Saturday, September 26, 2009

Free/Open content aspects of Wikipedia

Free/Open content aspects of Wikipedia

·         Schroer and Hertel (2009) examine the voluntarily engagement and motivation in an open web-based encyclopedia such as the German Wikipedia. A survey of 106 wikipedians reveals that the main motivations are perceived benefits and perceived task characteristics such as autonomy, skill variety and self-reported engagement.

·         Wagner (2007) looks into the feasibility of open collaborative contributions to Wikipedia. They found out that Wikipedians have collaborative and individual motives but the altruistic motives are stronger. The authors relate the success of Wikipedia to the superior “wiki way” of collaboration.

·         Nov (2007) looks at Wikipedia as an outstanding example of collective openly generated content for knowledge sharing. The ideology itself is the main motivator while other social or career motivations are not significant in this research.
Wiki research involving Wikipedia

·         Korfiatis et al (2006) evaluate collaborative contributions to wikis using social network metrics applied to Wikipedia and found out that the reliability challenge increases with the size of Wikipedia and as more controversial topics is added.

·         Black (2008) explores the usage of content-malleable systems such as Wikipedia for academic purposes. It finds out that the peer review model for academic knowledge dissemination should be updated to keep up with the flow of academic knowledge controlled by old models that should be radically reconstructed.

·         Denning et al (2005) questions the reliability of collaborative knowledge creation that lacks formal review process using Wikipedia as the sample data set. The authors do not conclude with an affirmative answer as whether inaccuracies are purposeful and controlled.
Wikipedia as a data source

·         Luyt et al (2008) investigate the ongoing criticism on using Wikipedia as a key information source but could not establish enough statistical support that surviving portions of the articles enhance its quality.

·         Delsaut (2005) attempt to respond to the questions whether the Wikipedia information can be of interest for information professionals and demonstrate the various advantages of Wikipedia as an open encyclopedia. [FRENCH]

·         Caraco (2004) asserts that Wikipedia might be quickly of interest for French librarians although its credibility is not established. [FRENCH]

·         Fry (2006) studies the trustworthiness of Wikipedia as a source of information and concludes that Britannica ahs a lower error rate and, furthermore, that Wikipedia is not reliable enough.
Trends in Wikipedia contribution: quantitative or qualitative

·         McFedries (2006) examine the wiki collaboration as a subset of “crowdsourcing” where the size matters. Wikipedia presents the biggest crowd for such a model and the author concludes that it is effective because it has more contributors and more effective “social filtering that weeds out the chaff and promotes the wheat”.

·         Zlatic et al (2006) analyses the complex networks of Wikipedias in several languages and compare them to other previously studied networks. The authors show that several behaviors are exhibit through the various networks such as: clustering, reciprocity, growth, distributions, assortativitiy, and triad significance profiles which prove the existence of a growth process.

·         Miller (2005) reviews briefly the collaborative radical behavior of Wikipedians and their unformulated authoring temperament.
Trends in usage of Wikipedia

·         Leong and Hassan (2008) demonstrate how to use Wikipedia as a semantic tool to construct a directional inferential similarity metrics for words and texts. The article proves that a Wikipedia based metric brings in significant enhancement and reduces the error rates found with other metrics.

·         Hepp et al (2007) shows how the Wikipedia articles URIs identify reliably web knowledge resources and uses these URIs to estimates rank various concepts.

·         Shi et al (2008) propose an innovative automatic algorithm to extract keywords or key-phrases from Wikipedia based on lexical methods in order to graph the semantic relation between documents and associated candidate key phrases. Encouraging results are found and the regression model yields better quality for candidate matching.
Literature reviews

·         Okoli (2009) reviews previous studies on Wikipedia from different point of views including: how and why Wikipedia works, assessments of the reliability of content, using it as a data source for other scholarly studies, and how Wikipedia is used in various disciplines.
Web 2.0

·         Yap (2008) uses innovations evidences from Wikipedia and other online social networks to invstigate the concept of Web 2.0 from business point of view and to see whether Web 2.0 pardigm would change the market mechanisms. The authors conclude that Web 2.0 mindset would lead to a new business 2.0 paradigm where merchants cooperate together to deliver higher quality products.

·         Castelluccio (2008) asserts that the collaboration medium on wikis (especially Wikipedia) would create a new Internet.

·         Short (2008) examines the risks that Web 2.0 bring to the corporate world because of increased uncontrollable interactivity on Wikipedia and other social networks where authenticity and transparency are doubtful.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Giving: Helping the oneself

Islam teaches total trust. The faith assures the believers that giving generously will not decrease their Rizq (provisions and properties) in any way, but rather increase them. Giving not only satisfies the needs of the poor and disadvantaged but also benefits the giver, whose righteous generosity returns invaluable riches of peace and satisfaction; his/her heart is protected from the earth-quakes of rancor and jealousy, and he/she is saved from the adverse consequences of selfishness and narrow-mindedness. It’s a simple but profound spiritual equation: By giving we are helping ourselves.

Islam considers greedy and avaricious mentality at this level as very cheap and mean, for it is a faith that seeks to nourish charity and generosity all the time. Almighty Allah says in the Qur’an: “So be aware of Him as much as you can; listen and obey; and spend charity for the benefit of your own soul. And whoever is saved from his own greediness, then they are successful ones.” {At Tagabun 16}

It was also reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “Protect yourself against the fire [of judgment against you], even if it be only by (giving) a piece of date; and if one cannot even fulfill this, then by saying a good word.” {Muslim}

This month of Ramadan is a great and enriching opportunity to spend for the sake of Allah. We have many chances and choices from among the projects in our community:
  • The needy and poor at home
  • Sisters and brothers and sisters in poor Muslim communities all over the world.
  • Give your Zakat cheerfully to purify both your property and your soul.
  • Give Sadaqat ul Fitr to help rid yourself of bad attitudes, vain thoughts and useless speech in the month of Ramadan.
  • Finally, give Sadaqat ul Jariyah (permanent charity) to support community projects – all this nourishes and maintains our Muslim identity in the best possible way.