Forum:Getting more active editors

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Forums: Yew Grove > Getting more active editors
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This thread was archived on 2 May 2011 by Liquidhelium.

Looking at [[w:c:community:Hub:Most active communities|Most active communities]], we have the most active community on Wikia. A cause for celebration, right? No. While we do have the most editors, it belies the fact that there aren't that many people doing all that much here. We rely on a very small group to do most of our countervandalism and new updates, among other things. We need to get more people registered, get new users involved, and get our current users to do a bit more.

Many of our problems on the wiki boil down to us not having enough manpower. If we get more people involved, most of our troubles will vanish. More active users means quicker updates, better guides and images, less outstanding vandalism, more fruitful discussions, and generally a better wiki. As it stands, we reach about 1.2 million uniques per month, and 1877 active editors in that same period (here active editor is defined as having performed an action in the last 30 days.) A 99.86% non-editing rate isn't that great, don't you think? If we can get that number the tiniest bit lower, we would be in a good place.

The first step is to turn consumers into producers, namely getting people registered and editing. I don't see any other way to do this than advertising. The Sitenotice is nice, but it doesn't reach nearly enough people now that is isn't on top of pages. We can use [[MediaWiki:Communitymessages-notice-msg]], which makes a bubble in the corner of the page for all readers. We can ask them to help out, with a link to [[Special:Signup]]. If even one percent of the people who see that click it, it means over 1000 new accounts in one day.

The second part is to get new editors used to the wiki and to get them making great contributions. I would like for us to phase out the use of the welcome template, or at least to add a personal message along with it. It is nice heaving all of those links from the notice, but it really is a turnoff to get nothing more than a boxy, seemingly-automated message, Right now welcoming people is sort of a race to see who can do it first, but it can be so much more than that. When welcoming, be personal. Make an inquiry about their name or talk about the latest update. If they've made an edit, reference that. Just try to get them involved, get them to reply to you, and let them know that they have a friend they can talk to ask and ask questions. There may be times that there are too many new users to give a personal welcome to. That's okay, but try as often as you can do make it personalized. The same goes for unregistered contributions: if they've made some edits, thank them, talk to them, and maybe ask them if they want to make an account (similar to {{Thankyou}} but personal.) This may all seem like a lot of work. It is, but the payoff can be immense. If you get them to reply to you, the chance of them staying on the wiki skyrockets. A future User of the Month may have just registered, but he may never even edit unless someone takes an interest in him.

The final step is to get the so-called "established" users to do more. I know a lot of you are busy with school or jobs or whatever else you do, and I get that. And I don't want to sound like I'm advocating you to spend a bunch more time on the wiki, but we could really use everyone's help. There's always something that needs improvement. This is the part where I'm least sure of what to do. Any ideas?

I've laid out a plan to turn readers into active editors, and I do think it can work. The results of this working successfully would be incredible.

Thus ends my latest rambling "end of the wiki" thread. ʞooɔ 00:56, April 2, 2011 (UTC)


Ho hum - Another one of these doomsday threads? Come on, Cook. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along, move along, don't push or shove on your way out. --LiquidTalk 01:00, April 2, 2011 (UTC)

Well, in all honesty, something needs to be done about our lack of editors. Suppa chuppa Talk 02:04, April 2, 2011 (UTC)
Before starting this thread, cook asked me "am I doing this too often?" and I think it's actually good to have someone like Cook who motivates people to do things. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 14:27, April 3, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - So you want something that resembles a "buddy system" where the experienced editor, in this case the welcomer, has a few chats with the new editor to help familiarise them with the wiki? 222 talk 01:07, April 2, 2011 (UTC)

Not only familiarise them, but get them to come back time and time again. I'm hoping this can be seen as fun instead of a chore. ʞooɔ 01:15, April 2, 2011 (UTC)

Skeptical support - Im lazy so ill just post this here :P - Conversation i had with Cook before he opened the thread

