[[ Wikipedia 101 ]] - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Wikipedia 101 l.jpg
1 / 45

[[ Wikipedia 101 ]] ...Or, how I learned to stop worrying and trust the Internet [[en:user:Phoebe_Ayers]] [[February 21]], [[2007]] Plan of action: Introductions What is Wikipedia? Wikipedia and librarians: why should you care? How to participate Where to find out more

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.

Download Presentation

[[ Wikipedia 101 ]]

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript

Wikipedia 101 l.jpg

[[Wikipedia 101]]

...Or, how I learned to stop worrying and trust the Internet


[[February 21]], [[2007]]

Plan of action l.jpg

Plan of action:

  • Introductions

  • What is Wikipedia?

  • Wikipedia and librarians: why should you care?

  • How to participate

  • Where to find out more

A quick introduction l.jpg

A quick introduction…

  • About me:

    • Reference librarian at the University of California, Davis, in the Physical Sciences & Engineering Library

    • Recent MLIS graduate (2005)

    • Wikipedian since 2003

    • Editor, and involved with Foundation-level projects

  • Why?

    • Librarians should understand the site: it’s not going away

    • Revolutionary, important new part of information landscape

What is it the free encyclopedia l.jpg

What is it?“The free encyclopedia”

But also:

  • Related to wiki-dictionaries, wiki-textbooks and citizen journalism projects

  • A place to find freely licensed images

  • A reference desk

  • A huge community

  • One of the world’s most popular websites

  • A project with a mission

Wikipedia basics l.jpg

Wikipedia basics

  • GNU/GFDL licensed content: free as in beer and free as in speech

  • Based on wiki technology

  • Open to all and editable by anyone

  • Edit anonymously or with an account

  • Funded mostly (>80%) by small

    individual donations

    • Small budget and 10 paid employees

    • Vast majority of work from volunteers

    • Hosting alone costs: $75,000/month

    • This is why we need money!

Slide13 l.jpg


~ 1,627,000 articles in English

~ 7,470,260 pages in English

~ 44,000 contributors to English (with more than 5 edits)

200+ languages

~ 5.5 million+ articles in all languages


Slide14 l.jpg



Alexa rank:

Britannica.com daily traffic rank (Feb 2007): 4,240

Wikipedia.org daily traffic rank (Feb 2007): 11

Wikipedia is more popular than l.jpg

Wikipedia is “more popular” than…

  • Ask Jeeves

  • Altavista

  • Google.uk, .ca, .it, .es, .de, etc (but not google.com)

  • NY Times

  • BBC

  • craigslist.org

  • Britannica.com (400x more popular)

  • AOL (passed Jan. 2006)

  • eBay (passed Nov. 2006)

    Feb 2007: # 11 site worldwide

Why wikipedia l.jpg

Why Wikipedia?

“Imagine a world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge…

That’s what we’re doing.”

-- Jimmy Wales

Why is wikipedia special l.jpg

Why is Wikipedia special?

  • Multilingualism/multiculturalism

  • People are using it

  • Astonishing size

  • It’s remarkably good

  • Fundamental change to information production, dissemination, and authority:

  • You’ve never seen anything like this before, ever

How does it work why is wiki syntax special and other pressing questions l.jpg

How does it work? Why is wiki syntax special? And other pressing questions….

Slide19 l.jpg

Social definition:A wiki is a tool forcollaboration, information sharingandknowledge/content managementTechnical definition:A wiki is a type of software to run a website thatanyone can editLots of different wiki packages available: MediaWiki (which runs Wikipedia) is just one

What is a Wiki?

The wiki was invented in 1995 by ward cunningham l.jpg

The “wiki” was invented in 1995by Ward Cunningham


  • Dozens of wiki engines & companies on the market, including:

  • “Enterprise wikis” – software for company intranets

    • (Socialtext, Confluence)

  • Free wiki hosting services –

    • Jotspot, Wikia, Wetpaint

  • Or, install your own:

    • Mediawiki, PhpWiki, Kwiki, etc. etc.

  • And dozens of communities and projects….

    • Including Wikipedia – famous and enormous

How does it work l.jpg

How does it work?

  • A wiki page starts more or less empty

  • Anyone can edit

  • Wiki pages are connected by internal hyperlinks,

  • And every page should be connected

  • No ownership of wiki content – anyone can work

    on any piece

6 main editing features l.jpg

6 main editing features:

Most wikis (incld. Wikipedia) have:

  • Edit this page - open editing of pages (sometimes with permission layers)

  • Distinct syntax – simple, non-html

  • Discussion – comment on a page or the site

  • Versioning or “diffs” – you can see every change that’s been made to a page

  • Recent changes - can (usually) see all changes made to the site

  • Revert – can always change a page back to what it was before

Reading an article l.jpg

Reading an article

Article title

Log in or create an account

Permanent link & citation for this article

In other languages

Edit this page l.jpg

Edit this page!

Use the edit summary!

Discuss the article l.jpg

Discuss the article

Edit this page to leave a comment about an article.

Page history l.jpg

Page history

Record of all the changes occurring to an article

Slide27 l.jpg

How to read a Wikipedia (MediaWiki) article history

Click to compare two versions

Edit summary

IP address of “anonymous edit”

Reversion of most recent edits to old version (poss. vandalism)

Date and time of edit

Compare to current version of article

Minor edit

Or most recent preceding version

Links to user page, user talk page, and user contribution history

Slide28 l.jpg

Wikipedia culture: Or, yes, there are a few rules Or, why would anyone spend their free time on this? Or, is anyone in charge around here?!?

