Digital Campus podcast: “Wikipedia: Friend or Foe”

GMU’s Center for History and New Media has a new podcast that launched a week and a half ago: Digital Campus.

It’s “A biweekly discussion of how digital media and technology are affecting learning, teaching, and scholarship at colleges, universities, libraries, and museums”, and the first episode is on Wikipedia.

The intro music is worth listening to. After that, I recommend skipping to 17:33, when the Wikipedia discussion begins.

What you would be skipping includes:

  • Vague speculation about Windows Vista
  • Banter about the value and limitations of Google Docs
  • Hand-wringing about a recently granted overly broad patent for Blackboard Inc.

Wikipedia topics include:

  • Mills Kelly explaining why he is using Wikipedia as the “textbook” for his Western Civ course this semester
  • The similarity between constructing knowledge on Wikipedia an in scholarly venues, as revealed by those pages “hidden” behind the articles
  • How Citizendium’s name is crappy, and how in the end scholars are going to have to “roll up their sleeves and just get involved with the main Wikipedia” to set things straight
  • How scholars write for themselves and their peers too often, when they should be engaged with and teaching their students about the “enthusiast communities” like Wikipedia
  • What Wikipedia could do better to work with the professional community
  • “Specialized wikis for specialized topics in specialized communities” and the ways Wikipedia (and it’s pitfalls) may overshadow the wiki technologies
  • Friend-or-foe conclusion: “sometimes unreliable, sometimes stands you up, but good friend”

Overall, it’s pretty good.

(via T. Mills Kelly at edwired)