Context

31 Oct

The arguments of these two articles are all based on the era of Web 2.0. Different from Web 1.0, Web 2.0 is an environment in where users cannot only get information but also generate information. According to the solution of correcting content mentioned by Nielsen (2010),

each time you make an edit, it’s sent to a randomly selected jury of your peers – say 50 of them. They’re invited to score your contribution, and perhaps offer feedback. They don’t all need to score it – just a few (say 3) is enough to start getting useful information about whether your contribution is an improvement or not. And, perhaps with some tweaking to prevent abuse, and to help ensure fair scoring, such a score might be used as a reliable way of signalling quality in the face of incomplete or uncertain information. (Nielsen, 2010)

To be honest, I doubt the feasibility of this solution. The amazement of Wikipedia is that everyone can “voluntarily” edit the content of the site.

“Protection is a tool for quality control, but it hardly defines Wikipedia,” Mr. Wales said. “What does define Wikipedia is the volunteer community and the open participation.” (Hafner, 2006)

There is no reason for those “peers” to help editing the content which they are not interested in. And, where should we find the “peers?” According to Baker (2007),

Wikimedia attracts 7 billion page views per month and Google refers 24% of its traffic. The only larger referral for traffic is internal links within the Wikimedia network. Meaning Google sends Wikimedia almost 1.7 billion referrals a month. (Baker, 2007)

This is 2007 data; I believe that the number can be much amazing now. From these amounts of users, how can we find the appropriate user to tweak the content?

Although there are the conflicts of Wikipedia that Nielsen (2010) mentioned about, I think the value of it does not be decrease. Just like Johnson (2010) mentioned,

WHEN TEXT IS free to combine in new, surprising ways, new forms of value are created. Value for consumers searching for information, value for advertisers trying to share their messages with consumers searching for related topics, value for content creators who want an audience. And of course, value to the entity that serves as the middleman between all those different groups. (Johnson, 2010)

Even though the content of Wikipedia is free for everyone, it still creates amazing value.

Basic economics tells us that in a competitive market, price falls to the marginal cost. There’s never been a more competitive market than the Internet, and every day the marginal cost of digital information comes closer to nothing. (Anderson, 2008)

Therefore, I think the connections mentioned by Johnson will stay alive since it is too hard to really charge from users. And the user-generate content will make this medium more and more profuse.

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4 Responses to “Context”

  1. aflaten November 3, 2010 at 10:36 pm #

    I agree that people really like the idea of getting their information for free. I am not surprised at all that, as mentioned in class, the folks at the Encyclopedia Britannica were upset at the findings that Wikipedia was just as accurate as their product. This means that the “value” that they attach to their product could be perceived as grossly inflated by their customers.

    This is the same problem journalism is facing now with the idea of the “walled gardens.” People are used to getting information for free now. They don’t want to pay for it when there are reliable sources online that they can look to for free. The difference is, if Wikipedia articles went through a sudden and massive decrease in quality, I believe people would notice and stop utilizing it. However, I sadly think that people have already accepted a decreased quality in journalism in exchange for it being free, and probably wouldn’t notice if (and when) it gets any worse.

  2. morganyang November 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    I agree with Johnson’s and your points. The free knoledge on the internet is world trend. I know the Intellectual property right is also important on the internet, but the borderless feature of internet seems hard to enforce the serious regulation of IPR. In my opinion, the merging online knowledge like Wikipedia is an inevitable future for the WWW.

  3. Mindy McAdams November 12, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    I was following your argument with no problem until the end and the last quotation. You were talking about editing and finding the right people to make edits in Wikipedia. Then you say Wikipedia has value (I agree). But then suddenly you throw in a quote that says information loses its value. You made no connection. This is random.

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