Shannon’s Corner

My Conversation on Social Media

Everyonelovesavegangirl & Melissasmusings Are On To Something

As I’ve remarked to everyonelovesavegangirl, I think her idea that one day there could be a “Wikipedia article about every person, place and thing in the world” isn’t so far off the mark.   Wikipedia is like the local community block watch where the individuals that live in the community know each other, meet regularly, police their own streets and work hard to provide a safe environment for their families.  So if Wikipedia endeavors to know everyone and everything, and they monitor their “home neighborhood” to prevent foul play, I think it’s a great idea and modeled off a system that we know provides a valuable service to many communities.  The information is already out there and it isn’t going to stop.  Just as you would watch your neighbor’s house or car while they were out of town, Wikipedia is simply extending this block watch philosophy to its entire online community.

Along the same topic, Melissasmusings also highlights the structured system of checks and balances Wikipedia employs and quotes Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody, “if enough people care enough about an article to read it, then enough people will care enough to improve it, and over time this will lead to a large enough body of good enough work to begin to take both availability and quality of articles for granted, and to integrate Wikipedia into daily use by millions.”   Melissasmusings’ great observation prompted me to compare the structure found within Wikipedia to that in the Neighborhood Watch program.  To demonstrate that I think Wikipedia is on to something, I looked at the statistics posted from the 2007 National Night Out initiative.  They estimate that “over 34 million people from families, communities, civic organizations, businesses and law enforcement agencies” participate with the mission to “enhance, support, and promote significant crime-and-drug control strategies in more than 10,000 communities.” In this program, average citizens are encouraged to volunteer in some capacity and just like with Wikipedia, everyone has something to contribute.  With Wikipedia creating and expanding its usefulness to consumers, the opportunity for increased participation and further growth seems to be unlimited.

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June 28, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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