Forum:Editing incentive programme

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This thread was archived on 28 August 2019 by Cqm.

One of the most exciting consequences of forking (in my opinion) is the increased opportunity to try and solve the “not having enough editors to tackle big projects” problem that we have been stuck with for at least the last few years. We’ve always been well aware of things we could do improve the wiki - with a long list of outstanding project ideas which grows every time we solicit community feedback. We’ve tried making editing more accessible with editing help guides and Discord, and gained our own title with which to encourage new editors. However, nothing we have tried so far has really had a significant impact in making these large scale changes.

Our partnership with Jagex brings fresh opportunities to change this situation. Jagex have previously offered to give us a bond “budget” for us to use as we see fit. I am proposing that we request bonds to be used to reward editors for completing editing targets.

How it would work

The programme would be available to the RS and OSRS wikis. I propose that these wikis would have an equal split of the bonds available per week, assuming that both wikis wish to take part in the programme.

Each wiki would have a small group of volunteers to administer the programme. They would decide the weekly bounties and give out bonds to editors who achieved the targets. The volunteers would need to be experienced editors who could accurately check whether contributions successfully completed set targets and who are frequently available to give out bonds in-game. I am not proposing a formal process for choosing program helpers at the moment; but this may be necessary if a lot of editors would like to be involved. If you would be interested in helping out with an incentive programme, it may be helpful to say so in discussion to see whether a formal process is necessary.

To start with I imagine very specific targets where it would be easy to assess which editor has completed the goal would be a good place to start, and to gauge how people respond to the system. Potential bounties could be things like updating a calculator or creating a new money making guide.

Bounties could be advertised on the wikis’ home pages and on Discord. We would have pages dedicated to the programme to display the current targets and allow editors who worked on completing them to sign up, with their RuneScape display name, in order to receive a bond. Programme administers could keep an eye on editing towards the bounties, and mark them off if they were completed. At the end of the week, the page would be updated to identify the editors who had completed the set targets. Programme administrators would then meet up with those editors in game to give them the bonds.

I have created a rough mock up of how the project pages could look here.

Suggested terms for the programme

Editors involved in administering the programme would be disqualified from earning any bonds through the programme. Bonds would only be given to the account named via the sign up. Bonds must be claimed within 1 month. IsobelJ (talk) 19:17, 6 February 2019 (UTC)


Comment - Love any form of editing incentive and would love to help out with the administrating of the programme. Talk-to Kelsey 21:38, 5 February 2019 (UTC)

Comment - I'd also like to help with this, also, we can get more ppl to help out with update history like this 👀. Meeeeerds msg 21:50, 5 February 2019 (UTC)

I feel like long-term we could try and do more, smaller rewards for a larger number of smaller editing goals (maybe split the bonds up for a bunch of gp prizes). I assumed bigger goals would be easier to assess as complete, but for the ones I used above for demonstration completion of the goals would actually be quite hard to define. Hopefully with editors more familiar with these areas of editing it would be easier. IsobelJ (talk) 19:20, 6 February 2019 (UTC)

Comment - Do we have any sense of what the bounties would look like? Like, what sort of tasks could we expect to see as part of the program? BigDiesel2m (talk) 04:48, 6 February 2019 (UTC)

I'd say that they'd be basically ways of getting new editors into some of the more basic stuff we currently have on the Discord category "Projects". So stuff like the Update History, Checking Mining and Smithing rework stuff is all up to date. Twig Talk 772kZGs.png 22:28, 6 February 2019 (UTC)

Comment - Would this include the PT-BR wiki? If yes, would we be expected to take a portion of the budget exclusively from the RS Wiki or would it be split among the three, even if unequally? EDIT: Proposing the addition of a clause limiting how many bonds a single user can win in a given timespan.Crowborn (Talk) 21:55, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

Comment/Soft Support - First off I would love to help in administrating the programme as well. I propose we do include PT-BR. I also propose allowing each Wiki to "Opt-In" to the programme. I also support Crowborn's limiting the amount of bonds given to a single user/player. I also support the expiry of the bonds, but what happens to those bonds? Saved for the next "bounty?" How "young" does an editor have to be to qualify and how to we keep them as an editor once the bounty is over? Otherwise, I think this is a much more fleshed version of what was proposed a month or so ago. TylerJarret (Talketh) 22:50, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

Any unclaimed bonds could just be re-used as prizes. I don't particularly mind people getting multiple bounties at this point - so long as the tasks are being done. We could always review this if the same person is clearing up on prizes every week though. I don't think there should be any restriction on who can get the bounties (excepting those involved in administering the programme). I would prefer to see the bounties go to new editors - but more importantly I just want progress on the projects. IsobelJ (talk) 21:29, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
Could do like, You can do upto an amount of bounties a fortnight for bonds then a week where while you can't claim one, you can help out and have it count for the next fortnight. Twig Talk 772kZGs.png 23:43, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

