Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Sticky Wiki, a user-generated site for the faithful of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints employs a distributed knowledge model on its Wikipedia look-alike site. Despite the church's reputation for hierarchy and secrecy, which would seem counterintuitive to the free culture ethos that wikis generally represent, the site's organizers boast that they have now past 1,000 discrete articles on subjects designed to correct "myths and falsehoods" about Mormonism. I was actually surprised to see how even-handed the editors could be with controversial entries like the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Clearly the wikis administrators recognize the rhetorical efficacy of seeming to adopt the NPOV (no point of view) policy of the main Wikipedia site. On the other hand, MormonWiki also contains sloppier and more colloquial exclamation-park riddled entries like Antimormon as well. And although the "Curse of Cain" doctrine is mentioned in the Priesthood, it doesn't have its own explanatory history or more explanation of the church's controversial positions about African-Americans, which were standard ideology until only a few decades ago.

Linked to the site is the blog for the More Good Foundation, where one can read about how Mormon periodicals are taking advantage of blogs, how online videos present opportunities to gather testimony from the faithful around the world, and how the wily system administrators have foiled hackers of the wiki both intentionally and unintentionally, because of the ampersand in a key acronym.

A YouTube video about famous Mormons is here".

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