As droves: are Wikipedia editors leaving, or are new editors joining?

Logo of the English Wikipedia
Image via Wikipedia

Is “Wikipedia editors are leaving in droves” as the Wall Street Journal wrote, picking up a study by Felipe Ortega?
Or is “New editors are joining English Wikipedia in droves?” as Erik Zachte, Data Analyst at Wikimedia Foundation replies?
The blog post by Erik is very interesting. Basically you can take it as a warning about the fact with the amount of data available nowadays thanks to Web2.0 services you can say almost anything; it really depends on how you define quantities. Just as an example, Felipe counted every person as editor who made one update over the years while Erik (for Wikipedia’s internal statistics) only counts a person as editor who has 5 or more edits in one month.
The second lesson you can take away is: if you want to get picked up by newspapers (such as WSJ) synthesize your huge work (the PhD thesis of Felipe is a PDF of 228 pages) into few catchy and dramatic headlines such as “Wikipedia editors are leaving in droves”.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *