The problem is that anything that makes it easier to edit Wikipedia will make it easier for anyone to edit Wikipedia. And I know that worries the core editing community. The core editing community experienced a massive influx of new contributors over the past five years, and many of those contributors were horrible. Pranksters, little kids, selfpromoters. I think that experience really profoundly shaped the core community of editors, and one effect was to leave people afraid of opening the floodgates up to new people, for fear that good editors will drown in bad edits. Nonetheless, my belief is that we need to encourage new participants, to ensure a vibrant, healthy community of contributors, and to mitigate against systemic bias.
We also have a lot to learn from successful social networking sites. I know this is controversial. Our job is not to create a space for people to have fun. Our goal is not participation for its own sake. It’s not to amuse people and to make our site “sticky.” We do not have the normal incentives for doing that; we are not monetizing eyeballs. Having said that, we can borrow technical tools, features, and so on to make our site more engaging and to make our site easier to use. If you’re interested in X, you might like Y. If you like copyediting, here are 10 articles you can work on. If you live in Mainz, there is a meetup there this weekend.