Thanks a lot for sharing your insight!
The factors you mentioned do seem to be more sensible than tenure.
From: Wiki-research-l <wiki-research-l-bounces(a)lists.wikimedia.org> on behalf of
Kerry Raymond <kerry.raymond(a)gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, June 7, 2019 11:12:02 PM
To: 'Research into Wikimedia content and communities'
Subject: Re: [Wiki-research-l] Research on Edit Size
Not answering your question about studies, but I think your assumption that an editor has
some kind of "normal" edit size dictated solely by tenure/experience might not
I would note that even for the same contributor, there are different kinds of contribution
and these will have different patterns and hence sizes. For example, I think of myself
principally as a content writer but I also manage a large watchlist. I would be very
surprised if my edit size didn't vary between depending on the task. When content
writing, I am likely to large positive size edits (as I am adding content), but I'm
human and make mistakes, so a large edit might be followed by some smaller copyedits. But
when I am managing my watchlist, my edits will most often be deleting material (vandalism,
spam, uncited dubious claims or opinions) so I would imagine that I would mostly do
negative size edits. When I am doing some task in AutoWikiBrowser usually to do
maintenance across a set of articles (e.g. replace a changed domain name in citation URLs
or rename links because of a page move), it will probably show a long run of same/similar
sized edits, which might be positive or negative in size depending on the relative length
of the old/new text.
You may need to consider a couple more variables that come from the tags on the edits,
such as using visual editor and mobile editors, as the tool you use to edit does alter the
way you edit. For example, if I click a section edit in source editor, I only get to edit
that section so I may do a number of section edits to complete an overall task. If I am
using visual editor, it always open the whole article and so I may do the complete task in
a single edit. If I am on a mobile device, I will usually do the minimal edit necessary
(because it is so hard to edit that way) and come back later on my laptop to finish the
task properly, so I might remove some incorrect information with the mobile edit (as
leaving it place misleads the reader) but wait until later to add the correct information
as adding the citations for the correct information on a mobile device is just too hard
Finally if I am on a poor Internet connection, I will tend to publish frequently for fear
of losing my work. If I am on a good Internet connection, I become complacent and publish
less frequently. If a person is only a Visual Editor user, then they probably rely on its
ability to recover a partial edit if the session terminates unexpectedly and may be less
inclined to publish frequently.
I also do training for new users. And new users exhibit a range of behaviours. Some
publish very frequently. Add one sentence, publish, add the citation, publish, replace a
word, publish. Others forget to publish at all.
And finally if you have an editor with edit-count-itis, expect them to do a lot of small
edits using tools to implement lots of minor changes of little net value, because their
goal is simply to increase their edit count (and hence their ego) in the guise of
contributing. I often think it might be a good idea to hide the edit count statistic;
while we might lose a lot of edits as a result, we probably wouldn't miss them and the
rest of us would waste less time as our watchlists would not get inflated by these massive
number of trivial changes.
Finally I note it is easier to know the number of bytes changed with each edit (the change
in the size of the article wikitext) than it is to know the number of words changed as
that involves comparison of the text. Which is easy I guess for straight text "how
now brown cow" is 4 words but how many words change when using templates, citations,
etc, is it the number of words in the wikitext or the number of words rendered to the
reader? If I change a template definition, I can alter the number of words in thousands of
Wikipedia articles that transclude it.
From: Wiki-research-l [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of
Sent: Saturday, 8 June 2019 7:44 AM
To: Research into Wikimedia content and communities
Subject: [Wiki-research-l] Research on Edit Size
Are there studies that have examined what might affect edit size (e.g., # of words
add/delete/modify in each revision). I am especially interested in the impact of
Wiki-research-l mailing list
Wiki-research-l mailing list