After I read all articles in this module, I think that people can get and know knowledge from the traditional way to the new way, and this is the main topic in module #3. Specifically, the traditional way which is people just receive knowledge from books, texts and documents by some people of specific authority shifts to the new way which is collecting all people as many as possible who have comments or views of knowledge, and people can see all information via the Internet, such as Wikipedia or encyclopedia. This change reflects our technology becomes much advanced and reveals cultural, social and economic globalization in our society. As Cindy Royal and Deepina Kapila said that Wikipedia is not producing knowledge simply to people, it wants to mention more who use and how use it by anyone can edit or add their own points on it.
When I look at the first question of guiding question of module #3, I feel surprised why the question was asked because I think I have any doubt to Wikipedia, and I always use Wikipedia if I have no idea about any concept or issue and I think it is a very very useful tool for me. While, I got the new idea about Wikipedia after I have read all articles because I have not never known anyone can edit and add their own thoughts or views on Wikipedia before, and I think Wikipedia is the most trustful educational website for people. I think I change my view about Wikipedia when I use it in the future, I will doubt that not everything is totally right of Wikipedia.
Specifically, I took the course of Canadian Study in my last spring term. At that time, I used Wikipedia frequently when I confused some historical battles and issues. And I found there were always critical thoughts at the bottom of it, and I did not doubt whether they are trustful or not because I believe. Especially, I think I should wonder that comments’ reality after I read “Military History on the Electronic Frontier: Wikipedia Fights the War of 1812”. (Richard Jensen) He took the war of 1812 to be a case study, and it gave some numbers to show anybody can write about “historical stuff.” It is about there is the article of 14,000 words of “War of 1812” by 2,400 different people, and 3,300 comments about “War of 1812” by 627 enthusiastic people. This reveals that not all of them are professional historians and they are just interested in this historical issue to discuss, anybody can share with their points, even was persuaded by them.
At the present, this new way of collecting and creating knowledge has two aspects to our society. As pros, there is no hierarchy of different people who have different educational backgrounds. It encourages people can explore deeper thoughts of important issues, it also offers the more spaces of democracy in the society because everyone can talk about their thoughts and share with others’ views. This way is not only effecting on the cultural and social things, but also influences on economy. As the article of Wikinomics and its discontents: a critical analysis of Web 2.0 business manifestos said that companies change their management model from top-down business model to peer production model. It is more transparent and democratic structures of a company, and it gets more benefits from all employees, such as Youtube, Facebook, Google, Myspace and so on. This concept which is using individual knowledge to make bigger benefits is from Wikipedia, it addresses it is powerful when individuals get together no matter what are on social, cultural and economic. Moreover, this concept becomes popular to most of companies in the business management.
While, I think there are some cons about it. Even though everyone can talk about stuff what they are interested in, it lacks of authority of knowledge somehow because different views are easy to distort and mislead some facts. And it may not be trustful or academic evidence for professional stuff, so people are lack of resources to support their views. Sometimes, not everyone can search very academic resources, Wikipedia is easy to get information and is also not very professional educational website. For example, I feel upset when professors said that we can not use Wikipedia to be a resource because I have limited resources to get more information. But I understand why it can not be a “real” resource now and I really use it to be referential tool.
In conclude, Wikipedia and Wikieconomics have the main point which is addressing individuals’ power is big than we imagine, and this new concept is influencing on our social, cultural and economic aspects in the society.
(From: Google Image)
Jensen, R. (2012). Military History on the Electronic Frontier: Wikipedia Fights the War of 1812. Journal of Military History. 76, 1. pp 1165-1182
Royal, C. & Kapila, D. (2009). What’s on Wikipedia, and What’s Not . . . ?: Assessing Completeness of Information. Social Science Computer Review. 27, 1. pp 138-148.
Van Dijk, J. & Nieborg, D. (2009). Wikinomics and its discontents: a critical analysis of Web 2.0 business manifestos. New Media & Society. 11, 5. pp 855-874.