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Flog of the Prokonsul

Internet fluency, digital governance and Wikipedia propaganda. You have been warned.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Fourth time the charm & wiki update

As I hoped, the fourth scheduled meeting with the ACLA people actually took place. We had a really pleasant conversation - they are quite interested in increasing their tech-savviness, which is not small to start with. We agreed that I will hold 2 or more workshops for librarians about wikis and Wikipedia; the first one will take place early December, the second one around January-February (so it is outside the class commitment but as those who know me I certainly don't mind talking about wikis... :>).

That actually reminds me - if any of you think the people you work with may be interested in a workshop/discussion on wikis and Wikipedia, don't hesitate to let me know.

As for the digital divide, I thought I'd update you on the recent activity in the article since our FastTrack meeting. I am skipping vandalism, its reverting or bot technical edits.
* on 28 October a new user - Technobadger - appeared and carried out a big edit. The user had edited Wikipedia before so I don't think he is one of us, unfortunately.
* on 1 November an anonymous user (one who had not created an account) has added a new section to the article ("Challenges and social detrements"); unfortunatly it is unreferenced. IP has been traced to Reston, Virginia, which is close enough for me to believe it may be somebody from our course. Thanks for contributions, and consider those two hints: 1) register 2) cite your sources.
* a few minor edits traced to University of Michigan occurred on November 2
* on November 3 a new user, Jaded.snowflake, has made his or her first and only edit (so far) to Wikipedia, adding a sentence that "The digital divide network, is the internet's largest community for citizens working to bridge the digital divide."
* on November 4 Technobadger carried out several other relatively minor edits
* on November 5 registered user Grosscha carried out several other minor edits. That user hails from Michigan Univerisity, which likely makes the anon November 2 edits his.
* finally, on November 6 Technobadger returns with a single minor fix

On the other note - tying this with Lessig's discussion about privacy - consider that while non-registered users are identified by their IP and can thus be traced to their point of origin (sometimes, IP tracing is always a gamble), registered users have their IP hidden and only few selected administrators (me not being one of them) can see them. Personally I wish this would not be so - seeing editors location would allow to determine bias and catch some users who 'cheat' by having multiplie accounts (for example, vote stacking; we call this "sock puppeting" on Wiki). But the majority is opposed to this, apparently valuing privacy over information. Similarly, there is no requirement to provide any - or true - information about oneself on your Wikipedia user page (which everybody gets after registering). Considering Wikipedia's Conflict of Interest policy, and events such as Essjay controversy and the revelations of WikiScanner, I wonder - would you agree or disagree with motions that
1) all Wikipedia's editors should have publicly visible IP address and
2) all Wikipedia's editors should provide a rough biography (at least age, nationality, education and employment) on their user page?

PS. Do you know Wikipedia is having a fundraiser? LOL.

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