New poll for sikmleaders - Why don't more people edit wikis? #poll #wikis


sikmleaders@...
 

Enter your vote today! A new poll has been created for the
sikmleaders group:

Based on the statistics at http://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/TablesWikipediaEN.htm#wikipedians, it appears that most of Wikipedia editing is done by a very small group of people. Why do you think this is? Why don't more people take advantage of capturing their knowledge in such a public place?

o Wikis are still a new technology
o It's too difficult to learn how to edit a wiki entry
o It's too intimidating to edit a wiki entry
o There's no need to edit a wiki entry typically


To vote, please visit the following web page:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sikmleaders/surveys?id=1835701

Note: Please do not reply to this message. Poll votes are
not collected via email. To vote, you must go to the Yahoo! Groups
web site listed above.

Thanks!


Gent, Andrew <andrew.gent@...>
 

>> A new poll has been created for the sikmleaders group [...] it appears that most of Wikipedia editing is done by a very small group of people. Why do you think this is? Why don't more people take advantage of capturing their knowledge in such a public place?
 
I'm obviously in a somewhat contrary mood, because I couldn't find a response to the survey that I was comfortable with. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that my problem is with the question itself: it implies there is something wrong with the current situation. Most of the allowable responses to the survey assert a negative cause (too "new", "too difficult...", "too intimidating...") and the only other alternative is that there is "no need".
 
A more interesting question might be why would we assume more people would participate? Past experiences with community technologies have all demonstrated pretty much the same participant/lurker ratio, whether it is bulletin boards, newsgroups, forums, or the older non-technical vehicles such as town meetings, PTAs, and bake sales. The one exception I can think of is blogs -- where there seem to be almost as many blogs as blog readers -- at least in comparative terms.
 
So, as a KM practitioner, despite my initial negative reaction, I appreciate whoever posted the survey for raising the question because of the alternatives it brings to light:
  • Why would we think wikipedia should induce more participation than our previous community-building efforts?
  • And if it should, how can we turn that around and apply it to our internal communities (my experiences with wikis inside the firewall have been less than impressive to date)?
Best,
 
Andrew Gent
HP
 
 


Valdis Krebs <valdis@...>
 

I agree with Andrew... the Wiki system is emergent and appears to be working well... and the "action nodes" in groups are consistently in the minority as he explains.

Most people are lurkers[readers only] in on-line communities... here is a social network map we did of an actual online community... about 2/3 lurkers[blue nodes]. Only the red nodes in the center are connected, by some path, to each other[they are not all directly connected]. This connected center [red nodes] are less than 1/3 of the total group. The green nodes[fragments] are just connected in small groups of 2-6 people.

http://www.orgnet.com/emergent_community2.png

Valdis

On Apr 25, 2007, at 2:43 PM, Gent, Andrew wrote:

A new poll has been created for the sikmleaders group [...] it
appears that most of Wikipedia editing is done by a very small group of people. Why do you think this is? Why don't more people take advantage of capturing their knowledge in such a public place?

I'm obviously in a somewhat contrary mood, because I couldn't find a response to the survey that I was comfortable with. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that my problem is with the question itself: it implies there is something wrong with the current situation. Most of the allowable responses to the survey assert a negative cause (too "new", "too difficult...", "too intimidating...") and the only other alternative is that there is "no need".

A more interesting question might be why would we assume more people would participate? Past experiences with community technologies have all demonstrated pretty much the same participant/ lurker ratio, whether it is bulletin boards, newsgroups, forums, or the older non-technical vehicles such as town meetings, PTAs, and bake sales. The one exception I can think of is blogs -- where there seem to be almost as many blogs as blog readers -- at least in comparative terms.

So, as a KM practitioner, despite my initial negative reaction, I appreciate whoever posted the survey for raising the question because of the alternatives it brings to light:
Why would we think wikipedia should induce more participation than our previous community-building efforts?
And if it should, how can we turn that around and apply it to our internal communities (my experiences with wikis inside the firewall have been less than impressive to date)?
Best,

Andrew Gent
HP



David Snowden <snowded@...>
 

I fully endorse this comment.  It is one of the major problems with surveys.  The responses are limited to the range of hypotheses envisaged by the researcher and as a result (i) false conclusions are drawn and (ii) key things are missed.

As an active participant in Wikipedia, accross around 15 articles at the moment I think the reasons are very different.  For example
1 - Keeping a site free from vandalism and stupidity takes time, so you have to value the contents of the site
2 - There are natural limits of any community, and wikipedia pages are no exception, beyond which coherence is impossible.  So for the articles in which I am involved I feel that I know the other main participants

Neither of these reasons comes out in the poll
It is no contribution to knowledge (in fact it is the opposite) to assume that anything can be gained by suggest four simplistic answers to a complex problem.  



Dave Snowden
Founder & Chief Scientific Officer
Cognitive Edge Pte Ltd

Now blogging at www.cognitive-edge.com


On 25 Apr 2007, at 19:43, Gent, Andrew wrote:


>> A new poll has been created for the sikmleaders group [...] it appears that most of Wikipedia editing is done by a very small group of people. Why do you think this is? Why don't more people take advantage of capturing their knowledge in such a public place?
 
I'm obviously in a somewhat contrary mood, because I couldn't find a response to the survey that I was comfortable with. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that my problem is with the question itself: it implies there is something wrong with the current situation. Most of the allowable responses to the survey assert a negative cause (too "new", "too difficult...", "too intimidating...") and the only other alternative is that there is "no need".
 
A more interesting question might be why would we assume more people would participate? Past experiences with community technologies have all demonstrated pretty much the same participant/lurker ratio, whether it is bulletin boards, newsgroups, forums, or the older non-technical vehicles such as town meetings, PTAs, and bake sales. The one exception I can think of is blogs -- where there seem to be almost as many blogs as blog readers -- at least in comparative terms.
 
So, as a KM practitioner, despite my initial negative reaction, I appreciate whoever posted the survey for raising the question because of the alternatives it brings to light:
  • Why would we think wikipedia should induce more participation than our previous community-building efforts?
  • And if it should, how can we turn that around and apply it to our internal communities (my experiences with wikis inside the firewall have been less than impressive to date)?
Best,
 
Andrew Gent
HP
 
 



Stan Garfield
 

To find out who initiated a poll, click on "Polls" in the left menu of the Yahoo! Group site, which takes you to http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/sikmleaders/polls .  There you will see the creators of the current polls - click on their user IDs to see their profiles.


--- In sikmleaders@..., "Gent, Andrew" wrote:

>I appreciate whoever posted the survey for raising the question