Who's actually doing the writing?

A bit less than a year ago, Aaron Swartz, him of the New York Times Link Generator, Reddit, and much more, asked just who is really writing all those Wikipedia entries. Swartz quotes from what was apparently a speech by Jimmy Wales at Stanford University that, contrary to popular opinion the Wikipedia isn't produced by a vast number of users, but that instead it's:
a community ... a dedicated group of a few hundred volunteers

I know all of them and they all know each other.

it's much like any traditional organization.
Wales claims that the actual production of the Wikipedia is concentrated in the hands of about 400 - 500 people who do almost all of the actual work. It's unclear just what Wales wants to achieve by telling an audience this. Are people supposed to be relieved to learn that, rather than an exercise in democracy run wild, the Wikipedia is actually just like "any traditional organization"?

That question interests Swartz, but he was more interested in finding out whether Wales' claim was truly accurate. He devised a method of examining, admittedly on a small scale, whether the "dedicated group" that Wales refers to was actually producing content, or instead primarily organizing and editing that content. His post makes for fascinating reading, though frankly, I'm not sure whose claim is the more accurate. And I'm more interested in that earlier question.

Go to: Why not an aura of amateurishness?, or
Go to: Just who do you think you are?