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Knowledge should be free

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By Katherine Maher, Chief Communications Officer, Wikimedia Foundation.

Knowledge should be free, open, and collaborative. This is the idea at the heart of Wikipedia. It is what has made Wikipedia the largest collaborative free knowledge resource in human history, and one of the most popular websites in the world.

The Wikipedia vision is a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. For us to realize this world, collaboration is critical. At the Wikimedia Foundation we believe that we won’t reach the sum of all knowledge without the contributions of all people, so we are committed to expanding opportunities for people from around the globe to contribute to, and learn from, the Wikimedia projects.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

Reliability vs verifiability on Wikipedia, the peer production encyclopedia

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By Pep Adrian, wikipedian in residence at the UOC.

Wikipedia has been said to be the largest commons-based peer production project in the world. Since its creation in 2001 it has been edited and reviewed billions of times. It has long achieved the goal to be the greatest encyclopedia even written, and aims to be the sum of all human knowledge.

When explaining Wikipedia to non-editors we always face the same question: Is it reliable? And sometimes we are tempted to answer quite straightforwardly: No. It is not and never will be. However we must concede that this is not a good way to present oneself and must keep on explaining.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014
About the Question
How many peers does it take to change a light bulb?

Systems like Linux and websites like Wikipedia are paradigmatic of a particular way of open collaboration known as peer production. Peer producers choose their tasks freely and coordinate their work using open digital platforms. They share the fruits of their labour as part of a global commons, and everyone works according to their abilities and benefits according to their needs.

Is this an emerging form of communism? Or the future of liberal capitalism? Or is it simply a new mode of production? In this blog we want to explore both the benefits and the downsides of such way of working.

UOC/IN3 degrees