Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

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The Truth According To Wikipedia raises important questions on accuracy, expertise, and group think

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I just finished watching IJsbrand van Veelen’s excellent 50-minute documentary on the glamorization of amateur content producers and the potential negative effects that it may or may not have on society, especially as experts (informed individuals who work for, reason with, and experience wisdom) are waning in popularity. Here are some thoughts:

  • Chris Pirillo is a funny guy.
  • Misinformation existed before the Internet, and yet humanity had enough integrity to properly deal with it. I believe we still do when dealing with the weaknesses and challenges of the Internet.
  • Wikipedia is an excellent starting resource for learned individuals seeking truth and willing to cross-check and work for it.
  • Wikipedia succeeds more than it fails. If you want consistent accuracy across all published subjects, go elsewhere. Otherwise, enjoy niche entries with insane update speeds.
  • My children will not search, browse, or read Wikipedia (unless under parental supervision) until they are intellectually ready to do so (18 perhaps). Instead they will use Encarta or some other free encyclopedia, as should all ignorant information seekers.
  • Andrew Keen‘s concerns over the marginalization of experts are appreciated, even if by being a bit Chicken Little-ish. He’s right about a resurgence of experts in the coming years, however (but that doesn’t mean at the expense of user-generated content).
  • Hearing marketers use the phrase “web 2.0” and “participatory” like it were 2006 makes me chuckle. Vote cyberspace in 2008!
  • Hal 9000 is boringly real.

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