In commentary on Heather Ford’s essay – ‘the missing wikipedians‘ where she inserted a quotation concerning wikipedia use from Kenya – “I am a heavy *user* like most of us here in Nairobi but there’s never really been motivation to become an editor before.”
the word “before” hits the nail on the head of this debate! It’s the *user* who drives demand for (more) wikimedian contributions. And while we can expect, with confidence, that improved bandwidth in Africa will see greater *usage* of Wikipedia, we still face the reality that literacy education in Africa continues to lag behind, resulting in *delayed* scaling of intent! I am a Wikimedia optimist , and continue to advocate the use of diverse Wikis in education. Indeed, the very use of educational Wikis like WIkiEducator (in the absence of any better OER on the ground) will drive the growth of editorial intent! Are Wikimedians perhaps in need of some measurable appreciation to get them, and a fresh spate of newbies, to the grindstone? Well, perhaps Jimmy Wales should be working on a “like”-like or “impressions” element for contributing authors; that’s something Youtube and Facebook have done to really up the participation!