Authors: Aaron Halfaker, Bryan Song, D. Alex Stuart, Aniket Kittur and John Riedl.
Abstract: Social production systems such asWikipedia rely on attracting and motivating volunteer contributions to be successful. One strong demotivating factor can be when an editor’s work is discarded, or “reverted”, by others. In this paper we demonstrate evidence of this effect and design a novel interface aimed at improving communication between the reverting and reverted editors. We deployed the interface in a controlled experiment on the live Wikipedia site, and report on changes in the behavior of 487 contributors who were reverted by editors using our interface. Our results suggest that simple interface modifications (such as informing Wikipedians that the editor they are reverting is a newcomer) can have substantial positive effects in protecting against contribution loss in newcomers and improving the quality of work done by more experienced contributors.