Wikipedia: A New Community of Practice?

Front Cover
Routledge, Feb 11, 2016 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 200 pages
During its brief existence Wikipedia has proved astonishingly successful with 2.8 million articles in English alone available freely to all with access to the internet. The online encyclopedia can be seen as the 21st century’s version of earlier historical attempts to gather the world’s knowledge into one place - this unique book offers a description of some of these earlier attempts. O’Sullivan follows with a thorough analysis of Wikipedia itself, suggesting how to approach and contribute to the site, and what can be gained from using it. Writing in an accessible style the author takes a socio-historical approach and argues that by looking at communities of practice in the past we can come to understand the radical, even political, nature of Wikipedia. The book will have a broad appeal to anyone interested in the development of this unique project, including information management professionals but also historians, sociologists, educators and students.
 

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Contents

Preface
Introduction
GROUPS IN HISTORY
Group Theory
The Library of Alexandria
The Royal Society
The Republic of Letters
The Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
Social Sites
Aims
The Community
Structure
Transaction Costs
Wikipedia and the Public
Browsing Wikipedia
Contributing to Wikipedia

The Left Book Club
WIKIPEDIA

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About the author (2016)

Dan O'Sullivan has spent most of his life working in education, teaching history in colleges. He has written several books including 'Youth Culture' (Methuen, 1974), 'The Age of Discovery 1400-1550' (Longman, 1984), 'Tudor Britain 1485-1603' (Longman, 1997) and 'In Search of Captain Cook' (I.B.Tauris, 2008).

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