Archive for the 'Wikipedia' Category

Q+A builds the semantic wiki

October 20, 2007

Markus Krötzsch and the semantic wiki team at the Institute of Applied Informatics and Formal Description Methods at Karlsruhe University have set up an interesting way to capture and enhance the information in Wikipedia.

They have developed some “clever” tools that analyse pages in Wikipedia and are able to formulate a series of questions that are presented to users. For example:



If you don’t know the answer then you simply follow the link to the appropriate page, or Google for it and see if you can find the answer.

It clearly needs to be contextual – better to ask questions about content that a user is engaged in rather than asking random questions – but I am sure that is in the pipeline.

All that is needed is some sort of MTurk system that rewards or recognises activity or (better) some social pressure to contribute an answer whenever you use Wikipedia.

It is being tested here:

Participation inequality

August 6, 2007

At last week’s Wiki Wednesday in London David Terrar started a group discussion about “Participation Inequality” and Jacob Neilsen’s 90-9-1 rule of user participation.

Neilsen observes that:

“All large-scale, multi-user communities and online social networks that rely on users to contribute content or build services share one property: most users don’t participate very much. Often, they simply lurk in the background…

  • 90% of users are lurkers (i.e., read or observe, but don’t contribute)
  • 9% of users contribute from time to time, but other priorities dominate their time.
  • 1% of users participate a lot and account for most contributions: it can seem as if they don’t have lives because they often post just minutes after whatever event they’re commenting on occurs.

Obviously “large-scale” (i.e. public wikis like Wikipedia, Wikia and Yellowikis) have different dynamics and motivations from those found in enterprise wikis but nobody at Wiki Wednesday really knew what levels of participation a business might expect behind a firewall – it also occurred to me that different wiki platforms might well show up different levels of user engagement.

Is this something that Cases2.0 might reveal?

London WikiWednesday

July 5, 2007

Under David Terrar’s excellent stewardship London’s Wiki Wednesday goes from strength to strength. I was late (cars, money, train, keys)… but was pleased to discover that Bearing Point were serving champaign and giving away mugs! No wonder 50 people signed up to come along!

The highlight of the evening had to be Steve Coast’s presentation of OpenStreetMap – good to catch up with him and to meet Nick Black. Julie, Angela, Tim S, Martin, Mark, Alek and Lars were all there – and I met Harry Wood who has written a presentation on wiki gardening (that I want to see). I wanted to connect with Guy and lots of other people… looking forward to next month’s meeting.

It was late and I was last up  – but I did manage to mention that people should download and start playing with SocialCalc… and how easy it was to install!

Got home very late and caught up with the latest Germanic rages against Mappam on OSM… whatisitwiththesepeople?

User generated maps/gazetteers

November 2, 2006

A slightly random link from led me to OpenStreetMap which took me to New Popular Edition Maps and then on to GeoNames. All three are doing interesting things. I love the way GeoNames allows users to edit and improve the quality of their data. Yellowikis needs a map based interface like this to make it easier to get started.

Wikipedia at number 6

October 26, 2006

According to ComScore‘s “Worldwide Ranking of Top Web Properties” Wikipedia is number 6.

Is Wikipedia the new Google?

October 20, 2006

Last week in London I was talking about how I’ve started skipping Google searches and using Wikipedia instead.

I said: “If I want to know ‘anything’ about ‘anything’ I use Google. But if I want to know ‘something’ about ‘something’ I use Wikipedia” – I think that explains it.

I just Googled “Is Wikipedia the new Google” and found that I’m not the first person to think this:

Vidya Ananthanarayanan (April 2005)
Tomahawk (February 2006)


My Green Jar (June 2006)