[13:48] <Pharos_5> Look, the idea in concept is perfect and is the logical progression to increase the wiki's efficiency and productivity. But in practice, if you open the thread a few people will come on and say "yeah, sounds great! lets do it!" and when it's closed ona  full consensus nobody will do anything and assuming coming on and telling you its the right thing to do is their job done. I think it'll match the
[13:48] <Pharos_5> Discontinue wikifests thread, many people opposed it because of reasons like "community interaction", "community planning", "just needs some spit n polish and they'll be good again". When it was closed, nobody even commented on the new wikifest threads that had cropped up with a "someone else will do it for me" attitude
[13:48] <Pharos_5> Woah. Textwall.
[13:49] <Cook_Me_Plox> Yeah, that may be true
[13:49] <Cook_Me_Plox> This is something I can't quite do alone
[13:49] <Cook_Me_Plox> the first part does not require all that much community involvement,
[13:50] <Cook_Me_Plox> part three may be infeasible because people are willing to change everything but themselves
[13:50] <Pharos_5> Even the "personal messages" part will fail inevitably
[13:50] <Cook_Me_Plox> part two is where we need an army of people interacting with new users.
[13:50] <Cook_Me_Plox> yeah.
[13:50] <Pharos_5> For a few weeks, we will do personal messages
[13:50] <Pharos_5> but then we'll either stop or just not welcome people and hope someone else will
[13:51] <Cook_Me_Plox> :/
[13:51] <Cook_Me_Plox> that's how it always is.
[13:51] <Pharos_5> sorry, thats just how i see it
[13:51] <Pharos_5> i mean, doesnt mean you shouldnt propose it
[13:51] <Cook_Me_Plox> yeah, I know.

- [Pharos] iPhone Edit 01:17, April 2, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - As I've stated on IRC, until Wikia relinquishes control of [[Wikia:Special:SiteWideMessages|Special:SiteWideMessages]] from a global message to local (can also be interpreted as a site-wide message) message, the only form of contact is the CommunityCorner and the notification message on the toolbar. The only things that come to mind are extensions that Wikia currently has in development but won't be releasing for the next several months at the earliest (minus Chat for May/June) now which include GuidedTours, ScavengerHunt, WikiaQuiz and Chat.

GuidedTours is an extension that allows a preset list of articles to be played out like a slideshow, only Web 2.0. ScavengerHunt is as it sounds, hiding a message or image on the wiki with clues and each game can be saved to be used at a later date in time, however Wikia claims to only be using it for promotional events later this year. WikiaQuiz acts as a module on the WikiaRail similar to how we have the mainpage poll at the moment. Albeit, WikiaQuiz has only been in development for about two weeks or less, it might prove useful. Finally there is Chat. Chat works similar to IRC with the exception that it's used on the wiki rather than Freenode or another IRC service that users may otherwise never use. In Chat, we won't have the use of the RuneScript IRC bot, but it will likely have a more positive effect on users who aren't IRC savvy and need help.

Standing as we are right now, many people create an account and edit less than 50 times or only create an account to make a user page glorifying their account. I have nothing against this as we are not Bulbapedia and don't provide server cost maintenance, but I would also like to see more done in the mainspace articles. Ryan PM 01:59, April 2, 2011 (UTC)

Simple - Enable Wikia's achievements extension. ajr 02:48, April 2, 2011 (UTC)

We've already shot that down, and that's not exactly something I want to do. ʞooɔ 05:16, April 2, 2011 (UTC)
You wanted a solution, there it is. Considering that you think our wiki is going down the toilet, might we need to start taking extra measures? Besides, while this does get people who edit just for the badges, quite a few of them realize after a while that it is fun just editing the wiki - regardless of badges. It gets people involved, and that is what you want. The question is, what are we willing to do to become an active, thriving wiki again? ajr 15:49, April 2, 2011 (UTC)

