Michael Stone, October 6, 2012, (permalink), (src), (all posts)
Almost 30 years ago, Robert Cialdini wrote a classic book, “Influence”, on six principles underlying common compliance tactics.
Shortly after reading his book, I realized that the perspectives I’d seen so far on getting more people to edit Wikimedia felt incomplete: none seemed to address Cialdini’s basic claims about how we get people to do things:
|R||reciprocation||We experience strong social and internal|
|pressures to reciprocate gift-giving. The|
|gift-giver can often choose the form of|
|C||commitment &||We usually strive to act in ways that are|
|consistency||consistent with our own self-image. Even small|
|changes in our self-images resulting from new|
|commitments can produce large and lasting|
|changes in our behavior.|
|P||social proof||When uncertain about how to behave, we tend to|
|mimic visible bystanders who resemble us.|
|L||liking||We are more willing to do things for people we|
|like or find attractive.|
|A||authority||We respond to authority, both real and imagined.|
|S||scarcity||We covet scarce goods over abundant ones,|
|especially in competitive situations, and we|
|fear loss more than we enjoy gain.|
As for how these principles can be applied…? Here are three rough thoughts:
R, C: Ask people who’ve used Wikipedia intensely in the recent past to make an edit or to send a thank-you note, through Wikipedia, to one of the authors of the pages they were using.
P, L: Get some editors who resemble the demographic(s) you’d like to grow in to encourage (in person, in social media, in on-page ads…) readers to edit.
A, S: Ask some local authority figures – professors, mayors, first ladies – to praise/thank local editors.
P.S. - (Got other ideas? If so, please write about them and send me a link!)