Monday, April 11, 2011

Wikipedia. How the Tables Have Turned

After making an edit in the Hula Hoop section, it became clear to me how drastically the roles of publishers of information and consumers of information have changed. New, New Media allows the consumer of information to become the publisher as well. And it is easy! You do not need to know how to decipher web-coding in order to edit an entry on Wikipedia, you only need to be able to follow simple instructions and be able to type. The fact that any one can edit information on Wikipedia has been a source of controversy for the site since it's creation. How can we deem information as reliable if we do not know the qualifications of the person providing the information? I believe that you should often be wary and double check your facts, but I believe Wikipedia is a useful source because while anyone can provide information, there are constantly people reading and editing information, removing things that are untrue and adding things that are important. This site could potentially grow to be one of the most useful site's on the Internet because rather than gathering information from many different sources and people, you can get the information from those different sources all on one page, boiled down to the best most agreed upon information available around the world. One thing I did wonder about is what happens if there is a adamant disagreement about a piece of information. If two people go back and forth deleting each others information and re-posting their own, is there some sort of mediating body within Wikipedia that can settle these sorts of disputes or is the content of the site completely controlled by its users?

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