Fun With Wiki Statistics!

A great thing about MediaWiki is the wealth of statistical data it records. Did you know that the entire Wikipedia database is 4.4 gigs? You could fit two Wikipedias on an iPod Nano. Stat’s like this fascinate me, and since Wikipedia is the largest sample of wiki users, I like to check in and view their trends.

Who Edits Wikipedia?

Chart made from data at

What These Numbers Show

1. Less than half of all Wikipedians have made more than 3 edits
2. Only one quarter have made more than 10 edits
3. 5% have made more than 100 edits
4. 2.4% have made more than 316 edits

So a massive amount of the editing is being done by a relatively tiny group of people.

And on ValueWiki

How do ValueWiki’s numbers stack up? Well, our statistical sample is, um, a bit smaller than Wikipedias at the moment. But the curve is somewhat proportionate:

1. 12% of ValueWookies have more than 3 edits
2. 8% of ValueWookies have more than 10 edits
3. 3% of ValueWookies have over 100 edits
4. 2% of ValueWookies have over 316 edits.

By the way, if you’re looking at the chart above and wondering who the Wikipedians are with over 100,000 edits, they’re all robots. There are no humans yet who have achieved an edit count over 100,000.

Anonymous Users

According to the wiki stats, 31% of edits are anonymous. However, Wikipedians estimate that two-thirds of these anonymous edits are harmful. Still, Wikipedia has yet to ban anonymous editing altogether, as there are productive anonymous users. Wikipedian IP has an edit count of 18,311 and Wikipedian IP has an edit count of 14,524.

Why This Interests Me

Zach and I are constantly puzzled by who edits ValueWiki. Dozens of ValueWookies have created an account and never made a single edit. Meanwhile, a number of anonymous users have contributed some excellent edits. We’ll keep analyzing the trends. But judging from ValueWookies like Wikister, Khartand, and Jdkaye, a massive amount of work can be accomplished by a small percentage of users.


3 Responses to Fun With Wiki Statistics!

  1. […] for the true Wikipedia afficianado, or well, nerd. I am no stranger to Wikipedia statistics myself. Check out Jakob’s take on the rate at which experienced Wikipedians leave […]

  2. […] Obviously the importance or relevance of edit count is deeply debatable. But the fact is, people are going to check their edit count regardless. And it certainly helps us evaluate our user statistics. […]

  3. […] the Cold War was coming to an end, but it also could serve well as a warning or disclaimer for the millions of individuals who contribute and use the increasingly popular information […]

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