Sunday, August 06, 2006

Wikipedia Round-Up

There has been a lot of Wikipedia coverage of late, which I'll try to condense into one post.

For starters, New Yorker readers can appreciate the Annals of Information piece, "Know It All," which delves into the bureaucracy and social dynamics of the organization. According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, "Divine Inspiration From the Masses," this approach is influencing all realms of human knowledge from science to religion. The LAT also ran an Op-Ed piece, "Why Wiki Can Drive You Wacky." There was a story in the Associated Press, which was picked up by Wired, about founder Jimmy Wales' desire to focus right now on quality not quantity. See "Toward a Better Wikipedia" for details about the planned changes, which include a more user-friendly interface with less code for novices to grapple with.

For those who want to see some more substantive criticism, take a while to ponder "Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism," which takes the celebration of the hive mentality to task. Then check out "Can History Be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past" from the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University (the people who brought us the excellent student-friendly Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution).

Stephen Colbert also weighs in on Wikipedia via YouTube. You can see him spar with an angry Wikipedian as well.

(Thanks to my UCI colleague Ellen Strenski for the running tally. Check out her tongue-in-cheek "Glossary for New Graduate Students," if you've never seen her send up of pseudo-intellectual jargon.)



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