Wikipedia's heritage: vision, pragmatics, and happenstance
|Wikipedia's heritage: vision, pragmatics, and happenstance|
|Author(s)||Joseph M. Reagle|
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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: §8) to be realized? The answer, presented in this essay, was that it required an alignment of a coherent goal, technical practicality, and serendipity: vision, pragmatics, and happenstance.
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