A new editor makes a contribution. It is immediately reverted and their work is apparently "lost".
A careful editor wants a space to refine and get feedback on a draft edit over a period of time, without worrying about unrelated edits causing conflicts.
A minority editor wants a safe space to work on an edit without immediate harassment.
A Peruvian school-child finds no information in Wikipedia about their hometown, but can't contribute an article because they are using the wiki offline.
A user in a repressive regime can only safely access Wikipedia by using Tor, but in a catch-22 they then lose the ability to make contributions.
A computer crash just before publishing a long edit causes all work to be lost.
A user encounters an edit conflict and gives up.
One mechanism---branched revisions, with good merge tools---can help solve all of these problems. This talk will show how.
With a fork-and-merge model new users whose content isn't immediately merged find it preserved on their fork for revision and re-submission, reducing their sense of rejection and loss. Offline users who are forced to work on an out-of-date copy and those using the draft namespace can use the same improved tools when their contributions are brought to merge. During online edits we can auto-save to a fork, and if conflicts are found we can safely defer resolving them without losing work. With volunteer-run queues for merging contributions, we can incorporate contributions from offline editors or Tor users, or rescue conflicted edit attempts.
We then can collect edits from more diverse and less-connected users and provide a friendlier first-edit experience to retain newcomers. Volunteer merge queues provide another means for those well-connected to aid those with difficulties in the spirit of ubuntu. By increasing participation we can bridge the knowledge gap.
An understanding of the way fork-merge workflows can work on Wikimedia projects and the benefits they can bring.
A way for folks working on offline, anti-censorship, and newcomer experience to find commonalities and work together on a common platform.
Solicit volunteers to start communities for merging contributions from offline users, Tor users, abandoned edits, etc.