This post was written by Jon Davies, Wikimedia UK Chief Executive
A few months ago I wrote a critical review about a hotel I stayed in for Trip Advisor. I wanted to share my experience and warn off others. I posted and thought no more of it. I was surprised a few weeks later to receive a ‘Thank you’ email explaining how important by little piece of bile had been, and how many people had read it. I was chuffed. A month after that, and a couple more reviews, I was thanked again, given an update on the surprisingly large number of people who had read the reviews, and was awarded the equivalent of a ‘gold star’.
OK, so it was a bot but it occurred to me how sad it was that we don’t do something similar for our contributors. Barnstars are great but from what I observe many people never look at their user pages. Wouldn’t it be great if every time one of my uploaded photos made it onto a page I got some sort of alert or just a ‘thank you’ for every twentieth edit?
When I started working for Wikimedia UK I was warned that I was entering a culture that didn’t ‘do thank yous’. I think that we are missing out here and if we want to encourage and retain editors a few words of thanks from time to time would be a powerful tool.