I am Wikipedia

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For the third section of our Wikipedia study we were to go into two pages that we were interested in and make changes to the pages. I chose, once again, the page for the Pittsburgh Steelers and I also chose the page for Westmoreland County, PA.

On the Westmoreland County page I decided to make some changes. Under the heading Municipalities, I changed the capital letters of Cities and Boroughs to cities and buroughs. I let it sit over night and when I returned to see it remained as I had changed it. I think the main idea is that small changes that don't effect meaning aren't the issue. Who cares about capitalization. But if the information is incorrect, or biased, or opinionated in some other way, it will have to be dealt with.

On the Steelers' page I made some changes that I noticed were changed back the next day. I looked into the history and someone had posted something regarding Vandelism but I wasn't sure if it was because of me or because of another's edit on the text. My change wasn't a huge deal but it did change the meaning of the text. It was the placement of an apostrophe changing something's possession. This goes to show me that there are people out there that monitor this stuff and I like how everyone is looking out for Wikipedia's best. They want it to be accessible and reliable.

Overall, I feel much more trustworthy of Wikipedia now that I understand what all goes on behind the scenes. Yes, I realize that there are cases that the information may be tampered with when I view an article, or it may not be the most reliable source out there, but I wouldn't discourage my students from using it as a reference point to gain information. In the question of using it as a source, I'm still not sure what my stance is on that and I think I'm leaning away from it for the simple reason that it's just not that reliable. But I would and do encourage students that have a quick question about something or need a starting point to generate ideas to refer to Wikipedia. I think it's a great place for info and since it is a consensus of information, it may actually be more beneficial, due to a variety of outlooks on a particular subject, than something else.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy published on November 10, 2008 10:05 AM.

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