Wickedy Wikis – I Have a Lot to Learn

23 02 2012

(Insert Cheesy Disc-Scratching “Wiki -Wiki” Sound Here)

Greetings from Fort Wayne, Indiana! The indoor season is finally wrapping up with the Indoor Conference Championship. The women’s team will be competing for our 6th straight conference title.

But anyways, it is now time to reflect on Levinson’s chapter on Wikipedia. I definitely agree with John that it was disappointing to see Levinson only talk about Wikipedia, and not the broader aspect of wikis. I mean, the first wiki was created in 1995 and Wikipedia didn’t come around til 2001 – there’s a lot going on in those 6 years that he could have at least skimmed through.

My Experience With Wikis/Wikipedia

Prior to this class, I have little/no experience with wikis. I haven’t felt a need or desire to, but our current project for the ec457 page is actually interesting – a homework assignment I’m not TOTALLY dreading.

My experience with Wikipedia is quite extensive, however. As a communications major, I have had to write numerous papers on various applied theories. While I don’t use Wikipedia as a direct source of information for these papers, I do use them for two things:

  1. Better understanding of terms – they put big fancy words aside
  2. Guidance to scholarly articles – those works cited at the bottom? I just copy and paste them into the library archive at NDSU and presto!….a lovely secondary source that is straight from the researcher.

Editing and Collaboration

I have always supported the Internet as a fantastic medium for dissemination of information and knowledge. That is one reason I also love what Wikipedia does. Yes, there are false pieces of information, and there are idiots out there who just mess things up for the sake of messing things up. But as the system evolves and becomes more airtight, I find Wikipedia to be a good source of information. Or at least a middle man to the “solid” information when cited properly.

Reading through Levinson’s chapter, I did not realize just how elaborate the realm of adding, editing, removing, administrating, etc is. Just never thought much about it.

Wikipedia as an Encyclopedia or Newspaper?

I do have to disagree a little bit with Levinson’s statement that Wikipedia is becoming like a newspaper. I still think it is more of a frequently updated Encyclopedia produced by consumers. When I look at Wikipedia, I still get the online encyclopedia vibe.

I also have full confidence that sites like Wikipedia will never remove the importance of a library – tangible, “non-deletable” books will still preside.

And with that, I actually have to leave you all now so I can go do a shake out for track! Adios!

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