Thursday, May 28, 2009

Andrew Lih on "The Wikipedia Revolution"

Andrew Lih, author of The Wikipedia Revolution, appeared on C-Span2 Book TV on March 25, 2009. The broadcast was of a recent public conversation at Harvard University.

Lih created the new media program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he served as adjunct professor and director of technology for their Center for New Media.

This book took two years of research in the social and technical dynamics of collaborative communities. It has made Lih the most widely recognized expert on the Wikipedia project, one of the largest collaborative reference works on the Internet.

Lih is an administrator on the Wikipedia English edition, and has served as proceedings editor for the annual Wikimania conferences. He hosts the Wikipedia Weekly roundtable audio podcast, discussing issues related to Wikipedia, free culture, peer production and crowdsourcing.

I've added his blog to my Ideas and Inspiration list at the left, and will be tuning in regularly to listen and learn as journalism rides the wave of the new media transformation. (I've also found another book I want to give to my son Jack as a high school graduation gift.)

This fascinating discussion, at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society, with host David Weinberger (author of Everything is Miscellaneous) explored these and other topics:

• Governance of the creative commons: the difference between inclusionists and deletionists.
• Distinctions between English-language and the more tightly controlled German-language
versions of Wikipedia.
• The different natures of the growth community that created Wikipedia, and the maintenance
community it now requires (having at this point over 2 million entries).
• Issues of editorial oversight, technical expertise, and administrative control.
• The eventual merging of information from Wikipedias from various countries.
• Anonymity, pseudonymity, and authenticity (as in the notorious case of "SJ", a contributor
exposed as someone who had created a fraudulent identity).

Lih used a phrase I like: "Sunshine is the best disinfectant." It's a reworking of an earlier theme on this blog: "Transparency is not for the squeamish." Okay, so I now have a reliable new media guide: very cool. Check out Lih on the topic of Kindle DX and newspapers.

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