Becoming wikipedian: transformation of participation in a collaborative online encyclopedia

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Becoming wikipedian: transformation of participation in a collaborative online encyclopedia
Authors: Susan L. Bryant, Andrea Forte, Amy Bruckman [edit item]
Citation: GROUP '05 Proceedings of the 2005 international ACM SIGGROUP conference on Supporting group work  : . 2005 November 6-9. Sanibel Island, FL, United states. Association for Computing Machinery.
Publication type: Conference paper
Peer-reviewed: Yes
Database(s):
DOI: 10.1145/1099203.1099205.
Google Scholar cites: Citations
Link(s): Paper link
Added by Wikilit team: Added on initial load
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Becoming wikipedian: transformation of participation in a collaborative online encyclopedia is a publication by Susan L. Bryant, Andrea Forte, Amy Bruckman.


[edit] Abstract

Traditional activities change in surprising ways when computer-mediated communication becomes a component of the activity system. In this descriptive study, we leverage two perspectives on social activity to understand the experiences of individuals who became active collaborators in Wikipedia, a prolific, cooperatively-authored online encyclopedia. Legitimate peripheral participation provides a lens for understanding participation in a community as an adaptable process that evolves over time. We use ideas from activity theory as a framework to describe our results. Finally, we describe how activity on the Wikipedia stands in striking contrast to traditional publishing and suggests a new paradigm for collaborative systems.

[edit] Research questions

"In our investigation of participation in Wikipedia, we will examine how users’ motivations and their perceptions of their roles in Wikipedia change as they become more engaged in the community. In particular, how do technological and social structures mediate user activity in Wikipedia? What forms does initial participation in Wikipedia take? How does the character of participation change over time as users become full participants in Wikipedia? Do barriers like the physical ones that isolated the apprentice butchers also isolate individuals in the online world of Wikipedia? In what ways does social organization in Wikipedia regulate the forms of participation that are available to newcomers?"

Research details

Topics: Contributor engagement [edit item]
Domains: Information systems [edit item]
Theory type: Explanation [edit item]
Wikipedia coverage: Main topic [edit item]
Theories: "We use ideas from activity theory as a framework to

describe our results." [edit item]

Research design: Discourse analysis [edit item]
Data source: Interview responses [edit item]
Collected data time dimension: Cross-sectional [edit item]
Unit of analysis: User [edit item]
Wikipedia data extraction: N/A [edit item]
Wikipedia page type: N/A [edit item]
Wikipedia language: Not specified [edit item]

[edit] Conclusion

"For the mean time, by describing the activity systems in which newcomers and established Wikipedians participate, we see concrete examples of how participation is transformed in an online collaborative project. As their participation becomes more central and frequent, participants in Wikipedia adopt new goals, new roles, and use different tools although they are doing so in the same “place.” Their perceptions of Wikipedia change. They identify the site, not as a random collection of articles, but as a community of co-authors who play distinct roles and have distinct talents as they build a resource. They move from a local focus on individual articles to a concern for the quality of the Wikipedia content as a whole and the health of the community. As Wikipedia users move from legitimate peripheral participation to full community involvement, the activities and structures that mediate them necessarily become more complex. There is a disparity between the tremendous increase in the complexity of Wikipedian activity compared to novice activity and the relatively unchanged context of participation. Novices and Wikipedians are using the same site. For the most part, they have access to the same set of tools and are cooperating in the same virtual place that has the same set of affordances, with the same group of collaborators. Applying the AT framework over time helps reveal the many externally imperceptible ways that participation is transformed as newcomers establish themselves in this community."

[edit] Comments

"" As their participation becomes more central and frequent, participants in Wikipedia adopt new goals, new roles, and use different tools although they are doing so in the same “place.” ... They move from a local focus on individual articles to a concern for the quality of the Wikipedia content as a whole and the health of the community.""


