User:Sphilbrick/Top ten editors

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Two different themes motivated this proposal:

  1. I'm active at OTRS, where we filed many requests from readers. A common request is asking who wrote an article. I point them to the history page, and tell them about about the Contributors link, so they can see the editors sorted by number of edits. In short, I'd like to make this information easier to find.
  2. After tremendous growth in the number of editors, the growth has slowed. This has led to a number of discussions, including the formation of WikiProject Editor Retention with the goal of improving editor retention. One basic approach, when dealing with volunteers, is to make sure contributions are valued. We deliberately do not add editor names to the article itself. However, this information is available, and I simply propose to make it easier to view on the Talk Page.

The idea—List selected editors on the talk Page[edit]

The idea, in a nutshell, is to list some number of editors at the top of each article Talk Page. The list can be created with a bot, by using the Contributors tool example from the Toolserver, and culling out the bots.

This will enable casual readers to instantly see which editors have contributed most to an article.

Implementation issues[edit]

With four million articles, we don't want to do this manually. I suggest that we identify a handful of articles, create the list manually, get some feedback, then design a bot to create the list if the idea has merit.

For example, we might conclude that the list should exclude bots. We might conclude that editors with fewer than say, three edits, are more likely to be maintenance edits and should not be in the list, so we might program the bot to identify the top editors with more than two edits. We might want to have a longer list for GA and FA articles, and a shorter list for stubs and start class. If we do this manually for a number of articles, we will soon learn what would make most sense.

We'll also probably realize that a brand-new article only has a single, non-trivial editor, so we might decide that this would only be added to articles that have existed for a month or so.

In response to an observation by Drmies, one I am sure is shared by others, I in full agreement that the list of the top ten, as measured by edit count, often won't match what we might consider to be the ten best contributors to the article. However, I am going for low-hanging fruit. We might also decide to take a harder look at a small subset of articles, such as FA articles, and create a specific list for the talk page of each of those articles. It might, for example, include all contributors other than bots or pure maintenance.


I created a sandbox, derived from Reelin.

The Talk page of that sandbox contains the top, nonbot editors of the article I envision that someone skilled in presentation would pretty it up, but this illustrates what might appear on the top of the talk page of that article.

Top Editors Edit count Editor Talk page
CopperKettle 415 Talk page
Boghog 48 Talk page
Sphilbrick 25 Talk page
The Wiki ghost 21 Talk page
Tea with toast 13 Talk page
Joachimherz 12 Talk page
Rjwilmsi 11 Talk page
Andrew Su 10 Talk page
Headbomb 7 Talk page
Alarbus 6 Talk page
RDBrown 6 Talk page