[Foundation-l] Who The Hell Writes Wikipedia, Anyway?
Ziko van Dijk
zvandijk at googlemail.com
Thu Jan 8 11:45:12 UTC 2009
Aaron Swartz is right in so far that the "Jimmy Wales method" of looking at
the number of edits of users is not enough. I would like to know whether
Swartz counts really letters (for an encyclopaedic text), as he says, or
According to him, most of the Wikipedia texts are written by IP users, and
the "500 heroes", the steady editors, are only the editors who make the
texts look more beautiful and fit into a concept. He says that most
contributors (IP users) do not even see the need to register, and they only
make a limited number of edits. They, meaning ten thousands of mostly
unregistered users, write the Wikipedia, not the 500 or 1400 or 1000-2000
community members Wales mentions in public.
I believe that the weak point of Swartz' research is that we cannot really
identify the users who contribute. I just looked at [[de:Georg Michaelis]]:
The core of the text was entered in 2004 by an IP user who actually did less
than 30 edits. But - it is possible that this IP user later contributed
under a different IP, or that he later registered, or even has several
The next essential contribution to that article were some works of or about
Michaelis, and the third was made by a registered user. This confirms our
thesis that most of the articles are essentially written by a small number
of users. The question is in how far we can call them a "community", also
seen the volatile character of many users who are part of the community
maybe only for a couple of years.
2009/1/8 David Goodman <dgoodmanny at gmail.com>
> The one thing he seems to have missed so far is the sub-communities of
> people on individual groups of topics.
> On Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 12:49 AM, Mark Williamson <node.ue at gmail.com>
> > I do.
> > 2009/1/7 Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com>:
> >> A friend of mine put my attention to this blog post . I didn't read
> >> it as it is too late now (I just heard friend's description of the
> >> article), but I think that there is no sense to wait tomorrow for
> >> sharing it. The issue is important enough to be analyzed.
> >>  -
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> David Goodman, Ph.D, M.L.S.
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Ziko van Dijk
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