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Category Archives: Wikis

A bright spot in a dark day

In keeping up with the coverage of the London bombings today, I have to admit that my feelings have alternated between intense sorrow for the victims and slack-jawed awe at the speed and breadth of coverage at Wikipedia. Wikis are incredibly good tools for capturing and organizing information online, and they work especially well when there’s a dedicated community involved. If you’re reading this, please remember that we need your help to grow The Louverture Project’s wiki. Take a look at the page above and think about how powerful the collective actions of like-minded individuals can be.

Wiki Wiki Everywhere

There’s been quite a bit of The good folks at Gadgetopia noticed a couple of interesting things taking shape at Wikipedia.

More from Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger

Larry Sanger was originally hired to develop Nupedia, the precursor to Wikipedia.

How Wikis Evolve

This Slashdot article points to a new piece of software from IBM that tracks and visually displays the way wiki articles develop over time.

Wikis in the news

I’ve been collecting links over the past couple of months that I just haven’t had time to post. This is an attempt to catch up. If I’ve forgotten the original source of the link, I do apologize… Thomas at Smart Mobs links to a Washington Post article which notes the increasing use of emerging technologies — especially wikis — on college campuses.

Happy Wikipedia Day!

Happy Fourth Anniversary to the Wikipedia project.

Digitize Everything, we learn of a proposal to digitize every Canadian book. If the estimated cost of $10 or less per book is accurate, the prospect of digitizing archival source material seems tantalizingly within reach.

The Observer likes what it sees in Wikipedia

Via Slashdot, we find the following piece about Wikipedia: The Observer | Business | Why encyclopaedic row speaks volumes about the old guard By all laws of reference-work publishing, Wikipedia ought to be a disaster. Yet it is exactly the opposite – an exceedingly useful online reference work often consulted by this columnist and countless others.

BoingBoing note on what wiki is good at

The following is reposted from BoingBoing… Shirky: Wikipedia is better than Brittanica on net-centric axes: Cory Doctorow: Clay Shirky’s posted more about Wikipedia on Many2Many, responding to danah boyd’s post about how Wikipedia won’t be an encylopedia. The thing Clay really nails this time in the idea that “new media don’t succeed because they’re like the old media, only better: they succeed because they’re worse than the old media at the stuff the old media is good at, and better at the stuff the old media are bad at.” And of course, sometimes Wikipedia is better, since, as with the Indian Ocean tsunami example, Britannica simply has no offering. So, at the margin, a casual user who wants free access to a Web site that offers a communally-compiled and non-authoritative overview of a recent event will prefer the Wikipedia to nothing, which is what Britannica offers. In this case, Wikipedia comes out on top, and walking along several of those axes like cost, availability, topicality, and breadth of coverage, Wikipedia has the advantage, and in many cases, that advantage is increasing with time Now Britannica doesn’t want this to be true (god, do they not want this to be true) and so they try to create litmus tests around authoritativeness — “WARNING: Do not read anything that does not come from an institutional source!” But this is as silly as audiophiles dismissing the MP3 format because it wasn’t an improvement in audio quality, missing entirely that the package of “moderate quality+improved cost and distribution” was what made the format great. Considering MP3 as nothing more than a lossy compression scheme missed the bundle of services that it enabled.

Should open source encyclopedias defer to expert opinions?

The author, one of the founders of Wikipedia, makes a few good points about the perceived weaknesses of the open source encyclopedia. However, he relies too much on te Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism || By lsanger Fri Dec 31st, 2004 at 12:42:24 AM EST ├»┬┐┬╝Wikipedia has started to hit the big time. Accordingly, several critical articles have come out, including “The Faith-Based Encyclopedia” by a former editor-in-chief of Britannica and a very widely-syndicated AP article that was given such titles as “When Information Access Is So Easy, Truth Can Be Elusive”. These articles are written by people who appear not to appreciate the merits of Wikipedia fully. I do, however; I co-founded Wikipedia.