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Collaborative Writing: Wiki and Wikipedia. Keshava P Subramanya ( keshava@cs.ucsb.edu ) Roopa Kannan (roopakannan@cs.ucsb.edu). Today’s Talk. Quick introduction about the wiki and collaborative writing idea. Wikipedia Two views of how Wikipedia works Criticisms Details about the Community - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Collaborative Writing: Wiki and WikipediaKeshava P Subramanya (keshava@cs.ucsb.edu)Roopa Kannan (roopakannan@cs.ucsb.edu)

  • Todays TalkQuick introduction about the wiki and collaborative writing idea.WikipediaTwo views of how Wikipedia worksCriticismsDetails about the CommunityFuture

  • What is collaborative writing?Projects where written works are created by multiple people together (collaboratively) rather than individually Some projects are overseen by an editor or editorial team Many grow without any top-down oversight.

  • Computer based collaborative writingRevision control software providing check-in/out ( example subversion, cvs )Enterprise information portal, Content management system SharePoint Wikis

  • Some Collab projectsNovel Twists Online collaborative novel where each of the 150 pages is written one at a time by a different person. co-write.me.uk The Linux documentation project OOoAuthors

  • What is a WikiEssentially a dynamic, collectively authored set of web pages. Invented in 1995 by Ward Cunningham to facilitate online collaboration about programming and design best practices.Evolved by the early 2000s into a way to facilitate all kinds of online collaboration.

  • Wiki DefinitionA wiki (according to Ward Cunningham) is a type of website that allows users to add and edit content and is especially suited for constructive collaborative authoring.In essence, a wiki is a simplification of the process of creating HTML pages combined with a system that records each individual change that occurs over time, so that at any time, a page can be reverted to any of its previous states.

    As defined in Wikipedia.

  • How the Wiki Got Its NameWiki is the Hawaiian word meaning quick, fast, or to hasten.Wiki-Wiki is the name of the bus line in the Honolulu International Airport.

  • How the Wiki Got Its Name

  • How the Wiki Got Its NameWiki-wiki to the beach. - Elvis Presley (as Chad Gates) in the movie Blue Hawaii (1961). The line was said with a snap of the fingers.

  • Some more Wiki (according to UIC Prof. Steve Jones)Web-basedInteractiveKollaborative (collaborative)IterativeWiki is sometimes interpreted as the backronym for What I Know Is, which describes the knowledge contribution, storage and exchange function.

  • More Uses for a Wiki100 things to do before you dieThe worlds largest How-To manual wikiHowThings to do in SeattleWorld-wide travel guide wikitravel.orgEverything you want to know about VoIPAll about the flu Flu Wiki

  • wikihost.org free-wiki-hosting.comwikicities.comeducational.blogs.comduckcomputing.compbwiki.comwikispaces.com

    Free Hosting of Wikis

  • What is Wikipedia?Wikipedia is a freely licensed encyclopaedia written by thousands of volunteers in many languagesFree license allows others to freely copy, redistribute, and modify work commercially or non-commerciallyFounded January 15, 2001Run by the wikimedia foundation.wikipedia.org

  • What is the Wikimedia Foundation?Non-profit foundation Its 4th Quarter 2005 costs were $321,000 USD, with hardware making up almost 60% of the budget Where does it get the money ?Aim: to distribute a free encyclopaedia to every single person on the planet in their own languageWikipedia and its sister projects

    wikimediafoundation.org

  • Advantages of Freely Licensed ContentGNU Free Documentation LicenceRemains non-proprietaryEnhances the popularity of WikipediaDecreases individual sense of ownershipIncreases a sense of shared ownership

  • Free SoftwareMediaWiki is GPLUses all free software on the websiteGNU/LinuxApacheMySQLPhp

  • How big is Wikipedia?English Wikipedia is largest and has over 260 million wordsEnglish Wikipedia larger than Britannica and Microsoft Encarta combinedIn 15 months the publicly distributed compressed database dumps may reach 1 terabyte total size

  • How big is Wikipedia Globally?Total more than 5 million articles!English 1,412,000 articlesGerman 172,000 articlesJapanese 87,000 articlesFrench 66,000 articlesSwedish 53,000 articlesOver 5 million across 250 languages19 with >10,000. 52 with >1000

    (statistics could be dated)

  • How popular is Wikipedia?According to Alexa.com, Wikipedia (ranked ~ 20th) is more popular than the websites of:IBMPaypalOpen Directory ProjectGeocities~400 Million page views monthly