Support - I agree that personal messages are the best way to get more people involved, and I do make an effort to try and take an intrest in the messages that I get from new users. I like the idea of a personalized welcome notice, and I will make an effort to do that in the future. I'm not sure how to get more users to register, but I think that having a userpage that they can make their own is a huge reason for many of our registrations. Even if they are drawn in for selfish reasons, many turn into good contributors later on. --Aburnett(Talk) 02:51, April 2, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - After a brief discussion in the IRC channel, it appears people are changing their welcome messages to have the same old links/text... but without the pretty colors, and with one line that will be personalized for each person. Improvement? No. I've never done welcome notices, they looked way too cheesy, and having one personalized sentence will have just the same effect. How do we get people to take the effort to make thoughtful greetings to each new person rather than a thoughtfully copied/pasted one, or a copied/pasted one with 2 sentences for a more "personal greeting"?... Take out all the links and just start a conversation with them, perhaps?

Regarding current users, I don't have any ideas on that unfortunately, other than just asking them to contribute more. I was able to be a full time student with a part time job, and still I could juggle RuneScape, this wiki, among other online duties I hold, so I don't really understand how people can go months without a single edit (yet be on IRC each day). The points/achievements systems seem to be shot down by a lot of people, but meh, might work? I have to say, I was kinda excited to see my name on the "top gaming users" list last week. (; sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 05:16, April 2, 2011 (UTC)

This is completely true. Cutting corners with welcoming will do us no good. ʞooɔ 05:42, April 2, 2011 (UTC)
The Achievements extension is nothing more than automated "awards" for arbitrary editing on the wiki, it is no better than automated welcomes. 222 talk 06:00, April 2, 2011 (UTC)
Wouldn't an achievements extension keep active users active? That doesn't really have anything to do with keeping new users around, if I understand the extension correctly. Those are two different issues. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 06:04, April 2, 2011 (UTC)
No, not really. Personally I would be annoyed to be bombarded with Wikia-style awards for posting a comment here, or reverting some vandalism, and I'm sure some others would feel the same. 222 talk 06:09, April 2, 2011 (UTC)
Alright, then let's not do both. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 06:10, April 2, 2011 (UTC)
You can disable achievements for yourself if you don't like them, btw. And they are proven to increase activity, see [[w:c:avatar:Special:Wikistats]] for one of many examples. ajr 04:22, April 3, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - Regarding part two: the welcome template, I think phasing out the links in the template would be a good idea, however, a completely personal message for each new user wouldn't achieve much, chances are it will turn away users from welcoming new users due to the effort in thinking up an original message each time. I think it would be better to have a short sentence welcoming the user and inviting them to ask the welcomer any questions they have about the wiki (as I have just started trialling), this enables new users to have an opportunity to learn about the wiki's inner workings, but without bombarding them with links to pages they don't care about. 222 talk 06:14, April 2, 2011 (UTC)

Why they do not feel welcome + a change I have seen on the RSOF, on talk pages here, in edit summaries, and even people saying at the GE

  • "Fucking Wiki, every time you make a change some asshole comes along and undoes it. Fuck them."

Sure, we of course do not undo every edit that comes along, but we do undo a lot. People do not know why, they feel frustrated, they don't ever try again. We have become very good at using edit summaries for most undos, but I would like to take it 1 step further. As a corollary (maybe not the right word, soz) to Wikipedias Don't bite the new folks, I would like to take that to "Talk to the new folks". When ever you undo an edit by someone you do not recognize as an experienced Wikian, leave them a message on their talk page explaining why. It will soothe egos and eliminate misunderstandings. It will open dialogue, which is rarely a bad thing (wanted to say never but that isn't always true). Of course this is not for vandalism, and an experienced editor can see your reason in the edit summary. I can not guess how many people are turned away each month, or how many will stay if we do this. But really, it is only a small effort to make. If you don't have the time to tell them why, don't undo their edit. And if it is simple poor grammar in a good piece of info, fix it. Don't remove it.--Degenret01 16:06, April 2, 2011 (UTC)

