The Collective Intellegance on Wikipedia’s Page on “Friends”

The Wikipedia page on “Friends” is very dense and has a lot of information, but to me, it does not bring the true essence of one of the most popular television shows of all time. With 168 references and thousands of editors to the page, I believe that all of the factual information is correct based off my knowledge on the show. What I really like about the page is the how in depth the section on the impact of the show on our culture is. Being an avid watcher, “Friends” truly is not just a television show, it has shaped culture and I believe the Wikipedia page justified that. One thing that I would have appreciated is if there was more of an emotional side to describing the show. “Friends” is an emotional adventure and if I had read this Wikipedia page before watching any episodes, I wouldn’t care to watch it. The overview of the characters and the description of the seasons are very brief. For instance, the character Rachel’s description only talks about the names of her boyfriends, her job changes, and her baby’s name. Rachel is much more than that. She embodies the many rich kids that rely on “daddy’s” money, eventually not knowing what to do when it is gone. I believe the show was so popular not because of each characters description and activities they did, but how they embody the different types of people that are in their twenties and how they live. And because of this, the Wikipedia page should explain that.

I do believe that this page is a great form of collective intelligence on “Friends”. It displays the series in a very factual and un-biased way with a lot of information that is consistently being edited. According to Henry Jenkins’ article on “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About The New Media Literacies”, Collective inelegance is “the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal” (Jenkins, Part 2). As stated before, there are thousands of editors on this page along with 168 references that are used. It is also semi-protected, allowing only established users to edit, which shows how popular this really page is.

Although the show has been over for a decade now, the page is still being regularly edited, with the last one being this month. Within Henry Jenkins’ article, Kevin Driscoll added that because people are big fans of television shows, that is something they document heavily (Jenkins, Part 2). The majority of the edits were made a few years after the finale and I think it is because after the show ended, re-runs were being played and people started to realize how good of a show it really was. The true fans, most likely the ones that edit the page, were and still are attached to the series. The edits that are being made now are on the cultural impact and the legacies that the show has left behind.

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I feel that Wikipedia is a place to learn, not just the facts and information, but the social, cultural, and emotional side to it, causing a well rounded understanding of the specific topic. There could be minor changes to the page to bring an emotional side to the series for a true understanding of what the show truly was. But overall the page provides adequate information on the overview, characters, seasons, etc. and goes into depth about the lasting legacy that the series has provided our culture.

 

Jenkins, Henry. “WHAT WIKIPEDIA CAN TEACH US ABOUT THE NEW MEDIA LITERACIES (PART TWO).” Web log post. Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., 27 June 2007. Web. 12 Feb. 2014.

“Friends.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 02 Nov. 2014. Web. 12 Feb. 2014.