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Becoming wikipedian: transformation of participation in a collaborative online encyclopedia
Abstract Traditional 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 team Added on initial load  +
Collected data time dimension Cross-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."
Conclusion For 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 location Sanibel Island, FL, United states +
Data source Interview responses  +
Dates 6-9 +
Doi 10.1145/1099203.1099205 +
Google scholar url http://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Becoming%2Bwikipedian%3A%2Btransformation%2Bof%2Bparticipation%2Bin%2Ba%2Bcollaborative%2Bonline%2Bencyclopedia%22  +
Has author Susan L. Bryant + , Andrea Forte + , Amy Bruckman +
Has domain Information systems +
Has topic Contributor engagement +
Month November  +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Conference paper  +
Published in GROUP '05 Proceedings of the 2005 international ACM SIGGROUP conference on Supporting group work +
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery +
Research design Discourse analysis  +
Research questions In 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?
Revid 10,681  +
Theories We use ideas from activity theory as a framework to describe our results.
Theory type Explanation  +
Title Becoming wikipedian: transformation of participation in a collaborative online encyclopedia
Unit of analysis User  +
Url http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1099205  +
Wikipedia coverage Main topic  +
Wikipedia data extraction N/A  +
Wikipedia language Not specified  +
Wikipedia page type N/A  +
Year 2005  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 15 March 2012 20:24:26  +
Categories Contributor engagement  + , Information systems  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:20:51  +
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