Sorin Adam Matei, Professor of Communication at Brian Lamb School of Communication, questions how 1% of Wikipedia contributors generate roughly 80% of the site's content. More broadly, Matei questions what it means to be an expert in online communities and how people gain reputations and influence others. One of the ways Matei researches such questions is through Kredible.net, a research project funded through the National Science Foundation.
Matei co-founded Kredible.net in 2013 with several researchers at Purdue. The main goal of the organization is to bring together scholars who are interested in studying reputation and authority within social media. Consequently, the project involves researchers from Communication, Statistics, and Computer Science among other disciplines.
Matei and other researchers are attempting to measure and quantify reputation by collecting massive amounts of data about who contributes to networked communities, for example, by analyzing 10 years of Wikipedia edits. Ultimately, Matei hopes that the collaboration will help people understand how knowledge is created within online spaces and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
His latest project is the Purdue Data Storytelling Network which will support new methods of teaching and research in collaboration with the Google News Lab.