Hello, everyone,

The next Research Showcase, *Understanding participation in Wikipedia*,
will be live-streamed next Wednesday, January 16, at 11:30 AM PST/19:30
UTC. This presentation is about new editors.

YouTube stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc51jE_KNTc

As usual, you can join the conversation on IRC at #wikimedia-research. You
can also watch our past research showcases here:

This month's presentation:

*Understanding participation in Wikipedia: Studies on the relationship
between new editors’ motivations and activity*

By Martina Balestra, New York University

Peer production communities like Wikipedia often struggle to retain
contributors beyond their initial engagement. Theory suggests this may be
related to their levels of motivation, though prior studies either center
on contributors’ activity or use cross-sectional survey methods, and
overlook accompanied changes in motivation. In this talk, I will present a
series of studies aimed at filling this gap. We begin by looking at how
Wikipedia editors’ early motivations influence the activities that they
come to engage in, and how these motivations change over the first three
months of participation in Wikipedia. We then look at the relationship
between editing activity and intrinsic motivation specifically over time.
We find that new editors’ early motivations are predictive of their future
activity, but that these motivations tend to change with time. Moreover,
newcomers’ intrinsic motivation is reinforced by the amount of activity
they engage in over time: editors who had a high level of intrinsic
motivation entered a virtuous cycle where the more they edited the more
motivated they became, whereas those who initially had low intrinsic
motivation entered a vicious cycle. Our findings shed new light on the
importance of early experiences and reveal that the relationship between
motivation and activity is more complex than previously understood.

Janna Layton
Administrative Assistant - Audiences & Technology
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
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