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

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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 track editorial changes to Wikipedia – as well as the people actually 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: “As news breaks on Twitter, it filters through the web to find a home on Wikipedia, for example – 3 minutes after the Microsoft Surface was announced, its Wikipedia page for it was created. With around 12-million edits every day, researchers and corporates now have a simple way to tap into this huge stream of content being created daily to identify trends and updates”

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.