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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Social Dynamics of Wikipedia

The WikiDashboard is a system that analyzes the social dynamics of a Wikipedia entry. Good overview article about it in Tech Review. By examining the social dynamics of an entry ... who is editing, how often, etc. you can interpret how credible an entry is. The supporting data exists already, but the dashboard exposes it in an organized way. I did a brief examination in 07 when it was introduced for the WPs most controversial pages.

The implication is that large numbers of edits and comments indicate there may be trouble. Is that always true? My guess is that users of the WP are looking for an answer and rarely consider credibility. It would be good to have an index that would warn people to read entries more critically. Though that could be gamed too. The Parc team that did this is also working on a means to analyze the general quality of entries. I see that the WikiDashboard has been crushed by recent attention, so you may want to wait before trying it out.

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