Wikipedia talk:Service awards

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Alternative service award scheme to inspire larger numbers of editors?[edit]

In light of the "Rise and decline" of Wikipedia participation (Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2012-09-24/Recent research), I think we should create a new set of awards that would apply to and inspire a larger fraction of editors. I think we should strongly encourage and reward editors with a steady stream of contributions, even e.g. as little as twice a week for a year (probably in a set of little bursts), where the emphasis is more on continued contribution than on dozens of edits a week. The theme could be something other than the career/guild theme here, e.g. one related to impact, like how many views their edits presumably get (hmm - anyone with edits on a bunch of pages probably gets an impressive number of views each year....)

Has anyone looked at what it would take to reward a good percentage of all editors that continue to be active over a year or two? I think most of them merit a nice kudo. There may be some appropriate barnstars, but they seem meant for giving to others, not self-awards or automatic awards which is why I'm thinking of an award more like these.

Has anyone looked at how many editors would qualify for each award? Or perhaps more interesting, what fraction of the total number of edits are made by people who would qualify for an award? ★NealMcB★ (talk) 16:04, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

This'd be fine. One of things about the Service Awards is that you have to be really really productive to keep edits in step with service time. I mean, I edit all time, almost every day and usually for a fair amount of time, and still my Service Award level eligibility by edit count lags well behind that for my service time. Granted I took a couple of breaks and hardly use automated tools at all. To make them match you either have to be maniac or use automated tools I guess.
Although for the first two years it's easier. Still, 4,000 edits a year. That's eleven edits a day, so if you take a week off you're 80 edits behind.... that's a lot of edits if you have an actual life and are not deliberately inflating your edit count. So seems reasonable. Herostratus (talk) 17:10, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes - exactly! Another reason we want to attract and inspire more people is so we can get more depth in more specialized topics from experts. So again the folks just doing an occasional edit or burst of edits may be making just the sorts of changes that we really need to fill gaps in our coverage. ★NealMcB★ (talk) 13:47, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. I would be very reluctant to change the qualifications for these awards since they're stable. It would be huge project since it would change the current levels for many people. So that's out I'd say. However, a separate award system would be fine. What might it look like? Like this one, but predicated on much lower edit count requirements? That'd be fine. Or something else? You mentioned something about the number of page reads the articles one has worked on has achieved, but I don't know how that could be implemented. Or maybe there's some other outside-the-box way I haven't thought of. Herostratus (talk) 16:03, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Awards aren't meant to be given away like candy, otherwise they have NO value, just like worthless participation awards given to kiddies these days "just for showing up" for school events. • SbmeirowTalk • 16:34, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
What has that to do with what we're talking about here, grouchyface. Many major organizations (public safety, military) have length-of-service awards or campaign ribbons.They're generally displayed with pride. Herostratus (talk) 18:48, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
"grouchyface", wow, I wasn't aware Wikipedia was a grade school blog. • SbmeirowTalk • 20:03, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Right - changing this set of awards is not what I'm thinking of. And I wasn't expecting to implement an actual calculation of the number of page reads achieved by the articles that each editor has worked on, though that would be cool. Some samples and back-of-the envelope calculations could produce some illustrative numbers, which we could use as a guide. Or we could frame some awards around something else that would be inspiring. And I'm not worried about the award being valueless. People would give it to themselves. The analogy with school (a non-volunteer activity where we invest a lot and expect significant effort from students) is very weak. I would want to reward folks for a level of contribution which is significant and helpful, giving them a sense of its impact. And I think that people contributing at the levels I noted are indeed important, and in fact necessary for us to address our editor retention issues. ★NealMcB★ (talk) 22:17, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm all for that. I don't have any great ideas myself at the moment. All I can think of is like these except with significantly lower edit counts (and different names and pictures). Of course, there already are userboxes for strictly time-of-service ("This editor has been an editor for 5 years 3 months 11 days" or whatever they say) which I think are updated automatically. Ideas welcome, maybe you could as the Pump or something. Herostratus (talk) 22:47, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

How many editors qualify for each level?[edit]

I would like to see an automated table displaying how many editors qualify for each service award, with those who qualify for a higher award removed from all the lower awards, so that the total number is accurate. Binksternet (talk) 05:20, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Unfortunately, we have no means of knowing for sure, since a user with multiple accounts, or who had a long IP editing history before creating their account, will have a lower "aparent rank" than their real one; and I don't think there's any good reason to prevent a user from holding on to old awards here. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 13:22, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
Good idea - it would help give us a sense of how well the award limits relate to the folks we're trying to engage! We couldn't use it as the definitive authority on who qualifies, since it would be hard to be exact, as noted, but we could come very close prettily easily. ★NealMcB★ (talk) 15:48, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't think we should be designing this just based on what existing editors already qualify for, the project is barely 14 years old, our service award scheme might still be in use in thirty years time. There is an element of aspiration in the scheme and that is healthy. ϢereSpielChequers 11:20, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Alternative award system idea[edit]

