Results of Fall 2005

Exams are done, course work is done, the task now is to get my dissertation proposal completed and defended. Last semester I took on two more (draft) pieces of the dissertation puzzle, a recent history and the question of leadership:

Wikipedia’s Heritage: Vision, Pragmatics, and Happenstance - moving on from my earlier consideration of print publishers in Four Short Stories about the Reference Work, I consider recent digital encycopedic works:

This essay explores development of globally available digital reference works from their first imaginings to contemporary cases. My hope in undertaking such a project is to identify technical and social aspects of digital reference work production that can contribute to an understanding of a prominent contemporary exemplar, the Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia. Why did it take over 50 years for the vision of “[w]holly new forms of encyclopedias” (Bush 1945:

Ported/Archived Responses

David Gerard on 2006-02-06

Emergent leaders in Wikipedia also tend to get a lot of jobs. In Soviet Wikipedia, job find YOU! I think what happens is that someone realises there’s a job that needs doing, so first thinks of competent people … which will be people with lots of jobs already. So the reward for a job well done is another three jobs. I’m running at about twelve or thirteen at present; I think James Forrester is rapidly approaching forty.

Sage on 2006-02-07

Mr. Reagle,

You might be interested in the new WikiProject History of Science:

Are you going to present any of your work at Wikimania 2006?

Jakob on 2006-02-08

You should add Paul Otlet to your timeline - he wanted to collect the knowledge of the world with index cards on paper. See this publication: <a href=””></a>

The Cunctator on 2006-02-05

Ward Cunningham’s project was the WikiWiki project, not the Wiki project.

Sanger’s problems were in large part his inability to follow the principles of meritocracy he laid out. I would hardly describe his reflections about leaving the project as insightful.

Comments !