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  • From: "Milos Rancic" <millosh AT>
  • To: WikiWorld <wikiworld AT>
  • Subject: Re: [Wiki World] a metric for community
  • Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2007 07:26:16 +0200

> * Wiki community = editing community (not including readers)

This is the most important measure. However, if there are no edits, it
is hard to talk about "editing community" :)

> * May be useful to distinguish between community and active community
> (for latter, insert clause 'in last X months') - or maybe active
> community is the only meaningful measure...

Thanks to spammers, it is not so hard to find does some project have
at least people who are taking care about it. However, it doesn't say
if the project is active or not. For example, I am cleaning spam from
not so active language editions of Anarchopedia, but I don't know even
a word in, for example, Japanese.

> * Metric: number of edits? Size of edits? (bytes) interaction with
> other users? Number of edits seems to be the most useful measure to
> me.

There is one interesting implication of this questions: Maybe we
should work on some kind of "project standardization".

All of the projects should have database dumps (daily, weekly or
monthly; SQL or, better, XML). There should be a possibility to put
those dumps somewhere if the project doesn't have enough space for
backups (for example, Internet Archive). And programming methods for
such backups should be developed.

When we have such standardization, we would be able to measure project
activities. Also, all of the "standardized" projects would be properly
backuped; as well as it would be possible to make other kinds of
content analysis. And, of course, the list of backup places should be
listed somewhere.

> * Should the metric be proportional to the size of the wiki? Is that
> sensible?

I don't think that it is relevant. If English Wikipedia has 2M
articles and 100 edits per minute, it doesn't makes it equal with some
other project which has 20K of articles and 1 edit per minute.

However, maybe it would be possible to make some conclusions in the
future based on some kind of proportion between number of articles,
number of edits per some period of time, number of editors, etc. For
example, I would like to see some graphs of relation between number of
articles and number of edits per minute: is it a constant? If not,
what are the differences? I suppose that such proportion goes down as
number of articles grows (it is very logical consequence: one editor
may make the same number of edits and number of articles is

> *Do differently-focused wikis have massively different editing
> patterns anyway? (eg if you are in a books-type project, is the
> average edit size much larger than an encyclopedia-style project or
> dictionary-style project?)
> Perhaps this is a sign of a community member: one who edits a
> community discussion page or another user's talk page.Measurable
> interaction with another person.

I heard that a number of people are interested in at least some kind
of wikimetrics: from scientific researches to more sensationalist
(like wikiscanner). It would be good if it is possible to make some
kind of common resources for wikimetrics. And this is in the range
from making dumps of English Wikipedia more useful (for example, I
would like to see unzipped dumps in the sensible portions up to 1GB)
up to the sophisticated methods for analysis of dumps of different
wiki engines.

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