Carrying forward in the spirit of some of the ideas and concerns forwarded in the above sections, I was wondering; what about an award system that is perhaps based more on the presumable contribution of total edits rather than simply the quantity thereof? Admittedly, there is no processor currently more capable than the human mind of determining what are meaningful contributions, and even then opinions differ, but perhaps one systematic way of approximating such would be an award system based upon the total number of characters or bytes; a summation of all of an editor's edits (perhaps add the total number of bytes deleted, then added to a total number of bytes added, to equally reward editors who perform deletions and help remove any notion of "inclusionist bias").

One plus side of such a system, is that there is a large degree of preexisting quality control. Wikipedia is excellent at preventing and reversing vandalism and other non-contributory edits. Spamming particularly large edits (the type that would threaten the integrity of such an award system) would naturally garner the most attention and be the most likely to be corrected. It could be decided whether edits done in special places such as sandboxes or user pages would count toward such an award or not.

One down side of such a system, is that a means of determining an editors total characters/bytes added and/or deleted would need to be devised. Although, with such information already existing within each user's list of edit contributions, the task should be a fairly straightforward one. Perhaps the good folks at Wikimedia Tool Labs could create such a thing?

Does this idea have any merit or is it simply wishful thinking? I'm sure there are many other aspects to this, both positive and negative, I can't currently see. Buddy23Lee (talk) 21:36, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Excellent idea!! We just need to write the code. Sounds like a fun project for learning how to work with big data in new frameworks like Spark :) ★NealMcB★ (talk) 15:51, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. Though I have a feeling that this idea, and/or many similar ones, have probably arisen on many long past talk pages only to meet with eventual dereliction. I suppose if this generally finds enough support here, or at least doesn't meet with the vehement opposition of editors who can see some fatal flaw, as I've been half expecting, I'll try to compose a more formal proposal. Any more opinions prior to this would be greatly appreciated. :) Buddy23Lee (talk) 23:03, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Tutnum weirdness[edit]

It's weird. When you Google "tutnum" the results include the image for this award - plus dozens of images of inverted nipples. WTH? Lightbreather (talk) 17:31, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Face-tongue.svg Things that make you go huh ! Mlpearc (open channel) 17:48, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
That is weird. I introduced "Tutnum" here and I can assure you it's not intentional. I got it from an old Gilbert Shelton comic, where one panel features "The American Tutnum" which is an Uncle Sam whose head is made of hundreds of tiny heads, same sort of concept as original cover of Hobbes's Leviathan. AFAIK Shelton made up the word. Apparently "Tut num" means "inverted nipple" (or something) in transcripted Vietnamese which is why you are getting that. Herostratus (talk) 11:34, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Edit and day[edit]

For those awards, the number of edits should me made in that particular period of time mentioned aGainst it?
aGastya  ✉ let's talk about it :) 05:07, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

You need both, is how it's treated. You don't need to do it in that time frame, but it has to be both. Achowat (talk) 07:46, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for informing @Achowat:
aGastya  ✉ let's have a constructive talk about it (: 19:18, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Time served?[edit]

The "in a nutshell" box reads "...service award, which denotes time served and ..."

Is that deliberately humorous? Maybe something else, like "active time" or "time investment"? Shankarsivarajan (talk) 16:12, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Much of this is tongue in cheek, including the book version of the awards, however "Time served" is usually used to measure how long one was in a particular position, job, service or jail, length of service would be equally accurate, but a nutshell should use the shorter phrase. Active time and time investment I would understand as measuring the time actually contributed to the project. Since we don't do timesheets, active time or time investment in Wikipedia is hard to measure. If we were running a charity shop one might do things differently, the volunteer who does a two hour stint every Saturday morning for two years has donated as much of their time as the person who for 6 months was in the shop for 8 hours every Wednesday. Writing an encyclopaedia is a very different undertaking, we can readily measure how many edits someone has made and how long ago they first made an edit. So Time served should stay as neither active time nor time investment would be accurate. ϢereSpielChequers 06:04, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
It is the "time since you first created your account". • SbmeirowTalk • 18:58, 25 June 2015 (UTC)