  • Wikipedia vs. BritannicaAP article on CNN websiteThis study was challenged by Encyclopdia Britannica, who described it as "fatally flawed. source www.wikipedia.org

  • Wikimedia ProjectsWikipediaWiktionaryWikibooksWikiquoteWikispeciesWikimedia CommonsWikinews

  • WikinewsCommunity edited news along the same principles of WikipediaFairly new project Aim of the projectwikinews.org

  • Wikimedias Hardware30+ serversSquid caching servers in front to serve cached objects quicklyApache/PHP webservers in the middleDatabase backend (MySql)

  • MediaWikiMediaWiki is one of many wiki enginesCollaborative software that allows users to add or edit contentPrimarily developed for Wikipedia from 2002 onwardsScalable and multilingualFree license

  • MediaWiki featuresQuality control features (versioning)Editing features (simple markup)Community features (talk pages, profiles, access levels)

  • Page HistoryDEMO

  • Interlanguage linkingDEMO

  • Criticism Workshop Hints: Can Wikipedia Content Be Trusted?Systematic biasReliability of InformationTechnology requirement

  • Can Wikipedia Content Be Trusted?Review processesPartly post-moderation, partly reactive moderationLinking to particular revisionsDevelopment of a stable versionFree license allows you to modify it

  • Reliability of InformationCriticismThe community contribution approach allows for too much false information.Without an expert background a person can not present an unbiased, factual position.RebuttalThe open source approach allows for new information to be added on a daily basis.The articles that exist on Wikipedia are a group effort where any wrong information can be edited.The group editing also lets people combine information to get a broad background.

  • Reliability of InformationCriticismThe large quantity of daily information added prevents proper fact checking.The daily edits allow too many mistakes to go unnoticed or be reintroduced.

    RebuttalWikipedia does maintain a staff whose sole purpose is to review and edit articles.Each day articles are viewed by thousands of people, any one person can implement changes to correct mistakes.Printed encyclopedias can not fix errors once released, while Wikipedia is always able to make corrections.

  • Systematic BiasCriticismSystematic bias exposes WIkipedia to unbalanced amounts of information.People are more likely to write about topics that interest them as opposed to more historically significant topics.

    RebuttalPast requests for information have been met with quick action.These responses have created huge increases in the amount of coverage of topics.Wikipedia also includes a inquiry page. Any topic can be requested and the Wiki community is quick to respond.

  • Technology RequirementsCriticismWikipedia faces technology constraints as an online encyclopedia.A reader must have Internet access at all times.The possibility of tech failure on the Wikipedias end also presents problems.RebuttalThe technology constraints constantly decrease as the world becomes more advanced.The student population has almost 100% Internet access due to school resources and class requirements.

  • Latest InformationWikipedia is built on the belief that collaboration among users will improve articles over time.The software of Wikipedia allows for rapid updating of existing articles, as well as constant introduction of new topics.

  • Quick Vandalism ResponseMost vandalisms on Wikipedia are reverted within five minutes.There is a record of change made to every page and Wikipedia volunteers watch the list of recent changes. If a user constantly vandalizes pages of Wikipedia, individuals can be blocked and pages can be locked down.

  • Neutral Point of ViewThree sides to everything, your version, my version, and the truth Editors are asked to maintain a neutral point of view when writing for Wikipedia.When editing wars break out and neutral points of view are not maintained, Wikipedia volunteers usually remove the information posted.Click here

  • Two Views of WikipediaEmergent Community of thoughtful users

  • EmergentThousands of individual users who dont know each other each contribute a little bitOut of this emerges a coherent body of work

  • A Community?A dedicated group of a few hundred volunteers who know each other and work to guarantee the quality and integrity of the content.LondonBerlinGenoa

  • ImplicationsEmergent ModelNeed reputation mechanisms like Ebay, SlashdotUsers are tiny, have no powerCommunity ModelReputation is a natural outcome of human interactionsUsers are powerful, must be respected

  • 80/10 RuleCounting only logged in users, and even excluding some prominent approved bot users10 percent of all users make 80% of all edits5 percent of all users make 66% of editsHalf of all edits are made by just 2 1/2 percent of all users

  • Edits by AnonsControversial, intriguingYes, you can edit this pageWithout logging in!

    Anonymous ip numbers can edit WikipediaBut these edits make up a total of around 18% of all edits, with some evidence of a downward trend over time

  • Edits across namespacesArticles 85%Talk pages 8%User Page 3%User Talk Pages 4%These percentages are stable in 2003And