WikiHow Contributors have created more than 200,000 articles on wikis over the past decade, but a recent article published by the University of New South Wales suggests the community of WikiHow users have a new way to contribute to the site.
A new Wikipediocracy study has found that the Wikipedia community is growing by more than 500% per year, with more than one billion articles in the system.
Wikipediarchy chief executive Alex Macfarlane said that while it was a welcome development that the community was growing, there was still a lot of work to do to ensure that its content was up to date.
“We have a number of great tools and we’re working hard to improve the tools, the features, the structure and the way in which Wikipython works,” he said.
“The big challenge is that people are not using Wikipidias for everything that they want to do, but they’re using them to do a lot.”
Mr Macfadden said the growing community of Wikipyists had a number issues with how they were presented on the site, such as a lack of content in the content sections.
“When people use a website, they can’t just click on a link and it says ‘here’s a wiki for you’,” he said, “so they have to look for information in the wiki pages and then they have a question about what to do next.”
“And they can do this because they can search, and they can look up a topic, and then click on it.”
“It’s not really the right way to use a wiki, it’s not the right time, it doesn’t fit the structure of what a wiki should do.”
Mr Macintosh said that the site had an extremely diverse range of topics and that the vast majority of people had not used Wikipidyas for the vast amount of content they were providing.
“I think we’re missing a big opportunity because we’re not getting people to use Wikipys content for what they need to do,” he added.
“They’re going to be using it for a really different thing, which is to search for information and find links, and that’s not what they’re looking for.”
He said the biggest challenge was that users were using the site as a means of entertainment rather than as a source of knowledge.
“There are a lot more people using the wiki for information than for content,” he argued.
“It really is about what people want to look up, and what they want their knowledge to be.”
Mr Appleby said the project was focused on increasing the quality of information on the Wikipedias, which he believed would be a boon for the industry.
“This is about building a wiki that will serve the needs of the industry and the needs that the world needs, not just the needs people are comfortable with,” he explained.
“Wikipy’s the place to be to have a good look at a lot, to learn about something, to see where the knowledge is coming from and to get the best advice from.”
He also praised the many individuals who were working to improve and expand the wiki, saying that he was proud to be associated with them.
“That’s the way we’re going, and I hope we can continue that,” he told News24.