Submissions/How scary is Wikipedia for non-machos?

From Wikimania 2011 • Haifa, Israel

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Title of the submission
How Scary is Wikipedia for Non-Machos?
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Karen Torben-Nielsen & Jonathan Bennett
E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special
Country of origin
Belgium & Switzerland
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

How Scary is Wikipedia for Non-Machos?

An odd problem has come to Wikipedia: although many new authors emerge, they often quit all too soon afterwards. A solution? It might not be what you think, or rather, who you think. While Wikipedia traditionally attracts young males, maybe it should aim its arrows at older people now.

Sounds less appealing? Then think about this: ‘seniors’ (55+) are often more loyal in their voluntary activities (read: they won’t quit that fast), have more spendable time and not seldom practice-based expertise. Besides, seniors already make up a quarter of the population in most European countries, and this percentage will only grow. For Wikipedia, this vast group holds a huge potential to raise its number of persisting authors.

Together with Wikimedia Switzerland and Wikimedia Germany, we are conducting an international research project (TAO) in Switzerland, Germany and The Netherlands to discover what attracts seniors to Wikipedia, and what puts them off. One of the most intimidating things to them is the boldness of the young: youthful authors are not afraid to harshly criticize the seniors’ contributions. “Most contributors are young machos”, states a representative of a Swiss online senior community.

In our presentation we illustrate seniors’ main thresholds to take part in Wikipedia, and our preliminary recommendations on how to stimulate this immense group to engage (especially long-term) in Wikipedia. Even if they aren’t young, and aren’t machos.

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
People and Community
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  1. Frank Schulenburg 15:15, 14 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  2. CT Cooper 16:51, 14 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Millosh 14:19, 20 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  4. JanPaul123 21:35, 26 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
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  6. Saintfevrier 05:01, 2 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Vibhijain 07:11, 8 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
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  9. Lodewijk 14:04, 19 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Waldir 14:49, 19 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Jalexander 18:40, 19 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
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  13. WereSpielChequers 17:17, 8 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Amir E. Aharoni