Definitely an important part of the online world…..
Wikipedia – one of the most used sites on the web at #7
Wikipedia stats (Sept 2014)
33.5 million articles (4.7 million in English; Swedish is next largest 1.94 mill, followed by Dutch 1.79 mill then German 1.73 mill.)
English articles equivalent to 2058 volumes of Britannica
8.7 million views per hour (English)
793 new articles per day in English – down from peaks of over 1500 in 2006/2007.
Active volunteer editors – declining. 3000 editors make 100 changes a month (English) – down from 4 700 in 2007.
Who edits Wikipedia?
Wikipedians write and edit pages. They do it because they like volunteering to share knowledge and believe that information should be freely available – it’s also fun. A study into editor gender bias revealed 84% of English Wikipedia editors are male (91% globally). 20% of editors are from the US; the top 10 editor countries are all either Nth America or Europe, except for India. Age distribution – 59% are 17-40 yrs; 28% are 40+.
Harvard hires a Wikipedia editor to be its ‘Wikipedian in Residence’
In March, the Houghton Library at Harvard advertised a 12 week position for an experienced Wikipedia editor to write and improve articles for Wikipedia and to upload some of its own archives into Wikimedia, the parent organisation of Wikipedia. The Houghton Library focuses on rare and older books and it is hoped that there will be more use of their collections, whilst Wikipedia will get enhanced content. Wikimedia has been encouraging liaisons such as this for several years and many institutions have participated – eg. US National Archives, British Library, Smithsonian Archives. Harvard has also hosted ‘edit-a-thons’ for Wikipedia. During Science Week in August, Australia’s first “Wikibomb” sessions were held, where Wikipedia entries about leading female scientists were added.
Paid editors on Wikipedia
Would you trust it any more or less if you knew people were being paid to contribute content? Since August, Wikipedia allows paid contributors to make changes, as long as they disclose their affiliations. Critics dislike paid editors, as it conflicts with Wikipedia’s core editing policy of neutrality – but of course, PR people are already “wikiwashing” entries for companies, politicians and others.
Bots as authors and editors on Wikipedia
Sverker Johansson in Sweden has contributed 2.7 million articles to Wikipedia – more than anyone else – but most of his entries have been created by a software program (bot). His program searches digital resources and packages the information into an article. Increasing amounts of new content on Wikipedia is now written by bots.
Fear not – Wikipedia’s robots patrol 24/7 to kill vandalism: http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/18/5412636/this-machine-kills-trolls-how-wikipedia-robots-snuff-out-vandalism
Are Wikipedia’s days numbered?
New editors are hard to retain. Are there too many rules for them? Will Wikipedia adapt to Google Glass and translation services? The format is a bit dated now – should it be redesigned?
ALIA ACT Wikipedia and libraries information evening Mon 24 Nov in Canberra
What do Wikipedia and libraries have in common? How can libraries and Wikimedia Aust. work together?