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James Purtilo

 

Publications by James Purtilo (bibliography)

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2009
 
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Stuckman, Jeff and Purtilo, James (2009): Measuring the wikisphere. In: Proceedings of the 2009 International Symposium on Wikis 2009. p. 11. Available online

Due to the inherent difficulty in obtaining experimental data from wikis, past quantitative wiki research has largely been focused on Wikipedia, limiting the degree that it can be generalized. We developed WikiCrawler, a tool that automatically downloads and analyzes wikis, and studied 151 popular wikis running Mediawiki (none of them Wikipedias). We found that our studied wikis displayed signs of collaborative authorship, validating them as objects of study. We also discovered that, as in Wikipedia, the relative contribution levels of users in the studied wikis were highly unequal, with a small number of users contributing a disproportionate amount of work. In addition, power-law distributions were successfully fitted to the contribution levels of most of the studied wikis, and the parameters of the fitted distributions largely predicted the high inequality that was found. Along with demonstrating our methodology of analyzing wikis from diverse sources, the discovered similarities between wikis suggest that most wikis accumulate edits through a similar underlying mechanism, which could motivate a model of user activity that is applicable to wikis in general.

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