Hang on !
While all these stats highlight the people who make 5+ edits, the real
strength of any Wikipedia is people who make 100+, 1000+, 2500+ edits per
month. Only those Wikipedias which manage to nurture a continuous supply of
such editors can progress while keeping in balance editors who go inactive
periodically or forever.
Let's take the case of Tamil Wikipedia.
(Everyone should excuse me quoting Tamil Wikipedia often. It is my home
Wikipedia and where have I exclusively worked for many years. I do watch
how other Wikipedias work and will try my best to showcase case studies
from as many Wikipedias possible. If you know better case studies, please
feel free to add to the discussion)
Please check the page
Since February 2013, we are keeping track of people who make 100+, 250+ and
1000+ edits every month.
So far, in the last 15 months alone, we have
100+ edits - 30 contributors
250+ edits - 41 contributors
1000+ editors - 13 contributors
Many of these people hit these milestones often.
With so many in the pool, the most number of contributors who have made
100+ in a single month is 34 which happened in January 2014.
The number of new articles created, daily edits all depend on this most
active editor count.
For example, check the distribution of article edits in following three
Almost universally, the trend of 1-2% editors making 80% of edits is
And let us see the kind of effort these people put in.
During May 2012, just for fun, I asked my fellow Tamil Wikipedians this
How many hours per week do you spend on activities related to Tamil
Wikipedia? (Includes time to collect references)
14 people answered and they collectively spent 294 working hours per week.
Extrapolating for the stats that month, we found that we spend at least
400+ working hours every week collectively improving Tamil Wikipedia.
That is equivalent to employing 10 full time staff just to keep editing
Tamil Wikipedia !
And after all this we don't even feel we are anywhere near a very useful
and comprehensive encyclopedia. There is lot of work to be done yet.
CIS is liberal in throwing lot of jargons at the community. Say for
example, Needs assessment, Coordination problem, etc.,
For a difference, I would like to ask them:
* Have you ever done a feasibility study for the chances of having a high
quality Wikipedia led by active community before engaging in language
community plan? Some of the key factors that determined the selection of
languages areas as listed at
don't talk about this.
That is why I question the sanity of engaging with incubator projects like
* Are your plans creative enough, big enough to capture and nurture the
most active contributors? Without such contributors all efforts will remain
one-off and inorganic. That is why I question the effectiveness of paid
physical outreach you engage so much. Physical outreach by volunteers can
be equally ineffective. But it serves other purposes like community
leadership building, brand building etc., and not direct editor recruitment.
* What is the lifetime value of one such contributor? In other words, is
your spending worth the results you produce?
(to be continued.. ) :)
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