Digg, Wikipedia, and the myth of Web 2.0 democracy

The Wisdom of the Chaperones Chris Wilson Says: It's getting harder to be a Wikipedia-hater. The user-generated and -edited online encyclopedia—which doesn't even require contributors to register—somehow holds its own against the Encyclopedia Britannica in accuracy, a Nature study concluded, and has many times more entries. But even though people are catching up to the idea that Wikipedia is a force for good, there are still huge misconceptions about what makes the encyclopedia tick. While Wikipedia does show the creative potential of online communities, it's a mistake to assume the site owes its success to the wisdom of the online crowd.


The study was conducted using a flawed foundation.


I am a school librarian. I have been teaching my students to not use Wikipedia as a source in their work, yet sometimes the things they want to know are not covered as well elsewhere, for example, if they want to know about an entertainer or extreme sports figure who is not covered in more-conventional reference works. It puts me in a quandary. How can I say not to use Wikipedia, when Wikipedia frequently has just what they are looking for? I find also that the history topics covered are usually covered accurately. I would be most interested in hearing from other librarians about how they handle the Wikipedia hot potato.

Lewis Black comments on Youtube and Wikipedia: Liberal Bias. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJEeyLeqJHc