Friday, April 16, 2010

#WMCON if it is about traffic why do we look at articlenumbers

The #Wikimedia Foundation chapter conference can be followed on twitter, and it is interesting to learn how certain ideas go wrong.. Take for instance this statistic..

It combines the growth of our number of contributors and the number of articles. A central theme of the conference is that we want more people to read/use our content. This suggests that it is more important to learn the number of contributors and the traffic that they generate.

The traffic numbers can be found here and they suggest that the Indonesian Wikipedia generates more traffic then all the Wikipedias from the Indian subcontinent combined.

The current fascination with big numbers ignores that a few editors can have an exceptional impact. Writing about all the motorcycle brands and types generates many articles but who reads them? Writing background information to the news is harder to write but is more likely to provide what people are looking for.

There are lies, damned lies and statistics; when you are not careful statistics confirm what you expect. When our aim is having more people use our data / read our articles, then that is what we should stimulate. At this time there is a lot of technology we do not have because it does not fit well with the fascinations of the high numbers. Such technology would benefit the growth of ALL our projects and will therefore provide the most bang for the buck.
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