Reputation systems are deeply important to social websites. For example, many users use Facebook or bookmarking systems to insert themselves in the middle of information flow, thus gaining positions as information brokers.
A recent Scientific American article highlighted recent research on the effects of reputation in the brain. The fMRI studies cited showed that "money and social values are processed in the same brain region". Thanks goes to Bob Vasaly for pointing this research out to me.
Indeed, one of the intended uses of WikiDashboard was the ability for readers and editors alike to assess the reputation and behaviors of editors in the system. For example, we can take a look at the actual behavior of a controversial editor named Griot that was at the center of a controversy in the SF Weekly, and make decisions on our own about the actual patterns of edits depicted there. Or take as another example of Jonathan Schilling, who "protects Hillary's online self from the public's hatred. He estimates that he spends up to 15 hours per week editing Wikipedia under the name "Wasted Time R"--much of it, these days, standing watch over Hillary's page."
Our goal here is not to make decisions for you, but to make the social and editing patterns available to the community so that you can make decisions on your own. In an effort to do that and in preparation for the CHI2008 conference, Bongwon recently updated the Wikipedia database and we now have fresh data to share with the community. The new database now consist of nearly 3.5 terabytes of raw revision data that we process.
The new interface also has a connection to reddit.com so that users can submit interesting WikiDashboard views that they have found interesting.
Let us know what you all think!
Bongwon Suh, Ed H. Chi, Aniket Kittur, Bryan A. Pendleton. Lifting the Veil: Improving Accountability and Social Transparency in Wikipedia with WikiDashboard. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human-factors in Computing Systems (CHI2008). (to appear). ACM Press, 2008. Florence, Italy.