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Who Writes Wikipedia

If you are interested in how wikis are edited (general assumptions are the less than 1% of wiki users do the bulk of the contributing). Aaron Swartz conducted research on wiki edits, and found that the changes (when measured by amount of edits) by the 1% is largely window-dressing type of work (not core content contributions). Who Writes Wikipedia: “The idea that a lot of people have of Wikipedia,” he noted, “is that it’s some emergent phenomenon — the wisdom of mobs, swarm intelligence, that sort of thing — thousands and thousands of individual users each adding a little bit of content and out of this emerges a coherent body of work.” But, he insisted, the truth was rather different: Wikipedia was actually written by “a community … a dedicated group of a few hundred volunteers” where “I know all of them and they all know each other”. Really, “it’s much like any traditional organization.”…and after Aaron’s research: “When you put it all together, the story become clear: an outsider makes one edit to add a chunk of information, then insiders make several edits tweaking and reformatting it. In addition, insiders rack up thousands of edits doing things like changing the name of a category across the entire site — the kind of thing only insiders deeply care about. As a result, insiders account for the vast majority of the edits. But it’s the outsiders who provide nearly all of the content.”