Sports is my area of passion and knowledge. Although the Yankees or Derek Jeter specifically are not my favorite sports figures, both have been paramount in media culture in the last decade. Derek Jeter, the thirty-nine year old shortstop for the New York Yankees, is a prime subject for an analysis of Wikipedia’s credibility. He has been in the public eye, glorified, and vilified for years, making his life accessible, and potentially easy to fabricate.
Looking at the revision history of Derek Jeter, there are currently 6,846 total revisions, with only 2,583 users who have edited. Percentage wise, those numbers equate to 2.65 edits per user with the top 10% accounting for 53% of what is currently readable. 53% of the editors on the page come from a small group of individuals, the top 10%, therefore, my mind tells me that there is a select number who consistently update the page and are passionate enough about Derek Jeter to have added enough information to place them above other users based on their activity. Instead of having a massive range of people constantly putting up edits, a vast majority (over 50%) of revisions come from the “top 10%” of users.
Another key factor that plays into the credibility of Derek Jeter’s Wiki is that there has been a consistency to the updates, ranging as far back as early 2003. Although there are momentary gaps, the timing leaves little room for minor details of his life to be excluded. Derek Jeter is a legendary athlete, playing on a mainstay in international culture, therefore, should be considered a solid example of how fact checking is necessary as athletes are only as famous as how good they are statistically. Simply put, Derek Jeter can be summed up and discredited in terms of the numbers he produces on the field, making him hard to manipulate where it counts, his game, and on a more irrelevant side, his off the field persona. Lastly, the discussion board of the article includes more revisions, each being debated by several contributors which makes me believe every fact in the article was checked by fervent and knowledgable supporters (see below). I am both surprised and very confident in the revision statistics after having read through, checking for any misinformation I could recognize.
Henry Jenkins’, “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About The New Media Literacies,” poses strong pros and cons regarding the usefulness of Wikipedia. Wikipedia should not be a focus of research, but the compilation of sources allows one to acquire a foundation before using inquiry to analyze different sources. The quote, “just as young people coming of age in a hunting based culture learn by playing with bows and arrows, young people coming of age in an information society learn by playing with information” (Jenkins), epitomizes the idea behind Wikipedia and the debate on its validity, especially in education. Wikipedia is a beginning, where, being the essence of education, one must go above and beyond to truly research, understand, and learn a topic.