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The Wikipedia Revolution

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The Wikipedia Revolution: How A Bunch of Nobodies Created The World's Greatest Encyclopedia is a 2009 popular history book by new media researcher and writer Andrew Lih

At the time of its publication it was "the only narrative account" of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia in English It covers the period from Wikipedia's founding in early 2000 up to early 2008 Written as a popular history, the text ranges from short biographies of Jimmy Wales, Larry Sanger and Ward Cunningham, to brief accounts of infamous events in Wikipedia's history such as the Essjay controversy and the Seigenthaler incident

Lih describes the importance of early influences on Wikipedia including Usenet, Hypercard, Slashdot, and MeatballWiki He also explores the cultural differences found within sister projects such as the German Wikipedia, the Chinese Wikipedia, and the Japanese Wikipedia

There is a foreword by Wales, and an afterword partially created by volunteers through an online wiki detailing the problems and opportunities of Wikipedia's future

Book Summary

Chapter 4

Main article: History of Wikipedia

Since Nupedia wasn't working efficiently and articles weren't being generated fast enough, Wales and Sanger decided to try WikiWikiWeb software They found that pages could easily be created and stored as simple files on a server They named this new software, UseModWiki While it was relatively easy use for programmers, it was difficult for those working on an encyclopedia Wales and Sanger launched the project even with practical problems Sanger launched the Wiki experiment and attempted to launch Nupedia Nupedians initially felt they could use Wiki to generate more content, but whether it was the intimidating CamelCase programming or the fact that Nupedians had to admit others into their inner circle of creating articles, things did not go well Wikipedia spin off into a separate project in 2001 and Wikipedia was launched Articles started to take shape The Recent Changes page, the tool for tracking all edits on the site, proved to be valuable Sanger spent more time on this site since its structure was loose and required more structure As more contributors came to Wikipedia, there was a pressing need for editors to comment on and discuss each other's changes The UseModWiki creator, Clifford Adams, made suggestions for customizing his program for Wikipedia's needs and proposed a new "syntax" called free linking Instead of writing links in CamelCase, this new convention would use double brackets around words This was common in open source culture, and Adams shared this solution with others As a result, six hundred articles were completed a few weeks This solution expedited the writing of articles greatly Started originally as a user-contributed new site, Slashdotorg listed significant technology stories in a blog format to foster discussions Some site operators served as editors and sifted through user submissions to post on their front page important technology stories taken from other outlets To guard against those gaming the system, users were tapped to "watch the watchers" by performing meta moderation and asked to rate the ratings Users were selected to view certain ratings at random without knowing who was involved in giving out the moderation points This auditing system of ratings also worked well the result was a community that could be depended upon to rate dozens of stories a day, deal with thousands of comments and sift through mounds of material

Chapter 7

While Wikipedia has proved to be successful, there have been problemsTroublesome people who may be intelligent, yet interact with others in a nasty way resulting in disruptions and driving away possible users are called trolls by Wikipedia Trolls caused trouble by creating articles about controversial or offensive subjects Larry Sanger began to see problems with Wikipedia's lack of stringent rules in 2001 and he saw the need for more control and direction Some contributors, like the notorious Cunctator, seemed to take great delight in instigating conflict, especially with Sanger Sanger appeared to be someone who demanded a certain amount of control which angered the Cunctator and others in the community This "troll" started trouble by writing an accusatory public Wiki essay about ways to make trouble in Wikipedia Software hacker, Eric Raymond, wrote his essay extolling the virtues of the open source Linux project which was directly counter to Sanger's espousing of more authority from the top This open, inclusiveness leaves communities vulnerable to trolls , and Larry Sanger was not tolerant of this behavior As a result, there was constant conflict over the type of community Wikipedia would be and Sanger was asked to leave WikipediaWales stepped in He understood the open source culture and in a neutral way allowed the Wiki community to function on its own Wales understood how to maintain a delicate balance between too little and too much control His low-key style struck a chord with the Wikipedia community for the next few years

Publication

  • Andrew Lih The Wikipedia Revolution: How A Bunch of Nobodies Created The World's Greatest Encyclopedia Hyperion, March 17, 2009 ISBN 978-1-4013-0371-6
  • Andrew Lih The Wikipedia Revolution: How A Bunch of Nobodies Created The World's Greatest Encyclopedia Aurum, March 19, 2009 ISBN 978-1-84513-473-0

See also

  • Bibliography of Wikipedia
  • History of Wikipedia

References

  1. ^ Biography, Andrew Lih's homepage
  2. ^ Andrew Lih The Wikipedia Revolution Hyperion, March 17, 2009 ISBN 978-1-4013-0371-6
  3. ^ "Everybody Knows Everything", Jeremy Philips, The Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2009
  4. ^ "Wikipedia: Exploring Fact City", Noam Cohen, New York Times, March 28, 2009
  5. ^ 'The Wikipedia Revolution', biography of Andrew Lih
  6. ^ Wikipedia Revolution Wiki
  7. ^ a b c d e "Download The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia CHM PDF DJVU Epub - turnbooksforuoverblogcom" turnbooksforuoverblogcom Retrieved 2016-11-01 
  8. ^ "Download The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia CHM PDF DJVU Epub - turnbooksforuoverblogcom" turnbooksforuoverblogcom Retrieved 2016-11-08 

External links

  • The Wikipedia Revolution, official website
  • "Wikipedia: Exploring Fact City", Noam Cohen, New York Times, March 28, 2009
  • "Wikipedia's Old-Fashioned Revolution", L Gordon Crovitz, The Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2009
  • Lih, Andrew 25 March 2009 "Book Discussion on The Wikipedia Revolution" c-spanorg C-SPAN Retrieved 12 April 2015 
  • "Like Boiling a Frog", review by David Runciman in The London Review of Books, May 28, 2009

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