In our new media & society class, we spent a considerable amount of time examining the potential and limitations of the internet as a host for public discourse. We looked at many major social media platforms, and discussed whether networks like Facebook or Twitter have any democratizing potential. Along the same lines, I thought it would be interesting to see what other people think Wikipedia is, or is not. Hence I decided to look at the Wiki entry for: What Wikipedia Is Not: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not
This article originated in February of 2002.
This article is pretty lengthy, and can be edited by users itself. It seems that from the subtopics in this entry, most people agree that Wikipedia is not the following items:
-publisher of original thought
-a means of promotion
-a mirror or a repository of links, images, etc
-a blog or social networking site
-a crystal ball
There doesn’t appear to be much discussion on this page, except for some disagreement over exact wording in the section regarding Wikipedia’s censorship policies. I thought it was a good idea for Wikipedia to have such a page that details exactly what its users should not use Wikipedia as. Although Wikis may not be technically organized, as it would seem hard to organize people who do not know each other and did not plan out beforehand who is going to write what section, I have to argue that they are certain a good source of collaborative-produced knowledge. This particular Wiki has over 800 followers. It is very likely that these are a random sample of the population, and that many of these people are knowledgeable enough to contribute at least something to this Wiki.