|This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.|
Excessive growth is a phenomenon of too large project growth to a point of hindering its work. It may have various reasons behind it.
Excessive visibility of the project on the webEdit
Some excessive growth may be caused by excessive visibility of the project on the web. For example, Wikipedia — at least the English version — is actively advertized by some web search engines who provide an info-box for queries matching an article name. As a consequence, people are tricked into thinking that such info-boxes are pretty way to improve S.E.O. (although it really isn't; it has no effect on web search results themselves and they may even be about a different subject under the same name). People also start thinking that they can come and edit for promotion. Were these info-boxes absent, people would treat Wikipedia as a yet another website and it wouldn't be particularly attractive to them where they can raise any other website in the search results to achieve the same effect (or even better (see: YouTube)).
As a consequence, many new contributors are frustrated by inability of the website to meet their marketing or promotion expectations; their articles and edits get turned down for formatting, inaccuracy, in-verifiable nature, bias issues. Such problem becomes more prominent as more and more people find the project through a web search engine. Ugly mechanisms to address this problem — including preventing unregistered contributors' pages creation, aggressive new page patrol and recent change patrol — are introduced, which are not closely tied to improving articles.
If such kind of excessive growth, and such ugly mechanisms, were absent, people would work in topical groups ('wikiprojects') to review and expand new submissions as a single activity, and it would've been not as aggressive, but rather, more collaborative. They would be making tools to address routine tasks rather than to address the needs of people who came here to misuse the project.