The Wikipedia Problem

By Richard Millington, Fever Bee:

Wikipedia attributes its volunteer problem to technology.

If it was easier to edit posts, more people would edit them.

Yet the technology hasn’t changed much since its peak in 2007.

If it was a technology problem, how did they recruit so many volunteers in the first place?

Wikipedia can simplify the technology. It would probably help. More people might edit the posts. But this only adds more people at the top of the tunnel. This wont keep them there any longer. It’s a temporary solution.

The problem is motivation. Why do those that spent the time to learn the technology no longer edit posts?

Too often we prescribe technological solutions to social problems. It’s easier to change the technology. Move this button here, turn that to a lighter shade of green, and simplify the registration process. These things can help, but they’re not a silver bullet. They mask the bigger social problems… Read more

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