Why Wikimedians edit

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

This page has been created as a response to New contributor objections. The latter page concerns reasons why people choose not to edit; this page is intended to list and discover reasons why Wikimedians choose to edit.

A passing Wikimedian can be of great and much appreciated assistance by reviewing the following list and improving/adding items. This page was made with the intent of being a documentation of the reasoning of Wikimedians in general, and, as such, it can only be truly bettered with the input of as many people as possible.

Common reasons[edit]

Please list more.
  1. Because it is a unique way to engage the world.
  2. Pure enjoyment; find editing fun and addictive as a pastime.
  3. Identify with the vision, and are interested with being part of that.
  4. Enjoy the social aspects of Wikimedia and being involved with a dynamic community.
  5. Feel as if they are doing something worthwhile and productive in their leisure time rather than something else less productive and mentally engaging.
  6. By learning enough to teach others about a subject, we ourselves are also enlightened.
  7. A great way to improve our research and writing skills to further our education.
  8. To achieve a small measure of immortality. Hopefully my words will survive forever.
  9. To know that one has made a mark on the world that will be seen (and this - like graffiti - accounts for vandal edits as well).
  10. Are interested in specific topics and learn while writing about them and while sharing their knowledge: a form of active learning and active research.
  11. Find a Wikimedia project via a Google (or similar) search & discover a topic that they can contribute to. i.e. to fill a gap?
  12. Interested in the technology; learning how it works by using it.
  13. Expanding the knowledge of the world.
  14. Because of a wish/desire for factual and informing articles that can be relied upon by anyone at anytime.
  15. The desire to create a legacy or reputation inside the Wikipedia community.
  16. The desire to document subject matter areas that are particularly under-documented outside Wikipedia. Can include one's own diagnosis, for example.
  17. To support free knowledge/content.
  18. To learn or regain scholarly abilities (ie, finding images), before attempting to return to school.
  19. Want to maintain reliable, accurate, information on a particular topic, and recognize Wikipedia as a commonly used resource.
  20. Want to learn more about other languages and cultures because it may further some goal: peace, understanding, harmony, knowledge, wisdom.
  21. Too lazy to develop an alternative to such a massive pile of stuff. Often it's easiest to link somebody here, so one has an interest in maintaining the correct content.
  22. Because no-one else one knows does it; in order to be different.
  23. To learn to create a work of scholarly art that remains an enjoyable method of learning for others, particularly with visual and audio aids like the beautiful way some pages are presented on Wikipedia.
  24. A desire to hoard (facts in this case).
  25. The urge to document certain things.
  26. To promote awareness and traffic to an external website, a business, an employer, a band, a web-comic, etc.
  27. The desire to start something.
  28. To give back to the community. For every right (like free learning) there is a job (like free teaching).
  29. Because it's a perfect instance for almost every other scolar thing else on web (e.g. discussion instead of forum, article instead of weblog, userpage instead of personal website, paying because we like to, not because we have to).
  30. Pedantry and/or perfectionism: fix spelling and punctuation issues that frustrate them, and other small corrections.
  31. Because they can.
  32. Because they are bored.
  33. Compulsion.
  34. Because a teacher has assigned it.
  35. In order to study (by partaking) the sociology of universal collaboration in knowledge base construction.
  36. To practice reading and writing in a foreign or second language.
  37. Because my kids use it (or will, when they're old enough/when they exist).
  38. Writing about a subject is a very good way to learn it thoroughly.
  39. An inability to tolerate inaccuracy and/or sloppy writing/formatting.
  40. Because it's not finished! There's always something missing or that needs improvement.
  41. Bringing order out of chaos -- the joy of organization and maximization: taking something sub-optimal and making it easier to understand, easier to use, more beautiful to look at.


A poll may at some stage be possible to just ascertain why the userbase does edit, if for no reason other than the informational resource such a poll would provide in terms of user motivation and reasoning behind their editing. Optimally, extending the range of this poll to as many of the major projects as we can would be for the best; while such would be a huge translation and organisational effort, the more Wikimedians involved, the better. If you'd be interested in being involved with the erection of the poll, please state your interest on the talk and hopefully things can soon get underway.

See also[edit]

57 (or more) "because/to" in pl wiki: Wikipedia:Dlaczego edytuję Wikipedię