Studying Cooperation and Conflict between Authors with history flow Visualizations (20 Dec 2004)
The Internet has fostered an unconventional and powerful style of collaboration: “wiki” web sites, where every visitor has the power to become an editor. In this paper we investigate the dynamics of Wikipedia, a prominent, thriving wiki. We make three contributions. First, we introduce a new exploratory data analysis tool, the history flow visualization, which is effective in revealing patterns within the wiki context and which we believe will be useful in other collaborative situations as well. Second, we discuss several collaboration patterns highlighted by this visualization tool and corroborate them with statistical analysis. Third, we discuss the implications of these patterns for the design and governance of online collaborative social spaces. We focus on the relevance of authorship, the value of community surveillance in ameliorating antisocial behavior, and how authors with competing perspectives negotiate their differences.
Article URL: http://domino.research.ibm.com/cambridge/research.nsf/2b4f81291401771785256976004a8d13/53240210b04ea0eb85256f7300567f7e?OpenDocument
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