Date of Original Version

2008

Type

Conference Proceeding

Rights Management

Copyright © 2008 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than ACM must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Request permissions from Publications Dept., ACM, Inc., fax +1 (212) 869-0481, or permissions@acm.org. © ACM, 2008. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in the Proceedings of the ACM 2008 conference on Computer supported cooperative work {978-1-60558-007-4 (2008)} http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1460563.1460572

Abstract or Description

Wikipedia’s success is often attributed to involving large numbers of contributors who improve the accuracy, completeness and clarity of articles while reducing bias. However, because of the high coordination needed to collaboratively write an article, increasing the number of contributors is costly. We examined how the number of editors in Wikipedia and the coordination methods they use affect article quality. We distinguish between explicit coordination, in which editors plan the article through communication, and implicit coordination, in which a subset of editors set direction by doing the majority of the work. Adding more editors to an article improved article quality only when they used appropriate coordination techniques and was harmful when they did not. Implicit coordination through concentrating the work was more helpful when many editors contributed, but explicit coordination through communication was not. Both types of coordination improved quality more when an article was in a formative stage. These results demonstrate the critical importance of coordination in effectively harnessing the “wisdom of the crowd” in online production environments.

Comments

Copyright © 2008 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than ACM must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Request permissions from Publications Dept., ACM, Inc., fax +1 (212) 869-0481, or permissions@acm.org. © ACM, 2008. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in the Proceedings of the ACM 2008 conference on Computer supported cooperative work {978-1-60558-007-4 (2008)} http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1460563.1460572

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