Aside

Angel Valencia

Is Wikipedia reliable? Is it considered a source? Is Wikipedia good or bad? Both? A lot of questions arise when it comes to Wikipedia. Many experts will say Wikipedia is not reliable, others say its just a quick starting point for research. But overall, can we trust the information that’s put on Wikipedia by “average people”? That’s one, if not the main question presented by the 2-parted article: Henry Jenkins’ “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About New Media Literacies.”

The Wikipedia article I selected was Comedy Central’s Tosh.0. The show is considered controversial, shocking, and funny. Despite it’s infamous comedy style, the show is one of the most watched shows among adults (18-49) the night its aired, averaging millions of viewers (Tosh.0). I chose this page because of its history involving Wikipedia. Jenkins talks about collective intelligence, “the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal” (Jenkins). Just like the Tosh.0 page and others, people really do work together on Wikipedia to put together information for the common good. For example, the Tosh.0 page has had about 959 revisions, and 382 by top ten users. It averages about 16 edits a month, a slow average particular due to the page being locked to some. Most are minor, but Wikipedia and users do a good job at keeping the information relevant and accurate. Despite a control in user activity with the page, there’s can still be questions raised on true accuracy. 

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Is the information on Wikipedia put by people assumed to be correct 100% of the time? One can argue that not all information is right. Jenkins raises the question by stating, “There are legitimate concerns about the credibility of online information and the breakdown of traditional notions of expertise which should be debated.”(Jenkins) The statement refers to concern of the younger generation not questioning the source of Wikipedia; instead, they rely on it, or have too much “faith” in it. Because a lot of non-scholarly experts write Wikipedia pages, it’s hard trust in its accuracy. I bring up this point because Tosh.0 has had a history with Wikipedia. In 2010, Daniel Tosh told his viewers to change up a “boring page” for the show, causing quite a stir. The page was severely vandalized for comical reasons, resulting in a lockdown for the page, and an “apology” by Daniel to Wikipedia (Wikipedia).

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Just like this page, if a student, referred by Jenkins, were to stumble upon wrong information on the page, would they question it? If a source of information can be altered and revised in a non-accurate way, is it still a true source of information? Yes and No. Its no surprise Wikipedia has suffered a lot of vandalism misfortune with its information. However, Wikipedia does its best to stop this kind of activity. For example it will lock up pages, so only a selected few can edit them. Such is the case with the Tosh.0 Wikipedia page that is still locked to the unregistered to this day. It is important to monitor activity on Wikipedia, since it is a source of information used by a lot of people. Even If the information is not scholarly, it is still information put together by people” towards a common goal.” Overall, Information should be questioned with Wikipedia, although it’s a still a good source for general knowledge, and not super-detailed, super-accurate knowledge.

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Work Cited:

 Jenkins, Henry. “WHAT WIKIPEDIA CAN TEACH US ABOUT THE NEW MEDIA LITERACIES (PART ONE).” Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., 26 June 2007. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.

 “Tosh.0.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.

 “Wikipedia in Culture.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.

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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

Pink Floyd

What is collective intelligence? It sounds like something pretty sophisticated, doesn’t it? Henry Jenkins believes that, everyone knows something, but no one knows everything. Jenkins defines collective intelligence as, “…the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal” (Jenkins, part 2). Modern society is full of collective intelligence. With so many communication tools at our disposal, collective intelligence is fairly easy to come by, take Wikipedia for example. A website where users can contribute their information and publish it to a central location seems very convenient, but the fact that almost anyone can edit these article does raise some red flags.

Growing up, my father had always stressed that I should listen to “real” music – not some compilation of sounds jumbled up from a computer to make music. He got me listening to artists and bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews Band, Carlos Santana, and Peter Gabriel. Of all the bands he showed me, my favorite was certainly Pink Floyd. Given that my father grew up listening to Pink Floyd, I had no reason to doubt him and what he had told me about them. The Wikipedia page matches the same information that he had told me. Everything from their rise to fame in the 1960’s to the breaking up of the band and beyond is correct and I would think that because of the number of edits the page has had since it began in 2001.

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With almost 16,000 edits and with over 9,000 edits coming from the top 10 percent of active users, it’s safe to say that Wikipedia’s collective intelligence on Pink Floyd is accurate.

The Pink Floyd Wikipedia page is also one of the most frequently visited pages of all of Wikipedia. Within the last 30 days, the article has been visited 233,385 times! The amount of web traffic alone should say something about the accuracy of the article. With that many people visiting the page, the information needs to be as precise as possible.

