[Foundation-l] "antisocial production"

Steven Walling steven.walling at gmail.com
Sat Jun 27 22:29:37 UTC 2009

I concur with Phil. That thing is more press stunt than it is a conclusive
scientific study. The key thing that makes me discount it is, just like in a
survey of articles, Wikipedia as a community is both gargantuan and diverse.
The motivation and character of the long tail of contributors who steadily
make a few edits a month is obviously vastly different than the top hundred
editors by number of edits. I've yet to see a serious sociologist break down
and study the community like they would a meatspace culture (though there
are those doing so from a purely statistical perspective).


On Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 3:16 PM, Phil Nash <pn007a2145 at blueyonder.co.uk>wrote:

> Eddie Tejeda wrote:
> >> 'Forget altruism. Misanthropy and egotism are the fuel of online
> >> social production. That's the conclusion suggested by a new study of
> >> the character traits of the contributors to Wikipedia. A team of
> >> Israeli research psychologists gave personality tests to 69
> >> Wikipedians and 70 non-Wikipedians. They discovered that, as New
> >> Scientist puts
> >> it<
> http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16349-psychologist-finds-wikipedians-grumpy-and-closedminded.html
> >,
> >> Wikipedians are generally "grumpy," "disagreeable," and "closed to
> >> new ideas."'
> >> http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2009/06/the_sour_wikipe.php
> >>
> >> I wonder how the mailing list will react....
> 1. Small sample, making statistical significance difficult to assess
> 2. Selected sample, meaning likewise - did the Wikipedians contribute to
> en:wiki or other wikis?
> 2a. Sample selection for non-Wikipedia editors? How and from where?
> 3. If the questionnaire isn't published, it's incapable of independent
> analysis for bias in the questions asked
> 4. Peer-reviewed research by whom?
> and that's just for starters. I look forward to seeing the whole lot,
> because I, for one, disbelieve such wide conclusions.
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Steven Walling | @StevenWalling
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