A Wiki-Week — A Linking Mess for 03/27

I’m Shela Bannasch, filling in for my boss Paul M. Johnson while he is attending the ISPA Expo this week. As I am a young whippersnapper, I spend a lot of my time on the Internet and, when I’m not perusing the Facebook or watching cat videos, I sometimes like to read interesting articles and stuff. This week, I’m examining one of my favorite places on the Internet – Wikipedia.

The Future of Wikipedia: WikiPeaks? – The Economist

I’m a big fan of Wikipedia as both a source of knowledge and a source of entertainment. I may go there with the intention of looking up some actor’s filmography, but through a series of links, I find myself an hour later reading about the ghost town of Centralia, Pennsylvania. It’s fascinating. And while it may seem like a waste of time, it has made me pretty good at trivia.

This article in The Economist looks at what’s ahead for Wikipedia as the company searches for a new leader – one whose most daunting task is to attract new contributors. The article mentions the site’s lack of diversity, with 90% of its “Wikipedians” being male, as well as its struggle to aptly cover less popular topics like female scientists and social issues. I, for one, hope this new leader can right the Wikipedia ship.

Warming Up to the Culture of Wikipedia – The New York Times

Although my love for Wikipedia is profound, it turns out there are some out there who haven’t always been so accepting of the crowd-sourced site. This article in the New York Times discusses the relationship between museums and Wikipedia, which was once hostile and suspicious. This could be because museum staff carefully and expertly select what information is presented to patrons (and what information is withheld).

However, it looks as though that icy relationship is starting to thaw. Museums are now holding “edit-a-thons” to update/create articles on everything from Greenwich Village to Arkansas-born painter Natalie Smith Henry. In recent years, museums have begun working in conjunction with universities to keep lesser-known content up on the site.

Thanks to a common goal of sharing information with the world, museums and Wikipedia have formed a friendship in the face of adversity. Isn’t it heartwarming?


About the Author


Shela Bannasch

I’m a Copywriter at Leggett & Platt, which means I spend my days writing about wire, wire-forming, wire-related products, and products made out of wire. In my free time, I enjoy writing about wire, wire-forming, wire-related products, and products made out of wire. Not really. I do enjoy writing, though.

As a child, I would write stories and have my much more artistic sister illustrate them for me. And when I’m not writing, I’m reading. I bring a book with me everywhere I go (seriously, the Nook app on my phone is my most-used app by a landslide). Though I mostly read fiction, I’ve recently made a personal vow to read more news and stay more informed. So now, I read the news while I’m drying my hair in the morning, I read books during my lunch break, and I go back to the news before bed. And occasionally I squeeze in some time to binge-watch TV shows on Netflix (like the time I watched a season and a half of Breaking Bad in one day).