Wikipedia, the modern online encyclopedia, is a global mass of collective intelligence on a wide range of topics. Pages are made up of topic subjects filled with contributed information from different editors to add to the sum of knowledge posted on the subject. This networking pulls information from multiple sources in a show that the minds of the many are better than the minds of the few (Jenkins). People all around the world can bring together their knowledge on a subject and share it for the world to see. Wikipedia is “free and unlimited” so any topic’s space may reflect “how much the community knows or feels able to communicate about the subject, how many people know about the topic, and what kinds of contexts this information gets used” (Jenkins). This leaves a lot of room for dispute and uneven distribution. What if someone posts a wrong fact? What if one person knows more than anyone else but isn’t allowed to post? What about when no one knows a lot about a subject and little is written on it?
The Wikipedia page for Dragons is a well filled article. Its contents span over the discourse around dragons of multiple large mythological origin countries from Europe to East Asia as well as depictions outside of mythology. These contents are not the same as the contents of the Talk page. On the Talk page most topics branch of problem points of editing the main Article. What is there to change? Is this right? Should this Hobbit spoiler be included? There is a lot of work that does into collective intelligence, part of that being dispute. With so many possible contributors, its impossible for all editors to have the same idea on what information should be put, where it should be put and why.
Both the article and talk pages are updated regularly. Changing times, addition to editors and knowledge of the subject make, as well as found mistakes in the text make changes to the page occur nearly every month. Often several times a month the page can be found being added to or corrected. The two pages don’t always parallel each other in which is being edited. In the August to April span of 2014 the talk page had a substantial amount of activity while the article page did not.
The Wikipedia page for dragon is a C-class article. It has a large amount of information, but there’s still room for more to be added and edited. The average person would find it adequate, but as an overall collection for dragon information, its still fairly lacking. While collective intelligence has created a lot of “opportunities for peer-to-peer learning” there’s still the matter of “what knowledge matters to whom under what circumstances for what purposes” (Jenkins). There’s a lot to be learned about how collective intelligence and Wikipedia work. Will it be overall successful into the future? Is it truly a good source, or if it is too lacking in details, full of mistakes and unknown “here be dragons” lands of empty articles to be a proper encyclopedia?
“Dragon.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 8 Mar. 2015. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon>.
Jenkins, Henry. “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About the New Media Literacies (Part One).” Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., 26 June 2007. Web. 05 Mar. 2015. <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/06/what_wikipedia_can_teach_us_ab.html>.
Jenkins, Henry. “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About the New Media Literacies (Part Two).” Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., 27 June 2007. Web. 05 Mar. 2015. <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/06/what_wikipedia_can_teach_us_ab.html>.