Hmmm, this would indeed fix problems users have about their edits being apparently "randomly" reverted but it would also double the workload of our already quite busy anti-vandals. I'll will try it next time I actually do anti-vandal work however :) - [Pharos] iPhone Edit 03:13, April 3, 2011 (UTC)
No no, if it is vandalism, they know why we undid it. Only tell them if it is undone for other reasons, such as "known to not be true", "belongs on different article", "fails to meet our trivia policy requirements". And similar, you get the idea.--Degenret01 07:13, April 3, 2011 (UTC)

Support - Indeed, it's not much percent. Too bad, at the RSC wiki we only have 17 active users. However; I agree more people should help the wiki but... Comment: NOT EVERYONE IS ABLE TO WRITE CLEAR & COMPREHENSIVE ARTICLES, OR WRITE ENGLISH. Please remember that. Zorak plorak - Talk Hiscores

Support first step, oppose second step - I do see how the first step can help, but not the second one. Giving new users personal messages is not going to help. This is because they may not be informative (as the current messages are), people with 0 edits are very unlikely to look at their talk page anyways, and the current welcome template does encourage editors to edit (the template helps make this Wiki less foreign). Personal messages have the disadvantage of taking longer to complete (therefore discouraging users to make one), and it's just not worth it when comparing them to welcome templates. Smithing 02:47, April 3, 2011 (UTC)

I think you're completely wrong on that count. Like I said, we would also include the link box, but add something that doesn't look automated and unfriendly. I can't see how you think that they won't look at their talk pages when they get a bubble when it is updated. Like I said, the upside of new editors far outweighs the time taken to write a couple of sentences. ʞooɔ 05:05, April 3, 2011 (UTC)
The reason is they either don't care (they've made 0 edits) or they leave before they get the message (I remember being on one language Wikipedia, but leaving even after being informed I had new messages). An indication of this is very few people (about 2 out of 10 users) on the Wiki make any edits at all. People who make an edit here are most likely here to help this Wiki in the first place, and only need a welcome that is informative, helpful and encouraging (don't see how it makes a difference being personal or not). Smithing 05:40, April 3, 2011 (UTC)
People who make an edit here are mostly likely going to stick around if they make some friends. ʞooɔ 16:56, April 3, 2011 (UTC)
True, but that doesn't mean they'll be making edits that will in any way contribute to this Wiki, they may only stick around to talk to their friend. If a user really wanted to help the Wiki, they would, and making friends in no way means they'll be making any edits to articles etc. The current welcome template is welcoming, but doesn't seem too needy in my opinion, as a personal message may be. Phasing out the templates out would not prove good for the Wiki. Smithing 01:44, April 8, 2011 (UTC)
No, obviously it does not guarantee that they will stick around to do anything more than socialize, but you can't deny that it raises the chance of them staying long-term. I think it would be a good idea to include the welcome template in some incarnation, but maybe as in information link-box or something. ʞooɔ 02:20, April 8, 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it does raise the chance if they made a friend. But personally, I don't think that personal messages help, as they can seem just as automated as the welcome templates if they are grammatically correct (and they should be), or they can seem needy. Questions such as "what is your name?" would seem too desperate and wouldn't be good, and something like "How are you?" may seem automated, as everyone asks that questions when talking to someone or welcoming them. Personal messages are no better in my opinion (when I talk to someone I use yo, but that could create the assumption that you're lazy, may seem too needy, and is not suitable as a welcome on the Wiki). But that's just my opinion. Smithing 03:10, April 8, 2011 (UTC)

Question - Is it possible to customize the achievements extension? I think it could be much more effective if we were able to customize it with a runescape theme or decide what you get achievements for. If so, *puts hand up to volunteer* - [Pharos] iPhone Edit 03:13, April 3, 2011 (UTC)

Oui, the achievements extension is very customizable. The names and images of all badges can be modified. ajr 04:03, April 3, 2011 (UTC)

Re:Achievements - On the threads Forum:Achievement_system and Forum:Achievements_extension_(trial) we opposed even a trial run of this system. We were supposed to implement Wikicapes of achievement though. I do not know what happened to that.--Degenret01 07:21, April 3, 2011 (UTC)

