Before completing the assigned readings I used Wikipedia cautiously. I used this website only for non-academic knowledge and information. In my opinion I did not want to use this as a source for a essay or a project because the information regarding such topics could be wrong or over exaggerated. I was very hesitant in how I perceived and used the information learned and gained from Wikipedia.
The first article relating to Wikipedia that I read was “What’s on Wikipedia, and What’sNot . . . ?” written by Cindy Royal and Deepina Kapil. In which one particular line caught my attention; “Parnas, and Weinstein (2005) listed several risks inherent in the Wikipedia model: accuracy, motives, uncertain expertise, volatility, coverage, and sources” (Royal and Kapil, 2009). These listed risks of Wikipedia are in fact similar to my personal risks that I expect to see when working with Wikipedia. Accuracy, volatility and sources in fact are changed and/or modified by the user. However, these three aspects must have their information 100% right in order to correctly display the information. The one aspect that I believe is most important is motives. A user can in fact change or add information in a way that they perceive it or how they want others to perceive it due to their motives. These motives can be either good or bad. Good ones could be supporting or advertising a good cause through other Wikipedia’s. Nevertheless, bad motives could be to start conflict between groups of people.
The second article was regarding the editing of a War o 1812 article on Wikipedia; Military History on the Electronic Frontier: Wikipedia Fights the War of 1812 written by Richard Jensen. He explains that the ongoing issue in relation with Wikipedia is the constant wrongful editing of articles. ““Anyone can edit is an invitation for troublemakers and vandals who make thousands of foolish changes to articles every hour (Jensen, 2012). These troublemakers make the public that use Wikipedia very hesitant when obtaining and reading information off this website. Jensen (2012) further explains how these wrongful edits are quickly removed. However, there are thousands and thousands of articles that all cannot be constantly monitored for wrongful edits. Thus, I have trouble believing that all of these bad and wrongful edits are found and fixed in a quick manner.
The third article called Wikinomics and its discontents: a critical analysis of Web 2.0 business manifestos, written by Jose Van Dijck and David Nieborg. One statement really made me think about Wikipedia as a form of public participation and creativeness. “Mass creativity, peer- production and co-creation apparently warrant the erasure of the distinction between collective (non-market, public) and commercial (market, private) modes of production, as well as between producers and consumers; the terms also cleverly combine capital-intensive, profit-oriented industrial production with labour-intensive, non-profit-oriented peer production” (Dijck and Nieborg, 2009). The action to be able to edit articles on Wikipedia actually brings to the public and forces one to participate with each other in order to compete an article. However, this article could have the incorrect information.
Therefore, After reading these three articles my opinion in relation to Wikipedia has not been changed but only modified. To me Wikipedia is filled with incorrect information that people have added in order to fill their motives or to be a ‘troublemaker’. However, Jose Van Dijck and David Nieborg’s article really opened my eyes up to the bigger picture, public participation. This massive participation between the public is in fact a great aspect of Wikipedia. Thus, modifying my outlook on Wikipedia however, I still will be very careful when reading and obtain information off this website.
This picture above describes Wikipedia, in which people participate together to add their knowledge to an article.
Krishnan, R. January 30, 2011. Social Network Stock Image. [Image] Received from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Communications_and_N_g263-Social_Network_p25773.html
Jensen, R. (2012). Military History on the Electronic Frontier: Wikipedia Fights the War of 1812. Journal of Military History. 76, 1. pp 1165-118
Royal, C. & Kapila, D. (2009). What’s on Wikipedia, and What’s Not . . . ?: Assessing Completeness of Information. Social Science Computer Review. 27, 1. pp 138-148
Van Dijk, J. & Nieborg, D. (2009). Wikinomics and its discontents: a critical analysis of Web 2.0 business manifestos. New Media & Society. 11, 5. pp 855-874.