Good Samaritans : the strength of ten normal men?

There’s been some hubbub lately about the usefulness of anonymous
contributions to the information commons.  In particular, Monday
saw a somewhat ad-hoc test of the effect on forcing account-creation on
the quality of contributions to the* English Wikipedia.

I have some statistics of my own to add about that particular
experiment.  However, for the moment I would simply like to point
to a lovely Wikipedia contribution analysis, “Explaining Quality in Internet Collective Goods: Zealots and Good Samaritans in the case of Wikipedia” (pdf) by researcher Denise Anthony, who presented it this past Monday at MIT.  Her research suggested to her that “the highest quality contributions come from the vast numbers of anonymous ‘Good Samaritans’ who contribute infrequently.”

http://web.mit.edu/iandeseminar/Papers/Fall2005/anthony.pdf

* Note : the direct article is appropriate here because of the
“English” adjective before Wikipedia. For more detail, see my old reply
to JDL at Joho’s house.

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