Posts tagged peer production

In less than a decade, Wikipedia has grown from a frequently ridiculed experiment to one of the world’s most popular websites. The online encyclopedia has reached near-ubiquity among Internet users and is often invoked as a synecdoche for user-generated content communities, crowdsourcing, peer production, and Web 2.0. As such, it is hardly surprising that a number of high-impact statistics demonstrating the project’s unexpected success are frequently mentioned in the public sphere. As of April 2012, there have been 528 million edits made to the English-language version and a total of 1.29 billion edits across all language versions. Other commentators describe the project in terms of its article content, not the amount of work put into those articles, and such figures are equally daunting: 19 million encyclopedia articles contain 8 billion words in 270 languages, and the English-language Wikipedia alone has 3.9 million articles containing 2.5 billion words.

While most of these and other statistics are backed up by a substantial amount of empirical research, estimations of the total number of labor-hours contributed to Wikipedia are one notable exception. However, this has not stopped champions of the project from stating with more and less certainty that Wikipedia is one of the largest projects in human history…

…[A] well-documented and often-repeated labor hour estimation is that of the Empire State Building, which took 3,000 laborers a total of 7 million labor-hours to construct. Figures for the construction of the Channel Tunnel report a total 170 million labor-hours, while estimations of the Great Pyramid at Giza range from 880 million to 3.5 billion labor-hours. The first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was written and published by 3 employees authoring 24 pages a week for 100 weeks, which is around 12,000 labor-hours assuming 40 hour work week…

…Summing the duration of all continuous editing sessions and single edit sessions, we identified 41,018,804 total labor-hours expended in the English-language version of Wikipedia… Extrapolating to all language version of Wikipedia based on the total number of edits made to each project, we estimate that 61,706,883 total labor-hours have been contributed in edit sessions for non-English language Wikipedias, for a total of 102,673,683 total labor-hours to all Wikipedia versions.

R. Stuart Geiger and Aaron Halfaker, Using Edit Sessions to Measure Participation in Wikipedia (PDF).

FJP: That’s approximately 11,720 years of peer production. 

Data and Peer Production with Wikimedia’s Dario Taraborelli

I spoke with Dario Taraborelli, Senior Research Analyst at the Wikimedia Foundation, a few days ago. What interested me is a new open data and research infrastructure initiative Wikimedia is pursuing in order to put data in the hands of a wider audience.

What also interests me is how Wikimedia is implementing it: namely, by creating an online space for data consultations in order to really hear from data wranglers and journalists about what they’re looking for in an open data platform.

Dario talks about a number of initiatives Wikimedia is pursuing and resources it’s providing to do so. Here’s a hit list of sites he mentions if you’d like to explore:

Semantic Metadata

Geolocation Data

Pageview Data, Trending Topics, Real-time Edit Data

Wikimedia Research Hub

And, most importantly: the Wikimedia Foundation’s open data consultation.

Run Time: ~25:00

Who’s Mapping Libya
The Standby Task Force is a volunteer network of mappers who come together to create live maps during times of crisis. 
As Patrick Meier, Director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi, notes, those working on the Libya Crisis Map come from around the globe:

Just yesterday, I found out that one volunteer is an airside manager at Heathrow airport in charge of real-time crisis management and incident control. He jumps on Skype to help out on the Libya crisis map after the last aircraft have taken off around midnight. Another is 63 and was part of an initial group that put the pieces together leading to the modern tour business of rock and roll concerts back in the 1970s. He did the setup for the Simon & Garfunkle tour in the early 80s. A third volunteer brings 16 years of disaster management experience to the Task Force and has lead a number of international search & rescue teams around the world…
…It’s also great to see that the Task Force is nowhere close to just being a “Global North” initiative. We have volunteers from (or based in) Haiti, Ghana, Egypt, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Australia, Samoa, Colombia and Brazil. And this is again just a subset.

Source.

Who’s Mapping Libya

The Standby Task Force is a volunteer network of mappers who come together to create live maps during times of crisis. 

As Patrick Meier, Director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi, notes, those working on the Libya Crisis Map come from around the globe:

Just yesterday, I found out that one volunteer is an airside manager at Heathrow airport in charge of real-time crisis management and incident control. He jumps on Skype to help out on the Libya crisis map after the last aircraft have taken off around midnight. Another is 63 and was part of an initial group that put the pieces together leading to the modern tour business of rock and roll concerts back in the 1970s. He did the setup for the Simon & Garfunkle tour in the early 80s. A third volunteer brings 16 years of disaster management experience to the Task Force and has lead a number of international search & rescue teams around the world…

…It’s also great to see that the Task Force is nowhere close to just being a “Global North” initiative. We have volunteers from (or based in) Haiti, Ghana, Egypt, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Australia, Samoa, Colombia and Brazil. And this is again just a subset.

Source.