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Case
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Reference no. 308-003-1
Published by: IBS Center for Management Research
Published in: 2008

Abstract

Wikipedia, a free on-line encyclopedia, was launched in January 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. It soon emerged as a collaborative encyclopedia where anybody could contribute and make edits to the articles. The collaborative nature of the encyclopedia was widely appreciated by the users as this gave everybody a chance to contribute to the 'knowledge world'. Wikipedia always maintained a focus on being an encyclopedia, rather than being a culmination of a news website, dictionary etc. It was this focus which contributed to the site's success. Google and Yahoo! also supported Wikipedia by featuring its entries among search results. This increased the visitors to the site manifold which in turn increased the number of contributors on the site. Notwithstanding its success, however, there were quite a few criticisms which alleged that the site was not doing much to monitor the kind of material that was being posted. There were also criticisms that the open architecture of the site made vandalism and misbehaviour rampant on the site. Many high profile organisations were seen altering or deleting information in the articles on the site. This case highlights the rapid growth of Wikipedia, the problems faced by the site in the recent years and the challenges it may face in the near future.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for postgraduate courses.
Location:
Size:
Large
Other setting(s):
2001-2007

About

Abstract

Wikipedia, a free on-line encyclopedia, was launched in January 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. It soon emerged as a collaborative encyclopedia where anybody could contribute and make edits to the articles. The collaborative nature of the encyclopedia was widely appreciated by the users as this gave everybody a chance to contribute to the 'knowledge world'. Wikipedia always maintained a focus on being an encyclopedia, rather than being a culmination of a news website, dictionary etc. It was this focus which contributed to the site's success. Google and Yahoo! also supported Wikipedia by featuring its entries among search results. This increased the visitors to the site manifold which in turn increased the number of contributors on the site. Notwithstanding its success, however, there were quite a few criticisms which alleged that the site was not doing much to monitor the kind of material that was being posted. There were also criticisms that the open architecture of the site made vandalism and misbehaviour rampant on the site. Many high profile organisations were seen altering or deleting information in the articles on the site. This case highlights the rapid growth of Wikipedia, the problems faced by the site in the recent years and the challenges it may face in the near future.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for postgraduate courses.

Settings

Location:
Size:
Large
Other setting(s):
2001-2007

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