The Longest Now


Wikipedia researchers wanted!
Monday May 04th 2009, 8:21 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,metrics,null,wikipedia

Do you know people who are currently doing statistical and social research about Wikipedia, or have good ideas about this they haven’t had time to work on?

I’m trying to build support for continual, detailed statistics generation from Wikipedia data, possibly at the Harvard-MIT Data Center.  There is still time to come up with good ideas for lightning talks and discussion groups at Wikimania 2009 this summer in Buenos Aires.  And there is a research-related Wikimedia job available starting this summer.

I am uncomfortable with many of the details of said job posting*, but as long as its up the best people should apply.

* My discomfort stems from a few reasons:

  • The focus on people with a background in commercial website research strikes me as uninportant — this is different enough that it hardly matters.
  • The effort to spend money on an industry vet rather than attracting a couple insightful / innovative graduates & wikipedians doesn’t seem optimal.
  • The idea of posting this first as a job rather than clearly defining roles for talented researchers in the community doesn’t scale and hides the community’s natural talents.
  • There is always the overarching point that as long as the Wikimedia Foundation remains staffed primarily by noneditors and does not aggressively direct spotlights onto contributors (including the many community researchers who already answer questions such as those listed in the posting above), every increase in official staff weakens and obscures the core strength of the projects.

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There is always the overarching point that as long as the Wikimedia Foundation remains staffed primarily by noneditors and does not aggressively direct spotlights onto contributors (including the many community researchers who already answer questions such as those listed in the posting above), every increase in official staff weakens and obscures the core strength of the projects.

yes, yes, yes. how to make this point with people who think it doesn’t matter?

Comment by p. 05.09.09 @ 1:31 pm



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