January 31st, 2011 / 11:09 am


  1. phmadore

      What should Wikipedia do to get more women to contribute and/or is it important the gender of the contributors? I mean, honestly? This seems petty. Maybe women by and large have better things to do with their time? Did they do any closer study on the 15% that were women? I personally don’t know any women who make it their (regular) business to post articles on Wikipedia.

  2. Daniel Bailey

      it offends me that there are more men than women getting arrested for raping children. what can we do to even out the gender spread?

  3. NLY

      what are all these mines doing in this minefield?

  4. deadgod

      What is the difference between “subtle persuasion and outreach through [a] foundation” and a “women-specific remed[y] like recruitment”??

      (It sounds like Gardner is so conscious of the anti-feminism backlash that she’s finding it unattractive-to-impossible simply to say her say – a Bad Thing.)

      I think there are not fewer women than men who are both “obsessive” and “fact-loving”. What is “uncomfortable for women” about signing up at Wikipedia and contributing fact-correction and/or ancillary data??

      (Simply replying: the culture – the computer-nerd culture is way too vague for a slow-poke the likes of me.)

  5. deadgod

      Gardner, the “executive director of Wikipedia Foundation”, answers the question of diversity-for-the-sake-of-diversity – which she denies is a motive or goal – (my phrasing) :

      Wikipedia is a crowd-sourced array of data. The greater the number of contributors, the more finely-grained the information will be, and the more comprehensive and reliable will be the encyclopedia.

      Remember: that’s – and there’s – no argument against the length of the articles that are already in Wikipedia, nor against lengthening them. (The baseball-card articles stay – and longer may they grow!) However, if there are groups of people not contributing, then their passionately-held interests might not be being reflected commensurately with that passion (or at all) – and nor are their talents at informing everybody of all the things they happen to know. ( – maybe women (for example) know interesting things about baseball cards, data unrecorded if those knowledgeable women aren’t contributing the fact-love facts they know which are under- or unrecorded.)

      Non-coerced inclusion is a ‘win’ for everybody, and exclusion-by-discouragement is a universal ‘lose’ — is the argument.

  6. Anonymous

      My thoughts about the article don’t stretch much farther than “huh.” Whenever Wikipedia “makes” the news I find it hard to have a reaction in earnest. I do know plenty of obsessive and fact-loving women, however.

  7. Anonymous

      My thoughts about the article don’t stretch much farther than “huh.” Whenever Wikipedia “makes” the news I find it hard to have a reaction in earnest. I do know plenty of obsessive and fact-loving women, however.

  8. phmadore

      I would have to say that’s an agreeable statement, that encouraging people, even to the point of encouraging specific groups, is a good idea. However, I think it would probably have the opposite effect if you were to say “Wikipedia wants to increase our women contributors. Click here for more information.”

  9. phmadore

      I had another thought on this. I’m willing to bet there’s a study that would back me in saying that men, as a gender, find history and documentation thereof to be more interesting and engaging than do women, as a gender. If this is a fact, which I’ve done no research on — folk research at best — then it’s of little surprise that more men than women contribute to Wikipedia. I make this statement in the same light that I might say “women, as a gender, are more interested in pop culture a la Jersey Shore than men, as a gender.” It’s one of those things that is probably true and therefore deserves some play in the discussion.

  10. deadgod

      Ha ha. Maybe the ad sloganeering should read: “Women really shouldn’t get mixed up with this complex stuff. Lady-folk – go on and beat it!” – Wikipedia, He-man Woman-haters’ Electrical Book of Facks

      Gardner’s point obtains, though. As a greedy consumer of information, I’d like to be able to get the most accurate, comprehensive, and concise data from whomever can tell me it, so I’m, what, susceptible to the argument that the larger the pool of other-regulating providers, the more satisfied with the content I’ll be.

  11. deadgod

      Fair enough. Myself, I use Wikipedia pretty much every day, because my memory is weak and there’s lots of things I ‘think’ (or wonder) but don’t nearly know. The “earnest” reaction on my part is self-interested regardless of whether I have and/or am a vagina and/or a penis.