Wikipedia and the Kindness of Strangers
A Dartmouth study preliminarily released in 2005 and out in a final version in April 2007 shows that those who infrequently and anonymously contribute to Wikipedia
, nicknamed Good Samaritans, are as reliable as those who are registered frequent contributors with public reputations to maintain:
"This finding was both novel and unexpected," says Denise Anthony, associate professor of sociology. "In traditional laboratory studies of collective goods, we don't include Good Samaritans, those people who just happen to pass by and contribute, because those carefully designed studies don't allow for outside actors. It took a real-life situation for us to recognize and appreciate the contributions of Good Samaritans to web content."
Furthermore, those who rarely contribute tend to offer more reliable updates, while for people who contribute often, it's the registered that are more reliable. Here's the PDF of the original research paper
. It's findings include that the highest accuracy are for people who contribute only once. Maybe after that the thrill was gone.
Labels: Dartmouth, Good Samaritan, Wikipedia