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Technology & Innovation

Wikipedia Catches Social Media Bug

Facebook has the Like button. Google has +1. Now, Wikipedia is getting a Love button. Its goal is to create a community of support around its many editors who are facing difficulties. 

What’s the Latest Development?

The crowd-sourced encyclopedia Wikipedia is facing a new round of challenges as it continues to grow. “Over time, the number of corrections and criticisms sent to editors has steadily increased, while the amount of praise and thanks sent has decreased. But Wikipedia’s own studies have shown the obvious, which is the exact opposite of how the community is currently acting: ‘having others compliment you on your edits/articles’ is the best way to get people to edit more frequently.”

What’s the Big Idea?

Will social media save Wikipedia? In this first experiment, the site’s administrators readily admit they might not have gotten it right, but something must be done, they say, to keep the encyclopedia alive and well: “The crowdsourced encyclopedia can only expand and improve if it has a healthy number of people willing to spend their time writing and editing the content. It makes sense that people would be more willing to invest time and energy if they have a supportive community behind them, but it’s unclear if digital pictures of cats and beer are the way to do that.”


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