Wikipedia - Community Deep Dive

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Presented this deck a numerous time @Wikimanias, university, First Monday - this final version is for Barcamp NorthEast @Newcastle May 08. Questions or Comments: http://cathyma.com

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Wikipedia - Community Deep Dive

  1. 1. Wikipedia’s Community Social Deep Dive Cathy Ma Barcamp NorthEast 2008
  2. 2. Today’s Agenda <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>History and Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Communications in WP </li></ul><ul><li>Trust in Wikipedia – Social Capital </li></ul>
  3. 3. Cathy & Wikipedia <ul><li>MPhil in (WP) Sociology </li></ul><ul><li>Organisational structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What makes this project tick? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Overview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Observation & Research results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Main Focus: Trust </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Wikipedia History and Overview
  5. 5. 2001
  6. 6. 2004
  7. 7. 2007
  8. 8. Quick Overview of Wikipedia <ul><li>Approximately </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10 million articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in 253 languages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>By June 2006* </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10+ contributors: 17167 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10+ En contributors: 9552 (55%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Statistics </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Wikipedia <ul><li>Open Project – platform for collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The Sum of all Human Knowledge’ </li></ul><ul><li>Low(er) entry barrier </li></ul><ul><li>Three Key Principles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Neutral Point of View </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assume Good Faith </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be Bold </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. History Flow Visualization <ul><li>Visualizing edit patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Different Colours noting contribution patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Across time </li></ul>
  11. 12. 70 Sample Pages <ul><li>Mass Deletion (all content) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Revert in 2.8 minutes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mass Delection with Obscene Words </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Revert in 1.7 minutes </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. WP – really that great? [WP is] like a sausage: you might like the taste of it, but you don't necessarily want to see how it's made. -Jimmy Wales
  13. 14. WP’s foundations <ul><li>Charismatic leaderships </li></ul><ul><li>Strong Ideologies </li></ul><ul><li>Extension of FLOSS* Philosophy into Knowledge Sharing </li></ul><ul><li>* Free Libre Open Source Software </li></ul>
  14. 15. Communication in WP
  15. 16. Channels of Communication <ul><li>WP structure overview </li></ul><ul><li>Communication Channels overview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community Portal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ad hoc Committees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mailing list, IRCs, Chats, Forums </li></ul></ul>
  16. 19. The Sociology of Wikipedia WP’s Social Capital
  17. 20. What is Trust? <ul><li>Believability/Credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Perceived Quality </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trustworthiness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expertise </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Reliability </li></ul><ul><li>What are the benefits of Trust? </li></ul>
  18. 21. Trust <ul><li>“The expectation that arises within a community of regular, honest, and cooperative behavior, based on commonly shared norms, on the part of other members of that community” </li></ul><ul><li>Francis Fukuyama </li></ul>
  19. 22. <ul><ul><li>‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Three Components </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Network </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cluster of Norms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sanctions (rewards & punishments) </li></ul></ul></ul>Social Capital
  20. 23. Networks on Wikipedia <ul><li>General Surfers </li></ul><ul><li>Contributors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Causal Contributors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recurrent Contributors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sysops (administrators) – 1,293 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stewards – 30 </li></ul></ul>
  21. 24. Norms on Wikipedia <ul><li>1. Be Bold </li></ul><ul><li>2. Assume Good Faith </li></ul><ul><li>3. Neutral Point of View </li></ul>
  22. 25. Sanctions <ul><li>Rewards - Social Reinforcement – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Barnstars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compliments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>nominations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Punishments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>removed edits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>get barked at (!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>desysoped </li></ul></ul>
  23. 26. Why Social Capital? <ul><ul><li>Double A’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to resources: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Information: input and output </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Human Capital: skills, knowledge, creativity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to Mobilise Resources </li></ul></ul>
