Wikimedia blog

News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

Posts Tagged ‘december 2011 editor survey’

Editor survey: Lack of time and unpleasant interactions hinder contributions

Respondents to the December 2011 Editor Survey reported that lack of time and poor interactions with other editors were the biggest obstacles in their way. Editors that primarily worked on more established Wikipedias (for instance English and German) also talked extensively about the abundance of rules and policies.

In an effort to better understand how we can make editing easier for Wikipedians, we asked them two questions in the survey, about the biggest obstacle that prevents them from making a contribution and about one thing they would like to see changed in order to contribute more effectively.

Word cloud of open ended responses to Q26: "What is the single biggest obstacle that you face in making an important contribution to Wikipedia?"

Many respondents spoke of unpleasant interactions with fellow editors, in many cases involving reverts to content they had added. One noted: “if an editor reverts with snotty comments or reverts a major contribution with no detailed explanation, I feel like saying ‘what’s the use?’  so far, I’ve come back after those experiences, but maybe someday I won’t“. Another respondent talked about the problems arising from a few editors assuming ownership of major articles: “… This makes just jumping in and doing significant rewrites feel almost like an act of aggression and one tends to hesitate to do so despite the ability to write well and knowledgeably about the subject.”

When asked what they would like changed, a large part of the respondents talked about a better editing interface: “Simpler editing interface, replacement of markup language with word processor-esque click and go interface – otherwise editing is too time consuming” (a goal the Foundation is pursuing with the development of the Visual Editor). Another noted: “Easier interface. Editing is difficult and if one is not careful, it’s easy to mess the article up.“ Many respondents also mentioned that dealing with complicated expressions (for instance, mathematical equations) and language intricacies (for non-English Wikipedias) is difficult with the current interface. Some also felt that the Wikipedia community needed to do a better job of recognizing people by merit: “Merit should be given to the quality of edits contributed rather than vehement assertions…“, “People can cherry pick or misrepresent sources with impunity, as long as they are polite“.

Word cloud of open ended responses to Q27: "What is the single biggest obstacle that you face in making an important contribution to Wikipedia?"

We plan to use these responses to inform the continuing improvement of Wikipedia.

Ayush Khanna, Data Analyst, Global Development

In December 2011, we conducted an online survey of Wikipedia editors in 17 languages. This is the sixth and final in a series of blog posts summarizing our findings. If you are interested, you can find out more about the methodology of the survey here.

Survey: Editors see technical operations and features as most important expenses

Technical operations (more operations staff, new caching servers, performance metrics, uptime) were chosen as the most important use of donation money by respondents to the December 2011 Editor Survey, followed by the development of technical features for new and experienced editors. On average, respondents felt that 26.7 dollars out of every 100 donated to Wikimedia Foundation should be spent on technical operations, almost twice as much as the next major expense.

a. Technical operations and features for editors seen as most important expense
b. Almost half of the respondents are unaware of Board elections
c. Slight dip in overall performance ratings since April (more…)

Survey shows improved editor satisfaction

As many as 57 percent of Wikipedians who responded to the December 2011 Editor Survey scored a perfect ten on the Wikipedia Editor Satisfaction Index. This is a marked improvement over the 47 percent from April 2011, and is based on a significantly larger sample of 5,911 respondents. The average score improved less markedly (7.76 vs. 7.65 in April), which suggests we have more editors at both extremes.

In an effort to understand the general satisfaction of the Wikipedia community as well as how their interactions and experiences shape it, we had defined the Wikipedia Editor Satisfaction Index (WESI) during the April 2011 Editor Survey. We used responses to two questions on the survey: how they described their fellow editors (picking from a set of adjectives), and whether they believed community feedback had helped them personally. These responses were weighted, and then normalized to a 0-10 rating. We repeated this analysis for the December 2011 survey.

a. More established Wikipedians score higher, though there is a “chasm”
b. Arabic, Italian Wikipedia editors most satisfied; German, Japanese and Portuguese are least satisfied
c. Editors appreciate constructive improvements from others, and the occasional compliment
d. A majority of Wikipedians say the mission of Wikipedia makes them feel their work is important (more…)

59 percent of logged-in Wikipedians started as anonymous editors

As we work on new product features to improve various aspects of editing Wikipedia, we asked our editors to share more about their editing experiences. Here are some highlights from the Editor Survey that we found to be valuable:

a. 59 percent of editors edited Wikipedia anonymously before creating an account

b. Decline in edit activity is more pronounced for experienced editors

c. Edit history influences editors’ views on problems with Wikimedia culture as well as desired solutions (more…)

From adding content to patrolling, Wikipedians do it all

Contributing to the largest online encyclopedia is not as simple as it appears: it involves a gamut of activities from writing new articles to writing policies and guidelines to participating in the deletion process. But when participants in our survey of Wikipedia editors were asked how often they contributed to certain activities in the last one month, the top three activities they named most frequently as those to which they contribute very often/often are in the article namespace: fix formatting, spelling, grammar or make other minor edits (50 percent), add content to existing articles (48 percent) and write new articles (23 percent).

