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Keeping up on Current Events! A Case Study of Newcomers to Wikipedia

  • Ang Li
  • Rosta FarzanEmail author
Conference paper
  • 1.3k Downloads
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11185)

Abstract

Online production communities such as Wikipedia and OpenStreetMap play an important role in connecting the public with major events in society. The popularity of a major event, together with the popularity of online communities brings the general public to collaborate on and co-create knowledge about the event. The high level of interest in capturing what draws the attention of society can particularly help online production communities meet one of the essential challenges they face: attracting and retaining newcomers. In this work, we explore how newcomers in such communities respond to knowledge production around major societal events. Analysis of the participation of 506 newcomers to Wikipedia articles related to three highly popular events shows that the popularity of the events attracts a new wave of users to the online community. These newcomers provide valuable contributions to the community, however, at a differing level depending on their initial motivation and experiences. Those participants who joined the online community solely to contribute to one topic or event are more likely to face challenges in contribution and leave Wikipedia after limited contribution. We discuss factors and patterns of newcomers’ early and longer-term participation in Wikipedia in relation to three popular events.

Keywords

Online production community Wikipedia Newcomers Current events 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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