Monday, September 10, 2007

A Quick Guide to WikiDashboard: Providing Social Transparency to Wikipedia


This post provides a quick guide to the WikiDashboard tool for Wikipedia:

Article WikiDashboard:





User WikiDashboard:




Detailed Edit Log:



Settings Panel:

15 comments:

Enric Senabre Hidalgo said...

Wow, things now seem even more clear in terms of knowing who's editing what. I think it's a very good and useful tool for improving quality and trust-driven interactions when it comes to an article, but I'm not sure if is that good when you apply the tool to a userpage. People should decide if they want WikiDashboard running on their contributions... or not?

Ed H. Chi said...

Enric: There is a balance between anonymity and the need for transparency of who has been editing what. Our idea so far is that we are simply aggregating the already visible data. When one edits under a particular account name, presumably one is willing to stand behind the edits (however large number of them they may be.)

Jonas Wegener said...

Great tool, is it possible to use it with the german version of wikipedia?

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hauptseite

Ed H. Chi said...

jonas: yes, the tool can run on the German version as well, but we haven't had the time to download and check the tool against the German data. Do you think there would be a demand?

Jonas Wegener said...

Ed H. Chi: There is a big discussion in germany, austria and switzerland whether and how to use wikipedia (german version) at school, university and science. I visited the gmw07 conference in Hamburg and I talked to many people, who would be interested to use this tool to make wikipedia more transparent. So i think there´s a demand!

Anonymous said...

What's this Google Urchin tracker you're including in the Wikipedia pages you serve good for?

Ed H. Chi said...

It's a hit-counter-like script for Google Analytics. Pretty standard stuff.

Elf said...

(Repeating comment that I sent in email, at your request, somewhat edited.) I read about wikidashboard in (I think) the San Jose Merc the other day and decided to give it a try, having done zillions of edits over several years on wikipedia.

It is a very cool tool. I have a good idea of how reliable wikipedia
is, so I'm not sure that it will be of a lot of use to me for reliability evaluation, but when I was heavily editing, I sure 'nuff often wanted to get a better idea of what role a particular user was playing in a particular area and this pictorial view is much easier to understand than sorting through the edit lists manually.

A question-- in one article's info, it shows that I've made 60 edits (since beginning of 2005), but on my user page, it lists the same article with 56 edits. The former seems to divide the main article space from the talk space (I guess), hence listing "56/4" to the side, but the info on my user page doesn't do that. Just wondering what's the purpose for the difference in strategy.

Ed H. Chi said...

elf: Currently, the edit counts are a bit confusing as you mentioned. We have gotten several comments about the need to separate them, so will probably fix this in the next version.

BTW, we're also working on getting the system to run on the latest data from MediaWiki foundation.

We can definitely need some help in spreading the word about this tool, however! Thanks for your comments.

Andrew Morrow said...

This is a great tool for providing data about the wiki-clique. There is an obnoxious set of senior Wikipedians who have either been around too long or have an inflated edit count but that have never much worked on the encyclopedia articles in a creative way. They are denizens of the noticeboards and the user talk pages and tend to introduce themselves to new user in an intrusive and arrogant way. They do much to polarize the wiki-clique vs. non-clique situation in the project. This tool flushes out such destructive personalities quickly and provides objective data to for those who oppose their continued involvement in Wikipedia. I think that it is a good thing that the default view is two years: anyone who has been involved that long without writing Good Articles or Featured Articles should no be further involved in the project in such a privileged way.

This tool is valuable in providing data about articles that are being "owned" by one or a few individuals who get away with it because of their seniority. Some senior editors, on a regular basis, impose their limited point-of-view on their favorite articles, which are often controversial and sabotage the involvement of others. Religion seems to the #1 motivation for such behavior. The end results in terms of article quality and balance are little better than Usenet.

A perfect example of non-constructive editors is the profile of User:Anthere vs. User:Jimbo_Wales. Result: Jimbo should be driven from the project because he politicizes it in a poisonous, polarizing way. To hell with his "community" psycho-babble talk. At least Anthere has something of substance to contribute to the project.

Hurst08 said...

Someone didn't like the title I had chosen for an article, so he created a new page, copied my text to that new page, then redirected visitors to his new page. That's fine, but now the dashboard shows him as having done 100% of the work on a project I spent a month on.

I like the dashboard in a lot of ways and congratulate you on finding a new way to look at Wiki. I've used your ACH software, which is quite popular in my department at Mercyhurst College.

Dario said...

Ed, when did you last fetch data from Wikipedia?
I checked WikiBoard on a few articles and I see "data not available" even if they had a lot of edits in the last months.

Ed H. Chi said...

Our last data dump was in July 2007, but we're working on getting the service up and running on live data from Wikipedia (we have since gotten permission from Wikipedia to get live feeds).

Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

I just tried WikiDashboard to find what's been happening recently on a few articles and find that it still hasn't been updated since the middle of 2007.

SteveMcCluskey

Ed H. Chi said...

Steve, You asked for the new data just at the right time. We're within days of releasing the new version with the data from the latest dump (nearly 3 TB of data was finally released by Wikipedia recently). Stay tuned.