Psst! Wikis Can Be Edited. Yes, By Anyone.

from the how-it-all-works dept

It seems like wikis are becoming the new "blogs" this year. Remember a few years back when just about every company or organization felt the need to launch a blog because that's what companies did? This was even if they didn't have a reason to blog, or people who were interested in blogging. It seems like the same thing is happening with wikis nowadays. As the British government continues its often misguided attempts at embracing new technologies, apparently the secretary of state for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs decided it would be a good idea to set up a wiki about "environmental contracts," naively assuming it would lead to a high level of debate and discussion about the topic. Instead, as most of you would probably expect, it was defaced. Not just that, but being a political topic, people used the wiki to simply complain about such contracts, rather than "debate" them. With all that happening, the British gov't minister who put up the wiki has shut it down. It's not entirely clear what people are thinking about when they put up such sites. Wikis are good for certain things -- mainly collaborative efforts toward a certain goal. They are not about debate and discussion for the most part -- especially in the political arena. Having the government embrace new technology is a good thing, but they should at least learn what the technology is about before they embrace it.

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  • identicon
    catherine, 6 Sep 2006 @ 1:05pm

    wikis

    Ha. No doubt. Forget the fact that wikis have been around for years and years.... seems like these days everyone just has to have one. Kinda like when Paris Hilton caused everyone to buy those yippy little arm dogs..... heh heh

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Noni, 6 Sep 2006 @ 1:15pm

    I didn't buy an arm dog because of Paris!!

    (I did get one of those nifty sidekicks she carried around though)

    (until it was hacked)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 6 Sep 2006 @ 1:29pm

    It's all about...

    being trendy. Having a wiki is trendy these days like having a MySpace account.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Grandfather Time, 6 Sep 2006 @ 1:29pm

    figures,....

    don't expect something like a wiki created over something so political, to not be edited and basically turned to mush by everyones opinions.....

    it's called,.....

    Common Sense....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rabid Wolverine, 6 Sep 2006 @ 1:31pm

    Wikis

    Wiki smiky, I don't need no stinkin wiki!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Gavin, 6 Sep 2006 @ 1:38pm

    Bandwagon Fever

    Let's jump all over this hot new trend that the youngsters all talk about!!! Who cares what it does, act first and think later. That's the way you do things in this bang-up, flashdancing world of the inter-tubes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2006 @ 1:42pm

    The best thing about a wiki is that it provides an interface capable of accumulating vast amounts of information on an infinite number of topics, more than any standard (and VERY expensive) encyclopedia. The problem is that there are some people out there who just can't leave well enough alone and have to cause trouble wherever they go, ruining good things for all the rest of us. And of course there are also those who think they know everything about something, but really don't have a clue. In a perfect world, a site like Wikipedia would be the ultimate information source. Then again, in a perfect world, everybody would know everything and wouldn't need an encyclopedia. ^_^

    Anyway, I do think there's a time and a place for wikis but I believe that because of the popularity, they're being used in places they shouldn't be. I also think they need to be monitored from time to time to keep things from getting too far out of hand.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Big Huge Dave, 6 Sep 2006 @ 1:46pm

    Wiki's are stupid

    I personally think the idea is pretty ridiculous, allowing anyone to edit the information. Why rely on Wikipedia at all, the information can be tainted by anyone!

    Just a dumb idea. They're not needed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      LukeD, 6 Sep 2006 @ 1:59pm

      Re: Wiki's are stupid

      I agree wikis should be a little more controlled so that the information doesn't turn into mush over time.

      We could wiki The Constitution or even the Ten Commandments! Lol

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Paul, 6 Sep 2006 @ 2:04pm

    trendy?

    being trendy. Having a wiki is trendy these days like having a MySpace account.

    No you're behind the times, all the real cool kids have deleted their MySpace accounts. MySpace is so 2005...

    Me? I never had one, cuz I saw this comming, I was just ahead of my time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    WIKIS, 6 Sep 2006 @ 2:07pm

    WIKIS KILLED MY DOG!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    cj, 6 Sep 2006 @ 2:08pm

    Excellent Political Wiki

    Pete Ashdown is running for US Senate in Utah this year. His site has an excellent political wiki on it. I think it is an awesome idea. Then again I (unlike some people, BHDave) prefer NOT having my news handed down to me by Rupert Murdoch. Its just a thing with me.

    Information, like debate, should be an evaluative process, not a static one. And just because there are some immature people who can not handle the responsibility of having a voice and venue, does NOT mean it should be ruined for the rest of us.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Josef K, 6 Sep 2006 @ 2:50pm

    About Defra

    Defra is a farce. Money it receives from the EU hasn't been given to farmers for 5 years, whilst a large chunk of it has been paid to consultants to figure out how best to get that money to farmers.

    In one Defra office, there's an investigation into office hijinks including naked vaulting over filing cabinets, drinking during working hours, and leaving cups of vomit to putrify. This has been going on for years.

    So, the fact that farmers and other people feel angry enough to deface this latest PR excersise isn't surprising.

    The British Government does have a few excellent IT projects, and amazingly they're the ones that distribute information to the public (unfortunately, not the ones that actually do much). Hansard is one good example: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmhansrd.htm

    That said, thankfully, the Biometric Identity Card scheme appears to be failing on technical and managerial grounds, so maybe it isn't all bad news.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JustWanderful, 7 Sep 2006 @ 9:53am

    Wikkin Religion

    Damned Wikkins! Earth, fire, water, air...Doesn't anyone realize it? All these WIKI's are that damned Wikkin religion in disguise! They have taken over the entire world!
    Run! Run for your lives! The Wiki's are coming!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anon, 7 Sep 2006 @ 10:33am

    Wikipedia is evil

    Wikipedia sucks. It is revisionist history written by people with agendas. Don't you realize that governments and corporations have teams of middle aged white men in cubicals posing as Wikipedia editors? They fix some trivial vandlism to score points, then they censor the Iraq war article, delete references to the Manning Memo, torture, or any truth that they are ashamed of.

    Wikipedia is a disservice to humanity in that people assume that popular is accurate, when really, as soon as a site become popular it is manipulated by those with hidden agendas.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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