Comment - I'd be willing to be a part of the programme administration on the OSRS side. --dDbvitC.pngScuzzy Metahib8CAd.png 02:57, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

Comment/Conditional Oppose - I think we need to have a lot more concrete ideas and thorough discussion on what would be rewarded before deciding whether we want the programme or not. As it stands, this has the exact problems this idea had. Mainly, it's a lot easier said than done to design a programme that actually ends up having a positive effect rather than creating more problems by gaming the system. bad_fetusTalk 16:23, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

Comment/Oppose - Paying people to edit the wiki will attract the wrong kind of people and they'll be doing edits of questionable quality. It has been discussed in the past and any potential advantages are outweighed by the time and effort that would be required to keep the programme under control. Don't turn the wiki into a daily challenge. New editors can't be purchased, they need to come to the wiki organically. 5-x (Talk) 20:08, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

Comment/Oppose - I do agree with 5-x and Chessmaster honestly. I do believe that editing incentives will help attract new editors to the wiki, and thus maybe even move people away from Wikia to our sites, but I feel like there are also potential downsides, especially since it’s clear that this can attract an influx of questionable edits. I’m just not really sure I can commit to supporting it as-is, contrary to what I originally thought about the topic a few months ago. Template:Signatures/JaydenKieran 20:56, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

Soft support - I do support this idea, although the current plan will likely need tweaking and such in response to the amount of editors that take part - perhaps a trial run or something. I've also previously vocalised my hesitation in regards to the amount of bonds - the 40 (?) bonds a month sounds like a lot (would we even get that many editors? would we have enough bonds? would we be able to keep up a consistent amount of bounties?), however I'm aware we can obviously just ask for less (and that it is split between RS3/OSRS/PT-BR).

Additionally, I do however see the points of Chess, 5-x, and Jayden - although I think the editing incentive is good, the edits would need to be thoroughly checked as to not encourage trash edits. I'd also be open to a different structure of the programme - I wasn't initially sold on the whole 'bounty' thing. STAR the coolest bean (talk 2 me xoxo) 21:04, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

Clarification + support - I think there's a little bit of confusion about what's actually being proposed here. At least the way I understood it, we were going to give rewards for completing specific, project-based tasks. Some examples of this might be:

  • Create a money-making guide for stealing cave goblin wire
  • Create a calculator that optimizes which crew to use for player-owned ports
  • Submit 100 teleport coordinates and timings for the pathfinder project
  • Replace n maps with new interactive versions
  • Create n not-incomplete articles for interactive scenery
  • Research what activities fill up hunter urns (and how much), and add this to the appropriate pages
  • Significantly expand the Closest... article (for either wiki)

The point is, all of these are somewhat well-defined, with clear(ish) win-conditions. We are not rewarding people for arbitrary edits, getting x editcount in a week a la achievements, or just making some random change to a specific page: we're rewarding them for completing a project that we set forth at the beginning of the week. This requires a fair bit of work from the program administrators to keep coming up with ideas and checking for completion, but if they put in the time, then this can be awesome. Can you imagine getting through 10 small-project-sized chunks every week?

There seems to be a concern from Chess, 5-x and Jayden that somehow we'd still get questionable edits and people trying to game the system, even in this highly-scoped scenario. It's hard for me to see how that would happen -- can you guys expand on what you're worried about? Or was the proposal just not clear on that point? ʞooɔ 23:15, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

I can't speak for Chess and 5-x, but my concerns were mostly because the proposal didn't seem entirely clear about how the programme will be administrated. How much would people in charge of the programme check each edit? Would they check that they contain the correct information, or that they are formatted well, or what? For example, is an edit that adds information to a page related to a specific project treated the same as an edit that adds information but with wikilinks and template use etc? Are they expected to go through every single submitted edit thoroughly? I think that's obviously something that needs to be done, but I'm concerned about how much work that might be and how much time that could take when there could be a lot of interest in the programme. It seems like a lot of administrative work that people would need to be seriously committed to if they were to take charge of the programme.
I also have minor concerns about the amount of bonds we'd be giving away - I don't want it to end up being that people see wiki editing as a source of getting bonds, but rather that they see it as a supplement to their normal gameplay in return for improving the wiki. The proposal isn't clear about what the quota would be for this, though I know that that on Discord there has been discussion of 10 a week. Finally, I am opposed to rewarding every editor who takes part in a particular task with a bond. At the time of writing, bonds are worth almost 20m in RuneScape, and it seems absurd that we'd just throw that much money away to everyone who completes a task - either we should enter them into a draw (to be done at the end of project completion), or we come up with a more reasonable distribution of the value of a bond, or several bonds. Template:Signatures/JaydenKieran 23:34, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
My thought was that the project people would usually keep an open dialogue with the people taking part in the program (perhaps over Discord), answering questions about the specific task and giving advice on how to tackle it. It's certainly a lot of work, but if we're at a point where we don't have enough people to monitor/guide all the new editors...that's a really freakin' good problem to have.
I think ten bonds a week is a reasonable number, but time will tell. Even if we keep the bonds count roughly constant, we can vary the difficulty/size of the projects so we meet the supply right at 10. I don't think anyone is suggesting giving a bond to literally everyone who works on a project -- my feeling is that most of these are pretty much solo projects. ʞooɔ 23:57, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
What is 20m on this world where a t90 weapon costs 150m and a t92 costs 1b+? Imo it's a good value. Meeeeerds msg 00:36, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

