Research:Active editor spike 2015 (July update)

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Duration:  2015-07 — 2015-07
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This page documents a research project in progress.
Information may be incomplete and change as the project progresses.
Please contact the project lead before formally citing or reusing results from this page.


The goal of this project is to update the analysis of Research:Active editor spike 2015 with an additional two months of data.

Results[edit]

Timeseries analysis[edit]

First, let's look at some raw counts and extract some seasonal components. I'll focus on the same set of wikis that User:Dario (WMF) looked at earlier.

A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for Commons
Timeseries (Commons). A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for Commons
A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for German Wikipedia
Timeseries (German Wikipedia). A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for German Wikipedia
A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for English Wikipedia
Timeseries (English Wikipedia). A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for English Wikipedia
A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for Spanish Wikipedia
Timeseries (Spanish Wikipedia). A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for Spanish Wikipedia
A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for French Wikipedia
Timeseries (French Wikipedia). A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for French Wikipedia
A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for Italian Wikipedia
Timeseries (Italian Wikipedia). A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for Italian Wikipedia
A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for Dutch Wikipedia
Timeseries (Dutch Wikipedia). A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for Dutch Wikipedia
A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for Russian Wikipedia
Timeseries (Russian Wikipedia). A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for Russian Wikipedia
A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for Wikidata
Timeseries (Wikidata). A timeseries component analysis of the number of Monthly Active Editors is plotted for Wikidata
Still growing
  • Wikidata
  • Commons
Growing again (maybe)
  • Spanish
Flattening (maybe)
  • English
  • Italian
  • Russian
Continuing decline
  • Dutch
  • German

So, it doesn't look like there's a clear indication of substantial/sustained growth here. Although the recent trend in the Spanish Wikipedia looks promising. I could put English into the "Growing again (maybe)" group, but the recent months beneath the trend have me worried that we need more time to say.

Regardless, there are only two wikis here where my eyeballing would suggest continuing decline. Flattening and maybe growth is a good thing.

Editor model breakdown[edit]

One of the flaws of my earlier visualizations (e.g. File:Monthly_active_editors.aug_2013-feb_2015.overall.svg) is that it's hard to compare sub-segments with large numbers against sub-segments with small numbers (e.g. new active with surviving new active).

We can use z-score scaling to compare across metrics more effectively. If you have a vector of values x, the rescaled z-score vector would be (x-mean(x))/sd(x). This means that values at the mean are equal to zero and deviations from zero are reported in standard deviations. This allows us to compare fluctuations in counts/rates that are at very different scales.

First, to segment the wikis by size.

