Drawing a Data-Driven Portrait of Wikipedia Editors

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Drawing a Data-Driven Portrait of Wikipedia Editors is a 2012 conference paper written in English by Robert West, Ingmar Weber, Carlos Castillo and published in WikiSym.

[edit] Abstract

While there has been a substantial amount of research into the editorial and organizational processes within Wikipedia, little is known about how Wikipedia editors (Wikipedians) relate to the online world in general. We attempt to shed light on this issue by using aggregated log data from Yahoo!’s browser toolbar in order to analyze Wikipedians’ editing behavior in the context of their online lives beyond Wikipedia. We broadly characterize editors by investigating how their online behavior differs from that of other users; e.g., we find that Wikipedia editors search more, read more news, play more games, and, perhaps surprisingly, are more immersed in popular culture. Then we inspect how editors’ general interests relate to the articles to which they contribute; e.g., we confirm the intuition that editors are more familiar with their active domains than average users. Finally, we analyze the data from a temporal perspective; e.g., we demonstrate that a user’s interest in the edited topic peaks immediately before the edit. Our results are relevant as they illuminate novel aspects of what has become many Web users’ prevalent source of information.

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