Wikipedia has introduced their ‘love’ button, called WikiLove. This new feature will help users and editors of the crowdsourced web encyclopedia show their appreciation for one another. It can be tough to be accepted by the inner circle of experienced Wikipedia editors, and many editors feel looked down upon and discouraged from contributing to articles. Wikipedia is hoping that WikiLove will change this, and make it easy and fun for users to demonstrate their positive feelings towards one another.
How It Works
Starting today, WikiLove will be available for all English Wikipedia users. If you don’t see it yet, you can still test out the prototype by following the instructions and creating a test account.
To get started, login and visit any user, or user talk, page. In the upper right hand corner, between the search bar and the watchlist icon, you will see a new red heart icon.
Clicking this button will bring up a screen that looks like the following:
From here, users can show their appreciation with a Barnstar, Food and drink, Kittens, or they can make their own gift. There are also further subcategories within the Barnstar group, in order to give someone a gift that more closely resembles what you appreciate about them. For example, under the ‘Barnstar’ tab, users can choose the ‘Real Life Barnstar’ which is awarded to editors who make contributions both online and offline, by organizing wiki-related real-life events.
After you’ve chosen the gift you would like to give, enter a personal message and click to preview your selection. If you’re satisfied with your choice, hit ‘send WikiLove’, and you’re WikiLove will appear on the user’s user talk page.
Benefits of WikiLove
WikiLove has built-in analytics that allows Wikipedia to see how often it is used, and whether or not its usage affects new editors’ activity on the site. WikiLove will be a first step in making Wikipedia more inviting and friendly towards the new user. Futhermore, Wiki administrators can modify the user interface using the instructions for customization. This enables different cultures around the world to award culturally significant gifts – such as matryoshka dolls in Russia, or coffee in Brazil.
If you’re not interested in WikiLove, you can disable it by going to ‘My Preferences’ in the top right-hand corner by the log-out button. Next, click the ‘editing’ tab, and scroll down to the bottom where you will need to uncheck the box titled ‘enable showing appreciation for other users with the WikiLove tab (experimental)’. Remember to save your changes when you are done.
In the spirit of the collaborative nature of Wikipedia, once you’ve tested out WikiLove, let them know your thoughts and comments on the WikiLove talk page.