So, I’m really glad I listened to Jimmy Wales explain how wikipedia started and the ideas/thoughts behind it before I started exploring the actual website.
I’ve heard so many different people who either love or hate wikipedia. Because editing pages is available to anyone, many think that the over-all quality of the website cannot possibly be worthy of use in academic or intellectual circles. After watching that video though, I am more sold on the quality of wikipedia. Though it is not really accepted yet for use as sources, I think that many do put a ton of time and effort into making wikipedia.org something that can be used in the future as it continues to grow. If anything, one can use the academic sources at the bottom of each article to continue their research.
To be honest, I am still trying to gain a better sense of how the history part of wikipedia works. There is a link where one can compare different edits, but I get html when I look at it and it does not make a whole lot of sense to me. In the discussion part, though, the articles have classifications. I wonder if that is how people work with these articles or volunteer to watch over them. Something that I’ve been thinking about since hearing Jimmy Wales talk about wikipedia and looking through wikipedia articles is the punitive actions (if any) that are taken against vandals. I realize the goal is to build an encyclopedia available to the world and made by the world, and by barring users for vandalizing acts the goal is defeated; yet how does one prevent someone else from repeated acts of vandalism? Or is this something that Wales and the wikipedia community have resigned themselves to constantly policing until they’ve completed their project?