Musings from a Wikimaniac Have you used Wikipedia yet? Has anybody who writes for a living (or for school) NOT used Wikipedia yet? I love the Web site and I'm scared of it. It's got great, raw information that points in useful directions, but... don't trust it. What was it that Ronald Reagan said way back in 1987, paraphrasing a Russian proverb -- "Trust, but verify." NPR's very own Maureen "Moe" Clements just sent us this dispatch from the second annual convention of Wikimaniacs. The Wiki revolution is upon us! This past weekend I had the fortunate opportunity to attend the Second Annual Wikimania conference, where hundreds of wikipedians and wikimaniacs from all over the world descended upon Harvard's law school campus to present, ponder and pontificate on all things wiki. One of the main topics of discussion was the veracity of information in Wikipedia. Because it's an encyclopedia anyone can update, it's become a major source of contention among many in the research and reference community. After attending several sessions, I concluded that Wikipedia is a great source for information, but it must be looked upon with a critical eye, just as with all reference sources...

Musings from a Wikimaniac

Have you used Wikipedia yet? Has anybody who writes for a living (or for school) NOT used Wikipedia yet? I love the Web site and I'm scared of it. It's got great, raw information that points in useful directions, but... don't trust it. What was it that Ronald Reagan said way back in 1987, paraphrasing a Russian proverb -- "Trust, but verify." NPR's very own "Moe" Clements just sent us this dispatch from the second annual convention of Wikimaniacs.

The Wiki revolution is upon us! This past weekend I had the fortunate opportunity to attend the Second Annual Wikimania Conference, where hundreds of wikipedians and wikimaniacs from all over the world descended upon Harvard's law school campus to present, ponder and pontificate on all things wiki.

One of the main topics of discussion was the veracity of information in Wikipedia. Because it's an encyclopedia anyone can update, it's become a major source of contention among many in the research and reference community. After attending several sessions, I concluded that Wikipedia is a great source for information, but it must be looked upon with a critical eye, just as with all reference sources.

The thing I came away with most is that Wikipedia and wiki software are changing the way we communicate. Wikis are about empowering users. If you know something is incorrect, you can change it rather than complain about it. Wikis are about building communities and enabling communication. Most importantly, wikis are about the exchange of free ideas and free culture. Can you tell I was converted? How could I not be after listening to such brilliant speakers as Jimmy Wales, Lawrence Lessig, Brewster Kahle and David Weinberger? Let the revolution begin!

You can see the entire conference proceedings here.