Humanizing Wikipedia

TheEmeraldCityOfOzWikipedia’s editors are trying to pull out the curtain in front of the “Wizard of Oz” and reveal the human engine that drives Wikipedia.

All pages on mobile will now show a “last modified” bar at the top of the page. Its purpose is to give the reader a sense of the health of the article, who last edited it and when it was last edited. It’s green if an article is considered ‘fresh’ and has recently been edited and gray when it has been without an edit for some time, which might indicate that it has been neglected or in need of a refresh. Knowing a bit about the editor also helps paint a picture of where your information is coming from… The page also serves as a launch pad to give you the opportunity, if logged in, to thank those editors whose contributions you find most valuable. It’s a small way to contribute to our project, but every contribution helps!

It is noteworthy that Wikipedia is humanizing itself. Its sole function is to transmit information; there are no customer service representatives, no employees providing a service. But it has recognized that it must highlight the humanity behind its product, to acknowledge the internal labors of its editors, and to motivate the average, external reader to contribute and participate in this mass-collaboration.


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