Evolution of the Coordination of Activities Aimed at Building Knowledge in the Wikipedia Community





coordination of activitie, knowledge management, knowledge sharing, variability in online communities, Wikipedia users


The first decade of the 21st century spawned the intense development of online communities of practice. The largest knowledge-sharing communities were formed in several dozen language versions of Wikipedia. Defining rules for cooperation was necessary to ensure the desired content quality created by Wikipedians. It was essential to develop the appropriate initiatives, tools, and space for effective activity coordination within the service. Previous research in this area pointed to the role of leadership, group size, and tools facilitating work automation in creating actionable strategies and in the self-organization of work.

This paper aims to characterize the variability in creating new concepts of cooperation in selected language versions of Wikipedia and identify the factors of participating in various forms of cooperation. The author assumes that the greater number of initiatives a user enters contributes to an increase in their overall activity.

The research conducted was both qualitative and quantitative. A netnographic approach was used, as well as a statistical analysis of user activity records. Thanks to the netnographic research, the stages of Wikipedia’s evolution were identified. Quantitative research has shown a correlation between the number of activity areas (a user’s affiliation to WikiProjects) and their overall activity (the number of edits made). A change in Wikipedians’ activity style was also observed depending on their seniority on the website. The study’s conclusions may be helpful for organizations using crowdsourcing to achieve their own goals.