First off, completely unrelated to this week’s 2.0 subject, comment threading is now available by default to all WordPress blogs, yay! I see that the enabling of avatars for each comment is also now a default option. It took so incredibly long to set these things up in my previous WordPress blog!
So I’ve totally failed at editing pages in the PLCMC Learning 2.0 wiki: the ‘EDIT’ tab at the top disappears whenever I log in. I seem to remember other members of the class having problems with it as well, last week — I suppose it hasn’t been fixed yet.
Along with everyone else, I use wikis very often — Wikipedia most of all, of course — but I don’t often contribute. The one period of time where I felt fired up enough about a certain subject to make edits to its Wikipedia page was during my ‘Magic Johnson is <3!’ phase a few years back (I jumped on that wagon pretty late), and it wasn’t a great experience. Someone made an uninformed edit to the page — the page originally stated that Johnson had received a 25-year, $25 million contract from the Lakers, some guy with too much time on his hands but not enough to do actual research said OMG THAT’S TOO MUCH MONEY IT MUST BE WRONG!!! and edited it out — but, being the rabid Johnson fan that I was, I knew that it was correct and re-inserted it into the page, mentioning in the ‘History’ tab why I had done so and including a link to a Sports Illustrated article for corroboration. Apparently all I had done was reveal myself as a naive Wikipedia n00b, because the guy who made the original edit came back, reverted my edit and smacked me down for not following proper procedure: I was supposed to have put the link in the footnotes instead of the History tab, apparently. I would probably have gone and done so if he’d pointed it out politely, but he was so insulting about it that I flounced off in a huff and didn’t touch Wikipedia for a couple of weeks. The next time I checked the page, though, I found that the mention of the $25 million contract was there again, so somebody must have been paying attention.
It’s probably obvious that I’m still sore about this. :p But beyond allowing me the opportunity to air an old grievance, the story does, I think, illustrate a big factor in what makes sites like Wikipedia work: the crazy people who care so much about a subject that they know even trivial bits of information and have sources with which to back them up, and the people with too much time on their hands who take pride in their community and their position in it, and have taken it upon themselves to police the site and make sure everything is properly supported. Fortunately, both types can be found in great quantity on the Internet, and when they start working together, very little can stand in their way. *g*