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How Wikipedia Works: And How You Can Be a Part of It 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
There is an especially valuable chapter on "Understanding and Evaluating an Article" with a lot of good tips. Traditional encyclopedias are written by authorities in the field, but Wikipedia is written by a wide variety of authors, some experts, some amateurs, some fanatics, and some vandals. The appeal to authority doesn't work for Wikipedia.
There are real-life case studies scattered through the book about the internal workings of Wikipedia and its interaction with the real world. The most startling and sobering is the story of Turkish scholar Taner Akçam, who was detained at Montreal's Trudeau Airport by Canadian officials who had read in Wikipedia an incorrect report that he was a terrorist.
I only have a couple of gripes about this book. The screen shots highlight the relevant parts by graying everything else, which I like, but the gray is so dark it's hard to see the screen clearly and tell where you are. The index is lengthy but it was hard to find things in it; it seems to index only the main discussion of each topic and not any other references to it.
Compared to John Broughton's Wikipedia: The Missing Manual, this book is much broader and shallower.Read more ›
It may sound a bit counterintuitive, but I would have liked to see a few more anecdotes about real cases, how they evolved, and how articles changed over time. It is a bit theoretical at times when the authors talk about "editing wars" (and other issues) without showing what the war was actually about, what was changed, why this was bad (or good) and how the conflict was solved.
Aside from all that, if you want to know about Wikipedia, this is the book for you. The authors explain exactly what Wikipedia is, (it's a giant web encyclopedia (my words, not theirs)), how it got started and what's it for. They also explain how you, yes you if you wish, can contribute to Wikipedia.
They also explain the rights and copyrights of the articles and graphics you will find on Wikipedia. They explain how you can use the articles, and how you should give credit for them when you reuse them. They also explain how you can edit an article if you should know about the subject, or even add a new article.
This book is chock full of information and you will know all about Wikipedia when you are reading this book. I found it written in an entertaining and conversational style. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to know all about Wikipedia.
I have edited a handful of Wikipedia entries, but always with some trepidation, a little voice in my head going, "You're not doing it right!" All the rules and templates and syntax and unique cultural guidelines are all included in Wikipedia itself, but it can be a daunting task finding what you need at any given moment. I remember having many browser windows open into multiple Wikipedia pages -- all so I could make sure I *was* doing it right. I often wished I had an offline reference I could flip through to find what I needed without leaving the page I was editing.
And now I do. This is a very fine book indeed, extremely thorough on every topic I can imagine needing to know more about. Highly recommended.
~ Chris Locke, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ms. Ayers writes as an enthusiast, ignoring the dark side of the various alliances that tussle over Wikipedia content. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Xmarc999
Needed to help a client and this worked great. Just what I needed.Published 16 months ago by Jody L McCoy
Outdated and so not accurate when compared to the current Wikipedia screen content. It's badly in need of an update.Published 19 months ago by Webistrator
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/ls/ref=aw_wl_ov_edit_notes?ie=UTF8&filter=&lid=15CJTKXEV0Z2X&p=1&reveal=unpurchased&sort=date-addedPublished 19 months ago by Jessica_AponteRamos
How Wikipedia Works: And How You Can Be a Part of It
Review by Richard L. Weaver II, PhD.
The back cover of this 507-page book says that by reading the book, you... Read more
From learning how to use Wikipedia to contributing to existing articles by fact-checking and adding new articles that confirm to Wikipedia's guidelines, HOW WIKIPEDIA WORKS is a... Read morePublished on March 15, 2009 by Midwest Book Review
This book has been a delight to read. It should be essential reading for all aspiring editors of Wikipedia. Read morePublished on January 18, 2009 by Leonard S. Woody III