Further notes[edit]

Facts about "Becoming wikipedian: transformation of participation in a collaborative online encyclopedia"RDF feed
AbstractTraditional activities change in surprisinTraditional activities change in surprising ways when computer-mediated communication becomes a component of the activity system. In this descriptive study, we leverage two perspectives on social activity to understand the experiences of individuals who became active collaborators in Wikipedia, a prolific, cooperatively-authored online encyclopedia. Legitimate peripheral participation provides a lens for understanding participation in a community as an adaptable process that evolves over time. We use ideas from activity theory as a framework to describe our results. Finally, we describe how activity on the Wikipedia stands in striking contrast to traditional publishing and suggests a new paradigm for collaborative systems. a new paradigm for collaborative systems.
Added by wikilit teamAdded on initial load +
Collected data time dimensionCross-sectional +
Comments" As their participation becomes more cent" As their participation becomes more central and frequent, participants in Wikipedia adopt new goals, new roles, and use different tools although they are doing so in the same “place.” ... They move from a local focus on individual articles to a concern for the quality of the Wikipedia content as a whole and the health of the community." a whole and the health of the community."
ConclusionFor the mean time, by describing the activFor the mean time, by describing the activity systems in which

newcomers and established Wikipedians participate, we see concrete examples of how participation is transformed in an online collaborative project. As their participation becomes more central and frequent, participants in Wikipedia adopt new goals, new roles, and use different tools although they are doing so in the same “place.” Their perceptions of Wikipedia change. They identify the site, not as a random collection of articles, but as a community of co-authors who play distinct roles and have distinct talents as they build a resource. They move from a local focus on individual articles to a concern for the quality of the Wikipedia content as a whole and the health of the community. As Wikipedia users move from legitimate peripheral participation to full community involvement, the activities and structures that mediate them necessarily become more complex. There is a disparity between the tremendous increase in the complexity of Wikipedian activity compared to novice activity and the relatively unchanged context of participation. Novices and Wikipedians are using the same site. For the most part, they have access to the same set of tools and are cooperating in the same virtual place that has the same set of affordances, with the same group of collaborators. Applying the AT framework over time helps reveal the many externally imperceptible ways that participation is transformed as newcomers establish themselves in this community.rs establish themselves in

this community.
Conference locationSanibel Island, FL, United states +
Data sourceInterview responses +
Dates6-9 +
Doi10.1145/1099203.1099205 +
Google scholar urlhttp://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Becoming%2Bwikipedian%3A%2Btransformation%2Bof%2Bparticipation%2Bin%2Ba%2Bcollaborative%2Bonline%2Bencyclopedia%22 +
Has authorSusan L. Bryant +, Andrea Forte + and Amy Bruckman +
Has domainInformation systems +
Has topicContributor engagement +
MonthNovember +
Peer reviewedYes +
Publication typeConference paper +
Published inGROUP '05 Proceedings of the 2005 international ACM SIGGROUP conference on Supporting group work +
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery +
Research designDiscourse analysis +
Research questionsIn our investigation of participation in WIn our investigation of participation in Wikipedia, we will

examine how users’ motivations and their perceptions of their roles in Wikipedia change as they become more engaged in the community. In particular, how do technological and social structures mediate user activity in Wikipedia? What forms does initial participation in Wikipedia take? How does the character of participation change over time as users become full participants in Wikipedia? Do barriers like the physical ones that isolated the apprentice butchers also isolate individuals in the online world of Wikipedia? In what ways does social organization in Wikipedia regulate the forms of participation that are available to newcomers?icipation that are available to

newcomers?
Revid10,681 +
TheoriesWe use ideas from activity theory as a framework to describe our results.
Theory typeExplanation +
TitleBecoming wikipedian: transformation of participation in a collaborative online encyclopedia
Unit of analysisUser +
Urlhttp://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1099205 +
Wikipedia coverageMain topic +
Wikipedia data extractionN/A +
Wikipedia languageNot specified +
Wikipedia page typeN/A +
Year2005 +