Jonathan Cardy <> escreveu no dia terça,
1/01/2019 à(s) 09:54:

> Yes the greying of the pedia is a real phenomena, and I am sure that an
> editor survey would confirm that on average we are getting older.

At least in the Lusophone world, evidence does not seem to support that
idea of the greying of Wikipedia. The lists of the most viewed and edited
articles at the Wikipedia in Portuguese has just been released this night:

The most edited article is an infantile animation series, and there are
more like this down the list. the editors are, quite obviously, children
that are Ladybug fans and want to update the information in Wikipedia,
which they apparently use as a guide. Many of the other themes on the list
of the most edited seem to be clearly associated with the young
generations: Reality shows, pop culture, sports.

Evidence in the project also shows that most of the older (in project time)
editors are not editing anymore, and only an handful of them still remain
behind. Many of the current sysops and well established editors are in
their late teens, early 20s (mostly Brazilians waiting to enter University,
or already there). I joined that project in February 2009, and over those
almost 10 years I've been watching the most profound changes in the project
"society", it has been in continuous evolution, and today it's composition,
way to see Wikipedia, attitude, etc have changed dramatically (not always
for the better). At least in this particular project, I don't see any
greying at all.

But there is a third that we should not underestimate, over the last decade
> or so expectations have risen and there is now little room for editors who
> add unsourced content. In quality terms this is a good thing, but it has
> repercussions on the quantity of editors (and I am sure contributes to the
> greying of the pedia). If as I suspect it is true that our decline is only
> among those who add uncited content, and that we are replacing those who
> add cited content as fast or faster than we lose them, then we can dismiss
> editor decline as no longer being an existential threat to the project.

At we started very actively fighting unsourced content since about
2009-2010, when there was a kind of mind revolution about this theme, and
the community decided they would not tolerate unsourced content anymore as
they had done extensively in the past. We came to the conclusion that it
was a mistake from the start to tolerate the generalized adding of such
content to the articles, with no advantages and a lot of disadvantages,
specially to the people that wanted to fix them afterwards, which often had
to throw everything to waste and start from zero. So those low-grade
editors that thrived in an ambient where articles were written out of their
heads, I believe we lost all or most of them back then, already, and as you
say, I don't believe it has been a bad thing.

I also don't believe much that the lack of interesting articles to create
could be a motive for not having new editors. Our articles remain a "red
sea" of uncreated entries, many of them about quite easy to create stuff,
like cultural heritage.

I am sanguine about the mobile editing problem. It is a known issue. People
> are working on it, so we may get a technical fix. Fashions in technology
> have changed in the past and will change again, so we  may find that more
> people in the future have suitable devices to edit with. My own medium turn
> fix would be to launch an intermediate platform for tablets. This would
> leave the mobile platform for smartphone users, and I know we have at least
> a couple of editors who use smartphones, but the ratio of editors to
> readers is very much lower than among PC users. A Tablet platform would
> enable us  to offer tablet users a more editor friendly environment than
> could fit on the mobile platform.

We have editors that edit from smartphones in Africa and Brazil, and
specially in Africa, which is being connected right now, and many people
have 1, 2, 3 smartphones, the difficulties of mobile editing are shown.
It's not so much that they block community growth, it is more that the
community could be growing that way. On the other hand, with easy mobile
editing there often comes waves of vandalism, which had led in the past to
the complete blocking of those mobile networks in the project, so there is
also a downside on this .
I'll add a fourth motif here, one that I've been noticing for long, and
which I believe is the main cause of chasing away new editors at the
Portuguese Wikipedia: The entrenching of the establishment against
newcomers. It has nothing to do with graying, as we have 12 and 13 year old
kids as part of the "establishment", and already displaying that exact
attitude. It's like it's so hard to pass all the ordeals, and be accepted
as part of the community, that they believe newcomers should always go
through the same road, as if Wikipedia was some sort of guild or club - as
Amir said earlier in this thread, the "small club of people who managed to
learn wiki syntax". Deletion requests, specially, often act as a furnace to
burn and destroy newbies, when they are questioned, accused and chastised,
while they are still learning the ropes. I'm strongly convinced this
entrenchment and guild spirit is the main obstacle in the way of community
growing over here.


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