Wikipedia Aiming For More Contributors

The online encyclopedia is tapping US colleges for new recruits to boost the number of people who update entries

Online encyclopedia Wikipedia isn't in danger of dying, but an extra dose of contributors would give it a much-needed shot in the arm.

At Wikipedia's annual conference this week, founder Jimmy Wales warned that Wikipedia is slowly losing contributors. He said the issue was an important one that Wikipedia needed to focus on.

Wales blamed the drop in contributions on Wikipedia's editing guidelines, which many users feel have gotten more complex in recent years. While long-time users are busy in edit wars about the minutia of Wikipedia entries, new users are often left in the dark or chastised for not creating articles in the proper format.

The best solution is to make edits easier for new users. Wikipedia also is trying some other fixes.

Among them: Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation non-profit that runs Wikipedia, said the organization is working with college professors to have students assigned Wikipedia articles as class work. Users can now also send each other virtual badges in a program called WikiLove to encourage more participation.

It's unclear how effective these strategies will be, though Wales also was quick to point out that some of the attrition was natural.

The typical Wikipedia user, who Wales described as "a 26-year-old geeky male," is bound to move on to other things eventually and, after 10 years, there simply aren't as many things for new users to add.

Wikipedia has more than 3 million entries, but by March had only about 90,000 active contributors, according to The Associated Press, which reports that Gardner says the goal is to add another 5,000 by June of next year.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags internetwikipediaWikimedia FoundationTech industry

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Daw

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?