As a student at the University of Texas and a lifetime Longhorn fan, I’ve had a good amount of experience being in or around the football stadium. Because UT’s program is so prestigious, Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium is an iconic venue in college football. In recent years there have been a number of changes and renovations to the stadium, the most notable of which being the enormous video board that, at the time, was the largest high-definition screen in the world. With so much history surrounding the stadium and the program that plays in it, it would be hard for any fan regardless of their passion to be able to remember all of the details. However, as is common today, there’s always one place people can turn to for any information they might want to know: Wikipedia.
Wikipedia is almost always the first place that anyone turns to when they want to know about a specific topic. Like encyclopedias in the past, Wikipedia has basic information on a wide variety of subjects but its position online gives it some very useful qualities that books simply could not have. Firstly, the internet is extremely vast giving Wikipedia virtually endless room to expand on the amount of subjects it covers. Secondly, and arguably most importantly, because the information contained in Wikipedia is not set in stone it can change and be edited as time goes by. The ability to update information is what makes Wikipedia seem like a reliable source for almost anything, but unfortunately this is not the case.
Henry Jenkins, a popular media scholar, gave a speech regarding the possible drawbacks of the online encyclopedia. The site is based on the idea of collective intelligence, “the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal,” which sounds good in theory but can very easily lead to problems (Jenkins). Pooling knowledge and comparing notes with people who have studied or have experience with a particular subject can lead to very accurate information, but Wikipedia actually has much fewer people participating than it would seem.
For instance, on the DKR wiki page, it states that anyone is allowed to make contributions which could be disastrous if someone wanted to mess with the page.
Also, the user that created the page itself has made substantially more edits on the page than anyone else.
He and the other major contributors almost all have some relation to UT in one way or another.
The page itself was created in 2005, around the time when the football team was gaining national attention because of their good play. Additionally, there are nearly three times as many edits as there are contributors so many of them are playing a big role in additions.
While the information on this particular page all seems accurate to me, I also have a bit of a bias because of my affiliation with the University of Texas. This page is a good example of collective intelligence, while having the potential to be very helpful on Wikipedia, can also have the potential to be incredibly biased or misinformed.
Jenkins, Henry. “WHAT WIKIPEDIA CAN TEACH US ABOUT THE NEW MEDIA LITERACIES (PART ONE).” Confessions of an AcaFan. Henry Jenkins, n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2015.
Jenkins, Henry. “WHAT WIKIPEDIA CAN TEACH US ABOUT THE NEW MEDIA LITERACIES (PART TWO).” Confessions of an AcaFan. Henry Jenkins, n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2015.