ngautam at wikimedia.org
Mon Jun 14 23:17:12 UTC 2010
We developed clicktracking to see what buttons were being used on our
toolbar. It was enabled for all Wikimedia projects that had the
usability toolbar and only gave us information of the type that "a user
who has an edit count of 3 just clicked the 'bold' button". Collecting
such data for internal research purposes is fully consistent with the
we do so, we strive to minimize the amount of information collected to
what's strictly necessary.
for more details, or see the code in SVN at http://bit.ly/c7hg0J ) .
We wanted to know, roughly, who was a novice and who was an expert, and
we had the edit count metric for that. We also wanted to know who is
active and who isn't, so for that we created a metric of edit count vs
timeframe. Specifically, when someone clicks, we record what event
happened (i.e., they clicked 'bold', 'left navigation-logo' etc), what
their edit count at the time was, what their edit count over the last 1,
3, and 6 months was, and a randomly generated session ID that lasts
until page refresh. This was done intentionally to keep the data anonymous.
We turned this feature on for left-navigation at a sampling rate of
about 1 in 1000 to get an idea of what was being clicked and what
wasn't, so that we'd know what to collapse and what not to.
We also used click-tracking on old editing toolbar to make sure that we
didn't leave any buttons off that people really liked.
The Special:ClickTracking page referenced here:
was a prototype for visualizing the aforementioned data. It was never
actually "turned on" to begin with, and it wasn't our highest priority
to get it up and running, especially since *the visualization's*
database operations aren't exactly lightning-fast and haven't been
optimized yet. It also wasn't and won't ever be a wikipedia
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