Joseph Reagle wrote:
Given all the bots, both in terms of vandals and in
repulsing them, I
am not sure the following question even makes sense: but how can we
characterize the ratio of productive to unproductive
contribution/edits on the English Wikipedia? Has this changed over
time? I do have figures from the literature on percentages (and their
deltas) for administrator activity, policy edits, time to revert
vandalism, etc. The only data point I can find is a single one: the
"Bush article had 28,000 revisions, one-third were reverts and,
conceivably, another third vandalism" (Spinellis, Louridas 2008).
There are some things touching on this in my recent WikiSym paper
that you may wish to consider. Specifically, we define a metric for
measuring discarded work that is a bit more subtle than just reverts,
cast in terms of whether or not the community of editors around an
article has "accepted" a revision (and a revert itself can be accepted).
While not the primary result, we include charts of the proportion of
revisions which are accepted. The metric should be applicable for a
more rigorous study of unproductive vs. productive work.
Michael Ekstrand <ekstrand(a)cs.umn.edu>
Ph.D student, Computer Science -- University of Minnesota
GroupLens Research: http://www.grouplens.org
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