To be completely blunt to everyone, not just you, achievements will have a much stronger affect on activity than wikicapes will - and with both systems you will get people editing just for the chance to get one. Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the achievements extension. ajr 15:00, April 3, 2011 (UTC)
Mmm, I think we do a decent job of educating new users in what to do, and editing the mainspace isn't exactly rocket science to begin with. I think it's time we started putting more effort into motivating them instead of telling them what to do - [Pharos] iPhone Edit 16:03, April 3, 2011 (UTC)

Sounds good, but... Don't you think there's a chance of the wiki's community [[w:c:cod|Call of Duty Wikiing]]? The community I look after pretty much sucks to be honest, and although this wiki doesn't have blogs, with pushing new users to edit you always have the chance of a a huge amount of the new editors being complete idiots who can't so much as type properly, let alone make a structured edit. Smuff [citation provided] 14:55, April 3, 2011 (UTC)r

Support - I do agree we need to get more active users here and get our existing users whom are still around and have not left doing stuff. Although I haven't been active for about nearly 1 month, I'm still quite active in the community. In my opinion, if somebody hasn't edited for at least 1-2 years, they are not active. Rswfan 16:08, April 3, 2011 (UTC)

Even though people may be only inactive for 1 week, that's still not very good. We should get more people who are actually active active. Not people who are active on the edge. (nothing personal if you might take it that way) JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 16:19, April 3, 2011 (UTC)

Support 1 - This might get a few more editors and I can't see how it could hurt. Hunter cape (t).png Sentra246Blue hallowe'en mask.png 08:01, April 4, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - If you don't like the 2nd part, we could also have something like talking to people when you see them do good edits, instead of just clicking and thinking "meh, looks okay, NEXT EDIT!". This would have an effect quite similar to the personal notice instead of a welcome notice, but it would also prevent spending time on welcoming disruption accounts personally, not knowing what to write because the user doesn't have an avatar or any edits, so not a lot to be personal about. Then we got to remember one thing: We DO have to DO it when we do it. Not just hope other people do it and lean back yourself. Then this could also work, and I don't see a reason not to do it, considering you keep the new users at the wiki, without spending time on welcoming vandals/disruption accounts personally. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 23:21, April 4, 2011 (UTC)

Support all - Cook's a smart guy, and I may not be able to help much. But I agree with what he's saying and I back him fully. HaloTalk 00:25, April 5, 2011 (UTC)

Support All - It all sounds great, and I'm back :D 20:36, April 6, 2011 (UTC)

Runecrafting MythbustermaTalk   HSCabbage.png<= BRASSICA PRIME

20:39, April 6, 2011 (UTC)

Support/Confused/Comment?: I agree, the more users the better. But what's the real point of this thread? It seems you just have a couple of half-baked ideas, I'll get more behind it once we actually have some concrete plans to improve our users. But also, what are the "problems" that we have to "cure"? Maybe I'm blind but, the wiki seems doing pretty good now. Just trying to figure out :P Spamnub 01:17, April 7, 2011 (UTC)

Suggestion - How about instead of getting rid of the welcome templates and replacing them with another welcome template that people think is more personal.. (*facepalm*), how about we do some sort of mentoring program, like the University of Lumbridge, but at a larger scale? That way we could possibly still use some sort of welcome "template", or message, but make it more personal in that we will walk the new people through stuff and encourage them to ask us questions? sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 04:04, April 11, 2011 (UTC)

It sounds good, but im sure a lot of us are going "ceeeebs". How about if you start up the project and tell us what to do we'll join in :3? - [Pharos] 04:46, April 11, 2011 (UTC)

A mentoring committee sounds like a great idea 16px‎AtlandyBeer.png 16:43, April 11, 2011 (UTC)

