Viable wikis: struggle for life in the wikisphere

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Viable wikis: struggle for life in the wikisphere
Authors: Camille Roth [edit item]
Citation: International symposium on Wikis  : . 2007 October 21-23. Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Publication type: Conference paper
Peer-reviewed: Yes
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Google Scholar cites: Citations
Link(s): Paper link
Added by Wikilit team: Yes
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Viable wikis: struggle for life in the wikisphere is a publication by Camille Roth.


[edit] Abstract

Wikis are collaborative platforms enabling collective elaboration of knowledge, the most famous and possibly the most successful thereof being the Wikipedia. There are currently plenty of other active open-access wikis, with varying success: some recruit many users and achieve sustainability, while others strive to attract sufficient active contributors, irrespective of the topic of the wiki. We make an exploratory investigation of some factors likely to account for these various destinies (such as distinct policies, norms, user incentives, technical and structural features), examining the demographics of a portion of the wikisphere. We underline the intertwining of population and content dynamics and emphasize the existence of different periods of development of a wiki-based community, from bootstrapping by founders with a pre-established set of rules, to more stable regimes where constant enrollment and training of new users balances out the occasional departure of more advanced users.

[edit] Research questions

"In this paper, we make an exploratory investigation of some factors likely to account for these various destinies, in terms of policies, norms, user incentives, as well as technical and structural features, so as to describe the pillars of the viability of wiki-based communities."

Research details

Topics: Technical infrastructure, Contributor motivation, Policies and governance [edit item]
Domains: Communications, Information systems [edit item]
Theory type: Analysis [edit item]
Wikipedia coverage: Case [edit item]
Theories: "Undetermined?" [edit item]
Research design: Statistical analysis [edit item]
Data source: Websites [edit item]
Collected data time dimension: N/A [edit item]
Unit of analysis: N/A [edit item]
Wikipedia data extraction: Live Wikipedia [edit item]
Wikipedia page type: Policy, Collaboration and coordination [edit item]
Wikipedia language: Multiple [edit item]

[edit] Conclusion

"From this, we may now sketch out some of the most salient patterns for modeling wiki viability: � Population dynamics: (1) Agents: growth is directly coevolving with content size (Sec. 3.2); a proportion of users leave, partially depending on the overall quality. (2) Status: registered users improve over time; a small subset of most active users is granted administrator status, making better edits, lowering vandalism; some anonymous visitors are better than recently-registered users [2]. � Content dynamics: (1) Articles: their growth is linked to population size and existing articles; quality could be assessed through the number of editors and edits [1], the latter proportional to previous edits [10]. (2) Meta-content: recreating the ecology of policies would be limited by ontological uncertainty [21], unless one reproduces observed or predefined norms histories; yet, policies could still be independent variables in order to compare development paths induced by various policy sets."

[edit] Comments


Further notes[edit]