Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Wikipedia Matters

Marit Hinnosaar et al. (PDF):

We document a causal impact of online user-generated information on real-world economic outcomes. In particular, we conduct a randomized field experiment to test whether additional content on Wikipedia pages about cities affects tourists’ choices of overnight visits. Our treatment of adding information to Wikipedia in- creases overnight stays in treated cities compared to non-treated cities. The impact is largely driven by improvements to shorter and relatively incomplete pages on Wikipedia. Our findings highlight the value of content in digital public goods for informing individual choices.

Via Ethan Mollick:

Adding two paragraphs of text & nice pictures to randomly selected articles about small European cities led to an over 9% increase in hotel stays; the edit is worth $190k per year!

Ethan Mollick:

As any academic will tell you, influencing the direction of science through research is hard... so here is an easier path. One quality Wikipedia article written by chemistry experts influenced the content of 250 published peer-reviewed academic papers!

Wikipedia is an MMORPG (via Hacker News):

One theory that explains the addictive nature of Wikipedia and its tendency to produce Wikipediholics is that Wikipedia is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). The following article explains how Wikipedia shares many characteristics with MMORPGs.

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Wikipedia is not the Web of Science, but it is a great place to start learning science.

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