Wiki me this

Here's my .02$ on the wikipedia research controversy. As a practical matter, research should include multiple sources to avoid inaccuracies in any reference, and facts critical to a serious paper should be cross-checked and ideally come from primary sources. Even Britannica isn't a totally accurate source of information (nod to Bumpkins for reminding us of this), and according to Nature is actually in the Wikipedia ballpark. Also, in this age of proliferating media, you have to be smart about where you get your information. Sciences and maths tend to be stronger on Wikipedia than humanities, as the latter tend to require more subjective interpretations and benefit from individual voices, something that Wikipedia is intentionally biased against. History and Literature are both fields full of grey areas, and also where there are no "hard" answers in the way that there are in science and math.

Wiki Politics

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Earlier this year Jefferson Smith, cofounder of the Oregon Bus Project came and spoke at Pomona. I found his talk very interesting, but one thing in particular really resonated with me. In his words, "There are two words that I've heard floating around that interest me more than anything else right now. Those two words are 'wiki politics.'"

That, to me, seems like the ultimate use of the wiki technology. Granted, the idea is impractical, poorly thought through, and just flat-out frightening, but it's worth thinking about. Supporters of the idea would consider it the purest form of democracy. Imagine it: a wiki Constitution, which the masses could mold to be whatever they'd like.

eBay shirt...

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This eBay item sure tells us about Wikipedia's impact on our culture -- and about its one well-known drawback!

Blog Lingo

I started to write a comment on BasilikonTron's post about blog lingo, but it turns out I have a post-worth to say . . .

On a media form updated incessantly and perpetually, I'm absolutely sure new blog lingo pops up daily, but for now I found a brief list of lingo. I really liked the "drive-by-blogging" . . . not that I'm an offender or anything. Yet.

Also on this topic, do you guys think generations growing up with blogs in the way ours did on AIM will incorporate blog lingo into their daily speech? (I do.) This phenomenon, of teenagers/bubbly college kids littering their real-life conversations with such exclamations like "omg!" and "lol, lol" speaks to the bleed of one media form into all realms of communication. How long until each media seeps into other ones and literally links together (like a metaphoric blog) to form a cohesive technological and communicative web?

Why So Much Emphasis on Facts

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I first learned in 7th grade history class that encyclopedias are not a viable research tool; they function as a reference for background information. I was not allowed to quote any information I obtained from Britannica or Encarta. The same rule applies for Wikipedia. While wikipedia might be an efficient way to check to see if I won a bet with my friend on whether or not Romeo and Juliet was a flavor, or brand, of cigar, I am not going to cite in my next research paper. So why do sooo many people care if there are slight errors here and there, or if someone makes himself look to be more important then he is.

To my fellow xenobloggers

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Instant messaging programs have a unique lingo (eg. rofl, lmao, gtg, brb.) so I wondered if blogs had their own.

Through an "advance" technology known as a search engine, I came upon Samizdata.net which contains a few terms that we covered like blogosphere. It also covers very obscure terms like blogroach and xenoblogger.

I do not know if we will adopt this lingo for our class blog, but I just wanted to put it out there in case we come across these terms later on. I do not believe this list is exhaustive.

By the way, xenoblogging refers to any work you do on another person's blog.

Stephen Colbert in talks to buy out Wikipedia

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The title of this post may sound hard to believe, but since I say it's true, it is. Hey, just tell people you read it on the Internet.

If you regularly watch The Colbert Report, you know Stephen's feelings on Wikipedia. On an episode of his show, he coined the term "Wikiality." I found it hilarious. This is what he had to say about it:

"You see, any user can change any entry, and if enough other users agree with them, it becomes true. ... If only the entire body of human knowledge worked this way. And it can, thanks to tonight's word: Wikiality. Now, folks, I'm no fan of reality, and I'm no fan of encyclopedias. I've said it before. Who is Britannica to tell me that George Washington had slaves? If I want to say he didn't, that's my right. And now, thanks to Wikipedia, it's also a fact. We should apply these principles to all information. All we need to do is convince a majority of people that some factoid is true. ... What we're doing is bringing democracy to knowledge."

Pimp Out Your Blog

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Apparently the new, hip thing to do with blogs is pimp them out through the use of widgets. They are interesting little add-ons, ice or platinum if you will, for the next generation blogger.

I saw a link to a nifty little widget at a quick glance, Pandora Radio player. I found this website using StumbleUpon which basically lets you enter in your interests and then it finds websites that match the criteria. Check it out for a

News on Wikipedia manipulation

Hey Y'all, I found a short blurb about Wikipedia manipulation. Microsoft apparently paid an established blogger to change a wikipedia article about a Microsoft program. Apparently it isn't kosher for a company to edit an article about itself because of the obvious conflict of interest, but maybe they can still get away with promoting their own products through a supposedly democratic service. Check out the link Wikipedia Manipulation

You've got to read this

Like I Care. Fits with what we're talking about all too well. Does anyone else feel this way about the internet today? I might expand on this later...

Enjoy!

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