The Rise and Decline of an Open Collaboration System: How Wikipedia's Reaction to Sudden Popularity is Causing its Decline

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The Rise and Decline of an Open Collaboration System: How Wikipedia's Reaction to Sudden Popularity is Causing its Decline is a 2013 journal article written in English by Aaron Halfaker, R. Stuart Geiger, Jonathan Morgan, John T. Reidl and published in American Behavioral Scientist.

[edit] Abstract

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.

[edit] References

This publication has 22 references. Only those references related to wikis are included here:

  • "Wikipedia Self-Governance in Action: Motivating the Policy Lens" (create it!) [search]
  • "Becoming Wikipedian: Transformation of Participation in a Collaborative Online Encyclopedia" (create it!) [search]
  • "Defense Mechanism or Socialization Tactic? Improving Wikipedia's Notifications to Rejected Contributors" (create it!) [search]
  • "Spam Mitigation using Spatio-Temporal Reputations from Blacklist History" (create it!) [search]

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