Dynamics Of Wikipedia

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Information about Dynamics Of Wikipedia

Published on December 3, 2007

Author: syeo

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Wikipedia, the encylopedia that anyone can edit, “can never work in theory, only in practice.” Accounting for one in every 200 page views on the Internet, it has become a part of our everyday lives. Wikipedia is changing the way we think about the economics of the web, the potential and the pitfalls of engaging the masses, and the role of professional information architects in a world in which content arrives from literally every direction.

In this session, we’ll explore the nuts-and-bolts of how the Wikipedia project works. Who writes Wikipedia, and why? How does the English Wikipedia maintain quality, consistent tagging, and coherent organization across over two million articles? What happens when contributors disagree? We will take a tour behind the scenes at Wikipedia to learn what happens when users are encouraged to - as they say on Wikipedia… “be bold.”

Su-Laine Yeo Vancouver User Experience Group November, 2007 Dynamics of Wikipedia This presentation is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Overview How does it all work? Who writes for Wikipedia, and why? How does the site keep vandalism and spam away? What happens when contributors disagree? How does the site keep articles consistent and organized?

How does it all work?

Who writes for Wikipedia, and why?

How does the site keep vandalism and spam away?

What happens when contributors disagree?

How does the site keep articles consistent and organized?

Agenda What is Wikipedia? Contributing: Part I Vandalism and spam Conflict and culture Contributing: Part II Please ask questions along the way!

What is Wikipedia?

Contributing: Part I

Vandalism and spam

Conflict and culture

Contributing: Part II

Please ask questions along the way!

What is Wikipedia?

Vision A free, neutral encyclopedia that anyone can edit “ Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing.” – Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales

A free, neutral encyclopedia that anyone can edit

The global project 253 languages 2 million+ articles in English 5 million articles in languages other than English, accounting for half of all traffic Freely -licensed image, video, and sound files on Wikimedia Commons are used across languages http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wikipedias_by_language_family

253 languages

2 million+ articles in English

5 million articles in languages other than English, accounting for half of all traffic

Freely -licensed image, video, and sound files on Wikimedia Commons are used across languages

Size of the English Wikipedia http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Size_of_English_Wikipedia_in_August_2007.svg

 

Who’s who MediaWiki software Wikimedia Foundation Jimmy (Jimbo) Wales, founder, leader, and benevolent dictator 5.8 million registered accounts for volunteer contributors Lots of edits by unregistered users

MediaWiki software

Wikimedia Foundation

Jimmy (Jimbo) Wales, founder, leader, and benevolent dictator

5.8 million registered accounts for volunteer contributors

Lots of edits by unregistered users

Wikimedia Foundation Runs the servers; hardware costs are 60% of its budget No ads or paid subscribers Annual revenues $1.5 million (June 2006) Fewer than 10 full-time employees Sister projects to Wikipedia: Wiktionary, Wikispecies, Wikiversity, Wikinews…

Runs the servers; hardware costs are 60% of its budget

No ads or paid subscribers

Annual revenues $1.5 million (June 2006)

Fewer than 10 full-time employees

Sister projects to Wikipedia: Wiktionary, Wikispecies, Wikiversity, Wikinews…

Wikipedia statistics Among top 10 most visited websites 70% of traffic is from search engines Cited in over 100 U.S. court rulings http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/29/technology/29wikipedia.html?ex=1327726800&en=92bbe5fe41874778&ei=5090

Among top 10 most visited websites

70% of traffic is from search engines

Cited in over 100 U.S. court rulings

Key policies Wikipedia is an encyclopedia; its goals go no further Free content Neutral point of view Attribution to reliable sources

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia; its goals go no further

Free content

Neutral point of view

Attribution to reliable sources

Most viewed articles Source: http://tools.wikimedia.de/~leon/stats/wikicharts for Sept 07

Most viewed articles (cont’d)

Most viewed articles (cont’d)

Unusual articles Exploding whale Heavy metal umlaut Cosmic latte Anti-Barney humor Five-second rule Passenger train toilets Society for the Prevention of Calling Sleeping Car Porters “George” 0.999...

Exploding whale

Heavy metal umlaut

Cosmic latte

Anti-Barney humor

Five-second rule

Passenger train toilets

Society for the Prevention of Calling Sleeping Car Porters “George”

0.999...

Contributing: Part I “ So fix it.” - A Wikipedia saying

“ So fix it.”

