Dwelling on Wikipedia: Investigating Time Spent by Global Encyclopedia Readers

Title: Dwelling on Wikipedia: Investigating Time Spent by Global Encyclopedia Readers

Authors: Nathan TeBlunthuis (Wikimedia Foundation), Tilman Bayer (Wikimedia Foundation), Olga Vasileva (Wikimedia Foundation)

Abstract: Much existing knowledge about global consumption of peer-produced information goods is supported by data on Wikipedia page view counts and surveys. In 2017, the Wikimedia Foundation began measuring the time readers spend on a given page view (dwell time), enabling a more detailed understanding of such reading patterns. In this paper, we validate and model this new data source and, building on existing findings, use regression analysis to test hypotheses about how patterns in reading time vary between global contexts. Consistent with prior findings from self-report data, our complementary analysis of behavioral data provides evidence that Global South readers are more likely to use Wikipedia to gain in-depth understanding of a topic. We find that Global South readers spend more time per page view and that this difference is amplified on desktop devices, which are thought to be better suited for in-depth information seeking tasks.

Download: This contribution is part of the OpenSym 2019 proceedings and is available as a PDF file.

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