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Good Faith Collaboration:The Culture of Wikipedia

Cover Image Copyright Year: 2010
Author(s): Joseph Michael Reagle; Lawrence Lessig
Publisher: MIT Press
Content Type : Books & eBooks
Topics: Engineering Profession
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Abstract

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, is built by a community--a community of Wikipedians who are expected to "assume good faith" when interacting with one another. In Good Faith Collaboration, Joseph Reagle examines this unique collaborative culture. Wikipedia, says Reagle, is not the first effort to create a freely shared, universal encyclopedia; its early twentieth-century ancestors include Paul Otlet's Universal Repository and H. G. Wells's proposal for a World Brain. Both these projects, like Wikipedia, were fuelled by new technology--which at the time included index cards and microfilm. What distinguishes Wikipedia from these and other more recent ventures is Wikipedia's good-faith collaborative culture, as seen not only in the writing and editing of articles but also in their discussion pages and edit histories. Keeping an open perspective on both knowledge claims and other contributors, Reagle argues, creates an extraordinary collaborative potential. Wikipedia's style of collaborative production has been imitated, analyzed, and satirized. Despite the social unease over its implications for individual autonomy, institutional authority, and the character (and quality) of cultural products, Wikipedia's good-faith collaborative culture has brought us closer than ever to a realization of the century-old pursuit of a universal encyclopedia.

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      Front Matter

      Page(s): i - xv
      Copyright Year: 2010

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Half Title, History and Foundations of Information Science, Title, Copyright, Dedications, Contents, Preface, Foreword, Preface View full abstract»

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      Nazis and Norms

      Page(s): 1 - 15
      Copyright Year: 2010

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Wikipedia, This Book, in Short View full abstract»

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      The Pursuit of the Universal Encyclopedia

      Page(s): 17 - 43
      Copyright Year: 2010

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Index Card and Microfilm, Digital Computers and Networks, Conclusion: Predicting the Future, Reading the Past View full abstract»

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      Good Faith Collaboration

      Page(s): 45 - 71
      Copyright Year: 2010

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction, The Epistemic Stance of Neutral Point of View, The Intersubjective Stance of Good Faith, Conclusion View full abstract»

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      The Puzzle of Openness

      Page(s): 73 - 96
      Copyright Year: 2010

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Open Content Communities, Discussing Openness, Conclusion View full abstract»

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      The Challenges of Consensus

      Page(s): 97 - 115
      Copyright Year: 2010

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: “Rough” Consensus, Deliberation and Openness, The Facilitator, Polling and Voting, Conclusion View full abstract»

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      The Benevolent Dictator

      Page(s): 117 - 135
      Copyright Year: 2010

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Wales and Sanger, Wales's Influence, Beyond the Founders: Admins, ArbCom, and the Board, Discussing Leadership, Conclusion View full abstract»

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      Encyclopedic Anxiety

      Page(s): 137 - 168
      Copyright Year: 2010

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Normativeness of the Reference Work, Bias: Progressive and Conservative, Criticisms of Wikipedia and “Web 2.0”, Conclusion View full abstract»

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      Conclusion: “A Globe in Accord”

      Page(s): 169 - 173
      Copyright Year: 2010

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, is built by a community--a community of Wikipedians who are expected to "assume good faith" when interacting with one another. In Good Faith Collaboration, Joseph Reagle examines this unique collaborative culture. Wikipedia, says Reagle, is not the first effort to create a freely shared, universal encyclopedia; its early twentieth-century ancestors include Paul Otlet's Universal Repository and H. G. Wells's proposal for a World Brain. Both these projects, like Wikipedia, were fuelled by new technology--which at the time included index cards and microfilm. What distinguishes Wikipedia from these and other more recent ventures is Wikipedia's good-faith collaborative culture, as seen not only in the writing and editing of articles but also in their discussion pages and edit histories. Keeping an open perspective on both knowledge claims and other contributors, Reagle argues, creates an extraordinary collaborative potential. Wikipedia's style of collaborative production has been imitated, analyzed, and satirized. Despite the social unease over its implications for individual autonomy, institutional authority, and the character (and quality) of cultural products, Wikipedia's good-faith collaborative culture has brought us closer than ever to a realization of the century-old pursuit of a universal encyclopedia. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Notes

      Page(s): 175 - 234
      Copyright Year: 2010

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, is built by a community--a community of Wikipedians who are expected to "assume good faith" when interacting with one another. In Good Faith Collaboration, Joseph Reagle examines this unique collaborative culture. Wikipedia, says Reagle, is not the first effort to create a freely shared, universal encyclopedia; its early twentieth-century ancestors include Paul Otlet's Universal Repository and H. G. Wells's proposal for a World Brain. Both these projects, like Wikipedia, were fuelled by new technology--which at the time included index cards and microfilm. What distinguishes Wikipedia from these and other more recent ventures is Wikipedia's good-faith collaborative culture, as seen not only in the writing and editing of articles but also in their discussion pages and edit histories. Keeping an open perspective on both knowledge claims and other contributors, Reagle argues, creates an extraordinary collaborative potential. Wikipedia's style of collaborative production has been imitated, analyzed, and satirized. Despite the social unease over its implications for individual autonomy, institutional authority, and the character (and quality) of cultural products, Wikipedia's good-faith collaborative culture has brought us closer than ever to a realization of the century-old pursuit of a universal encyclopedia. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Index

      Page(s): 235 - 244
      Copyright Year: 2010

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, is built by a community--a community of Wikipedians who are expected to "assume good faith" when interacting with one another. In Good Faith Collaboration, Joseph Reagle examines this unique collaborative culture. Wikipedia, says Reagle, is not the first effort to create a freely shared, universal encyclopedia; its early twentieth-century ancestors include Paul Otlet's Universal Repository and H. G. Wells's proposal for a World Brain. Both these projects, like Wikipedia, were fuelled by new technology--which at the time included index cards and microfilm. What distinguishes Wikipedia from these and other more recent ventures is Wikipedia's good-faith collaborative culture, as seen not only in the writing and editing of articles but also in their discussion pages and edit histories. Keeping an open perspective on both knowledge claims and other contributors, Reagle argues, creates an extraordinary collaborative potential. Wikipedia's style of collaborative production has been imitated, analyzed, and satirized. Despite the social unease over its implications for individual autonomy, institutional authority, and the character (and quality) of cultural products, Wikipedia's good-faith collaborative culture has brought us closer than ever to a realization of the century-old pursuit of a universal encyclopedia. View full abstract»