This is my dumping ground for quotes and other stuff relating to the wonderful world of digital & communications.
For the first few years after its inception in 2001, Wikipedia was primarily
dominated by articles in English. By 2010, only about 20% of Wikipedia articles were in English, while it was estimated that 27% of Internet users were English speakers
Much of the success of Monmouthpedia comes from its ability to capture the imagination of the Wikipedia community, which has embraced the town virtually. Wikipedia volunteers have contributed nearly 500 new articles in over 25 languages, as well as videos on topics such as the historic Chartists movement.
The project also has a long list of partners, including 200 businesses, several universities and nearly every school and community group in the area. Wikipedia has partnered with museums and other institutions before, as in Derby, but in Monmouth you will see over 1,000 QR codes on every school, every important building, and hundreds of shops. The County Council itself has a QRpedia code in its reception that takes you to their Wikipedia article.
The definition of what makes someone an expert is changing. They search for expertise in Wikipedia’s pages, and they find it, but what they’re looking for — what they call expertise — uses different signals to project itself. Expertise, to these researchers, isn’t who a writer is but what a writer knows, as measured by what they read online.
Anonymous authors. No editors. No special privileges for experts. Signs plastering articles detailing the ways they fall short. All the disagreements about each article posted in public. Easy access to all the previous drafts—including highlighting of the specific changes. No one who can certify that an article is done and ready. It would seem that Wikipedia does everything in its power to avoid being an authority, yet that seems only to increase its authority—a paradox that indicates an important change in the nature of authority
(Wikipedia) is ranked fifth in the world, with 480 million visitors per month, over 21 million articles, and almost 1.5 million contributors since its inception. Wikipedia has 88,500 active contributors per month.
While Norwegian is spoken by 4.6 million people, there are 300,000 articles on Wikipedia in the language. Finnish is spoken by 5 million people, and there are 273,000 articles on Wikipedia in the language.
In comparison, there are only 154,000 articles in Arabic, despite the fact that there are roughly 374 million Arabic speakers, making it the fifth most commonly spoken language in the world. Wikipedia’s Arabic articles account for a measly 0.007% of its overall content.
Europe and North America are home to 84% of all (Wikipedia) articles. Anguilla has the fewest number of geotagged articles (four), and indeed most small island nations and city states have less than 100 articles. However, it is not just microstates that are characterised by extremely low levels of wiki representation. Almost all of Africa is poorly represented in the encyclopaedia. There are remarkably more Wikipedia articles (7,800) written about Antarctica than any country in Africa or South America. Even China, which is home to the world’s biggest population of Internet users and is the fourth largest country on Earth contains fewer than 1% of all geotagged articles.
Arabic is the world’s fifth most spoken language and yet only has the 25th largest Wikipedia. There are just over 24,000 geotagged Arabic Wikipedia articles whilst there are over 691,000 geotagged articles in English.
There are a staggering number of articles in the United States (over 180,000 of them) and tens of thousands in many European countries, Japan, Australia and India. As we saw in our last post, there are also far fewer in much of the rest of the world. In fact, there are only a few countries in Africa that contain more than 1000 articles. …
Wikipedia has another, related lesson to teach the traditionalists at Unesco: Change is not necessarily antagonistic to preservation. That false assumption has put the World Heritage Committee at odds with the very people whose heritage Unesco claims to support. For example, the people of Djenné, Mali, whose mud-brick houses were inscribed on the list in 1988, have ever since been bullied by heritage professionals to avoid making alterations that would facilitate modern amenities like showers and tile floors. One irate local compares a room in his neighbor’s dirt house to a grave. Unesco’s static concept of physical heritage is exterminating the evolving intangible heritage of the Djenné people.
Wikipedia protects the past without impeding the future. That’s the genius of the View History tab, which allows anyone to browse and compare every single version of an entry going back to 2001. Of course, multiple versions of the physical world cannot be physically preserved. But if all World Heritage sites were virtualized like Wikipedia, the physical places could continue to change with the people. The mud huts of Djennécould be preserved as three-dimensional models, augmented with historical and cultural information contributed by both archaeologists and locals, wiki-style. Layers of alteration to the houses could be digitally recorded and accessed by anyone anywhere. Rapid prototyping technology means the huts could even be printed out and physically explored. Were world heritage wikified, people’s homes would no longer be reduced to graves, sacrificed to outmoded Unesco principles. Djenné would not become a moribund ghost-town-cum-tourist-attraction like Iwami Ginzan.