Reliable or Not? Wikipedia and Dr.King.

Wikipedia has been known as a great place to find quick information and also a threat to knowledge. This threat comes from the idea that anyone can edit any Wiki page on the internet. And because of this misconception, teachers, professors, and some students believe it is not a reliable source for information. Through some research and a look at a specific page I have found this not to be the case. As I looked up a man that has had a lot of influence in the United States, especially its rough past, I found out that there is more than meets the eye about Wikipedia.

Martin Luther King Jr. was the man I had to look up. Learning about him and his time on this earth has been pounded into my head by teachers and my parents since I started my education. The “I Have a Dream” speech has been played countless times while in school during Black History Month. If I were to find any facts that were not true on a Wiki page, it would have to be Dr.King’s.

Before I dive any deeper I must take a moment to reference a man named Henry Jenkins. This man spoke about how Wikipedia can be a good thing for the world based on several keys facts that he points out and backs up with evidence throughout his post named “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us about New Media Tendencies.”

As stated before there has been a growing divide between those who think Wikipedia is something that is not helpful in terms of finding good knowledge on a topic. The term used around Wikipedia that serves a great purpose through the rest of this essay is “collective intelligence.” This is the term used to describe how Wikipedia can work based on a group of people pooling their ideas and facts together for the betterment of gross knowledge.

Returning back to the Dr.King’s page on Wikipedia I looked into the history of the page to see if anything had been added to it recently. To my surprise I found that only certain people could revise the information on this page.USE  This is an important aspect of Wikipedia with the fact that they try to keep out the people that edit just to ruin pages. They seek the best information possible and they see the benefits similarly to Jenkins and other scholars explained in this quote “A growing body of scholarship suggests potential benefits of these emergent forms of participatory culture.”

One thing that also came up was the amount of traffic this page has gotten and continues to get.USE... People continually rely on this site for good helpful information as we can see in this picture. All of this information that is being taken in on a daily bases cannot simply come from one person who knows all about Dr.King. There are several people that have a specific knowledge about him and they come together through Wikipedia to inform the masses. This idea relates to a part in Jenkins’ article called Redefining Expertise which he discusses the concept that was just described.

We can see changes being made to this page about every couple of days but most of which are just minor changes. We know that no page will ever be truly complete but with the accessibility to this wealth of knowledge we can see there is a sign that Wikipedia is doing good for the world with the ability to bring together people from different parts of the world to get as much solid information on big topics of interest.

 

Work Cited

Jenkins, Henry. “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About The New Media Literacies.” Web log post. Confessions of an Aca-Fan. N.p., 26 June 2007. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.

For the second image : http://stats.grok.se/en/latest30/Martin%20Luther%20King%20Jr

For the first image: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Martin_Luther_King,_Jr.&action=edit

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One comment on “Reliable or Not? Wikipedia and Dr.King.

  1. The language of this post does a good job balancing between too formal and too conversational, so you sound reliable but still accessible. The post introduces Jenkins and your expertise with the subject of MLK early on, which can also add to the reader’s perception of you as a reliable source. Good job paraphrasing the term collective intelligence to make it easier to understand, but try to avoid attaching the application of the term to the definition (collective intelligence can exist outside Wikipedia, for example). Be sure to connect your images to the text of the blog post, and be sure to utilize images in a way that is most helpful to the reader, either by annotating them to direct the reader to useful information or by cropping the image so it contains only information related to your points. Being specific about the information from the images you are analyzing would have improved the reader’s sense of your analysis. Engaging with Jenkins more throughout could also have improved the analysis and the reader’s understanding of your main points. One idea that might be a good place to expand is the discussion of how the site is partially locked from edits—why would it be locked? Does this lock prevent or assist collective intelligence? The first paragraph of the post could be reduced or cut to accommodate more discussion of this point and more data for the analysis throughout. Also, don’t forget to use in-text citations to show what information is original to your blog and what comes from outside sources.

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