Tag Archives: Wikipedia

Extra Post #4

1 Apr

Wisdom of Crowds Not so Wise? Response to class Delicious Link

What an interesting article on James Surowiecki’s book Wisdom of Crowds. I thought at first that the author, Kevin Maney was a little crazy, but the farther I got into the article the more valid his points became. It’s interesting to read about other people’s opinions regarding all the books that are “must reads” each year. Maney reviews the WOC book by applying it to recent situations – as recently as last week even.

Take his example of Digg.com – while it started out working by the “wisdom of crowds” (WOC) it has ultimately failed to be a true WOC enterprise because too many of the same people had too much influence. Interesting. You would think that there would be enough people to counteract Nazi-like behavior on social websites but apparently not. Wikipedia anyone?!

 In fact, Digg has strayed so far from the WOC model that founder Kevin Rosehas replaced the traditional “Digg it” format with some computer algorithms to devalue bloc voting. It should be interesting to watch the progression of the site with the new system. Will it work? Or will Rose return to his original formula because his best “Diggers” don’t like the new way of doing things.

Many also raises an interesting point that I wish he had expanded upon.

“So if a company can use the Net to tap the collected intelligence of its employees, the employees will make better decisions than the CEO. IBM, Google and others have tried this.”

If others have tried this where are the results? Why did he not expand upon it? I would be very interested to know his thoughts on how IBM, Google and others fared in their WOC experiments. Working in a small office, I often think that a few of us know more than the bosses, and I know kids think they are always smarter than their parents, teachers and coaches! But how did the bosses feel about it? Hopefully, they took the advice for what it was worth and didn’t read too much or too little into it. More heads are definitely better than one, but there are times when I will take my own brain over everyone’s put together. That being said, there is something to be said for the Wisdom of Crowds. After all, if everyone else is thinking it, why shouldn’t you?

Response Post #9

31 Mar

Wikipedia Demons

I still hate it. I mean, seriously, what is the point of an encyclopedia that “anyone” can edit if that’s not really the case?! Also, the fact that an encyclopedia that “anyone” can edit seems like an oxymoron to me. Aren’t encyclopedia’s supposed to be academic gold, whose authors are serious, studious and knowledgeable about their topics? Or least the editors of encyclopedia’s should be – the editors at Wikipedia gain notoriety because they are extremely active on the site. Whether that’s from excitement, geekiness or loserness I’m not sure but I have my suspicions.

Not to beat a dead horse, but if it’s supposed to be editable by anyone, why the dog and pony show before you can actually submit your changes? You need a crash course in HTML coding before you can even have a glimmer of hope that your edits won’t be reversed. Who has time for that. It took me a good 2 hours to complete my entry because I couldn’t figure out the damn coding errors I kept getting. I’m still not sure it’s done correctly, but without a wikipedia expert sitting next to me, it will  have to do.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Wikipedia is great for blog linking, quick fact checking, and general web surfing, but to create a community encyclopedia and then make if difficult (although they swear its easy) for a normal everyday person to edit is weird. It’s almost as if they want people to get frustrated and not edit entries so that their editors have free reign over what is and is not posted to the web.

I freely contribute to the web and social media, but I don’t think Wikipedia is going to be on my list. Once I’m finished with this assignment, its goodbye Wikipedia. I just don’t care enough, or have enough of a vested interest to learn it, master it, and then stalk my entry to make sure its finessed Wikipedia style. Because, who really cares except a few small people with no time on their hands?”

Response Post #7

23 Mar

Wikipedia – Editors or Nazis?

Like anyone else, I find Wikipedia useful for little things – What Monticello is, where Papa New Guinea is located and who exactly is Robert Scoble – other than that, I think it is a rather useless, sub-par website that tries to make average people super cop-like dictators trying to control their own little portion of the world wide web.

Now, that may sound a bit harsh, but have you ever tried to edit a post on Wikipedia? Something that only really matters to a small number of people? An entry that, in it’s current state, is factually incorrect? If you have, then you can probably relate when I called Wikipedia editors dictators. Because that’s what they do – they dictate the content they want posted – nothing more and nothing less.

Wikipedia itself has good intentions, and grand ideas, but their editors (not all, but a lot) have less honorable intentions it seems.  They hunt, stalk and aim to kill when protecting their portion of Wikipedia. I have to admit, I picture some wacko loser sitting in his (or her)  basement tenting their fingers and petting their cat ala Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget whenever a newbie edits part of their domain in the Wikipedia empire. With a Moohahaha-like sound thrown in for good measure.

Much like Dr. Claw – or Hitler– depending on how strong you feel – Wikipedia editors decide what exactly can and cannot be posted to a entry. While Dr. Claw’s attempts at controlling the world usually failed at the end of the episode, Wikipedia battles can go on for months or even years, depending on the zealousness of those involved. Disputes listed on Wikipedia can number in the thousands, and lawsuits have been filed. I don’t think that’s what Jimbo Wales envisioned when Wikipedia took off. I’m not arguing the success of it, Wikipedia has proven its usefulness many times over, however, why do editors have the “all powerful genie” attribute? If the editors watch over the posters, who watches over the editors?

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