Sunday, March 11, 2007


Responses to "Wikipedia burnout"

I saw, late as usual, some responses from Wikipedia:Village pump (news) to my earlier post Wikipedia burnout: an analysis. I hope that I don't too desperate for feedback by reprinting them here.

I thought it was interesting. As you say, regrettably a few people have been driven away permanently. However, I think Wikibreaks are a good thing. They can be quite useful when the stress level gets too high ("I can't leave now! Wikipedia NEEDS me! Gotta check my watchlist!"). You made a good point about the retention rate, we do lose a lot of people. However, this is an online project, and editors don't necessarily feel obliged to stay on. To put it in different words, "Old Wikipedians never die, they just fade away." GhostPirate 21:49, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Nice paraphrasing of Douglas McArthur in above comment, GhostPirate, and nice essay on the blog, Llwrch. Very interesting. It kinda makes me not want to be an admin when I hear these tales of admins asking to be de-synopsed. Captain panda In vino veritas 04:20, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

It may be significant for some of your analysis to take note that Fred Bauder appears to have created Wikinfo in 2003. Wikinfo currently largely imports articles from Wikipedia. Hence in a way Fred Bauder has harnessed Wikipedia to Fred Bauder's own project. This may serve as a possible explanation why Fred Bauder does not burn out. Itayb 13:52, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Old wikipedians never die, they just revert. -- RJH (talk) 19:36, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

The best way to keep stress levels down is ensuring civility. When new users join there're often told about the Five Pillars of Wikipedia, How to edit a page, Help pages, Tutorials, How to write a great article, Manual of Style -- that's a lot of information! Given how many members of this Web site are teenagers, how likely is it that it all gets read? And even if it does... etiquette is a long way down the list. Maybe when you sign up to jin you should be asked your age. Older users could be given all this info and younger ones might have something smaller with WP:TEA, WP:DBAD or WP:TIGERS near the top of the list. Pitch your message to your audience? Coricus 19:26, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


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I'd say it's simpler. The motivation for editing Wikipedia is (1) it's fun (2) it's important. Burnout happens when you know 2. is the case but 1. stops being true.
Yes, lack of fun -- or unhappiness -- is a major factor to stop editting. However, that leads to a simple question: why does it stop being fun?

To paraphrase Tolstoy's comment about families, was every formerly devoted Wikipedian unhappy in her or his own unique way? And if there are reasons that are not unique, can something be done about them?

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