Tomorrow in Enid I’ll be talking, sharing and teaching about wikis and WikiPedia, as well as Flickr. I know from some brief discussions today that at least a few of the teachers in attendance at our three-day workshop are very hostile to WikiPedia and the entire concept of wikis. This isn’t something new for me to encounter, I frequently visit with people here in Oklahoma as well as Texas and other midwest states (especially librarians) who are very upset by WikiPedia and the idea that “anyone” can author content for it.

What is the word for how you discover something on the web? A trail of virtual breadcrumbs? My sequence this evening for an outstanding video presentation by Jimmy Wales (founder of WikiPedia) in April 2006 titled “Vision: Wikipedia and the Future of Free Culture” was:
rmom32’s post in Google Groups
James’ Gates TipLine blog and post about

I knew about the TED conference and podcasts, but not about Pop!Tech (they have podcasts too with a lineup of amazing thinkers) or Thanks James! is the host of this preso by Jimmy Wales. According to the website, we should:

Think of Fora as C-SPAN meets YouTube meets MySpace.

Wow. Quite a simile. 😉 And quite a place to listen, think, learn and share.

The availability of content like this is staggering, and reminds me again of Roger Shank’s great keynote at SITE 2 weeks ago. I am not an expert on WikiPedia. Jimmy Wales is, because he INVENTED WikiPedia and works on the site and project probably every day. As a learner and facilitator of learning, it is enormously more powerful, relevant and effective for me to be able to share Jimmy’s own insights on WikiPedia, the project’s philosophy and the impact it is having on overall global knowledge than for me to attempt to communicate elements of those ideas all by myself.

Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t share some of my own stories about WikiPedia with our workshop participants: I certainly will! However, being able to share even a short excerpt of a video like this is powerful and important at several levels. First, we will all gain greater insight into WikiPedia and the entire project as a result of watching the first 10 minutes of the video (which is what I’m planning at this point.) Secondly, using this video dramatically shows the potential and value of blended learning and dynamic, digital curriculum.

Unfortunately a downloadable audio-only version of this preso does not seem to be available, but a full-text transcript is.

Jimmy’s point about the definition of FREEDOM from the WikiPedia perspective, being more about freedom to use, distribute and remix is a VERY important one. I think many times when people hear “free encyclopedia” they think of free ACCESS, rather than free USAGE licensing. I’m looking forward to sharing this tomorrow! 🙂

BTW, does anyone have or know of a good “quickstart guide” for Flickr? I’m looking for a short 2-pager like this one I made awhile back for Audacity. (PDF)

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6 Responses to Jimmy Wales on WikiPedia

  1. Pam Lowe says:

    How funny that I should just finish my blog entitled, “Wonderful World of Wikis!” and share my fourth grade students’ wonderful experience with them and then read that you’re going to present to an anti-wiki audience. You’re welcome to use my blog or my class wiki page ( ) if you’d like to show teachers that wikis can be productive and thought-provoking tools.

  2. Wesley Fryer says:

    Pam, you rock! This is the 2nd time this week I’ve experienced synchronous collaboration with someone via comments to my blog. Whoa! I’ll definitely share your blog post and class wiki site with our Oklahoma teachers tomorrow. Thanks so much! 🙂

  3. Wes, we’ve got Jimmy Wales doing a series of seminars here down under and creating a bit of a buzz here in educational circles and beyond. I’ll be attending the Adelaide seminar and it will be interesting to hear him speak live and to chat with others at the event from all across training, business and education sectors. Watch my blog for my reflections!

  4. Wesley Fryer says:

    Super Graham, thanks for the heads-up! I’ll be watching! His stats on WikiPedia from that preso are now a year old, and it will be super interesting to hear how those have changed and grown in the last year!

  5. […] I know I said that he wasn’t worth $300 of my money when I can watch so much of him on the web already. But when Al Upton e-mailed a deal “Half price to see the expensive man” I got in quick and got the MYLU team tickets to his Adelaide seminar. […]

  6. Not really a quick start guide to Flickr but I get a lot of use out of the The Great Flickr Tools Collection when I introduce Flickr to the teachers. It has some useful links at the beginning for newbies.

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