Being a Wikipedian is not only about adding content to Wikipedia. Many Wikipedians work behind the scenes to ensure content on Wikipedia is of high quality and meets the standards of Wikipedia. More than one-fifth of editors (21 percent) patrol for vandalism, copyright violations or other problems with articles often/very often. A slightly smaller number (17 percent) participates in the discussion namespace often/very often, and nine percent participate in the deletion process including speedy and proposed deletion often/very often. Other popular activities include: doing translation work and uploading or editing images, media etc. (14 percent each).

Q4a,4b: How often have you participated in the following in the last 30 days? (n=6348)

With 3.9 million articles in March 2012, the English Wikipedia is one of the more mature and complete language Wikipedias. It’s no surprise that editors who edit other language Wikipedias are more likely to say that they write new articles or add content to existing articles often/very often. Editors who work on smaller Wikipedias are also more likely to do translation work. Compared to the English (4 percent) and German Wikipedia (5 percent), more editors from the Russian (18 percent), Spanish (28 percent), French (16 percent), Portuguese (35 percent) and Arabic (36 percent) Wikipedias stated that they did translation work often/very often.

Q4a,4b: How often have you participated in the following in the last 30 days? (n=6348)

If you are interested in more information about Wikipedia editors like age or country of residence, please check out the long-awaited topline findings from the survey.

Mani Pande, Head of Global Development Research
Ayush Khanna, Data Analyst, Global Development

In December 2011, we conducted an online survey of Wikipedia editors in 17 languages. This is the second in a series of blog posts summarizing our findings. If you are interested, you can find out more about the methodology of the survey here.

Nine out of ten Wikipedians continue to be men: Editor Survey

As part of the Wikimedia Movement strategic plan, regular surveys among Wikipedia editors are an important way to take the pulse of the community and identify pressing concerns and needs. We are happy to share results from the second editor survey that was conducted in December 2011. We began survey efforts in April 2011, and results from the first survey are available here. We would like to point out that although this blog post and the following ones will be looking at some trends across the April and December survey, 7-8 months is a rather short time to see statistically significant change on important indicators like gender distribution resulting from Wikimedia Foundation initiatives. Here are some demographic data about Wikipedia editors:

a. Wikipedia editors continue to be predominantly men

The gender distribution of Wikipedia editors hasn’t changed since the last survey. Among those surveyed, 90 percent self-identified as males, 9 percent as females and 1 percent as transsexual or transgender. That being said, there was a greater amount of female editors among those respondents who had joined more recently: Among editors who had joined in 2011, 14 percent were female compared to 10 percent for 2010, 9 percent for 2009 and 8 percent for editors who had joined in 2008 and participated in this survey. Possible explanations include that Wikipedia has been attracting a higher ratio of women recently, or that female editors leave the project sooner. There were no significant variations across the major language Wikipedias, with the exception of the Russian Wikipedia, which reported only 6 percent female editors. Also, out of all editors in the US, 15 percent are women, which is significantly higher than any other country of residence. Conversely, there are fewer male editors in US (85 percent) compared to other countries (UK, India, Brazil, Canada) where 90 percent or more of editors are males.  With initiatives like the Teahouse project that engages new editors through outreach, we hope to increase the number of female editors on Wikipedia.

(D15) What is your gender? (n=6503)

D15. What is your gender? n=6503

b. English Wikipedia continues to be the most read and edited Wikipedia

(more…)

Launching the Second Annual Wikipedia Editor Survey

On Thursday, December 8th, the Wikimedia Foundation will launch its second semi-annual survey (2011) of Wikipedia editors.  In order to capture editor trends, we are using the same methodology as the April 2011 Editor Survey – editors logged in to Wikipedia will receive a notification, as every editor is eligible to participate. To ensure that all editors have an equal probability of participating in the survey, all logged-in users will see the invitation only once. We’ll do a soft launch on Thursday (all Wikipedias, excluding English) and switch it on for the English Wikipedia next week, to accommodate the Harvard/Sciences Po survey that is launching soon on the English Wikipedia. We urge all Wikipedia editors to give us their feedback and participate in the survey. For more information, you can read the FAQ we’ve posted detailing the survey.

The survey is currently available in various languages in addition to English, including: Chinese (traditional, Hong Kong), Chinese (simplified), Arabic, Catalan, German, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Polish, French, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Russian and Serbo-Croatian. The Foundation will conduct the survey in languages for which translations are available, and for the remainder of Wikipedia language projects the survey will be available in English.  The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete.  Since we are interested in trending the data, about 90% of the questions are the same as in the April 2011 survey. We have added a few new questions based on findings from Wikipedia Summer of Research project and other research work that has been conducted at the Foundation.

The current survey covers the following topics:

  • Demographics
  • Brief section on editors’ technology usage
  • Editing activities and contributions
  • Editor interactions
  • Opinions of editors about chapters, the Foundation and participation in board elections.

We’re looking forward to participation from editors all around the world while the survey is active. Please spread the word, and we would like to thank you in advance for taking the time to contribute your views!

Mani Pande, Head of Global Development Research