[Update 8-6-07: I've updated the wikipedia contributor map based on my recent discoveries. Please see this post for a better contributor map]

Here are some interesting factoids culled from Wikipedia contributor statistics.

Compare the population of world countries to the Wikipedia contributors. In the hierarchy of users the vast majority of visitors to Wikipedia, 48 million of them, are readers; for the most part they don’t edit articles. Next are the regular contributors who contribute between 5 and 100 times per month. There are about 77,000 of those. Finally, there are the 10,000 anchor contributers (I’ve borrowed this phrase from retail marketing) who contribute more than 100 times per month.wikipedia-contributor-math.png

So if Wikipedia readers are like China, then the regular contributors are like Macedonia and the anchor contributors are like the Barbados. To extend this analogy to absurd extremes, Barbados and Macedonia do all of the work, have the highest GDP and provide humanitarian aid to China!

[Update 7-16-07: Here's the spreasheet I used to calculate this data. The inspiration to make this map came from the Strangemaps blog. ]

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7 Responses to “Wikipedia Contributor Map”

  1. 146 - Comparing Wikipedia to China, Macedonia and Barbados « strange maps says:

    [...] Frank San Miguel’s business website. This is his blog. And here’s his post on the Wikipedia [...]

  2. dunc says:

    If you do the maths and work out the total number of edits from each ‘country’ or group of contributors, it turns upside-down. Because there are so many more ‘readers’, they do most of the editing:

    If we assume that for the Anchor Contributors, >100 epm means on average of 200, then

    10,000 * 200 = 2,000,000 edits

    for Regular contributors, assuming > 5 epm averages to 10 then

    77,000 * 10 = 770,000 edits

    and for ‘Readers’, assuming

  3. frank says:

    Thanks dunc! You have highlighted the fact that we are missing some crucial information:
    1. average edits per regular contributor (the wikipedia stats page calls these ‘active user’)
    2. average edits per anchor contributor (‘very active user’)
    3. average edits per reader

    But there are a few other important missing facts:
    4. number of reverts (e.g. caused by vandalism)
    5. number of edits to deleted articles

    The analysis is very sensitive to these values. For instance, if you assume 30 instead of 10 for the average edits for “regular contributors” and you assume 10% of edits are vandalism, then the total percentage of edits due to Macedonia and Barbados = 74% and the total due to China = 26% (I did this using the most recent English Wikipedia data, Oct 06)

    I wish I knew how to get these missing data. Perhaps I will write some code to analyze the wikipedia database dumps…

    Here’s the spreadsheet containing the calculations I used:

  4. El Mapa de la Wikipedia « Jesus León. says:

    [...] Leo en Strange Maps un dato que me ha parecido curioso. Resulta que Frank SanMiguel (de Tech4D) se ha dedicado a hacer una especie de mapa con las contribuciones per capita de los usuarios de la [...]

  5. Tech 4D » Blog Archive » More on Wikipedia Contributors says:

    [...] I posted a map of Wikipedia contributors comparing the most active users with general Wikipedia users. In his essay Who Writes Wikipedia, [...]

  6. Anchor Contributor says:

    Actually Macedonia is a geographic area that is about 5 times as big as the state of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and has 8 times as many people. Anyway your map is a good idea, but you should probably do a bit more research beforehand. Looking up Wikipedia would be a good start…

  7. משפחתובלוגיה » ארכיון הבלוג » על שיתופי פעולה וקשר עם הציבור says:

    [...] תורם לתוכן האתר מסך המשתמשים באתר הוא נמוך להחריד. הנה נתונים שעובדו מוויקיפדיה (אמנם בשנה שעברה, אך הם בהחלט משקפים גם את המצב היום): 48 [...]

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