[Foundation-l] Another look a bot creation of articles

Lars Aronsson lars at aronsson.se
Sat Jul 19 07:43:13 UTC 2008

Andrew Su wrote:

> > Their statistic that 50% of edits landed in new articles 
> > doesn't indicate quality or usefulness. It only says that 
> > carpet bombing might sometimes hit a target.
> Perhaps there is some misunderstanding here in what the article 
> said? The 50% of edits refers to edits *subsequent* to our bot 
> effort, not the bot effort itself.  If there is still confusion, 
> I'm happy to clarify in more detail.

Yes, I understand this is about the subsequent manual edits.  My 
analogy with carpet bombing needs to be clarified.  Suppose we 
have a country with some strategic targets that we want to hit.  
If we carpet bomb everything, we will hit those targets, but many 
bombs will also be dropped outside of the targets.

Now, in a growing wiki the country (the whole) is the knowledge 
that readers have, and which they could potentially write about.  
The strategic targets are the actual edits they will contribute, 
which is a lot smaller than the whole country. Planting a lot of 
stubs is carpet bombing, dropping stubs on various topics, hoping 
to find the topics of those future manual edits.  The 50% number 
in your report means that 50% of those future edits (targets) were 
hit by the stub carpet bombing.  But that number doesn't say 
anything of the precision of the carpet bombing.  How many of the 
planted stubs failed to attract any manual edits?

That would be an interesting study, especially if you could repeat 
it with different size and quality of the stubs.

  Lars Aronsson (lars at aronsson.se)
  Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se

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