Mike Greenberg & Wikipedia
Earlier this morning Mike Greenberg ripped Wikipedia on his ESPN radio show. I couldn't take it, so here's my response: Subject: Wikipedia and people Greenie's problem isn't with Wikipedia, its with people, bad people. He is potentially a bad person. Wikipedia, only five years old, has potential to be one of the greatest research tools ever. It attempts to collect an incredible amount of information. And a recent article in Nature (a scientific journal) showed that wikipedia only averaged one more mistake per page than Encyclopedia Britanica. Oh, by the way, it already contains about 20 times as many entries. The problem with Wikipedia is that it is a community. And every community has troublemakers. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales admits this himself: "It takes a long time to deal with troublemakers," admits Jimmy Wales, the encyclopaedia's co-founder. "Connolley has done such amazing work and has had to deal with a fair amount of nonsense." Just as bad as troublemakers, are people who dismiss Wikipedia because it doesn't give them what they want. Wikipeida is for producers of knowledge, not just consumers. If you don't like a page, update it (and there is fact chekcing in Wikipedia, but considering Greenie can barely handle a sheet of integrity, I would think he would realize that 1,700,000 articles are tough to keep track of--especially by a non-profit organization). Conclusion: Wikipedia is a powerful tool. Wikipedia has people who abuse it. Greenie is a powerful tool. Don't be a tool, Greenie--put your nerd to work. I could have said more in my email, but that's it. God, I'm sick of people complaining about Wikipedia. Sorry people, but our communication technologies are changing. Such a change is liberating, invigorating, etc. But it also comes at a price--and that price is that we actually all have to work now. Sorry. But we are what Barthes refers to as "wreaders," not mere readers. We are all producers (I am producing write now, t might not be right, but it is a digital rite of passage), no longer mere consumers. Information changes dynamically, in real time--it is no longer [seemingly] static. Don't like Wikipedia? Do something about it (this is especially true for educators--make your students do some fact checking. Encourage them to make small changes to pages. Stop thinking that quality research has to finalize into an entirely "original" paper. ARGH.