<CPOV> article on collaboration and wikipedia
jodi.schneider at deri.org
Thu Oct 14 13:14:58 CEST 2010
Probably it's more useful to share the library location:
Sorry for the double post!
On 14 Oct 2010, at 12:11, Jodi Schneider wrote:
> Thanks for the recent discussions about Talk page research!
> There's a collaborative bibliography about Talk page research, currently at
> If you publish or read about Talk pages, feel free to add work to this list. If you'd prefer, you can email me, and I'll add materials!
> On 13 Oct 2010, at 11:57, Dror Kamir wrote:
>> Speaking about going over long tedious Wikipedia talk pages, I know Johanna has been exploring the issue of conflict and collaboration integration on Wikipedia from transnational and translingual perspectives. The case of Muhammad's depictions on the English- and German-language Wikipedias, with the political debates that developed around it, was one of her prominent test cases. I even had the privilege to give her an interview about my experience in the EN, HE and AR Wikipedias. I remember she presented some initial findings in the poster exhibition at Wikimania 2009 in Buenos Aires. I found the poster through her blog http://transnationalspaces.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/johanna-poster.pdf
>> All the best,
>> Dror K
>> בתאריך 13/10/10 10:28, ציטוט Dror Kamir:
>>> Nate suggested that I forward this discussion to the mailing list, so here goes... (My reply precedes Nate's original message)
>>> For the time being I read only the paragraph dealing with the depictions of Muhammad. I should congratulate you for making the effort to go over a long, often tedious, Wikipedia talk page and extract such an interesting dialog from it. I often get frustrated just by seeing the number of pages, sub-pages, archives and strange acronyms included in such a debate.
>>> One remark which is somewhat trivial - Basem3wad might might be unacquainted with Wikipedia, but the nick he chose for himself indicates some knowledge of the "Internet language". He uses spelling known among Arabic-speakers as "chat Arabic".This Latin-based transcription is popular among Arabic-speaking youths in text messages (SMS), Internet chats and for short messages in forums/FaceBook/Twitter. It is not used for long texts. In such cases, the writer takes the effort to switch his keyboard to AR and cater for the right-to-left parameters. The digit 3 represents the Arabic letter ع (Ayn), so the name is probably "Bassem Awad". Either it is his real name, or perhaps he chose a common Arab name as an alias (like "John Smith" in English). In any case he probably knows how to work his way through the cyberspace.
>>> Wikipedia is afraid of controversies. The idea of reaching consensus is wrongly interpreted as "avoid controversy at all costs". The fear of edit war is second only to the fear of global nuclear war. And yet controversies are part of our knowledge. The fact that a consensus cannot be reached, not only among the scholars from whom we extract the information for the article, but also among the people who wish to write about the subject, is part of what we know about the issue. The traditional sources of information often hide these controversies, and I remember the feeling of "revelation" when I started my academic studies and found out that many things I had learned from traditional textbooks and encyclopedia are, in fact, highly controversial. Wikipedia has the advantage of having "talk pages" (a.k.a "discussion pages") and "history", but it still works persistently to strangle any controversy on its "display windows".
>>> Most people who complained about the historical depictions of Muhammad were not acting in good faith, to the best of my judgment. I believe most of them were indeed trying to impose a certain radical view of Islam, and did not care too much about "scientific honesty". However, in the discussion you've brought, Basem3wad has a point. Wikipedia is not neutral, and worse than that - it does not have a consistent line of editing. When I read Time Magazine, for example, I know what to expect, more or less, and how to judge the material published. On Wikipedia, I often don't know how to interpret certain words, because I can't know for sure under which terms I should read the text (and the problem gets even worse if I read Wikipedia in more than one language). Since there is no consistent line of editing, it is indeed unclear how this Persian or Turkish depiction of Muhammad is relevant to the article. It is highly unlikely that it shows a genuine portrait of Muhammad, but in the articles about Aristotle or Josephus Flavius, Wikipedia has images of protomes that are likely to be genuine depictions of these people's faces. Since it is probably not Muhammad who is depicted there, how should the reader interpret their presentation on the article? Is it meant to show what people thought of Muhammad? Is it meant to show that Muslims were not apprehended in the past by physical depictions of Muhammad? Is it a call for Muslim to abandon the ban on such depiction? All of these interpretations are valid when there is no consistent line of edit.
>>> Dror K
>>> בתאריך 13/10/10 07:43, ציטוט nathaniel tkacz:
>>>> hi all - i have recently published an article on the politics of mass collaboration that uses a wikipedia entry as a case study. the article is primarily about collaboration, and the section on wikipedia is quite elementary, but it might be of interest anyhow. my basic argument is that we need to develop a theory of collaboration that can also speak to the conflicts and political realities of open projects.
>>>> Working together to produce socio-technological objects, based on emergent platforms of economic production, is of great importance in the task of political transformation and the creation of new subjectivities. Increasingly, “collaboration” has become a veritable buzzword used to describe the human associations that create such new media objects. In the language of “Web 2.0”, “participatory culture”, “user-generated content”, “peer production” and the “produser”, first and foremost we are all collaborators. In this paper I investigate recent literature that stresses the collaborative nature of Web 2.0, and in particular, works that address the nascent processes of peer production. I contend that this material positions such projects as what Chantal Mouffe has described as the “post-political”; a fictitious space far divorced from the clamour of the everyday. I analyse one Wikipedia entry to demonstrate the distance between this post-political discourse of collaboration and the realities it describes, and finish by arguing for a more politicised notion of collaboration.
>>>> Nate Tkacz
>>>> School of Culture and Communication
>>>> University of Melbourne
>>>> Twitter: http://twitter.com/__nate__
>>>> Current project: http://networkcultures.org/wpmu/cpov/about-2/
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