Knowledge Philanthropy: Cheap and Uber-Valuable

Wikipedia

July 18, 2012; Source: Scientific American

Writing for Scientific American, Hilda Bastian issues a call to arms, telling readers that they should get more active on sites like Wikipedia where their contributions of knowledge are needed. She points out that participation in editing/writing for the site peaked in 2007 and that there are fewer women than there should be represented among the editors. There are plenty of opportunities to contribute; Wikipedia makes it fairly easy if you have a decent knowledge base. Bastian points out that if you use Wikipedia a lot, you will still see that there are some woefully incomplete or inaccurate postings.

“The worst entries can be quite catastrophic,” comments Bastian, adding that “an article has to be truly egregious to be deleted. Those really bad entries are marked ‘stubs’, and they’re kind of begging for someone to come and do something. To see what this means, go to the WikiProjects page, pick one of the 2,000 topic areas you’ve got expertise in, and find the list of ‘stubs.’”

NPQ thinks, as you might well imagine, that this kind of crowdsourced activity is an excellent way to contribute to the world. There is enormous value in building collective knowledge in any number of situations and the more willing we are to put some time into that, the wiser citizen action will become. NPQ would love to be one of the recipients of your knowledge philanthropy as well. For instance, we are always looking for newswire writers that will help us as we try to bring the acts of making history and writing it together. –Ruth McCambridge