Wikipedia culture and principles l.jpg

Wikipedia culture and principles

Most policies based on

The 5 pillars of Wikipedia:

  • Wikipedia is an encyclopedia

  • Neutral-Point-Of-View (NPOV)

  • Free content

  • Be bold, but stay cool

  • No firm rules!

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Five_pillars

Wikipedia culture cont l.jpg

Wikipedia culture, cont.

  • Anyone can edit: openness is important

  • Assume good faith

  • Policies determined by consensus

  • Dispute resolution is key

  • Hacker and open source culture

  • {{sofixit}}

“We make the Internet not suck” – Jimmy Wales

Who s in charge l.jpg

Who’s in charge?

  • A confusing (but working) mix of

    • Anarchy

    • Consensus and precedent

    • Meritocracy

    • Monarchy

    • Technocracy

    • Democracy

    • Republic

“Wikipedians are flexible about social methodology: results over process”

Meta:Power structure

Quote: Florence Devourd, current WMF board chair

Slide32 l.jpg

Wikimedia Foundation

Governed by Board of Directors

Foundation coordinates official (volunteer) positions:

Fundraising, legal, technical development, press, etc

MediaWiki (software)

And the projects:

Wiktionary Wikinews Wikipedia Wikiversity Wikiquote Wikisource Commons

Languages: English (en); German (de); Italian (it); etc.: 250 languages in total

Slide33 l.jpg




Developers, stewards, bureaucrats





(who’s respected)

Long-term users, lots of contribs, heavy community participation

Logged-in users with some contributions

less community participation

Anonymous IP edits

Vandals, trolls, sockpuppets

How does it all get done l.jpg

How does it all get done?

  • Collaboration

  • Individual initiative

  • No external or

    top-down direction:

    volunteers take charge

    of and start projects,

    write policy in

    response to needs

  • Strong social


Meetup in Sydney, February 2006

Slide35 l.jpg

< Austin, TX

^ St. Petersburg, FL – board of directors and Foundation officers

^ Three developers in Germany, Wikimania



^ Taipei, Taiwan

^ Seattle, WA

< Reykjavik, Iceland

Wikipedia as a reference work wikipedia and librarians or should we use it and when l.jpg

Wikipedia as a reference workWikipedia and librariansOr: should we use it, and when?

Wikipedia as a reference work l.jpg

Wikipedia as a reference work

  • Scope: everything

  • Three major inclusion guidelines:

    • Verifiability, Neutral Point of View, No Original Research

  • Audience: General

    • Specialized information or treatment ok, especially for specialty subjects

    • Not censored for “adult” topics

  • Authorship: may be anonymous or not

    • Exact authors recorded for every article

What wikipedia is l.jpg

What Wikipedia is:

  • Neutral and unbiased

  • Inclusive – covers any topic considered “encyclopedic”

  • Built on peer review – collaborative writing and lots of editors means many people to correct mistakes

  • Big – much bigger than any printed encyclopedia

  • International

What wikipedia isn t l.jpg

What Wikipedia isn’t:

  • Uniform

    • (many) topics are incomplete, unclear, and possibly wrong

    • (many other) topics are well explained, illustrated, referenced

  • Uniformly reviewed

    • some articles get more attention than others

  • Finished

    • Wikipedia articles can always change

  • Complete

    • There’s always something else to add!

What s it good for anyway l.jpg

What’s it good for, anyway?

  • “Gateway source”

  • When you know nothing about a topic

  • Casual information needs


  • Current topics – events in the news

  • Popular culture

  • Computers, math and (some) science

  • Anything at all?

Wikipedia and librarians l.jpg

Wikipedia and Librarians

  • Talk to your patrons

    • Gateway source

    • Not uniformly reviewed

    • May be inaccurate

  • Check cataloging and descriptions

  • Just another source…

  • And your patrons will use it

Teaching and wikipedia l.jpg

Teaching and Wikipedia

  • Wikipedia as a source

    • Good starting source, poor ending source

  • Wikipedia and information literacy

    • Think about what you read: how is it produced?

  • Wikipedia as an easy answer:

    • Easier to get to than traditional sources

  • Wikipedia on the Internet:

    • Other Net sources may copy Wikipedia: fact-checking should mean going to outside print sources

  • School policies: many possible variations

Article evaluation criteria l.jpg

Article evaluation criteria

  • Edit history

    • how many edits, who, content

  • Discussion page

    • Article evaluated by a wikiproject? Arguments?

  • References

    • Do they exist? What do they reference? Are there in-text citations?

  • Text style

    • Wikified? Follows formatting conventions? Reads well?

  • Verifiable?

    • Check in other sources

What can an info pro do l.jpg

What can an info pro do?

  • Edit

  • Add sources!

  • Categorize

  • Teach

  • Provide input …


  • Create an account

  • Dive in…

    • Start with topics you love

    • Participate in fact-check projects

    • Tap into the community

    • Be bold!

Questions thoughts phoebe ayers psayers@ucdavis edu l.jpg

Questions? Thoughts? Phoebe Ayerspsayers@ucdavis.edu

Slides and various handouts available at: http://people.lib.ucdavis.edu/psa/FSUclass.html

This file is licensed under Creative CommonsAttribution 2.0 License :

Cc-by-sa; reuse permissible with attribution; distribute derivative works only under an identical license

  • Login