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Patterns of creation and usage of Wikipedia content

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3 Author(s)
Andrea Capiluppi ; DISC - Brunel University, London, UK ; Ana Claudia Duarte Pimentel ; Cornelia Boldyreff

Wikipedia is the largest online service storing user-generated content. Its pages are open to anyone for addition, deletion and modifications, and the effort of contributors is recorded and can be tracked in time. Although potentially the Wikipedia web content could exhibit unbounded growth, it is still not clear whether the effort of developers and the output generated are actually following patterns of continuous growth. It is also not clear how the users access such content, and if recurring patterns of usage are detectable showing how the Wikipedia content typically is viewed by interested readers. Using the category of Wikipedia as macro-agglomerates, this study reveals that Wikipedia categories face a decreasing growth trend over time, after an initial, exponential phase of development. On the other hand the study demonstrates that the number of views to the pages within the categories follow a linear, unbounded growth. The link between software usefulness and the need for software maintenance over time has been established by Lehman and other; the link between Wikipedia usage and changes to the content, unlike software, appear to follow a two-phase evolution of production followed by consumption.

Published in:

2012 14th IEEE International Symposium on Web Systems Evolution (WSE)

Date of Conference:

28-28 Sept. 2012