Young men like to wiki

September 8, 2009

The results of a new survey show that only 13 percent of contributors to Wikipedia are women. The survey was conducted by the Wikimedia Foundation and MERIT, the United Nations University’s technology research program. The findings were presented at a recent Wikimedia event in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

According to Digits, a Wall Street Journal blog, the survey consisted of 175,000 responses. 53,888 of the participants said they contribute to Wikipedia, and out of those contributors only 6,814 were women. They found the average age of participants who use Wikipedia to be in their twenties – 26 was the average age for men and 24 for women.

The percentage of men and women who read Wikipedia, but don’t write or edit entries is closer, but still not near being even – 69 percent of the readers were men and 31 percent were women.

The survey also asked the reasons for visiting the website, the top two found to be fact-checking and sharing knowledge.

What would motivate more people to contribute to Wikipedia? The Wall Street Journal says the top responses were if:

“I knew there were specific topic areas that needed my help” (41 percent), followed by “It was clear to me that other people would benefit from my efforts” (36 percent). Thirty-two percent marked “Other/don’t know/don’t want to say.”


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