在英文維基裏，每一個成為管理員的申請的「意見」段落，寫着「If you are unfamiliar with the nominee, please thoroughly review Special:Contributions/...」（如果您對申請人不熟識，請看看Special:用戶貢獻/...）如果您以編輯次數（所有的編輯次數或某名字空間的編輯次數）或在特色條目和在討論裏的參與而斷定一個用戶好不好，這樣是沒有幫助的。我們應看這些貢獻的質量，而且看看這些資料和管理員有沒有關係。但是，如果您真的要對於上述沒有幫助的資料留言，留言之前應看看那些貢獻。不少決定皆由於編輯的數量。
- First, a very high number of edits isn't a guarantee of trustworthiness. There are editors with tens of thousands of edits who have been blocked dozens of times, as evidenced by their block logs. There are also editors with many thousands of edits who have racked these numbers up by using semi-automated tools such as Huggle to revert vandalism and issue warnings, something that (while valuable) requires neither editing skills nor much interaction with users (Wikipedia vandals typically are of the hit-and-run type). Similarly, it's possible to do huge numbers of edits in a matter of days (if one puts in the time) to post "welcome" messages to the thousands of people who register every day, with very little further interaction. In short, the quality of edits needs to be taken into account—a participant who does not consider an editor's contributions in detail should not simply support or oppose a candidate based on the edit count (too high or too low).
- Second, setting an arbitrary threshold—say, 3000 or 4000 or 5000 edits—as a "minimum" to demonstrate experience penalizes candidates (and discourages potential candidates) who spend significant time improving articles and creating new ones. Finding sources and exercising good editorial judgment takes time, and while Wikipedia needs vandal fighters and fixers of typos and editors who tag problems, the true value of Wikipedia comes from those who improve the encyclopedia by adding content and (where appropriate) new articles. It's difficult to validly judge the quality of a candidate by looking at disambiguation pages or double redirects that he/she has fixed; it's much easier if the candidate has been a significant contributor to articles (particularly controversial ones) where he/she has had to interact and explain and make a case for changes.
In short, an RFA participant who looks only at the total edit count may well get a wrong impression of the candidate's contributions. To say something meaningful about the candidate, it's important to look at the contributions themselves, not just their number or distribution (as discussed in the next section). And certainly a decision to support or oppose a candidate should never be based solely on edit count.
One final twist on editcountitis is concluding that the candidate is experienced enough but arguing against the candidate based on edits per month: that "this candidate doesn't contribute frequently enough". For all practical purposes, everyone editing Wikipedia is a volunteer; it's inappropriate to demand a certain level of contribution from anyone. If a candidate can benefit the project by using their admin tools for just 10 minutes a week, that's 10 minutes more of useful admin work that Wikipedia gets that it otherwise would not.
Different tasks generate different numbers of edits in different namespaces. Someone who spends a lot of time reverting vandalism or tagging unused non-free images will have a disproportionately high number of user talk edits because these actions, when properly done, include adding warning templates to user pages.
Sometimes a candidate receives opposition based on the balance of edits between the various namespaces. The extreme (and most problematic) of such arguments is that the candidate fails to have the appropriate balance—a desirable percentage in Wikipedia namespace (policy understanding), mainspace (article editing), user space (user interaction), and talk space (working constructively with other editors), for example. Sometimes this argument involves parts of namespace: AfD discussions, RfA discussions, etc.
There are at least three problems with this type of opposition:
- First, counts in a namespace can come from a variety of things: a high amount of Talk edits may be an indication of experience interacting with users, or simply automated tagging for WikiProjects. A high number of User Talk postings may be dealing with problematic editors (a challenging matter to do well) or posting vandalism warnings to mostly anonymous IP talk pages (not so challenging, though still needed). Postings to Wikipedia and Wikipedia Talk pages may be helpful, or simply chattiness; RfA and AfD postings may be insightful or simply "me too" postings.
- Second, demonstrating a particular skill (interacting with other editors, for example) can be demonstrated in several different namespaces, including user talk pages, article talk pages, Wikipedia and Wikipedia talk pages. Similarly, demonstrating the ability to understand policy (and make good arguments about it) can be demonstrated in a number of places, not all in the same namespace. In short, namespaces and skills are not the same, so failure to have many edits in a single namespace proves very little, if anything.
- Third, editors contribute to Wikipedia in many different ways. Helping with copyright problems with images is different than identifying problems with new articles, and both are different than helping mediate disputes among editors, yet all three are things that demonstrate valuable skills that are important to an administrator. Wikipedia administrators are not required to be good at everything; in fact, most administrators tend to focus on what interests them: they're not being paid, of course; why work on what is tedious or uninteresting?
It's appropriate to oppose a candidate who has done nothing in an area that may be considered basic: editing, working with other editors, or understanding something about Wikipedia policies and the Wikipedia community. But opposing a candidate simply because they do not contribute in the same way that a participant does, or in the way that an "ideal" candidate would, is counterproductive: it can deprive Wikipedia of a good administrator, forcing existing administrators to focus less on the administrative task they prefer to do and more on what they feel they have to do.