In the news
Wikinews reports on Australian blocks of parts of Wikileaks and Wikipedia
Earlier this month, Wikipedia was drawn into a dispute over Australian Internet censorship. In an experiment to test the nature and extent of enforcement of the website blacklist maintained by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), activists added a link to a censored site to the ACMA's Wikipedia article, among other legitimate sites. Wikinews covered this in more detail in a March 20 story, "Portions of Wikileaks, Wikipedia blocked in Australia". Wikileaks published an editorial on March 29, "Western internet censorship: The beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?", in response to reactions to the publication of blacklists.
Wikipedia and Twitter for England's classrooms?
In England, "Pupils to study Twitter and blogs in primary schools shake-up", The Guardian reports. Draft plans for a revision of primary school curriculum would lessen the requirements for history education and give teacher more flexibility in deciding what to emphasize. The plans also call for children to learn about "blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication".
Wikipedia Revolution spreads
Andrew Lih's The Wikipedia Revolution (ISBN 1401303714) is drawing a considerable amount of media attention. It has been reviewed in several high-profile venues, and this week Lih was interviewed for an article at Salon.com, "Are we dangerously dependent on Wikipedia?".
The book is also the starting point for a "Week in Review" essay in the New York Times by journalist Noam Cohen, "Wikipedia: Exploring Fact City". Cohen explores the metaphor, discussed in Lih's book, of Wikipedia as a city, where well-trafficked areas are relatively safe and there are always surprises and new developments for visitors to find. Technology writer and social critic Nicholas Carr responded to Cohen's essay with a blog post called "Potemkinpedia". Carr argues that Cohen is too optimistic, and that "Wikipedia has, to play with Cohen's metaphor, erected a lot of police barricades, cordoning off large areas of the site and requiring would-be editors to show their government-issued ID cards before passing through."
- The Signpost previously noted the results of a Wikipedia assignment run by University of Florida ecology professor Emilio Bruna: the professor and the students published an article in scientific journal analyzing the assignment and arguing for Wikipedia editing as a professional responsibility. Bruna and one of his students were interviewed for EcoTone: The Ecology Society of America Blog.
- Silicon Valley gossip site Vallywag asks, "Is the Los Angeles Times Cribbing from Wikipedia?" An article on Japanese bullet trains bears suspicious resemblance to Wikipedia content.
- In Learning & Leading with Technology, a newsletter of the International Society for Technology in Education, Thomas Hammond and David Farhie offer point/counterpoint on the issue "Wikipedia: Friend or Foe".
- Wikipedia is the focus of e-Learning Stuff Podcast #19, with British educators James Clay, Lisa Valentine, and Nick Jeans: "W.. W.. W.. W.. Wikipedia". The comparatively small Scots Wikipedia is discussed in some detail.
- Wired reviews Wikirank, a tool for comparing the traffic of Wikipedia articles, which is now open to the public.
- The National covers the potential use of flagged revisions in "The ‘we’ in Wiki?", although the description of how flagged revisions would work is at odds with the current proposal under discussion, Flagged protection and patrolled revisions.