Active editor trends as year-over-year changes

For many years I publish active editors trends for all Wikimedia wikis, see e.g. these summaries. Here I’d like to present these same editor trends in a slighty different way, which may help to show there is some cause for optimism at least for the largest Wikipedias.

In the conventional charts it may be a bit difficult to see if a growth or decline is speeding up or slowing down. This is easier to see when we plot year over year changes (YoY) rather than the absolute values.

We’ll start with a totally hypothetical idealized example without deeper significance (parameters manually tweaked), just to demonstrate how absolute and YoY values are connected.
Active_editors_YoY0
In the above diagram both ways of presenting the data have been combined. The red trend line shows absolute values (vertical scale at the left). The black line is the YoY trend (vertical scale at the right)
In the following real-world example the red trend line is the all too familiar explosive growth followed by a very slow but persistent decline in active editors on the English Wikipedia.The decline starts in November 2007, and is rather consistent in following years, with YoY mostly between 0.90 and 0.99 for next seven years.
Active_editors_YoY1
A bit more precise: average YoY for 2008 and following years is
0.906, 0.945, 0.921, 0.976, 0.932, 0.942, 0.998.
For the last nine months YoY for the English wikipedia is above flat trend (YoY > 1)!
Active_editors_YoY1b
How YoY value is derived from absolute values. With the scale of these first diagrams the subtle fluctuations in YoY after 2007 are too small to see. We need to change the vertical scale for that.
 The following three charts show the largest eight Wikipedias in terms of active editors. Each chart shows a different selection.
Active_editors_YoY2

Three Wikipedias with the largest number of editors.
Active_editors_YoY3

Largest Wikipedias with growing editor base in last 12 months  (avg YoY > 1).
Active_editors_YoY4

Largest Wikipedias with a still (barely) declining editor base in last 12 months (avg YoY < 1).

Files with active editors (5+ and 100+ edits per month, absolute and YoY, are available for download at http://dumps.wikimedia.org/other/pagecounts-ez/wikistats/ (see csv_wp_active_editors.zip, and similar)

This entry was posted in uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Active editor trends as year-over-year changes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *