Jump to content

Submissions/Balancing Quality and Engagement on a Growing Wiki

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.
Title of the submission
Balancing Quality and Engagement on a Growing Wiki
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Krystle Chung
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Community manager at wikiHow for 5 years, contributor and employee since 2005.
Personal homepage or blog
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.


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?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with a hash and four tildes. (# ~~~~).

  1. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 02:48, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. mako 04:00, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 12:46, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  4. CT Cooper · talk 20:32, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Ocaasi (talk) 16:40, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Add your username here.