Wow, in a word after watching the Ted video on wikipedia, I have known several teachers/professors to disregard wikipedia and finding out the founder “monarch” is a fellow of Harvard makes it impressive. I do not think wikipedia should be seen as the only research tool in a project, but it is a quick and effective way of finding a point and furthering research off of that. After listening to the government of wikipedia I feel that is a somewhat valid source and the people who comment on the page cannot write whatever they please, there are rules to follow and guidelines that if not followed the person is deleted. ..will add more later, but wanted to comment on my impression of the Ted video (which are effective not only for our class but also anything to do with computer science, they give great lectures on everything from computer programming to i-pod/Mac usage).
The history pages on wikipedia are interesting for a lack of better word, I looked through pages on 9-11 and right away I found in the discussion pages disgruntled users asking why 9-11 had its own portal in comparison to other historic events. Users commented on the 9-11 attacks overall and then after looking through individual pages on flights, United Airlines Flight 93 and American Airlines Flight 11 I found the discussions appalling. The contributors fought over the accuracy of information, which I agree should be correct and the government should tell the public the truth, but the heroic efforts of the passengers on Flight 93 need to be fully recognized not fought over. The discussion pages are clearly not academic sites either with the lack of formal punctuation, but the information gets across and it is a way for people from different backgrounds to make information accessible for anyone. Also the history pages intrigued me the posts were all centered in clumps throughout the year it made me wonder if the contributors are notified with updates so all post at one time? Then someone goes back and periodically checks?