Let's separate the two big issues here - the first is whether we want to encourage large numbers of new editors, and the second issue encompasses all the cool feature ideas we could add to accomplish the first.
On attracting new editors and improving editor retention - editor retention explains itself, of course, and I think many people agree that improving the "social fabric" of project communities (and specifically en.wp) contributes to better retention metrics. There is some disagreement over the value of large numbers of new contributors. Many people in the en.wp community want to make contributions from these folks, especially "anonymous" editors without a registered account, more difficult rather than easier... The position of the WMF has lately been that this is misguided; in fact a large proportion of content, even the majority, has been added and improved by anonymous IP contributors. While individual editors devoting hundreds or thousands of hours to Wikimedia are highly valuable, the subset of contributors who are anonymous are so vital to project success that we should absolutely focus on increasing their numbers and encouraging them to return often. On cool features, we could brainstorm all day on different things that would be great to have. I'm sure everyone has a list of things they'd like to see, and most probably can think of much better features than I can. Here's my quick list: 1) Internal messaging - using "e-mail this user" is cumbersome, especially if you don't want to reveal your e-mail address, and divorces communication from the project itself. It also doesn't lend itself well to communicating with more than one individual. There is a place for non-public communication in our projects, and we should improve that communication by adding internal tools. 2) Discussion and comment threading. Not sure whatever happened to LiquidThreads, but the ten year old method of discussing article content is antiquated and far behind the current standard. You get better discussion on Gawker. Why, for instance, is the newest content still added at the bottom of every page instead of the top? Makes no sense. 3) Notifications and other quick, public communication. Warnings, bot notices, system messages, hat tips, barnstars, and quick notes should all be integrated as notification types in an internal notification system. There might be ease of access issues, but since these are focused on editors and not readers I think those hurdles can be overcome. Talk pages are as antiquated as the article discussion pages, and there are far better ways of organizing message content. 4) Article feedback. Our article feedback progress is just getting started, but it has a long way to go. I'd like to see a sidebar or footer that tells me how many people approve or disprove of the article content, aged for relevance to the current revision. Readers (logged in editors or otherwise) should be able to add Tweet-length comments, which can be +'d or -'d by others so a reader can get an 'at-a-glance' sense of what other readers think about an article and why. 5) 'Request an article' - it should be a feature of MediaWiki to track what article titles for pages that don't exist get the most hits, and it would be a really cool scrollbox to show readers and editors "500 editors looked for 'page XYZ' today and didn't find it - create this page now!" We might have to curate it like TfA, but maybe not, and I guarantee you'd get an article in OK shape for each featured redlink. _______________________________________________ Wikimedia-l mailing list Wikimediaemail@example.com Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l