Category: Technology

11 May 2004

Wiki whacky world

Posted by Just a little unwell in Technology | 12:29am

Hi, would you like to edit this page?

I'm sure you would. You must be raring to take a shot at my posts - fragmenting my 'long and winding' sentances, correcting typos, adding / removing punctuations so that the endangered pandas are saved from further ridicule, deleting unwanted opinions / obsceneties (you wouldn't find many in this page, but wouldn't say the same for all blogs though), correcting factual errors (like my earlier tongue-in-cheek comment about obsceneties), or inserting paragraph breaks where appropriate to make the posts more readable. You may also want to add value by adding your knowledge / ignorance to the already enlightened / illiterate content of this page. Or you may think the attitude is just not right, and may want to correct it altogether (you must be 'mom material' in that case).

All these and more can be done if this page were to be a 'wiki page'(did someone here announce that he's the gyaan master? Dig this, dude :) ) Wiki pages allow any viewer to edit them. E.g. in a wiki world, Jasalcatraz would be able to happily edit Ms.Deepa Menon's 'Kill Bill' review. Isn't that cool, Jasz dude? It's a different matter that someone else can open that page and edit Jasz's reviews too. It's a free for all - anybody who opens a wiki page is authorized to add, modify or even completely delete the contents of the page.

If some weirdo takes fancy and completely deletes a page, it can still be retrieved by the next sane viewer accessing the page, from the 'last good backup' maintained in the servers. This way, online vandalism is prevented from sabotaging valuable knowledge sources that are meant to benefit humanity. The concept operates on the basis of common goodwill, collective responsibility and community feeling.

Now, "why wiki? why should users be allowed edit permissions?" you may ask. Detailed answers are available in these pages. In a nutshell, wiki enables knowledge sharing in a collaborative manner, whereby each beneficiary adds to the knowledge pool. Imagine a wiki page on Hyderabad. After a hundred of us have read, modified, deleted (no shortage of weirdos, i guess), and restored (no shortage of good samaritans too, including yours truly ;) ), i'm sure the page would be rich with information, and much more valuable as a knowledge source, as compared to what one underpaid journalist will research and compile. And all the hundred would have collectively gained. Now replace 'Hyderabad' in the above example with 'bio-technology', or 'DSP programming' or 'Corporate law' as the case may be and the potential for collective learning would become obvious (i.e. if you are still paying attention to what i've been saying).

Check this wiki encyclopaedia. - enriched by every viewer who's been passing by. Its entry for 'Chess' says: "Chess is a boring game for two players played on a square board divided into eight rows (or ranks) and eight columns (or files)....." People's power at its best / worst?

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