Some Dis-Assembly Required: A look at the Wikipedia IKEA article

IKEA has become a worldwide standard of affordable, build-it-yourself furniture and housing needs, and just as recognizable as their modern, seemingly randomly named products is their behemoth style warehouse stores and winding shopping routes. The massive blue and yellow monuments of interior design and Swedish meatballs are found around the globe, so it is to be expected that the company’s Wikipedia entry would cover much information with depth and reasonable accuracy. The Wikipedia entry for IKEA includes their history, structure of both the stores and businesses, products, positive and negative community impacts, criticism, and awards.

Readers of the page are immediately notified that the page could need additional citation to support its content.

Readers of the page are immediately notified that the page could need additional citation to support its content.

In the discussion of IKEA's environmental performance, three consecutive statements are tagged as needing confirmation.
In the discussion of IKEA’s environmental performance, three consecutive statements are tagged as needing confirmation.

Though the page is very thorough and cites 150 links and sources, at the top of its page is a statement by Wikipedia pointing out the need for additional citation within the article. The crowd sourced encyclopedia seeks to maintain transparency with its users, and notices like this one the site remind reader’s that the information presented is not hard fact or written in stone, but is instead the temporary result of an ongoing process (Jenkins 1).

Aside from the absence of a citation, within the article is found at least one instance of a cited link which is at best only loosely related to the claim made. Seen here, the linked site is only a search engine used to find employment opportunities with IKEA in Canada, rather than to a statistic regarding the presumed popularity of the company’s budget friendly goods with college students.

IKEABADLINK

IKEA BAD LINK 2

The quest for verification of popular opinion ends in a strange urge to relocate to Canada and become a full time furniture builder.

Since its creation in 2001, the IKEA page has been expanded, edited, corrected, or vandalized over 5,000 times, and most recently was amended 5 days prior to this post, according to the number of entries found listed on its Revision History page. Here and on the Talk page, users are in united discussion with one another to keep the article correct, up to date, and robust. While vandalism may hinder Wikipedia’s goal to gather and present the broad scope of facts and knowledge, its easily accessible platform is intended to allow for different points of view to be addressed.

IKEAVAN

Here a user has deliberately changed the credited founder to a false name. The edit was immediately noticed and reverted.

IKEATALK

A user’s addition to the list of topics being considered for improvement. The opinionated post has not been addressed since it’s appearance on the Talk page.

Through discourse and the pooling of knowledge, seen in the constant revision of IKEA’s Wikipedia entry are individuals collaborating, evaluating and negotiating to acquire and combine information as a social group entity which can be shared with all who are interested in learning about the questionable business practices of the fabulous some-assembly-required furniture provider (Jenkins 2).

Works Cited:

Jenkins, Henry. “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us about New Media Literacies (Part 1).” Web log post.

Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins. N.p., 26 June 2007. Web. 21 Mar. 2015.

Jenkins, Henry. “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us about New Media Literacies (Part 2).” Web log post.

Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins. N.p., 27 June 2007. Web. 21 Mar. 2015.

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