User:OrenBochman/Social Wiki

Good heavens! Mardonius, what kind of men are these against whom you have brought us to fight? Men who do not compete for possessions, but for honour

The Histories, [1]"

Based on input from wikimania there is some interest in making the media wiki software more social. The actual goal is to make the software more inducive to friendly interaction.

A Distributed, decentralised governance System based on Kudos and KotinosEdit

  • Kudos means Praise; Accolades. (Think merit badge)
  • Kotinos is the olive or laurel wearth awarded in the ancient greek olympic games.
  • governance refers to fostering of proper conduct in a community.

The stories below represent use cases. The implementation would probability be rule based so that the community can optimise the kudos governance system to their changing needs.

Kudos - a visible measure of merit.

  • these would be visible on their user pages via a UI gadget.

Some StoriesEdit


  • New user would get a (say 100) newbie kudos for their registration or first edit. As they perform different activities their newbie kudos would be transformed to other types of kudos.
  • Newbie kudos are special since they will should give them protection against harassment by existing user.
  • Their edits would be protected from deletion for a month (i.e. require two+ sets of eyes to undo)
  • Would be


An editor who has created high quality pages will gain editing kudos (based on length, references and notability) if he has interacted with others editors they will each gain some merit. This should be done using something like wikitrust to calculate the amount so people can't cheat too easily. Once a user gains a certain amount they will gain privileges and responsibilities responsibilities.

  • they can place an item for vote on the community's agenda.
  • they can be transferred to a person who carries a vote. (a poker like affair)
  • they could edit a protected article.
  • they could revert a change in a disputed location.

Trolls & Copyright ViolatorsEdit

An editor who has taken part in an antisocial activity such a as a revert war, defaced some pages, has deleted another users edits or scared away a new editor will be deemed to have damaged the communities shared knowledge. Their kudos would be reset and they get a kudos penalty which that will have to work off to regain their privilege. The idea is to create accountability and to place the offender on more equal footing with new comers.

Instead of blocking their IP adress they will be redirected to a page requesting registration, so they can become part of the Kudos system.


  • A patroller is doing a service to the community. However patrollers can grow over zealous and use technical reasons to revert or delete vandalism. In the age of Kudos their workload would be reduced. Again we could request that page deletes/rollbacks are not automatic or categorical. These situations should be viewed as an opportunity to engage in an educational discussion, which would start by several patrollers giving the article low feedback, locating a suitable mentor to intercede, request for the editor to improve/merge it.
  "Hello NEWBUIE USER. I am patroller Pat and I review new edits. My user page is at User:Pat you can contact me by
  editing my user page. Thanks for you contribution on the articles on ZOBRAZ and MOWGLIEZ. 
  The ZOBRAZ article is a good start but still needs some work to reach the level of a starter article.
  I have contacted the renown Mentor MENCH who has edited 55 articles on the subject has agreed to help you improve it 
  to the next level. ~~~~Patroller"


A wikipedian who joins a mentoring program will be eligible for social kudos. These are special. They help to work off social debts. An excess of social kudos will upgrade a users Kotinos to be more impressive. A mentor might respond as follows to the user in the previous story:

  "Hi NEWBUIE USER. I'm Mentor Mench. My Mench is at .... I am a member of Projet XYZ and would like to work
  with you to bring the article to the level required for the typical audience, such as readers in an ... primary school. 
  I suggest the we start by:
  # expanding the ZEOBRAZ  introductory section
  # adding pictures to the page.
  # I have wikified the terms ZOB. That means added an internal link to those pages. This is done by typing in
     [[ZOB(person)|ZOB]] why don't you try to wikify RAZ? If you run into trouble look at the 
    video tutorial on wikifing.vid
   ~~~~Mentor Mench

And latter.

  "Hi NEWBUIE USER. I'm Mentor Menchik. My user pages is  at user:Menchik. I am a member of Projets WXYZ as well as YZZX 
   and of the UK chapter. You have made excellent progress with the work on ZOBRAZ and MOWGLIEZ and ZOBRAZEES 
   but they could be even better. 
   I would like to work with you to bring the article to the level required for an even wider audience, such as
   readers in a ... secondry school."
  I suggest we continue by:
  # adding to the article some categories
  # adding some information on the ZOBRAZ population in your country (available at link) and placing the population 
    in a table. wikifing.vid
  # I have added a reference to ZOB. That means that people can now see that the article is supported by external research. 
    This was done by typing in  <ref>info</ref> why don't you try to wikify RAZ? 
    If you run into trouble look at the video tutorial on wikifing.vid
   ~~~~Mentor Menchik

and latter still the mentor could introduce template, locating editing and adding pictures from commons. Merging ZOBRAZ and ZOBRAZEES as well more advanced wiki text.

Long TermEdit


I see little point in users gaining millions of actionable kudos. Therefore as soon as the number of kudos accumulate above a lower limit the user can opt/get laurel leaf of an appropriate color (equivalent to the color in their gadget). If kudos continue to accumulate above a higher limit the leaf will be automatically awarded.

The next leaf will require a little more kudos to acquire. Eventual the user will have gained a w:Kotinos or a proverbial poets crown. I would suggest that the future officer of the local chapters and of the foundations will have to present many wearthed crown along with their c.v. and chapter who adopt this approach will have online/offline ceremonies for their users.



This system does not seem to be simple to implement.

  • extension
  • Kudos calculator similar to wikitrust.
  • a policy editor used by a rule engine to allow the community to manage/changes it governing policy.
  • UI gadget for the Kudos gadget + preference for showing/hiding on a users profile pages.
  • UI gadget for the Kotinos gadget + preference for showing/hiding on a users profile pages.
  • An actionable programmatic interface abstracting governed behaviour of user.
  • Actionable GUI/Wev widgets (show hide elements based on whether or not they can be accessed)

A/B TestingEdit

To refine the system A/B testing should be used.


Acceptance TestingEdit

Early adopters should be interviewed to refine the community model.


  1. Herodotus, The Histories, Hdt. 8.26