Dynamics of Talk pages: Serving the article, showing the community - Wikimania 2010
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Dynamics of Talk pages: Serving the article, showing the community - Wikimania 2010

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Talk pages are supposed to provide a space for improving the article. Are they as useful as they could be? I'll briefly describe some ways Talk pages go wrong, then share some prototype systems. Your ...

Talk pages are supposed to provide a space for improving the article. Are they as useful as they could be? I'll briefly describe some ways Talk pages go wrong, then share some prototype systems. Your feedback is encouraged! http://wikimania2010.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/Dynamics_of_Wikipedia_Talk_pages:_serving_the_article,_showing_the_community

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Dynamics of Talk pages: Serving the article, showing the community - Wikimania 2010 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Digital Enterprise Research Institute Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie www.deri.ie Dynamics of Wikipedia Talk pages: serving the article, showing the community Jodi Schneider, Alexandre Passant & John Breslin WikiMania 2010 2010-07-11 P Gdańsk, Poland 1 © Copyright 2009 Digital Enterprise Research Institute. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2009 Digital Enterprise Research Institute. All rights reserved.
  • 2. Researcher & Wiki user Jodi.a.schneider • WP:en - starting with Talk page edits (2006) • AcaWiki.org administrator “Wikipedia for academic research”
  • 3. Can We Make Online Discussions Better? http://xkcd.com/386/
  • 4. Overview • Why Talk pages? • What we know about Talk pages - Observation - Research - Belief • My research in Talk pages • How you can help
  • 5. Overview • Why Talk pages? • What we know about Talk pages - Observation - Research - Belief • My research in Talk pages • How you can help
  • 6. Fame Monster: Album? EP? • Why is it considered an EP? With 8 tracks it might as well be an album. For example, Madonna is an eight-track album. And was a cosensus reached in order for this to have its own page? --12345abcxyz20082009 (talk) 20:53, 12 November 2009 (UTC) • Yes consensus was reached that is how it became unprotected and EP was just the choice of one editor. I wouldn't object to it being an album since that is what the sources say. Grk1011/Stephen (talk) 20:57, 12 November 2009 (UTC) • It is NOT an EP. First it was considered a re-release, but then Gaga herself said shes ripping this and the original "Fame" apart. Therefore, The Fame Monster will in fact be sold as a single album.
  • 7. Why Talk pages? • Juicy discussions Ok, I changed this. What do you think? • Meant to improve the article Needs a copyedit! • Negotiating knowledge Is Fame Monster an album or EP?
  • 8. Volume: LOTS of conversations • 78x growth 2003-2005 - Viegas Te • 6-7% of all edits, 2008 xt - Kittur Data from Stvilia
  • 9. Overview • Why Talk pages? • What we know about Talk pages - Observation - Research - Belief • My research in Talk pages • How you can help
  • 10. Talk pages: Observations - Length - When is it ok to • Talk pages are LONG. challenge previous discussions - Old discussions can be on the page • Can be used for consensus building. • Conflict happens, too (productive & not). • Comments get varying responses (+, -, none), over hours...days...months. • Pending & completed tasks may be discussed. • “we already decided that” - see the archives!
  • 11. Lots of Talk page research! • Admin candidates: “[User] interactions need to be helpful and polite.” - Burke • Uses & Usefulness depend on article stage: formation, reorganization, maintenance... - Hansen (uses) - Kittur & Kraut (usefulness) “more than half of all edits in the first week of an article are made to the talk page rather than to the content of the article” - Kittur & Kraut
  • 12. Questions, too! Differences between editions? • Does culture have an effect on how Talk pages are used? - Hara • Volume varies! - Ortega
