A little while ago, I published a series of articles about Wikipedia, following a conference which took place last October in Amsterdam. Thanks to the open-site.org website, here is a little illustration of the prominence of the online encyclopaedia. Worthy of note is the fact that, after a long and passionate battle, encyclopaedia Britannica has eventually gone out of print. It is now restricted to its online version(s). All those extraordinary numbers exposed in this infographics should not force us to overlook some of the shortcomings embedded in the online Cyclopaedia, as explained and detailed in my article available at http://bit.ly/waleswm2
Jimmy Wales gave us a few example of new projects developed from the platform, in order to give us a flavour of what the future holds:
The Guttenplag wiki (http://de.guttenplag.wikia.com) for instance, is a full-fledged critical report of the Ph.D. dissertation of Karl Theodor Freiherr (Earl) zu Guttenberg in which the authors of the collaborative project demonstrated that 371 pages of that dissertation (i.e. over 60% of the whole document) were actually copied from other sources. This led to the resignation of this gentleman as defence minister of the Federal Republic of Germany (for details refer to “Karl Theodor zu Gutenberg: “baron without a title” BBC.co.uk 18th of February 2011). Hundreds of people, not just journalists, took part in this project, Jimmy pointed out. In essence, one could comment that what this Wikia platform is bringing the power of wikis to the people.
the Wikimedia foundation
… Is the mother company behind the online encyclopaedia. It’s primary source of funding is its yearly donation campaigns. “Last year’s campaign was most successful”, Jimmy Wells emphasised. $19 million were donated online, out of the $28 million which make up the annual budgets on the non-profit. Running servers and paying for the bandwidth supporting those millions of pages costs into money, and $28 million is a handsome budget. The aim of the foundation is to be “independent, neutral and avoid the whitewashing of anything for anybody”.
The new generation doesn’t know what a regular encyclopaedia is Jimmy Wales went on: he gave us evidence of that when he shared a tweet with us in which a teacher (see above picture) was asking a student what and encyclopaedia was and the student responded: “is it some sort of Wikipedia?”. One may well surmise that Wikipedia has become the epitome of an encyclopaedia … for better or for worse.
On October 26, I attended the iStrategy conference in Amsterdam. Here is part 2 of the account of Jimmy Wales’s presentation on Wikipedia and Wikia.
to gather all the parts of this post together, just type: http://bit.ly/walesvm![slide: topics sorted by percentage of page hits for top 100 pages – source: J Wales]
Pop Culture in Japan
Talking about usage, not all the world is using the popular online Cyclopaedia in the same way. Jimmy provided a very striking comparison (see above picture). The Japanese for instance, are very focused on pop culture which is according to Jimmy Wells, “a very important part of Japanese life”. I personally couldn’t imagine it could be any worse than in Britain and France but it is apparently…
On October 26, I attended the IStrategy conference in Amsterdam. Here is part 2 of the account of Jimmy Wales’s presentation on Wikipedia and Wikia.
to gather all the parts of this post together, just type: http://bit.ly/walesvm!
[photo by YAG: Chinese restaurants using the Wikipedia brand to name weird dishes ]
On October 26, I attended the IStrategy conference which took place in Amsterdam. I was there to deliver a keynote on social media are ROI/ROE, but I must confess I also attended the conference in order to listen to Jimmy Wales who gave us an overview of his celebrated online encyclopaedia: Wikipedia. I was there in the fourth row, with my notebook in my lap. Here is the account of Jimmy Wales’s most impressive presentation, a good means of taking a bit of hindsight and LAN learning to know better a collaborative website which everyone uses but few have in-depth knowledge about.
[photo by YAG: Jimmy Wales on stage at iStrategy in Amsterdam on October 26]