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From generating so much web traffic, Wikipedia does not grant permission for just anyone to edit. There are certain criteria that a user must meet before being able to edit this article, which can also attest to the validity of the information given to us in the article. In this case, collective intelligence is a beautiful thing and has become an everyday occurrence.

Works Cited:

“Pink Floyd.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Feb. 2014. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.

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.

Sherlock (TV show)

The Wikipedia page on Sherlock (British TV show) contains a lot of information and covers a large set of topics, from the production to the reception. Between those two topics, editors wrote about the actors, the conception of the show and even about the music without forgetting the episodes. After reading this article I think I can assert that all the information seem correct from my knowledge of this show. I think this article very well convey the spirit of the show. It is a television production based on the stories of a famous and almost mythic detective. However those stories have been modified to fit in the modern society. The Wikipedia article looks pretty complete and if I had one thing to add it would more details about each character, especially about Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, but there is an article fully dedicated to the characters of the show. If I put myself in the shoes of someone who has not seen the show, I think I would be interested in watching it after reading this article.
With more than a thousand users editing for this article, we could think the information would not be accurate but as far as I know, it is. Thanks to 127 references, users were able to verify the content of their posts. According to an article written by Henry Jenkins, “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About The New Media Literacies” (Part One), “The [Wikipedia] community has taken on responsibility to protect the integrity and accuracy of its contents.”
The show was aired in 2008 and the article was edited for the first time this same year, we are now waiting for season 4 and precisions are added to the article regularly (the last editing was 4 days before I wrote this post). Because this TV show is based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a lot of people are attracted and want to know what this show is like before they actually watch it. This article is exactly what they need because it conveys a really factual point of view. 

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In other words, I think this article about the British TV show Sherlock is a great source of collective intelligence. It allows people to learn about the show and I think all the parts are quite complete. In my opinion, this article is a good overview of this masterpiece.

 

 

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.
Sherlock, Wikipedia. Web. 9 Feb. 2014

Kate Voegele

Kate Voegele has been my favorite musician since I first heard her sing and watched her on the television show “One Tree Hill” back in 2008. She is an American singer-songwriter and actress and made her debut in music in 2003. So far she has released three albums and is currently working on her fourth, hoping to be released sometime in 2014. She is not the most well known musician and most people have never heard about her. I decided to choose her Wikipedia page because I know it would not be extensively long and I know a lot about her music and life. Her page was created June of 2005 and has had a total of 937 revisions in the past 8 years; which is not much at all. The most recent edit was made January 2, 2014 and there is only an average of 9 edits per month.

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In Henry Jenkins “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About New Media Literacies” he talks about collective intelligence and how Wikipedia is the perfect example of it. Collective intelligence is “the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal” (Part 2). This Kate Voegele page however does not showcase a huge amount of collective intelligence. The whole page is mostly about her music and has nothing but a sentence about her early life and personal life. There is no knowledge pooled about her life and the page does not describe who she is at all.

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Henry Jenkins also mentions “collective intelligence places new emphasis upon diversity: the more diverse the participants, the richer the final outcome” (Part 2). I noticed as well in Kate Voegele’s Wikipedia page that there was not a diverse amount of participants. Therefore the final outcome is not particularly rich. As you can see there is one main user, “wkhelp” who has made 38 edits and the number of edits rapidly decrease from there. There is not a diverse amount of participants which also in turn creates mistakes that have not been fixed. The last line of the page states she is working on her fourth album and it is set to release in 2013. It is currently 2014 already and the last edit was made in January but no one has fixed this mistake yet.

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One thing I did notice was the most edits that has happened on her page is in 2009, more specifically May. May 2009 was when her album “A Fine Mess” was released and she was still on “One Tree Hill” at that time. This was probably her biggest and most popular album thus far. The pattern of edits seem to show that when a new album is released the edits increase as well.

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All in all I feel her Wikipedia page is not a great example of collective intelligence because it has been up for about 8 years now and there is not much content and only about 900 edits. The most interesting part and another defining factor as to why it is not a great example of collective intelligence is because the Wikipedia page is the second link to show up when you Google Kate Voegele.

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Works Cited

http://henryjenkins.org/2007/06/what_wikipedia_can_teach_us_ab_1.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Voegele

Wikipedia Page on Graceland (album)

I remember being in high school and trying to do a report over Rivers Cuomo. His Wikipedia page was a great source for me and so I used it for my report. My teacher did not have the same sentiment as me. She expressed ideas that are very similar to those discussed in Henry Jenkins’ article titled “What Wikipedia Teaches Us About New Media Literacies”. He analyzes the purposes of Wikipedia and with his lecture in mind, I looked at the Wikipedia page for Graceland, the album by Paul Simon. This page discusses the awards won by the album, those credited, some album background and the track listing, but is not a scholarly source or an unflawed source because of the concept of collective intelligence.

