Going full wiki!

Today we are starting a change to give out permissions to publish much more widely within the community.

We’re gradually changing the requirements throughout this week mainly for technical reasons, as ultimately thousands of emails will go out informing people of their new status.  By the end of this week, thousands of people will be approved.

Why are we doing this?

This is part of a strategic shift to put community forward more than ever before.  Our redesign has helped enormously with participation over the past few months, but we still find that people are waiting too long to get things published, and not for good reasons – there’s just a bottleneck because not enough people have been trusted to publish.

So how does this work?

Users who are “auto-confirmed” gain the right to publish.  For a short period of time, we are reducing the requirement to get confirmed substantially.  We will bump it back up when and if we see problems with it.  (For Wikipedians, this is very similar to autoconfirmed at Wikipedia, and everything here is set to semi-protected by default, at least in terms of moving things from draft to published.)

This is an experiment.  Please be careful with it.  The basic requirements for something to be published are a judgment that it’s relatively complete (but it doesn’t need to be DONE because nothing is ever DONE in this world), doesn’t contain libel or abuse, is justified with good sourcing, isn’t pushing an agenda, etc.  We don’t want to hit publish on nonsense, obviously, and over time we can and should develop stronger guidelines.

The permission is easy to get – and getting easier – but it’s also going to be easy to lose.  This is the wiki way – accountability rather than gatekeeping.  By default, I trust you.  By default, the community trusts you.  But you can lose that trust if you don’t do the right things.

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