The online encyclopedia gives its users a way to send each other positive reinforcement.
Wikipedia have created their own answer to the Facebook ‘Like’ and Google’s +1 buttons with some messages of appreciation in the form of a ‘Love’ button.
The WikiLove extension allows contributors to tip their hat to good work on the site through virtual awards, gifts and invitations – right to a user’s talk page. An initiative which the site hopes will boost engagement from its contributors through positive reinforcement, making it ‘easy and fun to express appreciation for other users.’
In a media release Wikipedia states:
We all like to feel valued. According to the 2011 survey of Wikipedia editors (see top-line data), among 17 variables, ‘being looked down on by more experienced editors’ is the most likely to cause people to say they will edit less frequently (69% agreement), while ‘having others compliment you on your edits/articles’ is the most likely to cause people to say they will edit more frequently (78% agreement).
On the other hand, editing Wikipedia has tended to become harder over time, and the likelihood that new users will receive correction/criticism has increased. This is reflected by various efforts to code and analyze the experience of new users, such as the recent Newbie teaching strategy research sprint undertaken within the scope of our Summer of Research.
WikiLove is scheduled to roll out to English Wikipedia users today.