Do expressions of gratitude make online communities stronger and more welcoming? We are working on a series of studies with Wikipedia communities to help answer this question.
This study is in progress.
When the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) developed software for sharing appreciation in 2011, many Wikipedians were already thanking and encouraging each other. The foundation had heard from editors that their motivations depended on how they believed other editors viewed them as a person. So the foundation created WikiLove, a way to express appreciation for others when browsing profile pages.
To discover the impact of appreciation among Wikipedians, CAT Lab is partnering with several non-English language communities to test the effects of software for giving and receiving recognition. We expect to have initial results in early 2020. Below you can read more about how Wikipedians currently use Thanks and Wikilove, from data we collected in preparation for the study.