R. Stuart Geiger

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R. Stuart Geiger is an author.

Publications

Only those publications related to wikis are shown here.
Title Keyword(s) Published in Language DateThis property is a special property in this wiki. Abstract R C
The Rise and Decline of an Open Collaboration System: How Wikipedia's Reaction to Sudden Popularity is Causing its Decline American Behavioral Scientist English 2013 Open collaboration systems like Wikipedia need to maintain a pool of volunteer contributors in order to remain relevant. Wikipedia was created through a tremendous number of contributions by millions of contributors. However, recent research has shown that the number of active contributors in Wikipedia has been declining steadily for years, and suggests that a sharp decline in the retention of newcomers is the cause. This paper presents data that show that several changes the Wikipedia community made to manage quality and consistency in the face of a massive growth in participation have ironically crippled the very growth they were designed to manage. Specifically, the restrictiveness of the encyclopedia's primary quality control mechanism and the algorithmic tools used to reject contributions are implicated as key causes of decreased newcomer retention. Further, the community's formal mechanisms for norm articulation are shown to have calcified against changes – especially changes proposed by newer editors. 22 0
Using edit sessions to measure participation in wikipedia Activity
Labor
Labor-hours
Peer production
Quantitative methods
Sessions
Wikipedia
Work
Work practices
English 2013 Many quantitative, log-based studies of participation and contribution in CSCW and CMC systems measure the activity of users in terms of output, based on metrics like posts to forums, edits to Wikipedia articles, or commits to code repositories. In this paper, we instead seek to estimate the amount of time users have spent contributing. Through an analysis of Wikipedia log data, we identify a pattern of punctuated bursts in editors' activity that we refer to as edit sessions. Based on these edit sessions, we build a metric that approximates the labor hours of editors in the encyclopedia. Using this metric, we first compare labor-based analyses with output-based analyses, finding that the activity of many editors can appear quite differently based on the kind of metric used. Second, we use edit session data to examine phenomena that cannot be adequately studied with purely output-based metrics, such as the total number of labor hours for the entire project. Copyright 2013 ACM. 0 0
Writing up rather than writing down: Becoming Wikipedia Literate Literacy
Wikipedia
New literacies
Educational technology
Ethnography
WikiSym English August 2012 Editing Wikipedia is certainly not as simple as learning the MediaWiki syntax and knowing where the “edit” bar is, but how do we conceptualize the cultural and organizational understandings that make an effective contributor? We draw on work of literacy practitioner and theorist Richard Darville to advocate a multi-faceted theory of literacy that sheds light on what new knowledges and organizational forms are required to improve participation in Wikipedia’s communities. We outline what Darville refers to as the “background knowledges” required to be an empowered, literate member and apply this to the Wikipedia community. Using a series of examples drawn from interviews with new editors and qualitative studies of controversies in Wikipedia, we identify and outline several different literacy asymmetries. 0 1
Critical Point of View: A Wikipedia Reader Institute of Network Cultures English 2011 For millions of internet users around the globe, the search for new knowledge begins with Wikipedia. The encyclopedia’s rapid rise, novel organization, and freely offered content have been marveled at and denounced by a host of commentators. Critical Point of View moves beyond unflagging praise, well-worn facts, and questions about its reliability and accuracy, to unveil the complex, messy, and controversial realities of a distributed knowledge platform. 0 4
Participation in Wikipedia's article deletion processes Wikipedia
Administration
Bureaucracy
Community
Governance
WikiSym English 2011 0 1
The work of sustaining order in Wikipedia: the banning of a vandal Wikipedia
Wiki
Robot
Collaboration
Distributed cognition
Ethnography
Social
Qualitative
Trace ethnography
Vandalism
English 2010 In this paper, we examine the social roles of software tools in the English-language Wikipedia, specifically focusing on autonomous editing programs and assisted editing tools. This qualitative research builds on recent research in which we quantitatively demonstrate the growing prevalence of such software in recent years. Using trace ethnography, we show how these often-unofficial technologies have fundamentally transformed the nature of editing and administration in Wikipedia. Specifically, we analyze "vandal fighting" as an epistemic process of distributed cognition, highlighting the role of non-human actors in enabling a decentralized activity of collective intelligence. In all, this case shows that software programs are used for more than enforcing policies and standards. These tools enable coordinated yet decentralized action, independent of the specific norms currently in force. 0 5