Edit Trends per Wikimedia Project

The two charts below show the trend in number of edits per month, first for the German Wikipedia, then for all Wikipedias combined.



The blue lines show us that since early 2007 the monthly volume of manual edits by registered (and logged-in) users has been fairly consistent, both for the  German Wikipedia and overall.

The red lines show us that since mid 2007  the number of manual edits by so called anonymous users has dropped considerably on the German Wikipedia, unlike the overall trend.

This has relevance for the assessment of flagged revisions, which has been a much discussed feature since its inception on the German Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia “On May 6, 2008, Flagged Revisions were enabled, first for a test, on the German Wikipedia. After an extended test period with lots of bug fixing and massive controversial discussions, a straw poll was organized in August. Over 1,200 users contributed, with the majority voting in favor of the new system.”

One of the expected effects was that some anonymous editors would become less motivated to contribute, now that immediate gratification was no longer available: no longer enjoyed they instantaneous world wide visibility of their actions. Hopefully this would discourage vandals to even attempt vandalism, but it might also discourage well intentioned unregistered contributors (for many registered users so called ‘auto sighting’ meant for them there was no difference).

It is true that the German Wikipedia witnessed a much steeper decline in anonymous edits than the average Wikipedia but then again it is certainly not unique in this respect, the Japanese and Polish Wikipedia’s also are examples where anonymous edits are declining steeply.  Perhaps more significant is that the moment of introduction of flagged revisions on the German Wikipedia is really not visible in the chart. No strong shift in mid 2008 in the red line, rather a gradual downward trend.

Edit trend charts are available for all Wikimedia projects

Charts like the ones shown here have been generated for all 800 or so Wikimedia projects and will be refreshed regularly. A couple of Wikimedia projects are now using the flagged revisions feature; implementations differ. Please share your thoughts on possible interpretations for those wikis.

For each project there is a page showing counts plus links to individual charts.
For each project there is also a page where all charts are displayed together.
For the largest projects there is also a page with most edited wikis only.


Wikipedia Table & Charts / Wikibooks Table & Charts / Wikinews Table & Charts
Wikiquote Table & Charts / Wikisource Table & Charts / Wikiversity Table & Charts
Wiktionary Table & Charts / Other projects Table & Charts

Clearly edit and page views counts are mutually dependent via the virtuous circle.

Therefore the Edit Trend charts can also be viewed from the Page Views reports.


This entry was posted in Wikimedia Edit(or)s, Wikistats Reports. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Edit Trends per Wikimedia Project

  1. Erik says:

    Interesting, also your revert stats.

  2. HenkvD says:

    The edit trends would be more usefull if you leave out the bots from the cumulative. Especially for smaller projects spikes on the bot edits have a huge effect. See forinstance at http://stats.wikimedia.org/wikinews/EN/PlotsPngEditHistoryAll.htm.

  3. Erik says:

    HenkvD, I have been considering that but I feel the bots are an important part of the story, if bots are responsible for 90% of edits it is good to be aware of that.

    Ideally I would do both versions with and without bots, perhaps only for smallest projects where it really matters.

  4. emijrp says:

    Erik, can you upload these images to Commons (in .svg)? I would like to add photo comments[1] explaining the pikes in Spanish Wikipedia.

    More people can help with their understanding in local projects.


    [1] http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:Gadget-ImageAnnotator

  5. Frank says:

    What happened on the German Wikipedia in April/May 2007? There is a steep decline in the number of anonymous edits between then and the end of 2007.

  6. Erik says:

    @Frank: I wished I knew. The steep decline started roughly a year before introduction of flagged revisions. Maybe it defines the moment where wp:de stepped up their manual patrolling of edits. Maybe flagged revs only served to ease efforts for vandal patrolling which had already been intensified manully a year earlier. But I’m totally guessing. If there was indeed a change in policy a year before FR that would be great to know. I’ll ask on German mailing list.

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