big wikis (> 5000 active editors in June, 2015)
> big_wikis
[1] commonswiki dewiki      enwiki      eswiki      frwiki  
medium wikis (> 1000 and <= 5000 active editors in June, 2015)
> medium_wikis
 [1] arwiki fawiki hewiki itwiki jawiki kowiki nlwiki plwiki ptwiki ruwiki
[11] trwiki zhwik
small wikis (<= 1000 active editors in June, 2015)
> small_wikis
  [1] abwiki               acewiki              afwiki              
  [4] afwikibooks          afwikiquote          afwiktionary        
  [7] akwiki               alswiki              amwiki              
 [10] amwiktionary         angwiki              angwiktionary       
 [13] anwiki               anwiktionary         arbcom_dewiki       
 [16] arbcom_enwiki        arbcom_nlwiki        arcwiki             
 [19] arwikibooks          arwikimedia          arwikinews          
 [22] arwikiquote          arwikisource         arwikiversity       
 [25] arwiktionary         arzwiki              astwiki             
 [28] astwiktionary        aswiki               aswikisource        
 [31] avwiki               aywiki               aywiktionary        
 [34] azwiki               azwikibooks          azwikiquote         
 [37] azwikisource         azwiktionary         barwiki             
 [40] bat_smgwiki          bawiki               bclwiki             
 [43] bdwikimedia          betawikiversity      bewiki              
 [46] bewikibooks          bewikimedia          bewikiquote         
 [49] bewikisource         bewiktionary         be_x_oldwiki        
 [52] bgwiki               bgwikibooks          bgwikinews          
 [55] bgwikiquote          bgwikisource         bgwiktionary        
 [58] bhwiki               biwiki               bjnwiki             
 [61] bmwiki               bnwiki               bnwikibooks         
 [64] bnwikisource         bnwiktionary         boardwiki           
 [67] bowiki               bpywiki              brwiki              
 [70] brwikimedia          brwikiquote          brwikisource        
 [73] brwiktionary         bswiki               bswikibooks         
 [76] bswikinews           bswikiquote          bswikisource        
 [79] bswiktionary         bugwiki              bxrwiki             
 [82] cawiki               cawikibooks          cawikinews          
 [85] cawikiquote          cawikisource         cawiktionary        
 [88] cbk_zamwiki          cdowiki              cebwiki             
 [91] cewiki               chapcomwiki          checkuserwiki       
 [94] chrwiki              chrwiktionary        chwiki              
 [97] chywiki              ckbwiki              collabwiki          
[100] cowiki               cowikimedia          cowiktionary        
[103] crhwiki              crwiki               csbwiki             
[106] csbwiktionary        cswiki               cswikibooks         
[109] cswikinews           cswikiquote          cswikisource        
[112] cswikiversity        cswiktionary         cuwiki              
[115] cvwiki               cvwikibooks          cywiki              
[118] cywikiquote          cywikisource         cywiktionary        
[121] dawiki               dawikibooks          dawikiquote         
[124] dawikisource         dawiktionary         dewikibooks         
[127] dewikinews           dewikiquote          dewikisource        
[130] dewikiversity        dewikivoyage         dewiktionary        
[133] diqwiki              dkwikimedia          donatewiki          
[136] dsbwiki              dvwiki               dvwiktionary        
[139] dzwiki               eewiki               elwiki              
[142] elwikibooks          elwikinews           elwikiquote         
[145] elwikisource         elwikiversity        elwikivoyage        
[148] elwiktionary         emlwiki              enwikibooks         
[151] enwikinews           enwikiquote          enwikisource        
[154] enwikiversity        enwikivoyage         enwiktionary        
[157] eowiki               eowikibooks          eowikinews          
[160] eowikiquote          eowikisource         eowiktionary        
[163] eswikibooks          eswikinews           eswikiquote         
[166] eswikisource         eswikiversity        eswikivoyage        
[169] eswiktionary         etwiki               etwikibooks         
[172] etwikimedia          etwikiquote          etwikisource        
[175] etwiktionary         euwiki               euwikibooks         
[178] euwikiquote          euwiktionary         extwiki             
[181] fawikibooks          fawikinews           fawikiquote         
[184] fawikisource         fawiktionary         fdcwiki             
[187] ffwiki               fiu_vrowiki          fiwiki              
[190] fiwikibooks          fiwikimedia          fiwikinews          
[193] fiwikiquote          fiwikisource         fiwikiversity       
[196] fiwiktionary         fjwiki               fjwiktionary        
[199] foundationwiki       fowiki               fowikisource        
[202] fowiktionary         frpwiki              frrwiki             
[205] frwikibooks          frwikinews           frwikiquote         
[208] frwikisource         frwikiversity        frwikivoyage        
[211] frwiktionary         furwiki              fywiki              
[214] fywikibooks          fywiktionary         gagwiki             
[217] ganwiki              gawiki               gawiktionary        
[220] gdwiki               gdwiktionary         glkwiki             
