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Wikis and Online Patron Participation. Week Five, July 17. Housekeeping. Questions from last week? Topic requests for Week 6? Final Exam: Will be posted by 12:00pm on Monday To be handed in or posted (depending on preferred method) by the last class. Wikis. What is a wiki?

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Presentation Transcript
  • Questions from last week?
  • Topic requests for Week 6?
  • Final Exam:
    • Will be posted by 12:00pm on Monday
    • To be handed in or posted (depending on preferred method) by the last class
  • What is a wiki?
    • According to Wikipedia ( : “A wiki ( /ˈwɪki/WIK-ee) is a website that allows the easy[1] creation and editing of any number of interlinkedweb pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor.[2][3] Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used to create collaborative wiki websites, to power community websites, for personal note taking, in corporate intranets, and in knowledge management systems.”
  • Some background ...
    • “Wiki” comes from the Hawaiian word for “quick”
    • Site was formed in 2001
    • “There are more than 91,000 active contributors working on more than 16,000,000 articles in more than 270 languages.”
    • Citation:
wikipedia cont d
Wikipedia, cont’d...
  • Some tips:
    • When evaluating a Wikipedia source, remember to also check the top tabs:
    • Check the references section, and note while reading how many citations there are throughout the text
wikipedia cont d1
Wikipedia, cont’d...
  • What does Wikipedia cover?
    • ... Almost everything.
  • Who contributes to Wikipedia?
    • Any CAN contribute, but it is usually amateurs (see: Wikipedia’s “About” page)
  • Why contribute to Wikipedia?
    • Entertainment/outlet for expertise/etc.
  • 6 Degrees of Wikipedia (stolen shamelessly from 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon):
    • Go to and look up a topic of your choice as a 1st degree. Follow a link in the page to another topic for the 2nd degree, and so on, until you get to a 6th. We will then report on our page paths.
exercise example
Exercise Example
  • 1st degree: Library -
  • 2nd degree: Information Literacy -
    • Interesting external page found: - “Information Literacy encompasses knowledge of one’s information concerns and needs, and the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, organize and effectively create, use and communicate information to address issues or problems at hand; it is a prerequisite for participating effectively in the Information Society, and is part of the basic human right of life long learning.”
  • 3rd degree: Technology Information Literacy -
  • 4th degree: Digital Literacy -
  • 5th degree: Multimedia Literacy -
  • 6th degree: Media literacy -
    • “Media literacy is a repertoire of competences that enable people to analyse, evaluate and create messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres and forms. Education for media literacy often uses an inquiry-based pedagogic model that encourages people to ask questions about what they watch, hear, and read. Media literacy education provides tools to help people critically analyze messages, offers opportunities for learners to broaden their experience of media, and helps them develop creative skills in making their own media messages.”
    • Wikipedia CAN be elegant 
wikipedia cont d2
Wikipedia, cont’d...
  • Wikipedia as a “scholarly” resource, and why librarians need to be familiar with it:
    • Familiarity breeds usage – today’s students are so well-acquainted with Wikipedia that its use can threaten their desire and ability to use library resources that may be less user-friendly
    • It may be helpful as a jumping point, but should not be cited as a scholarly resource – students and patrons should be educated in using library resources when library staff get the chance (we pay a LOT for those databases!)
  • Using a topic of your choice, use Wikipedia to create a bibliography of 3 resources that a student could appropriately use in a research report/paper.
    • Hint: Use the “References” section at the bottom of topic pages
advantages of wikis
Advantages of wikis
  • Browser-friendly
  • Easy to discover new topics
  • Beginner-friendly language may usually be found in complicated/difficult topics
  • Good for discovering new non-wiki resources
  • A space to share personal expertise as a contributor
problems with wikis
Problems with wikis
  • Anyone can contribute: content is largely unregulated and may not be rooted in peer-reviewed/scholarly research (or even accurate for that matter)
  • Should never be cited in a scholarly bibliography
professional wikis
Professional wikis
  • Some organizations, including libraries, have internal wikis for their organizations
    • Advantages include:
      • Replacing some of the functions of more resource-intensive shared-drives
      • Quick editing for staff reference of things like program times, trainings, guidelines and standards, etc.
other wiki applications
Other wiki applications
  • Subject-specific guides
  • Example: Lostpedia, the wiki for the popular ABC show “Lost”
    • Can foster community growth
    • Can function as or incorporate an online forum
more housekeeping
More housekeeping
  • Questions?
  • Next week:
    • Turn in final exam
    • iTunes, Podcasts, OpenUniversity