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Peer-produced content quality: wikipedia again

Escrito el 25 Octubre 2006 por Ricardo Pérez Garrido en Contenidos / Content

With well-known projects as the Wikipedia or Linux, peer-produced content is one of the most interesting issues covered when discussing the effects of communications technology in society during these years. Blogs, YouTube and CurrentTV are often mentioned as clear cases of content generated by non-specialist that draws more attention than its traditional counterpart. But when it comes to measuring the quality of this content, things start to get, at least, hazy.
Wikipedia is the example that is under discussion again and again in the last months. Jimmy Wales, its founder, is trying to find ways in which the reported problems with manipulation of the entries can be solved. This will probably mean a strict (or at least some sort of more advanced) control system for editorial work of the entries. Paul Duguid writes about this issue in First Monday. His analysis, which has been discussed by Nick Carr in his blog, is just another piece in the intellectual discussion about how we can create better systems of management for peer-produced content.

Some conclusions of his analysis of efforts like Wikipedia and Project Guttemberg include its relationship with the structure of software development (open source): “Software projects do not generally let anyone contribute code at random. Many have an open process for bug submission, but most are wisely more cautious about code. Making a distinction between the two (diagnosis and cure) is important because it would suggest that defensive energies might be misplaced. … Editing is a hard task and needs to attract people prepared to think through the salient issues. Wikipedia is very sensitive to malice. It needs to be as sensitive to ineptitude. Compiling correct and coherent encyclopedia entries is hard work. Allowing anyone to make changes to the text without discussion is unlikely to attract people willing to work hard on an entry”.

The size an attention that Wikipedia has at this point creates a great opportunity to define a set of rules for developing content by groups. More companies trying to explore new organizational forms and uses for enterprise solutions that are not very structured and leave room for improvisation, collaboration and evolution of relationships, groups and ideas. Those technologies are the same at the base of wikipedia, blogs, instant messaging… Probably the lessons from wikipedia can be applied to those initiatives. Or maybe the results-oriented business environment can produce some interesting insights about how to make sure the quality of the project-wiki is enough to help it advance… This road is probably going to take us to structure, some sort of control and some hierarchies, probably based on knowledge and interdependence. That is not complete freedom and democracy as it is viewed from a “Web 2.0” perspective. But it might produce better results. Let’s see what Mr. Wales finds out.

Comentarios

Pilar Martinez 14 Abril 2013 - 10:05

Muy bueno. Me gusta mucho el modo en que se expone. Un abrazo!

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