What I Do
Statistics and Content Analysis
Like many Wikipedians, I am very interested in the history, growth and improvement of Wikipedia. In March 2008, I noticed that the oldid value was just over 200,000,000 edits and I got the idea of splitting that up into 20 chronological edit blocks and counting how many days it took to complete each block of 10,000,000 edits. In this way, I could find out if the pace of editing at Wikipedia was growing, declining or constant. That analysis is ongoing and can be viewed here.
Last year, I also started working on a masters degree in educational technology, and I have become quite interested in learning how information is created collaboratively by a community. A wiki is the digital embodiment of that process, and Wikipedia is the most mature wiki at present. I have learned that there is quite a bit of current work being done by researchers who are carefully analyzing the process of how articles develop, from creation to featured status, and how editors negotiate new and existing article content within the community (on various discussion pages). I am one of those researchers analyzing the developmental process of this knowledge and I am gaining a better understanding of the educational applications of wikis as a learning technology.
I have several research projects in the works and I plan to improve several related articles when I have more time. I plan to contribute to content relating to educational applications of technology, psychological theories of learning and knowledge, and the philosophical issues of collaborative epistemology.
One of the greatest strengths of Wikipedia is that everyone can edit the content. Many see this as a weakness because anyone can deliberately, or even maliciously, change content. True and this does happen. But, far more important than that is the fact that the vast majority of edits are productive and improve the content. It is a very small price to pay for the largest, most comprehensive encyclopedia ever created. So, one of my roles from time to time is to remove vandalism and other damaging content.
|11 December 2013|
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