Raw Thought

by Aaron Swartz


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August 11, 2006


Those folks came to see the crappy misinformation and stuck around, apparently.

No such thing as bad publicity.

posted by Jeremy Dunck on August 11, 2006 #

I suspect a lot of it was just people who’d never heard of Wikipedia and thought it sounded cool.

posted by Aaron Swartz on August 31, 2006 #

It seems obvious that the increase in page views is related to people discovering Wikipedia after the Seigenthaler op-ed, especially since the date appears to be a trigger. But it was not the first time that Wikipedia was getting a wide-audience media coverage. So the question is: Why didn’t the number of page views increase in such a dramatic way before? Why was this particular event such a trigger?

Was it the lack of controversy in previous reports that failed to catch the public’s curiosity? Did the received publicity reach a wider audience than any previous article? Did people feel threatened by Wikipedia, fearing anyone could create an iniquitous article about their very person? Did a more global debate (such as the regulation of the Internet) play a role?

The incident clearly contributed to the explosion of visitors, but it came to my attention that the date also roughly coincides with Wikipedia getting prominent ranks in Google searches - usually one of the first five results on a given topic. Can anyone confirm?

More on the incident (ironically on Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Seigenthaler_Sr._Wikipedia_biography_controversy

posted by Serge Gebhardt on September 26, 2006 #

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