Wikis: The Quickest Way to Get Information Fast

Another 23 Things post here.  I completely forgot exploring Wikipedia and editing a wiki were on the list until I checked it recently.  This post should have be done last summer when I did that Wiki project for Preparing Instructional Media, but what I can say, I forgot.

So I remember to back when Wikipedia came out and it was the new thing.  Then there was that controversy over whether or not the info could be trusted and teachers and professors everywhere told their students “You can’t cite Wikipedia!”  Now that the site routinely checks for misinformation, it seems to have garnered some form of respect in the academic world, and most librarians will tell you “Sure, I’ve used Wikipedia to start off.”  (As well as Google, but that’s another discussion).  So, have I used Wikipedia?  Yes.  For school?  Admittedly, yes, but not until this past semester when I needed to learn about Tumblr, I used it’s article and some of the ones it cited for my project.  However, it was only because it was the only place other than the site to get some quick facts that I needed.

Nowadays, there are Wikis out there for everything.  From the Star Wars Wookiepedia (Get it?  Wookie-pedia?), to guides to books universes like the one for popular YA author Tamora Pierce’s books.  Both of which I’ve gone too more times than I care to admit, after all, I am nothing if not a Geek at heart.  Both sites are hosted on the popular Wikia platform.

For Preparing Instructional Media, I was required to make a Wiki on a given topic and my group chose YA books.  A chronicle of this can be read here.    I’ve also used Wiki’s this past semester to do the projects in my Collection Development class.  I really discovered how collaborative then can be.  Before, I was still on the fence so to speak.  I knew they were great tools to hold and disseminate information, but never though of the collaborative nature behind them as a tool itself.

So besides helping to create a Wiki for class and using them to create my group assignments, I’ve also helped to start a Wiki for my the Airship Crew I am a part of.  So I think I can officially cross “Discover Wikipedia” and “Explore and contribute to a Wiki” off my list.

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