In China, Spring Festival Gala, which is also called CCTV New Year’s Gala, is special show broadcasted by China Central Television in the evening of Chinese New Year. The gala has a long history; it was first broadcasted in 1979 by CCTV and after that, it was shown in every Chinese New Year eve. The broadcast has a maximum of 800 million viewers watching it on the same time, making it one of the largest audience-owned entertainment shows in the world. Almost every Chinese considers it as a necessity in the New Year’s Eve and people are used to watching the gala while they are eating a big dinner with the family members so that they can share their happiness together.
The Wikipedia website shows that this subject is written in seven different languages, and for each language, it has several hundred revisions and each revision is written and edited by users all over the world. Take the Chinese version for example, there are 390 edits and the first edits was started at 2005 and the most recent edit was made in February 12 2014, which is right after the Chinese New Year’s eve.
Although the Spring Festival Gala is a traditional Chinese New Year event, people in foreign countries are interested in it as well, such as people who speak English as their native language; they contributed almost the same number of edits as Chinese users did. The English version has a number of edits of 307, which is just a little bit smaller than that of the Chinese version. And the most recent edits was even made earlier than that of its Chinese counterpart in February 6, right after the Chinese New Year Gala was broadcasted in 2014.
Even there are thousands of people edited on the subject of Spring Festival Gala in the Wikipedia, most of them contributed only once or a few times, but some of users did have more interests and professional knowledge in this topic and thus donated more revisions than the others with a high frequency. For example, there is a user named “Colipon”, who is the first editor starting the subject of Spring Festival Gala in January 03, 2006, and he spent more than 1 month to develop this virgin land.
Chinese New Year usually takes place between January and February, depending on the Chinese calendar, so does the Spring Festival Gala. When the gala is being prepared during these mouths, people will naturally talk more about it and are inclined to have different views on it. This is reflected on Wikipedia as well. Refer to the following screenshot, we can tell that in February, when the gala took place, a lot of users were get involved in editing it and if we take a look at different revisions, we can see that people evaluated Spring Festival Gala in various ways, usually accompanied with the users’ own opinions, not objectively.
Per “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us about New Media Literacies”, Henry Jenkins talked about collective intelligence and why Wikipedia is a perfect example of the concept and I strongly agree that, arguing Wikipedia is a carrier of collective intelligence. In his article, collective intelligence is defined as the ability to “pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal” (Jenkins, Part 2) and I think the Spring Festival Gala subject on Wikipedia is a wonderful reflection of this definition, on one hand, people all over the world work on the same topic on a stretched axis of time, they share their knowledge and make progress together, and on the other hand, due to the fact that different people have professional knowledge in various fields, some people may contribute more than the other, in frequency and depth perspective. Because of these, Wikipedia is more likely to be a good source for reference and study, other than a reliable source to cite on professional research.
Jenkins, Henry. “WHAT WIKIPEDIA CAN TEACH US ABOUT THE NEW MEDIA LITERACIES (Part 2)”. Web log post. Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., 27 June 2007. Web. 13 February 2014. http://henryjenkins.org/2007/06/what_wikipedia_can_teach_us_ab_1.html