Friday, September 17, 2004

Wikipedia

Recently I've heard from several of my regular sources about Wikipedia. This is a remarkable on-line encyclopedia in the form of a wiki -- meaning anyone can contribute new articles and even edit existing articles.

I have poked around Wikipedia a bit myself. Here's an article on social network analysis. Here's a little article on computational sociology. Here's a more extensive article on operations research. And a very navigation-intensive presentation of organizational development.

And here's a great article on Crushing by Elephant.

Not surprisingly, some people question the authority of a collection of articles written and edited by anyone with an Internet connection. Even potential contributors and editors may hesistate, lacking official credentials. Well, folks, put your fears to rest. Wikipedia itself encourages potential contributors to be bold and fearless in their editing: don't hold back! And here is Wikipedia's explanation for why it works.

So, let's go and edit those Wikipedia articles we just looked at! (Except maybe the crushing-by-elephant one.)

Wikipedia made it onto my radar screen because of the interesting debate about authority and group behavior sparked by Wikipedia. This debate includes the report of someone who inserted thirteen factual errors into Wikipedia to see how long it would take for anyone to notice. All thirteen errors were repaired in under two hours.

2 comments:

Terrence said...

Hi Bruce.

Glad you found the material on OD that I started at Wikipedia. I've been hoping that others would come across it and add to it because the spirit of wiki is to pitch in and help "raise the barn."

I hope you will add your own stuff in topics you are passionate about.

Terry

Terrence Seamon

jenna said...

Great job on your talk on internet connections. I have a internet connections secrets blog if you wanna swing by my place!