Experiences with Wikipedia

Essays collected from the blog “Masters of Media”

Students of the University of Amsterdam had the task of writing an article in Wikipedia themselves, and reporting about it. Here are some interesting essays about this experience:


  1. Ich don’t think so, or different viewpoints on Wikipedia entries
  2. Wikipedia = Local-Narrative
  3. The Vigilance of the Wikipedians
  4. ‘Useless Content’
  5. Wikipedia: a Social Playground

Ich don’t think so, or different viewpoints on Wikipedia entries
By Thomas Fonville

This essay focuses upon the so called remove list of Wikipedia. The author mentions that most objectifications are in stride with the Wikipedia ideology. He asks: “Why is an article on the remove list: What is their content? What is the reason why these items have been deleted? And what are the arguments to keep these items in existence? What items can be classified as being Wikipedia worthy?” These questions are left open, but believes it is a matter of value.

Read the entire essay here.

Wikipedia = Local-Narrative
By Siying Yang

Siying Yang speaks of Postmodernism, meta and local-narratives and their usage in Wikipedia. She mentions that there are entries in Wikipedia, which “are not completely objective truths, instead, they are subjective”. She believes that there is no “objective way to decide which entry is absolutely right”.

Read the entire essay here.

The vigilance of the Wikipedians
By Sander Leegwater

Sander Leegwater points out a very important feature of Wikipedia in his essay: that there are “core-groups at its communities, which decide ‘what goes’ in their environment. These groups are relatively small but hold the daily reign over the encyclopaedia…”.

Read the entire essay here.

‘Useless Content’
By Ellen Sluis

Ellen Sluis, though having a frustrating start at Wikipedia, sees it positively and makes a good suggestion:
“Wikipedia is very helpful to look things up. So instead of trying to get people back to the library, I think it’s better to improve the quality of the free encyclopedia by thinking of better regulating structures, increasing multi-lingual information and striving for equal access for everybody. It is also very important to instruct users how to deal with the information on Wikipedia – be critical, always check the sources, etc. This could be realized both by Wikipedia itself and at schools. Universities could encourage their students, who are developing their academic knowledge, to participate and share it instead of excluding this potential group from contribution by prohibiting the use of Wikipedia.”
Read part 1 here and part 2 here.

Wikipedia: a Social Playground
By Charlotte Hendriks

Charlotte Hendriks made the interesting experience of becoming a part of the Wikipedia community. She noticed that “much of the appeal of Wikipedia is based on the belonging to the community” and not just sharing knowledge.

Read her report here.