Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Another Wikipedia statistical analysis
An interesting, although preliminary, analysis on the relationship between anonymous editors and vandalism can be found at Wikipedia:WikiProject Vandalism studies/Study1. According to the three Wikipedians who spent the better part of two months uncovering the details and putting their results to a statistical analysis, in a given month approximately 5% of edits are vandalism and 97% of that vandalism is done by anonymous editors.
An interesting counterpoint to Aaron Swartz's often referenced essay, which argues that the majority of all content comes from editors who contribute a total of less than 25 edits: if my impression is correct, these two groups -- anonymous editors and these low-total editors -- largely overlap.
A voice worth adding to this conversation is Betsy Devine's paper from last summer's Wikimania, Schrödinger's Wiki: The Quantum Challenge of Media Attention. Her title is a bit misleading: an important point she made in her presentation was how media attention to a given Wikipedia article will lead to a flurry of anonymous edits, many of which she characterized as "vandalism" using a definition similar to the one used by the team behind the WikiProject Vandalism study above.
Technocrati tags: wikipedia