:::: why wikipedia?

18 Mar

Collaboration culture implies the willingness to share information and opinions and the willingness to be open towards the communication of the ‘other’. Besides, cooperation requires „the democratic minimum of the shared ability to initiate deliberation” (Bohman). This ability I see illustrated in Wikis as another many-to-many communication application. A Wiki is a type of collaborative website, a set of linked pages that enables documents to be authored collectively. Its structure and content are open to editing and evolution.  Research on Wikipedia suggests that due to the pluralist and non-hierarchic nature of the medium, Wiki debates on the so called talk pages are often conflictual and their solution is found in ambiguity (Matei/Dobrescu). This underlines that interactions between decentred publics are rather in favour of making a common structure of dissent visible.

By analysing the German, English, and French ‘versions’ of Wikipedia articles evolving around a common issue of conflict, differences and similarities with regard to the organisation of issue networks and (counter-)discourse can be detected and thus different cultures of publics revealed. The aim of my thesis is to examine Wikipedia as one of many virtualised communicative spaces where connections to the political are made in a transnational/-lingual way.


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