- A Wikipedia saying

Contributing: Overview Editing a sentence Wikitext Headings Links Bulleted lists Templates Signatures Accounts and privacy

Editing a sentence

Wikitext

Headings

Links

Bulleted lists

Templates

Signatures

Accounts and privacy

Get an account Editing with an account is MORE private than editing without one Don’t use your real name You can change your username later You can identify yourself in less permanent ways

Editing with an account is MORE private than editing without one

Don’t use your real name

You can change your username later

You can identify yourself in less permanent ways

User pages

Wikiscanner http://wikiscanner.virgil.gr/

Vandals and spammers

Addressing vandalism Automated vandalism reversion (bots) Recent Changes patrol Watchlists Semi-protect heavily-vandalised pages Completely protect high-visibility pages Warn vandals Block repeat offenders

Automated vandalism reversion (bots)

Recent Changes patrol

Watchlists

Semi-protect heavily-vandalised pages

Completely protect high-visibility pages

Warn vandals

Block repeat offenders

Recent Changes patrol

Reverting

User contribution history

Vandalism warnings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:208.67.142.93

Blocks

Administrators ~1400 administrators in English Block and unblock users Semi-protect pages (lock pages from being edited by unregistered and new users) Protect pages (lock pages from being edited) Edit protected pages Delete and undelete page histories

~1400 administrators in English

Block and unblock users

Semi-protect pages (lock pages from being edited by unregistered and new users)

Protect pages (lock pages from being edited)

Edit protected pages

Delete and undelete page histories

Addressing spam “ No-follow” on external links Spam blacklist As with vandalism: revert, warn user, block persistent offenders

“ No-follow” on external links

Spam blacklist

As with vandalism: revert, warn user, block persistent offenders

 

Other obviously-bad edits Blatant advertising Copyright violation Libel Hoax Complete bullocks

Blatant advertising

Copyright violation

Libel

Hoax

Complete bullocks

Conflict and Culture “ When someone just writes 'f**k, f**k, f**k', we just fix it, laugh and move on. But the difficult social issues are the borderline cases — people who do some good work, but who are also a pain in the neck.” – Jimbo Wales

“ When someone just writes 'f**k, f**k, f**k', we just fix it, laugh and move on. But the difficult social issues are the borderline cases — people who do some good work, but who are also a pain in the neck.”

– Jimbo Wales

Conflict When contributors disagree in good faith, there are procedures for working through disputes. The Wikipedia community has final say on most things … The community is: people who have a history of good contributions and who show up for the debate

When contributors disagree in good faith, there are procedures for working through disputes.

The Wikipedia community has final say on most things

… The community is: people who have a history of good contributions and who show up for the debate

What not to do

Dispute resolution After being bold: Discuss on the article Talk page and/or the other person’s Talk page Third Opinion Mediation Request for Comment Arbitration Intervention by Jimbo

After being bold:

Discuss on the article Talk page and/or the other person’s Talk page

Third Opinion

Mediation

Request for Comment

Arbitration

Intervention by Jimbo

Content policies and guidelines What are reliable sources? What is an acceptable External Link? Is company XYZ notable enough for an article? Should the article title be “Giraffe” or “Giraffes”? Is it “program” or “programme”?

What are reliable sources?

What is an acceptable External Link?

Is company XYZ notable enough for an article?

Should the article title be “Giraffe” or “Giraffes”?

Is it “program” or “programme”?

 

 

 

Conduct policies and guidelines Be civil Assume good faith Don’t edit war Write for the enemy Ignore all rules Don’t use Wikipedia for self-promotion

Be civil

Assume good faith

Don’t edit war

Write for the enemy

Ignore all rules

Don’t use Wikipedia for self-promotion

Corporate advocacy and self-promotion Includes adding excessive links to your own company’s website If in doubt about possible conflict of interest, suggest changes on the article’s Talk page or on one of the noticeboards

Includes adding excessive links to your own company’s website

If in doubt about possible conflict of interest, suggest changes on the article’s Talk page or on one of the noticeboards

Talk pages

 

Dispute resolution principles Focus on how to improve the articles Widen the conflict; ask for third-party viewpoints Don’t wikilawyer Discuss rather than vote

Focus on how to improve the articles

Widen the conflict; ask for third-party viewpoints

Don’t wikilawyer

Discuss rather than vote

 

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Deleted_articles_with_freaky_titles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Pooky_the_Teddy_Bear

 

 

Controversy is often good Motivates people to improve articles Raises awareness of the need for quality sourcing Leads to inclusion of multiple viewpoints and nuances in articles Builds community

Motivates people to improve articles

Raises awareness of the need for quality sourcing

Leads to inclusion of multiple viewpoints and nuances in articles

Builds community

Problem behaviour Point-of-view pushing; political and nationalist block voting Edit warring Persistent corporate advocacy Fraudulent use of multiple accounts (sockpuppetry)

Point-of-view pushing; political and nationalist block voting

Edit warring

Persistent corporate advocacy

Fraudulent use of multiple accounts (sockpuppetry)

Problem behaviour (cont’d) Problem users can be banned from a topic or from all of Wikipedia Bans are difficult to enforce Short supply of neutral people who are patient enough to deal with problematic behaviour “ The takeaway message I'm getting here is ‘only an admin with a hole in his head willingly gets involved in Israel-Palestine articles.’ ” - a Wikipedia administrator

