Wikipedia contributions are dwindling. Or at least that's the picture painted by some for the past few years. What is clear is that it's hard for new contributors to add anything to the venerable website.
The established editors don't take mistakes too lightly and new editors don't feel very welcomed. And then, of course, there's the issue of the editor itself.
It's not very friendly and it requires people to learn at least the basics of the MediaWiki markup code. Wikipedia knows this of course and has been working on improving things with a WYSIWYG (visual) editor.
The first usable prototype of the editor debuted in December. Since then, the Wikimedia team has been working on improving it and rewriting the parts that didn't work.
Another important change was to make it a universal editor for any site using MediaWiki software.
"We changed the technical design and how it works, rewriting its components so that we can better support more editors. We’ve also integrated it into the MediaWiki platform, so now it can load and edit wiki articles, and not just sit separately," Wikimedia/Wikipedia explained
Another change is that Wikimedia collaborated with Wikia on the latest version of the prototype editor. Wikia and Wikipedia are linked in more than name, they've both been created by Jimmy Wales.
The difference is that Wikia is a commercial enterprise and it's the largest wiki-type site except for Wikipedia itself.
The improved visual editor is now available for testing. It's still not getting a wide roll-out if only it's far from complete. You can't even add images or edit tables at this point. But those things are coming and more.
When it's done, the visual editor will make editing a Wikipedia page as simple as posting something on a blog or writing an email. Hopefully, removing this big hurdle will encourage more people to contribute to Wikipedia.