Re: [Wikimedia-l] Editor retention implies social features

2012-04-17 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On Tue, 17 Apr 2012 16:44:48 +0100, Thomas Morton wrote:

Whether they also want to
 socialise with other editors is somewhat a secondary

I disagree. A lot.

Of course that is your prerogative.

But I think in holding that view you've critically lost sight of the 
of being here. We are not building a social network in the 
background. A
social structure has to exists to keep the community going, but the 

purpose is to write/develop free content.

But perhaps it would be useful to suggest some specific social 

that you'd want - that might help focus the discussion.


I actually do agree. It is not a secret that we are attractive for 
people having personal problems of some sort, who hope that they can get 
kind of attention in Wikipedia/Wikimedia they can never get in real 
life. At some point I was even put in a situation when I had views 
opposed to the views of such people, and I basically had to defend my 
views against them. This proved to be impossible: I am pretty much 
successful in my professional career, and for me Wikipedia is, well, a 
hobby. But for them it is life. It is very difficult to argue with 
people who are fighting for life, does not matter who is defending what 
views. Finally, I inevitably had to say fuck you and leave the 

There is in principle nothing wrong with people who want to get 
attention. For instance, they might want to get attention by writing 
articles, creating a big number of FAs abd GAs. Or by fighting vandals. 
Or by writing useful gadgets. I am all for it. And of course not 
everybody behaves like the types I mentions in the above paragraph - 
only a small fraction. But I am afraid that the more we socialize, the 
more attractive we become for this type of people. And then they tend to 
form circles, voting collectively at RFAs - up for the those from the 
circle, down for those not from the circle. Or discussing RfDs. Or 
whatever. It is extremely dangerous when people start mixing personal 
and professional relations - to speak in a not-so-much-correct way, when 
they start making love while in the office. This does not help writing 
the encyclopedia. And I have seen plenty of examples - and I guess all 
of us had. This is why I am not particularly looking forward to 
increasing socialization. Wikilove - fine, as a sign of appreciation 
(though I personally prefer appreciation written in plain English). 
Barnstars - ok. But going to a full-scale social network - I am sorry, 
this is going to kill us.


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Editor retention implies social features

2012-04-17 Thread Kirill Lokshin
On Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 11:44 AM, Thomas Morton wrote:

 But perhaps it would be useful to suggest some specific social features
 that you'd want - that might help focus the discussion.

I'm not sure that it makes sense to talk about adding social features in
the abstract -- we're not aiming to build a social network in the real
sense of the term.  Rather, we should be looking at the features that drive
participation at social networks (and particularly at Facebook), whether
those features are an inheret part of the social network concept or
merely incidental to it.

Consider, for example, that Zynga and Facebook have successfully managed to
get millions of people to log in at all hours of the night to milk
virtualcows and harvest virtual beans (or whatever it is that people
actually do in Farmville).  Could we do something similar to drive
particpation, particularly in editing areas that don't require
long-duration sessions (e.g. adding or verifying citations, categorizing
articles, etc.)?  Even a few percent of Farmville's user base would be an
order-of-magnitude increase of our own editor base; and if the price for
that is letting these editors display Citationville badges on their user
pages and send each other silly messages, is it not worth it?

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