January 10th, 2011

Notabilia — Visualizing Deletion Discussions on Wikipedia

Just in time for Wikipedia’s forthcoming tenth anniversary (congrats!), two researchers – Dario Taraborelli and Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia – approached me for a cooperation on visualizing the discussions around article deletions on Wikipedia. The (intermediate?) results are online at notabilia.net.

I came up with a tree visualization, where Article for Deletion discussion is represented by a thread starting at the bottom center. Each time a user recommends to keep, merge, or redirect the article a green segment leaning towards the left is added. Each time a user recommends to delete the article a red segment leaning towards the right is added. As the discussion progresses, the length of the segments as well as the angle slowly decay.

In the visualizations, I tried to capture the tension between chaos and order inherent to the discussions, and provide a nice serendipity interface as well.

So much to learn about… …or… …and…

But also some more hard analysis can be found at notabilia.net, looking at the vote distributions, lengths of discussions, etc. Take a look yourself!