Category "Authority"

Category "Community Rules"

Category "Conference Proceedings"

Category "Wikipedia"

July 9, 2005

Collaborative Authoring on the Web: A Genre Analysis of Online Encyclopedias

Emigh, William and Susan Herring. “Collaborative Authoring on the Web: A Genre Analysis of Online Encyclopedias.” Proceedings of the 38th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. 8 July 2005.

In order to compare genre conventions of Wikipedia and Everything2, the authors analyzed 15 comparable texts using corpus linguistic methods and factor analysis of word counts for features of formality and informality. These two text sets were compared to related texts from the Wikipedia discussion forum and the Columbia Encyclopedia. The research sought to answer the following questions:

Interestingly, Emigh and Herring suggest that Wikipedia’s consistent tone and format is not a positive feature. Instead, they claim that these elements destroy the diversity of the project and stall the development of alternative communication practices.

Posted by kenne329 at 4:30 PM | Authority | Community Rules | Conference Proceedings | Wikipedia

Category "Community Rules"

Category "Conference Proceedings"

Category "Peer Production"

Category "Wikipedia"

July 7, 2005

Wikipedia as a learning community: content, conflict, and the ‘common good’

Lawler, Cormac. “Wikipedia as a learning community: content, conflict, and the ‘common good.’” Proceedings of Wikimania 2005. 4-8 Aug. 2005. 8 July 2005.

Lawler examines Wikipedia’s potential as a learning community, arguing that the project’s “organization, structure, and modus operandi [are] a learning process.” Theory concerning learning communities and communities of practice provides the framework.

Wikipedia fits the criteria set forth in previous studies of learning communities:

Such communities negotiate production through conflict, which the author views as the main potential for learning because it necessitates perspective-taking. During the process of conflict negotiation, contributors are forced to consider each other’s cultural backgrounds and attendant viewpoints, as the included case study demonstrates. (French, American, and Canadian contributors engage in conflict over perceived bias in the study.) Finally, involvement in Wikipedia demands the development and/or exercise of critical thinking abilities.

Posted by kenne329 at 4:02 PM | Community Rules | Conference Proceedings | Peer Production | Wikipedia

Category "Conference Proceedings"

Category "Semantic Web"

Category "Wikipedia"

Wikipedia and the Semantic Web — The Missing Links

Krotzch, Markus, Denny Vrandecic, and Max Volkel. “Wikipedia and the Semantic Web — The Missing Links.” Proceedings of Wikimania 2005. 4-8 Aug., 2005. 5 July 2005.

The authors suggest that, with proper semantic information, Wikipedia could be the foremost source of complex ontologies on the Web. As such, it would serve as a valuable site for studying how ontologies are formed in the real world and improve our understanding of ontologies as a whole.

In order to evolve into such a structure, Wikipedia will need to institute relational tagging for links. The development of tag categories would be overseen by the same team that currently administrates nominal categories. Polling for categories could be automated, but some human task work would still be required. Wikipedians would be able to include tags in their link text if they were so inclined, but, in order to maintain accessibility to lower-level users, it would not be mandated. These tags will appear in the OWL/RDF output for each page, thus rendering the entire structure more functionally searchable.

Posted by kenne329 at 3:52 PM | Conference Proceedings | Semantic Web | Wikipedia

Category "Conference Proceedings"

July 6, 2005

Wiki-mediated Collaborative/Distributed Narrative Construction of Game Communities

Ang, Chee Siang, Panayiotis Zaphiris, and Stephanie Wilson. “Wiki-mediated Collaborative/Distributed Narrative Construction of Game Communities.” Proceedings of Wikimania 2005. 4-8 Aug. 2005. 6 July 2005.

This paper examines the possibilities of enhanced language learning through game playing and commons-based projects. Constructionist learning theory provides the theoretical structure. Game culture is a participatory culture with active audiences, which in turn encourages active, social learning. The authors argue that in games, use rather than meaning is emphasized, which leads to production activity that could bring users closer to second-language use. Visits to gaming websites revealed strong, varied production of related derivative works (fan fiction, comics, videos, poems, etc., as well as meta-game materials.)

