Monday, 19 December 2005

New twist in the Wikipedia debate

The debate about the quality of Wikipedia content isn't quite dead just yet with heavy weight scientific magazine, Nature, claiming that the wiki-based collaborative knowledgebase is no better or worse that the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Andrew Mitchell also reports that information professional magazine, Online Currents, makes "the excellent point that not all print publications are error or bias free".

However, the really important point, is made by "Michael Twidale, an information scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who says that Wikipedia's strongest suit is the speed at which it can updated, a factor not considered by Nature's reviewers."

So, when we criticise either social software or traditional media, what we really have to think about is what kind of information trade off are we willing to accept? For an alternative perspective, have a look at this 2004 Factiva whitepaper (PDF) that "considers the quality, availability and value of information on free Web sites, fee-based Web sites and value-added information services".

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  1. Anonymous1:42 pm

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I removed the above comment because I was a little unsure about the site it was linking to.


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