Monday, September 24, 2007


This post from the "blog of the Augmented Social Cognition Research Group at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)" concerns Wiki Dashboard, a research tool tries to provide greater transparency about the identity and behavior of contributors to Wikpedia articles. The standard complaint about Wikpedia is that, precisely because anyone can edit anything, it is an unreliable source of information. (or, as a character in the Office quipped, “Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world, can write anything they want about any subject. So you know you are getting the best possible information.” ) The Augmented Social Cognition group turns this idea on its head, and argues that the Wikipedia approach - ie. augmented social cognition - is indeed the same kind of peer review process that provides integrity in scholarly publishing. What's lacking and needed in Wikipedia is greater social transparency. The wikidashboard post also links to a couple of neat tools for Wikipedia analysis..WikiScanner, which helps identify which organizations anonymous Wiki articles and edits are coming from (snoops can while away hours here), and WikiRage, which "lists the pages in Wikipedia which are receiving the most edits per unique editor over various periods of time."