Wikipedia contributors going down?

Wikipedia Contributors drop

Wikipedia Contributors drop

I read an article is the free brisbane paper ‘MX’ last week that explained how the number of contributors to wikipedia has decreased by one third in recent years. Considering the massive amount of people this number is quite large. This article suggests that a reason for this could be that “occasional contributors, those with just one edit per month, had their changes reverted or deleted 25 percent of the time”.

What other reasons can you suggest on why this could have happened? A wiki is all about contribution, so what will happen if these figures keep decreasing?Is the wiki another passing fad? Share your thoughts and contributions as to why this could have happened.



7 responses to this post.

  1. Interesting – but I personally don’t think a wiki is a passing fad. Remember that wikipedia allows anonymous contributions. Non anonymous contributions in the context of a company would change things substantially. The ineffectiveness of email is the key reason why I think wiki’s will become more important. It is definitely worthwhile tracking this research…

    thanks for sharing

    ~ Jason


    • Posted by jamie turner on August 12, 2009 at 12:17 pm

      The wiki is definately an improvement on email, i think maybe the wiki will evolve over the years to come. Google have recently been combining things like email, wiki, blogs etc into a single tool with ‘google wave’. Take a look at the google I/O video about google wave (long video but worth it) it looks definitely like it could be a collaborative web tool to be reckoned with in the future.



  2. I agree with both Jason and Jamie on some of the points that you have discussed. However, I do think that the wiki is a passing fad because of the fact that any user can, usually, edit any part. This can be like a battle, sometimes, between honest people trying to help out the general population and bored teenagers that are passing the time by editing, deleting, and making certain parts of a wiki incorrect or invalid. Personally I use many wiki’s including Wikipedia and think that they are brilliant tools… however, I have come across many wiki sites with invalid referencing or incorrect assumptions based on little information. According to, one of the most popular online dictionaries in the world, a wiki is:
    ‘A collaborative website whose content can be edited by anyone who has access to it.”, another popular online dictionary, believes that wiki means “Quick or fast” in Hawaiian language. This is probably where the word “wiki” originated, because it is a quick way of sharing information across the world, a country, a city or even a small group.
    It also says that a wiki is defined as:
    “A type of authoring software that enables users to easily and quickly create and edit Web server content using any browser.”
    Both dictionaries put a key word in there: Edit. They can be edited, and thus they can be changed, “messed up”, or even vandalised and deleted by people that don’t want the information to be known or change the information to be incorrect.
    A forum I found – – believes that the entire internet is a passing fad! The first person to comment on that subject says that he only uses the internet for finding solutions, email and chatting. The second person says that people mainly use the internet for email, instant-messaging, buying online goods/services/products, or posting on forums.
    A forum, in my belief, is going to one day be bigger than a wiki ever will be because the information can’t be edited except by a very small group of people (moderators), also because everyone can see everyone elses comment, leading to respectful arguments and disagreements.

    Just my two dollars (really sorry for the length, but I can’t help myself when it comes to me sharing what I think…),

    – D


  3. Posted by jamie turner on August 16, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    whoa thats a big comment.
    I think the forum and wiki have different purposes, the forum is more for asking questions and finding answers where as a wiki is more designed to share information and to allow many people to collaborate and have access to each others work.

    i don’t beleive the internet is a passing fad though, the internet has many many uses and the ones you listed are a massive part of that. Hopefully throughout my blogging i will show you some tools that can be used online to help you.

    Thanks so much for sharing



  4. Posted by jmonteirojunior on August 26, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I think that the problem with Wikipedia is the credibility. We can use it just to find some information but is difficult to know if this information is right.


    • Posted by jamie turner on August 26, 2009 at 1:28 pm

      Very Valid point, and especially I think schools and universities don’t support wikipedia as a valid source aswell could have an effect on this, thanks for the contribution!


      • Posted by terracottaplanet on August 26, 2009 at 6:16 pm

        Yes, schools and universities do NOT accept wikipedia as a source, but it is useful if you quickly need to know something for personal use. About the Google Wave, well personally I’m not into Google very much… it has become so used that has been transformed from a proper noun into a VERB!
        – D

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