Find a culturally appropriate way to acknowledge and recognize dedicated contributors and excellent contributions. Empower peer recognition and encourage its use.


Often people get so caught up in the work that needs to be done on a wiki that they may forget to acknowledge good work already done. A common personal motivation is to be respected and acknowledged by peers. For some people, this may be a major influence on whether and how much they contribute.

Make your wiki a fertile place by nurturing it with positive energy. Create a culture where people take the time to stop to say “Good work!” to each other every once in awhile. This can be done in fun and creative ways, usually with some kind of graphic icon paired with a brief message. Showing that people’s work is appreciated may encourage them to contribute more.


  • Record the author of all edits.
  • Consider allowing participants to rate the quality of contributions.
  • Show statistics on the extent of a user’s contribution, e.g. number of topics for which they are the primary author, number of edits, peer assessment rating (“Reputation Points”, “Karma” etc).
  • Mark user profiles with roles such as “Moderator”, “Guru”, “MVP”
  • The concept of a barnstar as a Wiki award was created by SunirShah at MeatballWiki. A barnstar was chosen because of its conceptual connection to barnraising. Barnstars have become ingrained into the Wikipedia culture.
  • The CIA hands out shovels for gardening efforts on their Intellipedia wiki, both virtually and physically.

Related Patterns

  • Champion – Passionate, enthusiastic person who advocates for a new technology, provides guidance, reduces obstacles, and is essential to the success of adoption.
  • Charter – Guidelines for community collaboration and respectful, productive activity that should be created at the start of technology adoption.
  • Viral – Once a few people begin to use the wiki, they often realize that they could be even more efficient if only their colleagues were using the wiki too.