The Atlantic: Mapping Wikipedia. “Every time anyone edits Wikipedia, the software records the text added or removed, the time of the edit, and the username of the editor. (This edit history is part of Wikipedia’s ethos of radical transparency: Everyone is anonymous, and you can see what everyone is doing.) When an editor isn’t logged in with a username, the software records that user’s IP address. I parsed all of the 884 million edits to English Wikipedia to collect and geolocate the 43 million IP addresses that have edited English Wikipedia. I also counted 8.6 million username editors who have made at least one edit to an article. The result is a set of maps that offer, for the first time, insight into where the millions of volunteer editors who build and maintain English Wikipedia’s 5 million pages are—and, maybe more important, where they aren’t.”
Poynter: Need to monitor for arcane changes to Wikipedia entries? There’s an app for that.. “If you’ve got a stake in a Wikipedia page — whether it’s about your company, a topic you’re interested in or even about you, yourself — how do you keep track of the changes others make? How do you manage the site’s outsized influence through its confusing layers of editing? WikiWatch is the answer. WikiWatch tracks changes to articles across Wikipedia. It reports updates in real time, hosts them on a secure website and makes them shareable with others. It’s built for non-Wikipedia experts, AKA most of us.” This is a roundup article with a bunch of interesting stuff.
MIT News: Automated system can rewrite outdated sentences in Wikipedia articles. “A system created by MIT researchers could be used to automatically update factual inconsistencies in Wikipedia articles, reducing time and effort spent by human editors who now do the task manually.”
Motherboard: The World’s Second Largest Wikipedia Is Written Almost Entirely by One Bot. “The Cebuano Wikipedia is the second largest edition of Wikipedia, lagging behind the English version by only just over 630 thousand articles and ahead of the Swedish and German editions by over 1.64 and 2.98 million articles, respectively. Its positioning is rather peculiar given that, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, there are only approximately 16.5 million speakers of the language in the Philippines. Despite having over 5.37 million articles, it has only 6 administrators and 14 active users. The English edition, by comparison, has 1,143 administrators and 137,368 active users for over 6 million articles, at the time of writing.”
Slate: The Very Respectful Wikipedia Battles Over “OK Boomer”. “The Wikipedia user Linguaddict drafted the first version of the OK Boomer Wikipedia page on Nov. 4. The article’s prospects were touch-and-go there at the beginning. Two editors declined the article, with one saying that it should instead be a subsection on the Baby Boomer entry, and the other that the neologism failed to meet Wikipedia’s infamous notability guidelines. But within two days, the article was accepted. Since its official publication on Nov. 6, the entry has received more than 700,000 page views on Wikipedia directly, and it’s had even greater reach through search engine results and the digital assistants that sample from the site’s publicly-available content.”
Slate: Donald Trump’s Wikipedia Entry Is a War Zone. “On July 16, 2018, Democrats, Republicans, and the media were reeling from the U.S.-Russia summit in Helsinki. President Donald Trump had announced before the entire world that he didn’t ‘see any reason why’ Russia would have interfered in the 2016 election, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary gathered by the intelligence community…. Wikipedia editors, meanwhile, were split over whether the summit was momentous enough to include on Donald Trump’s page, one of the site’s most contentious areas.” The headline might have given you the idea that this is one of those incendiary articles. It’s not. It’s a deep dive with an interesting look at Wikipedia’s editing mechanisms and culture.
National Library of Medicine: Improving Info on Women’s Health: National Network of Medical Librarians Wants Your Help. “Your research skills can help make Wikipedia a better, evidence-based resource for people looking for information on women’s health. Join the National Network of Libraries of Medicine on November 7 as medical librarians add citations to existing Wikipedia articles on women’s health using trusted National Library of Medicine resources like Genetics Home Reference, MedlinePlus, and PubMed.”