Problem users can be banned from a topic or from all of Wikipedia

Bans are difficult to enforce

Short supply of neutral people who are patient enough to deal with problematic behaviour

Controversial Issues Wikipedia’s list of controversial issues Articles involving “biographies of living persons” Children in the news Victims of crime People notable for having medical conditions Overwhelmingly negative biographies

Wikipedia’s list of controversial issues

Articles involving “biographies of living persons”

Children in the news

Victims of crime

People notable for having medical conditions

Overwhelmingly negative biographies

Biographies of Living Persons rules Consider privacy Negative material has more rigorous inclusion requirements Immediately remove unsourced or poorly sourced negative or controversial material Avoid discussion

Consider privacy

Negative material has more rigorous inclusion requirements

Immediately remove unsourced or poorly sourced negative or controversial material

Avoid discussion

IA for two million articles Few information types : encyclopedia articles, lists, disambiguation pages No essays or how-to articles No point-of-view forking of articles Extensive guidelines on: naming conventions refactoring long articles, merging similar articles use of categories

Few information types : encyclopedia articles, lists, disambiguation pages

No essays or how-to articles

No point-of-view forking of articles

Extensive guidelines on:

naming conventions

refactoring long articles, merging similar articles

use of categories

IA for two million articles (cont’d) Relatively simple markup Extensive use of templates Constant refactoring

Relatively simple markup

Extensive use of templates

Constant refactoring

Templates

Categories There are guidelines for creating categories Be bold in creating categories Categories are subject to refactoring

There are guidelines for creating categories

Be bold in creating categories

Categories are subject to refactoring

Adding and using categories

Summary: Conflict and culture Policies and guidelines Culture is oriented towards trust, discussion, and generating consensus Conflict can build community and often leads to better articles Most articles are not controversial. Usually, good-faith edits stick Decentralized management of information architecture

Policies and guidelines

Culture is oriented towards trust, discussion, and generating consensus

Conflict can build community and often leads to better articles

Most articles are not controversial. Usually, good-faith edits stick

Decentralized management of information architecture

Contributing: Part II “ I have found working with a bunch of like minded folks on an article or wikiproject when it kicks into top gear one of the most inspiring things, the rapid-fire editing of an article gunning toward FA status as writer's blocks are sequentially blasted out of the way is just amazing to witness via the diffs/hists.” – Wikipedia editor “Casliber”

“ I have found working with a bunch of like minded folks on an article or wikiproject when it kicks into top gear one of the most inspiring things, the rapid-fire editing of an article gunning toward FA status as writer's blocks are sequentially blasted out of the way is just amazing to witness via the diffs/hists.”

– Wikipedia editor “Casliber”

Contribute by… Writing about what you’re interested in Improving the writing of others Citing sources Categorizing and organizing articles Translating articles Contributing photographs and artwork Reviewing and commenting on articles Maintenance: removing vandalism, spam, and trivia Helping to resolve disputes

Writing about what you’re interested in

Improving the writing of others

Citing sources

Categorizing and organizing articles

Translating articles

Contributing photographs and artwork

Reviewing and commenting on articles

Maintenance: removing vandalism, spam, and trivia

Helping to resolve disputes

"We can no longer feel satisfied and happy when we see these (article) numbers going up.... We should continue to turn our attention away from growth and towards quality.“ - Jimbo Wales

 

 

Why contribute? Improve your skills in: Writing Editing Having your work edited Conflict resolution and group dynamics Understanding copyright Wiki technology

Improve your skills in:

Writing

Editing

Having your work edited

Conflict resolution and group dynamics

Understanding copyright

Wiki technology

Summary Free encyclopedia written by volunteers Be bold Get an account with a fake name; don’t promote commercial interests Revert, warn, and block vandals and spammers Policies, guidelines, and dispute resolution systems exist for controversial issues Distributed decision-making scales well for information architecture

Free encyclopedia written by volunteers

Be bold

Get an account with a fake name; don’t promote commercial interests

Revert, warn, and block vandals and spammers

Policies, guidelines, and dispute resolution systems exist for controversial issues

Distributed decision-making scales well for information architecture

The radical project Almost no co-ordination of effort 2% of users (1400 people) make 73.4% of edits 0.7% of users (524 people) make 50% of edits But… people who make very, very few edits write most of Wikipedia’s content … Your earliest edits will probably be your most valuable ones http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/whowriteswikipedia

Almost no co-ordination of effort

2% of users (1400 people) make 73.4% of edits

0.7% of users (524 people) make 50% of edits

But… people who make very, very few edits write most of Wikipedia’s content

… Your earliest edits will probably be your most valuable ones

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d4/Be_bold.pnghttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d4/Be_bold.png

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