Submissions/Being effective Wikimedians

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

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 2013 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no.
Subject no.
Title of the submission
Being effective Wikimedians
Type of submission


Author of the submission
Rich Farmbrough
Country of origin
E-mail address


Rich Farmbrough
Personal homepage or blog

Less than 40% of English Wikipedia (arguably our most mature project) is articles (whether measured in pages or characters), and while there is no doubt that there is value to the "back office", we are in a position where the tail is wagging the dog - and at a time where editor numbers continue to fall. This presentation looks briefly at some statistics culled from various WMF projects, and makes some suggestions for measuring effectiveness. Ways to create rule of thumb methods for effective decisions on where or how to spend one's effort are also proposed.

Detailed proposal

Introduction and overview. (1 minute)

The social dynamic of open wiki-projects is examined at a high level. A small amount of analysis of the goals of the stakeholders (readers, editors, community, WMF, donors) is presented, including issues with representation, culture, coverage, accuracy, legality, plagiarism. (4 minutes)

Four example on-wiki actions are introduced, and discussed in relation to the goals. (2 minutes)

Based on these goals various rough and ready proxy measures of effectiveness are laid out. The dynamic nature of naive measures - how similar intuitive processes may have acted in this way to the detriment of the project - and some improvements. Statistical reasoning behind these measures is mentioned briefly, detail will be available in the additional material. (6 minutes)

The measures are used to compare the effectiveness of various example actions. (3 minutes)

Limitations of the method are discussed, together with ways to assist in making the decisions. Social issues arising, referenced by our four examples. (3 minutes)

Outline of further work. Covering refinement of tools and measures, improved analysis, and better understanding of social processes and needs. Critical data that is simply not available, and hard to gather. (6 minutes)


  • WikiCulture and Community
Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes (Note: I am willing to cut the presentation to make more time available for discussion.)
Language of presentation/talk
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
  • Slides will be provided and made available on commons.
  • Additional information and datasets will be documented and made available under CC-BY-3 after the presentation.
  • Full draft text will be made available for pre-translation if required, and will be released under CC-BY-3 immediately after the presentation
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. អមីរ ឯ. អហរោណិ 06:49, 12 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  2. MB-one (talk) 22:25, 16 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  3. I sense that I may not completely agree with what will be said in this presentation, but I will try to attend and find out! CT Cooper · talk 23:15, 28 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Your name here!