Submissions/Balancing Quality and Engagement on a Growing Wiki

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After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2015 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this July.

Submission no.
2059
Title of the submission
Balancing Quality and Engagement on a Growing Wiki
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
presentation
Author of the submission
Krystle Chung
E-mail address
krystle@wikihow.com
Username
KrystleChung
Country of origin
USA
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Community manager at wikiHow for 5 years, contributor and employee since 2005.
Personal homepage or blog
http://www.wikihow.com/User:Krystle
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

How does an open collaboration project sustain enough growth to maintain a diverse, dynamic community while maintaining quality in the collaborative resource that it's building? Comparing patterns in growth vs. quality across collaborative communities can shed light on which quality management techniques are more likely to stunt growth.

Halfaker, et al argue that it was the Wikipedia community's approach to quality control in response to an editor growth spurt that led to the decline in good-faith new editor retention. In this talk, I will discuss the history of the relationship between quality control and community growth on wikiHow, another popular wiki project that uses MediaWiki software. How has wikiHow adapted to appealing to a wider audience while still identifying, nurturing, and retaining quality contributors over the past 10 years?

This talk will include an overview of the wikiHow editor community, focusing on editor trends which can be compared to Wikipedia, such as:

  • Number of active editors (>=5 edits/month) over time for English wikiHow
  • Retention: Number of active editors plotted against the percentage of editors who joined in that month who are still active one year later

The presentation will also describe some of the tools and methods used to maintain quality in the face of growth, and how their use (or absence) has affected newcomer retention:

  • easy on-ramping tools
  • welcoming and socialization techniques
  • New Article Boost tool
  • bots and edit filters
  • policy processes
  • paid content creation

Balancing quality and growth on a wiki is a continual process; I intend to end the talk with some updates on how wikiHow is tackling this balance at the time, and some ideas for how various wiki projects might approach this issue at various stages in the collaborative community lifecycle.

Track

WikiCulture & Community

Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes, can be condensed to 20 if necessary
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Yes
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests


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  1. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 02:48, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
  2. mako 04:00, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
  3. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 12:46, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
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