Friday, March 27, 2009

You ARE useful, aren't you? Thing 16, wiki

My gut reaction to wiki was always an eye roll. Uttering "Wikipedia" in a room of journalists results in groans and eye rolling. It's notorious for being complete nonsense, totally unreliable. And you shouldn't so much as look at it, less ye be tainted with its filth.

So I never really thought about a wiki's uses in other forums. But of course, its weakness when fact-finding (anyone can publish their so-called "facts") is a strength when you are actually searching for opinions and suggestions.

And I've always known that -- I just didn't know that was a wiki. Poor wiki. Scandalized by it's infamous cousin "ipedia."

I love the idea of using it for lists of favorites and suggestions. For conferences? I don't know. I wouldn't want to rely on it for actual important facts like What Time Is Lunch and Where. I've known too many people who give strangers made up directions to places in a attempt to be helpful, i.e., "The bank building? Oh,, head up to that KFC and take a right. Then go straight. You can't miss it." (Is that a Southern Thing? Too polite to say "I dunno"?)

1 comment:

  1. Wikipedia is truly what you make of it. I try to steer patrons by telling them that it's a great springboard toward more reliable sources & that it (at least for now) shouldn't be the end of their research journey.