Wiki Wiki What

Well, I guess everyone went at least once on Wikipedia. Great stuff, isn’t it ? Everything you’ve ever wanted to know on any kind of topics. Doesn’t that ring a bell ?

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The Alexandrian Library

The whole Alexandrian Library stuff is great, but this is the myth. But Wikipedia is also about collaborating to a global knowledge. Therefore, there’s two ways of usign Wikipedia.

I. A reader

That’s what a library is about, and that’s what most people do. You go and search for informations you can trust, although this is more complicated with Wikipedia. But the Librarian myth is also a way of strenghtening the legitimity of Wikipedia as a website.

But what interests me most today is : What happen when you want to go through the looking class ? In other words, contribute ?

II. A writer

Some researchers from the MIT (Jay Bolter and and Richard Grusin) created the notions of “Immediacy” and “Hypermediacy” applied to the field of media. You can read more here.

Well, this is the same problem here. When you’re a reader, it seems very simple and transparent. You get on Wikipedia, you research what you want, and you’re on the article.

But when you’re a writer, it all gets more complicated. I wanted to create an article about Linear grooves (check that

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, and here’s what happened

- First you got to creat an account. Once again, you’ll have to get a password and a username. One more identity you’ll spread through the Internet.

-Then you got to find an article that has not been written yet, and when you’ve found it, write the article. But it’s still complicated : you have to fit in the model created by Wikipedia, you have to respect “Wikipedia vocabulary criteria”. And still, I didn’t try to put my article in the classification established by Wikipedia.

- I’ve finished my article, great ! And then ? NOTHING. It has to be moderated and accepted, but the funny thing is that I lost the traces of my article. If I hadn’t saved it on my computer, I would have lost it.

So, transparency on one hand, hidden stuff on the other hand. Every cloud has its silver linings.

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