Finding the main issue on the web

What is the representation of the sharing economy on Wikipedia?


After looking to the history of the main pages about sharing economy in the previous visualization, we tried to give a form to the whole phenomenon, always as treated on Wikipedia. The aim was to get the representation of how articles are related to each other, and which meaning it creates to Wikipedia users.


The protocol adopted consists in using two main tools to analyze Wikipedia links network: Seealsology and Gephi. The first one is a Digital Methods Initiative tool that allows to export a structured dataset file directly readable by the other software. Our research on Seealsology was based on the following Wikipedia pages: Sharing economy, Online platform for collaborative consumption, Access economy, Anti-consumerism, New economy, Inependent contractor, Civic technology, Reputation system, Uber, Airbnb, GrabTaxi, Didi Kuaidi, Lyft, Ola, WeWork, HomeAway and Prosper. Thanks to it we were able to get all the “see also” articles of these pages, setting the scanning depth of research to 2.

From Seealsology we exported a .gexf Graph File and modifyed it with Gephi 0.8.2: all nodes have the same size, except for the ones used as queries; colors (always with exception for queries) were given by modularity clusterization; nodes position was given by Forceatlas 2. Finally tagged each color group as topic.

How to read it

The starting Wikipedia articles are the eight most funded sharing economy companies and all those we considered inherent to describe our semantic field. Through this visualization, then, we could visualize if links are present between them and which the related topics are. Distances between nodes represent their level of connection on the encyclopedia. In the menu, you can see the different topics and isolate them.


The first thing we noticed is that some companies appear completely separated from the network; they are Didi Kuaidi, GrabTaxi, WeWork and Ola. HomeAway, Uber, Airbnb and Lyft, on the other hand, are linked between them, but far from the rest. Looking to macro blocks of nodes, then, we found out that the topics well linked to the concept of sharing economy are collaborative innovation networks, commons-based peer production and open source.


Timestamp: 11/11/2015

Data source: Wikipedia

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