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Wikis knock­ing on the iron gates of Oxford

Andrew Keen on New Media – Recently, Inter­net com­ment­at­or Andrew Keen was at Oxford Uni­ver­sity togeth­er with Wiki­pe­dia co-founder Larry Sanger to debate wheth­er “the inter­net is the future of know­ledge”. Keen notes that it was iron­ic for the dis­cus­sion – includ­ing dis­cus­sion of wheth­er the inter­net was demo­crat­ising the cre­ation and dis­tri­bu­tion of know­ledge – to have occurred at Oxford, a rep­res­ent­at­ive of the “ivory tower busi­ness mod­el for know­ledge”. He notes that estab­lish­ment of Oxford Uni­ver­sity by a wealthy landown­er con­trasts with the ori­gins of Wiki­pe­dia, and sites like Wiki­pe­dia and Cit­izen­di­um are driv­ing the adop­tion of wikis, pod­casts and blogs, even by tra­di­tion­al know­ledge com­pan­ies. Keen found the response of Oxford fac­ulty and stu­dents to the demo­crat­ic poten­tial of the inter­net enthu­si­ast­ic and “any­thing but snooty”.

Oth­er men­tions

Oth­er recent men­tions in online media include:

From the Wiki­pe­dia Sign­post.

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(As you may know, I write the “In the news” sec­tion for the Wiki­pe­dia Sign­post. From this week onwards, I’ll be post­ing up the ITN sec­tion on my blog as well as hav­ing it pub­lished in the Sign­post.)

Pro­fess­or says Wiki­pe­dia crowds out expert know­ledge

Wiki­pe­dia breeds ‘unwit­ting trust’ says IT pro­fess­or — Deakin Uni­ver­sity asso­ci­ate pro­fess­or Shar­man Licht­en­stein believes that the increas­ing use of Wiki­pe­dia cre­ates blind trust in inform­a­tion, to the det­ri­ment of valu­able know­ledge and expert opin­ion. She says that Aus­trali­ans already dis­respect intel­lec­tu­als and aca­dem­ics, but she asks us to con­sider wheth­er we would use a trained brain sur­geon or a stu­dent who has just read Wiki­pe­dia for brain sur­gery. She notes that Wiki­pe­dia prides itself on being built by groups of lay cit­izens, and experts are unlikely to con­trib­ute any­way because they would expect to be paid. Cred­ib­il­ity of Wiki­pe­dia art­icles is ques­tioned because of the form­a­tion of “elite” edit­ors and admin­is­trat­ors, a trend that has caused grow­ing dis­sat­is­fac­tion with Wikipedia’s edit­or­i­al pro­cess, lead­ing oth­ers to cre­ate com­pet­it­ors to Wiki­pe­dia.

Oth­er men­tions

Oth­er recent men­tions in the online media include:

  • Wikipedia’s Zealots — An edit­or who receives per­son­al com­mu­nic­a­tion about a scientist’s views on glob­al warm­ing edits Wiki­pe­dia to include these com­mu­nic­a­tions but is rever­ted by oth­er edit­ors.
  • Sci­entif­ic cita­tions in Wiki­pe­dia — The pat­tern of cita­tions on Wiki­pe­dia is com­pared with the Journ­al Cita­tion Reports, which counts journ­al cita­tions; Wiki­pe­dia is increas­ingly using struc­tured cita­tion markup.

[As pub­lished in the Wiki­pe­dia Sign­post]

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