Intro to Networked Collaboration

Blogging on Wikipedia

I have been checking my wikipedia column all week and no one has made further changes. I knew anyone could post, but I had no idea it was so easy. I did like how they (wikipedia) asked what I added. It seemed as if they were going to do a little verifying of the information. Maybe I’m totally wrong, but this was kind of the impression I was under. Does anyone know?

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February 25, 2008 - Posted by | tools and methodologies, Wikipedia |

14 Comments »

  1. After posting additional information to Wikipedia about something as random as soup, there were a handful of changes made. It’s interesting to see that people are adding new soups (cream of mushroom) and fixing vandalized pages (soup page was replaced with ‘kjfgjkfklj nfvukdhvjkchjklvnh lhghelf fieailr’awrj), good thing there are administrators at Wikipedia that monitor this type of abuse and that Wikipedia keeps records on everything.

    Wikipedia, while not 100% perfect, is an invaluable starting point for information.

    Comment by tra2008 | February 25, 2008 | Reply

  2. It is indeed interesting to see the changes made i.e., when information is added or vandalization is fixed. Wikipedia does have admins monitoring the action but for the most part editing is done via “dork mob rule” – self-organization across a network.

    It’s a dynamic state of “swarming”, particularly around breaking events.

    Take the event referenced in this NY Times article re: the “Fort Dix Attack Plot” entry in Wikipedia. If you go back to May 8-10, 2007, when it was breaking news, there are edits to it literally every minute — very dynamic, organized swarming behavior…”dork mob rule” in full effect.

    Comment by funksoup | February 25, 2008 | Reply

  3. I must admit that I was a bit nervous adding an entry for even a topic as obscure as the paw paw tree. I’m interested in the history of Wikipedia and whether there are topic-specific wikipedias emerging. Are companies or industries creating there own wikis? How difficult is this to acheive?

    Comment by tim88 | February 27, 2008 | Reply

  4. I really had to think about a topic where I felt I had something to contribute. First, I went to the entry for the town I live in, and it was too “official” — There was nothing for me to add, except my opinion. Opinion seems appropriate for some types of entries (info about a band, or in my case, how to communicate with a toddler) while others are pure facts and stats. To confirm content where fact checking would be important, I wouldn’t rely solely on a wikipedia entry. I would cross-check it with another source which would be considered reliable for that industry.

    Comment by jenerationnyc | February 27, 2008 | Reply

  5. Jenn – it’s certainly always a good idea to cross-check references with other sources. I’d say that if you only relied on one source for anything, in general, that’d probably be unwise. However, having said that, most facts and stats on Wikipedia have to be backed up by a footnote to the source(s).

    Notice in the reference above to the Fort Dix Attack Plot, that there are footnotes everywhere, pointing to newspapers, magazines, etc.

    When an article lacks reliable sources, it’s usually tagged with a statement like “This section does not cite any references or sources” – as displayed in this article on the origins of Semper Fidelis or “The neutrality of this section is disputed” – as displayed in Censures in the US, for example.

    Comment by funksoup | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  6. Tim – there are many wikis out there that are topic-specific. You only have to search for a topic + “wiki” to find them. For example, there’s Curriki, which is a wiki for the global education community that features curriculum sharing for teachers. There’s nextNY, which is a wiki focused on the New York tech startup community. There’s even WikiKnitting, if knitting is your passion du jour.

    Comment by funksoup | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  7. no one edited my entry either! haha it may be a nod to the apathy of the general eugene lang student ;).

    Comment by sophiefriedman | March 2, 2008 | Reply

  8. Josephine, can you possibly direct me to sources that might help me understand how to create and maintain a topic-driven wiki? I’m working on a consulting project to enhance a website for NY lawyers and besides blogs and web communities we’re considering a wiki.

    Comment by tim88 | March 6, 2008 | Reply

  9. Tim, there’s a pretty good article in CIO on “How to Build Your Own Wikipedia.” It goes into the importance of clarity of focus, having active “gardeners” and promoting/publicizing it. I’d say that last aspect is probably one of the most significant — you really want to put it out there and create a buzz around it so that people know it’s there and want to contribute to it. Make them feel that it’s theirs — that they “own” it, then they’re more likely to help it grow.
    If you’re looking for some free wiki spaces, you can check out PBwiki and Wikispaces.

    Comment by funksoup | March 13, 2008 | Reply

  10. Hey, all – thanks for all your Wikipedia contributions! If you haven’t checked out who’s done what – have a look at the Wikipedia URLs. If you haven’t posted yours, please do so.

    Seth – I noticed, unfortunately, that your page on “The New Frontiers” was deleted. If you check the deletion log, it states

    Speedy deleted per (CSD A7), was an article about a band, singer, musician, or musical ensemble that didn’t assert the importance or significance of the subject.

    Further research into CSD A7 reveals

    An article about a real person, organization (band, club, company, etc.), or web content that does not indicate why its subject is important or significant… A7 applies only to articles about web content or articles on people and organizations themselves, not articles on their books, albums, software and so on.

    So perhaps if you add that info, it’ll be a keeper.

    Comment by funksoup | March 13, 2008 | Reply

  11. I’m not sure what else to add to make the entry “legit” in their eyes. I spent a whole afternoon working on that and trying to make it acceptable to them. Did you see the entry, if so do you have any recommendations? I guess I just make another entry if it doesn’t work out.

    Comment by seth81 | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  12. I checked my Soup page and my contributions to the history of soup have been removed. Not sure why but it seems pretty easy to delete someone else’s work on the Wiki. Personally dont think I would do this on a regualr basis if my time and effort could be removed by anyone with an account.

    Comment by tra2008 | March 20, 2008 | Reply

  13. Tracy – I had a look at the Soup history page and somebody reverted your edits for this stated reason: “rm copyvio essay by Andrew F. Smith [http://www.cheftalk.com/content/printerversion.cfm?printerid=89&type=article] – only restore it if GFDL permission is given)” — so it looks like it was pulled because of copyright issues. You quoted the source though, so not sure why. Maybe because it was quoted verbatim? Anyway, you can see what was reverted here and put it back (perhaps not verbatim) if you want.

    Comment by funksoup | April 9, 2008 | Reply

  14. Seth – no, I didn’t see the entry because it won’t display now, though I’m guessing that what they might have wanted was a description of how that particular band made an impact within the general timeline/history of music, i.e., something that connects it to the broader expanse of music.

    Comment by funksoup | April 9, 2008 | Reply


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