User:LauraHale/Article rank and article date

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An issue arose on meta recently, which suggested there was little value in having a historical public record of news stories because people will not access them. The implication was that older English (and other project) Wikinews content would not be accessed for use by others seeking information. Ignoring for the moment that English Wikipedia relies rather heavily on historical news reports both for information and establishing notability, this idea needs a bit of debunking since it is not true.

Article traffic is dependent on a number of factors. For English Wikipedia, this includes the geographic topic (with preference given for North American, Australian, European and Asian content), a general topic focus and other variables. Date of creation alone does not explain traffic patterns.

That said, a quick and dirty analysis involving 50 English Wikinews articles. They included recent English Wikinews featured articles, articles listed as popular now, articles from wacky news, articles from the Real Madrid category, articles from the obituaries category and a few random articles. Included in this sample were 1 article from 2005, 1 article from 2006, 4 articles from 2007, 3 articles from 2008, 4 articles from 2009, 6 articles from 2010, 6 articles from 2011, 9 articles from 2012 and 16 articles from 2013. The English Wikinews rank for these articles was found for the period between July 1 and July 28, 2013.

Bearing in mind that English Wikinews has nearly 20,000 total articles and an even larger number of non-article pages which are counted in the ranks, the ranking for English Wikinews appears to go to around 10,000 most popular articles. In the sample, 4 articles from 2013 were unranked, and one article from 2007 and 2008 were unranked. For the purpose of analysis, these have all been ranked 10,001.

Based on average, the most popular year for articles are in the following order: 2005, 2006, 2012, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2011, 2007 and 2008. This order changes a fair bit when median is used instead: 2013, 2005, 2006, 2012, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2008. The difference in ranking for average and median supports the conclusion that article age is not a particularly relevant variable when assessing the relative article popularity on English Wikinews.

Any conclusion that English Wikinews traffic validates a conclusion that a historical archive of open access news sources is not valuable needs to bring their own data to the table. A simple, quick and dirty data anlaysis proves this is not true. Further, a more extensive data analysis would likely show what variables are more likely to be predictors of current traffic patterns to older articles.

Raw data

Average and median table

Year Average Median
2013 2786.9 210.5
2005 327 327
2006 641 641
2012 985.4 986
2007 3143.7 1276
2009 1927 1965
2010 2024.6 1967.5

Article table

Date published Article Rank (July 1 - July 28)
2-Sep-05 Broadband users kicked off service for constant questioning 327
22-Feb-06 Arsenal beat Real Madrid 1-0 641
5-Nov-07 Satanism: An interview with Church of Satan High Priest Peter Gilmore 22
10-Dec-07 Hugo Chávez sets new time zone for Venezuela 1026
5-Oct-07 2007 Ig Nobel Prize winners announced 1526
13-Apr-07 Football: Cristiano Ronaldo extends stay at United 10,001
10-Dec-08 Football: Ronaldo to play for Corinthians 3466
2-Jul-08 Suspect in eight murders arrested in Illinois, United States 3600
4-Jun-08 Fußball-Bundesliga 2008–09: Goalkeeper Butt signs with Bayern Munich 10,001
20-Mar-09 Pink elephant spotted in Botswana 1655
11-Jan-09 Too Grimm? Mother Goose cartoonist sued by Colombian coffee growers 1845
10-Dec-09 2009–10 UEFA Champions League: Round of 16 field set 2085
5-Aug-09 Brazilian environmentalists tell residents to urinate in shower to save water 2123
7-Oct-10 Charlie the smoking chimpanzee dies aged 52 944
24-Nov-10 Guyanese shadow finance minister Winston Murray dies aged 69 1083
27-May-10 Art Linkletter, creator of "Kids Say the Darndest Things", dies peacefully at 97 1830
6-May-10 Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua reported dead 2105
29-Nov-10 Canadian-born actor Leslie Nielsen dies aged 84 2118
13-May-10 Canadian track and field coach Charlie Francis dies at age 61 4068
24-Dec-11 Colombian crime gang boss, hundreds of members surrender 846
22-Feb-11 Egyptian man names daughter 'Facebook' 856
10-Oct-11 Indian ghazal singer Jagjit Singh dies aged 70 2164
14-Feb-11 Canadian rapper Bad News Brown murdered in Montreal 2275
27-Jun-11 Funeral held for former Zambian President Frederick Chiluba 3462
21-Aug-11 La Liga fixtures face delay due to players' strike 8144
4-Dec-12 Australian Paralympian Janet Shaw dies aged 46 371
14-Oct-12 Actor and television host Gary Collins dies aged 74 567
24-Oct-12 Former U.S. presidential candidate and Senator George McGovern dies aged 90 638
1-Oct-12 Iranian news agency apologises for reproducing The Onion article 732
17-Jun-12 Wikinews interviews 17-year-old author of 'LEGO Heavy Weapons' 986
28-Sep-12 Singer Andy Williams dies at 84 1045
10-Sep-12 Pakistani footballer Abdul Ghafoor dies aged 71 1082
2-Nov-12 UK's Greater Manchester Police charge man with drug possession after trick-or-treating children allegedly given cocaine 1619
2-Oct-12 Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, former publisher of The New York Times, dies aged 86 1829
8-Apr-13 Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dies aged 87 6
4-Apr-13 North Korea's rising tensions: Wikinews interviews Scott Snyder and Dr Robert Kelly 16
3-Apr-13 Sea lion walks from beach into Pantai Inn in California 25
31-Mar-13 Thousands take to streets protesting 'ratbag's Bedroom Tax 43
12-Apr-13 Goat head delivered to Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts 49
19-Jan-13 Wikinews interviews Spain's most decorated Paralympian, Teresa Perales 192
24-Jan-13 Wikinews interviews Aurélien Miralles about Sirenoscincus mobydick species discovery 194
7-Feb-13 Same-sex marriage in the UK passes second reading in Commons 208
19-Mar-13 IOC visits Madrid as part of 2020 Olympic bid process 213
26-Feb-13 Wikinews interviews Irene Villa 313
10-Feb-13 Real Madrid defeats Sevilla 4-1 in La Liga play 1394
12-Jan-13 Real Madrid defeats Celta Vigo 4-0 in Copa del Rey octofinals 1934
12-May-13 Haitian cholera victims threaten United Nations with lawsuit 10,001
14-May-13 National Rugby League Women in League Round celebrates sons 10,001
9-May-13 Lord Falconer proposes bill to legalise assisted dying for terminal ill in UK 10,001
2-May-13 First successful womb transplant recipient passes six-week pregnancy mark 10,001