[223] glwiki               glwikibooks          glwikiquote         
[226] glwikisource         glwiktionary         gnwiki              
[229] gnwiktionary         gotwiki              guwiki              
[232] guwikiquote          guwikisource         guwiktionary        
[235] gvwiki               gvwiktionary         hakwiki             
[238] hawiki               hawiktionary         hawwiki             
[241] hewikibooks          hewikinews           hewikiquote         
[244] hewikisource         hewikivoyage         hewiktionary        
[247] hifwiki              hiwiki               hiwikibooks         
[250] hiwikiquote          hiwiktionary         hrwiki              
[253] hrwikibooks          hrwikiquote          hrwikisource        
[256] hrwiktionary         hsbwiki              hsbwiktionary       
[259] htwiki               huwiki               huwikibooks         
[262] huwikiquote          huwikisource         huwiktionary        
[265] hywiki               hywikibooks          hywikiquote         
[268] hywikisource         hywiktionary         iawiki              
[271] iawikibooks          iawiktionary         idwiki              
[274] idwikibooks          idwikiquote          idwikisource        
[277] idwiktionary         iewiki               iewiktionary        
[280] igwiki               ikwiki               ilowiki             
[283] incubatorwiki        iowiki               iowiktionary        
[286] iswiki               iswikibooks          iswikiquote         
[289] iswikisource         iswiktionary         itwikibooks         
[292] itwikinews           itwikiquote          itwikisource        
[295] itwikiversity        itwikivoyage         itwiktionary        
[298] iuwiki               iuwiktionary         jawikibooks         
[301] jawikinews           jawikiquote          jawikisource        
[304] jawikiversity        jawiktionary         jbowiki             
[307] jbowiktionary        jvwiki               jvwiktionary        
[310] kaawiki              kabwiki              kawiki              
[313] kawikibooks          kawikiquote          kawiktionary        
[316] kbdwiki              kgwiki               kiwiki              
[319] kkwiki               kkwikibooks          kkwiktionary        
[322] klwiki               klwiktionary         kmwiki              
[325] kmwiktionary         knwiki               knwikiquote         
[328] knwikisource         knwiktionary         koiwiki             
[331] kowikibooks          kowikinews           kowikiquote         
[334] kowikisource         kowikiversity        kowiktionary        
[337] krcwiki              kshwiki              kswiki              
[340] kswiktionary         kuwiki               kuwikibooks         
[343] kuwikiquote          kuwiktionary         kvwiki              
[346] kwwiki               kwwiktionary         kywiki              
[349] kywikibooks          kywikiquote          kywiktionary        
[352] ladwiki              lawiki               lawikibooks         
[355] lawikiquote          lawikisource         lawiktionary        
[358] lbewiki              lbwiki               lbwiktionary        
[361] lezwiki              lgwiki               lijwiki             
[364] liwiki               liwikisource         liwiktionary        
[367] lmowiki              lnwiki               lnwiktionary        
[370] lowiki               lowiktionary         ltgwiki             
[373] ltwiki               ltwikibooks          ltwikiquote         
[376] ltwikisource         ltwiktionary         lvwiki              
[379] lvwiktionary         map_bmswiki          mdfwiki             
[382] mediawikiwiki        metawiki             mgwiki              
[385] mgwiktionary         mhrwiki              minwiki             
[388] miwiki               miwiktionary         mkwiki              
[391] mkwikimedia          mkwiktionary         mlwiki              
[394] mlwikibooks          mlwikiquote          mlwikisource        
[397] mlwiktionary         mnwiki               mnwiktionary        
[400] mrjwiki              mrwiki               mrwikibooks         
[403] mrwikiquote          mrwikisource         mrwiktionary        
[406] mswiki               mswikibooks          mswiktionary        
[409] mtwiki               mtwiktionary         mwlwiki             
[412] mxwikimedia          myvwiki              mywiki              
[415] mywiktionary         mznwiki              nahwiki             
[418] nahwiktionary        napwiki              nawiki              
[421] nawiktionary         nds_nlwiki           ndswiki             
[424] ndswiktionary        newiki               newikibooks         
[427] newiktionary         newwiki              nlwikibooks         
[430] nlwikimedia          nlwikinews           nlwikiquote         
[433] nlwikisource         nlwikivoyage         nlwiktionary        
[436] nnwiki               nnwikiquote          nnwiktionary        
[439] novwiki              nowiki               nowikibooks         
[442] nowikimedia          nowikinews           nowikiquote         
[445] nowikisource         nowiktionary         nrmwiki             
[448] nsowiki              nvwiki               nycwikimedia        
[451] nywiki               ocwiki               ocwikibooks         
[454] ocwiktionary         officewiki           ombudsmenwiki       
[457] omwiki               omwiktionary         orwiki              
[460] orwiktionary         oswiki               otrs_wikiwiki       
