Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Wired News: Wikipedia Creators Move Into News

Wired News: Wikipedia Creators Move Into News: "After doing much in recent years to revolutionize the way an encyclopedia can be built and maintained, the team behind Wikipedia is attempting to apply its collaborative information-gathering model to journalism.

Through a new effort, Wikinews, members of the open-source community who write and edit Wikipedia's encyclopedia entries are encouraged to test their skills as journalists. The news site follows a similar set of rules as the encyclopedia, which allows anyone to edit and post corrections to entries, so long as each change is recorded."
This is another interesting effort to provide a means by which a community (defined non-geographically) is enabled and encouraged to identify and organize information that the community defines as significant. This is not simply independent publishing using the Internet, but a declaration that the community can be trusted to gather and organize the information of significance to it.

I've stated several times that libraries, particularly theology libraries, have been shaped largely by the communities they serve. While that is true, those "professional" librarians charged with their development and care play a huge role in shaping the library. We have selected the documents that will be included in and excluded from the collection. We have organized those documents and created tools to allow users to discover and retrieve the documents. Is a "wiki" model the next step in the community taking control of the library?