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[[ 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 .

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[[ Wikipedia 101 ]]


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    1. [[Wikipedia 101]] ...Or, how I learned to stop worrying and trust the Internet [[en:user:Phoebe_Ayers]] [[February 21]], [[2007]]

    2. Plan of action: • Introductions • What is Wikipedia? • Wikipedia and librarians: why should you care? • How to participate • Where to find out more

    3. 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

    4. 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

    5. 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!

    6. Currently: ~ 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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:English-language-wikipedia-.png

    7. wikipedia.org britannica.com Alexa rank: Britannica.com daily traffic rank (Feb 2007): 4,240 Wikipedia.org daily traffic rank (Feb 2007): 11

    8. 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

    9. 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

    10. 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

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

    12. 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?

    13. The “wiki” was invented in 1995by Ward Cunningham Today: • 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

    14. 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

    15. 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

    16. Reading an article Article title Log in or create an account Permanent link & citation for this article In other languages

    17. Edit this page! Use the edit summary!

    18. Discuss the article Edit this page to leave a comment about an article.

    19. Page history Record of all the changes occurring to an article

    20. 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

    21. 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?!?

    22. 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

    23. 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

    24. 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

    25. 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

    26. Foundation board Arbcom Developers, stewards, bureaucrats Admins English-language Wikipedia Meritocracy (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

    27. 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 community Meetup in Sydney, February 2006

    28. < Austin, TX ^ St. Petersburg, FL – board of directors and Foundation officers ^ Three developers in Germany, Wikimania conference 2005 ^ Taipei, Taiwan ^ Seattle, WA < Reykjavik, Iceland

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

    30. 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

    31. 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

    32. 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!

    33. What’s it good for, anyway? • “Gateway source” • When you know nothing about a topic • Casual information needs Topics: • Current topics – events in the news • Popular culture • Computers, math and (some) science • Anything at all?

    34. 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

    35. 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

    36. 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

    37. What can an info pro do? • Edit • Add sources! • Categorize • Teach • Provide input … How? • Create an account • Dive in… • Start with topics you love • Participate in fact-check projects • Tap into the community • Be bold!

    38. Questions? Thoughts? Phoebe Ayers psayers@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