For many years Wikipedia has remained a source of inspiration for the publishing community who are surprised at the effectiveness of a free source to generate knowledge. In a short span of time, Wikipedia has grown into a monster, which is fueled by an ever-hungry army of Wikipedia editors and content writers. However, what makes Wikipedia truly unique is the fact that these hungry content managers are unpaid. Unlike other volunteer organizations, Wikipedia does not actively recruit volunteers. In addition, almost every one of these editors get no compensation or recognition for their volunteer efforts. In fact, these attributes makes Wikipedia unique in the sense that it continues to grow despite the lack of incentives offered to its contributors.
For Stephan Seiler, an economist and associate professor of marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Aleksi Aaltonen, an assistant professor of information systems at Warwick Business School, finding the source of inspiration was important. Just like researcher before them, both these professionals wanted an answer to the riddle. They wanted to know what makes volunteer create a Wiki page to contribute to the knowledge source.
The result of their research is published in the July 2016 issues of Journal of Management Science, which suggests that regular edits of an article from hundreds of individuals is the cause of Wikipedia’s growth. Since its creation in 2002, over 25 million contributors have created approximately 5 million unique articles. However, the growth of the articles is fueled by active contribution from nearly 80,000 volunteers every month who update a Wikipedia page that already exists.
Despite the small scale of each of the Wiki edits, covering only 37 characters, the frequency of the content overpowers every other contributing factor. As such, 43% of changes were additions compared to only 8%, which were deletions. Thus, the net impact of edits was positive, which resulted in the phenomenal growth. Overall, the study found that without the ability of individuals to carry out small Wikipedia revisions, each article would be 45% shorter. Overall, the researchers recommended that their results are conducive for the development of organizations, which are regularly using Wiki format to share knowledge.
In fact, benefits you get when you make a Wikipedia page has inspired content management organizations including Get Your Wiki to help individuals and corporate clients create their own Wikis. Instead of spending countless hours creating content that generates publicity and interest, agencies like Get Your Wiki can create instant content to increase brand awareness on the Internet. In fact, its army of editors can also build positive reputation in matter of days.