Wikipedians Do It for Love. Really.

I am personally leery of using Wikipedia as a source for some of my information needs. The thought that someone who quite possibly has  no more knowledge on the subject then I has edited it or created it scares me. The article Wikipedians Do It for Love. Really., dives into the success of Wikipedia.

I am not painting every Wikipedian with the same brush. I am sure there are very knowledgeable scholars on there who write beautiful articles that are brimming with great information that is correct and usable. I find my use of Wikipedia is for more mundane activities, like winning a bet or looking up some fact for celebrities or sports stats. But to use it for a scholarly endeavor is not agreeable to me. Truly, I find myself re-researching what the author has written to make sure it actually is fact. My main fear is what if the information is false. What if you rely on this a gospel truth. Will the professor deduct marks for wrong information? Can you actually use the excuse; “But that’s what it said on Wiki”!  I have heard horror stories where fake Wiki entries have been made. I personally would rather go to a more scholarly source for my information.  I would use it more if it was edited by experts in the topic rather than other Wikipedians. In the end, it all comes down to trust. Do I trust what is being written down? Am I willing to use it?

For me, the distrust on the facts outweighs the information easily available. Until there is a fool proof way of providing evidence that what is written is accurate, I will use other sources for my college work.



Shitty First Drafts

“Shitty First Drafts” , from the title of the article I knew I was going to enjoy it.  My first impression was that it was going to be funny, and I was right. The article made me think back to my school days years ago, and the plethora of shitty first drafts I wrote. And how difficult back then it was to write first drafts.

Today we have all the luxuries of computers, Microsoft Word, the internet to help us along in our writing. It is easy to correct mistakes, as we are told where we went wrong almost instantaneously. You can even buy programs that help your writing to  be more in-depth. Gosh, I hope they work and I didn’t waste my money. So correcting your first draft is dramatically different than when I first went to school.

First drafts for me years ago was done with pen and paper. You had that ever-present ink stain on the edge of your hand where you rubbed while you wrote. Liquid Paper was in high demand….and not just to sniff.  Scratched out words and sentences were common places. You were hoping that whoever reviewed your work could read it and decipher what was scribbled on the paper. Once you were reviewed and ready for the next copy, the dreaded typewriter was used.  You prayed that you did not make a mistake in typing because you would have to start over again. I personally killed a few forests with my essays. The lucky ones were the students whose Mom’s would do the typing for them.

I look forward to doing first drafts today, save them, correct them, transfer them from one drive to another. Wow….technology how I love you!!!!!


“15 Reasons I Think I Should Blog” Blog

The article “15 Reasons I Think I Should Blog” was very eye opening. They were 15 more reasons than I had ever thought of before. I am a neophyte in the blogging world. Have never even considered this form of communication before.  But as in all things in life, it is a poor day when you do not learn something new.

I find in my personal tasks, be it work, home life, interactions with people, I strive for positive reinforcement or comments. But I also look for the negative feedback. I continually look for ways to improve. Input from others goes a long way in shaping the way I move forward in tasks and activities.

So I had to read all the way to the end of the article to find my niche in blogging. Positive feedback is my reason for blogging. I enjoy reading others thoughts on my work, be it positive or negative. They both have the desired effect on my work or life in general. Positive feedback gives me the confidence to continue down the path I have chosen or to continue the work that I have been doing. Negative feedback gets me back on task, lets me see my weaknesses and hopefully improve on them to better myself.

My hope is that over this semester my blogs continue to grow through the feedback of my peers and instructor. I hope to become more comfortable sharing my thoughts and ideas with the blogosphere.  I, in turn, hope that some of my positive feedback will help others achieve what they are trying to communicate in their writing.  A win/win scenario for all involved.