Some thoughts on the Wikipedia changes

I like many people have not said much about the recent stuff with Wikipedia but this post by Danah Boyd pretty much sums my thoughts and position on this subject. A few choice quotes.

Welcome to being a public figure – people will say mean things about you on the web. None of it is guaranteed to be true – its the web. (Of course, my view probably stems from being a native web kid – no one likes the meannies but weve gotten used to it.) Wikipedia is better than most of the web because YOU CAN CHANGE IT

I watched Internet Researchers take up the same anti-Wikipedia argument. I was floored. These arent just academics, theyre the academics who study the web. The academics who should know better. But they felt as though it was a problem that Wikipedia would allow for a man to be defamed

Its searchable and in the hands of everyone with digital access (a much larger population than those with encyclopedias in their homes). It also exists in hundreds of languages and is available to populations who cant even imagine what a library looks like. Yes, it is open. This means that people can contribute what they do know and that others who know something about that area will try to improve it. Over time, articles with a lot of attention begin to be inclusive and approximating neutral. The more people who contribute, the stronger and more valuable the resource. Boycotting Wikipedia doesnt make it go away, but it doesnt make it any better either

It will be truly sad if academics dont support the project, dont contribute knowledge. I will be outraged if academics continue to talk about having Wikipedia eliminated as a tool for information dispersal.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.