Thursday, August 6, 2015

VisualEditor and barriers to entry in Wikipedia

In this blog entry, I'm going to briefly cover a presentation that I gave recently as part of the Wikimedia Research Showcase.

The Newcomer Gauntlet. A theoretical diagram of barriers to entry in 
Wikipedia are depicted with the hypothesized effect of VisualEditor's
 reduction in technical literacy barrier highlighted in green. 

TL;DR: We ran an experiment where we gave a WYSIWYG editor to newly registered editors in Wikipedia and monitored the effect it had on their productivity.  We found that it didn't affect productivity either way.  I think that this is because the barriers to entry in Wikipedia primarily consist of social/motivational issues, so reducing the technical literacy barriers that VE targets did not have a meaningful effect.

The talk is embedded below.  My talk is first.  There's a second talk by some students looking at building a knowledge graph with Wikipedia and some google tech too.

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