  24. 27. Networks <ul><li>Coleman’s idea on Closure </li></ul>A E C B D A B C D E Linear Network norms Open Network norms
  25. 28. Open Network <ul><li>Max. Contact Points </li></ul><ul><li>Information Flow </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitates n orms formation </li></ul>A B C D E Open Network
  26. 29. Ideal Social Network on WP Anonymous Wikipedians Less Active Wikipedians V. Active Wikipedians <ul><li>Members with multiple memberships </li></ul><ul><li>Link community nodes </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitates information flow </li></ul><ul><li>Fosters networks among groups </li></ul>
  27. 30. Why social capital? <ul><li>- Lubricates information flow </li></ul><ul><li>- Enhances decision-making process </li></ul><ul><li>- Reduces transaction & management cost </li></ul><ul><li>- Better identifies human talents/creativity </li></ul>
  28. 31. Scaling Social Capital <ul><li>- Favorable to community development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Information Flow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Decision-Making </li></ul></ul><ul><li>- Potential of Backlashing </li></ul>
  29. 32. Bridging & Bonding Social Capital <ul><li>Bridging Capital: Sociological DW4 </li></ul><ul><li>Bonding Capital: Sociological Superglue </li></ul>
  30. 33. Bridging Social Capital <ul><li>- New babes support </li></ul><ul><li>- Deliberations and Discussions </li></ul><ul><li>- Participation in multiple projects </li></ul><ul><li>- WIkipedia Embassy </li></ul><ul><li>- International Mailing lists </li></ul>
  31. 34. Bridging Social Capital - Social DW40 <ul><li>- Members linking communities by having multiple memberships </li></ul><ul><li>- Induced efficient information diffusion </li></ul><ul><li>- Foster linkage to external assets (think Wikimania and OSI) </li></ul>
  32. 35. Bonding Social Capital <ul><li>Social Superglue </li></ul><ul><li>Strong in-group loyalty </li></ul><ul><li>Narrow Radius of trust </li></ul><ul><li>May Breed out-group antagonism </li></ul>
  33. 36. Case Study 1: Deletionist vs Inclusionist Deletionist Inclusionist Outplace Inclusionism Delete the Junks Outplace Deletionism Find & fix all stubs 134 177 & 22 ‘honorary members’
  34. 37. Illustration - GNAA <ul><li>- Gay Nigger Association of America* </li></ul><ul><li>- Voted for Deletion for dozens of times </li></ul><ul><li>- Scams and trollers - controversial among the WPns </li></ul><ul><li>- Entry on Wikipedia? </li></ul><ul><li>- Exhausting resources and causes conflicts </li></ul><ul><li>*Article no longer exists </li></ul>
  35. 38. Problems <ul><li>- Depletes Social Capital (trust, and mobilization or resources) </li></ul><ul><li>- Over-rationalization </li></ul><ul><li>- Misuse of time and efforts </li></ul>
  36. 39. Case 2: Countering Systemic Bias <ul><li>- Example of Bridging Social Capital </li></ul><ul><li>- how representative is Wikipedia? </li></ul><ul><li>- Profiling Wikipedians: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ male, technically-inclined, formally educated, speak English, from industrialized Nations” </li></ul></ul>
  37. 40. Countering Systemic Bias <ul><li>- Participatory ‘campaign’ to raise awareness on representativeness </li></ul><ul><li>- 171 members </li></ul><ul><li>- Active uses of templates and open tasks </li></ul>
  38. 42. WP’s Languages <ul><li>- Further countering systemic biases </li></ul><ul><li>- by developing free information repositories </li></ul><ul><li>- Case in Point: Kurdish Wikipedia </li></ul>
  39. 43. Kurdish Wikipedia <ul><li>Indo-Iranian Language </li></ul><ul><li>15 millions of Kurds </li></ul><ul><li>No formal education in Kurdish </li></ul><ul><li>Under-representation by Media in Turkey (e.g. Broadcasting - limited to 40 minutes a day) </li></ul>
  40. 44. Bridging SC on Ku WP <ul><li>- Founded since 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>- About 3,000 articles* </li></ul><ul><li>- Turks’ and Iranians’ stemmed from the Opensource Community </li></ul><ul><li>- Spillover effects: members from Turk GNOME supporting Kurdish Linux </li></ul><ul><li>*in 2006, in 08 it reaches over 11k </li></ul>
  41. 45. Significance <ul><li>- Attempts that link community nodes </li></ul><ul><li>- Increases transparency hence information flow </li></ul><ul><li>- fosters linkage to external access into the Wikipedia community </li></ul>
  42. 46. Functional aspects of SC <ul><li>Transparency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Comprehensibility of rules, norms and values </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>of an institution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Actions become transparent, understandable, and predictable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Increased scope and range of social interaction </li></ul></ul>
  43. 47. <ul><li>Rationalization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- social capital embodied in formally codified rules, norms and values </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- explicit rules versus implicit/shared understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- NPOV: stating what to delete versus learning the procedural aspects </li></ul></ul>Functional Aspects of Social Capital
  44. 48. Rationalization <ul><li>Benefits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved information transmitting capacity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater organizational flexibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage creativity and spontaneous actions </li></ul></ul>
  45. 49. Questions <ul><li>contact me: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://cathyma.com </li></ul>

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