Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has warned that the online encyclopedia is not as healthy as it seems, as editors quit.
Claiming that there’s no crisis yet but that he’s concerned by the trend, Wales says that the site needs to streamline its editorial guidelines so that new editors are not deterred. He admits that wars between editors can sometimes be off-putting to new contributors, and that some elements of Wikipedia‘s editing system need to be realigned.
According to Wales, the typical Wikipedia editor is a geeky male in his late 20’s. The site currently has around 90,000 contributors and is looking to add at least 5,000 more in the next year, not counting those who leave in the same period.
But does that mean that Wikipedia is dying? As ‘a commenter’ points out, that’s not what Wales said. Wikipedia‘s editor-base might be changing, but arguably that’s a good thing. Would it be better if the same editors were sticking around and no new viewpoints were coming in? It’ll be interesting to see how the demographics of Wikipedia change over time, but these types of trend can take a while to become apparent.