News and notes
Statistics, disasters, Wikipedia's birthday and more
Statistics by country
Erik Zachte has released new statistics on where visitors to Wikipedia come from, based on analyzing sampled server logs for IP addresses, which are then translated into geographic information (IP address ranges are assigned by area or country, making it possible to tell what country someone originates from when they visit a website; although as Zachte explains this technique is not foolproof. Known bots were also excluded from these samples).
The report finds that the country accounting for the most Wikimedia traffic is the United States. Of the total accessing of Wikimedia projects, 31% come from the United States; the country with the next most amount of traffic to the projects is Japan, with 8%. Following these countries are Germany with 7.9% and the United Kingdom with 5.9% of total traffic.
In contrast, at the bottom of the list are countries including Guinea-Bissau, Comoros and Tuvalu, which all account for less than 10K in page traffic per month (compared with 3395M for the United States). Many African nations rank near the bottom in terms of the total traffic to the Wikipedia projects, including Eritrea, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Equatorial Guinea, Somalia, Burundi and Chad, all of which have under 50K in page view traffic per month, or under 0.0004% of the total. For all of these countries, this is calculated as being 0 page views per person per month (compared with the United States' 11 pageviews per person per month, or the United Kingdom's 10 pageviews per person per month). However, Zachte cautions that "do not mistake the page views presented in the reports for visits or even unique visitors. Those are entirely different metrics that can not be deduced from the sampled log."
The statistics are further broken out by which projects are visited by country. For instance, in the United States the English Wikipedia gets 89% of the traffic, while the Japanese Wikipedia gets 1.6% of the traffic and the Spanish Wikipedia 1.1%. In India the English Wikipedia gets 93.4% of the total traffic. In fact, the English Wikipedia ranks in the top three projects visited for every single country on the list. In many countries, the Wikipedia in the native language of the country is visited far less often than the English-language or other large Wikipedias.
Two Wikimedians offered followup analysis of the statistics after they were posted. Nikola Smolenski posted Wikipedia Page Views Per Country with Internet users, calculating the page views per person in terms of the number of people with Internet access instead of by total population (these numbers put the Netherlands Antilles and the Vatican at the top of the list, followed by Gibraltar and Luxembourg). Zachte later updated the statistics to include these values. And Andre Engels, in a post to Foundation-l, analyzed the percentage of traffic going to the English Wikipedia versus the local language Wikipedia in non-English speaking countries, and calculated the change in this percentage over time. He found that "the Q3-Q4 comparison for most countries shows a shift from English to the 'vernacular'" and wonders if this trend would hold true over time. Zachte also posted answers to questions that were asked about the statistics on Foundation-l.
Wikipedia turns 9
Event participants celebrating 100,000 articles on the Hebrew Wikipedia
Wikipedia Day 2010 was January 15, marking the ninth anniversary of Wikipedia's founding. A celebratory event is planned in New York City, with a "Wikipedia Day NYC" event scheduled for Sunday, January 24. The event, which will be held at New York University and is cosponsored by Free Culture NYU, will feature pizza, cake and a series of talks about Wikipedia, along with open space.
Other celebrations included a Wikipedia Day event in Bangalore on January 16, which featured a panel discussion and an update on Wikipedia initiatives in India.
Finally, the creation of the 100,000th article in the Hebrew Wikipedia was celebrated on the Wikipedia Day. According to Itzik Edri, spokesman for Wikimedia Israel, the chapter hosted an event at Tel Aviv University on Wikipedia with around 100 attendees. They also had a good deal of press about the 100,000th article, with 30 interviews and media stories. The chapter also printed postcards promoting Commons and Wikipedia, printed t-shirts celebrating the 100,000 articles, and ran article and content improvement contests for several months.
Wikimedia records disaster
Damage to the UN headquarters in Haiti after the 2010 quake
After a major earthquake struck Haiti on January 13, the article 2010 Haiti earthquake is now B-class, after receiving close to 4,000 edits in the past week. According to an analysis by user:Moni3, who also wrote up their advice for contributing to an article about a recent disaster, the crisis also led to the following articles being created: Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault zone, Casualties of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Humanitarian response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Zilda Arns, Georges Anglade, Jimmy O. Barikad, Raymond Joseph, National Palace (Haiti), Christopher Hotel, Hôtel Montana, Septentrional-Orient fault zone, 1907 Kingston earthquake, International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, and Timeline of rescue efforts after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
Analysis of Wikipedia's coverage in outside media was complimentary. A Huffington Post entry on the day of the earthquake called Wikipedia's coverage "the most comprehensive article on the tragedy" as of that evening; the article quotes Durova and Jimmy Wales. And on January 15, an article in Infoworld about journalism's future quotes a researcher at Google, Krishna Bharat, as saying "the industry could learn a lot from Wikipedia" regarding Wikipedia's coverage of the earthquake.
According to stats.grok.se, the English Wikipedia article has been viewed 1,070,376 times so far this month. There is also a version of the article in 48 other languages so far, including Haitian Creole, the language of Haiti.
Wikinews also published several stories about the disaster, including a photoessay. There is a Commons category for files relating to the quake.
- A new blog, http://citationneeded.tumblr.com/, quotes choice unsourced passages from articles.
- A conference called Wikiwars was held in Bangalore, India, sponsored by the Centre for Internet and Society in India. The conference "invites participation from users, scholars, academics, practitioners, artists and other cultural workers, to share their experiences, ideas, experiments, innovations, applications and stories about Wikipedia."
- The call for papers for WikiSym 2010 has been released. WikiSym is an academic conference about wikis, that this year will be held just before Wikimania in Gdańsk in July.
- A new edition of Wikizine has been released.
- Voting on the global sysops proposal is continuing; the vote is currently at 1312 in support and 376 opposing (see story last issue)
- Wikinews is sponsoring a Writing Contest that will begin on January 25, 2010 and finish on April 18, 2010.
- Nominations for the Steward elections are being accepted until January 28.
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