Friday, March 20, 2009

Wikiteers - All For One and One For All!

Hi Wikiteers,

I really enjoyed reading the article on Wikis, and as I read I began to think about the concept of the Wiki not being for just one person, but for all. I admit the image of the Three Musketeers with raised swords came to mind. Such is the world of a Wiki where all can write and all can edit. And, one can learn much, don't forget.

The part I liked the best was the use of the term collaborative. But, when knowledge is spoken of, and I agree with Maryann that using the word truth is a bit of a stretch (who can arbitrate the definition of "truth?), it is the term "collective spirit" that the author missed. So let me introduce or resurrect the term here. Perhaps, it is the "spirit" of the enterprise of critiquing, writing, publishing, and re-critiquing as a collective of wikiteers that defines the essence of a wiki. Now, I wonder, can wikis be archived for 500 years for future generations to ponder and learn from, and what will the Library of Congress do? I ask this as one with a drawn and publicized artifact sitting in the dusty archives of the Library of Congress. It is (my created artifact) is tangible, but this Wiki stuff, is not.

What I'm trying to say is that things are moving so fast that the notion of
authorship with Wikis is eroding. As stated, there's no claim to its journalism or credit for its participants. It advocates the lack of a need for authenticated publication, and I wonder what this is going to do to our library system? It's a first step in truly "doing away" with books with the notion of "open source" curriculums and texts... We're moving forward in the process towards the actual elimination of the tactile, dimensional, paper or cloth book.
Sigh...It's not the lack of authorship, it's the moving away from what you can hold in your hand.
This was something we all speculated about with the creation of the internet and the satellite age. I do see the "collective spirit" transforming, shifting, mutating. Yes, it's a living organism, still. It's always been that. The way we manipulate content is changing; it's form is changing. But with it, is a moving away from the sanctity of individual authorship, and the "pride" of it, so to speak. Now we have less space to be ourselves, and must accept how to work in an "open" context. I wonder if this is how my parents felt watching the first Apollo rockets transform and revolutionize into the first Space Shuttle? (Aaahh..It's just the cassette tape becoming the CD or DVD).) The book becomes a Wiki.....or a blog.

What would Alexandre Dumas think about the wiki? What if he wrote The Three Musketeers as a Wiki and someone changed the second chapter or the ending, and he could do nothing about it? This is a little sad to think about, that's all...but, I guess the glass is half empty or half full. So, let's raise our glasses...or, our swords "so to speak" and get busy wikiteers! All for one and one for all!

Check this out: cliki here !

Hope you enjoyed it!



  1. Your creativity shines through, even in cyberspace! You've made a great point with you Library of Congress example. How will all these Wikis be archived? How will we access this information when someone can remove the Wiki or modify it drastically?

  2. I managed to draft this on Saturday, intending to comment on wiki's and blogs later in the weekend, but the n this cold worsened and now I can't even make it into work today...

    Interesting read, Jill. While I agree with a lot of what everyone has been saying in terms of the benefits and uses of wiki's, I also think you're on to something regarding authorship and preserving works.

    Also, if wiki's are relied upon almost exclusively because they are fast, easy, have so much content, etc, who or what becomes the source if one is writing an academic paper and what kind of a source can they become writing a paper that way? Rightly or wrongly or however naive this may sound, I don't see myself ever accepting wiki's as primary sources, perhaps not even official sources. Imagine telling Dr. Cozart our 12 PBA references are all wiki's we came across, there's no one author who has been recognized professionally, and we chose not to search for or couldn't find any useful "peer edited, professional journal articles"?

    As much as I agree with others' posts, albeit not nearly as excitedly, I also fear the abandonment of some older yet still effective tools and methods in favor of wiki's too often and too quickly, instead of using the wiki's as mere supplement within the classroom (although, yes, they are fun. Yes, we can get information on a wide variety of subjects using them, sometimes a lot of information. Yes, they are edited extremely fast at times, and by anyone - most of which want the info to be correct, which is good. Yes, we can learn from them. Yes, they are interactive and collaborative by nature.

    Lastly, and I'm merely poking fun at technology herein in order to end on light note (not speaking out against wiki's by any means), I would prefer to walk onto a tennis court rather than search for a wiki that discusses how to hit a forehand (oh wait, there's Wi now. Perfect. We can search tennis forehands on a wiki, then practice on Wi, all without ever stepping outside. How neat).