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Hey, Wikipedia Spammers, Start Getting Worried — Datasift Has Built A Tool To Track You


Datasift, the social-data platform which specialises in realtime streams, has done something which is going to make PR people quiver in their boots and journalists sit up and notice. They have turned any changes on Wikipedia into a realtime stream which will be searchable and customisable. The implications are that you’ll be able to changes changes and the people making the changes in a far more user-friendly manner. The stream will be available here on Datasift, but also surfaced at a new site, Wikistats.

Datasift founder and CEO Nick Halstead told me at the Le Web conference in London: “Naughty people who change Wikipedia pages incorrectly will be worried. But others will be able to use it as a powerful tool, especially researchers. It’s a huge poll of data. Wikipedia editors will also now be able to more easily monitor changes to pages. It’s going to be amazing to see what people use this for.”

As a licensed Twitter resyndication partner, DataSift already analyses data across the social-web, enabling companies to create filters to “listen” for mentions of brands, breaking news, and public opinion. As a result they worked with Wikipedia to create a realtime stream from which they could pull the millions of changes that happen on the site everyday. The stream can be accessed from here.

At the same time, Wikistats. a new site built specially by Datasift, will provide a real-time insight into the trending articles on Wikipedia in the last 24 hours. Similar to the Tweetmeme site which preceded Datasift and tracks conversations on Twitter, Wikistats surfaces the top articles and content being created on Wikipedia using Natural Language Processing.

To give you an idea of how much that is, Datasift says that each month Wikipedia sees between 11-12 million edits, and each day an average of approximately 7,100 new pages are added. In comparison, Bloomberg publishes approximately 5,000 articles per day, and the New York Times publishes approximately 1,000 per day. That means the combined number of new stories amongst two of the world’s largest news organizations would equate to about half of what is added to Wikipedia each month.

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