Thursday, 26 August 2010

Quick to know - Wiki(ed)

It's not easy to blog about something which one never had anything to do with. Except for Wikipedia of course, but who wouldn't use it! Even the newly elected president of my country during one of his first speeches held in his hand a page printed from Wikipedia as a source of information. It did not received a positive recognition by the opposition.

Schools are not sure what to think about Wikipedia. Some teachers forbid using it, some recommend it to their students.

Wikipedia, with its problematic reputation, is however very useful. Quick and accurate (so I believe) in basic data - dates, basic biographic and geographic information , helped me often, also during cataloguing when I had doubts about any of the above. The value of this reference source would probably be different if Wikipedia existed before the Berlin Wall fell. History of that part of the world would be described differently to what we know now (who knows how it is edited now in some other places in the world...). Public editing, which raises questions about accuracy, truthfulness and the scientific level of information, has a great side too. "Check what is missing - write a new article". If something is missing it might be instantly added without waiting months and years for new, corrected, printed edition of an encyclopedia.

Other Wikis

It seems like Wiki Wiki or wikis are present all around us and may be useful in almost everything (including cooking !). After reading the description of wikis and looking at all the sites recommended by the 23 Things team, Wikis look to me to be a crossbreed between GoogleDocs, GoogleCalendar, Doodle and Delicious, not to mention Facebook and Twitter. Or something like floating in the air (online) a well known information board present in every institution on their corridors and offices. Except that more people may take part in editing the contents.

I liked the idea of the Library Routes Wiki. It is always interesting to learn about experiences of others when one goes in the same direction. This wiki is like a book - a collection of short stories, straight from real life.

Having said all the above I am still not convinced about the possibility of using this tool, wiki, in the libraries where I work. Perhaps more practical examples and investigation is needed before I will find my way to Wikis ...

1 comment:

  1. That's a clever 'Quo Vadis' reference you've sneaked in there!