_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Sunday, July 01, 2007


From a reasonably interesting article in the NY Times Magazine on Wikipedia's growing role as a source for breaking news comes this statistic:

". . . [Wikipedia] now accounts for a staggering one out of every 200 page views on the entire Internet."

That really is quite amazing. It's already filling an important role in society, and I think it has tremendous potential (though the pitfalls are numerous and much-discussed). I haven't gone looking for it in any serious way, but I wonder if anyone is doing serious research on the way Wikipedia operates? There's so much data kept (histories of all edits, by user ID) that it has the potential to be a very rich subject for research on a variety of subjects, including the central question of whether an open system for aggregating humanity's knowledge is feasible.

(Okay, a quick search does turn up some stuff like this conflict resolution study and this symposium on researching wiki endeavors (Is it a problem that the syposium page is run as a wiki? Isn't that like the author of a study on pot smoking being high while he analyzes the results?*). But I have a feeling it's still an underexploited resource due to its novelty.)

*For the record, no, I do not actually think that is an analogous situation. But using a wiki to study wikis has got to induce some weird conceptual vertigo. And doesn't it sort of impugn the impartiality of the researchers?

No comments: