[Air-l] Trusted Wikipedia

Alex Halavais halavais at gmail.com
Thu Sep 21 08:14:54 PDT 2006

On 9/21/06, Mary K. Bryson <mary.bryson at ubc.ca> wrote:
> "Recognition" is such a complicated construct. How to fashion a version of
> "recognition" that would make sense within the unique version of constraints
> that operate in Wikipedia would be a productive educational activity. It
> would be productive of something that would, in all likelihood, stage a
> return to some notion of "verifiable expertise". It's just so hard to avoid
> a return to the repressed. <snip>

Right, the same set of filters that are normally applied by librarians
when judging the reliability of a source, and that guide where we tend
to publish. As I suggested in the first email out, attaching this very
traditional mark to the existing resource may have little to do with
the actual content, but I think it would provide a way to link it to
existing structures of knowledge, without any loss in its autonomy.

In practice, students are being told by teachers all around the world
that they shouldn't trust Wikipedia. That would be great, if they were
also telling them not to trust anything else published. But this
appears to be skepticism mis-focused. By bridging the divide between
what are traditional technologies (techniques) of establishing
authority and new forms of communal authority, I think we allow for
more people to access and engage in collaborative knowledge building.

My aim is practical. I worry that many who could benefit from
Wikipedia, and who could benefit Wikipedia, are ignoring it because
there is no bridge from traditional sources of knowledge authority to
this new source. My hope is that such a resource would provide that

- Alex

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