Tell people why Wikipedia needs their help

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A lack of diversity leads to dreary coverage of a topic.

According to a survey conducted among more than 130,000 Wikipedia users in late 2008,[1] almost 19% of the respondents see no need to contribute to Wikipedia because "others are already doing it".[2] But despite the fact that many thousands of volunteers around the globe already spend much of their free time in sharing their knowledge with others, Wikipedia still needs to increase and broaden its contributors base.

Here are some reasons why:

  • The more people contribute to Wikipedia, the better its quality gets. Remember those first years when Wikipedia's editor community was composed of a handful of people and Wikipedia's scope of coverage was narrow. After some time, more people joined the community and the content's quality became better and better. And today, there's still much that has to be done. The only way to achieve our mission of creating a free and reliable source of information is to carry on attracting new qualified authors who share our common goal of making educational content available for every single person on this planet.
  • Broadening Wikipedia's author base contributes to better balancing the encyclopedia's content. So far, our contributor community strongly skews towards technically-literate, young, male editors.[3] To make sure that Wikipedia's content is relevant and useful for as many people in as many different locations as possible, it is critical that the contributor base be as broad and diverse as possible.

The more Wikipedia's quality grows, the more people get the impression that there's no work left, that everything "is done". Telling people that we still need their special knowledge and directing their attention to articles that need improvement is one of the keys to make our vision come true.

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  1. This was helpful 06:31, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  2. Zellfaze (talk) 20:11, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
  3. Ochilov (talk) 16:58, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
  4. Lechatjaune (talk) 14:20, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

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  1. First preliminary results from UNU-Merit Survey of Wikipedia Readers and Contributors available, blog posting by Erik Möller, Deputy Director Wikimedia Foundation, 16 April 2009, retrieved on 14 May 2009.
  2. Ruediger Glott / Philipp Schmidt / Rishab Ghosh: Wikipedia Survey – First Results, Working Draft (9 April 2009), p. 7, available as PDF (260 KB).
  3. Glott / Schmidt / Ghosh: Wikipedia Survey – First Results, pp. 5–6.