From Chaos to Order: The Way The Wikipedia Works and Is Organized




Miguel Vidal López (URJC)


The Wikipedia is among the ten most popular websites of the world, but not many people knows about its inner workings: if it has rules or editorial criteria, if it’s required any kind of credential, if there are mediations or filters, who or how decisions are taken, if it has an owner and who is the holder of its intellectual property rights, the way conflicts are managed, the works that librarians and bureaucrats do, if it’s an educative platform or any kind of techno- political experiment, etc. It’s not always known its function. Even the expression “free encyclopedia” has led to bad interpretations, as if the project were exempt of objectives or rules. Unfortunately, several myths and errors get around without never reaching to understand the reasons why so many people dedicates their time to contribute to this project in an almost anonymous way. We won’t find in this presentation brainy thoughts but the mere practical experience of passion and the thousands of hours dedicated to contribute a bit to this huge expression of the free cooperation and the human wit, not without the miseries, greatness, contradictions and hopes of the people which make it.



Author's Biography

Miguel Vidal López

Miguel Vidal is a Systems Unix Administrator (BSD, Solaris, Linux). He currently works as a teacher and researcher in the Group of Free Software Engineering at the URJC. He developed the current structure of High Availability of the Morfeo Project and has collaborated in the administration an maintenance al a low level of the European Platform OSOR. He has previously worked at the RAE and the CSIC. He participates more than ten years ago in several Free Software and Free Culture diffusion initiatives. He is currently in charge of one project to translate to Spanish the OpenBSD documentation. He teachs assignment in the Galician edition of the Free Software Master and also in the Digital Economy And Creative Industries Master of the EOI Business School. He is wikipedist since 2005 and librarian (“Sysop”) of the Wikipedia in Spanish since 2007. He has made more than 11,500 editions in 2,500 articles and he also has created 150 new articles.

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