enough.


You are presuming there is a difference.


I can tell you from personal experience that the administration of Wikipedia is run like a combination of 1984 and the Stanford prison experiment. I have over 5000 edits there. You couldn’t pay me to make another one.


It is better, when the editor is an enlightened gatekeeper: someone with either specialized knowledge or rigorous discipline. Most contributors to Wikipedia are neither, and most established editors just have lots and lots of free time to argue on the internet.

The whole idea of openness with regards to quality is that many eyes have a better chance of spotting errors and thus getting them corrected. Loss of contributors for any reason thus weakens quality. Loss of knowledgeable contributors, who can both spot common errors and actually write something original that’s worth reading, is especially troubling.


I don’t know if it’s related, but I’m finding more and more niggling little grammar mistakes in the articles I read. (And I can’t even edit them right away, because I don’t want my work computer’s IP recorded some place it shouldn’t be.)


I can attest to that. I’ve tried a couple times over the years to join the Wikipedia community, and every time felt that I was not welcomed there.


Perhaps they should try the techniques that StackExchange uses to engage users in sites like StackOverflow. They can gamify the site by giving points, badges, and other forms of recognition to the best users. They could also reward those users with higher moderation powers automatically.


I am one of about five people on the planet who were disappointed that Knol never went anywhere. I think the idea of having competing single-author articles and treating quality as an information retrieval task had a certain appeal.


You are presuming there is a difference.


“Everything that can be invented, has been invented.”


That certainly hits the nail on the head for why I don’t spend much time editing there anymore. What killed it for me was the rampant cronyism and bad faith arguments of the spoiler tag debate.


That was also one of the big ones that soured me on a career participating in it early on. And actually I’ve somewhat come around on the actual argument of whether they should exist or not, but the methods and tactics used to achieve it still leave a bad taste in my mouth.


There is still obviously new invention/discoveries/creation going on, but someone who was really passionate about Three’s Company has probably finished all of the work they’re going to need to do on the Wikipedia article for the time being.


LOL you have a point.


Among the significant problems that aren’t getting resolved is the site’s skewed coverage: its entries on Pokemon and female porn stars are comprehensive, but its pages on female novelists or places in sub-Saharan Africa are sketchy.

This is my lack of shock face.


I’m pretty sure that anyone willing to add and cite sources about places in sub-Saharan Africa will face no hardships at all. Such pages are not about trends or celebrities or controversies, and so simply adding facts about real places to already-existing pages is non-controversial and new editors will seldom hear a discouraging word. Yes, Virginia, that is the secret.

I sometimes suspect that people who complain about such things find complaining easier than doing the half-hour or hour of research it takes to gather and type more factual info.


The hardest time in WP history after the first few years was when the vandalism was really bad. The obvious stuff was bad enough, and all the fixing wasted countless hours that could have been far-better spent. That led to some of the Draconian attitudes some noobs experienced.

There were many problems, but they are diminishing as time goes by. The number of editors is meaningless; the quality of their work is what matters. 50,000 or 30,000 or 300 could all have the same result. And it’s all done on free time, so it’s a work of decades not years.