Monday, 29 March 2010

Times are a changin' at Wikipedia

According to a post today on ReadWriteWeb some major changes are on the way at Wikipedia.The aim will be to make editing simpler. Will this encourage more to participate? Just about every student group I see I ask how many of them have done or edited a Wikipedia site and the result is always only 1 or 2. Wikipedia is often quoted as the example of the wisdom of the crowd, etc. The truth is that 50% of the edits are done by 1% of the users.
The new design can be expected 5 April with further changes later.
The article in ReadWriteWeb asks : is it too late? Have people given upon it?

I think not, but it is up to all of us involved in eduction (and especially libraries) to encourage everyone to edit. We all know something unique : it's just that we lack the confidence and initiative to go online to share it! Also it's a telling experience to write a Wikipedia site : where will you get your information? Where will you check it? It's a pity that some of the academics critical of Wikipedia had not got their students to write a Wikipedia site as a learning exercise!

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