[Foundation-l] Wikimedia Audited Financial Statements for 2009-10 Fiscal Year Now Available

John Vandenberg jayvdb at gmail.com
Wed Oct 27 23:24:50 UTC 2010

On Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 1:20 AM, Andrew Gray <andrew.gray at dunelm.org.uk> wrote:
> On 26 October 2010 23:54, John Vandenberg <jayvdb at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 9:40 AM, geni <geniice at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> "Wikipedia contains more than 16 million articles contributed by a
>>> global volunteer  community of more than 100,000 people." You are
>>> using some non standard definitions of community here.
>> I'd like to see how that figure of 100,000 was arrived at.
> I'm not sure of the exact working, but a quick sanity-check:
> Per wikistats, the total "active registered editors" hovers around
> 85,000 for all Wikipedia "editions". This figure represents the sum of
> number of active accounts on each project at any given moment; on the
> one hand, it overcounts, because it doesn't account for duplicate
> activity (someone who is "active" on both fr and de), but on the other
> hand, it doesn't account for people who're less active than our
> five-edits-per-month threshold.
> It also doesn't clearly account for people who're active one month and
> not the next - simply averaging the headline figures will treat twelve
> people, each active in a different month, as the same as a single
> person active in all twelve. Similarly, there is an open question as
> to whether or not our count should be entirely in the present tense.
> There are plenty of articles contributed by community members who've
> not edited in the past year or two - they may not currently be part of
> the community of contributors, but they certainly were then, they
> certainly wrote that content, and they certainly are among the X
> thousand people to have done so! It may be appropriate to factor these
> people in as well to the headline figure; this is a bit more
> debatable, since "community" implies an instantaneous count, but I
> think you can make a decent case either way.
> So our first estimate is 85k.

I arrived at a similar figure earlier this month, when the WMF gave
"100,000" as an estimate of our _current_ community population.


My guess is those stats include accounts which never edit content; on
English Wikipedia we have many accounts which only create a userpage,
and/or create content pages which are deleted immediately because they
are vandalism, attack pages, etc.

Also, those numbers include many vandals, many who intentionally make
more than five edits in order to be autoconfirmed, and socks.
I think I am on safe ground to estimate that English Wikipedia has had
over 10,000 confirmed sockpuppets.

> polyglot users will drive the figure
> down, whilst "less active" users will drive the total up, as will
> accounting for past contributors. I don't have any estimates as to the
> magnitudes of those effects, but a total of 100k seems well within the
> realm of possibility.

Including past contributors is a questionable approach, and needs to
be done carefully.  We know our 'community' changes over time, with
people quitting and new people arriving.  Many come back with a new
username (we even have ex-arbitrators who did this).

The community is being defined in terms of 'people', rather than
'users'.  There are also people with more than one account; iirc, one
'crat on English Wikiquote had ~hundred accounts with more than five
edits (Kalki).

John Vandenberg

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