[463] outreachwiki         pagwiki              pamwiki             
[466] papwiki              pawiki               pawiktionary        
[469] pcdwiki              pdcwiki              pflwiki             
[472] pihwiki              piwiki               plwikibooks         
[475] plwikimedia          plwikinews           plwikiquote         
[478] plwikisource         plwikivoyage         plwiktionary        
[481] pmswiki              pnbwiki              pnbwiktionary       
[484] pntwiki              pswiki               pswiktionary        
[487] ptwikibooks          ptwikinews           ptwikiquote         
[490] ptwikisource         ptwikiversity        ptwikivoyage        
[493] ptwiktionary         quwiki               quwiktionary        
[496] rmwiki               rmywiki              rnwiki              
[499] roa_rupwiki          roa_rupwiktionary    roa_tarawiki        
[502] rowiki               rowikibooks          rowikinews          
[505] rowikiquote          rowikisource         rowikivoyage        
[508] rowiktionary         rswikimedia          ruewiki             
[511] ruwikibooks          ruwikimedia          ruwikinews          
[514] ruwikiquote          ruwikisource         ruwikiversity       
[517] ruwikivoyage         ruwiktionary         rwwiki              
[520] rwwiktionary         sahwiki              sahwikisource       
[523] sawiki               sawikibooks          sawikiquote         
[526] sawikisource         sawiktionary         scnwiki             
[529] scnwiktionary        scowiki              scwiki              
[532] sdwiki               sdwiktionary         sewiki              
[535] sewikimedia          sgwiki               sgwiktionary        
[538] shwiki               shwiktionary         simplewiki          
[541] simplewiktionary     siwiki               siwiktionary        
[544] skwiki               skwikibooks          skwikiquote         
[547] skwikisource         skwiktionary         slwiki              
[550] slwikibooks          slwikiquote          slwikisource        
[553] slwikiversity        slwiktionary         smwiki              
[556] smwiktionary         snwiki               sourceswiki         
[559] sowiki               sowiktionary         specieswiki         
[562] sqwiki               sqwikibooks          sqwikinews          
[565] sqwikiquote          sqwiktionary         srnwiki             
[568] srwiki               srwikibooks          srwikinews          
[571] srwikiquote          srwikisource         srwiktionary        
[574] sswiki               sswiktionary         stewardwiki         
[577] stqwiki              strategywiki         stwiki              
[580] stwiktionary         suwiki               suwikiquote         
[583] suwiktionary         svwiki               svwikibooks         
[586] svwikinews           svwikiquote          svwikisource        
[589] svwikiversity        svwikivoyage         svwiktionary        
[592] swwiki               swwiktionary         szlwiki             
[595] tawiki               tawikibooks          tawikinews          
[598] tawikisource         tawiktionary         test2wiki           
[601] testwiki             testwikidatawiki     tetwiki             
[604] tewiki               tewikiquote          tewikisource        
[607] tewiktionary         tgwiki               tgwiktionary        
[610] thwiki               thwikibooks          thwikiquote         
[613] thwikisource         thwiktionary         tiwiki              
[616] tiwiktionary         tkwiki               tkwiktionary        
[619] tlwiki               tlwikibooks          tlwiktionary        
[622] tnwiki               tnwiktionary         towiki              
[625] tpiwiki              tpiwiktionary        trwikibooks         
[628] trwikimedia          trwikinews           trwikiquote         
[631] trwikisource         trwiktionary         tswiki              
[634] tswiktionary         ttwiki               ttwiktionary        
[637] tumwiki              twwiki               tyvwiki             
[640] tywiki               uawikimedia          udmwiki             
[643] ugwiki               ugwiktionary         ukwiki              
[646] ukwikibooks          ukwikinews           ukwikiquote         
[649] ukwikisource         ukwikivoyage         ukwiktionary        
[652] urwiki               urwikiquote          urwiktionary        
[655] uzwiki               uzwiktionary         vecwiki             
[658] vecwikisource        vecwiktionary        vepwiki             
[661] vewiki               viwiki               viwikibooks         
[664] viwikiquote          viwikisource         viwikivoyage        
[667] viwiktionary         vlswiki              votewiki            
[670] vowiki               vowiktionary         warwiki             
[673] wawiki               wawiktionary         wikimania2010wiki   
[676] wikimania2014wiki    wowiki               wowiktionary        
[679] wuuwiki              xalwiki              xhwiki              
[682] xmfwiki              yiwiki               yiwikisource        
[685] yiwiktionary         yowiki               zawiki              
[688] zeawiki              zh_classicalwiki     zh_min_nanwiki      
[691] zh_min_nanwikisource zh_min_nanwiktionary zhwikibooks         
[694] zhwikinews           zhwikiquote          zhwikisource        
[697] zhwikivoyage         zhwiktionary         zh_yuewiki          
[700] zuwiki               zuwiktionary 

