Writing Wikipedia

Date of publication: November 6, 2012

Author: Jörn Schulz


Wikipedia, the biggest (online) encyclopedia the world has ever seen, has an enormous impact on how information and knowledge is being codified, presented, and consumed today. Thus, it is essential to observe the social actors behind the project. Questions that need to be asked are: Who are the Wikipedians, the thousands and thousands of volunteers that write and edit and rewrite the millions of Wikipedia articles? What motivates them to undergo this laborious but un prestigious task? Quantitative surveys do not bring answers to these questions. However, ethnography seems to be an appropriate research method for exploring the lifestyles, daily routines, and beliefs of those diligent editors.

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