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New Media, Communication, and Society

A Fast, Straightforward Examination of Key Topics

Mary Ann Allison and Cheryl A. Casey

New Media, Communication, and Society is a fast, straightforward examination of key topics which will be useful and engaging for both students and professors. It connects students to wide-ranging resources and challenges them to develop their own opinions. Moreover, it encourages students to develop media literacy so they can speak up and  make a difference in the world. Short chapters with lots of illustrations encourage reading and provide a springboard for conversation inside and outside of the classroom. Wide-ranging topics spark interest. Chapters include suggestions for additional exploration, a media literacy exercise, and a point that is just for fun. Every chapter includes thought leaders, ranging from leading researchers to business leaders to entrepreneurs, from Socrates to Doug Rushkoff and Lance Strate to Bill Gates.

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17 Wikipedia: Not Just Wow! But How? (Mary Ann Allison)

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CHAPTER 17

Wikipedia: Not Just Wow! But How?

Mary Ann Allison

We are often called upon to marvel at the huge success of Wikipedia, and why not? It is a grand experiment.

I use Wikipedia frequently and, if you’re reading this book, I’ll bet you do, too. As I write this, it is the No. 5 website in the world. More than 500 million people, using 294 languages, turn to Wikipedia for “instant” information.

Figure 17.1. About Wikipedia. ← 107 | 108 →

More than 30 million editors have added information to Wikipedia…and they’ve done this without being paid for their work. A small group of 280 people—who are paid—make this possible. But how does this work?

First, there is the question of working without being paid. What makes people work without being paid?

Then there is the question of how the workers are organized.

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