They suggest that these materials could be productively shared in a wiki environment, and that this method would be particularly productive in elementary ESL classrooms. A scenario is posed wherein an assignment requires students to create videos of their Sims games, upload them to a wiki, and then collaboratively create a larger thematic production. All of the instructions and work (subtitles, et al) would be done in English, thus encouraging language acquisition.

The authors remain concerned about how traditional wiki aspects would affect this project: security, nonsubjective authorship, nontraditional interfaces, and community pressures. They also wonder if the non-standard language patterns of online life (leet-speak, icons) would adversely affect language acquisition goals.

Posted by kenne329 at 5:35 PM | Conference Proceedings

Category "Authorship"

Category "Community Rules"

Category "Conference Proceedings"

Category "Wikipedia"

June 30, 2005

Studying Cooperation and Conflict between Authors with history flow Visualizations

Viégas, Fernanda B., Martin Wattenberg, and Kushal Dave. “Studying Cooperation and Conflict between Authors with history flow Visualizations.” CHI 2004. 24-29 April 2004. 30 June 2005.

The authors developed a tool for creating a visual record of multiple document versions in wikis. The goal of this tool is “to make broad trends in revision histories immediately visible, while preserving details for closer examination” (577). Wikipedia served as their research site. The visual maps produced remarkable indications of cooperation and conflict as content was negotiated and vandalism occurred and was fixed.

Results were presented in two versions: with revisions equally spaced, and with revisions spaced according to date. When the space-by-date protocol was used, instances of vandalism virtually disappeared from the record because they were repaired so quickly (often within 2-3 minutes). Five common types of vandalism were identified:

  1. Mass deletion: deletion of all contents on a page
  2. Offensive copy: insertion of vulgarities or slurs
  3. Phony copy: insertion of text unrelated to the page topic
  4. Phony redirection: often pages contain only a redirect link to a more precise term (e.g. “IBM” redirects to “International Business Machines”), but redirects can also be malicious, linking to an unrelated to offensive term.
  5. Idiosyncratic copy: adding text that is related to the topic of the page but which is clearly one-sided, not of general interest or inflammatory; these may be long pieces of text (578-579).

The article also briefly discusses authorship within Wikipedia, noting the usual issues. They discuss familiarity among Wikipedians working on the same pages, and point to inconsistencies between pages regarding anonymous user contribution. (Some have heavy anonymous contribution, some not.) There seems to be no clear connection between anonymity and vandalism. Interestingly, the first version posted of a page seems to remain more intact than sequential edits, a phenomenon the authors term first-mover advantage (580).

Problems were encountered in attempts to measure the stability of Wikipedia pages because of the amount of time needed to develop and run a fine-grained differencing algorithm on all page versions and the fact that, when the research was done in 2003, Wikipedia was very new (581). Researchers therefore “focused on size change as a simple measure of change in content.” Little evidence for stability existed, and many pages with more than 100 versions demonstrated steady growth.

Three possible reasons for Wikipedia’s success were posited as a result of the study:

  1. watchlists, which are unique to Wikipedia, “provide a mechanism for community surveillance,” and may be responsible for the rapid repair of vandlism.
  2. Backchannels (talk pages, list servs) remove meta conversations from the main content.
  3. The Neutral Point of View (NPOV) policy provides “both common ground and rough guidelines” for dispute resolution.
While these reasons seem quite evident now, two years ago they were not. Time has proven them correct.

Posted by kenne329 at 4:03 PM | Authorship | Community Rules | Conference Proceedings | Wikipedia

Category "Authority"

Category "Conference Proceedings"

Category "Participatory Journalism"

Category "Wikipedia"

June 29, 2005

Wikipedia as Participatory Journalism: Reliable Sources? Metrics for evaluating collaborative media as a news resource

Lih, Andrew. Wikipedia as Participatory Journalism: Reliable Sources? Metrics for evaluating collaborative media as a news alternative.” 5th International Symposium on Online Journalism. 16-17 April, 2004. 29 June 2005.

