Friday, December 14, 2007

Learning 2.0: Assignment #16

Wiki wiki wiki. Whenever I hear the...word?...term?...I think of Buck Rogers. Or Hawai'i. Or Buck Rogers in Hawai'i! Now that would be a sight!

I find the concept of wikis fascinating, but often difficult in real use. Going back to my foundation belief that information democracy is a primary ideal, wikis are wonderful because it allows folks to share and collaborate on any topic. Certainly, gems can be found thanks to the hive mind, so in that way wikis are wonderful.

On the flip side, just about anyone can spout "facts" on a wiki, no matter if they've studied the topic for a day or a decade. Vandalism, of course, is also a problem. So how do you maintain the ideal of public collaboration while keeping out those who are damaging to the usefulness of the wiki -- intentionally or not? I have no answer for this, nor do I know of a truly fair solution.

All that said, collaboration can be wonderful -- especially for those with different backgrounds, patronage and points-of-view. Certainly, there would be a lot for me to learn from a librarian based in, say, rural Kentucky or a military base in Guam. Library Success aims for this ideal and seems to be off to a great start if the participants stay involved. Perhaps the creators have already considered this, but it would be nice to have them reach out to experts on certain topics (e.g., the "Services for the Poor and Homeless" section is very sparse) and ask them to get the ball rolling for the group as a whole. Listing these experts as participants would also help in getting the word out in an effective manner on listservs, etc.

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