While pointing out Case Western Reserve University's CaseWiki on RSS4Lib, Ken wonders how large a wiki community must be before it becomes self-correcting
Well, to speak about our wiki, it has yet to reach a behavioral level of self-correcting; and I can speak about our numbers. At this point, we have about 600 registered users to the wiki. At first blush, that may sound like a lot; but very few of the users perform more than one edit. Here is a chart I whipped up showing the users and how many edit/creates they have done:
Most users stop by, login (which grants them their first edit during the auto-generation of their
User: page), and never actually commit an edit. But really, that's expected. The top 2 bars (I removed the data for the internal MediaWiki user) are Greg and myself, the administrators of the application. In pie chart form, you can really see how many of the edits we account for (we're the two big slices):
But at this stage of the game, with the wiki still so young, that's to be expected.
I don't think the question of "when does a wiki become self-correcting" is in the total number of users as much as it is in the number of a certain "type" of user. After all, you can end up with 40k registered users; but if only 6 of them are ever doing any edits...
Here are the same graphs again, but this time, I removed all of the persons with one edit and mine and Greg's data:
Breaking that data down into some metrics:
|# of Edits||# of Users|
|100 or more||7|
|Between 20 and 100||16|
|Between 2 and 20||49|
Another way to look at that data is that 8% of the users account for 55% of the changes; 13% of the users account for 65% of the changes.
So with those kinds of numbers, we have yet to reach a self-correcting stage. But I think those numbers are still soft because many of those persons play inside of "walled gardens." That is, they spend a lot of time editing their own pages (just a lot of times). There isn't a lot of cross-pollinization going on.
Therefore, in conclusion, to summarize: I don't know. But at the point in time when the Case Wiki begins to exhibit self-correcting behavior (which I have no idea how to measure, so I'll just go with my gut feelings as I observe the wiki changes), I will make sure to do a lengthy blog post with plenty of data and graphs and analysis and such.