Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Who really writes Wikipedia?

Aaron Swartz looks at contributions by the number of characters submitted to a Wikipedia article as opposed to the number of edits. He comes to some interesting conclusions. Basically, he didn't find the Pareto distribution that has been considered the CW and discussed in every Wikipedia talk since the beginning of time.

Admitted his sample is small and the content analyzed homogeneous, but the results do get your attention. It basically says that the gatekeepers and the formatters are not as critical to Wikipedia‘s success as had been previously assumed. It also says that policies designed to enhance the influence of people in these roles may be hindering Wikipedia‘s progress.

I have to admit my bias toward any findings that disintermediate the control-freaks. Also, I just have to say that all these fine folks doing research on their own warms-my-heart. Great stuff!

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