Having reviewed the information present on the Wikipedia page, I feel that the viewers are not getting the full picture of the album. The background information on the album does touch on his failure with the album Hearts and Bones and his peaked interest in the Boyoyo Boys, but does not discuss the trouble he encountered and how crazy people thought he was for wanting to go to Africa and search out their best musicians to feature on the album. Also, I feel as though the reader is limited because Wikipedia is not capable of providing information and a link to the Boyoyo Boys, which was a trigger for the entire album.

Boyoyo Boys   Wikipedia  the free encyclopedia

Now the question of whether or not this Wikipedia page represents the idea of collective intelligence arises. Jenkins defines collective intelligence as “the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal”. I analyzed the history of edits to find that 580 revisions have occurred on the page from mostly everyday users, which exemplifies collective intelligence. 

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In the article I found issues that have occurred on the page based on it’s ability to pool knowledge from everyday people. Things throughout the history were labeled red, which stands for a deletion. This really helps to understand why some teachers and educators may “worry that youth aren’t developing an appropriate level of skepticism about the kinds of information found on this particular site” (Jenkins). If Wikipedia has to worry about deleting certain edits, than it is good to be weary of what may be a falsity on a Wikipedia page.

User Fritz Saalfeld   Wikipedia  the free encyclopedia

This one stood out to me. This edit was deleted based on the fact that the username and profile of this editor could not be traced. Had I been reading this page before the users edit was removed, I would have been presented with potentially misleading information about the album.

Overall, Wikipedia is an educational source and a good example of the idea of collective intelligence, but it is a common space for knowledge and, due to this, needs to sometimes be taken with a grain of salt or used as a starting point for research on a topic.

 

Works Cited:

“Graceland(album)”.Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 13 February 2014.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graceland_(album)

Jenkins, Henry. “WHAT WIKIPEDIA CAN TEACH US ABOUT THE NEW MEDIA LITERACIES (Part one)”.  Web log post. Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., 27 June 2007. Web. 13 February 2014.

Manchester City F.C.

Wikipedia, according to Henry Jenkins, is a tangible representation of the New Media principle, Collective Intelligence. I found an article on Wikipedia.org about the Manchester City Football Club. (M.C.F.C.) From the article’s creation in January of 2003, to its most recent edit, the 12th of February 2014, it has accumulated  6,895 total revisions. 71.23 percent of these revisions were users, and 28.77% were just IPs.

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This article is a fantastic example of collective intelligence in Wikipedia as well as our culture. One Editor by the pseudonym ‘Oldelpaso’ made 582 edits on this article alone. This user seems to have credibility as he only edits football articles as well as witnessed Manchester City F.C. take the premier league Championship in 2012. This user is also been a wiki editor since February of 2005. Other large editors of this page share a similar story. The article’s credibility is also justified by the fact that its editing is now semi restricted. I find the article to be well laid out when it chronologically displays the history of the club. Manchester City F.C. historically has only been a successful club the last few years. They won the 2012 Barclay’s Premier League title as the article chronicles. My knowledge of the club does not exceed what is presented in this document, however, everything I do know about M.C.F.C. is correctly depicted in this article.

Jenkins suggests that participatory culture becomes collective intelligence in his blog post, What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About the New Media Literacies. In Wikipedia articles like this one, the term “scholarly article” doesn’t exactly fit as how FMS 110 and Jenkins define it. However, M.C.F.C. has a huge fan base and this articles credibility to being collective intelligence comes from the fan base’s collective knowledge. Fans tend to be crazy about their teams, especially in the premier league in England.

I find that the article provides extensive knowledge and towards the club and its history. It has been edited by two thousand three hundred seven users. fifty-four and a half percent of these edits come from the top ten percent of active users. Jenkins would find that this article qualifies as relevant to new media studies. Increasing reliance on Wikipedia can be dangerous but only if the articles used are scholarly as it has been defined. Here is a better example of how communities of people can use Wikipedia to put their passion into the palms of anyone interested or curious about the subject matter.

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. 13 Feb. 2014.

http://henryjenkins.org/2007/06/what_wikipedia_can_teach_us_ab.html

“Manchester City F.C.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 February 2014. Web. 13 February 2014.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchester_City_F.C.

“Manchester City F.C. – Article revision statistics” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 February 2014. Web. 13 February 2014.

https://tools.wmflabs.org/xtools/articleinfo/index.php?article=Manchester_City_F.C.&lang=en&wiki=wikipedia