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August 05, 2006

Getting good -- not just more -- stuff in at Wikipedia

At the three day Wikimania conference this week, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales urged contributors to start focusing more on quality than on quantity.

Interesting incentives problems. The article count is a very visible sign of group accomplishment, and individuals can also make verifiable claims about the number of articles for which they were the initial creator. But what reward is there for improving the quality of entries? This seems like a case where the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic incentives may be important, particularly if designers want to induce contributors to shift along the quality-quantity axis in user-contributed content resources. Surely some, perhaps most of the rewards for quantity of contribution are also intrinsic, but for the designer, it might be easier to tweak the extrinsic rewards, disadvantaging quality.

Posted by jmm at August 5, 2006 11:01 AM

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