[Air-l] Response to discussion on Wikis

Martin G. Smith martin at redseven.ca
Sun Oct 8 15:20:50 PDT 2006

I have followed with interest the commentary on wikipedia.  
As a researcher I rarely use it and when I do, it is for  
base line information, as a starting point. What interests  
me more, particularly in the front-line work I am engaged  
in, is the community which has developed around not only  
the wikipedia phenomenon as well the whole wiki culture.  
What concerns me about Charlie Balch’s comment on  
‘academic snobbery’ is that it is contrary to what  
academia is classically supposed to be about, and is  
certainly counter to the rapidly growing Open Courseware  
[OCW] movement. 
I suggest it might be incumbent on those said same  
academics to perhaps nudge the quality of wikis in general  
and wikipedia in particular which in turn improve the  
quality of the knowledge within the community as a whole.  
The ‘net has provided a means to accelerate the  
advancement of knowledge across a wide area, it is, I  
suggest the responsibility of those who are able, to help  
those who are learning to have the benefit, at least, of   
knowledge which is well founded. Wikis, in all their forms  
are the tools.  
Martin G. Smith - Proprietor/Co-ordinator 
RedSeven Services 
[*A Bridge Over The Abyss] 
Each day, as we walk the byways and flash along the Highway of Light: 
There are those who are left standing, as the march to flight goes by. 
Some to stop and wonder at the enormous potential at what 
has been created:  
But others who are left, standing in a rut at the side of the road, 
a rut too soon to become an abyss.  
So Then? What to do?  
Have said before, too many times to count, yet shall say again, as often as need be, 
until there is clarity in the air:  
The time has come to put a fence at the top of the cliff, instead of a net at the bottom: 
Thus giving a chance to build a bridge over the abyss.  

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