Saturday, November 1, 2008

Week 9. Wikis, Wikipedia, Wiki books, and Collaborative Writing

This week, each of the students in the class has to create our own wiki account. By creating an account, your editing efforts will be recorded rather than being an anonymous contributor.

I believe that for most of the people the first wiki product they knew will be “Wikipedia,” an open-content encyclopedia, built on wiki technology (Bryant, Forte & Bruckman, 2005). It is also my experience. It is very common that you Google search a word, the first result comes out will be the Wikipedia. Later, because of some limitation, wiki created another application call “wiki chapter,” which allows more content to be present at one time. The article I read for this week called, “Becoming Wikipedian: Transformation of Participation in a Collaborative Online Encyclopedia.” This article explains what’s Wikipedia, and also present the creation process of the wikipedians. According to the authors, wikipedians can simply be categorized into 2 types: novice and experts. Novice is newbie in the wiki space, and their primary goal is collecting information. What they do is observing other wikipedians, and edits some minor errors such as grammar errors, spelling errors. However, for experts, they create contents. The goal for these wikipedians experts is not only contributes to quality contents but the appeal of community, and perceived contributions to society (Bryant, Forte & Bruckman, 2005). Wiki space provides a good place for scaffolding skills where novice improve their skills by observing or inquiring other wikipedians and when they are ready, they will take one step forward to edit other’s words. However, editing other’s work may cause some quarrel. To solve this problem, wiki space provided “talk pages” for these contributors to negotiate. All these activate provides wiki users a space to contribute to our community and also a space to negotiable to each other and produce quality products. This point is what I don’t know before I read these articles. Therefore, if I found people who critique the content quality of wiki products, I may try to let them know the content there is not merely cut and post, but collaborative writing products which going through a process of discussion and negotiation.

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

I also found the different online habits of wiki-users interesting this week. I was very interested in the motivation factor specifically because it has grown into such a well-known and valuable resourse so quickly, even though the users remain fairly anonymous.