Comment/Soft Support - It's been said that this programme may attract the wrong sorts of people to just "Game the system" and earn a quick bond or two, surely we will need some stricter regulations to enforce it properly though and I think it would be wiser, that if we did put this into action, that we keep strict regulations throughout to actually attract new wiki editors who want to continue their work without incentive. Obviously all new things don't go as planned and people'd have to work out the kinks but I think the positives of editors who get a one off payment and maybe stay much longer than other editors outweighs the downsides of somebody pulling a fast one after doing a bounty or two. RobbotRS 11:34, 22 February 2019 (UTC)

Comment/Support - I know that the Guild Wars 2 wiki has a program similar to this. To put things in perspective (as someone who plays both games), the grant of 2 gold per valuable edit correlates to approximately 0.12 USD (as opposed to the mentioned bond which is valued at about 50x that). I think a smaller reward, but making a wide net available might be the right approach, as opposed to having a "big" prize that's granted. They also limit contributions to 1 per set, and there's a new set every week, usually one new page and one page that needs touchup. I'm sure that this program served as inspiration, but I haven't seen it explicitly mentioned yet here, so I thought it was worth adding to the discussion. Lego6245 (talk) 19:33, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Cautious support - I've been thinking about this for a while now. I'm enthusiastic about the idea behind the editing program as a way to incentive users to edit. However, I think we have to be very careful about exactly how we set it up and how we settle potential conflicts or disputes to avoid impropriety or the appearance of impropriety.

The biggest concern that I have is that this rewards editing with something of value. Whenever someone suggests rewarding or paying for edits, my knee-jerk reaction is always to remember Forum:Achievements extension discussion. That was for useless badges that almost no one would ever see. And just those (in my opinion ugly) badges were enough to set off a lot of useless edits. My point, therefore, is that we really have to set clear goals about making useful quality edits.

I like a lot of the proposals to implement this system in theory. The main proposal sets bounties for certain easily measurable tasks, which I think is a very good idea and has to be a part of a fair system. I also really like the idea of having experienced editors available in discord or whatever to help the new editors who may have issues in a kind of buddy or mentorship system.

However, I do want to play devil's advocate to make sure that we've thought about the ramifications of how to administer this program. What if someone does a borderline or bad job making a MMG? What if they disagree and think they did a good job? Who would settle the dispute, and how do we do it in a way where the editor in question doesn't just want to name and shame us on reddit? For bigger projects, it's possible or even likely that multiple users contribute (especially if we are going to be doing these bounties every week). How do we measure who put in more work? What if they disagree with the split? I just want to make sure that we've at least thought about how we can resolve disputes regarding handing out the rewards in a way that doesn't cause any PR backlash. I'm sure that there are some editors who are not at all interested in becoming long-term editors but will edit the wiki to farm the bonds if they could. What kind of messaging do we want to give for the project as a whole? How do we handle editors who may try and "hog" the bounties each week?

Overall I like the idea, I just want to make sure we have the execution down. --LiquidHelm 23:30, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Trial run - Hi everyone, the concerns in this thread (including from myself) have been taken into account and I think the best way of approaching this is to have a small "trial run" of the programme on RSW, with a couple of projects that users can participate in, to see what the reception is like and how well logistics will be handled. The trial will be handled by RSW sysops, with the aim to hand over the reins to a nominated group of editors (via a thread) if the programme is deemed successful by the community. We intend to keep this thread open during the trial. I think it's important that we see how something like this will go, and if it goes poorly, we can rightfully oppose the idea. If there are no major concerns about a trial, we'll start this (hopefully) within a few days. Template:Signatures/JaydenKieran 20:25, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

Closed - Program has long been implemented and discussion has ended. cqm talk 23:40, 28 August 2019 (UTC)