Jul 21, 2006

Wikipedia alliance with Library of Congress and USHMM

"Wikimedia Foundation representatives met this week with officials from two major institutions regarding the issue of access to archival materials. The Library of Congress has expressed interest in including Wikipedia content as part of its archive collection, while also indicating that it could make a sizable amount of its own material available for use on Wikimedia projects. In addition, use of a substantial collection belonging to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is being negotiated (...) The material would be available on terms compatible with Wikipedia licensing.. " (read the rest of Signpost story) It's nice to see traditional knowledge holders are begining to realize their goals are compatibile with Wikipedia. This is the snowball effect I have been mentioning from time to time - one of the factors supporting Wiikipedia exponential growth. Sure, they will be exceptions. But whenever somebody "breaks" and starts cooperating with Wikipedia, it makes it that much easier - or necessary - for others to follow his suit. And one of the beauties of this is that when you start working with Wikipedia, you enter the realm of open sourced and copylefted information. If Library of Congress starts supporting GFDL or CC, it will be a good day for all citizens :)


Jul 15, 2006

Wikipedia news flash - 15 July 2006

Rosenzweig's excellent academic article on Wikipedia draws relatively little attention from outside world, which is a shame, because all who read it agree it's top class. Have you read it yet? If no, it's a must.

Wikimania is almost here. But if you cannot make it to Boston, do not worry - Wikimania is open to online participation, too! There will be live audio and video streams, and of course live possibility to offer feedback during various discussions, Q&A sessions, and such.

Another chapter in Wikipedia's Holy Grail Quest - the stable version part probably two digits :) What is the stable version idea? Well, trying to merge two opposites: the basic idea of wiki 'anybody can edit it' with the basic criticism of wiki 'anybody can edit it' :)     The last chapter was quite enjoyable, and as often happens, was started with some journalist's misunderstanding of Wikipedia...

For those who want more coverage of Wikipedia 'grand experiment', there are two sites that should be followed at least as closely, if not more, then my posts:
* Wikipedia:Signpost " a community-written and community-edited newspaper, covering events and stories related to the English Wikipedia", published each Monday
* Wikizine, "an independent internal news bulletin for the members of the Wikimedia community"

Last but not least, I am crossposting this post with w.bloggar between the two blogs I am now involved with: my Voice of the Prokonsul and Luke's great brainchild, Digital Citizen.


Jul 10, 2006

Historian's review of Wikipedia

An excellent academic article about Wikipedia, nicely written (no 'scholarese'), by Roy Rosenzweig: "Can History Be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past" (Journal of American History 93 (1): 117-146).

It offers a great introduction to Wikipedia (something many journalists increasingly writing about Wikipedia should look at), compares Wiki to Encarta and an academic database, and discusses the role of history and historians on Wikipedia. It has many good points - on why studends use Wikipedia (and why they should not), on why academcis should contribute to Wikipedia, and many others. Excellent read!

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