On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 5:46 AM, Erik Zachte <erikzachte(a)infodisiac.com>wrote;wrote:
In Wikimania Boston, 2006, visualization experts 
Fernanda Viégas en
Martin Wattenberg presented a tool which could produce a tag cloud from a
person's edit history. Tag clouds were a novelty and very suitable for the
matter at hand. You could see at a glance that editor Johanna Doe was
engaged in articles about say classic music, and Chinese and Iran politics,
which is OK of course, but maybe better left to the person to disclose at
her own discretion. We discussed implications of the visualization: on one
hand this was all data from the public dumps, and anyone could make such a
script once the idea spread, on the other hand would it be wise to help
facilitate this process. I later found out they decided not to publish the
tool for this very reason.
 See first two entries on
That is really sad.
As a Wikipedian, I would hate to see any researcher shy away from publishing
interesting and insightful visualizations of public data.
If you're producing analyses that call out individual editors, then yes, it
would be wise to make such tools opt-in. But for every Wikipedian who would
rather not, there are ten more (like me) that really want more insight into
the rich data set of our editing histories.