Wikipedia Adds Rating System, Tinkering With Its Incentives

Wikipedia will roll out a rating system for article pages in the coming weeks that will present users with the option of assigning one to five stars on four key metrics: trustworthy, objective, complete, well-written.

The ratings data will be public and available for export, which seems like a great idea. In general, I'm sure readers of Wikipedia will appreciate the heuristic.

What I'm less sure about is what impact the ratings data will have on Wikipedia's edit culture. Before, there wasn't another way to interact with an article aside from adding a comment or editing the text directly. Negative feelings about an article could be channeled into its improvement. Based on my own experience, I've always thought that was the genius of Wikipedia. You could see something was wrong or missing and your impulse would be to fix it. Now, however, you have more options for converting that negative feeling into action. Will someone who previously would have added a key point instead simply rate the article lower on completeness and move on? Or will this be a way to expand the tiny community that actually works to improve Wikipedia by providing lower threshholds for action.

I can't wait to see someone start running the numbers on how lots of high or low ratings impact the edit behavior surrounding an article. Stay tuned.

Presented by

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Technology

Just In