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The number of people approved as full Wikipedia admins is falling faster than expected, according to a report from the Wikimedia conference by The Atlantic yesterday.

The admins or sysops are the crack nerd troops of Wikipedia - they have the power to delete posts, block editors or protect pages that are being vandalised. English Wikipedia currently has 1,461 administrators.

Everyone knew that the number of new Wiki contributors of all sorts was tailing off - but a new chart detailing admin approval revealed that only one or two Wiki editors were promoted to admin status in May and June of 2012. That compares to approximately 68 approved in December 2005 and an average of 40 a month in the boom years of 2006/07.

Even in 2011 the numbers of accepted new admins was about a dozen a month.

It could be the arduous vetting process for admin status that is putting people off - the Atlantic explained that potential admins have to write essays about 'notability' and answer questions on copyright law. Older Wiki admins will dig deep into the applicant's edit history and grill the newbies about anything controversial.

The stats from Wikimedia's latest house assessment in June showed that the number of new editors had fallen by 22% though the total number of editors making 5 or more edits a month has seen a 7% drop, leaving 32,760 active eds..

Wikipedia's page views for in 2012 are running at 7,470 million a month, and the number of new pages on Wikipedia rose by 10% in the last year taking it to 4 million.

Wikis hope that a newer easier WYSIWYG interface will make editing easier and increase the number of newbies becoming editors and then stepping up to the admin plate. ®

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