Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Another insightful study

Although it could be argued this is dangerously self-referential: Dragon's flight performed this statistical analysis on Wikipedia's log files which includes looking at the edit histories for 118793 English Wikipedia articles (~6% of all articles).

(I found this through Dragon's flight's announcement on the Wikimedia Foundation mailing list. The resulting thread is also worth a read.)

Although some might disagree with this observation, I find this is evidence against my theory that the slowing rate of new article creation is due to a lack of "low-hanging fruit", instead the slowing rate is due to limits on the number of people joining the English-language Wikipedia: the community is reaching its limit of members. There are just so many people in the world who would consider writing encyclopedia articles as "fun." Another thing to consider, is that as non-English Wikipedias gain viability people for whom English is a second language are more likely either to leave the English Wikipedia for the one in their native language, or never to contribute in the first place.

October is producing a bumper crop of studies and facts to chew on, and it's not even half over.


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Chicken or egg? Are fewer people signing up because most would-be Wikipedians already did, or because they don't have any fruit to write about (and hence no reason to sign up)?

It's encouraging that article creation rate has pretty much held steady since the big drop last September...especially considering that edit rates have been declining.

I wish we could see the Reid, et. al. analysis brought forward through September 2007, especially the vandalism/revert analysis. It could be that vandalism isn't as fun as it used to be.
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