Counts of users[edit]

Now I want to look at counts like I did last time first, but the rates in-between the counts will be coming next.

So, when we look at counts, we're looking at a flow from R:Newly registered users to active editors. I've ordered the cells of the plot so that they roughly reflect this order, but it's hard to say where 'reactivated' belongs. I just put it at the end.

Scaled mae counts for big wikis are plotted with a loess regression fit to the trend.
Scaled MAE breakdown (big wikis). Scaled mae counts for big wikis are plotted with a loess regression fit to the trend.
Scaled mae counts for medium wikis are plotted with a loess regression fit to the trend.
Scaled MAE breakdown (medium wikis). Scaled mae counts for medium wikis are plotted with a loess regression fit to the trend.
Scaled mae counts for small wikis are plotted with a loess regression fit to the trend.
Scaled MAE breakdown (small wikis). Scaled mae counts for small wikis are plotted with a loess regression fit to the trend.
Scaled mae counts for wikidata are plotted with a loess regression fit to the trend.
Scaled MAE breakdown (wikidata). Scaled mae counts for wikidata are plotted with a loess regression fit to the trend.

Notice there's a dramatic spike in registrations that started in July 2014.

Rates of activation[edit]

Now, we also want to get a sense of the rate at which editors "activate" (cross the 5 edits threshold or continue to cross the threshold) because that will determine R:Newly registered users transition and sustain their active status.

Scaled MAE activation rates for big wikis are plotted with a loess regression fit to the trend.
Activation rates (big wikis). Scaled MAE activation rates for big wikis are plotted with a loess regression fit to the trend.
Scaled MAE activation rates for medium wikis are plotted with a loess regression fit to the trend.
Activation rates (medium wikis). Scaled MAE activation rates for medium wikis are plotted with a loess regression fit to the trend.
Scaled MAE activation rates for small wikis are plotted with a loess regression fit to the trend.
Activation rates (small wikis). Scaled MAE activation rates for small wikis are plotted with a loess regression fit to the trend.
Scaled MAE activation rates for wikidata are plotted with a loess regression fit to the trend.
Activation rates (wikidata). Scaled MAE activation rates for wikidata are plotted with a loess regression fit to the trend.

It looks like, for all but wikidata, there's a drop in new editor activation rates that correspond to the large growth in registrations. The surviving new editor rate and old active rates hold pretty constant.

For Wikidata, it's interesting to see the rising rate of new editor activation correspond to a steady decay in the surviving new editor rate. This might mean trouble for Wikidata, but I suspect that it's a natural part of being a newish project.

Mobile editors[edit]

A graph of monthly Wikimedia account registrations, broken down by registration platform (desktop, mobile web, or mobile app).

Registrations spiked dramatically in June and July 2014, due entirely to the release of the Android and iOS Wikipedia apps in those months. This occurred mainly because the apps, upon installation, immediately prompt the user to register.[1] (It's not clear why app registrations spiked again in April 2015, but that trend doesn't seem to have persisted).

A graph of monthly active editors (≥ 5 edits) across all Wikimedia projects, broken down by registration platform (desktop, mobile, or unknown). Editors are not deduplicated across projects; for example, an editor active on both the Spanish Wikipedia and Commons in a given month would be counted twice.

​However, this spike in registrations hasn't produced anything like a corresponding spike in active editors. There's been a small increase in mobile-originated active editors over the period, but it's tiny compared with the spike in registrations. Still, this suggests that editors who registered on mobile apps have been one of the primary drivers of the active editor bump we're investigating.

Notes[edit]

  1. Is this still true?