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Submissions/Examining the Popularity of Wikipedia Articles: Catalysts, Trends, and Applications

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

This submission is on the wait list for Wikimania 2013.

Submission no.
Subject no.
Title of the submission
Examining the Popularity of Wikipedia Articles: Catalysts, Trends, and Applications
Type of submission
Author of the submission
Andrew G. West
Country of origin
United States
University of Pennsylvania and Verisign Labs
E-mail address
west.andrew.g (User:West.andrew.g)
Personal homepage or blog
English Wikipedia user page and professional website

Wikipedia is the sixth most popular Internet property, with its English version now receiving 8 billion monthly views over its 4 million articles. Analyzing this traffic reveals fascinating phenomena: Whitney Houston's death brought 425 hits *per second* to her article, a Google Doodle drives about a million viewers, and even questions on quiz shows like "Jeopardy!" produce non-trivial viewership spikes. In addition to revealing interesting patterns from our 3-year statistical collection, we will discuss how popularity data can be used improve the project(s). For example, applications involving anti-vandalism and article improvement are already in progress.

Detailed proposal

This submission is based upon independently conducted statistical analysis, previously summarized in a well received English Wikipedia Signpost article of the same name. Not only appreciated by the Wikipedia community, the article was featured by online publications like The Atlantic, Gizmodo, and Tested.com.

That developed article should suffice in lieu of a "detailed proposal", with our short abstract well summarizing its contributions.

In transitioning from an article to presentation format we expect to:

  1. Provide more examples of interesting traffic properties,
  2. Demonstrate applications we have developed on top of this data,
  3. As necessary, update any statistics since the article's publication, and
  4. Time permitting, discuss some popularity statistics from Chinese Wikipedia in acknowledgement of our hosts.
Analysis and Public Engagement
Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes
Language of presentation/talk
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Signpost article on which the presentation will be based
Special requests

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with four tildes. (~~~~).

  1. West.andrew.g (talk) 21:09, 27 April 2013 (UTC) -- As proposer[reply]
  2. --Daniel Mietchen (talk) 00:08, 28 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  3. High interest from outside sources too, as evidenced by the number of external sources reporting on the original Signpost article. The ed17 (talk) 02:41, 28 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  4. CT Cooper · talk 23:35, 28 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  5. DarTar (talk) 22:10, 29 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Ocaasi (talk) 16:21, 30 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:16, 30 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Madcoverboy (talk) 23:53, 30 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Bishdatta (talk) 17:41, 2 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Graham87 (talk) 11:35, 5 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Manawa|TalkEducation First 20:47, 5 May 2013
  12. Ijon (talk) 23:13, 15 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]