The Meaning of the Power Users in the Wikipedia Working Environment




content analysis, knowledge management, knowledge sharing, variability in online communities, Wikipedia Power Users


One of the most popular sites to observe collaborative content creation on the Internet is Wikipedia. A significant part of the publication devoted to this encyclopaedia focuses on special forms of collaboration, such as WikiProjects, which allow to effective work sharing. The aim of the paper was to identify power users working in public spaces of Wikipedia, especially in WikiProjects, and to determine their importance for this form of cooperation in knowledge sharing. The research question was: what is the meaning of the Power Users in Wikipedia? The methods used in the paper were content analysis of activity logs of Wikipedians and participatory observation. The author presents the results of his own research on the total number of WikiProject users in the two language versions of Wikipedia: Polish and Korean. The research presented the existence of power users in the Polish and Korean versions. There was a moderately strong relationship between the length of time one remained active on Wikipedia and the time of joining as a Wikipedian, and a weak relationship between seniority and the number of WikiProjects in which the user was active. In turn, participatory observation identified the roles of power users, mainly as initiators of action in Wikipedia. The presented research results could be used mostly for coordinators of online communities, but also for the initiators of the new undertakings in cyberspace.