Given that the discussion is all happening here anyway, I'll copy the
comment I left on the blog. :)
Nemo February 16, 2014 at 2:43 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Interesting trivia to munch, but little nutritional value IMHO. Everyone
in every field always complains that there are too many articles about
pokémon and French municipalities, too few about X very important
topic/aspect. All such considerations are worthless because they don’t
consider the actual relative *impact* of those articles, e.g. how many
other people edited or discussed them after creation and how many page
views they had.
One could even argue that the “perception problems related to Wikipedia
being male and cliquey” is made worse by posts like this, ;) but that
would be trolling. I don’t see how the mere number of articles on one
topic or another is going to make Wikipedia feel “too male” or
“anti-female” to a normal user who certainly doesn’t notice such things.
If you have to dig for it, it doesn’t contribute to public perception;
at most it can be a possible symptom of something else that may be
contributing to public perception.
Even disregarding the impact, to assess the bias of the contributors
themselves a more precise research, comparative in nature, would be
needed. For instance, if one writes articles on parliament members in
country X, and 70 % of articles are about males, that’s only biased if
the actual percentage of male MP is less than 70 %. The same should be
done with all the sources for each topic.
And it’s nothing compared to the systemic bias towards the western and
anglo-saxon point of view which writing in English and using (mostly
online) English sources encourages, let alone languages less global in