20.109 student use of Wikipedia

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2006 07:19:08 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 20, No. 109.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2006 07:13:34 +0100
         From: Ryan Deschamps <Ryan.Deschamps_at_Dal.Ca>
         Subject: Re: 20.107 student use of Wikipedia

Somewhat related to the idea of "modelling experience" and electronic documents
is Shelagh Rogers discussion of podcasting (in a podcast):


Shelagh Rogers is a broadcaster for the CBC. I found it very interesting how
she criticises the speaker's assumption that a broadcast is to a group of
people (indicated by the many who begin their podcast with the phrase, "Hello

The technology on one hand creates a reality that a broad/podcast is to large,
even huge groups of people. A skilled communicator like Shelagh Rogers would
attempt to suspend the technological reality into an experience that the
communication is one-to-one, personal, intimate, local etc.

Blogs and wikis must work similarly I suppose. I do get the perception from a
blog like Boing Boing www.boingboing.net or Kevin Smith
http://www.silentbobspeaks.com/, that I have inside knowledge from a
knowledgable, high-status, high-cool-factor personal friend, when the reality
is that there are millions of people who a) feel the same way and b) would not
be acknowledged in quite the same way should they meet the writers in person.

But is this really different from a book? Books can have this element of
intimacy -- but somehow the speed and regularity of response from the
blog/podcast enhances that intimacy in the online world.

Ryan. . .

Quoting "Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty
      <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>)" <willard_at_LISTS.VILLAGE.VIRGINIA.EDU>:

> Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 07:17:23 +0100
> From: "Matt Kirschenbaum" <mkirschenbaum_at_gmail.com>

>The larger context for this point is one that will be familiar to
>readers of Humanist: it is very difficult to ascribe "essential"
>features to electronic documents. Rather, the behaviors and
>characteristics of a particular electronic environment are a function
>of how the designers of that environment choose to model experience.
>In the specific case of Wikipedia, textual experience has been modeled
>in such a way as to encourage attention to a document's revision and
>editing cycle. Matt

>Matthew Kirschenbaum
>Assistant Professor of English
>Associate Director,
>Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH)
>University of Maryland
>301-405-8505 or 301-314-7111 (fax)

Ryan Deschamps
MLIS/MPA Expected 2005
Received on Fri Jul 14 2006 - 03:38:05 EDT

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