Grants:IdeaLab/Wikimedians in Thailand 2016 Initiative
As a part of Wikipedia 15 celebration, we organized a small meet-up at Mahidol University Internal College, Salaya, Thailand. We discussed about the future of Wikipedia and our goals in 2016. We realized that although the amount of people with internet access has been increasing rapidly, the growth is not proportional to those of Wikipedia users. We arrived with a plan that is divided into 4 major parts as an attempt to alleviate the problem:
- Referral system
- Contribution & page view metrics
- Rewarding system
- Branding and marketing
This first part of the plan is based on the use of referral system. One of the attendees mentioned that after spending hours of editing Wikipedia, the editor barely gets any gratitude or even noticed. If Wikipedia is linked to other social networks in a way that editors can share their contributed articles to attract readers or invite others to edit, this will both attract more contributors and boost the editors’ appreciation of their contributions. Also, we noticed that everyone has different interests, and it would be best if people contribute in sharing what they love or know best. It would be appropriate to have a tool which each user can identify their interests and get the interest-based recommendation topics to edit.
Contribution & page view metrics
Part two of the plan is about metrics. Meet-up attendees suggested that they wanted something that can measure their contributions better than the current edit count system. Metrics should be developed for a more effective way to measure individual user’s contributions. In the following part, we use "point" as a new measure for "edit count".
- Social approach
- We can apply the multi-level marketing (MLM) model to create a social network of contributors and turn it into points. If people you recommended earn points, you will earn a fraction of that too. There are a number of levels, e.g. 5-10 that one may earn commission from their contribution. A person X can mark their user page with a hidden category recommended to Wikipedia (or mentored) by person Y. This should be sufficient for the tool to work.
- In order to address the needs of readers, the point should be calculated by weighted contribution taking into account
- Page view statistics: Contributors of the demanded article will earn more points.
- Changes in terms of bytes added/removed or major/minor contributions: It is just % contribution to the current version of an article.
- To keep people contributing to Wikipedia and perhaps to make the computation of points easier/less expensive, the time window for the calculation of points may be limited to a period of up to one year. With in the time period, older contributions may also received a lower weight than a recent one. Linear/exponential decay models may apply. Existing reinforcement model from duolingo or other successful online education/game providers may be helpful.
- Academic approach
Points may be inflated or manipulated just like simple edit count. The new metrics should not only measure the amount of contributions but also taking into account the quality/utility. A very simple yet effective measure are to calculate:
- Individual h-index: Taking page view (per month or adjusted page view value) as the number of citations. The wiki h-index will encourage people to try to edit pages with more and more view and hence put his/her knowledge into a good use.
- The individual concept can be expand to a group or cohort h-index.
- To guide people on what topics are in demand, category or template average views may be calculated just like Journal Impact Factor.
For the third part, the plan is about a rewarding system. Users should be able to trade points those were obtained and calculated from metrics in part two for souvenirs or other recognition awards. The physical souvenirs can be T-shirts, calendars, stickers, postcards, or notebooks while online souvenirs can be avatar decorations, which will appear on articles when the user is logged in. The recognition awards can be trophy, certificates, or online promotion of statistics.
Branding and marketing
Lastly, the fourth part focuses on branding and marketing. We would like Wikipedia to be recognized by making local or regional mascot. Having Ambassadors, which can either be people or institutions, is also a good way of promoting Wikipedia.
How to get involved
We need developer comments and contributions to materialize the idea. Please let us know if you are interested to implement the page view contribution statistics.