If an actual welcoming committee is going to be made (rather than just an useless list of signatures on a page) I would be happy to join. There should be some default info in the template for people who don't want to go to the welcoming committee(which I can imagine, I wouldn't want to go follow such thing either if I were new) JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 12:58, April 11, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - So we're really going to become those people at supermarkets trying to sell bullshit or give free samples out now? I really thought that we, the Runescape Wiki, were much more above this tactic. Annoying the hell out of people is not the answer at all. The little community bubble? I click it off the second I see it, as it is a pesterance, and usually filled with something unrelated to the wiki's operations or editing. We have over 200 active editors, why everyone is thinking we're going to become a dead zone is beyond me, as this is a case of something that wild animals do. We really need to get off this mindset and move on, we are the most up-to-date Runescape fan base on the Internet as far as I'm aware.

tl'dr Bugging people/giving them "phr33 st00f" is not the way to go if you want actual editors. We are a damned Wiki, an online encyclopedia of Runescape, and the best one at that where it counts. We don't need one thousand active editors, we have what we need and, in the terms of preschool, "too many cooks spoil the applesauce." Zaros symbol.pngChaos Monk Talk SignCoins 250.png 20:44, April 11, 2011 (UTC)

I don't understand your comment... What are we trying to "sell"? sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 21:14, April 11, 2011 (UTC)
We are not giving anyone free stuff or selling bullshit. If you don't like the bubble that's your own opinion, but it seems that the readers as a group pay attention to it. We do have over 200 active editors, but when we were at nearly 800 last April, that doesn't sound quite as good. If we continue on this trend, we will get to the point where we don't have enough editors to operate soundly. You seem to be only concerned with being better than RuneHQ/Tip.It/whoever else. That's not good enough for me, and it's not good enough for most people. I want us to be the very best we can be, not just "the most up-to-date" site. When things take 3 days that last year took less than one, we do have a problem that needs to be fixed quickly. We can "get by" with what we have, but if we want to continue our growth and dominance, we need to do better. ʞooɔ 22:44, April 11, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - It appears that to get more users, drastic events must happen on RS like the current blackout... we must attack Jagex's servers! TO ARMS! Full Slayer Helmet! Evil1888 Talk A's L Dragon Platebody! 21:20, April 11, 2011 (UTC)

Ignorance -

George soros is stealing all our editors and giving them to nazis and the liberal elite! Our wiki is doomed! You should buy gold from Goldline.

On topic, sure more editors would be nice, but what can we do to really influence the activity? I'm just happy we're the best source of RS info on the web. We could stop updating all our pages right now, and apart from new updates, we'd probably still be the best source of info for 5 years to come. kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 19:50, April 16, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - The reason I don't really edit is because some bot deletes the changes right after I edit a page.... And I have rollback rights, but I never get to use them!Youdead00 15:46, April 21, 2011 (UTC)

I've never heard of a bot that undoes edits... bad_fetustalk 11:20, April 24, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - Since when did we become a nazi wiki... oh wait, we already are because we vote ban =/ --Cakemix 11:30, April 24, 2011 (UTC)

Closed - Suppa chuppa Talk 10:24, May 1, 2011 (UTC)

Reopened Consensus has not been reached. — Enigma 07:14, May 2, 2011 (UTC)

{{rfc}}— Enigma 07:14, May 2, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - ...What more is there to say, and how can "consensus" be reached here? <.< sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 07:16, May 2, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - I believe that this closure is valid. We haven't had any real discussion in this thread for almost three weeks, and there has clearly been no specific consensus to implement any of these proposals. There is a general feeling to get more active editors, but none of the proposals offered have garnered sufficient consensus as some users have pointed out their concerns about various aspects. Discussion is exhausted and I highly doubt that it will restart, with a request for comment or even a Sitenotice message. 222 talk 07:20, May 2, 2011 (UTC)

Closed - There is really nothing else that can be done here. The discussion is more or less dead. If this issue is to be discussed further, wait for Cook to make his next death-of-the-wiki thread, which undoubtedly will be coming shortly. --LiquidTalk 10:13, May 2, 2011 (UTC)