  • 13. Are Talk pages overhead? • Talk pages are overhead - similar to fighting vandals & developing policies (Suh) • Respect the process: it’s not all overhead. “The Wikipedian community is strengthened by the difficult work of seeking consensus” (Kriplean)
  • 14. Things I believe about Talk pages Conflict, scalability • Social fabric matters: humor, responsiveness, sensitivity. • Talk pages can surface small communities around a topic. But there isn’t always one. • Critical mass matters. • Their importance may depend on who we are: readers, new editors, Wikipedians. • Too much “consensus” can be harmful: ‘we decided already’, ‘see the archives’.
  • 15. Overview • Why Talk pages? • What we know about Talk pages - Observation - Research - Belief • My research in Talk pages • How you can help
  • 16. My Research Questions • How and why do Talk pages vary? • What do Wikipedians (and readers) do on Talk pages? What tasks are they used for?* • Can we add structure to make pages “fit” how editors and readers use them? *volunteers needed
  • 17. My Research Questions • How and why do Talk pages vary? • What do Wikipedians (and readers) do on Talk pages? What tasks are they used for?* • Can we add structure to make pages “fit” how editors and readers use them? *volunteers needed
  • 18. How Talk Pages Vary Text
  • 19. Why do Talk pages vary? • Examine 100 Talk pages using 5 categories: • Most editors (of the article) • Most visits (to the article) • Controversial • Featured Articles • Random
  • 20. Categorizing comments • Referencing a(n)... • Requesting... • edit • editing coordination • guideline or policy • help elsewhere • revert or controversy • information about the topic • source • a peer-review • vandalism • Also: polls, images, info • internal resource boxes, off-topic inspired by Viégas
  • 21. Results OK.9>$;.2>/1E6>./9O$ OK.9>$=17N9O$ ;.2>/.=7/9138$ Coordination ,!"!!#$ Guidelines, Reverts Info boxes. +!"!!#$ *!"!!#$ )!"!!#$ (!"!!#$ Text Text '!"!!#$ Other factors: age, subject area, who &!"!!#$ contributes, ... %!"!!#$ !"!!#$ J$ :. 9$ <7 $ ?@ >9$ $ $ CK $ 9$ $ =17 7$ 7$ G7 97N $ $ ;$ D. I7/$ 9 79 19K H0 .889 $=3 79> 79 56 .2 7 ;7 ;7 B1 / 4; $/7 / I7 .F 3L 12 4 =7 A>. 6 6/ 6/ G 38 ?> /2 $2. N 23 78 D"$ /7J $E 20 9. 10 D. 01 1> $/7 $ ./ C2 8 $/7 $7 C2 38 -. >. 8B 7/ M7 >7 <7 C2
  • 22. My Research Questions • How and why do Talk pages vary? • What do Wikipedians (and readers) do on Talk pages? What tasks are they used for?* • Can we add structure to make pages “fit” how editors and readers use them? *volunteers needed
  • 23. Can we add structure? Sure!
  • 24. Adding structure • Categorize comments (authors or crowd) • Add semantic RDFa markup • Pull it out with JavaScript (or SPARQL) - highlight comments about a user’s own edit
  • 25. Structure could help! • “Show all comments mentioning a source outside Wikipedia” (including non- hyperlinked ones) • Transclude requests for information to the Wikipedia Reference Desk for a topic • Make archives more readable/usable
  • 26. How do you want to be attributed in research papers? (username/IP address? URL to page? something else?) What about making Talk pages “fit” Wikipedians’ uses?
  • 27. article stage, background (reader, new editor, Wikipedian), ongoing vs. new conversations, watchlist... {{Volunteers needed}} • Informal interviews about Talk pages • Evaluate the next version of my tool • Comment & ask questions!
  • 28. Dublin 2006 http://www.indymedia.ie/attachments/feb2006/graf_tag_dub_feb_06_09.jpg
  • 29. Academic Researchers & Wikipedia • The State of Wikimedia Scholarship 2009-2010: WikiSym and Beyond Sunday 11:30 - 12:15 • Academic Researchers in Wikimedia Communities: Ethics, Methods & Policies Sunday 12:15 - 1 </shamelessplug>
  • 30. Thanks! http://jodischneider.com/ en:Jodi.a.schneider acawiki.org:Jodi.a.schneider twitter: @jschneider jschneider@pobox.com With appreciation to my funders! - Science Foundation Ireland - WikiMedia scholarship fund