I was given the task to look at the Discussion and History tabs of a few Wikipedia pages, so I decided to look at the featured article about Myles Standish and a random article about Jacob van Ruisdael. Beginning with the Discussion tab, it was actually a lot better than I expected it to be. I was kind of expecting it to be in the same tier as the YouTube comments. Meaning, I thought the users were going to be pretty bad and not cooperative. Referring to the Standish page, they are mostly discussing facts about Standish and letting others know why they edited a piece of the article. Some users even had a discussion on how Standish’s first name is spelled because the article itself keeps going back and forth between “Myles” and “Miles”. In the Discussion tab for Ruisdael, there wasn’t that much, but the few users did discuss if a certain spelling for Ruisdael’s last name was helpful to the article. They ended up deciding that it wasn’t, so one user removed it. They were also worried that they may mislead someone with the image listed on the page. Some may think it is an official painting of Ruisdael even though it is stated that no one knows what he looks like later in the article.
Looking the History tabs of both articles, there isn’t really anything that stands out to me personally. The Ruisdael article is slowly being worked on. It began in 2006 and since then, it was edited 44 more times by 20 users. Compared to Standish’s 98 edits by 42 users, it’s pretty small.
To conclude this section of the blog post, I have the say that the users of Wikipedia are actually pretty friendly and are willing to help each other out on various articles. The discussions show how much the contributors care about the articles they work on and how much they want to make it the perfect article for informing the reader of whatever topic they may be looking at. It makes me wish more online communities were more like Wikipedia’s. The History tab was also pretty interesting in the fact you can compare all of the edits together to see how the article evolved over the recent years. I like how it’s there for public viewing, so you don’t have to use an extra tool like the Wayback Machine to view the article in its early years.
For our future Convergence Center website, we probably wouldn’t use a Creative Commons License since we are most likely going to pass the finish product over to the university once we finish and they can decide whether or not they want a license. If I had to choose one though, it would be the ShareAlike license, so that each of us could still be credited for the foundation of the website.
Copyright isn’t much of a problem for our project, be we have to make sure that if we do a video trailer or walk-through, we need to use some CC music and not a copyrighted song to avoid the videos form being taken down. We also need to make sure that our interviewees sign off on a form saying that they agree on being part of our project.