Wikipedia background and aspects of participatory journalism are inititially discussed, but most interesting is the fact that Lih develops a quantitative method for analyzing quality in Wikipedia articles. Articles were analyzed according to the average number of edits and number of unique editors, with the assumption that higher numbers of each would indicate a higher-quality article. (Unique editors = diversity, number of edits = rigor.) After benchmarks had been established, media citations of specific Wikipedia articles were tracked. Before being cited, 15% of articles exceeded the benchmark standard. After media citations, 31% did (15-16).

Lih concludes that “there is a linkage between Wikipedia as a ‘working draft of history’ and current news events. ... The tight feedback loop between reading and editing provides for a very quick evolution of encyclopedia knowledge, providing a function that has been missing in the traditional media ecology.” (19).

Posted by kenne329 at 1:46 PM | Authority | Conference Proceedings | Participatory Journalism | Wikipedia

Category "Anarchism"

Category "Community Rules"

Category "Conference Proceedings"

Category "Peer Production"

Category "Wikipedia"

June 23, 2005

A Case of Mutual Aid: Wikipedia, Politeness, and Perspective Taking

Reagle, Joseph. “A Case of Mutual Aid: Wikipedia, Politeness, and Perspective Taking.” Proceedings of Wikimania 05. 5 July 2005.

Reagle explores facets of mutual aid and interdependent decision making within the context of Wikipedia. (His discussion of mutual aid includes several brief, useful references to Kropotkin and anarchism.) He also focuses on participation as a cooperative endeavor and interdependent decision making.

The author disputes the widely held conception of Wikipedia as a contentious community, noting that Requests for Arbitration (52 archived, 0 active) and Requests for Mediation (74 archived, 8 active) were strikingly low in view of the fact that 13,200 active users and 135,763 registered users were listed at that time. Vandalism is also statistically uncommon. Dispute resolutions are generally civil and follow politeness and negotiation norms. The intersubjectivity and interdependence built into the system often account for this; wikipedia etiquette demands “perspective-taking,” (consideration of an opponent’s perspective) and dialogue.

(Link post from Many 2 Many.)

Posted by kenne329 at 11:26 AM | Anarchism | Community Rules | Conference Proceedings | Peer Production | Wikipedia

Category "Authority"

Category "Conference Proceedings"

Category "Peer Production"

Category "Trust"

June 21, 2005

Authority Models for Collaborative Authoring

Krowne, Aaron, and Anil Bazaz. “Authority Models for Collaborative Authoring.” HICSS 2004 Proceedings. Jan. 2004. 20 June 2005.

Krowne and Bazaz conducted an empirical study to research which authority model works best in a Commons-Based Peer Production (CBPP) environment. The CBPP in question was PlanetMath, which is powered by the wiki-like Noosphere interface. They recruited 25 mathematics students and asked them to contribute to the project over a period of six days. Noosphere typically operates with a hybrid authority model that is a combination of the two models researched, and so it was easily altered to offer only one model to users during each three-day section of the study. The two authority models in question are defined as follows:

The exit survey indicated that while “the free-form model is the most productive, the owner-centric model is preferred by users. However, a significant fraction of users depart from a preference for the owner-centric model (about a third), indicating that there is probably a place for supporting the free-form model as well” (IV). The authors suggest that if production (economic reality) is paramount over users feelings, then the free-form model is appropriate for a project (as demonstrated by corporate wikis). In environments where users are not obligated to contribute and thus their feelings are more important, the owner-centric model may be an appropriate default.

They also noted that “swift trust” did not develop over the course of the project. Their hypothesis had supposed it would as participants noted the quality of each others work, but instead production dropped from 30 instances in the first half of the study to 4 in the second half. They posit that since the theory of swift trust was not developed for a commons-based setting, perhaps it does not apply to it.

Posted by kenne329 at 3:02 PM | Authority | Conference Proceedings | Peer Production | Trust