Today I nuanced my previous blog post (actually mostly the title). I realize the title will be seen as the bottom line of how well we are doing today. I need to nuance that.
I repeat the addendum from that post:
Before I give the wrong impression: the blog title needs some clarification. The title “New editors are joining English Wikipedia in droves!” is what should have been the title of the WSJ article at the time, based on an error-corrected survival analysis. It does not take into account the deletions that have happened since Dr. Ortega’s study. Neverthless deletions do happen and should be accounted for when looking back at the period from today’s perspective.
In wikistats the general approach is to rebuild all data from scratch on every run. Deleted articles are treated as though they never existed. If we use the same approach here there might be still a small net loss in editors, on hindsight. But for a reason outside of the scope of the study used for the WSJ article.
I chose to write a new post to explain above figure.
The figure shows in a series of solid lines how a huge net deficit in editors, births minus deaths (see previous blog) for the last month that features in a line plot based on Dr. Ortega’s parameters, gets smaller and smaller on retrospect when looking back from a more distant future. This is because more and more deaths turned out not be deaths after all (editors were merely ‘sleeping’). All of this explained in the previous post for which the logic has not changed, it is just not the complete story.
The light brown dotted line shows the first correction on the last death count provided to the Wall Street Journal by Dr Ortega. After more successive corrections this line will go from negative to positive numbers and markedly so (compare solid lines) . This is the data from the May 09 dump, with 1st correction using percentages from my study.
However, the dark brown dotted line (based on the numbers as provided last week by Dr. Ortega) shows the de facto correction so far, when also article deletions are taking into account. It is hard to tell whether this line will cross from negative to positive after succesive corrections as per my analysis. The shift downwards due to deletions also gets weaker and weaker on more successive future runs.