ifacethoughts

Experiment With Wikipedia

I found this experiment with Wikipedia that Krishna did and documented. It is not something new, there have been previous experiments, but I liked his take on it. The experiment he did was to make two changes, one factual and the other more theoretical. These changes were reverted only after he posted about them on his blog.

Of course, accuracy of content in Wikipedia is an issue that everyone has to deal with. This matter has been brought up earlier, as part of whether Internet fuels collectivism. The result has been that each of us, who has had previous interactions with Wikipedia, have built a process around it. Sometimes it is Wikipedia + Google, sometimes Wikipedia + Technorati or IceRocket. But Wikipedia is always there, because it has a lot of things right. Because of the group editing some topics gets covered in depth and width and works as one of the best reference points. I get not only the content but also other external references, which works great for me. Wikipedia might not be the place where I end my search, but it sure is the first place. I am not sure whether it is a tool for vandalizing, it definitely allows faceless edits, but my belief is that mistakes get corrected eventually. Whether this gap of incorrection is acceptable or not probably depends on the topic and the context.

Krishna mentions a couple of thoughts I liked a lot.

This is the crux of the Wikipedia phenomenon: it pays no attention tothe matter of expertise. A teenager sitting in her home in a remote village in China with an internet connection has as much weight and scope to expound on the causes and effects of the Great Depression as the renowned expert at Harvard who has spent a life time thinking about the subject. This is in itself neither disturbing nor comforting. Thereare contexts where it may be either.

The ironical thing about Wikipedia is that its greatness can not exist without its flaws. If you try to remove one, the other goes too.

Freedom in Wikipedia is being used for many things, some of them can be called personal opinions, like the war on blogs. There can be a possible misuse because of the freedom, but that is what makes it unique and very valuable in my opinion. Also, I personally believe that Wikipedia will go the way the group wants, not an individual.

Finally Krishna’s changes were reverted and it was communicated through an anonymous comment. Not important who corrected it, but it surely was, quickly.

Discussion [Participate or Link]

  1. Arun Vijayan said:

    Thats something serious. It is delightful to see that world is opening up. People have started noticing positive aspects about websites already (Annoying thing is that they don’t do that in real life. ), They are less bothered about risk factors.

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Abhijit Nadgouda
iface Consulting
India
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This is the weblog of Abhijit Nadgouda where he writes down his thoughts on software development and related topics. You are invited to subscribe to the feed to stay updated or check out more subscription options. Or you can choose to browse by one of the topics.